What is den in an apartment?

Real Estate

Since apartments are slightly smaller and more limited in square footage than a house, an apartment den is a little different. A den in an apartment will be its own separate space for uses outside of sleeping, but the room is a little bit smaller and will likely have only a single door (if it has one at all), as opposed to the double doors you’ll often see in a home den. Bear in mind that your den layout will depend on what size apartment you have.

It’s also important to note that finding a building with den layouts as an option isn’t always easy. Plus, lots of people want the extra space, so a unit with a den will get snatched off the market pretty quickly. Know the Den’s meaning in apartment and shares some useful tips on den.

What’s the difference between a bedroom and a den?

While a den and a normal room are similar, there are a few things that differentiate them. As a normal bedroom where people sleep, it’s a fire code requirement to have an escape route that a human can climb out of. They typically have built-in closets and sometimes have a connected bathroom.

The main difference is that a den layout doesn’t always include its own closet or even window (depending on the state and city and its fire code requirements) and having a connected bathroom isn’t likely. It’s also possible it’s a small space that may not have large enough wall dimensions for a full bedroom setup.

What can a den are used for?

The first thing to note about dens is that they often present a fire hazard if used as sleeping quarters. For this reason, it’s usually illegal in certain states or cities to use a den as any type of sleeping quarters and there are legal requirements for rooms that people can sleep in.

If your den has a large enough escape opening and has sufficient square footage, then it might pass fire code as a safe sleeping room and you can use it as an extra bedroom. However, it’s common they’re smaller than the required sleeping square footage and have only a small opening for outside access (or sometimes, no opening at all), so you can’t use them as guest bedrooms.

Since sleeping is likely out of the question, here are a few other ways you can utilize a den.


Many people work from home, or at least spend enough time on the computer that having a separate office area is nice. Turn your den into a designated workspace by using an extra table to serve as a desk and adding a filing cabinet or two. You could even add a few built-ins for extra organization!

Workout room

If you’re not so keen on leaving the house to go to the gym each day, but you also don’t love the idea of taking over the living room to do your exercise routine, using your den as a workout room can solve all of your problems. Throw a workout mat on the floor and keep a few weights in the room so you can hit the gym whenever you please — without needing to walk out the front door.


Most kids dream of having a playroom. For those that have kids, giving them their own play area is beneficial for everyone. The kids can feel that they have a place to escape to when they want a little bit of playtime. And, it gives you a place to keep all of their toys so you aren’t constantly tripping over them in the living room.


If you’re on the search for a property with extra storage, a den is a perfect solution. Whether you have family heirlooms you want to keep in a separate area or you’ve got a lifelong collection you don’t want to put in a storage unit (for example, the rock collection you’ve kept since kindergarten), you can fill your den with boxes and keep them out of the way but still close to you.

A den doesn’t have just one use, so you can use your imagination and come up with a use that suits you and your lifestyle!

Should I rent a two-bedroom or one-bedroom, plus den floor plan?

Between a one-bedroom with a den and a traditional layout for two bedrooms, there’s no single correct choice. What you get will depend on what your needs and future plans are!

Choosing a one-bedroom plus den layout over a two-bedroom apartment

If you live alone or with a romantic partner and only require one room for sleeping but want a little extra room for a workout area or desk, apartments with an additional den are a great solution. You’ll definitely be paying more than if you had just a one-bedroom place, but not usually as much as if you get multiple bedrooms. So, it can save you some money while still allowing for more living space.

Keep in mind that for fire safety reasons, you usually can’t use a den as sleeping quarters if it doesn’t have a large enough opening for an escape route. This means a den can’t usually be used for guests to sleep in.

Considering two-bedroom floor plans

Having two full bedrooms can cost more, yet it’s a worthy investment if you plan things the right way. If you want to live with a roommate and each has your own room, then you’ll for sure need an apartment with two bedrooms.

Remember that if someone will be living in a room, it needs a legal classification of a bedroom for safety reasons. So, if you’re sharing your space with someone that wants their own room, then you’ll need to look at apartments or condos with two or more rooms.

Is a den right for your living space?

A den is a nice thing to have, but it isn’t always necessary or the most practical for everyone. Getting a rental with a den can make life a little easier and more comfortable, especially when there’s more than one person living in the space. It’s useful as a workstation, sitting area or whatever else you want.

However, it’s not for everyone, so make sure your floor plan works before you sign an apartment or condo lease. Start searching today for your perfect place!

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