Ten best monthly subscription box services

Subscription boxes send a variety of products and items straight to your door, but not all subscription boxes are created equally. These are the ten best. 

Andrea Comas/Reuters/File
A box with ballots can be seen on a table as a polling station is prepared inside a school in Barcelona, Spain, September 25, 2015.

Subscription boxes offer a convenient way to try different and new products without the legwork of actually going to various stores and browsing for interesting items. Professional curators put together their favorite collections for your perusal, at your convenience. They're also designed to offer as much flexibility as possible, allowing you to return items you don't want or skip a delivery. 

Subscription boxes are available in all different categories and can be based on any of your interests. We’ve found some of the best subscription boxes in each category to help you find the perfect monthly gift for yourself or a loved one.

Beauty: Birchbox

Cost: $10 per month

Birchbox is perfect for both makeup mavens and beginners. They send approximately four to five high-end beauty and lifestyle products every month in a range of categories, including hair care, body care, makeup, perfume, and even food. The samples are carefully selected based on the profile that you fill out. Every sample is available for purchase and if you refer friends or review your samples every month, you can earn points, which can be redeemed in the online Birchbox shop. Birchbox was one of the first companies to jump on board the subscription box train, and they are still doing it better than anyone else.

Makeup: Glossybox

Cost: $21 per month

Glossybox allows you to pamper yourself with luxurious, generously sized beauty samples every month. Everything from the upscale products to the packaging is carefully designed to make you feel posh. Once you have filled out the customized profile, the boxes will be designed to meet your personal preferences. The deluxe samples are chosen from all around the world, so you can be sure that you’re really getting the very best beauty and makeup products available. You can even take part in beauty trends you’ve never even heard of from other countries, all thanks to this beautiful box being delivered to your doorstep.

Accessories: Wantable

Cost: $36 per month

Wantable has some of the highest user reviews online (see our own reviews on it). They offer different boxes based on your personal preferences, such as beauty, accessories, fitness, and intimates. Once you answer a few short questions online, Wantable will hand-select the perfect makeup or accessories for you. Whether you like unique scarves, jewelry, or bags, Wantable will help you complete any outfit with the perfect accessory.

Clothing: Stitch Fix

Cost: $20 per month

Stitch Fix is the perfect clothing and accessories box for any busy woman. It’s like having a personal stylist at your fingertips. The personal styling service is catered to your budget, lifestyle, and preferences to ensure that you can find the best outfits for your personal style. Once you have completed the personal style quiz, five personalized pieces will be delivered to your door. You keep what you like and send the rest back, so you only pay for what you keep. Every time you give feedback on the contents of the box, it will help your stylist to better customize future boxes. If you decide to keep any of the five items in your box, then the $20 monthly styling fee will count towards your purchase. If you keep all five items, you will receive an additional 25% discount.

Snacks: Love With Food

Cost: $10 per month

This box is perfect for discerning snackers. Each month, Love With Food sends a box of carefully selected gourmet treats and coupons. Many of the boxes are based on a theme or curated by a special guest for a unique twist. The purchase of each box also buys one meal for someone in need through the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength-No Kid Hungry, so you can do good while eating good. You can also earn points through referrals and online product reviews, which can be redeemed in Love With Food’s online shop.

Food Prep: Blue Apron

Cost: $10 per week (per person, per meal)

Blue Apron is one of many food prep subscription box services, but they are the most affordable option and offer the best food quality and variety. They deliver fresh ingredients and original recipes directly to your door every week. The ingredients arrive in a refrigerated box, on the delivery day that best fits your schedule. You will receive the menu beforehand, so you can choose which meals you want or you can choose to skip that week’s box altogether. The recipes are never repeated, and are created by Blue Apron’s culinary team and special guest chef. Blue Apron also offers the most attractive recipe cards of all competing boxes, which you can keep and continue using long after the box’s contents are gone. Food prep boxes can take the guesswork out of cooking, even for the most inexperienced cooks. They provide the restaurant experience and quality, without the high price tag. Cooking the seasonally inspired meals at home can also be a great bonding experience for your family.

Wine: Club W

Cost: $39 per month

There’s nothing better than having wine shipped directly to your doorstep. Once you fill out a pallet profile, Club W will send three fine wines every month based on your personal taste.

Men's: Birchbox for Men

Cost: $20 per month

Finally, a beauty box for men! Birchbox sends high-end products every month in a range of categories, like hair care, body care, and shaving. Once you sign up, you can complete a short online profile, which allows Birchbox to customize each box of samples to fit your needs. If you like a sample, you can purchase it in the online Birchbox shop. If you refer a friend or review the products online every month, you can earn points to spend in the shop.

Kids: Citrus Lane

Cost: $29.95 per month

Every product in a box by Citrus Lane is used and reviewed by real moms, so you know they’re something that you and your children can enjoy. Each box includes four to five products, including things like toys, books, and snacks for you and your children, ranging from newborn to five years old. It’s the perfect box for any current or soon-to-be moms.

Pets: BarkBox

Cost: $29 per month

Both dogs and owners love BarkBox. The box includes toys, treats, and other items that your pooch will cherish. The box is personalized for the size of your dog and each item is dog tested to ensure your pup will love the box every month. You can also feel good knowing that 10% of all proceeds go to local shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organizations.

This article is from Andrea Cannon of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

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