Working out is very crucial for one’s health. If you’re someone who works from home, apartment, or you are someone who has a desk job, you need to incorporate working out in your lifestyle.

Now, there are a number of machines available in the market but there are very few that are up to the mark, which actually helps one, slimming down and losing overall body fat.

Rowing machines are an excellent way to achieve that. In the past couple of years, rowing machines have really exploded in popularity. These machines work on a principle that engages larger muscles of your body, thus, making your core tighter and your body toned and strong with minimum impact on joints.

There are plenty of rowing machines available in the market these days but you have to find the one that fits you perfectly and in order to do so, I have prepared a buying guide for you to find the best rowing machines for apartments. You can go through it in the end.

Consider checking these out as well:

List of Best Rowing Machines for Apartments Under $500:


1- Sunny Health & Fitness Water Rowing Machine

Sunny Health and Fitness Water Rowing Machine

Technical Details:

  • Rowing machine dimensions: 80” L x 22” W x 34” H.
  • Seat dimensions: 10” L x 12” W x 2” H.
  • Slide rail: 42”.
  • Slide rail inseam: 38”
  • Shipping Weight: 116 pounds
  • Resistance type: water resistance


I chose this machine as it not only proved to be extremely sturdy but also provided a very smooth motion. It did not produce unnecessary sounds, as anticipated (considering the resistance type).

The slide is very smooth and the water drive is pretty quiet as well. This heavy-duty machine is definitely going to help you out in the long run due to its durability.

Major Features
Water Resistance
This machine offers water resistance which is excellent for a realistic rowing experience. It also has a minimum impact on knees and joints thus proving to be very beneficial for health.

Machine Compatibility
This machine is compatible with users weighing up to 300 lbs. or with an internal leg seam up to 49”. Ensuring that users with different heights and weights can easily use it.

Moulded Padded seats
Moulded padded seats provide comfort and help you to work out with ease. I chose this machine as it not only proved to be extremely sturdy but also provided a very smooth motion. It did not produce unnecessary sounds, as anticipated (considering the resistance type). The slide is very smooth and the water drive is pretty quiet as well. This heavy-duty machine is definitely going to help you out in the long run due to its durability.

Tips and Tricks
★ Like any other machine, its bolts can get loosened over time and you might need to tighten them. That’s the only con we observed. Overall, it’s ideal for your workouts.
★ Transportation wheels come in great handy when moving the machine from one place to another, so make sure to use them.
★ This machine can easily sync with any 5.3kHz heart rate monitor.
In order for you to be compatible with your machine, you have to move at its pace.
Are the foot pedals adjustable?
Unfortunately no, the foot pedals aren’t adjustable.
Would it help in tightening your gut/losing belly fat?
This machine is designed for your legs, core and arms, so you’ll have to work hard.
Does this machine require power?
No it does not.


2- Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

Fitness Reality 1000 Plus Bluetooth Magnetic Rower

Technical Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 88.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 inches ;
  • Product weight: 63.6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 78 pounds
  • Slide rail length/inseam: 39”
  • Magnetic Resistance: 14 level


While testing this product, I realized a couple of things. First, it was pretty easy to assemble.

Second, the large cushioned seat proved to be extremely comfortable during workouts. Third, surprisingly, is that it produced a minimum to no noise. Since it features magnetic resistance, I was expecting this model to be noisy but it turned out to be the exact opposite.

Front stabilizer foot pads allowed us to perform a number of exercises as well. It folds in half which is great for storage. Overall, it was a great experience and I highly recommend it.

Major Features
Bluetooth connectivity+phone/tablet holder Availability of Bluetooth is definitely a huge plus as it makes workouts easier. If you’re someone who likes to jam to music while working out, this model will help you do that. It also helps you track your workouts through my cloud fitness app.

Full body workout
This rower provides one with full-body workouts as well, targeting and reducing all the fat in the body.

Tips and Tricks
★ Set your goals and track them through my cloud fitness app. You can also track your workouts in real-time.
★ Screwing in front bolts might confuse you, read the manual carefully before assembly.
Does it need to be plugged in to be used?
No, it does not. It operates on battery power and provides magnetic resistance. The rest is all you.
How noisy can this model be?
It has minimal noise.
The highest level of resistance is not challenging enough for me. Is it broken?
No it is not broken. It offers 14 levels of magnetic resistance and if you have good muscle strength it will seem like it’s not very resistive, so, increase the length of the workout in order to combat that.

3- MARNUR Water Rowing Machine


Technical Details:

  • Max weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Resistance type: water resistance
  • Angle-adjustable LCD monitor
  • Porting wheels included


We are not going to lie, before testing this product, we already had pretty high expectations of it and it didn’t fail us at all. This machine already had great reviews and the specs revealed a great deal of good things.

The water resistance and the splashing made the rowing experience so much realistic. This machine is not only sturdy but comfortable as well. It also has the ability to support upto 300 lbs. which is remarkable.

The machine produced a minimum to no noise and has adjustable foot pedals. Overall, we had a great rowing experience.

Major Features
Smooth running
This machine offers a very smooth flow and makes the entire rowing experience enjoyable. It comes with a large water tank that can fit up to 18L of water that is completely sealed and offers pure water resistance as well as smooth running. The water resistance level of the home rowing machine depends upon water capacity, dimensions of the paddle and rowing speed. You can row as fast as you want by adjusting your rowing frequency to achieve desired workout results.

Portable and easy to store
This machine features transportation wheels which helps to move it easily. You can easily move your machine from one place to another. Not only that, it can also be stored vertically. The anti-slip bottom safely supports the machine, largely reduces footprint and also ensures the safety of you and those around you.

Tips and Tricks
★ The built in pulley in this machine enables you to move it around easily, so, make sure to use it.
★ If you want to change water in your rowing machine, you can easily do that as it is equipped with a supplementary water pipe, you can conveniently replace the clean water through the water pipe and the water injection port without any hassle.
How do you maintain the water to avoid build-up?
It comes along with tablets to put in the water.
What is the total length of the machine after assembly?
Does it come in different colors?
It comes in only 1 color.

4- Stamina 35-1402 ATS Air Rower


Technical Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 73.5 x 18.2 x 22 inches
  • Product Weight: 59 pounds
  • Resistance type: air resistance


After rowing on this machine, we were pretty happy with the way it worked. It was pretty comfortable and the rower produced even strokes. It is compact and easy to store especially when folded.

It was surprising that this machine did not produce any loud noises despite being an air rower. It was very easy to assemble as well. Overall, we had a satisfying experience.

Major Features
Smooth rowing stroke
Aluminum seat rail ensures a smooth sliding motion.

Multi-function monitor
The multi-function monitor tracks strokes per minute, total strokes as well as distance, speed, time and calories burned which helps you track your progress.

Tips and Tricks
★ Its monitor displays strokes per minute, total strokes, distance, speed, time, and calories burned, so, make sure to keep a track of your progress.
★ Fold the machine for easy storage.
What is the max weight limit?
The recommended weight limit is 250 lbs.
Is the metal fan housing a little quieter than the plastic fan housing of the 1399?
No it is not and is only a cosmetic change.
Is it so loud to bother people downstairs?
No, it is not that loud.

5- Merax Magnetic Exercise Rower


Technical Details:

  • Assembled dimensions: 73 L x 16 W x 21 H inches;
  • Folded: 26 L x 16 W x 49 H inches;
  • Slide rail length: 43.3 inch
  • Weight Capacity: 264 lbs.
  • Resistance type: magnetic resistance


This machine had already set the bar too high due to excellent third party reviews. Firstly, it was really easy to assemble and took around 20 minutes. The instructions were pretty straight forward. Secondly, it produced minimum to no noise which was great as well.

Since it is a magnetic rower, you’d expect it to be noisy but it isn’t. It is compact and easy to put away.  The experience overall was very satisfying and we highly recommend this product.

Major Features
8 levels of magnetic resistance
This machine is not only extremely comfortable but it also offers 8 levels of magnetic resistance which is ideal for intense workouts. You can easily adjust it by simply rotating the knob to make it match your pace.

Built-in magnetic flywheel
This machine features a built-in magnetic flywheel that minimizes noise as well as makes your rowing experience extremely smooth.

Whole body workout
You can do whole body workouts using this machine. This low impact cardio engages 86 percent of muscle in your body, with every stroke.

Tips and Tricks
★ The 15 degree angled seat rail makes your seat return smooth as well as efficient so that you can get the most out of your rowing session with minimum impact on joints.
★ Use porting wheels to easily move and store the machine.
How much does this machine weigh?
The merax magnetic exercise rower weighs around 74 lbs.
What warranty comes with this machine?
This machine comes with a 1 Year warranty.
Does this model include nylon pull cord?
Yes it’s nylon with a flat ribbon about one inch wide.

6- MaxKare Rowing Machine Air Rower


Technical Details:

  • Assembled size: 71.3” (L) x 20.1” (W) x 14.2” (H)
  • Max. weight capacity: 264 LBS
  • Max. User inseam: 41.3”
  • Resistance type: air resistance
  • Main frame material: steel


The MaxCare Rowing Machine Air Rower is a product of quality. It is small in size, however, quite sturdy. It comes along with a digital monitor and ipad/phone holder, so that was great as well. Now, let’s talk about our rowing experience. First of all, it was quite comfortable due to the presence of comfortable seats and large foot pedals.

It offers air resistance, so the harder we pulled the more resistance it produced which is great for intense workouts. Its foldable design allowed easy storage as well. We definitely recommend it for a realistic rowing experience.

Major Features
Ergonomic design
Its ergonomic design enables one to easily hold and operate it.

Protects knees and joints
This low impact machine makes sure that there is minimum to no impact on your joints. It also helps in alleviating back pain.

High quality strap
High quality nylon strap ensures durability of the rowing strap.

Tips and Tricks
★ Its digital Screen displays scan, count, time, calories and distance. You can easily monitor your real-time exercise data to achieve your goals and track your progress.
★ The Twin Drive Belt System in this machine provides super-strong resistance for your intense workouts.
★ This machine produces feedback resistance, so, the harder you row, the greater the resistance will be.
Can you adjust the resistance?
No the faster you row the more resistance will be produced.
Is it good for abs?
It’s a great low impact cardio that mainly targets larger muscles like shoulders, legs and back.

7- Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515


Technical Details:

  • Assembled Dimensions: 82L x 19W x 23 H in
  • Folded Dimensions: 37L x 19W x 53.5H in
  • Product weight: 59 lbs.
  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Resistance type: magnetic resistance


This rower, undoubtedly, was a good one. It was very easy to put together as the directions were pretty straightforward and clear. The product itself was amazing. It is incredibly quiet i.e product itself does not produce any noise. Seat made a little noise when we went back and forth.

It also has a very small footprint which is a huge plus. It’s compact and durable. The rowing experience itself was pretty good and we definitely recommend you to give it a try.

Major Features
Foldable machine with transportation wheels
This machine is not only foldable thus saving you a ton of space, but it also features transportation wheels so you can move it around without any hassle.

Ultimate comfort
it is extremely comfortable and easy to use. The non-slip handlebars and foot pedals make the rowing experience worth it. The cushioned seat also helps reduce the impact on joints.

Tips and Tricks
★ Use floor stabilizers to prevent tipping, rocking and swaying on uneven surfaces for carpets and hardwood floors alike. Simply turn until leveled.
★ Save space by folding the steel rail upright. Perfect for storage in tight areas or small spaces.
What does the digital monitor display?
The digital monitor displays time, count, calories, total count, scan.
Does it have transportation wheels?
Yes, it comes with built-in transportation wheels.

 8- JOROTO Magnetic Rower


Technical Details:

  • Product Dimensions: 71 L x 21 W x 36 H“
  • Product Weight: 53 lbs
  • Shipping Weight: 62 lbs
  • Resistance type: magnetic resistance


The machine was pretty easy to assemble and did not require a lot of time. It also felt quite sturdy which is great. The fact that it produced minimum to no noise was very impressive. You can easily select the resistance level of your choice and row.

The rowing experience went smooth as well. After rowing for 20 minutes, we were sweating pretty heavily. All in all, it’s a great product and we definitely recommend it.

Major Features
10 levels of magnetic tension
Its ten levels of magnetic tension provide varying levels of intense workouts. You can pick the level compatible with you and work with it.

Guaranteed comfort
This machine provides users with maximum comfort. It has an ergonomic seat cushion design as well as features soft handlebars and non-slip foot pedals.

Tips and Tricks
★ Place your phone in the phone/ipad holder( adjustable) to have a complete experience
Is it possible to reset the display?
Yes it is.
How high is the seat off the ground? I can’t sit down low.
Over 12 inches at the end.
Does it have flywheels?
Yes, it comes with built-in flywheels.

9- SereneLife Home Rowing Machine


Technical Details:

  • Max weight capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Resistance type: air and magnetic
  • Shipping weight: 82.1 lbs.


After trying the machine a few things were very clear. It was quite sturdy and felt pretty nice. It produced minimal to no noise. Overall, it provided us with a decent workout without having to pay for gym membership. All in all, great pick.

Major Features
10 levels of magnetic and air resistance
This machine features 10 levels of magnetic and air resistance. It helps one workout their entire body on a level that is compatible with them.

Premium quality
This machine is manufactured from materials of the highest quality and is also durable.

Tips and Tricks
★ This model can be easily folded for storage.
Does this count meters?
Yes. It has calorie, time, strokes and meter count.
What is the warranty information?
We have a limited 1 year warranty for our products.

10- HouseFit Rowing Machine


Technical Details:

  • Assembled Dims: 65*22*32 in 
  • Folded Dims: 29*22*65 in
  • Shipping Weight: 72.7 pounds
  • Max weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Resistance type: magnetic


This machine was fairly easy to assemble. It comes with 15 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance, which was quite impressive. The machine worked flawlessly. Definitely felt our fat burn after a 20 minute session. We highly recommend it.

Major Features
Solid build
This sturdy machine offers a weight capacity of up to 300 lbs. Its rear stabilizers help stabilize the machine on different surfaces.

Noiseless system
It produces minimal to no noise.

Tips and Tricks
★ Through its special design, you can put this rowing machine in a standing position for storage.
★ The pedals offer customized foot straps and a slip-resistant design for comfort and safety so the stability of you or this rowing machine will never be compromised.
How do you reset the digital display numbers back to zero?
Long press the “MODE” button and it will go back to zero.
What is the Manufacturer's Warranty?
1 year for free parts provided, 1 month for free return.

Best Rowing Machines for Apartments Under $500 Buying Guide:

I understand that buying a rowing machine can get understandably confusing since there are so many different machines out there covering a wide range of price, size, and the way they work.

Sometimes the details get way too technical and sometimes you just can’t find what you’re looking for. This buying guide will help you figure things out on your own and narrow it down to the machine perfect for you.

Considering the fact that you are looking for a rowing machine for your apartment. You need something that is easy to move around and requires less space.

The following are the key features you should look for while buying a rowing machine for your apartment.


In order for you to find the right machine, it is crucial for you to know what your budget is. You don’t want to spend too much or too little. It all depends upon what your needs and wants are.

Do you need a rowing machine for daily prolonged workouts or do you need it for casual use i.e. twice or thrice a week. If you are looking for a machine that you’re less likely to use every day.

It is advised to not spend a lot on such machines as they will end up, gathering dust in a corner and won’t be good for your budget.

On the contrary, if you’re looking for a rowing machine for everyday use, you can surely invest a good amount of money in this machine as it’ll prove to be beneficial in the long run.


Another important factor to consider while buying a rowing machine is the space required for it. Before making the purchase, make sure to measure the area where you desire to put the rowing machine. It’s always good to take measurements beforehand.

Since you live in an apartment make sure to take measurements of the lobby and stairs so that you can move it easily.

There are a lot of different models available in the market that don’t require a lot of space. If you think you’ll face the spacing problem, you can also look for foldable versions.

Resistance Type

In order to find that perfect rowing machine, you need to familiarize yourself with different types of resistances offered by a rowing machine. There are four main types:


It is also considered to be the most common type of resistance. Air resistance can be considered quite advantageous to new and inexperienced users.

The tension level can be automatically adjusted according to your very own pace and stroke intensity. Air-resistance rowers are generally equipped with fan blades which in turn provide an extremely smooth rowing motion.

The catch is that these types of machines are not really silent and can produce a fair amount of noise, which is a drawback for those who like to jam to music while working out.

Air resistance is noisy but the experience offered by it is extraordinarily realistic, just like rowing on actual water.


Magnetic machines are often found in gym and health centers and they also prove to be among the most affordable ones on the market.

They work through a braking system which supplies manual or automatic resistance, depending on your model.

Not only that, they are also extremely durable and virtually maintenance free. In addition, they are quite smooth and provide an extremely fluid glide, just like air rowers.


These machines could quite possibly be the cheapest on the market and generally provide a very silent workout. These are less durable in comparison to other resistance levels.

However,  these types of rowers are adjustable as well as extremely easy to store away.

Hydraulic Piston rowers possess two oars on either side of the body, instead of just one handle in the front of the machine which is very well suited for individuals who enjoy an arm-engaging workout, since the pistons can often be independently adjusted to each arm.


Water-resistant rowers are considered to be the most efficient and result-inducing rowers on the market. They work on a principle that involves blades suspended in a tank of water to provide one with an extremely realistic experience, just like rowing across an actual stretch of water.

They are also extremely noiseless. Usually, the only noise heard by users is the gentle splashing of water as they pull on the handle, however, this only serves in enhancing the realistic outdoors rowing experience.

The only con is that they do tend to be more expensive than other models, but, they are also designed in such a way to last for decades- if not a lifetime- with minimal maintenance which is a huge plus.

Company/Product History

This might sound like a pretty simple one, but actually researching your product/company will prove to be very beneficial.

Researching things like how long the company’s been around for and the reputation that they have established or going through actual customer reviews will make your needs and wants, crystal clear.

Now, being done with the buying guide. I hope that you have narrowed down the specs that you are looking for.

I through our research, and actually trying and testing the products, have prepared a list of top 10 best rowing machines under $500. These rowers made it to the list due to their remarkable features and distinct qualities.


Rowing machines are an excellent type of low impact cardio. I hope that through this article, you know what you need. Make sure to do your own research about the product as well before making the purchase.


An avid fitness geek, who is mostly lifting in the gym. A computer junkie on the side. Started ClassikaFitness to teach people what I learned over the years.

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