Best Compact Rowing Machine for home use

Those who have tried out a rowing machine understand just how good it is for working out the various muscles. Rowing machines are also good for low impact workouts. As such, they would be ideal for anyone who needs the best workout equipment. However, if you do not have much space to set up your full-sized rowing machine, then it is important to consider the best compact rowing machine. It will help you workout better without necessarily worrying about space. That is what we want to look at in this guide to help you make your mind better.

Why You Should Get the Best Compact Rowing Machine

The first benefit of getting yourself the best compact rowing machine is that it can fit in limited spaces. As such, even if you live in a small apartment, you would always have a workout equipment to use whenever you want.

Such rowing machines are known for being good in terms of improving the overall health. This is because rowing machines target multiple muscles. As such, you can use this one equipment to workout the whole body.

The compact rowing machines are good in terms of storage. Most will either fold into smaller rowing machines or separate into multiple parts for you to store. Then it is going to be easy for you to find a place for storing the rowing machine.

These machines tend to weigh less so that moving them from one point to another is easy. They are also likely to have transportation wheels so that movement is also easier and faster.

Types of Compact Rowing Machines

If you are going to choose the best compact rowing machine, then it is best to understand the different types that might be available in the market. Below are some of the types you are likely to encounter.

  • The air rowing machines are the most common. They use a flywheel, which spins to create the resistance. The resistance increases with the increase in the rate of rowing.
  • The other type is the water rowing machine. It has the same mechanism as the air rowers only that it has paddles to control the resistance level of the machine.
  • Hydraulic rowing machines use pistons for the generation of resistance. The pistons are adjustable so that you can have the preferred resistance level.
  • The magnetic rowing machines include magnetic brakes to help with controlling the resistance levels. They are likely to have a monitor so that you can adjust to the desired settings that works for you.

From the above types, you now have a clear understanding of what might make a model good for your workout needs. Below, you will learn more about the top options in the market right now.

Top 5 Best Compact Rowing Machines

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower Rowing Machine

Fitness Reality Makes some of the best workout equipment you will ever need. Well, this is one of the best compact rowing machines you can buy today. The model is meant to provide you with a full body low impact workout. As a result, you can workout your forearms, triceps, legs, thighs, and many other muscle groups.

This model does feature up to 14 levels of dual transmission tension. This means that you can have a great time adjusting the resistance level up to a point that you feel is right. You can always make the workout more challenging or easier with such resistance adjustment options.

The rowing machine also includes a 3.5-inch LCD display. It will show you the distance, total count, the time, and calories burned. As a result, you can have a great time utilizing it for tracking your workout progress over the months.

You will like the large contoured and cushioned seat. This type of seat is important for providing you with the right support and comfort while working out.

✔️Good for full body workout
✔️It can connect to a smartphone app
✔️The large contoured and cushioned seat is comfortable


❌Their app usability could be better

Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

This best compact rowing machine is ideal for anyone looking for a full body workout. With its varying levels of resistance then you should find it being an ideal option for many. You can switch up the intensity of the rowing workout for you to build endurance while rowing. It is always good to see that you can workout better.

It is nice to find it having the extra padding on the seat. The same seat is also contoured to support your body even better. Each time you sit on it, it will help you row with ease while at the same time feeling comfortable.

You can always track your workout from the large LCD display. The convenient LCD monitor is great for displaying information such as the time, count, calories, total count, and so much more. You can now track your progress and modify the current routine to suit your needs.

The durability is good for this rowing machine. It can deliver the best durability that you will need to handle any workout sessions you put it through. It also has the best weight capacity to hold the weight of even the heaviest users.

✔️The model comes with extra padding for comfort
✔️It has multiple resistance levels
✔️You can track the workout progress on the LCD display

❌It feels jerky during the initial pulls

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5 Performance Monitor

It is always good to know that you are making the right progress while working out. That is what you get with its data output on the monitor. From the monitor, you will also learn more about the time, distance, intervals, and so much more. You will always have a great time working with the unit knowing how you are improving with each of the workout records.

This best compact rowing machine also helps you to control your workout intensity. The air resistance flywheel responds to each stroke input. Controlling the airflow with the change of dampers helps in increasing or reducing the resistance. The damper levels of this unit vary from levels 1 to 10.

For many, they will find this unit being easy to assemble, move, and store. With just eight screws, you would be ready to start using the rowing machine. Also, it can be rolled smoothly on its wheels for storage. Considering that it can separate into two pieces, then it would be easy to find a place to store it. Even for those living in tight spaces, they will always enjoy owning it as they can workout too in small spaces.

✔️It is easy to assemble
✔️The model has wheels for transportation
✔️It separates into two pieces for storage
❌Establishing Bluetooth connectivity is not easy

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 12 Adjustable Resistance Rowing Machine

Just like any other best compact rowing machine, you would want the one that you own to have the best resistance. Luckily for this one, it does come with up to 12 levels of resistance. The use of hydraulic resistance also leads to having a smooth and quiet row. You can always increase the resistance level depending on your workout needs.

There is also digital monitor that comes with the unit. Having a monitor helps to track the workout progress better than before. This monitor has information such as the calories burned, count, count total, time, and much more. The scan function also helps you to see the progress over time.

This rowing machine also has multiple adjustability options to keep in mind. You can adjust the pedal straps to fit perfectly on your feet. Also, it is possible to adjust the level of the rower to make it is suitable for your workout needs.

The model comes with some impressive ergonomic features. This includes a comfortable seat, pivoting foot pedals, and foam handlebars. As much as you are working out, you would also be comfortable while at it.

✔️It has up to 12 levels of resistance
✔️It comes with a digital monitor
✔️Many find it being highly ergonomic
❌It could use transportation wheels

Buying Guide for the Best Compact Rowing Machine

The Size

Because you hope to end up with the best compact rowing machine, the first thing that should come to mind will be the size of the rowing machine. Look at the amount of space that you have available before picking a model. The last thing you want is to have trouble keeping it your home.

It is best if you can a model that allows folding or separating into several pieces. This will allow you to have an easy time storing it properly even in tight spaces.

Weight Rating

Just like any other gym equipment, the weight rating of the model is important. This determines who can and cannot use the rowing machine. The compact rowing machines might have reduced weight capacity, so it is important to understand its weight rating before getting one for yourself.


When it comes to moving it from one place to another, the rowing machine could use the transportation wheels. Manufacturers understand the importance of these wheels, so you will find many models having them right now.

New Tech Features

As the world progresses, so is the type of tech integrated into the rowing machines too. You should try and get yourself a model that has new tech features such as Bluetooth connectivity, a monitor, and much more. With a monitor available, you can track the progress of your workout sessions and know where to improve.

Setting it up

Most models would come disassembled, so it is up to you to assemble it before using. Luckily, most models would have a few parts that you need to assemble so it should not take long. Look at what people say in the review section about the assembly process. Not all models might be easy to set up.


The best compact rowing machine is one that can help you achieve a full body workout and further enjoy living a healthy lifestyle. You should consider checking out the various models we have mentioned above to learn more about their performance and how best to pick the right one. This will ensure you always have the best workout equipment set up in your home.