Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits

F150 lift kits cost $450 to $4,000 whereas F150 leveling kits cost $50 to $500. F150 lift kits are better if you need 3 to 12 inches of ground clearance, bigger tires and good off road driving experience. F-150 leveling kits are better if you need to raise the front by 1.5 to 2. Inches or keep the fuel economy unchanged. A F150 lift kit will also drastically change aesthetics of your car and is more complex to install. Whereas, a F150 leveling kit is relatively much easier to install.

But is that all you need to know about Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits? Not really. Let’s dig in and find out.

Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits: Quick Comparison

This table shows a quick comparison between F150 leveling kit and F150 lift kit. I will cover them in more detail in the following sections.

CriteriaLift KitLeveling Kit
Cost$450 – $4,000$50 – $500
Working PrincipleLifts up the entire body of the F150Slightly lifts the front of the F150 to make it level with the rear.
Types 2 types: Body lift, suspension lift3 types: Coil Spring Spacers, Strut Extensions, Torsion Key
Ground clearance increase3 inches to 12 inches1.5 inches to 2.5 inches
Suspension modificationRequired for suspension lift, but not body lift.No suspension modifications required
Tire size AccommodationFor 4 – 6 inch lift kit:1. 35×12.5R18 tires with 18×9 +1 wheels 2.   35×12.5R20 tires for  20×10 -24 wheels.3.   35×12.5R22 tires to go with 22×10 -19 wheels.For all F150 leveling kits:1. 285/65R18 tires if you have 18×9 -12 wheels. 2. 33×12.5R22 tires for 22×10 -19 wheels3. 275/65R20 tires with 20×9 +20 wheels
Off-road capabilitySignificant improvement in handling on off-road conditions. Better handling, improved clearance, bigger tires.Slightly bigger tires, slightly higher ground clearance will help you drive off-road, but not as much as a lift kit.
On-road drivingDecreased cornering stability, prone to rollover and increase in stopping distance.Increases emergency braking pressure. No major change otherwise. 
Fuel economyDecrease in fuel economyFuel economy largely unaffected. Increased wind resistance and rolling resistance due to bigger tires.
Change in visual appearance Big change in the appearance of your F-150.Insignificant aesthetic changes.

Still confused about the differences between Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits? Read the section below for a more in-depth comparison.

Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits: Detailed Comparison

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A lift kit for this model could cost you from $450, all the way up to $4,000. A leveling kit, on the other hand, will cost you anywhere between $50 to $500.

Lift kit price varies depending on the extent of lift provided and the model of your Ford F150. A 3 inch suspension lift kit of Chinese origin for older 2 wheel drive F150s can cost as low as $450 on Amazon. 

The price of F150 leveling kits, however, does not vary much in terms of the model of your F150. But their cost can depend on the manufacturer and the extent of leveling provided by the kit. A 2 inch Rough Country branded leveling kit on Amazon can cost you as low as $50. 

The price of both lift kits and leveling kits also relies on the type of the kit. Some leveling kits can come with replacement struts. These can cost as high as $500. A 4 inch coilover lift kit, in contrast, will cost you roughly $3,500 on Amazon.


F150 Lifting kits come primarily in 2 types: body lifts and Suspension lifts. Ford F150 leveling kits, however, are of 3 types: Coil Spring Spacers, Strut Extensions and Torsion Key.

The body lifting kits work, as the name suggests, by lifting up the entire body of the F150 off the frame. These kits use spacers for this purpose. On the contrary, the suspension lift kit increases the height of the F150 by increasing the height of the suspension itself. 

You should get the former if you want not just big wheels but good off-road performance as well.You need coil spring spacer leveling kits if your vehicle has coil springs installed. 

If your F150 has a torsion bar suspension system, get a Torsion Key leveling kit instead. If you have coil over struts for your front suspension, get a Strut Extension Leveling Kits. These are essentially spacers that go at the top or the bottom of the factory strut.

Working Principle

Lifting kits for the Ford F150 work by raising up the entire body of your vehicle. A leveling kit, however, slightly raises only the front of the F150 in order to level the front and rear.

Lift kits work by raising the suspension and increasing the distance between the frame and the axles of a vehicle. Leveling kits, by contrast, work by raising the front of a vehicle to match the height of the rear. This incorporates adding a spacer or torsion key to the front suspension.

In some cases, leveling kits may also involve adjusting the rear suspension to match the front, such as by adding a leaf spring or installing blocks between the axle and leaf spring. Leveling kits, on the other hand, can involve combining both suspension and body lift kits to get even better ground clearance.

Ground Clearance Change

Lift kits increase your ground clearance by 3 to 12 inches. Leveling kits, on the other hand, raises your ground clearance by just 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches. Having a higher ground clearance will let you use larger tires while also helping you when driving off road.

car Ground Clearance

Both lift kits and leveling kits are designed to raise your F150’s body away from the axles. A leveling kit simply raises the front of your truck body to match the stock height of the rear. A lifting kit, in comparison, can raise your F150 to a much higher height while simultaneously leveling both ends.

Suspension Modification 

Using lift kits with your F150 may require modification of your suspension system, unlike using F150 leveling kits. For Body lift type F150 lift kits, however, you do not need to adjust your suspensions. Suspension lifts, on the contrary, need you to make modifications  to your suspensions.

Tire Size Accomodation

Using lift kits will help you fit larger tires to the wheels of your F150 than using leveling kits. 4 – 6 inch Lift kits, depending on the size of your wheel, will let you use 35×12.5R18 to  35×12.5R22 tires. Whereas, leveling kits let you use wheels ranging from 33×12.5R22 to 285/65R18 tires.

One of the primary reasons for using leveling kits and lift kits with F150s is to make room for larger tires. With lift kits you can accommodate much larger tires compared to the F150 leveling kits.

If you have smaller 18×9 +1 wheels  and use a 4 to 6 inch lift kit, use bigger 35×12.5R18 tires on your F150. for bigger 22×10 -19 wheels, use smaller 35×12.5R22 tires. For regular sized 20×10 -24 wheels, go with the medium sized 35×12.5R20 tires.

For 3 inch F150 lift kits you need smaller tires. If you have 18×9 wheels, go for the 33×12.5R18 sized tires. On the other hand, a bigger 22×12 -44 wheel will go with a smaller 33×12.5R22 tire size. You could also choose to go with the typical 20×10 -19 wheels and  33×11.5R20 tires.

For leveling kits, however, you need to stick to smaller tires. You could decide on the 285/65R18 tires if you have 18×9 -12 sized wheels. If you have bigger sized wheels such as 22×10 -19 wheels, go with the 33×12.5R22 tires instead. Conversely, you may use 275/65R20 tires if you are already using 20×9 +20 wheels

Off-road Driving Experience

Lift kits allow you to use bigger tires while simultaneously improving ground clearance drastically. Leveling kits, in comparison, slightly increases the clearance of your truck, while letting you accommodate just slightly bigger tires.

Having a better ground clearance will significantly help you overcome off road obstacles. This is especially true for more extreme off-roading where you need to navigate steep inclines, rocks, and deep mud. So lift kits are a much better option if you are planning on driving your F150 off road a lot.

On-road Driving Experience

Lift kits can decrease your cornering stability and make you prone to rollover. Lift kits also increase your stopping distance. F150 leveling kits, in contrast, improve your emergency braking pressure a little bit.

Fuel Economy 

F150 leveling kits will mostly not affect your fuel economy at all, while lift kits will increase your fuel consumption. Lifting up the body of your Ford F150 using a lifting kit will increase the wind resistance when driving on the road. A leveling kit, however, will not increase the air drag by much since it increases the height less.

Fuel Economy

A Ford F150 lift kit can be as heavy as 500 lb. This will reduce your mileage. A leveling kit is much lighter than this, usually around 6 lb. So a leveling kit will not increase your truck’s weight and will have little effect in this regard. But if you are using the extra clearance for installing large heavy tires then your fuel economy will be affected.

Leveling kits barely raise the height of your F150, so the aerodynamic drag does not increase by much. A lift kit will significantly raise your drag. After installing a leveling kit you may notice an increase of 1-2 mpg in fuel consumption. On the contrary, after installing lift kits your fuel consumption may increase by as much as 5 mpg.

Change in Visual Appearance

A lift kit will significantly affect the appearance of your Ford F150. Using a lift kit will increase the height of your F150 noticeably. A leveling kit, however, will only raise the front of your F150 to the same level as the rear.

Source: F150

The F150 at the top of the image is a stock F150. At the bottom you can see the result of a 6 inch lift kit. Notice the massive visual change? This is what you get when you use a lifting kit with your Ford F150. You may then choose to mount bigger wheels to make the lift even more noticeable.

Source: F150 Forum

This image shows the effect of using leveling kits with your F150. The topmost picture is that of a stock F150 with a ‘rake’. This means the front of the truck is lower than the rear. This rake exists by default to compensate for the heavyweight the truck is meant to be hauling around at the back.

The second image is of the same F150 lifted up by 1.5 inches using a F150 leveling kit. The third image shows the F150 raised by 2 inches using another leveling kit. The difference can be observed, but the change in the aesthetics is not as striking as the change from using the lifting kit.

So, Which One Is Right for Your Ford F-150?: Lift Kits or Leveling Kits?

Choosing between lift kits and leveling kits depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want 3 inches to 12 inches of added ground clearance, go with the F150 lift kits. Whereas,  if you simply want to raise the front of your F150 by 1.5 to 2.5 inches, get F150 leveling kits.

If you plan on carrying lots of heavy objects on the front of your F150, such as  plow or  winch, use leveling kits. For mounting the largest possible wheels, get a lift kit instead. Likewise, if you only need to protect your front bumper when driving off road, install a leveling kit.

A leveling kit is also much easier to install and cheaper. But if you want to change the appearance of your F150 drastically, installing a lift kit might be the better option. But lift kits require a lot of technical expertise on suspension systems, steering and braking systems.


Which leveling kit is best for F150?

MotoFab Lifts is the best leveling kit for Ford F150. It gets a 4.7 rating out of 5 stars on Amazon based on a total of 1,852 ratings. These leveling kits are made in the USA and come with a lifetime warranty. These are made from Aluminium and are easy to install.

Which is the best lift kit for the Ford F150?

Dynofit suspension lift kits are the best lift kits for the Ford F150. They got 4.7 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon from 456 ratings. These kits are made up of high quality black anodized 6061-T6 aluminum. Furthermore, these kits come with a 2 year warranty period.

What is the stock ground clearance of Ford F150?

The ground clearance of your Ford F150 is between 8.2 inches and 12 inches depending on the trim. A 2023 4×2 King Ranch SuperCrew Ford F150 has a clearance of 8.5 inches at the front and the rear. A similar trim of 4×4 variant, on contrary, has a ground clearance of 9.4 inches. 

The ground clearance of Ford F150 varies wildly depending on model and trim.


Now you know about Ford F-150 Lift Kits vs. F-150 Leveling Kits. There are quite a lot of factors that distinguish the two. You should get the kit which suits you the most. I hope you did not have to go through much trouble to understand what makes the two differ from each other.

That is it for today. All the best and goodbye!

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.