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16 Best Under-The-Radar Subscription Boxes – 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards

Christen Russo
ByChristen RussoSep 2, 2020 | 4 comments

Best Unknown Subscription Boxes

If you've tried all of the most popular subscription boxes, you might be curious about indie subscription brands and how they stack up. They may not have the name-brand recognition of the biggest players in the industry, but there are definitely great examples of quality and curation among boxes with a smaller subscriber base!

This list contains our readers' favorite indie subscriptions of 2020. You'll find fantastic options for home decor, lifestyle, stationery, and books, all thoughtfully curated by small businesses and with a brilliant balance of authenticity, value, and excitement. Perfect for folks who want a more intimate-feeling subscription experience, these under-the-radar boxes make for a spectacular surprise each month or quarter.

The Most Popular Subscription Boxes You've Never Heard Of, Per Our Readers

Our readers say these unique subscriptions are worth checking out:

1. Cloth & Paper

contents of march 2018 cloth and paper

Image from our review.

The Cost: $18 per month for the Penspiration subscription, $38 per month for the Planner Stationery box, and $48 per month for both. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

"This box is a modern take at stationery. My workday can be stressful, and this box provides items that keep my work fun and professional. I love how clean, creative, beautiful, and to the point the items are. It's a great way to treat yourself at work and home!" - Maria C.

"My wellness is Cloth and Paper. Getting organized and planning helps to keep me peaceful and relaxed." -CSPThePlanner

"Beautiful and functional planners as well as stationery. Some very unique pieces." - Etta

What Makes This Box Unique: Cloth & Paper may specialize in leather-bound planners, hard-to-find pens, and exclusive stationery, but it's about more than just a tidy desk. This subscription aims to enhance your entire life by inserting clean lines and minimalist simplicity into your everyday. Offering the gift of an orderly agenda managed in style, this high-quality subscription is beloved by office supply nerds all over!

Check out all of our Cloth & Paper reviews and our Cloth & Paper details to learn more. Ships worldwide at varying rates.


2. JourneeBox by Kevia

group shot of all items from JourneeBox by Kevia

Image from our review.

The Cost: $54.99 per quarter. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

"Such good value! An absolute delight." - Beth

“The Kevia Journee Box is an amazingly curated seasonal box. It has high quality products, it rewards annual membership with extra items every box, and the curation makes sense throughout the box. It is very thoughtful. It is also sustainable and ethical.” – MonicaHeartRN

“This is my new favorite hands down. So thoughtfully curated and not a thing is the 'same old same old.' Also, if there is a clothing type item, they are size inclusive!” – Cately

What Makes This Box Unique: JourneeBox is a quarterly box of treasures containing ethically-made, sustainable items from Kevia's proprietary collection, and fair-trade finds from around the world. With each box, subscribers will have some options for customization so that on arrival day, you'll be delighted with lifestyle, home, body, fashion, and food items that are tailored to your tastes. Inspired by nature and designed for luxury, the products in this seasonal subscription are aimed to enhance your home and life.

Check out our JourneeBox reviews and JourneeBox details to learn more. Ships to the US & Canada for free.


3. Fortune Cookie Soap Box

Four handmade body items.

Image from our review.

The Cost: The monthly subscription costs $16.95 per month. The quarterly subscription costs $67.80 per year, billed annually. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say: 

"Fortune Cookie Soap is one of my favorites! Try the hair care line. The product names are as fun as the products are functional. Great customer service, too!" - Mitziph

“Handmade, minimal waste on packaging." - Jody E.

“They offer the BEST perks!" - MizzMo

What Makes This Box Unique: The Fortune Cookie Soap Box is your hook-up for homemade soaps and body products! Started in a tiny apartment in California, this company has grown to a business with a cult following, but their mission of providing safe and unique products remains the same. Choose whether you'd like to receive soap shipments monthly (you'll typically receive one full-size product and 3 deluxe-sized products) or quarterly (expect one full-size product and 5 deluxe-sized ones) and skip a box anytime. Each box is themed and filled with products you can feel good using, though, so you won't want to miss out on a single shipment!

Check out our Fortune Cookie Soap Box reviews and Fortune Cookie Soap Box details to learn more. Ships to the US for free.


4. Ahhh Sugar Sugar Monthly Box of Sugar

Ahh Sugar subscription box with five items displayed inside.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $34.99 + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

"Best quality! Look forward to this box more than my FabFitFun and CAUSEBOX subs." - Anonymous

"I'm really enjoying Ahhh Sugar Sugar's new Frosting of the Month sub." - Charlotte

What Makes This Box Unique: Bath bombs, bubble bars, bath oil, bath melts, whipped soaps, sugar scrubs, lip balm, room sprays, wax tarts—woah, so many handmade bath and body goods just waiting to come your way, and they seriously smell good enough to eat! The Ahhh Sugar Sugar Monthly Box of Sugar sends subscribers 3-4 small batch products that are always vegan and cruelty-free.

Check out our Ahhh Sugar Sugar Monthly Box of Sugar reviews and Ahhh Sugar Sugar Monthly Box of Sugar details to learn more. Ships to the US and worldwide at varying costs.


5. Beachly

Beachly subscription featuring a boho hoodie, a candle, a towel, and other lifestyle items.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $99.00 per quarter. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

“I had never heard of Pirette or Dry Body Oil but now it is seriously my go-to product. It’s incredible! Thanks Coastal Co!”

“I had never heard of a single one of the brands from this box, but now I can not get enough!”

What Makes This Box Unique: Beachly (formerly Coastal Co.) may not be able to bring the sun, sand, and surf to your doorstep, but it provides just about everything else! This seasonal sub sends a curation of shore-inspired clothes, accessories, full-size beauty products, and home goods that will breathe salty air into your space. Beachly also offers a men's box of curated coastal style!

Check out our Beachly (Coastal Co.) reviews or read this Beachly (Coastal Co.) info to subscribe. Ships to the US.

6. Bombay & Cedar

Bombay & Cedar box with all its contents displayed around it.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $49.95 per month. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say: 

“Absolutely loved this box from the start! Has a little bit of everything." - Anonymous

"Cute lifestyle box." - April Himel

What Makes This Box Unique: It's luxury and it's self-care, all in one beautiful curation. Bombay & Cedar's staple is a duo of high-quality essential oils, and they're surrounded by a gorgeous spread of lifestyle items such as diffusers, skincare products, books, snacks, and more. Offering occasional opportunities for customization of colors and beyond, this unique sub feels special, elevated, and exciting each month!

Check out our Bombay & Cedar reviews and Bombay & Cedar spoilers to learn more. Ships worldwide.


7. Oceanista

Oceanista box with poncho, pillow, and other items shown.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $89.00 per quarter + shipping. Subscribe here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Save $10 off your first box!

What Makes This Box Unique: Oceanista is the best of beachy style, with a sophisticated spin. Expect fashion, home decor, skincare, and accessories—including many exclusive-to-Oceanista items—that will bring a breezy feel (and look and smell) to your space. We love that this subscription chooses a featured artisan each month; it's a wonderful way to learn of made-with-love products from small businesses around the world!

Check out of our Oceanista reviews and Oceanista details to learn more. Ships to the US for $7.95, Canada for $19.95, and international for $26.95.


8. Beauty Heroes

Beauty Heroes box featuring Bluh Alchemy skincare products.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $58.95 per month. Subscribe here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Get 10% off any subscription!

What Our Readers Say:

“This is the only box that I continuously subscribe to. I have been with them for over 5 years.” – Lydea

What Makes This Box Unique: Beauty Heroes is about quality over quantity, sending two high-end clean beauty and skincare products at a time. Monthly deliveries will star one larger “hero” product and one smaller or sample-size “sidekick” product from a new ingredient-conscious brand. With the smaller shipments and focus on education about ingredients, this lovely box lets you live out a slow-beauty lifestyle while staying in tune with new products on the scene!

Check out all of our Beauty Heroes reviews and Beauty Heroes info to learn more. Ships worldwide.


9. Kinder Beauty Box

Kinder Beauty non-toxic beauty box with all contents displayed.

Image from our spoiler post.

The Cost: $24.00 per month. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

"Love their selection of products!" - Kali

What Makes This Box Unique: Here's a beauty box that's curated to help subscribers form healthier habits with their skincare and makeup selections! All Kinder Beauty products are vegan and cruelty-free, and arrive in eco-friendly packaging. Sending the occasional hair care, accessory, or self-love product to round out the selection, this subscription promotes positive living!

Check out of our Kinder Beauty reviews and Kinder Beauty spoilers to learn more. Ships to the US & worldwide.


10. Dot Boxx

dot boxx review and unboxing of all items

Image from our review.

The Cost: $34.99 per month for the Teen box, $49 per month for the Adult box. Subscribe here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Save 20% off your first subscription box or 5% off a one-time box!

What Makes This Box Unique: Dot Boxx is a period care pack meant to make your "time of month" as comfortable and stress-free as it can be. Customize the amount of tampons, pads, and liners per your needs, and let this loving subscription fill in the cracks with sweet treats and self-care items to boost you through. Sign up for either the Teen box or the Adult box, choose between monthly and bi-monthly shipments, and leave the rest up to them. One-time boxes are also available for gifting and no-commitment sampling!

Check out our Dot Boxx reviews and Dot Boxx details for more info. Ships to the US for $5-6, and Canada for $19.95.


11. Fresh Fiction Box

The Cost: $25.95 per month. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

“I love getting new, just released books every month. My friends and I can't wait for the next one." - Daisy

“I always receive a great selection of books that suit my reading tastes." - Suzie Q.

"Great selection of books. Price is very reasonable. I'm always surprised at the popularity and praise for the books that we receive. I have not been disappointed with a single book." - Anonymous

What Makes This Box Unique: Book subscriptions may be nothin' new (though always welcome, obviously), but the Fresh Fiction Box is more than meets the eye. In addition to the 3-5 new fiction titles you'll receive, you'll be sent 2-4 e-books to enjoy. Spanning all genres, including romance, mystery, fantasy, and more, this sub is for the avid reader who consumes their text in every format!

Check out our Fresh Fiction Box reviews and Fresh Fiction details to learn more. Ships to the US for free and Canada.


12. Goddess Provisions

Goddess Provisions self-care themed items.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $33 per month. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Use code MSA10 for 10% off your entire order (min. purchase of $25 USD required).

What Our Readers Say:

“I'm a new subscriber and I'm loving it!!! This box is magical....very helpful with inspiring women to find their inner 'goddess.'" - Diane H.

"Love the items!" - Jennifer W.

What Makes This Box Unique: Goddess Provisions is health, it's beauty, it's lifestyle, and it's a means to reaching a higher self, all in one thoughtful subscription. Each month subscribers are sent soul-filling items such as energy-infused candles, essential oils, smudge sticks, and crystals, plus 1-2 body or beauty items, and inspirational art and books from independent brands. This subscription has a way of reminding mindful humans to live all the more intentionally.

Check out our Goddess Provisions reviews and Goddess Provisions spoilers to learn more. Ships to the US for free, Canada for $15, and everywhere else for $25.


13. Pearlesque Box

Skin Owl beauty products found in the Pearlesque box.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $39.95 per month. Subscribe here!

ACTIVE DEAL: Save $5 off your first month!

What Makes This Box Unique: Explore the globe's greatest skincare offerings with Pearlesque Box! Showcasing one new brand each month through 1-2 full-size and/or 2-4 travel-size products, this sub puts the focus on indie offerings with an emphasis on quality. Go into this subscription with the perspective of a student, and you're sure to learn about the latest ingredients introduced to the beauty scene.

Check out of our Pearlesque Box reviews and Pearlesque Box spoilers to learn more. Ships worldwide.


14. Quirky Crate

Quirky Crate open to display sunglasses, socks, stickers, cards, and more.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $36.95 a month + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions. Subscribe here!

What Makes This Box Unique: Not only is the box itself a bit under the radar, the items within are all rare finds sourced from indie brands! Supporting small businesses is the way of Quirky Crate, and subscribers love the unique styles they're served as a result. Look forward to edgy accessories, fun desk items, funky lifestyle goods, and obscure extras all curated to offer a hint of oddball awesomeness in your life.

Check out of our Quirky Crate reviews and Quirky Crate details to learn more. Ships to the US for $6.50, Canada $11.30, and internationally for $17.25.


15. Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box

Essential oils and DIY items from the Simply Earth subscription.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $39 per month. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

"I love all the recipes. There are so many things you can do with essential oils that you already need and use in your life and this way they smell even better." - Alicia H.

"Amazing essential oils that contribute to causes that need constant support!" - Kecia C.

What Makes This Box Unique: Curious about crafting with essential oils? The Simply Earth Essential Oil Recipe Box equips you with everything you need—the therapeutic grade essential oils as well as all the other supplies necessary—to make a smattering of natural home and body products! This box is so well done, and it's great for DIYing solo or with a partner to create items for gifting or to keep for your own use.

Check out our Simply Earth reviews and Simply Earth details to learn more. Ships to US for free.


16. TheraBox

TheraBox unboxed to reveal self-care items.

Image from our review.

The Cost: $34.99 per month. Subscribe here!

What Our Readers Say:

“Quality products thoughtfully put together. A good value. It is true to its purpose of self-care 'therapy.'" - Anonymous

What Makes This Box Unique: If you could make each day just a tiny bit happier, why wouldn't you? No need to stress over where to begin—TheraBox sets you up for success. This box is curated by practicing therapists to include one happiness-boosting activity inspired by research in mindfulness, psychology, and neuroscience to rewire the brain for more joy and positivity. Each shipment also includes 5-7 natural and organic wellness products from brands you may not have heard of. This one has tons of great smells and calming vibes!

Check out our TheraBox reviews and TheraBox spoilers to learn more. Ships to the US for $5.95, Canada for $14.99, and other countries for $25.


That's all we've got for Best Under-the-Radar Subscriptions of 2020! Did you spot one you'd like to try?

Christen Russo
Christen Russo

Hi there, I'm Christen. I am all sorts of things:

🌳 a writer who loves to convey feeling

🌲 a mother who wants to have just as much fun as my kids do

🌳 an outdoors-lover who's achieved #1000hoursoutside with my family

🌲 a low-maintenance self-carer

🌳 a general hungry person with an unstoppable sweet tooth

You'll find me collecting stationery and squirreling away stickers, riding bikes and swimming with my family, creating outfits in colors and silhouettes that make me feel amazing, wearing big earrings, drinking beer and asking my husband to feed me harmonies to sing, taking my vitamins, living for dancing to live music, roping everyone into a craft, being human and vulnerable, and celebrating the phenomenon of being alive.

...and doing it all with energy, delight, and jokes along the way.

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I tried signing up for Journee box, but it’s saying promo code is not valid? Is there still a $10 off code?

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Christen Russo

Hey Cay, I’m so sorry the code is giving you grief. Our team is looking into this and I’ll circle back to let you know what’s up!

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Ida Dine

Great list, thank you! Gotta support the small businesses. Beauty Heroes and Journee Box are two I would like to try. I have been thinking about Quirky Crate for my daughter.

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Christen Russo

Both the boxes that caught your eye have such high-quality items in them! I always love peeping what Megan & Marne got when their new reviews come through. And, oh my gosh, Quirky Crate would have so been my jam when I was a little younger. Kind of sad I didn’t know about it until recently! Let us know if you decide to try any of them. 🙂

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