9 Types of Apartments

By PropertyClub Team
Mar 8th 2022
Looking for a new place to rent is an exciting yet often stressful process. But the first step is always to decide what type of apartment makes the most sense. While most tenants understand the concept of a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom, there are variations on these standard units that you may encounter in your search. 

hash-markEfficiency Apartment

An efficiency apartment is similar to a studio but is smaller and more bare-bones. A studio is simply a unit with no separation between the bedroom, living area, and kitchen. An efficiency apartment is a unit where the kitchen, living room, and bedroom are essentially one room. A studio may not have a physical separation between these rooms, however, they each have their own distinct area. An efficiency apartment typically has a small kitchenette and space for a bed and maybe a desk or couch. These apartments are great for those who don’t expect to be home much and only need a place to crash when in town.

hash-markAlcove Studio

An alcove studio is a studio apartment with an additional sleeping area carved out. The alcove is not a separate room, just a small section large enough to fit a bed or desk. It will often be L-shaped, offering a bit of separation between the alcove and main living area. But the alcove is usually relatively small and not large enough to be converted into a separate bedroom.

hash-markConvertible / Flex Apartment

A convertible or flex apartment is one with a living area that offers enough space for tenants to construct a temporary bedroom. This could be done by installing a temporary wall or just hanging a curtain or other partition to hide the bed. Due to the high costs of New York City real estate, there are plenty of tenants who are willing to sacrifice a true bedroom for reduced rent. So, if you see a unit advertised as a 3-bedroom flex, that means it’s a true two bedroom with enough space to accommodate an extra flex room.


A duplex apartment is a single unit with two separate floors that are connected by stairs or an elevator. A duplex apartment in New York is different than a duplex in many other parts of the country, where the term refers to a single property with two separate dwellings inside it. Duplex apartments are common in New York City and offer more space than the traditional single-floor unit. But they also tend to be on the expensive side, and depending on the layout you may have to climb a set of stairs every time you want to access the kitchen or bathroom.


A loft is an apartment with high ceilings and few interior walls. They are often units converted from old factories or warehouses and feature a rustic aesthetic that many tenants love. They are similar to a studio but tend to be more spacious and open (and more expensive, as well).


A triplex apartment is a single unit with access to three separate floors connected by a set of stairs or an elevator. Like a duplex, a triplex in New York has a different definition than a triplex building – which refers to three separate dwellings within one home. Triplexes off extra space and features that are attractive to many residents. But they are also expensive and difficult to find unless you have the right budget.

hash-markGarden Apartment

A garden apartment refers to a ground-level unit that has access to a private garden or outdoor area. They are most commonly found in Brooklyn, inside of townhomes of brownstones. Garden apartments are great for pet owners or those who want a touch of nature in the big city. But you can also expect to pay a premium for access to this additional amenity.

hash-markRailroad Apartment

A railroad apartment is a unit where the rooms are arranged in a line and connected without a hallway, like the cars on a train. So, to get to a particular room, you have to pass through all the other rooms before it, which may cause privacy issues for some tenants. Railroad apartments tend to be cheaper than units with separate bedrooms. So, they work well for young families and roommates who don’t mind sacrificing privacy for reduced rent. Most railroad apartments in New York can be found in neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Ridgewood.  

hash-markFloor Through Apartment

A floor-through apartment is a unit that extends across the entire floor. These are usually in rowhouses and townhomes that have been converted into separate apartments. They aren’t necessarily more spacious than any other units of the same size, but you don’t have to worry about loud neighbors across the hall. Plus, they often get great sunlight because they feature exposure on both sides.