Imagine enjoying the convenience of working out from home.
Having your own heavy-duty rower in your apartment, making all those muscle gains from home, not having to pay for a gym membership you will not use because of your work schedule and the long commutes, and having the freedom to work out whenever you wish to.
An indoor rowing machine brings all those advantages.
Its use means getting the best hardcore workouts to build your fitness (aerobic); sculpt your back, glutes, and the hamstrings; and the perfect workout to torch calories.
While using the principles of a rowing crew out on an actual boat, the indoor rower gives you an incredible opportunity to switch up your cardio routine, especially if you need a break for the elliptical or treadmill.
It’s also one of the best whole-body workout machines.
Indoor rowers are designed to enhance cardiovascular performance, build stamina, build, and strengthen muscles.
They come in different sizes and shapes; they perform different functions.
They are priced differently, too, and that means that there is something for everyone.
So, which is the best rowing machine for your apartment?
Best Rowing Machines for Apartments
#1. Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine
Concept2 Model 2 sets the pace for what would be the best indoor rowing machines on the market. Build to last; this rower can be used in an apartment and also at the gym.
It comes with everything you need in a total body workout equipment, and even with many rowing machines on the market, this rower outshines the rest with many sterling features.
This rower is ideal for use by beginners looking for rowers for personal training, as well as experts.
Its high-resolution digital display screen has been designed for easy operation, and you will like how it displays all the important statistics in real-time.
You could also track your performance by storing the data collected in a USB drive. The monitor is adjustable, and you can position it in any direction.
This rowing machine is also built for safety – its air resistance flywheel and the spiral damper make for easy adjustment of the airflow flywheel’s position, allowing you to use the rowing machine effectively and safely.
The flywheel also blocks out the noise since it’s fitted with fan blades.
If you are wondering how this heavy-duty rower will fit into your modest apartment, you will be happy to know that the size of the rower is smaller than what you’re used to at the gym.
You can move it to storage or a different space with ease, thanks to its sturdy frame that is easily foldable.
The casters in the front legs mean easy mobility.
Its use is also easy given the ergonomically designed handles and the foot grips, which feet shoes of different sizes. The handles are adjustable up to 10 degrees, allowing you to train with the hands positioned naturally. The arms are foldable.
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Ease of use, with ergonomic handles and foot grip fitting different shoe sizes
- Ideal for HIIT workouts
- Mobility enhanced by caster wheels
- Adjustable handles
#2. Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5
If you are looking for the best commercial-grade rower that you can comfortably use at home, even with its rugged aesthetics, this aluminum Concept2 Model E rower with a glossy 2-coat paint finish coat could be it for you.
This rower has been designed to last a long time with the nickel-plated chain that needs infrequent oiling, and the double-powder coating that offers a glossy finish.
With a Model E seat designed at 6” higher off the ground, this rower is higher than most other rowing machines on the market, and that means that you will get on and off the rower with ease, whether you have flexibility and mobility issues or not.
This rower is ideally made for everyone who rows and anyone looking for a workout solution that engages the whole body. This rower will work all your major muscle groups, the core, arms, and the legs, all in a super-smooth but a high calorie-burning motion.
To determine if you are putting in enough effort, this rower tracks your workout data in real-time thanks to its Performance Monitor 5 (PM5) included in this model of Concept2 indoor rowers.
PM5 self-calibrates for easy comparison of results and the coolest bit about this monitor is that it connects to your heart rate wirelessly.
Although the app and the straps are not included, you will always have all the necessary data at your fingerprints since the fixed monitor’s arm keeps the PM5 close to your body.
You also get to adjust the angle of the monitor. The backlight enhances visibility, and the monitor’s compatibility with different USB drives means easy storage of data.
The rower’s assembly/ disassembly is easy thanks to the quick-release frame-lock mechanism, which separates the rower into two for easy storage.
It also comes with caster wheels at the front, which enhances its mobility and also makes it easy for you to roll up the rower into its fully-assembled position.
The assembly of this rower is further simplified by the 10 assembly screws.
It supports a maximum weight of 500lbs and fits a 9*4ft space easily.
How does this rower feel when in use? As one of the best indoor rowers, it’s designed to respond to the effort you put into every stroke, meaning that you have control over the resistance and exertion at all times.
Its spiral damper provides for quick adjustments of airflow to the flywheel so that you change how the strokes feel and what you’d prefer.
We also like the design of the flywheel is uniquely set up to maximize the smooth feel while minimizing noise.
- The best low-impact rowing machine
- Comfortable seat height
- High-quality air resistance flywheel
- Adjustable footrests and an ergonomic handle
- LCD performance monitoring screen
- The monitor self-calibrates
- 20-inch comfortable seat height ideal for people with flexibility and mobility issues
- It’s easy to assemble/ disassemble
- It comes with caster wheels for enhanced mobility
- Heavy-duty design, thanks to the chain
- Small footprint
- It would be better with a handle to help taller persons get on/ off
#3. MaxKare Water Rower
MaxKare is the other big brand in the world of indoor rowers, but unlike the other rowers you have tried or seen, this rower offers a different feel since it’s designed to give the feel of actual rowing strokes on water.
As a result of its design, using this rower will feel more challenging; but not impossible – the rower comes with a number of features that will make rowing an absolute blast.
For starters, you have the ergonomically designed handles which are not only easy to row with, but also make it suitable for the rower to be used comfortably by adults weighing not more than 264lbs.
It’s sturdily built with a mainframe made of steel. Comfort is enhanced by the adjustable footplates (it has 5 adjustable hole sites), the large cushioned seat, foam-padded handles, and the stabilizer for the back support. It also comes with a bottle holder to keep you hydrated
For easy tracking of your performance, it comes with a large LCD monitor that gives you all the important statistics in real-time. The fitness data provided include the distance covered, SPM, calories, strokes, and there is also the man-machine competition mode, which will make things a lot more interesting.
When done with your workout or when you don’t need it, you will use its pulley system to fold and store. There’s a safety support feature that will help keep it safe when not use.
- Accurate monitoring of strokes per minute
- Easy to lift it to a vertical plane, to save space.
- Smooth resistance
- Easy assembly
- Great value for money
- Great water resistance
- The movement of the seat is quite loud
- The display could be better
#4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
Another top-rated indoor rower that comes with a digital monitor that displays the time, total count, calories, count, and scan function, this Sunny Health Rower would be a good option for you if you are looking for a convenient indoor rower that runs on an advanced magnetic resistance system.
Its magnetic system gives you at least 8 levels of rowing, and the best part is that you can comfortably row through the different levels thanks to the cushioned foot grips and the integrated console, which offers maximum flexibility and comfort.
Note that the magnetic resistance system in this rower is manual, and it works a lot like the upright magnetic bikes.
This design means that you won’t have to connect the rower to a power source for use, and you get to adjust the resistance manually by turning the resistance knob, moving the magnetic pad closer or farther from the flywheel.
Note that levels 1-5 give very little resistance and are ideal when you are starting out, while levels 6-8 offer more resistance making them ideal for the experienced rowers.
Regardless of your experience, this rower gives off a natural feel and is quite effective in burning calories and building muscle.
Thanks to the manual magnetic system, you don’t have to worry about noise or air currents.
Looking at its frame, this Sunny Health Rower doesn’t disappoint one bit – the main rail, frame, and the base are all made with steel materials painted over with corrosion-resistant paint. And the internal engines are pre-lubricated, light, and clean.
- Easy maintenance
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Non-slip, textured foot pedals for safe footing
- Handlebars have a foam grip
- Enhanced mobility from the transportation wheels
- It’s durable
- Lightweight at only 60lbs and it holds a maximum weight of 250lbs
- Very quiet
- Great for whole-body workouts
- Good value for money
- Best manual magnetic rower
- Very lightweight and it cannot support heavier individuals
- Short for people with flexibility or mobility issues
- You cannot track the total number of meters rowed
- The monitor could be bigger
#5. Nordic Track RW900 Rower
This rower is one of the most interactive personal training rowers on the market.
It is powered by iFit, and buying this rower automatically signs you up to a 1-year membership that also includes access to benefits like access to an interactive trainer, studio workout programs, and you will be able to gain access directly on demand.
So, if you are worried that you will buy a rower but not know how to make the most out of it, the access to the app is a big win for you.
It’s also easy to use, thanks to the adjustable angle 22-inch touchscreen display and the ergonomically molded seat, which will also make it easy for you to enjoy a more immersive workout.
If you choose to invest in this Nordic Track rower, you should know that this rower runs on a magnetic resistance system; it is silent thanks to the inertia-enhanced flywheel, meaning that this is one of the quietest rowers for home use.
To ensure that you have the best workouts depending on the level of training you are at, the rower features 26-Coach Controlled levels of resistance that mimic actual water resistance, and also match the recommendations of your trainer.
The rowing workouts are essentially personalized to match your fitness goals and level.
The other reason why this rowing machine is one of our favorites is because of its SpaceSaver design that allows easy folding of the rower for storage. It also features front-mounted wheels, which enhance the mobility of the machine.
- iFit workouts are incredibly effective, and you don’t have to worry about being stuck with one workout routine.
- Solid build
- Easy assembly and setup
- Resistance levels for beginners and pros
- The touchscreen is large and easy to work with
- It runs quietly
- Calories and rows count
- No on/off switch or even an auto-switch function
- Customer services is a huge fail and only available from Monday to Friday
- Beeping tones make it a little loud
#6. BATTIFE Water Rowing Machine
Elegantly designed with a red walnut finish, this water rower by BATTIFEi is one of the best rowers for indoor use, and it just might match your interior décor.
Its wooden finish, the beautiful curves, and the overall design of the rower mean that this rower would easily feel like part of your furniture.
Our favorite thing about this rower is that it’s made of actual red walnut wood rather than laminate. Since it’s made of actual wood, you might notice the natural grains and some color variations.
Aside from the unique look, this rowing machine promises to give you the real water rowing experience thanks to the water tank, which gives off the sound of rowing water, as well as its shape.
You get to monitor your performance with ease thanks to the monitor, which will give you all the important details about your workout, such as the time spent rowing, the number of strokes per minute, total/ average calories burned in an hour, and the distance rowed.
Its storage is easy thanks to the wheels that make it possible to move the rower and its easy standing design.
- It comes with soft and cozy cushioned seat
- Easy assembly
- Maximum weight capacity of 280lbs
- Made of real red walnut wood
- Easy on the joints
- Beautiful finishes
- Sound of splashing water creates a real rowing experience
- The style doesn’t work for everyone
#7. Fitness Reality 1000 Plus
Fitness Reality might be one of the newer brands on the market, but it’s becoming a household favorite, specifically for individuals who weigh a maximum of 250lbs.
This rower is an ideal home workout solution for anyone looking for the best full-body workout routines targeting the thighs, biceps, forearms, legs, core, etc.
You can build up the tempo of the workouts easily thanks to the 14-level resistance levels made possible by the dual transmission magnetic tension, which means that you could opt for the easy or the more challenging workouts depending on your level of training and your fitness goals.
Its slide rail is 39,” and it also sports an extra-wide 21.5” foam-padded handlebar, as well as super comfortable grips for use in different workouts; and the large cushion seat, which is well contoured for extra comfort and top performance.
Then there is the patent-pending stabilizer at the front, which gives you more workout options including bent over rows, curls, front raises, upright rows, tricep extensions, shrugs, and standing shoulder presses, among others.
The large pivoting foot pedals are made of anti-slip material, and they come with an adjustable strap ring for an enhanced range of motion.
To help you track your performance, the rower comes with a 3.5” LCD screen that displays the distance covered, time spent, calories burned, and the strokes per minute.
It has the easiest assemblies, and it’s easy to store.
- Front stabilizer foot pads mean that you can do more exercises with the rower
- Easy tracking of performance with the large LCD screen
- It comes with a large comfortable seat
- 14 levels of rowing resistance
- Low noise level
- Easy assembly
- The footpad is easy to adjust
- The rower can be used by seniors
- The app works great
- The pivot pedals placement is off and uncomfortable for some users
- The wheels don’t roll too well
#8. Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike/Rower
Torn between a rower and a biker? Why not get both?
This Stamina Conversion II offers the best of both worlds as it works as the best recumbent exercise bike and as a rowing machine, and that means that it is one of the best rower/biker combos that offer total body workouts.
While the rower offers excellent upper body strengthening exercises like triceps kickbacks, forearm curls, and bicep curls, the biker ensures that you get the best cardio and leg workouts – you can do leg presses easily one you’ve attached the machine’s rowing handle to the seat hook.
The rower is ideal for strength building, and the biker is the best for cardio.
To enhance the functions of this rower/ biker, the machine comes with a new, sleek, and a multifunctional electronic monitor featuring a large LCD display which makes it even easier for you to track your performance, whether you’d like to track your speed, the distance covered, pulse, time spent, or the calories burned.
There’s also the hand pulse sensor, which is built into the grips to measure your heart rate with ease.
The padding on the seat and the extra cushion enhance rowing comfort, while the padding on the rowing handle also increases comfort and boosts your performance.
There’s also the pivoting of the footplates and the adjustable straps which offer more stability during rowing. You might also like how easy it is for you to adjust the resistance of the rower/ biker – this machine comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance.
If you need to move the machine, the built-in wheels and the foldable design will ensure faster and safe transportation.
- Full-body workouts
- Easy to use
- Assembly is easy
- Designed for comfort and top performance
- It runs quietly
- The seat slides smoothly
- Easy resistance adjustment
- It’s not ideal for persons with wider feet
#9. GOPLUS Magnetic Rowing Machine
For the best full-body workouts at home, you may want to invest in one of these magnetic rowing machines.
This rowing machine by GoPlus is designed to add a nice twist to your workout routine, and on the days that you cannot go for a run, this rower will make sure that you get in your aerobic workout.
And if you have been planning to get in some HIIT workouts, then this magnetic rowing machine has got you covered.
This GoPlus rowing machine might be one of the best low-impact rowers, but it works most of the body, leaving you feeling stronger, healthier, and your muscles tighter.
With the 10-level adjustable resistance, this rowing machine comes with great tension control, and you get to pick a resistance level based on your fitness level and target.
If you are like the rest of us, seeing your results or performance on a monitor gets you going.
This rower comes with a monitor that feeds you with all the data you need about your progress.
The monitor tracks your rowing distance, time, and the calories burned; and thanks to its 15-degree incline angle, you will read the monitor with ease.
The magnetic resistance reduces the noise produced while maximizing the smoothness of the machine with every row.
You might also like this rowing machine for its sturdy, durable construction, as well as the comfort features which ensure solid performance when in use.
The soft seat glides smoothly on the rollers, the pivoting footplates come with safety straps and fit different foot sizes, and it’s as padded for comfort and extra support.
We also liked the non-slip rowing handle, which ensures a comfortable grip.
- 10-level magnetic tension/ resistance system
- Easy resistance adjustment thanks to the tension control knob
- Large LCD monitor keeps track of all important numbers
- It comes with a phone holder
- Comfortable, ergonomically designed seat
- The foot pedals are adjustable
- Ideal for short people
- Padding on the row handles enhance comfort
- Not great for tall people
- A little clunky
#10. Stamina ATS Air Rower
For a rower that offers the best of cardiovascular exercises, we’d recommend this Stamina ATS Air Rower that will not only boost your heart, but also build a stronger body, and burn as much as 1300 calories in one session.
This rower makes use of dynamic air resistance, a big win for you because it means that the machine will always match your pace, regardless of the level of resistance.
The LCD screen gives you real-time stats of your workout.
Upgrades to this air rower have seen the incorporation of features like the padded seat, upholstering on the seat, padded rowing handles, and the adjustable footplates, all designed to boost your performance and help you relax.
It also comes with built-in wheels that enhance the mobility of the rover. Its assembly is also easy.
- Anti-skid end caps that will protect your floors
- Wind/ air resistance for more efficient rowing strokes
- Padded, anti-slip rowing handle
- Padded seat
- Large LCD screens make it easier for performance monitoring
- Comfortable footplates plus adjustable straps
- Upholstered, padded seat
- Foldable design
- The air transfer system is intuitive, and it adjusts to match your speed and pressure applied
- The seat it a little on the small side, if you have a big butt
- It’s loud
- It looks a little flimsy
From our reviews of the best rowing machines for apartments, we’ve come across several excellent options.
But they are not built the same – some run on air resistance, others have water tanks, and you also have the ones that depend on magnetic resistance tension. Their prices differ too, and some are louder than others.
But at the end of the day, your choice will depend on what you can afford and how that machine helps you attain your fitness goals.
Just make sure that the rowing machine you choose is made of the highest-quality materials.