An efficiency apartment has a separate kitchen, while a studio apartment has the kitchen in the main room. Additionally, an efficiency apartment is typically smaller, and a studio apartment may include a loft. In some real estate markets, the terms "efficiency" and "studio" are used interchangeably.
Efficiency and studio apartments are both considered one-room apartments. Studios include apartments with a wide, open living space, while efficiencies are always small. Some apartments may have an alcove that can be used to place a bed in.
The kitchen in an efficiency apartment is often larger, with larger appliances than in a studio apartment, and is often separated by a wall or partition from the rest of the room. Many studios lack this partition, and each may only have a kitchenette with half freezers. Because of inconsistencies in terminology, some landlords or writers consider full kitchens to belong to studios, and kitchenettes to efficiency apartments, and some units that lack kitchens or kitchenettes still go by the name "efficiency apartment."
Some studios come with a loft option, which is hardly ever the case with efficiency apartments. The loft usually consists of a raised, partially open platform within the studio that is accessible by stairs.
Depending on the location, "efficiency" and "studio" can have different meanings. When searching for apartments, it is important for renters to understand how these terms are used in their neighborhoods.