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What is the Best Apartment Floor to Live On?

April 1, 2020

Are you thinking about making a move and want to score a top floor apartment? Before you go apartment hunting and sign your next lease, consider the pros and cons of each apartment floor. Here's what to expect. 

  • Bottom or Ground Floor Apartments
  • Middle Floor Apartments
  • Top Floor Apartments

Bottom or Ground Floor Apartments

Life in a first-floor apartment comes with unique advantages and a few potential deal-breakers. 


Living on a ground floor apartment means no elevator wait or hike up multiple flights of stairs. A first-floor apartment may also come with a small outdoor space like a yard, patio, or other areas for some fresh air. 

Easy access in and out of your ground floor apartment means the main door is always steps away. The first floor is probably ideal if you have kids, dogs, or make big grocery hauls. 

Depending on the apartment complex, bottom floor units are sometimes less expensive. They're also more likely to be vacant than more desirable top floor apartments. 

Safety on the first floor comes with a significant win. You're the first one out during an emergency evacuation.


Like any apartment floor, there are downsides to living in a ground floor apartment. The lack of views is a big one for most renters. If you crave city lights and sweeping views, you'll need to look to a higher floor.

Noise is also a problem when you're living on the first floor. It's common for people living above you to bring the noise with them, not to mention falling asleep to outside street noise. And if your apartment complex offers a common pool, you'll likely hear the party vibe all summer long.

Safety can also pose concern for the ground floor. You're the first to evacuate in an emergency, but more vulnerable to security threats like break-ins. 

Middle Floor Apartments

Not sure what floor to choose? Life on the middle floor offers the best of both worlds with flexible options. 


Your views from a middle floor apartment are better than a bottom floor unit. There also aren't as many stairs or long waits at the elevator.

Seasonality and utility bills are also a major plus on the middle floor. Top floors can get hot and are difficult to cool down during the summer months. 

Bottom floors are often chilly and hard to heat. When you live on the middle floor, your utility bills are more consistent than apartments on other floors. 


Noise can be a significant drawback of living in a middle floor apartment. Tenants live above and below you and often bring the noise with them. 

It can also feel stressful to keep your own noise to a minimum, knowing that you could be disturbing your neighbors. 

Top Floor Apartments

Scoring a top floor apartment is a big win, but comes with a few disadvantages. Here's what to expect and how to weigh the pros and cons. 


You get the best views from a top floor apartment. It’s just begging for an evening cocktail party with friends.

There's also no one living above you in a top floor apartment to make noise. You're probably less likely to hear the sound coming through the floor, making the top floor apartment relatively quiet. 

Top floor apartments are also warmer during winter months. Heat rises, and you get to enjoy the advantages of a lower average heating bill.


Top floor apartments are also harder to cool down during the summer. That can send your air conditioning bill soaring. 

Elevator waits and stairs are also a trade-off when living in top floor apartments. Lugging a bike, groceries, and suitcases up and down can become a nuisance from the top floor.

Safety also poses a concern when choosing your best apartment floor. You'll face the longest evacuation during an emergency with no quick way to get down to the ground floor. 

Beyond emergencies, it's also harder to quickly get downstairs for take-out, delivery items, and to greet guests. 

Other Things to Consider

Choosing the best apartment floor to live on is a personal preference. No floor is exempt from a few downsides. However, you can balance them against the pros to find the best option for you.

There are other things to consider beyond safety and convenience when it comes to choosing which floor to live on. Those include: 

  • Proximity to amenities, including the pool, laundry rooms, and barbecues
  • Your apartment search may only yield results on a specific floor
  • Desirable, top floor apartments usually come with higher rent prices
  • A landlord may renovate several apartments on the same floor, limiting your options on the most updated units 

Whatever apartment floor you choose, consider which side of the building you'll live on. Avoid picking an apartment near a nightclub or bar that keeps you awake all night long. 

If your neighborhood is relatively quiet, consider choosing an end unit. You'll have less neighbor noise and will likely enjoy additional views from your apartment. 

Ready to start apartment hunting? Add your favorite apartment floor to your wishlist and tour several complexes to find the perfect fit.

By: Susan Finch
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