Best 5 Small Rowing Machines For Small Space In 2022 Reviews

Are you looking for a small rowing machine?

Then this article is for you!

I’m reviewing 5 small rowing machine models that are suitable for small places. The rowers are either taking up little space while already in use or can be folded and stored. I’m writing about their specifications and main features. You can compare the models and decide which rower is the best one for you.


Things To Know About Small Rowing Machines

Benefits Of Small Rowing Machines

The good thing about small rowers is that they fit into any type of living space. There are some unwieldy machines out there that, while they have their benefits, are not practical. Some people just don’t want a huge rower to take up all their space. Small rowers serve their purpose and can be properly stored.

Price Range Of These Rowers

The prices go from the budget-friendly Stamina Orbital 1215 rower. The high prices of Concept2 Model D and Waterrower Natural exercise machines are usually a good investment. In the mid-range are the Schwinn Crewmaster and the Velocity magnetic rowing machine.

Where Can You Buy Compact Exercise Machines?

You can buy every rower from this list on their respective official websites. You can also buy them at some online retailers like Amazon. I recommend Amazon because of the discounts they offer frequently. You can also compare prices directly on the website and see what other user reviews are saying.

Small Rowers In Every Variation

Some of these exercise machines are already compact to begin with and take up little space while you use them. Others are foldable rowing machines that can be folded within seconds and stored. And then there are the ones that can be just flipped upright like the Waterrower Natural rower.

What Type Of Small Rower Should You Get?

There are 5 types of rowers currently on the market. Your preference for any one type is also a factor in deciding which machine you will buy. There are rowers that use air as resistance, magnets or a combination of the two. You also have the option of buying a water rower or a rower with hydraulic-piston resistance. You can read about each type below and find the one that suits you best.

Best 5 Small Rowing Machine Models

Best Compact Small Water Rower

WaterRower Beech Wood Natural Rowing Machine

Water Resistance For Smooth Stroke

This rower uses a “water flywheel”, which is basically paddles suspended in a tank filled with water. You create resistance by the intensity of your rowing strokes. If you row faster, the paddles have to displace the water at the front and that creates resistance. If you want less resistance, you just have to slow down.

WaterRower Beech Wood Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor

Computer Display To Track Performance

The WaterRower Natural model has an S4 performance monitor that tracks all your important data. It monitors your distance rowed, zone bar, stroke rate, duration, workout intensity, and heart rate. You have to buy the optional heart rate monitor strap to track your pulse because it’s not supplied with the rower.

Advanced Monitor Settings

The WaterRower Natural S4 performance monitor has a slew of additional features. It’s divided into smaller windows and you can see all your stats at one glance. There are overall 9 buttons on the monitor, 3 which are for navigation and 6 for quick selection. The performance monitor is powered by 4 AA batteries.

WaterRower Beech Wood Natural Rowing Machine with S4 Monitor review

Construction Materials And Durability

This WaterRower rowing machine is handcrafted with Beechwood that’s sustainably harvested. It’s a premium hardwood that’s known to absorb vibrations and sound. It’s sturdy and durable and will withstand even the most demanding workouts. It’s strong and can carry up to 1000lbs of user weight.

Designed For Comfort And Easy Storage

The molded and padded seat is comfortable while the handlebar is ergonomically designed. This WaterRower Natural rowing machine can be flipped vertically and easily stored so it saves space. The dimensions of the rower while in use are 83’’ L x 22’’ W x 21’’ H and while it’s vertically positioned, the length is the height.


  • smooth water rowing resistance
  • advanced performance monitor S4
  • solid Beechwood build
  • easily stores vertically
  • ergonomically designed for comfort

Best Foldable Small Rowing Machine

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine

Silent Magnetic Resistance

The Schwinn Crewmaster rower uses magnets for resistance. This means that there is a C-shaped magnet that interacts with the metal flywheel. The resistance it creates depends on how far away the magnet is from the flywheel. This is a very quiet rower that offers smooth rowing motions.

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine

Ten Resistance Levels To Challenge You

This Schwinn rowing machine has 10 levels of resistance to choose from. When the magnet is closer to the flywheel, this creates more resistance. If the magnet is farther away from the flywheel, you feel less resistance. You can easily change the level by turning the knob located below the handlebar.

LCD Monitor For Tracking Data

You get a large LCD monitor with this Schwinn Crewmaster rowing machine. It tracks all your important functions that help you have a great workout. It monitors total count, time, stroke, distance, calories burned, recovery and heart rate. The monitor can be adjusted so it’s directly in your line of sight.

Schwinn Crewmaster Rowing Machine review

Ergonomic Design And Construction

The Crewmaster rower has an oversized padded seat that’s comfortable during those long workouts. Row pedals are adjustable and large with foot straps. The rail is made out of aluminum and very durable and stable. The maximum user weight of this rower is 300lbs.

Easy Storage And Dimensions

This is a rowing machine for small spaces and it can be folded in a few seconds. The rail can be moved so it stands vertically and the rower takes up the smallest amount of space. You can move it with the built-in rollers. The dimensions of the rower in use are 89” L x 21” W x 31” H and it folds to 51” L x 21” W x 57” H.


  • very quiet magnetic resistance
  • foldable for easy storage
  • ergonomic design for comfort

Best Cheap Small Rowing Machine

Stamina 1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

Hydraulic-Piston Resistance

The Stamina 1215 has two hydraulic pistons that provide you with resistance. There is one on each rowing arm. It uses a hydraulic fluid that moves through an opening between two chambers. When the opening gets smaller, the hydraulic fluid moves slowly through it and this creates resistance.

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine

Five Resistance Levels

You can choose from 5 levels to adjust your resistance. You can adjust it to tension adjusters that can be found on each rowing arm. The 1215 orbital rower has level 1 as the most difficult and level 5 as the easiest. It’s a very quiet but powerful exercise rower that will challenge you and give you a demanding workout.

Control Panel For Performance Tracking

The rowing machine has a multi-functional monitor that tracks everything that’s important to you. It monitors speed, distance rowed, stroke count, calories burned and elapsed time. It’s a fairly basic monitor with only one button. It’s powered by 1 AA battery that’s included with the rower.

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine review

Durable Construction And Comfort

This Stamina rowing machine has a frame made out of steel so it’s durable and sturdy. The beam is made out of aluminum. The overall construction is pretty light. It can carry up to 250lbs. This machine is also built for comfort. The seat is thickly padded and the handlebars are wrapped in foam.

Compact Rower For Easy Storage

Some user reviews say this is one of the best small rowing machine models. The rower is compact enough by itself with dimensions of 50’’ L x 32’’ W x 31’’ H. It’s adequate for small spaces even while you’re using it. You can even fold the free rowing arms so they are not in the way.


  • strong hydraulic resistance
  • durable construction that will last
  • very compact while in use
  • 5 resistance levels
  • easy storage with folded arms

Best Commercial Small Rowing Machine

Concept2 Model D Rowing Machine

Powerful Air Resistance

Concept D rower uses a fan flywheel to create resistance. It works similar to water rowers, just that the flywheel here has to displace air and not water. The faster you grow, the more resistance you create. If you row a bit more slowly, you create less resistance.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine

The Damper And The Feel Of Resistance

While the actual resistance depends entirely on how hard you row, you can change the feel of resistance too. This is achieved using a damper. You can adjust how much more or less resistance you feel even though the resistance alone is the same. So if you want to change the rowing feel, use damper settings.

PM5 Performance Monitor

Concept 2 Model D indoor rower is equipped with a PM5 monitor. It’s a state-of-the-art monitor that tracks all your important data. It automatically saves all your recorded workout stats and stores them in the internal memory. Optionally, you can use a USB drive for storage.

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine review

Durable Construction And

Concept2 is known for making exercise equipment that’s durable and lasts for a long time. The Model D is a commercial-grade rower which means it’s even suitable for use in gyms. The footrests are adjustable and the handle has an ergonomic design. It can carry up to 500lbs.

Storage And Mobility Of The Rower

Concept 2 D rower has a quick-release mechanism that lets you easily fold the machine. It’s designed as a rowing machine for small spaces when folded. You can move it using the rollers on the front of the rower. The dimensions of the rower while in use are 96’’ L x 24’’ W x 14’’ H and it folds down to 25’’ L x 33’’ W x 54’’ H.


  • powerful air resistance rowing stroke
  • durable and strong frame
  • top-notch performance monitor
  • easily foldable for storage

Best Quiet Small Rowing Machine

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Magnetic Resistance And A Braking System

The Velocity rowing machine uses magnets to create resistance. It has a Drum Magnetic Control System which is a braking system. It provides you with optimum magnetic friction so you can achieve the best workout results. Magnetic resistance makes this rower very quiet.

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Eight Levels Of Resistance

There are 8 resistance levels on this small rowing machine. You can choose stronger resistance when the magnet comes close to the metal flywheel. Or you can choose a lighter resistance when the magnet moves away from it. This is an exercise machine suitable for exercisers of all fitness levels.

Control Panel For Monitoring Your Performance

The Velocity exercise magnetic rower has a multi-functional fitness monitor. The monitor is large and has 5 buttons. It tracks all the important workout statistics that are important for you. Those are time, distance rowed, count, calories burned, strokes per minute, watts and heart rate.

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower review

Frame Construction And Comfort

The Velocity’s frame is made out of anodized aluminum and is sturdy and durable. It can support the maximum user weight of 275lbs. The seat is padded and comfortable to use during long workouts. The handlebar is also padded so your hands won’t hurt and the footpads are also large and made with a non-slip material.

Foldable For Easy Storage

If you’re looking for the best rowing machine for small places, this is one of your options. It can be folded easily in a matter of seconds. The rail folds vertically and frees up space and can be stored easily. Assembled dimensions of this Velocity rower are 80’’ L x 21’’ W x 25’’ H and it folds to 43’’ L x 20’’ W x 54’’ H.


  • quiet magnetic resistance
  • multi-functional monitor for tracking stats
  • 8 levels of resistance

Conclusion: Which 2 Best Small Rowing Machine Models Should You Buy?

If you’re looking for the best rowing machines for small places, I recommend Stamina 1215 Orbital Rower and Schwinn Crewmaster Rower. The 1215 Orbital Rower already is a compact machine that saves space while in use. The Schwinn Crewmaster is a small rowing machine that’s easily foldable within seconds.

In case you want to learn about other compact rowers, we wrote an article about best compact rowing machine models. We also wrote more about foldable rowing machine models. And if you want to know more about which water rowers are compact, we wrote about them in best water rowing machinemodels.