The 9 Best Bento Boxes
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Ditch that old brown bag containing wilting sandwiches and start enjoying healthier, more exciting lunches at work or school with the help of these bento boxes. They keep your food fresh throughout the day, and their compartmentalized design allows you to organize meals efficiently. Many even come with eating utensils, carrying bags and elastic bands for keeping them tightly sealed. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 06, 2021:
We nixed a plastic option that wasn't able to hold up over time and suffered from poor availability. The rest of our selection remains unchanged, with the Grub2Go Bamboo still the best-looking and one of the most well-made options on the market. And while not strictly bento boxes, the MCirco Home are a great alternative because of their hygienic glass construction and low price.
January 21, 2020:
The ProAid Lunch was no longer available, so we took it off the list. We also eliminated the A2S Protection Meal Prep due to reports that the lid frequently fails to close properly, which leads to leaking issues.
We gave the LunchBots Container a slight upgrade. Thanks to its durable, stainless steel construction, it tends to last a long time, and many users feel that its five compartments are the ideal size for organizing a balanced meal.
As an alternative to plastic, metal and glass options, we added the Brigenius Cereal to the list, which is made with a biodegradable wheat straw fabric. It has a special mini compartment for sauce in the middle, where the contents are least likely to spill. We also added the MCirco Home, which can be heated in the oven at up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Marley’s Monsters Layer A fresh take on the traditional, rectangular bento box, this circular model consists of three stackable compartments and a convenient carrying handle. Not only is the stainless steel extremely durable and resistant to stains, its sleek appearance will likely spark conversation when you pull it out in the lunch room. marleysmonsters.com
Bokksu Signature This stylish box from Bokksu is a double decker — its upper container is divided into three sections, while nine small, removable containers make up the bottom portion. It includes a storage space for chopsticks, and it’s made in Japan from high-quality materials. bokksu.com
Why You Should Pack Your Lunch In A Bento Box
Grown-ups who prefer to bring lunch to work will benefit from trading in their boring plastic containers for a fun bento box set.
There are so many reasons to use a bento box, it's hard to single out just a few. Here are some of the most common motivations for purchasing one of these cute and convenient lunchboxes.
First, bento boxes can promote healthy eating. With all of the different compartments, it's easy to incorporate a snack from every food group and to do so in appropriately-sized portions. Bento boxes are especially useful for parents who want to send their kids off to school with a nutritious lunch. Brown paper bags are fine, but they provide little guidance when it comes to choosing what and how much of each item to pack.
You don't have to be a kid to carry a bento box. Grown-ups who prefer to bring lunch to work will benefit from trading in their boring plastic containers for a fun bento box set. If you're watching your diet, the individual sections are perfect for dividing food into smaller portions.
Besides the nutritional advantages, bento boxes can help you curb your spending. So many of us fall into the trap of buying lunch each day at work — an expense that can really add up over time. The same goes for kids at school. There's no reason to waste your hard-earned cash on unhealthy, pre-packaged meals when you can pack a nutritious lunch according to your (or your child's) preferences and dietary needs.
With a bento box, you'll be able to cut down on waste. Instead of putting a bunch of wrapped snacks into your bag (or your kid's backpack), you can include delicious, homemade goodies without all that disposable packaging. Processed foods are detrimental not only to the human body but to the environment, as well.
A bento box can save you time. There's no need to waste precious minutes during your lunch break browsing the grocery store for a suitable meal when you can prep a bento box lunch ahead of time. Planning, after all, is one of the keys to becoming more efficient.
In short, a bento box is a great tool for simplifying your routine. Whether you're a kid or an adult, it's hard to resist a balanced meal in a whimsical bento box.
Features To Look For In A Bento Box
With so many different bento boxes to choose from, finding the right one can be a challenge. But as long as you keep these features in mind, you'll be able to locate the perfect lunchbox set in no time.
Bento box sets are available in many shapes and sizes, so be sure to settle on the product that will be easiest for you to pack and transport.
The first thing you'll want to consider is the material. Most of the bento boxes on the market are made from plastic, though some are constructed from stainless steel or wood. Both durable and affordable, plastic is the way to go if you're searching for quality on a budget. For a more sophisticated look, stainless steel is a smart choice since it resists blemishes and stands up well to wear and tear.
Children can be picky about their accessories, so make sure to let your kid choose which pattern they like best. You'll notice that bento boxes come in a range of colors and designs. From cute character prints to floral images, there's something out there for everyone.
Take into account the shape of the product you're interested in. Will it fit inside your work bag or backpack? Do the separate containers nest, or do they stack? Bento box sets are available in many shapes and sizes, so be sure to settle on the product that will be easiest for you to pack and transport.
Compartments are another aspect to review. If you're a stickler about eating balanced meals, opt for a selection with enough separate compartments to accommodate all of the major food groups. Remember: deeper containers are necessary for packing sauces or spreads. To avoid accidents, a box that closes securely would be a wise choice.
If you plan on packing your bento box with food that requires heating, pick out a set made from microwave-safe materials. Similarly, for easy cleanup, a dishwasher-safe product is a must.
How To Pack A Bento Box
Once you have your bento box, it's time to figure out how to pack it properly. The following are just a few tips to help you create the most delicious, nutritious packed lunch ever.
The best advice is straightforward enough: start early. Don't wait until the final minutes before you leave the house in the morning to begin assembling your midday snack. If you can make time to pack your lunches the night before, your mornings will be so much less hectic.
Don't wait until the final minutes before you leave the house in the morning to begin assembling your midday snack.
Include a portion from each food group to ensure you meet your nutritional requirements for the day. You'll feel more energized through the afternoon if you've consumed whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and a modest amount of healthy fats from foods like nuts or avocados.
Don't forget to pack other necessary supplies. Some bento boxes come with chopsticks, while others include complete knife, fork, and spoon trios. If your box didn't come with utensils, improvise with silverware from home. Other items you might want to bring along are napkins and hand sanitizer.
Finally, make sure that the food you take with you is kept at the correct temperature to remain safe to eat. If your food needs to be heated, make sure it reaches the right internal temperature to kill any germs that may have taken up residence during the time the food was being transported. When it comes to food, you're always better off safe than sorry.
There you have it: tips and tricks to ensure you always have the best looking (and tasting) lunch around. With a bento box, it's easy to create a meal that's both healthy and enjoyable.