8 Bento Boxes to Help You Brown Bag It

updated Aug 21, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

Whether you’re assembling a mishmash of leftovers, making a sandwich, or cooking something entirely different, packing a healthy lunch every day can be a challenge. There are plenty of delicious make-ahead meals, and having a meal plan will definitely help, but so will a good lunch container. We love using a bento box to pack lunch because it keeps foods from getting soggy, and it can also help you plan and pack a balanced, portion-controlled meal. There are so many styles and variations of this handy container out there, even just within the editor-favorite Bentgo line. You can take your pick among microwavable models, salad containers, and lunch dividers designed especially for kids. Sure, you could always use a classic Tupperware box, but many bento boxes are more compact and easier to work with if you’re packing together different types of foods. Case in point: Our eight favorite options, which are listed below.

1 / 8
was $54.98

This leakproof, BPA-free container conveniently comes with its own removable five-compartment tray and matching lunchbox, plus it's available in a multitude of fun colors and prints that kids will love. It's great for picky eaters, as it keeps different foods from touching and becoming soggy. Our editors love the compact lunch box for their own children, noting that it makes packing for school much easier.

2 / 8

Perhaps you prefer to pack a main dish and take snacks, like an apple or nuts, separately. If that's the case, this 5-cup box is for you. It's made of BPA- and phthalate-free plastic that's not only microwave-safe, but lightweight, too.

3 / 8
was $29.99

We deemed this stackable number one of the best to-go lunch containers because it's stain-proof and incredibly easy to clean and store. The Bentgo Classic also looks sleek and comes with a strap that holds its two compartments together. Additionally, the container is microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and arrives with its own utensils.

4 / 8
The Container Store

Another editor-favorite, this glass salad container quickly became a favorite of AT Best List Writer Britt's because it's simultaneously lightweight but durable, among other factors. She also liked that the container is totally leak-proof and has a top tray just for toppings and dressings. "I like that instead of just having one big salad made, I can break it up into different containers to grab and eat for lunch or dinner easily," Britt wrote.

5 / 8
was $59.00

This hard-shell lunch box is a bit of a splurge, but it'll hold up amid daily use for a long time. You can not only remove its divided tray from the shell and microwave it, but you also have the ability to reconfigure the compartments based on what you're planning to pack. And as always, Bentgo absolutely nailed it in terms of the box's stylish design.

6 / 8
was $22.99

What set's Bentgo's Heat & Eat container apart from other portable boxes is that it's made of MicroSteel, a technology that’s microwave and oven safe up to 350°F. With this item, you no longer have to dirty your bakeware to enjoy oven-roasted leftovers! It also comes in a variety of sizes and pretty colors, plus it's freezer- and dishwasher-safe, too. Talk about versatility!

7 / 8
The Container Store

These round to-go bowls might not be Bentgo-brand, but they're just as cute and functional. Each one has a 1-liter holding capacity, so its size and shape is perfect for just about any entree, whether you're packing a salad, rice dish, pasta, or stew. What's more, the lid is attached to the bowl via a silicone strap, so you won't have to rummage through your other containers to find it. And this piece is microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

8 / 8
was $29.00

For snacks and side dishes, pick up this adorably small insulated bowl from Macy's. It's available in four pleasant colors and sports an insulated main compartment that'll keep both hot and cold dishes at the right temperature. You also get a leak-proof inner lid, an extra snack compartment, and retractable utensils. This tiny container packs a punch!