Best Subscription Boxes in Canada: Top 10 Picks and Tips on How to Choose the Best One
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Receiving a subscription box and unpacking it feels almost like unwrapping a present.
Don’t you agree?
But you can enjoy the feeling only if your subscription service is good. So, I want to share an assortment of best subscription boxes in Canada and a few tips on how to pick what works for you. Let’s cut to the chase!
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Our List of the Best Subscription Boxes in Canada
Best Overall – Editor’s Pick - TheraBox
- curated by therapists to deliver the most tailored, effective set of goods for stress relief;
- more than $100 retail worth in one box, can help you save money on regular shopping;
- each box includes 1 happiness activity to boost your mood every month;
- includes aromatherapy products for stress management;
- uses only natural or organic skincare and body products.
This box deserves to be among the best subscription boxes in Canada thanks to its thoughtfully picked contents that aim to help you feel better (both mentally and physically). Since the service is curated by therapists, each component works to help you deal with the everyday life stress. The box includes products that belong to the aromatherapy, lifestyle, and skincare categories. You may also find bath and body products, all-natural and safe for everyday use.
- Carefully curated by therapists to provide stress-relieving products
- Includes a happiness activity to boost your mood every month
- Includes only natural or organic body and skincare products
- Some users complain about delayed delivery and slow customer service response
- May be more suited for younger customers as some of the items are targeted towards a younger audience (for instance, “Unicorn body scrub” or “Hangover tea”)
Best for Artists - Paletteful Packs
- various pack options to fit different budgets and satisfy different categories of users (more experienced artists, someone who doesn’t paint that often, kids);
- supplies vary and change every month to keep your collection versatile;
- each month is themed, so the art supplies in each box are cohesive and allow to create an art project from scratch;
- the company posts videos and tutorials for their boxes for those users who need an inspirational boost;
- includes supplies for different techniques, which promotes learning and creativity.
The Paletteful Packs is one of the best subscription boxes in Canada that delivers quality art supplies to those who love painting, sketching, and creating. There are multiple box sizes available for different budgets and preferences. Each monthly box is themed (for example watercolors, scratching, or acrylics) and can be enough for an independent art project.
- Quality supplies, good value for money
- Suitable for all levels of experience
- Promotes creativity and art experiments as different boxes include different art techniques
- Various size and price options to satisfy a wide range of users depending on how much they want to receive each month
- Delivery (outside of the US) may require extra fees
- No tutorials included in the box, you will have to search for them online if needed
Best for Science Lovers - MATTER
- inexpensive and suitable for limited budgets;
- suitable for both adults and kids (with adult supervision);
- includes scientific tools for experimentation and interactive projects;
- carbon-neutral shipping, good news for environmentally-conscious shoppers;
- 3-month plan available, which allows you to save 10% when compared to the monthly plan.
The next item on our list of the top-notch monthly subscription boxes in Canada is the Matter, which isn’t your regular self-care or gift assortment. The Matter includes scientific tools and samples for all the curious minds out there. Depending on the month, you can receive equipment for experiments, natural specimens, interactive projects, prehistoric fossils, and more.
- Each object comes with a detailed description, which promotes learning and can help you expand your knowledge
- 3-month plan available if you want to save some money
- Suitable for both children and adults
- Each box contains interesting specimens and unique samples, so you aren’t likely to get bored
- Some items are hard to estimate, which means the retail value of the box isn’t clear (and you don’t know whether it’s worth your money)
Best for Quest Lovers - Escape the Crate
- includes all the necessities for an in-home quest;
- new theme for every game to keep you entertained;
- ships every 2 months, so you aren’t likely to get tired of it or bored;
- suitable for both adults and children, so the whole family can enjoy the game;
- can be used solo or in a group of people, which makes it suitable for a wide range of shoppers.
What makes this service one of the best subscription boxes in Canada is the fact that it can help you enjoy the fun of an escape room in the comfort of your home. Each box includes all the necessary tools, notes, puzzles, and accessories to enjoy an at least 1-hour game. The game is connected to the website, where you can check whether your guesses are right or not.
- Affordably priced, suited for different budgets
- Can be played with kids and adults, which makes it ideal for family game nights
- Suitable for both solo users and larger companies
- New theme every time, won’t make you feel bored
- Occasionally, some boxes may come missing some puzzle pieces, as some users note
Best for Spiritual Practice - Goddess Provisions
- all the products are vegan and cruelty-free, which may be important for some shoppers;
- the company plants a tree for each sold box, making a good impact on the environment;
- multiple plans available (monthly or 3, 6, and 12-month prepay), which allows users to save money;
- includes full-size products that you will able to use longer;
- includes tools for spiritual growth practice to keep you centered and relaxed.
Another worthy Canadian subscription box is the Goddess Provisions, which is meant to deliver all the necessities for spiritual practice and growth. The box is actually shipped from the US, like many others, and includes crystals, healthy snacks, spiritual tools, beauty products, and more. There are multiple subscription plans available, so you are free to choose whichever works for you.
- Uses only vegan and cruelty-free products
- Various plans for different budgets
- The company plants a tree for each box bold
- Includes healthy snacks and tea
- Full-size products so that you could use them longer
- The company claims that each box is worth more than $100, which is doubtful given the number and the quality of products inside
Best for the Fans of DIY - The Adults & Crafts Crate
- multiple subscription plans for your convenience;
- new DIY project each month, will keep you entertained and excited;
- each box includes all the needed tools, materials, and instructions, so you won’t need any extra accessories;
- many of the projects are functional, which means you will be able to use the final product in your home;
- encourages users to learn new skills every month.
The next subscription service that deserves to be called one of the best subscription boxes in Canada is the Adults & Crafts, which offers curated DIY projects for teens and adults. Each box comes equipped with everything you may require for your arts and crafts sessions, so you don’t have to worry about buying some extra tools or accessories. Each box also includes a detailed, well-written instruction to keep the task frustration-free.
- Multiple subscription plans available for shoppers with different budgets and preferences
- Includes all the needed tools and materials, so there’s no need to go to your local craft store
- Well-written, clear instructions
Includes trendy projects so that you don’t get bored with each new box
- Some of the projects are for decorative purposes, which may disappoint some users, especially those expecting to create functional pieces for their home
Best for Bookworms - Once Upon a Book Club
- two options for adults and young adults;
- each box includes wrapped gifts with page numbers on them (that you are supposed to open once you reach the page, which is great to keep you motivated to read);
- discussion suggestions in case you want to organize a book club with your fellow bookworms;
- all the gifts correspond with the theme of the book (or support a quote from the book) to offer you a unique reading experience;
- discussions are marked with dates, so you can discuss the book with fellow readers on Instagram.
If you enjoy reading, this subscription box will take your experience to a whole new level. Thanks to its unique approach and mindful gifts, the Once Upon a Book Club encourages people to read and helps them enjoy the process fully.
- Suited for adults and young adults, can satisfy a wider range of readers
- Includes book-related gifts and motivates reading
- Discussion prompts for your book club
- Gives readers a chance to talk about the current book online, which is also a great way to make new acquaintances
- Based on users’ reviews, delivery issues and delays are possible
Best for Self-Care - Feeling Fab
- natural beauty products, safe for the skin;
- multiple size and price options to satisfy shoppers with different budgets;
- includes spiritual growth tools such as self-care trackers and mood charts;
- stress-reducing tools (gratitude and journal prompts, etc.);
- Each box includes a self-care guide and a stress-reducing activity suggestion.
Dedicated to making you look and feel good, the Feeling Fab can easily be called one of the best subscription boxes in Canada in the self-care category. Not only does each box contain handy goodies for your face and body but also helpful guides and stress-relief tips and suggestions. You can choose between 2 sizes, as there is also a mini box (for a cheaper price).
- Not centered around self-care products but also includes wellness and spiritual tools
- Natural skincare and body products, safe to use daily
- Two sizes (and prices) available for different preferences
- 1, 3, and 6-month subscription available, good for value seekers
- Some of the items arrive in travel size, which may disappoint some users
Best for Family Game Nights - Finders Seekers
- each box is city-themed (new city every month), great for travel enthusiasts;
- suitable for family game nights as even children (10+) can participate;
- each box includes clues so that you don’t get stuck and frustrated;
- educational, allows players to explore the traditions of different countries while playing;
- generally, allows for around 2-4 hours of fun, which is ideal for monthly family game nights.
If you feel like some Canadian subscription boxes don’t have enough mystery surrounding them, then you will love the Finders Keepers, a subscription service that sends thrilling puzzles right to your door monthly. Each box is themed according to a certain city, which makes the game educational and fun. The scenarios in each box are suited for children as well, so everyone can be included.
- Prepay subscriptions available, good for value seekers
- Fun and educational, helps players explore different cities and discover new information about cultures
- Suitable for families with kids, ideal for game nights
- Includes hints and clues to save you from frustration
- Delivery delays are possible
- May seem too challenging to some users
Best for Detective Fans - The Deadbolt Mystery Society Monthly Box
- puzzles and scenarios designed and written by escape room creators for improved user experience;
- each game is a stand-alone mystery, which means you don’t need the previous boxes to complete a puzzle;
- every box is themed differently to keep players entertained and motivated;
- connects to the online content for a more immersive experience;
- suitable for adults and kids (13+), so everyone in the family can participate.
Being one of the most exciting subscription boxes out there, the Deadbolt Mystery Society is suited for all the detectives out there. This box service allows you to solve mysteries in the comfort of your home. You will need a tablet or a smartphone that can read QR codes to enjoy the full interactive experience, as there are exciting online components involved in each mystery.
- Suitable for family game nights, so everyone can be included
- Each box features a new story, so you can complete a new puzzle every month
- Works with online components for a more fun experience
- Designed and written by escape room experts, includes interesting characters and unique scenarios to keep you entertained
- Some users note that occasional puzzles can be poorly-clued, which can take more time solving them
Types of Subscription Boxes
When looking for good subscription services in Canada, you will stumble across two main types.
The first type is a regular subscription to specific goods or products that you often use. For instance, you can get a monthly coffee subscription and get fresh coffee beans delivered right to your doorstep. Many users receive their favorite shaving products every two weeks. Others subscribe to pet food services and get dog food delivered every 2 months, for instance. Basically, such services offer people the convenience of getting the needed product on time regularly.
The second type of subscription boxes is often called the discovery boxes or discovery commerce. These boxes are filled with products and goodies that fall under a coherent theme. These boxes are personally curated, which means the contents should appeal to a specific interest or category.
Such subscription boxes can fall under various categories, including the assortments of snacks, beauty products, clothes, accessories, workout equipment, DIY tools and materials, food and cooking, hiking accessories, etc. The main idea is for all the products in the box to relate to each other or complement the general theme. You get different products every time, which is why discovery commerce is favored by many users (the element of surprise adds excitement).
Are Subscription Boxes Really Worth It?
No matter which subscription box type you decide to choose, you might still be thinking whether it’s really worth it.
And I get it. You will be charged regularly for a box of mystery. And while you can always cancel the subscription, it’s helpful to consider all the pros and cons before actually committing to a certain service.
So, let’s start with the advantages, as they usually outweigh the cons:
- Convenience. Having the things you need delivered to your door regularly without even placing an order is extremely convenient. You fill your address information only once and can forget about all the fuss that usually comes with online shopping.
- Customization. It can be hard for consumers to settle on the product that they need. That’s why subscription boxes are a great idea. You get curated products that fit your interest and satisfy your requirements without the need to spend hours shopping and trying to pick among the endless options (1).
- Price. Often, it is cheaper to receive customized subscription boxes than to buy all the stuff you need separately in stores. Moreover, many subscription services in Canada offer regular discounts to their customers, which can help you save a few bucks.
- Exciting unpredictability (to some extent). Getting a new assortment every month can be very intriguing. It’s almost like unwrapping Christmas presents: you aren’t sure what you will get, but you certainly are excited about it. However, since the products in the subscription boxes are supposed to cover your interests and fit within a specific theme, this unpredictability shouldn’t be disappointing (unlike Christmas presents, when you get a pair of fluffy socks instead of the hoped-for Game Boy).
Now, moving on to potential disadvantages you may face:
- Problematic returns. While some subscription box companies allow customers to exchange or return the products they don’t like, sometimes it can be too much of a fuss (and may even result in extra shipping expenses).
- Unclear value. When shopping, you know exactly how much you pay for each item. With subscription boxes, it remains a mystery. This makes it harder to figure out whether the box is really worth its price.
- Difficulty quitting. Unsubscribing should be easy, all you have to do is cancel, right? Still, many companies make you go through several circles of hell, so to say, before you can cancel your subscription. Oftentimes, the hassle of it can make customers keep paying for the service.
- Overbuying. Frequently, subscription services send their clients much more products than they would buy themselves (2). This may result in getting the goods you don’t actually need. And the more boxes you get, the more stuff you accumulate, which can be a big issue for some users.
Tips on How to Choose a Good Subscription Box in Canada
Monthly subscription boxes in Canada come in all shapes and sizes (meaning that they fall under various categories).
That’s why it can be hard to pick one. And it’s even harder to find a good one, something you will be happy to receive every month and not feel disappointed.
Here are a few tips on how to choose a suitable subscription box service:
- Narrow your interests down. If you can easily buy your favorite face cream in the local store, there’s really no need to subscribe to a beauty box that offers 20 different samples every month (for example). Think about the stuff you can’t get around your area, or just something you are interested in and want to get more of. As soon as you determine what product you want the most, the list of potential subscription boxes will narrow down.
- Consider the budget. This one is easy: think about how much you are willing to spend every month (or more frequently, depending on the service). While you can cancel the subscription, you need to make sure that you can afford it in the first place. Also, keep in mind that typically, the cheapest boxes don’t often contain full-size products.
- Decide on the frequency of deliveries. How often do you want (or need) to receive your box of goodies? Monthly subscription is among the most popular ones, but some companies offer deliveries every 2 weeks or even once a week, depending on the product.
- Do your research. Checking the reviews is always a good idea. You can see how the “customization” part works and whether people get their expectations met. Additionally, there are tons of subscription box unpacking videos on YouTube. You can check those to see what products the company usually includes.
- Compare the cost. To see whether the subscription box is really worth its price, you can try to compare the cost of the contents to the retail prices (if those can be found in your area). Another thing you can do is compare the cost of different subscription services that fall under the same category of goods. Some companies are willing to offer more for a lower price to gain loyal customers. That can help you find a better value for money.
- Return policy. Always check the return policy before starting a subscription. Trying to return something you don’t like can be a real pain, so if you aren’t 100% sure you will love the subscription service, it’s better to check if the return policy suits you.
- Cancellation policy. As mentioned before, some companies make it challenging to quit their service. It’s important to check whether there will be any surprise charges or penalties in case of cancellation.
Are subscription boxes a waste of money?
Not necessarily. Subscription boxes can be a great way to try and test various goods without buying their full-sized versions. It may turn into a waste of money if you receive more goods than you need (or typically use), which means you would buy more items than you normally do (and hence, spend more money).
Can I buy just one box without subscribing to the service?
Yes, most subscription box companies have a Gift option, which allows users to buy only one box without subscribing to the service. Another way to get only one box is to subscribe to the service, receive your first box, and then cancel the subscription.
What is the main drawback of subscription services?
The biggest flaw of subscription boxes is probably their unclear value. It can be hard to estimate how much the items cost, which means there will always be a chance of your overpaying for your box.
What is the biggest benefit of getting subscription boxes?
It depends on your initial goal and desires, but mainly, subscription boxes are the most favored for their convenience. This includes delivery (often to your doorstep), fresh goods (if we’re talking about food or, let’s say, coffee), and various assortments (which means more variety and excitement for you).
The world of subscription boxes is fun and full of excitement. Plus, this shopping method is extremely convenient.
And to enjoy it to the fullest, you need to be careful when picking your subscription box company in Canada. Decide on your budget and pay attention to the cancellation policies (just in case). You can also check the unpacking videos online to get a rough idea of what to expect from your subscription box.
And if you are still hesitant, I would love to help you settle on at least one subscription service. The TheraBox is curated by therapists, so each box is filled with care and goodies to make you feel better (both physically and mentally).
What do you think? Which subscription box did you like the most? Let us know in the comments below!
- Greg Petro (2019, April 12). Why Subscription Boxes Are Here to Stay. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2019/04/12/why-subscription-boxes-are-here-to-stay/#611488207037
- Nancy Louis (2020, June 25). The Pros and Cons of Monthly Subscription Boxes. Retrieved from https://globalbrandsmagazine.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-monthly-subscription-boxes/
Subscription Boxes Considered
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