Best Gift Baskets of 2018

Ryan Brown ·
Updated
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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
Check Price
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 states' 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.

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.