Renter's Guide

Different Types of Apartments

Table of Contents

Types of Apartments

As you may have concluded on your own by now, there are a lot of options when it comes to renting in New York. Similarly, there are also a plethora of choices when it comes to apartment types! Depending on your price range, choice of neighborhood, and living situation (roommate, significant other, family, etc.), you will also need to make a decision on what type of apartments to live in.

Here’s a list of common apartment type terminology you’ll come upon:

  • Studio: A one-room apartment that comes with a kitchen and a full-size bathroom. Variations of a studio include an alcove studio or a convertible studio.
  • Alcove Studio: The same as a regular studio but generally has an L partition in the living room. This creates the perception of more space and is really nice to use for a sleeping area.
  • Convertible Studio: A studio big enough such that one could build a wall to create a bedroom.
  • Convertible (Flex): An apartment that has enough space to be converted into an additional bedroom. Example: A large one bedroom apartment that has enough space to be walled off to create a 2nd bedroom may be advertised as a convertible two-bedroom (two bedroom flex). Watch out —Some apartments may not allow you to put up a dry wall or may have additional charges that come with installing a dry wall!
  • Loft: One large room with high ceilings. These usually exist in commercial buildings that have been renovated to residential apartment units.
  • Duplex/Triplex: Apartments with two or three levels respectively. The second or third floor may be used for sleeping quarters only. Junior 1 bedroom: This is a slight step up from a studio and usually includes a separate sleeping room or ¾ room.
  • Junior 1 Bedroom: This is a slight step up from a studio and usually includes a separate sleeping room or 3/4 room.
  • Garden Apartment: A garden apartment has access to a backyard and almost always is on the ground floor, but sometimes can also be on the basement level. These are especially important to check out before signing anything – being partially underground is not ideal. Garden apartments can also be problematic for security reasons, and they tend to have more pests.
  • Railroad Apartment: These are found in smaller and older buildings and are named for their straight floor plan. There are usually three or four rooms that are all connected without a hallway, forming a long and thin rectangle. Bedrooms can be on either side or in the center.
  • Floor-through: An apartment that spans the entire length of a building. Typically, there are windows at both the front and back of the home to allow for air circulation and natural light.

For additional types of apartments, see our handy chart below:


Use our stats and trends to see the average rents for a studio, 1 BR, and 2 BR in each neighborhood in Manhattan.

Important to note: In NYC, a bedroom is defined as a living space used for purpose of sleeping. A bedroom must have a minimum floor space of 80 square feet and have at least one window. A room cannot be counted as a bedroom if you must pass through it in order to reach other parts of the apartment.

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