Nice studio apartment, with bookshelves and hardwood floors

Tips & Guides / Furnished Apartments

What’s the Difference Between a Studio vs. One-Bedroom Apartment?

By Bri Hand

There are few things more empowering than having your own space, so when you’re looking for your next home, the biggest question you should ask yourself is, “What kind of space am I looking for?” Do you want to rent a studio—in which the bedroom and living area are a single space—or a one-bedroom apartment, where the sleeping area is separated from the living area by walls and a door?

Depending on what you’re looking for when renting your next home, either option may suit you. This article will dive deep into the details of a studio vs. one bedroom, considering factors such as:

  • Design and size
  • Cost
  • Lifestyle and location

Want to learn more about different apartment types and housing? Let’s get started!

Design and size

Before delving into more details regarding these popular apartment styles, it’s important to understand the main design and differences. If you’re looking for a house or multi-story apartment, neither of these two apartment sizes will fit your criteria.

Although both studios and 1 bedroom apartments can be large, they generally trend on the smaller side when it comes to square footage.

Studio

Studios are designed for minimalism and efficiency, sometimes featuring pull-out couches, kitchenettes, and loveseats. When it comes to size, studios average about 500 square feet. These types of apartments typically include:

  • Living room/bedroom: The centerpiece of this design, the living room/bedroom takes up the majority of the square footage. You can choose to partition your single room through your layout by placing a long couch or using a room divider, but you won’t have walls to separate where you sleep from your front door. While you won’t automatically have closet space, you can use a wardrobe or portable closet rack to hold your clothes. Additionally, some are designed with a lofted area or a Murphy bed for your bed to maximize your space. 
  • Bathroom: Don’t worry—you will have a few interior doors in your apartment. Your bathroom will be a separate area from the rest of the apartment. Typically, bathrooms are relatively small, and some might have a compact shower instead of a bathtub. 
  • Kitchen or kitchenette: Most often, studios have a combined kitchen, living room, and bedroom, but this isn’t always the case. Depending on your floor plan, you may have a separate kitchen area coming off your main room. Sometimes, these homes have a small standard kitchen with a stove, refrigerator, and counter space. At the very least, you can typically expect a kitchenette with small appliances, like a mini-fridge or a single-burner stove, and enough space to prepare a meal.

If you’re interested in having less furniture, less space to clean, and fewer places for messes to accumulate, the design of a studio apartment can be particularly appealing. The average cost of furnishing an apartment yourself can be high, so it’s definitely something to factor in! 

One bedroom

With an average size of just over 700 square feet, a one-bedroom apartment might offer a more traditional layout, with clearly designed rooms that are separated by walls. While these apartments do offer larger square footage, the space will be split between multiple rooms.

You can typically expect a layout that includes:

  • Bedroom: Varying in size, your bedroom will contain at least enough room for a bed. Many states also require one-bedroom apartments to have a closet and a window. If you’re interested in defying expectations, you can always place your bed in the living room to create a pseudo-studio with a secondary room for an office or at-home gym. It’s your home and your bedroom, so you can arrange it any way you’d like!
  • Bathroom: Per standard designs, you can expect your one-bed apartment to have a bathroom with a shower or a bathtub. Older buildings may not have electrical outlets in the bathroom, so be mindful of where you can charge your electric toothbrush or plug in a hair straightener.
  • Living room: Your home wouldn’t be complete without a living room, which is perfect for working from home, entertaining guests, or kicking back for some well-deserved relaxation, whether it’s spacious or compact. 
  • Dining room: Some one bedrooms offer the added bonus of a dining room or small nook adjacent to the kitchen or living room. If you’re looking for a spot to host a meal, consider finding a place that offers a little more room for a table and chairs.
  • Kitchen: These homes usually have a full kitchen, with full-sized appliances. There may even be a built-in dishwasher, microwave, or double sink. 

If you’re looking for a home that allows you to be versatile in design and gives you layers of privacy, a one-bedroom apartment is a good choice. Plus, it provides more space for furniture compared to a studio apartment, in which you may have to make certain sacrifices. 

In a one bedroom, you’ll have room for all your things and even another person—as long as you like them enough to live in close quarters, of course.

Cost

When it comes down to choosing a home, price is often the biggest factor. The rent for a studio apartment is almost always less than that of a one bedroom. But, there are also a few additional factors to consider when looking at the overall cost of either living situation.

Studio

If you’re pricing out a studio apartment, you might notice some surprising details, such as:

  • Comparative rent: While your rent is cheaper, it’s only by a relatively small amount. Estimates show that a studio vs. one bedroom in the same neighborhood might only differ by as little as 5 percent.
  • U.S. averages: The average price to rent a studio apartment in the U.S. is around $1,200, but this average isn’t particularly useful when determining the cost in your city. You can get a studio in Arkansas for less than $600, while people in Washington D.C. pay nearly three times that amount for the same amount of space. You’ll have a harder time finding cheap studios in major cities such as New York City or San Francisco.
  • Utility costs: One big benefit of a smaller space is a smaller utility bill. It costs less to heat and cool a studio apartment, and some landlords may even include some utilities in the rent, making managing your overall monthly housing budget even simpler. 
  • Furniture costs: Save money on decor by only purchasing the essentials when living in a studio apartment. If you move regularly, you know about the difficulties and stress associated with packing furniture and bringing it to your next destination. There are also ways to avoid this entirely by choosing to rent a fully furnished apartment with Landing!

There are certainly ways to save money in the long run when it comes to studio apartment rentals. However, it might not be as cut and dry as a simple reduction in rent—especially if you’re moving to a popular location. 

Studio apartments near trendy restaurants, popular parks, sought-after neighborhoods, or convenient public transit are often priced higher than one bedrooms only a few blocks away. As the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location.

One bedroom

With a slightly higher point of entry usually attached to a one bedroom, you can expect to pay more in monthly rent, as well as utilities due to the larger space.

That said, there are diverse budget options when it comes to renting a one-bedroom apartment, including opportunities to save, and other areas to find value. That’s why it’s helpful to take a holistic approach and examine aspects such as:

  • Average rent: With the average rent at around $1,300, one-bedroom apartments aren’t all that much more expensive than studios and are actually a better value when factoring in price per square foot. When it comes to a one bedroom, you typically get more space for your money.
  • Dining costs: While studio dwellers may be prone to takeout and dining in restaurants (due to a lack of kitchen space and full-sized appliances), a one-bedroom apartment can offer all the kitchen comforts needed to cook fabulous meals on the regular. Home cooking means saving big when it comes to food costs—and having a kitchen can impact your budget in the best way.  

There are plenty of ways to accommodate your budget to the apartment style of your choosing. Compare and contrast pricing in your area and remember that the rental market fluctuates frequently—what’s available today may not be tomorrow.

Lifestyle and location

Are you a relaxed homebody or a restless traveler? Your home should reflect your lifestyle, and choosing between a studio or a one bedroom rental might come down to which one makes sense for your daily routine.

Studio

Finding yourself up early, out late, and constantly on the go? A studio apartment is the perfect home base for you if you rarely find yourself staying in one place for long, or spend more time exploring your new neighborhood than staying at home.

Studios are great for:

  • Frequent travelers: If you spend weeks at a time away from your home, why would you want to come back to more stuff to clean, more places to dust, and more surfaces to wipe down? Keep your apartment minimal to allow the maximum amount of time to travel.
  • First apartment living: Looking to get a place of your own for the very first time? A studio can take away the stress of furnishing and decorating a larger space. It only takes a bed, a table, and maybe a few chairs to make a studio apartment feel complete, so you don’t have to overspend or overthink.

One bedroom

Feeling a little more settled and looking to take on the project of a larger living space? A one bedroom may be your choice apartment style if you find yourself at home a little more often than some others.

Consider a one-bedroom rental if:

  • You work from home: Many of us have the opportunity to telecommute and work from home, which means it’s helpful to have space to spread out, shut the door, and focus on the work at hand. A one bedroom is highly recommended to those who spend their workdays in their living space.
  • You enjoy hosting: Small get-togethers, game nights, and cocktail parties are all possible in a one bedroom, depending on the space you have. If you enjoy playing host and bringing friends over, the ability to shut your bedroom door is a big help. Plus, you’ll even have room to host overnight guests on your couch.

It can also help to consider the amenity offerings of your apartment building. If you find your apartment starting to feel a little cramped, it helps to have an onsite fitness center, lounge space, or pool to spend some of your time. 

Find apartments that fit your needs with Landing

Deciding between a studio vs one bedroom apartment greatly comes down to your own needs. Do you need lots of space to feel comfortable? Or, is minimalism more your style? No matter what you decide, you’ll be able to find what you need through Landing.

Landing has it all, from fully furnished apartments in nearly every major city to easy payment options. You can find your perfect apartment, sign a flexible lease, and pay your rent all from one convenient place. Finding a home has never been easier—just visit Landing today!

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Bri Hand published on November 3, 2021