5 Best Rowers Under $1000 in 2024

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympian with 21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

Cardio machines are generally low-impact or calorie-busting beasts. Rowers are unique due to high muscle engagement, energy expenditure, and injury prevention. All the craze is legit! 

We’ve selected a few budget models in anticipation. You can have the best rower under 1000 dollars to begin your at-home fitness escapade because one thing that can hinder your purchasing plans is a huge investment need.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the ProForm 750R Rower.


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5 Best Rower Under $1000

Top 5 Best Rower Under $1000 Reviewed

ProductTotalPrice/QualityDesignComfortPortabilityAdjustabilityDurability
ProForm599.510109.51010
Sunny health Fitness58.510109.5109.59.5
KingSmith589.51010109.59
Rogue Fitness57.59109.591010
YOSUDA56.5109.599.599.5

1. PROFORM Pro 750R Rower – Top Pick

PROFORM Pro 750R Rower
  • Item Dimension: 86.5” L x 22” W x 45.5” H
  • Item Weight: 116 Lb
  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Display: 5” High-Contrast Display
  • Slide Rail Length: Not Given
  • Weight Capacity: 250 Lb
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Compatibility: iFit
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame, 1 year on parts and labor
  • Additional Features: SpaceSaver Design, Tablet Holder, Dual Speakers, Transport Wheels

The Pro 750R is hearty equipment. Ergonomic handlebars, pivoting pedals, and the molded seat bear witness to the premium construction. A 90” pull strap allows a full range of motion for your strokes. Thanks to a pin-locked center, the storage footprint is half of the original 7ft length.

ProForm specializes in the silent magnetic resistance system. It has unbeatable adjustability and reliability in home settings. You’ll get 24 levels to crank up intensity with a single button push. Built-in goal-based programs also have their icons on the console. A 30-day iFit trial doubles up tech features with interactive sessions, studio classes, and advanced tracking. 

PROFORM Pro 750R
Keep your tablet inside a secure clip, letting you adjust the viewing angle. Trainers can remotely control the resistance of your machine, saving you the hassle of leaning forward to switch settings. In short, this powerhouse makes the best rower under $1000.
59Expert Score

PROFORM Pro 750R Rower specializes in the silent magnetic resistance system and has unbeatable adjustability and reliability in home settings.

Price/Quality:
9.5
Design:
10
Comfort:
10
Portability:
9.5
Adjustability:
10
Durability:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • 24 resistance levels + 20 workout presets

  • Free iFit programming for 30 days

  • Oversized drive and rail to accommodate all people

  • The device holder is vertically adjustable for clear visibility

Could be better:

  • iFit Premium auto-renews once the trial ends

SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Magnetic Rower
  • Item Dimension: 72.5” L x 18.5” W x 25” H
  • Item Weight: 49.4 Lb.
  • Resistance System: Magnetic
  • Display: LCD Monitor
  • Slide Rail Length: 44”
  • Weight Capacity: 285 Lb.
  • Storage: Upright 
  • Compatibility: None
  • Warranty: 3 years on frame, 180 days on parts and labor
  • Additional Features: Tablet Holder, Bottle Holder, Floor Stabilizers, Transport Wheels

You'll find fitness equipment of every category in Sunny's cost-efficient catalog. However, low prices don't hurt the performance. The same is true for this magnetic rower. You can buy three of them without violating a $1000 budget. Worry not – you’ll get rid of 250-450 calories in a half-hour rowing session.

Although lightweight, the base is made of steel. It resists side-to-side shaking regardless of the pace. A central knob accentuates 16 resistance levels. You won’t find any external connections or programs. SunnyFit App has stored a few lessons and tutorials. The console tracks your workout duration, calories, and strokes with scan and reset buttons.

It has a padded seat for the utmost comfort. A 44" rail and 12.8" height off the ground may present complications, especially for overly tall and elderly.

58.5Expert Score

SUNNY HEALTH & FITNESS Magnetic Rower - fitness equipment you’ll get rid of 250-450 calories in a half-hour rowing session.

Price/Quality:
10
Design:
10
Comfort:
9.5
Portability:
10
Adjustability:
9.5
Durability:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Superior build quality at an affordable price point

  • It has a bottle holder to keep beverages close

  • A densely-cushioned seat delays muscle soreness and fatigue

  • Zero sways and shakes while in use

Could be better:

  • No built-in presets and programs on this rower

3. KingSmith WR1 Foldable Machine – Best Water Rower

KingSmith WR1 Foldable Machine
  • Item Dimension: 76.3” L x 19.6” W x 22.0” H
  • Item Weight: 64 Lb.
  • Resistance System: Water
  • Display: LCD Monitor
  • Slide Rail Length: Not Given
  • Weight Capacity: 265 Lb.
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Compatibility: KS Fit 
  • Warranty: 1 year of maintenance, 30-day return applicable 
  • Additional Features: Polycarbonate Tank, Tablet Holder, Carry Handles, Transport Wheels

KingSmith managed a remarkable launch event for its cutting-edge walking pad technology in 2018. The pledge target was crossed within a week. Once long-awaited products hit the market, all the buzz was justified.

The WR1 innocuously folds into the size of a suitcase. This three-stage patented tech makes it the most compact and best water rower under $1000. Once you finish your workout, loosen two knobs and lift the cross member. Ingenious engineering will automatically thrust wheels and handles. Its frame is made of hardwood. Aesthetics are out of the world! Add water bubbles, and you have a feeling of outdoor rowing. Nylon-strapped, oversized footrests invite all shoe sizes. You can fill up the tank to various levels to control resistance. The glass fiber paddle is sturdy and silent. Its display turns on as you pull the handle. You’ll see a QR code on the device clip. Scan it to take your training online.

KingSmith packs a water pump, agent blue, and batteries. There is a 14-day price protection, a 30-day return, and a one-year overall support. Read the complete warranty policy on the official site. 

58Expert Score

KingSmith WR1 Foldable Machine - three-stage patented tech makes it the most compact and best water rower under $1000.

Price/Quality:
9.5
Design:
10
Comfort:
10
Portability:
10
Adjustability:
9.5
Durability:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Folds into a squared size of almost 26”x22”; smallest to date

  • Unbelievably quiet at 20 decibels and 300N powerful tension

  • Top-tier material selection: wood, steel, plastic, rubber

  • The water tank's paddle is made of lightweight and robust glass fiber

Could be better:

  • Long-term performance is promising, not practically evident yet

4. CONCEPT 2 RowErg Rower – Best Air Rower

CONCEPT 2 RowErg Rower
  • Item Dimension: 96” L x 24” W x 14” H
  • Item Weight: 57 Lb.
  • Resistance System: Air
  • Display: PM5 Monitor
  • Slide Rail Length: 54”
  • Weight Capacity: 500 Lb.
  • Storage: Foldable
  • Compatibility: ErgData
  • Warranty: 5 years on frame, 2 years on parts and labor
  • Additional Features: Adjustable Airflow, Tablet Holder, Two Height Options, Transport Wheels

RowErg is the industry standard for indoor rowers. The fact that it comes with a three-digit price tag skyrockets its value. You may have to stretch your budget, but it's totally worth it. Concept 2's competitors, like Ergatta and Hydrow, charge a hefty upfront and recurring amount.

It has a fan wheel. The more effort you put into drags, the more difficult they become. So technically, there is no upper limit to air resistance. Ten-point damper technology isn't equivalent to magnetic levels. It instead dictates the airflow, mimicking different oars. Besides maximum control, RowErg excels at functionality. It breaks down from the middle. All contact parts are adjustable with a 10-degree natural bend.

CONCEPT 2 RowErg Rower

photo by @hannes_ocik

What makes this ergometer a true champ is its PM5 display, setting the bar for feedback accuracy. There are immersive games, memory windows, interval programs, and vast support of gadgets and apps.
57.5Expert Score

CONCEPT 2 RowErg Rower is the industry standard for indoor rowers.

Price/Quality:
9
Design:
10
Comfort:
9.5
Portability:
9
Adjustability:
10
Durability:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • An incredible load capacity of 500 lb

  • Suits all skill levels: beginners, professionals, veterans

  • Intensity correlates with stroke power, unlimited resistance

  • Onboard games polish your rowing technique

Could be better:

  • Requires a 9’x4’ space clearance for use

YOSUDA Water Rowing Machine
  • Item Dimension: 35.4” L x 18.1” W x 17.7” H
  • Item Weight: 60 Lb.
  • Resistance System: Water
  • Display: LCD Monitor
  • Slide Rail Length: 45.2”
  • Weight Capacity: 350 Lb.
  • Storage: Upright
  • Compatibility: Kinomap, FitShow 
  • Warranty: 30-day return and replacement guaranteed
  • Additional Features: Polycarbonate Tank, Tablet Holder, Dual-Track Glide, Transport Wheels

Like air rowers, a water-based rower’s intensity is also dynamic. The faster you recover, the more fluid is displaced. Thus, maintaining that speed gets harder. After KingSmith, Yosuda offers the best water rower under 1000 dollars. Its operation is silent apart from burbles. Tune in a kinomap route. You’ll feel like rowing an actual kayak since drive kinematics are similar indoors and outdoors

The water tank is made of aviation-grade polycarbonate. It's the last thing to break or leak. The inner mechanism is sealed with EPDM rubber strips. And stainless steel bearings on the top remain rust-free. You can flip it vertically against a wall without emptying the tank.

The machine is made of aluminum and steel, giving higher stability to the rear legs. A dual-track rail keeps the rowing motion safe and seamless. The warranty policy is ambiguous. The manufacturer ensures sending replacements for two years. Anyways, Amazon’s 30-day money-back guarantee is assuring enough to hedge bets. 

56.5Expert Score

YOSUDA Water Rowing Machine is made of aluminum and steel, giving higher stability to the rear legs.

Price/Quality:
10
Design:
9.5
Comfort:
9
Portability:
9.5
Adjustability:
9
Durability:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Sturdy and streamlined with a 350 lb load capacity

  • Provides outdoor rowing experience

  • Its belt drive is long-lasting, whisper-quiet at below 25dbs

  • A dual-track rail brings extra strength to the frame

Could be better:

  • No explicit warranty from the manufacturer

What to Look For in a Rowing Machine Under $1000?

Shortlist those rowers that check off your budget and space requirements. Then, inspect the following characteristics to choose the best rower under $1000.
Rowing Machine Under $1000

1. Price/Quality

Quality should be the top priority, even if you aren't splurging on a piece of equipment. Otherwise, you'll end up spending more in the long run. Make sure the rowing machine is covered for parts and labor for some time.

2. Design

Front and rear stabilizers must be wider than the slide rail to stand firm. And the glide should be bigger than your inseam length. Likewise, 14" is the optimal height to sit. Squatting too deep can cause joint problems or spinal cord injuries. 

3. Comfort

Comfort and ergonomics depend upon contact points. There are three in a rower: handles, pedals, and the seat. Your butt shouldn’t get sore the earliest during a session. Knee and lower back pain are the most common symptoms

intense workout in the gym

4. Adjustability

In addition to the build of contact points, their adjustability also determines user comfort. Everyone is of different stature. For example, pivot footrests with tab-down Velcros are suitable for folks with limited ankle mobility.

5. Portability

The boom in the home gym market is partly owed to portable construction. You can fold and roll big and bulky machines out of the way. Therefore, a compact storage profile and wheeled transportation are a must.

6. Durability

A durable rower is one made with high-quality materials. Touted weight capacity gives you a fair idea. Generally, 250-300 lb of support is considered decent. You don't use free weights as on a bench.

water treadmill training

What Is the Difference Between a Budget Rower Under $500 and Rowers More Than $1000?

Rowing machines are versatile, engaging 85% of muscles in one blow. You might wonder why there is significant price variability among different models. Sunny has multiple under-$500 options, whereas commercial rowers cost thousands. Here are some notable differences as you scroll on the price scale.

1. Warranty and Customer Support

Expensive rowing machines offer extended services. You’ll have follow-up emails, how-to manuals, expert assembly, and brand warranty. The support with cheaper models may last until delivered to your doorstep.

2. Built-in Programming

Once you’re spending close to a grand, you can expect a lot of integrated presets and games. Subscription content brings personalized training for you. CityRow, iFit, Hydrow, and Echelon Fit are such platforms.

3. Monitor Functionality

Regardless of the cost, rowers read out distance, time, strokes, and a rough calorie estimate. The difference in the range and accuracy of console features will be readily felt as you increase the budget.

Cheap RowersComparisonExpensive Rowers
Hard plastic seats with short slide rails, low weight capacity, and limited adjustabilityConstructionTough metal parts with ergonomic design and more durable air/water resistance system
30 days to 3 years of supportWarrantyA comprehensive warranty on frame and parts, ranging from 3 years to a lifetime
Basic LCD consoles with a device holder and, generally, no Bluetooth connectionProgrammingTV screens with subscription content, compatible tracking apps, and wireless connectivity

FAQ

How Much Is a Good Rower?

The idea of ‘good’ is subjective. Whether or not you value touchscreens, speakers, and third-party connections will decide the optimal choice. However, you’ll find a decent rowing machine for home use for around $1000. 

Why Are Rowers So Expensive?

Rowers are made of superior materials to support user weight, dynamic movements, and frequent relocation. It translates to a high price tag.

You have multiple resistance options. Hydraulic is cheaper and less durable than air and hydro systems. Magnetic resistance strikes a price-performance balance. Rowing machines may be expensive, not overpriced. Many companies have left tech bandwagons to provide a mechanically-fit machine for budget-conscious consumers.

Conclusion

The best rower under $1000 must be built to last with portability, adjustability, and monitor functionality kept untouched. We've listed five such desirable models up for grabs! ProForm 750R climbs to the top rank. However, others are ruling their respective leagues too.

Out of air, water, and magnetic resistance, what do you favor and why? We'd love to hear your opinions and queries in the comment section.

Also read:

References:

  • Emily Adams, "Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights" Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-for-people-of-three-different-weights (accessed March 8, 2021).
  • Emily Adams, "RETURN YOUR WALKINGPAD" Walking Pad, https://www.walkingpad.com/pages/return-refund-policy (accessed 2023).
  • Douglas H. Lamb, PhD, "A kinematic comparison of ergometer and on-water rowing," The American Journal of Sports Medicine, (2022)
  • Hagen Hartmann, Klaus Wirth, Markus Klusemann, "Analysis of the load on the knee joint and vertebral column with changes in squatting depth and weight load," National Library of Medicine, 2013 Oct;43(10)
  • Timothy M. Hosea, MD and Jo A. Hannafin, MD, PhD, "Rowing Injuries" National Library of Medicine, 2012 May, 4(3): 236–245.
  • Clara Soper, Duncan Reid, Patria Hume, Introduction to Oxford Referencing (May 2004, Physical Therapy in Sport 5(2): 75-83), 15, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/246837138.
  • Omid Nabavizadeh, Ashley A. Herda, "Relationships Among Muscle Characteristics and Rowing Performance in Collegiate Crew Members," The Sport Journal 

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.


Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years

Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).

After finishing my career, I have committed myself to coach, and as of 2022, I’ve hosted 200+ weightlifting seminars all over the globe. I’m the founder of an international sportswear and accessories brand, Warm Body Cold Mind (my motto), author, and creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by expert with proven experience. When writing the article we use our expertise and data from open sources with strong reputation, scientific or medical based. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles) PhD in Sport Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCP, physiotherapists and other. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

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