Best folding rowing machines in Australia

People with small homes tend to worry whether a rowing machine will fit in their home. I also live in a small home, specifically an apartment in Melbourne CBD. Since rowing machines tend to take up a significant footprint in terms of length, I went on a quest to search for compact yet sturdy and high-quality indoor rowers for apartment dwellers.

With this, I came across foldable rowing machines, which raises questions like how well they fold and if this affects the performance. Another concern is whether the rowing machine operation noise disturbs neighbours or flatmates.

After using some collapsible rowing machines and researching extensively about what other customers say about them, I have shortlisted the best 3 that are perfect for small spaces and perform effectively for home rowing workouts. These rowers can be easily bought online, directly from their manufacturers and local retailers’ websites. All of them have warehouse and customer support in Australia.

Folding Rowing Machines for Small Homes

Proform Pro R10 Rower
Best Pick
  • Easy lift and fold mechanism
  • 55cm Width x 220cm Lengh x 115cm Height
  • Quiet and smooth operation from magnetic resistance (Around 60 dB)
  • Lifetime warranty on frame, 2 years parts and 1 year labour warranty
  • This rower is free with a 3 year iFit membership purchase
Lifespan Fitness Rower-760
Best Design
  • Release and fold mechanism
  • 52cm Width x 220cm Length x 56.5cm Height
  • Water resistance, a bit louder (Around 65 dB)
  • 1-year warranty on parts replacement
  • Timber design
Concept 2 RowErg
Best Performance
  • Quick release mechanism (Separates the rail)
  • 61cm Width x 244cm Length x about 75cm Height
  • Air resistance, loudest (Around 70 dB)
  • 5-year warranty on selected parts
  • Commonly used in gyms

Note: Prices are accurate at the time of writing. Click on the See the latest offer buttons to see the most up-to-date prices.

1. Proform Pro R10 Rower

Looking at the comparison table above, it seems like the Proform Pro R10 has the best value considering the operation noise and warranty offered.

How easy to fold?

The Proform Pro R10 is a folding rowing machine that uses a lift and fold mechanism. Out of the collapsible rowers I have tried, I like this mechanism the most. There is a handle just before the handlebar, which you can lift to fold the rail. Then, clip the rail into place so it won’t unfold as you wheel the rower into storage. How easy is that? Watch the video below to see how easy it is.

Size and Dimensions

I would say the dimensions of this rower are standard at 55cm x 220cm x 115cm (WxLxH) though I did struggle to find a mat long enough to fit its length. It is taller than most rowing machines in the market due to its built-in 10-inch touchscreen console. The console is height adjustable to cater to users of various heights. It has a weight limit of 115 kg, which does not cover the weight of very tall users or people who are heavier.


Compared to the other two rowing machines, the Proform Pro R10 comes with a subscription service. You get a free foldable rower with a 3-year iFit family membership purchase. You might want to consider the cost of signing up for the iFit membership at the end of the third year. There are 3 pricing options available:

  • 1-year individual membership – $249
  • 1-year family membership – $599
  • 3-year family membership – $1,797

The membership allows up to 5 users so you can share with your family without messing up the data from your workouts. You can also download the iFit app onto your phone and use it with any other cardio machine. It does not have to be iFit enabled.

See my Proform Pro R10 Rower full review for more information such as delivery and assembly about this rowing machine.

What Other Customers Say

According to Google reviews and Reddit, most enjoyed how easy it is to fold away for storage and were impressed at how quiet and smooth when in use. The customers also enjoyed the automatic resistance and interactive training with iFit trainers on the large display screen. Some compared the Proform Pro R10 to Concept 2 and concluded that it is not as great as Concept 2 but does offer good workouts and is a “solid machine”.

Key Specifications

PriceFree with 3 years iFit Family Membership purchase ($1,797)
Dimensions55cm x 220cm x 115cm (WxLxH)
Resistance TypeMagnetic Resistance
User Weight Capacity115 kg
Membership RequirementsYes, to enjoy the full benefits of iFit programs. Otherwise, there is an option to do a manual workout

Good For:

  • Someone who wants a really quiet rowing machine at home
  • Anyone who wants to be motivated by a trainer and doesn’t mind virtual training
  • Someone who wants to enjoy cross-training from the programs available in the iFit app (programs include yoga, live studio classes and more)

Not great for:

  • Someone who weighs more than 115 kg
  • Someone who is not interested in using the interactive iFit program

2. Lifespan Fitness Rower-760

Lifespan Fitness ROWER-760 Water Resistance Foldable Rowing Machine

The Lifespan Fitness Rower-760 is the most beautifully designed foldable rowing machine. Being a water rower, let’s see how it fares as an apartment rower.

How easy to fold?

The rower uses a release and fold mechanism, which is quite similar to that of Proform Pro R10. Instead of lifting a handle, there are two toggle latches (one on each side) that you can release so you can fold the rower. It is not as easy as folding Proform Pro R10 but it is pretty straightforward.

Size and Dimension

The Lifespan Fitness Rower-760 is just a tad bit more compact than the Proform at 52cm x 220cm x 56.5cm (WxLxH) due to not having a large display. When folded, the rower sits at 52cm x 114.5cm x 67cm (WxLxH). Compared to the Proform Pro R10, the Rower-760 has a much larger user weight capacity of 200 kg.


Since this is a water resistance rowing machine, its noise level is higher than a magnetic resistance rower. In terms of performance, the Rower-760 offers the most natural rowing with dynamic resistance (meaning the harder you row, the harder the resistance). Extra care is also needed to maintain the water tank and position away from the sun to avoid algae growth.

The LCD display is basic, not as high-tech as that of Proform Pro R10 but it does a good job of displaying useful metrics like speed, time, distance, calories burned, and strokes per minute. The Lifespan Rower-760 is Fitlink app-enabled so you can track your progress using your phone, which can be attached to the phone holder. Fitlink app is free to use, so there is no extra subscription cost.

What Other Customers Say

Other customers praised how comfortable it is using the Lifespan Fitness rower with its smooth operation and some were impressed with the build quality. Overall, they were satisfied with the delivery and convenience of folding the rowing machine out of the way when not in use.

Key Specifications

Price$1,299 (Currently $799 for New Year Sale)
Dimensions52cm x 220cm x 56.5cm (WxLxH)
Resistance TypeWater Resistance
User Weight Capacity200 kg
Membership RequirementsNo

Good for:

  • Someone who appreciates a timber-designed rowing machine to match their home
  • Someone who likes the feel of natural rowing in a home fitness equipment
  • Someone who doesn’t mind spending time with the maintenance of the rower

Not great for:

  • Someone who wants a very quiet operation
  • The only position you can keep the rowing machine is next to a sunny window

If this beautiful Lifespan Fitness rower interests you, check out the latest offer by clicking the button below.

Check the latest offer
New Year Sale Ends 31 Jan 2024

3. Concept 2 RowErg

Concept 2 RowErg

The Concept 2 RowErg is the most recognised rowing machine in the world as it is the standard rower used by athletes for training. It is also the most common rowing machine you see in commercial gyms.

How easy to fold?

This indoor rower is unique in the sense that it doesn’t actually fold in half but rather separates into 2 different parts. It uses a quick-release mechanism that releases the rail so you can store them close to each other or separately if you want to. What I love about this is that you don’t need an extra tool to release.

Considering the length of this rowing machine, which is massive at 244cm, having the option to store the rail separately is not a bad idea especially when you need more space in your home.

Size and Dimension

The full dimension of the Concept 2 RowErg when in use is 61cm x 244cm x about 75cm (WxLxH). I mentioned the height is about 75cm because it depends on the adjustment angle and the size of your phone when you attach it to the phone holder. The seat height of the rower with standard legs is 36cm.


The Concept 2 will take up a much larger footprint than the other 2 rowing machines mentioned above. However, it is quite compact when ‘folded’.

Since this machine uses air resistance, it is louder than rowing machines of other resistance types. This is why the flywheel is designed with a spiral damper to minimise noise level but it will still be on the louder side during operation.

Like the Lifespan Fitness Rower-760, the Concept 2 display is basic but offers just a bit more function by automatically storing your performance in the internal memory. You can connect to the Concept2 ErgData app via your phone, which is free to use and is syncable with your Concept2 Online Logbook.

What Other Customers Say?

A majority of the customers appreciate the simplicity and good performance the Concept 2 Rower brings and they feel they have found a full body workout equipment that allows them to train after a knee or leg injury. Some mentioned the noise and hard seat padding are the things they wish Concept 2 would improve on.

Key Specifications

Dimensions61cm x 244cm x about 75cm (WxLxH)
Resistance TypeAir resistance
User Weight Capacity227 kg
Membership RequirementsNo

Good for:

  • Someone who wants a straightforward-to-use home rowing machine without extra features
  • Someone who wants the flexibility to have more space in their home by storing the rail separately
  • Someone who doesn’t mind the loud air resistance operation

Not great for:

  • A home without the space to accommodate the length of this rowing machine
  • Someone who enjoys interactive training sessions

Personal Recommendation

As someone who lives in a small apartment in an Australian city, there are 2 most important factors that I consider before deciding to purchase a home rowing machine.

They are:

  1. Footprint when in use
  2. How easy it is to store

Other factors would be the noise level so I wouldn’t disturb my neighbours if I ever want to exercise in the evening or early in the morning, how well the indoor rower fit seamlessly with the interior design of my home, durability of the machine, performance, and warranty covered.

Photo of the Proform Pro R10 in my apartment

Which one is more suited to a small home?

The Proform Pro R10 rower is the clear winner in terms of meeting the requirements as the best folding rowing machine for apartments. This is not to say that both Lifespan Fitness Rower-760 and Concept 2 RowErg are not suitable for small homes, but comparatively, the R10 stands out.

The R10 is the most silent indoor rower, easy to fold and stow even for a petite person like myself, has the best warranty and includes membership for interactive workouts. I think this is a good deal because you don’t need to buy a separate machine if you want to use the iFit functions.

Out of the home rowing machines I have tried, the Proform Pro R10 is my favourite and one that I used the most. My experience with the assembly and delivery was positive too. This is why I recommend the Proform Pro R10 rower.

Why don’t you find out more about the indoor rower by clicking the button below?

Alternative Recommendations

If none of these folding rowing machines interest you, I would recommend checking out these two:

Fluid Rower E350

Fluid Rower E350:

This is not a folding rowing machine but it can be stored vertically. This a water resistance rower. It is wider than other rowers at 81cm width so you will have to be mindful of that. Check price

Lifespan Rower 445 - Folded

Lifespan Fitness Rower-445:

This is an affordable, compact, foldable rowing machine. It uses magnetic resistance. It is only 194.5cm in length so it may not be suitable for very tall users. Check price

This concludes my recommendations of the best folding rowing machines in Australia that are apartment-friendly. However, if none of these compact rowing machines caught your eye, you can visit this best rowing machines article (but not all are suitable for small homes).

Frequently Asked Questions About Rowing Machines

Select Rowing Machine
How easy it is to maintain foldable rowing machines?

The commitment needed to maintain a foldable rowing machine is similar to a non-folding one. However, there are pinch points and hinges that require regular cleaning and lubrication to prevent rust. Simply clean the hinges when you are doing your regular maintenance. A general rule of thumb is to wipe down the rowing machine after each use to remove sweat and dust buildup.

Do rowing machines need floor protection mats?

It is a best practice to protect your floor with a mat under the rowing machine. This could prevent accidental scratches if the rower shifts during a workout. A mat can also help to dampen the noise and provide stability. It also protects your floor from potential sweat stains when you sweat profusely from an intense session.

Are rowing machines worth it?

Rowing machines not only aid in weight loss but also improve cardiovascular health and strengthen the body. This is because the rowing workouts the whole body. It is also low impact, which offers a great option for active recovery as well as seniors looking to be more active.

We use affiliate links and may receive a commission at no cost to you on qualified purchases.  Learn more.