A bedsit, also known as a bed-sitting room, is a form of rented accommodation common in Great Britain and Ireland consisting of a single room and shared bathroom; they are part of a legal category of dwellings referred to as Houses in multiple occupation.

Bedsits arose from the subdivision of larger dwellings into small low-cost accommodations at low conversion cost. In the UK a growing desire for personal independence after World War II led to a reduced demand for traditional boarding houses with communal dining.

Socially, bedsits are often occupied by young single people, students, those who are unable to purchase their own properties, or those who, for one reason or another, are of a transitory nature, because the living costs are comparatively cheaper than those afforded by private property.

Someone living in a different town from the one in which they work they may rent a bedsit at low cost to avoid driving many miles to and from work each day.

The American equivalents to a bedsit are single room occupancy (SRO) and rooming house. By comparison, a studio apartment (also known as a studio flat in the United Kingdom) is a one room apartment with a small adjoining kitchen and a private bathroom.

A bedsit can also be compared to a Soviet communal apartment, in which a common kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and telephone are shared by several families, each of which lives in a single room opening up onto a common hallway.

References in popular cultureEdit

Bedsets (or bedsits) are often associated with poor people, and are referenced this way in "Late Lament" by The Moody Blues: "bedsitter people look back and lament/another day's useless energy spent". Justin Hayward, the "Nights In White Satin" song's composer and singer for The Moodies, actually wrote this in his own bed-sit at the age of 19 ("Late Lament" was written by the Moody Blues' drummer, Graeme Edge). Scottish folk-rock singer Al Stewart's premiere album is titled Bedsitter Images. The subject is also referenced for a similar purpose in "Legend in My Living Room" by Annie Lennox ["...Bright lights and trains and bedsit stains"] as well as the Soft Cell song "Bedsitter", about club life.

Harold Pinter's play The Room (1957) is a classic "kitchen sink" drama evoking the squalor and social depression of the bedsitting room culture of the time. The Bedsitter by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, starring Tony Hancock and produced by the BBC, originally for radio, is a classic depiction of the boredom of bedsit existence. The Bed Sitting Room" is the title of a surrealist or absurdist play by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus, filmed by Richard Lester in 1969, featuring Michael Hordern, Rita Tushingham, Ralph Richardson, Peter Cook, Harry Secombe, Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan; the aristocratic protagonist, in the aftermath of a nuclear war, is mutating into a bed-sitting pl:Kawalerka