Choosing the correct moving truck is sometimes a high stakes decision.

A truck that is too small means multiple trips will be necessary in order to complete the move, which means the moving process will be longer than expected. On the other hand, renting a truck larger than what is needed will leave behind unused space that you are still paying for. Generally, it is recommended to rent a truck slightly larger than what is needed to pack all your belongings, but you still need to know what size truck this requires.

Standard Living Room

Depending on the rental or moving company, trucks labeled as the same size, 26-foot perhaps, may actually have varied dimensions, typically only few feet in width or height. Moving companies measure trucks in two ways: number of bedrooms and cubic feet.

Number of Bedrooms: A guide for your Moving Truck Size

When sizing a move everything is an estimate, so keep that in mind. A general estimate for a moving truck guide sizing trucks based on bedrooms might look like this:

  • 26-foot will move 4+ bedrooms
  • 24-foot will move 3-4 bedrooms
  • 17-foot will move 2-3 bedrooms
  • 14-foot will move 1-2 bedrooms
  • 10-foot will move a studio or small 1-bedroom apartment

Some companies may not have precisely a 17-foot truck, instead they may rent out a 15- or 16-foot truck. Again, remember truck sizes are varied.

Cubic Feet

A cubic foot is a three-dimensional, square area measured as 1-foot in length, 1-foot in width, and 1-foot in height. Moving Insider cites, a fully furnished room is equivalent to 150-200 cubic feet. For each household a fully furnished room may vary. Truck size is based on the standard number and size of items in a room. If a household includes a living room with two couches and one loveseat, the household will have to account for the additional furniture because the standard does not consist of two large couches.

Still there may be simpler ways to choose the correct size moving truck and eliminate a bit of the estimation factor. There are calculators available which estimate size for you. All that is needed is an inventory of the items in the household that will be moved, and then the calculator decides truck size for you.

Lastly, you can always go to your local moving company, with a list of home inventory, and ask them which size truck is best for your move.