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Studio vs. 1 Bedroom Apartments - Which is Right For You?

By: Ashley Walter
June 4, 2020

If you’re searching for apartments in New York City or San Francisco, you might be looking at some smaller-than-desired apartments due to the cost of living. If it's just you, or you and a roommate, you're likely choosing between a studio vs. a 1-bedroom apartment. These two popular picks have a lot in common, but they have some major differences as well.

Before you move, it’s important for renters to understand the distinctions of each. Let’s take a look at what a studio vs. a 1-bedroom offers. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision and choose an apartment that’s right for you.

What is a Studio Apartment?

A studio apartment offers a single room that combines your living room, bedroom, and eating area together with an open floor space. This means that there are no walls or separations that divide the different room sections, including the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. But don’t worry, your bathroom will be separate, thanks to mandated U.S. housing laws. A studio apartment functions around the concept of a single large room serving as one main living area.

When it comes to studio vs. 1-bedrooms, studios are comfy and concise, which could be a pro for some renters. However, the lack of rooms, privacy, and space could be deal-breakers for other renters.

It can also take some time to adjust to the idea of your sleeping area attached to your kitchen. Remember, if you are cooking something that carries a lingering smell along with it, you'll be sleeping right alongside it.

Studio apartments are usually ideal for a single renter in urban areas with high rental price tags. Opting for a cozy studio vs. 1-bedroom apartment could save you tons of money. Of course, with those savings come sacrifices of space and privacy.

What is a 1-Bedroom Apartment?

Like the name implies, a 1-bedroom apartment features a bedroom separate from the main living space. Unlike a studio apartment, the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen are all separate areas.

Depending on the size of the space, a living or dining room may combine with the kitchen for an open floor concept. Larger apartments might also offer their own separate eating area. As a general rule, 1-bedroom apartments are typically more spacious than a studio, and entertaining others prove easier with the increased space.

Differences Between a Studio and 1-Bedroom Apartment

When it comes to choosing a studio vs. a 1-bedroom apartment, there are several differences to consider.

1. Price

It’s almost always cheaper to rent a studio apartment than it is to rent a 1-bedroom apartment. However, it’s important to weigh the price tag with the limited space offered in a studio.

Studios rents usually run several hundred dollars cheaper than 1-bedrooms, depending on square footage and luxury in question. However, the increased size of the 1-bedroom may be worth the added expense.

Of course, the savings may be worth it. Even a few hundred dollars a month can cover your utility bill and groceries for the entire month.

Here’s the verdict on a studio vs. 1-bedroom apartments:

If saving money is your number one priority, a studio will likely be your best and most affordable option. If you prefer more space, a separate bedroom, and can stretch your budget, a 1-bedroom apartment is the way to go.

2. Occupancy

One-bedroom apartments are almost always the better option if you’re moving in with someone else. After all, a 1-bedroom unit offers more space, storage, and comfort for two people cohabitating than a cramped studio apartment. Studio apartments can also save a bundle when you live with a roommate or significant other.

Although they aren’t as small as an efficiency apartment, studios tend to feel crowded when there are multiple people living in such a snug space. Remember you need both living and storage space, requiring a downsize if you plan to live in a studio apartment with another person.

If you want to save money and can go even smaller than a studio, learn about the differences between micro-units and mirco-apartments for city living.

3. Lifestyle

Depending on your lifestyle, you may want more room to complement your daily routine. For example, if you enjoy hosting people, having a 1-bedroom apartment offers your guests the space they need to get comfortable and relax.

When you live in a studio apartment, your bed may also serve as part of the seating area. That means guests are constantly surrounded by your personal effects and don’t have much room to spread out. It’s not impossible, but difficult to entertain a crowd when you live in a studio apartment.

Lifestyles that include redecorating, entertaining, and collecting the latest gadgets aren’t conducive to a studio apartment. However, the separate rooms in a 1-bedroom apartment allow for more storage and space to add more furnishings and apartment decor.

4. Remote Work

It’s true you can work from home in both a studio apartment or a 1-bedroom apartment. However, it’s not always practical or comfortable to eat, sleep, work, and relax in the same room day in and day out. Sometimes studio apartments just don’t offer the flexibility you need for your work-life balance. Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, working from home has become way more common, and it's something you should consider.

If you’re working at home for the long-haul, a 1-bedroom apartment is likely a better choice to save your sanity. You’re also more likely to have flex space, whether in a hallway or the corner of your living room to set up a work from home office in your apartment.

5. Location

Sometimes size doesn’t matter at all when you’re apartment hunting, and the location is everything. Studios are easier to find in trendy, urban areas, and at a more affordable price point.

Consider the price point of studio vs. 1-bedroom apartments:

  • $1,400 for a studio apartment in the most lively part of the city.
  • $1,400 for a 1-bedroom apartment a 20-minute drive the city limits.

It’s time to decide. Is sacrificing a bedroom and more space worth the walk to all of the trendiest bars, restaurants, and cultural events in the city?

Studio vs. 1-Bedroom Apartments: The Final Verdict

If you want to have guests over frequently and rent price is less of a concern, a 1-bedroom apartment makes sense for you.

If you'll be living alone or are living with one roommate you're very comfortable with and want to save the most money possible, a studio apartment is your best bet.

Wherever your priorities may lie, it's never too early to begin apartment searching. Ready to find that perfectly-located studio or that roomy 1-bedroom apartment? Click on the button below.

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