Quiet Rowing Machines For Apartments (6 Best Compared)

If you’re looking to lose weight, tone up, or are just trying to stay active in a small space, it can definitely be challenging. Well, we should say it used to be challenging. Thanks to the introduction of low-impact cardio fitness equipment like rowing machines, all of these just became much easier. 

They’re easy on the joints, convenient for spaces of all sizes, and are perfect if you don’t want to use a traditional stand-up cardio machine. If you’re looking for the best rowing machine for apartment use, look no further, because we have them all right here! 

Is A Rowing Machine Good For An Apartment? (Noise Levels Discussed)

Not every model is equal, as there are many different types of rowing machines to choose from. What you need is something that won’t bother others in your apartment, or your neighbors. Is a rowing machine quiet enough for an apartment? Absolutely, if you select wisely. 

Air Rowers

These are preferred by world-class rowers but also generate the most noise. On air rower models, a fan is attached directly to the rowing handle, so when you pull it, the fan starts moving. The faster you row, the more resistance is made, and the more noise is generated. In most situations, it won't be loud enough to bother anyone unless you're rowing in the early hours of the day/in the middle of the night. 

Water Rowers

Water rowers have essentially the same concept as the previous type but substitute water for air resistance. There's a tank of water present, with a flywheel designed to displace the water, causing resistance. 

When you pull the handle, the flywheel will spin. As you can imagine, the faster you pull, the more resistance you have to work with. These tend to be significantly quieter than air alternatives. Not only that, but most people actually like the sound of the water sloshing around!

Magnetic Rowers

As the name would suggest, these models utilize magnets for resistance. The closer it is to the flywheel, the more resistance you’ll have to work against. These are incredibly quiet, due to this design, along with the high-quality components and supreme build quality magnetic rowers tend to feature. Time after time, these have proven to be the most quiet rowing machine type.  

Hydraulic Piston Rowers

Second to the magnetic rowers, these are the next-best thing regarding minimal sound production. They use hydraulic pistons that compress oil through a tiny valve within the cylinder. To increase or decrease resistance, simply twist the adjustment knob. They can be used at any time of day or night without disturbing anyone. 

Quiet Rowing Machine For Apartment

6 Best Quiet Rowing Machines For Apartment Use Reviewed 

1. Concept2 Model D - Our #1 Apartment Rower

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H) 

Unfolded - 96 x 14 x 24 inches

 

Folded - 54 x 33 x 25 inches 

Machine Weight 

57.32 lbs

Resistance Levels  

Air resistance with 10 damper levels 

User Height/Inseam 

Up to 6’9” tall, inseam 38” 

Weight Capacity 

500 lbs

If you're looking for the overall best rower for apartment use, you will find it in the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine. It's as close to "perfect" that we could find, but we are going to get the only "con" out of the way: the noise level.

Is the Concept 2 rower quiet? It's not completely quiet, though not noisy either. Of course, the harder you row, the more noise it produces. However, it is still less noisy than many competitor options that aren’t even air rowers.

Assembly is a breeze, so when it arrives on your doorstep, you'll be able to use it almost immediately! Separating into two pieces for easy storage, it only requires 8 screws (however, it's not as easily foldable as a few others on our guide). However, we did appreciate the caster wheels, allowing for smooth rolling and transportation.  

All required tools come included, along with easy-to-follow assembly instructions, a smartphone cradle, user manual, PM5 Quick Start Guide, and Performance Monitor 5 Computer (PM5).  

Speaking of the PM5, the backlit LCD screen is easy to view at any time of day or night. Including time, distance, and intervals, it's simple to measure progress. It even includes wireless Bluetooth and ANT+ technology if you'd like to connect to fitness apps or a heart rate monitor. Not only that, but you can choose to save workouts to a USB drive or even play some of their included games! 

The air-resistance flywheel is highly responsive, and you can control airflow with the 10 different damper levels. Smooth rowing is the name of the game here, with a comfy handle with a 10-degree bend for a natural grip and adjustable footpads to ensure proper positioning.  

Supporting user heights up to 6’9” and with a weight capacity of 500 pounds, this will work with almost everyone. However, due to this, it is a bit longer at 8 feet long which may be difficult if space is super tight.  

Pros

  • Limited 5-year warranty 
  • Very solid and stable 
  • Fluid, consistent rowing motion 
  • Works with wide range of user heights and weights 
  • High-quality components and construction 

Cons

  • A bit noisy 
  • Needs to be unscrewed to store 

2. Goplus - Best Budget Apartment Rowing Machine

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H) 

Unfolded - 70 x 21 x 19 inches

 

Folded – 49 x 32 x 21 inches 

Machine Weight

49 lbs

Resistance Levels  

8

User Height/Inseam 

Between 5 and 6 feet tall, N/A 

Weight Capacity 

220 lbs

Next up, we’re bringing you the runner up best quiet rowing machine for apartment use: the Goplus Folding Rowing Machine. It's sturdy, stable, smooth, quiet, and offers 8 different magnetic resistance levels, which is more than enough for most athletes. The high-quality aluminum beam frame is long-lasting though lightweight enough for easy transportation (especially when you roll it on the floor).  

Assembly is very easy and can be done by just one person if you don't have anyone to help you. At just 70" long, it's perfect if your apartment is really tight on space. The black, anti-rust paint is scratch-resistant as well, so it'll maintain that new look nicely.  

Using magnetic resistance, you can expect little-to-no sound produced while in use. Easily switch up the difficulty level by the twist of a knob – perfect for intervals and HIIT routines. Feel free to really let loose on this rower!

Large, pivoting footrests make sure your body is positioned just right for you, while the ergonomically designed handlebar keeps your upper body feeling great, too. The thick foam covering it absorbs moisture and keeps blisters at bay. The seat is well-padded and great for longer workouts.  

To track your workout, you have a pretty basic console with an LCD display. Unfortunately, it’s not backlit, so you’ll need to make sure the room is well-lit if you decide to use it. It is handy for counting calories burned, count per minute, total counts, SCAN, and time, however.  

Pros

  • Sturdy steel frame 
  • Folds for easy storage 
  • Quiet and smooth rowing 
  • Front base has stabilizer bar 
  • Transport wheels included 

Cons

  • Warranty not specified 
  • Console isn’t backlit and doesn’t include preset programs 

3. Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 - Most Compact Rower

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

 

Unfolded - 58.25 x 42.5 x 18.13 inches

 

Folded – 23.5" x 46" inches 

Machine Weight

37 lbs

Resistance Levels  

N/A 

User Height/Inseam 

N/A 

Weight Capacity 

250 lbs

For the best compact quiet rowing machine, look no further than the Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050. If you stand taller than 6 feet tall, it may not be for you, but otherwise, it's wonderful for small apartments! This model proves you don't need a lot of space to get in shape.  

Using full-motion arms rather than a pull-bar, it's designed to emulate the experience of rowing on water. The smooth, ball-bearing roller system eliminates bumps or "hang-ups," so you'll be able to get an efficient rhythm going with each workout.

Based on hydraulic resistance, it's quiet and easy to adjust the intensity. Oh, and if you need to store it, simply fold up the arms, and it's ready to be placed under the bed, in the closet, or behind a door! 

In terms of comfort, it's neither here nor there. The padded seat is not luxurious, though it isn't too hard or outright uncomfortable. However, we'd recommend this one more for brief workouts (those under 45 minutes).

We did appreciate the large, textured footplates and adjustable nylon straps made to fit pretty much any size of foot out there. They ensure your feet stay securely in place while rowing back and forth.  

Due to the aluminum rowing beam, it's just as durable as it is lightweight. This, combined with the included caster wheels and foldable frame, make it one of the most space-friendly, portable rowing machines on the market today.  

Pros

  • Very compact design 
  • Folds for easy storage 
  • Smooth and quiet rowing 
  • Very affordable 
  • Easy operation  
  • Sturdy construction 

Cons

  • Only used with bodyweight resistance
  • Some may not like the non-traditional rowing handles




4. Merax - Very Quiet Rowing Machine

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

 

Unfolded - 73 x 16 x 21 inches

 

Folded – 26 x 49 x 16 inches 

Machine Weight  

37 lbs

Resistance Levels  

8 

User Height/Inseam 

Up to 6’8” height, 43.3” inseam 

Weight Capacity 

264 lbs

Do you have paper-thin walls that allow your neighbors to hear everything? Do you like working out when others in your home are asleep? Then you need one of the best quiet rowing machines, like the Merax Magnetic Rowing Machine. Assembly is simple, the machine is durable, works for a wide variety of user heights, and did we mention it’s quiet?  

Capable of supporting up to 264 pounds, the steel frame construction is incredibly durable. The design is very sturdy, even when rowing at higher speeds. However, it’s easy to fold up and stow away when not in use.  

In terms of comfort, it's hard to beat this one, too. Large, pivoting pedals keep your lower body at the perfect angle, and heel cups along with adjustable Velcro straps keep your feet firmly secure. The padded, cushioned seat is one of our favorites and comes complete with a contoured top to prevent slipping. The pulling handle sports rubberized grips for a bit of cushion and a solid hold. 

With 8 different magnetic resistance levels, you can count on versatile workouts as well as optimal smoothness in operation. Moreover, the way the strap is designed allows you to perform side twists while rowing for added core strength!  

Pros

  • Accommodates users of varying heights 
  • Easy to transport 
  • Ergonomic, comfy design 
  • Easy assembly 
  • Smooth motion 
  • Stable design 

Cons

  • Only 180-day warranty 
  • No pulse tracking nor backlight on console 

5. Driftwood - Quiet Water Rower

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

Unfolded - 83 x 22 x 21 inches 

Machine Weight  

108 lbs

Resistance Levels  

N/A

User Height/Inseam 

Up to 6’8” height 

Weight Capacity 

1000 lbs

Water rowers aren’t the quietest, but if you were looking for the quietest rowing machine, you'd go with our last choice. Water rowing machines certainly have their place in that they most accurately emulate rowing in water: both in motion and sound/atmosphere, as they use real water in a tank. Displacing the water can take quite a bit of effort, offering you even more results from your workouts! 

The Water Rower Rowing Machine Driftwood features a patented water flywheel that is efficient and helps ensure a smooth and consistent workout. Handcrafted with Ash hardwood and coming with a Driftwood stain finish, it looks aged yet is the most beautiful rowing machine we've come across. The wood is extremely long-lasting and stable, even during the toughest of sessions.  

The self-adjusting resistance level is perfect for athletes of all activity levels – particularly more advanced athletes. The backlit S4 monitor is one of the best currently, with a backlit display that shows calories per hour, meters per second, miles per hour, and many more useful features.  

However, due to the fact that it weighs 108 pounds (while supporting up to 1000), it isn’t the most portable out there. It doesn’t fold either, so for storage purposes, just stand it on end.  

Pros

  • 5-year warranty on frame, 3 on parts 
  • Incredibly high max user weight 
  • Durable, beautiful, handcrafted Ash hardwood frame 
  • Very comfortable 
  • Smooth motion 
  • Stable design 

Cons

  • Heavy 
  • Creates some noise while in use 

6. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 - Popular Home Rower

Features

Dimensions

(L x W x H)

 

Unfolded - 54 x 20 x 23 inches 

Machine Weight 

20.9 lbs

Resistance Levels  

12 

User Height/Inseam 

N/A

Weight Capacity 

220 lbs

You just can’t surpass the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW1205 if you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck. Not only that, but if you’re looking for one of the easiest to transport, it should be at the top of your list. While it may be made of alloy steel, it manages to weigh in at a cool 21 pounds – making it quick to transport and stow away.  

Assembly is probably the easiest with this model, as it consists of so few parts. The design may be simple, but this straightforward hydraulic resistance system is quiet and effective. It won't bother anyone else, no matter what time of day or night you're using it.  

With 12 different resistance levels, you won’t get bored or plateau anytime soon. It’s designed to offer you results, no matter how much room you have at home. Track your workout progress with the multifunctional digital monitor! 

This affordable rowing machine may be basic, but it certainly doesn't skimp on comfort! The pivoting pedals always allow for a natural position, while the textured, angled handlebar offers an ergonomic positioning as well. The extra-padded seat lets you sink in just enough while ensuring proper blood flow to the longer body.  

Pros

  • Durable, resilient frame 
  • 12 levels of resistance 
  • Ergonomic, comfortable design 
  • Extremely small footprint 
  • Very easy to transport and store 
  • Easy to assemble 

Cons

  • Sometimes catches a bit while in use 
  • Footrests could be bigger 

How To Choose The Quietest Rowing Machine For Apartments

To select the best rowing machine for you, there are certain characteristics to consider beforehand. 

Noise Level

As we’re here talking about quiet rowing machines, this is one of your top priorities. If you’re really tight on space, the rowing machine will already be easier to hear in other rooms or even other apartments.  

As we mentioned already, air and water rowers tend to be the noisiest of the bunch. However, not every single rower of the same type will produce the same amount of noise. For example, machines that are made with lower-quality materials or cheaper build qualities may squeak and creak while in use.  

Size vs Available Space

What kind of available space are you looking at in your apartment? We highly recommend actually getting out the tape measure and measuring the area – make sure to account for extra space so you can lean back without hitting your head! There are rowers of just about any size, so no matter what your requirements are, you’re sure to find at least one that works. 

Comfort and Adjustability

When it comes to exercise equipment, comfort isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. If you’re ever uncomfortable using a machine, know that this could lead to injury. That means that your rowing machine should be adjustable in order to keep you comfortable.

The best models will allow for some kind of adjustability with the footrests and foot straps to keep your legs bent just enough while ensuring your feet aren't sliding around. Some even have adjustable consoles, so you're not straining your eyes or neck to check your workout stats. 

Stability & Durability

The frame of your rower forms the foundation of how stable and sturdy it is. If it's made of cheap materials or just designed poorly, it isn't going to be able to hold up to as tough of workouts as you want.

It may also squeak and wiggle around as you're using it, which can be irritating and just inefficient. If you're going to spend money buying the machine and time using it, just get something that is going to last you. It should be a benefit – not a hassle. 

Storing and Mobility

Now that you know the space you have available to use, take a look at rowing machines that will work with it. Will you be leaving the machine out all the time, or will you put it away when it's not in use? If it's the latter, make sure it can fold up and be put away for quick and simple storage.

For ease of mobility, get yourself a rower that has some wheels and a convenient handle to push or pull it around. This is much easier than hauling it around from room to room! Moreover, it will save your floors from potential damage. 

Ease of Assembly

When your rowing machine arrives at your home, you're going to be excited. A hassle of an assembly process can easily affect that. Assembly shouldn't take you more than 45 minutes and ideally shouldn't take more than 30 if you have someone to help you out.

This will also come in handy if your machine isn't foldable – you can just disassemble it and reassemble it when you want to use it (if this is an easy, feasible process, that is). 

Max User Weight & Height

It doesn't matter how great a machine it is; if it doesn't fit you, it's useless! Before deciding on anything, make sure to check the max user weight and height requirements.

If you're within a "normal" height range, then that probably won't be an issue, but it's better to check anyway as they do vary depending on the brand and model. Max user weight can also vary quite a bit, so check this out beforehand, too. 

Price & Warranty

How much are you willing to spend on one of the best rowing machines for apartments? The models on our guide use top-notch materials and are made to last for a long time. In comparison, how much will this cost you compared to a gym membership? You’re also paying for the convenience of being able to work out from the comfort of your own home.  

Also, pay attention to the warranty included with the purchase of your new cardio machine. Some offer lifetime warranties on the frames, as well as 3 to 5 years on other parts. Some brands will offer even more extended coverage than that! This is a way to attest to the level of quality they're offering, so even if you don't think you'll need it, it's essential to consider.  


How To Make A Rowing Machine Quieter (Causes & Ways To Fix)

Seat Sliding Along the Rail

Always ensure the rail is clean, free of grime, yet well-oiled so that it slides along smoothly without any trouble (or noise generated). 

Intensity at Which You Row

If you have an air rower, the harder you row, the more noise it's going to produce. With water rowers, this is somewhat true; however, they're generally quieter than air rowers. Even air rowers can turn into a quiet rowing machine if you go slow enough, but what's important is to find a rower that allows you to work out at your ideal pace while remaining quiet. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Do you need mats for a rowing machine?  

Though not entirely necessary, gym mats are handy to have! Your floors will be better protected, and it won’t move around during your workout. Not to mention, it’ll keep sweat from dripping on your floor! It’s not ideal to use carpet under your rowing machine as it can slip around, and sweat will absorb into the carpet, which can cause bacteria and foul odors to grow.  

Is the quietest rowing machine better than a treadmill?  

Yes, it is! You simply aren’t going to find a treadmill that’s quieter than the quietest rowing machine – especially if you’re a jogger, runner, or sprinter. Your feet are going to hit the tread, and that is definitely going to make some noise.  


Conclusion

So, what is the best quiet rowing machine for an apartment? The Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine still remains the winner! However, it’s worth checking out the others on our guide, too! Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon.  

Paul J