Since the invention of plastic, goods have become a lot cheaper. Because plastic has replaced more and more materials, you can buy things today that would have cost a lot more in the past. Of course, there are concerns regarding the heavy use of plastic, but in general, it’s quite a useful, convenient material. There’s one type of product that surprisingly benefited a lot from the invention of plastic — mailboxes.
For many years, metal mailboxes were the norm. They’re durable and tough and are an all-around great option. But with plastic being such an affordable alternative material, we now have plastic mailboxes installed outside many homes around the world. Plastic mailboxes may be viewed as inferior by some people, but they’re just as reliable — if not more! If you’re in the market for a new mailbox, check out our list of the most reliable plastic mailboxes of 2023.
When it comes to mailboxes, plastic is a surprisingly strong material. If you’re in the market for a new mailbox for your home, here’s everything you need to know about purchasing a plastic mailbox.
What Is a Plastic Mailbox?
A plastic mailbox is a type of mailbox that is built primarily out of plastic. Plastic mailboxes can come in varying shapes and sizes. Some may even include metal components. But as long as the majority of the material used in the mailbox is plastic, it’s technically a plastic mailbox.
Plastic Mailboxes vs. Metal Mailboxes
There are benefits to both plastic and metal mailboxes, but they have their differences, too. These differences are crucial, especially when looking for a mailbox that lasts. When it comes to plastic vs. metal, the main difference lies in their durability. While they’re both durable materials, there are situations where one is more useful and reliable than the other.
Let’s take a look at plastic first. Because it isn’t made out of any metallic components, plastic never rusts. This means that it will last for years and years without any noticeable signs of wear and tear. Plastic is particularly susceptible to heat and with a strong enough heat wave your plastic mailbox may not fare very well. Some plastic mailboxes are made to withstand the heat, but many are not.
Metal mailboxes are prone to rusting. With the exception of metals that don’t rust (such as aluminum), metal mailboxes will lose their luster and appear dirty and rusty, particularly if you live in a moist or wet climate. These mailboxes are experts at handling heat. No matter how hot it gets, a metal mailbox won’t show any signs of damage.
The main difference between plastic and metal mailboxes lies in their vulnerability. Metal rusts overtime whereas plastic doesn’t fare well in the heat. If you live in an area where the heat can be a problem, then a metal mailbox is a great option. Plastic mailboxes are quite reliable in the long run.
What Are the Benefits of Plastic Mailboxes?
They come in many colors
One of the main benefits of plastic is that you can find one in just about any color you want. Plastic is a very workable material, and the manufacturer has the ability to choose whatever color they want for their mailboxes. Some colors may be more common than others, but you should be able to find a plastic mailbox in a color of your choice if you look hard enough.
They have unique designs
Another benefit of plastic is that it can be shaped in many different ways. Unlike metal, which can only be shaped in specific molds and patterns, plastic mailboxes come in some pretty funky and interesting designs. There are classic and traditional options for those that prefer it, but if you’re the type of person who loves stepping out of their comfort zone you’ll love the variety of plastic mailboxes.
They’re relatively cheap
Plastic is typically cheaper than metal. While plastic was once seen as a luxury material, you can get it fairly easily today. That doesn’t mean the quality suffers from the lower price, though. Plastic is still very durable. Most plastics are just cheaper than the most common metals.
How Much Does a Plastic Mailbox Cost?
Plastic mailboxes are quite affordable. Many of them cost less than $50, with many hovering around the $20 to $30 range. While you can get one for much cheaper, don’t expect it to last for very long, particularly during extended periods of sunny, hot weather.
This mailbox challenges the notion that plastic equals cheap. You may not even think it’s made out of plastic the first time you see it, but it is. This mailbox is a compact 2-in-1 mailbox and post device. Thanks to its easy setup and design, you can install it in your front yard easily. This plastic mailbox has a compact shape that can fit all sorts of small letters and rolled-up magazines. But what makes this mailbox stand out is the fact that it’s so durable. The plastic is thick and tough, making it nearly impervious to minor damage and force. We’ve chosen this plastic mailbox as our best overall choice thanks to its impressive durability; it’s a great option for those looking for a plastic mailbox that will last for years to come.
The STEP 2 Plastic Mailbox comes in an attractive, eye-catching design. The small and compact mailbox is easy and simple to install outside any home. Despite it looking somewhat small from afar, this mailbox has quite an impressive capacity. Built from a very thick plastic material, you can rest assured that this mailbox will last for a long time and will withstand everyday wear and tear. One interesting feature of this mailbox is that you can access the mail from the front or the back of the mailbox, saving you precious time when retrieving mail or placing it for outgoing purposes.
Are you looking for a mailbox that has the benefits of plastic but still has an old fashioned, classic design? The COLIBROX Plastic Mailbox comes in an attractive vintage style that makes it look like it was pulled straight out of a previous century. The knob on the front opening of the mailbox allows for easy access to the contents inside, and the mail indicator on the side of the box features a modern touch. This plastic mailbox is a good blend of old meets new. While there aren’t any color options to choose from, you’ll love the classic appearance of this bronze and gold mailbox.
A mail indicator, or mail notifier as it’s sometimes called, is a vital part of every mailbox. This small red flag signals to the postman that you have outgoing mail. A visible flag can mean the difference between a delivered letter and a missed one. Even postmen make mistakes every now and then, but to make sure they don’t miss your letter, you can help by getting a plastic mailbox with a very clearly visible mail indicator. The Flambeau Plastic Mailbox features a bright red indicator that stands out visibly in most neighborhoods. Unless your mailbox is blocked by foliage or trees, your postman is sure to see this little flag when it’s raised. This mailbox also features a high-quality construction and comes assembled with pre-drilled holes for easy and simple mounting.
Wall-mounted mailboxes are the ideal solution for homes that don’t have a lot of front yard space. Not all homes have front yards, which makes it difficult to install a standard freestanding mailbox. With the help of wall-mounted mailboxes, you can turn your front porch into an ideal place for receiving mail. The Fulton Plastic Mailbox can be installed fairly easily on walls. Thanks to this simple design, it’s ideal for just about any home. Made of polypropylene, this mailbox has a durable build that’s sure to last a long time, provided it stays out of the sun and rain.
Medium capacity box for mail
Easily mounts on a wall
Simple design matches most homes
Plastic quality isn’t the best
People Also Asked
Q: Do plastic mailboxes melt?
A: Cheaper plastic mailboxes can melt if exposed to the heat of the sun for extended periods of time.
Q: Do plastic mailboxes rust?
A: Because plastic is not metallic in nature, it does not rust at all. Keep in mind that any included metallic components may rust with time.
Q: Are plastic mailboxes legal?
A: Plastic mailboxes are approved for use by most postal services around the world.
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