The Best Self-Storage Unit Companies for Moving or Decluttering

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Self Storage Room With Boxes

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Whether you’re moving and need temporary storage, run a small business and need a place to store inventory, or have a crowded driveway, self-storage units are a popular solution to clear the clutter. Not only do they serve as extra space you can rent on a month-to-month basis, but you’ll also have access to your belongings whenever you need them. These convenient units also come with their own bells and whistles to help ensure that your items are kept safe.  

The best self-storage unit companies offer security, cleanliness, excellent customer service, size variety, and, most importantly, competitive pricing. To help make the hunt for storage space easier, we researched the best self-storage unit companies, each of which excels in a variety of the aforementioned factors. Let your mind be at ease once you select one of these vetted self-storage unit companies to take care of your precious belongings.

Best Self-Storage Unit Companies of 2023

Best Overall: Extra Space Storage

Extra Space Storage

Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 41 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes 
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Storage calculator tool helps determine what size unit you’ll need

  • Offers 24/7 customer support via phone or live chat

  • Has secure vehicle storage solutions for cars, motorcycles, and more

  • Occupancy rates are high, so you’ll need to plan ahead

Why It Made the List 

Extra Space Storage is our top pick for best self-storage unit company due to its wide availability, amenities, and size options. The company owns and operates more than 2,300 self-storage stores in 41 states, with approximately 1.4 million units ranging from 2 x 2 feet  to 10 x 30 feet. If you’re unsure of what size unit you need, the company’s website offers a handy storage size guide to help determine exactly how much space you need to rent.

All Extra Space Storage locations have video surveillance, well-lit facilities, controlled access that requires a code to enter, and a manager on-site during office hours. Climate-controlled self-storage units are also available to help protect your belongings from extreme heat or cold. Additionally, staff members work hard to maintain the facility, ensuring that your belongings are placed in a clean and safe environment free of any mold, debris, and other messes.

For any inquiries or storage access needs, Extra Space Storage offers 24/7 customer support through various channels. Whether you prefer to chat on the phone, get a quick response via live chat, or send a DM through social media, the company promises to respond promptly and can bounce between channels as needed. Do note that occupancy rates are high, so it’s best to book the service ahead of time to net yourself a unit with minimal hassle.

Best Accessibility: Neighbor

Neighbor logo


Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Allows you to easily rent storage spaces from nearby residents

  • Offers property protection plans up to $50,000 for your items

  • Pricing can be lower than traditional options

  • Storage hosts aren’t professionals and security measures will vary

  • Unit sizes are not always standard measurements

Why It Made the List

Neighbor’s concept is like a rideshare model, as you’ll be renting unused space from people near your location instead of from a traditional self-storage facility. If you use this service, you can rent someone’s empty shed, a large driveway, part of a garage or carport, a closet, or a bedroom. It’s unconventional, but the brand claims renters pay 30 to 50% less for the spaces they rent as a result. 

Just like with Yelp, Neighbor provides a transparent rating system for each host, including reviews from their prior renters. Before picking a location, you’ll have a chance to take a look at each host’s profile and decide which person you trust to take care of your items. However, since hosts are people in your area, it’s more than likely they aren’t professionals, therefore sizes and amenities that you’d normally get with larger self-storage unit companies (security, climate-controlled units, etc.) will vary. 

To help reassure you, Neighbor does offer property protection plans that cover up to $50,000 for your items. If you do decide on a host, there’s no paperwork to deal with, and payments—which are typically secure, monthly payments—are all handled online. Additionally, any messaging and communications are handled through the website or mobile app, allowing you to keep your private information to yourself. 

Best Security: Life Storage

life storage logo

life storage

Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 37 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Units come equipped with personalized access codes and locks

  • 24/7 surveillance and security to ensure your items are monitored

  • Offers parking lot and indoor storage options

  • Some facilities require you to buy their lock instead of bringing your own

  • Doesn’t cover items with its own insurance

Why It Made the List 

A self-storage unit company is only as good as its security—after all, you’re handing over some of your most important possessions. Life Storage uses digital surveillance cameras to monitor the facility grounds and buildings 24/7, and bright LED lighting to illuminate the aisles and hallways. Property and storage buildings can only be accessed by personalized code, and locks can be purchased to maximize security.

While a ton of security measures are taken to ensure the safety of your belongings, locks can be a pain point. Some facilities allow you to bring your own lock to use on your unit, but other facilities require you to buy a Life Storage branded lock. This will vary depending on the location, so it’s always best to call the company’s 24-hour phone line to see if a nearby Life Storage will allow you to bring your own lock.

Life Storage offers extended hours (typically 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.) in most locations and 24/7 access in other facilities, giving you flexible access to your items. However, stored belongings aren’t covered by Life Storage, meaning you’ll have to insure your items through a separate insurance policy. Despite this, you don’t have to worry about any long-term commitments, allowing you to rent a unit for as much or as little time as you’d like depending on your budget.

Best Mini Storage: Simply Self Storage

simply self storage logo

Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 41 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes 
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Why It Made the List 

Simply Self Storage Mini Storage units give you the extra space you need without having to pay for a full-sized unit. These units are 5 x 5 feet or smaller, and may very well be akin to an extra closet. Typically, units of this size are great for storing an appliance, a twin or full-size mattress, dining room chairs, small furniture, and boxes. Think of it as a convenient extension of your home or office that helps keep things you aren’t using much out of the way.

These small storage units feature security cameras, keypad entry, a fully fenced lot, indoor and outdoor lighting, and drive-up unit access. Renting a mini unit can simply be done online and falls within the $30 to $40 price range. If you need more space or need a unit to store precious cargo, Simply Self Storage also offers larger and climate-controlled units as well.

Most Simply Self Storage facilities protect your belongings with coverage of $2,000 as part of its Safeguard Program. If this coverage isn’t available at your facility, you’ll still have the option of purchasing insurance and getting quotes for a variety of coverage limits. Do keep in mind that most locations aren’t accessible on Sundays, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you wish to pick up or drop off anything on the weekend.

Best for Vehicle Storage: U-Haul

U-Haul logo


Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 50 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Can store motorized vehicles indoors or outdoors

  • Outdoor drive-up storage units allow for easy loading and unloading

  • Doesn’t charge a deposit or admin fee

  • Customer service outcomes have mixed results in online reviews

Why It Made the List

You’re probably already familiar with U-Haul moving trucks, but this company also excels in storage options. The company owns 913,000 rentable storage units across its facilities, many of which offer vehicle storage thanks to its enclosed, covered, and uncovered storage spaces. These units are large enough to accommodate RVs, boats, cars, pickup trucks, and other motorized vehicles.

You can feel secure storing your vehicle with U-Haul due to its emphasis on security, offering features like cameras, individually alarmed rooms, electronic access, intercoms, and fire sprinklers. To rent a vehicle storage space, bring your driver’s license or other government-issued ID along with a license plate number, make of boat/vehicle, and proof of current insurance policy.

Although U-Haul makes storing vehicles fairly convenient, there are numerous mixed reviews about the company. A variety of these reviews touch on everything from customer service to misleading terms. While not every U-Haul is created equal, we recommend double-checking with a customer service rep and seeing a facility yourself before committing to any decisions.

Best Portable Containers: PODS

PODS logo - brand CTA

Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 46 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes; at Storage Centers
  • Video Surveillance: Yes; at Storage Centers

Why It Made the List 

PODS offers a unique storage model that places efficiency above all else. The service delivers a storage container directly to your home so that you can load and unload it at your own pace. Once it’s loaded, you can either keep the container on-site or have it sent to one of the brand’s Storage Centers for extra safekeeping. Do note that if you opt for the latter option, you will only have access six days a week, as many physical locations are closed on Sundays.

PODS containers are 8-, 12-, or 16-feet long and are made from sturdy steel construction that helps protect your cargo from the elements, whether stored indoors or out. One major concern customers have about portable pods is that their items may shift in transit, causing damage. To help alleviate these fears, PODS has a level-lift system called PODZILLA that keeps containers level while being lifted onto and off PODS trucks.

While PODS are certainly convenient for a variety of belongings, these self-storage containers aren’t ideal for cars or motorized vehicles. Additionally, climate-controlled units and video surveillance are only available at physical PODS Storage Centers. If you’re interested in booking the service, you can check the company’s website to see what locations are near you.

Best for Commercial Use: Compass Self Storage

compass self storage best climate controlled self storage companies

Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 14 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Allows commercial tenants 24-hour storage access

  • Handles inventory and supply deliveries for customers

  • Offers packing supplies, dollies, carts, and truck rentals

  • Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau

Why It Made the List 

Compass Self Storage may only be available in 14 states, but its commercial self-storage options are pretty comprehensive. Whether you’re looking to store tax documents, tools, or business equipment, the company offers climate-controlled self-storage units with extended access hours, electronic gate access, and 24-hour video recording. Retailers, manufacturers, pharmaceutical reps, educational institutions, governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations in particular can make the most of what this company has to offer.

One of the best perks Compass Self Storage offers is delivery acceptance on your behalf. Additionally, if you need boxes, packing supplies, carts, and dollies, the company has you covered there, too. While Compass Self Storage isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it has received overwhelmingly positive reviews online.

Best for Budget: CubeSmart

CubeSmart logo


Key Specs:

  • Nationwide Availability: 41 states
  • Climate Controlled: Yes
  • Video Surveillance: Yes

Pros & Cons

  • Offers military discounts, college student specials, and a referral program

  • Can store cars, RVs, motorcycles, and other vehicles

  • Specialized wine storage available

  • Not all locations have a loading dock

  • Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau

Why It Made the List 

Storing your goods doesn’t have to cost a small fortune, and CubeSmart excels in this philosophy. In fact, if you’re looking for cheap self-storage units, this company has an entire “deals” tab on its website, offering moving truck deals, military discounts, and college student specials. You can save even more by taking advantage of its referral program, which knocks $25 off one month’s rent for each friend who signs up.

Even though the pricing is lower than that of its competitors, CubeSmart doesn’t skimp on basic features. The company offers vehicle storage, climate-controlled self-storage units, and 24-hour video surveillance paired with electronic gate access. CubeSmart even offers wine storage in a low-light and climate-controlled environment, perfect for wine enthusiasts.   

Some CubeSmart locations also have drive-up storage units, which are ground-floor units that have their own loading area. This feature is ideal for storing large or heavy items directly from your vehicle without having to maneuver through hallways or elevators. We wish every location had this perk, but CubeSmart’s discounts more than make up for this slight drawback.

Final Verdict

There are millions of self-storage units in the United States, each offering their own specialties and services. If you don’t mind using a less-conventional service, Neighbor covers all 50 states and offers surprisingly cheap self-storage units in residential neighborhoods. If you’re moving and want to pack and unload at your own pace, PODS portable containers are sure to satisfy you. 

While these companies are certainly strong competitors, our best suggestion for any self-storage needs is Extra Storage Space. This company prides itself on being a step above the competition, which it demonstrates through a variety of customer-centric features. The company prioritizes safety through a combination of video surveillance, bright lighting, and gated access. Staff members also keep facilities in pristine condition so you don’t have to worry about hazards that could soil your belongings. Lastly, 24/7 customer support is available via phone, live chat, or social media DMs, ensuring you always have a way to connect.

Compare the Best Self Storage Unit Companies

Company Nationwide Availability Climate Controlled Units? Video Surveillance? Vehicle Storage? 24/7 Customer Support?
Extra Space Storage Best Overall  41 states Yes Yes Yes Yes
Neighbor Best Accessibility 50 states Yes Yes Yes No
Life Storage Best Security 37 states Yes Yes Yes Yes
Simply Self Storage Best Mini Storage 41 states Yes Yes Yes No
U-Haul Best for Vehicle Storage 50 states  Yes Yes Yes Yes
PODS Best Portable Containers 46 states Yes Yes No No
Compass Self Storage Best for Commercial Use 14 states Yes Yes Yes No
CubeSmart Best for Buget 41 states Yes Yes Yes Yes

Types of Self-Storage Units

When it comes to self-storage units, one size certainly does not fit all. There are a variety of types of storage units that each serve a different purpose. Depending on your needs, one of these units may work best for you. 


Standard storage units are the most common option for self-storage, and they come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all of your belongings—from small, closet-like spaces to units large enough to hold the belongings of a multi-bedroom house. These units are empty spaces in a storage facility, where you can load and unload during the hours in which the facility grants access. Many companies also offer drive-up storage units that make loading and unloading your belongings easier, preventing you from navigating hallways and elevators to reach a unit.


Climate-controlled self-storage units are an upgraded option that help protect your cargo from extreme weather, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. It's important to note that there is no industry standard when it comes to “climate control,” though generally, this means units are kept between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. However, if a unit is listed as “temperature controlled,” know that it likely isn’t humidity controlled, which is why it isn’t referred to as “climate controlled.” 

Specialty Storage

There are also storage units for special purposes, like storing cars, boats, RVs, and even wine. When looking for specialty storage, be sure to inquire about the space in which your items will be stored and that you’re satisfied with the conditions. For instance, vehicles can be stored indoors or outdoors (and covered or uncovered), and the pricing will vary accordingly.

Portable Storage

Portable storage containers are delivered to your home, and can be loaded and unloaded at your house, at your convenience. If you don’t have the space for long-term storage on-site (or your HOA doesn’t allow it), these containers can then be picked up and stored off-site at the company’s local facility as well. 

How to Choose the Best Self-Storage Unit

While many self-storage unit companies specialize in particular categories such as vehicle or commercial storage, there are some important factors to consider when deciding between the best self-storage unit companies.


You’ll likely want to choose a facility that’s near your home or office. Ideally, this will allow you to conveniently drop off or pick up your belongings with little hassle. 


It’s best to choose a unit that’s the right size for your needs so you aren’t overpaying for extra space or trying to jam too much into a tiny unit. Most storage companies offer online size guides to help you determine which measurements will result in the perfect fit. 


Be sure to check out what security measures the facility has in place. Things like surveillance cameras, gated access, lighting, and on-site management will help keep your cargo safe and sound. 

Extra Amenities

Find out about offerings like drive-up access, 24-hour operations, apps, and online bill pay. Insurance is another consideration to protect your belongings, so ask if the company offers it. If not, it might be wise to purchase insurance if your current policy doesn’t cover storage units. 


Price is always going to be a major deciding factor when you’re picking a self-storage unit company. Self-storage unit prices will vary depending on the company, supply, and other factors, so it's highly recommended that you compare and contrast prices from varying brands. Different locations may also run specials at various intervals, so be sure to look for deals and discounts.

Preparing to Move Your Stuff Into Storage

Once you’ve decided on a self-storage unit company, it’s time to prepare your belongings for the big move. Whether you’re getting a portable storage unit or taking all your belongings to a facility, consider the following tips to ensure that your stored items are in tip-top shape for the duration of their stay.

  • Take inventory of all your belongings to make sure you know what is and isn’t going to your selected storage unit.
  • Clean all your items—anything that’s dirty, wet, moldy, or smelly will only intensify in an enclosed space.
  • Disassemble large objects and furniture to maximize space and make transporting them easier.
  • Pack and label boxes so you can easily find something without having to sift through a ton of containers.
  • Strategically place all your belongings, putting your heaviest boxes near the floor and stacking your lightest bins on top. 
  • If you’re going to need access to certain seasonal clothes or decor, make those the most accessible objects in the unit by placing them near the unit’s opening.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the difference between full-service storage and self-storage?

    Full-service storage typically refers to a storage service where the provider handles all aspects of the storage process, including packing, picking up, transporting, and storing your items. Self-storage, on the other hand, refers to a service where the customer is responsible for packing, transporting, and storing their items in a rented unit.  

  • How far in advance should you book a storage unit?

    Storage unit pricing and availability ebb and flow with the season and market conditions. But generally, it’s always best to plan as far ahead as possible to ensure the best pricing and options. For instance, during peak moving season—such as summer—storage units may fill up months in advance. It’s possible to find a storage unit at the last minute, but you may not get your first choice.

  • Do all storage units have 24-hour access?

    While many larger storage unit brands may offer 24-hour access, not all self-storage companies do. It’s important to check the access hours of a storage facility before renting a unit to ensure it meets your needs. 

  • Are self-storage units secure?

    The security level of self-storage units varies by company, but most facilities take specific measures to ensure the safety and security of your belongings. Common safety features include gated access with keycode or keycard entry, surveillance cameras, climate-controlled units, ample lighting, on-site management, and insurance options. Be sure to research the security features of any storage company you’re considering prior to signing a contract. 

  • What is the most popular self-storage unit size?

    A 10 x 10 unit is the most popular storage unit size due to its versatility. This medium-sized space equates to 100 square feet and can usually fit the contents of a two-bedroom apartment, including furniture and boxes. The next most popular size is a 10 x 20 unit, which is roughly the size of a garage, allowing you to fit a car and still have room to spare.  

  • What should you not put into a storage facility?

    There are a handful of things that are prohibited from being stored in a self-storage unit, as they may be hazardous or against the facility’s policies. These include: perishable food; live plants; animals; hazardous materials, such as paint, fertilizer, fireworks, oil, bleach, gasoline, propane tanks, acetone, and more; firearms and ammunition; valuables such as antique art, passports, and family heirlooms; money.

  • Will furniture get moldy in a storage unit?

    Furniture in a storage unit can get moldy under certain conditions such as high humidity, lack of ventilation, and warm temperatures. Your best bet to avoid this potential hazard is to choose a climate-controlled self-storage unit, which usually keeps temperatures between 55 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and significantly reduces any possible humidity. To further prevent mold, avoid loading your items during rainy weather to keep things dry, and protect your furniture with blankets or plastic wrapping. 


We researched dozens of self-storage unit companies to determine which brands offered the best services and offerings. We evaluated each company based on the following criteria:

  • Nationwide availability
  • Climate- and temperature-controlled unit offerings
  • Pricing
  • Security features
  • Vehicle storage
  • Unit size variety
  • Customer support availability
  • 24/7 accessibility

Self-storage unit companies that offered a variety of size options, climate-controlled units, security features, and pricing information received extra points during our scoring phase. Additionally, brands that had 24/7 customer support and accessibility rose above other companies. Any self-storage unit companies lacking in these categories didn’t make it past our initial round of research.

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