When hunting for an apartment in NYC, there’s a lot of jargon you may not understand, especially when it comes to what square footage really means in tangible terms. How big is 400 square feet? What’s the difference between a two-bedroom apartment and a flex one-bedroom?

One of the most common questions real estate agents are asked is how to interpret the square footage of an apartment. How big is it, exactly? To makes things easier, we’ve come up with some more real-life examples of square footage:

1. A College Freshman’s Dorm Room: 100 Sq. Ft.

You may have heard about New York’s infamous 100-square-foot apartment when it hit the market in June 2015. The unit is steps away from Central Park and with a low, low price tag of $1,100/month. Though 100 square feet sounds small, creative living in micro-apartments is the hottest new trend in real estate and interior design.

Let’s give you a better idea of what chef Grayson Altenberg, the lucky renter of the tiny space, is living in. The 100 square foot unit is about the same size as an average college freshman dorm room. Could you fit your life into a college dorm room? Maybe you could cram in to snag a great deal on property in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.


2. A New York City Subway Car: 670 Sq. Ft.

Chances are, you won’t be sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom all in one 100-square-foot space. The typical acceptable size for a studio is typically around 300 square feet. A one-bedroom will run around 500 square feet and a flex three-bedroom apartment is typically between 900-1,200 square feet.

The average subway car is approximately 670 square feet. Two subway cars side-by-side will have you and your roommates living comfortably—or imagine 200 or so New Yorkers piled on top of each other during their morning commute to fill the same space.

3. An Olympic-Size Swimming Pool: 13,500 Sq. Ft.

Currently on the market is a French gothic mansion in the desirable, Central Park-adjacent neighborhood of Lenox Hill. Designed by the famed American architect C. P. H. Gilbert, the luxury townhouse boasts seven floors, an elevator, impossibly high ceilings, and sculptural staircases, rounding out at almost 14,000 square feet. This is not typical by any means in Manhattan.

In case that’s hard to picture, an Olympic-size swimming pool is just about 13,500 square feet. And this Lenox Hill gem isn’t even the biggest listing on the market!

Before you find the perfect apartment, make sure the couch you’ll be pivoting up the stairs like Rachel, Ross, and Chandler will fit in the living room. You don’t want to end up in a space that is too tiny! Now you’ll be able to better picture how much square footage you will need to comfortably fit yourself and your belongings.  Check out the original square footage help blog!

Of course, size isn’t everything. Keep in mind factors such as location, extra amenities, and proximity to transportation. Browse our listings and contact a Platinum Properties agent today to find your dream home in NYC.


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