gifts they might actually want

The Best Subscription Services for Every Type of Person (That Also Make Great Gifts)

Photo: Nike Adventure Club

When you don’t know someone that well, or are just fresh out of ideas, it can be hard to find a gift that still feels thoughtful but doesn’t require much effort on your part. And though gift certificates are great, they can feel a little impersonal. Subscription boxes, however, fall right into that good-gift sweet spot. With so many different-themed boxes out there, choosing the right one shows that you at least put some thought into it — but because someone else is curating the box, putting it together, and doing the packaging and delivery, it’s just as simple as getting an e-gift card. To make it even easier, we curated a list of some of the best giftable subscription services out there — many of which our writers and editors have tried themselves, so they’re actually good, not just boxes of junk.

Below, our picks for the best subscription boxes to gift to every person on your list. For the wine drinker, the beauty blogger, the avid reader, and even the new parents, there is a subscription for just about everyone on your list, and it keeps giving and giving. And for ease of navigation, we’ve categorized these subscriptions into five sections: Food and Drink, Beauty and Grooming, Books, Kids, and Home.

Food and drink

For the person who thinks loving cheese is a personality trait

This entry-level subscription will let them try three to four cheeses a month, though at the highest level you can get a full cheese board — perfect for people who entertain regularly (or, at least, used to).

For the person who always has a cavity

From $25

Keep their sweet tooth satisfied with a monthly rotation of six six-ounce candy cups.

For the person who misses the office snacks

From $27

Send this to your favorite co-worker who misses the office snack program. SnackNation will send you a box of healthy-ish snacks — options range between 15 and 50 snacks per box — to make working from home a little easier.

For a sommelier-in-training (or wanna-be)

Those who are looking to actually learn about wine, rather than just drink it, will appreciate that SommSelect’s monthly send is curated by master sommelier Ian Cauble, and that for $99 a month, they’ll get a selection of four wines curated around a theme, be it a specific region or grape variety. (But that also means they don’t get much of a say in what they get, so it’s good if they’re a bit adventurous.)

For the person who only likes “buttery” Chardonnays

$39

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a subscription service for someone with particular taste, Winc is a nice option, because each month’s shipment is tailored to their preferences, thanks to a quiz they take at sign-up. Plus, every month, your recipient can rate the wines they receive, so their subscription can be even more dialed in.

For the person who insists that natural wine tastes good

Photo: retailer

Even though it’s often described as “funky,” natural wine has its fans — and for those people, Primal Wine Club is a nice option. The subscription starts at $85 for three bottles of wine, and they can be all-red, all-white, or a mix.

For the newlyweds who canceled their reception

From $199

Sure, at $199 a month, this is a bit of a splurge. But for the couple who got married in quarantine — or had to cancel a wedding — this quarterly shipment of Champagne is a fun way to keep the celebration going (even if they’re doing it alone in their house).

For the lightweight drinker

If you know multiple bottles of wine would go to waste on someone, Vine Box sends nine wines by the glass, rather than a full bottle, perfect for both the occasional drinker and those who like to try before they buy.

For the coffee lover who only drinks single-origin

Trade uses a quiz to match recipients with one of more than 400 coffees in their collection, curated from 54 local roasters spread across 38 states, so even the most picky coffee snobs should find something to suit their taste.

For the Starbucks lover who’s sick of Starbucks

If they’re graduating to a proper coffee-brewing setup for the first time, Driftaway might be a better option than Trade. That’s because their first subscription box will be a tasting kit of four two-ounce bags of coffee, and after you review those, you’ll be able to tailor your future shipments.

Beauty and Grooming

For the person who’s still trying to master Euphoria makeup looks

$15

Make sure the person making beauty videos on TikTok always has a new product to tell their followers about with Birchbox, one of the original beauty subscription boxes. Each month Birchbox will send a curated selection of five deluxe beauty samples —skin care, makeup or hair care — based on their preferences. And if they really like something, they can buy the full-size version directly from Birchbox too.

For the person who likes their beauty samples Costco-sized

Ipsy
From $50
From $50

Ipsy offers cheaper subscriptions than this $50-per-month option, but with this level you are actually getting eight full-size products, four deluxe samples, and a themed makeup bag.

For the skin-care obsessive

If they’ve been complaining about maskne, get them Dermstore’s Beautyfix box which delivers at least six skin-care products valued at over $100 — including lots of Strategist favorites. (For example, September’s box included samples from Skinceuticals, Dermologica, and Nouri.)