2021’s Top 4 Self-Storage Companies

Move.org researched 7 storage providers and analyzed more than 2,500 quotes to find the best storage unit companies in the nation.

Best overall
extraspace
Extra Space Storage
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$220 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    1,850+ locations
Low prices
cubesmart
CubeSmart
4 out of 5 stars
4
$160 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    1,350 locations
Wide availability
uhaul
U-Haul
4 out of 5 stars
4
$160 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    2,000+ locations
Customer service
Life Storage logo
Life Storage
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9
$200 avg. cost
  • Icon Yes  Light
    800+ locations
Kurt Manwaring
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Published on June 07, 2021
9 min read

Our top pick: You can’t do better than Extra Space Storage. The company has excellent security, great customer reviews, and nearly 2,000 locations.


The 4 best self-storage companies

Compare the best self-storage companies

Company
Average quote
At least 4-star average customer reviews
More than 1,200 locations
Details
extraspace
$220
Icon Pros  LightYes
Icon Pros  LightYes
life storage logo
$200
Icon Pros  LightYes
Icon Cons  LightNo
cubesmart
$160
Icon Cons  LightNo
Icon Pros  LightYes
uhaul
$160
Icon Cons  LightNo
Icon Pros  LightYes

What should you look for in a self-storage company?

  • Low prices. Cost matters. Look for an affordable self-storage company that won’t break the bank. Our research suggests the average monthly cost for a storage unit is approximately $210.
  • Reviews. Find a company that customers gush about in their reviews. Low prices don’t mean as much if companies charge hidden fees or you have to deal with rude customer service reps.
  • Locations. Low prices and fantastic reviews are great but useless if you can’t find a nearby facility. We recommend looking for a self-storage business with at least 1,200 locations (the industry average).
  • Security focused. Most storage unit companies have security measures like password-protected gates and alarms to keep your stuff safe. But relatively few companies describe all of their security features. Look for a self-storage facility that has up-to-date security systems, lots of lighting, and well-maintained storage spaces. It’s also a huge trust signal if the company has a web page that details its security features.

Extra Space Storage—Best overall

Best overall
extraspace
Extra Space Storage
Our Rating
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5

Extra Space Storage is our #1 self-storage company. It has more than 1,000,000 units at nearly 2,000 locations across the country, so it’s easy to find. And while many companies avoid talking about security features and insurance coverage, Extra Space Storage makes it a focus. It even has outdoor units large enough to fit oversized RVs. Most importantly, customers reward the company with near-perfect reviews. The only real drawback is price: Extra Space Storage costs about 20% more than the self-storage industry average.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Excellent customer reviews
Pro Bullet Top-notch security
Pro Bullet 1,850+ locations
Pro Bullet RV storage
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High prices

What sets Extra Space Storage apart?

Excellent customer reviews

Customers love Extra Space Storage. Even with higher-than-average prices, customers reward it with ratings a full star higher than most other companies. They most often praise the cleanliness of Extra Space Storage facilities and the helpfulness of its staff. Whether you need storage for a move or a remodel, Extra Space Storage’s friendly reps are good for your stress level.

Comparing storage company customer reviews
Company
Average customer rating
# of locations
Extra Space Storage4.31,850+
Public Storage3.52,000+
CubeSmart3.41,350+
U-Haul2.92,000+

Impressive security

Extra Space Storage makes it a priority to keep your belongings safe. Security is almost a taboo topic among storage unit companies. Most storage facilities don’t even mention security on their websites, and telephone reps can rarely answer your questions.

All of that’s different with Extra Space Storage. The self-storage company gives customers a full breakdown of security features that serve as huge trust signals:

  • Electronic gate access. No one can access an Extra Space Storage unit without a password. Not only is your warehouse storage protected by an electronic gate, but customers have their own passwords, so Extra Space Storage always knows who’s inside the storage facility.

  • On-site resident managers. Most Extra Space Storage locations have an on-site manager who keeps an eye on your storage unit. The company goes a step further at some of its storage warehouses and has resident managers who live on site. Gated access is nice, but resident managers who can immediately call 911 if they see someone breaking in are even better.

  • 24-hour video surveillance. Extra Space Storage has multiple cameras at each of its facilities that run 24/7. If someone ever beats the odds and breaks in, Extra Space Storage hands the footage over to the police. That makes it a lot easier to file insurance claims for your belongings (check with your local Extra Space Storage for a complete list of items covered by its storage insurance).

  • Alarmed units. There is an alarm on every Extra Space Storage unit. If anyone besides you or the on-site manager tries to get in, they’ll have an unpleasant surprise waiting for them.

  • Floor-by-floor security access. Some Extra Space Storage facilities have more than one floor. To keep your belongings safe, the company limits elevator access to each floor. Just like you need a password to get into the facility, you also need one to get to your storage level.

Nationwide availability

You can find an Extra Space Storage facility in 43 states across the country. The company has more than 1,000,000 storage units at nearly 2,000 locations. With Extra Space Storage, you get not only the best company but also nationwide availability.

Easy access means you don’t have to move all at once—especially if you find a storage facility near your home. You can put your nonessential items (like books and extra bedding) in a storage unit and take a couple of hours each Saturday to move them into your new home. It’s one reason we value a storage company with thousands of nationwide locations.

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


CubeSmart—Low prices

Low prices
cubesmart
CubeSmart
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4

CubeSmart is our pick for the storage unit company with the lowest prices. Its average monthly rate of $160 is about 10% below the industry average. You also can’t find better discounts. But CubeSmart is about more than low prices. The storage company has tons of perks—and more storage unit sizes than any other company. The only real weaknesses are security (we couldn’t verify CubeSmart uses alarms) and availability (we didn’t find any storage units without climate control).

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet Incredible discounts
Pro Bullet Lots of sizes
Pro Bullet Tons of perks
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Below-average security
Con Bullet Few traditional units

What sets CubeSmart apart?

Low prices and big discounts

CubeSmart has some of the lowest prices around. Its going rate of $160 per month is about 10% lower than the industry average. CubeSmart also claims to have the best discounts in the industry—and we agree. The company’s low prices get even better when you apply one of its many deals:

  • Military. Active members of the military get a discount. CubeSmart thanks you for your service with low prices, whether you’re on a temporary duty (TDY) assignment for only a couple of months or receive a permanent change of station (PCS).
  • College students. CubeSmart often has lower prices near college campuses to make life easier for students. If you’re just going home for the summer or landed a sweet study abroad gig, CubeSmart makes it affordable to store your belongings until you get back.
  • Referrals. Refer a friend, get a discount. It’s that simple. Use the extra cash to do something fun, or put it back into moving expenses like moving boxes, hourly labor, or car shipping.
  • Truck rentals. CubeSmart’s discounts aren’t just for storage units. The self-storage company also partners with Penske Truck Rental, meaning you can score a nice deal if you need a truck to move things from your house to the storage unit.

Useful perks

CubeSmart has tons of perks to improve your storage experience. The company is like a fancy hotel concierge: it can get you all kinds of things that most places don’t have. Free perks include Wi-Fi, workstations with printers, and a lounge area with fresh coffee. CubeSmart even provides a free rental truck if you need it for two hours or less (that’s a big deal if you’re moving furniture for an upcoming remodel).

Premium perks cost extra but are often worth it. CubeSmart can install automatic door openers, lighting and outlets (perfect if you’re a night owl moving after dark), and wall shelves on your unit for additional fees. If that’s not enough, you can also pay for a professional organizer, video monitoring, and full-service movers.

We’ve never seen a storage unit company put so many options in the hands of its customers. It would be our favorite CubeSmart feature if the company didn’t already have such low prices.

Do you love low prices?


U-Haul—Wide availability

Wide availability
uhaul
U-Haul
Our Rating
4 out of 5 stars
4

It seems like there’s a U-Haul self-storage facility on every block. With more than 2,000 locations, availability is U-Haul’s #1 strength. It also has low prices and doesn’t charge one-time administrative fees (most companies do). But there’s a downside. U-Haul’s website isn’t easy to use, and customers typically give the company very poor reviews.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Low prices
Pro Bullet No administrative fees
Pro Bullet Identical online and in-store 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?

Thousands of locations

Nationwide availability is what customers expect from U-Haul rental trucks—and the company operates the same way with storage units. U-Haul is one of the largest self-storage companies in the nation. While we don’t know the precise number (even U-Haul couldn’t tell us), we think it’s safe to say that the company has more than 2,000 locations. That means you have a better chance of finding a U-Haul storage facility than just about any other company.

Number of locations by storage unit company
Company
# of locations
U-Haul Self Storage2,000+
Extra Space Storage1,850+
CubeSmart1,300+
Life Storage800+
Simply Self Storage250+

Data as of 2/25/21.

Identical online and in-store prices

U-Haul’s storage unit prices are the same regardless of whether you place your reservation online or go into the store. That’s not usually the case at other places. Most storage unit companies charge about 30% extra for in-store reservations. That makes U-Haul a great choice for people who may not be comfortable placing internet orders.

Looking for a national self-storage brand?


Life Storage—Customer service

Customer service
Life Storage logo
Life Storage
Our Rating
3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9

Customers love Life Storage. While it’s expensive and hard to find, Life Storage goes the extra mile to give customers what they want. Virtual size guide? Check. On-site truck rentals and top-notch security? Check, check. No storage unit company gets better customer reviews. Consider Life Storage if you can find a nearby location.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Excellent customer reviews
Pro Bullet Above-average security
Pro Bullet Virtual storage estimator tool
Pro Bullet Truck rentals
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High prices
Con Bullet Only 800+ locations

What sets Life Storage apart?

Stellar customer service

Life Storage has the best customer service in the storage unit business. It even scores higher than Extra Space Storage, our top overall pick. Life Storage customers routinely shout out the company’s friendly representatives, clean storage units, and top-notch security.

Customer reviews by storage unit company
Company name
Customer review rating
What customers often say
Life Storage4.5 / 5Friendly reps, clean facility, good security
Extra Space Storage4.4 / 5Friendly reps, clean facility
CubeSmart3.5 / 5So-so reps, low prices, good security
U-Haul Self Storage2.9 / 5Rude reps, long wait times, fee disputes

Virtual size estimator tool

Life Storage has an online tool that helps you visualize how much stuff you can fit into your storage unit. It can often be tricky to figure out what size you need. But the Life Storage virtual size estimator makes it a cinch to pick the right unit.

You choose one of Life Storage’s seven main sizes and then watch as the computer loads items like boxes and furniture into your virtual storage unit. It helps you visualize how much fits. You could end up renting a medium-sized unit when you initially thought you needed a large one—a savings of $150 per month (or $1,800 per year).

Life Storage sizing tool

The Life Storage virtual size estimator illustrates how much stuff you can fit in your storage unit.

Want the very best customer service?


Self-storage FAQ

What company has the best cheap self-storage units?

CubeSmart has the best cheap self-storage units, according to Move.org. In addition to a low price of around $190 per month, CubeSmart also has nearly 2,000 locations and offers tons of perks like moving trucks, storage unit shelving, and free Wi-Fi.

How much is a large storage rental?

A large storage rental costs approximately $320 per month. However, prices vary by location and availability, so Move.org recommends you get a quote from a nearby storage unit company.

How much does climate-controlled storage cost?

Most companies say that climate-controlled storage costs about 20%–50% more than standard storage spaces. However, Move.org found that you can often get these premium units at a steep discount by looking for online sales.

How much does a moving truck cost at CubeSmart?

A moving truck at CubeSmart is generally free for customers who need it for less than two hours. Costs and availability vary by location if you need the moving truck for more than two hours.

What is the square foot capacity of Simply Self Storage’s wine storage?

The square foot capacity of Simply Self Storage’s wine storage is approximately nine feet. These climate-controlled storage spaces typically measure 3 x 3 x 8 feet.

What is the most important storage unit security feature?

There isn’t one single most important storage unit security feature. If safety is your top priority, Move.org recommends looking for a combination of security features such as gated access, individually-alarmed units, and video surveillance.

What storage company has the best boat storage?

Public Storage has the best boat storage, according to Move.org. Public Storage has covered, uncovered, and indoor units large enough for boats. The storage facility caters to canoes, jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards, small watercraft, surfboards, and trailered boats.

How much does Public Storage cost?

Public Storage costs about $190 per month. You can get a small standard storage space for as little as $110 per month, while a large climate-controlled storage unit costs as much as $300.

Does Public Storage have climate-controlled storage units?

Yes, Public Storage has climate-controlled storage units. These specialized storage spaces are ideal for items that don’t hold up well in extreme temperatures or humidity, such as books, leather furniture, and electronics.

Does Public Storage have a discount for new customers?

Yes, Public Storage has a discount for new customers. If it’s your first time reserving a storage unit, Public Storage charges only $1 for your first month’s rent.

What does it mean if a storage facility has 24-hour storage?

If a storage facility has 24-hour storage, it means that you can access your storage unit at any time of the day or night. A storage facility without 24-hour access allows you to enter your storage space only during specific gate hours, such as 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Do all storage units have 24-hour access?

No, all storage units don’t have 24-hour access. While nearly every storage unit company has some facilities with 24-hour access, the availability of this feature varies by location.

Where can I find a 24-hour storage unit?

You can often find a 24-hour storage unit at highly-rated storage companies like Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart, and Life Storage. Contact a nearby storage facility to see which of its units have 24-hour storage access.

What is the best 24-hour storage facility?

The best 24-hour storage facility is Extra Space Storage, according to Move.org. The company gets excellent reviews and has top-notch security. Check with your local Extra Space Storage to see which of its nearby locations have 24-hour access.


Recap

We researched seven companies and analyzed thousands of quotes to find the best storage unit companies:

  1. Extra Space Storage. Our #1 pick by a mile. Thousands of locations, excellent customer reviews, and top-notch security. You can’t beat it.
  2. CubeSmart. Your storage unit will typically cost about 10% less at CubeSmart. That’s a savings of over $200 in one year.CubeSmart: Low prices
  3. U-Haul. One of the largest self-storage companies in the nation. Being easy to find is a big selling point.
  4. Life Storage. Not widely available, but it gets the best customer reviews in the biz. Consider this company if you can find a nearby location.
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.