The 8 best online flower delivery services we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Fresh flowers are a thoughtful way to commemorate any occasion – they also make great last-minute gifts.
  • We ordered 29 bouquets from 13 well-known brands and had them delivered to 10 testers all over the country.
  • UrbanStems is our top pick for its quality and options, including plants, dried bouquets, and subscriptions.

Whether it be a holiday, a milestone, sympathy, or just because, sending fresh flowers is a thoughtful way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. And it’s easier than ever: a plethora of online delivery services have streamlined the process down to a couple of clicks. There are now dozens of these merchants out there, with a wide array of options – fresh bouquets, live plants, dried or preserved arrangements, subscriptions, and more – all at varying price points.

While our reporters and editors have used nearly every one of these services to send loved ones bouquets over the years, we wanted to know exactly how they stack up against one another. To find the best flower delivery service, we ordered 29 arrangements from 13 popular brands, sending the flowers to Insider Reviews team members all over the country. Our goal was to find a service that delivers the freshest, most attractive flowers that arrive on time no matter your location. You can read more about our methodology, and find out more about what services didn’t make the cut here.

Here are the best online flower delivery services in 2021

  • Best flower delivery service overall: UrbanStems
  • Best flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers: Farmgirl Flowers
  • Best flower delivery service for custom arrangements: Floracracy
  • Best flower delivery service for same-day delivery: FTD
  • Best flower delivery subscription: BloomsyBox
  • Best flower delivery service for preserved roses: RoseBox
  • Best flower delivery service for fresh roses: Roses Only
  • Best flower delivery service for dried bouquets: East Olivia
The best flower delivery service overall

Best flower delivery 2021 UrbanStems 4x3

UrbanStems makes some of the most stunning bouquets we’ve found and offers something for everyone, with a diverse selection of fresh flowers, dried flowers, plants, gifts, and subscriptions.  

Pros: Lots of options to choose from, including dried bouquets and plants; attractive floral designs in a range of styles, sizes, and prices

Cons: Some testers noted flowers lasted a few days less than other brands

UrbanStems offers a robust selection of modern, fresh bouquets, along with dried flowers, plants, candles, chocolate, and subscriptions. It’s a great one-stop shop to find something that feels unique to your recipient. We tried the Juliet, Luna, and Double the Pink Champagne fresh bouquets, along with the Aspen dried bouquet and Claude plant. Everything arrived on time and in excellent condition. The arrangements were some of the freshest, most attractive bouquets we tested, and were filled with lively, creative blooms in a range of colors.

The bouquets lasted a little over a week — average for fresh-cut flowers — and the dried bouquet and plant are still going strong. The site is also very easy to navigate and lets you filter by occasion, color, price, and more.

Read our full review of UrbanStems.

The best for flower delivery service for farm-fresh flowers

Best flower delivery 2021 Farmgirl Flowers 4x3

Farmgirl Flowers offers unique and playful arrangements that change with what’s in season and with many blooms sourced from California farmers.

Pros: Whimsical, in-season blooms; each bouquet is unique; moderately priced; offers some rare flowers; some florals are grown in the US 

Cons: Surprise bouquets not ideal if you have specific flowers you want to include or avoid; some customers report wilting or short-lived blooms

If you’re after an arrangement that looks like it was recently plucked from the garden, Farmgirl Flowers offers inventive and playful bouquets based on what’s in season. Farmgirl’s flagship offerings are the Mini, Midi, and Maxi bouquets, available either wrapped in burlap or “mittened” in a vase. You don’t get to choose what you receive; instead, Farmgirl puts together a bouquet based on what’s available and in season. The company’s website and social media give you an idea of what to expect, but every bouquet is slightly different, giving it a special, unique feel. 

I received a Midi and a Maxi, and had another Midi sent to a tester in California. I love that the arrangements had a whimsical, wild shape to them, and they were gorgeous from every angle. The Midi and Maxi both appeared the same size when I first received them, but after a few hours in water, the Maxi’s closed buds opened up to create a fuller bouquet. 

If you want your bouquet to include (or avoid) certain flowers, Farmgirl also offers a few dozen specialty bouquets, including some rare blooms like flower breeder David Austin’s Juliet and Patience roses.

The best flower delivery service for custom arrangements

Best flower delivery 2021 Floracracy 4x3

Floracracy‘s custom arrangements are a unique way to mark life’s meaningful moments, and make gifting flowers feel incredibly personal and special. 

Pros: Completely customizable arrangements, online tool helps you choose the right arrangement, beautiful presentation and packaging, thoughtful extras like a petal pressing book and mini shears, letter writing service

Cons: Online tool can be a bit tricky to navigate, lots of packaging (though most is compostable or recyclable), few budget options

If you really want to wow your giftee with something special, a custom arrangement from Floracracy is perhaps the most personal flower gift you can buy. Every aspect of the design can be customized, from the shape, to the colors, to the blooms. If you’re not sure where to start, the company’s design tool walks you through a quiz that lets you select the intended recipient, occasion, and meaning you wish to convey, and then makes a recommendation for you. Each flower is paired with a meaning from the company’s thorough research of historical flower symbolism. You’re also given the option to write a letter yourself or have the company write one for you based on information you provide.

The arrangements we received from Floracracy were the most lush and vibrant we’ve ever seen from a flower delivery service. Each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, a handbound book for pressing petals, and an illustrated card with each of the flowers and their meaning. Our blooms lasted almost three weeks; longer than any other arrangement. While this service is pricier and requires some of your time to design, it makes for a truly meaningful and memorable flower gift. 

Read our full review of Floracracy here.

The best flower delivery service for same-day delivery

Best flower delivery 2021 FTD 4x3

FTD offers hundreds of bouquets, gifts, and plants for delivery in all 50 states and 150 counties, with many options for same-day arrival.  

Pros: Orders filled by local florists; a large selection of bouquets, plants, and gifts

Cons: Experience can vary based on which florist fills your order, designs are more traditional and less modern

When you need to send flowers fast, a floral wire service is your best option. Florists’ Transworld Delivery Service (FTD) has been in the flower delivery business for more than 100 years and partners with local florists to fufill and deliver orders in all 50 states and more than 150 countries. In many cases, you’ll also have the option of same-day delivery. The arrangements lean toward more traditional colors and flowers, instead of more modern or unique designs.

Compared to other similar floral wire services, both my testers and I had the better experience with FTD. The bouquets and plants we received were fuller, fresher, and in better condition than blooms from 1-800-Flowers. Of course, since orders are typically filled by local florists, your experience may vary depending on who ultimately fills your order.

If you need to send flowers quickly, internationally, or to hard-to-reach places, FTD is the best same-day service we’ve found.

Read our full review of FTD.

The best flower delivery subscription

best flower delivery service 2021 bloomsybox

BloomsyBox offers a la carte bouquets and plants, but its wide variety of subscription plans are where the service really shines.   

Pros: Multiple weekly and monthly plans to choose from, offers month-to-month and prepaid plans, bouquets are gorgeous, a la carte bouquets and plants available

Cons: Don’t get to choose which flowers are in your bouquet, which might not be a good option for those with allergies or pets

Flower subscriptions are a great way to brighten someone’s day on a more frequent basis — or to liven up your own home with regularly-scheduled blooms. BloomsyBox offers a robust fleet of weekly and monthly subscription options at reasonable prices. You can pay month-to-month or save a few dollars by prepaying for 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscriptions. While the retailer also sells a la carte bouquets and plants, we think it’s subscriptions offer the best value.

I tried BloomsyBox’s priciest subscription: its NYBG Collection. Each bouquet in the subscription curated by the New York Botanical Garden’s floral experts and features blooms that are in season. A portion of the subscription goes to supporting the NYBG’s plant science and conservation efforts.

I’m two bouquets into my 3-month subscription and so far, everything has been stunning. It’s a nice treat each month when I get an e-mail in my inbox saying my bouquet is on the way. April’s bouquet featured white and purple lilies with a bunch of lush greenery, while March’s selection was a springy mix of pink roses and purple veronica. I highly recommend BloomsyBox’s subscriptions to anyone looking for a bit of floral cheer on a regular basis.

The best flower delivery service for preserved roses

Best flower delivery 2021 Rosebox 4x3

Preserved roses are incredibly popular and can last more than a year with proper care. We love Rosebox for preserved roses because of its robust selection of arrangements, vases, and colors.

Pros: More than 20 rose color options, many container types, smell and look like fresh roses, can last a year or longer with proper care

Cons: Don’t have the same feel as real roses

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, chances are you’ve seen these trendy preserved roses somewhere on your feed. Usually packed into boxes or displayed in a classic ball arrangement, these flowers are incredibly popular with influencers and celebrities. 

We tested three preserved rose brands and found the quality very similar. Ultimately, we chose RoseBox as the best preserved roses for its diverse range of color and display options. We particularly liked that its plentiful display containers had discreet branding or none at all, unlike other preserved rose brands that their cover containers (which can’t be separated from the flowers) with logos.  

Almost all of RoseBox‘s 90+ products can be customized with 21 or more different rose color options. One of our testers opted for turquoise, while others opted from more classic red and pink varieties. 

Preserved roses are expensive, no matter what brand you choose. A single preserved rose will cost you anywhere from $44 to $89, which is the same price as a full-sized bouquet from most of our other top picks. Expect a medium-sized array of preserved roses to cost about $300. That said, they can end up being an economical alternative to buying flowers every week. We’re eager to see if our arrangements live up to their purported longevity.

The best flower delivery service for fresh roses

Best flower delivery 2021 Roses Only 4x3

As the name implies, Roses Only sells just one product but it does it remarkably well, delivering some of the most pristine, stunning, long-stemmed roses we’ve ever seen.

Pros: Stunning roses; beautiful presentation; long-lasting flowers; available in quantities from six to 100

Cons: Limited product and color choices.

Roses are such a big seller that I made sure every arrangement I received as part of this guide included at least some of them. Having seen the spectrum of what’s out there, I can confidently say that Roses Only delivers the most pristine, long-lasting roses I’ve found.

So much care is put into the delivery: the cartoonishly perfect long-stemmed roses (which you can order in quantities of six to 100) come packaged in a long, elegant box with a linen ribbon, and every rose has its own water reservoir to ensure it arrives pristine. The roses themselves are flawless, with big velvety petals. They lasted about two weeks and gradually opened up until each bud was about the size of my palm. At about $8 per flower, Roses Only sells some of the most expensive roses out there, but if it’s just fresh roses that you’re after, no flower delivery service does it better.

Th best flower delivery service for dried bouquets

Best flower delivery 2021 East olivia 4x3

Fresh flowers have a short lifespan but dried florals from East Olivia can last for years with proper care and feature inventive colors and textures not found in traditional fresh bouquets. 

Pros: Unique and inventive designs, each arrangement comes with a coordinating vase, options change seasonally, arrangements can last a year or longer with proper care

Cons: Order processing can take up to five business days, limited edition collections can sell out quickly

No matter how pretty the bouquet, fresh flowers will all eventually wilt. Dried bouquets are a good solution for those who love the look of florals but hate the upkeep. Some of the most creative and beautiful preserved arrangements we’ve seen come from East Olivia.

The offerings change seasonally, but at the time of our testing the brand featured a winter collection and Valentine’s Day collection, both featuring ornamental grasses and filler flowers dyed dreamy pastel colors. We tried The Rose from the winter collection and The Harper from the Valentine’s Day collection. Each bouquet comes fully arranged and delicately packaged with its own matching ceramic vase. The Rose features miscanthus, pampas grass, ruscus, helecho fern, and bunny tails in varying shades of pink, set in an ivory porcelain vase. It currently lives in my office, where it makes me smile every time I walk past it. I love knowing that I’ll get many, many months of enjoyment out of it. 

The fact that East Olivia‘s collections change with the season makes each arrangement feel special and limited edition. Order processing can take up to five business days, so you’ll want to plan ahead if you plan on gifting one of these dried arrangements, especially considering the limited edition collections can sell out quickly.

What else we tested

Best flower delivery 2021 Ode a la Rose 4x3

We tested 12 brands for our guide to the best flower delivery services. Here are the ones that didn’t quite make the cut.

  • Ode à la Rose (starting at $54.99): Founded by two Frenchmen who were disappointed by the bouquet selection available in New York City, Ode à la Rose makes beautiful, minimalist bouquets often consisting of just one to three flower types each. The bouquets we received from Ode à la Rose were breathtaking, and this service is a fantastic option if you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Chicago where you can choose from a wider selection of arrangements and have the option of same-day delivery. However, the selection is limited, especially for nationwide delivery (only 10 bouquets were available for delivery to Boston). Our Gemma and Felice bouquets were gorgeous, though, and we’re looking forward to seeing this service expand its offerings. 
  • The Bouqs Co. (starting at $39): Many of our reporters and editors have ordered bouquets from the Bouqs, and we’ve been impressed with this brand in the past. However, compared to other services we tried, bouquets from the Bouqs were notably smaller and less full. My grand Santa Cruz’n arrangement was supposed to have 120 blooms, but actually came with about half that and several stems were wilted. A small note on the product page says “please note that spray roses feature multiple smaller blooms per stem,” but I still only counted around 60 in my arrangement. The packaging also wasn’t very protective; my flowers were zip-tied directly to the shipping box with only a single sheet of paper laid over them for protection. Our California tester had a similar experience; her bouquet arrived small and wilted, though it perked up a bit in water. While we hoped that our experience was an outlier, other review sites have also noted a dip in the quality of Bouqs bouquets in the years since the service launched. We’ve always loved the diverse selection of creative bouquets from The Bouqs, so we hope it fixes these issues soon. 
  • Rosepops (starting at $32): This preserved rose brand sends its arrangements packed in lidded boxes. When it arrives, you remove the lid and pull on the box strings to “pop” the roses up above the lid of the box for presentation. The popping mechanism was unique (and nice for storage), and the roses felt softer and more natural than other preserved roses we’ve tried. However, our testers thought the large and prominent logos on all the containers cheapened the presentation, and the website isn’t intuitive to navigate.
  • 1-800-Flowers (starting at $34.99): Before the internet, calling 1-800-Flowers was the primary way to send bouquets to someone if you didn’t know a good local florist. The retailer still offers hundreds of bouquets and gifts, now through its website, many of which are available for same-day delivery via local florists. While the selection is robust (I counted 53 bouquets available for same-day delivery in my area), the website is a bit tricky to navigate. Even when I specifically browsed for flower bouquets, the results were integrated with gift baskets, edible arrangements, and teddy bears, and there was no way to filter out the categories I wasn’t interested in. It made finding what I wanted more tedious. The bouquet I received was skimpier and less impressive than others from similar services and only lasted a week. Our California tester noted that the orchid she ordered wasn’t packed very well for shipping, and a lot of the gravel and soil in the container was spilled when it arrived.
  • Venus Et Fleur (starting at $44): This preserved rose brand delivered fresh-smelling, attractive roses. We loved the quality of the blooms and the creative options available on the site. However, we wished there were more container options; especially those that don’t have Venus Et Fleur branding so prominently displayed.

Our testing methodology

Best flower delivery 2021 4x3

To find the best flower delivery service, we conducted hands-on testing of every brand in this guide. We ordered two to three arrangements from each brand, evaluating the selection, ordering, and delivery process. We sent bouquets to testers in different parts of the country — including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, rural Colorado, and suburban Connecticut — to see if quality and delivery time varied based on location. In all, we tested 29 bouquets from 13 brands. Here’s what we looked for in the best flower delivery service:

Ordering: We scrutinized the ordering process of each service, noting whether the website was simple to navigate, what the product selection was like, and how easy it was to place an order. We also looked at shipping options and estimated delivery times.

Delivery: We noted whether the arrangements arrived when they said they would (all did), evaluated packaging, and looked at the condition of the flowers when they first arrived. Testers across the country compared notes; we found delivery times and quality consistent across the country.

Quality of flowers: We looked for full bouquets of lively-looking flowers that matched the description and photo of the arrangement we ordered online. We read all care instructions and followed them meticulously, noting how long the flowers remained fresh enough to display. 

Consistency: A good flower service should deliver quality blooms no matter the location of your recipient. Our testers across the country took photos and detailed notes about delivery and bouquet quality to compare experiences.

What we’re testing next

We continue to test flower delivery services in pursuit of the best place to buy bouquets. Here are some brands we’re currently testing or looking forward to testing:

  • Matilda’s Bloombox ($39 per arrangement): Matilda’s Bloombox is somewhere between a subscription service and a DIY kit. Each box costs just $39 and contains all the flowers you need to craft a stunning floral arrangement. However, right now the service is primarily limited to the San Francisco Bay area and Austin and Houston, Texas. The company does offer nationwide delivery with a fee, but only with the “gift a box” option.
  • Bouquet Box (starting at $119): Like Matilda’s Bloombox, Bouquet Box offers you a chance to hone your flower arranging skills with a kit of flowers and instructions for arranging them. Bouquet Box appears to be pricey compared to other comparable services, but we’re looking forward to giving it a try. 
  • Fresh Sends (starting $55): We’ve been seeing these modern, newspaper-wrapped bouquets all over social media. Fresh Sends offers two products: a one-time purchase or a subscription, both in either “regular” or “full” bouquets. You don’t know what sort of arrangement you’ll be receiving; the offerings change daily. We’re interested in trying this popular, modern service.

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