a collection of bento boxes
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The Best Bento Boxes for Super Organized Lunches and Snacks

Everyone will look forward to lunch with these fun containers.
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Bento box containers are made with separate compartments for each of the individual items in a meal. You may have eaten from one at a restaurant; they are original to Japan, but they are common in Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisines, too.

Outside of restaurants, bento boxes are a great way to pack lunches and snacks for you and the kids. It doesn't hurt that many of the best bento boxes are also colorful and cute.

They're also a great way to reduce your impact on the environment; you can cut down on plastic baggies, ditch brown paper bags, and leave the bulky coolers at home. Indeed, with any of these top-rated bento boxes from Amazon, you can make packing and carrying lunch more fun and functional.

Unlike a traditional lunch box, bento boxes comfortably hold a single portion meal; the boxes have different sized compartments, typically enough for a main dish and some sides, but you can pick the best type of bento box for you or your family based on the types of lunches you typically pack.

Keep reading to see our picks for the best bento boxes for kids and adults. We selected multi-layer options that are great for lots of elements (think salads or grain bowls), as well as classic lunchbox-style bentos that fit nicely into bags for kids.

What to Consider Before Buying a Bento Box

Materials

Traditional bento boxes are made from wood or bamboo. Those are beautiful for restaurant meals or dinners at home, but they won't transport well to the office or school. Today, you're more likely to find plastic, glass, or stainless steel bento boxes. Plastic and stainless steel are more sturdy and might be the best bento box for kids (glass can break in a backpack). For adults, the best material for your bento box will depend on what you prefer (or what's the most attractive to you).

Design

At its most simple, a bento box is a tray with a lid. From there, additional elements, like divided compartments or stackable layers, are up to the designer. Contemporary bento boxes may have dividers that are removable so you can create more space if needed. Some bentos divide elements of a meal in stackable layers instead of side-by-side compartments. Tall bento boxes are unique and attractive, but they may be difficult to carry, especially for kids.

Leak Protection

Many of today's best bento boxes are designed to prevent leaks. Rubber gaskets are commonly used to seal in food (and seal out air); they're typically used on lids or between layers. Metal clasps can lock layers together, which secures the seals and locks in your food. On the other hand, more traditional bento boxes do not have these leak-proof elements.

Size and Capacity

In their original design, bento boxes hold a single meal, but they still vary in size greatly. Today's boxes can hold a sandwich or main dish with one or two sides, like fruit, vegetable, or grains. Others can hold a multi-course meal, with soup, salad, main dish, even perhaps dessert. Your bento box lunch style will dictate how large your bento box should be. Having different sizes might also come in handy if your meal style changes.

Food Safety

If you plan to heat up the bento box for a warm meal, make sure it is microwave safe. Likewise, if you need to keep it cool, consider a bento box with an insulated tote, or one that comes with a chilling insert.

Price

Bento boxes are relatively inexpensive, with many top-rated options coming in under $15. However, more ornate bento boxes, or those with lots of added components like forks, spoons, cups, or totes, can be upward of $40.

The Best Bento Boxes to Buy in 2021

Related Items

Bentgo Fresh Compartment Lunch Box in grey
Credit: Amazon

Bentgo Fresh Compartment Lunch Box

With over 2,000 five-star reviews, it's easy to see why this bento box is one of the best! This hot lunch ticket item packs up to four different items and nearly five cups of food. It's portable, compact design is perfect for sealing in freshness and making transport a breeze! The pop-out compartment tray is dishwasher and freezer safe and can be microwaved for up to three minutes. Having different sized compartments, it's perfect for built-in portion control, making healthy meals that much easier to take on-the-go.

Buy it: $30; Amazon

Kotobuki Lucky Cat Bento Set with a white background
Credit: Amazon

Kotobuki Lucky Cat Bento Set

Built for both the young and the young at heart, this bento box is guaranteed to make lunch time luckier. The three different sized containers are perfect for carrying soup and two sides to make a complete lunch. "I am in love with this bento box," says one five-star reviewer. "Do not be discouraged by its size, it is plenty big enough to fill you up. I was able to put eight crackers, eight pieces of summer sausage, and eight pieces of cheese on the top. Then fill the bottom with a carrot cut up, ranch for dipping, and almonds! It was so much food, I was actually too full to eat everything I packed today!"

Buy it: $26; Amazon

Prep Naturals Glass Bento Box with fruit and nuts
Credit: Amazon

Prep Naturals Glass Bento Box

Coming in three, four, and five compartment packs and boasting 1,600 five-star reviews, these glass bento boxes are a great plastic-free alternative to your usual lunch box. Made with the latest SmartestLock technology, these bento boxes guarantee an airtight and leak-proof seal that keeps air out and freshness in. Crafted with borosilicate glass, the strongest glass available, you can worry less about breakage and focus on getting where you need to go.

Buy it: $20; Amazon

Edtsy Bento box with three layers filled with food
Credit: Amazon

Edsty Bento Box

Inspired by Japanese minimalist design and coming in three different pastel colors, this bento box will be your new lunchtime favorite. Made with reusable wheat fiber, this container is BPA-free, environmentally-friendly, and built to last. Coming with a fork, spoon, and a portable food cooler this bento box can effectively prevent food from mixing together and maintain the original taste. Removable compartment tray reheats food safely in the microwave and cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

Buy it: $14; Amazon

Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container in pink
Credit: Amazon

Bentgo Salad BPA-Free Lunch Container

"Almost every day, I make a large salad using many toppings," the top five-star review raves. "I originally was using pie plates to pre-make these salads because it allows enough space to fit everything AND toss it. It was difficult to bring salads to work for lunch, and then I found this awesome to-go salad set! Everything comfortably fits." This salad bento box holds up to four cups of the wholesome goodness and a separate compartment tray to hold your favorite toppings and dressing. The airtight lid comes with a BPA-free cutlery cover that keeps the included reusable fork sanitary during travel. With its well thought out design, this bento box has everything to enjoy your healthy meal at home or on-the-go.

Buy it: $15; Amazon

PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box in green
Credit: Amazon

PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box

Keep lunchtime groovy with this customizable lunchbox. With five different magnetic designs to choose from, there's one to suit every personality. Made out of durable stainless steel, this bento box is easy to clean and minimizes the need for individual plastic bags. Packing lunches will be a breeze with five different compartments with plenty of room to fit an entrée, crispy veggies, juicy fruit, and snacks.

Buy it: $85; Amazon

Sistema To Go Collection Bento Box in green
Credit: Amazon

Sistema To Go Collection Bento Box

It doesn't take long to see why this bento box has over 4,000 five-star reviews. "I love this container! It's very compact but fits a lot of food for my 5-year-old, plus it fits easily into my kid's lunchbox alongside her 14-ounce water bottle," one happy customer writes. "This Sistema bento box is great because it has substantial size compartments because the walls/dividers are not thick which leaves more room for food!"

Buy it: $9; Amazon

SnapLock by Progressive Bento-To-Go Container in purple
Credit: Amazon

SnapLock by Progressive Bento-To-Go Container

"I have five of these containers and I use them for lunches for my 13 and 11-year-old sons every single day," a satisfied customer writes. "I admit to being charmed by the fact that baby carrots fit so perfectly, but honestly they're great in every way. They never leak, hold a ton of food, and though you can't use liquids (the compartments don't keep things like liquids from traveling), you can pack nearly anything inside. Total winner."

Buy it: $7; Amazon

3-Tier Insulated Cute Lunch Box in purple
Credit: Amazon

3-Tier Insulated Cute Lunch Box

If you're a fan of homemade hot lunch, take a peek at this adorable insulated bento box. Coming in four different colors, this lunch box is made of superior food-grade stainless steel, providing excellent durability and the ability to keep food warm for one to two hours. For under $30, you not only get a reusable lunch box but you also get stainless steel chopsticks, a spoon, and an oh-so-cute carrying case.

Buy it: $25; Amazon

Bentgo Kid Children's Lunch Box in purple
Credit: Amazon

Bentgo Kid Children's Lunch Box

Give your child some lunchtime flair while also teaching them how to save the planet! With five compartments perfectly portioned for a child's appetite and coming with drop-proof rubber edges, this bento box is simply the best of the best. One review says: "We have the kids Bentgo lunch boxes for a long time now and we absolutely ADORE these lunch boxes! Seriously, I will never use another brand of lunch boxes again! Never. Ever."

Buy it: $25; Amazon

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