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If you’re in a hurry and just want to know what the best meal prep container is, then we recommend SimpleHouseware 3-Compartment Food Grade Food Prep Storage Container Boxes as the best choice.
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?
What You Will Learn
- Truth: Meal prep containers are essential to meal prepping.
- Our Top Picks for the Best Food Prep Containers
- 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!
- The 13 Best Meal Prep Containers for 2021
- 1. Best Overall Meal Prep Container: SimpleHouseware 3-Compartment Food Grade Food Prep Storage Container Boxes
- 2. Runner-Up Option: Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers
- 3. Best for Keeping Hot Food Hot & Cold Food Cold: S'well Blue Suede Eats
- 4. Best Value for the Money: EZ Prepa 3-Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids – Bento Box
- 5. Most Budget-Friendly: Enther Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box, Reusable Lunch Boxes
- 6. Best for Light-Weight, No-Frills Meal Prepping: Freshware Meal Prep Containers 3-Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box
- 7. Best Overall for Glass Containers: Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers Glass 2 Compartment
- 8. Best for Large Glass Containers: MealPrep Glass Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment – Glass Food Storage Containers
- 9. Best for Sturdiness & Quality of Product: Fitpacker DUO USA Quality Meal Prep Containers 2 Compartment Bento Lunch Boxes with Lids
- 10. Best for Assorted Sizes: Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Assortment
- 11. Best for Hot Soups or Cold Drinks: S'well Azurite Traveler
- 12. Most Eco-Friendly Option: PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box
- 13. Best for Salads & Salad Dressing: Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container
- So let’s sum up what we’ve learned.
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.
Our Top Picks for the Best Food Prep Containers
Before we proceed, if you don’t have time to read my entire article, here’s a quick look at my top 13 food prep containers:
|SimpleHouseware 3-Compartment Food Grade Meal Prep Storage Container Boxes||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|S'well Blue Suede Eats||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|EZ Prepa 3-Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids - Bento Box||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Enther Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box, Reusable Lunch Boxes||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Freshware Meal Prep Containers 3-Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers Glass 2 Compartment||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|MealPrep Glass Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment - Glass Food Storage Containers||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Fitpacker DUO USA Quality Meal Prep Containers 2 Compartment Bento Lunch Boxes with Lids||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Plastic Lids||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|S'well Azurite Traveler||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
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 13 best meal prep containers (for 2021).
The best part?
All of these are available through Amazon. And if you’re a prime member, all offer free and fast shipping.
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.
The 13 Best Meal Prep Containers for 2021
1. Best Overall Meal Prep Container: SimpleHouseware 3-Compartment Food Grade Food Prep Storage Container Boxes
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 the 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.
2. Runner-Up Option: Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers
The Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers have everything you need in meal-prep containers. They have a patented seal that prevents spills and leaks and can go from the freezer to the microwave to the dishwasher. They are the perfect size for complete, healthy, make-ahead meals that can go anywhere you go.
Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers are fully reusable, and microwave safe, freezer safe, and top-rack dishwasher safe. These containers are nestable, stackable, and fit perfectly in Fitpacker bags. The patented SureLock seal clicks into place, so the containers are leakproof and airtight. Fitpacker meal prep containers are made from food-grade virgin polypropylene that is free of BPA, BPS, phthalates, and has no toxic additives. They are made in the USA and comply with all FDA guidelines.
Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers come in sets of 10 or 16 containers with lids. Each container holds 28 ounces of food, and measures 8.75 x 6 inches, and is 1.5 inches tall without a lid, and 2 inches with a lid.
3. Best for Keeping Hot Food Hot & Cold Food Cold: S'well Blue Suede Eats
S'well has patented Therma-S'well technology that keeps hot food hotter and cold food colder for longer than any other container, and has been recognized by CNN, Forbes, USA Today, Vogue, Wall Street Journal, and a ton of other media. The company is a certified B-corp, dedicated to doing good in the world, and their products are eco-friendly, so these are meal prep containers you can feel good about using.
S'well Blue Suede Eats is a unique, two-in-one food bowl with incredible style. The set consists of a durable, microwave-safe prep bowl with lid, which can then be nested inside a beautiful outer bowl that protects your food and maintains the temperature for hours.
The inner prep bowl is BPA and BPS free, and is freezable, microwaveable, and dishwasher-safe. The inner bowl is also marked with measurements to make meal prep faster and easier. The outer bowl is made of high-grade 18.8 stainless steel, and it can also be used without the inner prep bowl, for larger portions.
Therma-S'well technology keeps hot foods hot for 7 hours and cold foods cold for up to 12 hours, with triple-layered vacuum insulated construction. The Blue Suede Eats is leak-free, dishwasher safe, and is condensation-proof, so your food can be tucked into any bag or purse and taken anywhere you go.
S'well Blue Suede Eats comes in two sizes. The 16 ounce size weighs just over a pound combined, with a 16 ounce outer bowl that measures 4.21 x 4.21 x 4.37 inches, and holds 2 cups of food, with an inner prep bowl that holds 10 ounces or 1.25 cups of food.
The 21 ounce size has a combined weight of 1.5 pounds, with a 21.5 ounce outer bowl that measures 4.8 x 4.8 x 4.61 inches and holds 2.7 cups of food, with an inner prep bowl that holds 14 ounces or 1.75 cups of food.
4. Best Value for the Money: EZ Prepa 3-Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids – Bento Box
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.
5. Most Budget-Friendly: Enther Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box, Reusable Lunch Boxes
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.
6. Best for Light-Weight, No-Frills Meal Prepping: Freshware Meal Prep Containers 3-Compartment with Lids, Food Storage Bento Box
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.
7. Best Overall for Glass Containers: Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers Glass 2 Compartment
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.
8. Best for Large Glass Containers: MealPrep Glass Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment – Glass Food Storage Containers
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.
Neither is a deal-breaker for me, though.
9. Best for Sturdiness & Quality of Product: Fitpacker DUO USA Quality Meal Prep Containers 2 Compartment Bento Lunch Boxes with Lids
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 the 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.
10. Best for Assorted Sizes: Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Assortment
The Rubbermaid Brilliance series is made of sets of food storage containers in various sizes. Each container is made of BPA-free triton plastic, for the crystal clarity and visibility of glass, with the light weight and portability of plastic. They are perfect for meal prep, pantry staples, leftovers, and anything else you want to store, in a range of sizes that make them incredibly useful.
The Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Assortment consists of 7 nestable, stackable meal prep containers with lids. The lids latch securely, so they are airtight and leak-proof. Built-in vents beneath the latches allow you to microwave with the lids on, to reduce spills and splatters. The crystal-clear containers are stain and odor resistant, even with difficult foods like tomato sauce.
These containers are safe for the freezer, the microwave, and the dishwasher, making them easy to use for a wide range of foods, and take with you on the go. This modular system allows you to easily add more containers, or affordably replace lost lids, with lids that are interchangeable and stackable.
The Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage 14-Piece Assortment consists of four 1.3 cup containers, two 3.2 cup containers, and one 9.6 cup container, all with lids, for a total of 14 pieces. Rubbermaid backs these meal prep containers with a full lifetime warranty.
11. Best for Hot Soups or Cold Drinks: S'well Azurite Traveler
If you want to keep your hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold, you really need the S'well Azurite Traveler. This container has Therma-S'well Technology that keeps hot drinks hot for up to 15 hours, and cold drinks cold for a full 24 hours or more. This is longer thermal protection than any other food container, and it's a great way to enjoy your coffee, soups, or tea at exactly the right temperature, no matter when, no matter where.
The S'well Azurite Traveler is triple-layered and vacuum sealed for incredible insulation that keeps hot soups hot and cold drinks cold. A copper wall layer eliminates condensation, so the container won't sweat in your hand or in a bag. The food grade 18/8 stainless steel material BPA and BPS free, and is incredibly durable, so you can use this container for years, reducing your need for disposable containers. The Traveler is also designed for comfort and convenience, with an ergonomic shape that is contoured to fit perfectly in your hand.
The thick rim is easy and comfortable to drink out of, unlike some portable drink containers. And the wide mouth makes it easy to fill, easy to empty, and allows you to easily stir your beverages or add ice cubes. It also makes it easier to clean, since the Traveler is hand wash only.
The S'well Azurite Traveler comes in 16 or 20 ounce sizes. The 16 ounce size measures 3.3 x 3.3 x 8.2 inches and weighs .8 pounds. The 20 ounce size measures 3.3 x 3.3 x 9.3 inches and weighs .9 pounds. S'well is a certified B-corp, and a company that gives back to the community and the environment.
12. Most Eco-Friendly Option: PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box
Stainless steel is incredibly durable and easily recyclable and doesn't have harmful toxins like BPA or BPS. It's an eco-friendly material that reduces waste while being easy to use and easy to clean. Stainless steel is also magnetic, and this PlanetBox container uses internal containers to keep foods attractive and organized, for an innovative, bento-style meal prep and serving tray.
The PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box is a complete meal prep set, with a five-compartment tray, two nesting containers that keep foods and dips separate, and an insulated carrying bag for meals on the go.
The tray is made of high quality stainless steel, with no lead, PVC, BPA materials, or phthalates. It has dedicated compartments for a main, veggies, fruits, snacks, and a treat, with a sports-themed cover that is fun and attractive (for a cat-themed cover, check out this alternative design. The tray snaps securely closed for easy transportation. The set also comes with two smaller lidded containers that fit perfectly inside the tray, keeping dips or sauces separate and secure to avoid sogginess and spills.
The insulated carrying bag is made from 100% recycled polyester fibers, with versatile pockets for beverages, utensils, and other items. The bag has an adjustable carrying strap, so it can be carried in the hand like a tote or over the shoulder like a bag.
The set is a great way to prepare meals in advance, enjoy them wherever you are, and reduce your environmental footprint for years to come. The magnetic cover designs create a playful and flexible way to reflect your interests and make lunch more fun.
13. Best for Salads & Salad Dressing: Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container
Salads can be one of the most difficult foods for meal preppers, because meal-sized salads need fairly large bowls, produce can age and discolor quickly, and it's hard to keep dips and dressings separate to preserve the crunch and flavor of greens, croutons, and other toppings. Bentgo has solved all of these problems, with an incredibly convenient, beautiful lunch container designed specifically to make your salads shine.
The Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container is a complete salad and bento-style meal set, with a large 54 ounce/6.75 cup bowl, a fitted four-compartment tray, a 3 ounce lidded container for dressings and sauces, an airtight lid, a reusable salad fork, and a utensil cover that keeps the whole set together.
It's mess-free, leak-proof, and seals in the freshness of your greens, salads, and delicate produce for perfect salads anywhere, any time. The large salad bowl is microwave-safe, so it can be used to reheat foods. The compartment tray has one large 10 ounce compartment, two 5 ounce compartments, and space for the dressing container. The small container holds 3 ounces of sauces and dressing in a secure and leak-proof lidded container.
Between the locking, airtight lid, and the utensil cover there is enough room for the included reusable fork and other items, like a paper napkin. The set is BPA-free and top-shelf dishwasher safe.
The Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container measures 7.2 x 7 x 4.15 inches and is available in your choice of eight different attractive colors. It's backed by a two year warranty, and Bentgo uses their profits to help support Feed The Children. Since 2017, Bentgo has donated more than $200,000 to this food aid nonprofit.
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 13 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.