What is an Efficiency Apartment? (Pros/Cons)

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Efficiency apartments

What is an Efficiency Apartment?

Efficiency apartments are small one-room apartment units. As the name suggests, these apartments offer a highly functional space, where one room combines the functions of all other essential rooms.

So, an efficiency apartment is a one-room apartment that offers all-in-one functions of the bedroom, kitchen, and living room. The bathroom is the only separate and private space in these apartments.

Although short on space, efficiency apartments offer other amenity advantages. The buildings and communities where these apartments are located offer communal spaces to the residents.

Tenants may have access to a lounge, work stations, small dog park, roof space, and grilling stations.

These apartments are very cost-friendly. The apartment complexes and communities that offer these living spaces are mostly located in city centers and urban areas.

Their accessibility and affordability make them desirable for people who live alone or move to a new city for work.

People often use the terms “efficiency apartments” and “studio apartments” interchangeably. This is usually because both these units are small in size and offer one room.

Although they have many things in common, an efficiency apartment isn’t exactly the same as a studio apartment.

Let’s learn more about this in further detail below!

Efficiency Apartments vs Studio Apartments

At first thought, you might think that studio apartments and efficiency apartments are the same.

However, there are a few things that make them different from each other. In some cases, efficiency apartments can be even smaller than studio apartments.

For instance, an efficiency apartment may only have a kitchenette instead of a full kitchen that studio apartments have.

However, even with the small space, the use of space in these apartments is much more efficient.

Keep reading to know about the similarities and differences between efficiency apartments and studio apartments.

Similarities between Efficiency Apartments and Studio Apartments?

The biggest similarity between the two apartment units is that they only have one room. These units serve as all-purpose.

The same space is used as a bedroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen, with the exception of the bathroom.

The bathroom is the only space with a door.

What makes an Efficiency apartment different from a studio apartment?

Although the layout is similar, there are a few features that differentiate an efficiency apartment from a studio apartment. Let’s have a look!

1. Kitchen Space

Studio apartments almost always have full and equipped kitchens. They have standard-size refrigerators and a proper sink area.

Moreover, the studio kitchens are usually spread along one wall to make efficient use of space while offering adequate counter space.

On the other hand, an efficiency apartments usually offer a kitchenette.

A kitchenette is much smaller than a full kitchen. It is a minimalistic version of a kitchen and doesn’t offer enough space for a full-sized refrigerator. So, you’ll probably only be able to use a mini-fridge.

The kitchenette may have a microwave and a small stove space, but that’s as much as the range of the kitchenette goes.

Another difference is that an efficiency apartment kitchenette isn’t aligned with a single wall. Instead, it’s packed away in a small, partially enclosed, or separate area. This allows very little space for counters, and there are nearly no cabinets.

2. Overall Size

The size of an efficiency apartment is also often smaller than a studio apartment.

Although both units have an average size ranging between 500 and 600 square feet, studio apartments are usually bigger and offered in sizes as big as 1,000 square feet.

On the other hand, an Efficiency apartment is rarely larger than 500 square feet.

3. Bathroom Space

Due to their smaller size, the size of their bathrooms is also smaller in efficiency apartments.

So, they’ll either have a shower space or a bathtub but never both.

4. Location and Accessibility

Another difference between efficiency apartments and studio apartments is their location and the accessibility that they offer.

While studio apartments are available almost everywhere, efficiency apartments are located at the center of densely populated cities and urban areas such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.

Their location makes them ideal for people who work in the city. They make all the important places in a city accessible and often at walking distances.

Advantages of Renting an Efficiency Apartment

If you’re wondering whether renting an efficiency apartment is a good idea for you, then take a look at some of its advantages below:


The biggest selling point of efficiency apartments is that they are inexpensive and easily affordable for almost any income range.

Due to their small size, the rent is much cheaper than other types of apartments.

Low Maintenance

Another advantage of renting an efficiency apartment is that you won’t have to worry about cleaning and maintenance s much.

They are quick and easy to clean. Efficiency apartments offer a minimalistic lifestyle that is highly convenient and easy to maintain.

Access to Extra Amenities

Although inside the apartment, you have limited space, living in an efficiency apartment often means you get access to multifamily apartment amenities.

The residential complexes that offer efficiency apartments also offer access to communal spaces outside of it.

Most likely, you’ll have access to a communal TV lounge, comfortable sitting room, pool, gym, or roof space, among other options.

This is an ideal situation for people who live alone or work from home, and it means you won’t just be restricted to your tiny apartment.

Drawbacks of Renting an Efficiency Apartment

Now, let’s look at some of the disadvantages of living in an efficiency apartment below:

Limited Space

This one is fairly obvious but also the most significant. Efficiency apartments offer very limited space as they are designed to function as multi-purpose spaces.

They are very small in size and compress all the aspects of a bedroom, living room, and kitchen in one room.

It only offers a minimalistic lifestyle. So, if you have a lot of stuff and luggage, you probably won’t have enough space to store it.

Moreover, they are only fit for one person. If you want to move in with a partner or family, there will not be enough space to accommodate them.

Lack of Privacy

Efficiency apartments aren’t the best for complete privacy. Their walls are often thin, and if you or your neighbors are even a little loud, you will disturb the other.

Moreover, if you invite a friend over, there will not be enough space to accommodate them separately.

You will have to share the space very intimately, which means you can only host people who share an intimate relationship with you.

 Kitchen Smells

The kitchenette in an efficiency apartment is often very close to the bed and the space that acts as your living room.

Since there are no partitions or walls, the smells from the kitchenette will spread throughout your apartment.

You’ll be exposed to these smells in your bed. If that bothers you, then living in an efficiency apartment may not prove to be a comfortable experience for you.

Is Renting an Efficiency Apartment the Right Choice for You?

Whether or not an Efficiency apartment is the right fit for you depends on your situation and needs.

These apartment units are designed to accommodate one person. So, if you live alone and don’t mind a minimalistic lifestyle, then this could be a great setup for you.

Most people who rent these types of apartments are the ones who want to save on the cost.

They are also a popular choice among people who move to a new city for work. It’s an excellent choice for people who are starting out or starting over.

How to live your best life in an Efficiency apartment?

Here are a few tips to help you get started on living in an Efficiency apartment. By following them, you’ll live a convenient and easy life.

Here’s how you can make the most of living in an Efficiency apartment:

  • Use Partitions: By using partitions, screens, and even shelves, you can create a temporary wall and a sense of privacy of separate rooms within your single unit.
  • Choose Multi-Purpose Furniture: Not all furniture is fit for use in an Efficiency apartment. After all, you don’t want your small space to feel even smaller. That is why multi-purpose furniture such as a couch that converts into a bed and multi-seat drop leaf table make the best choices for you.
  • Get Creative with Storage: To live a comfortable life in an Efficiency apartment, you’ll have to be very creative with storage. Use wall shelving, door racks, and stacking boxes to store your items. It’s best if you don’t keep storing things that you don’t really need. Minimalism will be your best friend in an Efficiency apartment.
  • Get Rid of Items Quickly: Always recycle and discard items quickly, so you don’t clutter your living space.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, efficiency apartments are small and affordable multi-purpose one-room apartment units usually located in city centers.

They are designed for the accommodation of one person and offer a minimalistic lifestyle.

If you’re looking for temporary and affordable housing in a new city, then they are ideal for you.

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