The history of a mailbox (USA) starts in early 1863. Free City Delivery (US Post Office Department) has begun to deliver mail right at your home doors. But that’s not the best time for mailboxes. Only some people were using them and most of them, until 1916, got a mail from a mail carrier, who knocked on the door and waited for you to answer. They even waited 10-20 minutes, because mail must be delivered.
Mailman lost more than 1.5 hours per day just because they waited for people to get the mail. Post Office Department decided that that’s not efficient and it ordered that every house, apartment, company, or house must have a letter slot or mailbox; otherwise, mail will not be delivered.
The Mailbox era began, so homeowners and businesses started to install letter slots or/and mailboxes to receive mail. But that was not enough, so Post Office began to encourage home and business owners to install wall-mounted mailboxes outside of the house, near the entrance. These mailboxes saved outgoing mail from water or other humidity, and it was easier for the mailman to deposit the mail.
Also, that was not enough, and mail delivery was not as fast as they wanted, so an idea of individual mailboxes appeared. These mailboxes had to be mounted on fence posts, lamp-posts or other supportive things.
This idea was rejected but in the countryside, it was adopted. Mailboxes were located on a rural road, so mailmen did not have to go all way to the farm or house to deliver mail. Right now it would be nothing, but that time ago there were no fast cars, but horse wagons and slow motor steam vehicles.
Before rural free delivery (RFD) in 1896, almost none of the rural residents had access to the mail, and they had to collect it at a post office. Mostly mail office was miles away from their homes.
Richer people hired a private company who delivered mail for them. Even after the RFD establishment farmers and homeowners resisted installing mailboxes and they left empty baskets, boxes, or wooden crates at the roadside for the mailman. But in 1923 Post Office made a law that every household must have a mailbox or mail slot if they want to receive mail. So the real mailbox era began in 1923.
Fact: Some mailboxes had a red flag which you can lift up if there is any outgoing mail. It helps mailman to skip empty mailboxes.
These days mailboxes have stayed almost as same as in the 1900s. The only difference – they become smarter and safer. For example, in Sweden, there are automated opening letterboxes. You have a key that you put near the sensor, and your mailbox opens. Safe huh?
Before buying a mailbox, you should ask yourself these questions:
1. What kind of weather mailbox will have to handle?
2. Do you also receive small packages from Amazon, eBay or Aliexpress?
3. Do you want your mailbox to be mounted on the wall, fence or doors, or it will be at the end of the driveway?
4. How many people will use that mailbox?
After asking these questions read everything that’s written further. I will try to explain everything.
From what kind of materials is mailbox made
There are few types of materials that are used to make mailboxes. All of them have good and bad sides.
Stainless Steel – Heavy and durable and does not rust like a casual metal. It will rust, but slower and will take ages. Stainless steel mailbox is good for outdoors or for places with rough weather.
Aluminum – Light, good for a short time or in places where the weather cannot do its harsh job, like a lot of rain. It Will rust and look bad after few years.
A plastic – excellent option for mid-temperature regions. Should be avoided if you have a very high temperature because it will deform. They are quite durable and will not rust and will look good for a longer time. I would go for plastic if you have found a specific design and there are no other choices. Otherwise, they are easier to access by burglars.
Brass – my favorite material. Looks elegant and has a lot of character. Mostly has a historical look. Brass likes to be frequently polished and shining also. If you do not polish it, it will start to get that green color, and if a green color comes up, the mailbox will look dirty and neglected.
Wood – Mostly used in old mailboxes. In my country, we still have wood mailboxes everywhere. They are not as common as other materials, but it looks great! If you want to use it outside be sure that it’s properly sealed and the weather can not affect it.
Like all things also mailbox can get more features.
Locking – Mailboxes with a locking feature will be more secure (how obvious) than a usual mailbox. If you live in a neighborhood where stealing is a common thing, or you are receiving mail, which has value, then locking is a must-have feature.
Access from the back – I have seen mailboxes that have both side’s access. It means you don’t need to go outside of the house to get mail.
Holder for newspapers or ads – I think everybody is receiving that large amount of ads from local shops and pharmacies or just useless magazines and your letter from a cousin is crushed inside and does look like it was coming from Hogwarts. There comes an extra holder so you still have space for usual mail.
Personalization – Number and/or letters, house name or your name? Not a problem! Good mailbox seller is offering customization, and if not, there are plenty of ways to do it by yourself.
There are plenty of best mailbox types.
Post-mounted mailbox – This type of mailboxes you can see at the end of the driveway. Also on the edge of the yard or near the walking path inside the property. You can see them in neighborhoods or rural areas where mailman is coming by vehicle and don’t want to jump off near every house.
You can mount these mailboxes on wooden posts, iron posts, and many other things. You can get creative and make it more like your yard character. Many colors, materials, and styles plus personalization is a perfect mailbox for you.!
Wall-mounted mailbox – mostly used on main home doors or gates. Mostly used in places where are many mailboxes or where homes are close to each other so the mailman can easily access them. One of the easiest ways to receive mail, because if you install a 2-way mailbox, you can even open the mailbox from inside. And trust me, it’s not hard to go to the other side of the doors too.
Column mounted mailbox – Imagine a Villa in Croatia or San-Francisco or Malta. And then imagine a large, good-looking stone or rock. And now imagine the mailbox inside it. Yes, that’s how usually column-mounted mailbox looks. Very sturdy mailboxes and some of them are standing even for hundreds of years. Mostly you almost never see the mailbox because it’s inside the column or stone.
Mail slot – good old mail slots. One of the first types of mailboxes. After the late ’70s, they are not very popular. Nobody makes doors with mail slot inside, but you can still buy old-looking mail slot and install by yourself. I think this is one of the safest ways to receive mail yet it’s not the best because your mail usually lays on the floor. Be aware that your cat or dog may like that flying mail.
Which mailbox is right for me?
How is the post office delivering mail to you? By car, by foot or by plane? Make sure that they don’t have any difficulties putting mail in your mailbox. Face it in the right direction and don’t make the mailman go through ten gates and 3 dog fields. And nothing is angrier than a mail carrier who needs to get out of the car and walk inside your yard. It takes more time, and it’s better to install post mounted mailbox.
The mailbox should be as high as 41 to 56 inches from the ground. It needs to have a house number in the numerical form, and it should be 6-9 inches from the curb.
Your mailbox also must be approved by the USPS. They regulate all mailboxes.
It’s hard for me to tell which will be the best mailbox for you because it depends on the place where you live, is it rural or in the city. Is your house historical or modern architecture. Most people just grab the first one and live with that. I told you everything I know about mailboxes, materials, and customization, and here is a list of the best mailbox but now the choice is in your hands.
I have noticed that ancient mailboxes are coming back into fashion. So, which is the best mailbox? Which is the best locking mailbox? These!
The Best Post Mounted Mailbox
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Price says everything. It’s a durable, cheap, and not bad-looking mailbox. If you don’t want to spend much money and need a cheap mailbox for a couple of years, this is number one! It does not come with mounting hardware, but hey, it’s cheaper than a 6-pack of beers. You cannot go wrong with this price. Actually, this is the simplest mailbox I have ever seen, and as you all know the simplest things are the best.
Put some vinyl decals, and you have a good-looking mailbox. I would buy this if you had almost the same so you can use the same post mount. If you don’t have a post then you can find it here.
2. The Charleston Mailbox and Post System
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The Charleston Mailbox and Post Combo System comes from Atlanta, Georgia. One of my favorite mailbox makers. I have not seen a single Charleston mailbox that has rust or is bad-looking. They are beautiful, sturdy, and trustable. They are making a mailbox from aluminum, and it’s painted with black powder paint.
They promise that it will never rust. Everything you will need for assembly is included, also hardware. All holes are pre-drilled. 5 two-inch brass numbers are included in the purchase. after purchase, they will contact you to ask correct house numbers! The thing I like about aluminum mailboxes that you can fix them if somebody crushes them. Very easy to set up, but lack instructions on how to screw everything together. For this money, it’s the best mailbox in the market.
3. Gibraltar Pedestal Mailbox & Post Combo
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Another great mailbox from Gibraltar. It’s an attractive and classic-looking mailbox. It also has to lock feature. Otherwise, the slot where you put received mall is too small. I would like it bigger. Be careful to screw everything together tightly, because it can leak in heavy rain. I suggest tightening all screws every year, so it does not fall in high wind. It’s a good mailbox, but you will need to take care of it. For this price, it’s a good all-in mailbox.
The Best Wall mounted mailboxes
1. Gibraltar Designer Locking Wall-Mount Mailbox
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Best locking mailbox residential. Especially would look good on a brick wall. This mailbox comes with two keys, and it’s possible to lock the chute for the mailman. Mail emblem looks total shit, but it’s not. Even after a year it still holds good and looks new. Of course, it’s not necessary to use those emblems, but why not.
In this mailbox even large envelopes will fit in. So don’t worry if the mailman will try to squeeze your parcels inside. And it’s lockable, so your mail will be safe.! Screws are not included, but it’s not a problem. Mailbox has a cover, so it’s safe in the rain, but it’s not completely safe from rain. It will get humid inside. Not wet, but humid. For this price, it’s the awesome mailbox. It’s safe, good-looking, food quality and cheap.
2. Gibraltar Lockable Security Wall Mount Mailbox
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My favorite wall-mounted mailbox. It’s easy to lock. It’s durable and good-looking. It has a metal bar under the cover so no one can reach your content. This mailbox comes with a huge variety of mounting screws for all kinds of walls. This mailbox has only a few cons – color will fade after few years.
The small red flag also starts to become white, but that’s because of fo the sun. If you don’t have sun 300 days per year, then it’s going to be OK. But, this mailbox is fully weatherproof. It’s dry even in the highest winds and rains. Put inside your outgoing letters, raise the red flag, and you are set. It’s large also! All your junk mail will fit there. Front doors are made from aluminum as same as trays. The back and sides are made of heavy-duty plastic.
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A great mailbox from Serene. It comes with big, high-quality screws and it’s easy to hang it! I like this mailbox because of the place for journals or spam papers. There are also mass windows with plexiglass so you can see if you have mail. Just remember to remind your mailman to use the bottom part for magazines and spam papers and the top slot for envelopes. Otherwise, it’s large, it has a lock, it’s high-quality and has everything you need.
Imagine you have an infinite amount of money and you can buy whatever the hell you want. After you have purchased almost everything, you come to a conclusion that your house is missing a mailbox.
Of course, if you have infinite money you will not buy a cheap mailbox for 50 bucks but you will go for the most expensive mailbox, right? So here is the list. This list does not include mailboxes with several pockets (for more than one house). In this list, there will be only a single house mailbox.
7 most expensive mailboxes
1. Salsbury Industries 3406S-01GRY 4C Pedestal Mailbox
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If somebody is talking about the most durable mailbox, then undoubtedly he is talking about Salisbury. Constructed of heavy gauge aluminum and stainless steel. U.S.P.S. accepted and equipped with a heavy-duty cam lock with a dust/rain shield and 3 keys although this mailbox cannot be used for mail distribution because all boxes are lockable. A 5-year warranty will cover any damage or defects. As a big big plus, a matching pedestal is included.
Now some boring information:
- Unit Dimension: 17.5″ W x 51.625″ H x 19″ D
- Pedestal Dimension: 12″ W x 26″ H x 12″ D
- Total Compartments and dimensions: 1-MB4 (13.125″ W X 13.75″H)
- Parcel Locker and dimension: None
- Outgoing Mailbox: Yes
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Williamsburg Estate is a beautiful yet old-school mailbox and will look great on almost all kinds of yards. Rust-free metal construction will take care that no weather will be able to destroy this beauty. If you talk about durability, do not worry when some drunk Trump supporter will drive 4 thousand pounds heavy Chevy and crash in your mailbox. This mailbox can hold it like it’s just a bird who flew in it. Plus it has house numbers and address plate included! Casual stuff:
- Large-sized mailbox for packages, 19”L, 8“H and 7.5”W.
- Solid brass house address numbers are included. 3M Self adhesive, no glue required.
3. Mail Boss 7500 Manager Pro
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- 148 LBS. of Steel! (Mailbox only)
- 1/4″ steel shell (as with all Fort Knox Mailboxes)
- 3/16″ reinforced steel doors.
- 2″ Continuous welded steel hinge.
- 1/4″ steel powder coated red flag.
- All hand-welded design. (No spot welds or rivets)
- Dimensions: (18″H x 12″W x 23″L)
These are just a few things that are making this mailbox awesome. It’s one of the heaviest mailboxes in the market and can be installed in not-so-safe neighborhoods without any doubt. You can keep your money in it because it’s really hard to break it, like a safe for expensive stuff.
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- Dimensions—14” W x 20” H x 14” D
- Weight—32.25 Lbs.
This mailbox is perfect for homeowners who are traveling a lot or receiving a lot of mail. It’s an anti-theft mailbox and can receive mail, small bundles, and small packages. It’s anti-theft because it has patented “Teeth” on delivery doot so it can deter mail theft. I would also call it heavy-duty because it’s made of 16 gauge galvanized steel. Furthermore, you will not need to worry about the rust because it’s sprayed with a commercial-grade powder coat. Meets U.S. Postal Service standards.
5. Giantex Classic Decorative Cast Aluminum MailBox
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- Color: Black/ Bronze/White
- Material: 100% Cast Aluminum and Will Not Rust
- Size Of The Box: 18.7″—8.6″—10.6″
- Overall Dimension 26.77″—11.4″—62.2″
Solid Aluminium mailbox. Excellent quality and the bronze color looks gorgeous. You must lay a concrete base down for this mailbox. You should use three bags of Quickcrete, but you probably will need only two. You will need 2″ or smaller numbers for the number plate.
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- Balmoral Mailbox (108792): 21-1/4″L x 13″W x 13-3/4″H, 18-1/2 lbs.
Front door panel: 13″W x 13-3/4″H.
Side plaque: 6-1/2″W x 15″H.
- Post and Bracket (78843): 4-1/2″ sq. x 60″H.
- Decorative Base (78964): 7″ sq. x 7-1/2″H, 4 lbs.
Personalized Balmoral Mailbox is so impressive, you’ll be proud to be the owner of it. The oversized mailbox has thick cast aluminum with magnetic, strong closure on the hinged door creating a watertight seal, so no rain will get in the mailbox. Magazines will lay flat in the main interior. Golden text, flag, and pull knob. The post requires a 4″ x 4″ treated lumber piece for installation (not included).
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- Cast aluminum powder coated mailbox
- Decorative fluted base
- Ball finial mounts to the top of the post
- Adds an elegant look to your home
Beautiful, yet simple mailbox. It’s not lockable, so the only option is to use it in safe neighborhoods. For this price, aluminum coated mailbox with a post included is a must-have thing.
It does not matter which mailbox you choose if you take your time to check all of them and look at their designs, quality, and which will look good in front of your doors or yard. Most of them will have the same good quality, but the mailboxes which I showed you here are the best quality in the market.