Apartments come in many shapes and sizes, not to mention prices, so it’s important to understand all your available choices if you are searching for a place to rent. When moving out on your own, a studio or one-bedroom apartment are your most likely choices. The two are quite similar, but here are some crucial differences for you to keep in mind when out hunting for the perfect apartment.
What is a studio apartment?
Studio apartments feature a single, multipurpose room plus a bathroom. The large room combines the bedroom, kitchen and living-room all-in-one. Sometimes the kitchen is partially separated from the rest.
Studios have been shrinking over the past few years, according to an earlier RENTCafé study: at 504 sq. ft., today the average studio for rent is at least 100 sq. ft. smaller than it was in 2006. Studio rents, however, have grown: renting a studio in the U.S. costs on average around $1,200 per month, although real prices vary tremendously at ground-level, depending on location.
The smaller version of a studio is called an efficiency apartment, and for good reason: utilities and rent are usually cheaper than in larger apartments, cleaning up doesn’t take as much effort, and they can feel incredibly cozy and personal at the same time. Studios can be a challenge when it comes to keeping things roomy and clutter-free. The truth is there are so many crafty solutions to this problem (think multipurpose furniture), and so many furniture stores that specialize in small-space designs, that you can easily keep things under control. An added bonus: you won’t need to buy a lot of furniture.
Sounds perfect. What is a one-bedroom apartment, then?
Often larger in terms of square footage, one-bedroom apartments feature the bedroom as a separate room. This is what primarily distinguishes one-bedroom apartments from studios.
In the U.S., an average one-bedroom apartment has around 750 sq. ft. of living space –about 250 sq. ft. more than the average studio. Rent is around $1,250, only a bit higher than the price for a studio –again, keeping in mind that prices change according to location.
One-bedroom apartments have a separate kitchen, sometimes also a dining area, although in open-layout floorplans, the kitchen may not be separated by an entire wall. Bringing friends over is less of a hassle when the bedroom is hidden from guests’ view. If having a separate space for you to sleep in is crucial to you, a one-bedroom apartment is a better option than a studio.
What to choose?
Both apartment types are budget-friendly options for people starting out on their own. One-bedrooms come at a higher price, but it’s not uncommon for them to be shared by two people. If that’s your case, it could mean paying less in rent than for a studio. On the other hand, a studio is the option to go for if you prize living smaller, but in a better location. The choice is up to you.