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The Best Food Storage Containers - 2021

Last updated on September 14, 2021
Best Food Storage Containers

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Our Picks For The Top Food Storage Containers

Show Contents
Our Take
  The Best Overall
  The Best Value

Rubbermaid Brilliance 360-Degree Clarity Food Storage Containers, 14-Piece

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Rubbermaid

Brilliance 360-Degree Clarity Food Storage Containers, 14-Piece

Overall Take

Secure and DurableStore your food in the freezer or warm it up in the microwave — these containers can take it.

Chef’s Path Snap Closure Food Storage Containers, 24-Piece

Chef's Path

Snap Closure Food Storage Containers, 24-Piece

Overall Take

Stylish Storage SolutionsThese tall containers are both secure and stylish.

Rubbermaid Plastic Vented Food Storage Containers, 16-Piece

Rubbermaid

Plastic Vented Food Storage Containers, 16-Piece

Overall Take

Handy Heat VentSafety valves on these lids let you store food safely.

Fullstar BPA-Free Food Storage Containers, 20-Piece

Fullstar

BPA-Free Food Storage Containers, 20-Piece

Overall Take

BPA-Free PlasticThese containers are secure and free of toxins.

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Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on September 14, 2021

Somewhere in the world there’s a perfect kitchen in the home of a perfect family who all clean their plates at the end of every meal. If you’re that family, feel free to save yourself some reading. As for the rest of us: Your kitchen is going to need food storage containers.

Mind you, these containers aren’t just for storing leftovers. They can be brought to potluck dinners or they can keep staples like flour or sugar fresh after the bag has been opened. The best ones will last for years, and can even be used to warm up food. And since the difference between good storage containers and sub-par ones is likely to be just a few dollars, you may as well go for the good stuff.

There is a significant price difference between plastic and glass containers, which are the two most common materials. Glass will be a bit more expensive, and the advantages are obvious. You can pop it in the microwave freely, and clean it up easily in the dishwasher afterward. It’s liable to be a lot heavier, but these are containers you can expect to last (unless, of course, you drop them).

Plastic is much lighter, but the best plastic doesn’t necessarily have to be flimsier. Some plastic container brands are dishwasher safe (as long as you don’t have the water temperature too high) and some are even OK to put in the microwave, though even the best plastic containers shouldn’t be “nuked” for too long.

For many, the main concern with plastic is the materials used to make it. Some plastics can contain BPAs and other chemicals that can leach into the food, affecting the taste in the best case scenario and harming our health in the worst. Phthalates, PVC or BPAs are just a few of the red flags you want to look for, as these chemicals have been linked to hormone issues and certain kinds of cancer.

The Best Food Storage Containers

1

Rubbermaid Brilliance 360-Degree Clarity Food Storage Containers, 14-Piece

These containers can stand up to most anything your kitchen has in "store." They're dishwasher- and freezer-safe, and you can even microwave food in them without harming the food or the container. The lids are airtight and the configuration lets them stack easily.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Rubbermaid
Model
2

Chef’s Path Snap Closure Food Storage Containers, 24-Piece

You can organize your pantry with these bins, but they'll look just as good displayed on the countertop. Chalk labels let you read about what's inside, and they're easy to erase when you rearrange things. The closing mechanism keeps each one tight and snug.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Chef's Path
Model
3

Rubbermaid Plastic Vented Food Storage Containers, 16-Piece

This set gives you a classic storage solution with a new twist. The vent on the top stays put when you need things airtight, but pops up to release pressure if things get too hot inside. The lids and the containers are easy to wash.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Rubbermaid
Model
4

Fullstar BPA-Free Food Storage Containers, 20-Piece

The super-sturdy locking mechanism is a highlight of these bins. You can put most anything inside, and breathe easy knowing that the plastic is free of BPAs or phthalates. Even liquids can be stored without leaking.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Fullstar
Model

Our Food Storage Container Buying Guide

Somewhere in the world there’s a perfect kitchen in the home of a perfect family who all clean their plates at the end of every meal. If you’re that family, feel free to save yourself some reading. As for the rest of us: Your kitchen is going to need food storage containers.

Mind you, these containers aren’t just for storing leftovers. They can be brought to potluck dinners or they can keep staples like flour or sugar fresh after the bag has been opened. The best ones will last for years, and can even be used to warm up food. And since the difference between good storage containers and sub-par ones is likely to be just a few dollars, you may as well go for the good stuff.

There is a significant price difference between plastic and glass containers, which are the two most common materials. Glass will be a bit more expensive, and the advantages are obvious. You can pop it in the microwave freely, and clean it up easily in the dishwasher afterward. It’s liable to be a lot heavier, but these are containers you can expect to last (unless, of course, you drop them).

Plastic is much lighter, but the best plastic doesn’t necessarily have to be flimsier. Some plastic container brands are dishwasher safe (as long as you don’t have the water temperature too high) and some are even OK to put in the microwave, though even the best plastic containers shouldn’t be “nuked” for too long.

For many, the main concern with plastic is the materials used to make it. Some plastics can contain BPAs and other chemicals that can leach into the food, affecting the taste in the best case scenario and harming our health in the worst. Phthalates, PVC or BPAs are just a few of the red flags you want to look for, as these chemicals have been linked to hormone issues and certain kinds of cancer.

DWYM Fun Fact

There’s a whole generation out there that’s probably weirded out by the fact that there was ever such a thing as Tupperware parties. Rest assured that they were very much a thing.

In fact, throughout the 1950s and ’60s, these home demonstrations (typically hosted by enterprising women) were the only way you could buy the iconic containers.

The Food Storage Container Tips and Advice

  • Keep in mind how much food you plan on storing, and where you typically store it. If it’s going to be in the pantry, you can get away with plastic containers in a utilitarian style. If you’ve got things that need to be ready at hand on the countertop, consider glass containers that you’re not ashamed to display. Some type of labeling is always a plus if you’re storing food long term.
  • Sometimes it seems you can never find the right lid for the right storage container. It’s a common problem, with a few easy solutions. File folders or magazine holders can be turned into convenient pockets to hold all your stray lids. Just screw them to the inside of your cabinet door.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. Tod's years of experience writing a nightlife column for the Orlando Sentinel have cursed him with an affinity for cocktails he can't afford. He makes up for it with his cheap yet killer slow cooker cuisine. At least, his wife hasn't kicked him out for them yet.