Master Bedroom vs. Master Suite: What Is the Difference?

Whether you are looking at homes or buying furniture, you might hear people talk about the master bedroom or the master suite. Although they often use the terms interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two.

Generally speaking, a master bedroom is the largest bedroom in the home, whereas a master suite includes an en suite bathroom and possibly a dressing room, sitting room, or other space. The master bedroom can have a private bathroom attached, but it can also stand on its own. A master suite always has at least a private en suite bathroom.

When you are buying or selling a home, it is important to understand the difference between these two terms. Continue reading to learn the differences between a master bedroom and a master suite.

How Do Master Bedrooms and Master Suites Differ?

While a master bedroom can be part of a master suite, the term refers to the largest room in the house. It may or may not have an en suite bathroom. A master suite always includes at least an en suite bathroom and it often includes other rooms.

Because the master bedroom is part of the master suite, people use the words interchangeably. The master bedroom will be larger than other rooms in the house. It should have space for a bed, a dresser, and a chest of drawers. It may also have a sitting area or a chaise where you can read a book.

A master suite will include the master bedroom as well as an en suite bathroom. It may also include one large closet or a couple of closets as well as a dressing room or a separate sitting room. There will be one point of entry to these connected rooms and together they make up the master suite.

Do All Houses Have a Master Bedroom?

Master Bedroom Vs. Master Suite. What is the Difference? - Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom Example

Nearly every house will have a master bedroom, which is known as the main bedroom in the house. The owner or the parents will live in this room. No matter what style the house is, it almost always has a master bedroom.

The master bedroom also normally has the best location in the home. It might be in the corner with windows that face in more than one direction. It also gives the room a bit of privacy. Today, the master bedroom is almost always part of a master suite, where there is an attached private bathroom.

Most modern homes are built with a master bathroom attached, but some older homes might have a separate bathroom. It isn’t practical to add a master bath to a house that is already built, as it is a major renovation that can be very costly.

What Is in a Master Suite?

Master Bedroom Vs. Master Suite. What is the Difference? - Master Suite view
Master Suite Example

The master suite has evolved and it is one of the most important parts of homes that are built today. It always includes a master bedroom and an en suite bathroom, but it is evolving to include a home office, a dressing room, a large closet, a sitting room, or other elements.

For some people, the master suite is a self-contained living area. New homes are also designed with a master suite on the first level, which can be a guest suite or an in-law suite. They often have a fireplace and they provide privacy from the other occupants of the home.

There can be an additional room that opens into the master bedroom. People often use it for a sitting room to watch tv or read a book, or it can be converted into a home office. Walk-in closets are an important part of the master suite and there will sometimes be two. Another feature that people add is a private patio or balcony.

Master Bedroom Example

In this video, Shea McGee takes us through a tour of her master bedroom. As beautiful as it is, notice how she doesn’t call it a master suite, even though it has a fireplace. The main reason is that it doesn’t have an en suite bathroom.

Final Words

People often use the terms master bedroom and master suite interchangeably, which leads them to wonder what the differences are between them. A master bedroom is the largest bedroom in the home, and it is part of a master suite. The master suite will have an en suite bathroom as well as other features to enhance this living area.

Not all homes have a master suite, but nearly every home will have a master bedroom. Understanding the difference is helpful when you are buying or selling a home.

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