What’s The Difference Between A Studio and 1 Bedroom?

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What Is A Studio Apartment?

In a studio apartment, there is no physical separation (in the form of walls) between a bedroom, living room, and kitchen. There is just one open space that serves all three purposes. Only the bathroom has walls separating it from the rest of the space.

What Is A (Legal) One Bedroom Apartment?

A one-bedroom apartment in NYC has walls separating a legal bedroom from the living room and kitchen (or the rest of the apartment). The requirements for a legal bedroom include:
  • A minimum length and width of eight feet. 
  • Minimum square footage of 80 (which means a mere 8×8 square room will not qualify).
  • Minimum ceiling height of 8 feet (with some exceptions).
  • At least one window (12 square feet or more) that lets in the required amount of natural light and air. 

Studio vs. One-Bedroom Apartments: The Differences

The walls that separate the bedroom from the rest of the apartment may seem like the defining difference between the two, but it’s not just the walls. Otherwise, all studio apartments in NYC could be converted to one-bedroom apartments. The bedroom has to comply with the NYC habitable space code.

The differences between the two types of apartments include:

Size/Square Footage

In NYC, there is a minimum apartment size requirement of about 400 square feet, though there are exceptions, like NYC’s first micro-unit building with 360 square-feet studio apartments. And some micro-apartments can be even smaller (less than 100 square feet). Almost all the apartments smaller than 400 square feet are studio apartments.
A studio apartment is technically just one room, and a one-bedroom apartment has at least two rooms, each with its own size requirements. So, one-bedroom apartments are, on average, bigger than studio apartments.

Housing Cost

Size and layout (one-bedroom or studio) are just two of the factors that affect housing cost, regardless of whether you are buying or renting. A studio apartment in West Village may command a higher rent than a one-bedroom in Queens. But in one neighborhood, the cost or rent of a one-bedroom apartment will almost always be higher than a studio.

Privacy And Lifestyle

A one-bedroom apartment offers significantly more privacy compared to a studio apartment, even if you use temporary separations like curtains in a studio. This makes studio apartments more suitable for single dwellers that rarely expect company and require no distinction between their bedroom and living space (where they entertain guests). One-bedroom apartments might be good for couples and individuals that frequently entertain guests at their place.


A studio apartment in a prime location may appreciate faster in value than a one-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of NYC. But there are other considerations as well. You may get more space for the same price if you go for a one-bedroom and you may also have access to more potential buyers and renters since more people are interested in a one-bedroom over a studio apartment, especially in a healthy economy.  

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