Self-Storage Pricing Guide: How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Storage Unit?

People have a lot of stuff, often more stuff than they can comfortably fit in their homes and still live an uncluttered life. When folks are between homes, the problem of where to stash their stuff becomes even more of a predicament. This is what makes self-storage such an important service for millions of Americans—it helps people conveniently manage their belongings without resorting to stashing their possessions in their parents’ musty basement.

But how much does it cost to rent a self-storage unit? And is it worth it?

As you might expect, it depends! Just as real estate costs vary from place to place, so does the cost of self-storage units. For example, the average cost of a 10×10 self-storage unit in the United States ranges from $55 to $288 depending on the market. 

You also have to figure in the age, quality, size, length of rental time and security of your self storage facility. Higher end facilities will typically cost more but provide superior services. A conveniently located but not new facility might be more affordable in the long run. In addition, storage prices fluctuate through out the year due to seasonal demand.

Here are just a few of the factors that will influence cost—and what you can do to save money on your self storage unit.

Storage Unit Size

When determining how much a storage unit will cost, the most important storage unit price consideration will be size. The next most important factor is the marketplace where your facility is located. Urban storage units, for example, are much more expensive than those in a small town. For example, the average 10×20 storage unit in San Francisco average about $452 a month, while the same unit in North Highlands, CA (pop. 43,000) will only cost $78.16 on average. The national average for that unit comes in at about $135.44 a month.

Below are the most current price ranges and average price for the most common unit sizes:

5×5 Storage Unit Prices

  • Cost range: $30-$87
  • Average price (2023): $44.58

5×10 Storage Unit Prices

  • Cost range: $48-$132
  • Average price (2023): $62.46

10×10 Storage Unit Prices

  • Cost range: $59-$271
  • Average price (2023): $95.94

10×15 Storage Unit Prices

  • Cost range: $90-$355
  • Average price (2023): $123.44

10×20 Storage Unit Prices

  • Cost range: $84-$368
  • Average price (2023): $135.44

Storage Facility Location:

As is true with any type of real estate, location has a major impact on how much a storage unit costs. The more expensive the city, the more expensive self storage is. Also within a city, the more desirable of an area you’re looking to store in, the more renting a storage unit will cost. The image below gives a great example of how much more storage can cost based on location within a city. Self storage in the downtown area costs significantly more than some options just outside of it.

The further away self storage renters go away from Downtown Jacksonville, the more money they can save on rent.


Climate Control

If you’re in an area with extreme heat, cold, or humidity, you might be looking at climate-controlled storage. As you can imagine, storage units with regulated temperatures cost more. Just how much? It will vary a little from market to market, but climate control storage units cost roughly 15% to 30% more expensive than non climate-controlled storage units. In most cases the additional cost is worth it, though. Paying a bit more for storage will make sure your important belongings are not damaged during their time in storage.

Structure Type

There are two main types of storage facilities: indoor and outdoor. Outdoor structures function much like household garages, in that each unit has a separate door accessible from the outside. Indoor structures tend to look more like apartment buildings, offering one main entry to the facility and then separate doors for each unit.

Expect indoor units to be more expensive—oftentimes up to 50% more than outdoor structures. How much interior storage units cost can vary based on access within the building.

Pro tip: If you want easy access, first or ground floor access is a bit more expensive. If you’re looking to save a little money, see if an upper-level storage unit is available.


Security is a real factor when it comes to self-storage. Although you should always rent from a facility with at least some security in place (video cameras and keypad entry), you can take things one step further by looking for sites with 24-hour security guards and unit door alarms. The more secure the facility (and the better your storage lock), the more you will pay.

Rental Agreement

Of course, one of the lesser known self storage unit factors is what is contained within your rental agreement. Renting a storage unit for a shorter six months is going to cost more per month than one rented for years at a time. Payments up front can also provide a fairly hefty discount (and save you the trouble of remembering to pay). If you really want to save money on renting a storage unit, we recommend you talk with the facility about possible discounts for advance payment and longer rental terms.

Fortunately, none of these cost factors is set in stone. To save money with self storage, you might also want to consider how to fix things on your end—how to pack your items so that climate issues are not a factor, how to maximize space and even buying a self storage lock on your own.

Is Self-Storage Worth the Cost?

To determine if self-storage is worth the cost, consider what it would cost to replace your items and how long you plan to keep them in storage. Don’t forget to consider the amount of time and money you would spend going to and fro to reacquire items as well. Of course, some of your items may be irreplaceable for personal sentimental reasons. When it comes to protecting priceless mementos, the monthly cost may not be your primary consideration.

Also consider this: On a square foot basis, self-storage space is cheaper than residential real estate. For example, if you were to rent a bigger apartment so you can have more room for your accumulated belongings, you will pay more for that extra space than you would just renting a storage unit for the same purpose.

Case in point: the average apartment rent in San Francisco was $4.42 per square foot in November 2023, while the average storage rent was $2.38 per square foot. That’s a total savings of more than 46%!

Looking for the lowest storage prices in your area? Search for cheap storage units now!