The Difference Between Self Storage And Warehouse Storage

June 23, 2023

Undoubtedly, there are lots of similarities between self-storage and warehouse storage.

However, if you are planning to rent some free space for concrete items, you must figure out the difference between these two services. 

This is how you will succeed in selecting the best offer, especially for your needs, and also avoid problems with access to your belongings, their arrangement, security and even some extra expenses that no one wants to pay.

Spend a few minutes with us to find out the difference between self-storage facilities and their warehouse equivalents.

What is self storage?

Self-storage is a service for personal needs. It is where people usually place their personal belongings.

Of course, we should add that sometimes, business equipment can be accommodated in self-storage units, too.

Meanwhile, today’s self-storage companies are also ok to store startup and small or family business belongings. There are different self-storage modules, but usually, they embrace up to 3-bedroom house furnishing.

How much does self-storage cost?

Self-storage service price depends mostly on the unit size. So when you decide to put your old or unused items here, make sure to downsize at first to make some savings. Yet, there is one more thing that determines the final rate – it is the duration of the service.

Unlike warehouse units, the self-storage modules keep your items for a concrete period. It might be a short one, which means up to 3 months, or a long-term, including for several years.

The warehouse contract can be with a final deadline, too, but it is usually a big period within which the company will work (as a trader, distributor, and you name it). Averagely, the monthly price per 1 square foot in a self-storage unit is up to 3 British pounds.

Self-storage use

The use is the main factor that can easily determine the difference between these similar services.

Here is when and for what people usually rent a self-storage module:

  • When moving out and you need some space to put your personal belongings until you can move into your new house;
  • During the student’s life, not only when switching from campus to renting a flat but also during vacation;
  • When having little space for a large volume of business equipment;
  • When travelling and you need to have a secure place for your vehicle;
  • Owning delicate and fragile items that cannot be stored at home, such as artwork, antiques, and you name it;
  • The misbalance between small living space and lots of personal belongings.

What is warehouse storage?

Warehouse storage is a free space for corporate needs. It is not people but companies that use such a service. 

Usually, traders, distributors, dealers and manufacturers need warehouse storage units. The specific thing about them is that they are bigger in size (with very high ceilings) and have a special arrangement of racks, trailers, static shelving systems, mezzanine flooring, and you name it.

These are mandatory in the warehouse storage spaces to provide customers with easy and convenient access to the goods they will keep.

Speaking of which, warehouse access is not as flexible as the one in the self-storage module. We should warn you that in the self-storage module, you can literally visit your belongings 24/7.

There is a higher control of the visits in the different warehouse storage units, especially if they cover numerous businesses from different spheres. Of course, this limited access is established in the name of the safety of the goods.

How much does warehouse storage cost?

By all means, the warehouse storage price is higher than the self-storage unit rate. Even if you decide to count on the maximum possible self-storage module (10×30), the warehouse equipment increases the corporate service at least twice.

To be more specific, usually, the warehouse storage unit costs from 2 to 10 British pounds per square every month.

You can quickly calculate how much even the newly established e-store business will have to pay for its first pack of goods for selling.

Warehouse storage use

Warehouse storage use is commercial. Businesses opt for this service when they need space for their production and stocking.

On the other side, warehouse storage services allow the preservation of many items that are forbidden for self-storage – food, animals, and you name it. This specific use, of course, additionally increases the warehouse space price. 

Please, keep in mind that some concrete goods require special storing conditions, which can be a reason for an extra fee to be added to the final rate.

In all cases, the warehouse storage units are made to legally and functionally cover the customer’s needs depending on its sphere of operation.

Warehouse vs self-storage security

What is safer – the warehouse or the self-storage module?

As a whole, the companies that operate in both spheres try to provide as secure services as possible. But it is kind of logical that the warehouse services are safer.

In many cases, security is an issue for the self-storage service, which is why people with extra luxurious and valuable items prefer to keep them in bank safes or other more reliable alternatives.

Warehouses are always backed up with significant security measures and systems such as 24/7 video surveillance, anti-slip or anti-damage measures for the stocking arrangement, and you name it.


When you have things to store, figuring out what to rent – a warehouse unit or a self-storage module is not about what’s best. It is mainly about what your needs are.

If you own a business in the commercial field, you cannot rely on private and less-secured self-storage units.

Yet, if you just have some old furniture – no matter how expensive or antique they are – you do not have to pay the high warehouse space price. You should better opt for the private service.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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