Best Climate-Controlled Self-Storage Companies of 2021

Move.org collected more than 2,500 quotes and compared climate-control features across seven brands to find the nation’s best climate-controlled storage companies.
Best overall
extraspace
Extra Space Storage
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$250 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    55–80°F temp. range
Customer service
Life Storage
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
$240 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    50–80°F temp. range
Low prices
uhaul
U-Haul
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
$160 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    65–85°F temp. range
Lots of sizes
cubesmart
CubeSmart
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
$180 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    50–80°F temp. range
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on June 14, 2021
10 min read

Our top pick: Extra Space Storage is our #1 choice. Not only does the storage unit company have the best online climate control info, but it also leads the way with locations in 43 states and stellar customer reviews.


The 4 best self-storage companies


Compare the best climate-controlled self-storage companies

Company
Average climate-controlled quote
Monitors temperature
Monitors humidity
Details
extraspace

Extra Space Storage

$250
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes

Life Storage

$240
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo
uhaul

U-Haul

$160
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon Yes  DarkYes
cubesmart

CubeSmart

$180
Icon Yes  DarkYes
Icon No  DarkNo

What should you look for in a climate-controlled storage company?

  • Temperature controls. Look for a unit that keeps your belongings within a temperature range of about 50–85°F. Be aware that recommended temperatures for your particular belongings can vary. For example, you should keep wine closer to 55°F, while vinyl records do best between 65–70°F. Your local storage unit company can give you more guidance on your specific items.
  • Humidity controls. Very few companies offer humidity control, so if you’re interested in it, the first thing is to verify whether they have it. After that, you should ask about the specific relative humidity range of the unit and see if it’s a good fit for your belongings. Humidity-controlled units are ideal for areas with high humidity (think coastal areas like Florida or Maine) because they fight against mold, mildew, rust, and rot.
  • Low prices. Don’t pay more than you have to. Our research shows that you can usually get a climate-controlled unit for about $200 per month.
  • Reviews. Do a quick Google search for company reviews. Low prices don’t matter much if the company treats you poorly or has tons of complaints about damaged items or hidden fees.
  • Locations. Many storage unit companies have excellent value but are available in only a few hundred places across the country. Be sure the company that you like has a nearby location.
Badge Definition
What is relative humidity?

Relative humidity is a measurement of water vapor relative to air temperature. Your local storage unit company should be able to tell you the relative humidity of its units—and whether they’re safe for your belongings.


What is climate control?

Climate control monitors a storage unit’s temperature and/or humidity. Storage companies use the term in different ways. The general idea is that there is some kind of monitoring system (temperature, humidity, or both) in place to extend the life of your belongings in storage.

We’ll break down some basic info, but because availability and the way a company defines climate control can vary by location (even within the same company), we recommend contacting your local self-storage facility for more information.

For our rankings, we include companies that monitor temperature levels, humidity levels, or both.

Questions to ask before getting climate control

What is the climate like?

You likely want to get climate control if you live somewhere with extreme temperatures or humidity. Similarly, look into climate control if you live somewhere with big temperature or humidity swings. You generally want the temperature inside of your storage unit to stay around 50–85°F.

Badge Fun Fact
Climate control: A real-life example

Big temperature swings can damage belongings in storage. In September 2020, it started snowing in Denver, CO, only 24 hours after the city was in the 90s. Areas like this are good candidates for climate-controlled storage units.

What belongings need climate control?

Climate control is ideal for items that don’t do well in extreme conditions. There are several belongings that many storage unit companies recommend for climate-controlled units:

  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Books
  • Clothing and fabric
  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Household appliances
  • Important paperwork
  • Musical instruments

What temperature range should I look for?

The temperature range of your climate-controlled unit should match the belongings you plan to store. Since different items do better in different temperatures, it’s important to ask a storage expert what works best in your situation.

Item description
Recommended temperature range
Art60°F–75°F
Delicate fabrics35°F–75°F
Delicate paper items35°F–75°F
Electronics50°F–80°F
Metals35°F–80°F
Optical discs65°F–70°F
Vinyl records65°F–70°F
Wine50°F–80°F
Wood furniture55°F–85°F
Instruments55°F–85°F

Extra Space Storage—Best overall

Best for five-star security
extraspace
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5

Extra Space Storage is our #1 choice for climate control. The prices are high (about 20% above the industry average), but everything else screams excellence. The company keeps its units between 55–80°F and provides detailed climate control information to help keep your belongings safe. Extra Space Storage has facilities in nearly 2,000 locations, so it’s easy to find. And customers routinely give it some of the best reviews in the business.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Helpful climate control info
Pro Bullet Excellent customer reviews
Pro Bullet Top-notch security
Pro Bullet 1,850+ locations
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High prices

What sets Extra Space Storage apart?

Helpful climate control info

Extra Space Storage has some of the highest-quality climate control info we’ve seen. On its website, the company walks you through specifics on climate control, which of your items it applies to, and overall benefits in using a climate-controlled unit for your stuff. It focuses on several key issues:

  • Climate control definition. Extra Space Storage spells out climate control so you don’t have to guess what it means. It recommends a specific temperature range for storage units holding sensitive items that might be damaged by extreme heat or cold.
  • Temperature range. It’s like pulling teeth to get some companies to tell you what their storage unit temperature range is. Extra Space Storage specifies that the range for keeping your valuables safe is between 55°F and 80°F.
  • Climate control benefits. Climate-controlled units give you the peace of mind in knowing your sensitive items are okay sitting for a while. It also makes your time visiting the storage unit facility more comfortable.
  • Types of climate control. Extra Space Storage has different kinds of climate control depending on where you live, including basic climate control, air-cooled storage, heated storage, and humidity-controlled storage. Though climate-controlled units are the most common option, air-cooled storage, for example, comes in handy for people who live in states with extreme hot temperatures throughout the year.
  • Preparation guide. The self-storage facility includes a helpful checklist of what to do before putting your items into a climate-controlled self-storage unit. Tips range from creating an inventory of your sensitive items to not placing your furniture directly on the ground (it protects against “unforeseen circumstances”).
  • The web page helps eliminate confusion around climate control by answering some of the top questions customers ask. If you have a question, chances are someone else has the same one.

 

Megaphone
Another reason Extra Space Storage is #1

Extra Space Storage doesn’t try to sell you on climate control if you don’t need it. That kind of honesty sets it apart from some of its competitors.

Excellent customer reviews

Extra Space Storage gets some of the best customer reviews in the nation. Customers can’t stop talking about how helpful and friendly Extra Space Storage employees are. And people who rent its storage units often comment about how clean the units are (if you don’t think that’s a big deal, try to picture yourself setting your couch or box of books on a floor covered with leaves, bugs, and water).

1,000,000+ storage units

Extra Space Storage has more than 1,000,000 storage units located in 43 different states. That’s a lot. Chances are you’ve seen its green logo driving down the street. With nearly 2,000 locations, it’s not hard to find a storage facility in your area. Easy Space Storage is easily the best nationwide storage unit company we’ve seen.

Want to try Move.org’s #1 storage company?


Life Storage—Customer Service

Life Storage logo
Our Rating
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4

Life Storage gets fantastic customer reviews. Customers like its clean storage units, professional reps, and strong security features, and we’re in love with its truck rental deals  for new customers. Plus, Life Storage has five types of climate-controlled storage units to best match the climate in your area. The company’s strengths are probably enough to outweigh its high prices, but it can be challenging to find a nearby Life Storage facility (it has fewer than 1,000 locations in only 33 states).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Multiple climate-control options
Pro Bullet Excellent customer reviews
Pro Bullet Above-average security
Pro Bullet Truck rentals
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High prices
Con Bullet Only 800+ locations

What sets Life Storage apart?

Multiple climate-control options

Life Storage has a variety of climate-controlled storage units. The storage unit company helps you match your situation with the right storage space whether you live somewhere that’s hot, cold, humid, or dry:

  1. Climate-controlled storage units. Life Storage suggests that you think of its basic climate control as temperature-controlled storage. They’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  2. Humidity-controlled storage units. Life Storage is one of the few companies to offer storage units that monitor humidity levels. These units reduce the likelihood of things like mold, mildew, and rust by preventing excess moisture. Life Storage recommends humidity-controlled storage for items such as valuable documents, furniture, and electronics.
  3. Heated storage units. These storage spaces receive extra attention during the winter. Not only can heated storage units extend the life of your belongings, but they make moving during the winter months tolerable. The storage spaces aren’t quite room temperature—but they’ll be much warmer than non-climate-controlled storage units.
  4. Air-cooled storage units. Life Storage blows air through water vapor to lower the temperature in these storage units. The company recommends air-cooled units for items that don’t do well in high temps but can handle humidity levels slightly above average (like glass, pottery, and most woods).
  5. Air-conditioned storage units. Think of the air-conditioning in your home. These HVAC units lower the temperature in your storage unit to protect belongings that don’t do well in the heat (like furniture, plastics, and wax).
Badge Definition
What is extreme heat?

The definition of extreme heat can vary, but most storage companies recommend using temperature-controlled storage if conditions inside the unit reach around 80–85°F.

Stellar customer service

We haven’t found a storage unit company that gets better reviews than Life Storage. It even beats out (barely) Extra Space Storage—our #1 overall company. Customers love Life Storage’s clean facilities, robust security, and friendly customer service representatives. That’s quite the hat trick.

Want excellent service and lots of options?


U-Haul—Low prices

uhaul
Our Rating
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4

We give U-Haul a higher score for climate control than most customers. While people are justifiably upset with U-Haul’s poor customer service and frustrating website, the company makes up for some of its weaknesses. It has both temperature- and humidity-controlled storage units, nationwide availability, and affordable rates. U-Haul might not be the sexy choice, but it’s tough to beat low prices and hard-to-find humidity control.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Humidity control
Pro Bullet Climate-control checklist
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet Thousands of locations
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Poor customer reviews
Con Bullet Frustrating website

What sets U-Haul Self Storage apart?

Climate-control checklist

U-Haul is one of the few self-storage companies with climate control that monitors both temperature and humidity. Since moisture in the air can damage your belongings, these units are popular in high-humidity states like Florida and Alaska.

If you’re still unsure whether climate control is right for you, U-Haul has a five-question checklist to narrow your options. U-Haul recommends a climate-controlled facility if you answer yes to any of these questions:1

  1. Are your items of sentimental or high value to you?
  2. Does the temperature in your area drop below freezing?
  3. Does the temperature in your area rise above 90°F?
  4. Is there high humidity in your area throughout the year?
  5. Do you have a long-term need for storage?

Low prices

U-Haul is known for its low prices. That’s nothing new. The company routinely gets great marks for truck rental, moving container, and traditional storage unit pricing. But it takes things to a new level when it comes to climate-controlled storage.

Move.org compared nearly 400 U-Haul quotes with more than 2,000 bids from other storage companies and found that U-Haul is about 20% cheaper than the industry average. So you’re likely to save more than $200 per year compared to the next most affordable option. That’s enough to hire movers to load and unload our storage unit for you.

Climate-controlled storage unit prices by company
Company
Average Price
U-Haul Self Storage$160
CubeSmart$180
Life Storage$240
Extra Space Storage$250

Data as of 2/25/21. Prices include online and in-store estimates for storage unit costs, insurance, and taxes. Prices and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Need affordable climate control?


CubeSmart—Lots of sizes

Best for 24-hour access

CubeSmart saves you money. Not only are its prices about 15% below the industry average, but the company also has nearly a dozen sizes of climate-controlled storage units. That helps you find a perfect fit, so you don’t pay for a unit that’s bigger than what you need. CubeSmart also has valuable perks ranging from video monitoring and storage unit shelving to free coffee and Wi-Fi. The main drawback is security: we couldn’t verify if CubeSmart units have alarms. They don’t talk much about security on the company website.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Lots of climate-controlled storage unit sizes
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet Tons of perks
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Below average security

What sets CubeSmart apart?

Lots of climate-controlled storage unit sizes

CubeSmart has more size options for climate-controlled storage units than anyone else we’ve seen. Here’s why that matters: you essentially pay for empty space if you don’t fill your unit to the brim. And since climate control is the most expensive kind of storage, CubeSmart’s size options mean you can find the perfect fit—and put money back in your pocket.

Number of storage unit sizes by company
Company
# of sizes
CubeSmart11+
U-Haul9+
Life Storage9+
Extra Space Storage8+

Data as of 4/28/21. Includes only those sizes listed on each company’s website.

Valuable perks

CubeSmart has tons of perks. Some of them make your visit more comfortable (like free Wi-Fi and fresh coffee), while others beef up your storage unit (such as remote-controlled access and video monitoring). We haven’t found a storage unit company that offers so many useful services.

CubeSmart’s free services
  • Flexible lease terms (month-to-month storage leases)
  • Free local moving truck (anything over than two hours costs extra)
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Fresh coffee
  • Item storage and retrieval (by CubeSmart employees)
  • Lounge area
  • Package receipts
  • Printing, copying, and faxing
  • Work stations
CubeSmart’s premium services (pricing and availability vary by location)
  • Automatic door openers
  • Full-service moving
  • Individual unit lighting and electricity
  • Moving and labor assistance
  • Organizational supplies
  • Professional organizer
  • Professional shredding
  • Remote-controlled access
  • Shelving options
  • Truck rentals (more than 2 hours)
  • Video monitoring

Top 4 climate-controlled storage companies

  • Extra Space Storage—Best overall
  • Life Storage—Customer service
  • U-Haul—Low prices
  • CubeSmart—Lots of sizes

Climate control storage unit FAQ

What is climate-controlled storage?

Climate-controlled storage is a self-storage feature that monitors the temperature and humidity in your storage unit. These premium units are ideal for valuables that suffer damage in extreme heat, such as artwork, clothing, and household appliances.

Can moisture damage belongings in a storage unit?

Yes, moisture can damage belongings in a storage unit. Most self-storage companies recommend climate-controlled storage units that monitor humidity levels if you live somewhere with fluctuating temperatures or high humidity levels.

Does Public Storage have a temperature-controlled storage unit?

Yes, Public Storage has a temperature-controlled storage unit. Monthly prices for climate control at Public Storage range from about $120 for a small unit to $300 for a large storage space.

What can I store in a climate-controlled space?

You can store anything in a climate-controlled space that you would also keep in traditional storage. However, climate-controlled storage units better protect your belongings against extreme heat, fluctuating temperatures, and high humidity.

Do storage units have temperature control?

Yes, some storage units have temperature control (or climate control). However, pricing and availability vary by location, so Move.org recommends you contact your local climate-controlled storage facility for more information.

Where can I find air-conditioned storage units?

You can find air-conditioned storage units at any self-storage company that offers climate-controlled storage. Move.org recommends highly rated companies such as Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart, and Life Storage.

Is storage with AC expensive?

Storage with AC is typically expensive. However, while most companies tell you that storage units with air-conditioning often cost 20–50% more than traditional storage spaces, Move.org found that you can often get these premium units for less if you shop online sales.

Are all storage units temperature-controlled?

No, all storage units are not temperature-controlled. Standard storage units can get hot in the summer and cold in the winter, but temperature-controlled units keep your belongings within a specific temperature range.

Who has the best climate- and humidity-controlled storage?

Extra Space Storage has the best climate- and humidity-controlled storage, according to Move.org. The storage company keeps these storage units between 55–80°F and can help you pick the best unit for your belongings.


Recap

We compared climate-control features and looked at thousands of quotes to find the best climate-controlled storage unit companies:

  1. Extra Space Storage. Nobody educates customers about climate control better than these folks. Customers love Extra Space Storage (we do too). And with nearly 2,000 facilities, it’s easy to find a nearby location.
  2. Life Storage. Your go-to source for customer service. Life Storage gets the best customer reviews in the business, and the company has five types of climate control to keep your valuables safe.
  3. U-Haul. The customer service is pretty bad, but U-Haul has incredible prices and climate-control options. Expect to pay about 20% below the industry average—and get access to hard-to-find humidity controls.
  4. CubeSmart. Don’t waste money getting a unit that’s too big. CubeSmart has nearly a dozen sizes of climate-controlled units to help you find the perfect fit.

Sources

  1. U-Haul, “Climate Control Checklist.” Accessed May 4, 2021.
Kurt Manwaring
Written by
Kurt Manwaring
Kurt Manwaring brings nearly a decade’s worth of research experience as a business consultant to the Move.org team. He specializes in taking complicated issues (like moving) and presenting them in a way that everyone can understand. His writing has been featured in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Heavy, Slate, and Yahoo! Lifestyle. He brings a BS in sociology and an MPA (masters of public administration) to the Move team. He would love to hear about your moving experiences and questions at kurt@move.org.