Apartment Tips

What Is an Efficiency Apartment?

December 10, 2019

An efficiency apartment is a small apartment that combines the bedroom, living room, kitchen, and dining space all into a single room. The bathroom is the only private space.

These apartments usually have smaller appliances and very little storage — some don’t even have a closet!

What’s the Difference Between an Efficiency Apartment and a Studio?

This type of design is similar to a studio or bachelor pad, but there are some notable distinctions between the two. The main difference between an efficiency apartment and a studio apartment is size.

Efficiency apartments are always small, but lofts tend to vary in size both in square footage and ceiling height. Efficiencies also tend to have a small wall of appliances and counter space, half fridges and a one or two burner stove more conducive to warming food than cooking full meals.

Studios, on the other hand, tend to have different layouts like an alcove for sleeping or a loft area open to the main living space. They may even feature separate kitchens and full-size appliances. Studios may also have high ceilings and exposed beams or ductwork, especially in converted spaces. Therefore, some of these modern apartments may have more wall space, large windows and more living space overall.


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Where Can You Find Efficiency Apartments?

Efficiencies are popular in cities like New York or Boston where unit sizes tend to run smaller. However, you can also find efficiencies in apartment complexes across the country or even above shops and eateries in small towns or city centers.

In fact, many renters choose an efficiency apartment simply because they value location over space. The renter wants to be closer to the city center and all it has to offer.

Neighborhoods near college campuses or small college towns are also prime locations for efficiency apartments. These one-room homes are ideal for students who are looking to save money and spend most of their time in class or going out anyway.

To Rent or Not to Rent

Depending on your life situation and personal habits, an efficiency apartment may or may not be the right decision for you.

There are definitely perks to consider. Some pros of renting an efficiency apartment include:

  • Cheaper utilities and rent
  • Little upkeep
  • Open floor plan
  • Fewer decorating expenses

It’s a great fit for a single renter who wants to save money or be able to afford living on their own. You won’t pay for extra bedrooms or space you don’t actually need. Plus, efficiency apartments in major cities can keep residents close to the action.

Of course, as with any type of living space, efficiency apartments also come with a few downsides. These include:

  • Limited space
  • Lack of privacy
  • Inability to host
  • No escape from smells or sounds

This style of apartment is ideal for one person and any more than that may make the space seem crowded or even claustrophobic. Pets like cats or dogs may also take up more space than you imagined in a one-room home.

An efficiency apartment also might not be the right fit for someone who is generally messy or unorganized. If you aren’t a minimalist or a have trouble finding time to keep your space free of clutter, this style of living might not be ideal. Either you’ll end up paying for a storage unit or you’ll have trouble keeping such a small space in order.

The Pros and Cons of Renting an Efficiency Apartment

Both efficiency and studio apartment styles are highly functional and require some planning to fully utilize the limited amount of space. Storage must be carefully thought out and furniture items typically have to function in multiple ways to suit your needs — like a footrest that opens to store blankets or a bed with built-in storage compartments underneath.

Smaller spaces have upsides, too. You could enjoy better living locations, cheaper rent and a more minimalist approach to life in general. The next time you’re on an apartment hunt, check out a few efficiency apartments and see if it’s a living situation that could fit your needs.

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