Who doesn’t like to receive flowers? For a last-minute go-to gift, a beautiful bunch rarely disappoints. Whether your friend is getting married, it’s your mum’s birthday or you need to cheer up a pal who’s endured a recent run of bad luck, a colourful bouquet will always earn you more brownie points than a hastily-purchased bottle of red from Tesco.
Traditionally, though, flower delivery could be tricky. If someone wasn’t in to receive them from the courier, the bouquet could end up wilted and disheveled on the doorstep (or back to the depot).
The solution? Letterbox flowers. By packaging the stems flat, in a box slim enough to fit through the front door (sometimes with net covers protecting the most fragile buds), you can head off any potential delivery disappointments before they arise.
Nothing’s perfect, though – you do have to be sure that someone will be home at some point on the day of arrival as these bunches aren’t packaged with water, so will need to be tended to swiftly to prevent drooping. Also, as many companies use external couriers, sometimes the flowers don’t always make it through the letterbox (a quarter of our boxes were left on the doorstep instead) but, you know, there’s not much more you can do to ensure they arrive on time.
How did we test the letterbox flowers?
We ordered bouquets from 15 services, sending them to addresses around the country, both urban and rural. To find the best of the bunch(es), we asked the recipients to follow the brand’s care instructions carefully and report back to Good Housekeeping when their flowers reached the end of their shelf life.
On ordering, we assessed the selection available, the ease of the process and information provided about the bouquet. We tested any apps if the brand had them, too. We were looking for low (or hopefully free) delivery and flexible payment options. We took into account delivery charges and flexibility and sized-up gift card options and add-ons.
So, drumroll… which letterbox flower delivery service is best for your needs?
Which letterbox flower delivery service is best?
Best letterbox flowers: Bloom & Wild
Best same day: Bloom & Wild
Best value: Zing
Best out-of-the-ordinary: Funky Pigeon
Best ethical credentials: Appleyard
Best for Sunday delivery: Marks & Spencer
Best of the rest: Postabloom & Waitrose
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Best letterbox flowers
Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild
The-need-to-know: We asked the Good Housekeeping team which flowers they send as gifts and Bloom & Wild’s slick service came up time and again for its long-lasting, creative arrangements, which can be ordered in two minutes via its app.
The best bits: Recipients praised the arrangement instructions, which were clear and allowed for some creativity. Flowers lasted more than ten days. We also liked that you can customise the card with your own image for free and there is a choice of luxury add-ons running the gamut from Prestat chocolates to Cowshed goodies.
Take note: Like some others on this list, the flowers are sent by Royal Mail, which isn’t a guaranteed next-day service. The brand says 94% arrive on the chosen day, and all ours did but it is something to consider if the date is non-negotiable.
No. of options: 17
Price range: £22-£45
Delivery options: Royal Mail Tracked (94% delivered next-day)
The-need-to-know: Zing offers an attractive selection of reasonably-priced seasonal bouquets with guaranteed next-day arrival There were four bouquets under £25 when we ordered and all but one were under £30 including delivery.
The best bits: As well as the price, we were impressed with the varied bouquets on offer, which included the likes of lilies and snapdragons. Our tester liked the presentation of the box on delivery, which was tied with a yellow ribbon and came with a packet of Love Hearts sweets. Take note: The delivery charge is more than most on the list and the company doesn’t offer Sunday delivery.
No. of options: 10
Price range: £16-£29.98 plus delivery
Delivery options: Next-day delivery £4, Saturday £8.99
Best value for money
Marks & Spencer
The-need-to-know: All of Marks’ letterbox options are available for free Sunday delivery so it was a no-brainer that it topped this category. And with more than half coming in at £25 or under, it was also a close-run contest between M&S and Zing for the best-value accolade.
The best bits: The ordering process is very slick, particularly if you use M&S’s app. Our tester was very impressed with how long-lasting the flowers were, reporting that they looked good for more than 10 days, with just a few curled petals to remove to keep them looking spritely.
Take note: The selection is small compared to competitors: five at the time of ordering, but those they have are attractive. Our recipient’s flowers were left on the doorstep, despite fitting through the letterbox.
No. of options: 5
Price range: £22-£30
Delivery options: Free next-day or nominated day delivery, some Sunday options
The-need-to-know: Okay, we know ‘rainbow’ flowers – that’s when petals are dyed multiple colours – won’t be everyone, but if you are looking for something a bit different, try Funky Pigeon. The brand best known for its personalised cards, also has a ‘unicorn’ selection in the range (carnations in pretty pastel colors).
The best bits: Our tester was impressed that her flowers lasted two weeks and as such, felt they were good value for the money.
Take note: There were no arrangement instructions with the flowers. For the person gifting, delivery is more expensive than most: £4 on bouquets under £30, but it is guaranteed on your chosen day (unlike those sent by Royal Mail).
No. of options: 12
rice range: £19.99 – £35.99 + delivery
Delivery options: £4 guaranteed next-day delivery (including Sunday) for boxes under £30 (6/7 when we ordered)
Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild
The-need-to-know: Bloom & Wild were the only letterbox company that offered a same-day service. It’s available in central London (zones 1 and 2 and some zone 3 when we looked).
The best bits: Our flowers arrived within the four-hour time slot, which you can choose and were the same standard as the main range.
Take note: As mentioned, the service is so far only available in the capital and as you’d expect, the price is higher than the next-day option (ours was £11 more), and there are far fewer to choose from – three when we ordered.
No. of options: 3
Price range: £37-£39
Delivery options: Four-hour time slot, which you can choose at the time of ordering.
Best ethical option
The-need-to-know: Appleyard impressed us with its plastic-free packaging made from fully-recyclable paper and cardboard. The brand is working to ensure packaging produces as little waste as possible – and only uses sustainably-sourced blooms from Fairtrade farms in its bouquets.
The best bits: First impressions were good – testers liked the smart white packaging with its floral illustrations and that the flowers were tied with a bow. Despite a lack of instructions, it was easy enough to copy the picture online and the flowers closely resembled the image when arranged. The ordering process was quick and easy and the box arrived promptly the next morning.
Take note: One tester said the box was too large for her non-traditional letterbox, so that’s something to bear in mind.
No. of options: 7
Price range: £29.99 – £31.99
Delivery options: Free untracked next-day delivery when you order before 3:30pm, with two tracked options for an extra fee
Best of the rest
The-need-to-know: This is a luxury option with higher prices to match, but next-day delivery is free and our recipient loved the high quality flowers that arrived. Plus, we bagged a 10% discount with the code SAVE10. The nine bouquets on offer are diverse and very pretty – several feature luxurious lilies and we spotted one with Snapdragons, which we thought was unusual for a letterbox option.
The best bits: After arriving promptly, the flowers closely resembled the website’s picture, the recipient had no trouble with assembly and they lasted a full seven days. Each bud was packaged individually, creating a sense that real care had been taken with the order. The website had beautiful, clear imagery and the purchasing process was fast and intuitive. As a bonus, this brand offers a free card with every order – and had the best selection of all those we tried.
Take note: While our tester liked how well-packaged these flowers were, they did come wrapped in plastic, so might not be the best option for your more environmentally-conscious friends.
No. of options: 9
Price range: £26.99 – £31.99
Delivery options: Free next-day delivery
Best of the rest
The-need-to-know: Waitrose’s £28 option offers a generous 20 stems, which is impressive for the price. The bouquets available change regularly depending on the season and are cheaper than some of the others on this list. Next-day delivery is always free – even on Sundays.
The best bits: Flowers arrived promptly the next morning and our recipient loved her “beautiful” bunch. They had begun to wilt by the time she got to the box at the end of the day, but perked back up with a drink of water, ultimately lasting a good week.
Take note: There’s only four letterbox bouquets on offer, which may be a problem if you like a big selection to peruse (but, really, they’re all lovely).
No. of options: 4
Price range: £22-£28
Delivery options: Free next-day delivery, including Sundays
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