There's nothing better to celebrate the run-up to Christmas than with the best Advent calendar. Pulling out chocolate each day of December has been a tradition for families all over the UK. And it's not stopping now!
This tradition, which dates back to the 19th century, is usually experienced by opening flaps or 'windows' on a tray, revealing a present behind every day of the month up to Christmas Eve. You'll usually find chocolate hidden behind these little doors. But nowadays, you can get everything from chocolate to cheese and even alcohol in Advent calendars.
Black Friday Advent calendars deals
We interrupt the regularly scheduled content to let you know that although Black Friday is over, there's still time to grab some last chance Black Friday deals on Advent calendars. Want to grab a bargain? These are the retailers that still have the best deals live, or keep scrolling to continue reading our buyer’s guide.
Whether you're gifting a chocolate Advent calendar to kids or grandchildren, splashing out on a luxury Advent calendar for yourself or DIY-ing an Advent calendar, we've found the best festive calendars on the market this year. After all - they're not just for the children...
Best Advent calendars at a glance:
• Best chocolate calendar: Cadbury Dairy Milk Advent Calendar – view on Boots
• Best beauty calendar: Boots 24 Days of Premium Beauty Treats Calendar – view on Boots
• Best luxury calendar: The White Company Advent Calendar - View now on The White Company
The best Advent calendars UK 2023
Best chocolate Advent calendar
Cadbury's chocolate is a classic when it comes to Advent calendars. This one is filled with a
Best Advent calendar for gourmet chocolate
Swap your regular chocolate Advent calendar for Hotel Chocolat's gourmet offering. Not only does
Best sweet food Advent calendar
British hamper legends Cartwright & Butler have brought out a delicious advent calendar full of
Best wooden reusable Advent calendar
Sometimes you want a more traditional and crafty advent calendar to open at Christmas. This
Best cheese Advent calendar
For any cheese lovers, this is a match made in heaven. Available to pre-order soon, sign up for
Best pet Advent calendar
Your beloved pet doesn't need to be left out of the fun this Christmas with their very own advent
Best foodie Advent calendar
An advent calendar with a difference, with this XXL calendar, you'll discover a new delicious
Best personalised Advent calendar
We love how you can add your favourite photos to the front of this CEWE advent calendar which is
Best sock Advent calendar
If you're a sock-lover and enjoy the cosiness of warm feet, this sock advent calendar for couples
Best Advent calendar for home cooks
Experiment with a world of flavours this December with Just Spices' unique Advent calendar. It's
Best Advent calendar for scent lovers
Notorious candle makers, Diptyque really know how to set the ambience. You can bring these
Best Advent calendar for biscuit lovers
Add a dash of artistry to your tea breaks this festive season with Biscuiteers' Advent calendar.
Best beauty Advent calendar
From body lotions to serums, enjoy 24 days of pampering. These L’OCCITANE products include their
Best non-dairy chocolate Advent calendar
Celebrate the festive season with Nomo's vegan chocolate Advent calendar. Perfect for those
What is the Advent calendar tradition?
Advent calendars have been found to date back to the 19th and 20th centuries from German Lutherans. That means they've been around for a pretty long time...
The tradition comes from counting the days literally like a calendar up to the day of Christmas. It's used as anticipation up to the 25 December to celebrate the season. Most Advent calendars nowadays start from the 1 December, but some traditional calendars start from the first day of Advent, which can range from the 27 of November to the 3 December.
In some more classic Advent calendars, you can find images, poetry or verses related to Advent and Christianity behind the windows of a calendar. Now, though, many Advent calendars have little gifts and treats instead.
What do Advent calendars go on sale?
While the festive season may seem like forever away, you'll find that some Advent calendars begin to go on sale from the end of August. From this time, those sought-after beauty calendars that are top of everyone's Christmas wishlist will begin to open their waiting lists too.
If you want to be in with a chance of getting those more luxurious options, we'd recommend keeping your eyes peeled throughout September to bag your favourites.
However, if you're in no rush, just make sure to buy yours in advance of 1 December. Usually, as soon as December hits, most Advent calendars go out of stock. You don't want to be left without one!
How do I create my own?
If you're a particularly crafty soul, you may want to make your own Advent calendar to make this Christmas extra special. We've found this YouTube tutorial below for an Advent calendar book that is easily made out of cardboard. A great gift for the festive season.
What is the most popular advent calendar?
Chocolate Advent calendars are undoubtedly the most popular; they're affordable and easy to pick up in the local supermarket. Not to mention, always a welcome treat in the run-up to Christmas. You can even find plenty of vegan ones now too.
That being said, there are so many other types of Advent calendars. Perfect for treating yourself or your nearest and dearest. For kids or stationery lovers, you can buy stationery Advent calendars. Beauty Advent calendars are always popular, packed with mini and full-size products that last well beyond the Christmas countdown. And if you want to get your furry friend involved in all the festive fun, you can buy pet Advent calendars filled with treats and toys.
Features & Reviews Editor Emily Gilbert has been a journalist since 2016 and has worked across a variety of specialist and lifestyle brands both in print and online. Specialising in travel content and product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases, her favourite being gadgets for the home.