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Although often considered a splurge, subscription boxes can be quite the little life-savers. Say you always forget to buy razor blades until it’s too late (read: you’ve got serious razor burn)? There’s a subscription box for that. Never remember to eat breakfast in morning and feel totally drained by noon? There’s a subscription box for that. Or maybe you never have anything fun (cough, cough, educational) to do with your kids on a rainy day. Yep, there’s even a box for that.
And while we totally recommend treating yourself to one, subscription boxes also make excellent gifts for those friends and relatives that are usually so hard to shop for (looking at you, dad). While you can’t possibly sign-up for them all, we’ve rounded up the best monthly subscription boxes in the fashion, beauty, food, home, wellness, books, kids and pets categories to help you make the best choice. You're welcome.
Original reporting by Katie Maguire
Cost: $20 styling fee that goes toward the cost of the items you purchase. If you buy everything in your box, you receive a 25 percent discount.
What you get: Five items
Why we love it: This one’s for the person who’s tired of scrolling through pages and pages of online stores looking for the perfect items (so... everyone). Stitch Fix acts as an on-demand personal shopper, selecting a mix of clothing and accessories based on an 80-plus question style quiz you take at sign up. The thorough survey helps your stylist nail your taste, price point for different items and notes if you need anything specific, ensuring you’ll love at least one item in your box. The best part though? The size-specific subscriptions they offer. Options include women’s petite, plus and maternity, and men’s big, short and tall, as well as a kid’s subscription for sizes 2T to 14. A membership isn’t required, so you can sign up on a monthly, seasonally or as-needed basis.
Cost: $25 styling fee (waived for Nordstrom cardholders) that goes toward the cost of the items you purchase.
What you get: Six to 10 items
Why we love it: Under the Nordstrom umbrella, Trunk Club gives men and women access to the store’s massive inventory, but has professional stylists do all the browsing for you. You won’t run into any issues with receiving items you don’t want since you get to approve of each one—and can swap anything out—before they ship. Plus if an item rips or breaks, Nordstrom’s A+ customer service will take care of it. Hello, stress-free shopping!
Cost: $49 - $199 a month, based on the number of items you choose to receive
What you get: One to 10 items at a time, based on your plan
Why we love it: Made for sizes 10 to 32, this plus-size subscription box offers a large variety of styles from smart workwear to casual weekend attire that you can borrow or buy. All plans come with unlimited exchanges and, with more than 150 brands to choose from, it makes keeping your wardrobe up-to-date an easy feat. New customers can sign up with a free 30-day trial.
What you get: Twelve ties
Why we love it: Every three months, a box of three best-selling ties arrives to freshen up his wardrobe. The service offers long, skinny, extra long and bow ties to suit his style (or yours).
Cost: $25 styling fee that goes toward the cost of the items you purchase.
What you get: Three items
Why we love it: The Montreal-based fashion brand makes shopping for sustainable clothes even easier with their curated subscription box. Sign up to receive items from their seasonal collections—spanning from breezy rompers to sleek peacoats—at up to 20 percent off per item. Pay for what you keep and send the rest back (for free)—it’s that easy. The $25 stylist fee is waived for your first box using code STYLE25 until December 31, 2019.
Cost: $49/month or quarter
What you get: One bag
Why we love it: We love handbags, but the mall? Not so much. That’s where Ivory Clasp comes in. The subscription service curates a wide selection of chic, in-season bags that members can either choose on their own or have a stylist select for them, based on a style quiz.
Cost: $25 every one, two or three months
What you Get: Two pairs of tights
Why We Love It: This adorable new subscription service sends beautiful patterned tights—with styles ranging from classic houndstooth to fashion-forward back-seam hearts—that will add some oomph to your fall/winter wardrobe. Made in Italy and designed in Montreal, the tights are recommended by a stylist based on your profile, but ultimately you get to choose which ones end up in your order. Consider your cold weather essentials upgraded.
What you get: Two to three items
Why We Love It: For men who want to expand their style uniform but don’t know where to start, this monthly subscription box offers apparel, footwear and athleisure by the brand’s own men’s labels. Eight months per year you'll receive clothing-only boxes, while the other four months will be split between shoes and activewear. A yearly shipment calendar is sent to customers at the beginning of their membership so they know what to expect each month.
What you get: Four pairs of shoes a year
Why we love it: Nike’s turning the frustrating process of shoe shopping with your little one on its head with their subscription service designed for kids ages 2 to 10. Everything from the box (it comes addressed to them) to their website (created so kids can do the browsing) to the adventure guide inside, makes the delivery special for them. Choose from three tiers of plans that you can upgrade, downgrade or pause at any time. Read more about the Nike Adventure Club.
What you get: Four to six sample-size products
Why we love it: One of the original beauty subscription boxes, this sample-packed delivery is for anyone who likes to test-drive products before purchase. Inside their so-cute-you’ll-want-to-save-it box comes a range of luxe makeup, skincare, haircare or fragrance treasures tailored to your interests. If you fall in love with an item, you can purchase the full-size version with an exclusive discount in Birchbox’s online store.
Cost: $5 starter kit, up to $44 for your second box based on the products you select
What you get: Your first shipment is a Starter Set, which comes with a razor, two blades and travel-size grooming products. From there, you can customize a restock box with full-size items.
Why we love it: If buying razors is always a forgotten task, give your legs a little attention with these personalized shipments. For less money than you’d pay in the store (and way more convenient), Dollar Shave Club offers three razor options: two-blade, four-blade and six-blade and has additional products you can add to your shipment including body wash, shampoo and toothpaste. Plus, you can select what day and how often you want to receive your box.
What you get: Six to seven items
Why we love it: Attention, budget-seeking beauty junkies. Walmart’s quarterly service is here to upgrade your collection (and bathroom shelfie) for less than you spend on an oat milk latte. Try out seasonally-appropriate samples of drugstore classics including picks from Olay, Garnier, Neutrogena and more.
What you get: A razor, a magnetic holder and two razors in the first shipment. The following package come with four razor blade replacements.
Why we love it: A shaving subscription service whose mission is to eliminate the “pink tax” (the increase in the price of women’s products) with a direct-to-consumer business model is something we can definitely get behind. Choose from one of their colorful razors, designed specifically for women's bodies, and then decide how often you want to receive a new box of blades. You can refill every one, two or three months and have the option to restock on shaving cream, lotion and body wash, too.
What you get: Six or more products
Why we love it: This luxe beauty box—brought to you by the trusted clean beauty experts at Dermstore—has your self-care Sunday routine covered. Focusing mainly on skincare, each one is fully stocked with full-size or deluxe travel-size items from a variety of cult classic and emerging brands valued at over $100. As if we needed more reason to love it, BeautyFix often sends new products before they’re available to the public. Cue your beauty-obsessed friends’ jealousy.
Cost: $8 for the starter set, $15 per refill
What you get: The starter set includes a razor, blade, shave gel and travel blade cover. Each refill box comes with 8 blades with the option to add on products.
Why we love it: Razors are expensive. This brand wants to change that. Hint: The blades are under $2 a piece.
What you get: One 30-day supply of a fragrance
Why we love it: Discover your signature scent while avoiding the headache-inducing fragrance section at your nearby department store with Scentbird’s monthly deliveries. The subscription service helps narrows down options from over 450 designers based on a scent quiz at sign up and sends a travel-size sample to test before splurging on a full bottle. Rate each sample afterwards to help better determine your next month’s supply. It’s also an ideal way for fragrance aficionados to switch up their everyday perfume without breaking the bank.
Cost: $40/month ($24 for your first box)
What you get: 25 snacks
Why we love it: Up your snack game with delicious and better-for-you options delivered straight to your kitchen. Packed with chips, nuts, nutrition bars, jerky and more from innovative brands you can’t find at the average grocery store, SnackNation has plans that range from 8 to 150 snacks a month, curated for everyone from the busy college student to an office full of employees looking for a 3 p.m. snack.
What you get: Portioned ingredients to cook two meals for two people per week, plus cooking instructions
Why we love it: Ideal for beginner cooks who want to learn new skills (you've got to check out those handy video demos!). The OG food delivery service has remained best-in-class due to their inventive, seasonal recipes and focus on quality ingredients.
What you get: Portioned ingredients to cook two meals for two people a week, plus cooking instructions
Why we love it: With twenty recipes to choose from weekly, this meal delivery service is fully customizable for people who like variation or have dietary restrictions. (Oh, and it includes dessert.)
Cost: $30/month (first box is 50 percent off)
What you get: Six candies in 6-ounce size jars
Why we love it: Load up on a collection of six different sweet and sour candies that come in a variety of fun shapes and flavors. Great for the kids (or you know, something special just for you).
What you get: One bottle
Why we love it: Get the best artisan hot sauce, curated by the experts at Heat Hot Sauce Shop (yes, that’s a real place) and delivered right to your door. Pick from a spice level, Mild, Classic or Extra Hot, and turn up the heat on your next game day spread—now all you have to do is supply the food.
Cost: $15/biweekly (first box is 50 percent off)
What you get: Eight snack varieties
Why we love it: If you want to pepper in a few healthier options, this is the easiest way to snack responsibly (and guilt-free). Each box contains a mix of health-conscious items—think cinnamon pretzels, crunchy beet chips, and inventive trail mixes—and after each delivery, you review each snack so the Graze team knows what will fulfill your sweet (or savory) tooth next time.
What you get: Seven to eight international delicacies
Why we love it: If you love traveling to try new, exotic food, this box is for you. Each month you'll receive a package stuffed with snacks and treats native to a specific country, ranging from Korea to Greece.
What you get: Three to four half-pound cuts of cheese
Why we love it: Calling all cheese lovers—we’ve found the subscription box for you. Murray's Cheese of the Month sources the highest quality cheese from producers around the world and delivers it to your door along with a well-thought information card listing serving and wine pairing suggestions. Consider this an excuse to invite your friends over every month.
What you get: Nine glasses of wine
Why we love it: If you love wine, but are more of a casual sipper, VineBox sends one-glass samples instead of full bottles, each filled with a different wine. The quarterly shipments come with educational material that makes it easy to learn about the different varieties and regions, and, if you find something you love, you get credits towards purchasing a full bottle.
What you get: 12oz bag of coffee and two hardcover books
Why we love it: High-quality coffee the moment you need it? That should cut your Starbucks habit down significantly. Did we mention each box comes with two new hardcover books in your genre of choice?
What you get: Twelve beers
Why we love it: Impress your friends with bottles and cans from micro breweries around the country. Each box spotlights beer from two breweries located in different regions and comes with four craft beer styles, three beers in each style. Not a bad way to up your standing with the biggest beer aficionados in your life.
What you get: Eight to 10 full-size items per box
Why we love it: If you love the idea of subscription boxes, but not how specialized they are, FabFitFun’s quarterly box comes with a mix of seasonal products across beauty, health, wellness and fashion. Plus, you’ll get access to exclusive offers from their brand partners and options to add additional items to your box.
Cost: $22 to $35/month, based on your location
What you get: One plant and pot
Why we love it: Looking to grow your indoor jungle? Enter NYC-based plant shop Horti. Their subscription service ships a hard-to-kill houseplant each month in a hand-painted terracotta pot and saucer (you pick the color) with instructions on how to care for it. Over time, they’ll start sending more exotic plant types to help build up your green thumb.
What you get: Seven to 10 items
Why we love it: If unicorn lattes pique your interest, then this box filled with colorful items is exactly what you need. Each shipment comes with an enamel pin, an item from a featured indie artist and a fun pair of socks.
What you get: Four to Six office supplies items, a book and access to training courses
Why we love it: Female entrepreneurs everywhere, meet your monthly source of inspiration. This carefully curated box is designed to help you and your business reach their full potential with a motivational book and access to online courses and tutorials. On top of that, you’ll receive stylish items to upgrade your workspace (think planners and stationery) and access to the service’s private networking group.
What you get: One un-framed print
Why we love it: If you love the look of a gallery wall, but don’t know how to start building a cohesive art collection, this service is for you. Art Crate handpicks a curator to work with you each month to select the perfect pieces for your space (and provide solid decorating advice). Choose from four different month-to-month plans based on your preferred artwork size, budget and whether you want frames or not. If you’re ever unhappy with a print, they offer a money back guarantee.
Cost: $26.50/every two months
What you get: One hour-long game
Why we love it: Love escape rooms? Work with your family and friends to crack codes, solve riddles and discover hidden items—all from the comfort of your home.
Cost: $33/month + shipping
What you get: Four to five handmade items
Why we love it: Treat yourself to beautiful and ethically-made products from artisans and farmers around the world. The assortment of items centers around a seasonal theme and range from woven baskets to Ghanaian hot cocoa.
What you get: 10 to 16 stems
Why we love it: Out of gift ideas for that one person who has everything? With Bouqs, they’ll get fresh-cut bouquets delivered directly from sustainable farms to their door on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis. That’s definitely better than giving yet another candle. With the choice of all-roses, classic blooms, or seasonal arrangements, you can customize each delivery to your recipient’s taste.
What you get: Four to five seasonal items
Why we love it: Cozy up with the only monthly subscription box designed to bring the Danish art of hygge in to your life. Expect anything from candles to fuzzy socks to cookies from around the world, each handpicked to help you unwind. Not a bad way to remind yourself to slow down on the binge-watching and endless scrolling every month.
Cost: $25 styling fee that goes toward the cost of the items you purchase
What you get: Six items
Why we love it: Your workout is hard enough, don't sweat the shopping. SweatStyle will send you a stylish selection of activewear based on your fitness routine and style preferences. Pay only for the items you keep and return anything that won’t make it in your gym bag.
What you get: Three to six products
Why we love it: Create a profile that tells Cairn about your outdoor pursuits, and expect a monthly surprise of expertly curated items fit for your adventures. So whether you're a seasoned hiker or a beginner rock climber, your box can include new-to-market apparel, gear, snacks, skincare and emergency tools that match your activity, worth up to $50.
What you get: Five to six sample-size items
Why we love it: If you find wellness stores intimidating, Bulu Box is an approachable way to discover healthy products. Filled with sample-sizes of everything from vitamins and supplements to healthy snacks and clean beauty products, learn what works for you first before committing to that huge jar of protein powder.
What you get: 18-count box
Why we love it: There’s a reason these 100 percent organic tampons have been gaining so much attention recently. Get a customized assortment (or choose a plan with pads and liners) shipped to your home every month before that time of the month—all free of harmful ingredients.
Cost: An average box costs $29/month, but price is based on individual items
What you get: 30-day supply
Why we love it: Remembering to take vitamins is so much harder now that mom isn’t around to place them on the kitchen table with breakfast every morning. But Care/of is here to make it a little bit easier. The subscription service recommends personalized blends of vitamins and supplements based on a survey you take about your lifestyle, diet and goals. Then, each month, you'll receive a 30-day supply of your wellness concoction, portioned out into cute daily packs that automatically replenish—no trip to the pharmacy (or mom) needed.
What you get: Three hardcover books
Why we love it: Calling all bookworms-in-training: This box comes with a selection of books, with reading levels ranging from newborns to pre-teens. Plus, there's also a gift for mom in each box.
What you get: One book, an art print, free trade organic tea and a special gift
Why we love it: This box focuses on one wanderlust destination and features a book and goodies linked to that region. Plus, each box provides a girl in need with a year’s worth of textbooks.
Cost: $10 for the first month, $15/month after that
What you get: One newly-released book
Why we love it: Simple and to the point: They curate five buzzy new titles to choose from each month so you’ll never be without new material. Skip a box if you’re behind on your reading list or add additional books if you’re a bonafide bookworm.
What you get: Four to five toys
Why we love it: This company delivers an assortment of high-quality toys that support your little one’s development, curiosity and imagination. Each box is tailored to your child’s age and developmental milestones.
Cost: $5 service fee that gets credited toward the items you purchase
What you get: Eight items
Why we love it: This amazing kids clothing box sends an assortment of styles designed in-house and hand-picked for your child every season—just pick their faves and return the rest for free. Most items range from $16 to $38, and, if you keep everything in the box you get 25 percent off your order.
What you get: Three activities
Why we love it: Catered toward kids in early elementary school, this monthly box aims to turn learning about science and math into a game. Each one features an original hands-on project—like building an arcade game or creating a glowing stuffed animal—vetted by child development experts and tested by kids.
What you get: Two toys, two all-natural bags of treats and a chew toy
Why we love it: Show your pup you love him back with a monthly themed delivery of toys and treats, tailored to his or her size and weight.
What you get: A selection of toys, treats and accessories
Why we love it: Treat your cat or dog to monthly goodies with a conscience: proceeds of the box go to supplying food and vaccines to shelter animals.
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