Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels


If you’re someone who is always on the lookout for unique accommodations, lofts are just what you should consider for your next urban getaway. One of the most stylish and modern alternatives to houses and apartments in cities, lofts can be used as both accommodations and work studios.

One spacious industrial-style room with distinct living, cooking, sleeping, and working areas - if this sounds like something you would be interested in, keep reading this elaborate guide on loft rentals.

What are lofts?

Photo by Stephen Harlan on Flickr

Typically set on the upper stories of old commercial buildings, lofts feature a single and roomy open-concept space where you can eat, sleep, and work. Lofts boast high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, making the space airy and well-lit. Being located on repurposed commercial buildings, lofts often have exposed pipes, beams, and bare bricks adding to the characteristic industrial vibe of the interiors.

Lofts are unique to cities and urban areas, especially places that have witnessed rapid expansion in the past, such as New York City.

Types of lofts

Hard lofts

Soft lofts

Photo by TNS Sofres on Flickr

Also known as true lofts, hard lofts are genuine lofts set in repurposed commercial and industrial buildings. Hard lofts are usually always set on upper stories and feature all the true characteristics of a loft, including exposed pipes, beams, and bricks, making for an authentic experience.

Photo from rawpixel

Soft lofts are studio-like apartments boasting the characteristics and industrial design of a loft. Unlike hard lofts, soft lofts are set in residential complexes and buildings. They also feature well-planned amenities and spaces with little or no walls, perfectly simulating hard lofts. Another distinguishing feature of some soft lofts are the lofted bedrooms that are accessible via a few stairs.

Difference between regular apartments and lofts

Now that we know what lofts are, let’s delve into how they differ from regular apartments and houses.

Photo by Simostylearreda on Wikimedia Commons

Floor plan

Apartments feature separate living rooms and bedrooms with walls and doors between them. Even though some apartments might have an open-concept living room, the bedroom is always separate and private.

Lofts feature one large living space with no separating walls. You can find sleeping areas, living areas, kitchens, and work areas, all in one spacious open-concept space.


An apartment or a house features a 9-ft (2.7-m) to 11-ft (3.4-m ceiling.

Lofts come with higher ceilings that make them appear even more voluminous and airy, adding to the industrial interior design.


Depending on the number of bedrooms, apartments and houses can vary greatly in size. The more rooms an apartment has, the more carpet area it boasts.

The differences in carpet areas in lofts are not very distinguishable. They generally have more square footage than apartments.


Apartments and houses are more suitable for larger groups as the separate bedrooms provide much-needed privacy.

As there are no walls in lofts to make for separate bedrooms, they don’t offer privacy for larger groups. Lofts are ideal for couples, a group of best friends, or a small family.


Like the size and carpet area, the more bedrooms there are in rental apartments, the more pricey they’re going to get.

The price of lofts depends on the amenities and the quality of the furnishings provided. Usually, lofts are more expensive than apartments.


Apartments are well-planned accommodations that usually always offer well-distinguished storage spaces such as wardrobes and cabinets.

Since hard lofts are set in repurposed commercial buildings, they don’t usually feature many wardrobes and storage units.

Difference between soft lofts and studio apartments

While apartments and houses have clear differences from lofts, it might not be that simple to differentiate between studio apartments and soft lofts. Even hard lofts differ clearly from studios, as they’re set on the upper stories of old commercial and industrial buildings. So, let’s look at a few differences that set the two accommodations apart.

Photo by Max Rahubovskiy on Pexels


Lofts usually feature industrial design elements, such as high ceilings, no interior walls, and exposed beams and bare bricks.

Studios are more like small, open-concept houses or apartments, which are built that way to maximize the limited space available.

Size and space

Lofts generally feature a large open space.

Studio apartments are usually smaller than lofts and are built with an open-concept design because of the lack of space.

Amenities usually included in lofts

  • Kitchen

A kitchen is one of those standard features that are usually included in lofts. How well-appointed it’s going to be depends on the price you’re paying for the loft. While some hard lofts only feature an island counter and a few shelves on the wall for a kitchen, soft lofts usually boast a more well-planned kitchen space.

Photo by Max Rahubovskiy from Pexels

  • Laundry equipment

To make your stay more convenient and hassle-free, some lofts feature laundry facilities. Lofts that come with laundry equipment such as a washer and dryer are ideal for extended stays.

  • Air-conditioning/heating

For the year-round comfort of residents and guests, lofts usually include air-conditioning and heating. Most lofts, especially those in the USA and Canada, feature air-conditioning that you can control through a thermostat.

  • Separate bathroom

A separate bathroom is another standard feature that all lofts offer. While soft lofts feature well-planned separate spaces for the bathroom, hard lofts might have a separate corner or side for the bathroom.

  • Internet and workspace

Over the years, lofts have often been used by different artists as both an accommodation space and a work studio. Following this lead, even soft lofts usually feature a dedicated workspace along with a Wi-Fi connection.

Photo by Skylar Kang on Pexels

  • Entertainment

One of the most common forms of entertainment that lofts offer is a TV. Some of the more modernly equipped lofts offer Smart TVs that allow you to stream your favorite films and shows for an even better viewing experience. Other means of entertainment that you might find in some lofts are board games, puzzles, gaming consoles, and books.

  • Parking

Even though the availability of parking might have been a bit rare for lofts, more and more properties, especially soft lofts, have been offering access to a parking space today.

  • Lounge space

Both soft lofts and hard lofts feature a seating area, usually with a comfy couch where you can lounge and watch TV or read a book. As for outdoor lounging spaces, you might also find a small balcony in some lofts.

Advantages and disadvantages of staying in a loft

Like all things, lofts have their own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at a few advantages and disadvantages of booking a loft.



Large and open floor plan

With a single and roomy open-concept design, lofts offer plenty of space to move around. You can seamlessly switch from working to eating at the dining table or watching TV on the couch.

Lack of privacy

Since lofts are spacious, open-concept spaces without any interior walls, they don’t offer any privacy whatsoever. If you’re traveling with your friends and sharing a loft for accommodation, be prepared to stay in each other’s presence at all times.

Huge windows

Usually featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, lofts let in plenty of natural light, making for a bright and refreshing stay. The sizable windows also make the space airy.

Tendency to overheat in summer or get too cold in winter

The open floor plans of lofts also make them less hospitable during extreme weather conditions. The lack of interior walls makes the space more prone to get too hot or too cold.

Stylish decor

The offbeat industrial design of lofts is another thing that makes for a unique living experience. If you’re a model or a photographer, the bare bricks and exposed ducts, along with chic modern furniture, also make for a brilliant setting for a shoot.

Usually in a bustling location

If you’re someone who prefers to stay in quiet neighborhoods, lofts might not be for you. Lofts, especially hard lofts, are usually located in bustling areas, particularly where the past commercial centers of the cities used to be.

Modern amenities

Lofts, especially soft lofts, feature modern amenities such as kitchen equipment, Smart TVs, and laundry equipment, among others.

Less storage space

Offering little to no storage space, lofts are not ideal for those who travel with lots of luggage. Lofts usually only feature open wardrobes and a few cabinets in rare cases. So, if you’re planning to stay in a loft, it would be best to pack light.

Urban location

Set in metropolises and urban areas, lofts allow you to explore new cities and witness their bustling vibe. This makes lofts a perfect accommodation option for city wanderers, artists, and working professionals traveling to a new city.


Even though lofts are the most popular in the US, you can find some loft rentals in other parts of the world as well. Check out some of the best destinations with lofts across various regions of the US and the world.

Destinations with lofts in the US West

Photo by The Erica Chang on Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles

One of the most frequented cities in the US, the City of Angels offers endless attractions for all kinds of travelers. Whether you want to stay in the lively downtown or look for accommodation in the star-studded entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood, you can find plenty of lofts for rent in Los Angeles. To experience Hollywood’s nightlife and live music venues, you can also stay in one of the stunning lofts for rent in West Hollywood.


Admire the stunning landscapes of the Sonoran Desert by embarking on one of the scenic drives in Phoenix. To make the most of the city’s urban vibe, check out one of its buzzing nightclubs. As for accommodation, stay in one of its lofts for rent for a budget-friendly getaway.


Sitting in the northwestern corner of the US, magnificent Seattle is surrounded by lakes, bays, and woods. Boasting waterfront dining, an abundance of breweries, and brilliant jazz bars, Seattle has it all. For a comfortable and chic stay in the city, you can book one of its lofts for rent.

Destinations with lofts in the US Midwest

Photo by Chris Gent on Flickr


Make the most of the charming coastline on Lake Erie while staying in one of the lofts for rent in Cleveland. With plenty of these lofts located on the waterfront downtown, they easily allow you to immerse yourself in the city’s vibe.


Another Midwestern metropolis on the mouth of Lake Erie, Detroit offers plenty of attractions and things to do. It also boasts a vibrant downtown on the shore of the Detroit River, where you can find one of the various lofts for rent for a comfortable stay.


Minneapolis features various industrial-style hard lofts for rent, which make for a unique stay in one of its cool neighborhoods. During your stay in Minneapolis, you can eat at one of the farm-to-table restaurants in the city or dance the night away in one of its nightclubs.

Destinations with lofts in the US South

Photo by Michael Barera on Wikimedia Commons


Thanks to the great number of historic commercial buildings in Dallas, it boasts an abundance of lofts throughout the city. Book your stay at one of the charming lofts for rent in Dallas and embark on any of the exciting day trips from the city. If you want to feel the pulse of the city, however, you can stay in one of the lofts for rent in downtown Dallas.


One of the most vibrant tourist destinations in the country, Miami features a perfect blend of coastal beauty and upscale urbanity. For a unique stay in the city, check out these lofts for rent, some of which offer magnificent views of the Miami skyline.


With the iconic Broadway in its very vibrant downtown, Nashville is one of the best cities to enjoy music in the US. To make the most of it, you can sing your heart out in karaoke bars or hit one of the outstanding piano bars. As for accommodation, you can stay in any of the chic lofts for rent.

Destinations with lofts in the US Northeast

Photo by Matthew Henry on Freerange Stock

New York City

If you have to credit one place for popularizing lofts and branding them as chic and classy accommodations, it has to be New York City. From funky soft lofts to characteristic industrial lofts, you can find plenty of Airbnb lofts in New York City. With five boroughs, it’s also one of the largest metropolises in the country. Whether you’re in Brooklyn or Queens, you can find many lofts for rent for a comfortable stay.

Jersey City

Sitting across the Hudson River from the glitzy Manhattan borough of New York City, Jersey City is a melting pot of cultures. One of the best things you can do while staying in one of the lofts for rent in Jersey City is to check out its wide range of international restaurants that offer recipes from around the world.


Known for its rich history, remarkable historic places, and plenty of magnificent famous buildings, Philadelphia is the perfect destination for history buffs. To be a part of it, book your stay in one of its unique lofts for rent, some of which are set in historic buildings.

Destinations with lofts in Canada

Photo by linux99 on Wikimedia Commons


One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Toronto allows you to witness a range of cultures and sample a variety of cuisines. Always bustling with locals, tourists, and international students, Toronto offers endless attractions and things to do for all kinds of travelers. For a comfortable stay during your exploration of this modern city, you can book one of its stunning lofts. To also relish charming lakefront parks and the lush nature of the city, you can find a loft for rent in the Etobicoke suburb.


The Canadian capital sits on the shore of the Ottawa River and straddles the Rideau River, both of which bestow it with lush nature and greenery. To admire all of it, consider booking a soft loft for rent in the city.


From teardrop camper rentals to well-appointed lofts for rent, you can find a range of unique accommodations in Vancouver. During your stay in the city, you may indulge in a range of different activities, including exploring scenic hiking spots in its vicinity and dancing the night away in one of its vibrant nightclubs.

Destinations with lofts in Europe

Photo by Nicole Rathmayr on Pexels


On your next visit to the UK, have a unique stay in one of the lofts for rent across the country. If you’re only going to stay in the capital, you can also find several stunning lofts for rent in London. To admire the lush countryside, book a stay in a loft for rent near Worcester.


From its magnificent countryside to its historic and culture-rich cities, France has something for everyone. For your next visit, delve into its industrial past by booking a loft in Paris. Some of the lofts in the city also make for a budget-friendly stay.


With plenty of historic and famous landmarks and magnificent UNESCO sites, Italy is an absolute treat for tourists. If you’re backpacking solo or on a getaway with your partner, book one of the chic lofts for rent for a stylish and restful stay.

The future of loft living

Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels

Along with incorporating modern amenities and chic new designs, lofts are also evolving to become more sustainable. Many lofts come with energy-efficient features to appeal to environmentally conscious individuals. The huge open spaces in lofts require more powerful heating and cooling systems than regular apartments. Using renewable energy sources will thus be a great alternative.

Factors to consider when booking a loft

Now that you know everything about lofts and are considering booking one for your next urban getaway, let’s take a look at a few things that you can consider before finalizing your booking.

  • Location

Lofts are usually set in bustling hotspots, making them ideal for those who want to witness the urban vibe. If you prefer to stay in quieter areas instead, you can consider soft lofts, as some of them might be located away from the city’s bustle.

  • Number of people allowed

If you’re traveling with a large group, skip lofts and look for vacation rentals instead. Most lofts usually allow only two overnight guests, with the upper limit being four guests in larger lofts. The lack of privacy also makes lofts ideal for couples or small groups.

  • Amenities

Lofts offer standard amenities such as kitchens, laundry equipment, internet, parking, and TVs, making for a comfortable stay. If you’re looking for luxurious amenities, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and exercise equipment, among others, you can consider luxury rentals and apartments.

  • Price

Usually costing more than studio apartments, lofts are certainly not the cheapest accommodation options if you’re on a budget. They’re priced higher because of their higher maintenance costs and urban location. If you need a cheaper option, you can go for a studio instead.

  • Accessibility

Lofts are usually located in upper stories of buildings, without the availability of elevators in many cases. This makes lofts only accessible to those who can comfortably climb stairs. Additionally, some properties feature lofted sleeping areas, which also require climbing stairs.

  • Child policy

Some hosts don’t advise and allow lofts for those traveling with kids, as lofts are not particularly toddler-friendly. If you’re planning to stay with your kids, make sure to check the safety measures and read the child policy.

  • House rules and policies

To avoid any surprises during your stay, make sure to go through the house rules and policies, including pet policies, quiet hours, and additional guest rules.

Elevate your stay in a stylish loft

Photo from Pxhere

With an open but distinguished floor plan and unique interior design, lofts are unlike any other accommodations you can find in an urban setup. Often set in bustling historic areas, lofts perfectly depict a city’s vibe and allow you to delve deeper into its history and culture. It also makes it perfect for you to explore a city’s liveliest areas, making for an engaging stay.

Lofts in the USA

Lofts in Canada

Lofts in Europe

Lofts in Asia and Africa

FAQ's about Lofts

  • What are lofts?
    Lofts are spacious accommodations with an open floor plan, often set in the upper stories of repurposed commercial buildings.
  • Do lofts have walls?
    Lofts do not have any interior walls and feature a large open-concept space with distinguished areas for sleeping, lounging, and working.
  • Is a loft different from an apartment?
    One of the biggest differences between lofts and apartments is the floor plan. While apartments feature separate rooms, lofts feature one spacious room with an open-concept design.
  • What amenities are usually available in lofts?
    Lofts offer standard amenities such as kitchens, laundry facilities, air-conditioning, and Wi-Fi, among others, making for a comfortable and hassle-free stay.
  • Do lofts come with parking space?
    While some lofts offer a parking space, make sure to confirm it by checking all amenities or contacting the host before booking.
  • Are lofts pet-friendly?
    Some lofts happily welcome pets, especially service animals. You may contact the host beforehand to check out their pet policies.
  • Are lofts more expensive than apartments?
    Lofts are usually a bit more expensive than standard apartments, but it also depends on the amenities, location, and other factors.
  • Where can I book a loft?
    If you’re planning to book a loft, search for them on Airbnb and Vrbo. You can also check out the above-mentioned destinations, which feature some of the best lofts.

Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top