It’s not question that foldable rowing machines offer a convenient and space-saving solution for home gyms. No longer limited to basic designs, these modern machines have evolved into advanced and sophisticated equipment. With seamless connectivity, top brands like Peloton and Hydrow allow you to pair your smartphone via Bluetooth, stream music effortlessly, and even connect with professional rowers for personalized training sessions. However, finding the perfect foldable rowing machine can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help.
Durability and quality: If you’re dropping $1,000 or more on a complicated piece of gym equipment, you want to know that it can go the distance. That’s why it pays (literally) to buy from a company that you trust and that offers a solid, reputable product with a decent warranty. Don’t settle for a bargain-priced Amazon model from a brand you’ve never heard of just because it seems like a steal. In the world of fitness equipment, you almost always get what you pay for. If you’re planning to row on a regular basis and to keep your foldable rowing machine for the foreseeable future, consider investing good money into a model that will last.
Resistance mechanism: At the heart of every rowing machine is some sort of resistance mechanism, foldable models are no different. There are four main types including hydraulic, flywheel, water-based, and magnetic resistance-based. Read more on this in the FAQ below.
Storage: By their nature, rowing machines are big, bulky, and often heavy. If you have the real estate in your home, non-folding models are typically sturdier and more convenient when it comes time to work out. However, if you’re short on space, consider durability and weight capacity even more for foldable models. Some rowers fold neatly in half or offer vertical storage to minimize wasted floor space. Look for models with transport wheels too, so you can easily move yours around by yourself, when folded or not.
Warranty: With the best foldable rowing machines priced north of $1,000, buying one is a serious investment. So, it’s important to purchase from a manufacturer that offers a clear, comprehensive warranty. They vary widely across the industry, with the most budget-forward brands offering just 90 days on some parts, and others boasting generous 10-year warranties on everything. Again, the more you spend upfront, the better the warranty is likely to be. And, if there’s anything that isn’t clear to you about the stated warranty, be sure to ask. It’s your money, after all.
Budget: Depending on your situation, price might be the most important consideration. Foldable rowing machines are a substantial investment that can run into the thousands. Know that, if price is an issue, you can absolutely land a decent mid-range model for under $1,000 and even a solid budget model (like the Bluetooth Rower by Men’s Health x Women’s Health) for less than $550 delivered.
Other rowing machine features: The most basic foldable rowing machine design has changed little in decades, and you can still find a “classic”-style model for a reasonable price (hello, Concept 2). But, if you’re looking for a more connected experience, look at smart rowers like the Hydrow Wave or the Peloton Row. These offer touchscreens with built-in apps that connect you to professional trainers who can motivate and work with you to better achieve your personal goals. The rowing machines with these features are, of course, more expensive upfront. But, know that many also require ongoing monthly subscriptions to take full advantage of those “smart” connected features.