Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective. Learn more.
- Food storage containers keep your food fresh and can handle the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher without staining, taking on odors, or experiencing damage.
- Our top pick, the Snapware 8-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container, does all this and more, plus, it provides an airtight seal that snaps tight.
Developed in 1946 by Earl Tupper, Tupperware not only gave us an airtight way to keep food fresh, but it also introduced the direct marketing strategy to the post-World War II United States. The “Tupperware party” was a way for women to earn an income after much of the labor market closed to them as soldiers came back from war.
These days, you can still attend Tupperware parties, but they are nowhere near as popular as they were in their ’50s and ’60s heyday. And, for most of us, it’s more convenient to buy food storage containers from brands that make their wares available online or in brick-and-mortar stores.
When shopping for food storage, you still need to look past the marketing to find out what you are really paying for. For example, brands will advertise “X-piece sets.” You should know that X rarely refers to the number of containers you are getting. Instead, they also factor in the lids as separate pieces. So, a 42-piece set will have 21 container bases and 21 lids.
Food storage containers are generally made of glass, plastic, or stainless steel. Each material has its benefits, though we did not include any of the stainless steel options on our list because they are generally expensive and not as useful. Glass containers cost more than plastic, but they tend to hold up better in the microwave, don’t take on the characteristics of the food they hold, and some of them can even go in the oven.
Plastic still reigns supreme in this space mainly because of the affordable price, tight seals, and ability to handle being dropped. Though most containers are BPA-free and brands claim they are microwave safe, our research shows that microwaving plastic can lead to stains, odors, and damage to the containers.
We closely examined the expert and consumer ratings and reviews of dozens of options while searching for the best plastic storage containers. The solutions we chose to include in our guide have demonstrated a long history of durability, strong seals, and ease of use.
Here are the best food storage containers you can buy:
- Best food storage container overall: Snapware 8-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container
- Best glass food storage container: GlassLock 14-Piece Oven-Safe Box Set With Lids
- Best bento box food storage container: EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers
- Best food storage container set on a budget: Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container Set
- Best food storage container for large items: Lock & Lock Airtight Rectangular Food Storage Container
Updated by Caitlin Petreycik on 11/7/2019: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added related guides.
The best food storage container overall
If you are looking for a container that snaps closed easily and provides a tight seal, the Snapware 8-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container is your best bet.
The Snapware Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container comes with a BPA-free polypropylene container and lid, which measure 10.2 by 8.5 by 2.5 inches. The containers are designed to be freezer, top-rack dishwasher, and microwave safe. The lid features snaps on each side and a silicone seal for airtight, leak-proof storage. For an optimum seal, Snapware recommends removing the gasket and washing it before using your container.
This container comes with a lifetime warranty and is made in the United States, specifically Mira Loma, California. The 8-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container earned the top spot in our guide, but if you are interested in container sets,Snapware offers excellent plastic and glass setsthat use technology that is similar to this container.
The Snapware Airtight earned the best plastic storage containers distinction fromCook’s Illustratedbecause it passed a submersion test after dishwashing, stacks easily, and is designed for quick heating or cooling.The Wirecutterfound that Snapware could handle dropping and did not retain food smells or stains. Reviewers also liked that Snapware backs their products with a lifetime warranty.
Pros:Tight seal, durable, snaps ensure a quality seal, lifetime warranty
Cons:Some reports of difficulties closing the container
The best glass food storage container
The GlassLock 14-Piece Oven-Safe Box Set with Lids is ideal for people who like to heat their leftovers and are nervous about the toxins released by heated plastic.
The GlassLock 14-Piece Oven-Safe Box Set with Lids comes with seven containers: one 1.6-cup round, one 3.1-cup round, two 1.5-cup square, one 3.3-cup square, and two 1.6-cup rectangular containers. Note that the largest container holds less than a quart.
Each component is completely recyclable and BPA free. These containers are made of limestone, soda ash, silica and other natural compounds. The containers are also FDA-approved for use in the food industry and can be used in the oven, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave, though the lids should not be used in the microwave or oven.
The Spruce liked that you get an excellent value for your money with GlassLock’s sets, and the lids are effective. The reviewer also noted that the containers stack well. The Wirecutter recommends a similar GlassLock set, but we chose not to include this set in our guide because of too many buyer complaints of glass shards breaking off the containers.
Again, the containers are rather small, so pay special attention to the sizes listed above to make sure this set fits your needs.
Pros:Versatile, oven-safe, can handle dropping, durable locking lids
Cons:Lids are not microwave-safe, containers are on the smaller side
The best bento box food storage container
The EasyLunchboxes 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers are a quick and easy way to pack your lunch for work, school, or play.
“Bento” is Japanese for “convenient,” and bento boxes are generally single-serving meals that you can take with you on the go. They are basically healthy Lunchables that adults can eat without losing face. The EasyLunchboxes Bento Lunch Box Containers are all about convenience. They are stackable, portable, microwaveable, and freezable. However, they are not leak-proof so it’s best to avoid putting runny food or liquids in these containers.
The containers are made of polypropylene number 5 plastic and are free from phthalates, PVC, and BPA. The overall size of the lunch box is 9.4 by 6.1 by 2 inches with the largest compartment measuring 4.5 by 5 by 1.75 inches and fitting 2.5 cups of food. The smaller sections fit ¾ and ½ cups of food each.
A Merry Lifelikes the EasyLunchboxes containers because they are healthy, convenient, kid-friendly, and they help provide portion control for any meal. However, the containers are a bit tough to close and they’re not completely spill-proof. That will be a deal-breaker for some people.
We came across a few buyer reviews that mentioned that the tab will eventually break off the lid. Though, much of the time, the container is still usable.
Pros:Makes packing lunch effortless, good quality, stackable, fits in many types of lunch bags
Cons:Not leak-proof, doesn’t have hinged lid snaps, tab breaks off the lid
The best food storage container set on a budget
For around a dollar per container, the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Container set will keep your food fresh and portable.
The Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Containers come in a variety of sets, but we’re going to focus on the most popular option, the 42-piece, red-lidded set. What sets these containers apart is that the lids attach to the bottom of the base for storage. Stacking both lids and containers is a breeze.
The 42-piece set comes with two 7-cup, two 5-cup, two 3-cup, five 2-cup, five 1.25-cup, and five 0.5-cup bases. Rubbermaid states that the containers are freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe, though you will see below that the microwave safety of this product is questionable. The set comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Your Better Kitchenhas been using the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids for three years, and the reviewer reports that the lids store easily inside of each other, don’t crack in the freezer, and don’t absorb food flavors.Reviewedrated this product the best plastic set because it can handle being dropped and will not leak unless you shake it violently. However, the reviewers found that when they microwaved tofu inside the container, there was a slight plastic odor produced.
We came across a few buyer reviews that claimed the containers didn’t hold up in the microwave: the heated food would scald the interior of the base and leave permanent markings.
Pros:Affordable, durable, easy storage and stacking
Cons:Issues associated with microwaving the container
The best food storage container for large items
If you are looking for an airtight box for your bread or other large items, consider the Lock & Lock Airtight Rectangular Food Storage Container.
The Lock & Lock Airtight Rectangular Food Storage Container is made of FDA-approved, BPA-free polypropylene with a hollow-center silicone gasket between the base and the lid for a tighter seal. The lid features four locking hinges – one on each side.
Lock & Lock bent the hinges 1,000,000 times with a flexing test machine to ensure that they wouldn’t break. This container comes in five sizes. Each is stackable, watertight, airtight, and microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe.
There are not many expert reviews of the Lock & Lock Airtight Rectangular containers.Cook’s Illustratedrecommended this container because of the secure seal and sturdy build. The reviewers put it through its paces, including dishwashing the container 50 times, and they found that the seal only improved. During the submersion test, though, they found that it leaked a few drops. They also found the deep, tall shape to be less practical and noticed some staining when microwaving chili in it. Overall, they were impressed with the durability.
Some buyer reviews mentioned that a loaf of specialty (non-Pullman) sandwich bread will not fit in the 64-ounce, small-sized container (despite Lock & Lock’s marketing photos.)
Pros:Large capacity, secure seal, durable build, doesn’t absorb odors
Cons:Too bulky for many uses, stains when microwaving liquids
Check out our other guides for home cooks
The best baking sheets
A baking sheet is just one of those tools that you need in your kitchen. Whether you are baking cookies, roasting vegetables, reviving frozen foods, or making a fancy jelly roll, you need a baking sheet (also known as a cookie sheet). Here are the best baking sheets you can buy:
- Best baking sheet overall: Nordic Ware Aluminum Baker’s Half Sheet
- Best baking sheet set: Wilton 3-Piece Cookie Pan Set
- Best rimless baking sheet: AirBake Nonstick Cookie Sheet
- Best high-end baking sheet: OXO Good Grips Pro Nonstick Cookie Sheet
- Best jelly roll pan: Chicago Metallic Professional Non-Stick Cookie/Jelly-Roll Pan
The best loaf pans
High-quality loaf pans cook your baked goods evenly, release them with little fuss, and are made of heavy-duty materials. These are the best loaf pans you can buy:
- Best loaf pan overall: Wilton Recipe Right Bread Loaf Baking Pan
- Best aluminized steel loaf pan: USA Pan Bakeware Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan
- Best glass loaf pan: Pyrex 1.5-Quart Clear Basics Glass Loaf Pan
- Best loaf pan with handles: Farberware Nonstick Bakeware Loaf Pan
- Best meatloaf pan: Chicago Metallic Non-Stick 2-Piece Meatloaf Set
The best Dutch ovens
Crock Pots and pressure cookers get all the headlines these days, but for centuries, people have been using Dutch ovens as the go-to, one-pot cooking device. No matter how hard the new-fangled instant pots of the world try, they have not been able to achieve the delicious, complex flavors Dutch ovens produce. These are the best Dutch ovens you can buy:
- Best Dutch oven overall: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron 5-1/2-Quart Dutch Oven
- Best Dutch oven for camping: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven
- Best Dutch oven for stews: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Casserole
- Best budget Dutch oven: Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the original article on Insider Picks. Copyright 2019.
Follow Insider Picks on Twitter.
Insider Picks Guides