Last updated: August 12, 2021

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In today's article, we take a look at models of an essential item for any home: the mail box. Choosing the right mail box for your home is very important and goes well beyond the aesthetic part.

A good mailbox should have a suitable size to hold most mail formats. It should also be sturdy, as it should protect parcels and letters from adverse weather conditions and, of course, prying eyes. Check out our article and learn how to choose the ideal mail box for your needs. We will take into account the different models of the product and their particularities so that you can make the best possible purchase. Let's go?




The most important facts

  • The ideal mail box is not only decorative: the best options combine design and functionality.
  • Opt for products made of resistant materials and don't forget to pay attention to factors such as the size of the box, opening for envelopes and sealing. After all, the mail box will be in the external area and must protect your mail.
  • Take into consideration the installation site. There are three types of mail boxes: wall-mounted, grid-mounted or floor-mounted. Deciding where to install it is the first step to making the right choice.

The Best Mail Box: Our Picks

Mail Box: Shopping Guide

There are mailboxes made of various materials. Keep in mind that it is better to choose a resistant material, since it is an object that will be located in the external area of the house, exposed to the most diverse weather conditions. Like almost everything related to home and decoration, it is possible to find mailboxes in various styles, from classic to modern. Now that you have seen our suggestions for mailboxes, we continue with our Shopping Guide. In this section we will present the most relevant information so that you can choose with confidence and peace of mind the best mailbox for your needs.

Mulher retirando correspondência de caixa de correio.

There are large mailboxes, which allow for a greater volume of mail. (Source: Iakov Filimonov / 123rf)

What is a mail box?

A mail box is an essential item in any home. It serves to receive the most diverse types of correspondence and, depending on the size and format, it is possible to insert even small packages. The use of letter boxes originated in Paris in the 18th century, when the French capital developed an advanced postal system.

The first mailboxes were made of cast iron or bronze, in the case of the noblest residences. Nowadays, we have mailboxes on the market made of a wide variety of materials, such as plastic, aluminium, stainless steel, iron and wood. The format can also vary widely and there are even very creative options that are a great way to raise the decor of your home.

The main thing is that the box has a good internal space so that the correspondence is well accommodated, and that the slot for inserting envelopes has a reasonable opening.

The Zip Code (Postal Address Code) was created in 1971 by the Brazilian Post and Telegraph Company to facilitate the process of sorting, forwarding and distribution of mail. Until 1992, the system had only 5 digits!

What types of mail boxes exist in the market?

The choice of the ideal mailbox depends on some factors that vary from person to person, such as design and price. However, there is a main point that should be observed before making your purchase, which is the place of installation of the product. From there you will be able to make the secondary decisions.

The installation location should be defined beforehand, so that you can choose the most suitable mailbox without having to make adjustments or exchanges. It is possible to install mailboxes on walls, railings or on the ground. Therefore, we find three types of mailboxes on the market:

  • Mailbox to be embedded in the wall
  • Mailbox to be hung on grids
  • Mailbox to be fixed on the floor (American model)
Flush mailbox Hanging mailbox American mailbox
Price You can find sturdy models for less than £ 20 Plastic models can go for around £ 15 From £ 60
Material Iron, aluminum, steel, bronze Plastic, aluminum, steel, iron, wood Steel, iron. The support is usually made of steel or wood
Place of installation Walls Grids and gates On the ground, in a setback, wide pavement or garden
Cost of installation Can be high, if work is needed and adjustments Generally low because most models are easy to install, no need to call a professional May vary: if work is needed, the installation can be more expensive
Size Variable. The box inside the wall can be very spacious and the front plate can be big or small Small or medium size, most of the times There are several designs and the size varies a lot. There are all kinds of boxes

What are the advantages of each type of mail box?

Each type of mailbox has its own characteristics and, with them, advantages and disadvantages. Now that you already know the main characteristics that each type mentioned in the previous section, we will highlight their positive and negative points.

Built-in mail box: As advantages, we can cite the durability of the product (they are usually made of resistant materials), the optimal sealing to protect letters (since the box is inserted in the wall). This model is generally very affordable. The disadvantage of the built-in mailbox is that you need a wall for installation, and this will require adjustments and works that require more investment.

Mail box to be hung on grids: Besides being easy to install, the great advantage of this box is that it can be hung on most railings and gates, because the fixing system of the models usually allows the adjustment of the screws. Another advantage worth mentioning is the price, since there are plastic models that are very affordable. As disadvantages, we can mention the durability of the product, as it is more exposed. Keep in mind that because of this factor, the grill hanging boxes may offer less protection to the letters.

American mail box: The great advantage of this mailbox is the style, which is still not widely found in Brazil and can give an air of refinement to your home. In addition, these boxes are usually manufactured in a size that even allows insertion of newspapers or small packages. However, bear in mind that the American mailbox requires a large area for its installation (such as a garden or a recess in the pavement).

Many models can be quite expensive depending on the material. Below, we have a table with the main advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a mailbox for your home:

Advantages
  • Protects mail from bad weather
  • Serves as a decorative item
  • Prevents mail theft
  • There are mailboxes that are very affordable
Disadvantages
  • Some models require works for installation, which can make the total investment more expensive
  • Some mailboxes require more space
  • Exclusive models, from designers and artisans, can be expensive

Parede com várias caixas de correio de diferentes materiais.

Mailboxes can be made of various materials, which explains the variation in prices. (Source: ninita_7 / Pixabay)

Buying Criteria: Factors to compare mailbox models

Let's put an end once and for all to any risk of choosing the wrong mailbox for your home? Here are some features that you should take into consideration when buying the product:

  • Place of installation
  • Size
  • Durability
  • Design

To clear up your doubts once and for all, we will explain each of the features below in more detail:

Place of installation

As we have seen previously, this is the first factor you must take into account. Will the installation be done in a wall? In this case, choose a mailbox suitable for embedding. In case you want to fix the mailbox on your gate or on some railing, the best options come ready to screw on the desired surface and are made of light and resistant materials.

If you have more space in your home, such as a garden or a wide pavement, you can opt for the American mailbox. It is supported by a pillar, usually made of iron or wood, and can have several formats - perfect for the bolder ones!

Caixa de correio antiga de bronze em uma parede.

Look at the charm of this old bronze mailbox! (Source: joostbapstist / Pixabay.com)

Size

The size is another factor that should be taken into consideration when buying. Use a tape measure to measure the space you want to install the letterbox, and this is especially recommended for flush boxes. After all, you don't want to break the wall again, do you? Also check that the size of the box meets your needs. If you're in the habit of receiving parcels or magazines, it might be a good idea to invest in a larger size.

Durability

Keep in mind that the mailbox will be in the external area of your residence and will be exposed to the weather. Sun, rain, wind - all of these cause wear and tear and it is important that your box can stand firm.

The key word here is the quality of the material: the mailbox can even be made of plastic if you have a limited budget. Just make sure that the plastic is strong. Another issue to watch out for is whether the mailbox has a good seal, so that rainwater doesn't run down inside and damage your mail.

Caixa de correio americana em cobre imitando um galão de leite.

Mailbox with differentiated design and copper finishing. It is possible to combine utility and style! (Source: Kapa65 / Pixabay)

Design

Last but not least, we have the aesthetic part. If your pocket allows, take into account your personal taste. There are mailboxes of all kinds. Each material has its own particularities and gives a different finish to the decor.

You can get the most diverse effects: a touch futuristic, more rustic, retro, finally ... matter of taste. Consider the style of your home and choose a mailbox that matches it.

(Source of the highlighted image: TanteTati / Pixabay.com)

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