The aim of the paper is to discuss selected methodological problems of quantitative comparative housing research. The analysis is based on EU-SILC data and the concept of overcrowding is considered. We used two alternative definitions of overcrowding rate, both based on normative assumptions and each giving slightly different results. We tried to answer the question, which definition is better. The basic idea was that the closer the ‘objective’ rate of overcrowding is to its ‘subjective’ assessment, the better the selected method (definition) is. Moreover, it was shown that while in more advanced countries the share of households that consider dwelling space to be a problem is significantly higher than the share of households living in overcrowded dwellings based on ‘objective’ criteria, in post-socialist countries the opposite is true.