Best Meal Prep Containers in 2022

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Making your meals ahead of time and portioning them out is a great practice. Not only does it save time and money, but it also helps you adopt healthy eating habits. Only the best meal prep containers will do for a more efficient meal prep process.

Read on as we discuss the particulars for ten of the best meal prep containers, with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you decide.

Comparison Chart

51YZ8GVuNDL. SL500
Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container, Salad and Snack Lunch Combo Kit, Clear, 9 Piece Set 1997843
417dAY4AbiL. SL500
Bentgo® Glass Lunch Box – Leak-Proof Bento-Style Food Container with Airtight Lid and Divided 3-Compartment Design – 5 Cup Capacity for Meal Prepping, and Portion-Controlled Meals for Adults & Teens (Blue)
419hoylmMcS. SL500
1790 Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids – 9 Pack – Glass Meal Prep Containers, Airtight Glass Lunch Boxes, Approved & Leak Proof Heat Resistant Up to 550℉ (18 Total Pieces)
41BNrs2k48L. SL500
Kitchen + Home Thin Bins Collapsible Containers – Set of 4 Rectangle Silicone Food Storage Containers – BPA Free, Microwave, Dishwasher and Freezer Safe – No More Cluttered Container Cabinet!
412B7VAm oL. SL500
Plastic Food Storage Containers with Lids 25 oz – Freezer Storage Containers with Lids – Freezer Safe, BPA Free, Reusable (Set of 40)
51QiX9JiXrL. SL500
Ecolunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Bento Box (1, Regular)
Sistema 3-Piece Food Storage Containers with 2 Compartments and Lids for Meal Prep, Dishwasher Safe, 11.8oz, Clear/Blue
41+GzrqfPhS. SL500
Snapware Total Solution Glass Food Storage Set (24-Piece, BPA Free Plastic Lids, Meal Prep, Leak-Proof), Clear
31uadOnyuVL. SL500
PackIt Flex Bento Food Storage Container, Ripe Raspberry
515HK7nYzyL. SL500
Bayco 10 Pack Glass Meal Prep Containers, Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids, Airtight Glass Lunch Bento Boxes, BPA-Free & Leak Proof (10 lids & 10 Containers)

Best Meal Prep Containers: Reviews

Rubbermaid 5-Piece Brilliance Food Storage Containers

51YZ8GVuNDL. SL500

Rubbermaid’s stylish, 5-piece food storage container set.

Product Highlights

Rubbermaid’s Brilliance food storage containers are five containers with two compartments each. They are beautifully designed and made from premium StainShield plastic for a shatterproof and lightweight yet durable container set. The latches on the lid ensure airtightness and are 100% leak-proof; its built-in vents prevent splatter when used in the microwave. This Rubbermaid set is available as a 10-piece or 12-piece set (these numbers include lids).

What I Like

When I first laid eyes on this set, I noticed its classy and simple design. I like that the container and lid are crystal clear, so I can see my food from any angle (360 degrees). Its construction is also modular for easy stacking and space-saving.

The latches are a neutral gray color, therefore are likely to blend in with your kitchen décor and accessories. I also like that the lid is designed to fit any other Brilliance container of the same size. This is a helpful feature, as it’s expected that the lid may separate from its original container.

So if you own another set of Brilliance food containers and you’re looking for a cover, you can just grab the nearest Brilliance cover that will fit.

What I Don’t Like

What puts me off slightly about this set is it’s made from plastic. Reheating food in plastic is not good, as harmful chemicals can leach into your food. I also think it would be helpful if a few containers in the set had three compartments instead of two for more food storage options.

Pros

  • Durable and lightweight
  • Modular space-saving design
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

Plastic unsafe for reheating food

Bentgo Glass Lunch Box Food Storage Container

417dAY4AbiL. SL500

The Bentgo lunch box offers bento-style food storage, perfect for portion control. In addition, it’s made from BPA-free premium glass.

Product Highlights

Bentgo’s lunch box is designed with one large and two smaller compartments that can hold up to five cups of food. It can handle various temperatures. Therefore the base is dishwasher, microwave, oven, and freezer safe.

The cover is made from plastic and is available in four colors, and is not for use in the microwave or oven. Each cover is designed with secure locking clips to keep your food airtight.

What I Like

I like the Bentgo lunch box’s glass construction and three deep compartments. The three compartments offer more food options if you are using your meal prep containers on the go. For example, you’ll have space for your rice or noodles, sauce, and dessert.

You can’t go wrong with this box to transport your food to work or use as a home food storage container for preserving leftovers. I also prefer that it’s made from glass, so I have the option to safely reheat my food in the oven or microwave.

What I Don’t Like

If I use it to reheat my food in the microwave, there’s no way to prevent it from splattering all over the place, as the cover needs to be removed first.

Pros

  • Three compartments
  • Glass construction
  • Industry-leading 2-year warranty

Cons

It needs to be uncovered when reheating food

1790 Glass Food Storage Containers

419hoylmMcS. SL500

1790’s 9-pack, airtight, leak-proof glass lunch boxes look great and are ideal for reheating your food in the oven.

Product Highlights

These containers are made from borosilicate glass for longevity and strong resistance to varying temperature ranges. They are the only food storage containers to heat up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit (without the lid) or freezer temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are an excellent choice if you prefer to reheat your food in the oven. They offer a straightforward design with blue trim and are available in packs of 6, 7, 9, 11, or 12.

What I Like

I like the different shapes of these storage containers, as they are round, rectangular, or square, which is a bit more interesting than the standard four-cornered shapes. Also, their nestle design allows them to fit into each other when not in use and not take up too much space.

What I Don’t Like

Although I prefer simpler designs, I think it would have been nice if more color options were available.

Pros

  • Handles extreme temperatures
  • Nestle design
  • Made with eco-friendly material

Cons

Available in one trim color only

Thin Bins Food Storage Containers

41BNrs2k48L. SL500

Thin Bins collapsible food storage containers are well-designed, innovative, and suitable for the home or on the go.

Product Highlights

These Thin Bin silicone food storage containers are versatile with a leak-proof, airtight design suitable for indoor and outdoor use. They collapse when pushed down, which makes them practical for smaller living spaces and camping.

If you’re a bit of a big kid like me, you may find pressing them down to their collapsible form fun and impressive. They are available as a 4-piece rectangle set of various sizes and vivid colors and are now available in square or round shapes and sizes, including extra-large.

What I Like

The collapsible design feature sold this particular set to me. Each container collapses to 1/3 of its original size, taking up much less room in your cupboards or bag. I like that each container is a different size in a distinct, bright hue that will add a pop of color to any kitchen. I also like that the snap-on lids include air vents so I can keep them on when reheating in the microwave.

It’s made from 100% FDA-compliant, non-toxic, BPA-free, food-grade silicone. If you find fault with them, don’t like the quality, or discover that collapsible food storage containers aren’t for you, you can have them replaced or get your money back.

What I Don’t Like

I like to have the option to reheat food in the oven. However, this isn’t possible with the Thin Bins range.

Pros

  • Collapsible design for less clutter
  • Air vent cover for microwave heating
  • Leak-proof design

Cons

Not oven safe

Healthy Packers Plastic Food Storage Containers

412B7VAm oL. SL500

Healthy Packers’ reusable plastic containers are excellent for food storage without the bells and whistles.

Product Highlights

These basic food storage containers are similar to the type in which you’d receive a takeout meal. If you want a set that gets the job done and is less expensive but not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the options we’ve looked at, consider a Healthy Packers set.

Forty containers can accommodate up to 25 ounces of food each and can be used repeatedly. Healthy Packers also sells round versions of these containers.

What I Like

I like the price point for this set and the number of containers it includes. They are well-made and sturdy, with tight-fitting lids. A set like this would be handy the next time I host a dinner party, and someone wants to take home some of my yummy Thai dishes.

Instead of kissing goodbye to a more expensive container, I’ll be happier to give away a reusable one. These containers are also suitable for storing more than just food.

What I Don’t Like

These can handle the heat but are unsuitable for the oven. This type also looks a little uninspiring and might look boring in your fridge or pantry. However, I believe you get what you pay for and can’t have it all.

Pros

  • Restaurant-quality
  • Holds 25 ounces
  • Microwave-safe

Cons

  • Not oven-friendly
  • Plain-looking

ECOlunchbox Food Storage Containers

51QiX9JiXrL. SL500

The ECOlunchbox is stainless steel, a three-in-one food storage container that can accommodate up to 32 ounces of food. This easy-to-use food storage container is also suitable for your child’s packed lunches.

Product Highlights

ECOlunchbox offers a sleek, vintage-style food container that looks unique. It is sturdily made from stainless steel. It provides three containers: two medium-sized containers with a smaller one that can be used as a snack pod to fit inside the top container. The ECOlunchbox is a trusted, “mission-based” brand founded by a mom and environmentalist.

The original ECOlunchbox was designed by owner Sandra Ann Harris more than ten years ago, so you can expect high quality. She is dedicated to helping people reduce plastic dependence for health and environmental reasons.

What I Like

I like its cute design. The solid silver offers discretion when being used for meals on the go. The small container can be used on its own for something else. Its stainless steel construction makes it virtually non-breakable and lighter than a comparable glass food storage container.

I also like that it is free from estrogen-mimicking toxins typically found in plastic, including BPA, BPS, and phthalates.

What I Don’t Like

Even though I’d consider purchasing this container, it does have a few features that I’m unimpressed by.

First, I feel with the ECOlunchbox that I’ll probably be paying more for its look and eco-friendly backstory than anything else.

Second, even though it looks great, it doesn’t offer the convenience of knowing what food is stored inside without opening it.

Third, the design includes no gaskets, which means it’s not leak-proof, so unless it will be sitting in your fridge, you’ll need to avoid storing wet food.

And lastly, a one-year limited warranty worries me slightly. A short warranty can sometimes give the impression of the manufacturer’s lack of confidence in the product. I’d hope for a food storage container made from stainless steel at a higher price point to offer at least a 10-year warranty or lifetime cover.

Pros

  • Sleek, silver stainless steel design
  • Accommodates 32 ounces of food
  • 100% plastic-free

Cons

  • Not leak-proof
  • Expensive

Sistema 3-Piece Food Storage Container

The Sistema 3-piece is a no-fuss and budget-friendly food storage set.

Product Highlights

Sistema’s 3-piece food storage containers from the Klip It collection are the perfect economical set. They are two medium-sized containers and one large, rectangular-shaped container with two compartments.

These containers can safely be placed in the freezer, the microwave (without the lid), and the top rack of the dishwasher. They are made from 100% virgin plastic and are phthalate- and BPA-free. The containers are clear with blue locking clips that should look nice in your freezer or pantry.

What I Like

What I like about the Sistema set is that they almost check all the boxes for an ideal set of meal prep containers. Their rectangular design is perfect for storing plenty of food, with two options per section that can hold up to 11.8 ounces. In addition, the easy-locking clips will help to keep the contents fresher for longer.

What I Don’t Like

What I don’t like about this set isn’t the end of the world but merely a slight inconvenience. When placed on the top rack, it is dishwasher safe, so you’ll have to remember and ensure everyone who stacks the dishwasher knows. It is microwavable, but without the lids, so there is great potential for some of your food to end up splattered across your microwave.

Pros

  • Excellent price
  • Modular stack design
  • Each with Klip It rectangle split containers

Cons

  • Top-rack dishwasher-safe
  • Microwave safe without lid

Snapware Food Storage Container

41+GzrqfPhS. SL500

Snapware’s 24-piece total solution glass storage is probably the mother of all meal prep sets we’ve discussed. This is primarily due to the number of pieces, shapes, sizes, and quality that combined can handle up to 1 liter of food.

Product Highlights

The Snapware food storage set includes two 4-cup square and round containers, four 1-cup round containers, and two 2-cup rectangle-shaped containers with Snap Lock plastic lids. These containers are made from pure Pyrex glass for stain resistance and will not absorb food flavors or odors.

What I Like

I like that this Snapware set is made from pure Pyrex glass, so they are guaranteed to be resistant to stains and won’t absorb odors. The different container shapes and sizes offer more food storage options and are the main features that make this set a total solution.

I also like that you can write on the built-in labels, which help to differentiate between portions or tell which container is yours if it ever ends up amongst an identical set owned by someone else.

Or, if you want to use them for your child’s packed lunches, everyone will know which container(s) belong to them. I also like how they look. This set offers 360-degree vision with its see-through design with light-blue-trimmed covers of varying shades.

What I Don’t Like

Despite pure Pyrex being one of the best materials for a meal prep set, it doesn’t prevent them from shattering if dropped on a tile floor.

Pros

  • Modern design
  • Built-in write-and-erase labels
  • Variety of shapes and sizes

Cons

Not shatterproof

PackIt Flex Bento Food Storage Container

31uadOnyuVL. SL500

The PackIt Flex Bento food storage container is the ultimate bento-style meal prep box. An ideal choice for several food options in one.

Product Highlights

This Flex Bento food storage container by PackIt allows you to customize how you pack your food each time you use it. This is possible through their innovative design of removable dividers secured by grooves to separate food to accommodate different food types. It includes a removable dip cup for all your sauces, dressings, and dips. It is leak-resistant, shatterproof, and can contain up to 54 ounces of fluid.

What I Like

As I think PackIt intended, I’m impressed by the removable dividers that make this storage container stand out from the rest. The flexibility to adapt the box to the selection of food being stored at the time is a genius idea. In addition, I think the price point is reasonable compared to similar lunch box containers. I also like that the container is crystal clear, and the dividers are available in different summer colors that look attractive.

What I Don’t Like

There isn’t much I don’t like about the Flex Bento container apart from needing to remove the lid before reheating food in the microwave. Also, if the dividers are lost, so is the bento-style food storage design.

Pros

  • Shatterproof
  • Holds up to 54 ounces
  • Dividers available in different colors

Cons

Dividers can be lost easily

Bayco Food Storage Containers

515HK7nYzyL. SL500

The Bayco meal prep set offers ten glass containers with a smart locking system lid design.

Products Highlights

Bayco’s food storage containers are made from glass and accommodate up to 22 ounces of food each. They are suitable for a variety of home uses as well as packed lunches. The container is ideal for the microwave and oven and can withstand temperatures up to 752° Fahrenheit. They offer a straightforward design with a colored lid trim available in sky blue, gray, and white.

What I Like

I like the fact that Bayco has improved its lid design. It sounds like they have achieved a perfect balance between a lid that is leak-proof, airtight, and easy to open and close at the same time.

Nothing is more frustrating than a container lid fitting so tight that you struggle to open it. I also like that I can remove the rubber seal inside the lid for a more thorough cleaning. Overall, I’m pleased with the manufacturing effort put into this 10-piece set.

What I Don’t Like

Bayco recommends that the covers be washed by hand more often than by dishwasher. However, this could be slightly inconvenient if you’re used to everything going into the dishwasher. The reason for this is that the high temperatures of a dishwasher can warp the silicone sealing strip at the edge of the lid over time.

Pros

  • Improved lid design
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Temperatures up to 752° Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Lids are not oven- or microwave-safe
  • Handwash lids recommended

Buyer’s Guide

The right meal prep container depends on what you’ll be using it for. For example, will you need multiple compartments for precisely measured food portions? Will you use it as a lunch box, so it must be completely leak-proof?

The price point is another factor. If you need a few containers, are you better off spending a little more for a set if that is more cost-effective? If you intend to reuse the meal prep containers for a while, then quality that can stand the test of time could also be an essential consideration.

As you can see, there are many options available. However, the criteria for choosing the best meal prep containers remain the same. So, let’s take a look.

Size

The amount and type of food being stored will differ. Therefore, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when considering the best meal prep container size.

To select the appropriate container(s), consider how you plan to execute most of your meal prep. For example, is the idea to portion out individual ready-to-go meals or to cook large quantities of food in bulk and then reheat individual portions separately?

If you want to plan your portions out, a smaller-sized container suitable for one serving would be best so you can conveniently reheat your food.

If you are prepping in bulk, then large containers are better, as you won’t reheat the whole portion.

For some basic container size guidelines, consider that the size of a standard takeout container can hold up to 750 milliliters (24.4 ounces) of food. This size would be regarded as a large meal prep container to satisfy the average appetite while encouraging the right size portion. In addition, a container size like this would be helpful in increasing your calorie intake.

If you aim to reduce your food consumption at mealtimes, you can consider a 500-milliliter (17 ounces) or smaller meal prep container. Of course, you can always store less food in a larger container. However, a full, smaller container is immediately more appealing than a half-empty larger container.

Once you’ve decided on the best size, you’ll need to consider how many food storage containers you’ll need.

How Many?

To figure out how many you’ll need, consider how you will run your meal prep operation. Questions to ask yourself include the following:

  • How many meals will you prep per week?
  • How many per day do you want to store? For example, are you just storing lunches, or will dinners, breakfast, and snacks be included?
  • How often do you plan on meal prepping? For example, if once a week, you’ll need all containers to be available then. Alternatively, if you’ll be prepping twice a week, you’ll need approximately half a week’s worth of containers empty and ready to go.
  • How many people will you be prepping for? Of course, the more people, the more containers needed.

The more meals per day and week and the more people you’ll be prepping for, the more containers you’ll need.

Material

One of the most important questions you’ll need to ask when deciding on the meal prep containers you want to buy is the material they’re made from. Most food storage containers are made from either plastic, glass, or metal, and each material has its pros and cons.

Plastic Containers

Plastic food storage containers are the most popular. However, there are some distinct advantages of using plastic containers for your meal prep.

  • Lightweight and see-through
  • Typically more economical than glass or steel containers
  • Available in many shapes and sizes
  • Can handle being tossed around in your bag
  • Child-friendly

They have some downsides too.

  • Not eco-friendly
  • Prone to absorb flavors and smells
  • Degrade over time
  • May contain harmful chemicals

One major question about plastic meal prep containers is whether they’re safe, and the short answer is “kinda.”

Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates

BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical used to manufacture some plastics, including plastics used to make food storage containers. The main issue is that some chemicals can leach into your food, especially when the plastic container is used to reheat food. BPA exposure has been linked to problems including male impotence, fertility, and heart disease.

It’s “kinda” safe, as you’ll need to be exposed to super large quantities of BPA and other harmful plastic components for it to pose a danger to your health. However, it is still possible.

If you opt for a plastic version, you can get around the last point by ensuring its states somewhere that the container uses BPA-free plastic. You can also avoid reheating your food in a plastic container altogether.

Glass Containers

Glass meal prep containers are also ideal if durability and aesthetics are important to you. A significant benefit of glass meal prep containers is the avoidance of any plastic-related toxins. They are also better for the environment by contributing to the reduction of the amount of plastic produced. Therefore, there are some benefits to investing in glass meal prep containers.

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Freezer-safe
  • Microwave-safe
  • Oven-safe
  • Eco-friendly
  • See-through

And some negative features of the glass type too.

  • Easier to break
  • Heavier than plastic or steel

Steel Containers

Like glass containers, steel meal prep containers bypass any plastic-related toxin issues. They are also ideal for salads, cold foods, and small snacks like nuts. Here are some of the upsides of using metal meal prep containers.

  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Unique and stylish
  • Child-friendly
  • Eco-friendly

Some of the cons include price and use limitations.

  • Can be more expensive
  • Not freezer-friendly
  • Not microwave-safe

Space

How much space a container set is likely to take up should be considered, especially if space is at a premium in your kitchen or travel bag. Choosing containers that easily stack together when storing food and, if possible, nestle together when not in use, is a great space saver.

Easy to Clean

Look for designs that are easy to clean and don’t stain easily. Those where the rubber seal strip inserted in the lid can be removed for cleaning are more hygienic.

Seal

An ideal seal for a meal prep container should ensure it’s leak-proof for hassle-free transportation. It should be airtight to help keep the food fresh for as long as possible and prevent the contents from absorbing other fridge odors. Varying temperatures and washing will take their toll, so a robust, hardwearing, and easy-to-care-for design is better.

FAQ

Can Meals Be Made Ahead of Time and Frozen in Meal Prep Containers?

Yes. Meals can be precooked, and their life extended when frozen in a meal prep container with an airtight lid.

How Many Meal Prep Containers Do You Need?

The number of meal prep containers you need greatly depends on your meal prep regimen. For example, will you need to prep individual meals for individual people, and how many? Or will you be cooking in bulk and serving from the stored food as and when necessary?

Most prepped meals can stay fresh for up to five days in the refrigerator. Therefore, five meal prep containers are typically enough for an individual’s weekday breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. Multiply that per person and additional meal (two people with all three weekday meals prepped would be 30 containers: 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners).

Are Plastic Meal Prep Containers Safe?

Harmful chemicals like BPA can leach into your food if you’re reheating it in a container that uses plastic containing BPA. However, you’ll need to be exposed to much of it before it becomes detrimental to your health.

To be safe, refrain from reheating your food in any plastic containers.

Final Verdict: Thin Bins

Going through the ten best meal prep containers, I have learned that it’s challenging to check every box while choosing the best. However, I have decided that the Thin Bins containers are the way forward based on my meal prep regimen, which consists of cooking a batch of food every few days.

Firstly, Thin Bins are made from 100% FDA-compliant, non-toxic, BPA-free, food-grade silicone, which helps put my mind at ease. I can toss it in my bag and won’t mind if it drops on my kitchen tiles. The set comes in different sizes, so I can store one type of food in each.

If I want to reheat some food, the lid vents mean I can keep the lid on; thus, my microwave is splatter-free. The vivid colors used for each container are enough to brighten my day and kitchen and make them a joy to use. The collapsible feature is my favorite! Reducing the container to 1/3 of its size is one of my new party tricks.

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