Best Gift Baskets of 2019

Ryan Brown ·
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We enlisted 20 coworkers to taste test 11 gift baskets from the top gift basket companies. The best overall gift basket is the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David because it features delicious, ripe fruit and snacks that are unique and tasty. If you’re a cheese connoisseur or interested in trying more gourmet foods, we recommend the California Classic Gift Basket from igourmet.com. If you want the largest basket for a comparable price, the Gourmet Choice basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets is best.      

Best Overall
Harry & David
With its perfectly ripe pears and delicious cheese and treats, the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David is the best overall gift box for most people.
View on Harry & David
Visit Site@Harry & David
Best Overall
Harry & David
Best Value
Wine Country Gift Baskets
The Gourmet Choice Gift Basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets was the biggest basket with the largest selection of food that we tested. If you want the best basket for value, this is it.
View on Wine Country Gift Baskets
Best for Food Connoisseurs
igourmet.com
The California Classic Gift Box from igourmet features fine cheeses and gourmet food items that have excellent flavor and high quality. This is the best box for connoisseurs.
View on igourmet.com
Product
Price
Overall Rating
Taste
Presentation
Payment & Delivery
Help & Support
Taste Test Result
Number of Baskets Offered
Kosher Options
Vegan Options
Organic Options
State of Arrival
Packaging Material
Accepted Payment Types
Overnight Delivery
Shipping Options
Delivers to APO/FPO Addresses
Delivers to P.O. Boxes
Ships Internationally
Available Extras
Phone, Chat, Email Support
FAQs
$0.00 Harry & David
9.9 10 9.8 10 10
A+
275+
A
Bubble wrap, cold packs
Credit card, PayPal, AmEx Express, Masterpass, Chase Pay
Express 3-day, Express 2-day
Canada, US Territories, Germany, UK
Wine
Check Price
9.3 9.3 10 8.3 10
B+
200+
A
Gel packs, cold packs
Credit card, PayPal, Gift Card
Expedited
-
Snacks
Check Price
8.9 8.8 9.3 9.8 6.8
B-
475+
-
A
Bubble wrap
Credit card, PayPal, Gift Card
Express 3-day, Express 2-day
Tea, Puzzles, Snacks, Books, Balloons, Stuffed Animals, Mugs, Picture Frame
-
Check Price
8.5 9 7 8 10
B-
1000+
-
C
Bubble wrap, cold packs
Credit card
Express 3-day, Express 2-day
Snacks
Check Price
8.2 8 8 8.5 10
C+
100+
*
*
-
A
Butcher paper
Credit card, PayPal, Gift Card
Weekend
-
-
Chocolate, Balloons, Wine, Snacks, Stuffed Animal, Rose
Check Price
8.1 8.5 8 6 10
B
300+
-
-
B
Bubble wrap
Credit card, PayPal, AmEx Express Checkout
Saturday
-
Canada
Greeting Card, Snacks
Check Price
8.1 7.3 9.8 8.5 10
D+
25+
-
-
A
Bubble wrap, cold packs
Credit card, PayPal, Gift Card
-
Express 2-day, Next Day, Weekend
-
-
Stuffed Bear, Chocolate
Check Price
7.9 7.8 8.5 7.3 10
D+
75+
-
A
Gel packs, bubble wrap
Credit card, PayPal
Express 3-day, Express 2-day
-
-
Check Price
7.5 7.5 7.8 7.3 6.8
C-
175+
-
-
B
Butcher paper
Credit card, PayPal
FedEx ground, Express 2-day
-
-
Check Price
7.3 7.8 7.3 6.5 4.5
C
45+
*
-
B
Butcher paper
Credit card, PayPal, AmEx Express, Masterpass, VISA Checkout, Chase Pay
Express 2-day, Saturday, Next Business Day
-
-
-
Snacks, Tea
Phone, Chat
-
Best Overall
After taste testing 11 different gift baskets, we found the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David to have the ripest fruit, great cheese and snacks, and overall the best-tasting food.
The Harry & David box came with pears, sweet onion relish and a selection of cheese, sliceable meet and sweet snacks. The pears were ripe and sweet and the highest rated fruit out of all the baskets we tasted. This company offers kosher, vegan and gluten-free baskets, and it’s easy to search for themed baskets on its website. Harry & David is part of 1-800-Flowers, so if you want you can easily shop for flowers or other gifts from the family of websites. Harry & David ships this gift box in a nicely wrapped cardboard box, which was slightly less impressive than the reusable wicker baskets that other companies used to ship their baskets. However, because the food in the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box tasted so good, we’re confident that anyone will appreciate this basket. This company ships its baskets to some international destinations like Canada, Germany and the U.K., and you can also ship baskets to APO/FPO addresses.
Pros
  • Best tasting fruit
  • Highest rated food we tested
  • Option to ship overnight
Cons
  • Higher quality food means less food overall
  • Can’t ship to all countries
  • Only available add-on is wine
Visit SiteHarry & David
Read the full review
Best Value
The best value gift basket we tested was the Gourmet Choice Gift Basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets. If you’re sending a basket to a large group of people, or want a single basket that’s big enough for everyone in a small office to enjoy some snacks, this is the basket you should pick.
The crackers, cookies, cheese and meat from this basket filled a whole table in our breakroom; our taste testing panel was consistently impressed with the amount of food. Though this basket doesn’t include any fruit, the crackers and tapenade were well rated and this basket came with a cheese knife and decorative ceramic plate that added to the overall presentation. This company offers a wide variety of baskets, and you can include a bottle of wine with most of the baskets, as long as you ship the basket to a state that allows winery direct shipping. This company has kosher and vegan baskets, so you can find something for anyone. Wine Country doesn’t ship internationally or to APO/FPO addresses. You can add a greeting card to your basket or extra snacks if you want to make the basket more personalized, and this company of course offers a wide selection of wines that you can include as well.
Pros
  • Wide selection of themed baskets
  • Kosher and vegan baskets available
  • Ships baskets internationally and to military addresses
Cons
  • Box arrived crushed and in poor condition
  • Only one payment method: credit card
  • Testers weren’t impressed with the variety of food
Visit SiteWine Country Gift Baskets
Read the full review
Best for Food Connoisseurs
If you’re looking for exotic flavors and great cheeses, the California Classic Gift Basket from igourmet.com was the second-best gift basket in our taste test.
We had 20 people taste and rate the food from this basket, and the food received a B+ score, the second highest after the Harry & David basket. Our testers especially enjoyed the selection of cheeses in this basket. They loved the bleu cheese, and the lavender-infused goat cheese was one of the highest rated food items across our entire taste test. This basket focused on gourmet foods like cheese and meat, but it lacked some of the snackable sweets and treats that other baskets had. You can search for almost any food item on igourmet’s website, and this company offers over 200 different baskets so you should be able to find foods that your recipients will enjoy. This company will ship ground, expedited or overnight so you should be able to get your basket to its destination when you need it. In terms of add-ons, you can add extra snacks to your order, but this company doesn’t have cards or stuffed animals that you can add to your basket.
Pros
  • Wide selection of cheese
  • Second highest rated food
  • Wide range of gourmet foods on its website
Cons
  • Smaller basket with less food
  • No crackers included with the basket we ordered
  • Strong cheese flavors can be a problem for some
Visit Siteigourmet.com
Read the full review
Most Personalized
As the name suggests, Design It Yourself is the best gift basket company for personalizing a gift basket.
Starting with the container itself, you pick everything that goes in whether it's a stuffed toy, sweets or savory delights. It's easy because the process starts by selecting a theme like Italian food or spa day baskets. The theme makes building your basket easy, as you aren't browsing through pages and pages of items. Our testers gave the Design It Yourself basket a B- and loved the dessert. There are several hundred premade baskets you can also buy, but totally customizing your basket is what makes Design It Yourself great.
Pros
  • You build the basket from scratch
  • Our testers loved the dessert
  • There are 475 premade baskets to choose from
Cons
  • Our basket lacked cheese products
  • No vegan options
  • You have to call in to pay with PayPal or an eCheck
Visit SiteDesign It Yourself
Read the full review
Best for Beer, Wine & Liquor
GourmetGiftBaskets.com has a wide-ranging selection of beer, wine, champagne and cocktail mixes.
The Bloody Mary basket is perfect for brunch lovers and comes with snacks like summer sausage and jalapeño cheese, while the Microbrew Beer Bucket includes some classics alongside lesser-known brews. There are more than 30 alcohol-themed baskets to choose from, making it easy to shop for the wine-lover in your life. There is even a high-end Champagne & Truffles Gift Basket if you’re shopping for someone with a refined palate. And yes, someone who is 21 years or older must sign for the basket when it is delivered. We didn’t order any liquor for our tests, but the food and snacks we did receive got a B- from our testers and the orange was one of the highest-rated fruits of all the baskets we tested.
Pros
  • Plenty of beer, wine and liquor options
  • Overnight shipping
  • Live chat with customer service
Cons
  • No stuffed animals or cards
  • PayPal isn’t accepted
  • You can’t ship alcohol to some states, including Utah
Visit SiteGourmetGiftBaskets.com
Read the full review

Why Trust Us

We spent 30 hours researching and reviewing comparable gift baskets from 11 companies to find the best and most delicious gift ideas. Writers at Top Ten Reviews have covered and compared gift baskets for several years, and this is a product that we’re familiar with. We bought the gift baskets and took careful notes on the baskets each company offers, the shipping options available and how the baskets were delivered to our offices.

Because receiving a gift basket is an experience that includes the wrapping and design of the basket, we chose not to conduct a purely blind taste test. Instead, our testers commented on the baskets and overall food selection, in addition to the taste, as part of their comments.

We tested baskets from all of the major gift basket companies. We chose not to order baskets from companies that specialized in specific combinations of meats and cheeses or that catered to a specific demographic. Instead, we chose baskets that can appeal to a wide range of people, and that include fruit, crackers, nuts, sweets, cheese and sliceable meat. We also had our raters give each food item a score from 1 to 4. This meant they had to make a conscious choice to be positive or negative toward each food item because there wasn’t a middle or neutral choice. As a result, we’re confident in the almost 1,000 ratings we received for the foods we tested.

How We Tested

To test gift baskets, we ordered 11 baskets that cost around $100 from each of the top companies we researched. We took careful notes of how the baskets arrived and what condition they were in before we opened them up and spread the contents out in our break room. We gave each of our testers a ballot with the names of each basket and room to rate five food items from each basket. We also had our testers vote on the best basket overall and any food items that exceeded expectations. We then collected all the ratings and ranked baskets by the average of all the food scores.

If you’re picking a gift basket, try to find one with a good mix of sweet, savory, fruity and salty. Some of the baskets we tested had too many sweets.

Pears were the most polarizing fruit we tested. If you want to include pears, we recommend you purchase from Harry & David. The other pears we tested were overripe.

All the gift baskets we tested ship inside cardboard boxes. If you want to deliver just the basket, you’ll have to unpack it and deliver it yourself.

Many of the same snack brands popped up in multiple baskets we tested. If you want something unique, we recommend buying from Harry & David or igourmet.

How Much Do Gift Baskets Cost?

The baskets we ordered for testing all cost about $100 and each came with a significant amount of food and other products. More extravagant and larger gift baskets are priced around $300, but there are also plenty available closer to the $40 range. Keep in mind many companies tack on fees if shipping requires an ice pack or other special handling. Of course, how much a gift basket is going to cost is dependent on the size of basket, and how decadent the foods are.

Laws

Some state laws regulate the shipment of alcoholic beverages to consumers. These laws vary, but according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), you cannot ship alcohol to private addresses in Alabama, Oklahoma and Utah. This includes shipping gift baskets containing alcohol to your friends and family in these states, so shop accordingly.

Many other states' laws are specific to purchasing and shipping wine. You can ship wine in Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina if it was purchased at a winery. You can ship both wine and beer directly to Delaware, Massachusetts, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia. Some states also restrict the maximum quantity you can ship, but this isn’t a problem for most gift baskets. Some of the less restrictive places to ship alcohol to are Mississippi, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of which have laws that specifically allow the direct shipment of alcohol.

Before you shop, make sure you know the laws for the state you're shipping the gift basket to. You can find this information through the NCSL or through each state's legislature website.

Valentine’s Day Gift Baskets

Rather than going with a boring bouquet of red roses, a gift basket can be a great alternative for Valentine’s Day. There are baskets for foodies, health nuts and especially anyone who has a sweet tooth, so you’re sure to find something that’s a perfect fit. Not only is a gift basket unique, it can be enjoyed for days and days while flowers might otherwise wither and die. We shopped around and found some of the best Valentine’s Day gift baskets out there.

Dried Heart Fruit Tray from Harry & David - This is a great option for the health nut in your life who under no circumstances – wants you to bring chocolate into the house. This tray comes with an assortment of pears, apricots, apples, kiwis and plums on a reusable heart-shaped tray.

Champagne Chic Dark Chocolate Bonbons from igourmet - These chocolates are almost too pretty to eat. The 24-piece box set has double chocolate ganache with champagne truffles in the shape of a faceted jewel topped with a sprinkle of gold.

Tower of Hearts from Wine Country Gift Baskets - These five heart-shaped boxes are filled with sweet treats. Your special someone will get chocolates, candy-covered Oreos, carmels, popcorn and more.

All My Heart Valentine's Day Gift Basket from Design It Yourself - This basket is ideal for anyone who could use a little #selfcare. It includes pomegranate and passionfruit body spray, shower gel and soap, along with an eye mask, some lotion, a candle and a body massager.

Allergies

Keep in mind while shopping that not everyone can enjoy everything offered in a gift basket. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children have become more common over time. The reported food allergy rate for children increased by 18 percent from 1997 to 2007 alone. About 65 percent of humans have a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Genetics Home Reference. Be cognizant of this when you're looking at gift baskets that contain a lot of cheeses. If you’re unsure what someone can and can’t eat, it’s best to get a basket with a variety of things to choose from.

Best Gift Baskets for the Ketogenic Diet

One of the newest health crazes, the ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet plan. Users are encouraged to all but eliminate carbohydrates and replace them with fats. That way, your body only burns fat for energy, oftentimes causing weight loss. There are variations of the ketogenic diet, according to Healthline, but as a general rule carbohydrates are eliminated. Finding a keto-friendly gift basket can be hard, but they do exist. Look for gift baskets with cheese and meat but no crackers. You should also avoid sugar-laden gift baskets or those that include a lot of chocolate. Some keto diets do allow for chocolate, but only the dark kind. Look for baskets that include chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa. A milk chocolate Hershey's bar won't make the cut. Nuts are also allowed on the keto diet, so the multitude of baskets out there with a large selection of nuts are a good option.

Ketodelivered.com also sells gift baskets specifically for keto dieters. These include "ultra low-carb food products" like spices, condiments, coffee, snacks and sweet alternatives. KetoKrate is another website where you can shop for keto-friendly gift baskets. These "krates" come monthly and include items like hemp brittle, dark chocolate, veggie spaghetti, meat snacks and various nuts. No matter where you shop, make sure you’re getting a basket with lots of healthy options.

Seasonality

Keep the season in mind when shopping for gift baskets. While many ship with cold packs to keep perishable items fresh, they're not foolproof. Also, they won't keep a basket fresh if you don't see the delivery notification and the food sits on the porch in the sun. Buying items that are appropriate for the time of year can save you the heartache of having a basket inadvertently ruined in the mail.

Buy chocolate in the winter because it's less likely to melt in the mail then. Cheese can also melt if the cold pack fails or the basket lingers in the mail for long. Be careful, though – there are some things you don't want to get too cold. For example, some alcohol, like champagne, might freeze if shipped in the winter to a particularly cold location. If it stays too cold for too long, you risk the bottle cracking. Buy fruit in the summer because it's more likely to be fresh. It also might cost less because it's in season. Candy and other sugary goods could also melt in the heat, so avoid them in the summer.

And remember, it might be the middle of winter in North Dakota, but temperatures aren’t nearly as extreme in southern states like Arizona and Texas. Keep the climate of wherever you send the basket in mind while you shop.

Diet Gift Baskets

There are a lot of options for people who are watching what they eat. Whether a person is trying to lose weight or simply maintain where they are, it's important to respect their dietary choices and not gift them with, say, a gift basket full of chocolates. There are a lot of other alternatives to pick from, whether they're full of fruits, gluten-free breads or protein-rich nuts.

Classic Fresh Fruit Basket from Harry & David - This gift basket is packed with fresh fruit. Available in three different sizes, you'll get apples, pears, kiwi, pineapple, avocado, mango, lime and baby bananas all in a cute picnic basket. Take note though, the fruit selection may vary depending on the time of year.

Vegan Delights Gift Basket from igourmet - This basket includes quinoa, couscous, olives, pistachios, granola and other tasty vegan treats. The most unhealthy thing in the basket is a super dark chocolate bar which honestly, isn't that bad for you.

Wine Country Orchards Mixed Nut Gift Tray - This wicker gift tray includes heart healthy trail mix, almonds and other tasty but healthy treats. It's great for health-conscious parties or work events.

Healthy Snacks Healthy Gift Basket by Design It Yourself - Perfect for the person who likes to snack, this basket comes with dried apple chips, trail mixes, almonds and other snack mixes they can enjoy throughout the day without feeling guilty.

Upcycle Your Gift Basket

Once the items in a gift basket are gone, there are still a lot of ways to reuse the containers. Upcycling, by finding other uses for the basket or canisters, is both an enjoyable crafting opportunity and an environmentally friendly solution. Here are just a few ways to upcycle gift basket materials.

Upcycle your wicker basket with a fresh coat of spray paint. If you don't like the color or feel, or the basket looks dated, try taping off half or more of the wicker for an edgy, modern look. If you want something more exciting, spray-paint the entire thing a bright color, and use it as a flowerpot or storage bin. If the basket is large enough, add a cotton liner to make your own small laundry or storage basket. You can also affix small decorative signs to the front of the basket with wire available at most craft stores.

If your gift basket came with decorative canisters, you can give them another life with a coat of spray paint. There are many ways to reuse them – for example, turn a nut canister into a fun pencil holder, or fill the canister with sand or salt and top it off with a small candle. Upcycled canisters also make great gift containers, but make sure you don't get any toxic paint inside if you plan to use them to package food.

FAQs

There's one thing in this gift basket I don't like. Can I replace it with something else?

  • Some gift basket companies let you personalize your gift basket. This means you have the option of selecting every product included. However, most gift basket companies don’t let you substitute one item if the entire basket is premade.

Why doesn't the product description match what was delivered?

  • Some items, like fruit, are seasonal. This means companies don’t have access to quality products during certain months and will replace that item with something else. This happens most often with fresh items, like fruit and cheese. Most gift basket descriptions that contain these items note that such items are not always available.

Why are gift baskets so expensive?

  • There are a lot of affordable gift baskets out there. But if they still seem expensive, there’s a reason: Gift baskets come curated with numerous items from several different companies, and acquiring those goods takes time and money. It's also costly to ship food securely and quickly.

Is it OK to send a gift basket as a Christmas gift?

  • Of course! A gift basket is the perfect present for that person on your list who has everything.

I just interviewed for a job. Should I send the company a gift basket?

  • In short, no. Sending a gift after your interview might make you look desperate, according to U.S. News and World Report. It can also make the recipient uncomfortable. However, every situation is different. If you feel you have a particularly close relationship with the person interviewing you, it might be appropriate to follow up with a small gift basket.

Final Thoughts

The best gift basket we tested and tasted is the Founders’ Favorite Gift Box from Harry & David. It’s our number one pick because the fruit was perfectly ripe and our taste testers loved the selection of cheese, crackers, sweet-spicy relish and chocolate treats. This is the best gift basket for you if you’re looking to include a basic selection of the foods that most people expect in a gift basket: fruit, crackers, cheese, chocolate and sliceable meat. If you want more exotic flavors, the California Classic Gift Basket from igourmet.com included Cypress Grove’s Purple Haze, a goat cheese mixed with lavender buds that wowed our tasting panel. If you want the most gift basket for your buck, the Gourmet Choice Gift Basket from Wine Country Gift Baskets featured an enormous selection of food that rated highly on our taste test.

We found that most gift basket companies sell themed baskets designed for thank you gifts, get well wishes and other major occasions. Most companies we tested also sell holiday gift baskets for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and other major holidays. If you’re searching for a basket for a specific occasion like a new baby, a sympathy gift or a birthday basket, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has many fun and unique baskets that fit specific occasions.


Many companies also feature baskets that are kosher or vegan, though we found that searching for vegan baskets on many websites only pulls up lists of fruit and nut samplers. There are also many companies that offer wine gift baskets or that offer wine as an add-on to baskets.

Though meat and cheese are often included in a gift basket, there are several companies that specialize heavily in this area such as Hickory Farms. This company sells gift baskets and boxes with a focus on sausages and cheeses. However, it only offers a small selection of gift baskets and none are explicitly themed or focused on specific occasions. Dean & DeLuca is another company that specializes in fine foods with a focus on meats and cheeses. We didn’t test Dean & DeLuca’s gift baskets, but they look delicious.

There are several companies that sell gift baskets specifically tailored for men. While these baskets are equally suitable for many women, the assortments of liquor, sports paraphernalia and snacks can be a unique and fun gift for the man in your life. The Bro Basket offers many assorted baskets with whiskey and beer samplers that get good reviews. GourmetGiftBaskets.com also offers a selection of sports-themed baskets for men that include candy and meat. Man Crates is another company that focuses on out-of-the-ordinary gifts for men, offering themed boxes and crates that focus on things like knife making, beer, motorcycles and golfing.

Contributing Reviewer: Anna Burleson