Top 7 Best Compact & Budget Rowing Machines For Workouts in 2023

The rower is an excellent cardiovascular workout as well as a way to strengthen most of the major muscle groups in the body. It is a low impact exercise that can be as difficult as any higher impact exercise. It burns calories and tones the body, which, in conjunction with a healthy diet, can help you lose weight.

If you want to find the best compact & budget rowing machines for workouts? Keep reading this post to discover more.

List of 7 Best Rowing Machines

1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

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Perhaps one of the most recognized rower machines on the market today, Concept2 has taken the basic set of rowers and turned it upside down. Turn your Model D into a full-body workout with app sync, a self-calibrating computer screen to measure your heart rate, and a spacious 9 X 4 format, and splits in half for storage very easily. Assembling this bad boy was probably the easiest time we have ever had to assemble any piece of home gym equipment. We are still a bit in shock.

Your frame is all that matters, it supports your weight and forms the basis of your machine. This frame comes with a five-year warranty and a 500-pound weight capacity guarantee, so you can go back and forth and emerge a champion every time. You have a large space to sit, which allows you to adapt to your level of comfort and posture. In addition, your footrest is also adjustable. Concept2 has made it the most comfortable you can feel while continuing to exercise for the biceps.

2. Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

Water Rower Club Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

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WaterRower is designed to support up to 1,000 lbs. If you’re looking to shred and reduce weight, you’re in luck because WaterRower has you covered, no matter what your goal or starting weight. Higher weight capacities are directly correlated to more durable equipment, and this one has been a beloved version by many men who seek to cut more than a hundred pounds, and who still have a reliable rowing machine for keep their bodies sculpted for years to come.

3. Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

Velocity Exercise Magnetic Rower

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With some features less than our successors on the list, Velocity Exercise brings us their magnetic rowing machine. You will see a much lower weight capacity on this one, but it is the perfect solution for pricing and training for middleweight men who want to be toned and stay that way. The newest addition to your line of home gym equipment includes a chest strap for heart rate, as well as a monitor to make sure you’re not going to throw yourself into a stroke. The seat is molded in saddle-shaped PU leather, which gives you comfort without the anodized aluminum frame rubbing your legs the wrong way.

The adjustable voltage is in the form of an electronic input. You just need to press a few buttons and adjust your tension to meet your specific needs in order to raise your game level, or plateau, and maintain your bombshell physique. Velocity Exercise brought their cutting edge design into play, it looks like it’s straight out of the future, which is exactly where you’re going a healthier, more chiseled you. Easy to store and light (91lbs evenly distributed, which facilitates vertical storage solutions), VE gave us an excellent machine.

4. Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

Stamina 35-1215 Orbital Rowing Machine with Free Motion Arms

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The Orbital Rowing Machine comes in compact design and is actually much easier to store. You get less movement than you can do, but you are still able to do a great workout to train your whole body. By focusing on the main rowing model, the Stamina Orbital has a serious punch.

One of the most important elements of any training equipment is fit. You are not going to buy ten rowers for different parts of your transformation or maintenance of your body. You want to raise your level of play, this machine is just around. You get multiple levels of adjustment for varying degrees of tension control, and a very comfortable seat.

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410 Rowing Machine Rower with Full Motion Arms and LCD Monitor

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1410 Rowing Machine Rower with Full Motion Arms and LCD Monitor

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Sunny Health & Fitness sounds like a retirement center, but their machines are anything but geriatric. Amazon’s Choice is offered at the most alarming price we have ever seen for such endurance home gym equipment. Supporting up to 350lbs, your new lightweight rowing machine (seriously, it’s a huge 33lbs fully assembled) will also fold nicely to be stored, or transported in a truck on the day of the move.

As if that weren’t enough, assembly is a breeze, and you’re balancing the power of a hydraulic cylinder. It’s a little more difficult to use, but it allows you to do the same workout and keep a huge amount of money in your wallet, exactly as it should be. From the LCD screen and heart rate monitor, to the last nut and bolt, we recommend it to anyone looking to exercise for the whole body and start a home gym on a budget. Sunny Health & Fitness also offers a three year warranty on the frame and 90 days to contact them in the event of mismatched or missing parts.

6. Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

Kettler Home Exercise/Fitness Equipment: Favorit Rowing Machine

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Stable and solid, we can see at first that the choice of materials for the Kettler Favorit rower are of quality and are ready to accompany you during long training sessions. This is also one of their main criteria since the brand has chosen the 3-year warranty.

As for its design, this rower is extremely compact if not foldable. It also weighs only 25 kilos , which makes it easy to move around the apartment thanks to its carbon frame. In terms of mid-range model, you should also know that it remains very accessible, because it is currently marketed at less than 500 euros. An unbeatable price that does not detract from its quality and advantages.

If it must however be found a small negative point, it would be its instructions and instructions which are not very clear. However, the machine remains very easy to assemble. Other users who bought their machine on Amazon also say they are disappointed by the difficulty of adjusting the force, which sometimes makes it lose up to 2 stars out of 5. But overall, the rower remains a great product to offer when we want to practice several times a week.

7. WaterRower Vintage Oak Rowing Machine with S4

WaterRower Vintage Oak Rowing Machine with S4

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The WaterRower rower is actually the only model with a water resistance system that we will offer you here although these are incredibly famous and design. Crafted in oak with a flywheel filled with water up to 18 liters of water, it offers different difficulties and resistance levels. However, that to moderate and adjust the latter, the tank must be emptied or filled, as desired.

On the technology side, the brand has put the package! To follow your progress, it is therefore possible to connect via the We-Row application, designed and developed by WaterRower, which stores and analyzes your results. But the best is the different challenge programs like the race against your own Ghost which are based on the racing data made upstream and which can be followed in real time thanks to an avatar.

For the noise concerning the water resistance, all the buyers agree that this rower is rather silent and that the soft sound of the water is pleasant and relaxing. Note that for filling, we recommend that you have a flexible hose and a funnel to save time.

Rowing Machine Buying Guides

5 reasons to buy a compact rower machine

1. To lose weight

Rowing is one of the activities that will burn the most calories. At the same level of effort and exercise time, you will lose more weight by rowing than by exercising, for example.

2. To build muscle

Even if it is not by making the rower that you will have large muscles, it nevertheless contributes to the development of your muscle mass, and this in a harmonious way. The more intensity you put in, the more your muscles will work. For proof, look at the physique of rowing practitioners!

3. To work on cardio

The rower places great demands on your heart. Even if the first minute may seem very simple, the heart rate will increase very quickly. I guarantee that if you are not athletic, you will not last 10min. It is a good alternative to running because the rower has much less negative impact on your joints.

4. To keep fit

For those who do not necessarily like to do sports but who are aware of the need to have physical activity, the rower is ideal because it solicits your whole body and allows optimized sessions: 15 min per day very regular are excellent for keeping fit but also morale.

5. To warm up before the session

Personally I do 2000 meters of rowing machine (about 10min) before each training to warm up. It is the ideal machine for raising your heart rate while gently heating all the muscles in your body.

The benefits of rowing machine

The rower machine is advertised as the most complete physical training device. Often compared to other cardio machines like the exercise bike or the treadmill, it is true that it is the only one that works up and down. So here are some advantages of the rower machine:

  • The rower machine makes 90% of the muscles work: by making the rower, you will work both your legs thanks to the sliding seat and your upper body thanks to the lifting beam (the pull handle). It acts thus on the back, shoulders, thighs, glutes, calves, abdominals … In short, almost 90% of the muscles of the body.
  • Save time: I know very few machines to optimize training sessions like the rower. Rather than doing upper body exercises, then go to the legs, then abs, with the rower you work all at the same time, which reduces the time spent doing exercise. Obviously if your goal is to gain a lot of muscle mass you will need to supplement targeted exercises, but for general fitness, a rowing session is perfect.
  • Rowing while watching TV: Or listening to music, a podcast … TO those for whom sport is a constraint, this allows you to focus your attention elsewhere, which makes the sessions less difficult.
  • Practice whatever the weather: Rowing for me is the best! When the weather is nice … For the practitioners, the rower allows to follow a regular training throughout the year
  • A low impact on the joints: the sitting position allows a very low impact on your joints. It avoids bringing an overload on the joints already weakened by an injury for example, as is the case in running for example. This is the device that I recommend to all people suffering from difficulties in the joints and especially the knees.
  • Easy to store: Last good point in favor of the rower. Even if once unfolded it requires a certain space, most rowers fold easily and store themselves vertically, without taking up much space.


Sports coaches and health care professionals agree that rower machines are one of the best training devices possible. Exercising on a rowing machine will allow you to target the vast majority of your muscle groups and give them as hard and stimulating training as possible. On the best rower machines, you will be able to track your progress and see how your performance improves.

As we have already mentioned, the great advantage of the device is that it offers more than just a cardio workout. It can certainly help you build muscle and lose weight. Compared to a treadmill, the rower works on a larger part of your body.

When you begin your search, you are likely to be a bit confused as to which direction to take and which type of rower to buy. But even if you’re well into your hunt, we hope this review has helped you understand the marvelous world of rowing machines a little more clearly.

Overall, the most important thing is to get on the machine and row. The best machine is one that fits your budget and your body. Your heart, muscles and mind will thank you!

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