What Is a Loft Apartment?

Rose Morrison

Nov 1, 2022


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If you’re apartment-hunting, you may see listings for loft apartments. It’s easy to think that a loft apartment is another name for a studio apartment or apartments that have a loft in them, but that’s a misconception. 

What is a loft apartment? Here’s how they stand out. 

Loft in a Loft

Before we explore what a loft apartment actually is, it’s important to note that loft apartments can still have individual lofts within them. 

A loft space is a space above your head and below the ceiling that you can access via a staircase or ladder. It’s normally located above the living, but can be in other places. 

Lofts are often used for miniature bedrooms, reading nooks or extra storage space. You’ll often find lofts in small apartments as a way to provide some extra space. 

Since these types of lofts may or may not be loft apartments, you should carefully look at these listings to ensure you know what option you are looking at. 

The Types of Loft Apartments

As for loft apartments, there are two types you should know about when searching for a new living space. 

Hard Lofts

The first loft apartments came to be when artists moved into abandoned warehouses in the 1960s, using them as homes and studios. Thanks to the industrial style of these homes, the term ‘hard loft’ came to be. 

Hard lofts have an industrial feel to them. Many are old warehouses that gained new life as apartment complexes. You’ll have exposed beams, bricks and ductwork. It can have hardwood or cement floors. 

These lofts are in old buildings and are often not the classiest or coziest places. What they do tend to have are lovely natural light and great views. 

Hard lofts have many open spaces, and you’ll need to bring your own storage for your clothing. These functional spaces often attract artists and those who love an industrial feel to their homes. 

Another bonus of these apartments is that they’re often located near the center of town and within walking distance of restaurants, shopping and nightlife. 

Soft Lofts

Soft lofts are the modern-day alternative to hard lofts. Their design mimics the old lofts but with modern-day amenities. 

These apartments often have exposed brick, large windows and high ceilings but tend to have more storage space and community offerings, such as pools and fitness centers. 

Soft lofts are also better insulated than hard lofts will be, and they will also likely have more modern fixtures and appliances. 

Loft or Studio?

Most lofts are studios, but not every studio is a loft. How do you choose between the two?

Lofts tend to have more open living space than traditional studio apartments. While the lofts have an industrial feel, studios are cozier, often with carpeting and some sense of separation between areas. 

Since lofts are trendier, studios tend to be more affordable and available than lofts. They often have smaller windows, which sacrifices views for better temperature regulation. 

Living the Loft Life

Loft apartments have a unique feel that you won’t find in other living spaces. If you’re looking for an apartment with great natural light, a lot of open space, and close to the action, a loft apartment may be right for you. 

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