Meal preparation shouldn’t be a hassle, especially when you have the best meal prep containers. These containers, which are available in glass and plastic, usually have compartments that can be used for separating different types of food. Think of the traditional Japanese bento boxes but with plastic lids and you get the idea.
These containers are useful for many purposes, such as for daily life activities or for special occasions. These uses include but aren’t limited to school and office lunches, takeaway food after parties, and even fitness meals for athletes, bodybuilders, and weight watchers. Indeed, these are good investments in kitchenware considering their durability, practicality, and versatility!
But not all meal prep containers are up to the task for which they were designed. Keep in mind that these products come with a price, so getting the best value for your money is a must! Be sure to choose the best meal prep containers according to your needs and wants – here’s how.
- Check the quality of the plastic or glass
The main containers should be made of durable plastic or glass, as should the plastic lids. If you’re choosing glass containers, you should check that the glass is thick enough to withstand being placed inside a microwave or a freezer. It should also ideally be scratch-resistant and shatter-proof, but be prepared to pay a higher price for these qualities.
If you’re choosing plastic containers, your best choices are the ones that are microwave- and freezer-friendly. You can then avoid the hassles of melted or frozen plastic combining with your food. You can also be assured that the freezer-friendly containers preserve the color, texture, and flavors of the stored food.
- Look for airtight and leak-proof lids
Solid and liquid foods shouldn’t mix together while inside the containers. Otherwise, you will end up with unpalatable and, thus, wasted food, not to mention a mess inside your bag. For this reason, be sure to check that the lids are indeed airtight and leak-proof with these steps:
- Lean the container on its side to determine if gravity draws out the liquids in it. Look for an effective seal, locking mechanism, and/or suction mechanism that will keep the lid on.
- Shake the container for 60 seconds or so to determine if the lid stays on.
- Drop the container from a waist-high height to check if the lid also stays in place.
The best lid passes two out of the three tests, especially the first two tests.
- Consider its ease of cleaning
Glass containers are generally easier to clean than plastic containers. You should consider dishwasher-safe containers no matter their main material for easy reuse.
- Check the overall size
Before looking at meal prep containers, be sure to have a general idea of the size – length, width, and thickness – that you want. You may also measure the cabinets where these will be stored when not in use and the bag where these will be carried for a better choice.
You should avoid buying the first set of containers that attracts your attention. The comparison of features is a must when buying products.
5 Best Meal Prep Containers
With the abovementioned steps in mind, we have taken the liberty of recommending these five best meal prep containers for your consideration.
|Premium Glass Meal Prep Container Set||$$||4.3 / 5|
|Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment Lunch Box||$||4.3 / 5|
|Meal Prep Containers 3 Compartment||$$||4.0 / 5|
|ME.FAN 3-Compartments Meal Prep Containers||$||4.0 / 5|
|3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers||$$||4.2 / 5|
|LIFT Certified BPA-Free Reusable Microwavable Meal Prep Containers||$||4.3 / 5|
|Enther Meal Prep Containers||$$||4.5 / 5|
|Fitpacker Meal Prep Containers||$$||4.4 / 5|
|Cool-Shop 3-Compartments Meal Prep Containers||$||4.6 / 5|
|Bentgo Fresh (Aqua) – Leak-Proof & Versatile 4-Compartment||$$$||4.2 / 5|
3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers (39 oz.)
Bento boxes are such a useful invention that they have been reinterpreted in various ways. Among the best reinterpretation is this set-of-20 3-compartent meal prep containers made from BPA-free plastic.
These plastic containers are suitable for school and office lunches, as well as for portion control, meal preparation, and party takeaways. You will definitely find several uses for them. These will likely become indispensable in your kitchen!
- Safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher for ease of use and reuse
- Thick plastic for both the container and the lid
- Separate compartments for different foods, both liquid and solid
- Convenient size (9.75″ x 7.75″ x 2″) that can fit in standard cabinets and medium-sized bags
- Affordable enough for the containers to be reused but also disposed of properly in the garbage
These are top-rated meal prep containers for the following reasons:
- Easy to clean and wash in the dishwasher’s top rack
- Sturdy plastic that can withstand repeated use in the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer
- Leak-proof lid that’s easy to remove
- Compartments in different sizes for storage of liquid and solid food
- Suitable for use in various diet plans, such as the 6-pack plan, the 21-say fix, and the full body cleansing diet, as well as for party takeaways and boxed lunches
- Stackable design for easy storage in a cabinet
- Affordable price
- Food-safe containers, as certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Cracked lids according to some customers
- Less compartments than many other containers
These meal prep containers are so easy to buy because these are also easy to use and reuse, easy to clean, and easy to fill with food, no matter your preferred uses for them. The durable plastic means that these can be used for a few years with proper care and maintenance. The BPA-free plastic component means that there’s no need to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your food, even when it’s heated in the microwave.
But there are also minor issues that come with these containers. A few customers, for example, complained about one or two cracked lids when they opened the package. Be sure to contact the customer service hotline to have these replaced, if you want it.
Me.Fan 3-compartments Bento Lunch Box (32 oz.)
Yet another modern bento box is the Me.Fan, a set of plastic meal prep containers with lids. The 32-ounce capacity is just the right size for portion control purposes.
You will likely be attracted to the set’s overall design. When you look closer at its features, your mind will probably be set that it’s the best of the bunch.
- Each container measures 9 3/4’’ x 7 ½” x 1 1/2’’ with three compartments that can accommodate 32 ounces of food (i.e., the compartments have a capacity of 8-8-16 ounces)
- Airtight and leak-resistant lids that can securely hold the food within the container
- Suitable for storing sandwiches, sliced fruits, and desserts, among other food
- Sturdy and strong BPA-free plastic material for both the containers and their lids
- Safe for use in the microwave and freezer (i.e., from -40F to 250F) and dishwasher on the top rack only
A few more reasons to love this set:
- Stackable design suitable for storage in cabinets or in a bag
- Spacious compartments for various types of food
- Deep compartments for larger portions of food, if desired
- Made of FDA-approved BPA-free plastic material
- Easy to clean – just place them in the dishwasher after using
- Reusable after washing but these can also be properly disposed, if necessary
- Plastic material can withstand hot and cold temperatures
- Keeps food fresh as long as possible with proper storage
- Lid goes on tightly but can also be removed easily by hand
- Versatile uses, from lunch boxes to portion sizes for weight control purposes, even as dinner plates in a rush
- Plastic smell out of the box
- In case of liquid food, container cannot be tilted to the side due to the high risk of spillage
The Me.Fan set of containers is a highly satisfactory choice, too. You will appreciate the thick, sturdy, and safe plastic material used, as well as the secure lid, deep and spacious compartments, and ease of cleaning. You can use it for a wide variety of purposes, too, whether at home, in the office, or during parties.
If you’re bothered by the slight plastic smell when the containers are removed from the box, you can always wash them first before using. Just place them in the dishwasher or wash them by hand.
Tadge Goods Meal Prep Containers 3-Compartment (14 Pack Lunch Box Bento Box)
Meal preparation for you and your family will be easier when you have this set-of-14 lunch box! You can easily place the different food, such as omelets, sliced fruit, and small sandwiches, in the compartments. Your kids can even decide which food goes where in the box.
With 14 containers in the set, these can be used for the preparation of a two-week supply of meals. Just store the food in the containers, place them in the freezer, and reheat them in the microwave, when needed.
- Three spacious compartments for storage of a full course meal, such as the entrée, salad, and dessert
- 32-ounce total capacity of the compartments – one 18 oz. compartment and two 8 oz. compartments
- 7” x 7.5” x 1.5: overall dimension perfect for standard-sized bags and cabinets
- Safe to use in the freezer for preserving food and in the microwave for reheating it
- Easy to clean by hand or by placing on the top rack of a dishwasher
- Leak-resistant design
- High-quality, food-safe, and BPA-free plastic materials
- Durable plastic material that can withstand hot and cold temperatures without warping
- Deep compartments that can accommodate generous portions of food
- High total capacity
- Relatively flat for easy carrying in a medium-sized bag (i.e., not bulky)
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance
- Stackable with and without food for easy storage and carrying
- Reduced risk of spillage
- Safe to store a wide range of food, such as stews, dried fruits, and sandwiches
- Doesn’t absorb smells too much
- Affordable price
- Effective seal
- Thinner plastic used on the separation between the three compartments
- Lids feel flimsier but there’s a trick to reducing the risk of cracking – pull up on one of the corners and wait for it to pop
The Tadge Goods meal prep containers are bestsellers because their plastic materials keep the food fresh, as well as preserve its color and texture. Even freshly made guacamole can retain its original color seven days after it was refrigerated while in the container! Such convenience means ready-to-eat meals are possible, a convenience when you have an on-the-go lifestyle or you’re on cleansing diet.
Meal Lab 3-compartment Meal Prep Containers
Many people appreciate the convenience of 21-day portion control containers manufactured by Meal Lab. These are even considered the more affordable alternative to Tupperware without sacrificing on the quality of the materials and performance.
This set consists of 10-pack bento boxes with each container able to accommodate as much as 32 oz. in food within its three compartments.
- Leak-proof design with tight seal when the lid is placed securely on the container
- Stackable design especially when the containers are empty
- Safe for use in the microwave and freezer (i.e., withstands temperatures ranging from 250F to -40F)
- Safe for use in the dishwasher
- BPA-free, FDA-approved durable plastic used in both the containers and lids
- 10 smartly-designed lunch boxes with three compartments in each container
- Large compartment measures 6.8” x 4” x 1.5” with 16 oz. capacity while the two smaller cavities measure 4.4” x 3” x 1.5” each and with 8 oz. capacity each
- Measures 9.7” x 7.5” x 1.5” for the container and 9.8” x 7.5” x 0.6” for the lid
- Comes with a weight loss e-book
- Sturdy and strong plastic materials perfect for multiple uses, such as for weight loss portion meals or for packed lunches
- Tight seal for reduced risk of the food spilling out accidentally
- Larger compartments for more food to be packed in
- Meals can be frozen and reheated without the plastic becoming damaged (i.e., warping, cracking or melting)
- Reusable containers since these can be cleaned in the dishwasher after each use
- Some customers complained about a few of the lids being broken upon opening the box
- Lid can sometimes be too tight, so removing it can be an issue
The Meal Lab apparently takes its name seriously. The plastic material isn’t just safe for use in consumer products, but it also doesn’t absorb the colors, flavors, or oils of the food stored in the container. The portion sizes are just the right size for kids and adults, not to mention that the cavities are deep enough to separate the different types of food.
Since these are safe for use in the freezer and microwave, they are great for a wide range of uses. You can use them for preparing boxed lunches for your family, for giving packed meals to charity, for portioning your food as part of a healthy diet plan, and more. You can even use them to give your guests party food!
Premium Glass Meal Prep Container Set
Glass is also a great material for meal prep containers. While the material is usually heavier than plastic, it has several benefits to its merit.
The Premium glass meal prep container set distinguishes itself with the following features:
- Durable glass with stain-proof qualities
- Snap-lock mechanism on the lid with built-in silicone gasket
- Sturdy BPA-free plastic material for the lids
- Measures 7.2” x 5” x 2.5” overall with 28 oz. capacity
- Safe for use in the microwave and oven (preferably without lid), as well as in freezer and dishwasher
- Easy to clean glass
The set, by the way, comes with three glass containers with their plastic lids.
- Durable and beautiful glass material for the container, which allows various types of food to be safely stored in it
- Doesn’t absorb the colors, smells, or textures including oil from the food, as is natural for glass
- 100% guaranteed leak-proof and air-tight lid, thanks to the combination of snap locks and silicone gaskets
- Spacious single compartment that can hold as much as 3.5 cups of food
- Space-saving feature as the containers can be stacked on top of each other (i.e., the sturdy lid can usually hold the weight of the container on top)
- Used for storing food in the freezer, as well as for reheating (i.e., up to 450F) and serving it
- Comes with a money back guarantee
- Food stays fresher for longer periods provided it has been properly prepared and stored
- More expensive
- Glass can be prone to scratching with prolonged use
- No compartments
This set of glass meal prep containers may not have the compartments that the four plastic containers have, but it’s a minor issue for most buyers. The more durable, if heavier, glass material is guaranteed to keep the store food fresher longer, as well as to ensure that its flavors are preserved. The containers are also easy to clean by placing them in the dishwasher.
Be careful about handling these glass containers, however, because these aren’t as durable as Pyrex glass and the like. If you’re looking for durability, these are significantly better than the cheap glass containers in the market. Just handle them with more care than you would plastic containers.
The choice in meal prep containers should be given careful thought.
These containers are for food, whether for yourself or for others, so they must meet strict safety requirements. The materials, for one thing, should be free of chemicals that could potentially harm the body, especially when they come into contact with your food. The overall construction should be sturdy and strong enough to hold the contents as well as leak-proof to reduce messy spillages.
Of course, the more reusable these containers are, the better for your pockets and the environment. The more uses you can get out of them, the more value for the money you can enjoy, not to mention that you’re sparing the environment more fodder for the landfills. Be sure to look for containers with materials that can withstand repeated freezing, heating, and washing.
When you have chosen the best meal prep containers for your needs, you will find that these are good investments for your life. You can easily prepare and portion meals for yourself and for others, as well as plan meals in advance for as long as 21 days.