What Is A Convertible Apartment? (Pics & Layout Options)

Updated October 27, 2021
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There are so many different types of apartments to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to know which options are out there. Convertible apartments are lesser-known but very common in large cities, where apartments are designed to utilize every last bit of space in a building.

Convertible apartments are very similar to studio apartments, but there is a half or partial wall that has been built to separate the sleeping area from the rest of the apartment. Today we’ll break down the pros and cons of convertible apartments.

  • They offer added privacy that studios don’t have
  • They cost less than a one-bedroom but with a similar layout
  • They have a unique design you can’t find anywhere else

What is a Convertible Apartment?

Also referred to as a flex apartment, a convertible unit is essentially a large studio apartment with a separate sleeping area from the great room or open space. Convertible apartments stem from apartment buildings in large cities like New York and Chicago, where people have to get creative to utilize as much space as possible to meet the high demand for apartments.

Traditionally, convertible apartment design includes a half wall or even portable room dividers to separate the sleeping area (bedroom) from the rest of the living space. Even built-in bookshelves may be enough to create that privacy screen for the sleeping space.

convertible apartment

What are the Pros of Renting a Convertible Apartment?

There are several reasons that convertible apartments can be beneficial to rent. First, because convertible units have less square footage than a traditional one bedroom, the rent is typically lower compared to other types of smaller living spaces. Second, it’s much more common in large cities to see these types of apartments, which help create more privacy than a studio apartment, but cost about the same.

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  • Generally cheaper monthly rent than large studios or normal one-bedrooms
  • A more affordable option in high demand areas where people will pay more money for space
  • More privacy than a standard studio apartment
  • Unique layout designs

What are the Cons of a Convertible Apartment?

The convertible apartment design comes with its own set of cons. Because the convertible unit is essentially a large studio, there isn’t much room for storage or extra space for activities.


  • No additional living area (like a dining room) if you don’t want to eat on the couch
  • Inconsistent layouts from building-to-building
  • It can feel small when paired with bulky furniture pieces that make it harder to flow throughout the space.
  • Limited floor plans and space mean less freedom in designing your apartment layout.

How Does a Convertible Apartment Compare to a Studio?

A few similar apartment styles could be categorized under studios, convertible apartments being one of them. But how do they compare to studios, efficiencies, lofts, or micro-apartments? Of course, each has its own unique pros and cons, but where do flex apartments fall in this list?

Technically any of the listed types could be a studio, but micro-apartments are super small to where they sometimes don’t even have a full kitchen. The same goes for efficiencies which sometimes have communal bathrooms, kitchens, or even living spaces. Meanwhile, convertible units and loft apartments offer more space and a more unique living arrangement, more closely to a standard studio apartment.

studio apartment room divider ideas

So, convertible apartments are pretty much just a standard studio apartment that has been divided into two or more rooms to create additional privacy. You still have your living space and the same amount of overall square footage as other studios in the area, but you can get creative with ways to divide it up for whatever works best for you.

One layout for convertible units often comes with built-in shelving systems, so they’re not completely exposed, which is nice if someone wants their sleeping space separate. If you want to convert back, though, many convertible buildings offer moveable wall dividers or barn door-style doors that can open up or close off the space as needed.

In the end, convertible apartments are an excellent option for renters looking to save money on rent and find more privacy than in larger studio spaces. But if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other apartment types and options to choose from. To see more, check out this blog post and then look at the available apartments at tbigos.com.

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