What is a Studio Apartment? Difference Between Studio vs. 1 Bedroom

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When it comes to renting an apartment, one of the most often asked questions is: “What is a studio apartment”?

Hint: Size alone does not determine a studio apartment.

“Should I rent a studio or a one-bedroom apartment?”.

Let’s dig in.

Difference Between Studio and One-Bedroom | Example Studio Apartment | www.phillyaptrentals.com

Studio Apartment

What is a studio apartment? A studio apartment (sometimes referred to as an efficiency apartment) is generally defined as an area that contains everything in one space, including the place where you sleep.

The only thing that is separated by walls is the bathroom.

To no surprise, studio apartments are usually smaller in size (average around 500 square feet but we’ve seen them as small as 314 square feet).

If you’re starting out and don’t want to invest in much furniture and don’t need much space, a studio may suit your needs.

Studio Apartment versus One Bedroom Apartment

Is a Studio Apartment the Same as a Loft?

No, a studio apartment is not a loft. Lofts tend to be large open spaces (usually bi-level with high ceilings) and often refer to units in historic buildings that have been refurbished. The rent is usually higher in a loft than your average studio due to larger space and higher ceilings.

Are there other words for “studio apartment”?

Yes, a studio apartment is often referred to as an efficiency apartment or studio flat. Some define efficiency apartments as smaller than studios, but others use the term interchangeably.

What Makes a Studio Apartment?

As mentioned above, the defining characteristic of a studio apartment is that there is usually no wall separating the sleeping space from the rest of the apartment. It’s just one big open space, with a bathroom.

Is it worth living in a Studio?

If it’s just you living alone, it might be. It’s certainly cheaper than a 1 bedroom. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

What’s are some of the pros and cons of a Studio Apartment?


  1. Usually cheapest type of unit
  2. Open Floor Plan
  3. Usually cheaper utilities (if pay for utilities)
  4. Cheaper to furnish


  1. Small Space
  2. Less Privacy When Invite Guests Over
  3. Less Storage
  4. More Expensive per Square Foot – Studios do usually cost more per square foot,  as compared to a 1 bedroom. This likely isn’t a significant fact though for you (just something to be aware of).

One-Bedroom Apartment vs. Studio Apartment

In a one-bedroom apartment, the bedroom has its own space, separated by walls and a door (from the living space).

One bedrooms are also typically larger in size – average around 600 to 800 square feet – and more of the feel of a home.

If you work at home, then having more space and a separate bedroom may be necessary. If you enjoy entertaining, you also may like having a designated living room and kitchen.

Example One-Bedroom Apartment | www.phillyaptrentals.com

What You Can Expect to Pay

What do you pay for a one-bedroom versus a studio? Let’s look at Philadelphia as an example.

Based on rental prices in Philly, the median rent for a studio is $815 per month versus a one-bedroom, which averages $968 (source: SmartAsset). That means a studio could save you $153 a month or $1,836 a year in Philadelphia.

Remember, there is no right or wrong choice only what’s best for you. And that decision is personal, based on your needs, lifestyle, and budget.


If you are looking for the cheapest possible unit, and are living alone, a studio might be the right choice for you.

Pro Tip: Studios are not as common as 1 bedrooms, so find out if the apartment complex you are interested in, offers studio apartments.


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