This Old House: “Best Mailboxes (2023 Review)” Mail Boss Mail Manager wins HIGEST SCORE 9.6 / 10

Best mailboxes 2023

In their article The 5 Best Mailboxes (2023 Review) the This Old House Reviews Team chose the Mail Boss Mail Manager for their HIGHEST score of all mailboxes currently on the market with a score of 9.6 out of a possible 10, also selecting the Mail Manager locking security mailbox as the most customizable mailbox of 2023.

Mail Boss MailboxSteel22 pounds2Mail clip and three keys

This locking mailbox features a galvanized steel body and an anti-pry latch to prevent your personal mail from ending up in the wrong hands. It contains two storage areas that hold several weeks’ worth of mail. It also comes with the screws necessary for installation and can also be purchased with a bar or mounting post.

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes three keys
✔ Contains two storage areas to hold a lot of mail
✔ Comes with an outgoing mail clip

✘ Doesn’t look decorative
✘ Weighs over 20 pounds, making lifting it for installation more difficult

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers liked that this mailbox was durable. One homeowner even said that it held up after being hit by a truck. Others liked that it had security features and was easy to install. However, some customers said that the storage compartments retained too much water after rainstorms and that the mail drop area was too small.

This Old House Mailbox Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a mailbox, consider the following factors.


There are a wide variety of mailbox designs, including curbside, wall-mounted, and combo models. Curbside mailboxes mount to wooden or steel posts and are positioned at the front of your yard for simple mail drop-off. These mailboxes require an additional purchase for a post and sometimes offer unique features, such as locking or rear-facing doors.

Wall-mounted mailboxes are selected over curbside models because of their convenience and protection. Since they’re installed on the front of your home, they are less likely to be damaged by passing cars and are easier to access. This type of mailbox requires hardware and a mounting plate for installation.

Combo models include a curbside mailbox and an accompanying post. The two are packaged together to prevent you from needing to purchase a separate post, ultimately saving you time and money.


Mailboxes are constructed from several materials, with steel and plastic being the most common. Steel is a durable heavy-duty material that protects your mail from the elements. Plastic mailboxes, while less durable than steel, are more affordable and have long-lasting properties. There are also high-quality metal mailboxes or cast aluminum mailboxes available.

Safety Features

Many mailboxes include safety features that prevent people from stealing your mail. The most common feature is a locking door that requires a key for access.

Rear Access

This optional feature is convenient for homeowners who live on a busy street. Rear access gives you the option to safely pick up your mail without having to reach around to the street-facing side of the mailbox.

Color and Design

Mailboxes are designed to be practical, but they can also serve as a decorative accent in the front of your home. With respect to local rules and regulations, the color and styling of your mailbox should complement your home’s exterior. Since your mailbox is one of the first elements that visitors and passersby notice about your home, a nicely designed and well-maintained mailbox sends the message that you take care of your house.

Most mailboxes come in natural colors like white, black, gray, or brown. However, a solid red, blue, yellow, or green mailbox to match your house may also look good.


Mailboxes should be positioned so that they are easily accessible for both you and the mail carrier. The USPS recommends positioning your mailbox 41 to 45 inches from the road surface to the bottom of the box or point of mail entry.

Figuring Out The Right Mailbox Size

Having a correctly sized mailbox for your needs is important. If your mailbox is too small, you’ll find it has minimal functionality and you may need to travel to your local post office for anything larger than a standard envelope. However, an overly large mailbox could make your home a potential target for thieves or vandals. In any case, you’ll also need to conform to the United States Postal Service (USPS) and homeowner association (if applicable) standards.

The good news is that there are several size options available that check most of these boxes. At the minimum, your mailbox should be large enough to fit a standard flat-rate envelope with the door closed without bending it. The USPS standard flat-rate envelope measures 9.5 inches by 12.5 inches. Below are some other size guidelines:

Wall-Mounted Mailboxes

Most sufficiently sized wall-mounted mailboxes are four to five inches deep. The height of these mailboxes varies anywhere from nine to 15 inches with a width of nine to 18 inches.

Curbside Mailboxes

The minimum size for a standard curbside mailbox is 18.5 inches in length, six inches in width, and eight inches in height. We recommend opting for a curbside mailbox that’s at least slightly larger than this, however, because this minimum size isn’t big enough to accommodate a flat-rate envelope without bending it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I install a mailbox on my house?

According to the USPS, if you want to use a wall-mounted mailbox, you must first get a postmaster’s permission to relocate your current curbside mailbox. Once the new mailbox is approved, install it in plain sight near your home’s main entrance.

How do I secure my mailbox?

The best way to ensure that your mail is safe is by purchasing a locking mailbox or other high-security mailbox. Locking mailboxes have pry-resistant locking doors that can only be accessed with a personalized key.

Is my mailbox owned by the USPS?

You’re responsible for your mailbox’s maintenance if it’s installed on personal property. However, some mailboxes, such as those in a centralized location of a neighborhood, are owned and maintained by the USPS. To find out whether or not your mailbox is owned by the postal service, contact your local post office.

What do I do if my mailbox is vandalized?

Mailbox vandalism is a federal crime—violators are subject to a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison. If you’ve discovered damage to your mailbox, immediately report it to the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Is it necessary to clean my mailbox?

Generally, no. Unless something spills or makes a mess in or on your mailbox, you’re not expected to regularly clean it. However, mailboxes do collect dust and dirt, so it’s worth occasionally wiping a damp rag across all of the surfaces of your mailbox when it’s empty. You can dampen the rag with soap and water or a mild all-purpose spray cleaner.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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