What Are Studio Apartments?

Studio apartments are one room rental apartments generally with a small kitchen or kitchenette and full washroom and are generally the most affordable option. But they don't need to feel cramped at the same time. These are some studio apartments in downtown Chicago that let tenants stretch out more than just their budget. Studio apartments are a smart choice for renters who want a place of their own but don’t own a tremendous amount of stuff. Renters can can keep costs down by having fewer appliances, less waste and lower energy bills. Browse this selection of studios for rent that are far from pint-sized and open the imagination for renters who want to be organization gurus.

Where Can I Find Studio Apartments in Chicago?

Studio apartments in downtown Chicago tend to be in high-rise buildings, meaning more modern amenities such as on-site laundry, fitness centers and retail on the ground floor.  Some of the newer buildings offer studio apartments with premium finishes, views and really spectacular amenity spaces such as rooftop terraces, yoga rooms and sophisticated lounges that can easily function as impromptu office space thanks to high-speed WiFi. 

Read Domu's guide to living and renting an apartment in Chicago

During 2019, the neighborhoods with the most studio apartments for rent in Chicago were as follows:

Why Rent a Studio Apartment?

Renting a studio apartment in Chicago will save on monthly rent, in exchange for less space.  Spending a bit less on rent in comparison to more generous apartment floor plans may put money back into renters’ pockets for other expenses, such as parking or groceries. If you can do without certain luxuries, say like having a car, then renting a studio apartment could still work out to be a reasonable bet. Studios provide great access to public transportation as well as the best amenities the city has to offer -- most of them within walking distance. Keep in mind that the affordability index of apartments in Chicago tends to go up the further you get from downtown. 

A studio apartment may not be the way to go for every renter. But for those who embrace the minimalist lifestyle, studios mean you get more familiar with the space surrounding your apartment rather than the contents within it. It’s a nice way to get to know the area if you’re new to Chicago or have recently moved to an unfamiliar neighborhood. And don’t forget the most important thing about renting a studio apartment: you can save money on rent. 

How Much Are Chicago Studio Apartments?

Chicago studio apartments are the most affordable option for renters with rent beginning under $1,000 per month.  People searching for studio apartments in Chicago may have to look a bit further outside of downtown, where the median rental price for a studio apartment tends to be higher given the nicer amenities and newer construction. The citywide median rental price for studios listed on Domu was $1,307 in 2019,  an increase of 5% from 2018. The average monthly rent for studio apartments varies quite a bit from neighborhood to neighborhood. The newer buildings with more amenities, closer to Lake Michigan or the Chicago Loop were the most expensive. 

  1. River North Studio Apartments averaged $1,827 per month
  2. West Loop Studio Apartments averaged $1,816 per month
  3. Lakeshore East Studio Apartments averaged $1,733 per month
  4. Streeterville Studio Apartments averaged $1,691 per month
  5. Gold Coast Studio Apartments averaged $1,571 per month
  6. South Loop Studio Apartments averaged $1,559 per month
  7. Lincoln Park Studio Apartments averaged $1,394 per month
  8. Lakeview Studio Apartments averaged $1,179 per month
  9. Pilsen Studio Apartments averaged $1,147 per month
  10. Logan Square Studio Apartments averaged $1,115 per month
  11. Edgewater Studio Apartments averaged $1,024 per month
  12. Uptown Studio Apartments averaged $1,019 per month

Chicago Studio Apartments Rent Trends

Studio apartment rents continued to increase in the hottest neighborhoods in Chicago. Lincoln Park saw the largest increase with a 16% increase from 2018 to 2019. This was in part due to the opening of two new luxury apartment projects: Lincoln Common Apartments and Elevate Lincoln Park Apartments. Studio apartment rent in the Gold Coast increased by 10% and River North was a 7% increase in 2019. Streeterville and the South Loop also proved to be highly desirable for studio apartment renters with a 7% and 6% increase respectively. Pilsen, Edgewater, Lakeview, Uptown and Logan Square saw flat to modest increases in studio apartment rents.

How Big Are Studio Apartments In Chicago?

Studio apartments can vary only slightly in size. Typically, studios are similiar in size to an average-sized hotel room and include a small kitchenette area. There will be no dining room. A studio apartment should not be confused with a convertible apartment which is slightly larger and may have a movable dividing wall or large door separating the sleeping area with the rest of the apartment.