According to the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), there are over 7,000 moving companies operating nationwide. That’s a lot! Given the choice, which one should you entrust with all your valuables (and your time)?
Well, the best moving company depends on the needs of your unique move.
Are you going far away?
How much stuff do you have?
What’s your budget?
We’ve spent over a decade curating a mover marketplace with the best moving companies, their prices, and what they have to offer. Here are our picks for the best moving companies (and a whole lot more).
Table of Contents
Who Are the Best Interstate/Long Distance Moving Companies?
Long-Distance moving companies are generally the big-ticket/big service options of the moving world.
That’s ’cause moving companies charge more if they’re driving and transporting your stuff far away. But what does “far away” mean? Well, there is no legally bound number, but broadly speaking, interstate moves are movers that will go…
- 50 miles or greater, OR
- Across state lines
State lines matter because moving companies have to adhere to different state laws, even if the distance is not necessarily farther than 50 miles.
So who gets the nod as the best cross country movers?
Simple Moving Labor (SML)
First on our list is a name you’ve maybe seen before, but isn’t necessarily as top of mind. But SML is at the top of our list because of how they stack up against a lot of the better known Long Distance Moving Companies out there.
Here’s the big thing that makes SML great: upfront binding quotes.
This, as opposed to having the price change (dramatically) the day of the move, which is a tactic some interstate movers rely on for-profit, and what SML is trying to buck. The other perks of SML are that they are a national moving company, and they also guarantee the pickup and drop off days of your belongings. That is way better than the 7-14 day windows other van lines are notorious for!
Depending on how much stuff you own, moving containers like the ones owned by PODS could break the bank… but they could end up being the most convenient long-distance moving option by a long shot.
Keep in mind, moving storage containers are a little different than the storage options other long-distance companies offer. This option has no actual movers by itself. (But you can still hire some).
The gist of a moving container is:
- You order one or more containers
- Someone drives the container(s) to your place of origin and drops them off
- Then, you (or local movers) fill it with your stuff
- Finally, the container company comes and drives the filled up storage unit away, either a warehouse or to your final destination
The fact that you can have your stuff locked in a secure storage unit that’s literally waiting for you on your front lawn is among the most flexible ways to move. Rather than wait for a big truck to show up…uh, eventually, you can get billed weekly or monthly to keep your stuff waiting right next to you for when you’re ready to empty it.
And all your stuff gets driven across the country for you, which is awesome!
Allied Van Lines
Of the big, traditional moving companies (and we do mean traditional, with 88 years in operation and counting), Allied fits snugly among the giants. Like most of the other Full Service, interstate movers, they do it all: packing, loading, driving, unloading unpacking… and you’ll pay plenty for it. (Their website says the average price for a long-distance move is $3,500.)
But to combat the high, one-size-fits-all moving quotes of interstate movers, Allied allows you to add or remove a lot of their services, including packing, storage, appliance hook-up, insurance options, and more. This may allow you to squeeze them just under your budget, which is why they get the nod.
Reviews vary wildly from region to region, however, so do some research and see if their customization options are worth it for you.
Protip: Allied and North American Van Lines (like Mayflower and United) are owned by the same company (Sirva), so if both are available to you, it’s possible they may be comparable.
What about other Long Distance Movers?
What about other long-distance options? Again, your best fit sorta depends on a few things.
How expensive interstate movers are will depend on who is available near you (schedule-wise and store-wise), the company’s policies, and how much stuff you need moved. Not to mention, the quality of your experience will depend heavily on your local staff. (Truthfully, interstate mover reviews are all over the place.)
Get at least one quote (which may require an in-home inspection, by the way), then shop your quote to all the interstate movers near you. These might include some of these long-distance movers:
Who’s the best mover? At the end of the day, interstate movers calculate your move price by a mix of different things. These include weight on the truck, date of your move, and/or truck availability. You also need to consider their cancellation policies, their arrival windows, and their claims process.
The best long distance movers will be whichever one matches up with your specific needs. They’re all a little bit different.
What about Two Men And A Truck?
Two Men And A Truck are similar to most of the above interstate moving companies, insofar that they offer long-distance and storage moving services, among other things.
However, they are not a privately owned or agent-based moving company like most of the above. Two Men And A Truck is the largest franchise-based, independently owned moving company, with over 350 locations across the United States. (A comparable company would be College H.U.N.K.S.) That means if you had the money and staff, heck, you might be able to start your very own Two Men And A Truck store!
If you can wrap your head around this, Two Men And A Truck is kind of like the McDonalds of interstate moving companies. Your menu options and the look and feel will definitely be mostly the same no matter where you live.
But fair warning: unlike food, the “ingredients” may not be similar; check the reviews of your local Two Men And A Truck store if you are curious how they compare to other long-distance options.
Protip: Some Two Men And A Truck stores have begun offering what they call “Value Flex” moves, which might save you money if its offered at your local store AND your move fits the parameters.
Who Are the Best Local Moving Companies?
Moving somewhere nearby? Good news: local moves are typically way cheaper.
Naturally, the best local moving company will always be one… that’s close to you. There are literally thousands of small moving businesses across the country, so you probably have several to choose from. (There also exist some small-to-medium-sized franchises that qualify as “local”, but which service larger areas, such as Meathead Movers in Southern California.)
Local movers often provide labor-only options to load and unload your rental truck/container. And oftentimes you can also pay them to bring their own truck, which they’ll drive for you. (The second option generally costs more than labor-only, but still less than Full-Service long-distance).
What places have great local movers?
If you’re lucky enough to be in their coverage area, here are some of the best local movers in America:
Rigo’s Moving & Storage (Southern California)
4.9 out of 5 stars after 804 reviews on HireAHelper
Working out of the Los Angeles area, Rigo’s is among the most renown local movers in the country.
Complete with a large number of uniformed crew members, strong safety protocol, and a well-oiled headquarters, Rigo’s mirrors the professionalism of the corporate moving companies, and then some. They offer both labor-only and truck transport options, as well as storage.
E&J Cleanouts & Moving (Midwest)
4.9 out of 5 stars after 568 reviews on HireAHelper
A staple in the greater St.Louis area, E&J Cleanouts & Moving offers some of the best-reviewed moving services in the entire midwest region.
Their decently sized crew specialize in making the most out of small spaces, they have a low claims rate, and they offer both labor-only and their own trucks for transportation.
Affordable Guys Moving (East Coast)
4.8 out of 5 stars after 181 reviews on HireAHelper
With three locations servicing the New England and Atlanta areas, “The Affordinator” offers one of the best high review to low-cost ratios anywhere in the country.
If you’re in the New England or Atlanta area and need someone to load and unload your rental truck or container, or if you need a mover + truck option, Affordable Guys should be one of the first places you check for a quote.
Not in the service area of one of these local movers?
Not to worry! It’s super easy to search for local movers near you with moving company reviews. Just make sure the website you search on uses verified reviews.
Protip: Some of the long-distance movers above may have the ability to do a local move, but you’re better off looking at some of these companies first.
Are Uhaul, Penske, and Budget moving companies?
Not technically, no.
For the most part, U-Haul, Penske, and Budget offer vehicles and equipment to rent, either for the day or for a specific amount of days. You’re charged varying rates, depending on the size of the truck, add-ons you get, the gas you use, and the mileage driven.
These companies will try and sell you on add-ons, including hired movers, many of which are people who may come from an actual moving company. But again, U-Haul itself is not “a moving company” in a traditional sense.
However. renting your own vehicle and then hiring reliable movers near you to just load and unload is referred to as a Hybrid™ Move, and it’s highly advisable. Why? This method is without a doubt the best dollar-for-dollar value in the moving industry.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going across the country or across the street, the cost for Labor-Only Movers + a Rental Truck is typically far, far less than the cost of a moving container or a cross-country moving company.
Any by the way, what’s the best moving truck company? We like to think of it like this:
- Best quality trucks: Penske
- Best prices: Budget
- Most availability: U-Haul
What’s the Most Affordable Moving Company?
The best moving company if you’re on a budget sorta depends on the details of your move.
Here are some factors that will raise the price of your move:
- How much stuff you have (measured by # of bedrooms, typically)
- How far you need to go
- How soon your move is
- How heavy your stuff is
- How many flights of stairs you have
- How much insurance you need
- How many movers you hire and for how many hours
Here are some moving scenarios…
Let’s say you have a three-bedroom house and you know you’re moving two states over in two months. Your most affordable moving option might actually be to get a moving container to park on the street while you slowly fill it up over the weeks. Whenever you’re ready to move, it can get driven to your new place for you.
Or, let’s say you are in a one-bedroom apartment and your lease is ending soon. Your cheapest move might be to slowly drive your stuff to your new apartment over the course of the month. But if there are a lot of stairs at the new place, you can hire movers only for the unload and nothing else, get your dryer up four sets of stairs and still save a ton of money.
How do I really know what my best option is?
If you aren’t some moving pro and don’t know every single moving option in the world, a company like HireAHelper can help you figure it out for free. It doesn’t even matter if you need last-minute movers!
HireAHelper is a national moving company marketplace, which means thousands of movers list their moving services on HireAHelper.com, then compete with each other for the best price in their area. (Yes, that means they drive down the price.)
So What’s the Best Moving Company?
Hate to say it, but it’s totally up to the kind of move you need. Review your options above and your moving day will have a fighting chance against the endless stream of movers out there.
Still unsure? If you don’t know (or can’t decide) whether a container, a driven truck, or labor-only are right for you, HireAHelper’s moving specialists can research your ZIP Code online or over the phone and tell you what all your options are, find you moving truck and container discounts, and tell you who the best movers near you actually are! (And no, you don’t even have to book anything to find out.)
Call us at (800) 995-5003, or just type in your ZIP Code at HireAHelper.com to see for yourself.