Difference Between a Furniture Dolly and a Utility Dolly

Difference Between Utility Dolly and a Furniture Dolly

You’re planning out your move and making a list of the things you need. You know that you will need a dolly. Sounds simple enough, right? Maybe not. After a simple google search, you are bombarded with options.

Two of the most common and affordable dollies on the market today are a utility dolly and a furniture dolly. While both can be used for moving heavy items, they have design, utility, and price differences, which are worth exploring.

In this article, we will compare the two so that you can decide what works best for you.

Table of Contents

Utility Dolly

The utility dolly, or hand truck, is the image that comes to mind when most people think of a dolly. The L-shaped, two-wheeled contraption with a handle and small ledge is the go-to moving device.

A utility dolly can move many different things from stacked boxes to appliances.

Most utility dollies can hold up to 600 pounds, so they are not a good choice for heavier appliances or furniture.

Utility dollies are great on ramps and can be used on the stairs as well.

Utility dollies are readily available to rent from U-Haul for $7/day or to buy for $40.

Furniture Dolly

A furniture dolly is a simple-looking device that helps you move heavy pieces of furniture like dressers, bookshelves, china cabinets, desks, couches, chairs, and so on. It is simply four pieces of wood formed into a square, with four wheels attached. Some furniture dollies are covered in soft material to prevent scratching, while others are just plywood.

Furniture dollies vary in size and load capacity. The low range can load up to 500 pounds, while the more heavy-duty furniture dollies can load up to 1000 pounds.

The furniture dolly swivels and maneuvers around easily.

You can use it for anything. Although furniture is the best, you could use it for appliances, stacked boxes, chest freezers, and even a piano.

Furniture dollies do not have a handle; you load your furniture on the dolly and push it. You cannot use it on stairs for this reason.

You also will need help loading furniture onto the dolly.

Furniture dollies tend to be inexpensive ($20-$60 new depending on size) and can also be rented from moving companies such as U-Haul for $7/day.


While both the utility dolly and furniture dolly are great moving helps, they have a few big differences.


The utility dolly is an L-shaped dolly with a handle and two wheels. The furniture dolly is essentially a square piece of wood on four wheels with no handle.

Load capacity

The utility dolly can lift most things, but for heavy-duty appliances and furniture, the furniture dolly has a greater load capacity of up to 1000 pounds.


The utility dolly can be used on stairs to move items in different conditions. The furniture dolly should only be used on flat surfaces. A utility dolly works excellently on a ramp leading into a moving van. A furniture dolly can also be carefully pushed up a ramp.


Utility dollies are readily available to rent or buy. Utility dollies are generally affordable to buy depending on how heavy-duty they are.

Furniture dollies are the least expensive dollies on the market and can be as cheap as $20.

Number of People

Ideally, you will have at least another person help you move heavier items, but with a utility dolly, you can theoretically move everything by yourself. Slip the platform under the furniture, and tilt the dolly using the handle.

With a furniture dolly, you will need someone to help you lift the furniture onto the dolly.


Utility dollies, while more versatile, are not the most stable way to move larger items. With only a small platform, you may need to provide a considerable tilt to move large items effectively.

Although a furniture dolly can be a hassle to load, it offers more stability with its four wheels. Furniture can also remain upright the entire time. All you need to do is push.

Do I Need a Utility Dolly and a Furniture Dolly?

Both the utility dolly and furniture dolly can be extremely useful in your moving process. You may want to buy or rent both depending on your situation. Here are a couple things to consider before.

You need a utility dolly….

  • If you have a mixture of heavy, medium, and light items or just many things to move.
  • If you have a lot of stairs.
  • If you don’t know how much help you will have with moving.

You need a furniture dolly…

  • If you have a lot of heavy furniture items to move.
  • If you have some heavy items (real wood furniture, pianos) and very light items (i.e. clothes, mattresses, some small IKEA furniture).
  • If you live in a bungalow or a place with no or only a few stairs.
  • If you don’t have a budget for buying a dolly, a furniture dolly is your cheapest bet.

You need both dollies…

  • If you have a lot and a wide range of items to move, purchasing or renting both a furniture and utility dolly could be the right choice for you.
  • Use the furniture dolly for heavy and awkward-shaped items. Use the utility dolly for going up and downstairs and for lighter items.

Our Pick

If you can only afford one dolly, our money is on the utility dolly. While it may be more cumbersome than the furniture dolly, it is the best all-purpose dolly on the market and can help you move almost any item anywhere.

We love that you can use it alone if need be and that there are many affordable options to purchase or rent on the market.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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