A green plant in a navy blue planter on the wooden floor of a home near large cardboard moving boxes.

Best Moving Companies in 2021

A professional moving company can help alleviate the stress of moving into a new home. Read about our picks for the best moving companies in our guide that compares services, pricing, and benefits of each company.
By Home Service Reviews Team
Updated August 26, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Related Content

Best Moving Companies

Many people would agree that moving is one of life's most stressful events. However, the moving process doesn't have to be as expensive, taxing, and time consuming as you may expect. Whether you're moving across town or cross-country, a professional moving company offers services and solutions to help provide peace of mind as you settle into your new home.

To help our readers find the right moving company for them, we ran dozens of companies through a rigorous rating system and compared them on factors that matter, such as services, insurance options, customer reviews, and affordability. Each moving company we recommend below is widely available, has reputable customer service, and offers reliable professional moving services.

Prices that you see for each provider are based on quotes we received to move from a three-bedroom home in Chicago to Dallas (or 1,000 miles) within three months, unless otherwise stated.

Here are our top picks for the best moving companies:

Best Customization: International Van Lines

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states
  • Years in Business: 21
  • Type of Mover: Full service
  • Cost: $4,200–$6,150

What We Like

A Florida-based company, International Van Lines (IVL) is a full-service mover that acts as both a carrier and a broker to handle moves throughout all 50 U.S. states and in 180 countries globally. Its popular full-service options include packing and unpacking, crating, furniture disassembly and reassembly, specialty services, loading and unloading, and more. 

IVL excels at providing customized moving packages to customers based on their budget and moving needs. For example, customers who want to save money can choose to pack and unpack on their own, but they can hire help for transportation, loading, and unloading. This ability to mix and match gives customers total control over their moves.

IVL also offers multiple contents protection plans. Customers can opt for a full-value protection plan and also choose an adjustable coverage cap, which then determines the amount customers pay for the protection plan.

Customer's Take

They showed up on time, meticulously packing the truck. They kept us up-to-date with [the] estimated delivery time. Showed up on the other end on time, and everyone was so polite and hard-working. I can't thank the whole amazing team enough for making this [an] easy and stress-free experience.—Randi T. via Yelp

Best Customization
International Van Lines

Best Overall: JK Moving Services 

Company Info 

  • State Availability: 50 states (local moves are available only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.)
  • Years in Business: 42
  • Type of Mover: Full service 
  • Cost: $9,200

What We Like 

Based out of Sterling, Virginia, JK Moving Services offers a comprehensive selection of full-service moving options, such as packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, loading and unloading, and transportation. The company is limited to the Greater Washington area as a local mover, but it's widely available across the U.S. as a long-distance mover.

What we really like about JK Moving is its option to finance your move and pay for it over time, a rare offering in the moving industry. Through the company's partnership with Enhancify, customers are able to apply for a loan and choose from a range of loan providers offering different repayment terms and interest rates. Some customers receive rates as low as 0 percent, subject to credit approval.

JK Moving also supplies a useful mobile app that helps customers conduct a virtual survey for an accurate, binding estimate. This means you pay the price you are quoted unless you add more items to your move. The mobile app also provides GPS tracking of your shipment.

Customer's Take

We had an excellent experience with JK Moving Services! The movers helped us with a local (within one hour) move. Mr. Daimler and his team (5 men total) arrived early with 2 trucks and loads of energy. They worked quickly and extremely efficiently. They disassembled everything, wrapped it up, loaded it and were finished with our entire house in less than 4 hours. They even packed a few stray things here and there as they went. I was grateful that, after painting before we sold the house, there were no dents, scuffs, or scratches anywhere in sight.—Christie M. via Yelp

Editor's Choice
JK Moving Services

Best for Antiques: American Van Lines

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states
  • Years in Business: 54
  • Type of Mover: Full service 
  • Cost: $7,095*

*This information is an average price calculated on American Van Lines' website.

What We Like

American Van Lines (AVL) has a long tradition in the South, first opening its doors in Florida in 1967. The company strives to provide skilled and experienced moving labor for each of its moves. In addition to hiring only full-time, background-checked movers who know the ins and outs of a standard move, the company trains each of its employees in specialty moves at its own facility. This makes it a great choice for moving antiques and priceless heirlooms, pianos, and fine artwork.

AVL can move all kinds of pianos, including grand, upright, electric, and digital pianos. Its employees will dismantle and reassemble any piano and antiques if needed or requested. AVL also provides various valuation and insurance options to protect valuables during transit. For example, the company offers a full-value protection plan that makes the mover liable for the total value of belongings for those with lightweight, expensive items.

Customer's Take

We recently moved from Florida to Texas a couple weeks ago. Jeffrey and Mike were our movers and they did great. Not many items were damaged as they were very careful to wrap up everything that was fragile. They showed up on the scheduled date and actually beat us to our new place. They took two days to pack and one day to unpack.—Benford A. via Yelp

Best for Antiques
American Van Lines

Best Self-Service Mover: 1-800-Pack-Rat

Company Info

What We Like

Started by a North Carolina entrepreneur, 1-800-Pack-Rat is our top choice for a self-service mover. The company offers three sizes of sturdy, weather-resistant, portable storage containers—referred to as "pack rats" because of their ability to store everything.

The DIY-friendly service model is simple: 1-800-Pack-Rat delivers a storage container to the customer's point of origin. Customers load their choice of container(s) at their own pace within the 30-day rental slot, then notify 1-800-Pack-Rat when to pick up and deliver their belongings to their new home. The three available sizes are 8 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet. Based on our quote, a 16-foot container can be rented for an additional month for around $300.

1-800-Pack-Rat offers the ability to hire affordable professional help with services such as loading and unloading due to its partnership with HireAHelper. The company also features useful online resources, such as location guides and a space calculator.

Customer's Take

My sister recommended 1-800-Pack-Rat and we couldn't be happier. Communication from them was excellent. We rented three pods, each one delivered and picked up a few days apart from each other. The manager always called the day before, confirming the delivery. The drivers called in the morning and/or an hour before delivery. Everyone was courteous and professional. The prices were extremely fair and I appreciate the great service for our move. It was a load off my shoulders to have such helpful people to work with. Customer service is also awesome.—Michelle G. via Yelp (Sterling, Virginia branch)

Best Self-Service Mover
1-800-Pack-Rat

Best for Condos & HOAs: Safeway Moving Systems

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states
  • Years in Business: 34
  • Type of Mover: Full service
  • Cost: $7,000–$10,000

What We Like

Safeway Moving Systems is a moving broker that connects customers to full-service movers that fit their criteria. The company can also help you ship your car, move your piano, and relocate your office or business. In addition to its solid reputation for professionalism and speed, Safeway stands out for allowing its customers to earmark a portion of their payment for donation to St. Jude's Children Hospital.

One major benefit to using Safeway is that the company requires all of its moving partners to carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy, which is 25 percent higher than the industry standard. This is because Safeway knows that some HOAs and condo associations require a higher insurance policy. If you own a condo, Safeway may be a great choice.

Customer's Take

I liked that they took time to visit the house and view the goods being moved. The day before the move, 90 percent of the goods were removed and stored safely, making the moving day easier. I would love to book them again. I have recommended it to all.—Rogers via the BBB

Best for Condos & HOAs
Safeway Moving Systems

Best for Storage: PODS

Company Info

What We Like

PODS, an acronym for portable on-demand storage, is another great self-service moving company that offers excellent moving and storage options. PODS's service model is similar to 1-800-Pack-Rat, in that customers can rent portable storage containers and control their own moving timelines.

With 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot container sizes, PODS offers convenience and ease as well as affordable rates for its storage services. PODS's price for additional monthly rental time starts at $149 per month, which is lower than 1-800-Pack-Rat's fees for additional rental time, making it a good option for longer-term on-site storage.

When the customer is ready, a PODS driver will either deliver the container to your new home or to one of its more than 230 storage centers across 46 states and in several locations in Canada. Many of PODS's storage facilities include top-tier perks such as 24/7 security and climate-controlled units.

Customer's Take

Rented an 8' x 8' x 16' POD for a [3-bedroom, 2-bathroom] house with a garage. … Moved coast to coast without knowing our new residence, and three weeks later (yesterday), we waved goodbye to our POD. [It was my] first time using them and I'm incredibly happy with their business model and customer service. The process is kind of amazing. The value was there and not one thing was broken when all was said and done.—Rob S. via Yelp (Savannah, Georgia branch)

Best for Storage
PODS

Most Flexible Pricing: U-Pack

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states (small moves have a 150-mile minimum)
  • Years in Business: 24
  • Type of Mover: Self service
  • Cost: $2,411

What We Like 

U-Pack is a self-service mover that features affordable pricing and a pay-for-what-you-use policy. This policy allows customers to pay per square foot for the space their belongings occupy in a larger moving trailer, offering greater flexibility in pricing.

Customers can also opt to move using U-Pack's 6x7x8-foot ReloCubes, which are typically cheaper than PODS's and 1-800-Pack-Rat's containers. These containers will fit into a single parking spot, which makes U-Pack a great option for apartment moves.

There are a couple of downsides to moving with U-Pack. For one, the company does require that moves be at least 150 miles in distance. Additionally, U-Pack offers in-transit storage, but customers will not be able to retrieve belongings while they are stored.

Still, with U-Pack's flexible pricing and its three different contents protection plans to suit any budget, it's a great option for inexpensive, apartment, and long-distance moves.

Customer's Take

Compar[ed] to the costs (effort, time, and money) of renting a moving van, this was incredible! I filled most of the trailer (got paid back for the footage I didn't use), they picked it up [the] next day and hauled it into storage (I had over a month before I could take delivery). When I arrived at my new place, I called to get it dropped off and they came first thing in the morning. There were no hidden costs, I paid exactly what they said (no insurance coverage or materials costs). I plan to use U-Pack in the future every time!—Daniel H. via Yelp

Most Flexible Pricing
U-Pack

Types of Movers

There are three main types of professional movers: full service, self service, and moving brokers. All of these movers fulfill different kinds of needs for customers.

Full-Service Mover

A full-service moving company handles practically every part of a move. Full-service movers provide services such as packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, crating, loading and unloading, and transportation. A full-service moving company provides an all-inclusive experience, leaving customers with the free time to deal with other important aspects of their move.

Self-Service Mover

A self-service moving company, also called a portable container mover, is more affordable while still allowing for professional transportation of customers' belongings. A self-service mover is a great choice for anyone who wants a DIY approach with a professional touch.

Moving Broker

A moving broker is a company that partners with a network of carriers to provide trucks and labor for your move. Carriers bid for your job with the broker, allowing you to compare a variety of estimates easily. However, since pure brokers don't actually conduct your move, communications can be more complicated. Some movers act as both carriers and brokers.

How To Find the Right Moving Company for You

To help you determine which moving company is right for you, we have listed out some of the major points to consider when determining which provider you should use:

  • Full service or self service: Ask yourself what sort of service you want. If you are looking for a moving company to handle as much of your move as possible, you may want to consider a full-service mover. If you are hoping to save money and just have the company handle transportation, you may want to look into self-service movers.
  • Cost: To accurately compare each company's pricing, obtain quotes from each provider you are considering. These quotes will help you compare both prices and services.
  • Contents protection plans: If you own valuable items that you are worried about breaking during transit, you will want a comprehensive contents protection plan (also known as moving insurance) to provide reimbursement in the event that you have to file a claim. Many companies provide an adjustable contents protection plan that allow you to receive higher coverage caps for a slightly higher up-front cost.
  • Specialty services: If you own any items that are challenging to move, such as antiques or pianos, make sure your moving company is prepared to handle them in advance. You certainly don't want a rookie moving your antiques, artwork, or large musical instruments. And piano moving often requires a special certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most affordable moving company?

Self-service mover U-Pack is the most affordable mover on our list, but International Van Lines also provides affordable options for a full-service move.

How far in advance should I schedule movers?

As a general rule, we suggest you plan on scheduling out about two months ahead of moving day. But we recommend that you check with your moving company to see how far in advance they recommend you schedule its services.

What is the cheapest month to move?

Summers are the most expensive time of the year to move. You will find cheaper moving rates in late September to late April.

Methodology

Southern Living strives to provide objective, unbiased reviews for home services and products. Part of doing so involves being transparent about our methodology in assessing each provider we review. We evaluate each provider on a 100-point scale, broken down as follows: 

  • Service Type: Does the provider offer its services for local, long-distance, and/or international moves? 
  • Additional Perks: Does the company provide additional perks and resources with its services, such as moving calculators, checklists, packing supplies, GPS tracking, and financing options?
  • Quotes Process: Does the company provide ballpark estimates, or does it provide binding, fixed-rate quotes for its services? What information does the company require to provide an estimate?
  • Availability: How many states does the company provide its services in? 
  • Service Options: Does the company provide services such as packing and unpacking, crating, vehicle transportation, loading and unloading, specialty services, and storage solutions? 
  • Customer Service: Does the company feature a positive customer satisfaction rating on popular review sites, such as Yelp and the BBB?