How Fitness Subscription Boxes Work
Fitness boxes motivate and enable you to have the best possible workout. Rather than supplements or training programs, the best fitness boxes provide stylish yet utilitarian activewear clothing. With them, you are maximally comfortable and prepared for any activity, whether it may be yoga, weightlifting, running, or even lounging on a beach. And the best part is that fitness boxes are personalized for your needs, letting you return what you don’t want.
Most fitness boxes allow you to choose from a great range of delivery schedules, while others offer their clothing on a strict quarterly basis. There is also variation in the type of clothing you receive. Some fitness box services, for example, ask you to fill out a quiz; then they send you clothing tailored to your needs and tastes. Others want you to choose every item in your fitness box, or to choose at least some of them, leaving the rest a surprise that you can take or leave.
The 6 Best Fitness Boxes
This review covers 6 of the best fitness boxes available. Each section focuses on a particular fitness box service, the types of clothing and styles offered, and of course the fine details about pricing, shipping, and how the whole thing works.
While the general idea behind a fitness box is the same between brands, how often they deliver, how much control you have over the contents, applicable sales and promotions, and so many more details make each option unique.
About the brand:
FabFitFun is a subscription service that offers a seasonal selection of beauty products and accessories for delivery. It helps introduce you to excellent new brands, while also giving you the power to decide what you want to receive in your box. The brand has a great reputation and has been featured in Bustle, TechCrunch, and the Los Angeles Times, to name just a few. They also have over 900,000 Instagram followers and over 1 million FabFitFun Box subscribers.
Founded in 2010, FabFitFun has developed into a major lifestyle brand that offers regular-sized products to its members. Products come from a range of categories, including fitness, home décor, beauty, and fashion apparel. But the members get more than that. In addition to the box, there is access to FabFitFun TV, which provides wellness videos to enhance your mental health, and also inclusion in the online FabFitFun community.
What You Get:
In total, you receive 8 products per box, but the options for you to choose from are 20 and up. The FabFitFun team of fashion and beauty experts select some of the offerings, while you can choose the rest. And you have not only top-end brands to choose from, but also new cutting edge brands with great products looking to prove themselves. That way you don’t miss out on the latest trends and advancements across all the product categories.
FabFitFun delivers your box four times a year. After you sign up and before the next delivery, there is a period where you customize what you will receive. The customization depends on your subscription plan. For example, annual subscribers can choose (from a selection) all of the items that will go in their delivery. Seasonal subscribers, on the other hand, can select only 4 out of 8. Both can participate in discount offerings that pop up through the year.
Delivery & Cost:
Great news! Customers in the US, Canada, and UK can enjoy FabFitFun through international shipping. While shipping is free for customers in the mainland US, it costs $8 (per Seasonal Box) for customers in Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska. Customers in the UK have to pay a bit more for shipping, at a $10 flat rate.
The first two weeks of a Seasonable Box allow you to put in add-on items and customize your products. Then comes billing and processing, which can take 30 days. Transit and delivery take 7 to 10 business days in the UK, Canada, and the mainland US, up to 2 weeks for Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, and as long as 45 business days for DPO, FPO, and APO boxes.
FabFitFun is relatively inexpensive. Each Seasonal Box comes with 8 high-end items, yet it only costs $50 per box, if you go with the seasonal subscription plan, or $180 per year for all 4 boxes with an annual subscription. The downside is that all sales are final, and you cannot return or exchange any item that you purchase from FabFitFun. However, you do get a 2-week period to report anything wrong with your Seasonal Box and its products.
Related: Read the full FabFitFun Subscription Box Review
About the brand:
Fabletics is dedicated to giving you the most chic, fashionable, and sexy fitness apparel with an easy home delivery. It’s a new brand founded in 2013 and “brings the fashion-house approach into the activewear space.” For them, what is traditionally considered fitness clothing suited only for a gym or some kind of physical activity should in fact be everyday clothing that makes you look, feel, and move in satisfaction. Their 2 million + subscription members share that vision.
Sporting nearly 2 million Instagram subscribers, Fabletics is a powerhouse brand that grew tremendously quickly. With that in mind, it’s not surprising to find that Kate Hudson was involved in launching the company and helping it fill a gap in the clothing industry—joining co-founders Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler in their mission to marry chic and stunning fashion design and quality with the activewear style, flexibility, and practicality.
What You Get:
As a Fabletics VIP member, you get special access to the Fabletics monthly collections store. Based on your profile, you will get up to 50% off (ongoing) on items that are matched to meet your fashion tastes and activewear preferences. You also get access to new product lineups before they go public—and always at a discount. The products are joggers, leggings, and shorts of all types, as well as sports bras, tank tops, sweatshirts, and much more.
These products satisfy over 2 million current VIP members. The designs are made to make you look great, accentuate your body and work with it, instead of against it or trying to cover you up. This type of body-positive fashion is a refreshing addition and makes men and women more comfortable in their own skin.
Fabletics activewear clothing is highly functional in social settings like a backyard party, a restaurant date, while shopping, and of course when you want to go for a run or get in a workout. You may find that with a VIP subscription, you actually spend less on clothing because Fabletics is fulfilling so many roles at once with its high-end products. Throughout the day, one outfit makes you comfortable and confident for whatever range of activities you choose.
Delivery & Cost:
VIP members in the mainland US get free shipping by default, and orders typically arrive in 1 to 2 weeks. Members in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or using an APO box, must pay a flat $9 shipping and delivery fee. For Australians, that amount is slightly bumped up to $10. The one exception is for new VIP members, who only have to pay a $6 shipping fee on their first order. Expedited shipping is also available, but only for the mainland US, where it costs $16 for a 2 or 3-day delivery.
A Fabletics VIP membership costs $50 and is charged to your account once per month. But you can skip any month you want, so long as you do so by the 5th or earlier—otherwise you will be charged automatically. Fabletics, being a high-quality brand, is responsible about sending you reminders about the upcoming deadline. They also allow you to return unworn items (with tags attached) for in-store credit at no return cost, or in exchange for another item, or for a refund within 45 days of receipt (but you have to pay for return shipping).
Related: Read the full Fabletics Subscription Box Review
About the brand:
Ellie is a sophisticated activewear brand with a simple mission: delivering stylish 3-piece outfits to your door at a fraction of regular retail cost, once per month. By focusing on activewear 3-piece outfits and limiting how much they offer to members, Ellie is able to make sure you get a great deal and a great product. So many other brands, in activewear and other fashion spaces, have a “throw everything at the customer and hope they like it” business model. Ellie has the opposite approach, treating each product with laser-focused attention to detail.
Ellie is a California-based brand founded in 2013 by Gregory Wimmer. Today, it has a relatively small and growing Instagram following of 156k members. Visiting their website, it’s clear that they care a lot about their customers and giving them a transparent experience with their brand and clothing. For example, Ellie has an excellent FAQ section which includes pictures to help you navigate through your account and make changes and full previews of their clothing collections.
What You Get:
As an Ellie subscriber, you start by selecting your most favorite 3-piece outfit (don’t worry about it too much, because all of them have stellar designs). From there, you can choose whether or not to take advantage of Ellie’s member-exclusive add-on options to your monthly outfit order.
It’s important to know that you can view Ellie’s activewear catalog before signing up for anything. This is part of what makes Ellie a stellar brand. All you have to do is visit the “Current Collection” page on the ellie.com website. They have 3 new collections each month, and you can always skip a month if you don’t like it.
There are three Ellie subscription plans, which are all around the same price but have very important differences. Because the price isn’t much of an issue between them, the brand recommends deciding based on your favorite outfit from their collection. That way you will automatically start down one of the subscription plans.
For example, the 2 Item Monthly Plan includes a top and a bottom; the 3 Item Monthly Plan includes a top, bottom, and sports bra; while the 5 Item Monthly Plan gives you a top, sports bra, bottom, and 2 accessories, such a face masks, foot rollers, water bottles, wrist bands, and much more.
Delivery & Cost:
Ellie is amazing for its combination of truly beautiful activewear and an affordable price. The 2 Item Monthly Plan costs only $40 per month; the 3 Item Monthly Plan costs $45 per month, and the 5 Item Monthly plan costs $50 per month. Each plan also comes with 100% free shipping in the mainland US, taking about a week to deliver. However, if you are pumped about your order (or perhaps need it in time as a present), you can pay $15 for express shipping.
You can skip any month and avoid being charged, so long as you do it between the 1st and the 4th of the month. You can also outright cancel your Ellie membership—just remember to do it at least 5 business days before the billing date.
Ellie’s one downside is that, for now, they operate only in the mainland US—they are working diligently to expand to US territories and beyond. Alaska and Hawaii are eligible for shipping, but it costs a flat $7 rate and has no express shipping option. PO boxes cannot receive an Ellie shipment, yet APO and FPO address work just fine.
Returning an item is an easy process. The main stipulation is that you must return the whole collection, in original condition (tags attached), up to 30 days after your order date. After that, wait 2 weeks for the return to be processed, and to receive the refund in your account.
Some items are not eligible for return, including water bottles, headwear, and undergarments, as well as anything on sale. However, other than those items, Ellie will accept your return and even pay for it, giving you a prepaid return label and slip. You also have the option to exchange clothing, but only in the case that you need it in a different size.
#4: Wantable Fitness
About the brand:
Wantable Fitness is a fashion delivery brand with a unique approach of using expert scientists and computer algorithms to find the perfect piece of clothing for each member. Founded in 2012 by Jalem Getz and Stuart McMullin, Wantable has a seamless and easy approach to finding new clothing that fits with your style and enhances it. Their social media game is strong with 130k Instagram followers, who consider the brand’s offering among the best fitness boxes available.
Wantable adds a human touch to online shopping. Instead of interacting with a thoughtless website all the time and selecting between whatever the brand throws on the page, you can work with Wantable’s fashionistas for a boutique shopping experience. Practically, this means Wantable stylists examine your membership preferences and choose clothing for your order. It’s a highly engaging business model built around excellent customer support.
What You Get:
Before deciding which clothes to send, Wantable needs basic information about your preferences and tastes. That’s where their “Stream” function comes into play. It’s kind of a quiz, and kind of a wish list. It simply gives you a scroll-through column of clothing items, from tank tops to sweaters and shorts, and you choose whether or not you like it or not—kind of like a fashion Tinder.
In the Stream, you can filter which clothes categories you want to select from. Wantable splits them up between “style,” “active,” “sleep & body,” and “men’s active.” Then, within those categories, you can filter further by selecting from 4 to 8 clothing options, such as “undergarments,” “pullovers,” and “denim.” This level of feedback ends with you having a great selection from the Wantable team—and it makes Wantable one of the best fitness boxes.
From there, you choose what kind of box you want between the categories of “style,” “active,” “sleep & body,” and “men’s active” in one of Wantable’s time-limited themed boxes. Alternatively, you can put an order in for the items you selected from the Stream. But remember that it is a baseline for what your box will actually hold. You may, for example, get 2 items from the Stream and a number of items paired with it, by Wantable’s fashion team, to make a great outfit.
Delivery & Cost:
Having a personal stylist comes at extra cost, adding $20 to each box. Of course, Wantable has a great return policy. In fact, if you don’t like what they send, you can return all of it in unworn condition with tags attached for a full refund—except for the stylist cost, which is non-refundable.
On the other hand, if you decide to keep at least 5 of the clothing items sent to you, a 20% discount will be applied to the final cost—which varies per box, depending on what clothing goes into it, and which ones you decide to keep. A thoughtful aspect of Wantable’s box is that they only select clothing within the price range of what you select in the Stream. They also provide expectations, saying that Style category clothes are about $50 to $100 each.
Shipping is free for box orders, so you don’t have to worry about incurring that cost on top of paying for a stylist. And it’s important to know that your stylist doesn’t stop working once the order goes out. They continually tweak and refine what you receive so that you love each box more than the last. That quality attention to detail sets Wantable apart from other brands and makes for one of the best fitness boxes.
Wantable currently has no express or expedited shipping at this time, so you can’t pay for shipping even if you want to. They ship only within the US, including US territories and APO, DPO, and AFO boxes. Standard shipping in the US takes up to 5 business days, while the territories and APO, DPO, and AFO boxes can take as long as 2 weeks.
Related: Read the full Wantable Subscription Box Review
#5: Dia & Co Active Box
About the brand:
Dia & Co uses a short quiz to assess your style preferences, then sends you fashionable plus-sized clothing that fits and looks great. Anything you don’t like can be easily returned, and you only pay for what you keep. With nearly 200,000 Instagram followers, Dia & Co has proven they offer one of the best fitness boxes on the market. And they fill a crucial market gap by only offering clothes size 14 and up.
Founded by New Yorker and Harvard Business graduate Nadia Boujarwah, and later backed by a $95 million investment from juggernaut Sequoia Capital and others, Dia & Co is on a warpath to create a body-positive and fashion-friendly brand for plus-sized women.
Unlike other brands that offer plus-sized clothing as an afterthought (meanwhile using starvation-thin models for advertising) Dia & Co built one of the best fitness boxes with size 14 as the minimum size right from the beginning.
By all accounts, Bouajarwah and Sequoia made a wise business decision. Dia & Co have over 4 million members who love the ease of service and the way the brand helps them become fashionable. With well over 50% of the US population meeting the plus-sized standard, it’s a wonder that it took a startup company, rather than an established corporation, to address its needs.
What You Get:
Becoming a Dia & Co member is as easy as completing a short and fun online quiz. For example, if you want one of the best fitness boxes on the market, then head over to their activewear section and start with your basic information. Dia & Co asks for your height, top size, bottom size, bra size, cup size, and many more highly personable clothing questions, including how tight you like your clothing to rest.
After that you get to the fun part: selecting your favorite clothes from a wide range of images and styles. The quiz goes on to ask you how much you want to spend, what kind of activities you engage in (and the frequency). In total, it takes between 2 and 5 minutes to complete. By the end of it, the Dia & Co team will have a very strong understanding of your clothing needs and wants, practically and regarding style.
Then Dia & Co does their magic and chooses amazing clothes for you to wear. You receive a box each month with 5 activewear items picked out for you personally, and within your price range. It’s up to you to decide which clothing items to keep and which to send back. Just know that, no matter how many you return, you won’t be charged for it.
Delivery & Cost:
Because of Dia & Co’s customer-friendly clothing box model, the pricing depends on the budget you provided during the quiz, in addition to how many items you keep. One box could cost anywhere from $50 to $250. In the end, you’re in control of how much you spend. But this is something that only customers in the mainland 50 US states can experience—unfortunately, Dia & Co does not yet ship further than freedom land.
Every one of Dia & Co’s best fitness boxes comes with free shipping. The delivery time ranges between 2 and 5 business days for most orders. Thankfully, you have much longer to make a return—a maximum of 30 days from when your box ships. In that case, you simply have to make sure any clothing to be returned still has its tags and is in unworn condition. Dia & Co provides a pre-paid label and container in your box for returns (they expect at least 1 or 2).
Related: Read the full Dia & Co Subscription Box Review
About the brand:
YogaClub is for all those that love the downward dog, child’s pose, and tree position and are looking for a monthly, bi-monthly, seasonal, or annual subscription of fabulous, comfortable apparel and accessories to help you make those poses on-point. But, if you are looking for general activewear, this could also be for you!
Founded in 2016, this young company and its founder, Scott Yamano have taken the fitness world by storm. It has been nominated for Best Women’s Fashion Box and it has over 1k 5-star reviews on its website. Plus, the brand has been featured in Forbes, Self, Fitt, and The Huffington Post.
Based in California, this brand is all about providing affordable activewear from an array of brands including Free People, Glyder, and Vie Active. Many of their products are over 50% off the retail price.
From leggings, tops, bras, and more, this brand allows you to take their quiz and pick what you want on a monthly basis based on body type, preference on color and style, and what you need in your activewear arsenal.
What You Get:
So, what is in the YogaClub box? After you take the style quiz, you will receive 3 items which equate to a whole new athletic outfit. The brand includes plus size options and caters to all body types, leaving no one out of the subscription. Some of the options that are currently available for a single box include:
- Minx Moto Leggings
- Ceci Crepe Tank
- Malana Bra
Delivery & Cost:
With YogaClub, you receive a new outfit every month and you can change your preferences at any time. Many of the brands carried will come for over 50% off their retail prices, coming to a total of $79 per month. Delivery also comes right to your doorstep and you have the 4 options when it comes to frequency:
- Seasonal (3 months)
The brand delivers to the US and Canada, and all shipping times are calculated based on the delivery address. However, you can rely on the fact that your shipment will be processed the day you place your order. The only downside is that the brand will only refund defective items 30 days after purchase and exchanges have a $13 restocking fee after 14 days.
How to Choose the Best Clothing Subscription Box
Choosing between the best fitness boxes can be a struggle. Of the top 5 listed above, which one is right for you? How can you decide? To start, you need to look at the big three categories that are applicable to every brand: style, price, and customization. Each brand may have a similar approach, but there are slight variations that, hopefully, this review has made you aware of, and that you will keep in mind when making your decision.
Understanding how these categories work with each other is not as simple as it may appear at first glance. Order customization, for example, could be critically important for one customer and a headache for another. So whether or not you are required to choose your items for each box—or, in the reverse, required to use the services of a professional stylist—can be a deal breaker, as well as affect the cost.
The pricing is not limited to the upfront cost of whichever best fitness box you choose. Because it’s a regular delivery, free shipping will accrue a significant amount of savings over time. Another detail to keep an eye on is whether or not the brand pays for returns with a prepaid shipping label. If not, you need to anticipate the extra costs that will inevitably come when you decide not every single item in one of these top fitness boxes is right for you.
Looking for other top brands? Check out these curated lists below: