The Best Self-Storage Facilities of 2022

Ready to clear the clutter in the home—but not ready to downsize and get rid of a ton of belongings? Consider renting a unit at one of the best self-storage facilities.

By Tony Carrick | Published Jun 30, 2022 10:14 AM

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Storage Unit Prices

Photo: istockphoto.com

Clutter is inevitable for many homeowners. And while filling up a garage or shed is one solution to dealing with clutter, sometimes it’s easier to move those belongings to another location. Luckily, numerous self-storage facilities offer various storage options at affordable prices. These storage unit facilities range from 25 square feet to 400 square feet. Customers can choose between indoor climate-controlled units or drive-up storage. Many even offer on-site storage for vehicles, RVs, and boats. The best storage facilities are equipped to secure their customers’ belongings with surveillance cameras, keypad entryways, and ample lighting. For those looking for a place to store their belongings temporarily or long-term, read on to learn about some of the best self-storage facilities in the country.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Extra Space Storage
  2. RUNNER-UP: Life Storage
  3. BEST SECURITY FEATURES: U-Haul
  4. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: CubeSmart
  5. BEST FOR FLEXIBLE STORAGE: PODS
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: Public Storage
Does Renters Insurance Cover Storage Units

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Self-Storage Facilities

While finding the right unit size at an affordable price is crucial in the hunt for a self-storage facility, other factors are also important including lease terms, security, and facility amenities. Here is more information on what to consider when doing an online search for “storage unit near me.”

Service Area

When customers choose a storage facility, they should try to pick one close to their home. Doing so will give them better access to their belongings if and when needed. Driving 30 or 40 minutes away to pick up holiday decorations once a year may not seem like a burden when a customer is signing the lease on the unit in July. Still, that drive could be frustrating when it’s the first weekend in December and it’s time to string up the lights.

Storage Types and Unit Sizes Available

When selecting a storage facility, customers should begin by determining what size storage unit they need, then look for a facility that can accommodate those size requirements. Storage facilities have units varying in size from small 5-foot-by-5-foot options to spaces capable of storing a car, boat, or RV. However, not every facility will have every size storage unit available at all times. Customers should check with the storage facilities nearby and see what units they currently have available.

In addition to catering to renters and homeowners, many facilities also serve the needs of businesses looking to store office furniture and archive files.

Unit Booking Process and Cost

Most self-storage services allow users to book a unit online, in person, or over the phone. If possible, customers should use the online method, which typically yields better rates than in-person booking. Online booking also allows customers to see all of the storage unit sizes and pricing together, so it’s easy to compare and choose the unit that suits their needs.

The cost of self-storage facilities varies based on the size of the facility as well as its location. Storage facilities in more concentrated or urban areas will generally cost more than those in less popular rural locations. Expect to pay between $100 and $300 monthly for a storage unit.

Lease Terms

When leasing a storage unit, customers typically do not have to agree to rent the space for an extended period. Most storage facilities work on a month-to-month basis; however, customers should check to see if there are any long-term requirements in the lease as well as what the cancellation process entails. Many self-storage facilities require customers to give a certain amount of notice when ending a contract. If a customer knows they will use the facility for an extended time, they may wish to prepay to avoid the hassle of making monthly payments. Some facilities will allow prepayment, but not all do. If this is something a customer is interested in, they can ask when booking a unit or signing a lease.

Insurance

Some (but not all) self-storage facilities may require customers to have insurance to cover the belongings stored there. Customers should check with their homeowners or renters insurance to see if it covers a self-storage facility. If not, it may be possible to purchase additional coverage for the storage unit.

Facility Access

When and how customers can access their storage unit varies from facility to facility, so it’s important to check access hours. Some facilities have a keypad that allows customers to access the storage unit at all hours of the day. However, many limit access to the storage unit to only certain times, such as from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Hours can also vary by location or day of the week.

Facility and Unit Amenities

Storage facilities vary in the type of amenities they offer. Some storage facilities are climate controlled, which is important if the customer is storing temperature-sensitive items such as wine, musical instruments, artwork, electronics, furniture, and photographs. Some self-storage facilities have doors accessible from the outside, while others offer greater security with storage facilities inside a larger building. Customers should expect to pay more for a climate-controlled unit.

Facility Security

A good storage facility will not only secure a customer’s belongings but also have security features that make it safe for the customer when they visit the unit. Common security amenities include video surveillance cameras, keypad entry, and bright lighting. Customers should also consider the locking mechanism on the storage unit. Many security facilities also provide their own locking system, requiring the user to purchase a cylinder lock when they rent the unit. While this may seem like an additional cost, this type of lock is much more secure than a padlock since it places the lock body inside the metal door, making it much more difficult for a thief to defeat.

Our Top Picks

The storage facilities below are some of the best in the country. They offer various storage unit size options and amenities at competitive rates.

Best Overall

Photo: extraspace.com

Why It Made the Cut: With its near-nationwide coverage and broad selection of different unit types and amenities, Extra Space Storage offers an all-around great value for self-storage.

Numerous unit size options and a service area of 41 states and Washington, D.C., makes Extra Space Storage a top pick to consider for customers looking for self-storage. Storage units range from compact 5-foot-by-5-foot units to oversize 10-foot-by-30-foot units, meaning there’s an option for everyone. There are also storage units with reduced and extended heights, so customers can truly find the perfect fit for whatever they need to store.

Customers have various amenities to choose from, including climate-controlled indoor units, enclosed vehicle storage, multi-door access, and elevator access. This variety of amenities makes it even easier for customers to access their belongings and keep them safe. While larger storage units at Extra Space Storage can become pricey, veering close to $700 for a 10-foot-by- 30-foot unit, the company has competitive rates for its small and medium storage units, which cost as little as $50 a month. Extra Space Storage also allows customers to prepay up to 12 months for a unit, which is a convenient perk for long-term customers.

Specs

  • Service area: 41 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Storage types: Self-storage, vehicle storage, RV storage, boat storage, business storage
  • Unit sizes: 5’x5’, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’x15’, 10’x20’, 10’x25’, 10’x30’
  • Sample cost: $50/month for a 5’x5’ unit; $688/month for a 10’x30’ unit
  • Facility and unit amenities: Drive-up access, climate control, indoor units, enclosed vehicle storage, multi-door access, elevator access, first-floor units

Pros

  • Over 2,000 locations nationwide
  • Relatively affordable monthly costs for small and medium units
  • Wide range of unit and facility amenities
  • Extended and reduced-height units available
  • 12 months of prepayment allowed

Cons

  • Relatively high monthly costs for large units

Runner-Up

The Best Self-Storage Facilities Option Life Storage
Photo: lifestorage.com

Why It Made the Cut: Life Storage gives customers their first month free and offers a broad range of storage unit sizes and amenities.

Life Storage is a popular name in the self-storage industry with a presence in 36 states. Unit sizes range from 5 feet by 5 feet to 20 feet by 20 feet. On top of traditional self-storage, vehicle storage, and commercial storage options, Life Storage also offers climate- and humidity-controlled wine storage, which is a standout feature for restaurant owners or wine collectors.

The site has a convenient storage visualizer tool that makes it easy for customers to see how many items can fit in units of different sizes. Many locations also offer extended access hours beyond the standard 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. window, and this flexibility is a perk many customers will find beneficial. The pricing information available on the site can be somewhat misleading: The price listed for a particular size unit is the minimum price, and customers have to click in to see the real prices adjusted for amenities. But Life Storage frequently runs a promotion offering customers with 1 month free rent, which is a deal that many customers will appreciate.

Specs

  • Service area: 36 states
  • Storage types: Self-storage, commercial storage, vehicle storage, wine storage
  • Unit sizes: 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 5’x15′, 10’x10′, 10’x15′, 10’x20′, 10’x30′, 20’x20′, 20-foot parking, 30-foot parking
  • Sample cost: $98/month for a 5’x10′ unit; $371/month for a 10’x20′ unit
  • Facility and unit amenities: Indoor units, climate control, first-floor units, drive-up access

Pros

  • One month free on select units
  • Convenient storage unit visualizer feature
  • Climate-controlled and humidity-optimized wine storage available
  • Extended customer access hours

Cons

  • Pricing can be somewhat misleading

Best Security Features

The Best Self-Storage Facilities Option U-Haul
Photo: uhaul.com

Why It Made the Cut: U-Haul sets itself apart with its individually alarmed units and on-site intercoms, ensuring customers and their belongings are safe and secure.

One of the nation’s best moving truck rental companies is also a top-rated self-storage company. U-Haul self-storage facilities have units ranging from 25 to 300 square feet at competitive prices (although larger unit sizes may not be as readily available as small or medium units). Customers will want to keep in mind that U-Haul truck rental locations and U-Haul self-storage locations run independently and will not necessarily be located at the same site.

U-Haul sets itself apart with its clear and transparent security measures, which it clearly displays online. In addition to standard security cameras and electronic keypad access, U-Haul provides individually alarmed storage rooms, which are ideal for customers who want a high level of security for their belongings. U-Haul facilities also include multiple intercom stations that renters can use to get in touch with facility attendants for assistance.

Specs

  • Service area: Not specified
  • Storage types: Self-storage, vehicle storage, business storage, RV storage, boat storage
  • Unit sizes: 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 5’x15′, 10’x10′, 10’x15′, 10’x20′, 10’x25′, 10’x30′
  • Sample cost: $84.95/month for a 5’x5′ unit; $174.95/month for a 10’x10′ unit
  • Facility and unit amenities: Climate control, drive-up access

Pros

  • Transparent security measures
  • Individually alarmed units available
  • Intercom stations located throughout the facility

Cons

  • Unit sizes may be somewhat limited by location

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Self-Storage Facilities Option CubeSmart
Photo: cubesmart.com

Why It Made the Cut: CubeSmart offers competitive prices on climate-controlled, indoor, and drive-up units for customers in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

CubeSmart’s monthly rates start at just $68 for a 5-foot-by-5-foot unit and top out at $306.85 per month for its largest 10-foot-by-30-foot unit, making the company one of the most all-around affordable self-storage facilities. In terms of amenities, the storage facility offers drive-up units as well as indoor climate-controlled options. The bulk of the company’s available units are climate controlled, which is something not every customer needs, meaning that prices could be even lower if more non-climate-controlled units were offered. But, noting CubeSmart’s already low prices, this isn’t a major consideration. Many of CubeSmart’s locations also have extended access hours, which is ideal for customers who want more accessibility to their stored belongings.

Specs

  • Service area: 24 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Storage types: Self-storage, moving storage, business storage, vehicle storage
  • Unit sizes: 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 10’x10′, 10’x15′, 10’x20′, 10’x30′, 15-foot parking, 20-foot parking, 26-foot parking, 30-foot parking
  • Sample cost: $68/month for a 5’x5′ unit; $306.85/month for a 10’x20′ unit
  • Facility and unit amenities: Climate control, drive-up access, indoor units

Pros

  • Relatively affordable monthly costs
  • Extended customer access hours

Cons

  • Climate control included in most units

Best for Flexible Storage

The Best Self-Storage Facilities Option PODS
Photo: pods.com

Why It Made the Cut: PODS offers an alternative to traditional storage facilities by delivering the storage unit to one’s home, making it a great choice for renovations or moving.

Rather than hauling stuff to a facility for storage, PODS sends the storage unit to the customer. Customers can keep the storage unit on their property, such as in cases when a customer is renovating or remodeling and temporarily needs to move furniture out of a section of the home. Conversely, customers can have the pod removed and stored at a PODS facility. And if a customer decides to move to a new house, they don’t have to unpack their storage unit and move everything with them; PODS can ship the customer’s storage pod to their new home or a new nearby PODS location.

Customers will want to note that there are only three storage pod sizes available and no options for vehicle storage. And because of the way PODS are stored, customers need to provide 24 to 48 hours’ notice before visiting the facility. But the unique flexibility PODS offers is likely worth it to many customers.

Specs

  • Service area: 46 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Storage types: Self-storage
  • Unit sizes: 8-foot, 12-foot, 16-foot
  • Sample cost: $199/month for an 8-foot container; $259/month for a 16-foot container
  • Facility and unit amenities: N/A

Pros

  • Storage pod can be kept at home or in a facility
  • Streamlined storage moving services

Cons

  • Relatively limited size options
  • No vehicle storage options
  • 24 to 48 hours of advance notice required to visit pod at storage facility

Also Consider

The Best Self-Storage Facilities Option Public Storage
Photo: publicstorage.com

Why It Made the Cut: Public Storage is one of the most popular self-storage facilities with over 2,000 locations nationwide.

When searching for a self-storage facility, many customers are likely to have a Public Storage location nearby—which makes sense, considering Public Storage has over 2,000 locations in 43 states and Washington, D.C. Public Storage offers climate control, elevator access, and first-floor units in addition to standard outdoor drive-up storage. The company also has a wide range of parking storage options, which are ideal for customers storing cars, boats, or RVs. The monthly cost of a self-storage unit can be relatively high at $178 for a 5-foot-by-10-foot unit. The facilities’ security measures also aren’t clearly described on the website, so customers may want to call a local branch and speak to an employee. But customers who are looking for convenient self-storage should consider searching for “Public Storage near me” to find a local branch.

Specs

  • Service area: 43 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Storage types: Self-storage, business storage, vehicle storage, RV storage, boat storage
  • Unit sizes: 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 5’x15′, 10’x10′, 10’x15′, 10’x20′, 10’x25′, 20-foot parking, 35-foot parking, 50-foot parking
  • Sample cost: $178/month for a 5’x10′ unit; $409/month for a 10’x25′ unit
  • Facility and unit amenities: Climate control, elevator access, first-floor units

Pros

  • Over 2,000 locations nationwide
  • Wide range of parking storage sizes

Cons

  • Information on security measures is not readily accessible
  • Relatively high monthly cost

Our Verdict

A good storage facility should be affordable, offer a range of storage unit size options and amenities and have broad availability nationwide. With locations in 41 states, numerous unit sizes, and amenities that include climate-controlled units and enclosed vehicle storage, Extra Space Storage is the best all-around self-storage facility. Those looking for a budget-priced option should consider CubeSmart, which offers competitive rates for its storage units.

How We Chose the Best Self-Storage Facilities

We considered a variety of criteria when making our selections for the best self-storage facilities. A good storage facility should have a variety of options to choose from along with numerous locations, so we stuck with facilities that have a broad national presence and offer a wide range of unit sizes and amenities. Security is crucial when choosing a storage unit facility, so we chose options that provide such measures as video surveillance, keypad entries, and well-lit facilities. Price is always a concern when selecting a self-storage facility, so our selection includes companies that offer competitive prices.

Before You Rent One of the Best Self-Storage Facilities

When renting a storage unit, it’s important that customers understand that there are limitations to what they can and can’t store. Most storage facilities will not allow hazardous materials, weapons, ammunition, explosives, any kind of fuel, or harmful liquids such as acids to be stored in a storage unit. Living plants or animals and all perishable items are also prohibited. It’s a good idea to check with a facility’s storage regulations before committing to a rental.

Customers should also be aware of any security deposits or up-front fees that come along with a storage unit rental. These should be clearly laid out in the rental agreement, and customers can speak with a representative if there’s any confusion about the fees.

Cost of Renting One of the Best Self-Storage Facilities

The cost of renting a self-storage facility varies based on the size of the facility as well as the market. That said, expect to pay between $100 and $300 per month for a storage unit. Self-storage facilities may also raise the rate on a unit if it’s in higher demand than another size. Most self-storage facilities give a discount of as much as 20 percent if a customer chooses to rent the unit online as opposed to in person. Many also offer promotions, such as the first month free. Customers can benefit from shopping around and looking out for these promotions.

The Advantages of Renting One of the Best Self-Storage Facilities

There are many benefits to using a self-storage facility to store one’s property over keeping belongings in the house or even in one of the best sheds in the backyard. A storage facility helps relieve the home of clutter by providing additional storage space. A quality storage until will also keep one’s belongings safe, thanks to various security features. Self-storage units serve as a good option for storing seasonal items, such as skis or holiday decorations. The best storage unit facilities also make their units accessible with long operating hours and key codes that make it easier to get in and out of the facility. A self-storage unit is also a great way to store one’s belongings while transitioning from one home to another.

  • Helps to declutter the home
  • Offers multiples layers of security
  • Protects items from damage
  • Accessible during the morning, afternoon, and evening
  • Convenient option when moving from one home to another

FAQs

Customers looking for a self-storage facility may still have some lingering questions about how self-storage works and how much it costs. Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions customers have when searching for “storage units near me.”

Q. What are the biggest self-storage companies?

Public Storage is one of the large self-storage chains in the country, with more than 2,000 locations nationwide.

Q. What types of storage facilities are there?

There are four basic types of storage units. The most common are outside and drive-up storage, which are not climate controlled and have doors that are accessible from outside. Indoor storage units are inside a larger building, offer greater security, and are typically climate controlled. There are also mobile storage units that consist of storage containers that are delivered to the customer’s home.

Q. Which state has the cheapest storage units?

Oklahoma offers the cheapest storage rates in the country with storage facilities that cost about $68 per month on average.

Q. How much does it cost to build a self-storage facility?

Storage buildings cost between $25 to $70 per square foot to build, depending on the market. These prices are affected by the cost of steel and labor. Costs will be higher in major metropolitan areas versus more rural locations.

Q. How much does self-storage cost?

While self-storage rates vary depending on location, one can generally expect to pay between $100 and $300 a month for a storage facility. You can find accurate, local prices by searching for “self-storage near me.”

Q. How does self-storage work?

A self-storage facility rents a unit to the customer based on a monthly rate. Once the customer leases a unit, they are free to fill it with belongings. (These belongings can’t violate any of the storage facility’s restrictions. Most storage facilities don’t allow you to put in food, hazardous materials, weapons, or living items.) Customers typically pay month to month for the storage unit.

Q. What time does self-storage close?

Most self-storage facilities have front offices that keep regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The storage units are typically accessible 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., although hours vary depending on the business.