Best Meal Prep Containers for 2022

meal prep containers


How to Meal Prep | Foods with Long Shelf-Life | Foods to Buy in Bulk | Cheap Meal Prep Ideas | Meal Prep Recipes | Meal Prep Containers | Meal Prep Services | Best Freezers

Shopping, chopping, and cooking may be the most obvious steps in meal prep, but how you store the final product determines how long your meals will stay fresh. That's why having the best meal prep containers at your fingertips is critical.

While the best meal prep containers for you may differ from your best friend, sibling, or coworker, there are a few key features that are non-negotiable. For example, the best containers have a sealable or locking lid, are made with BPA-free plastic, come with dividers, and are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also stack easily, clean up nicely, and withstand a lot of wear and tear.

As you look for the best meal prep containers to fit your needs, consider these nine recommendations from the ACTIVE Reviews Team.

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The Best Meal Prep Containers - Our Top Picks

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What to Look for in a Meal Prep Container

Size

Meal prep containers come in all shapes and sizes. If you have the space, consider purchasing a variety of sizes to store everything from snacks to full meals. Buy a large set with multiple containers if you're just starting out. This gives you a chance to see what you use the most. Then you can buy additional containers based on size and shape. The shape is important if you are stacking the containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Sometimes, square or rectangular meal prep containers stack easier in smaller spaces than circular containers. Size is also a consideration if you need to take meals on the go like during a long-distance bike ride.

Material

Most meal prep containers are made with plastic or glass materials. If you choose plastic, make sure it is labeled BPA-free and food-grade safe. You'll also want to check the durability of the plastic. Some are made with a thicker material that holds up better in the dishwasher, which will last longer. If you go with glass, remember that it is heavy and breakable. Families with younger children should opt for lighter materials if kids are going to be part of the meal prep process. Also, look at the lids. Some glass meal prep containers come with plastic lids, so make sure to choose a product that is all glass if that is your preference.

Compartments

Being able to divide food within a container is a meal prepper's dream come true. Meal prep containers with compartments allow you to keep things separated. This is a great feature if you take containers on the go for lunch or weeknight dinners. Separate compartments mean you can pack an entire meal in one container and not have to pack several smaller containers. For example, a container with three compartments can fit a fruit, vegetable, and main course.

Portability

Size and weight are key when packing meal prep containers in your purse, gym bag, or backpack. Smaller sizes or bento-style lunch boxes are the way to go if you need portable meal prep containers. Plastic or disposable containers are easier to pack and carry than glass meal prep containers. Also, consider the lid and how it seals. Read reviews on the meal prep container to see if there are reports of leakage. Portability is key when meal prepping for athletic events like triathlons.

Best Overall - Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep

Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep

SPECS

  • Size: Varies
  • Material: Glass container, plastic lid
  • Number of compartments: 1 per container
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

Check Price

Pyrex is synonymous with high-quality food storage, which is one of the reasons we chose it as our best overall meal prep container. While Pyrex has several options to choose from, we like the 18-piece meal prep set because it includes several sizes for snacks, meals, and large batch storage. This multi-size set also comes in rectangular and round shapes. In addition, the non-porous glass resists stains and odors. Another reason we like Pyrex Simply Store containers? They are safe in the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. And Pyrex is known for being durable and shatterproof, which is good news for families with younger kids.

In addition, Pyrex offers a two-year limited warranty on all glass and plastic lids. One downside of Pyrex containers is the solid-colored lids, which prevent you from seeing inside the container from the top. While not a deal-breaker, it is something to consider for storage purposes.

What We Like

  • Variety of sizes
  • Round and rectangular containers
  • Dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe
  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like

  • Heavier than plastic meal prep containers
  • Breakable
  • Lids are not see-through

BUY: Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Set

Best Glass - Glasslock Assorted Oven Safe Container Set

Glasslock Assorted Oven Safe Container Set

SPECS

  • Size: Varies
  • Material: Glass
  • Number of compartments: 1 per container
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

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Glass meal prep containers may require a higher upfront cost, but they hold up for many years. This 18-piece set (9 containers and 9 lids) from Glasslock includes rectangle, square, and circular containers that are oven, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe. Plus, they are made with silica, soda ash, limestone, and other natural components, making them a safer and more eco-friendly alternative to many plastic meal prep containers.

Glasslock meal prep containers are odor-free, stain-proof, and clear and transparent for easy identification. Additionally, these containers have airtight and leak-proof lids to ensure a tight seal. However, the lids are a potential con of the Glasslock meal prep set. Reviewers report difficulty with opening and securing the lids, especially if you have weakness in your hands, wrists, or fingers.

What We Like

  • Variety of shapes and sizes
  • Airtight and leak-proof
  • Dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe
  • Lids are transparent for easy food identification

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other brands
  • Breakable
  • Lids may be difficult to use for people with weak hands or fingers

BUY: Glasslock Assorted Oven Safe Container Set

Best Lunch Box - Healthy Packers Ultimate Bento Box

Healthy Packers Ultimate Bento Box

SPECS

  • Size: 8.4" x 5.7" x 3.6"
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of compartments: 3-4
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

Check Price

All-in-one lunch box meal prep containers are a lifesaver for busy families and adults who need grab-and-go options for lunches and dinner. The Healthy Packers Ultimate Bento Box meets all of our criteria for the best lunch box: It's durable, has removable compartments, comes with a built-in, removable ice pack, and is available in six colors. Plus, it's made with BPA-free, food-grade plastic material, making it safe for all members of your family. The leak-proof lid cuts down on spills and the compartments are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.

Unlike other meal prep sets that come with numerous containers in a variety of sizes and shapes, the Healthy Packers Ultimate Bento Box is a food container with removable compartments for packing a variety of foods. For example, you can pack a salad in one compartment and a sandwich in another. This meal prep container is on the pricey side, considering it's only one unit. However, it's an excellent solution for storage and meals on the go.

What We Like

  • Includes removable ice pack
  • 4 removable compartments for easy packing
  • Made with BPA-free, food-grade plastic
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey for one lunchbox
  • No standard colors

BUY: Healthy Packers Ultimate Bento Box

Best Food Storage - Rubbermaid 42-Piece Food Storage Containers

Rubbermaid 42-Piece Food Storage Containers

SPECS

  • Size: Varies
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of compartments: 1 per container
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

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Say goodbye to mismatched lids and meal prep containers with this Rubbermaid 42-piece storage container set. These containers include a range of sizes and shapes, for a total of 21 containers with matching lids. The lids snap to each other and the bottom of the container. Plus, the larger sizes (three-, five-, and seven-cup size) have vented tops to prevent splatters in the microwave.

Rubbermaid meal prep containers are made with BPA-free plastic and are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. The containers are durable and hold up better than other plastic meal prep storage containers.

What We Like

  • Snap closure
  • BPA-free material
  • Variety of sizes
  • Microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like

  • Not as durable as glass
  • Too many tiny containers

BUY: Rubbermaid 42-Piece Food Storage Containers

Best With Compartments - Urban Green Glass Container Bamboo Lids

Urban Green Glass Container Bamboo Lids

SPECS

  • Size: 7.7" x 5.7" x 2.4"
  • Material: Glass container, bamboo lid
  • Number of compartments: 2
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes for container; wash lid by hand

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Meal prep containers with compartments make packing and storing separate food items easy. For example, a sandwich on one side and salad on the other. This Urban Green Glass container set comes with three containers, each with two compartments, making these an excellent choice for packing lunches and grab-and-go dinner items.

Urban Green glass containers are safe in the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer. Plus, the containers are safe in the oven up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you should always wash the bamboo lids by hand.

What We Like

  • Eco-friendly materials
  • Bamboo lids
  • Glass is oven, microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe
  • Dual-compartment bento box

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than most meal prep containers
  • Breakable

BUY: Urban Green Glass Container Bamboo Lids

Best Bulk - Glotoch Bulk Plastic Food Storage Containers

Glotoch Bulk Plastic Food Storage Containers

SPECS

  • Size: 16 oz.; 3.34" x 3.34" x 2.94"
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of compartments: 1 per container
  • Microwave safe: Yes, without lid
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes, top rack

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Meal prepping often requires storing food like nuts, cut fruit and veggies, grains, and rice in bulk. You also need containers for soup, deli salads, and dips. That's where the Glotoch 24-pack meal prep containers come in handy. Designed to hold up to 16 ounces, these BPA-free, food-grade plastic containers are affordable, stackable, portable, and easy to use.

We really like the unique press-and-seal locking lid that prevents leaks. Plus, the lids are interchangeable with different-sized containers, so there is no need to search for matching containers and lids. Glotoch meal prep containers are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Deep containers for max storage
  • BPA-free, food-grade plastic
  • Freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe

What We Don't Like

  • Same size and shape
  • Not ideal for dividing food

BUY: Glotoch Bulk Plastic Food Storage Containers

Best Design - S'Nack by S'Well Stainless Steel Food Container

S'Nack by S'Well Stainless Steel Food Container

SPECS

  • Size: 10 oz.; 2.84" x 4.37" x 4.37"
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Number of compartments: 1
  • Microwave safe: No
  • Dishwasher safe: Top-rack safe but recommended hand wash

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Portable snacking just got a whole lot easier with this meal prep container. Chosen as the best design, the S'Nack by S'Well stainless steel food container is a high-quality, lightweight, 10-ounce container that is easy to carry for on-the-go snacking. This container is built to last for years. Designed with double-walled insulation, the S'Nack by S'Well meal prep containers keep food cold for 10 hours or hot for four. Plus, the exterior is leakproof and condensation-free.

The snack containers come in four unique colors and designs including peppermint tree, azure forest, grape grove, and rose arbor. One thing to point out: While the product is advertised to keep food warm for up to four hours, many reviews state food gets cold after only a few hours.

What We Like

  • Stainless steel
  • Double-walled insulation for cold and hot storage
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Eco-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • Pricey compared to similar products
  • Only available in 2 sizes

BUY: S'Nack by S'Well Stainless Steel Food Container

Best Disposable - WELLIFE Biodegradable Food Containers

WELLIFE Biodegradable Food Containers

SPECS

  • Size: 26 oz.
  • Material: Sugarcane products
  • Number of compartments: 2
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

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Disposable meal prep containers are a lifesaver, especially when traveling. This 60-pack from WELLIFE is affordable, biodegradable, and just the right size. Each 26-ounce disposable meal prep container has two compartments with a lid, making it a great choice for single-serving portions. Plus, they are built to handle cold, wet, and hot foods. They are made from sugarcane products and are unbleached, dye-free, nontoxic, and BPA-free.

Disposable containers work great on road trips or while flying the friendly skies. You can also throw a few containers in your bag before going out to eat and use them for leftovers. WELLIFE biodegradable food containers are suitable for the dishwasher and microwave.

What We Like

  • Made from renewable resources
  • 2 compartments per container
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like

  • Only available in 1 size
  • Not as durable as glass or plastic

BUY: WELLIFE Biodegradable Food Containers

Best Budget: Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Container

Rubbermaid 42-Piece Food Storage Containers

SPECS

  • Size: 6.37" x 9.76” x 3.06" (fits 4 cups)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Number of compartments: 1
  • Microwave safe: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes

Check Price

Budget-friendly meets versatile in the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs food storage containers. This pack of nine containers with lids is under $20; microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe; and they are made in the USA. The Rubbermaid TakeAlongs stack nicely and are great for refrigerators or freezers that don't have much space. Plus, they handle a wide variety of food storage needs—from sauces and dips to veggies, fruit, pasta, meat, and more.

One downside of the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs is they do not have separate compartments or different sizes and shapes. However, they make a great addition to any multi-purpose meal prep container set.

What We Like

  • 4-cup capacity per container
  • Easy to stack
  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • Stain easily
  • Plastic wears down and gets soft over time

BUY: Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Container

FAQs About Meal Prep Containers


What kind of containers are best for meal prep?

Glass containers and BPA-free food-grade plastic are the best containers for meal prep. Make sure the lids have an airtight seal and are easy to use. If space is an issue, the type of container you choose may depend more on size and storage than material.

Is it OK to meal prep in plastic containers?

Yes, it's okay to meal prep in plastic containers. If possible, choose BPA-free, food-grade plastic containers for safety. One thing to consider with plastic containers is they tend to break down and show food stains over time so plan on replacing them more frequently than glass containers.

What size container should I buy for meal prep?

Determining the right size container for meal prep depends on how you plan on using the containers. Ideally, you should have a variety of sizes ranging from small, snack-sized containers that also work for salad dressings and dips to large storage containers that can hold a meal with several servings. If you bring lunch to work or school, consider a bento box-style meal prep container. These typically have three or more compartments to hold a complete meal.

How do you pick a meal prep container?

The best way to pick a meal prep container is to decide on the type of food you're prepping, the amount, and if you plan on taking the containers on the go. With that in mind, consider having a variety of sizes and shapes in your kitchen. It's also a good idea to have a set of disposable meal prep containers on hand. If you plan on using the dishwasher to clean the containers, make sure they are dishwasher-safe. This also applies to microwave and freezer compatibility.

How to Meal Prep | Foods with Long Shelf-Life | Foods to Buy in Bulk | Cheap Meal Prep Ideas | Meal Prep Recipes | Meal Prep Containers | Meal Prep Services | Best Freezers

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