Best subscription box reviews: Beauty, food, gifts and more
Whether you're after a weekly batch of artisan coffee or a box packed with make-up goodies every month, these are our favourite delivery services
The subscription box sector in the UK is booming. Consumers are demanding convenience, and brands are listening.
It all began at the turn of the decade with Birchbox, an American company offering monthly deliveries of make-up and beauty products. As the growth of Birchbox skyrocketed, the US market soon became filled with similar services, and the craze has since spread to the UK.
With each month that passes, it seems more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon, delivering a huge range of products – craft beers, socks, artisan coffee and veggies to name but a few – directly to your front door.
But with such a large market, it can be hard to know where to start. Here, we’ve rounded up the main things you need to take into consideration when signing up to a subscription service. We’ve also listed all of IndyBest’s subscription box reviews, so you know which ones are worth your money.
What subscription box should I get?
There are a number of reasons to invest in a subscription box: convenience, discovering new products, and treating yourself to a regular pick-me-up of your favourite goodies. If you regularly cook at home or for others, but can’t bear those monotonous supermarket outings, then a recipe box could be for you, delivering fresh, portioned ingredients that are ready to cook. Or, if you’re forever running out of your must-have make-up, a beauty box subscription will keep you stocked up on everything from cult favourites to high-end brands. And if you’re an enthusiast who prides themselves on trying out products before everyone else, many boxes include exclusive, never-before-seen products.
They also work excellently as gifts, whether you’re buying for a foodie or a beauty addict. Many services allow one-off purchases (either for just a couple of weeks of a few-month block), which can be great to give to a friend or family member – and once they’ve worked their way through that lot, they can sign up for more.
Weekly, monthly, yearly: What are the subscription options?
When it comes to delivery times, frequency, and how long you have to sign up for, each service is different. It was once the case that monthly deliveries were the norm, but now a lot of brands have increased their flexibility.
Many allow you to choose the day you want your goodies to be delivered on, which is especially handy for food, as you can make sure you’re at home to collect it and make the most of those fresh ingredients. Broader delivery options are flexible, too, with many brands offering deliveries as often as twice-weekly, to as infrequent as once every sixth months.
In terms of cancellation, the market varies once again. Many rolling subscriptions allow you to cancel whenever, and some allow you to pause the subscription if you’re away on holiday, for instance. But if you’re signing up to a six-month block of weekly deliveries, for example, it’s likely that once you’ve paid, you won’t be able to get a refund. Always check with the terms and conditions on the website before you part with your cash.
IndyBest’s subscription box reviews
Here at IndyBest we’ve tested over a hundred different subscription services, and picked out what we believe to be the worthiest contenders. Below, you’ll find all of our reviews, with a Best Buy in each.
Food subscription boxes
Drinks subscription boxes
Beauty and grooming subscription boxes
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.