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Loft vs. Attic: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Published on December 11, 2023
A loft is an upper room or floor in a building, often open to the lower floor, while an attic is a space under the roof, usually used for storage or habitation.

Key Differences

A loft typically refers to an upper level or floor in a building that is partially or entirely open to the floor below, often used as a living or working space. An attic, however, is a space located directly under the roof of a house, usually enclosed and used for storage or as an extra room.
Lofts are often found in commercial buildings or apartments, characterized by high ceilings and large windows, and are popular in urban living spaces. Attics are more traditional residential spaces, usually smaller and less accessible, often used for storing items not in regular use.
In terms of design, lofts are known for their open, spacious layout, and modern aesthetics. Attics, conversely, are more confined, characterized by sloping ceilings and are often less finished than other areas of a home.
Lofts can also refer to converted industrial spaces, where former warehouses or factories are transformed into residential or commercial areas. Attics are typically part of a house's original design, often seen in older homes with pitched roofs.
Accessibility differs between the two; lofts are usually part of the main living space and easily accessible, while attics may require a ladder or stairs and are not always easily reachable.

Comparison Chart


Upper level, open to lower floor
Space under the roof

Common Use

Living, working space
Storage or extra room


Spacious, modern, high ceilings
Enclosed, sloping ceilings, less finished

Building Type

Commercial, urban apartments
Residential, often in older homes


Part of main living space, easily accessible
May require ladder or stairs, less accessible

Loft and Attic Definitions


A converted living space in a former industrial building.
They live in a trendy loft in the city's warehouse district.


A space or room at the top of a building, under the roof.
Old family heirlooms were stored in the attic.


A gallery or upper level in a church or hall.
The choir sang from the loft overlooking the congregation.


The highest story of a building, typically a storage area.
We found vintage suitcases in the attic of the old house.


A room or space directly under the roof, used for storage or habitation.
They transformed the loft into a cozy guest room.


A room used for storage or sometimes as an extra living space.
The attic was converted into a playroom for the kids.


An upper room or floor in a building, often open to below.
The artist converted the loft into a bright studio.


A habitable space, sometimes converted into a bedroom or office.
She set up her home office in the attic for more privacy.


An open, airy living space, typically in urban areas.
The loft apartment features exposed brick and large windows.


A small, often unfinished space under the roof of a house.
The attic is only accessible by a pull-down ladder.


A large, usually unpartitioned floor over a factory, warehouse, or other commercial or industrial space.


A story or room directly below the roof of a building, especially a house.


Such a floor converted into an apartment or artist's studio.


A low wall or story above the cornice of a classical façade.


Can a loft be a bedroom?

Yes, lofts can be converted into bedrooms, especially in urban apartments.

Do lofts have windows?

Some lofts have skylights or windows, but it varies by design.

How does a loft differ from an attic?

A loft is typically a large, open space, often converted for residential use, while an attic is a smaller space used mainly for storage.

What is a loft?

A loft is an upper room or space in a building, usually under the roof, used for storage or sometimes as a living space.

Is a loft considered a second floor?

Not usually. A loft is typically part of the top floor, not a separate floor.

What's the purpose of a loft in a home?

Lofts can serve various purposes, from extra living space to a home office or studio.

Are lofts insulated?

Insulation depends on the building, but lofts in living spaces are generally insulated.

Can lofts be found in all types of buildings?

Lofts are more common in certain building types, like converted warehouses or barns.

What is a loft in a barn?

In a barn, a loft is an upper area used mainly for storage, particularly of hay or grain.

What is an attic?

An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or building, often used for storage.

How is an attic different from a basement?

An attic is at the top of a house under the roof, while a basement is below the ground level.

Is an attic considered a separate floor?

Typically, no. An attic is part of the top floor, not a distinct floor level.

Can an attic be converted into living space?

Yes, attics can be converted into bedrooms, offices, or other living spaces.

Do all houses have attics?

Not all houses have attics; it depends on the design and structure of the building.

Can attics have windows?

Some attics have small windows or vents, but they may also be windowless.

What's the purpose of an attic?

Attics are primarily used for storage but can also house mechanical equipment like HVAC systems.

Are attics common in all regions?

Attics are more common in regions with pitched roofs, which are often designed for weather considerations like snow.

Is a loft more modern than an attic?

Loft living spaces are often seen as more modern or trendy, especially in urban areas.

Are attics insulated?

Yes, attics are usually insulated to improve a home's energy efficiency.

What is the access point to an attic called?

The access point is commonly called an attic hatch or access panel.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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