Post can be boring. From bank statements to yet more food flyers, rarely does something exciting come knocking.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Subscription boxes are your answer to livening up your letterbox and getting a box of pure joy every few weeks.
From postal book clubs that will fill your shelves with the latest gripping reads to homewares-filled parcels designed to give your space a seasonal update, companies are, ironically enough, thinking outside the box to send you a tailored selection of treats in one.
They also make awesome gifts, if you’re stumped as to what to give a friend on their birthday. And as the contents' RRP tend to add up to a lot more than the cost of the box, they can be superb value for money too.
What’s not to love about that?
Hobbies: interesting interests
Papergang by Ohh Deer
Containing stationery as well as patterned washi tape, notepads and notebooks, cute sticky notes, and plenty more, Papergang is designed to delight anyone even remotely interested in papercraft.
Boxes come themed every month (think botanical, celestial and NYC Godzilla-inspired) and include exclusive stationery and desk accessories designed with different artists. For every four boxes Papergang sell, they also plant one tree so it has a sustainability angle to it as well.
Choose from a rolling monthly subscription or pre-pay for 3, 6 or 12 months.
£10.95 per month + £2.95 P&P | Papergang | Buy it now
Rare Birds Book Club
Wrench your eyeballs off your newsfeed and submerge them into screen-free entertainment. There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book. But when faced with heaving bestseller lists, it’s hard to decide which to choose.
Rare Birds Book Club sifts through the best new fiction reads and picking two for your reading attention every month. It’s a fun and easy way to reignite your passion for reading. They also host an online forum where you can share your thoughts with others in the RBBC community, so it’s a chance to meet like-minded individuals, too.
And it has to be said, their packaging is relentlessly cheerful: think bright tissue paper, emoji speckled blurbs and cute stickers. If RBBC’s literary drop doesn’t raise a smile every month, we don’t know what will.
From £12 a month | Rare Birds Book Club | Buy it now
Home: handy hampers to have delivered to your door
The Post House
The Post House sends you an edit of home décor every three months. The idea is they’ll update your space, and with the help of illustrated instruction cards, guide you on how to style products for big events like Christmas and Easter.
Every box is themed to a different British region, with contents sourced from artisan producers and businesses specific to that area: think bespoke scents, flowers, table vignettes and prints, as well as seasonal recipes.
Promoting the best of British and leaving your house looking like it’s ready for an ES Homes & Property shoot, this is a subscription that’ll make it look like you’ve got this whole adulting thing on lock down.
£95 for a one-off purchase, £85 for a seasonal subscription box.
From £85 | From The Post House | Buy it now
Frequency: monthly or quarterly
When you don't have space or access to an outside area in London, houseplants are a superb way to bring the outside in.
Calming for the mind, body and soul, they help oxygenate your space, lower stress levels while also keeping you in touch with nature. Oh, and they look pretty nice too.
If you're looking to introduce new plants into your home or workplace, Bloombox Club can help. It's a plant subscription service that sends a surprise plant in a nice ceramic pot and with care instructions on a rolling monthly or quarterly basis.
It's a great way of building up your green oasis rather than being overwhelmed with too many plants at once.
From £35 a month | Bloombox | Buy it now
Interior Design Box
Welcome four new home accessories to your space every month with a subscription to the Interior Design Box. The service handpicks and sends four pieces (think glass storage jars, metallic frames and marble serving platters) from top design brands to give your home a stylish update in an instant.
If you're house proud but don't have the time to research and buy the latest trends, this subscription takes all the hard work and effort out of it for you. Payment is on a pre-pay basis for three, six, nine or 12 months, including postage and packaging.
For effortless home styling with doorstep delivery it doesn't get much easier than this.
From £40 | Interior Design Box | Buy it now
Frequency: dependent on weekly washes
Never get caught between with a fully loaded washing machine and an empty box of laundry capsules again. From cleaning giant Unilever comes Homey, a subscription service that sends liquid washing machine capsules in the post.
As something you’ll always buy and (probably) forget to pick up at the shops, a laundry capsule subscription service may not be the most exciting thing to get in the post, but it definitely is the handiest.
Each box, made of completely recyclable materials, contains 19 bio or non-bio laundry detergent capsules. The frequency of the boxes will depend on how often you run a wash – the average family washes a full load around four times a week.
Homey is cheaper than shop-bought options too, saving you up to 10p a wash. That may not seem like much at the moment, but it adds up quicker than you think - especially if you’re washing clothes and linens for an entire household.
£3.10 | Homey | Buy it now
Frequency: weekly, monthly or quarterly
Offering laundry as well as dishwasher detergent, Smol sends concentrated cleaning fluid for your clothes or dishes through the post, saving you up to 50 per cent on your normal brand price.
Start with a free trial to see if the service works for you (you’ll need to cover a £1 postage fee, but that’s it) and if it’s a yes, sign up for regular deliveries at £3.85 for 24 capsules. You can adjust the rate of deliveries to your needs, and cancel or modify your orders easily.
From £3.85 | Smol | Buy it now
Food + Snacks: treats you can eat
Gower Cottage Brownies
Anyone with a soft spot for brownies needs to sign up to this subscription service immediately.
Run by home baker Kate from the idyllic Welsh countryside, the chocolate brownies are delivered by post and are total perfection: crispy on the outside and melt-in-the-mouth gooey (almost fudge-like) once you've chomped your way through to the interior.
Sign up for a subscription and expect sweet treats to arrive at your door every month for three months. They come in a double layer dusted with icing sugar and are freezeable, so handy for rationing yourself over the month until the next consignment arrives.
Every first order comes with a jar of Gower Cottage Original Brownie Butter too, giving you all the more reason to hit that 'Buy it now' button below.
£49.99 for a 3 month subscription | Gower Cottage | Buy it now
Here’s a fact that will have you revelling in its lunacy: more than a third of the fruit and veg grown on Britain’s farms gets trashed before it’s even left the fields. The reason? Because it’s a bit funny looking.
That’s an obscene waste of perfectly good food. Oddbox takes those wonky carrots, potatoes, onions, apples and pears deemed too ugly for the supermarket aisles and instead boxes them up for weekly drop-offs to London subscribers.
This saves enough produce to fill 78 double deckers while also saving 1,479,823 in CO2e and all packaging is 100 per cent recyclable or degradable.
Caring for the planet as well as your palette, signing up with Oddbox is an all-round win.
Choose from fruit and veg boxes to feed from 5 to 1 people. Veg-only boxes are available too, and delivery is free.
From £9.45 | Oddbox | Buy it now
Japan Centre Pop Culture Snack Box
If you're obsessed with Japanese food and snacks, this subscription box might just be your idea of heaven.
Containing up to ten of Japan Centre's finest imports, each box is delivered at the beginning of every month and crams in snacks galore, both salty and sweet.
There's also a Premium box which costs £40 a month, but for your money you'll get up to 16 items as well as drink and that universally loved kitchen cupboard essential - noodles.
From £25 a month | Japan Centre | Buy it now
Frequency: weekly, fortnightly or monthly
Granted, the idea of pasta through the post may not feel like the most appetising proposition, but sign up to Pasta Evangelists’ food subscription service and you could be enjoying chef-quality dishes without stepping foot inside a supermarket or cookery school.
Pasta Evangelists deliver fresh pasta, garnishes and sauces in insulated letterbox-sized packages to homes across the country, with a prep time of as little as five minutes. Simply choose the dishes you want delivered from the online menu, set your delivery frequency to weekly or every two, three or four weeks - and you’re set. Don’t worry if you can’t make the meals straight away as they’ll stay fresh in your fridge for up to three days.
Each dish is designed for a single serving, but there’s an option to up the portion size for 30 per cent of the initial cost if you’re cooking for two (or just fancy leftovers for lunch).
Around £15 | Pasta Evangelists | Buy it now
The Protein Ball Co.
Frequency: weekly or monthly
Although vegan food options are growing it can still be tough to find a healthy snack that doesn’t taste like sawdust. Enter The Protein Ball Co. which makes vegan and veggie balls designed for snacking at home or on the go.
Choose from four boxes: breakfast balls, vegan taster, high protein or just a general selection that has a bit of everything – flavours include Cherry Bakewell, Lemon and Pistachio and Goji and Coconut. Each box contains 12 packets of six balls, so they’re ideal for spitting between friends or family.
If you’re the forgetful type, get a weekly subscription box delivered to your office. You’ll get four packs in a letterbox-shaped box in a mixed or vegan selection, both cost £6.99 each.
Buy a one-off box of ten or subscribe monthly to get a selection of delicious protein balls delivered to your door.
From £6.99 | The Protein Ball Co | Buy it now
The Cheese Geek
Frequency: monthly or quarterly
Connoisseurs of fine cheese The Cheese Geek is here to satisfy all fromage fanatics with their medley of subscription services.
Choose from The Elvis, a box filled with premium UK cheeses or The Jimi which delivers a selection of cheesy goodness on a 1-2 month basis.
If that's too frequent for dairy deliveries, there are also seasonal boxes containing up to 30 cheeses. The boxes come with bullet point information detailing the best wine to pair with each cheese, as well as origin and tasting notes - hence the "geek" in Cheese Geek.
The internal packaging is made from recycled wool rather than miles of shredded cardboard which is a rather nice consideration.
From £27.50 a month | The Cheese Geek | Buy it now
Random Delights: happiness, boxed
The Happy Newspaper
Restore your faith in humankind with The Happy Newspaper from illustrator and designer Emily Coxhead.
Conceived as an antithesis to regular news content – which let’s face it, can be pretty bleak at times – the beautifully illustrated 32-page newspaper celebrates everyday heroes, random acts of kindness and positive news from all around the world.
It doesn’t ignore the actual news, but rather tries to share stories of joy, humour and hope – literally all the good stuff. The Happy Newspaper is a much-needed beacon of sunshine in a world where good news is sometimes overlooked or unreported.
From £3.99 per three months | The Happy Newspaper | Buy it now
Bump to Box
Frequency: every trimester until baby is born
Ideal for first-time mothers, Bump to Box offers a curation of the best pregnancy products you never knew you needed.
There are three tiers of boxes to choose from; Real which costs £79 for three boxes, the Chic Edit (£139 for three boxes) which adds a few pricier products into the mix and the Luxe Edit (£229 for three boxes) which brings together premium items for expectant mums.
Designed to be delivered at the beginning of every trimester the boxes are tailored to your changing body to help your pregnancy be as comfortable as it can be.
Contents include things like a pregnancy nutrition book, gently fragranced candles, relaxing teas and indulgent chocolate and skincare from the likes of Mama Mio and Bloom and Blossom. There are even vouchers to spend at selected spas and fitness classes.
There’s also an option to create your very own bespoke box, customised to your tastes and needs, as well a New Mama box, which makes a lovely pampering treat for anyone who’s just entered the world of motherhood.
From £79 | Bump to Box | Buy it now
Blushing Bride Box
Getting married, or know someone who is? This is the box for them.
Delivery takes place towards the end of every month, brightening those days before pay day, no doubt. Boxes contain a careful curation of bridal essentials that will come in useful as the Big Day approaches.
Products go from playful - think 'I do' shoe stickers - to poignant (a sweet box for your marriage certificate), adding extra excitement to what's already quite a thrilling time.
You can sign up on a rolling monthly basis or pre-pay with the three- and six-month plans, for which you will get a discount.
£22.99 a month | Blushing Bride Box | Buy it now
Pets: Treats for your fur-babies
Snack at Franks
Man (and woman's) best friend deserves a treat too. Snack at Franks packs high-quality, natural and healthy treats into a box along with some chews and a fun toy and delivers for free to any UK mainland address.
The box offers a way to spend quality time with your fur baby and can help with discipline; once they taste the delicious, lovingly-made treats inside they'll obey commands quicker than you can say 'sit'.
Right now you can get 50 per cent off the cost of a box with the code: BIGWINTERWOOF
£22.79 a month | Snack at Franks | Buy it now
Making its case as the coolest cat subscription service in the UK, this box of delights delivers fun stuff for your pet and you to enjoy.
It's a smorgasbord of cat-related paraphernalia containing treats such as a catnip pillow, organic cat food and toys for furry friends, but it doesn’t stop there – there’s gifts for owners too.
Each box has a mix of up to eight products guaranteed to leave you and your moggie purring in happiness.
From £31.95 a month | Cattitude | Buy it now
Shopping Editor // Jessica Reynolds