We've selected the best subscription boxes that save time and say more than a gift-card ever could.
Subscription boxes are the saving grace for those of us who haven't quite mastered the art of gift-giving. We've all been there: you're at a birthday party or holiday gift exchange. In a sea of perfectly wrapped presents of varying yet substantial sizes, sits the card you hurriedly picked up at CVS on the way to the function and signed in your car.
With each gift opened, the little confidence you had in your present -a gift card- dwindles increasingly, until practically non-existent, and not even the thought of at least I didn't come empty-handed can relieve the shame. Thus far, the room has been filled with gasps, bright, glossy eyes, and thankful voices exclaiming 'it's just what I needed!'.
Then, it's your turn. Maybe they shake the card and pretend there's something other than a piece of plastic within the realms of the paper just to lighten the mood, but nothing can offset the undeniably unenthused tone that says, "aw, thank you! I'm gonna use this."
The next time you're faced with a lack of time (or taste), try sending your loved one a subscription box. Set it, forget it, and dwell in satisfaction at the genuine thanks to come because it really is just what they needed. Subscription boxes are just as quick and painless as a gift-card, but with the thought that communicates you actually heard the countless hints they've dropped.
Here are some picks for the best subscription boxes for fit for every friend and kiddo on your list—from the coffee lovers and perfume enthusiasts to the bookworms and budding fashionistas. These subscription services do the work so you don't have to.
Subscription boxes for parents
If you're not well versed with the world of beauty, makeup shopping can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, Ipsy bags don't miss a beat. Perfect for the beauty blogger in your life, Ipsy bags gift 5 must-have makeup products geared to all stages of the beauty routine. Available in two options, the $12 per month glam bag consists of five deluxe samples, while the $25 per month Glam Bag Plus consists of five full-sized products. If you're privy to the price of a Sephora shopping spree, then you know this is a gift they'll never forget. Ipsy bags are curated to aid in the cultivation of quality makeup collections, and your glamour girl will love you for it.
A wine tasting from the comfort of their own home? Yes, please. Winc is a modern take on a classic gift. For $59.95 a month, Winc Wine Club members receive a box of three or more bottles of wine carefully picked just for them. New members complete a brief questionnaire dubbed the Palate Profile which asks questions geared to taste: how do they like their coffee, how much salt is too much salt, and so on. The Palate Profile aids Winc in selecting wines based on their preferences. The days of wandering in the wine aisle, dizzy with the pressing question of if they're a Cabernet or Merlot type of girl are nearing a long-awaited end; Winc is a necessity for all the wine-lovers in your life.
For the bookworm that's always on the prowl for a new novel. Book of the month is a monthly book subscription intended to save readers the stress of book selection by choosing their monthly read for them. For $9.99 a month, Book of The Month pushes readers to expand their literary tastes by exposing them to a range of genres and authors that they may not have otherwise picked. Each month, they can choose from five monthly picks that satisfy the tastes of all, from the sci-fi and fantasy fanatics to the hopeless romantics and suspense lovers. Book of The Month is perfect for the construction of an at-home library full of page-turners. It's a gift the reader in your life will never stop thanking you for, whenever they manage to part from the riveting read of the month, that is.
Coffee-lovers know the feelings of both fear and disbelief when they go to make their routine cup- only to realize they're fresh out. Thanks to Trade, they can ditch the grocery store trips, and never risk running out of coffee again. Dubbed the best coffee subscription by publications such as GQ, CNN, and Vogue, Trade is a coffee subscription service and brand that uses a taste quiz to deliver a personalized selection of coffee from roasters both near and far. Although Trade allows you to gift a coffee subscription at various prices, three bags for $60 is among the more popular options. Your DIY Barista will light up at the sight of Trade. After all, coffee never goes out of style.
The discovery of your signature scent is practically a right of passage into womanhood. For the up-and-coming perfume connoisseur, ScentBird will be a vital resource. For $14.95 a month, ScentBird sends a trial-sized vial of a designer fragrance meant to last you 30 days. Thanks to the fragrance quiz, your giftee will be matched to recommendations suited to their desired scents and provided the opportunity to add them to a monthly queue. Rather than struggling at a Macy's counter trying to decide if they're more floral and fresh or sensual and luxurious, give the gift of Scent Bird and let your loved one shop for themselves.
Because nothing is off-limits. MeUndies is an underwear subscription service that delivers a new pair of intimates monthly. MeUndies uses a high-quality, Lenzing MicroModal fabric for each pair of underwear and socks. Each month, users can select their monthly underwear from one of three categories of style: Classic for the ones who keep it neutral, bold for those who dare to wear vivids, and adventurous for the fun-lovers who live for a print or pattern. Prices start at $14 for women's underwear, $16 for men, and $8 for socks. MeUndies is perfect for the couples in your life that like to match every once in a while, or every single day. There's nothing like a fresh pair.
Perfect for the skincare junkie, Beauty Fix by Dermstore is a subscription service that puts their fresh face needs first. For $24.95 a month, subscribers get to enjoy a box of products from premium brands valuing at $+100. Each box comes with at least six products of both trial and full sizes that are geared toward every stage of the skincare routine. The gift of a natural glow is priceless, and there's something so gratifying about seeing a boost of self-confidence in the people you love.
I think we can all agree that all of our quarantine sorrows were best soothed with one coping mechanism: comfort food. Goldbelly isn't just any food subscription service; it's the food subscription service. For $80 a month, Goldbelly sends a box of Gourmet goods from all over the country straight to the doors of subscribers. Some months, the boxes will consist of something sweet, while others will be filled with something savory, but what remains constant is the fact that one Goldbelly box can feed four people. Goldbelly satisfies the cravings that extend beyond the distances of delivery. A Philly Cheesesteak in Vermont? Yes, please.
For one whose kettle is whistling in the background of every facetime call. Sips By is a tea subscription service. For $16 a month, subscribers are sent a box consisting of four teas chosen based on the taste preferences expressed on their profiles. Sips By is essential for those looking to break into the world of steeping, brewing, and sipping because it serves as a guide for those trying to learn their tastes; do they like herbal or caffeinated? Leaf or bagged? The Sips By Box is more than a subscription service, it's a resource.
For the chef that lacks inspiration. Piquant Post is a subscription service meant to expand their culinary talents. For $11.99 a month, Piquant Post sends a box of three to four spices from a selected region in conjunction with thorough recipes and shopping lists. All spices provided in the monthly boxes are available for repurchase in the case that any blend elevates from a trial to a pantry staple. The uncertainty that usually accompanies new recipe night is now a thing of the past, making room for the smile of satisfaction they'll have when the family asks through a mouthful of food, 'who made this?'
If you have a modern man in your life, they need a Sprezza Box. For $28 a month, the Sprezza Box sends members their selected package of essentials. Each month, there is a variety of boxes available to choose from geared toward an array of lifestyles or events. If they're traveling, hitting the gym, or simply conducting business, a Sprezza Box is the perfect one-stop-shop to make sure all their clothing and accessories needs are met.
Because there's simply no such thing as too many candles. Vellabox is a monthly subscription service that sends premium artisan-crafted candles curated to compliment the season. Prices start at $10 a month, increasing depending on how many candles members receive in their Vellabox. Though dubbed, 'a box of me time', the Vellabox is a home essential the whole family will enjoy. It's more than just a box of candles; Vellaboxes deliver the ambiance and vibes necessary to keep a home cozy year-round.
Vinyl Me, Please is a club meant to expand the vinyl collections of music lovers by sending a record of the month. Upon joining the club, Vinyl Me, Please members pick their record of the month from a selection of four records, each from a different genre meant to appease every taste: Classics, Essentials, Hip Hop, and Country. For $33 a month, Vinyl Me, Please allows old souls to dwell in their world of musical nostalgia regularly, all without leaving the comfort of their homes.
For the Loose Leaf Tea lover. Tea Runners is the World's Finest Tea Club that gifts members boxes of award-winning teas monthly for a price ranging from $21.25 to $ 25 per box. Each box comes with four pouches of loose leaf tea, with each pouch containing 1 oz of tea. While Tea Runners offers four curated boxes based on pleasing preferences of purity, herbal, and black teas, members are given the option to customize their boxes as they wish. As a girl who never thought to venture from grocery-store-bought black and green teas, Tea Runners pushed me to expand my pallet into the wondrous world of brewing, steeping, and indulging in teas on an international scale.
Decorated is a subscription service that curates a box of home decor essentials meant to keep all interior styles lively and on-trend. For $79.99 every three months, Decorated sends a box of six to eight decorative items geared towards implementing the charm of each season into the homes of subscribers. The range of products offered includes, but is not limited to, throw pillow covers, tabletop decor, and printed art. For novice-level decorators, Decorated has included a booklet to equip them with tips and inspiration to guide them through their navigating the art that is the world of home decor. The aspiring home-maker in your life won't be able to thank you enough.
For the guy who can't seem to stray from the classic (boring) black tie. The Spiffster Tie Club is a subscription service that allows men to expand their bow and necktie collections without the time or effort. For $10 a month, members receive one fresh tie per month selected according to their preference of one of three categories of style, whether it be business, bold, or somewhere in between. The Spiffster Tie Club will take the men in your life from drab to dapper, one tie at a time.
If they've recently decided to lead a healthier lifestyle, the UrthBox is a must-have. Starting at $19.99 a month, the Urthbox curates a package of full-sized products focused on altering the traditional way we think of non-GMO, organic, and all-natural snacking. As if it couldn't get any better: it's vegan-friendly! The Urthbox provides an array of options to accommodate a range of dietary restrictions including but not limited to gluten-free, vegan, and basic dieting. There's an Urthbox for everyone, and one can never go wrong with the gift of health and wellness.
For the one who allowed the quarantine era to morph them into a miniature Betty Crocker. The Bake Eat Love Box picks one delicious dessert per month and equips subscribers with the resources to make it all come alive. Each BEL Box includes the recipe, the pre-measured unrefrigerated ingredients, and one bonus item selected to expand their collection of baking essentials. For $37.99 a month, the Bake Eat Love Box allows bakers of all talents the opportunity to make 12 to 20 treats and will easily be a gift the whole family can enjoy. No sweet tooth will go unsatisfied and they'll adore you for bringing the BEL Box into their lives.
If you've got a guy with a "Most Interesting Man in the World" vibe, Vices subscription box is a must-have. Their curated luxury boxes feature themed collections of goods like fine spirits, handmade leather goods, high-quality foods and other rare finds that will have him living his best life the second he opens it up. A mix of well-loved brands like Breville and Lalique and newly discovered small artisan brands from all over the world make for an exciting unboxing. The theme changes each month and you can purchase monthly for $129.95 (an annual plan gets it down to $99.95 per box.)
Subscription boxes for kids
Picking out the perfect toy is a skill not easily mastered- and with Lovevery, it doesn't have to be. Lovevery uses a profile to identify the age and stage of the child, so parents can find the best play-kit to start with. For $36 a month, a subscription box full of play-things meant to engage, stimulate, and develop babies and toddlers will arrive every two to three months. Parents can cross one more thing off their list and it will feel like Christmas every cycle.
Diversify your little one's bookshelf with a monthly delivery from Little Feminist. Each box features one or two books about strong female characters and/or people of color, hand-selected by a team of teachers, librarians and parents. There's also added activities to help guide conversations and dive deeper into exploring empathy and equality. Choose from a range of ages from newborn through 9-years-old! Subscriptions start at $19 per month.
Got a bookworm on your hands? OwlCrate Jr. will keep their nose in a brand new hardcover novel each month. Inside the box they'll also find a collection of themed bookish goodies like plush toys, activities, stationery and pens to keep them busy. See ya later, screen time!
Budding fashionistas will love this quarterly delivery. Rockets of Awesome curates seasonal boxes of well, awesome clothes (which are designed in-house) in sizes 2T to 14. Their simple quiz makes it easy to lock in the looks they love, ranging from sporty to bedazzled (and everything in between.) If you decide to go the subscription route, you'll get four boxes a year (one for every season) with eight unique pieces from their line. Something not quite to their liking? NBD. Just send it back and only pay for what you keep.
Because little ones need the occasional dose of literature too. The Elephant Books Subscription Box by Cratejoy is perfect for kids ages 0 to 6. Elephant Books delivers picture or board books monthly for the price of $17.99. With library visits being limited in the age of COVID, Elephant Books is a simple way to make sure children are both maintaining and progressing in their reading levels. The packaging alone will make them feel special and reading will become something to look forward to.
They may not have traveled the world quite yet, but the educational and inspiring boxes from Little Global Citizen are sure to ignite their sense of wanderlust. Every two months they send along a box filled with a book, crafts, activities and recipes that focus on a single country, bringing a new culture to life for kiddos ages 4-10. You can purchase a single box for $34.95 or sign up for a plan for a discounted rate.
Essentially a survival kit for fathers, the Rad Dad Box is a subscription service that sends dad-themed products meant to ease the transition to fatherhood. Every month, dad will receive a box of three to four items ranging from self-care and sanitization to baby toys and books. For $23 a month, the Rad Dad Box will be a bundle of joy to fathers of babies in the early stages, and an imperative reminder that they are seen, heard, and so so necessary.
The subscription box search doesn't stop here. For moms of little chefs in the making, check out this article for a list of services meant to cultivate your culinary artist for years to come.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.
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