Our readers often ask — or beg — for information about free subscription boxes. Here’s the bad news: The subscription lifestyle has become much (much, much) more popular in recent years, and many brands no longer offer free boxes upfront.
Now, the good news: With a little digging, you can still find plenty of excellent options with free promotions for new subscribers. We’ve listed some of the best services currently offering those types of trials.
After the list, we’ve also included tips for finding other ways to get those top-tier subscriptions without paying a dime (other than shipping, in some cases).
First Month Free Subscription Boxes
If you haven’t already, make sure to take advantage of all the first-month free subscription box offers. You aren’t committed to keeping these subscriptions, and you can always cancel before you’re charged for the next month. While you may have to pay a small amount for shipping, this is the easiest way to start getting free subscriptions immediately.
Some important notes: Most first-month free subscriptions deliver a trial-sized version of the product(s) in question. Services offering these trials tend to offer something that you’ll need regularly or something that you’ll need to purchase outright. For example, many personal stylist subscriptions will waive their fees for your first box, but you’ll still need to pay for any items you decide to keep.
If a service has a free trial, note the timeframe for cancelling or modifying your subscription. Finally, remember that you’ll need to enter credit card info for all these offers. Some companies may place a small charge on the card to verify it’s working. (This charge is immediately refunded, but still may show as pending for a few days.)
With that in mind, here are some popular subscription boxes with free first-month deals:
About the Box: Nadine West is a subscription styling service for women, offering trendy apparel in sizes from S to 3X.
Subscribers fill out a style quiz collecting basic info about their preferences. They’re matched with a stylist who hand-selects an outfit (2-4 items) every month.
There is no styling fee, but there is a shipping fee ($9.78) that is credited toward the cost of anything you keep. Their items are priced lower than other styling services, ranging from $10 – $25 per piece.
As we mentioned above, many clothing subscription boxes offer free trials. The catch: You’ll still have to pay for anything you keep. However, if you’re not sure whether a stylist will work for you, Nadine West gives you a risk-free preview.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Use referral code NADINE to waive shipping fees on your first box. That means you can get your first box with no styling fee and no shipping fee. If you’re looking for ways to experiment with your style, this is a great place to start.
Check out our Nadine West reviews to see what you can expect from this subscription box.
This deal is completely free, no shipping charges. But you will have to pay for any items you want to keep. Think of it as a completely free way to try a styling service.
Regular Price: Subscriptions start at $7 a month for their most popular model — pricing varies depending on what you order
About the Box: Dollar Shave Club is a monthly razor blade subscription service. They were one of the first major shave clubs using the subscription box model, and they’re still one of the best.
In addition to razors, they offer unisex grooming products like shaving cream, shave butter, and other essentials.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Get a starter kit including razor handle, blades, and trial sizes of several shower & shave products for free – just pay $5 shipping! No coupon needed, just use this link!
Check out our Dollar Shave Club reviews to see what you can expect with this subscription.
About the Box: Rocksbox (regularly $21/month) is a monthly subscription box for jewelry rental. Yes, you read that right — you rent jewelry, wear it as long as you’d like, then return it in a prepaid shipping envelope when you’re ready for something new.
If you decide to keep a piece, your monthly fee goes towards your purchase (the fee doesn’t roll over from month to month). It’s an affordable way to keep your accessories fresh.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Use this link to get your first box for FREE with coupon code mysubaddictxoxo! You won’t even pay a shipping charge (just remember to cancel before the trial period ends if you’re unsatisfied with your subscription).
Check out our Rocksbox Reviews to learn more about this box.
Regular Price: $19.95 per month
About the Box: Curology is a personalized prescription skincare subscription service that targets acne. On signup, you’re paired with a licensed dermatologist. From there, you’ll receive products specifically designed for your skin, including prescription medications (if appropriate).
Deliveries arrive on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Curology takes the stress out of acne care, and our users give the service high marks.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Get your first month of Curology for free. No coupon needed! You’ll pay only $4.95 in shipping.
Check out our Curology Reviews to learn more about what to expect from this box.
Regular Price: $48 every two months (or $60 for a one-time 2-month order).
About the Box: Lumin delivers luxurious skincare products for men — there’s nothing quite like it on the subscription market, and options are available for younger men, athletes, older men, and any guy who’s ever wanted a better skincare routine.
Free trials are available for each of Lumin’s skincare subscription boxes. Past that point, the products are reasonably priced, but you can cancel within 30 days to avoid charges.
Free Subscription Box: Get a free trial with samples of Lumin products for free! Pay only $3 shipping. No coupon code needed (though you can use coupon code APRILFUN15 for 15% off your first box). Just use this link to sign up.
Check out our Lumin page to learn more about what to expect from this box.
Regular Cost: Starts at $36 per month.
About the Box: Hubble is a monthly subscription box with premium (yet affordable) contact lenses. Produced with state-of-the-art injection molding, Hubble lenses are an alternative to those expensive dailies you’d get from your local optometrist’s office.
If you already have a prescription, Hubble’s free trial well worth checking out (and if you don’t have a prescription, their site provides resources for finding a cheap eye exam). We’re never going to complain about free stuff — and given that you’ll get 30 lenses (15 pairs total) in your trial box, the $1 shipping fee is well worth the expense.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Get your first box (15 pairs) for just $1 shipping. No coupon required — just use this link.
Check out our Hubble Contact Lenses Review to learn more about what to expect when you sign up!
Regular Cost: Starts at $11 per shipment.
About the Box: Blue Bottle Coffee is (you guessed it) a coffee subscription service. Their products ship within 48 hours of roasting, so you’ll always enjoy a fresh cup, and with a wide assortment of single-origin beans, blends, and espressos, Blue Bottle has something for every coffee drinker.
Chances are, the rich, deep flavors are much better than what you’re currently drinking. The site also has accessories and brew tools, but the free trial is certainly the best place to start.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Get your first bag of coffee for free! You’ll only pay for shipping. No coupon required — just use this link.
Check out our Blue Bottle Coffee Review for more info!
The Cost: Plans start at $27 per month. Subscribe here.
About the Box: FREY Laundry Detergent is an eco-friendly detergent, delivered on a regular schedule. The formula is free from harsh chemicals and features a delightful fragrance (the company describes the scent as a blend of cedarwood, oakmoss, and fragrance).
The subscription box includes enough soap for 40 loads, usable in both regular and HE machines. You’ll also get some delightful dryer sheets. While the standard subscription costs $42 every three months, you can try a free sample to determine whether FREY will work for you (spoiler: it’s pretty awesome). Their products are vegan and cruelty-free
To make sure your free trial is actually free (apart from a $1 shipping charge), cancel within 12 days of setting up your subscription. Alternately, you can stick with FREY and never worry about running out of laundry supplies again.
Free Subscription Box Offer: Get a free 2-load sample of FREY concentrate when you sign up for a subscription here – just pay $1 in shipping.
Check out our FREY review for more info!
And if you want even more deep discounts + cheap boxes, check out our list of 39 subscription boxes you can try for $10 or less.
Note that some subscriptions will email you a reminder before you are charged after your free trial, but not all of them. Make sure to add the date you’ll be charged again to your calendar so you have a reminder to cancel if you decide you don’t want to keep it.
Subscription Box Referral Programs
Here’s one extra strategy for boxes you are interested in that don’t have a free box offer: Create an account! This doesn’t work with every subscription, but I’ve found a page of referral programs. Many subscription boxes offer free boxes or sizable discounts to users who refer new subscribers. Share your links on social media — or send them directly to friends — and you may be able to take advantage of these offers.
Here are some popular subscription boxes that have referral programs. Remember, companies change their referral programs regularly, so research each option carefully:
- FabFitFun: Get $15 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- CURATEUR (formerly Rachel Zoe Box of Style): Get $20 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Haverdash: Get $30 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Birchbox: Get $5 credit to use in their shop for every friend that signs up.
- Ipsy: Get 250 points you can redeem for free beauty products for every friend that signs up.
- Boxycharm: Get $5 credit to use in their shop for every friend that signs up.
- Home Chef: Get $30 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Gwynnie Bee: Get $25 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Candy Club: Get a free box for every friend that signs up, up to 5 free boxes.
- Love with Food: Get a free bonus snack box and $10 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Hello Fresh: Get $20 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Winc: Get $26 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Allure Beauty Box: Get a free gift when a friend signs up.
- Daily Harvest: Get 3 free cups when a friend signs up.
- Le Tote: Get $25 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Kiwi Crate: Get $10 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Nature Box: Get $20 in credit for every friend that signs up.
- Fabletics: Get $20 in credit for every friend that signs up
One thing to keep in mind: Most of these boxes require you to have an active subscription to earn free credits. If you’re thinking of canceling at any point, cash in your credits first!
Subscription Box Giveaways
Enter subscription box giveaways. This method isn’t a sure thing, but there’s no risk and your odds are pretty good in the subscription box industry. After all, the companies producing those boxes want new subscribers — they’re often willing to give away free stuff for a long-term customer.
To get started, make a wishlist of all the subscription boxes that interest you. You can create a wishlist on our site and add boxes while browsing the directory.
From there, you can find giveaways in several different ways:
- Follow the companies on social media. Many companies offer free boxes for followers. These promotions don’t last long — by following boxes that interest you, you’ll stand the best chance of receiving early notifications about contests, giveaways, and limited-time coupon codes.
- Sign up for newsletters. When brands launch free trials, they typically don’t give advance warning. If they offer a newsletter, however, sign up (and make sure it doesn’t hit your email’s spam filter). You’ll be first in line for announcements.
- Inquire about opportunities. Try emailing the company’s customer support team. Ask whether they’re planning any promotions or giveaways in the near future — hey, it never hurts to ask!
Finally, one important tip: The most popular companies receive hundreds of emails each day asking for free subscription boxes. They’ll give you a quick answer, but don’t be pushy; don’t discuss how many followers you have on social media or what you can do for their brand.
They’ve heard it all, and unless you’re a major review site (like MSA, for instance), they probably won’t give you free boxes to help them with their marketing. Use a simple, direct approach, then follow the company’s announcements to look for deals and giveaways.
There are lots of small-scale subscription boxes that want to beef up their social media following, and they use giveaways as a way to do that. Since a lot of these boxes have followers in the thousands or only hundreds, you have pretty good odds!
Sign up for our daily newsletter for more tips and to learn about the latest promotions from subscription services. We’re always on the lookout for a deal — and we’re always ready to pass the savings to our readers that occasionally I’ll get a completely free offer to try a subscription via email if a company sees that I’m interested. If you sign up without completing your order, you might receive an offer.