The Pros and Cons of Living in an Efficiency Apartment

By: ROS Team

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Living in the center of the city comes with tradeoffs, and space is the first thing that you have to compromise.  If you want to move to a bustling area, your best bet is to opt for a studio or efficiency apartment. Although both have similar features, they are not exactly alike.

Let’s explore what makes an efficiency apartment a great (or not so great) option for city living.

What is an Efficiency Apartment?

An efficiency apartment consolidates everything into one room: the bedroom, living room, and kitchen. The floor plan looks similar to a studio apartment, so don’t be surprised if you hear the terms used interchangeably.

Efficiency apartments, however, tend to be smaller in square footage than studio apartments. You might not be able to entertain guests at your place, but you can still manage to have a decent lifestyle in an efficiency-style apartment.

Differences between a Studio Apartment and an Efficiency Apartment

Here are Some of the Key Differences between a Studio Apartment and an Efficiency Apartment:

  • Square Footage

The first major difference between a studio and an Efficiency Apartment is related to their size. Studio apartments usually measure 400-500 square feet. Depending on the location, apartments can be smaller or more spacious. However, efficiency apartments are always going to be smaller than studio apartments.

  • Kitchen vs Kitchenette

You might be wondering how a studio apartment is livable considering that it has less space. Well, the kitchen is what makes this possible. In a studio apartment, you usually have a separate kitchen with space for a small table and appliances. This is not the case in Efficiency Apartments. It has a smaller version of the kitchen, also known as a kitchenette, which occupies less space and has fewer appliances. If you are not a big fan of cooking, this may not be an issue for you.

  • Cost

Less space means a slightly lower cost. However, this won’t always be the case with Efficiency Apartments. It mainly depends on the apartment’s location–if you are considering an efficiency at a prime location in the city it could potentially cost more than a studio apartment.

  • Occupancy

Another primary difference between efficiency and studio apartments is occupancy. Efficiency apartments are better suited for one person while a roommate arrangement may work better in a studio apartment. A studio apartment is large enough to have shareable space with another person.

What do Studios and Efficiency Apartments have in Common?

Although they have key differences, there are ways in which studio and efficiency apartments are the same. First, they both offer an open concept floor plan—one large space serves as a living room, dining room, and kitchen. There will be a completely partitioned bathroom.

Other than this, the size of both apartment types remains relatively similar with the exception of size–studio apartments are slightly larger than efficiency apartments.

What do studios and efficiency apartments have in common

Pros of Living in an Efficiency Apartment:

There are certain benefits of living in an Efficiency Apartment that might attract your attraction.

  • Most of the time you can find a reasonably priced efficiency apartment centrally located to where you work and play.
  • Rent for most efficiency apartments tends to be lower than studio apartments.
  • An Efficiency Apartment is a lot easier to manage, which means less time cleaning and more time living.

Cons of Living in an Efficiency Apartment:

While there are some advantages to living in an efficiency apartment, there are also things about efficiency apartments that you would have to compromise on.

  • First, if you love to cook and prefer home-cooked dishes over outdoor meals then an efficiency apartment might not be the best thing for you. Efficiency apartments usually don’t offer a full-size kitchen; instead, you’ll probably be stuck with a smaller version with less space and smaller appliances.
  • Second, there is less space available to entertain your friends and family. And having a roommate or partner is probably not realistic.

Is an Efficiency Apartment Right For You?

Think about your priorities when considering whether an Efficiency apartment is right for you. If you prefer to live in the city where you can walk to restaurants and shops, an efficiency apartments may be right for you. Or, if you are looking for a place to live that won’t break the bank, an Efficiency apartment is a great choice.

Is an efficiency apartment right for you

Sometimes people look for an alternative place to stay that’s close to work during the weekdays.  If so, an efficiency apartment would fit the bill. However, if you are a social person and love to invite people to your place then Efficiency apartment is not the best option for you.


Living in big cities is becoming harder than ever to manage. The cost of real estate is skyrocketing and rent prices continue to increase. This leaves people with no choice but to look for more affordable housing options.

If that is the case, an efficiency apartment is a good alternative. It might take a while to get used to living in a smaller space, but in the long run, it is a lot better than taking out a mortgage that you can’t afford.