What Is A Studio Apartment? All You Should Know

You’re looking for an apartment in Japan which is smaller than other kinds of apartments, but still comfortable and cost-effective. You start looking around and you may find studio apartments. Then, you’ll realize that those apartments are definitely your choice. So, what is a studio apartment? What are the pros and cons of it? Are there any differences between a studio and a one-bedroom apartment? Let’s check this blog out to find out the answers!

1. What Is A Studio Apartment?

A studio apartment is a small apartment consisting of a single room, which is a combination of the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. In other words, a studio apartment is designed for all activities including eating, sleeping and so on in the same space. The kitchen area is divided from the main living area or simply a counter and cabinet along one wall. Corners or alcoves of the apartment are usually the bedroom or the sleeping area. The bathroom is the only separate room in a studio apartment.

what is a studio apartment

Here comes one of the studio apartment designs that boost your comfort

2. Pros And Cons Of Living In A Studio Apartment

  • Pros

Firstly, it is cheap to rent a studio apartment. You can see that in the apartment-for-rent ads, studio apartments often show up among the least expensive. Therefore, this type of apartment is really suitable for those who are on a budget or singles, students, retired individuals and those who spend a lot of time away from home but need a place to sleep sometimes. Moving into a studio apartment can be a great way to save money on rent without getting a roommate.

Another financial advantage of living in a studio apartment is that utility bills may be lower. There is no doubt that it’s cheaper to heat and cool a micro-apartment and a single light can illuminate the whole apartment. Moreover, a small apartment cannot have enough space for a bunch of gadgets. Therefore, you can also save money on electricity.

studio apartment definition

It’s undeniable that living in a studio apartment can help to save your money

One more benefit of a studio apartment is it saves your time of cleaning. As the apartment is small, you can clean it more quickly. Also, there’s little room for clutter and extra furniture, so the space is a lot easier to clean and maintain. What you’ll spend more time cleaning is only the bathroom.

studio vs 1 bedroom

Cleaning may be no longer a struggle when living in a studio

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Besides benefits, a studio apartment also has some drawbacks.

First of all, it’s hard for you to hold a party and invite your friends to your studio because there’s not enough space for too many people. Usually, a studio apartment is designed for individuals, so two people living in the same studio can even feel cramped.

what is a studio apartment

Friend gatherings can be okay in a studio apartment, but sometimes you may feel cramped

Secondly, cooking in a studio apartment can become a struggle. When you cook, you literally cook in your bedroom and you can guess what’s uncomfortable here. Well, your bedding will keep all the smells of the food for days.

Lastly, you may have to think twice before buying something for the fear of not having room to keep new things.

3. Studio Apartment vs. 1-Bedroom Apartment

When you’re on the apartment hunt, you may also come across a kind of apartment called a 1-bedroom apartment. You may start wondering which kind is the right fit for your lifestyle. Studio vs. 1-bedroom? Well, before deciding which one is right for you, it’s good to know how each place is different.

You have known ‘what is a studio apartment’ above. Now, it’s also important for you to understand ‘what is a 1-bedroom apartment’?

What Is A 1-Bedroom Apartment?

A 1-bedroom apartment is also referred to as a single apartment. A basic 1-bedroom apartment has a bedroom, a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom. Some of the 1-bedroom apartments can also feature a fireplace, a balcony, a yard, and two-level storage spaces, etc.

what are studio apartments

In 1-bedroom apartment, the bedroom is a single room

What’s The Difference Between A Studio And A 1-Bedroom Apartment?

After knowing the studio apartment and the 1-bedroom apartment definition, can you find out any difference between a studio and a 1-bedroom?

Well, the most noticeable difference is the size. Of course, a 1-bedroom apartment tends to be larger than a studio. Even with the same square footage, a 1-bedroom can end up feeling larger since you’re not looking at all your space in a single area.

Unlike a studio apartment, a 1-bedroom has a clear division between the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. In a 1-bedroom apartment, you can also get a few more walls, more closets and dining space.

difference between studio and 1 bedroom

A 1-bedroom tends to be larger than a studio and there is a clear division between rooms in a 1-bedroom

As a 1-bedroom apartment is large in size than a studio apartment, it costs more money to rent in comparison to the studio apartment. In addition, the utility bills of a studio apartment are much lower than a 1-bedroom apartment.

This summary table will help you have a clearer look into the difference between a studio and a 1-bedroom:

Studio Apartment

1-Bedroom Apartment

Size Smaller Larger
Division between rooms No division Clear
Price Cheaper More expensive
Utility bills Lower Higher

Is A Studio Or 1-Bedroom Better?

Actually, there’s no simple answer to this question as the better place depends on your own needs and budget. If you do better in a more cozy home, a studio is more suitable for you. However, if you need room to stretch out, a 1-bedroom is definitely better.

Also, whether the apartment is small or large, it’s really all about what space you need to feel comfortable at home.

Choosing the right place can make you stressed at first, but take your time to consider the pros and cons between studios and 1-bedroom apartments. You’ll find what’s best for you, finally!

4. Things To Consider When Choosing An Apartment

In addition to size and price, you should also consider several key areas below when selecting an apartment.

  • Location

The apartment location will somehow impact your apartment decision. If you want to live close to the city center or near your workplace, you may have to pay more for the rent. You may not afford a 1-bedroom, but a studio apartment can be ideal.

If you want a bigger space and can handle living outside of town and commuting to work every day, you can find an affordable 1-bedroom apartment outside the city.

what is a studio apartment

Location is the first thing that you need to consider when choosing an apartment

  • In-unit Amenities

Amenities are bonus items in your home and each person has their own must-haves.

A 1-bedroom apartment can have more space for amenities that couldn’t fit in a studio. A 1-bedroom could have in-unit laundry hookups, more than one sizable closet, full-sized appliances, and more storage.

difference between studio and 1 bedroom

1-bedroom apartments have more space for amenities than studios

On the other hand, if you prefer to send your laundry out and don’t care if there are machines in your apartment, a studio is suitable for you. Then, having a smaller refrigerator and space-saving appliances in your studio is fine.

  • Lifestyle

How you like to live also impact your choice of apartment. If you want to host friends or just invite them to your home and watch a favorite TV show, you may need an entertainer’s amount of space.

If you plan to live alone, then a big place is not really necessary. The important thing is to find an apartment that makes you feel comfortable.

Moreover, the space you need also relates to your working lifestyle. If you have a job and keep relocating then getting a big place doesn’t seem suitable, right? So, having a studio that’s compact and easy to care for might be the right step for your lifestyle.

  • Privacy

In a studio, where you sleep is also where you eat, work and hang out. Therefore, you can sometimes feel you’re lacking privacy. However, a 1-bedroom can offer more privacy since there’s a door to close between rooms.

If you live alone and don’t use your apartment as a place for social gatherings, you may get all the privacy you need in a single room. Without guests sitting on your bed, you can have your private sleeping space without needing a separate room.

studio vs 1 bedroom

You can enjoy your privacy if you live in a studio apartment alone

  • Upkeep

Both cleaning and decorating are easier when you have less space. Thus, it’s faster to clean a studio apartment and there are also fewer walls to decorate.

5. Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions associated with the question ‘what is a studio apartment’ that you may want to know the answers.

1. How big is a studio apartment?

Studio apartment sizes vary considerably. The average size can range from 200 to 450 square feet (19 to 42 square meters).

2. How much is a studio apartment?

The price of studio apartments depends on their location. If a studio apartment is near the city center or the train lines, it costs around 80,000 yen a month ($800 USD) for rent. In smaller cities, the price will drift down into the 60,000 yen range. And finally downright out in the country will fall into the 50,000 yen area.

3. How many people can live in a studio apartment?

A studio apartment can house one to two people or a small family.

More commonly, plenty of people live in a studio apartment alone as there is limited space and they can enjoy their privacy. However, there are also a number of people who choose to live in a studio apartment with another person for one reason or another.

4. Is a studio cheaper than an apartment?

Generally, it’s cheaper to rent a studio apartment than it is to rent a 1-bedroom apartment. However, it’s important to keep the price difference in mind. Studios tend to run a few hundred dollars cheaper than 1-bedrooms, depending on square footage and luxury. When you take into account the benefits of renting a 1-bedroom compared to a studio, the savings may not justify it. On the same thought, an extra $300 a month that you save from opting for a studio instead of a 1-bedroom can go a long way. This could cover things like your utility bill and groceries for the month.

If saving money is your number one priority, a studio will likely your most affordable option. If you prefer more space and separate rooms and can stretch your budget a bit, a 1-bedroom apartment is a better choice.


Now that you have known ‘what is a studio apartment’ and many different factors that you need to consider if you would like to rent a studio. If you still have more questions to ask about this type of apartment, don’s hesitate to leave your comments below. All of your questions will be fully answered!


About Yuu Sato

Yuu Sato has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.


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