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Birchbox vs. FabFitFun

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With so many subscription boxes out there, how can you find the one that’s right for you? Either one of these boxes will help you remember to pamper yourself on a regular basis. Birchbox is focused purely on beauty, and you’ll get a curated selection of beauty samples each month according to your needs. FabFitFun is a more varied lifestyle box, and usually includes household goods and accessories along with your beauty products. You might even get items like curlers or blow dryers. Birchbox is great for beauty on a budget, but FabFitFun sends items that are useful in lots of different parts of your life.

Birchbox is a beauty subscription service perfect for anyone on a budget or looking to learn more about trendy skincare and makeup items. The boxes are curated based on your specific interests, so you’ll probably get a lot of use out of them. FabFitFun costs more, but it comes with 8-10 full-size items, from accessories to technology and of course, beauty products. It’s customizable, and you get to choose either 3 or 5 items yourself. FabFitFun is the more exciting option if you’re interested in getting products that aren’t just in the beauty category.

How Do They Work


Birchbox is a personalized subscription service for beauty samples. Each box includes 5-6 items, and they may even add a full-size product occasionally.

When you first sign up, you’ll need to fill out a beauty quiz. The quiz asks about your preferred makeup style, the kinds of products you use, and the kind of skin and hair you have. They’ll use this information to match you to products that fit your needs. If you have dry skin as your biggest issue, for example, they’ll probably send hydrating moisturizers and serums. If you’re worried about redness, they might focus on products that soothe inflammation.

Once you sign up and pay for your box, you can expect your box within about a week. Birchbox has a unique box design each month, and they’re vibrant and fun, which makes them easy to reuse as gift boxes. It’s easy to cover the Birchbox logo with a bow!

These boxes come with an information card about the products inside. You’ll learn the brand name and product, the price of a full-size version, and key ingredients. Birchbox also lets you know if there’s anything notable about the product, such as if it’s clean beauty or a bestseller.


This lifestyle and beauty box is available on a quarterly basis. It’s full of lifestyle and beauty products, and you can choose between 3 and 5 of your products. There are around 5 options for each choice item, so you’re able to control some of what ends up in your box. You get 3 choices with a standard subscription, and 5 if you’re an annual subscriber.

At least half of your box will probably be non-beauty items, but you can choose all beauty items if that’s what you have the most interest in. Besides beauty items, they’ll mostly send household goods, jewelry, bags, and cozy things like blankets or slippers.

FabFitFun boxes tend to sell out, so if you’re subscribing late in the season, the current box might not be available. If this happens, the company will send you their Editor’s Box, which has different products. An Editor’s Box might include past FabFitFun items alongside items curated just for that box.




  • Personalized boxes
  • High-end brands
  • Pre-curated boxes available

Each month, Birchbox will put together a box of samples that reflect the preferences shown in your beauty quiz. They’ll address your top skin concerns, and include your favorite product categories, whether that’s makeup or hair care. As you review previous samples, Birchbox will learn more about your preferences and hopefully provide even better samples for you.

Birchbox tends to feature quality, high-end products. They aren’t the kind of thing you’ll find outside specialty beauty stores. This subscription service is an easy, low-risk way to try things out before you buy them.

If you don’t want the mystery of a Birchbox personalized for you, you can opt for one of the curated options available each month. Those will be put together by a guest editor or the Birchbox staff, and the upside is that you can see the entire contents of your box before you order it.


  • Tiny sample sizes
  • Repeat items
  • No guaranteed worth

Birchbox samples are often really tiny. You might not have enough of a given product to decide whether you like it or not. If a product is really luxurious and expensive, you’ll probably get a very small sample of it, because of the cost.

Birchbox has said that they will sometimes intentionally send you a product more than once. As they learn more about your preferences through the rating system, they might want you to give something a second chance. You can always contact customer service if you’re disappointed with a repeat item, though.

There’s no guaranteed worth for your Birchbox, unlike most other subscription boxes. Adding up the value of various boxes, they’re usually worth around $40 or more.



  • 8-10 items per box
  • 3-5 choice items
  • Lots of different items featured
  • Over $200 worth in each box

You’ll get a lot of items in each FabFitFun box, and there’s probably enough to keep you happy until your next box arrives.

This subscription offers plenty of opportunities for customization. Seasonal subscribers get 3 choice items, and the other items will be chosen at random. If you have an annual subscription, you get to choose 5 items yourself.

There’s a wide range of possible items that could end up in your FabFitFun box. In past boxes, options have included speakers, tote bags, teacups, false lashes, skin creams, and more.

Each box is $50 or less, depending on your subscription, but they all include more than $200 of products. With FabFitFun, you can treat yourself and get great value.


  • Many benefits only available with annual subscription
  • Not only beauty-focused

If you want the best out of FabFitFun, you should probably get the annual subscription that makes you a Select member. Select members get more customization options, early access to the options, and early shipping.

FabFitFun isn’t just a beauty box, so you’ll be disappointed if you sign up just for the beauty products. Their boxes usually include fun, cozy items for around the house in addition to makeup, skincare, and tools.

How Much Do They Cost

Birchbox is cheaper on a monthly basis, but FabFitFun only charges you 4 times a year. A standard FabFitFun subscription is $200 for a whole year, and a standard Birchbox subscription will cost you $180 for the year.

If you sign up for an annual FabFitFun subscription, you’ll pay as much over a year as you will for a monthly Birchbox subscription.


Birchbox is $15 each month, and shipping is always free. You can save a few dollars by committing to a 6 month plan, where each box costs $14. An annual subscription brings each box down to only $13 each. No matter what plan you choose, Birchbox will bill you on a monthly basis instead of asking for you to pay the entire cost up front.

You can buy add-ons for your box, and they’ll be shipping along with your subscription free of charge.


Each FabFitFun box costs $49.99, with free shipping. An annual subscription costs $179.99, saving you $20 over the span of a year.

They also have add-ons available in their shop, and there are often discounts for subscribers.

What Kind Of Products Do You Get?

FabFitFun is a beauty and lifestyle box, so you’ll get items for your home, accessories, and so on in addition to beauty and makeup items. Birchbox is solely focused on beauty, so it’s the better option if you only want to get beauty products.


Birchbox is strictly a beauty box. They carry all kinds of beauty items, though, and even include the occasional beauty tool. In November, they sent out a jade roller to every subscriber.

With Birchbox, you can prioritize certain beauty categories. They have makeup, fragrances, skincare, hair care, and bath and body items.

Most of the samples Birchbox sends are from high-end or trendy brands. They have some favorites that they send out more often than others, including Sunday Riley, R+Co, and Oribe. They have two beauty lines of their own: Love of Color for Cosmetics, and ARROW for skincare.


FabFitFun is a lifestyle box with beauty components. That means that most of your items won’t necessarily be beauty items. The things they do include in their boxes are pretty interesting, though, and they’ll range from tech items to household goods and accessories.

Past boxes have included blankets, candles, jewelry, and glassware. The boxes have some seasonal items, so you can expect things like cozy slippers as an option for winter and things like sunblock as an option for summer.

They do include brand name skincare and makeup, though. Products from Dr. Dennis Gross have appeared in FabFitFun, along with Feel Beauty and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Final Thoughts

These two subscription boxes are completely different from each other. Birchbox is a better option if you’re specifically interested in beauty. It’s also more affordable than FabFitFun, if you’re planning to subscribe on a monthly basis. With Birchbox, you’ll pay $15 a month to try 5 new samples each month. It’s a great way to learn about beauty quickly, without spending lots of money on full-size products.

If you’re more interested in treating yourself on a regular basis, FabFitFun is the subscription for you. This service offers a wider range of items, not just beauty, but most of them are useful in your daily life. I recommend this box to anyone who wants to get great deals on lifestyle and beauty items.

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