Specialty Plants & Flowers
For Special Occasions
Ordering & Delivery
Eco & Charitable
Best Online Flower Delivery Services
Why Should I Use Online Flower Delivery Services?
We ordered online flowers from 10 vendors and compared the services on how they were delivered, the appearance of the flowers and which flowers stayed fresh the longest. We also judged flower delivery services by the range of products that they offer and by each company’s delivery options. Our top pick, 1-800-Flowers.com, has an extensive and beautiful selection of flowers and gifts, making it the best flower delivery website for most people. It provides a generous selection of sympathy and funeral floral arrangements, as well as an exceptionally sensitive service – there is a sympathy adviser who can guide you if you’re unsure about particular religious or cultural traditions before you place your floral order.
If sustaining local florists is important to you, Teleflora only uses local florists across the country and still scored high in our freshness grade test. It’s our top pick for best local flower delivery, and it also specializes in Flowers in a Gift, which means the recipient gets a keepsake vase or other container along with the blossoms.
Flowerbud is our top pick for value because all orders include free overnight shipping within the continental U.S. Flowerbud.com not only offers farm-fresh blossoms, but deals only in American-grown flowers.
Online Flower Delivery: What We Tested, What We Found
In our search for the best flower delivery service, we bought fresh flowers from each vendor, along with bouquets from vendors that did not make it into our final comparison. We noted if the flowers were delivered on time, observed their appearance upon arrival and then determined which stayed the freshest over time. We compared the services accordingly.
We picked firms that offer you a wide variety of products, services and community-related features. As a customer, you deserve services that deliver a first-class experience for all your floral and gift needs, as well as other factors that contribute to a good online flower delivery service.
These factors include things like comprehensive and speedy customer support and different types of delivery tracking. We also researched each company’s commitment to ecological and fair-trade issues.
Increasingly, flower delivery companies are either being acquired by other corporations or are building partner relationships with other firms to expand the kinds of gifts they can offer you. For example, 1-800-Flowers.com has acquired Harry & David, and FTD has acquired ProFlowers, although ProFlowers and Harry & David still operate as independent entities. FromYouFlowers.com, which is not included in our comparison, is part of the Teleflora network of national and international floral vendors that use local florists to fill orders.Flowerbud.com, has developed a partnership with Stargazer Barn, which offers you a selection of wine, candies, jewelry, perfume and more.
Flower arrangements include bundles of cut flowers, loosely gathered and shipped via a delivery service for you to place in a vase, as well as the more traditional floral arrangements that are already in a vase and are delivered to your intended recipient by a local florist. One of the most significant features of an online flower service is variety, and we looked for companies that offer reasonable-to-exceptional selections of flowers and arrangement styles.
Many sites offer flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and "just because." Corporations often send floral gifts to employees or other firms. If you do not want to give someone a floral bouquet – and for some people, this implies a romantic message – you might prefer to order a live green plant, a bonsai plant or a dish garden with cacti. These kinds of gifts could be perceived as more professional and would safely congratulate or thank someone without sending the wrong message.
We sought out companies that offer a variety of non-floral gifts in addition to flowers. Many online flower delivery companies offer a number of gift choices, including balloons, jewelry and seasonal presents like summer barbecue tools.
Gift baskets are popular, with many firms offering such things as gourmet chocolates, wines, cheeses, crackers, coffees and teas. For the best gift basket services, take a look at our gift basket reviews.
A first-rate online flower delivery service makes it easy to order flowers online or by phone and can answer your questions quickly and courteously. Another useful service is the electronic reminders that you can sign up to receive. If you have ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, you will no doubt appreciate an electronic reminder so that disaster doesn't happen again. In addition, some have customer loyalty programs that let you accumulate points for discounts and special offerings.
Ordering & Delivery
All the companies we reviewed provide a website where you choose flowers and pay for them. You typically need to establish an online account with the firm, which is easy to do, and then fill in what you want, where and to whom it should go, and how you will pay.
Top-notch flower delivery companies provide tracking information online and by phone so you don't need to wonder whether your flowers arrived. You can check the status of your bouquet as it travels toward your intended recipient.
All the sites we reviewed deliver within the continental United States, and most also deliver within Canada, Hawaii and Alaska. Some sites offer international flower delivery for an additional cost. All the online flower firms in our comparison provide next-day delivery on weekdays in most areas of the U.S., and several, including Flowerpetal.com, offer same-day delivery to most U.S. and Canadian locations.
In some cases, placing an order late Sunday evening might require a Tuesday delivery instead of Monday. Many flower delivery companies offer same-day service, which is great if you forgot an important birthday or anniversary. Short-notice flower deliveries typically depend on the time you place the order and cost more for the expedited efforts and the shipping. You might also have a somewhat more limited selection of bouquets if you are ordering flowers to be delivered very quickly.
If you opt for a service that sends cut flowers for you to arrange yourself, it takes a couple of days for the buds to unfurl into blossoms. That means your flowers won’t be display ready when they arrive. In addition, the services use different approaches to getting flowers into your recipient's hands. Some flowers come in a box with a carefully wrapped and moistened sponge at the bottom of the stems to keep blossoms fresh. The recipient arranges these flowers, and since they arrive in bud form, it takes three or four days for the petals to open completely. Other companies let you send a traditional arrangement that is already prepared and in a vase.
Eco & Charitable Features
Many online flower delivery services prominently feature eco-friendly plants and flowers. Some have Veriflora designation, which means they sell only products cultivated under stringent sustainability standards.
Some also have the Fair Trade certification, which means their products meet various standards for the way producers treat the environment and the workers who tend the plants. This includes such things as restrictions on child labor and use of pesticides and other chemicals.
First-rate flowers, great gifts and spot-on service define the best online flower delivery services. Check out our reviews to find the best online flowers.
Contributing Reviewer: Ryan Brown