What is a studio apartment? Everything you need to know

If you’re searching for housing in expensive urban markets, you’ve probably seen a lot of studio apartments. But what qualifies as a studio? And what are the pros and cons of living in one? 

Chic studio apartment with a bicycle and open space
Chic studio apartment with a bicycle and open space

Table of contents

What is a studio apartment?What are the advantages of living in a studio?What are the disadvantages of living in a studio?What a studio apartment is not:

What is a studio apartment?

A studio apartment, by definition, is a single-room dwelling that combines the bedroom, kitchen, and living area into one space. The open floor plan does not have walls separating the sleeping and living areas, and the kitchen area may or may not be separated by a wall. There is one exception, however, which is the bathroom. By law, the bathroom must be its own, individual room with a door.

While the size of the typical studio apartment varies from city to city, renters can usually expect to find a place that’s between 400 and 600 square feet. Due to their small size, studios are usually well-suited to a solo occupant; though larger studios and those with an L-shaped floor plan could work for a couple. 

The cost to rent a studio is commensurate with its size—small studios will usually be among the least expensive solo living options. They aren’t always smaller and cheaper than alternative accommodations, though. Large, loft-style studios can be bigger and more expensive than run-of-the-mill one bedroom apartments, and come with a price tag to match. That’s why it’s important to research the average real estate costs in your area before signing a lease.

What are the advantages of living in a studio?

There are many pros to renting a studio.

  • Relative affordability. Small studios are often the most affordable way to live alone. (Only efficiency apartments are less expensive.) In addition to the cost of rent being lower than that of other apartment styles, utility bills are also typically lower because less energy and gas is required to heat, cool, and illuminate a smaller space. With their small square footage, studios also call for fewer pieces of furniture to fill the space. This means you’ll spend less to furnish and decorate the apartment. 

  • Easy to clean. Cleaning a small home is also a breeze and you’ll be more compelled to keep it tidy when there’s no escaping the mess.

  • More neighborhood-focused living. Living in a studio encourages you to get out of the house more often. When you can’t bounce from room to room to get a change of scenery, you have no choice but to explore the world around you. (Just be careful—this can also affect your monthly budget for things like dining out and entertainment.)

Open floor of a studio apartment with a bed and small table

What are the disadvantages of living in a studio?

The downsides of living in a studio stem from the small size of the apartment. 

  • Lack of storage space. For minimalists and Marie Kondo believers, this shouldn’t pose a problem, but it can be a challenge for those who have lots of belongings.

  • Not ideal for couples. 

  • Lonely. Finally, living alone isn’t for everyone—it can be lonely. Studio apartments can make for an isolated home life. 

If you’re looking for a housing option on a studio-sized budget but don’t feel that a studio apartment is right for you, consider coliving—that is, living with roommates. Learn why Bungalow is a better value than living in a studio.

What a studio apartment is not:

It's not an efficiency apartment.

  • Like a studio, an efficiency apartment is a single large room with space to sleep, cook, and lounge within it. They also have a separate bathroom. Efficiency apartments tend to be smaller than studios. 

  • Rather than a full separate kitchen, efficiency apartments can have a kitchenette. This means that there might be a mini fridge, a stovetop with just one or two burners, and fewer appliances overall. 

  • Due to the limited space and kitchen functionality, efficiency apartments are usually less expensive than studios.

It's not a one bedroom apartment.

  • A one bedroom apartment has a separate bedroom with a door that keeps the sleeping space apart from the kitchen and living area.

  • One bedroom apartments typically offer more square footage than studios, as well as more privacy if there are guests.

  • One bedroom apartments usually come with a higher price tag than studios.

Bungalow offers private rooms in shared homes in desirable neighborhoods for less than solo living options like studios and one bedroom apartments. Find a Bungalow near you.

Ready to find your next home?

Move-in ready homes and a built-in community so you can feel at home, together — wherever you are.

Suggested articles

loading spinner
Move in ready homes and a built-in community so you can feel at home, together — wherever you are.