Let’s be honest: post can be boring. From handyman flyers to yet another menu from the Chinese up the road, rarely does something exciting land on the doormat.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Subscription boxes are the little treat you can give yourself on the regular, filled with everything from Japanese sweets to elegant, seasonally-themed homewares.
Think monthly boxes filled with yuletide treats for those who look forward to Christmas year-round, to postal deliveries of impossibly gooey home-baked brownies, so delicious you won’t want to share.
As well as livening up your letterbox, they make excellent gifts too. Send a friend a selection of thoughtful treats every month to celebrate their birthday, wedding or hey, just because.
Subscription boxes are full of contents and new trial products that usually 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?
Hobbies: interesting interests
Papergang by Ohh Deer
Calling all stationery fanatics! Say hello to The Papergang, a subscription service that sends colourful papercraft to your address every month: think cute stationery as well as patterned washi tape, notepads and notebooks, sticky notes, and plenty more. Designed to delight anyone even remotely interested in papercraft.
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 - a great way to support budding new talent. 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. 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 picks two for your 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 other readers in the RBBC community, so it’s a chance to connect with 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.
Home: handy hampers to have delivered to your door
The Post House
The Post House sends you a fresh edit of home décor every three months. The idea is they’ll update your interiors, and with the help of illustrated instruction cards, guide you on how to style products for big events like Christmas and Halloween.
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 nailed.
£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 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.
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 pieces (think glass storage jars, metallic frames and marble serving platters) from leading design brands to give your home a stylish update effortlessly.
If you're house proud but simply don't have the time to research and shop for the latest trends, this subscription does all the hard work 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.
Frequency: weekly, monthly or quarterly
Offering laundry as well as dishwasher detergent, Smol sends concentrated cleaning fluid for clothes or dishes through 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 at £3.85 for 24 capsules. You can adjust the rate of deliveries to your needs, and cancel or modify your orders easily.
Food + Snacks: treats you can eat
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 the making of a dram than just drinking it.
From artisan casks to pairings, locally-made to drinks 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.
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 Japanese food and snacks? Then 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 start of the month and crams in snacks galore: 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.
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.
The idea of pasta through the post may not feel like the most appetising proposition, but sign up to Pasta Evangelists’ recipe kit 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 pick the dishes that make your mouth water the most 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 extra for a leftover 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 Cherry Bakewell, 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.
The Cheese Geek
Frequency: monthly or quarterly
Connoisseurs of artisan cheeses, The Cheese Geek, is here to satisfy fromage fanatics with their 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's too frequent for dairy deliveries, there are also seasonal boxes containing up to 30 cheeses. The boxes come with nibbles of 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.
Random Delights: happiness, boxed
Christmas Club Subscription Box
If you - or someone you know - starts counting down to next Christmas the second Boxing Day arrives, yule love this off-beat subscription service (sorry). Designed for festive fanatics, the monthly box delivers a dose of Christmas cheer all year round with a selection of gifts to get you excited for December 25.
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 beautiful baubles and decorations, cheerful home and kitchenware, yummy festive food 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?
Among the UK’s top beauty subscription boxes, Birchbox themes every month with a box of five treats delivered directly to your door. In a tribute to the lost holidays of 2020, Birchbox’s July box will transport you to the Bahamas - by way of beauty.
Products include the multi-purpose Dr Paw Paw Summer Balm, a Beauty Pro Sheet Mask infused with nourishing coconut oil, mango butter shampoo and the evergreen summer must-have, a tube of SPF50 that’s small enough to tuck into your bag for on-the-go protection. Do good things come in small packages? You’d better believe it.
Subscriptions start at £12.95 monthly, £38.85 for 3 months and £74.75 for 6 months
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 these days – 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, but shares 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 for headline-grabbing doom and gloom.
Bump to Box
Frequency: every trimester until baby is born
Designed for first-time mums, Bump to Box offers a selection of the best pregnancy products you never knew existed, never mind 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. 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.
Pets: Treats for your fur-babies
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 around 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.