Are you thinking about moving into a new apartment on your own or with a close friend or partner? If you are, most of the time you’ll be looking at studio apartments and single-bedroom units.
There is a lot to unpack here as we dive into the studio apartment vs. one-bedroom debate. There’s the price to think about, size, building amenities, location, and, of course, budget.
Finding a place that fits your needs and offers a bit more is possible with a bit of research and knowing how to get the best bang for your bucks.
Each unit will have its own pros and cons, so read carefully and think about what’s important to you before you sign on the dotted line on a brand new lease.
Here are some things you should consider before you move into a new apartment, whether you’re renting or buying.
What’s the Difference Between a Studio and a One-Bedroom Apartment?
In the simplest sense, the difference between a studio and a single-bedroom apartment boils down to one door. In one-bedroom units, you have a door that separates the main living space from where you sleep.
Most one-bedroom apartments will be built to separate the bedroom from the living room and dining room with a small hallway, but other times there is only a doorway that separates the two.
Studio apartments, on the other hand, have a single, open-floor living area where everything—the kitchen, bedroom, den, TV room—is in one room.
Size Is Always a Factor in Apartments
First, it’s important to state that when we talk about apartment sizes and features, we’re talking in generalities.
There are always going to be some exceptions. People build and design houses and apartments for a lot of different reasons, so they’re not all the same.
Still, for the most part, a one-bedroom apartment will be bigger than your average studio apartment.
This is done on purpose because most people who search for studio apartments want something smaller. Maybe they are living alone or don’t need a lot of space.
Many people who travel a lot will rent or buy a studio apartment rather than spend thousands of dollars on hotels.
Businesses will book studio apartments to be shared among traveling salespeople and other colleagues in high-travel locations.
Layouts Will Differ
One-bedroom apartments have a lot more diversity when it comes to layout. Some one-bedrooms will have a large hallway with closets, some have a patio, a separate dining room, and multiple bathrooms. There is a lot more choice.
With studio apartments, you’re typically dealing with similar layouts. You’ve got your eating area and kitchen in one part, and your bedroom on the other end of the apartment.
There might be a sitting area in between the bed and the kitchen where a desk or the TV might go.
Also, in almost all cases, studio apartments will have only one bathroom. In one-bedroom units, you could have a guest bathroom in the main area and a full bath attached to the bedroom.
They Come in All Ranges of Price
Just like you can buy a three-bedroom house in Ohio for a fraction of the cost of an identical home in California, prices on both one-bedroom apartments and studios can vary greatly.
In both, the amount you pay in monthly rent or to purchase will depend on things like square footage, building amenities (pool, gym, parking garage, etc.).
The area will factor into how much you pay as well as proximity to popular work areas and restaurants.
However, if you’ve got two units, one a studio and one a one-bedroom apartment in the same building or even the same neighborhood, and they are the same general square footage, then the studio will be more affordable.
Having that extra room where you can put things easier, where you can have guests over without having a bed in the living room, and generally more storage options make it easier for sellers and landlords to command higher prices for one-bedroom apartments.
The Pros and Cons of a Studio
More Affordable – In most areas, and with comparable sizes and layouts, studio apartments will rent and sell for lower prices. They can be great for people who want their own place but have some budget restrictions.
More Efficient – Because studios are usually smaller, they are designed to capitalize on what space they have. Many studios have ingenious ways of finding storage and flow in the apartment to make it feel larger than it is.
Smaller – Studios, by their nature, run smaller than one-bedroom apartments. So if you need more space, you may want to consider something bigger.
Easy to Get Cluttered – If you’re cramming your stuff into a single room, then it can get crowded pretty quickly. You’re also running the risk of having your kitchen supplies up against your clothing and your bike next to where you eat.
The Pros and Cons of a One-Bedroom Apartment
More Space – They often run bigger than studios, so you’ll have more room to breathe. It’s easier to entertain and store more things.
Separate Bathroom – If you can, think about splurging a bit and finding a one-bedroom with an extra bathroom in the kitchen/living room area. It will be great for guests and you won’t have to worry about whether your personal bathroom is spotless.
Personal Room – If you’re sharing the apartment with someone else, you may get a bit claustrophobic in a studio apartment. At least with the separated bedroom, you can get away for a bit if you need to jump on a call or just want to be alone.
More Expensive – If you’re a fresh grad or are living in a high cost-of-living area, then a one-bedroom may be a bit much to take on at first. They usually come with a bigger price tag than studios.
Whether you ultimately choose to go with a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, the best thing you can do is take a self-inventory of what type of person you are, how much time you spend at home, what your budget is, and what the locally available options are.
Armed with that and the information in this article, hopefully, you can make the best decision for yourself and find a place you’ll love.