At a glance
Whether you’re stowing your patio furniture away for the winter or need somewhere to stash unused furniture if you’re downsizing, there are tons of reasons to rent a self-storage unit.
Storage unit costs vary, but the main factor is size: Rates are higher for larger units, so it’s important to find one that matches your load. You’ll also pay a premium for amenities like climate control.
We’ll dive into which storage units are best for what and compare storage unit prices so you know what to look for as you shop around.
Monthly storage unit prices
|Standard storage unit||$60–$180 per month|
|Climate-controlled storage unit||$75–$225 per month|
|$60–$180 per month|
|$75–$225 per month|
There are two types of storage facilities: interior (or indoor) and drive-up access (a.k.a. outdoor).
Interior facilities house storage units inside a larger building, which means getting your belongings into your unit might require some extra legwork, but these spaces are generally more secure than outdoor units.
Interior units offer more protection from pests and theft and can be climate-controlled, which is why inside storage units are better for valuable or fragile items.
Outdoor units, on the other hand, are more akin to garages. Drive-up access storage facilities are more convenient than indoor facilities because they allow you to pull your vehicle right up to the space to unload, but they lack certain amenities like electrical access and climate control.
THE MORE YOU KNOW
THE MORE YOU KNOW
Interior facilities are more common in urban areas since they’re more space-saving, while drive-up access storage facilities—which can accommodate cars and are larger—are typically available in rural areas.
Self-storage unit prices
Storage unit prices fluctuate by location, so take this into account when you’re looking at average costs. For instance, in a city as densely populated as Los Angeles, a 10’ x 10’ unit could set you back as much as $215 per month. But if you live in a Colorado suburb, storage units run as low as $95 per month.
Climate-controlled storage will always be more expensive than regular storage units: Costs can be anywhere from 25% to even 50% higher.1 We’ll get into what climate control storage units are all about—and when you might choose one—down below.
Storage unit costs
|5’ x 5’||5’ x 10’||10’ x 10’*||10’ x 15’||10’ x 20’|
|Average price per month||$60||$70||$110||$130||$180|
|Average climate-controlled price per month||$75||$88||$138||$163||$225|
|Works for||Few boxes or furniture items||Studio or 1-bedroom apartment||2-bedroom apartment||1–2-bedroom house; small vehicle or boat||3–4-bedroom home; large vehicle, trailer, or boat|
|Best for||College students storing items for the summer||Storing seasonal items||Storing a few rooms’ worth of stuff||Renovations/remodels||Home remodels|
|5’ x 5’||5’ x 10’||10’ x 10’*||10’ x 15’||10’ x 20’|
|Few boxes or furniture items||Studio or 1-bedroom apartment||2-bedroom apartment||1–2-bedroom house; small vehicle or boat||3–4-bedroom home; large vehicle, trailer, or boat|
|College students storing items for the summer||Storing seasonal items||Storing a few rooms’ worth of stuff||Renovations/remodels||Home remodels|
*Most popular storage unit size
To calculate costs for this table, we averaged the average storage unit costs in all fifty states. Climate-controlled storage costs are based on a 25% increase over regular storage unit prices.
Although the storage sizes listed in the table are the most popular, we also found these storage options in our research:
- 5’ x 15’
- 10’ x 15’
- 10’ x 25’
- 10’ x 30’
- 12’ x 15’
- 12’ x 25’
- 15’ x 20’
- 17’ x 20’
There are a few things that affect the base price of a storage unit—here’s what you need to know:
Type of service
Full-service storage includes pickup and delivery and is pricier. You’re paying for the hauling service and a longer rental contract—most full-service storage comes with a minimum required number of months.
Self-service is entirely DIY and definitely the cheaper of the two, but if you don’t have the manpower or vehicle to haul all your things to your storage unit, the convenience that full-service storage offers can be worth the extra benjamins.
Size of unit
The more cubic feet a storage unit has to hold multiple rooms’ worth of furniture or a car, for example, the more it will cost you. If you only have smaller items, like a motorcycle or an old ping pong table, you can save money by choosing a smaller unit.
Self-storage prices tend to rise at the end of the summer when people stash things like water sports vehicles away for the winter. The more in-demand storage units are, the more storage facilities increase their starting rates. Unfortunately, locked in rates aren’t super common in the self-storage world, but companies usually notify you of any price spikes at least a month out.
Location of facility
Storage units are in higher demand—and more expensive—in big cities like New York and Washington, DC. Also, houses and apartments in cities tend to be smaller, increasing people’s need to store the belongings that don’t fit into their current pad, like extra beds or pieces of furniture.
Location of unit within facility
Interior units that are easier to access or more secure cost more. For instance, units on the first floor or units near the elevator typically fall in this camp.
Since storage units are generally more expensive in big cities, it’s worth looking into cheaper storage units in nearby suburbs if you don’t need frequent access.
Amenities to consider
When you’re comparing storage unit costs, it’s also helpful to check out any added amenities that might fit your specific needs.
Climate-controlled storage units are best for valuable objects like a TV or computer—and in areas with extreme temperatures, they’re generally preferred. Climate control protects the organic materials in your furniture and clothes from humidity and heat and your electronics from the cold. Because of this, furniture, electronics, books, and clothing are safest when stored in climate-controlled units.
Twenty-four-hour access storage units are less widely available than standard storage units but can be equally valuable. This added level of convenience is worth the extra price, especially if you plan on accessing your unit often or use the space to house expensive equipment.
For example, if you’re a DJ and you use a storage facility to store $10,000 worth of DJ equipment, returning it to your unit after a late-night gig is a much safer, more convenient option than leaving it in your car overnight.
Plus, some storage units even have 24/7 security guards, so you don’t have to wander around alone during those late-night visits.
There are also storage units with electrical outlets, which let you turn your storage unit into your own personal workplace if you wanted somewhere to fine-tune your woodworking skills or restore your 1970’s Mustang.
A good way to gauge a storage facility’s security level is if they have video cameras and keypad entry in place. The cheaper the unit, the lower the level of security you should expect.
The same way you’d want auto insurance before you drive your car, storage insurance can ease your worries about not being able to have eyes on your things twenty-four hours a day. Some facilities require their tenants to purchase insurance, but luckily most homeowners insurance policies cover items in storage too—just at a lower coverage limit.
Before you rent, speak with the facility’s manager about whether or not you need insurance.
Now that you’re an expert on all things storage units, here are a few steps to take before you commit:
- Figure out which type of storage units are available in your area (i.e., interior or drive-up units) and find one that has the amenities you need (like full-service pickup and delivery).
- Pick a size that best suits your storage requirements. Here’s a refresher:
|Unit size||Best for|
|5’ x 5’||Good for holding a few boxes and a couple of furniture items.|
|5’ x 10'||Good for storing seasonal items like lawn mowers or other yard equipment, or boxes of Halloween decorations and knots of Christmas tree lights not used during the year.|
|10’ x 10’||Good for storing a few rooms’ worth of stuff, which comes in handy if you’re turning a vacant bedroom into your new office or are giving the 80’s-themed tile on your bathroom floor a revamp.|
|10’ x 15’ and 10’ x 20’||Good for storing an entire home’s worth of stuff or housing cars, boats, ATVs, or motorcycles.|
|Good for holding a few boxes and a couple of furniture items.|
|Good for storing seasonal items like lawn mowers or other yard equipment, or boxes of Halloween decorations and knots of Christmas tree lights not used during the year.|
|Good for storing a few rooms’ worth of stuff, which comes in handy if you’re turning a vacant bedroom into your new office or are giving the 80’s-themed tile on your bathroom floor a revamp.|
|Good for storing an entire home’s worth of stuff or housing cars, boats, ATVs, or motorcycles.|
3. Talk with your storage facility to see if they require insurance, and check your homeowners insurance policy to see if you’re covered.
If you’re sold on the costs of storage units and want to know which companies are the best in the business, feel free to give our Best Self-Storage Companies list a read.
Did we help you answer all your storage-related questions? Let us know in the comments section below!