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

August 12, 2019

If you’re searching for a new apartment in a big city with higher rents like New York City or San Francisco, you might be looking at some smaller-than-desired apartments. If it's just you, or you and a roommate, you're likely choosing between a studio and 1-bedroom apartments. 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 each of these apartment types 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 is one combined single room with an open floor space. This means that there are no walls or separations that divide the different room sections. Your bathroom will be separate, as mandated by U.S. housing laws. But, the bedroom, living room, and kitchen will all be connected. This large room acts as one main living area.

It's comfy and concise, which could be a pro for some renters. However, for renters who prefer more space, privacy, and the ability to host friends or family, the lack of rooms could is impractical.

It could also take some time to adjust to having your sleeping area attached to your kitchen. Remember, if you are cooking something that'll carry a lingering smell, you'll be sleeping in it.

Most times, studio apartments are for a single renter looking for a home in cities that command a higher price for rent. Opting for an all-in-one studio could save you tons of money. Of course, with those savings come sacrifices.

What is a 1-Bedroom Apartment?

A 1-bedroom apartment has a bedroom that is separate from the main living space. This is the typical apartment that you’ll picture when you think of having one bedroom. The bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen will all be separate living areas.

If the space permits, a living or dining room can either be separated or combined within the kitchen, creating an open floor concept. One-bedroom apartments are typically more spacious than a studio. Hosting and entertaining others is much easier in a 1-bedroom.

Differences Between a Studio and 1-Bedroom Apartment

There are many differences between a studio and 1-bedroom apartments. Each has its own separate floor layout. Regardless of which may initially seem the most appealing, there’s more to know about each. Below, you’ll find some factors to consider when deciding between moving to a studio vs 1 bedroom apartment.

1. Price

Generally, it’s cheaper to rent a studio apartment than it is to rent a 1-bedroom apartment. However, it’s important to keep the price difference in mind.

Studios tend to run a few hundred dollars cheaper than 1-bedrooms, depending on square footage and luxury. When you take into account the benefits of renting a 1-bedroom compared to a studio, the savings may not justify it.

On the same thought, an extra $300 a month that you save from opting for a studio instead of a 1-bedroom can go a long way. This could cover things like your utility bill and groceries for the month.

If saving money is your number one priority, a studio will likely your most affordable option. If you prefer more space and separate rooms and can stretch your budget a bit, a 1-bedroom apartment is a better choice.  

2. Occupancy

Regarding occupancy, a 1-bedroom unit offers more space and therefore more comfort for two people than a studio apartment would. If you’re planning to move to a new apartment with someone else, such as a friend or significant other, consider the amount of space that each option offers you.

Studio apartments, while not as small as an efficiency apartment, tend to feel crowded when there are multiple people residing there. This comes from a lack of space, both living and storage. Consider downsizing your possessions if you plan to move into a studio with another person.

One-bedroom apartments will thus be a better option if there will be multiple people living there. This will provide you with more privacy when needed, as well as additional storage space. Either option will suffice, but keep in mind the studio apartments will be much more crowded.

3. Lifestyle

Depending on your lifestyle, you may want more room to fit in with your typical routine. For example, if you enjoy having guests and hosting people, having a 1-bedroom apartment will give your guests a comfortable living area to relax in.

Compared to a studio apartment, your guests could feel like they are imposing on your personal living area. Not to mention, the space available in a studio is often much smaller.

Additionally, if you like to have more possessions and furnishing your home to your heart's desire, a studio apartment may not suffice. Having separate rooms allows you to have more storage space and room to place more of your furniture. If you have a more active and luxury lifestyle, opting for a 1-bedroom apartment may be best for you

4. Location

This may be the deciding factor for many people. If you are looking at studios in a big city, you'll likely be in a fun, lively part of town.

Say you are faced with these two options:

  1. A studio apartment for $1,400 in the most lively part of the city.
  2. A 1-bedroom apartment for $1,400, but 20-minutes outside of the city.

This is when decisions can get really tough. Is sacrificing a bedroom worth being able to walk to all of the coolest local events? For some, it may be. For others, coming home to a nice spacious apartment is the top priority.


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.

By: Justin Chaplin
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