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Ask the Strategist: A Pillbox That Doesn’t Rattle or Wear Down the Edges of a Pill

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In our new advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and grill friends, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please comment with one of your own — we’re here to help.

Question: Is there such a thing as a pillbox that doesn’t rattle or wear down the edges of a pill? Like a pillbox that is lined in velvet or something?

Here’s the thing: Most pillboxes are designed either to be as organized as possible, leading to lots of compartments, or to be clear reminders that one should take one’s pills every day, so everything winds up in bright colors and hard plastic. Meanwhile, all the newfangled techie “smart” pillboxes are made to alert you or your loved ones if you’ve missed a day of pill taking. So in pretty much every case they’re plastic and noticeable and loud.

So the best place to look for a velvet-lined pillbox is on eBay or Etsy, where I managed to find an antique silver pillbox lined in red velvet, a half-travel-clock-half-velvet-lined-pillbox, and an interesting Japanese brocade box that twists and expands to open and close. All of those are the softest and quietest pill holder options.

The eBay antique silver pillbox with a velvet lining.

If you’re the DIY type, I might also suggest buying a ring box and cutting out the bottom cushion to make it deeper. From there, you’ll have a highly protected and quiet pillbox.

This Henri Bendel pouch has a canister of pills inside.

Another way to solve the problem of noisy pill rattling is putting the plastic pillboxes or canisters inside another case to muffle the noise, like this sporty one from Amazon or a slightly more attractive Saffiano leather Henri Bendel version. Still, that doesn’t solve the problem of a pill’s edges wearing down.

A soft plastic squeeze pouch that smothers rattling pill sounds

Happy Amazon reviewers also mention that this soft plastic squeeze pouch dampens sound, but it’s small, so it only carries around eight pills.

A handsome and discreet case that requires a couple of cotton balls.

And I’ll leave you here with a frequent pill carrier’s tip to keep the rattling at a minimum: Put a cotton ball or two inside the case. That stops the rattling, absorbs sounds, and it might even protect the pills from wearing down. If you do that, you can go with some more stylish options, like this Art Deco black and gold Cielo pill holder, a handsome round metal circular one that also comes with a mirror, or this foldable pink one that kind of makes you think it’s a children’s toy, but seems really practical with lots of compartments.

We’d love to hear from you. If you have any burning questions, please leave them for us in the comments.

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Ask the Strategist: A Discreet Pillbox