Iowa has experienced well-rounded inbound and outbound immigration, making it a desirable place to live and work. Reasons to move to or within Iowa include a lower cost of living, affordable housing, high literacy rates, and a strong economy. If you need help with your Iowa move, we recommend any of the movers on this page, but our top moving choice is International Van Lines.
Best Moving Companies in Iowa
Compare Iowa moving companies
|Full-service (long distance)|| ||$$$$||Check Prices Check Prices|
|Full-service (local)|| ||$$$||Check Prices Check Prices|
|Moving container|| ||$$$||Check Prices Check Prices|
|Truck rental|| ||$$||Check Prices Check Prices|
|Hourly labor|| ||$$||Check Prices Check Prices|
International Van Lines—Best long-distance moving company
International Van Lines is our pick for the best long-distance moving company. It can move you anywhere in the country and is upfront about its prices (most moving companies aren’t). IVL also offers substantial discounts if you’re a senior or need to ship a car. Plus, the moving company provides 30 days of free storage to provide a buffer when moving into your new home. On the downside, it has below-average customer reviews and annoying website pop-up ads.
First National Van Lines—Best local moving company
First National Van Lines is our pick for the best local moving company. While most moving brokers focus on helping you move between states, FNVL’s expertise enables you to move within the same state. It has a network of movers in nearly all US cities and receives above-average customer reviews. First National Van Lines can also give you a quote virtually or in person and provides attractive storage options. For example, it offers all customers a free month of storage and a remote video stream of their storage space. On the downside, FNVL’s website isn’t always up-to-date.
PODS—Best moving container company
PODS is one of your best moving options. Think of the company’s containers as storage units that you can hang onto until you've set a date with a driver to pick up and hook onto the back of a specialized truck. A PODS truck drops off a moving container at your home. Once you load it, PODS picks the container up and transports it to your new home, where you unload it. The container company has top-notch customer reviews, excellent storage options, and nationwide availability. And despite confusing invoices, PODS has some of the lowest rates for moving containers in the United States. In some cases, it's even more convenient and cheaper than rental trucks.
Penske—Best moving truck company
Penske Truck Rental is our pick for the best moving truck company. Renting a truck is the cheapest way to move, and Penske brings a lot to the table. It offers local and long-distance moving services everywhere in the country (except Alaska), provides reliable reservations, and has moving discounts. In addition, Penske has the highest customer satisfaction rating of any rental truck company. So if you’re able to pack, load, and drive, there’s no better option than Penske Truck Rental.
HireAHelper—Best hourly moving labor company
HireAHelper is an excellent solution if you need help with only a few parts of the moving process. The company’s professional contractors can help you with everything from packing and loading to furniture assembly and junk removal. It’s also easy to find, with nearly 5,000 locations in all 50 states. Plus, HireAHelper movers get excellent customer reviews. Just be aware that you must hire your workers for at least two hours. It’s not cheap compared to other hourly moving labor companies, but customer reviews suggest the premium price is worth it.
Move.org's top pick
International Van Lines is our pick for the best long-distance moving service. It has a vast network of cross-country movers, provides one month of free storage, and offers military and senior discounts. Want to move with Move.org's #1 pick?
What type of moving company is right for you?
Professional movers load your stuff, ship it to your new home, and unload it all for you. It’s the easiest—but most expensive—option. Learn more.
You load up all your belongings, but the movers transport your container to your new home. It’s the middle road for effort and cost. Learn more.
Worried about costs? Rent a truck, load it yourself, drive it to your new home, and unload all your things. You do it all—and save a lot. Learn more.
What to know about living in Iowa
There are more than 3.2 million people living in Iowa, which experienced an estimated 0.3% population increase from 2020 to 2022.1 Polk County, Linn County, and Scott County account for the largest numbers of residents.2 90% of the population is White, 4.3% is Black, 6.7 is Hispanic or Latino, and 2.8% is Asian. 96.8% of residents are US citizens.3 The median age of residents is 38, roughly the same as the national average.
There are 1,584,662 people are employed in Iowa, which has a 0.1% unemployment rate.2 Iowa’s three highest revenue industries include life insurance and annuities; corn, wheat, and soybean wholesaling; and meat, beef, and poultry processing. The largest companies by employment in Iowa include the State of Iowa, Hy-Vee, Inc., and UnityPoint Health. With robust farming, manufacturing, and health care, it comes as no surprise that the top jobs are truck drivers, registered nurses, and laborers.3
Cost of living
Iowa’s cost of living is 10% less than the national average.4 Iowans also pay some of the lowest utility bills in the US. Between natural gas, electricity, water, streaming services, internet, and phone, the average utility cost is $376.02 a month.5 Homeownership is high in Iowa, with an owner-occupied housing rate of over 71%.1 The median average household income is $65,429, and the typical home value is $199,882.6
Although there are at least six Democratic wins in Iowa’s presidential voting record since 1992, Republicans have won the presidential race in Iowa for the last two elections. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by over 9% and by 8% in 2020.7 Republican Kim Reynolds is the current state governor of Iowa. Top issues voters were concerned about in the recent election included party control of the US Senate or House of Representatives, inflation, education policies, and abortion, a recent poll found.
American Van Lines is our pick for the highest-quality interstate moving company. It’s expensive, but the company has decades of experience moving high-value items like pianos and artwork.
Best Iowa movers FAQ
Iowa’s low cost of living, attainable homeownership, some of the highest literacy rates in the US, sustainable farming, and economic opportunities make it an attractive place to live.
Some of the best parts of Iowa to live in are Des Moines, Cedar Falls, and Iowa City, which are all known for their quality schools, plethora of things to do (hello, farmers markets), diversity, and walkability.8
Your liveable salary in Iowa will vary depending on your household size. For example if you are living on a single income, you need to make at least $28,781 to cover basic household needs. If you are married with one child, your household would need to make around $61,765 annually.9
It costs roughly $85 to rent a storage unit in Iowa.10 To compare national prices and what to look for in a storage unit, take a look at our article on the best self-storage unit companies.
We conducted intensive research to identify the best moving companies for long-distance moves and local moves, in addition to container moves, truck rentals, and hourly moving labor:
- Compare pricing transparency. We gather quotes, check for binding estimates, and read customer reviews about pricing to ensure each moving company’s prices are trustworthy.
- Review accreditation. We check every company’s records in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s database to confirm companies are properly authorized to transport household goods.
- Mystery shopping. We review every company’s website, pose as customers in calls to companies, and read customer reviews to analyze every company’s moving services, transit protection, and customer service. We also interview actual customers to learn how their moves went from start to finish.
- Site visits. We invite moving companies to our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT, to share data and expertise. We verify the information they provide by comparing it to data gathered through independent research and interviews with other movers.
- Regular review. We routinely repeat this process to update our recommendations to reflect current data and trends. We also revise each review annually and make updates throughout the year.
Best moving companies by state
- The United States Census Bureau, “QuickFacts: Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- Deloitte, “Data USA: Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- IBIS World, Iowa Economic Profile.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- RentCafe, “Cost of Living in Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- Sarah Cimarusti, Move.org, “Utility Bills 101: Utilities Tips, Average Costs, Fees, and More,” Published November 30, 2022. Accessed December 22, 2022.
- 270toWin, “Iowa Presidential Voting History.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- Ballotpedia, “Presidential Voting Trends in Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- Niche, “2022 Best Places to Live in Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- Common Good Iowa, “Cost of Living in Iowa 2022.” Accessed December 22, 2022.
- RentCafe, “Storage Units in Iowa.” Accessed December 22, 2022.