Difference Wiki

Cubic Feet vs. Square Feet: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 6, 2023
Cubic Feet is a measure of volume (length x width x height). Square Feet is a measure of area (length x width).

Key Differences

Cubic feet is a unit of volume used to measure the capacity of a three-dimensional space. It is calculated by multiplying length, width, and height in feet. Square feet, in contrast, is a unit of area, used to measure the size of a two-dimensional space, calculated by multiplying length and width in feet.
When measuring rooms or buildings, cubic feet is often used to determine the volume of spaces like rooms, containers, or buildings, indicating their capacity. Square feet, however, is used to measure surface areas such as floors, walls, or plots of land.
Cubic feet is essential in contexts where the volume is critical, like in shipping, construction, and storage, where the three-dimensional space matters. Square feet is more commonly used in real estate, interior design, and landscaping, focusing on the surface area.
Understanding cubic feet is crucial for calculating the space needed for storing or transporting items, as it considers depth in addition to length and width. Square feet is key in planning layouts, flooring, or land development, as it pertains to surface coverage.
In practical applications, cubic feet is used to quantify the capacity of objects like refrigerators, while square feet is often used to describe the size of apartments or plots of land.

Comparison Chart


Measures volume (3D)
Measures area (2D)


Product of length, width, and height
Product of length and width

Usage Context

Used in shipping, storage, construction
Used in real estate, flooring, landscaping


Indicates capacity or space
Indicates size or surface area

Practical Example

Measuring the volume of a container
Measuring the size of a room or land

Cubic Feet and Square Feet Definitions

Cubic Feet

A volume metric used in construction and shipping.
They calculated the concrete needed in cubic feet.

Square Feet

The total two-dimensional extent of a surface.
The solar panels cover 300 square feet.

Cubic Feet

The volume of a cube with sides of one foot.
The storage box is 2 cubic feet in size.

Square Feet

A unit for measuring area in two-dimensional space.
The new apartment is 800 square feet.

Cubic Feet

The total three-dimensional space an object occupies.
The cargo hold's volume is 1,200 cubic feet.

Square Feet

A metric for measuring flat spaces like floors or land.
The office space is 1500 square feet.

Cubic Feet

A unit for measuring volume in three-dimensional space.
The shipping container has a capacity of 500 cubic feet.

Square Feet

The area of a square with sides of one foot.
The garden plot is 100 square feet in size.

Cubic Feet

A measure of space, used in contexts where depth is relevant.
Her new refrigerator holds 18 cubic feet.

Square Feet

A measure of surface area, used in real estate and landscaping.
They need 500 square feet of turf for the lawn.


Is cubic feet a measure of area or volume?

Cubic feet is a measure of volume.

What is cubic feet used for?

Cubic feet is used to measure volume, like in containers or rooms.

Can square feet be used for volumes?

No, square feet is only for measuring area, not volume.

How do you calculate square feet?

Calculate square feet by multiplying length by width.

Is cubic feet used in shipping?

Yes, cubic feet is used to calculate space in shipping.

What does 100 cubic feet represent?

100 cubic feet represents the volume of a space 10x10x1 feet.

How do you convert cubic feet to square feet?

You cannot directly convert cubic feet to square feet as they measure different things.

What unit is similar to square feet?

Square meters, which also measures area.

Do interior designers use square feet?

Yes, for planning room layouts and floor coverings.

Is cubic feet larger than square feet?

They cannot be compared directly as they measure different aspects.

Can you use cubic feet for land measurement?

No, land is measured in square feet.

What's an example of cubic feet usage?

Cubic feet is used to measure the capacity of a fridge.

Why is square feet important in real estate?

Square feet is used to determine the size of properties.

How many cubic feet in a cubic yard?

There are 27 cubic feet in a cubic yard.

Can cubic feet be used for liquids?

Yes, it can measure the volume of liquids in containers.

What does square feet indicate in an apartment listing?

The size or area of the apartment.

How is cubic feet calculated in construction?

By multiplying length, width, and height of a space.

Why use square feet for flooring?

To determine the area that needs covering.

Is cubic feet important for storage?

Yes, it determines how much a space can hold.

Can square feet apply to three-dimensional objects?

No, square feet is only for flat, two-dimensional surfaces.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons