Best Food Containers for Home & Traveling Reviewed
Whether you are on a particular diet, you want to maintain healthy eating, or you want to cut back on food expenses when traveling, bringing your food is always an enviable decision. You get the option to pack your preferred meals in the right proportion, seasoning and the variety that you want. When keeping fit or losing weight, you get the advantage of sticking to your diet goals.
Our Top 3 Picks
- AKS Vacuum
- Herb Guard
It is best to pick containers that are best suited for your food type and travel factors. There are so many options for food storage from thermos flasks, plastic containers, stainless steel to glass containers. In our list, we have all these types with different holding capacities, prices, and durability features. We have comprehensively reviewed each product for you to comprehend their features, strengths, weaknesses and its value. We went through a rigorous selection process to handpick these products.
10 Best Food Containers
1. SELEWARE Portable and Stackable
Made of food grade plastic
Are four stackable jars (5oz, 6oz, 9oz to 11oz, total 31oz)
Have a twist lock design
BPA and phthalate free
Scratch, stain and odor resistance
Microwave (3 minutes), dishwasher and freezer safe
Temperature resistance ranges from -400C to 1090C
Lids have silicon ring to prevent leakage
Suitable for both liquid and solid foods
Have a removable carrying handle
Seleware jars are fairly priced considering that they are made of high-quality plastic, convenient for packing and carrying, and their multipurpose characteristic. If you are traveling with kids or you are looking to lose weight, and you need to portion your variety of meals, then you will be more than glad to invest your money in it.
These containers are not only good-looking to carry, but they also take less space in your bag and are air and watertight, making them excellent traveling jars. Moreover, their lids have a removable handle that enables you to either stack more or fewer jars. When it comes to washing and warming your food, they make your work easier as they are microwave and dishwasher friendly. You do not have to worry about food odor sticking to the jars as they are smell-resistant.
- Attractive and customizable
- Leakproof and airtight
- Can hold up to 30oz
- Environmental friendly
- Easy to carry
- Great for portioning food sizes
- Great for both snacks and formula as they are watertight
- Odor resistant
- Lightweight and compact
Easy to organize different types of foods
Bottom jar is not inter-lockable
2. AKS Vacuum Insulated
Made of a food grade double steel wall
16oz holding capacity
High insulation technology to keep food either hot or cold
Keeps food hot for 8 hours and cold for 12 hours
Non-skid TPE bottom for steady standing
The ream is 2.76 inches wide and non-scald
Leak and sweat proof
It is dishwasher safe, but handwashing is recommended
Ideal for thermos cooking
This option is reasonably priced bearing in mind its ability to maintain food temperature for many hours, its high steel durability, safety, and convenience.
The AKS set is an excellent pick if you need to travel with your homemade food. It is a good choice not only to promote your health but also if you are trying to achieve some level of fitness with a specific diet. You do not have to buy hotel food or indulge in unhealthy snacks when you can simply make your food, put it in this container and you will be good to go. Furthermore, it is leakproof, so you can carry smoothies and soups in it.
- Maintains food temperature
- Preserves food flavor
- Suitable for both soups and solid foods
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Sturdy and firm construction
- Large carrying capacity
- Has a wide mouth that makes it easy to fill food
Good for thermos cooking on the go (saves time and fuel)
Difficult to open the lid (for kids)
3. Herb Guard Airtight & Smell Proof
Made of thick and durable UV protective glass
Suitable for herbs, coffee, spices and teas
Airtight lid seal and smell proof
Also comes with a resealable travel bag
Holding capacity of 100ml (quarter oz)
Has a lifetime guarantee
Comes with a compact scoop
Has a two-way humidity control pack
Also comes with jar labels for you to identify your goods correctly
The Herb Guard product may look pricey for a quarter oz container, but then, it is high quality and even comes with a lifetime guarantee. It does what it is meant to do, and from the verified user reviews, we are convinced that you will get value for your money.
This container is for you if you cannot leave your spices, herbs, teas, or coffee behind when traveling. It keeps them fresh and protects them from moisture. Furthermore, they are smell proof so you will not have to announce to everybody what you are traveling with. Its scoop and resealable travel bags even make it more convenient.
- Sleek design
- Smell proof
- Compact traveling size
- Heavy glass material
- Maintains appropriate humidity
- Comes with a solid protective box
- Has groove on the inside where food content keeps on accumulating
4. U Konserve Mini
Made of food grade stainless steel
BPA, lead, and phthalate free
Environmental friendly and recyclable steel
Independently tested for quality and safety
Holding capacity of 3 oz
Comes as a pack of three containers
Dishwasher safe (top rack)
Suitable for snacks, salads, and vitamins
U Konserve containers are in the high price range of traveling food containers, but they are totally worth it if you want a safe alternative to plastic bags and containers. Moreover, they are independently tested to prove that they are food-grade and safe.
These mini stainless-steel containers are a perfect pick for you to pack your snacks and vitamins. Their compact size makes them ideal for portion control, and even better, they take less space in your travel bags. For kids, you can pack snacks for them to carry to school or a picnic.
- Durable and safe
- Compact in size
- A better alternative to plastic
- Easy to wash
- Does not leak
Good for portion control
Difficult to open as the lid sticks
5. Nicole Home Collection
Made of heavy duty plastic
Reusable and recyclable
Dishwasher, freezer, dishwasher friendly
Clear for you to quickly identify food content
100% free of BPA
Holding capacity is 16oz
Airtight and leak proof
Each set has 36 containers
These containers are incredibly easy on the pocket for a 36 set that is heavy duty. The fact that they are reusable makes them more valuable. You can use them for traveling, and when you get back to your house, you can reuse them for other purposes.
If you prefer plastic food containers, then this collection is not only affordable but heavy duty and reusable. You can use them for so many other purposes, not just travel- thus a great value for your money.
- Durable plastic
- Easy to wash and stack
- Do not slide over each other when stacked
- Simple design
- Suitable for both wet and dry food content
- Lid fits tightly
Can break if not properly handled
6. ContainerFit 3 Pack
Made from borosilicate glass
Lid is made from BPA and phthalate-free polypropylene plastic
Lid is silicon sealed
Holding capacity is 32oz
Each container is subdivided into three compartments
Is microwave, freezer, oven, and dishwasher safe
Has a one-year warranty
Each city has three containers
ContainerFit containers are very reasonably priced considering that they are high-quality glass that is heavy duty. Even more, the containers come with a one-year warranty.
The glass material is one of the safest materials for food containers. The producer of this container puts this fact into practice through their high-quality food products. They are safe, durable and very well-priced. They are great for family traveling as they have a large holding capacity and are leak proof. What really intrigues us about this product is the containers are compartmentalized. If you are working out, the last thing you want is to be messed up by your diet. These containers allow you to watch the amount and type of food that you pack- carbs, proteins, veggies, nuts, salads, name them. Moreover, the segments discourage different types of foods from mixing, deterring the flavor and taste.
- Excellent for food safety
- Has compartments for different foods
- Airtight and leak proof
- Oven safe
- Does not break easily
- Large carrying capacity
7. ICONIQ Qore
Made of 18/8 food grade stainless steel
Has a stackable design
Comes with a stainless-steel fold-out fork at the base
Easy to clean and long-lasting
100% BPA free
Keeps food hot for six hours and cold for 12 hours
Easy to store in the bag
Available in four different holding capacities and colors
This product is fairly priced for the following reasons; it keeps food temperature (whether you want it cold or hot), maintains food freshness and flavor, is reusable and durable. Compared to other products with these same features, this one is a commendable pick due to its friendly pricing.
The Iconiq food jar is specially made for traveling. It comes with its spoon at the base, so you do not have to carry much. Its design takes very little space in your bag and is stackable if you want to add another container. Its ability to maintain food temperature is another key selling point. You can have your food still hot within six hours, and if you want to keep it cold, it will do so for you within 12 hours. Not to forget that is made of reusable steel, so it is environmentally friendly. Its sleek design is another reason why you should go for this container.
- Maintains food temperature
- Very convenient in terms of stacking
- Comes with a fork
- Does not leave a steel taste or smell of food
- Elegant design
The spoon is difficult to remove (for kids)
8. SOMIGA Insulated
Made of 304 stainless steel
Has an insulated double wall vacuum
Maintains food temperature for up to six hours
Coating is antimicrobial and scratch resistant
The lid is made of high-quality plastic that is 100% BPA free
Comes with a folding stainless steel spoon attached to the lid
Hand washing recommended with hot soapy water
Holding capacity is either 17 or 26oz
Keeps food temperature for up to six hours
The top cover is deep enough to be used as a bowl
The set is fairly priced for the features that it offers. You are assured of its quality as it comes with a warranty.
This product is good for you especially if you are traveling with kids. It comes with a spoon, and its lid is bowl-like, so you can eat from it without getting additional utensils. Its durability and price are also something to consider. The best thing about it is that if it develops a malfunction, you can take it back.
- Has a warranty
- Effective in maintaining food temperature
- Attractive soft colors
- Easy to open
- Wide mouth for scooping or adding food
Hard to clean
9. Anchor Hocking Classic
Is a USA-made product
Made of quality food grade glass
The lid is BPA-free plastic
Each set has four containers
Are freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe
For the oven, they can withstand up to 4250F
Lid is not oven safe
Holding capacity for each container is 1 cup
These are a bit pricey considering their holding capacity, but they are a healthy choice. Their lids may not be that durable, so you will need to get other replacements. However, they are a great pick if you want to control your food portions. Overall, they are worth buying.
If you are worried about plastic leaking in hot food, then a glass container is a good pick. These containers are also excellent for traveling as the lids are tight fitting and take very little space. Their small size makes them exceptional for packing a variety of foods. They are microwave friendly, and so, you can always safely warm your meals.
- Safe for food
- Compact size for traveling
- Tight seals that are leak proof
- Small enough to pack different foods in each
- No odor retention
- Easy to wash
- Stackable and take less space
The lids tend to wear out easily
10. Besteamer Vacuum Insulated
It can keep food hot for up to 8 hours per day and more than 12 hours for cold food. The top lid has a food-grade sealed cover to prevent spillage. In the package, is also a folding spoon. It is also a very stylish food container, thanks to its sleek, shiny red exterior.
Made of 18/8 food-grade stainless steel
The lid is made of environment-friendly plastic
Has a handle that can be attached either to the bottom or top part
100% spill and leak proof
Comes with a zippered carrying bag
The exterior is red and shiny
Comes with a folding spoon
Keeps food hot for more than eight hours and cold for more than 12 hours
Holding capacity of 17oz
Comes as three different containers that are stacked into the vacuum
This set is quite pricey, but the quality speaks for itself. It is durable with a lifetime guarantee and a return policy. From over 90% verified five-star reviews, we are convinced that this container is absolutely worth your money.
As a traveling food container, the Besteamer is an outstanding product. It is easy to carry around owing to its handle, separate stackable inner parts, leak and spillage proof feature, and its compact and lightweight properties. These are almost all the factors that you need to consider when buying a traveling food container. It may cost you a little more, but it a product that will serve you for a lifetime.
- Flavor and odor resistant
- Easy to carry
- Sleek and stylish
- Compact and lightweight
- Has three different parts
- Easy to clean
- The lid can be used as a bowl
- Allows separation of meals
Criteria for product evaluation
Buying a product from a physical or online store can at times be tasking especially if you have never bought that product before. It even gets more tasking if you are not sure of its quality and durability. We have made choosing a traveling food container a little bit easier, in our review. We have chosen the best that you will currently find in the market. Making a selection was not easy for us too- we had to do a market search. This is the criteria that we used to pick these products.
Safety of product material
Raw materials used in making food containers are a critical subject. Some materials have been shown to leak and into food, and others have substances like Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS). These two substances have been proved to have hormone-mimicking properties that are linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Therefore, we made sure that the containers that we chose are made from food-grade materials.
User product reviews and ratings
A research study conducted early 2015 showed that more than 90% of customers rely on reviews and ratings to make a buying decision. It is prudent to see what others have to say about a product before buying it. However, you need to be careful as some sellers have gotten into the habit of unfairly soliciting positive reviews. We were much aware of this during our search. Thus, we only considered reviews and customer feedback from online sellers that filter their reviews. We only settled on feedback from verified, unbiased and objective customers. We then chose products that had the highest user ratings and positive reviews.
A strong brand reputation was another critical consideration. We selected products from manufacturers that are renowned for their unmatched quality and durable products. These manufacturers are also known well for their excellent customer response and satisfaction. Their products also meet their advertisement claims. Some of the producers have even put a lifetime warranty on their products. Is there any other better way to prove the efficacy of a product?
Some of the products have been tested for safety (to prove that they are BPA-free as claimed) by independent certified laboratories. For the containers that are meant to maintain food temperature, we put both hot and cold food for a number of hours. They were proved to keep the temperatures, just as labeled. We also tested on the claim of airtightness by submerging each container in water and leaving solid content like food overnight. We also proved that the lids fit tightly and do not leak.
When spending your money on an item, you hope that it will perform its required function for a long time without having to spend much more time and money on maintenance or replacements. We, therefore, chose food containers made of heavy duty material meant to serve you for the longest time.
We chose products that you will not only use when traveling but also for other purposes in your kitchen. Some of the products on this list can comfortably move from your travel bag to the dishwasher, microwave, freezer or even the oven without any trouble. With some of the food jars, you will also not need to carry an extra spoon or bowl as some come with these foldable items.
Factors to consider when buying food containers
There is no perfect material for food containers since each has its pros and cons. What you should bear in mind when buying one is that some are safer, more durable and can be used for several other purposes.
Glass food containers are generally considered to be safer than most other materials. They do not leach unwanted chemicals when in contact with food, are non-porous and are safe to be used over and over again. Washing a glass container is very easy as it does not absorb stains and smells. The fact that glass can withstand high temperatures also makes it very easy to sanitize at high temperatures. When it comes to durability, glass food containers are built to last long. However, glass containers are heavier, take more space in your bag, are costly, and some are quite fragile.
Plastic food containers are less costly than most food containers. They are manufactured in high quantities, making them more readily available. They are therefore the most common packaging containers that you will find around. Some of the plastic containers are heavy duty and can last longer. They are also lightweight and take less space when traveling. It is also very easy to recycle plastic as it takes less energy. On the other hand, plastic absorbs food smells and flavors. It is also affected by scratches, and can easily dent or crack. Although it is easier to recycle plastic, some people do not pay attention to it. When disposed, plastic contaminates soil, and it becomes an expensive affair to manage the toxicity it creates.
Stainless steel containers are more durable as they have good mechanical strength and are non-breakable. They can withstand heat too, and if you do not like using the microwave, you can put your stainless steel container right on the stove. They are also lightweight and take minimal space in your bag. On environmental friendliness, metallic containers are highly recyclable. Their drawback is that they are prone to corrosion and quickly lose heat.
Type and amount of food
The kind of food that you want to carry will also determine the type of container that you buy. Some food containers are meant for both solid and liquid food while others are only meant for one. Others have compartments to store different foods, and others have stackable dishes in which you can pack a variety of meals. If you need a container for soups, the mouth should not be too wide, and it should be watertight. For solid food, it should be wider to allow easy scooping. For snacks, nuts, and salads a small container is enough. Coffee, herbs, teas, and spices need a container that is preferably small, airtight, and moisture controlled.
If you are watching your diet, then small, portioned or partitioned containers would be an ideal pick. If you are traveling for a long time or with family, then larger containers are the best for you.
If you need to keep your food either hot or cold when traveling, a thermal food container will help maintain the temperatures until you are ready to dig in. These types of containers use the vacuum wall technology to prevent heat loss. Again, if you need your smoothie, drink or any other kind of food chilled, a thermal food jar will maintain that cool temperature and freshness. Most of them have wide openings, and you can eat directly from them, making them even more convenient. Most keep hot temperatures for six to eight hours and 12 hours, for cold food.
Mostly, food goes hand in hand with quality. The pricier traveling food containers have had more workmanship put into them. So, they are more durable and convenient. The type of material used will also significantly influence the price of a container. If you need something that will last you longer, we recommend that you invest more. However, you should be careful as a high price does not always translate to quality. Consider doing a background search from other experienced users before buying.
If you need a food container that you will use for just one trip, a disposable one would be more economical. However, if you will need to use it over and over again for trips, lunch, to carry kids’ snacks, then consider a reusable container. Some containers can also be used for other purposes, not just carrying food- for meal preparation or freezer, kitchen cabinet, microwave, oven, and as fridge containers.
Here are some tips to make your traveling food containers remain in tip-top shape and serve you longer.
Plastic containers and lids
- Go easy on the microwave
- Only use the dishwasher for those labeled ‘dishwasher ’
- If dishwashing, stick to the top rack to avoid melting the container
- Keep the containers stain-free by spraying a light coating of cooking oil before adding food
- If already stained, soak in a mild bleach solution for about thirty minutes
- Always rinse (but it is preferable to clean with warm water) immediately after removing food to eliminate odor and stains
- If the container has already absorbed smell, freshen it up with a natural deodorizer like baking soda
Stainless steel containers
- Use a soft cloth, sponge, or a scouring pad to clean. Avoid materials that may scratch the container.
- For stubborn dirt, use a nylon non-abrasive pad or use a baking soda paste
- If your container(s) has polish lines, scrub parallel to them
- Use an alkaline, alkaline chlorinated or non-chloride cleaning material to prevent corrosion
- Minimize use of hard water
- Leave them to dry before storing
- Clean and dry immediately after removing food
- To remove stickers and labels soak in hot soapy water or soak with vegetable oil then gently scrape off
- If you notice any rust, use a scratchless pad without water or a cleaning paste and a cloth to clean
Thermal control containers
- Clean with warm water
- Handwashing is recommended using a brush
- For stubborn stains use baking soda or soak overnight with warm soapy water
- Avoid bleaching products
- Before using, prefill for about three minutes with hot water for hot food and cold water for chilled or cold
- Do not use in the microwave
- Do not exceed the recommended holding capacity
- Do not use for milk products as there is a possibility of bacterial growth
- Do not use for carbonated drinks
- When storing, keep the container empty and open
Glass food containers
Glass is relatively easier to maintain
- Wash with mild detergent
- For dishwashing, use the top rack on the low heat cycle
- When handwashing, avoid abrasive materials
- Avoid frequent impact and scratches
- For the freezer and oven safe containers, do not place directly from the freezer to oven as extreme temperature changes may cause breakage
- Do not overfill
- Avoid stacking glass containers when storing them
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best container material to buy?
It is hard to pinpoint a particular material to be the best. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and again, it depends on your needs. On the factors to consider when buying a food container, we have comprehensively discussed the pros and cons of each. It is best for you to weigh what works for you best.
What if I want to keep my food hot?
There are food containers that are designed to maintain the temperature of your food. They use the vacuum technology for heat retention. On our list, we have several of such products.
What about their pricing?
Prices of the containers vary depending on the material used, durability and multifunctionality. No matter your budget, be sure that you will get a container that will serve your purpose. If you want one that will serve you longer, invest more, but if you want a short-lived one, there is no need to spend much.
Can the containers be used for other purposes?
Most of the food containers on our list can be used for other purposes other than carrying food. They can be used for storing food in the freezer, fridge or kitchen cabinet, for prepping your meals, or baking if oven-friendly.
How should I wash them?
If dishwasher friendly, use the top rack on the low heat system. Do not use harsh detergents. For handwashing, use warm soapy water. Avoid abrasive cleaning pads.