Storage Containers vs Storage Units: Which One Is Right For You?

Published on 2/3/2023

Are you trying to find the right storage option for your needs? If so, you have likely come across the debate of storage containers vs storage units. Both offer individuals and businesses the ability to store items securely, but each option has its own unique benefits. To help you decide which one is best for you, let’s take a look at the key differences between storage containers and storage units. We’ll explore their construction, cost, and security features, so you can make an informed decision as to which one best fits your needs.

Comparison of Storage Containers and Storage Units

Before diving into the specifics of each option, it’s important to first cover the basics of both containers and units. With both offering similar benefits, it’s easy to get confused when reading through the many different classifications and names for each. Let’s start with containers first. Containers (often referred to as “RV’s” or “trailers”) are generally large pieces of equipment that are used to store large items, such as furniture or cars. They are put together with a series of hinges and are generally used to store large items that you don’t want to stack neatly in a garage. Storage units are generally smaller structures that are used to store smaller items, such as books or office supplies. They are put together with a series of hinges and are generally smaller than a standard shipping container.


When you choose between a storage container and a storage unit, there are a few factors to consider when comparing their construction. Container construction generally falls into two categories: reusable, and non-reusable. A reusable container is one that can be used over and over again for different storage and transport needs. When you’re done with them, you can either sell or recycle them and use the proceeds to purchase new ones. Non-reusable containers are generally constructed of materials that are only good for one use. They may include things like plastic, which can be recycled, or they may be made from a less durable material, such as corrugated metal. If you’re looking to put money into the bank, or into your pocket, a reusable container can be a great option. They can be reused endlessly, or sold and replaced with a newer model. If you only need to store a few items, however, a non-reusable container may be all you need.


If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to store items, a container may be ideal. Unlike a storage unit, a container doesn’t need to be rented or owned with a long-term lease, and can be used for whatever purpose you need. When it comes to the cost of a container, prices will vary. You can expect to pay around $2,000 for a small, one-van container. Costs can also vary based on the size of the container and the manufacturer, so it’s important to do your research when choosing a container. Remember, you can also purchase used containers, which can often be found at garage sales or on online classified ads. These can be a great option if you don’t have the money to spend on a new container.

Security Features

As storage options, containers have many unique security features that storage units do not. This can make them an appealing option for businesses that store highly sensitive items, such as medical supplies or financial equipment. There are two primary security features that containers have that storage units do not: locks and security cameras. Lock options will vary based on the size of the container, as well as the manufacturer. Some may come with a padlock, while others may be equipped with an internal locking system. Security cameras are another feature that containers have that are lacking in some storage units. It’s important to choose a container with a good security camera. This will allow you to monitor your items at all times, prevent theft, and provide evidence if something goes wrong.

Advantages of Storage Containers

- Durable - Containers are built to last and are made of sturdy, durable materials. This means that they’ll last for years and can withstand the elements, including rain and snow. - Flexible - Containers are easy to move and can be stored in any kind of space. This can be beneficial if you have a smaller house or don’t have a garage or outside storage space. - Affordable - While they can be expensive, containers are generally less expensive than storage units. - Portable - Finally, a container can be used almost anywhere. This can be beneficial if you need to store items that won’t fit in your home or apartment.

Advantages of Storage Units

- Convenient - Units are convenient because they are conveniently located, usually inside a business or retail store. This means you don’t have to worry about finding a specific location or storage unit. - Secure - Units provide a level of security that containers do not. This can be particularly beneficial if you need to store highly sensitive items, like medical supplies or financial equipment. - Compact - Units are generally smaller than containers and fit into smaller spaces, such as closets or in an attic. This can be beneficial if you need to store items that don’t take up a lot of space, such as toys or books.

Disadvantages of Storage Containers

- Expensive - Like reusable containers, a container is a one-time investment. - Space-consuming - Just like reusable containers, a large container can take up a lot of space when you’re done using it. - Elegant - Containers are generally less elegant than some storage units.

Disadvantages of Storage Units

- Expensive - Units are generally more expensive than containers. - Space-consuming - Like reusable containers, units take up a lot of space when they are not in use. - Elegant - Like containers, units are generally less elegant than some storage options, such as climate-controlled buildings and steel-reinforced concrete buildings.


Both containers and storage units can be beneficial in different ways, depending on your needs and specific circumstances. It’s important to choose the right option based on your unique needs and circumstances. If you need to store items, containers may be a good option for durability and flexibility. If you need to be able to secure sensitive items, such as medical supplies, financial equipment, or computers, a container may not be a good option. It’s important to consider the options and choose the best storage option for your needs.