A professional moving company can help your Iowa relocation go more smoothly. Whether moving to or from Des Moines or any other location in the Hawkeye state, you have dozens of options.
The This Old House Reviews Team has researched the best moving companies in the nation to help you find the right movers. Below are our top picks for the best movers in Iowa based on key factors, such as pricing and services.
Top 7 Moving Companies in Iowa
Through in-depth research, we determined that the best moving companies in Iowa are the following:
International Van Lines
- Our Take: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
- Availability: 50 states, plus 180 countries
International Van Lines (IVL) is a full-service moving company with more than two decades of experience. The company provides full- and partial-moving services plus a range of add-ons, such as short- and long-term storage and vehicle shipping.
IVL specializes in long-distance moves but also offers local moving services, meaning you can depend on the company whether you’re moving cross-country or city-to-city within Iowa. Every move includes complementary liability protection, but you can upgrade to IVL’s full-value contents protection plan for more peace of mind.
Pros and Cons
✔ Has customizable moving packages
✔ Offers a full-value contents protection plan
✔ Is available nationwide and worldwide
✘ Requires a 25% deposit
✘ Outsources some moves to third parties
IVL can provide all the materials you need to pack your own belongings, or you can take advantage of its full-service or fragile-only packing services. Loading, unloading, and basic furniture disassembly and reassembly are automatically included in your quote.
IVL also offers short- and long-term storage for 50 cents per cubic foot. This fee is charged monthly and is not prorated. The company also offers specialty relocation services for automobiles, motorcycles, pianos, and other bulky or fragile items.
Customers must pay a 25% deposit to reserve a moving date. However, this deposit is refundable if you cancel at least 48 hours in advance. Of the remaining balance, half will be due at pickup, and the other half will be due upon delivery.
IVL does not offer binding estimates, but your free quote includes fuel, mileage, tolls, and taxes. The company charges extra for logistical hurdles such as elevators, long carry distances, and two or more flights of stairs. Get your personalized IVL quote.
Learn More: International Van Lines Review
American Van Lines
- Our Take: Most Experienced Moving Labor
- Availability: 48 states (not in AK or HI), plus 180+ countries
American Van Lines (AVL) stands out from other movers thanks to its highly qualified workforce. All its movers are background-checked, full-time employees with an average of 10 years of industry experience. The family-owned company also employs certified antique movers and specialists trained to carefully dismantle and move pianos.
Pros and Cons
✔ Has trained and experienced moving staff
✔ Employs certified antique and piano movers
✔ Offers binding estimates
✘ Limits availability to the contiguous United States
✘ Does not provide instant online quotes
AVL can handle local, long-distance, and interstate moves within the 48 contiguous states, plus international moves. Customers can choose to self-pack their belongings or have AVL handle only fragile or high-value items, such as fine art and antiques. Full packing and crating services are available to those who prefer to let professionals handle everything.
Weekly shuttles to every major U.S. city enable AVL to complete cross-country moves on time. You can also book a storage unit and auto shipping assistance.
To book your move with AVL, you must put down a 10%–50% deposit via credit card. Some locations will also accept a personal check. You can pay your remaining balance via cash, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card. All fees will be due upon delivery of your belongings.
AVL provides binding and non-binding estimates, but you must schedule a virtual or in-home consultation for a locked-in price. Instant online quotes are not available. Get your personalized AVL quote.
Learn More: American Van Lines Review
JK Moving Services
- Our Take: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
- Availability: 50 states, plus 170+ countries
JK Moving Services offers the most customizable experience for moves to and from Iowa. It offers DIY, fragile-only, and full-service packing options for long-distance and international moves. It also offers several payment options, including a financing program powered by Enhancify that allows qualified customers to spread out the cost of their moves. Further, JK Moving has a robust mobile app that customers can use to schedule services, conduct virtual home reviews, track their moving shipments, and more.
Pros and Cons
✔ Offers financing to qualified customers
✔ Has one of the best mobile apps in the industry
✔ Provides 24/7 live customer support
✘ Does not have local movers available in Iowa
✘ Does not offer instant online quotes
JK Moving offers all the services you would expect from a full-service mover, including secure storage and auto transport. Like AVL, its employees are drug-tested, background-checked, and given ongoing training. The company also offers specialty packing and moving services for fine art, antiques, wine, and pianos.
In addition to long-distance and international residential moves, JK Moving offers commercial moving services. However, customers moving within Iowa will need to find a different local moving company, as JK Moving only handles local moves in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
JK Moving requires a 10% or $500 deposit, whichever is greater. The remaining balance is due before your belongings are shipped. Financing is available through Enhancify, which offers rates as low as 0% for qualified customers.
Instant online quotes are not available. When you request a binding estimate, you have three options: a virtual self-survey, virtual consultation, or in-home consultation. Get your personalized JK Moving quote.
Learn More: JK Moving Services Review
- Our Take: Best Customer Service
- Availability: 50 states, plus 180 countries
Moving APT is a moving broker that has served more than 500,000 customers and has more than 500 local agents in the United States. As a broker, it won’t handle your move directly. Instead, its consultants will compare rates from the company’s long list of partners to find you the best deal. If you require financing or have a tight deadline, it can help you find a mover that meets your criteria. Its partners have liability insurance, trustworthy employees, and specialty services.
Pros and Cons
✔ Has a large network of partners
✔ Offers price-matching and discounts
✔ Provides 24/7 customer service
✘ Does not provide moving services directly
✘ Does not refund deposits without seven days’ notice
Moving APT offers a long list of moving services through its partner companies. These include packing and unpacking, appliance disconnection and reconnection, auto transport, cleaning services, and even paper shredding. Its movers can also handle furniture repair, disassembly, and reassembly.
Let your moving consultant know if you need any special services, including piano or antique moving. Your consultant can also offer expert advice for any moving questions you may have.
Moving APT charges a deposit to book your move. The deposit is refundable if you cancel at least a week in advance. Discounts for early reservations and short-distance moves are available, as are discounts for senior citizens, military members, and differently-abled customers. You can ask your moving consultant about price matches and financing, too.
Moving APT provides instant ballpark quotes and binding estimates. To receive a binding estimate, you must fill out a moving inventory. Get your personalized Moving APT quote.
Learn More: Moving APT Review
North American Van Lines
- Our Take: Best for Claims
- Availability: 50 states, plus 130+ countries
North American Van Lines (NAVL) has hundreds of agents in North America and around the world. Because its drivers undergo an annual certification process, you can rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands. If any of your belongings are damaged, destroyed, or lost in transit, NAVL allows customers to file their claims online. Phone numbers and email addresses for its claims department are also posted on the company’s website.
Pros and Cons
✔ Has a convenient online claims process
✔ Provides WorldTrac satellite tracking for shipments
✔ Offers not-to-exceed and bottom-line pricing
✘ Outsources some moves due to broker status
✘ May not accept credit cards
NAVL can handle nearly every aspect of your move through its wide range of speciality services. Its white-glove service is particularly impressive. Customers who select this option benefit from packing, unpacking, and cleaning services, plus expert installation and assembly for home gym equipment, entertainment systems, furniture, and appliances. NAVL’s white-glove movers will help you arrange furniture and hang wall decorations.
NAVL offers auto transport and storage, too. Remember that this company is both a carrier and a broker, which means it may outsource your move to a third-party company. You may also notice differences from one location to another. For instance, not all agents accept credit cards.
Two main pricing options are available from NAVL: bottom-line and not-to-exceed pricing. The former provides a guaranteed total based on the information in your moving quote, while the total for the latter could change, but only in a way that benefits you. With not-to-exceed pricing, your total could end up being lower than the estimate. Whichever pricing you choose, your balance must be paid before unloading.
NAVL offers both instant ballpark estimates and binding estimates. Customers must complete an in-home walk-through or a phone interview for a binding estimate. Get your personalized NAVL quote.
Learn More: North American Van Lines Review
Allied Van Lines
- Our Take: Best for Vehicle Relocation
- Availability: 50 states, plus 130 countries
Allied Van Lines is the company to choose if your move includes a boat, motorcycle, snowmobile, or another vehicle. This domestic and international moving company has its own movers and carriers for vehicle relocation. It can even handle classic or exotic vehicles.
Pros and Cons
✔ Offers extensive vehicle shipping services
✔ Has customizable packing options
✔ Provides transparent pricing and an easy quote process
✘ Does not have 24/7 customer service
✘ Does not offer price matching
Allied specializes in long-distance moves, but it also offers local moving services. Customers can opt to self-pack or take advantage of Allied’s full or fragile-only packing services. Other services include furniture disassembly and reassembly, appliance disconnection and reconnection, crating, cleaning, and unpacking.
Allied also offers 90-day storage in transit, permanent storage, shuttle services for hard-to-reach houses, and pet relocation. Further, DIY movers can take advantage of Allied Express mobile moving-and-storage containers that come with complementary moving labor, which most self-service moving companies offer for an added fee.
Allied offers online quotes for small and/or local moves, but you must schedule a virtual or in-home consultation to receive a binding estimate. Alternatively, you can request a non-binding estimate based on the weight and mileage of your move.
All charges are due before unloading and must be paid via cash, credit card, certified check, or money order. Note that some services are contracted out to third parties, which means prices may vary. Unlike similar companies, Allied does not require an up-front deposit. Get your personalized Allied quote.
Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review
- Our Take: Best Overall Self-service Mover
- Availability: 30 states and Washington, D.C. (not in AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, ID, IA, KS, ME, MS, MT, NE, NH, ND, RI, SD, VT, WV, WI, or WY)
1-800-PACK-RAT provides portable moving-and-storage containers for self-service moves. It can handle both local and long-distance moves, including military moves. The company will drop off an empty container for you to load at your leisure. When you’re done,1-800-PACK-RAT will pick up the container and deliver your belongings to your new home or one of its secure storage facilities.
Pros and Cons
✔ Provides secure, weatherproof, all-steel containers
✔ Offers $10,000 contents protection for long-distance moves
✔ Has price-matching, specials, and discounts
✘ Is not available in every state
✘ Does not accept online payments for long-distance customers
1-800-PACK-RAT only has locations in 30 states. However, because each location also serves the surrounding areas within a 50- to 100-mile radius, the company can facilitate moves almost anywhere in the United States.
Customers can choose an 8-foot, 12-foot, or 16-foot container. For moving insurance, you can purchase a Basic Plan that only covers damage to the container itself or upgrade to the Silver Plan that covers both the container and its contents. 1-800-PACK-RAT can also recommend companies that provide auto transport and packing services.
Long-distance customers must pay a $500 deposit five days before their empty container is delivered. The remaining balance is due before pickup. Local customers are not charged until delivery and can make payments online.
Quotes include the monthly rental rate, total due at delivery, and estimated transportation costs. 1-800-PACK-RAT will currently match competitors’ prices, and customers can save money by being flexible with their moving schedules. The company also provides discounts to military members, teachers, doctors, nurses, senior citizens, and first responders. Get your personalized 1-800-PACK-RAT quote.
Learn More: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review
While all the companies listed above offer great moving services, our top recommendation for your Iowa move is International Van Lines. Whether moving out of state or relocating to Iowa City for work, IVL has the experience and comprehensive services you need. It can even handle international moves to or from the state of Iowa.
We also recommend American Van Lines for its top-notch moving labor; JK Moving for its customizable moving packages, mobile app, and financing option; and Moving APT for its great customer service. Get quotes from at least three moving companies to compare before choosing a provider. Consider your move’s size, distance, timing, budget, and specific needs when determining which company will best serve you.
Other Considerations When Moving to Iowa
The most common natural disasters in Iowa are snowstorms and tornadoes. The region known as Tornado Alley even encompasses some parts of the state. As a result, homeowners and renters insurance are essential. You may also want to invest in a home warranty, particularly if you are moving into an older home.
Pest control companies can help protect your home and your family, pets, lawn, and garden. Investing in lawn care services can help make your outdoor spaces more enjoyable. You may even want to consider installing solar panels. Iowa offers some impressive incentives to help offset the cost.
The articles below will help you find the best home insurance, home warranty, and home service companies in Iowa:
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our moving company ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each company. We conduct research by reading through the company websites, analyzing customer reviews, conducting consumer surveys, requesting quotes, and speaking with customer representatives. We then score each moving company against our review standards for services, contents coverage, scheduling, trailer and container options, additional benefits, and reputation to arrive at a final score out of 100.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.