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Best Rowing Machine for Apartment

Last Updated on November 5, 2021 by Jeff

The best rowing machine for an apartment is one that is quiet and can easily be tucked away without taking up space. That’s the ideal, and it’s very attainable.

Creating an at-home gym in your apartment is a convenient way of ensuring you exercise often and comfortably. But exercising in an apartment comes with its own challenges, like creating noise and taking up too much space.

This is a common concern, but there are rowing machines on the market that will solve these problems for you.

We’ll help you find a rowing machine that not only meets your exercise preferences, but that is quiet and can be stored away without problems.

Let’s have a look at which rowing machine is the best suited for your apartment.

Best Rowing Machine for Apartment (Our Review)

Considerations When Choosing the Best Rowing Machine for Apartment

When looking for the most suitable rowing machine for your apartment, it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

The main concern is the noise level of your machine and the size of the rowing machine.

Most of the noise will come from the resistance mechanism of your machine. The key is to choose the right resistance system for your rowing machine.

An air resistance rowing machine is often very noisy. A water resistance rowing machine is much quieter. There is a faint whooshing sound that can be heard.

A hydraulic rowing machine generates resistance through pistons. It only makes a slight sound once during the rowing routine. This is a good option if you’re living in an apartment.

The best option is a quality magnetic resistance mechanism. This is often labeled as a completely quiet machine.

Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower (Best for Beginners)

best rowing machine for apartment

The Stamina Avari Programmable Magnetic Exercise Rower will give you one of the best rowing experiences. It is one of the top machines on the market.

It is a smooth and quiet rower with a strong adjustable magnetic resistance. You’ll have a full-body workout that’ll make you reach your fitness goals in no time.

It has an LCD monitor which keeps a record of time, calorie count, the distance you’ve rowed and strokes per minute, as well as your pulse and watt.

It’s also equipped with 12 workout programs. It provides a free heart rate monitor, which is great for those who want to improve and monitor their cardiovascular heart health.

You’ll be able to see if you’re pushing yourself too far, or if you need to ramp up your resistance.

The magnetic system is controlled by how close or far the magnet is to the metal flywheel. The closer the magnet is to the flywheel the more resistance you’ll feel. The farther away, the less resistance you’ll feel.

The resistance is adjustable. A button on the monitor is pressed to change between resistance levels. Regardless of how fast or slow you’re rowing, the resistance remains the same. The machine doesn’t emulate the feeling of rowing on water, but the strokes are smooth and fluid. It’s enjoyable and therapeutic for some.

We’ve established the smooth and consistent nature of this rowing machine, but is it quiet? This rowing machine is ultra-quiet. It’s perfect if you live in an apartment and need to exercise in silence.

The resistance level is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. If you want to row slowly and feel a strong resistance you can. This is perfect if you’re just starting out, or if you’re older. Experienced rowers can also get a satisfying workout from this machine.

The machine is easy to assemble. One person can assemble without fuss. Instructions are easy to follow.

The machine is sturdy and durable. It’s well-built. It has an aluminum frame and extruded beam. The strap is made of durable nylon, which doesn’t fray or wear out easily.

The foot pedals are textured and come with Velcro straps that work extremely well, securely keeping your feet in place. They’re tough and have a very strong stick.

The seat is not padded, but it has a molded ergonomic design. The rower comes with foam-padded handles that provide you with a good grip.

But what is the storage situation? The Stamina Avari Magnetic Rower is a fully foldable rowing machine. Everything folds, from the beam to the rail. It’s straightforward. It has wheels situated in front which make it easy to roll and store.


  • Fully foldable
  • Ultra-quiet and smooth.
  • It has 12 workout programs. Included in these workouts are 6 cardio profiles, 1 heart rate program, 1 manual, and 4 custom use programs.
  • Comes with a free heart rate monitor.


  • The seat is not padded and may be uncomfortable for some when sitting for long periods.

Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine (Best for Budget)

You want a rowing machine that will cater to your needs, but you don’t have a lot of money to splurge on one. This rowing machine is perfect for you. It is the best inexpensive rowing machine.

This machine has 12 hydraulic cylinder adjustable resistance levels. The fluid inside the hydraulic piston means you’ll get both a smooth and challenging resistance when exercising.

This machine is great for those who are slightly heavier. It has an extended weight capacity of 350 lb.

rowing machine in apartment

It is easy on your joints too. The rowing machine provides a full-body low-impact cardio workout. The design of the machine helps support your body, making the exercises more enjoyable. It’s one of the best rowing machines for seniors.

The ergonomically designed seat is designed for comfort and safety. It has extra padding and cushioning.

You’re guaranteed a comfortable workout session with minimal discomfort. The seats are made to ensure that there’s healthy blood flow in your glutes during long and vigorous workouts.

You can move your arms around fully and loosely. It gives a full range of movement, which helps burn more calories. This, in turn, engages, strengthens, and tones your muscles in the process.

It has large pivoting anti-slip foot pedals and foot straps. The foot pedals are textured, durable, and large enough to accommodate any shoe size. They’ll keep your foot in place and balanced.

To explore quality rowing machines for 300 pounds plus Sunny Health and Fitness have a great range.

The rower has a multifunctional digital monitor to track your progress. It scans, calorie counts and shows the time.

Due to its nifty hydraulic piston resistance system, this rowing machine is very quiet.

The machine is specially designed to save space when in use. When folded, the rowing machine becomes quite compact. This makes it one of the best compact rowing machines.

But, in comparison to other rowing machines, the arms do take up more space than usual. The machine can be stored vertically against a wall or in a spacious cupboard.


  • Accommodating to larger and heavier people with a weight capacity of 350 lb.
  • Affordable and of great quality.
  • Ergonomically designed seat for comfort and improved health.
  • 12 hydraulic cylinder adjustable resistance levels.


  • Professionals might not find the resistance levels challenging enough.

Merax Water Rowing Machine (Best Water Rowing Machine)

rowing machine in apartment

The Merax Water Rowing Machine is a top-quality machine that uses water to generate resistance. It has a sleek and elegant design.

Even though there are quieter rowing machines, this doesn’t make a lot of noise and is well suited to apartment life.

This machine has the added benefit of being very easy to fold up and pack away.  It’s perfect for small spaces.

It comes with a built-in folding design. The base of the rower has wheels that assist in storing the machine away conveniently and quickly.

When in use its dimensions are 78” x 20” x 25.5’. Its weight capacity is 330lb. It has six water level settings that can be adjusted.

Similar to the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RW5639 Full Motion Rowing Machine it is very affordable and of excellent quality.

When rowing the stroking glides effortlessly, mimicking the feeling of rowing on water.

The strokes are described as perfect and fluid, having a calming and therapeutic effect. The gentle and soothing sound of water helps create a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, while you’re burning calories and breaking a sweat.

It’s equipped with a unique inclined water tank. When comparing this water chamber, it’s more powerful than other water resistance machines.

The foot pedals are very large and made with safeguard rubber and provide a solid grip to keep you stable. It’s suitable for all shoe sizes. The straps are quick-release and adjustable.

The seat is large and ergonomically designed. It’s contoured to suit your body. It ensures a comfortable and supportive workout.

The handle is also ergonomically designed and is 20” long. It has a 12” footrest with an adjustable Velcro strap.

This rower is suitable for all shapes and sizes, however, the large design makes it an ideal rowing machine for tall people who struggle to find a rowing machine that accommodates their height and builds.

The LCD monitor is simple and easy to use. It records your total number of strokes, calories, time, and duration.

The rowing machine provides a tranquil exercise experience while engaging 85% of your muscles.

This is the best water rower for apartments within this price range.


  • Incredibly well-built and solid.
  • It comes with an in-built fold-up design to make folding and storing away so much easier.
  • It has an accommodating weight capacity of 330lb.
  • A unique inclined water tank.
  • You’re able to get a more effective cardiovascular and aerobic workout due to the upswing.
  • It has a fast start and stop action that allows you to swiftly begin or stop a workout.


  • The footrest is quite large. If you have a small foot size it may slip off, even with the adjustable foot straps.

Fitness Reality 1000 Magnetic Rowing Machine (Best Overall)

best rowing machines for apartmentIf you’re living in a smaller apartment and need a machine that takes up the least amount of space, and allows you to row without disturbing anyone, this is the rowing machine for you.

It’s not only quiet, but it easily folds to create a compact unit that can conveniently be stored away. For those who worry about their height, this has the added benefit of being a good rowing machine for short people. The inseam length is 39inches, which is great for short people.

The machine documents your workout routine by connecting to the My Cloud Fitness App, which stores your fitness data. This helps you track your progress and store records of your fitness journey for future reference.

The rower is equipped with 14 levels of dual transmission magnetic resistance settings.

This rowing machine’s strokes are smooth and strong. One of the great things about magnetic resistance is that it’s very quiet.

It has 14 levels of resistance. To adjust the different resistance levels, use the knob under the monitor.

It also comes with a large LCD screen and monitor which is very easy to read. You’ll be able to read your monitor from a few feet away while you’re working out.

The screen displays your calorie count and the calories you’ll burn. It records the distance that you’ll row, the time it took, and your number of strokes per minute. It’s very detailed, which helps give you a good picture of where you are in your journey.

The large, spacious, and cushioned seat promises a comfortable and leisurely workout. Your tailbone and glutes are safe from any discomfort. It also has a padded handle, making it easier for your grip and preventing any blistering.

The patent-pending front stabilizer foot pedals enable you to do additional upper body workouts. You can target specific areas like your biceps and triceps. You can easily do shoulder presses, bent-over rows, curls, and front raises, among others.

The foot pedals are wide and equipped with strong Velcro straps, keeping them in place and allowing you to fully focus on your workout without worry that your foot might slip off.  

The Fitness Reality 1000 Magnetic Rowing Machine is Bluetooth compatible. It can easily connect to your iOS or Android device.

If you’re on a budget with a small space to work with, this is your machine. It’s a good quality product at an affordable price, with really useful additions.

This rowing machine can be folded and stored vertically. Excellent if you’re pressed for space.

It comes with wheels in the front. You can easily wheel the rower into its storage space.


  • Has a strong and smooth magnetic mechanism, with 14 levels of resistance.
  • A comfortable and spacious seat, as well as wide foot pedals.
  • Very quiet.
  • Folds into a compact and space-saving unit.
  • Good value for money.


  • No pre-set programs.


Living in an apartment doesn’t have to restrict you from exercising. Just because you’re living in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t have a comprehensive home gym.

With one of the best rowing machines for apartments, you won’t even need any other equipment. Because rowing machines give you a full-body workout, you can get fit and toned with just this piece of gym equipment.

Hopefully, through this list, you’ve found the right rowing machine for your needs and your apartment.

Best Rowing Machines for Apartments (FAQ)

What Are the Benefits of an Indoor Rowing Machine?

An indoor rowing machine has many benefits. Besides the luxury of being able to exercise in the comfort of your home, you’ll be prioritizing your health and well-being.

An indoor rowing machine increases your strength and endurance. It also improves your cardiovascular health.

If you have an injury, are recovering, or just don’t want to put a lot of pressure on your body, the indoor rowing machine is perfect.

It’s an effective low-impact calorie-burning exercise. You can take your time and go at the pace of your choice. It reduces stress and positively impacts your overall health.  

It’s an excellent way to drastically reduce fat, tone, and build muscle while having the ultimate cardio workout.

Are Water Rowers Quieter Than Air Rowers?

Water rowers are significantly quieter than air rowers.

Air rowers (a fan) are rowing machines that are designed to generate resistance with air. They’re often noisy. They make whirling air sounds, the same kind fans make, every time you stroke.

A water rower is a rowing machine that’s designed to generate resistance using water. It has a water-filled chamber and is generally quiet.

Are Rowing Machines Okay for Apartments?

Getting the right rowing machine for your apartment is key to whether or not rowing in your apartment will be okay.

When living in an apartment you have to be mindful of living in close proximity to others.

Choosing the correct resistance design of your rowing machine and purchasing one that is suitable for the space you have is important if you want to get the most out of your rowing machine without any complications.

For the quietest rowing machine choose the magnetic or hydraulic-piston resistant designs. These are deemed silent when rowing.

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