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The 7 Best Food Storage Containers, According to Our Tests

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Food Storage Container


Food storage containers are a lifeline for home cooks. Not only are they able to securely store leftovers, but they can also keep both wet and dry ingredients fresh. They are indispensable for preserving prepped ingredients like chopped cilantro. Who doesn't want to have an airtight container of peeled garlic in the fridge? Or frozen fresh blueberries ready for a smoothie. And, even when you try to gauge how much turkey per person is enough, there is always bound to be leftovers at Thanksgiving. The best food storage containers are durable, spill-resistant, and sealed tightly enough to keep out pantry pests and survive a fall without breaking or causing a mess.

We put 21 food storage containers to the test in our Lab, including plastic and glass options, and evaluated their design, capacity, ease of cleaning, and performance, including whether or not they stained and held on to smells after cleaning. We also tested for leakage and if they broke on impact. Our top pick is the Rubbermaid Brilliance 10-Piece Food Storage Container Set, which stands out for its versatility and resistance to leaks, stains, and smells. The set also includes plenty of containers big and small and is safe to put in the microwave, freezer, and dishwasher.

Read on to learn more about our top picks, as well as advice on which types of food storage containers will work best in your kitchen.

Best Overall Food Storage Containers: Rubbermaid Brilliance 10-Piece Pantry Food Storage Container Set

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Who it's for: People who have large and small amounts of food to store in their fridge and pantry.

Who it isn't for: People looking for containers for leftovers.

This super popular Rubbermaid food storage set passed our tests with flying colors. Not only did it have no stains or smell after our pre-wash, which wasn't the case with most of the plastic food storage containers we tested, but it was also "intensely sealed," resulting in "zero leaks," according to our tester—so perfect for storing things like TikTok's loaded potato soup. The Rubbermaid Brilliance 10-Piece Pantry Food Storage Container Set is able to achieve this lack of leakage due to the design of its lid, which features a rubber gasket to keep things airtight and two snap-on latches for extra protection from spills. This feature is particularly great for someone who commutes and likes to bring their lunch or snacks with them to work—the airtight seal keeps cut apple slices crisp.

Our tester was also pleased with the size variety available in this set. The extra tall options are great for storing spaghetti, while the tall container is good for cereal or dry beans—or even as a vessel to store fresh asparagus upright in water in the refrigerator. The mid-short container is ideal for leftovers, while the short options work well for dry snacks and homemade salad dressings. The set is microwave-safe, including the lids, which have holes in the gaskets to allow airflow while cooking. It is also shatter-proof, stackable, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe.

Included Sizes: 19.9, 16, 12, 8.1, 7.8, 6.6, 3.2, 1.3, and 0.5 cups | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe For: Freezer, microwave, dishwasher

Best Budget Food Storage Containers: Seseno 7-Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set

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Who it's for: People who want a budget-friendly container set that comes with labels.

Who it isn't for: People who want food storage containers they can take with them on the go.

Those who don't want to fork over more than $50 for a big food storage set (a common price point) will appreciate this affordable option. Our tester said that they would "absolutely recommend these" for their convenient closing mechanisms and the various sizes available. This set comes with one tall container, two medium containers, two small containers, and two mini containers. You can store all kinds of dry goods, including flour, rice, nuts, cookies, and even pet food—the tall container is perfect for storing dry pasta like spaghetti. The Seseno 7-Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set is stackable and safe to use in the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave (although the lids are not). What's more, it comes with its own labels.

Although the price is certainly attractive for what you get, this set didn't perform as well as we had hoped during our testing. The containers did decently in our pre-wash test, as they came out with no stains and had just a slight onion smell. However, they did leak so much that our tester would not recommend them for liquids, and during our fall test, they cracked completely. As such, this set is great for dry goods that are stored in drawers or shelves, and not food that you want to transport.

Included Sizes: 8, 6, 3.6, and 1.4 cups | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe For: Dishwasher, freezer, microwave (without the lids)

Best Small Food Storage Containers: Better Homes & Gardens 4-Pack Canister Set

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Who it's for: People looking for air-tight containers.

Who it isn't for: People who want food storage containers to store leftovers in.

Our tester said that these were their "favorite storage containers," so much so that they planned to buy the set for themselves after testing. The four-canister set excelled at a number of our tests, rating highly in terms of performance, capacity, and ease of cleaning. The containers have a tight seal that resulted in no leaks, and survived our pre-wash test quite well with no staining, though there was a slight onion smell.

The lids here are a real standout. Unlike other food storage container lids, the Better Homes & Gardens canister lids each feature a small handle that allows you to carry it around with your fingers (Better Homes & Gardens is owned by Real Simple’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith). This is especially helpful if you store your dry goods in drawers instead of cabinets. The lids also boast an airtight seal so powerful that during our fall test, the lid stayed completely still, resulting in no cracks or breakage to the body of the canisters. Two things to keep in mind is that these are designed for dry goods only—so ideal for storing things that shouldn't be refrigerated, like coffee beans—and as such, aren't microwave-safe or freezer-safe, which may be a dealbreaker for some buyers.

Included Sizes: 19.4, 16, 10.1, and 6.5 cups | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe for: Dishwasher

Best Large Food Storage Containers: Vtopmart 4-Pack Large Food Storage Container Set

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Who it's for: People who have a large amount of dry staple ingredients and food at home.

Who it isn't for: People who want a food storage container set with varying sizes.

If you only need food storage containers to store your favorite bulk bin foods, this set from Vtopmart is a solid option. All of the four food storage containers in this set measure the same size (7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1 inches), with the ability to hold close to 22 cups of food. This is a great choice for families who cook a lot and need a large amount of staple ingredients and foods on hand, such as flour, sugar, pasta, oats, or rice.

Although this set is intended for dry goods, our testing revealed that it can handle liquids quite well too. The airtight lids yielded no leaks, nor did any liquid creep into the seal. However, when we dropped these food storage containers, they did leak a little bit since one side came open. Still, not bad for dry food containers—you can store uncooked rice for the long term. Our tester also liked that this set came with labels, markers for the labels, and a scoop set, the latter of which isn't a common accessory with food storage containers. Keep in mind that while containers are dishwasher-safe, the brand recommends you clean the lids by hand.

Size: 22 cups | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe For: Dishwasher (only containers)

Best Food Storage Container for Cereal: PrepWorks Large Cereal Keeper

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Who it's for: People who only need one large food storage container.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a single food storage container.

Cereal lovers and those with kids know how important it is to keep cereal in bulk around the house. Instead of having multiple boxes take up space in your cabinets or pantry, pour it all into the PrepWorks Large Cereal Keeper, and store your cereals longer. This cereal keeper can store 4.5 quarts, or 18 cups, of cereal. Our tester really liked the lid, which contains two openings: one to add cereal and another smaller opening located on the top of the lid that allows you to easily pour directly into a bowl. Another unique feature is that the container keeps measurement markings, so you know the exact amount you have left.

In addition to cereal, you can also store other dry foods including oats, beans, and pasta such as macaroni. This cereal keeper is dishwasher-safe, and after we washed it during our testing, it showed no stains, streaks, and "sealed quite nicely," according to our tester.

Size: 18 cups | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe For: Dishwasher


Best Food Storage Containers for Baking: Oxo Good Grips 8-Piece Baking Essentials POP Container Set

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Who it's for: People trying to keep pantry pests away from their baking ingredients.

Who it isn't for: People who want food storage containers for wet baking ingredients.

Oxo has a reputation for making useful and clever kitchen gadgets, and this container set is no different. The Oxo Good Grips 8-Piece Baking Essentials POP Container Set is specifically designed with bakers in mind, and is made to store a variety of staples like flour, sugar, baking soda, and toppings—preventing them from going bad too quickly. These are all kept fresh thanks to the airtight lids, which, instead of having to use force to pull them off, you can easily pop off thanks to the button located on top of the lid. The convenience doesn't stop there—that button, when raised, also acts as a handle for the lid. Plus, underneath the lid there is a storage area that keeps the included half cup scoopers and brown sugar saver in place.

Although highly-rated, we found that the performance of this Oxo set could use some improvement. During testing, the containers did leak and, when put through the fall test, the lid popped off, causing all of the contents to spill out and cause a big mess. Despite these drawbacks, our tester still found these to be a quality set of containers, and would recommend people buy them. Just don't store any liquids in them.

Included Sizes: 4.4, 1.1, and 0.4 quarts | Material: BPA-free plastic | Safe For: Dishwasher

Best Glass Food Storage Containers: Le'raze 5-Pack Glass Kitchen Canister Set with Bamboo Lids

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Who it's for: People looking for stylish food storage containers to display on their kitchen countertops.

Who it isn't for: People who want food storage containers that they can store and reheat leftovers in.

If you're trying to reduce the use of plastic in your life, opt for glass food storage containers instead. Glass food storage containers are able to keep food fresh just as well as plastic, and are known to stain less and keep smells at bay. The Le'raze Kitchen Canisters lived up to the hype—after our pre-wash test, our tester said that the canister smelled "fresh as a daisy" and exhibited no staining.

This set is made of borosilicate glass, which is highly resistant to thermal shock. Despite this, and the fact that the canisters barely leaked during our tests, our tester would not recommend using them for storing or reheating leftovers. You should use this set to hold frequently used dry goods, including pasta, lentils, rice, and, thanks to the airtight seal, even coffee. And unlike other food storage containers, which tend to be lacking in the style department, these canisters are pretty enough to double as kitchen countertop decor—so that container of nutritious black rice can also be great to look at.

Included Sizes: 6.75, 5, 3.7, 2.8, and 2 cups | Material: Borosilicate glass, silicone, and bamboo | Safe For: Dishwasher and microwave

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