Jane's Best Fitness

Fitness tips for working women and BUSY moms

best rower for apartments

Best Rower for Small Spaces: Top 6 Best Rowing Machines for Apartment Life

Do you want to bring the real outdoor rowing experience to your home fitness routine? Finding the best rowing machine for apartment life will provide you with an excellent piece of cardio equipment that will give you convenience, comfort, and the results you’re looking for. Rowers are a low impact form of fitness that flex and target major muscle groups while helping individuals tone and cut down unwanted belly fat.

Alternatively, if you are currently comparing different cardio machines to find the right fit for your home gym, checkout my comparison article here.

After comprehensive research to find the best rowing machine for apartment life, we present the top 6 rowing machines you should consider today for your home gym. In the next few paragraphs, we discuss important features of every rowing machine, including the resistance level, weight capacity, and design, to help you make an informed buying decision.

So, let’s dive right in!

Winners of the Best Rowing Machine for Apartment Living

Best-Rower-for-Small-Spaces-hydowHydrow Wave RowerMost Quiet Rowing Machine $$$
stamina_1050_rowing machine. Best rowing machine under 300 dollarsStamina Body Trac Glider 1050Best Portable Rowing Machine$
CONCEPT D best Rowing machine under 1000 when looking at different types of rowing machinesConcept 2 Rower with PM5 Performance MonitorBest Air Resistance Fold Up Rowing Machine $$
Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Exercise RowerBest Magnetic Rowing Machines$
best rowing machine for apartmentWaterRower Natural Rowing MachineBest Water Rowing Machine$$
Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine
Best Budget Rower$

This article may contain affiliate or compensated links. For full information on our affiliate policy, please read our disclaimer here.

Tips for Buying a Compact or Fold up Rowing Machine

Our top 5 factors to consider when buying a compact rowing machine or fold up rowing machine


It always feels good to know that you’re making a long-term investment in exercise equipment that will serve you for many years. But sometimes, your pocket may tend to disagree. Hence why assessing your budget is necessary to ensure you go for a unit within your purchasing limits.


When investing in a rowing machine for apartment living, you also want to assess its maintenance. A simple rowing machine with easily detachable parts will be easy to maintain. And as part of ongoing maintenance, don’t forget to clean your equipment from time to time to ensure it stays in the best shape.

Noise Level

Noise level matters when buying a rowing machine. This becomes more important if you want the best rowing machine for small apartments. The Hydro Rower and water rowers are well known for solid performance with minimal noise. consider it if you prioritize a serene workout environment.

Size and Ease of Storage

Rowers are large equipment that can consume much space in your living room. So keeping that in mind, finding a system that works well for your living room is necessary. You can choose the fold up rowing machine options to get that extra floor space for other fitness equipment.

Specific Features

No matter the price or brand, some buyers will be looking out for specific features when buying a rowing machine. This could be anything from comfort to the nature of the foot straps, resistance options, and other smart features. All in all, finding a piece of equipment that guarantees the best experience while helping you achieve your fitness goals is necessary.

How to Make Your Rowing Machine Quieter?

Sometimes, you can purchase a rowing machine only to realize that it is louder than you imagined, easily becoming a nuisance to you and your loved ones.
In that case, you can adopt the following strategies to make your rowing machine quieter:

Clean the Unit

Cleaning your rowing machine periodically helps with noise reduction and can make it function more effectively. While doing so, remember to lubricate the moving parts to minimize friction and ensure your unit operates smoothly.


One of the easiest ways to reduce noise production from your rowing machine is to place a padded mat on the carpet or below the unit.

Don’t Go Upstairs

A little-known fact about heavy fitness equipment is that they produce more noise when used upstairs by causing vibrations. To counter that, you can exercise in open spaces away from the living room to minimize the noise levels.

Select the Right Seat

Ensuring your seat is properly cushioned and offers full support can make a huge difference when using your rowing machine. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to minimize noise production during a routine workout program.

Best-Rower-for-Small-Spaces-hydowHydrow Wave RowerMagnetic 86x 25×47 inches25x 33×86 inches145 lbs
stamina_1050_rowing machine. Best rowing machine under 300 dollarsStamina Body Trac Glider 1050Hydraulic 58.25×42.5×18.13 inches49.6×11.1×9 inches38 lbs
CONCEPT D best Rowing machine under 1000 when looking at different types of rowing machinesConcept 2 Rower with PM5 Performance MonitorAir96x24x14 inches56x21x15 inches57.32 lbs
Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Exercise RowerMagnetic73x16x21 inches26x16x49 inches74 lbs
best rowing machine for apartmentWaterRower Natural Rowing MachineWater76x22x19 inches39x23x21.5 inches108 lbs
Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine
Magnetic 88.5×21.5×21.5 inches51x26x10 inches63.6 lbs

Most Quiet Rowing Machine: Hydrow Wave Rower

The Hydrow Rower is our overall best rowing machine for apartment because it’s a convenient unit. Moreover, it offers the real outdoor experience with a patented electromagnetic power technology, an aluminium and steel frame combination, and top-quality polyester webbing for smooth performance.

With this quiet rowing machine, you can work a large percentage of major muscles from the comfort of your home. The 1920 x 1080 full HD display mounted on this rower is like no other, allowing you to stream fun workouts from any waterway across the globe.

In regards to the connectivity features, this exciting fitness equipment pairs conveniently with Bluetooth headphones and speakers and can be synced to the Strava app to monitor your heart rate and progress as you go about your workout sessions.


It has a dynamic monitor

Drag mechanism

Easy adjustment

10-roller seat

Quiet rowing machine


  • It uses a matchless patented electromagnetic drag technology
  • Free personal coaching
  • Daily recommended workouts to guide your exercise routine
  • Excellent for a full-body workout


  • Some users may find it overpriced
  • Not foldable
  • Doesn’t have a “just row” feature

Best Portable Rowing Machine: Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050

The Stamina Body Trac Glider is the best portable rowing machine we would recommend to rowing fitness enthusiasts and it’s very affordable. Like the Hydrow Rower, this fold up rowing machine fits the category of the overall best rower for small spaces, bringing the actual rowing experience to your home with its full-motion arms.

It’s uniquely designed to promote full-body exercising, targeting the major muscles such as legs, abs, glutes, arms, and back. What really stands out in the Stamina Body Trac Glider is its portability, bringing comfort while delivering results.

Another key feature is the mounted display unit to monitor your progress, allowing you to track your stroke count, calories burned, and workout time. Ensure you explore all the features to maximize your workout routine, including the comfortable footplates, the moulded seat, and the hand grips.


Adjustable straps

Textured foot plates

LCD monitor

Full motion rowing arms

Easily adjustable hydraulic cylinder

Folding arms

Comfy seat


  • Fairly priced
  • A comfortable unit with extra stability
  • Multi-function display monitor
  • Foldable arms to fit any space
  • It comes with a smart fitness app
  • Low noise level


  • Some users claim they find it difficult to change the batteries
  • A basic model with not as many features as high tech rowers
STAMINA bodytrac glider is the Best Rower for Small Spaces

Best Air Resistance Fold Up Rowing Machine: Concept 2 Rower with PM5 Performance Monitor

The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine qualifies to be the overall best rower for small spaces because of its alluring design and dependable performance. It’s a compact rowing machine for apartments that fits an average athlete’s fitness goals, budget, and preferences.

Also, it comes with a smooth feel, reduced noise, and a friendly LCD workout display to transform your fitness routine. If you want to stay motivated throughout your workout sessions, this unit readily connects with various fitness apps like the ErgData to help you track your progress via smartphone.


Dependable and backlit LCD workout monitor

Air-resistance flywheel

Excellent for low impact fitness sessions

An advanced PM5 performance monitor that’s easily adjustable to different positions

14-inch seat height to accommodate different users


  • Offers value for money
  • Minimal noise with smooth movement
  • Solid performance no matter your fitness level
  • Reliable and comparable workout data
  • Easy to store, move or assemble
  • Great option for tall people with its long slide rail and optional upgrade to extra length


  • It can be expensive if you are on a budget
  • Some users claim that the seat is uncomfortable
concept d is the best air resistant rower when considering types of rowing machines under 1000 when looking at Different Types of Rowing Machines

Best Magnetic Rowing Machines: Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Exercise Rower

If you need a terrific rower that lives up to the market hype, the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Exercise Rower could easily be your best rowing machine for apartment. It offers the same terrific performance as the two names mentioned above but is foldable enough to fit your closet.

This fold up rowing machine is known for its electromagnetic technology and the wide handlebar that accommodates different trainees. Additionally, the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Exercise Rower has a user-friendly LCD monitor, a 13.6” by 10.6” contoured seat, and oversized footrests for guaranteed security.

With this magnetic resistance rower, you can switch between different intensities using the easily adjustable tension knob. And when it comes to strenuous workouts, you can rely on the upholstered seat to support your back and bottom.
And by the way, the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine Foldable Exercise Rower also excels in durability and portability, becoming the go-to option if you prioritize easy storage and transportation.


Multiple resistance features

A rotary design with additional padding

Useful LCD monitor

Magnetic flywheel

Portable rowing machine


  • The best-selling rowing machine
  • Backlit LCD workout monitor to track your progress
  • Minimal noise with air resistance flywheel
  • Easy to assemble
  • Connects with different fitness apps
  • 14-inch high seat to accommodate different users


  • Some users claim it is only good enough for cardio exercises
  • Others have claimed it occupies a lot of floor space
Best Rower for Small Spaces the merax magnetic rower

Best Water Rowing Machine: WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine

Are you fond of a quiet rowing machine using water for resistance? Then a water rower is for you. The WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine is a smooth, quiet rowing machine with an ergonomic design. It stands out with its sound-absorbing feature and can do wonders to your fitness routine if you choose it as the best rower for small spaces.

It comes with a 20-liter water tank to increase the resistance levels and can be a huge asset for strengthening your muscles, burning fat, and reducing pressure on knee joints.

Moreover, we can’t stress enough just how beautiful this rower looks in many setups! It fits nicely inside your room to look like the best rowing machine for apartment living.

Because it relies on water for resistance, you need more of the liquid to increase the resistance levels. Fortunately, these water rowing machines come with calibrations and suggested levels to make your routine workout as comfortable as possible.


Ease of storage

LCD monitor

Ergonomic design

Quiet rowing machine


  • Mimics the sound of rowing through water
  • Smooth and quiet
  • Easy to store
  • Great value for money
  • Adjustable resistance levels


  • Some users say the LCD workout monitor can be inaccurate
  • A few users had an issue with water leakages from plastic cracks

Best Budget Rower: Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine

The Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine becomes the best option where budget overrides design. This is one of the best magnetic rowing machines that fits small spaces.

It is best for total body workouts but also additional exercises like front raises, curls, and upright rows. The budget-friendly Fitness Reality Magnetic Rowing Machine has full leg extension to accommodate body masses of up to 250lb and individuals reaching 6’4 inches in maximum height.

If you want to enjoy your workout sessions from the comfort of your home, the MyCloudFitness app on this unit can take your workout routine to a new level. This is a one-of-a-kind fitness app with personalized fitness programs to help you track your nutrition and workouts in one place.

On top of that is a wide cushioned seat to bring a whole level of comfort to your workout routine, strong magnetic tension resistance, and a 3.5” LCD monitor to help track your progress.


MyCloudFitnessApp with customized workout programs

Strong magnetic tension resistance

Full leg extension

LCD monitor


  • Excellent add-ons like the MyCloudFitnessApp
  • Supports extra workouts such as front raises, curls, and upright rows
  • Fully customized programs
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easily foldable
  • An excellent option for seniors


  • Some users claimed that the numbers displayed by the console are inaccurate
  • It is only suitable for cardio purposes, according to some users
fitness reality rower is the best rowing machine for apartment life

There are many more great rowing machines on amazon like the sunny health and stamina avari programmable magnetic rower but the 6 that we have mentioned above are our best picks after hours of research into the best rowing machine for apartment living.

The Bottom Line: Best Rowing Machine for Apartment Life

Foldable and compact rowing machines are available in different resistance types, colors, shapes, and sizes. Although every buying decision is closely tied to one’s preferences, choosing a suitable unit that combines durability with longevity is crucial to get value for money.

So, which one do you think is the best rowing machine for apartment living from our list above? Or, let’s put it this way, which is your overall best rower for small spaces? We hope you have a clear answer in mind and will pick the best piece of cardio equipment that matches your expectations, fitness goals, and budget.

Profile picture of Jane Hart

About the Author: Jane Hart

Working crazy hours in a high-stress work environment resulted in my body one day telling me, “Enough is enough!”

Navigating this serious health journey was both mentally and physically exhausting. But through some serious mindset work and instilling healthy habits, I was able to rebuild my life one day at a time and come out stronger on the other side!

Now my mission is to empower women like me to prioritize their fitness and well-being in a healthy, sustainable way and build a community of strong, happy and healthy women!

Jane's Signature