General United States Postal Service (USPS) requirements for curbside residential mailboxes are as follows:
Mailboxes must be placed 6 to 8 inches away from the curb.
The slot or door must be 41 to 45 inches from the ground.
Curbside mailbox posts should be buried less than 24 inches deep and made from wood no larger than 4 inches high by 4 inches wide.
What Different Types of Mailboxes Are There?
Residential wall mounted mailboxes are designed to be mounted on walls, doors and other flat surfaces.
These are the traditional mailboxes see in neighborhoods all over the U.S. Post-mounted mailboxes are designed to be positioned away from your home standing alongside the road so that mail carriers can pick up and deliver mail with ease.
The most recognizable collection box is the blue U.S. Postal Service steel mailbox. These adorn neighborhoods and curbsides in front of post offices and businesses.
Typically seen mounted on doors, mail slots are metal receptacles for receiving incoming mail at a private residence or business.
For mail delivery in an apartment complex, condos or businesses parks, cluster box units or multi-family mailboxes are used for efficient distribution of mail for the whole community.
A parcel locker is a secure container that's perfect for packages that don't fit into standard mailboxes. Rather than have the mail carrier make multiple delivery attempts, the parcels can be left in a parcel locker, where they'll be held for the recipient to collect.
Mail enters these secure locking mailboxes via a chute. The mail is secured inside a dead-bolted vault that can only be accessed by the electronic keypad or key.
What Features Do I Look for In a Mailbox?
Mailboxes have many features and benefits. Here are a few features to consider when shopping for a mailbox:
Locking mailboxes help keep your mail secure and safe from mail theft.
Rear access mailboxes allow you to retrieve the mail without having to step into the street.
Having a post included with your new mailbox purchase saves you the extra step of having to get the post and accessories to mount your new mailbox.
Outgoing Mail Slot
Some mailboxes feature a separate outgoing mail slot for easy mail retrieval.
Separate newspaper holders on mailboxes provide an opening beneath the box to hold newspapers.
Express your personality with a fun novelty mailbox. They come in a variety of styles and colors to suit your interests.
This type of mailbox features an anti-pry latch locking mechanism that makes them exceedingly difficult to pry open.
Once mail is dropped into this secure locking mailbox, the incoming mail is protected from would-be mail and identity thieves.
These mailboxes feature a low profile front that blends seamlessly on a wall. They are typically wall mount mailboxes you see in post offices or apartments.
Personalized mailboxes allow you to add a family seal, monogram or another decor for individualized customization.
What to Consider when Buying Mailboxes
When buying a mailbox, you need to determine what features fit your needs. Here are a few things to consider that will help you make an educated buying decision:
Where your mailbox will be installed
How much mail you receive
The type of weather in your area
Type of material
What is the best material for a mailbox?
Mailboxes are available in steel, aluminum, plastic and brass. They all have their own benefits, depending on the climate in your area.
Steel mailboxes: extremely durable and resistant to rust.
Aluminum mailboxes: lightweight and rust-resistant and economical.
Plastic mailboxes: easy to maintain and very durable, but not suitable for extreme heat.
Brass mailboxes: perfect for a formal look, but requires a lot of maintenance to keep shiny.
Which home mailboxes will hold the most mail?
Extra-wide mailboxes will hold small packages and mail. If you get a lot of packages, a parcel locker may be the best option.
What are the best mailboxes for curb appeal?
Select a mailbox that compliments the style of your home. If you have an older mailbox, consider sprucing it up with a coat of paint or replacing it with a new mailbox for instant curb appeal.
What is the best mailbox to withstand weather?
Most mailboxes are made to withstand weather. Consider your climate first, then pick the best materials that will hold up in your area.
What Brands of Mailboxes Does Sam's Club Sell?
Known for their New England-style post that will add the timeless charm of the East coast to your home.
RTS Home Accents
The ParcelWirx line allows for peace of mind that your purchases are secure and protected from the elements and mail thieves.
Features a wall-mountable mail collection boxes that are perfect for outgoing office mail or confidential inter-office correspondence.
FAQ - Mailboxes
What is the best mailbox post?
The best mailbox post will be sturdy and securely support the mailbox and match its architecture and style.
What is the best locking mailbox?
The best locking mailbox will have a sturdy construction, a deadbolt lock and a large, angled drop chute.
How much does it cost to install a mailbox?
The average cost to have a mailbox installed by a professional is around $150-$250 or more, depending on the type of mailbox. Most mailboxes installations are a doable DIY project many homeowners tackle themselves with tools.
How do you remove a mailbox from its post?
Standard boxes on posts are held onto a mounting plate at the top of the pole with at least four screws. Once the screws are removed, the mailbox should come off the post.
Do I own my mailbox?
An installed up-to-code mailbox is federal property. Because it is a federal crime to vandalize mailboxes or mail, your mailbox is under federal jurisdiction in order to protect you from harm or vandalism that may occur from a mailbox's misuse.
How do you stabilize a mailbox post?
Determine the cause of why your mailbox is leaning.
Use a level to straighten the post.
Wedge materials next to the post to fill the gaps to shore it up.
Once secure, pour sand inside the hole to fill any gaps.
Compact the ground around the post with a heavy steel rod.
What happens in your mailbox is full?
Typically the mail carrier will pull the mail and leave a notice that the mail is at the post office for you to pick up.
Are you required to have a mailbox?
There is no requirement to have a mailbox. But, if you want to receive mail at your physical location, you will need a USPS-approved receptacle.