Valentine's Day is just around the corner, so it's time to start considering the best flower delivery online options for your loved one. With more and more people being forced to stay at home, and avoid meeting up, online flower delivery will be very popular in 2021, so it pays to know who the best services are, and exactly what each one offers. We've tested all the major flower delivery companies in the US, and rated them according to things like price, delivery, freshness of the bouquet and more.
Our list of the best flower delivery online services includes both general flower companies, and sites that offer more specialized gifts. We reviewed each one by ordering the same (or as similar as possible) bouquet from each, and comparing them when they arrived. We also considered things like how easy each website is to use, the range of additional gifts on offer, and the options available for personalizing your flowers.
We care about small businesses and local providers on Top Ten Reviews, so we also looked at whether these providers use quality local florists to fulfil their orders, and how closely these local florists are able to recreate the bouquets shown on the website. For more gift ideas over Valentine's Day, consider our guide to the best gift baskets and, for a more personal touch, the best valentine's day DIY card sites.
1. 1-800-Flowers: Best flower delivery online overall
1-800 Flowers secures a spot at the top for the best flower delivery online overall. It’s a great option if you’ve never ordered flowers before, as there’s a wonderful selection of flowers and plants. 1-800 Flowers wants its customers to be satisfied, so if there’s a problem with your order, the company will help make it right. If you’re on a budget, there are some wonderful options here, too, with some more expensive options if you’re willing to shell out more cash - just take into account the variable service fees and taxes.
The delivery we had arrived on time, and in good condition, especially when compared to others we tested. 1-800 Flowers is a very safe pair of hands, although one of our few complaints is that there are no care instructions included with each delivery, which we think should be standard for all bouquets.
- Read our 1-800 Flowers review
2. ProFlowers: Most affordable flowers
ProFlowers may not be everyone’s first choice, but where it fails in bouquet design, it makes up for in affordability. ProFlowers has the most beautiful options for under $40, which is a less-than-average cost for fresh-cut flowers. If you’re on a tighter budget, we think ProFlowers is the smart pick - your bouquet will likely still be fresh and beautiful and relatively fuller than arrangements from other services that are similarly valued. There’s a decent variety of flowers on the website too, which means there are plenty to pick from, and the gifting options are more than enough for most occasions.
- Read our ProFlowers review
3. FTD: Best flower quality
Although the bouquets on the FTD aren’t as original as ones we’ve seen from other services, we thought that the end product was the best we’ve seen - and ultimately, it’s the result that matters the most. Our arrangement arrived in great condition and was very close to what was advertised, unlike many of the other bouquets we received. The website is easy to use, and the choice of flowers is good too. While not as good value as some others, nor as varied or original, FTD is a very solid choice for anyone who just wants good quality flowers delivered.
- Read our FTD flowers review
4. UrbanStems: Most eco-friendly flowers
UrbanStems is one of the newer services in the flower delivery space, and although it still has some way to go, it still makes our list of the best flower delivery services. Its bouquets have a more modern and bohemian aesthetic, so it’s perhaps better suited for a younger recipient rather than an older one. UrbanStems is also your go-to if eco-friendly practices matter to you or your recipient: the company values ecological responsibility and supports its farmers and their local industries. While the bouquet we received from UrbanStems wasn’t the best we tested (nor the worst), it was still lovely and fresh, and the fact it’s eco-friendly goes a long way. The site is also easy to navigate, and has a good variety of options for all budgets.
- Read our UrbanStems review
5. Teleflora: Easiest ordering options
Despite many negative customer reviews, we were pleased with our Teleflora arrangement. With fair prices, gifts you can add to your order, and the ease of ordering, Teleflora is a good choice if you’re ordering flowers for the first time, or if you aren’t well-versed in purchasing flowers online. Teleflora also has very informative product pages that can help you make the best choice for your recipient and your wallet. If you are new to ordering flowers, or only do it very occasionally, we’ve got our own guide to flower meanings to help you make a more informed pick.
- Read our Teleflora review
6. The Bouqs: Most original arrangements
We absolutely love the way The Bouqs arrangements look online: with such a large variety of flowers, plants, and stems used throughout the selection, it was a delight to browse the site. As a newer player in the market, it markets itself to a younger demographic with a more bohemian aesthetic and gentle pastel hues. If you’re looking for same-day or next-day delivery, The Bouqs probably isn’t for you - but if your recipient would appreciate a plantable succulent that can last for far longer than the fresh-cut flowers it came with, order early. The reality of the flowers that showed up for testing in our offices didn’t match the beauty of the ones on site, which was disappointing, but there’s always an element of this with flowers.
- Read our The Bouqs review
7. Venus et Fleur: Best for roses
Venus et Fleur isn’t your average flower delivery company. If you’re willing to pay a pretty steep price, you can order the service’s signature Eternity Roses, which can last a year with appropriate (yet minimal) care. Treated with chemicals to preserve them and dyed to give them a striking color - that can be anything from red to rainbow - you won’t have to replace them for about 12 months. Presented in a lovely box, and with a really distinct smell that lasts for several weeks, these roses are a gift your recipient won’t forget - but they’re not for everyone.
- Read our Venus et Fleur review
8. Amazon flowers: A great variety of bouquets
Surprisingly, for fresh-cut flowers, Amazon is a very credible option. The delivery giant may not have the most beautiful arrangements, and may not be the most reliable, but you can still get a quality product for a low price if you pick wisely. Remember that the quality of your bouquet is only as good as the quality of the vendor you pick, so you need to be familiar with how Amazon works, and be confident in picking third-party sellers. For the best results, read the arrangement reviews carefully, and make sure that there are enough to ensure that you are getting the best bang for your buck. The bouquet we received was in good condition, and was one of the better value picks from this round of testing.
- Read our Amazon flowers review
How we tested and found the best flower delivery online services
We thought the best way to find the best flower delivery service would be to order the same thing from each one. So, we ordered bouquets with as consistent elements as possible from all our vendors, and opted for next-day delivery. When they arrived we either left them in their respective vases or unpackaged them from their boxes, noting how they looked and following the instructions that came with each bouquet.
After letting the bouquets sit overnight, we then took surveys rating the look and smell of each bouquet, as well as whether they appeared to be worth the price, including shipping and handling. The flowers remained in our office in the following days as we kept their water fresh and collected data on how quickly their blooms opened. We also waited for how long it took them to die, which to us was when the majority of the blooms were droopy, falling apart and no longer visually appealing.
When it came to fulfilling our orders, we discovered national flower delivery companies that outsource to local florists often don’t arrive as they look on the website. We lowered scores for companies that sent us arrangements that looked significantly different from the ones shown on site.
Flower varieties - what should you get?
The best flower delivery online services offer a wide range of flowers for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a happy bundle of daisies or a romantic bouquet of roses, you can find them online. One thing to keep in mind, however, is whether an online company sends flowers from its own warehouse or outsources to a local florist.
Companies that assemble their own bouquets are more likely to match the photo online, so you know exactly what you’re getting. When a local florist is contracted to fill an order, flowers can show up looking a little different because of artistic interpretation of a bouquet or sometimes even a shortage of a certain type of flower.
Home much does flower delivery cost?
The sticker price of any given bouquet from an online flower delivery service can increase considerably with a delivery charge. In our experience, delivery or shipping and handling can cost anywhere between $10 and $20 depending on what you purchase and where you live, so even a cheap flower bouquet’s price can end up almost doubling.
How to make your flowers last longer
There are several things you can do to keep cut flowers alive for as long as possible. ProFlowers recommends cutting 1 to 2 inches off the stems before putting them in a vase. Cut the stems at an angle to improve water intake, and continue this process every couple of days. Use room temperature water in your vase and change it out every two or three days, along with any flower food that came with the bouquet. It might seem counter-intuitive, but you should keep cut flowers out of direct sunlight and heat. Don't display them near fresh fruit either, as fruit releases gases that can kill your flowers faster.
ProFlowers conducted tests with myriad household items that are supposed to keep your flowers alive longer: vodka, apple cider vinegar, hairspray and even bleach. It found keeping flowers chilled in the fridge rendered the best results, along with adding a little lemon-lime soda to the bouquet's water. The home remedy yielding the worst results was hairspray, so keep the Aqua Net away from your flowers at all cost! We have a full guide on flower care if you need more information.
Why are flower arrangements so expensive?
The cost of a bouquet varies by the type of flowers you want and how many. Obviously, the larger and more extravagant the bouquet is, the more expensive it is.
We ordered a dozen roses from the 10 companies we tested and discovered that bouquet cost an average of about $75, including all shipping and handling fees. There are more extravagant bouquets with balloons and chocolates available for around $250, or simpler arrangements for about $30.
Bouquets can be expensive because many flowers are grown on another country or even continent and often harvested by hand. Shipping flowers across the globe and ensuring they’re kept fresh costs a lot.
Feeding your flowers after they’ve been delivered
Most flower delivery services include a small packet of plant food you should mix in with the water in the bouquet vase. Have you ever wondered what that powdery substance actually is? These packets usually contain citric acid, sugar and bleach. This is because a byproduct of photosynthesis is sugars that help the plant grow. Adding a little extra sugar to the water the plant consumes essentially gives the bouquet a little boost. You can make alternative plant food at home with one teaspoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of salt and half a teaspoon of ammonia added to one gallon of water.
Flower delivery for allergy sufferers
You might think that there isn't an option for people who love flowers but can't have them around because they're allergic to them. However, there are a lot of flowers you can get that won't make people sneeze or give them itchy eyes.
The hydrangea plant is ideal because it comes in a lot of different colors but won't bother allergy sufferers. Allergens are usually found in a plant's pollen, so try to avoid flowers that carry a lot of pollen. Geraniums, for example, work well because they have low levels of pollen. Flowers with higher levels you should avoid include daisies, sunflowers and chrysanthemums.
If you know the person you’re buying flowers for is very sensitive and you’re afraid to get anything with a bloom on it, a cactus or succulent is a great alternative. These green plants don’t have any blooms and, therefore, don’t have any pollen, making them perfect for folks with sensitive noses. Note that some breeds of cactus, like the Bunny Ear, do occasionally flower under the right conditions, so do your research before you buy. It’s not as fun as surprising a friend or loved one with a bouquet, but you can always ask what types of flowers and pollen they’re allergic to so that you won’t risk giving them a gift that makes them sneeze.