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Do you cook or eat food? If so, you probably need reusable food storage containers.
With literally thousands on the market, choosing which containers to buy can be overwhelming. Glass is heavier and more expensive, but you can cook with it. Plastic is lighter and stacks more efficiently, but can’t go in an oven and sometimes adds an odd taste to food. Where’s a buyer to begin?
Amazon, probably. So that’s what the product testing experts at Reviewed.com did. We ordered the best-selling plastic and glass food storage containers on Amazon, then evaluated them to find out if popularity equals quality. We dropped them onto a linoleum floor, froze them, microwaved them, stained them, pried them apart, stacked them back together, and lots more.
The Glasslock Assorted Container Set (available at Amazon for $37.96) performed the best in our tests, but there are plenty of options to choose from if you prefer plastic sets or different sizes. Here are the best food storage containers on Amazon.
Updated July 17, 2017
Glasslock Assorted Container Set
The best-selling glass food storage container on Amazon is also the best food storage container on Amazon.
Glasslock’s Oven Safe Container Set aced every test we could think of. They didn’t leak water when we sloshed them around, and didn’t burst open or shatter when we dropped them from a countertop. When we froze them, expanding food didn’t break through the seal. And after reheating with them, neither the tempered glass nor the plastic lids imparted off flavors into our food. The lids and glass resist stains, and the set is also marked dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe (just the glass, not the lids).
While they lack the color coded lids that some sets use to help with organization, you can nest small containers within larger ones, even with the lids still on. And while we do appreciate Glasslock’s lifetime warranty, user reviews say filing a claim is a hassle, so save that paperwork.
Prices shown for the 18-piece set.
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Storage Containers
Best Plastic Set
Rubbermaid’s extremely popular Easy Find Lids container set is our pick for the best plastic resuable food storage containers. The iconic red lids won’t spring a leak unless you shake the container violently, and drops aren’t a problem unless the container happens to fall on its side or a corner.
No plastic container is oven-safe, but the set is marked dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and carries a lifetime warranty.
This set’s biggest drawback is its tendency to impart a slight plasticky smell onto reheated food, which we tested by subjecting plain tofu to microwave reheating inside each food container. It’s not a safety issue, but smell is an important component of flavor, after all. You should also avoid freezing with this set, as expanding food may pop the lid.
Prices shown for the 42-piece set.
MealPrep Premium Glass Food Storage Containers
If you struggle to physically unsnap the tight clasps on the side of other glass container sets, MealPrep’s Premium Glass containers are similar, but require less force to open up.
The tradeoff: they can’t survive a fall. Your food will spill out even if a container lands flat from counter height. But until then they’re water tight, won’t pop open in the freezer, and won’t leave your food smelling funny.
Be aware this set is covered by only a 30-day warranty, and doesn’t stack very efficiently. This is also the most expensive set of the group: $25 for 6 pieces (so just 3 containers and their lids) at the time of writing.
Prices shown for the 6-piece set.
Pyrex Storage Set
Don’t have the most organized cupboard? The Pyrex-brand food storage container set is known for its color coded lids, which you can use to quickly figure out which lid goes with which container. The set also features circular containers that nest within each other, and rectangular containers that stack.
These plastic lids won’t pop off easily when dropped, but it makes little difference: none of them are watertight at all. Condensation, soups, and thin sauces will spill out as if from a faucet, so you’ll want to keep these upright while in use. Pyrex’s warranty expires after two years.
Prices shown for the 20-piece set.
California Home Goods 3 Compartment Bento
If you care about portion control, check out the California Home Goods 3 Compartment Bento. This compact set of five lids and five containers stacks efficiently, and you can use the three partitioned sections to manage what you eat: large section for protein, medium for fats, small for carbs.
Unfortunately, these are basically the same containers you’d get when you order takeout at a restaurant. You may experience some drips or commingling across the sections if you jostle the containers too hard, and the thin plastic will almost certainly break after repeated uses. At least there’s a lifetime warranty.
Prices shown for the 10-piece set.
Other Products We Tested
Rubbermaid also makes a glass variant of its plastic Easy Find Lids storage container system. Unfortunately, these press-and-seal lids pop off far too easily.
This is the top-selling reusable food storage container set on Amazon, plastic or glass. It’s a good product, and really very similar to the other meal-prep containers on offer. However, LIFT didn’t make the top five because we could detect a strong plasticky smell from our reheated food.
A very similar product to the California Home Goods Bento, this bento leaked much more severely in our simple agitation test, and contents were more thoroughly commingled between compartments.