Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reader Question: Locking Mailboxes

curbside mailbox

I'm wondering if you've done any research on mailboxes. I'm looking for something large enough to hold a few days mail, but that's also attractive and not a custom order. So many of the ones I've seen are ugly. Now to push it a little further, I'd love to find a box that works on a fence or a gate so that the public/street side is a mail slot and the private side has a secure box to hold the mail with the ability to take the mail out on the private side of the fence.

This message arrived a couple days after I read about the issue of "protecting mail from identity thieves." [Thanks to Naomi Seldin] So let's look at mailboxes that are secure and at least somewhat attractive - including some that might work for the reader.

The Bobi mailbox shown above can be wall-mounted or curbside mounted. It comes in six colors - a bunch of neutrals, and red. But two models (the Classic-B and the Grande-B) have rear doors, and they are shown mounted to a gate. They are made of "stainless steel or zincplated steel which is covered with a polyester coating." The mailboxes are made in Finland, but they're available in at least 15 countries: much of Europe, as well as the U.S., Canada and Japan.

mailbox on fence

Another option is the Janzer thru-fence mailbox - but unfortunately, this is the only picture on the Janzer web site. The mailbox is made of aluminum.

curbside mailbox

If you're looking for a curbside product rather than one on a gate, there are a few options with front slots and rear doors. You could consider the CurbVault. It looks a bit odd to me, but it has lots of useful features. This one is made of steel, and it comes in four colors. [photo from Gardecor, one of many sites selling this product.]

post mailbox shaped like a house

And then there's House Box, from Ready Steady Co., made of stainless steel. [via Apartment Therapy; see the comments there about getting postmaster approval]

post-mounted locking mailbox

The MailCase is a more traditional post-mounted option - and doesn't have a rear door.

locking wall-mounted mailbox

And for those of us who need a simple wall-mounted option, the Peninsula locking mailbox from Architectural Mailboxes is quite nice; it's stainless steel. The company also makes other locking mailboxes, including post-mounted ones.

teak mailbox

And if you have a sheltered location for your mailbox (and a lot of money to spend), you could get this teak mailbox from Semigood Design, handcrafted in Seattle. Both locking and non-locking versions are available.

cow mailbox

Finally, this cow mailbox is not a locking one - but I just had to share it. [via Stacked Books]


nana said...

A few years ago our neighborhood assoc had everyone switch to locked mailboxes even though there was no threat of theft. Some thought the locked ones looked better. Ours look much like the curbside ones you picture. CAUTION: These locked boxes do NOT hold larger envelopes! In the old fashioned (some may say ugly) boxes, the mail person could bend the large envelopes and even fit in small boxes, such as a single book box from Amazon. With a home office, we receive a LOT of large envelopes and I have had to tear them open in the box in order to get the mail out. Suggest you save a week's worth of mail and try it in any box you are considering.

Jeri Dansky said...

Nana, thanks for the great suggestion! As with ANY organizing effort, we need to make sure the container we buy fits the stuff we intend to keep in it!