Hispanic Woman Checking Mailbox

When it comes to selecting the right mailbox, the choices are far from one-size-fits-all. And with the wide variety of options available, choosing the perfect fit can be a bit challenging.

Fortunately, you’re reading this guide. Whether you’re looking for curbside convenience, wall mounted elegance, or something entirely custom, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to make an informed decision when buying a mailbox that suits your style and home’s aesthetics.

Let's get right to it.

Consider Your Needs

When shopping for a mailbox, the first thing to do is figure out what needs it will fulfill. These questions will help you pinpoint your specific needs:

  • Are you looking for a mailbox to receive general mail and small packets?
  • Do you also get large parcels?
  • What’s the size of your household, and how often do you receive deliveries?
  • Would you prefer mail delivery to your front door or have the postman leave it at a designated spot near the curb or street?
  • Do you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snow, intense heat, or frequent rain?
  • Would you like some form of security feature to protect your mail and packages?

Once you’ve got these sorted, it’s easy to figure out the right size, type, material, and other features that match your unique needs.

Mailbox Size

Metallic mailbox painted in white over a yellow background

Picking the right mailbox size is a must to make sure it fits your mail and package needs without being too small or oversized. To determine the right mailbox size, think about how much mail comes your way (and how many people share the mailbox), plus how often the deliveries roll in.

Many residential mailboxes can handle everyday mail and small packets just fine, but they aren’t built for packages. If you’re expecting parcels, especially if you’re an online shopaholic, you might want to consider a drop box (larger) mailbox.

Need recommendations? Check out these top-notch options:

Mailbox Design

retro, antique, stylish, lovely metal mailbox

Mailbox designs vary widely, ranging from classic post-mounted styles to multi-unit options. Your pick largely depends on where you want your mail delivered: right at your front door (walk-up delivery) or somewhere close by (curbside delivery).

Post Mounted

A post mount mailbox is typically placed by the curb or at the end of your driveway, making it perfect for curbside delivery. Mail carriers can swing by and drop off your mail without even getting out of their vehicles.

Wall Mounted

If you prefer walk-up delivery, wall-mounted mailboxes are a fantastic option. They typically hang on the outside walls of homes or buildings near the entrance, allowing postal workers to easily reach them on foot.


Consider a multi-unit mailbox when handling mail for duplexes, apartment complexes, and office spaces. They can be designed for both walk-up and curbside delivery.

For walk-up delivery, they are usually located near the entrance of an apartment building, condo complex, or office. For curbside delivery, multi-unit mailboxes can be set up along the curb or roadside for multiple recipients.


If you’re looking to make your house stand out from the rest in your neighborhood, a column-mounted mailbox that exudes unique charm is the way to go.

These are often installed in decorative structures or columns near the entrance, making them perfect for walk-up delivery.

That said, column-mounted mailboxes can also be adapted for curbside delivery if installed near the edge of the property.

Whether you choose a walk-up or curbside delivery mailbox option or opt for a custom mailbox design, make sure to check with your local postmaster when installing your preferred mailbox type to ensure it complies with all regulations and is USPS approved.

Mailbox Material

wooden mail box in flower garden

When buying a residential mailbox, don’t forget to consider your local weather conditions, as they play a big role in helping you choose the right mailbox material.

Generally, mailbox materials come in three common types:

  • Metal: Metal mailboxes, typically made from steel, aluminum, and even cast aluminum, are tough and reliable. They can take on all sorts of weather but might need a little upkeep now and then to keep rust at bay.
  • Wood: Wooden mailboxes exude that classic, timeless charm. You can stain or paint them to match your home’s style, but be ready for a bit more upkeep to stand up to the elements.
  • Plastic: Plastic mailboxes are known for their resistance to rust and are generally low maintenance. They’re a great choice for areas with wet or humid climates.

Stone or masonry mailboxes can be custom-built and are highly durable as well as resistant to harsh weather conditions. However, this option often requires professional installation. Check out this guide for instructions on how to construct a stone or brick mailbox.

Mailbox Features

beautiful mailbox outside home

When buying a mailbox, keep an eye out for certain features that can transform your daily mail experience. The following features offer convenience, security, and personalization.

Locking Mailboxes

If you want an extra layer of security to prevent mail theft and unauthorized access to your residential mailbox, then a locking mailbox is your best bet. With this option, you’ll need a key to access your mail, ensuring your personal information and precious parcels stay safe and sound.


For quick and easy access to your mail, choose a non-locking mailbox. This option makes the daily routine of fetching your letters a breeze; no key, no fuss ― just grab your mail, and off you go. It’s a great choice for those who don’t typically receive classified or sensitive mail.

Newspaper Holder

Some mailboxes come with a handy newspaper holder, offering a clutter-free solution to keep your daily news and magazines neatly organized and easily accessible alongside your regular mail.

Rear Access

With rear access, you won’t have to brave the street to grab your mail. This feature, tailor-made for curbside mailboxes, not only shields you from potential street hazards but also makes picking up your mail way more convenient.


With personalization options, you can make your mailbox uniquely yours. You can add your name, house address, or even some decorative flair to match your home’s aesthetic.

Consider adding lighting to your new mailbox to give it a radiant nighttime glow and make it stand out. It’s the perfect way to make a statement and showcase your personality right at your doorstep.

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