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Food storage containers might not be the first thing you think to add to your registry, but hear us out: a good food container or set is actually a pretty big deal. The right containers can save you space, cut down on time spent cleaning, help you live a more economically and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, and elevate the look of your kitchen.
That being said, there are a lot of different food containers out there, and it can be time-consuming to sift through all of the available products, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what you want and need. Are you looking for the perfect dry goods containers to stand out on your countertop? Or an all-purpose set with everything you need for lunches, leftovers, and more? To help, we’ve put together this guide to help you find and select the storage containers that are just right for your household.
Read on for the best food storage containers.
Best Overall: Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container Set
This container set is brilliant indeed. It’s affordable, high quality, and includes stackable containers in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Air-tight, leak-proof seals and secure latches will save you from refrigerator messes, and built-in lid vents resist spatter so you can microwave your leftovers without fear of disaster.
They’re freezer and dishwasher safe and made of a BPA-free, Tritan material that is stain, odor, and heat resistant. They have a full lifetime manufacturer’s warranty too!
Best Budget: Ikea Pruta Food Containers
It doesn’t get more budget-friendly than Ikea’s BPA-free, plastic Pruta containers. They’re tougher than they look, and their lids have ridged edges that allow you to stack them securely in the fridge.
These containers range in size, from tiny to very large, so you’ll always have what you need, whether you’re storing olives or an entire casserole. They’re also dishwasher-, freezer-, and microwave safe.
Best Splurge: Evak Belvedere Compact Food Storage Container
Evak’s containers have won international awards for their intelligent and elegant design. They preserve food longer than other air-tight containers because their lids are designed to evacuate the air from inside the container and keep it out.
Just push the lid down, pull it up, and wait to be amazed by how long your food stays fresh and flavorful. Plus, these gorgeous containers will look snazzy on your countertop.
Best Set: Snapware Total Solution Glass and Plastic Storage Set
If you’re looking for a versatile and aesthetically pleasing container set, here it is. These containers nest and stack to save space in your cabinets and fridge and are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.
They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to cover all your storage needs, they’re made of stain-resistant materials, and their lids have fun, bright blue accents. They also have helped write and erase labels for keeping track of expiration dates!
Best Nesting: Joseph Joseph Nest Lock Plastic Food Storage Container Set
There are many sets of nesting containers out there, but this one stands out because of its shockingly clever design. Most nesting sets require you to store container bases separately from their lids which can sometimes lead to an inconvenient search and rescue mission.
In contrast, these containers have nesting bases and lids that clip together, keeping everything in one, compact unit. Bases and lids are also color-coded so that you can match them quickly and easily.
Best for Countertop Display: Oggi Airtight Storage Containers
These clamp-top glass canisters will look cute on your countertop and give your kitchen a rustic vibe. They’re clear so you can showcase your pasta or fresh tea leaves and save yourself the trouble of checking multiple canisters to find what you’re looking for.
Their lids are lined with silicone gaskets to keep air and moisture out, which ensures that your food will stay fresher for longer. They’re also conveniently dishwasher safe.
Best Plastic: Fullstar Food Storage Containers
Fullstar’s plastic container set is amazing. First, you can finally have containers that match. This set includes a large range of shapes and sizes, so you can get rid of those old, mismatched containers in your cabinet.
Second, these containers nest and stack to help you save room in your cabinet and fridge. Third, they’re lightweight and have leak-proof, four-hinged locking systems that prevent spills. This makes them perfect for packing lunch.
Best Silicone: Stasher Stand-Up Silicone Bag
Versatility is the name of Stasher’s game. These silicon bags have a Pinch-Loc seal and can safely store whatever fits in them, soups included! They’re flexible and fold flat when empty to maximize fridge and cabinet space.
These bags make great lunch bags too—and are easy to carry, large enough for a meal, and come in some seriously fun colors. They're dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe, and you can even use them in your sous-vide!
Best Oven Safe Glass: Pyrex Ultimate Glass Storage Set
Pyrex containers can take the heat (and the cold), and these are no exception; they’re oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. Unlike most glass containers, these have glass bases and lids which makes them durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and odors on all sides.
Their clear tops and bases simplify your life and save you from having to guess what your containers contain, and the lids’ white, silicone rims ensure an air-tight, leak-proof seal.
Best Lunch-Box: Lekue Lunchbox To Go
Lekue’s lunchbox design might be the smartest thing we’ve ever seen. This lunchbox has two large food compartments and a small, silverware compartment. So, you can pack everything you need in one, lightweight, leakproof container that is small enough to fit in your bag. This lunchbox is also dishwasher and microwave If you have to heat something in your lunch, you can leave it in its container and pop it right in the microwave.
Best for Pantry: Oxo Good Drips 8-Piece POP Container Baking Set
If you want to make your pantry pop, this set is a winner. It includes two small, one medium, and two large containers that are stackable for maximum efficiency and have airtight seals. The large containers have convenient scoops attached to the inside of the lids, and the medium container comes with a terracotta disk to absorb moisture and keep your sugar from clumping. All containers have curved corners for smooth dispensing and are BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Best for Meal Prep: Goodcook EveryWare 60-Piece BPA-Free Plastic Food Storage Container Set
If you plan and prep meals for the whole week, you’re going to love these containers. There are thirty of them, so you won’t run out. They’re conveniently microwave and freezer safe—perfect for preserving and reheating meals.
Their click and fresh lids give you peace of mind by clicking when they’re secured, and you don’t have to worry about toxins as they are BPA-free. Finally, for those who keep track of portion sizes, the integrated measurements will be a practical tool you'll use every day.
Best for Soups and Sauces: Oxo Good Grips Smart Seal Glass Round Containers
OXO’s Smart Seal containers are the perfect solution for storing liquids of all kinds. Their lids have leak-proof seals and fold-down tabs to ensure that your soups, stews, and chilis stay inside the container where they belong.
They’re also made of borosilicate glass, which can withstand extreme temperature changes without the risk of cracking or shattering. So, you can freeze and reheat your liquids without risking a kitchen disaster.
Best for Baked Goods: Prepworks Collapsible Cupcake Carrier
Looking for the perfect cake or cupcake carrier? Here. It. is. This carrier is ideal for transporting baked goods or storing them at home. Its high, domed shape saves tall decorations and frosting from being smashed or smeared, and its top handle makes it easy to carry.
Its two-tiered cupcake inserts serve as a good display and can be removed if you need to transport a cake. The carrier also collapses for efficient storage and is dishwasher safe.
Best for Produce: iDesign + The Spruce Crisp Berry Bin
If you’re always throwing out produce, these containers could help you prevent waste and save money. The secret is their convenient, removable inner baskets. You can easily rinse your food in the insert before placing it in the bin.
There’s also a gap between the inner basket and the outer bin to keep your fruits and veggies from getting soggy sitting in their own juices, promote airflow, and prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Rubbermaid Brilliance is the best option for starting from scratch or replacing old, mismatched containers. Ikea’s Pruta containers are the best bargain, especially if you’re always sending guests home with containers of food that you may or may not see again. Joseph Joseph's nesting set is the most space-efficient thing out there, and Prepworks' cake and cupcake carrier is just genius. Finally, iDesign's Crisp Berry Bin is our number one pick for keeping your produce fresh in the fridge.
What to look for in a food storage container
When in search of food storage containers, there are many things to consider: purpose, price, material, space efficiency. It’s best to have a good idea of what you need before you start looking at all the shiny new toys on the market.
First, what do you plan to use your new containers for? Are you looking for pantry storage for your dry goods? Do you want to cut down on dirty dishes and clean up times by finding containers you can use to bake, freeze, and reheat meals? Is it crucial that your new containers take up as little space as possible? Do you need containers with leak-proof lids for soups or something light and compact for meal prepping and packing lunch? What about a container that will preserve your produce for longer or something elegant to put on display? Answering questions like these is key to narrowing down your search.
If you want something sure to last—like thick, sturdy glass containers—or a special use item—like a vacuum-sealed container for coffee beans—be prepared to pay a bit more. It's also a good idea to splurge on a nice set as a registry item. If you’re just looking for an inexpensive way to meal prep or pack lunch you can go with a cheaper, plastic option.
It’s a good idea to consider what material you want and what its pros and cons are. For instance, glass is heavier and more fragile than plastic, but it can also resist stains and odors better and is oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
This may not be an issue for some, but those with smaller kitchens and cabinets should keep in mind that some containers can take up a lot of space. If you’re the latter, make sure you buy containers that nest and stack efficiently.
Is glass or plastic better for food storage?
It depends on your priorities. Both have several advantages. Plastic is cheaper and can take more abuse. Plastic container sets often nest and tend to take up less space than glass sets.
Glass sets are more likely to chip, crack, and take up space, but they’re more versatile. They’re always dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and oven safe, whereas many plastic containers are not. Because of this, glass makes reheating meals easier and cuts down on cleanup time because you can bake, refrigerate/freeze, and reheat a dish all in the same container. Glass is also much less likely to stain and absorb odors than plastic which means your glass containers will stay in great condition long after you’ve had to replace your plastic containers.
Do I need airtight food storage containers?
We do recommend airtight storage containers as they keep your food fresher for longer and prevent leaks and spills a bit better.
Do I need a food storage cabinet?
Having a food storage cabinet is ideal because it can save you from a cluttered kitchen and protect foods that should be kept out of direct light. However, if you prefer to display your foods in aesthetically pleasing containers, you can always find a shady spot for more delicate items.
Why Trust Brides?
Mckenzie Eggers is obsessed with organization and is always looking for the best storage options to streamline her life (and her kitchen). Over many years and many moves, she’s tried plastic, glass, collapsible, and nesting containers and has strong opinions on them all.