What are the Different Types of Apartments?

September 12, 2022

With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to find the right apartment for you. You’ll want to consider a variety of features when looking at apartments, such as location, price and apartment type. Some common apartment types to consider are studio, loft, garden units, walk-ups, penthouses and more. To help you find an apartment that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations, we have compiled a guide of the different types of apartments.

Differences in apartment types by layout and size

One of the major differences that sets apart these apartment options is size. To determine which size is right, you may want to consider whether you are living by yourself, with a significant other or with a roommate.

Studio type apartment

A studio apartment is a small space with an open floor plan. They usually consist of 1 open room with a bathroom and maybe a closet. Some studio apartments have a small area that extends from the main living area and provides a little extra separation for a “bedroom,” though there are no doors or interior walls. [1]

Loft type apartment

While loft apartments have a similar layout to studio apartments, lofts are typically much larger with very high ceilings and tall windows. Many lofts are in historic warehouses that have been converted into living space, so they feature elements such as exposed beams, brickwork and original wood floors. [2]

Garden units

A garden apartment is a smaller apartment community, typically 1 to 3 floors, that is set around a green space or garden area. These apartments are typically in suburban and rural communities. While you won’t necessarily have your own garden space, the community might offer shared walking paths, trees, shrubs, ponds and other natural elements. [2]

Walk-up apartments

An apartment building without an elevator is known as a walk-up. Unless you rent on the main level, you’ll have to climb stairs to reach your walk-up apartment. These buildings are typically less expensive than larger apartment buildings with elevators, so if you’re looking for less-expensive apartment options in the city, this one might be for you. [2]

Convertible apartments

Convertible apartments have enough space that an area could be converted into an additional bedroom or secondary space. A convertible studio follows the same format as a traditional studio, but the apartment is big enough to build a wall to create a complete bedroom. Beware that some apartments may not allow new walls to be created or may charge a fee for changes to the apartment. [1]

Micro apartments

A micro apartment is a 1-room space that is very small, usually less than 400 square feet. The major difference between this and a studio apartment is that a micro apartment is smaller. It will usually include space for sitting, sleeping, a bathroom and a kitchenette. This type of apartment is found mostly in highly populated areas where the rent is high for a small amount of space. [2]


Located on the highest floor of the building, a penthouse apartment is typically very large and often includes luxury features such as a private deck and great views. A penthouse apartment often includes a private elevator and, because there are no apartments above it, vaulted or high ceilings. [2]

1 bedroom plus den

A 1 bedroom plus den floor plan is a great solution for singles or couples without children. They range between 600 and 800 square feet and include a separated space for living or dining, as well as a den. The den is a small space in the apartment where you can have an extra table, office or sitting area. Dens can also be used for extra storage. [3]

Differences in types of apartment buildings

We just went over the differences in apartment units themselves, but the other thing that can be important when choosing the right apartment for you is the differences in apartment buildings.


A duplex is a multifamily home that has 2 units in 1 building. Apartments in a duplex have their own entrances and often have living spaces upstairs and downstairs. Each unit will be a similar size. [1]

Low-rise apartments

An apartment with 4 or fewer floors is called a low-rise apartment. Unlike walk-ups, some low-rise apartments have elevators. Walk-ups and garden apartments are a few examples of low-rise apartment buildings. [2]

Mid-rise apartments

A building with at least 5 floors and as many as 12 floors is called a mid-rise apartment. Mid-rises are popular because they are more economical for developers since they contain more units than low-rise apartment buildings but are not as cost-restrictive as high-rise apartments. [2]

High-rise apartments

Typically, any building with 12 or more floors is considered a high-rise apartment building. These are most common in large cities, and all high-rises have an elevator, which is usually located in the center of the building. [2]

What are the differences between a condo and an apartment?

A condo is a building with individually owned units. If you find a condo for rent, you will be renting from the owner of that unit, whereas if you rent an apartment, you will rent from the building itself. Condos have similar features and amenities as apartments. The biggest difference between the two is ownership. [2]

Protect the apartment you choose

Regardless of the apartment you choose to live in, you will still need renters insurance to cover your belongings. Your landlord’s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself, but your personal property is covered only through a renters insurance policy that you, as a tenant, must find and pay for. [4]


[1] A Guide to the Different Types of Apartments, apartmentguide.com/blog/types-of-apartments (Jan. 2, 2022).

[2] “Types of Apartments for Rent,” apartments.com/blog/a-guide-to-the-different-types-of-rental-housing (Oct. 20, 2022).

[3] “2 Bedroom Apartments Vs. 1 Bedroom + Den: Which One Should You Choose?” apartmentlove.com/blog/2-Bedroom-Apartments-Vs.-1-Bedroom-+-Den:-Which-One-Should-You-Choose/128 (July 7, 2022).

[4] “6 Good Reasons to Get Renter’s Insurance,” investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/082714/6-good-reasons-get-renters-insurance.asp (July 3, 2022).

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