The moving experience is one full of excitement and stress. There are so many options for professional movers that it can become a challenge to determine which company and what type of move is right for you.
The This Old House Reviews Team has created this guide to help you in your research and decision-making process. Use it to compare the top-rated moving companies based on the types of moves they help with, their costs, services, and pros and cons.
10 Best Moving Companies
Here are the top rated moving companies on the market today:
- International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
- American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor
- JK Moving Services: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
- Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- North American Van Lines: Best for Claims
- 1-800-PACK-RAT: Best Overall Self-Service
- U-Pack: Most Affordable
- PODS: Most Convenient
- United Van Lines: Best for moving Tech Items
- Mayflower: Best for Large Moves
International Van Lines
Our Rating: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
International Van Lines is our top pick for a moving company, thanks to its competitive rates and a wide variety of services. The company offers full-service, partial-service, or self-service options for both local and long-distance moves anywhere in the country. Full-service options include packing and unpacking, specialty services for pianos and antiques, storage, and other useful options.
Pros & Cons of International Van Lines
✔ Offers specialty services for artwork, antiques, and pianos
✔ Provides multiple protection plan options
✔ Offers vehicle relocation for a wide variety of vehicles
✘ No sample pricing online
✘ Customer reviews vary according to location and mention difficulty in communication
Cost: Moving a two-bedroom home from Chicago to Houston within a month’s time costs $2,015–$3,445 with International Van Lines. This includes the company providing loading and driving services.
State Availability: International Van Lines helps with local and long-distance moves in every state. The company also provides services for international moves.
American Van Lines
Our Rating: Most Experienced Moving Labor
American Van Lines provides some of the most experienced, consistent, and reliable moving labor with its full-service options. The company exclusively hires full-time movers, as opposed to the popular method of contract-based work. As a result, American Van Lines’ workers have an average 10 years of moving experience when they arrive to help you, making them some of the best movers for a wide range of services, including packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading.
Pros & Cons of American Van Lines
✔ Provides a price-matching policy
✔ Offers flat-rate quotes
✔ Workers have 10 years of experience, on average
✘ Prices can be slightly higher than competitors
✘ Up-front deposits range from 10%–50% of total cost
✘ No online estimate option
Cost: American Van Lines does not post sample pricing for specific services online, but it does feature a moving cost page on its website with special offerings for popular moves. The company estimates that a move from Houston to Chicago for a two-bedroom apartment (or a move weighing 6,000 pounds) would be around $4,669.
One great feature from American Van Lines is that it provides binding estimates. This means you receive a fixed rate that will not change despite what happens during your move. Other companies may adjust their prices based on unexpected events or changes during a move, but American Van Lines guarantees your quote price through fixed pricing.
State Availability: American Van Lines can help with moves of any size and distance in 48 states. It is not available in Alaska and Hawaii.
JK Moving Services
Our Rating: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
JK Moving is a full-service mover that focuses on tailoring your moving package in accordance with your budget and moving needs. Another standout feature of JK Moving is that customers are able to finance their move with the company. This is not a common offering in the moving industry. Some customers can get rates as low as 0% same-as-cash.
Pros & Cons JK Moving
✔ Provides customer service 24/7
✔ Offers financing through Enhancify
✔ Storage facilities include climate-controlled units
✘ Does not provide sample pricing online
✘ Mixed customer reviews based on location
✘ Local moves are only available in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia
Cost: JK Moving customizes each of its moving packages based on each customer’s needs, so the company does not feature sample pricing online. We were able to get a ballpark estimate from JK Moving for a two-bedroom home (or 10,400 pounds) going from Atlanta to Chicago for $7,521. This includes furniture disassembly, wrapping and padding, loading, unloading, and full value protection.
State Availability: While JK Moving helps with local moves only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the company provides assistance with long-distance moves in all 50 states. JK Moving can also supply assistance for international moving.
Allied Van Lines
Our Rating: Best for Vehicle Relocation
Many other movers outsource vehicle shipping services, Allied Van Lines is a full-service mover that offers the rare perk of conducting its vehicle relocations services using its own trucks. It also offers GPS tracking on these shipments.
Pros & Cons of Allied Van Lines
✔ Offers in-house vehicle relocation services
✔ Partners with the Salvation Army to help donate unwanted items
✔ Provides GPS tracking on all shipments
✘ Its prices may run higher than some competitors
✘ Customer reviews mention a difficult claims process
Cost: Allied Van Lines estimates that moving a two-bedroom home/apartment from Chicago to Houston with an average-sized load would cost about $5,364–$6,131. This is a ballpark quote that may change dramatically over the course of a move due to unforeseen circumstances, such as increased travel time. However, Allied typically provides binding estimates through in-home and virtual surveys. This is a quote that does not change once you are quoted unless your inventory changes.
State Availability: Allied Van Lines helps with local and cross-country moves in all 50 states. It also helps with international moves in 130 countries.
North American Van Lines
Our Rating: Best for Claims
North American Van Lines is a full-service mover that provides comprehensive contents protection plans and an easy-to-use claims process. This makes the company a great choice for those looking to transport expensive belongings.
North American Van Lines offers custom full-value release plans, so customers receive coverage and compensation that matches the actual value of their items rather than a predetermined amount. The company also provides direct, easy-to-reach communication if something goes wrong through a separate customer support line for filing claims and a thorough claims process.
Pros & Cons of North American Van Lines
✔ Detailed and transparent claims process
✔ Provides personal moving agent from a network of more than 500 agent locations
✔ Wide assortment of online tools and resources
✘ Available agents may be limited based on your location
✘ Storage options may be limited based on your location
Cost: North American Van Lines quoted us to move a two-bedroom home from Chicago to Houston with a medium-sized load for $5,343–$6,105. Similar to Allied, the company also offers binding estimates through virtual and in-home surveys. This provides even greater financial peace of mind when paired with North American Van Lines’ coverage plans and claims process.
State Availability: North American Van Lines is available for local and long-distance moves in every state. It also helps with international moves in 130 countries.
Our Rating: Best Overall Self-Service Mover
1-800-PACK-RAT is our top choice for self-service mover. Not only does the company provide excellent pricing on its portable storage container service, but it partners with Hire-A-Helper. This partnership allows customers to receive the moving assistance they need for an additional cost. 1-800-PACK-RAT can assist with both local and interstate moves.
Pros & Cons of 1-800-PACK-RAT
✔ Includes $10,000 of protection on long-distance moves
✔ Wide selection of online resources and tools
✔ Offers three different-sized weather-proof and easily-accessible containers
✘ Locations are only in 29 states
✘ Bookings and quotes must be completed over the phone
Cost: We obtained a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT for a 16-foot container moving from Chicago to Houston in about a month for $3,239.76. This quote includes all transportation during the move, delivery and pickup of the container, a no-cut security lock for the container, and $10,000 in content protection coverage.
State Availability: 1-800-PACK-RAT states that it helps within a 100-mile radius of each of its locations easily. The company also says it can most likely help with a move in the United States even if a location is not nearby, so we encourage you to call the company to figure out if it can help you. See which states 1-800-PACK-RAT services.
Our Rating: Most Affordable
If you want to save money by taking a self-service approach to moving, U-Pack may be a good option. The company provides driveway-to-driveway delivery of portable moving and storage containers at reasonable prices without hidden fees or the need for in-home estimates. U-Pack’s ReloCubes are 6 feet long by 8 feet wide — large enough to store the contents of a normal-sized living room. While you will likely need multiple ReloCubes to move your items, U-Pack will not charge you for any containers that you don’t end up using. For larger moves, U-Pack’s cargo trailers may be a more cost-effective solution. Trailers can hold furniture and belongings in a typical three or four-bedroom home.
Pros & Cons of U-Pack
✔ Offers monthly storage nationwide
✔ Provides optional moving crews through third-party network Moving Staffers
✔ Provides a guaranteed delivery date and time for an additional fee
✘ Does not handle moves less than 150 miles
✘ Limits loading and unloading time to three days each
Cost: Using U-Pack’s online instant quote tool, we received an estimate of $2,748 for a 13-foot trailer to move a two-bedroom home from Houston to Chicago. The cost to rent two ReloCubes for the same move would be $3,566.
State Availability: U-Pack is available in all 50 states for drop-off and pick-up of its mobile moving containers.
PODS Moving & Storage
Our Rating: Most Convenient
PODS is another portable storage container company that can provide a mixture of self-service and partial-service options. We find that PODS offers the most convenience when it comes to the schedule of your move. PODS offers 30 days for you to load up your moving containers, and it then allows for another 30 days for you to unload once you are at your destination. PODS customers also get access to additional services like storage and protection plans.
Pros & Cons of PODS
✔ Quote process provides plenty of details and transparency
✔ 30 days to load and 30 days to unload your belongings
✔ Claims to help with moves in all 50 states
✘ Lengthy quote process
✘ Not much availability for short-term notice
Cost: PODS is a pay-as-you-go service, so there are no up-front costs. We received a quote from PODS for a 16-foot container moving from Chicago to Houston in about two months. This quote includes six to eight days for transit, which excludes Sundays and major holidays. PODS’ overall estimated cost for this move $3,494.08 plus taxes.
Payment: Payments are made in installments. The first payment of $487.95 includes the delivery of the container, its pickup, first month’s rental, and $10k in contents protection. The second payment for the cost of transportation of the container is $2,867.13. The redelivery of the container to the new address in Houston and its final pickup is $139.
State Availability: PODS states that it can help with moves in 46 states. The company does not feature a physical branch in every state.
PODS does not have a brick-and-mortar location in:
- North Dakota
United Van Lines
Our Rating: Best for Moving Tech Items
Founded in 1928, United is one of the oldest full-service moving companies in the industry and is experienced in handling local and long-distance moves of all sizes. The company also operates within more than 180 countries.
United Van Lines provides typical full-service solutions like packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking but specializes in handling electronics. The company will disassemble and reassemble your home theater and PC network—a service not offered by any other provider on our list. In addition to disconnection and reconnection of your electronics, United Van Lines has its own fleet of carriers for vehicle shipping and provides short- and long-term storage.
United also offers Snapmoves, a program geared specifically toward those moving an apartment, dorm room, or storage unit. Snap Moves gives customers a full-service experience—complete with a personal moving coordinator, full value protection of your belongings, and loading and unloading—at a lower rate.
Pros & Cons of United Van Lines
✔ Has more than 500 physical locations across the country to better coordinate moves
✔ Has General Services Administration (GSA) approval to transport items for the military and government, including relocating military personnel and their families
✔ Offers optional cleaning services
✘ Does not provide instant online moving quotes
✘ Acts as both a carrier and a broker and may therefore outsource your move to a third-party company in your area
Cost: United Van Lines will provide you with a binding estimate after completing a thorough assessment of your home and its contents. For this reason, the company does not give out online quotes. However, we were able to get a ballpark estimate of approximately $3,500 to move a two-bedroom apartment from Chicago to Houston. That estimate does not include packing and unpacking. Selecting those services would add about $1,200 to the estimate listed above.
State Availability: United Van Lines can accommodate moves anywhere in the United States. The company operates 500 offices across every state in the country, with the exception of Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. However, moves to or from that state can still be handled through a United location in a neighboring state or a third-party agent in the company’s network.
Our Rating: Best for Large Moves
Like United Van Lines, Mayflower is one of the longest-running full-service moving companies in operation today. The company was founded in 1927 and now performs local, long-distance, and international relocations across the United States and in more than 150 countries. With nearly a century of experience, Mayflower stands out for its ability to expertly handle large moves. The company has a wide selection of add-on services—including loading and unloading of pianos and other large items, vehicle and boat shipping, and furniture disassembly and reassembly—to help ease the stress of a large-scale relocation.
Pros & Cons of Mayflower
✔ Has an online portal for tracking each stage of the moving process
✔ Provides specialty packaging of electronics
✔ Operates a national fleet that is certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
✘ Does not sell packing supplies, a service many of its competitors offer
✘ Does not provide online moving estimates
Cost: Like United Van Lines and Allied Van Lines, Mayflower will not only provide a quote over the phone. The company will give you a binding estimate following a survey of your home and review of your inventory. However, Mayflower provided us with a ballpark estimate of about $4,200 to move a two-bedroom home from Houston to Chicago. The estimate includes loading, transport, and unloading and basic liability coverage.
State Availability: Mayflower can provide service in all 50 states and currently has physical locations in all states except for Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Summary of the Top Rated Moving Companies
See how some of the top moving companies compare to help make your decision a little easier.
What Impacts a Moving Company’s Cost
Most moving companies have the same factors impact the average cost of their services.
Some companies will include different factors, such as hourly labor or the amount of containers you receive, but the following factors will most likely influence the final price you pay for your moving company’s services:
- Location of your original residence
- Date and time of your move
- Overall distance of the move
- Truck parking access
- Truck size used
- Truck driver’s hours
- Hours worked by moving labor
- Fuel costs
- Number of portable storage containers used
- Size/weight of your move
- Additional protection plans you purchase
- Additional services you purchase
Other Top Moving Companies Reviewed
- Colonial Van Lines Review
- Bellhop Moving Review
- MoveMatcher Review
- Handled Review
- Moving APT Review
- uShip Review
- College Hunks Hauling Junk Review
- SIRVA Review
- MoveBuddha Review
- Two Men and a Truck Review
What to Look for in a Moving Company
It can be challenging to research each moving company’s website to determine which company is right for you. There are a few important, universal factors to keep in mind when comparing top moving companies. To help you keep those major factors in mind, we have listed them here:
1. Figure Out Which Type of Move You Want
Take some time as you research to figure out which type of move you and your family might want. You should think about what you value in a moving service and what you are willing to do in order to effectively determine which type of move you should undertake.
Full-Service Moving Companies
If you are looking to have a moving company handle as much of your move as possible, then we recommend a full-service moving company like International Van Lines. Full-service moving companies pack and unpack belongings, and they might train their movers in transporting fragile items like antiques.
Self-Service Moving Companies
2. Review the Best Moving Companies in Your Area
To help you find the best moving company to assist you and your needs the best you should compare the top moving companies in your state:
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
3. Research Each Company’s Reputation
Getting a friend or family member’s recommendation is a good way to know how a moving company realistically works. Another great step is to visit trusted customer reviews sites online, such as Yelp, Consumer Reports, Angi, MyMovingReviews.com, and the Better Business Bureau.
When reading moving company reviews, pay attention to how each customer describes the highs and lows from their experience with the movers to get a feeling for how the customer service for each company really works. This is also a great time to get moving estimates from each company to compare costs.
4. Check That the Moving Company is Properly Licensed
The best moving companies are properly licensed and insured for the move you are asking them to execute. Luckily, If you choose a moving company from this list, then you do not have to worry about doing this. All of our recommended movers are licensed, bonded, and insured.
If you decide to use another moving company, then you can check their credentials by obtaining the company’s USDOT number and visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to search for them.
How to Prepare for a Move
Moving companies often act as an effective means to remember important steps to accomplish during a move, such as scheduling time off work and purchasing moving boxes. Some moving companies offer personal moving coaches, and other companies provide a moving checklist.
Even with these resources, there are some important steps that may get skipped over when preparing for your move. Read over some major steps to take below to make sure your move occurs with ease:
1. Condense Your Belongings
We recommend you make two piles as moving day draws near. In one of the piles, place items you can donate. In the other pile, place items you want to throw away. A few days before the movers arrive, you can spend some time taking each pile to its respective drop-off location.
2. Notify Important People
Be sure to notify your internet provider, your electricity and water companies, insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, and the Social Security Administration.
3. Create an Inventory
An important step to take when making your inventory is to make note of the condition of your items and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a damage claim for reimbursement.
Learn More: Our Guide to Moving
What is the Most Reputable Moving Company?
Here are the most reputable moving companies and their ratings:
Best Moving Companies Ratings
|Company||Superlative||This Old House Rating|
|Company||Superlative||This Old House Rating|
|International Van Lines||Best Overall Full-Service Mover||4.80|
|American Van Lines||Most Experienced Moving Labor||4.50|
|JK Moving||Most Customizable Full-Service Mover||4.55|
|Allied Van Lines||Best for Vehicle Relocation||4.70|
|North American Van Lines||Best for Claims||4.60|
|1-800-PACK-RAT||Best Overall Self-Service||4.70|
|United Van Lines||Best for Moving Tech Items||4.50|
|Mayflower||Best for Large Moves||4.60|
FAQs About the Best Moving Companies
How do you know if a moving company is good?
To find a good moving company you will want to make sure that they have a U.S. Department of Transportation number. Visit the DOT site and search for the carrier name to assure they are a certified moving company.
What is the most affordable moving company?
U-Pack is the most affordable self-service moving company on our list. When it comes to the most affordable full-service mover, we recommend JK Moving. This company helps customers customize their moves to fit their budgets.
How far in advance should I book movers?
Though you will want to check with your moving company, we suggest booking your movers at least two months in advance.
Should you help your movers?
You may be able to help them if you want. Keep in mind that movers will work quickly and efficiently at their jobs and you are paying them to do this for you, so they do not mind. Also, check with the company you are using as some companies refuse to let customers assist their movers for liability reasons.
Do you feed your movers?
If you are expecting your movers to work for more than four or five hours, then it is a gracious gesture to purchase and provide your movers with lunch. This is by no means required, and movers can take their own lunch break if needed.
Other Moving Resources
We’ve done extensive research on the best moving companies across the country and have compiled easy to digest comparisons:
- Best Long Distance Moving Companies
- Best Interstate Moving Companies
- Best Moving Container Companies
- Best Cheap Moving Companies
- Best Moving Companies for Small Moves
- Best Moving Companies for Military Moves
- Best Moving Companies for Seniors
- Best Antique Moving Companies
- Best Apartment Moving Companies
- Best Moving Truck Rentals
- Cheapest Moving Containers
- Cheapest Moving Truck Rentals
- Best Moving Van Companies
- Best Pet Shipping Companies
- Best National Moving Companies
- Best Packing and Moving Companies
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for moving service providers is on a 100-point scale based on 7 factors:
- Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local, long-distance, and or international moves?
- Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing and unpacking or loading and unloading?
- Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional insurance plans, such as full-value coverage?
- Scheduling (7): Are customers able to schedule online, over the phone, or on both platforms?
- Trailers/containers (7): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer?
- Additional Benefits (12): What additional benefits does the company provide, such as storage options, moving truck rentals, and financing?
- Reputation (5): What rating does the company feature on popular review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at firstname.lastname@example.org.