New York City has served as the backdrop to some of the most iconic TV shows, including Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. Remember Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment? Or Blair Waldorf’s penthouse? If you’re wondering what types of apartments in NYC there are, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’ll explore the 7 types of apartments available to you in NYC. We’ll detail each apartment style’s features, who it’s best suited for, and the possible downsides of the property you’re looking to rent.

Related: Where Are The Actual TV Show Sets Of NYC Sitcoms

Get Ready to Shop Apartment Styles in NYC

Alicia Keys called New York a “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” and she wasn’t wrong. However, between monthly rent payments and different apartment layouts, living in NYC isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Before we dive into the 7 types of apartments in NYC, let’s take a look at three criteria for self-assessment:

  • First, you might want consider doing a thorough sweep online on what neighborhood you want to live in. Do you want to live on the Upper East Side, in the heart of luxury? Or would you prefer an apartment in the Financial District for an easier commute to work?
  • Second, factor in your personal and professional goals. What’s your budget for monthly rent payments? Make sure to include utility service providers, pet fees, and moving-in fees, among other expenses.
  • Finally, if you prefer to be guided by an expert, consider hiring a broker to help you navigate the real estate market in New York.

7 Types of Apartments in NYC

New York City comes with its own real-estate jargon and definitions of apartment styles. Before you put down a deposit on your dream home, let’s explore what kinds of properties are available to you in NYC.

1. Classic Six Apartment

Where to Find Them: Pre-war cooperatives on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side in Manhattan.

If you prefer New York’s older, pre-war buildings, you’re probably a fan of the classic six. As the name suggests, a classic six New York style apartment has a layout with six separate rooms.

  • Features: A classic six apartment has detailed facades, tall ceilings, and plaster moldings. They also feature large rooms, wood floors, and solid-core doors. Their most stunning feature is a working wood-burning fireplace.
  • Best Suited For: A joint or large family looking to move into a spacious home with an optional bedroom for an in-house cook or cleaner.
  • Possible Downsides: The lack of an open layout combined with the high prices of the classic sixes deters many New Yorkers. Furthermore, the “maid’s room” which held merit when these apartments were originally built, are now socially and spatially redundant.

Related: Find Rooms For Rent in the Upper East Side, Manhattan

2. Railroad Apartment

Source: Brownstoner

 Where to Find Them: Areas of Brooklyn that were developed in the 20th century.

  • Features: A railroad apartment is comprised of directly connected rooms, without a hallway.
  • Best Suited For: Small families or couples looking to save money, or for renters in between shifting homes.
  • Possible Downsides: These apartments weren’t built with concerns of privacy, adequate lighting, or air circulation in mind.

The railroad types of apartments in NYC became popular not for their design inspiration, but out of necessity. These apartments were built to maximize space in the 20th century when there was an extreme demand for housing.

Related: Find Rooms For Rent In New York City

3. Loft Apartment

Where to Find Them: Tribeca, SoHo, Chelsea, and NoMad.

Do you fancy yourself a house with rustic charm? Originally, lofts were former industrial buildings transformed into modern living spaces.

  • Features: Lofts have high ceilings with exposed pipes, beams, and brick walls. They also feature a staircase leading to an upper level. This is used to separate the common spaces like the kitchen and dining table.
  • Best Suited For: Renters who love the melding of urban living with industrial aesthetic. Loft apartments also have expansive spaces, making them a perfect space for couples.
Source: Decoist
  • Possible Downsides: These types of apartments in NYC usually have higher utility bills because of the additional space. Moreover, they lack traditional storage, which means you’ll likely have to shell out money on custom storage.

Related: Find Rooms For Rent in SoHo

4. Studio Apartment

Where to Find Them: Downtown Manhattan, East Village, Financial District, Murray Hill

A studio apartment combines the common spaces of the kitchen, living room, and bedroom, into one large space.

  • Features: Some studios have separate kitchenettes, while others are laid out in the shape of an “L”. This creates an alcove that can be used as a sleeping area.
  • Best Suited For: First time renters looking to save money or individuals who love having open and airy spaces to themselves.
  • Possible Downsides: If you’re wondering whether a couple would be comfortable in a studio, you might want to reconsider. Studio apartment styles in NYC offer little to no privacy, and there’s no space to host guests.

Related: Rooms for Rent in Financial District, NYC

5. Garden Apartment

Where to Find Them: Brooklyn Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens

There are two definitions of a garden apartment, dependent on its layout. First, a garden apartment might refer to a unit within a garden apartment complex or one with an attached garden. However, a garden apartment most commonly describes a property that has private access to a garden.

  • Features: These apartments offer exclusive access to an open green space and fresh air.
  • Best Suited For: Families with pets or children who want to take advantage of the open space. These types of apartments in NYC are also great for those interested in gardening!
Source: The New York Times
  • Possible Downsides: Considering the conflicting definitions that vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and broker to broker, the prices fluctuate widely. It’s hard to pin down a median rent range when everyone defines a garden apartment differently.

Related: Find Rooms For Rent In Brooklyn Heights

6. Pre-War Apartment

Where to Find Them: Upper West Side, West Village of Manhattan

For history buffs, pre-war apartments in New York make for perfect homes! These apartment buildings were constructed before World War II, usually between 1900 and 1939. Pre-war types of apartments in NYC are homes with character, good bones, and charm. These apartments are defined by their historical timelines and elegant features rather than a fixed layout.

  • Features: Intricate architectural details, large windows, archways, brass door handles, grand lobbies and high-beamed ceilings. They also feature decorative tile work in bathrooms, kitchens, and fireplace hearths. Pre-war apartments also have separate kitchens, and delicate millwork such as ceiling medallions.
  • Best Suited For: People looking for homes with timeless appeal and noise insulation. Also suited to homeowners looking to invest in homes that appreciate in value over time.
Source: Mental Floss
  • Possible Downsides: Purchasing a slice of history comes with the expensive bills of modern-day maintenance. These apartments might need minor renovations to full-fledged restorations by skilled tradespeople. Moreover, you’ll likely be dealing with old pipes and faulty wiring that needs to be replaced immediately.

Related: Find Rooms for Rent in Upper West Side

7. Micro Apartment

Where to Find Them: Upper West Side, West Village, Midtown East

A micro-apartment is similar to the functionality of studio apartments, although on a much smaller scale. As the name suggests, these apartment styles in NYC offer the amenities of a standard apartment in a footprint under 350 square feet.

  • Features: The bathroom, kitchen area, living space, and sleeping area are packed into a “micro” space using multifunctional or flexible furniture and storage. This includes movable kitchen islands and sofas that convert into Murphy beds.
  • Best Suited For: The apartments attract first time renters and students living off campus looking to save money on rent. They are also suitable for young, single professionals just starting their careers.
  • Possible Downsides: Micro apartments target a niche renters’ market as mentioned above. Furnishing these types of apartments in NYC is expensive, and the living space isn’t suitable for more than one person.

Related: Reasons to Move to Midtown East, NYC

Other Types of Apartments in NYC


A duplex apartment is a two-floor unit connected by stairs or an elevator.


A true penthouse isn’t just the top-floor apartment in a building. The floor plan is unique to the top floor, and no two penthouse units are alike. Did you know that New York is home to some of the rarest and most expensive penthouse properties in the world?


“Pied-à-Terre” translates from French to “a foot on the ground.” In New York City real-estate jargon, a pied-à-terre is an apartment reserved for occasional use. These are non-primary residences, often vacation homes.

Wrapping Up

The tour of the types of apartments in NYC ends here. From studios and lofts to penthouses, New York is your oyster when it comes to real estate. Whether you’re a big family or a single professional, there’s something for everyone! If you’re looking for your dream home, or a roommate to share your dreams with, Roomi can help you with its advanced matching algorithm!

Roomi is your one-stop option to list or find rooms, find roommates to settle into a new city easily. Download the app and sign up today!