7 Best Meal Prep Containers (Our Review for 2018)
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Meal prepping is all the rage these days.
Whether you subscribe to a meal plan service, or do it yourself, knowing your family’s food needs are predetermined can take some of the stress out of a hectic week.
And if you’re making your own meals, meal prep containers are a must-have!
As a busy mom of four young kids, easy meals are my goal… especially during a week filled with soccer practices, taekwondo, playdates, dance and music lessons.
And weekends are when the meal prep ideas come to life! It’s when the magic happens, so to speak.
I personally like to cook on Monday mornings for the week, but many of my friends make Sundays their meal prepping day.
On that date, the kitchen is transformed into a symphony of smells... accented by counters lined with food storage containers.
Sexy, isn’t it?
Truth: Meal prep containers are essential to meal prepping.
And here’s why:
If you’re cooking for the week, the food needs someplace to go.
It needs to be stored properly.
It’s a fact.
And it’s much easier to have everything all uniform and ready to go.
Enter meal prep containers.
I know what you’re thinking…
Can’t I just use my old plastic take-out containers?
Aren’t all meal prep containers the same?
How much will this cost me?
Lucky for you, I have the answers to all of these questions.
Reusing take-out containers is gross!
No, not all meal prep containers are the same.
Food storage containers do not have to break the bank!
Now, because I’m so nice, I’ve gone ahead and done the legwork for you... and come up with my personal recommendations for the 7 best meal prep containers (for 2018).
The best part?
All of these are available through Amazon. And if you’re a prime member, all offer free and fast shipping.
If you don’t have time to read my entire article, here’s my top 7 food prep containers:
I’ve broken my meal prep container reviews into three categories:
- 3-compartment Meal Prep Containers
- Glass Meal Prep Containers
- Disposable Meal Prep Containers
So let’s get started.
Top 3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers
One of the more spacious meal prep containers, Simple Houseware’s 3-compartment meal prep containers can easily fit an 8oz piece of meat, a cup of grains, and a cup of veggies in each container.
That equates to a very filling lunch, even dinner, portion.
I also like this particular food storage container for it’s audible snap closure. There are four snaps to be exact.
I don’t know about you, but I like to know that my meal prep container won’t open in transit. And hearing that clicking sound goes a long way in reassuring me that won’t happen.
To that same effect, this particular food storage container may be a bit difficult for elderly people or elementary aged children to open… so keep that in mind if meal prepping for someone like that.
Another plus is that lack of plastic smell after microwaving multiple times.
I know… I know. This probably goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at the containers out there that absolutely stunk.
Finally, you can get these handy dandy containers in either a 10 or 30-pack, which makes it a budget friendly option when buying in larger quantities.
Although a bit smaller in capacity than other 3-compartment meal prep containers, this one still fit a good amount of food. I was able to pack an average size chicken breast on the bone, baked potato and a full serving of vegetables without a problem.
I will note, however, that the sides are quite low on these meal prep containers… so I’m not sure I’d put anything with a lot of juice or sauce in them, as they may spill over a bit into other compartments.
There are always going to be pros and cons with every food storage container. And it often comes down to personal preference and use.
If you can find a product that offers full and prompt refunds, no questions asked, than I say go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose.
And these EZ Prepa meal prep containers offer just that. The customer service team is friendly and outstandingly efficient with their return policy. They typically answer online questions quickly as well.
Furthermore, I like how these lids fit securely, without being overly tight… making it a much better option for younger kids and the elderly. You can actually remove them with one hand if need be.
As great as they are, there were a few minor concerns.
While the containers are microwave safe, the lids are not. They have a tendency to warp. This isn’t the biggest deal in the world… just take the lid off and use a paper towel or heating cover. Still worth mentioning though.
They also aren’t meant for long-term freezing (more than 1-2 weeks), as the lids tend to appear brittle after.
Still, at .99-cents per container for a 20-pack, I think it’s worth taking the plunge… especially given the no-risk return policy.
On paper, these Freshware meal prep containers are the least expensive product I am recommending. But that, in no way, says anything about their quality.
For the price, these are an excellent choice.
While the 24 oz capacity appears small, these containers are designed well, with three compartments measuring 12, 6 and 6 ounces. I was able to box up an 8 oz piece of salmon, veggies and rice no problem.
These meal prep containers are also lighter than the others, which makes them less cumbersome to transport.
The downside to the lighter weight, though, is a thinner plastic. And thinner plastic could result in altered reheating times or cracking of the container or lid.
Even so, the 100% LIFETIME REPLACEMENT OR REFUND GUARANTEE is a no brainer! If they break, just send them back. For free.
For ease of storage, these containers are perfectly stackable. They also can be frozen, not a problem.
And if you’re on a diet, like the 21-day fix for example, these are completely compatible with the meal planning and portion control.
Honestly, the biggest complaint besides the thinner plastic (again, a trade off for the lighter weight) is the lid was a bit tough to get off. And if you forced it, it may crack or chip. So a little finesse may be required to find the right pressure.
Best Glass Meal Prep Containers
If you care about your carbon footprint, or you’re meal planning involves mostly dinners at home, then glass meal prep containers may be the ideal solution.
They are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe… unlike their plastic counterparts. Oven safe means it’s perfect for piping hot homemade meals after a busy day.
I liked the Prep Naturals 25 oz glass, 2-compartment meal prep container because it weighed less than others. I also liked they were made from eco-friendly borosilicate glass.
Like I said, I have kids.
The kids need our planet to survive.
So when I can kick plastic to the curb, I will.
But there are times I can’t, so reusable plastic are an acceptable alternative.
I’m ok with that.
Despite the smaller size, these Prep Naturals fit a decent amount of food… 2, 3-4 oz chicken thighs on one side, veggies or starches on the other. The lack of a third compartment didn’t bother me, as I could always have a salad or soup, etc in a separate container.
Now... I’m 5’1 and 140 lbs (I can’t believe I admitted that). I’m active, but I’m no bodybuilder or triathlete.
So a smaller portion of food like this is ok for me, especially at dinner time when you shouldn’t eat so heavy.
But, if you’re a “hungry man” kind of guy (or gal), the capacity of these containers may not cut it for you. Just a word of warning.
That being said, the pros outweigh the cons for me here. I especially like the brand’s “smart locking lid” technology. Definitely made the container leak resistant, but not like proof.
Although I have yet to find one that is 100% leak proof, especially if turned upside down.
So don’t do that!
In fact, the lid doesn’t meet the sides on these food storage containers, so it’s really better for home versus transport use in my opinion.
Food freezes well in these for extended period of time, with no trace of food burn after a month.
The company also offers full refunds for their meal prep containers if you’re not satisfied and provides fast shipping via Amazon Prime.
Yes, these are my most expensive recommendation, at roughly $10 per container.
And, yes, they are a bit heavy (about 6 lbs).
However, these MealPrep Glass containers are 3-compartment.
They are also larger, able to fit 35 ounces of food. For instance... I fit steak tips, quinoa, sweet potatoes and asparagus. Yum.
And the portion size is not too shabby for dinner. Which, again, is what glass food storage containers are best for in my opinion.
Additionally, these stain-proof (yes, I said stain proof) meal prep containers can withstand oven temperatures up to 450 degrees fahrenheit.
MealPrep utilizes snap locking BPA-free lids that come with built-in silicone gaskets to keep food fresh and free from spills.
I know... pretty cool, right?
The lid is tight fitting and the glass heavy duty (thus, the weight).
Honestly, I had only two minor complaints about this glass meal prep container.
- There is a ⅓ inch gap between the dividers and the lid, so small fruits or veggies may roll over to the next compartment
- They are not stackable.
Neither is a deal breaker for me, though.
Best Brands of Disposable Meal Prep Containers
When it comes to disposable, plastic meal prep containers, the only real difference is how many uses you’ll get out of them versus other plastic containers.
The Enther Meal Prep containers come in a 20-pack and cost about .90-cents per unit. The company guarantees multi-use... 10 times incident-free or your money back.
So let’s do the math... if you were to get ten uses out of each container, it’s as if you paid only .09 cents each.
That certainly justifies them being disposable.
The 36-ounce capacity will accommodate a large chicken breast, rice and vegetables… just to give you a visual.
The company offers fast shipping and claim their containers are microwave and freezer safe like the others. The lid, however, is not microwave safe. It will “bump up”.
The cover does, however, offer depression between compartments to prevent foods from shifting to neighboring ones. Which I liked.
As far as freezing goes, I learned the hard way that microwaving frozen foods in these containers can result in uneven heating and a “burnt rubber” smell. So I’d probably transfer any frozen food from these meal prep containers onto another dish for reheating.
Last but not least, they never felt super clean after washing.
Whether I hand washed these, or put them in the dishwasher, any greasy residue never completely came off.
But, again, these are disposable... I’m not serving Thanksgiving dinner in them.
Another 2-compartment “disposable” meal prep container made my list… mostly because of its generous portion size, 100% satisfaction guarantee, and Fitpacker’s excellent customer service support and response reputation.
The Fitpacker Duo accommodated an 8 oz pork tenderloin (sliced up), yams and kale. Perfect for a healthy lunch after a hard workout.
My personal trainer friends are a fan of these containers.
These food storage containers have a patented SureLock seal that clicks into a close with complete leak resistance to keep your contents inside.
These food prep containers were honestly the closest I found to truly “leak proof”, which is probably why the 16-pack costs roughly $1.30 per container.
The lid on these is also raised enough to fit a sandwich, which believe me when I tell you, was hard to come by.
In fact, while most food storage containers claim they will fit a sandwich… it usually comes out looking more like a panini after being squished.
This was not the case with the Fitpacker Duo.
Also, it’s worth noting these meal prep containers are made in the USA… which also accounts for a higher cost per unit.
Most of the containers I came across are manufactured in China, which does keep the cost down… but quality is often compromised. They just don’t have the same government standards that we do.
That being said, the only real “negatives” regarding the Fitpacker Duo are its loose fitting lids (on some, not all). And the company is willing to send replacement lids.
Also, they are not perfectly stackable, which can be annoying if storage space is an issue.
Otherwise, I’m a fan.
So let’s sum up what we’ve learned.
When life is hectic, meal prepping is key to running a smooth ship on the homefront.
Meal planning can be done at your convenience… and ultimately results in saving time and money. It can also be an effective way to lose or maintain weight.
Food storage containers are a necessity for sorting out the fruits of your labor.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best meal prep containers for you:
At the end of the day, only you know what you’re looking for in a meal prep container. Only you know what you are willing to compromise on.
Answer the questions for yourself… then make your decision based on those selections that tick more of your boxes, so to speak.
I honestly feel you can’t go wrong with any of these 7 meal prep containers, and like me, you’ll have your personal favorite.
But they are all deserving of a look… and if there is a money back or replacement guarantee, go for it!
You’re meal planning ideas… and your family... will thank you!
If you have used any of these meal prep containers, please share your thoughts in the comments below.