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16 Dec 2021

Best subscription boxes for gifting this Christmas

From beer and wine to beauty and the great outdoors, find a great subscription gift that's a treat for the entire year

If you're struggling to find the perfect Christmas present for a loved one, have you considered getting them a subscription gift that keeps on giving the whole year round?

There are hundreds of subscription services to choose from, and earlier this year we compared popular beer, wine club and beauty box subscriptions, as well as memberships to conservation charities such as Historic Royal Palaces, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Although some subscriptions can be a bit on the pricey side, you can find yearly UK Trust memberships for just £50 a year and annual beauty box subscriptions starting from £60.

But you will need to spend a lot more if you want to treat someone to a beer or wine subscription.

Below we round up the best subscription gifts for beer aficionados, wine lovers, beauty devotees and those who enjoy getting outdoors and visiting national parks and historic sites.

Which? Christmas gift ideas - find out our top picks for every budget

Beer subscriptions gifts

Beer subscriptions

The perfect gift for the beerologist in your life, a beer subscription can broaden a beer enthusiast's horizons.

Depending on the subscription you choose, your giftee can receive a selection of different ales, lagers, stouts and porters from all over the world each month.

Some of the subscriptions offer online tastings and come with magazines or information packs so you can learn more about the beers, including tasting notes and information on where and how that particular beer is made.

This year we compared nine of the UK's top beer subscriptions. The cheapest we looked at was BeerBods (eight beers for £24 every two months), while the most expensive was Beerwulf (four two-litre kegs for £49.90 a month).

There are also alcohol-free beer subscriptions available from Dry Drinkers (eight beers for £20 a month).

Wine club membership gifts

Wine clubs

If beer isn't their thing, how about wine? Wine clubs are a convenient way to have wine delivered to your loved one's door and help them to discover new styles of wine they might not have otherwise tried.

All the wine clubs we looked at offered a money back guarantee on any wine you buy that's not to your taste. They will refund the cost of the bottle and if you've bought more than one bottle of wine that you don't like, they will collect the remainder and refund you in full - providing you only drank one bottle from the case.

However, each wine club is slightly different; from minimum orders to delivery charges and joining fees to subscription charges. It's worth looking around and seeing what's in your budget.

When we compared wine clubs we looked at nine popular wine delivery services, including Naked Wines (£25 monthly fee), Laithwaites (£50 to join) and the Wine Society (£40 one-off fee to join).

Beauty box subscription gifts

Beauty box subscription gifts

Friends and family who love to be pampered will enjoy regularly receiving a beauty box containing a mixture of make-up, face, haircare and body products.

They usually include a mix of full-size products and decent-sized samples of more expensive products, which is useful because it means you can check whether you like a pricey product before making a big investment, so you'll not have wasted money or cluttered up your bathroom if you don't get on with it.

Also with some of the brands, you're able to purchase replacements of the products you've tried and liked at a discounted price.

Our researchers compared seven beauty subscription boxes earlier this year. Beauty Pie, Birchbox,FeelUnique, Glossybox,Latest In Beauty and Lookfantastic all cost between £12 and £15 each month.

But if your recipient has very expensive tastes you can go for Cohorted, which will set you back £40 a month, but it only features high-end luxury brands such as Elemis, Laura Mercier and Huda Beauty.

UK Trust subscription gifts

A membership to UK Trust is a great opportunity to make more of the great outdoors and learn about history and nature, whether you live in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or England.

Last summer we compared the prices, number of sites and membership benefits of eight UK Trusts.

Some, such as Cadw (130 sites, £52 a year) and Historic Scotland (200 sites, £58 a year), are regional only, but others such as the National Trust(500 sites, £72 a year) and Woodland Trust (800 woodlands to explore for £48 a year) give you access to locations all over the UK.

Membership benefits can differ, but usually include free entry to sites, free parking, membership packs, subscriptions to magazines they publish, discounts on guided walks and events, as well as a chance to participate in the activities of any local groups.

Are subscription gifts worth it?

man considering

Gift subscriptions have many benefits, but they can be expensive, especially over time.

In each of our subscription guides we provide information on how to cancel these subscriptions, and we'd encourage you to read the terms and conditions before signing up so you're not caught out.

Still not found the perfect present? For more gift ideas check out: