What to Buy for People Who Love Subscription Boxes
14 great offerings for anyone who will appreciate receiving an exciting new surprise in the mail each month.
The ease and continual spirit of gifting a subscription box means it really is the gift that keeps on giving—well at least for as many months as you spring for it. Subscription boxes have evolved and expanded over the last few years to really offer something for everyone. While food and beverage boxes remain popular, there’s a box out there for everything—whether it’s to help you embrace mindfulness, have clearer skin, or read more great books. Not to mention how specific your food box subscription can be these days, with chef-curated options, others filled with Japanese snacks, and even pasta-focused offerings in the mix.
Below are 14 subscription boxes, focused on everything from booze to plants, for anyone who’s a devout subscription box lover or someone you know who will appreciate getting an exciting surprise in the mail each month.
Why it’s a great gift: New York’s beloved Murray’s cheese shop has several subscription boxes available, like cheesemonger’s picks and cheeseboard of the month, but our favorite is the mac and cheese of the month. The recipient gets one 32-ounce Classic Mac and one specialty flavor like French Onion, Truffle Mac, or Buffalo Chicken each month that come frozen and ready to be reheated in the oven. Perfect for cold winter nights when they don’t feel like cooking.
Why it’s a great gift: Instead of flowers (which will eventually wilt and die), consider a plant…or three. This is perfect for anyone who has moved recently, loves plants, or wants to start turning their black thumb green. Each month, a plant like a baby rubber plant or crispy wave fern arrives in a carefully packed box along with a cute painted pot and detailed instructions about how to pot it and take care of it. It also tells you if it’s safe for pets (you can also opt to gift a subscription of only pet-safe plants). And for anyone with a truly black thumb, add on Horti’s plant insurance, which includes a plant doctor at your fingertips for any questions and the possibility to replace it if it doesn’t survive.
Why it’s a great gift: While plenty of coffee roasters and companies offer subscriptions, but you’re usually stuck with only one brand’s coffees to choose from. MistoBox caters to true coffee lovers by working with more than 50 roasters and around 600 different coffees, meaning you might get a Costa Rican Sumava from Verve Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles one month and then the Belly Warmer blend from Methodical Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina, the next. What the recipient receives is determined by a detailed questionnaire they’ll fill out at the start of their subscription.
Why it’s a great gift: Japanophiles or anyone especially missing travel can do so via their tastebuds with this box. Bokksu was created in 2015 and partners with snack makers across Japan to send a themed box each month filled with delectable sweet and savory treats straight from Japan. Each box comes with a culture guide booklet where you can learn about each snack and who makes it. The recipient will get munchies like uni-flavored rice crackers, handmade yuzu sake candy, and addictive mochi puffs covered with roasted soybean powder that lends a nutty flavor.
Why it’s a great gift: Book of the Month’s debut goes back to 1926, making this gift the OG of subscription boxes. But any reader (or someone who wants to read more) will appreciate the possibility to select from five carefully curated books each month and then have the book shipped straight to their door. Authors from Toni Morrison to Sally Rooney to Colson Whitehead have been featured, and there’s always a good mix of up-and-coming authors and old favorites.
Why it’s a great gift: For the carnivores in your life whose happy place is hovering over a grill, Porter Road’s Grill Master Box is likely to be a hit. Each one comes loaded with a variety of grill-friendly items including two dry aged steaks, two pounds of dry aged burger patties, and two pounds of bratwurst sausage links. Opt to gift a three-, six-, or 12-month subscription, and your giftee will receive a new box monthly for the duration.
Why it’s a great gift: Give the gift of happiness and self-care with this monthly subscription box that was founded by an actual therapist. Each box includes a happiness activity in addition to 7 to 8 full-sized wellness items that add up to more than $120 in value. For example, one month might have a sleep theme that contains products curated by therapists (e.g., a CBD tincture, multivitamin sleeping mask, a sleep journal, a botanical water packed with adaptogens to help you feel sleepy, etc.).
Why it’s a great gift: If you’re struggling with what to buy your niece or nephew, just plug in their age to KiwiCo and a bevy of entertaining and educational options will come up that will have them receiving age-appropriate boxes filled with activities themed around everything from science to theater that will keep them busy for hours and away from a screen—not an easy feat.
Why it’s a great gift: Paru Tea Bar is a specialty tea shop in San Diego owned by couple Amy Truong and Lani Gobaleza who focus on loose leaf teas and tisanes blended in house with ingredients primarily sourced from family-owned tea farms in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Ideal for any tea drinker (or non-coffee person), each box includes three different bags of loose-leaf tea, a garnish like dried fruit or flowers to decorate and flavor your drinks, and an informative tea guide. Teas can range from a rooibos floral blend with chrysanthemums from Hangzhou to an earl gray with Italian bergamot oil and cornflower.
Why it’s a great gift: There are dozens of wine clubs out there, but few offer direct access to two of the best women in the biz: Beverage director of acclaimed Cote restaurant in New York and Miami, Victoria James, and Master Sommelier Mia Van de Water. Each month, your wine-loving recipient gets three hand-selected bottles sent to their door, including a mix of red, white, sparkling, rosé and beyond, with a focus on farmers and producers who are committed to organic, biodynamic, sustainable or la lutte raisonée practices. In addition, they get priority access to Cote Wine Club events and tastings (both in-person and virtual); monthly Zoom happy hours with Victoria and Mia to get the inside scoop on what’s new in the wine world; plus a membership card that gets them 10 percent off bottles at Cote and Convive Wine & Spirits.
Why it’s a great gift: For the person in your life who just needs to relax, these tasty and pretty CBD gummies arriving at their doorstep every month just might be the answer. Beautifully packaged in a high-end box and available in flavors like sparkling pomegranate, plum cardamom, elderflower grapefruit, and limited edition apple cinnamon and pear ginger for the holidays, they come in standard dose (25 mg) or high dose (50 mg) varieties. Members also get first dibs on new flavors and invites to taste testing opportunities and other events.
Why it’s a great gift: Did you know the Hudson Valley’s cult favorite pasta maker has a monthly subscription box? Any pasta lover (or human, really) will appreciate receiving two boxes of high-quality pasta per month along with original recipes for them. One box will be a signature organic semolina variety in one of their fun and original shapes while the other will be a seasonal specialty pasta made with ingredients from local Hudson Valley farms and purveyors like porcini trumpets or hemp zucca.
Why it’s a great gift: Booze snobs will love this monthly supply of premium whiskey or agave spirits selected by expert Flavien Desoblin, who owns NYC bars Brandy Library and Copper & Oak and has degrees in both distilling and the business of wine and spirits from his native France. Each package comes with a QR code that provides all the details about that month’s bottle, tasting videos, and exclusive programming about the spirit. Choose from American whiskey, whiskies from around the world, or agave-based spirits like tequila and mezcal and expect bottles like Del Maguey the Wild Mountain, Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Oak, and Glenfiddich XX. Your recipient will also gain early access to new and rare releases and get bonus gifts like glassware and coasters.
Why it’s a great gift: For skincare obsessives, this subscription sends at least three full-size bottles of top-shelf, all-natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free beauty products to their doorstep. For example, October’s box contained Aavrani’s Eye Rejuvenating Elixir to reduce dark circles around the eyes, Blüh Alchemy’s Toning Elixir to tighten pores and lock in moisture, and Maata’s Polish Cleansing Dirt, an energizing exfoliant. Everything they need for glowing skin!
Why it’s a great gift: Foodies who look down on boxes like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh will appreciate CrateChef, which caters to home cooks with cheffy aspirations and cooking skills. Each month’s box is curated by a professional chef, who includes some of their favorite products like jams, tools, and grains, plus a few recipes. For example, one recent box curated by Top Chef Season 7 contestant Kenny Gilbert included an OXO hand-held mandoline slicer, a quick pickling kit, Bob’s Red Mill red quinoa, gourmet orange marmalade, and three of this own personal spice blends to use in recipes like coffee-rubbed salmon with tomatillo pico de gallo and jerk broccoli with papaya chutney.