The conventional wisdom is that a one-bedroom has an enclosed sleeping space and a studio apartment does not, but when it comes to labeling a listing, things can get tricky.
What are the main differences between a one-bedroom and a studio? Here’s what the experts say.
What is a one-bedroom apartment?
- Is 70 or 80 square feet, at a minimum
- Has at least two ways out
- Has a ceiling at least half of which is at least 7 feet tall
- Has a window of at least 5.7 square feet
- Has a way to heat or cool down the room (i.e. a heater, air conditioning, or simply a window that can be opened)
What is a studio apartment?
“The living space and the bedroom space are joined as one,” says Sharon Lewonski, partner and real estate practice chair of the Culhane Meadow law firm.
Some studios feature a loft sleeping area, but because the area doesn’t have any of these elements of a one-bedroom highlighted above—or four walls separating it from the rest of the apartment—it can’t be considered a bedroom.
Studios usually feature some type of closet and a separate kitchen, or at least a kitchenette.
“They can be quite large,” Lewonski says.
Other names for studio apartments
“Studio” is the most common name associated with this type of apartments, which are also called “studio flats” or “studio lofts,” but they can also be referred to as “efficiency apartments,” “bachelor apartments,” or “live/work spaces.”
“There is a trend in more recent years to call a studio an ‘open one-bedroom,’ where the difference would be a sleeping alcove that wouldn’t qualify as a bedroom, due to lack of door or ingress/egress space,” says Ian Gordon, a real estate broker and principal at Get Happy at Home in Seattle.
If you happen to stumble across a live/work space, that means the office is probably on the ground floor and the living or sleeping space is upstairs.
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