It’s that time of year again when we feel pressured to come up with new and exciting ways to surprise our friends and family with gifts they’ll appreciate. If you’re reading this and are already starting to panic — don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of ideas that should help alleviate the stress.
Subscription boxes are a popular gift idea for those who want to keep sharing the love for weeks, months and years to come. Personally, these are fun to buy for loved ones who live far away, especially if they can’t visit during the holidays. It also gives us an excuse to chat every month and hear about which items they love the most. If they’re nice, they’ll even send you the products they don’t want!
There are endless options out there, so even the most difficult people to shop for can find something they enjoy. We hunted down a few that we think you would enjoy– based on quality, uniqueness and overall the best bang for your buck.
Here are the 10 subscription boxes we recommend:
Best customized subscription box: Bespoke Post
Price: $49 per month or $70 for one box
Unlike other subscription boxes that cater to one niche — beauty, fitness, fashion and so on — Bespoke Post offers boxes that cater to a wide range of interests, including camping, cooking, hiking and traveling. The best part about Bespoke Post is that it finds products from small businesses in hopes that customers will discover new, emerging brands.
After filling out a short quiz, Bespoke Post selects monthly boxes based on your loved ones’ preferences. Are they a coffee aficionado or do they prefer smoking cigars? Whatever it is, there’s probably a box for them. Members get a preview of the box and can either keep it, swap it for another box or skip.
Best subscription box for gamers and geeks: Loot Crate
Price: $9.99 per month or $30 per box
For the gamers, geeks and anime lovers out there, Loot Crate has all the pop culture goodies, from video game gear and movie collectibles to anime merch, manga and more. Past bundles have featured items from Fallout, Harry Potter and Berserk, among other popular franchises.
Best subscription box for tech lovers: Breo Box
Price: $145/quarterly or $160 per box
If you know anyone who loves technology and gadgets (who’s also a TechCrunch reader, perhaps?), then check out Breo Box — the quarterly subscription box that introduces five to eight neat new gadgets that are up to $1,200 in value. Some Fall 2023 highlights included an on-the-go iron for quickly removing wrinkles before an important meeting and a compact, portable booklight.
Best subscription box for foodies: Read It and Eat It
Read It and Eat It has just the subscription box that foodies need — especially if they like to snack when they read. The quarterly subscription box features a food-focused book and three to five items from small businesses, such as snacks, baking kits, sampler kits, spices and seasonings and more. For instance, the “Eat a Peach” memoir by famous chef David Chang would be paired with food from his brand Momofuku.
The box themes for 2024 include breakfast food in February, mocktails in May, pasta in August and global spices in November. Past boxes had hot sauces, donuts, a selection of cheeses and more. There’s also a box called “Blind Date with a Book,” which includes a snack from a small business and one surprise book based on a genre selected by the customer.
Plus, when you purchase a subscription box, the company donates $5 to organizations in Buffalo, New York to fight hunger.
We also recommend Once Upon a Book Club, a subscription that has surprise gifts for readers to open as they read, and Used Books Monthly, which offers a bundle of used books to help reduce waste.
Best subscription box for thespians: Broadway Book Club
If you know any theater buffs in your inner circle, then Broadway Book Club is right up their alley. This quarterly subscription box features seven plays curated by Tony award-winning playwrights from the Broadway Licensing catalog. The box also comes with a note from the playwright.
There are also specialty boxes like a collection of high school theatre plays, college theatre titles and plays by Black playwrights and women.
Best subscription box for dinner hosts: Platterful
Price: Standard kits are $65 per month. Large kits cost $99 per month.
The butter board TikTok trend may be over, but charcuterie boards are timeless. Platterful’s charcuterie kits come with a selection of cheeses, meats, dried fruits, olives, candied nuts, chocolate and other delicious accompaniments. The standard kit feeds one to four people whereas the large kit can feed six to eight. Platterful also offers vegan, nut-free and gluten-free options. Similar to Read It and Eat It, the company donates 10 meals for every box sold.
Best subscription box for puzzlers: Jiggy Puzzle Club
Price: $34 per month
Jiggy Puzzle Club is a monthly subscription for avid puzzlers looking to expand their collection. Each box comes with a 500-piece puzzle designed by independent artists from around the world. Jiggy also has a junior subscription box for kids.
Best subscription box for self care: TheraBox
Price: $35 per month
We all know someone who deserves to have a self-care day. TheraBox features eight full-sized wellness items that are worth over $200, including essential oils, candles, skincare, bath bombs, body care products and more. The box also comes with a therapist-approved “Happiness Boosting Activity,” such as guided meditations, games and therapeutic art.
Best subscription box for creatives: SketchBox
Price: $25 per month
Whether your loved one is an aspiring artist or just someone looking for a creative outlet, SketchBox is perfect for anyone who wants to try out new art techniques. SketchBox includes a selection of art supplies as well as an inspirational piece of art from the featured artist of the month. The box also features art materials and products before they hit stores.
In addition to supplies, SketchBox provides a how-to video demonstrating different techniques. There’s also a 30-day free trial included for those who want to try the augmented reality tracing app Cupixel, which has AI-powered features like “Smart Trace” to help trace an outline, and a photo converter.
Best beauty subscription box: Kinder Beauty Box
Price: $27 per month
Founded by vegan and animal activists Daniella Monet and Evanna Lynch, Kinder Beauty Box guarantees 100% vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. The company curates monthly subscription boxes containing five full-sized and sample-sized items valued at up to $165. Kinder Beauty also donates a portion of the sales to animal rights and environmental causes.