3 Expert Tips To Choose A Mailbox

Choosing a mailbox for your home may seem like something incredibly easy. However, some factors need to be carefully considered, and they can be easily overlooked if you are unsure of what you are looking for.

Below are some expert tips regarding types of mailboxes, materials, and features to help you pick out one that will suit your every need.

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What type of mailbox should I choose?

The type of mailbox you choose should be mostly based on the functions you want it to serve, and whether you need something more secure or inconspicuous. Nowadays, all types of mailboxes can be very easily customized, with a huge range of colors and shapes available.

Mail Slot:

  • This is the most secure and private option as it is mounted directly into your front door or a wall in your house, so mail cannot be stolen or looked through.
  • However, many people find a mail slot on its own to be too messy as any mail posted through it ends up all over the hallway floor; this problem can be solved by installing a simple box on the inside to catch the mail.
  • Another disadvantage is larger packages being unable to fit through a normal mail slot, which means they have to be left on your porch or taken back to the post office if nobody is home to receive them.
Bronze Horizontal Steel Mail Slot
Medium Horizontal Brass Mail Slot
Bright Nickel Brass Mail Slot
Oil Rubbed Bronze Brass Mail Slot
Antique Finish Solid Brass Mail Slot
Brass Finish Vertical Mail Slot

Wall-mounted:

  • This type of mailbox gets attached to the wall of your house, usually right beside your front door.
  • It provides quite a lot of security as many wall-mounted models have locks, and mail thieves are less likely to risk being caught walking right up to somebody’s door.
  • They come in a variety of sizes, but once again may be too small to fit larger packages.
Black Galvanized Steel Wall Mounted Mailbox
White Gold Aluminum Wall Mounted Mailbox
Metal Antique Look Wall Mounted Mailbox
Black Aluminum Wall Mounted Mailbox
Metal Rustic Red Wall Mounted Mailbox
Stainless Steel Silver Wall Mounted Mailbox

Post-mounted:

  • This is the most common kind of mailbox used in residential areas.
  • Also known as a curbside mailbox, it is weather-resistant and attached to a post or a pole by the curb or at the end of your driveway.
  • Post-mounted mailboxes make it incredibly easy for the mailman to deliver your letters without having to walk up directly to your front door.
  • It also gives you the option to post letters and small parcels from your home rather than having to take a trip to the local post office; most post-mounted mailboxes have a little flag on their side that you can use to indicate whether you have any mail you’d like to be taken.
  • However, if your mailbox does not have an adequate lock, it will be an easy target for mail thieves.
  • You also have to leave your house completely every morning to check whether you have mail.
Plastic Black Post Mounted Mailbox
Red Steel Post Mounted Mailbox
Gray Plastic Post Mounted Mailbox
White Stainless Steel Aluminum Post Mounted Mailbox
Wood Grain Steel Post Mounted Mailbox
Plastic Horizontal Post Mounted Mailbox

Column-mounted:

  • A more sophisticated version of the post-mounted mailbox, this type of mailbox is built into a column at the end of your driveway.
  • Column-mounted mailboxes are usually more secure than post-mounted mailboxes as they are very difficult to get broken into or dismantled.
  • However, they do have the downside of having to leave the house to pick up the mail rather than having it delivered directly to your door.
Tan Plastic Storage Delivery Column Box
Stone Gray Dragon Post Mounted Mailbox
Oil Rubbed Bronze Steel Locking Column Box
Oklahoma Sand Stone Aluminum Package Drop
Cast Aluminum Non Locking Eagle Door Column Mailbox
Cast Aluminum Column Mailbox With Locking Plain Door

Free-standing

  • This is probably the least popular type of mailbox as it is usually quite large in size and may be targeted by thieves.
  • However, it is the perfect option for people wanting protection for large parcels, or people who go on holidays for longer periods of time without pausing mail services.
  • Free-standing mailboxes can be bolted into the ground to prevent them from being tipped over or stolen.
Plastic Realistic Stone Look Freestanding Mailbox
Large Freestanding Mailbox Parcel Box
Black Freestanding Plastic Parcel Locker
Cast Iron Freestanding Locking Column Box
Bright Red Fiberglass Freestanding Drop Box
Black Aluminum Pedestal Locking Mailbox With Post Included

What material should my mailbox be made out of?

Of course, your mailbox will need to be strong and durable enough to withstand any sort of weather. Certain materials are much better suited to specific climates, so make sure to consider this when picking your mailbox – you don’t want to have to replace it every couple of months!

Below are some key features of the most popular mailbox materials:

Steel

  • Steel needs to be treated for water resistance.
  • It can otherwise withstand rust and extreme weather like strong winds and hail.

Aluminum

  • Aluminum needs to be treated for water resistance.
  • It can withstand rust.
  • It is quite lightweight material compared to other metals.

Brass

  • Brass needs a lot of regular shining and polishing to prevent patinas (green-colored residue caused by air and moisture exposure).

Plastic

  • Plastic is very easily customizable, as well as easy to maintain and clean.
  • It is relatively durable but can be a very bad idea in hotter regions as the heat may melt or warp the plastic.

Wood

  • Wood may be very visually appealing because of the traditional and rustic aesthetic.
  • However, it is not very durable or water-resistant so definitely not recommended for rainy regions.

What features should my mailbox have?

Although some of these may seem obvious, it’s very easy to get caught up in choosing a pretty design or the right size for your mailbox, whilst forgetting the most important features.

Locking mechanism

  • Make sure your mailbox has a secure locking mechanism that only you and/or people you know can unlock.
  • As mentioned throughout this guide, mail thieves like to target larger mailboxes as they are more likely to contain parcels, so this is especially important for free-standing mailboxes.

Identification

  • A house number or surname should be visible on your mailbox.
  • This ensures that your mail is delivered to the correct address, it’s easy for mailmen to make mistakes!

Newspaper holder

  • This ensures the space inside the mailbox is actually free for letters and parcels, rather than being taken up by bulky newspapers and magazines.

Rear access

  • A small rear access door creates an easy way to retrieve your mail without having to completely dismantle the whole mailbox each time.
  • Particularly important for boxes mounted behind mail slots, not so much for other types as they already usually unlock in the front.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.