Let’s be honest: post can be boring. From handyman flyers to yet another takeaway menu, rare is the day something exciting lands on the doormat.
But it needn’t be this way. Subscription boxes are the little treat you can enjoy on the regular, filled with everything from Japanese sweets to seasonally-themed homewares.
We’re talking monthly parcels filled with yuletide treats for those who look forward to Christmas year-round, to postal deliveries of impossibly gooey home-baked brownies that are so delicious you won’t want to share.
As well as livening up your letterbox, they make superb gifts too. Send a friend a selection of thoughtful treats every month to celebrate their birthday, wedding or just because they deserve one. It can be a gift with legs, giving them something to look forward to every month.
Subscription boxes are packed full of contents and newly launched products that always add up to more than the cost of the box, meaning they’re excellent value for money as well as allowing you to try products you may not normally come across.
What’s not to love about that?
Best subscription services for hobbies
Papergang by Ohh Deer
Calling all stationery fanatics! Say hello to The Papergang, a subscription service that sends out colourful papercraft every month: we’re talking cute stationery, patterned washi tape, notepads and notebooks, sticky notes, and plenty more. It’s enough to get you off Instagram doom-scrolling and writing actual letters to your pals.
Every box is themed (think botanical, celestial and bold geo prints) and include exclusive stationery and desk accessories designed in collaboration with the chosen Artist of the Month, so it’s a great way to support new talent too. For every four boxes Papergang sell, they also plant one tree so the service has a sustainability angle to it as well.
Choose from a rolling monthly subscription or pre-pay for 3, 6 or 12 months.
Rare Birds Book Club
Give your eyeballs a break from your newsfeed with screen-free entertainment instead. There’s nothing like getting lost in a really good book.
Rare Birds Book Club sifts through the best new fiction reads and picks two for your reading pleasure every month. It’s a fun and easy way to reignite your passion for books, and there’s an online forum to share your thoughts with other RBBC readers - like an online book club.
It has to be said, their packaging is relentlessly cheerful: think bright tissue paper, emoji speckled blurbs and fun stickers. If RBBC’s literary drop doesn’t raise a smile every month, we don’t know what will.
Best subscription services for the home and interiors
Trying to live more sustainably doesn’t have to be done all at once: make small changes and you’ll soon notice a big difference. Authentic House is a retailer selling a wide selection of eco-friendly household and beauty alternatives (vegan corn starch dental floss, anyone?), but it also has a subscription box too.
Sign up for 1- 12 months, or try a seasonal eco-friendly subscription box. Products vary in each delivery but you can typically find a selection of useful home, beauty and food treats to try as well as some new launches, taking the pain out of researching sustainable products.
The Post House
If you love walking into a cosy space but haven’t the faintest idea of how to go about creating one in your own home, The Post House can help. The subscription delivered a fresh edit of home décor to your door every three months to update your interiors (with a little help from illustrated instruction cards).
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 ready for an ES Homes & Property shoot, this is a subscription that’ll make it look like you’ve got your sh*t together.
£95 for a one-off purchase, £85 for a seasonal subscription box.
Frequency: monthly or quarterly
When you don't have space or access to an outside area in London, houseplants offer a way to reconnect with nature.
They’re calming for the mind, body and soul, they help oxygenate your space and lower stress levels - no wonder sales shot through the roof during the pandemic.
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 pretty ceramic pot and with care instructions on a rolling monthly or quarterly basis. It's a great way of building your green oasis rather than being overwhelmed with too many plants at once.
Order on a monthly, quarterly, twice-yearly or annual basis.
Interior Design Box
Welcome a selection of four new home accessories home every month with a subscription to Interior Design Box. The service handpicks and sends small homewares (think glass storage jars, sculptural candles and marble serving platters) from leading design brands to give your home a stylish upgrade effortlessly.
If you're house proud but simply don't have the time to research and shop for the latest trends, this subscription does the graft for you.
Payment is on a pre-pay basis for three, six, nine or 12 months, including postage and packaging.
For painless home styling with doorstep delivery it doesn't get much easier than this.
If you think about how many products your home needs to run everyday, you’ll easily spot ways to make your next purchases more eco-friendly and sustainable. Or you could head to Homethings, who has done all the research for you and helpfully collected their best finds online.
Shop here for laundry and general cleaning products, or opt for the Bundle is Massive (£55) box to try a bit of everything: 13 cleaning sprays; 72 laundry pods; 40 dishwasher tabs; 20 floor pods; 3 compostable sponges - that should see you through a few months.
Who Gives A Crap
Frequency: from 8 - 16 weeks
With a name that won’t fail to raise a smile, eco-friendly toilet paper subscription service Who Gives A Crap offers the chance to bulk buy bog roll that’s 50 per cent as long as regular rolls and is made from recycled materials too.
The company donates 50 per cent of its profits to build proper sanitation facilities for third world communities - it may be 2022 but billions around the world still don’t have access to a toilet. As well as bulk buying loo roll, you can also set up a subscription to deliver every 4 - 16 weeks so that you’re never caught short again.
Not quite spending a penny, but for the good that buying WGAC does for communities and the environment - not to mention that jazzy packaging - it’s a worthy swap from your usual TP.
Frequency: weekly, monthly or quarterly
Probably not the most exciting delivery on our list, but undeniably helpful. Offering laundry, dishwasher detergent, cleaning sprays and sanitiser, Smol sends concentrated cleaning fluid free from single-use plastic via the post, saving you up to 50 per cent on typical brands.
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 all) and if it’s a yes, you can then sign up for regular deliveries from £3.85 for 24 capsules. You can adjust the rate of deliveries to your needs, and cancel or modify your orders easily.
Best flower subscription services
Bloom & Wild
Unless your recipient is a violent hayfever sufferer, the gift of flowers is a universally adored thing. Bring a bouquet of loveliness to their home (or better yet, your own home) by signing up to Bloom & Wild flower subscription - there are options for 3, 6 and 12 months.
Flowers will change according to the seasons, which keeps you connected to nature while slashing the arrangement’s carbon footprint. If you’d rather something with a longer shelf life, the company also offers a monthly houseplant subscription.
Frequency: from weekly
Enjoy well presented bouquets of ethical flowers from luxury florist Arena. Although the flowers change with every delivery, they will be chosen according to what’s in season as well as what works aesthetically.
What’s more, the company supports Women’s Aid by donating £1 for every subscription box of flowers to the charity, helping women and children live free from abuse and violence. Arena also pledges to help reforestation efforts with every delivery.
Whether you’re looking for a gift idea for someone special, or you fancy a treat that will help others too, this flower subscription is amongst our top picks.
Frequency: weekly or monthly
If nothing lifts your spirits quite like a fresh bunch of fleurs, sign up to FLOWERBX’s subscription immediately. These blooms look straight off the catwalk, beautifully styled, fresh and ready to inject colour into your space in a flash. Choose from three subscription options (there’s Classic, Rose and Seasonal) and your bouquets will be delivered on a weekly or monthly basis, with postage fees already built into the cost - no surprises.
Display them in style with the complimentary vase that comes with each subscription offer.
Best food subscription services
The Vegan Kind
Guarantee good things landing on your doormat with The Vegan Kind, an online portal to new and bestselling cruelty-free products. Choose from the monthly Lifestyle Box, which offers up to eight tasty treats as well as discount codes, or disrupt your beauty kit with the Beauty Box, which delivers a mix of skincare, makeup and beauty products every two months. The contents are a surprise to add an element of excitement with every delivery.
Gift subscriptions are also available on a quarterly, six months and annual basis, from £13.95.
Craft Whisky Club Subscription Box
Want to learn more about whisky? Craft Whisky Club has launched a new subscription service for whisky lovers, perfect for those who want to know more about a dram than just drinking it.
From artisan casks to pairings, locally-made to varieties produced in far-flung lands, understanding the journey of a whisky is part and parcel of heightening the sipping experience. Each bi-monthly box includes up to two full size bottles, as well as snacks to pair with them and handy titbits about the distillery and how the whiskies are matured, developed and brought to life. Your education starts here.
Kiss the Hippo
If you can’t function in the AM without a hit of caffeine, this is the subscription service you need to sign up to. Delivering freshly roasted coffee to your address in packets (beans or ground) or organic coffee pods, you can adjust the weight, blend and frequency of delivery to suit you.
The website is delightfully easy to use with a streamlined form that all allows you to get your order in fuss-free. Commitment-free, you can delay or cancel the service at any time.
Gower Cottage Brownies
Anyone with a soft spot for brownies must sign up to this subscription service immediately.
Run by home baker Kate from the pretty Welsh countryside, the delightfully chunky 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 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.
Japan Centre Pop Culture Snack Box
Obsessed with Nipponese food and snacks? Then this subscription box may as well be Christmas in a box. Containing up to ten of Japan Centre's finest imports, each box is delivered at the start of the month and crams in snacks of all kinds, salty and sweet and the ones that sit curiously inbetween.
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-adored kitchen cupboard essential - noodles.
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 binned before it’s even left the fields. Why? Because it’s oddly-shaped or just 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 addresses.
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.
Frequency: weekly, fortnightly or monthly
Delight in carb-heaven with Pasta Evangelists’ recipe kit service. The postal delivery allows customers to enjoy chef-quality dishes without the need to step 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 pick your favourites from the online menu, set your delivery frequency to weekly or every two, three or four weeks - and wait for the gourmet meal to drop onto your letterbox. And, don’t worry if you can’t make the meals straight away - 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.
The Protein Ball Co.
Frequency: weekly or monthly
While options for vegan food are growing by the week, 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 a general selection that has a bit of everything – flavours include Raspberry Brownie, Lemon and Pistachio and Goji and Coconut. Each box contains 12 packets of six balls, so they’re perfect 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.
Frequency: monthly or quarterly
Connoisseurs of artisan cheeses, cheesegeek, is here to satisfy fromage fanatics with a veritable smorgasbord 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 feels too frequent for dairy drops, there are also seasonal boxes containing up to 30 cheeses so you can replenish your stores on a less regular basis. The boxes come with nibbles of wine and cheese pairing info, as well as origin and tasting notes - hence the "geek" in cheesegeek.
The internal filling is made from recycled wool rather than miles of shredded cardboard which is a rather nice eco-friendly consideration.
Random Delights: happiness, boxed
Christmas Club Subscription Box
If you - or someone you know - starts counting down to next Christmas the minute Boxing Day arrives, yule (sorry) adore this off-beat subscription service. Designed for festive superfans, the monthly box delivers a dose of Christmas cheer all year round with a selection of gifts to rev your excitement levels for December 25, no matter how far away it is.
Once you’ve pored over the gorgeously festive packaging (and crooned along to Jingle Bells, which plays when the box opens - yes, really), you’ll find a specially curated mix of Crimbo delights: think baubles and decorations, red and white home and kitchenware, festive snacks and lots more to satisfy your Christmas cravings.
Fun, a bit bonkers and so exciting it will have you accosting the postman for your package every month, it nails the spirit of hobby subscription boxes.
Who says Christmas only comes once a year?
The Happy Newspaper
When it feels like it’s only bad news in the headlines, 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 – the lovingly illustrated 32-page newspaper celebrates everyday heroes, random acts of kindness and positive news from all around the world.
It doesn’t ignore current events or try to brush them under the carpet, but shares stories of joy, humour and hope: literally all the good stuff. The Happy Newspaper is a welcome beacon of sunshine in a world where good news can be overshadowed for headline-grabbing doom and gloom.
Chicken soup for the soul.
Bump to Box
Frequency: every trimester until baby arrives
Designed for first-time mums, Bump to Box offers a mix of the best pregnancy products you never knew existed, never mind knew you needed.
There are three tiers of boxes; 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. It's made to be delivered at the start of each trimester, with products tailored to your growing bump and changing body to help your pregnancy be as comfortable as it can be.
Contents include the likes of a pregnancy nutrition book, scented candles, sooting teas and delicious chocolate and skincare from brands like Mama Mio and Bloom and Blossom. There are even vouchers to spend at selected spas and fitness classes.
If you're after something specific, Bump to Box allows you to create a 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.
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.
HP Instant Ink
Frequency: ad hoc
Granted, in our wireless, QR code-ruled reality, there’s less demand to print things these days, but for the occasions when you do: HP to the rescue.
The tech giant is helping your home office become a much greener place with its Instant Ink subscription, which cuts ink cartridge wastage as well as unsustainable supply chains and printing paper.
The Instant Ink service monitors ink levels, and when you’re starting to run low, auto-orders cartridges to be shipped to your door before you run out - how’s that for planet-saving tech? The delivery also includes pre-paid envelopes to return spent cartridges to HP to be recycled, omitting the journey to landfill completely and creating a circular economy.
From just 99p a month, and change, pause or cancel anytime at no cost.
Best subscription services for pets
Natusan Cat Litter
We may love our pets but there’s one thing we’re not so wild about - remembering to buy new kitty litter. Luckily Natusan is here to save the day - not to mention your back from dragging home heavy bags - with its Collect & Compost kitty litter subscription service.
Natusan is environmentally conscious, so not only will the company deliver fresh product but it will collect and compost soiled litter too, helping to save some of the 2.4m tonnes that goes to landfill and turning it into agricultural fertiliser instead.
The Collect & Compost service is available only to London residents.
Snack at Franks
Man (and woman's) best friend deserves regular treats 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 dog snacks 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 'down boy'.
Right now you can get 50 per cent off the cost of a box online, see website for more details.
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 pleasure.