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Best Compact Rowing Machine - Reviews 2022 - 2023

Last Updated on January 24, 2023

Best Compact Rowing Machines

Top Choice
Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine
  • EIGHT PRESET LEVELS - The Marcy Rowing Machine has a resistance knob that features eight preset magnetic levels that can be customized to match your target workout zone.
  • GREAT CARDIO WORKOUT - Burn fat and tone your muscles every time you go for a spin on this exceptional training equipment. 
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN - This rowing machine has user-friendly parts that offer accessibility, functionality, and efficiency. The two conveniently placed pedals have a slip-resistant design for safety and comfort, plus its customizable foot straps accommodate people of all sizes.
  • MULTI-ANGLE MONITOR - Thismachine comes equipped with a multi-angle monitor that folds both forwards and backwards. 
  • COMPACT AND FOLDABLE - This workout device features an innovative foldable design that allows you to store it conveniently, including a quick-release pin and a foldable monitor that locks into position.
Runner Up
CIRCUIT FITNESS Circuit Fitness Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine
  • Great workout – burn fat when you use this training equipment with the 20-lb flywheel. The 2-way bearing belt transmission grants extra smooth rowing and helps increase your cardiovascular endurance.
  • Led display – The LCD panel monitors your speed, distance, time, calories burned, rpm, date, and temperature and can monitor Pulse when paired with a heart rate monitor chest straps (sold separately).
  • Durable mold-injected seat – the Circuit Fitness rowing machine is made with a durable ergonomically designed mold-injected seat that allows users to exercise comfortably and safety.
  • Adjustable foot straps – this exercise machine comes with two adjustable foot platforms with straps that offer comfort and stability during your workout routine.
  • Compact and foldable – featuring a foldable design that allows you to fold-up and store it with two built-in Transport wheels that allows for easy moving and storage when you’re not using the machine
  • Sport type: Exercise & Fitness
Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine for Home Use
  • ➽【16 Magnetic Resistance Adjustment】: This magnetic rowing machine by Dripex offers all the necessities for an intense rowing workout in the comfort of your own home

  • ➽【Silent & Smooth Aluminum Structure】: This Dripex rowing machine uses a solid aluminum flywheel and slide rail as well as no-touch magnetic resistance to keep your workout as quiet as possible.

  • ➽【Comfortable Seat & Smart Monitor】: This compact Rowing Machine from Dripex is not only marked by its exceptional manufacturing crafts but also ergonomic design in detail.

  • ➽【Easy Transportation & Upright Storage】: Indoor rowing is an excellent low-impact option for improving cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance.

Short on time?

Our Recommended Compact Rowing Machine is The Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine with Transport Wheels


  • Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine

CIRCUIT FITNESS Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rower with 8 Resistance Settings & Transport Wheels

Circuit Fitness' rowing machine is made to provide you with the workout you require. People of various abilities may get the workout they want from the comfort of their own homes thanks to the 11-pound flywheel rower and 8 degrees of resistance.

This rowing machine is extremely adaptable because it enables you to work in different body regions, go to new levels, and improve your overall fitness journey.

Various Resistance Levels

Rowing is an excellent cardio workout to start since you can get better at it. This machine has 8 distinct levels of resistance that you can progress through. This is ideal for people who wish to start slowly and go up after they find their groove. For those who wish to row for a long time, it's also fantastic.

It keeps your exercise journey fresh and entertaining every day. You may quickly increase or reduce the resistance as needed by pulling a lever located next to your feet.

Convenient Handlebars

Making sure your hands and arms are in the right positions when rowing can help you focus on the right body components. This rowing machine has strong and comfortable handlebars. To ensure that they won't degrade over time, they are wrapped with sturdy foam.

The anti-slip material also ensures that you remain relaxed and focused throughout your workout.


Many consumers reported that assembling the Circuit Fitness Rowing Machine took them between 1.5 and 2 hours and that there is an instruction booklet included.

A few customers have mentioned that the instructions were ambiguous in several parts and that they were forced to choose the expert assembly offered by Amazon. But most reviewers agree that you can assemble this equipment on your own as long as you take your time.

Adjustable Fit

A wide range of users can be accommodated by the rowing machine from Circuit Fitness. The adjustable foot straps may adapt to accommodate users of various sizes and heights. Regardless of the rider's size, the seat is roomy, contoured, and comfy, so they will always feel comfortable.

This enables them to pay closer attention to what they are doing, such as getting in a decent rowing exercise routine.


The big LCD screen is excellent. It includes certain helpful functions for a computer of this type, is simple to read, and uses.

It shows workout information like distance in meters, duration, stroke rate, and calories burned (obviously calculated), and it is compatible with a chest strap so it may also show your heart rate. The chest strap is not included, take note.

We loved having the option to create a fitness journey based on time, distance, stroke rate, calories, or pulse. You could, for instance, set a goal of 2,000 meters and watch them decrease until they reach zero.


  • The silent magnetic resistance rower
  • The special features on the console are good.
  • Good, robust piece of exercise equipment
  • Supports up to 300 lbs weight limit (Maximum user weight capacity)
  • Contoured, comfortable padded seat
  • Suitable height from the floor for the seat
  • Easily put together
  • Two-year guarantee


  • No chest strap is provided.
  • In low light, the LCD's lack of a backlight makes reading difficult.

Overall, you may target all of your major body parts with this rowing machine to obtain a full-body workout. That's because it has anti-grip handlebars, 8 degrees of resistance, a stable seat, and strong foot pedals to keep you in place.

For those looking for a rowing machine that will look great in their home, this one is ideal. The fact that this rowing machine can be folded and carried away for convenient storage is one of its key advantages over competing models.


  • Circuit Fitness Deluxe 986 Magnetic Rowing Machine

CIRCUIT FITNESS Deluxe Foldable Magnetic Rowing Machine with 8 Resistance Settings/Transport Wheels/LCD Monitor


Made from heavy-­‐​­­­­­­duty stainless-­‐­­­­­ware and aluminum, this gear has an advanced frame design that provides increased stability for every rider.

This specialized equipment features an 11-pound flywheel coupled with magnetic resistance which will help improve your cardio fitness.

Variable Resis­tance Settings

This practical gym equipment has a manual magnetic resistance system that offers multiple intensi­ties. It lets you increase or decrease the intensity of your workout so that you can get an effective workout without having to spend too long at it.

Comfortable Workout Gear

Reinforced with a durable injection molded chair that provides maximum comfort and supports for an extended period. It has foam-coated handlebars and adjustable foot straps for better grip and control.

The durable foam-coated handle is designed for a comfy anti-slip grasp so that users can remain consistent and focused during their workout sessions.

Digital Screen

Complete with an LCD that lets you keep tabs on your progress and fitness goals. It tracks speed, distances, times, calories burned, SPMs, dates, and ambient temperatures to help you track your progress.

Intelligent Design

Built for convenience and reliability, this rowing machine offers a foldable rower and convenient storage options so you don’t have to lift the equipment out of its box when moving it from one room to another.


  • Circuit Fitness Deluxe 986 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Stamina X Water Rowing Machine Wireless Heart Rate Monitor Included - Rowing Machines for Home Use

When it comes to gyms, there are better options because the majority of them use hydraulic resistance. Most people wouldn't bother filling them with water and emptying tanks to change the resistance if they didn't have to. As a result, the Stamina X Water quality Rower is primarily intended for people who enjoy indoor rowing.

The rowing machine may be used everywhere because of its small size. You can install it, move it around (although taking it upstairs or downstairs is more difficult), and store it. The somewhat upright position takes up less floor space, making it ideal for tiny limited spaces like studio apartments.

Maintenance and Assembly

The Stamina X Water-Resistance Indoor Rower is not pre-assembled when purchased. While the majority of the parts are pre-assembled, it is your responsibility to assemble everything.

Fortunately, anyone may complete the task without the use of specialized equipment or assistance; it is not particularly challenging. Simply extend the front base and main bar, then lock them into place. Include the console, seat, and footrests as well. Get to work after filling the water tank.

Design and construction

Durability is a priority in the design of the water rower. In other words, steel tubes form the foundation of the frame. The machine can support individuals who weigh up to 300 pounds because the seat and double rail are equally robust. A mixture of black and red coating is applied to the item to prevent chipping and corrosion.

If you've ever used a rowing machine in a gym, you'll note that this one has a slightly different design. The tank travels under the rail rather than in front, which accounts for the narrow profile. A floor area of 63 by 20 inches is needed for the unit. Because it is already small, there is no quick folding profile.

Resistance and a water tank

Polycarbonate is used to make the water tank. It is frequently used in water rowing machines. It has a few inscriptions on the side and can hold roughly four gallons of water. Don't go past the sixth level, which is the absolute maximum, to ensure optimal functionality.

The tank has only one chamber, thus how you adjust the resistance will be impacted.

The water tank is the basis for the resistance. Some rowing machines include dials that make adjustments simple. Working on this one is more challenging. You must drain some water to lessen resistance. Trial and error will rule up until you become accustomed to the machine; after that, you can only go up.

This product may be unavailable,

Our recommended alternative to this product is Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine for Home Use Rower Machine for Home Gym & Cardio Training Rower with Aluminum Slide Rail!

  • Dripex Magnetic Rowing Machine for Home Use Rower Machine for Home Gym & Cardio Training Rower with Aluminum Slide Rail, 16 Adjustable Resistance & LCD Monitor (2021 Upgrade Version) (Black)

Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine with Transport Wheels

The more compact home rowing machine from Marcy, a reputable training brand for more than 50 years, is the Foldable Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine. This is not a sophisticated machine by any means, but it surely does the job. It has eight degrees of adjustable resistance and basic stats.

Marcy's ability to fold by only removing a fast-release pin is another benefit. When not in use, it may be stored in almost any place thanks to this feature of this excellent rower.

It's not too difficult to put together, but if you're not familiar with flat-pack furniture or basic DIY, you might need some help. After getting those tasks done, you'll see that the seat is quite comfortable. We've tried a lot of cheap rowing machines with comfortable seating that needs more padding, but this one is comfortable and well-contoured while still offering the proper level of support.

Although the rowing position is good, tall people may discover that the beam is insufficient to accomplish a full drive (the pullback), which means they won't receive the maximum benefit for their muscles and cardiovascular system.

Average footrests are provided. The velcro strap will need to be cleaned from time to time even though they are a fair size and will fit most feet; otherwise, they won't keep your feet securely, which is aggravating when your foot comes loose in the middle of a workout.

Yes, the handle is nice. It is contoured to comfortably accommodate most hands and is thickly padded. It's hard to row with blisters on your hands since a badly built handle can cause them.

Although the magnetic compact design that provides the resistance is inherently silent, we discovered that the seat squeaks when moving up and down the beam. The knob located under the handle allows the selection of one of eight resistance levels. The range is wide enough to allow for a relaxing row at low levels and a demanding row at the highest setting unless you're used to very intense and impact exercises.

Easy-to-use machine

Although this rowing machine doesn't appear to be the newest technology or apparatus on the market and doesn't have any significant bells and whistles, it works well for the purpose for which it was intended—rowing. Even though the built-in monitor is simple, it does the job and provides you with all the parameters you require for an effective workout.

Higher Seat Equals Less Struggle

The typical rowing machine seat is relatively low to the ground, making it difficult for people with lower back discomfort, damaged hips or knees, or simply limited flexibility to get on and off the seat. Particularly if you pull the seat back toward the very end of the back rail, this Marcy rowing machine has a somewhat higher seat.

Simple Folding Mechanism and Compact Size

Not everyone has a separate room for exercise or even the extra space to keep cardio equipment out constantly. This machine can be quickly folded for storage, and the useful transport wheels make it simple to move from one location to another.

Less than 8 Levels of Resistance

Although it is an excellent piece of gym equipment for users who are new to exercising or have never used a rower before, it won't present much of a challenge to people who have some prior fitness background. The rower can be used for cardiovascular fitness once all 8 degrees of resistance have been mastered, but most people prefer other types of cardio fitness levels over rowing because it can get boring without a constant goal to strive for.

The Monitor/Console

The display monitor is not fancy and merely keeps track of simple statistics like time, number of strokes, and calories expended.

The calories expended are simply an approximate estimate and shouldn't be interpreted as an accurate measurement of how hard you worked because it doesn't take into account factors like weight or age.

The LCD is functional and a fair size. Despite the limited workout data available, it will nonetheless display the time passed, the number of strokes, and the calories expended.

  • Marcy Foldable 8-Level Magnetic Resistance Rowing Machine with Transport Wheels NS-40503RW,Grey

Stamina BodyTrac Glider 1050 Hydraulic Rowing Machine

The Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 is a portable hydraulic rowing machine that is a perfect option and easy to use. It is intended to provide customers with the natural rowing experience as a larger rower without space constraints. It has a good number of high-tech features you'd expect to find on a hydraulic rower and is frequently complimented for its value.

Numerous home rowing machines are among the budget-friendly equipment made by Stamina. Additionally, they have a product range of hydraulic rowers in their arsenal. One of their most well-liked and least expensive products is the Body Trac Glider 1050.


There is only one piston in use with this entire machine. The rail-mounted piston can be adjusted with 12 different levels of resistance. You may quickly change your resistance to the ideal amount by turning a knob.

Customers generally concur that the resistance is sufficient to give a respectable core exercise, this rower has adjustable resistance. The Body Trac Glider is going to be better suited for light to moderate-intensity workouts because it has a single-piston system.

People seeking a lot of resistance or experienced rowers may be dissatisfied. Long workouts become more challenging for certain individuals as the resistance starts to drop with repeated use.


The Body Trac's arms differ slightly from those on several full-sized rowing machines. You have two separate arms rather than a set of grips connected to a chain or strap. They move differently as well. These arms expand out wider, simulating the smooth motion of using oars to row a boat.

This actual motion might be enjoyable for you, and it might even work your lats a little bit more than the typical rowing posture. If not, you might opt to hold your hands together tighter for a more ergonomic design.

When not in use, the arms can also fold inward. As a result, the Body Trac is a little smaller and easier to store.


Steel construction serves as the structure of the Body Trac Glider. This gives the sturdy cardio machine a solid feel—one that is stronger than you might anticipate right away. It can safely support persons weighing up to 250 kg thanks to the alloy steel frame. This is quite respectable for a rower of this size, and given the price range, we shouldn't expect anything more.

Speaking of size, this rower's measurements are 58.25" (L) x 42.5" (W) x 18" (H).

To function comfortably, this small rower needs a floor area of approximately 5 feet by 4 feet. Just so you know, the arms' arc is what causes the width to be so wide.

Foot plates

The rower's small foot plates include a single velcro strap that runs across them for secure foot positioning.

The Body Trac's foot plates are the subject of the bulk of user complaints. They don't do a good job of keeping your feet in place, to put it briefly. As they daily exercise, many remarks that the bottom rim isn't deep enough and their feet tend to fall out. It seems to assist a little to wear grippy sneakers or larger shoes.


A digital monitor is included with this rower to help you keep track of some training statistics. Nothing fancy either; just a tiny integrated display that can keep track of the time, calories, and number of strokes. A scan feature is also present. Although the touchscreen display is small, most users can see it enough when using it.

When you begin working, the battery-operated performance monitor automatically turns on. Although the warranty would cover it, there have been some complaints about warranty faulty high-tech monitors that were delivered.


The report's durability section received the most criticism, and there do appear to be some construction flaws. It has been reported that the main frame, the oar bushels, the bolts, etc., have all broken. Not all of these were disastrous, and many of the issues were resolved in rather inventive ways.

One issue, the footrests, which have been reported to break more frequently than just randomly, does seem to come up very frequently. The Body Trac Glider 1052, an upgrade to model number 1050, appears to have solved some of the complaints individuals had with the 1050 model.


  1. Budget price.
  2. It's comparatively quiet
  3. A strong steel framework
  4. It is small and convenient to put away.
  5. Suitable for sporadic use


  1. Your feet could stutter while the footrests.
  2. After prolonged use, the resistance decreases.
  3. No comfortable or elevated seat for longer workouts.
  4. The warranty is rather constrained.

Budget hydraulic home rower, the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050, has some additional features. We don't frequently see special features like padded seats and adjustable resistance on hydraulic rowers, especially these budget rowing machines. For such a little machine, the 250 lbs weight limit (Max weight limit) is rather respectable, and it is backed by a limited guarantee.

This product may be unavailable,

Our recommended alternative to this product is NordicTrack Smart Rower with 10” HD Touchscreen

  • NordicTrack Smart Rower with 10” HD Touchscreen and 30-Day iFIT Family Membership

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About the author 

A star athlete during his school days, Kieran quickly excelled at sports and in particular; football. Kieran's true passion lies in home exercise equipment, and so was was built as a source for all of Kieran's thoughts to be put down on a medium. Here he guides you through various nuances of working out at home, tips, guides, reviews and more.The only other thing Kieran enjoys more than working out, is writing about it.
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