Public Storage Review: Your Guide to Self Storage Costs and Services

Here’s the bottom line: Public Storage is one of the largest storage facility chains in the United States, known for its large selection of storage unit sizes and first-month deals. While the price of storage does increase over time, Public Storage fulfills the unique storage needs of customers with 2,836 locations across the US and internationally.

Public Storage operates a variety of storage facilities around the world. Whether you need climate-controlled storage or a drive-up unit capable of storing a vehicle, Public Storage has you covered.

In July 2023, Public Storage acquired Simply Self Storage, adding 127 new locations to its already massive portfolio. Available in 40 states and in several countries abroad, there is a high chance that there is a Public Storage location near you.

Public Storage is known for their initially low monthly rents, but these rates do increase over time. They offer many promotions, one of which is a $1 rent for the first month that is available at most of their locations.

While renters are often unhappy with the increases in cost over time, according to online customer reviews, Public Storage is known as an affordable storage option, and they have many eco-friendly locations, which is one of the reasons they are on our list of best self-storage companies.

Do you need to book a storage facility in conjunction with your upcoming move? Let’s dive in and see if Public Storage can meet your storage needs.


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Pros & cons of Public Storage

  • Provides multiple storage unit sizes
  • All Public Storage facilities are protected by a fence and gate, which require an access code
  • Units can be rented month-to-month or booked for a year at a time
  • There are many promotions for first-time customers
  • All locations offer carts and dollies for customers to use
  • Locations feature an onsite manager during business hours
  • Drive-up and climate-controlled storage units are available
  • Onsite managers do not accept deliveries on behalf of customers
  • Not available in all states (doesn’t serve AK, ME, MT, NM, ND, SD, VT, WV, or WY)
  • Rates increase quickly after the initial promotion ends

Key takeaways

  • Public Storage is a widely available self-storage unit chain that provides everything from climate-controlled units to vehicle storage in 40 states and abroad.
  • They offer 11 storage unit sizes, the biggest of which can fit large boats and RVs. All storage units are protected by a fence with a keypad and a physical lock on the individual unit.
  • Public Storage has amazing rent discounts for new customers. But once the promotion ends, prices can rise quickly.

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Public Storage pricing: How much it costs for self-storage

Storage unit prices depend heavily on the type of storage you require and the state where the facility is located. For example, you will pay much more for a large climate-controlled unit in California than you will for a small unit in Kansas or Missouri.

Public Storage cost factors

  • Unit size: Unit cost increases as the square footage of the unit increases. Large units will always cost more than smaller ones.
  • Climate-controlled storage: You’ll spend more on a climate-controlled unit than a standard outdoor unit without climate control.
  • Storage unit location: In states where rent costs more, a storage unit will also cost more. If you’re in major cities like Chicago or New York City, you’ll pay more than you would for self-storage facilities in places like Mobile, Alabama.
  • Access hours: The hours you can access your Public Storage Unit will vary from location to location. Locations offering 24/7 access will cost more than those with limited access hours.
  • The length of time you need storage: Public storage offers both month-to-month and one-year contracts for storage. No matter which option you choose, you may be eligible for their $1 first-month promotion. However, if you haven’t locked in your price with a one-year contract after the promotion ends, the price could rise quickly.

Public Storage offers a wide variety of services

Public Storage offers affordable self-storage options to customers in 40 U.S. states. Let’s look at some of the services they offer:

  • Self-storage: Facilities have storage units that are drive-up (garage-style) and indoor. Self-storage unit sizes typically range from 5 x 5 feet up to 10 x 25 feet. The standard height of their storage units is eight feet.
  • Vehicle storage: Public Storage offers storage services that will accommodate most vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, RVs, and boats. Customers can choose between outside vehicle storage spaces that are either open or covered.
  • Climate-controlled units: Many items can potentially be damaged by extremely cold, hot, or humid conditions. Examples of items that may be susceptible to extreme conditions include cameras, wood furniture, leather items, electronics, and musical instruments. Climate-controlled units are located inside, so they also prevent sun damage, mold, and mildew.
  • Business storage: Commercial clients can benefit from self-storage units for equipment, documents, inventory, furniture, and more. Businesses may assign security access codes to individual employees.
  • Packing supplies: The majority of locations have boxes, tape, wrap, and other supplies available for purchase.
  • Security features: All units have a wall or fence surrounding the property, which requires a code to enter. Some locations have security cameras and guards, but these aren’t guaranteed.
  • Carts and dollies: Public Storage has a variety of carts and dollies available at their locations to assist customers with move-in. This makes it easy to move into a Public Storage Unit using a U-Haul truck that you drive yourself.
  • Autopay options: Public Storage accepts cash, electronic checks, and debit and credit cards for storage units. Customers using an electronic payment method can sign up to have the monthly fee automatically deducted each month, saving you the hassle of paying a late fee.

How Public Storage stacks up against the competition

When compared to Simply Self Storage and Extra Space Storage — two of our other top picks for best self-storage companies — storing items with Public Storage might look a little different. Let’s look at some of the differences and similarities between these self-storage companies.

Public Storage vs. Simply Self Storage

Both Public Storage and Simply Self Storage offer customers a variety of unit sizes. However, Simply Self Storage only offers seven storage unit sizes, while Public Storage gives customers a whopping 11, the most in the business.

It’s important to know that Simply Self Storage is known as a budget storage option, meaning most of their locations have few amenities, if any, and the customer experience can differ widely.

Plus, Simply Self Storage is a much smaller company, offering units only in the following 23 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Customers who want a more consistent experience with specific amenities will likely prefer Public Storage to Simply Self Storage’s barebones options. Not to mention that customers wanting a storage unit with a specific number of square feet are much more likely to find their desired unit size with Public Storage.

Public Storage vs. Extra Space Storage

Public Storage and Extra Space Storage offer a similar range of storage services. They both offer a variety of unit sizes, climate-controlled units, and units that fit vehicles.

In 2023, Extra Space Storage merged with Life Storage to create the biggest storage unit chain with over 3,500 locations. Extra Space Storage is available in 42 states, while Public Storage is only available in 40. Extra Space Storage isn’t available in Alaska, Alabama, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Both companies raise monthly fees over time, but while Extra Space Storage is known for its positive reviews and exceptional security, many Public Storage customer reviews complain about the lack of security in certain locations.

Customers pay for this premium security, however, as Extra Space Storage has no option to lock in your rate, meaning it will cost much more than a unit at Public Storage if you are looking to rent storage long-term. That being said, both companies are known for the deep discounts they offer new customers. Just know that with Extra Space Storage, these discounts will run out more quickly than at Public Storage.

Company BBB score State availability Discounts
Public Storage NR 40 states $1 for first month’s rent, plus seasonal discounts
Simply Self Storage D- 23 states $30 rent credit for referring friends
Extra Space Storage A+ 42 states Varying discounts for new customers

How self-storage with Public Storage works

Public Storage offers secure storage units at an affordable price. Let’s take a closer look at what the self-storage process with Public Storage looks like.

Booking a storage unit

Public Storage has a user-friendly website ( that allows new customers to browse their available units. Just enter the location you are interested in and choose the unit size you would like to book. There is no need to make a phone call.

After you find your perfect storage solution, you can reserve your unit for free. All that is required is your name, email address, phone number, and move-in date. This will reserve your unit until your move-in date, and you can always cancel without penalty.

Moving in

On move-in day, you simply show up at the Public Storage location in person to receive your reserved unit. You do need to show up during business hours, so ensure you note these times while you are booking.

Once you arrive, look for a building and ask for the property manager. They will take you to your unit and help you set up autopay. Note that all units rented with Public Storage require storage insurance. You can buy this on the property or arrange your own in advance with your insurance company.

Public Storage units only allow certain types of locks. While you can bring your own, be prepared that it may not fit the unit. If it doesn’t fit, you can purchase a new lock on the property.

After you are all moved in, Public Storage will bill you on a monthly basis if you signed up for autopay. If you elect to pay cash, you will need to ensure you visit the property in person every month with enough cash before your payment due date. If you are late with your payment, you will be charged a late fee.

Remember that the initial rate is an introductory rate only, and it will increase after your contract ends. This means if you choose a month-to-month contract, you could be paying more for your unit in just a few months.

Many customers with Public Storage choose to sign a one-year contract to ensure they can keep their low rate for at least one year. After this year ends, the rates may increase, sometimes by double the initial amount.

Moving out

When you are ready to move out of your storage unit, you’ll want to notify Public Storage 48 hours before your move-out date. You can do this online or in person.

On your move-out date, remove all your possessions from the storage unit and ensure it is clean. Then, check out with the property manager in person. They will inspect the unit and close out your account.

Should you use Public Storage?

Still not sure if Public Storage is the right choice for you? Here are some very specific situations where we recommend Public Storage and situations when we don’t.

Use Public Storage if:

  • You need storage for up to one year and don’t mind locking in your rate with a contract
  • You plan to handle most of your storage unit loading and maintenance yourself and don’t mind that the property manager can’t accept deliveries on your behalf
  • You need an extra-large unit for a boat or an RV

Don’t use Public Storage if

  • You need a storage unit that can accept deliveries on your behalf
  • You aren’t sure how long you will need storage and aren’t able to lock in a rate with a contract


What are the hours of Public Storage?

Public Storage hours vary widely depending on the location. Most are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but you will want to call or check online to verify the hours of the location nearest to you.

Where is the headquarters of Public Storage?

The headquarters of Public Storage are located in Glendale, California.

What types of locks do Public Storage units require?

Public Storage units require either a disk or a cylindrical lock. If you have your own at home, you can bring it, but if you don’t have the right type on hand, you can buy one on the property for an additional fee.

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