If there’s one unsung hero of the kitchen, it’s food storage containers. These versatile pieces are great for everything from storing your leftovers for one more evening free from cooking (and one more meal spent enjoying the fruits of your labor) to keeping your refrigerator or pantry from becoming a complete and utter black hole of chaos. But not all of them are created equally. The best food storage containers will prevent food from spilling in your purse, retain and lock in flavor and be durable enough to withstand the weight of other containers in the fridge. Check out our 17 favorites below, so you’ll never again be caught in a jam when you need to bring your famous BLT pasta salad to the family picnic.
What to Look for in a Food Storage Container
- Material: Most food storage containers are made of plastic, which is easy to clean, but you’ll want to ensure that it’s free of BPAs, or bisphenol A, an agent that’s been shown to seep into food and has been linked to issues such as birth defects, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Glass is also a great choice, since it doesn’t contain any BPAs, is more sustainable than plastic, is microwaveable, can withstand extreme temperatures and is impervious to warping and odor. Alternately, there’s food-grade silicone, which is non-toxic, highly resistant to wear and tear (even when faced with high temps) and 100 percent recyclable in select locations.
- Opacity: In addition to material, you’ll want to think about whether you prefer opaque or translucent containers. Sure, the former might look more streamlined in your cabinets or neater in the communal office fridge, but they may also prevent you from quickly identifying a container’s contents. A translucent container, by contrast, can help you easily monitor the freshness of your food without having to open and smell it (gag).
- Size: Think about the size of the storage solution you need. A smaller vessel will be great for sauces, dressings or even single serve portions of food, but if you have a larger family and are storing food for multiple members of the household, you’ll probably want to opt for something bigger.
- Lids: Take it from us: A food storage container is only as durable as its lid. Ensure that there’s some type of locking mechanism on your food storage container, be it a swivel top or a lid that features snaps or latches on two (or better yet, all) sides. This will prevent moisture and humidity from seeping in and ruining your precious meatloaf.
Types of Food Storage Containers
For every type of food, there’s a storage container to keep it fresh.
- Bins: These large and deep translucent containers tend to be free of lids, so they’re best for bulkier grocery items, like lemons, onions, apples and potatoes. They’re also easy to slide in and out of your pantry or fridge.
- Ingredient bins: These usually have clear tops, are made of glass or plastic and house single ingredients you’ll use often, like flour or cornstarch.
- Glass jars: Glass jars, like those you’d keep desserts or K-cups in, are reusable, indefinitely recyclable and preserve the freshness of food best.
- Pouches: Pouch-style food storage containers are a great option that can be tucked neatly into tight spaces in your fridge or freezer, since they’re malleable and airtight.
- Stackable containers: Usually sold in bulk sets, stackable containers come in plastic, silicone and glass materials and are ideal for preserving single servings or family-sized portions.
How to Organize Food Storage Containers
The way you organize food storage containers will largely depend on your kitchen setup, but generally, you’ll want to go for any arrangement that’ll save you space. Look for storage containers that can neatly nest within one another (like Russian dolls), or ones that stack neatly on top of one another, like building blocks. If you’re the type to collect food storage containers, save a discreet drawer in your kitchen you can dedicate to them to keep them out of sight.
The Best Food Storage Containers at a Glance
Best Glass Food Storage Containers
- Best Glass Food Storage Containers: Ailtec 18-Piece Glass Food Storage Containers
- Runner-Up: Rosos 24-Piece Glass Food Storage Containers
- Honorable Mention: Amazon Basics 20-Piece Glass Food Storage Containers
- Most Versatile: Verel 4-Piece Glass Food Storage Containers
- Best for Snacks: Bormioli Rocco 2-Piece Pandora Food Storage Containers
Best Plastic Food Storage Containers
- Best Plastic Food Storage Containers: Rubbermaid 16-Piece Brilliance Food Storage Containers
- Runner-Up: OXO Good Grips 5-Piece POP Food Storage Containers
- Honorable Mention: Progressive ProKeeper+ Mini Food Storage Container
- Best Looking: Made by Design 40-Piece Food Storage Containers
- Best Lids: OXO Good Grips 30-Piece Smart Seal Food Storage Containers
- Best for Organizing: Chef’s Path 14-Piece Food Storage Containers
- Best for the Fridge: The Home Edit 8-Piece Divided Fridge Drawers
- Best for Large Families: Glotech 48-Piece Food Storage Containers
- Most Open: Vtopmart 4-Piece Open-Top Food Storage Containers
- Best Value: TigerChef 12-Piece Food Storage Containers
Best Silicone Food Storage Containers
- Best Silicone Food Storage Containers: Zip-Top 8-Piece Food Storage Bags
- Best for Liquids: OXO Good Grips 2-Pack Squeeze Bottles
RELATED: The 12 Best Meal Prep Containers, According to People Who Bring Their Lunch to Work Every Day
Through this article, we hope to help you understand Best nesting food storage containers