three sets of dry food storage containers on a green background

The Best Dry Food Storage Containers to Keep Your Pantry Organized

The best picks whether you bulk buy or just need fresh flour.
By Kimberly Holland
March 02, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Pantry organization and tidiness is a chronic problem for most of us. Just when you think you've stacked all the boxes and tucked all the bags, along comes a slew of new cans or jars you buy at your next grocery haul. How do you keep all that organized and neat without blowing a gasket each time you open the pantry door?

With dry food storage containers.

While you may need baskets or shelves to wrangle pouches of tuna or boxes of macaroni and cheese, the bulk of organization and storage comes down to properly putting away large-quantity ingredients like cereal, flour, sugar, rice, beans, grains, and more. Even smaller quantities of bulk-purchased foods could benefit from their own airtight container. Spices will stay fresher longer, as will other baking staples like baking powder and baking soda.

But if you're a bit lost on which containers you need for dry goods, we can help. We've scoured thousands of reviews and dozens of products to find the best storage containers with the highest marks for durability, size, design, function, and more.

Ultimately, investing in food storage containers will pay off for your wallet. Yes, you may need to spend a bit to get your pantry tidy and streamlined, but when you have good-quality products that keep air away from your foods, you can trust your foods will last longer, be fresher, and return the investment to you in less food waste.

These types of dry food storage containers are essential for people who shop bulk bins and buy staples like granola or specialty goods like coconut flour at each visit. You'll want to transfer your purchases from your baggie to these containers for safe and fresh keeping. But ultimately, every type of shopper and home cook can use a few of these for their most frequently-used ingredients.

Start shopping our list of the best dry food storage containers, and watch a new, tidier, and more organized pantry come to life.

Best Dry Food Storage Containers at a Glance

Best Dry Food Storage Containers to Buy in 2021

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Organization & Food Storage Containers
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Organization & Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lid

If you can think of a dry food storage problem, Rubbermaid has made the solution. Each of the 10 containers (plus 10 lids) in this comprehensive set of food storage containers is designed with specific foods in mind: cereal, sugar, flour, pasta, nuts, and spices, but the brilliant thing about the whole set is that it offers enough versatile sizes that you can find a container for nearly anything you'd want to store.

The Rubbermaid Brilliance set, with its 10,000+ 5-star ratings, contains:

  • one 19.9-cup
  • one 16-cup
  • one 12-cup
  • one 8.1-cup
  • one 7.8-cup
  • one 6.6-cup
  • one 3.2-cup
  • one 1.3-cup,
  • two 0.5 cup mini containers
  • plus 10 lids

The strong rubber seals keep air, water, and bugs out. They're easy to peel back to wash, too. The clear plastic also makes seeing how much you have of your ingredients so you can restock the next time you're at the store.

"They are made of heavy plastic, and the lids snap closed for a perfect air/water-tight seal. They look really sharp, not like the cheapy versions you can buy. I like that they are black/clear, as the white ones just don't do it for me and black goes with everything," writes one reviewer. 

You can also add to your collection with open-stock pieces (a few are listed below), and that will keep all your food organization looking cohesive and sharp. If $60 for a set seems a little high, keep an eye on Amazon. This set is so popular it's frequently on sale. And when it is, get two if you have big storage goals.

Buy it: $46; amazon.com

Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Container Set
Credit: Amazon

Best Rated: Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Container Set

This dry food storage set comes with 14 containers (and 14 lids), and it's so beloved by the Amazon community that it has a near-perfect 4.8-star rating with more than 11,000 reviews. That's a vote of confidence for these as best dry food storage containers on the market.

The 14 individual containers have varying sizes to match your storage needs with two extra-large containers (11.83 cups), four large containers (8.45 cups), four medium containers (5.92 cups), and four small containers (3.38 cups). These sizes make this dry food storage set great for ingredients like cereal, pasta, grains, coffee, flours, sugar, and nuts. For smaller ingredients or those you keep in limited quantities (spices, nuts, etc.), you may want to consider smaller containers to use with this set.

Each of the containers is made from BPA-free plastic that is top-shelf dishwasher safe, and the bundle comes with measuring spoons and reusable chalkboard labels. Silicone seals help to keep air out and freshness in; they can also hold liquids if you decide to use these containers for juice, water, or soup.

And if you're unsure about these but willing to take the chance, the company says they will issue a full repayment if you aren't happy with them.

"Absolutely love these containers! I am big on the smell of plastic and these are👌. They have no smell, no after test of plastic, and are airtight-keeping everything fresh! Even the box they can in was very study and organized!! Highly recommend and will definitely order again," writes one reviewer.

Buy it: $45; amazon.com

Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canister 4 Pack Square Set
Credit: Walmart

Best Value: Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canister 4 Pack Square Set

At just over $7 per container (and lid), this set isn't the cheapest per container in this guide, but it's a well-constructed dry food storage set that's considerate of space, average storage sizes, and design. The four-piece set includes one 19.4-cup container, one 16-cup container, one 10.1-cup container, and one 6.5-cup container. These are ideal for foods like cereal, pasta, flour, beans, and more.

Plus, Better Homes & Gardens sells identically designed open-stock containers so you can custom build your pantry with the items you need, and those prices are similarly priced to this set ($8 to $10 per container).

The BPA-free plastic material is dishwasher safe (top rack recommended), and the clear plastic makes seeing your food easy so you can take stock of what's left or what needs a restock.

The flip-top lid stays on for easy dispensing, and the seal around the lid helps keep air out for longer, fresher storage.

Buy it: $29; walmart.com

Rubbermaid Commercial Products Plastic Space Saving Square Food Storage Container For Kitchen
Credit: Amazon

Best Large Capacity: Rubbermaid Commercial Products Food Storage Containers

If you're a baker who buys sugar and flour by the bucket instead of the bag, or you're the cook for a family of people who go through beans and rice in a flurry of home-cooked meals each month, these large dry food storage containers are likely ideal for how you shop, store, and cook.

The Rubbermaid Commercial Food Storage Containers come in sizes from two quarts to 22 quarts. (You do have to buy the lids separately.) The commercial-grade, break-resistant polycarbonate material is ideal for long-term storage because it's sturdy and see-through, which helps you know when it's time to restock. The lids are also designed with a small lip, which makes for safer stacking if you're keeping these in pantries or cooler basements.

As a bonus feature, these containers are also great for sous vide cooking. The material is designed to withstand -40 to 212 degrees F, so it can store flour in the freezer or be used to cook a beautiful steak.

What's more, these containers are great when you have a big haul of fruit or vegetables from fresh picking and want to keep them container in your produce drawer or fridge, and they make a great bucket substitute when you need to rinse and shell or prepare all types of produce.

Before you buy these large food containers, just do a quick measure. They are much bigger than standard food storage sets, so you want to make sure your shelves are deep and tall enough, or that your freezer has enough space. Luckily, they have so many uses that even if the pantry is a little tight with this in it, you can find many other ways to use it.

Buy it: $9; amazon.com; coordinating lid, $4; amazon.com

Seseno 7 Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set
Credit: Amazon

Best Space Saver: Sesno 7 Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set

The seven-piece set is designed to house some of your most common bulk food buys — pasta, beans, lentils and peas, nuts, and even some treats like candy and dried fruit — but it's also designed to take up as little space as possible.

The set includes:

  • one tall container (8 cups)
  • two medium containers (6 cups)
  • two small containers (3.6 cups)
  • two mini containers (1.4 cups)

The BPA-free containers are clear, like many others on this list, so you can easily see what's in each of them. They're also safe for use in the microwave (without a lid), dishwasher, and freezer, which makes them highly versatile for your storage needs.

The black lids are designed for safe and effortless stacking, with no-slip features and an airtight, watertight, and leak-proof seal. The set also includes reusable chalkboard labels and chalk so you can label them easily — and then relabel them later.

This set has containers that are small enough for ingredients like spices and nuts. The largest, at eight cups, can hold up to one box of pasta. Consider what you need to store typically before buying, as this smaller set may not be sufficient for all your foods. (For example, a full box of cereal is unlikely to fit in the 8-cup container.) This might be an especially great set for a bulk buyer who buy in smaller quantities than most pre-packaged goods.

Buy it: $25; amazon.com

Freyian Canister Sets For Kitchen Counter
Credit: Amazon

Most Stylish: Freyian Canister Sets For Kitchen Counter

If you don't have a pantry or need to optimize storage on your kitchen counter, add these dry food storage containers to your cart. They meet all the same standards for storage as other sets in this list — airtight seal, clear containers for easily seeing your food, and considerate storage features like a stackable lid with a small lip and a wide top for easy pouring and scooping.

But more than many of the others on this list, these are designed to be seen with a beautiful trio of colorful silicone lids (blues and white) and sleek glass canisters that are as beautiful as they are functional.

The set contains:

  • one small 10-ounce container
  • one medium 20-ounce container
  • one large 36-ounce container

The Borosilicate glass used to make these canisters are food-grade durable and resistant to breakage if they fall. But that also means they can be used in the oven, fridge, or microwave, and they're dishwasher safe.

Buy it: $30; amazon.com

Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers
Credit: Amazon

Best for Rice and Pasta: Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers

If your dry food storage concerns fall primarily in large quantity foods — pasta, beans, and rices — then you may simply need several larger containers that are designed specifically for these regular-use foods. 

The four large containers hold 5.2 liters, or about 22 cups. (That's about a five-pound bag of sugar or flour.) That's a great size for families or cooks who keep ingredients like flour and pasta on regular rotation. You could also use one of the canisters to house pet food or snacks for safe keeping.

The 7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1-inch containers are small enough to fit most pantry shelves, but they could also fit in cabinets or under kitchen islands for quick access. The lids, like the containers themselves, are made from high-grade, food-safe, BPA-free plastic, so they're dishwasher safe (the lids should be hand washed). The kit also comes with four measuring cups (most reviewers say they work better as scoops as the measurements are hard to read) and 24 chalkboard labels.

"Has kept chips crisp. Easy to clean. The lids are easy to snap on/off for me. If you have strength/mobility issues, they may not be for you. I had my elderly mother try to open and close and she didn't have strength to close it. I am using 2 for storing non-food goods and they work well for that purpose too," writes one reviewer.

Buy it: $31; amazon.com

OXO POP 4.3qt Airtight Food Storage Container
Credit: Target

Best for Flour: OXO POP 4.3qt Airtight Food Storage Container

The entire OXO POP dry food storage container collection is highly-praised and admired, but at $15 to $25 per container, it's not as economical as some other food storage sets that are just as well reviewed. So if you're going to splurge on this top-of-the-line OXO product, make it be one where freshness and quality really count: flour.

Flour that is not properly stored can quickly become rancid. This will deliver an off or sour taste to your final baked goods, or it could make recipes with a flour-based sauce seem spoiled. 

OXO combats these problem of air intrusion with a press-button lid that seals to shut off air flow between the inside of the container and the outside. To release the pressure, you press a button that double as a lid handle when it's in the up position.

Unlike many other food storage containers, the OXO set is also not dishwasher safe. The company recommends hand washing.

But the 4.3-quart, BPA-free container is sized right for a bag of flour, or any other large quantities you buy, like sugar or pasta. Once you finish the container of flour, wash it, dry it well, and pop the next bag of flour in for safe keeping.

Buy it: $19; target.com

Vtopmart Cereal Storage Container Set
Credit: Amazon

Best for Cereal: Vtopmart Cereal Storage Container Set

You know the heartbreak: you open a box of cereal to see an unfurled bag and feel the instant thud of your heart that is knowing your cereal is now stale. Once that happens, you will fully grasp why cereal containers are so popular and so necessary. These canisters are designed to hold a full box of cereal (or a tub of oats) and keep them safe from the air outside. A flip-up lid makes dispensing your morning breakfast easier, and since many of these airtight lids are snug, the easy-to-open option is great for kids or people with limited grip strength.

Bulk buyers, this style of container is also great if you're buying granola, oats, lentils, or snack mixes by the pound and want to dish out just a serving or two at once. The BPA-free plastic makes seeing how much you have left easy.

Each container is slightly larger than the average cereal box, at 9.6 inches x 4.3 by x 9.75 inches. This makes them easy to line up, side by side, on a pantry shelf or kitchen counter. Included with the container is also 24 reusable chalkboard labels so you can label each cereal and change it when you refill with another option.

"Love these containers. I was nervous to buy them online but was pleasantly surprised. Each one holds a family size box of cereal (see pic) and seals very well. I also like that the bottom isn’t tapered too much so that it’s stable," writes one Amazon reviewer.

Buy it: $24; amazon.com

Simple Houseware 12-Pack 4 Ounce Square Spice Bottles
Credit: Amazon

Best for Spices: Simple Houseware 12-Pack 4-Ounce Square Spice Bottles

Most spice containers are designed for safe, long-term storage, with airtight lids and durable containers, but if you don't like the wide variety of shapes and sizes or if you're buying spice in bulk and need a better storage container than a thin plastic bag, these glass spice bottles are the right purchase for you. Available in four or six ounces, this kit comes with 12 glass bottles, 12 lids, 12 plastic inserts for measuring or sprinkles, 48 spice labels, and 20 blank labels.

"These are nice quality and fit a good amount of spices. I cook a lot and am pleased I don't have to refill them super often. I love the uniform look they give and the plastic optional tops for sprinkling are great for a few of the spices I use at the table--but I leave them off of most of them for easy-access for measuring spoons," writes one Amazon reviewer.

Buy it: $15; amazon.com

Airscape Stainless-Steel Storage Containers
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Best for Coffee: Airscape Stainless-Steel Storage Containers

There are few times when a clear food storage container isn't a good idea — and coffee storage is one of those cases. That's because air and light are enemies of coffee beans. In an ideal world, coffee beans would be ground immediately before making the coffee, and the beans would be stored in large, airtight vessels to keep their flavor at their peak freshness. 

But since we can't live in that ideal world, we can take steps with the food storage containers we buy to ensure the coffee we drink is as good as it can be. That starts with this stainless steel container that's capped off with a Airscape lid that uses a patented design that forces out air and locks the lid in place.

This design comes in two sizes, so depending on how much you want to refill your coffee, you can pick up a small (32 ounce) or large (64 ounce) container. The sleek design is nice enough for keeping right on your countertop by your coffee maker.

Buy it: $25; williams-sonoma.com

mDesign Stackable Plastic Tea Bag Holder Storage Bin

Best Tea Bag Holder: mDesign Stackable Plastic Tea Bag Holder Storage Bin

Forget the multiple cardboard boxes shoved into your kitchen cabinet. Organize your favorite tea bags in this clear, impressive tea bag storage bin, which is divided into eight sections (in two rows of four compartments) and could also be used to organize other types of packets (sugar, salt, pepper, creamers, etc.). 

The clear BPA- and chlorine-free, shatter-resistant plastic makes seeing your tea bags easy. That will help you remember what's in your cabinets, and it'll cue you when it's time to reorder your favorite blends. However, it is not dishwasher safe, but since this will hold packaged bags, you likely won't need to wash often.

"Ok. I have a lot of tea. My pantry has been mostly tea for the past 5+ years. I bought two of these organizers and consolidated all of my tea into them. They stack perfectly and don’t slide around on each other. I love that they’re clear because it makes selecting tea very easy. I keep mine in the pantry but they would look nice on the counter too," writes one Amazon reviewer.

Buy it: $17; amazon.com

Rubbermaid Container, BPA-Free Plastic, Brilliance Pantry Airtight Food Storage, Open Stock, Brown Sugar
Credit: Amazon

Best for Brown Sugar: Rubbermaid Brilliance Brown Sugar Container

A Rubbermaid Brilliance container set was our pick as best overall dry food storage container, and that line of containers has another great benefit: open-stock items designed for specific foods, or specific packages of food. In this case, the 7.8-cup container holds a two-pound bag of brown sugar. It's vital, as most bakers know, to keep air away from brown sugar. Otherwise, you'll soon have a brown sugar brick.

Another brilliant (pun intended) element of this line of food storage containers is that many of the lids are designed to be interchangeable so you're not left chasing down single lids in a cabinet of spares.

"Here I am in my 40's excited about a storage container! Seriously, these containers are the best I have ever bought. They do not stain from food, they wash amazing and the seal DOES NOT LEAK!!" writes one Amazon reviewer. 

Buy it: $13; amazon.com

Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Madam Metal Stacking/Nesting Rectangular Basket with Acacia Lid
Credit: Amazon

Best for Snacks: Gourmet Basics by Mikasa Madam Metal Stacking/Nesting Rectangular Basket

Pre-packaged snacks may not need airtight containers, but they do need wrangling, and this wire basket with lid (which means you can stack multiple bins if you have the space) is the right way to go about it. They're large enough for multiple packs of chips, crackers, or granola, and they have enough design appeal to look nice on a kitchen counter or under an open kitchen island.

The heavy-gauge, carbon-structured steel is wrapped with a BPA-free, food-safe powder coating. That makes it great for open food storage, even for foods like potatoes and onions. The basket measures 14 inches long x 12-1/2 inches wide x 9-3/4 inches high. That's an ample size for a variety of snacks or food, but it can still be tucked back into a cabinet or onto a counter to get it out of your way.

The acacia lid also makes stacking easy, or lets you put a few elements on top for easy access, like napkins or a stack of plastic cups. One Amazon reviewer says the lid is "very sturdy," and that they have three baskets stacked.

Another reviewer writes, "A tad overpriced for a storage item, however it's worth every penny to tame countertop clutter. This replaced a lovely Fiestaware presentation bowl, but does a better job holding more items and using vertical space, too, thanks to the lid."

Buy it: $35; amazon.com

Progressive International Prepworks by Progressive 6-Piece ProKeeper Clear Storage Container Set
Credit: Amazon

Best Container Set: Progressive International Prepworks by Progressive 6-Piece ProKeeper Clear Storage Container Set

For the widest variety of sizes in a dry food storage container set, you'll want to put this set from Progressive in your cart right now. The six different containers (which also have lids) range in sizes from  four quarts to a small 1.5 cups. That's perfect for food storage basics — flour, sugars, beans, nuts, snacks, and even spices. That's why this set was chosen as the best food storage container set overall.

But beyond that, it's highly touted (with more than 3,400 5-star reviews) for easy-catch lids that are designed for safe stacking with silicone seals that keep air out once the container is closed tight. And instead of removing the entire lid when you need to get to the food, you need only open one side, as it's attached and swings open.

But if that wasn't enough, this set has another genius feature: integrated tools for the specialized ingredients. What does that mean exactly? There's a leveling tool for the flour container, a dusting tool for powdered sugar, a slotted lid for sprinkles, a pour spot for sugar, and even a stay-fresh terra cotta disk for brown sugar. These thoughtful additions help justify the slightly higher price tag, as you'll be able to make great use of them every time you pull one of these containers from your pantry or cabinet.

Buy it: $50; amazon.com

SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer, Silver
Credit: Amazon

Best for Canned Goods: SimpleHouseware Stackable Can Rack Organizer

Alongside your containers of flour and sugar, you likely keep a healthy stock of canned favorites, from cream soups to canned fish. So to keep the whole of your pantry organized, add a canned goods organizing rack or two.

A canned goods rack, like a snack basket and clear dry food containers, is about one thing: orderly storage. With cans in this rack system, you can see what you have easily, restock when things are low, or help build a meal plan off what's already in your pantry.

This rack can hold up to 36 cans and comes with adjustable dividers if you need to tame extra-large cans, or even extra-small ones.

"We are a family of five and I purchase these for our pantry to help with organization. I absolutely love them! They hold so many more cans then I really thought they could, just like advertised. I got them in an oil rubbed bronze finish and they look really nice in the pantry. When I was thinking about ordering them, my husband said he really didn't see why they were necessary. Now that he sees them in action, his opinion has completely changed," writes one Amazon reviewer.

Buy it: $26; amazon.com

What to Consider Before You Buy Storage Containers for Dry Goods

Not all dry food storage containers are made the same, despite their outward appearance. Yes, most lids can do a decent job or stopping air for a day or two, but the slow seepage will absolutely ruin delicate cereal flakes, and it can turn flours rancid in a matter of weeks. So before you put down the money for a set or even just a specialized canister, you'll want to keep a few things in mind.

Size

Most food storage containers are designed with specific, common food sizes in mind. For example, many containers are designed to fit perfectly a bag of all-purpose flour, or a smaller bag of a specialty flour. The same goes for white sugar and brown sugar.

From there, you'll find tall containers for spaghetti and fettuccine, and smaller ones for shorter pastas. Grains, beans, and legumes are typically housed in containers similar to sugars, with enough space to hold a full two or three pounds of each.

But before you pick the right set, you'll want to take stock of what it is you keep in your pantry the most. Tally the number of products you want to transfer to these containers, and then seek out sets or open-stock items that match your precise needs. It's OK if a set has an extra container or two; you'll find a way to use it soon enough.

Price

Thankfully, food storage containers isn't a product where prices vary widely. The largest swing is often between the price of a product in a set of containers versus the same brand's open-stock options. If you only need one or two items, an open-stock purchase may be the best bet for your wallet and your pantry. But if you've got room to spare and more foods to store, a set is typically the better bet for your buck.

Lids

Many of the airtight lids on food containers are snug. Some can even be tricky to remove on occasion. It is a good sign that the air isn't getting in. It also means pests likely aren't either.

But if you have kids who will be serving themselves or if someone in your home has mobility issues, you may want to consider a lid that fits snuggly to keep air from entering the container but also comes with a lid for easy pouring or scooping.

A wide-mouth opening is also essential for scooping, so for containers that store flours, sugars, grains, and rices, you'll want to keep in mind that your hand and a scoop or measuring cup need to be able to fit down into the lid.

Cleaning

Not every one of the containers on this list is dishwasher-safe. Since these aren't items you'll be needing to wash frequently, that might not be enough to put you off any of these picks. But keep in mind whether washing these by hand will keep you from washing them frequently enough (between new batches of ingredients, for example). Food containers need to be washed regularly to ward off bacteria and even bugs.

Material

Most of the dry food storage containers in this guide are made from clear, BPA-free plastic or polycarbonate or glass. The see-through materials make it easy to see when you're ingredients are low. It can also help you see if products are starting to become discolored (they may be old), and of course you'll be able to quickly see if pests have found their way to your stash.

In some cases, clear containers are not ideal. That's the case for coffee beans and grinds. Exposure to light can zap the coffee's freshness and flavor.

With that said, even foods stored in clear containers should be kept out of constant light if possible. The exposure can make foods like flour turn rancid, even with an airtight lids.

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