Last Updated: February 4th, 2021

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Rowing is one of the best cardiovascular exercises after running. Running is a load-bearing exercise and is not suitable for people with injuries. Since rowing is a non-load-bearing exercise, it doesn’t put any stress on your joints.

Also, it is suitable for elderly people as well.

However, whenever we think of a rowing machine, a big and bulky piece of equipment comes to our mind.

This often deters us from getting a personal one and we end up paying for expensive gym memberships.

So, if you have a space crunch and still want to own a rowing machine, here are the best rowing machines for small spaces.

We found  Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine to be the best rowing machine for small spaces due to its very compact design.

If you don’t like that, we still have more than 13 rowing machines that will fit nicely into any small apartment.

Related: Best Rowing Machine Under $300

Our Top Picks

For Affordability and Effective Space Utilization:

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine

“A compact yet powerful rowing machine to provide you with an effective workout.”

For higher weight capacity:

✅ Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rowing Machine

“Good for users up to 300 lbs. Uses both air and magnetic resistance.”

Best Rowing Machine for Small Spaces

#ProductDimensionsFolded DimensionsWeight CapacityBPG Rating
1Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Rowing Machine54L X 20W X 23H inches54L X 20W X 23H inches220lbs.4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.8)Check Price!
2Fitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rowing Machine72L x 25W x 51.5H inches (approx.)45L x 25W x 59H inches (approx.)300lbs.4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.7)Check Price!
3Merax Water Rowing Machine46.1L X 26W X 23H inches46.1L X 26W X 23H inches330lbs4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)Check Price!
4MaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower48L X 24W X 28H inches20L X 30W X 80H inches (approx.)265lbs4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)Check Price!
5fitbill Rowing Machine, Model f.Row42.5L x 25W x 27H inches42.5L x 25W x 27H inches300lbs4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)Check Price!
6Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine82L x 19W x 23 H inches37L x 19W x 53.5H inches250lbs4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)Check Price!
ProductSunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine
Dimensions54L X 20W X 23H inches
Folded Dimensions54L X 20W X 23H inches
Weight Capacity220lbs.
BPG Rating4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.8)
Check Price!
ProductFitness Reality Dual Transmission Fan Rowing Machine
Dimensions72L x 25W x 51.5H inches (approx.)
Folded Dimensions45L x 25W x 59H inches (approx.)
Weight Capacity300lbs
BPG Rating4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.7)
Check Price!
ProductMerax Water Rowing Machine
Dimensions46.1L X 26W X 23H inches
Folded DimensionsN/A
Weight Capacity330lbs.
BPG Rating4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)
Check Price!
ProductMaxKare Water Rowing Machine Water Rower
Dimensions48L X 24W X 28H inches
Folded Dimensions20L X 30W X 80H inches (approx.)
Weight Capacity265lbs.
BPG Rating4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)
Check Price!
Productfitbill Rowing Machine, Model f.Row
Dimensions42.5L x 25W x 27H inches
Folded Dimensions42.5L x 25W x 27H inches (approx.)
Weight Capacity300lbs.
BPG Rating4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)
Check Price!
ProductSunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine
Dimensions82L x 19W x 23 H inches
Folded Dimensions37L x 19W x 53.5H inches
Weight Capacity250lbs.
BPG Rating4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)
Check Price!

1. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine – Best Compact Rowing Machine

Editor Rating:4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.8)

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 Rowing Machine is our top choice for the best rowing machine for small spaces.

It is compact and lightweight. Since it is a hydraulic rowing machine, it doesn’t need additional space to accommodate the water drum or fan drum like its counterparts. 

Also, it has 12 resistance levels which are enough for any cardio workout.

The footprint of this rowing machine is really small and can be moved from room to room easily or to your storage space.

The user capacity of this rowing machine is 220 lbs. and comes with a fully padded ergonomically designed seats.

It also has non-slip cushioned handlebars that have an attached digital monitor.

You will be able to measure time, count, count total, calories, and scan functions.

The foot pedals are non-slip and come with adjustable straps keeping your feet stable during the workout.

However, this feature-packed rowing machine not only is ideal for a small apartment but also is easy on your pocket.

It will cost you almost one-tenth of the price of its pricey big brothers which runs in 1000s.


  • Good quality and affordable price.
  • Small and can be stored in a closet.
  • It may take only minutes to set up.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Time/Calorie counter stops the moment you stop.
  • Very quiet.


  • The monitor is very basic.
  • Hydraulic piston heats up.
Editor Rating:4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.7)

This is a comparatively new rowing machine in the market and is quickly becoming a very popular option.

It is topping the lists and beating the well-renowned state-of-the-art Concept D rowing machines.


First of all, it has a compact design which is very suitable for users who have small spaces.

Also, when not in use, you can easily fold it to half for better storage. This makes it one of the best foldable rowing machines.

It comes with 14 levels of resistance which is provided by a combination of magnetic and air rowing.

It has a smart knob that will monitor the resistance you are using for providing more accurate data for distance, calories burnt, etc.

It also has Bluetooth Smart Technology with the free MyCloudFitness app available for both Android and iOS to track your workouts via mobile devices.

It has the Aluminum slide rails for a quieter stroke and has a user weight limit of 300 lbs.


  • Comfortable and lightweight.
  • 14 levels of resistance.
  • Bluetooth connectivity and MyFitnessApp to track your workouts.
  • US based product design.
  • Foldable and affordable.


  • It could have been designed for higher weight capacity.
  • Air resistance typically makes some sound.
Editor Rating:4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)

This is a beautiful looking water rower which comes with an aqua colored water tank which enhances its appeal.

You can use this rower even if you are a beginner as the resistance level is controlled by the amount of water you use in the rowing tank.

It has solid steel construction for better performance and stability. It is capable of supporting a user weight of up to 330lbs which is sufficient for most cases.

The rower makes a soothing swishing sound and mimics water rowing. You can enjoy the relaxing water sound when you are rowing.

It comes with a large LCD monitor which will provide you with the duration, strokes, calories, distance and heart rate. It has a quick start and stop button which helps you to begin your workout with just a push of the button.

If you want to have a really intense workout, you can get it using the race mode to challenge yourself with intense competition.

It has a 19 inches ergonomically designed handle to maximize your rowing performance.

Also, the well-padded and contoured 12.5 X 10 inches seat provides you with sufficient comfort during the entire duration of your workout.

It has a compact dimension of 78″ X 20″ X 25.5″ with a slide rail length of 43.3″. It also has built-in wheels for easy transportation and convenient storage.


  • Comfortable and affordable.
  • Very stylish.
  • Solid steel body capable of supporting a user weight of around 330lbs.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Well built.


  • Some users did not like the handlebars and mentioned that they block any extra movements.
  • Some users didn’t like the water noise that this rower makes.
Editor Rating:4 and a half star-92X25-min(4.5)

This is another rowing machine which is very compact in its design and will fit into a small apartment or space perfectly.

It is made to mimic the real stroke on the water making your rowing experience more challenging.

It is made for any person weighing up to 264 lbs. and is made with ergonomics in mind. 

The steel mainframe of this water rower makes it very sturdy and stable. This machine is very durable as well.

It comes with a large LCD monitor that can measure your strokes per min, distance, strokes, time, and calories burnt.

One of the main features of this rowing machine is the presence of man-machine mode. This mode makes you race against this machine and makes your rowing more challenging and interesting.

You may easily fold it and move it anywhere due to the presence of pulleys.

It has upright support that allows for easy upright storage when not in use.


  • Lightweight and affordable.
  • Can stand on its head for vertical storage and saving space.
  • Affordable.
  • Resistance can be controlled by adjusting the water level.
  • Well made


  • The rower is not as quiet as you want it to be.
  • Display is basic.
Editor Rating:4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)

This is one of the best compact home rowing machines available in the market.

Due to its small size, this is ideal for people who have a real crunch of small.

Although this is a comparatively small rowing machine, it comes packed with features, so that you don’t compromise with your workout.

It comes with full-motion rowing arms, to deliver a more realistic rowing experience.

Also, unlike other rowers, this rowing machine has got a 10%-incline sliding rail and a bungee band installed. This activates more muscles of your lower body and burns more calories.

You will get 8 levels of resistance from its dual hydraulic cylinders. This is ideal for anyone starting from beginners to seniors.

It can support a user weight of up to 300 lbs and comes with a 1-year warranty.

This rowing machine weighs 32 lbs and has dimensions of 42.5 L X 25W X 27H inches which are a very small footprint for a rower.

Overall, if you are really pressed for space but still want to row, this rower maybe your best option. 


  • Really small footprint.
  • Sliding rail is 10% inclined unlike other rowers, providing you with more calorie burning.
  • Full range motion handle bars will provide your arms with great workout.
  • Affordable.


  • 8 resistances seem to be less.
  • Some users faced a bit of difficulty in connecting the phone with the rower.

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 – Best Compact Magnetic Rowing Machine

Editor Rating:4 star rating-92X25-min(4.3)

Sunny SF-RW5515 is a magnetic rowing machine and has a compact footprint and can fit into really small spaces.

Also, this is a very affordable rowing machine. This doesn’t mean that you will have to compromise on quality.

On the contrary, this is one of the best magnetic rowing machines that are available in the market.

It comes with 8 levels of magnetic resistance which is sufficient for any type of rower. You can adjust the resistance by just turning a knob.

The large LCD display of this rowing machine will show you the time, count, calories burnt, total count and scan. The scan mode will display your progress to assist you in tracking all your fitness goals.

The overall length of its slide rail is around 48 inches and inseam length is around 44 inches and can accommodate users of almost any side with a maximum load capacity of 250 lbs.

Also, to move it out of your way after your workout, you can just lift its tail and transport it to a convenient storage location using the built-in wheels.

You may also fold it into almost half for more efficient use of your storage space.

It has non-slip cushioned handlebars which will prevent the formation of calluses and a well-cushioned seat to keep you comfortable during the entire duration of the workout.

It has textured non-slip pedals and adjustable straps to keep your feet from falling off during the workout. This way you can focus on your exercise without having to worry about any mishaps.


  • Great for small spaces.
  • Affordable and of good quality.
  • Easy to move due to built in wheels.
  • Silent operation.
  • 8 levels of resistance.
  • Can be folded into almost half.


  • Taller users may find the handlebar placement to be a bit lower.
  • Could have had more settings for higher resistances.

What is good about EFITMENT Total Motion Rowing Machine Rower with Full Arm Extensions?


Its full arm extensions.

This is a hydraulic rowing machine which comes with full arm extensions.

This means you get more range of motion for your arms and may work them out independently.

Also, since it is a hydraulic rowing machine it has a comparatively smaller footprint and is way cheaper than its counterparts.

Along with that, it has 12 levels of resistance which is suitable for rowers of any level.

The frame of this rower is made from solid steel and is durable. The seat is large and will provide you with ample cushioning during the entire session of your workout.

It comes with a digital monitor that is capable of measuring time, count, calories burned, total count and RPM.

The foot pedals are antislip and have adjustable foot straps. This will prevent your feet from falling off and you can focus more on your exercise.

It has a slide rail of 38 inches long and has a max weight capacity of 350 lbs.


  • Solid steel body.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • 12 levels of resistance.
  • It can be used by seniors and beginners as well.
  • Fits in small spaces.


  • The level of resistance could have been more.
  • The hydraulic cylinder may heat up reducing the overall resistance.

To be honest Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine is not a small rowing machine.

Here are the exact dimensions.

However, we cannot complete a rowing machine discussion without including this state of art rowing machine.

Also, if you have a decent space for rowing then you may purchase it as it can be folded easily and can be transported using the built-in wheels.

Now let’s talk about the features of this rowing machine.

It can accommodate a user weight of up to 500 lbs and has a seat height of 14 inches.

It has adjustable footrests that are non slip and will help you to keep your exercise effort focused as you will not have the fear of slipping.

Also, the ergonomic non-slip handles will help you to keep a proper grip and will prevent the development of calluses.

It comes with the Performance Monitor 5 which self calibrates so that you can measure your performance.

Also, if you prefer to use a heart belt monitor or app you can wirelessly connect it to the rowing machine.

For easy storage, you may fold it and transport it with the help of Caster wheels.


  • Nickel plated chain requires minimal maintenance.
  • Can accommodate user weight of 500 lbs.
  • 1-10 level of damper setting.
  • Used by Olympic athletes.
  • Easy to assemble.


  • Expensive.
  • The display looks primitive.

Although a very good rowing machine, WaterRower Classic Rowing Machine in Black Walnut is not exactly a small rowing machine.

However, we have included it as it can stand on its head for storage and take up very little space.

But if you don’t have that kind of space when you lay out the rower in front of you, then please skip this one.

If your only problem is storage, then go for this one as it may be conveniently stored vertically and will not take up much space.

This rowing machine is made from solid black walnut wood and is good at absorbing sound and vibration. You get this polished look of the machine from Danish oil and is hand finished.

It comes with Series 4 Performance Monitor that tracks workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and more.

The resistance of this machine comes from water. The flywheel that is placed inside the water drum rotates and creates resistance against the water present in the drum.

This provides you with a smooth, quiet, and self-regulated resistance.


  • Smooth and stable.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • May last for generations to come.
  • Minimal maintenance.
  • Well made.


  • Expensive.
  • The monitor is not very advanced.

If you are looking for a silent rower then Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower may be a good option.

It is not a huge machine and folds to almost half for storage making it one of the best folding rowing machines. Also, being a magnetic rower, it doesn’t produce a lot of sounds.

It comes with 12 workout programs including 6 cardio, 1 manual, and 4 custom user programs.

This rowing machine has an LCD backlit fitness monitor that is capable of tracking time, count, distance, calories, strokes per minute, pulse and watt.

You can adjust workout time and resistance on the fly using the controls present on the monitor.

It has a mono slide rail made from aluminum that makes it comparatively lighter.

It also comes with a heart rate chest strap that fits snugly around your body so you can track your heart rate while rowing.


  • Comparatively lighter than other rowing machines.
  • Magnetic resistance for silent operation.
  • Affordable.
  • Less space-consuming.
  • Foldable.
  • Easy to assemble.


  • The seat cushion could have been better.
  • The foot strap material could have been better.

Stamina Conversion II Recumbent Exercise Bike/Rower combines two functionalities into one.

You may use it as a rower as well as an exercise bike. This will provide you with a full-body workout and you may switch between bike and rower mode for a more versatile workout.

Although it is very good exercise equipment, can it save space?

Yes, absolutely.

Almost, the entire sliding rail can be folded and the machine can be transported easily using the built-in wheels for effective storage.

It comes with an easy-to-read display that tracks speed, distance, time, calories burnt and pulse.

This will provide you with enough information to make a steady progress towards your fitness.

If you want to challenge yourself more, you may adjust the resistance as per your need. To do that, you just need to turn the knob to adjust between the eight levels of magnetic resistance.

It comes with a comfortable padded cushion and seat-back to provide you with enough comfort during the entire duration of the workout.



  • Comfortable for users of almost any height.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Quiet operation.
  • It can be folded and transported easily for convenient storage.
  • Comfortable even for seniors also.


  • Some users mentioned that the quality is not up to the mark.
  • The seat is not adjustable.

12. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms – Best Rowing Machine For Limited Space

If you a looking for a rowing machine without any bells and whistles, Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms is the rowing machine to go for.

This is a compact rowing machine with free motion arms. This will help you to incorporate any other kind of workout for your arms.

These have smooth hydraulic cylinder resistance which has adjustable tension controls. This will provide you with enough resistance for low-impact cardio.

It comes with a single button monitor which will provide you details like speed, distance, time, row count, calories burned, and miles rowed.

It has a thick padded seat that will provide you with enough cushioning for the entire duration of your workout.

Very compact in its design, it has a 5-year warranty and 90 days on parts.


  • Compact design.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Affordable.
  • Good resistance.


  • May not be suitable for tall rowers.
  • You cannot lock the seat. 

Stamina ATS Air Rower gets its resistance from air. The harder you row, the harder is the resistance.

This provides an effective workout for rowers at any level.

It comes with an LCD monitor that will track your time, routine, speed, distance, and calories burnt.

This will help you track your progress effectively.

It comes with a padded seat, adjustable footplates, and padded rowing handle. 

This keeps you comfortable during the entire session of the workout. 

For easy storage, this rowing machine may be folded into half and the built-in wheels help you to transport it to a convenient storage location.


  • It comes with three-year frame and a 90-days parts guarantee.
  • The user weight limit is around 250 lbs.
  • Rubber grip at the bottom will provide you with good traction.
  • Affordable.


  • Some users are not happy with the quality.
  • It is a bit loud.

What to consider when buying the best rowing machine for small spaces?

Space Availability – When buying a rowing machine for a small space, you need to be careful about a couple of things.

First, how much space is available for laying out the rowing machine during the workout.

For rowing machines assembles size is much bigger than the folded size. 

So, you need to be sure where you will be placing the rowing machine during the workout.

Get the exact measurement of the space in terms of width and length.

Also, with the width add around 10 inches extra. This will provide enough space for you on the side when you will completely fold your arms.

Otherwise, you may end up compromising your form as well as injuring yourself.

However, if the assembled space is not an issue and your storage space is, then also you will have to apply the same procedure of length and breadth.

However, now you also need to consider the vertical space that is available to you.

Combining these you will get a rough estimate of the rowing machine dimension that you may work with.

Resistance Type – There are many kinds of resistances for a rowing machine, like air, water, magnetic and hydraulic.

If you need something quieter, go for something like a magnetic or a hydraulic.

If you want a more challenging rowing machine, go for an air or water rower.

You may also like something which uses dual resistances. However, as a general rule, if you go for air or water rower, generally they are bigger than the other two types.

And between magnetic and hydraulic, hydraulic rowing machines are smaller in size.

Budget – Well, if not space, many of us are constrained by budget. If you go up higher on price, surely features will increase.

However, you may not need all those features.

So, pick the one based on your budget. We have a decent selection for every budget in the above list.

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