What Is a Studio Apartment?

published Jul 31, 2022
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When it’s time to go apartment hunting, you’ll be faced with lots of different options and layouts. Here’s what to expect from a studio apartment: A tiny space with big potential. 

What is a studio apartment?

A studio apartment is defined by its layout — all of the spaces are found in one room (with the exception of the bathroom). While studio apartments are typically under 600 square feet, they can be larger, but they often fall into the 300- to 400-square-foot range.

Because everything is in one room, it may seem like all studio apartments would look the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Part of the fun of having a studio apartment is getting creative with the layout, using furniture to create separation and define different areas, and making the space as functional as possible.

Credit: Emma Fiala

Studio Apartment Pros

  • It forces you to identify the essentials. It’s easy to fill a large space with boxes of keepsakes and kitchen utensils you’ll never use. But in a studio apartment, this is virtually impossible. You’ll have to identify the essentials — like the kitchen utensils you’ll actually use and the keepsakes that really mean something. 
  • It’s less expensive than a one- or two-bedroom apartment. Having an actual bedroom can be pricey. Typically, a studio apartment will be less expensive than a one- or two-bedroom apartment, though location also factors in. For instance, for the price of a studio apartment in New York City or San Francisco, you could get multiple bedrooms in a less expensive city.
  • Cleaning won’t take very long. One of the best perks about living in a studio apartment is how easy it is to maintain. With less stuff, there will be less mess. And the actual cleaning time will be cut way down because, well, there’s not much space to clean.
  • You can make it your own. This is true for nearly any space, but a studio apartment can be a cozy refuge that you tailor specifically to your needs and tastes. Get the layout right, add a few cushions and blankets, place a plant or two, and you’re on your way to a beautiful, just-for-you space.

Studio Apartment Cons

  • It’s a small space. This can be a pro or a con depending on how you treat the space. If you have trouble living with less or feel crowded in small spaces, then a studio may not be the best choice.
  • It can be difficult to entertain. If you love having lots of people over to mingle and talk, there may not be enough room in a studio which is more conducive to smaller, more intimate gatherings. Make sure that you’re okay with your guests sitting on your bed — it may be the only seat available!
Credit: Sylvie Li

Other Small Apartment Options

If you’re looking for a smaller, less expensive space, a studio apartment is just one of your options. Other small apartment options offer many of the same benefits of a studio but have their own distinct qualities.

  • An efficiency apartment is laid out much like a studio, but it’s even smaller! Often, efficiency apartments even have small versions of standard appliances to make sure everything will fit.
  • An alcove studio, or L-shaped studio, has an alcove dedicated to the bed. This allows you to create a sleeping area that is more separated from the main living space than in a traditional studio.
  • A one-bedroom convertible apartment is essentially an alcove studio, but the space between the main living area and the sleeping alcove is more defined and may even have a door (!) but the space can also be left open to create a studio vibe.