If you're a true ice cream lover, you know it’s not just for summertime—or at least, it shouldn’t be, with all the different kinds now available that can be shipped right to your door. There’s a lot going on in the world of ice cream right now, with new flavors and new ideas as well as more companies working on making ice cream accessible to everyone, even those with food allergies or special diets. Ice cream is a great gift for anyone who might want a delicious pick-me-up and it's also the perfect way to treat yourself.
Most of the ice creams available for shipping come in packs of more than one pint, but the economics and the common sense of this work out pretty well when you factor in shipping. In addition to shipping costs and methods, you'll want to take a look at available flavors and the ingredients used in the ice cream before making your purchase, and if you want variety, check out some brands that have an array of flavor options.
Graeter's Ice Cream Assorted 6-Pack Graeter's Ice Cream Assorted 6-Pack
Dense, rich, and creamy
20+ flavor options
Special French Pot technique
If you've never tried French Pot ice cream, now's a perfect time! Graeter's ice creams are unique and have been for over 150 years. They're made by the same method this Cincinnati ice cream parlor has been using since it opened in 1870. The specialized technique they've developed can produce only 2 gallons at a time so this is truly a "Slow Food" product made by artisans.
A custard-based ice cream, the texture is dense, rich, and creamy but still soft with concentrated fresh-tasting flavors. With over 20 options to choose from, there's something for all tastes: Try the S'mores, the Oregon Strawberry, the Vienna Coffee, or the all-time-bestseller Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip that is fruity and filled with fudgy hunks of chocolate. The "Choose Your Own 6 Pints" is perfect for testing, tasting, and undoubtedly falling in love.
Price at time of publish: $80
Number of pints: 6 | Ships: Monday through Friday | Flavors available: Black Cherry Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip, Buckeye Blitz Chocolate Chip, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Chip, Chunky Chunky Hippo, Coconut Chocolate Chip, Cookie & Cream, Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip, Dark Chocolate Brownie, Double Chocolate Chip, Dutch Milk Chocolate, Lemon Sorbet, Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mocha Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Oregon Strawberry, Original Salted Caramel, Raspberry Sorbet, Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip, S’Mores, Toffee Chocolate Chip, and Vienna Coffee
"Graeter's Ice Cream is unlike any ice cream out there thanks to its super thick consistency and sweet taste. Out of the hundreds of flavors, you can't go wrong with one of the many chocolate chip options—the chunks of soft, sweet, and heavy chocolate are delicious with any flavor." — Amanda McDonald, Commerce Updates Editor
Best for Gifting
Life Raft Treats 'Not Fried Chicken' Ice Cream Bucket, 9 Pieces
Created by pastry chef Cynthia Wong, a six-time James Beard Award finalist, this looks like a bucket of fried chicken, but take a bite and guess what? The drumstick is actually made from waffle ice cream on a “bone" made from a chocolate-covered cookie and covered with white chocolate and crushed corn flakes—made to look like a battered crust on a fried chicken drumstick! These are amazing, utterly delicious, and tons of fun. The ingredients are all high-end, too.
Price at time of publish: $110
Number of pints: N/A | Ships: Tuesdays and Thursdays | Flavors available: Waffle Ice Cream
Best Unique Flavors
Malai Signature Ice Cream, 4 Pints
Made in small batches
Lacks thick buttery mouthfeel
Malai Ice Cream is all about small-batch ice cream in some very enticing and sophisticated flavors, such as Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Masala Chai, Orange Fennel, and Sweet Milk. These internationally influenced flavor profiles are the future of ice cream—and the hand-churned low-air texture of the final product intensifies both the flavors and the sensation of richness. End result: This tastes like luxury. For a very special dessert, make some delicious jalebi to serve along with the ice cream.
Price at time of publish: $90
Number of pints: 4 | Ships: Monday and Wednesday | Flavors available: Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Masala Chai, Orange Fennel, and Sweet Milk
Best Ice Cream Sandwiches
La Newyorkina Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches
Creative and delicious combination
We love this innovation in the form of an ice cream sandwich made by Fanny Gerson of Newyorkina in Brooklyn. It's made with an outside of rich handmade chocolate babka baked with a hint of cinnamon and a lot of Mexican chocolate and sandwiched with smooth vanilla ice cream. Made by Gerson of Newyorkina, inspired by Gerson's Mexican roots and launched in 2010, this combination is simply out-of-this-world delicious and extremely Instagrammable. The decadent ice cream sandwiches come in a pack of six.
Price at time of publish: $85
Number of pints: N/A | Ships: Monday through Friday | Flavors available: Oaxaca Chocolate and Mexican Vanilla
Rebel The Maverick Mixed Case Ice Cream, 8 Pints
Clear packaging with total net carbs
Can taste "icy" if not eaten at correct temperature
Rebel is lactose-free, no sugar added, low-carb keto ice cream. For people on the keto diet, each container clearly specifies how many net carbs per pint—which ranges from 4 to 8 grams, depending on the flavor. The flavor selection in this collection consists of a pint each of Cookes & Cream, Triple Chocolate, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Coconut Almond Swirl, Black Raspberry, and Peanut Butter Fudge but other flavor selections are also available.
Price at time of publish: $64
Number of pints: 8 | Ships: Daily | Flavors available: Cookies & Cream, Salted Caramel, Black Raspberry, Triple Chocolate, Cherry Chip, Coconut Almond Swirl, Peanut Butter Cup, and Vanilla
Crank & Boom Dairy-Free Ice Cream Collection, 6 Pints
Locally sourced ingredients
Flavors available are pretty traditional
Crank & Boom out of Lexington, Kentucky uses locally sourced ingredients to make great traditional American ice cream flavors such as Chocolate Fudge Ripple, Cookies & (No) Cream, Banana + Chocolate, Strawberry Fields, Bourbon & Honey, and Coconut Caramel Delight in a dairy-free form that won’t make you feel like you’re missing anything at all. They use coconut cream as their base and a small-batch handcrafted method that gives a smooth texture with intense flavors. Any of these ice cream flavors could be paired with a good Kentucky bourbon.
Price at time of publish: $100
Number of pints: 6 | Ships: Monday through Thursday | Flavors available: Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Ripple, Non-Dairy Cookies & No Cream, Non-Dairy Banana + Chocolate, Non-Dairy Strawberry Fields, Non-Dairy Bourbon & Honey, and Non-Dairy Coconut Caramel Delight
Best Flavor Variety
Jeni's Ice Cream
Can purchase online
Founder Jeni Britton started ice cream recipe developing over two decades ago and has since built Jeni's into a multi-city ice cream shop empire. The brand now has a loyal following for a few reasons: One is the quality of the ice cream—it's smooth, creamy, and each bite tastes incredibly fresh. Another is because the offerings are available on Amazon and other online sites and not just in the brick-and-mortar Jeni's Ice Cream shops.
And by far the biggest reason is the unique twists on traditional flavors like Darkest Chocolate, Salty Caramel, Strawberry Buttermilk, and Honey Vanilla Bean that don't taste like the cartons at the grocery store. The small changes, like making chocolate super dark or adding a hint of honey to vanilla, elevates these flavors far beyond others. It is slightly pricier per pint than other mail-order ice creams, but for good reason, and you won't regret it.
Price at time of publish: $8 for a pint
Number of pints: N/A | Ships: Daily | Flavors available: Brambleberry Crisp, Salty Caramel, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Darkest Chocolate, Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks, Gooey Butter Cake, Cookies In Cream, Green Mint Chip, Wedding Cake, Buttercream Birthday Cake, High Five Candy Bar, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Lemon & Blueberries Parfait, Powdered Jelly Donut, Skillet Cinnamon Roll, Middle West Whiskey & Pecans, Golden Nectar, Pumpkin Cake Roll, Frosé, Strawberry Buttermilk, Coffee with Cream & Sugar, Milkiest Chocolate, Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam, Brandied Banana Brûlée, Wildberry Lavender, Honey Vanilla Bean, Non-Dairy Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, Boston Cream Pie, Savannah Buttermint, Non-Dairy Dark Chocolate Truffle, Cream Puff, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Non-Dairy Banana Cream Pudding
"Jeni’s is my hands down favorite ice cream out there. Not only because she uses real ingredients and has an exciting menu of pints (looking at you, Coconut Cream Cold Brew) but because she has methodically approached the recipe for each and every flavor, so that even old-classics like Chocolate, Strawberry, or Vanilla coat your tongue just-right and deliver rich flavor." — Kristin Stangl, Food Editor
Best for Parties
Williams Sonoma Baked Alaska & Crème Brûlée Mini Ice Cream Cakes, Set of 12
If you’re looking for an ice cream dessert for a special occasion, these mini ice cream cakes are tremendously elegant, to the point where they give people the idea that a private chef must be in your kitchen. The package comes with a selection of two types—Baked Alaska and crème brûlée—with six of each. Really wow your guests at your next dinner party or elevate an engagement party with minimal work on your part: Simply pull them out of the freezer when it's time and enjoy frozen. These would also be wonderful for an afternoon tea party (they are picture-perfect, after all), following tea sandwiches. They are shipped frozen and can be stored unopened in the freezer for up to three months so you can plan ahead for all your soirees.
Price at time of publish: $100
Shipping Details: Ships daily
Number of pints: N/A | Ships: Daily | Flavors available: Baked Alaska and Crème Brûlé
Proper Deep Chocolate Ice Cream, 6 Pints
Seriously good dark chocolate flavor
Made in small batches
Dense rich texture can be too much for some
If you're a dark chocolate ice cream fan, you'll want to give this a try. This deep chocolate ice cream from Proper Ice Cream is made in small batches from the finest Valhrona cocoa and Lindt chocolate, handcrafted with no artificial flavors or coloring. You'll immediately notice the color of this dark chocolate and how other ice creams don't compare (most likely due to the high quality of Proper Ice Cream's ingredient list).
Price at time of publish: $105
Number of pints: 6 | Ships: Monday through Friday | Flavors available: Deep Chocolate
My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Mixed Pack, 6 Count
Great for snacking
Good variety of flavors
Comes in individual boxes
The combination of the Japanese sweet mochi put together with creamy ice cream is absolutely irresistible. Add to that the fact that these are basically finger foods (you can pick one up and pop it in your mouth whole if you like) and everyone’s in for a fun, delicious experience. This set of 6 boxes includes a lot of flavors to try: Cookies & Cream, Sweet Mango, Green Tea, Double Chocolate, Ripe Strawberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip. Make it a special occasion by whipping up some Japanese rice crackers as an accompaniment.
Price at time of publish: $42
Number of pints: N/A | Ships: Daily | Flavors available: Sweet Mango, Ripe Strawberry, Green Tea, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookies & Cream and Double Chocolate
A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream, 6 Pints
Tastes very close to traditional ice cream
Nut-, egg-, and sesame-free
Inexpensive compared to other options
A La Mode ice creams are made by people who take allergens seriously. With no nuts, eggs, or sesame, these are really excellent options for those who want to avoid certain ingredients. In this collection are two flavors: Cooks, which is a vanilla ice cream base stirred with chocolate fudge and a vanilla and chocolate cookie mix in, and Speed Bump, which is a chocolate ice cream base mixed with chips of white and dark chocolate along with marshmallows.
Price at time of publish: $59
Number of pints: 6 | Ships: Daily | Flavors available: Cooks and Speed Bump
Greater's Ice Cream is a standout, highly reputable option if you want authentic French Pot ice cream. Seeking an option for someone with nut or egg allergies? Opt for A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream to satisfy a sweet tooth without worrying about certain dietary restrictions.
What to Look for in Mail-Order Ice Cream
Ice cream ingredients vary quite a bit—so much so that the FDA standard allows "cream" to be an optional ingredient. If you have allergies, it's always a good idea to check the ingredients list, but it's also nice for anyone to know what exactly you are getting with each delicious scoop. There are vegan ice creams as well as those geared toward specific diets, but read the label carefully to be sure you understand serving sizes. Premium ice creams often have high-quality ingredients, like specialty chocolate, for example, and those will be more expensive.
Some people want the classics when it comes to ice cream—chocolate, vanilla, etc.—but ice cream is becoming more global in terms of flavors and there are always new combinations and options available. Trying new flavors of ice cream is a delicious way to learn more about the food cultures of the world. Whether you want to stick with what you know or experiment might dictate where you order from but many places offer variety packs to help with sampling.
The texture of different ice creams can range from light and icy to rich and full of mouthfeel. Butterfat content determines texture, as does the method of manufacture. Higher butterfat content creates a richer mouthfeel, and ice cream with less air in the blend creates a denser mouthfeel. Mix-in ingredients also change the texture of the ice cream.
Ice cream is commonly shipped to consumers by makers who follow well-practiced methods of keeping the product frozen and safe to eat, but it’s always good to order from a company with experience in shipping. Some places only ship on certain days of the week so you may need to plan ahead.
Can you get ice cream shipped to you?
People often don't realize they can get ice cream shipped directly to their homes, but it's quite easy. Billions of dollars worth of ice cream is safely shipped to home customers every year. The process is fine-tuned to assure fast delivery times and temperature controls. It can be a better experience ordering ice cream from one of the companies accustomed to shipping it nationwide than ordering from your local grocery store or food delivery due to the expertise of these companies. Expedited shipping and specially developed insulated packaging make ordering gourmet ice cream a breeze, Next-day shipping is your top choice, but ice cream can remain stable within a 30-hour delivery time as long as it’s appropriately packed. Each company has its own shipping timeline and areas for delivery so be sure to read the fine print.
All the mail-order ice creams above provide excellent delivery services to your home. Taste a new enticing flavor, try a new gourmet ice cream company, order an old favorite, or send it as a gift! Mail-order ice cream also makes it easy to organize a celebratory virtual ice cream social for kids or adults.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best mail-order ice creams on the market, evaluating their key features—like flavors, pints available, and price—in addition to reviews from customers, our expert knowledge, and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best ice cream along the way.
Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She updated this article to include the most up-to-date information.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21.