The Top 10 Best Lunch Boxes Today
Whether you’re looking for the best lunch box for the office- or a sturdy, airtight yet quirky design for your children’s lunches – it can be tough to find a lunch bag, bento box or lunch box that meets all of your needs. And meets them well. Luckily, you have us- and we’ve researched everything there is to know about lunch boxes. All in order to help you decide on which lunch containers will best meet your needs, whatever they may be.
Check out our top picks to see some of the best lunch boxes available on the market, today. Or, read on to discover what you should consider when buying lunch containers. On top of this, we answer all your most frequently asked questions- letting you know everything there is to learn about these simple storage containers for lunch on-the-go.
Designed with the goal of keeping you fit and healthy. This insulated lunch box and 6 portion-control containers (along with the shaker cup, which comes with its own set of storage containers) are ideal for organizing a full day’s worth of meals. Including any snacks and vitamins. Don’t worry about fitting it all in, though. As the double-insulated bag handles everything perfectly with many compartments and side pockets to fit all the different, airtight containers.
All the items are BPA-free and click-lock lids make sorting out and accessing your food a doddle. On top of all this, you even get a lifetime guarantee with every purchase. Perfect if you have a faulty product and need it replacing ASAP. All-in-all, we can see why this lunch bag and box set has nearly 2,000 positive reviews from happy customers. Especially, as it meets the needs of almost any user.
- Perfect for meal prep
- All plastics are BPA-free
- Shaker included
- Brand: ThinkFit
- Dimensions: 40.64 x 19.05 x 20.32 cm
- Shipping Weight: 12.06 Kilograms
Another fantastic option is this lunch box from MIER. It hosts two compartments. Which is perfect for keeping hot and cold food separate. Additionally, it has a surprisingly large capacity of 14.5 litres. As such, this lunch bag will carry pretty much anything you need and works brilliantly as a picnic basket, too.
Customers love the longevity of temperature that this bag gives their lunch- even with 12 hours shifts. While many say that this works perfectly with their meal prepping, as they can fit pretty much anything and everything in here. The only things missing are any added accessories that you can get in our top pick. Plus, a few reviewers have mentioned that the two-way dual zippers can come apart quite easily if you’re the heavy-handed type.
- Two insulated compartments
- Great for larger amounts of food
- Detachable, adjustable shoulder strap for comfort
- Brand: MIER
- Capacity: 14.5L
- Dimensions: 25.91 x 20.07 x 27.94 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408.23 Grams
This freezable option from PackIt comes in a huge array of different styles and designs. This is perfect if you prefer a quirky look with your lunch. The gel walls work to both contain the temperature of your dinner and act as an ice pack- although you won’t be able to microwave the bag, due to the gel.
Ideal for small dinners or for carrying snacks, there have been a few complaints about size. So, if you’re looking for anything larger, have a gander at some of our other top picks. If you need something that folds up easily and carries just enough for a simple lunch, then this is definitely the bag for you.
- Gel insulation acts as an ice pack
- Great designs
- Brand: PackIt
- Capacity: 6.4L
- Dimensions: 10.2 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.28 pounds
A fantastically stylish lunch box, this squared-off, business-class style lunch container is airtight, BPA and BPS-free. It’s also microwaveable, freezer-safe and dishwasher-safe, meaning this is the lunchbox that fits in with your needs, as opposed to you fitting in with your lunchbox.
There are two compartments kept in this eye-catching lunch box and a cup is included, making this one of the most practical options on the market, today. That said, this is also one of the smallest, in terms of capacity. So might not be the best choice for those longer days.
- Microwave, dishwasher and freezer-safe
- Brand: Mon Bento
- Capacity: 1.78L
- Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.7 x 4 inches
- Shipping weight: 1.15 pounds
Designed mostly to hold cans, this cooler still works surprisingly well as a lunch bag, thanks to the waterproof design of the insulation, which is also removable if you prefer space, over temperature-maintenance. The benefits of the purpose of design are that the hems are heat-welded to prevent leaks. While the inside is coated with antimicrobials to resist odour, mould, mildew, and fungus from forming.
- Coated with antimicrobials
- Removable liner
- Brand: Coleman
- Capacity: 9 cans/11.9L
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 10.2 x 7.5
- Shipping weight: 1.2 pounds
Available in a wide selection of cute and novelty colours, this is a great option as a lunch box for work or for those whose children are still at school. This is an insulated lunch bag with a handy shoulder strap. Which comes along with a handy front zipper for smaller items, as well as a mesh pock along the side for flasks or other accessories.
There are no additional compartments beyond this, which helps if you like to bring along your own food storage containers. But isn’t great if you depend on the compartments for portion control. That said, this is a fantastically affordable option. As well as being one that will keep your food cool, all day long. Not to mention that the insulated lining is also very easy to clean, if you suffer from any leaks or spills.
- Insulated lunch bag
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Brand: Everest
- Capacity: 4.9L
- Dimensions 8.5″ x 6″ x 7.25″
- Shipping weight: 9.6 ounces
A rather tough-looking cooler and lunch box, with an added Stanley flask for any liquids you want or need on your lunch. This lunch box is ideal if you’re concerned about your lunch bag being knocked about on the commute or at work. The stainless-steel lunch box is great for men or women who work in rugged jobs where it’s likely that your box will be knocked over – or even if you’re just a little heavy-handed.
The Stanley lunch box is completely leak-proof and insulated- keeping food hot or cold for 24 hours after being added or removed from the fridge. There are separate compartments already available in this box. Which help to make it a little less flexible than those you can add storage containers to. Although this is beneficial to those who prefer to keep things simple.
- Locking handle
- Lid doubles as a tray
- Lifetime warranty
- Brand: Stanley
- Capacity: 7qt lunchbox, 1.1qt flask
- Dimensions: 16 x 9 x 13 inches
- Shipping weight: 7.75 pounds
A rather cute option from Baloray, you would be forgiven for thinking that this tote bag was just another handbag. Were it not for the added insulation on the inside walls of the lunch bag, that is. Spills and leaks are easily mopped up thanks to the waterproof lining. While the extra side pocket is great for bringing along any dinnerware you might need.
This is an affordable, lightweight option for users who want their lunch bag to be carried with them throughout the day. Especially if you’re looking for something that will switch from lunch box to handbag, at a moment’s notice. It has some amazing reviews, too and seems to be holding steady as a popular option.
- A great women’s lunch bag
- BPA-free PEVA insulation
- Large capacity
- Brand: Baloray
- Dimensions: 11.5” x 7” x 8.45″
- Shipping weight: 8.8 ounces
This lunch box is the ideal choice for anyone that likes to pack a variety of healthy snacks for the day. The design helps for those looking to meal prep, without having to worry about one thing spoiling another. In other words, anybody currently doing the keto diet, or simply looking to eat fresh! It comes with everything you could need for eating on the go. Including a spork, spoon, and lids that can easily double as small plates if you need to dish food between you and another.
It may not have easy-carry handles, but its relatively small design means it will fit comfortably in most bags. It has reviewed quite highly overall, with some customers says it is the ideal choice for storing snacks to pick away at throughout the day. With others saying it is a sturdy design, but they perhaps wouldn’t recommend dropping it on a hard floor if you can help it.
- 2 large and 2 small compartments
- Includes a spoon, fork, and lids
- BPA-free plastic
- Dishwasher and microwave save
- Brand: Wagindd
- Dimensions: 16cm x 11cm x 14cm
- Shipping weight: 450g
Heading back to the more timeless classics. This lunchbox harks back to old-school metal lunch boxes. Which were made to survive the rigours of a manual labour lifestyle. No frills, just strong, durable, metal boxes that kept food from getting flattened in the workplace. Funnily enough, this design – which would have been considered so rudimentary at the time – is now a classic vintage look that many people seek out.
- Made from 0.6mm steel
- Sturdy latches and hinged keep the box secure
- Handle on the top makes for easier carrying
- Available in olive green and navy blue
- Fits a 0.75ltr flask comfortably
- Brand: Wagindd
- Dimensions: 16cm x 11cm x 14cm
- Shipping weight: 450g
Best Lunch Boxes Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to look for in a lunch box
Always look for a lunch box that is larger than you think you need. This way, you’ll have added space when you need it most – such as those long days away, family trips out or extended trips. You may also need the extra space to make up for food kept in storage containers.
Dividers and pockets
Depending on how you like to store your food, you may need more than one extra storage department or pocket. Depending on how you like to stack or place your food, you’ll need fewer storage spaces and more overall room. Especially as you’ll likely need to use your own food storage containers. Unless you invest in a lunch box that allows for stackable storage of course, or provides additional storage.
This is important if there is no fridge at your work or destination. But can still be helpful if you’re thinking about taking your food container elsewhere. Having insulated lunch bags will keep your food cold and therefore give your dinner a longer life. This is because bacteria won’t be able to settle so quickly and multiply. Not to mention that the result is a fresh sandwich, which is much more appealing!
You’ll want a lunch box that ideally will last at least a year. Whether that’s the academic year for your kids or just one to take with you to work. Grab a lunch box that has been created with heavy-duty material. Since these will remain sturdy enough to last with daily use, for an extended period of time.
Handles and straps
Just like the material, the handles and straps of your new lunch box will need to be tough enough to handle everyday use, trips and daily commutes. All without getting in the way or breaking down over time. They should be strong enough to hold your lunch without any issues, too. On top of this, remember that all of the weight will be placed on the area where the handle is attached to the box itself.
Ability to contain spills
There’s nothing worse than opening your bag, only to discover your drink or yoghurt has made a mess all over your work, as well as the rest of your food. If you like to bring along liquids, be sure to find a lunch box that is airtight. Or waterproof. Either one is great, as long as it holds liquids.
You’ll need to clean up your lunch box regularly, so be sure to grab one that is washable. At the very least, it needs to have the ability to be handwashed. Of course, dishwashing is a huge benefit – if more than a little rare.
Hard-sided lunch boxes will be considerably easier to clean, should something happen in your lunch box. But you’ll likely find that many soft-sided lunch bags will have soft plastic. Although foil is just as easy to wipe down.
Young kids will always go for a lunch box with characters they love on the front. Which will go a long way to convincing them that what’s inside is lots of fun. For adults, however, there is usually less choice. That being said, you can still find some great options that are stylish or have a novelty design on the sides in adult lunch boxes, if you so choose.
Why you should use a lunch bag
Having a lunch box for the office means you’re not dictated lunch times or stuck with the same stuff your office kitchen wants to present as a warm lunch, every day. It’s all about being able to make food that you enjoy and eating it when you deem it appropriate.
Keeping your lunch cool and fresh is one of the biggest reasons many people choose not to bring in their own lunch. However, if they knew that it was super-easy to keep their food fresh and delicious- simply by choosing the right lunch containers- their minds would soon change.
In particular, insulated lunch boxes will keep the cool air in the container, which means your food will last twice as long as it would without the insulation, so it’s much better to invest in an insulated lunch bag.
Health and wellbeing
Having control over your own dinner means that you’re much less likely to buy unhealthy foods in the heat of the moment. Instead, you can focus on filling your lunch box with healthy alternatives, which will have a greater effect on lifting your mood and keeping your body happy and healthy.
Buying your lunch on-the-go can almost triple your spending within a week, whereas having control over your lunch allows you to search for cheaper alternatives, while you’re in the supermarket. You’ll also be less likely to impulse buy while on your lunch break, which will help both your waistline and your wallet.
Different kinds of lunch boxes
Bento lunch boxes
The iconic bento lunch box is rising in popularity again and can be seen everywhere from your local store to Pinterest. They were originally designed to hold food for warriors who would March for longer periods of time, without weighing them down with unnecessary add-ons. They have firm walls and are a little trickier to store, when not in use.
Their creation centred around holding simple portion sizes of a variety of food, making them leak-proof and lightweight. All while giving soldiers everything they need to be at their healthiest. These days, bento boxes are used all over the world to hold many different types of food. Although they still have their roots in providing portion sizes to users.
If unlined with harder layers, these lunch containers tend to be a little more flexible and fold down well to fit pretty much anywhere, when not in use. They can also be worn in the same way as you would with many other bags, such as the backpack, depending on the style chosen. On top of this, they tend to have a greater variety of styles available, as many cater towards younger people. Whereas bento boxes are usually more for use as an adult lunch box.
Very similar to lunch bags, the lunch cooler bag is flexible and can be easily stored when not in use. The main difference between a cooler bag and a lunch bag is that there is an extra lining within the bag. This helps to insulate – keeping hot food hot – and cold food cold – throughout the day.
Unfortunately, the flexibility of bags means that they’re less likely to be waterproof and/or airtight when compared to bento boxes or lunch boxes. However, if you choose a bag large enough, you can often negate this by using both lunch boxes and bags, together.
Tips for using a lunch box
- Mix and match bags and boxes to find the best combination for you. You can also find flasks that work for holding soups and various liquids. You can then place these inside your lunch container, to ensure that you receive the benefits of airtight containers and lined bags.
- Always follow hygienic preparation methods. Such as cleaning the area before making sandwiches or chopping items, and washing your hands so that your food remains as fresh as possible before eating.
- The best time to pack your lunchbox is the night before you’re due to start work. Add everything you’d like in your dinner container, then place it in the fridge overnight before taking it with you when you travel or go to work.
- If your bag or box isn’t insulated, freeze a bottle of water and place this in the container before you leave in the morning. This will keep everything as fresh as possible and keep your lunch cool.
- Don’t try to clean your box with baby wipes or tissues, as some lunch bags will be coated with antimicrobials, and you will simply be moving the dirt around the box. Instead, use simple dish soap and warm water when hand-washing.
- Use your lunch box to its full abilities- adding extra fruit and veg in those added compartments to make for a healthier lunch AND snacks.
Q: Can I pack wet foods in my lunch container?
You can absolutely pack any liquids or wet foods in your container. Just be sure to grab a lunch box that is airtight and/or waterproof, so that any spills can be contained within the area placed. Helping to ensure you don’t end up with yoghurt all over the rest of your dinner.
If you don’t have a suitable lunch box, combine your box with an insulated flask, which will help you cut down on waste, as well as being great for holding wet foods until dinner time.
Q: Can I pre-pack my lunch box the night before?
Yes- in fact, this is possibly the best time to pack your lunch box, as you won’t be hungry after dinner and therefore will be less likely to add sugary foods and drinks, which can make you healthier in the long run. Simply get everything together the night before and add to your fridge before going to bed to maintain freshness.
If your bag or box isn’t insulated, you can always freeze a bottle of water overnight and add this to your refrigerated food in order to maintain its freshness throughout the day, until you’re ready to use it.
Q: Can I put my lunch container in the microwave or freezer?
This depends on the material of the lunch bag or box that you’re using. Bags and boxes that are lined with insulation are a definite “no”, as are many lunch bags or lunch boxes that contain foil or metallic outers, or possibly contain gel.
In order to get the best answer for this, you should always check with the manufacturer, to ensure that your new item is safe to microwave and/or freeze. If you aren’t sure, then you would do well to stick with food items that do not require microwaving or freezing, as avoiding these is a much safer precaution to testing it!
Q: How do I clean my lunch bag?
The method you should use to clean your lunch bag depends on the material used. If the sides are firm, this can make things a lot easier but the general guidelines for cleaning your lunch box are as follows:
- Shake away any excess crumbs or dirt that has been left inside the bag, over a bin.
- If you see anything stuck to the sides, dislodge these to make sure your bag remains empty (use a spoon if you don’t fancy using your fingers to pick up these delights)
- Some boxes and bags might be suitable for a dishwasher- but you would do well to check this is the case with your lunch bag before trying this out. If this is the case, you can add these hard-walled lunch containers to your next wash as normal, paying attention to heat guidelines given by the manufacturer.
- If you aren’t able to run your bag through the dishwasher or notice there is still grease leftover after a wash, then give your lunch box a wipe with warm, soapy water.
- You can also sprinkle some baking soda inside your lunch box to get rid of any unpleasant smells or stubborn stains, before wiping with warm, soapy water again.
Remember to NEVER use chemicals or cleaning sprays inside your lunch box, as these can leave a residue that may be harmful to the person who is eating their lunch from this container.
Our top pick
A veritable Swiss Army Knife of the lunch box world, the insulated lunch box from ThinkFit is possibly the most versatile option around. With 6 different storage containers, all of which fit perfectly inside the many compartments and pockets, you have the option to bring along food for multiple days at a time. Or simply bring along a feast-for-one, when you really want to push yourself.
Made with heavy-duty materials that are designed to last through the daily commute, for a lifetime, this is a lunch bag that will keep your food as fresh as you feel. The handles are double-stitched so you don’t need to worry about splits or problems as you carry a weighty lunch around. On top of this, the material is double-insulated to keep everything as fresh as it could possibly stay.
It’s not hard to see why we chose this lunch bag from ThinkFit as our top pick. Especially when you consider the hundreds of happy customers who have given this an overall rating of 4.7/5 stars online. This is currently available at a great price, so grab yours before word really gets out about how great this lunch box really is.