Pros and Cons: One-Floor Apartment vs Duplex Apartment

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

Many people think of single-floor dwellings when they think of apartments, but in reality, two-floor apartments (also known as duplexes) abound. Usually, duplexes are two-family apartments, and people who live in duplex share one or two walls with their neighbors, and perhaps this setup works well for you. Or maybe it doesn’t – below, find the advantages of living in a one-floor apartment versus a two-floor duplex apartment.

Pros of one-floor apartments

Easier to clean 

Generally, one-floor apartments are easier to clean because they are smaller than two-floor apartments. In fact, depending on your lease, you may only have to clean inside your apartment and not handle outdoor maintenance. Exterior cleaning, shoveling, and other exterior housekeeping may be the responsibility of your landlord, building manager, or apartment maintenance crew. Additionally, you can easily vacuum a one-floor apartment without having to use stairs.Pros and Cons One-Floor Apartment vs Duplex Apartment

Less space to heat or cool

One-story apartments may have better temperature regulation. Since your apartment is on one level, you won’t have extreme temperature changes as you go up and down the stairs. Since single-story apartment units have less square footage, they are easier to heat or cool.


Although living in a one-floor apartment can mean less privacy, they can be safer. That’s because, often, a one-floor apartment means other people live in your building. As a result, if you need help in a severe emergency such as a break-in, your neighbors might hear when you are in trouble and come to your assistance. 

Easier to get things you need from other rooms

Having a single-story apartment means you won’t have to traverse stairs as often. You might have to use the stairs when entering and exiting your apartment, but when you’re inside your apartment, your belongings are more accessible to you. That can be an important factor if you have mobility issues.

Pros of two-floor duplex apartments

Fewer neighbors

When living in a two-floor duplex apartment, you will most likely have fewer neighbors in your vicinity since two-floor apartments occupy more space within a building. If you are more introverted or just prefer to have fewer neighbors, living in a two-floor apartment can be the ideal choice. Moreover, if you don’t like hearing noisy neighbors, a two-floor apartment may be quieter than a one-floor apartment since it has more space in which sound can travel.

More space for decorating

Living in a two-floor duplex apartment means more room for decorating. When you have more vertical space to decorate, your living space can feel more like living in a house than an apartment.

It may be quieter upstairs

Living in a two-floor duplex can offer more rooms if you want to be somewhere quiet (i.e., if you have roommates in your duplex who are doing things in public spaces). If the first floor is noisy, then the second floor might be quieter.

More privacy

Two-story duplexes can have more privacy than single-story apartments since, as mentioned earlier, they take up more space in an apartment building, so you’ll have fewer neighbors. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about nearby neighbors looking through your window, hearing you, or interacting with you.

Would you prefer to live in a one-floor apartment or a two-floor duplex? Sound off in the comments!

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