We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.
According to a study done by the Work Physiology Laboratory, “rowers exhibit excellent leg strength and power when compared with other elite athletes.” If you’d also like to have enough leg strength to go on a long hike or outrun your enemies, using a rowing machine may be a good option for you.
In this review, I’ll be specifically dissecting the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine. This rowing machine can fold for easy storage in compact spaces, has Bluetooth connectivity, and is under $500. It’s a win-win-win if you ask me.
It’s Always Sunny at Garage Gym Reviews
We’ll help you feel sunny and get your health and fitness in check (yes, that was an intentional play on words) because we’re gym equipment experts. Our team of product reviewers and testers are seasoned fitness vets—think certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and former NCAA D1 athletes. We’re passionate about giving you the top-tier, in-depth information you need to make an excellent decision for your home gym.
Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
If you are on a budget and looking for a rowing machine, the Sunny Health & Fitness Premium Magnetic Interactive Rower could be worth a look. Despite its lower cost, it offers many notable features including 16 levels of magnetic resistance, a folding rail design, cushioned seat, water bottle holder, adjustable transport wheels, and a device holder. Simply place your tablet or phone in the holder and take advantage of the library of row workouts offered by Sunny Health & Fitness.While 16 levels of resistance falls on the higher end of resistance levels typically seen on rowers, this machine is best suited for beginners. Even the 16th level may not provide enough resistance for seasoned rowers, and the flywheel weighs just 6.4 pounds. This rower also allows you to work your upper body. Simply step on the standing textured foot plates and get to work on some strength exercises. A small monitor displays key fitness metrics including calories, count, time, total count, and scan. There are no onboard workouts but the display allows you to monitor your workout and stay in the zone. The maximum user weight is 285 pounds, which is slightly less than seen on competitive models. That said, with a foldable slide rail inseam of 37 inches and the 285-pound weight capacity, this should work for most people.
A Quick Look at the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness makes boatloads of affordable fitness equipment, namely cardio machines. You’ll find a variety of treadmills, bikes, rowers, and ellipticals on their expansive website (or on Amazon).
In fact, we’ve actually reviewed quite a few pieces from Sunny, including the popular Sunny Health & Fitness SF-T7603 Treadmill and Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3912 Magnetic Elliptical.
While treadmills and ellipticals are my main forte, I was excited to give the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine a closer look.
- This rowing machine is foldable for easy storage.
- Try the compatible SunnyFit app for free workout videos.
- Under $500
- Foldable machine
- Easy to build
- Stable while used
- Compatible with the SunnyFit app
- Textured foot pedals with adjustable straps
- Floor plates are included for pulls and curls
- Lots of plastic used
- Short slide rail
- 285-pound max user weight
Is the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine Worth It?
Trying to figure out if the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine is worth it for your home or garage gym? Here’s who I’d recommend this rower to and who should go for something different.
- People on a budget
- Small spaces
- Individuals who want a versatile machine
Not recommended for:
- Those who want a touchscreen
- People who want gamified programming
- Heavy individuals
Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine Specs
|Product dimensions||80.7” L x 22.6” W x 22.4” H|
|Product weight||53.4 lbs|
|Weight capacity||285 lbs|
|Warranty||3-year structural frame, 180 days parts and components|
|Display||Digital monitor, LCD|
|Flywheel weight||6.4 lbs|
|Slide rail inseam||37.2”|
|Foldable slide rail||Yes|
Rowing with the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
Garage Gym Reviews founder Cooper Mitchell has tried tons of rowers. And I mean TONS. So to hear that he was pleasantly surprised with the stability of a $500 rowing machine was a good sign for the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine.
“For the price, I was impressed with the stability and smoothness,” Cooper said. “It feels a lot like the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine we’ve previously tested, except it has footplates to allow for high pulls and curls.”
Although I haven’t personally tested the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine like Coop has, I have tested the SF-RW5801, which is one of my personal favorite budget rowing machines. The smoothness and overall stability while in-use is on-par with what I’ve come to expect from Sunny.
Although the short slide rail of 44 inches is below the industry standard, It is a better length than other inexpensive rowing machines we’ve tried in the past. For context, the Concept2 Rower (which is double the price) has a slide rail 10 inches longer than that of the Sunny, which can accommodate a person up to 6 feet, 9 inches. If you do the math, I would say someone that is 5 feet, 9 inches (which is how tall both Coop and I are) can comfortably use the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine.
Footprint, Portability, Durability, Construction
The Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine has a slightly more compact footprint than a traditional rower. Plus, it can be folded to be stored in a closet or against an unused wall. This feature makes it a great option for people in small spaces who still want a cardio machine.
Unsurprisingly, the Sunny rower is constructed with quite a bit of plastic, although there are some steel components. This is usually an indication that it won’t last a substantial amount of time, because plastic is much more susceptible to damage.
“Not very durable, but durable enough for the price point,” Coop mentioned. “Lots of plastic, but I mostly worry about the internals. Should something go wrong with the magnetic resistance component, I’m not sure how serviceable it would be, or if it would even be worth it at the price point.”
Technology Benefits and Conveniences
Although the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine isn’t exactly an Aviron Rower, it does have a few technology features. You can connect your smartphone or device to the machine via Bluetooth to track your metrics as you row. You’ll also be able to view free workouts (if you choose) through the SunnyFit app.
I love that there is a free interactive programming option that you can use in tandem with this rowing machine. I think this makes this rower a more inclusive option because it allows people to experience a workout in a class-like setting for free. However, you’ll need to make sure your expectations aren’t too high––the programming will not be Peloton– or iFIT-quality, but I think that’s OK for a free app. If you’re not thrilled with the SunnyFit app, you can pay a monthly fee and use iFIT on your own device. I’m a big fan of their rowing classes and you likely will be too.
As far as conveniences go, the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine has a solid amount of extras. Expect to see a water bottle holder, device holder, monitor, and additional foot plates for upper body movements if you want to do a full-body workout. Not too shabby for a $500 rowing machine.
Comparison to Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine
Sunny Health & Fitness makes a variety of cardio equipment that’s quite similar to one another. The company will often tweak one or two small features and market the piece as an entirely different machine. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine is an example of this process, as the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine is quite similar. The resistance levels, user weight capacity, warranty, and type of resistance are all the same.
The main differences are the varying prices, Bluetooth connectivity, and the added foot plates on the SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine for pulls and upper body rows.
See the differences (and similarities) between these best sellers for yourself:
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine
Looking for a small-space-friendly and budget-friendly rowing machine? Check out the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Magnetic Rower, which features 16 levels of magnetic resistance and a comfortable seat for less than $300. In addition to its palatable price tag, this rower has a space-saving design with a slide rail length of just 43 inches and a total length of 77 inches (most rowers have a total length between 86 and 90 inches). This rower also folds up when not in use so you can store it out of the way.Keep in mind that a shorter seat rail means this rower might not be a good fit for taller people, as they may not achieve full extension of the legs. Still, for the average person, this rower will get the job done.The RW-5801 has a basic LCD display that tracks time, calories, and distance. It also has a device holder so you can stream your favorite rowing workouts on different apps or YouTube.
|Rower||Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine||Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine|
|Price||Around $450||Around $220|
|Footprint||80.7” L x 22.6” W x 22.4” H||77” L x 23” W x 22.5” H|
|Warranty||3-year frame, 180 days parts||3-year frame, 180 days parts|
|Weight capacity||285 lbs||285 lbs|
|Weight||53.4 lbs||49.6 lbs|
|Resistance levels||16 levels||16 levels|
Want to learn more? Check out our full breakdown in the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5801 Rowing Machine review.
Warranty and Returns
The industry standard for a rowing machine warranty is as follows: five to 10 years on the frame, two years on parts, and one-year on labor. For the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine, you’ll receive a three-year warranty on the frame and 180 days on parts. Although this obviously isn’t hitting the industry standard, I’m not disappointed because of the price. You have to make compromises somewhere if you’re paying under $500 for a rowing machine.
Since this rower is sold through Amazon, you’ll get the traditional 30-day return window. Not thrilled with your purchase? You can access your past orders in the upper right corner of the website and click ‘“return or replace order’” to get the process started.
Ordering and Assembling the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
Ordering the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine is a breeze. Simply add it to your cart on Amazon, select your assembly preference, and you’ll receive the machine in about a week. You can currently snag free shipping without a Prime membership on this item, so act fast!
If you’re not in the mood to assemble this machine, Amazon offers professional assembly for $82 (don’t forget to select this option at checkout). This is an excellent option for non-abled-bodied people or older adults who may not want to go through the trouble of doing it themselves.
Although it isn’t exactly financing, Amazon will give you a $60 gift card towards your purchase if you apply (and are approved) for the Amazon Store Credit Card. Luckily, the machine is pretty inexpensive as far as cardio machines are concerned, but I do understand $450 is still a lot of money for most people (including myself).
Garage Gym Review’s Operations Manager Sam “asSAMbly” Presley assembled the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine at our testing facility and said it was a simple process.
“This rower is a pretty easy build, “ Sam explained. “It comes packaged in one small box that most people can move on their own. Once it is unpacked, you add the rail, the seat, and the feet (finishing with the monitor) and you are ready to row. This is a build most people can easily do on their own.”
On Amazon, the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine has an average score of 4.5 out of 5 with over 327 reviews.
There are plenty of happy customers––over 68% of reviewers gave this machine 5 stars. These pleased patrons reported that they enjoyed the value, easy assembly process, and quietness of this rower.
“Excellent value for the money,” reviewer Gordona states. “It’s quiet and smooth. Probably not suitable for serious rowers, but the tension levels are fine for me.”
Only a combined 12% of reviewers gave the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine 3 stars or less. Some customers didn’t like the low resistance levels, quality of the parts, and customer service.
“Very poor quality,” customer Brian bemoaned. “The nylon strap wore down 20 mins into my first use, snagging, and causing a hitch in the rowing motion that makes it uneven and awkward.”
Final Verdict of Our Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine Review
Beginners and budget-conscious individuals alike will probably enjoy the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine. However, for heavier people or well-conditioned athletes, this under-$500 rower may not quite hit the spot.
Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine Rating
Sunny Health & Fitness Multifunction SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine
In this review, find out all the details about the budget-friendly Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine.
Product Brand: Sunny Health & Fitness
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 289.00
Product In-Stock: InStock
Sunny Health & Fitness Multifunction SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine FAQs
Are magnetic rowers any good?
Yes, magnetic rowing machines are an excellent choice for people who want adjustable resistance. Different levels of resistance can be useful as you advance in your fitness journey. However, I do find that water rowers usually provide particularly smooth strokes, although magnetic machines can as well.
What is SPM on a rowing machine?
SPM stands for “strokes per minute”. This metric is as simple as it sounds––it calculates how many times you’ll likely move back and forth on the indoor rowing machine within a minute during your rowing machine workout.
Can you get in shape by just rowing?
For those who are not conditioned and want something low-impact, you can get into better cardiovascular shape by just rowing. However, I also recommend incorporating strength training into your workout routine to build muscle.
If your training demands require it, a carb supplement can help boost your energy at opportune times. Below, our expert rounded up the best carb supplements for your needs. Read more
According to a study done by the Work Physiology Laboratory, “rowers exhibit excellent leg strength and power when compared with other elite athletes.” If you’d also like to have enough leg strength to go on a long hike or outrun your enemies, using a rowing machine may be a good option for you.In this review, I’ll be specifically dissecting the Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine. This rowing machine can fold for easy storage in compact spaces, » Read more about: Sunny Health & Fitness SPM Magnetic Rowing Machine Review (2023): Bluetooth Connectivity and Foldability » Read more
In this Schwinn 420 elliptical review, we take a look at an older but solid elliptical with a modern cousin worth adding to your home gym. Read more
Compared to traditional deadlifts, sumo deadlifts may be friendlier on the lower back and easier for taller people. I give my top CPT tips on how to do them. Read more