Best Budget Rowing Machine UK 

Updated April 2022

In this article we show you the best budget rowing machines that are available on the UK market right now. We know that rowing is a great all round body exercise, but the actual machines to do that activity, can be very expensive.

Rowing is widely recognised as one of the best all-around activities for cardiovascular fitness and strength. In fact those are the reasons why many people use a rowing machine for these types of workout.

Rowing machines allow you to perform a range of upper body exercises such as bicep curls, shoulder shrugs and upright rows whilst having a cardio workout at the same time. It is also a great choice for strengthening the back muscles.

Many people prefer this method as it is a very low impact exercise, so no damage to the knees or ankles.

We have looked around the Internet to find what we think are the best value for money machines, that are available on a tight budget. We hope to help you avoid the common mistakes that people make.

Best Rowing Machine Under £100

There are not many rowing machines for less than £100 unless you can pick something up second hand, or it is on sale. When we looked around we found a few which we have shown below

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

  • 65% of all online buyers gave this machine a full 5 star review
  • 4% of online buyers have given this model a bad review
  • This budget rowing machine use a hydraulic cylinder resistance system with 12 levels of adjustment
  • The machine helps target the main muscle groups simultaneously: arms, back, abs, gluts, legs
  • It has large anti-slip foot plates with adjustable straps for secure footing
  • It also has a padded seat with cushioned non-slip grip handlebars offers comfort and support
  • It has an LCD computer that displays, time, count, total count, calories burned, and scan

88% buyer satisfaction based on 6,000+ online buyer reviews

Niceday Rowing Machine

  • 77% of all online buyers gave this machine a full 5 star review
  • 5% of online buyers have given this model a bad review
  • This budget rowing machines has padded/cushioned handles that allows for a wider range of motion, giving you a more intense upper body workout.
  • It has a clear LDC display that shows time, count, total count, and calories
  • It uses a hydraulic cylinder and gives you 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • It has a very comfortable cushioned seat
  • It also has textured non-slip foot pedals that will ensure safe footing during workouts

88% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyer reviews

HOMCOM Rowing Machine Cardio Rower

  • 54% of all online buyers gave this machine a full 5 star review
  • 8% of online buyers have given this model a bad review
  • This model has 12 strength adjustable levels resistance to give you a range of resistance options
  • It also has an LCD monitor console that displays time, count, calories, total count, and scan
  • It has a wide padded seat with non-slip grip handlebars for comfort
  • This machine will help you work out the major muscle group: legs, arms, back, abdominal, hips and more with additional exercises

82% buyer satisfaction based on 125+ online buyer reviews

Best Rowing Machine Under £150

There are a few more rowing machines available if your budget will stretch to £150. When we did our research we found the following options available online.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5606 Elastic Cord Rowing Machine

  • 54% of all online buyers gave this machine a full 5 star review
  • 10% of online buyers have given this model a bad review
  • This model uses an elastic cord resistance with 4 levels of adjustable tension
  • It has an easy to see LCD console that displays time, count, total count, calories burned, count per minute, and scan
  • It also has an over sized angled seat with non-slip handles for real comfort
  • It also has large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • This budget rowing machine is suitable for people up to 15 stone (220 lb) in weight

80% buyer satisfaction based on 600+ online buyer reviews

XS Sports R110 Home Rowing Machine

  • 47% of all online buyers gave this machine a full 5 star review
  • 11% of online buyers have given this model a bad review
  • This model has a powder coated frame and is suitable for people up to 100 kilograms
  • It has 4 levels of resistance and uses an elastic drive system which is very quiet
  • It has an LCD display to measure Total count, calorie, count /min, count, scan, and time
  • It has a padded seat, and it also quickly folds up for easy storage.

80% buyer satisfaction based on 50+ online buyer reviews

How to Use a Rowing Machine Properly

Rowing Machine Quick Buying Guide

There are lots of things to consider when buying a rowing machine, such as size, easy storage and noise levels. If you live in a busy house then noise may be very important, or if you are tight for space, then the ability to fold up the machine when not in use might be a factor.

There are four distinct types of indoor rowing machines available. They are hydraulic based rowing machines, flywheel rowers, magnetic resistance indoor rowers, and water Rowers. Water models are really a thing of the past. each type has its own advantages , such as :-

Air rowers have a wide range of resistance available replicating rowing on water. Its automatic resistance adjusts to your stroke rate. There is a very smooth action and virtually no wear and tear on the machine, but these can be quite noisy.

Magnetic rowers are an excellent choice as they are very quiet in operation , nearly silent in fact. There is a wide range of resistance levels and they are usually smaller than air or water rowers. again there is very little maintenance in this type of machine but I found it doesn't really simulate real rowing, if that's what you are looking for.

Hydraulic rowers work by the pistons attached to the handles that pull against the air or fluid in a cylinder. They are small, low cost and much quieter than the air models. We found that they weren't very smooth and usually there is a good bit of maintenance needed.

Budget Rowing Machine FAQ

Is a rowing machine a waste of money?

When you buy any piece of fitness equipment to work out at home, then we always advise giving it a lot of consideration. Rowing machines work really well for home use, and they work even better if you have a place to set it up and leave it there. 5-10 minutes of exercise on your rowing machine can work wonders for your fitness. Most people stop using their rowing machine for one of two reasons:

  1. They tend to overdo it at the start and put themselves off
  2. They can't be bothered having to get it out of storage and setting it up again

We find they work best if you have a place to set it up and leave it there, and then try to do at least 5 minutes a day on it.

Are home rowing machines any good?

Home rowing machines are not gym quality but many of them are very close to that type of quality. The more expensive rowing machines are very good and the lower priced machines can still give you a very good workout. Any type of training or workout is really about your self-discipline and very little to do with the quality of the equipment. As we suggested above, if you have a place to leave it set up, then 5 minutes a day will give you a good workout.

Can you get ripped with just a rowing machine?

You can get ripped with no fitness equipment as long as you do the right exercises. Rowing is very good at strengthening the whole body as it gives it a thorough working out. It is especially good for the legs, tummy and back muscles. For the ab muscles rowing machines can make a huge improvement, but we would also recommend sit-ups along with rowing.

Is rowing or cycling better?

We think rowing is better than cycling in terms of an overall body workout. Cycling does very little for the back, shoulders or tummy muscle groups whereas rowing does. Cycling is a better choice for the hips than rowing.

Thanks for reading our article. If you are not sure that one of these cheaper models is for you then check out our page on the Top 10 Rowing Machines for some more helpful information.

Is Rowing Better Than Running
Benefits of Indoor Rowing
Body Fit Rowing Machine Review

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I try to bring you honest down to earth reviews on the best exercise equipment for the home. There are many choices from exercise bikes to vibration toners, so we have reviewed the best in class for all of them.

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Enda MclArnon