Types Of Mailboxes – Everything You Need To Know

Mailboxes come in many different shapes, sizes, materials and styles. Some are more decorative than others and some are made to be painted or clad in some type of material. But whatever the style, there are some basic considerations you should make when choosing a mailbox for your property.


Cluster Boxes

Cluster boxes are what many would consider a traditional mailbox. They are large, metal mailboxes that are anchored to the ground and offer a secure, locking mailbox for your mail.

When you get a bunch of them side-by-side, they create a fence-like effect around your property. This makes it difficult for people to approach your home without being noticed.

Some people even believe the cluster box is a government installed security measure. However, cluster boxes have some major drawbacks: They can be extremely expensive – often costing $5,000 or more per unit. They are very noticeable and can detract from the overall look of your property. They are not aesthetically pleasing. Most often, these mailboxes are painted bright red, yellow or orange and are located in the most obvious place on your property.

Apartment Mailboxes

Apartment mailboxes are designed to accommodate the needs of apartment dwellers. Apartment mailboxes can be mounted on a common post in the middle of the complex, where everyone’s mail can be collected from a central location.

Or they can be placed at each apartment door, where the mail carrier collects mail for individual tenants as he or she makes house-to-house deliveries. Mounting an apartment mailbox on a common post is typically less expensive than placing it at each apartment door. However, this approach does have some disadvantages.

Chief among them is the fact that, if your apartment building has a small mail delivery route, it may be necessary to send your mail to a larger post office with a higher volume of traffic. In this case, you may actually pay more in postage because the post office will have to raise its postage rate to cover the additional mailing volume.

Another disadvantage of mounting your apartment mailboxes on a common post is that the mail carrier will have to make multiple trips to each door if all the boxes are not full. Obviously, this is inconvenient for your tenants and can lead to a considerable amount of lost revenue. The most cost-effective and convenient way to receive your mail is to have it delivered directly to your front door.

Wall Mounted Mailboxes

Wall mounted mailboxes are a great option if you’re looking for a high-class way of receiving your mail, and the best part is that these are incredibly easy to install. With a sturdy frame, the entire mailbox can be screwed into the wall of your choice.

It will usually measure 2-1/2 inches by 4-1/2 inches, and the size of the opening will depend on the size of your mail delivery schedule. If you only get your mail once a month, the hole will probably only be 1-1/2 inches wide.

If you receive your mail twice a week, it will be about 3-1/2 inches wide. Whatever size you choose, it should be large enough to allow at least one letter-sized piece of paper through each time your mail carrier comes by. 

Pedestal Mounted Boxes

If you are attaching a mailbox to a pedestal, the pedestal must be large enough to accommodate a mailbox. These pedestals may need to be professionally installed.

If you are going to use cement or mortar to attach the mailbox to your home, the base of the mailbox should be at least 1-1/2 inches above the surface of the finished cement or mortar. This will prevent moisture from collecting under the mailbox and causing it to rot.

It is important to note that some municipalities have regulations about how high mailboxes can be attached to a home. Make sure you know the regulations in your area before you proceed. 

Freestanding Mailboxes

Some people want a mailbox that stands out from the crowd. A freestanding mailbox can be just what you want. You'll also find freestanding mailboxes that are made of metal or stone. Sometimes these are made to look like miniature buildings.

Other times, they're brightly painted and look like little toys. Whatever. The point is, if you want a mailbox that will attract attention, a freestanding mailbox might be just what you need. But wait! Before you go out and spend all that dough on a new mailbox, ask yourself if you really need one.

If your answer is yes, read on. If not, forget this whole idea and go get a beer. Here's why you should think about getting a "stand out" mailbox: Mailboxes that stand out (from the crowd) are more likely to get noticed by mail carriers. This is important because it means your mail gets delivered faster. In fact, when it comes to first-class and bulk mail, every fraction of a second counts.

Parcel Boxes

If you have a parcel to deliver, a parcel box is the way to go. This is a special box that is designed to be easier to open for mail carriers.

They are located just inside your front door on the ground floor and are usually painted a bright yellow. The yellow makes them easy to see for the mail carrier and it also helps guide him to the box. The best part of all? It's free!

If you decide to use this option, make sure the package you are sending is at least as big as 9-1/2" x 5-1/2" so it will fit properly into the box. Also, if your package has a lot of irregular shaped items, put them in a separate box and send those items separately. That way, your entire parcel will be easier to deliver.

Architectural Mailboxes

Architectural mailboxes are designed to compliment the look of your home. The mailbox is often made from the same material as the home. They typically have the post embedded into the concrete, making it one single, aesthetically pleasing item instead of two separate pieces.

Concrete mailboxes are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some are simply decorative; others are designed to hold multiple letters or even individual mailbags. Whatever your needs, there's a concrete mailbox that's right for you! 


Wooden Mailboxes

Wooden Mailboxes are a unique, charming and stylish way to deliver mail. They can be used for both residential and commercial purposes. If you want your home or office to have a beautiful look, you can get wooden mailboxes in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs.

They are also available in various price ranges which makes them an ideal choice for anyone on a budget. You can have your name, address, or any other information you want to identify your property etched into the face of the mailbox. Etching is easy to do and only requires a drill, a small amount of wood stain, and a few brushes. Your mailbox will then look as good as new!

There are many different types of wooden mailboxes you can buy. They range from basic, traditional designs to more modern and sleek options. No matter what style you choose, they are all going to add a nice touch of class to your home. 

Plastic Mailboxes

You should have no problem finding a plastic mailbox for sale. Even the basic models will be quite stylish. You can also choose from more unique styles to add more value to your home.

One option is to have the plastic mailbox painted to match the color of your house. This gives the appearance of one continuous mailbox without any visual breaks. Another option is to have it made in a bright, contrasting color like red or orange.

This will make your home more noticeable and help it stand out against its surroundings. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it blends in with its surroundings. A glaringly obvious mailbox is going to be an eyesore and could even attract vandalism.

The other benefit of using plastic mailboxes is they are much less expensive than wooden or metal mailboxes. Wooden and metal mailboxes require a considerable amount of maintenance to keep them looking good. However, plastic does not and will therefore last longer and be less of an expense over time.

Metal Mailboxes

Metal mailboxes can be a little pricier than plastic mailboxes, but are generally a better investment. Metal mailboxes are incredibly durable and will last a lifetime with very little maintenance.

They also do not deteriorate from weather conditions as rapidly as plastic mailboxes. Metal mailboxes are also much more resistant to most attempts at vandalism. In fact, in most areas, metal mailboxes are the only type of mailboxes which are allowed by law.

When you decide to go with a metal mailbox, you should make sure it is painted an appropriate color for your property. Mailboxes which are not painted will quickly rust and turn an unsightly brownish-orange color. This is especially true if they are located in a coastal or humid area where there is a lot of salt air. Just make sure the paint job is done properly. A cheap, temporary coat of paint will wash off with just a light rain. 

Cast Aluminium Mailboxes

Cast aluminium mailboxes are another good option if you want something that is very durable. These are made from a mold of solid aluminum and are also very easy to install. They come in various sizes and styles and you can even get them with a glass door. Another thing to remember is that you should order extra paint so you'll have it on hand for touch-ups.

Locking Mailboxes

Locking mailboxes are another security option that homeowners should consider. They're popular with people who have been victims of mail theft or with those who have a dog that they're concerned might get into the mail.

The idea is that the owner of the house will have a small plastic card key made that will open all of the mailboxes in his or her neighborhood. Then, if someone gets a hold of one of those keys, they won't be able to access any of the mail inside. Mailboxes can be locked by the post office or by an independent locksmith.

Rear Access Mailboxes

Rear access mailboxes are a good solution for homes that have a driveway but don't have a sidewalk connecting the driveway with the home. A rear access mailbox will allow you to get your mail from the side of your home without having to go out the front door.

This type of mailbox is often times placed at the end of a driveway nearest to the street. This placement makes sense because it allows you to retrieve mail easily without having to get out of your car. Mailboxes near the street are also less likely to be vandalized.


How Big Should Mailboxes Be?

Mailing boxes should be large enough so that a person can easily retrieve their mail without having to bend down. Ideally, they should be at least 36 inches high. Mailboxes that are too low make it difficult or impossible for people to get their mail without having to stoop. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can lead to all kinds of health problems.

How do I remove my old mailbox?

The best way to remove your old mailbox is to simply unscrew or unscrew the box. In some cases, your old mailbox may be cemented into the wall or mailbox post. If this is the case, you'll need a quality pry bar.

Be careful not to damage the mailbox post or the wall when removing the mailbox. Another option is to hire a professional removal service. These people are usually very reasonable and they will take care of everything for you.

How can I recycle the mailbox? 

There are many options for recycling the mailbox and the post for you. The post is usually made of wood and it is easy to get rid of it with the help of a saw. There are some local companies that can reuse the post such as a fence company.

They will remove the post from the ground, cut off the mailbox and use it as firewood. Another option is to contact a metal recycler. This is someone who goes around collecting old metal items such as aluminum cans, copper and iron. These people pay a lot of money for your junk mail.


Mailboxes come in different shapes and sizes. They also have different features such as the height of the mailbox above the ground, the width of the opening of the mailbox, whether they are solid or have a slot, etc. These differences cause problems for mail carriers and sometimes, people get their mail twice. That's because the mail carrier doesn't know which type of mailbox you have and delivers the mail to the wrong one. This can lead to huge problems such as people getting fined heavily by the government or having their mail not delivered at all. That's why it is very important to know the different types of mailboxes and how to use them properly.

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