Best Storage Containers

Some people love storage containers and some people couldn’t care less about them. I, personally, am a bit OCD about them and like to make sure that all of the lids match and that there is a label on the outside of each container. Either way, whichever category you fall into, storage containers can improve your organization. You can use them for sheets, beads, arts and crafts, food, and even clothes. However, if you are using them for food, they must be BPA free and airtight for optimal freshness and safety. Finding the perfect set may sound like an easy task but it can quickly become overwhelming. Enjoy this list of top-rated products as a step in the right direction.

Standout Picks

Utopia Glass Set
Utopia kicks this list off and they present to you their 18-piece set of clear glass durable containers. For most food storage purposes, this set is the be-all and end-all.
Amazon Link
$31.99
Glasslock Oven-Safe
No, you are not experiencing déjà vu. It just so happens that this next entry is eerily similar to that of the number one model on this list. In fact, it essentially is just a slightly less expensive version.
Amazon Link
$37.75
Rubbermaid Easy
When you see Rubbermaid, you automatically assume greatness. They have established themselves as one of the most recognizable brands in the industry so it is no surprise to see them land on this list.
Amazon Link
Popit Set
While this is another multiple piece food container set, this one is not made out of glass. Instead, it is made of dishwasher-safe and BPA free plastic to ensure your food is safe to consume.
Amazon Link
$19.99
Rubbermaid Brute Tote
Up until now, every entry has been a kitchen set. However, while this next model is still rated to work in overall food handling and processing, it is a tote and can also be used for general storage.
Amazon Link
$27.13
Kitchen Safe
Now, this one is certainly intriguing. The Time Locking Container was featured on Shark Tank and is designed to assist people with temptations as it can literally lock itself.
Amazon Link
$69.90
OXO Good Grips POP
This next design is quite ingenious and while the build quality leaves a lot to be desired, the design as a whole does not. With the integrated button on the top, you merely push it down to achieve an airtight seal.
Amazon Link
Bellemain Acrylic
Bellemain’s canister set is a little different than the other models on this list and on top of the fact that they designed their pieces out of acrylic, they are canisters, to begin with.
Amazon Link
$29.00
Sterilite Clip Box
Perhaps you are not looking for storage containers just for your food. In this case, this next model is ideal for smaller items and even papers. Plus, you can choose the quantity and size.
Amazon Link
$46.99
Iris Airtight
In your household, you may not be the only species (so to speak) that need fresh food. Do not forget about your pet/pets and to accommodate them, consider this model from IRIS.
Amazon Link
$30.50

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Size

Probably the single most important question you need to answer before you go diving blind into this buying process is what you need to store. Most of the entries on this were focused on food and in this case, what types of food do you need to be stored? Are you simply just looking for a means to store your leftovers in the fridge? Or, perhaps you want larger containers to hold bulks of food. Whatever the case may be, you need to tailor the size and shape of the units to your needs. As seen throughout this list, they come in various shapes and sizes and sometimes come in sets.

As will be explained more in-depth later, leaving a ton of excess space inside the container when you store it can actually be a detriment. So, there is no need to invest in giant versions if you are merely looking to store small amounts of food. Yet, the opposite can be true for many people. Only you know what you need; always remember that.

Effectiveness

Let’s just say that if the food did not need to be properly sealed, then you literally use just about anything to store it away. However, the exact opposite is true because the food’s greatest enemy is the air. If you do not keep your food inside of an airtight contraption, then it is going to dry out, it will absorb odors, and (when in the freezer) will become freezer burnt. In other words, the shelf life will become greatly reduced. The answer then becomes to pay attention to the airtightness of a specific container. But, how do you do that?

Well, it all comes down to how well the lid seals as this is either going to prevent air from coming in or the opposite. While the debate between glass and plastic will be touched on later, it seems that glass models with tight lids do a superb job of keeping air out, most of the time. This is important because even though most sellers advertise their product with airtightness, it is not always the case.

Durability

Okay, now is the time to assess the difference between glass and plastic containers. In this section, let’s focus primarily on build quality and durability. When it comes down to longevity, glass is the clear favorite. The primary reasoning for this is with plastic, such as polycarbonate, it is going to break down over time from overuse and overexposure to higher temperatures. Also, it will typically begin to develop scratches and discoloring. On the other hand, glass can be reused time and time again and poses no threat. Also, it can handle hot liquids and foods for years upon years and will not sacrifice its durability or shape.

But, glass is not foolproof in this case. The one major area where plastic holds the advantage is when accidents occur. When you drop plastic, the worst that will happen is a potential mess. With glass, this is a bit more extreme. Depending on the fall and the landing surface, glass can shatter and break in an instant. With kids running around all the time, be careful if you go with glass.

Safety Hazards

When you talk about any product that is associated with food, you must talk about safety. This is especially true in this case as most people are aware of the potential issues with plastic. The issue is that even when plastic is designed to be BPA free, it can still pose potential threats. One such instance is if you microwave it. Doing this is not recommended as not only will plastic melt if left inside too long, toxic chemicals can also migrate into your food during the process. With glass, though, the surface is non-porous and can handle the higher temperatures without warping or melting.

But, back to the issue with BPA, even when it is not present in plastic, other compounds such as BPS and BPF can be used. These can also pose issues to the way your cells function. Plus, with glass, you can easily store it in the refrigerator and freezer as it will not release any chemicals when it is frozen. When it comes to 100 percent safety, glass definitely holds the edge over plastic. But, plastic is still highly popular and is used in a wide range of food containers.

Ease of Use

This is the last true plastic vs glass debate and once again, glass holds an edge. There are two primary concerns when it comes to washing plastic. One, it can release harmful chemicals at higher temperatures so dishwashing is not a recommended option (unless the manufacturer claims otherwise). Secondly, when they get stained, they absorb the stain it can be extremely difficult to get rid of it. These two issues are not at all problems with glass for two reasons. Firstly, as mentioned before, glass is non-porous and will not absorb stains or foods. Next, it is able to handle higher temperatures and will not release chemicals so most will be deemed dishwasher-safe.

Then again, when it comes to hand cleaning most models, if they will fit in your sink, it can be accomplished with simple soap and hot water.

Top 10 Picks

1. Utopia Glass Set

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$31.99
Utopia Glass Set
Amazon Link

Utopia kicks this list off and they present to you their 18-piece set of clear glass durable containers. For most food storage purposes, this set is the be-all and end-all.

Read more

Size
There are nine containers and nine lids that make up this set; hence, this is an 18 piece set. But, there are different sized pieces so that is a plus.

Effectiveness
Even though some buyers have noted the lids can be hard to get on and off when on, they provide an airtight and watertight seal to keep all contents fresh.

Durability
Instead of traditional plastic, this set is made of highly durable borosilicate glass. In addition to this, the lids are made of polypropylene and will withstand the test of time.

Safety
On top of being safe to store in the freezer, these are also rated to handle up to 400-degree heat making them suitable in the oven. Also, each piece is BPA free.

Ease of Use
If you do not have a dishwasher installed in your home, you can simply wash these with soap and water.

Overall
About the only small issue here is that the lids can be difficult to get on and off at times. Yet, this 18-piece set is ideal because of its airtight and watertight seal, durable nature, and freezer safety.

Amazon Link
$31.99

2. Glasslock Oven-Safe

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$37.75
Glasslock Oven-Safe
Amazon Link

No, you are not experiencing déjà vu. It just so happens that this next entry is eerily similar to that of the number one model on this list. In fact, it essentially is just a slightly less expensive version.

Read more

Size
In total, much like the last set, there are 18 pieces that comprise this set. There are various square, rectangle and circular pieces of different sizes that are included.

Effectiveness
As with the last model, the lids on this set can be hard to seal. But, their leakproof and airtight design will keep all your food fresh that is inside.

Durability
Outside of the durability of the glass design, it is also clear so you can easily identify what is inside of each container. Just as before, the lids are made of plastic, as well.

Safety
As the glass that was used for this set is made of limestone and other natural components, it is BPA free. Plus, they can all be stored in the freezer or used in the microwave or oven.

Ease of Use
Thanks to the fact that these are odor-free and stain-proof, they are very simple to clean when the time comes.

Overall
As many models seem to experience, once again, it can be difficult to lock the lids. When you do eventually get them locked, though, the airtight seals are sure to keep your food fresh.

Amazon Link
$37.75

3. Rubbermaid Easy

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Rubbermaid Easy
Amazon Link

When you see Rubbermaid, you automatically assume greatness. They have established themselves as one of the most recognizable brands in the industry so it is no surprise to see them land on this list.

Read more

Size
As with most sets, Rubbermaid includes a plethora of different shapes and sizes to account for several different types of food. All in all, this is a 22-piece set (including the lids).

Effectiveness
Rubbermaid designed their lids with a OnePress seal and this is a rubberized seal that will keep your food fresh and one that will also prevent leaks.

Durability
Along the same line as the other two models so far, Rubbermaid designed their set with tempered glass bases and plastic lids. This is an ideal combination of function and durability.

Safety
Thanks to the tempered glass bases, each piece of this set can be used in ovens (no warmer than 425 degrees) and also microwaves.

Ease of Use
These are dishwasher-safe for those who have that luxury. But, for those without it, they still clean up fairly easily and do not retain odors like plastic.

Overall
In a world that is filled with tons of glass Tupperware, it is safe to say that this set from Rubbermaid is one of the best. Their safety, airtightness, and build quality is proof enough for that.

Amazon Link

4. Popit Set

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$19.99
Popit Set
Amazon Link

While this is another multiple piece food container set, this one is not made out of glass. Instead, it is made of dishwasher-safe and BPA free plastic to ensure your food is safe to consume.

Read more

Size
There are eight individually sized containers that come with this set (with the other eight pieces being the lids). The sizes range from three ounces all the way up to 47 ounces.

Effectiveness
Popit designed each one of the pieces with premium quality. As such, an airtight seal is promised for each and every one of them.

Durability
Though the plastic seems solid in general, one buyer noted that the hinges that seal the lid are generally weak. As such, be wary to not close them with too much force.

Safety
On top of being both FDA approved and BPA free, each plastic container is also microwave safe and freezer safe.

Ease of Use
The removable seal helps to clean these more deeply. Of course, they are all dishwasher-safe and can simply be washed in that manner.

Overall
Granted you are careful when snapping the lids shut, to protect the hinges from damage, you can enjoy arguably the best plastic set that has ever been known to mankind.

Amazon Link
$19.99

5. Rubbermaid Brute Tote

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$27.13
Rubbermaid Brute Tote
Amazon Link

Up until now, every entry has been a kitchen set. However, while this next model is still rated to work in overall food handling and processing, it is a tote and can also be used for general storage.

Read more

Size
This is not a set and indeed, the Brute is merely a tote. But, it can hold up to 53 liters of items. As some have noted, though, the lid is deep and does reduce the internal space.

Effectiveness
The lid on this unit will snap tight but removing it proves to be a difficult task. You may want to keep the food inside that is already sealed.

Durability
As Rubbermaid points out, they designed their Brute with commercial-grade materials. In addition to this, they have reinforced the bottom to enhance durability and strength.

Safety
Per NSF/ANSI standards, this tote can still be used in the food handling and processing field. So, you could ideally use it to store food if you so choose.

Ease of Use
When you do need to clean this tote, it has been specially designed with rounded corners to ease the process.

Overall
As a tote, the Brute is as good as it gets. Of course, if you are primarily looking for a means to store dry food or refrigerated items, this is probably not going to be for you.

Amazon Link
$27.13

6. Kitchen Safe

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$69.90
Kitchen Safe
Amazon Link

Now, this one is certainly intriguing. The Time Locking Container was featured on Shark Tank and is designed to assist people with temptations as it can literally lock itself.

Read more

Size
The lone container included is actually designed with a timer. After you place a tempting food inside, rotate the button to set the timer and then it will not open until the timer reaches zero. Also, the timer can be set from one minute to 10 days.

Effectiveness
Sealing is not the issue here but, let’s address a bit of a design flaw. Perhaps a code should be entered before you can lock it as if you accidentally lock it for a long time, it can’t be opened until that time has passed.

Durability
As opposed to typical models, this is made of much thicker and more rigid BPA free materials. Let’s just say that sturdiness and durability are far from concerns.

Safety
No need to worry about safety here as this has been designed with BPA free materials.

Ease of Use
Some buyers have noted it malfunctions after being in a refrigerator so only dry foods should be stored inside. As such, cleaning should not be much of an issue.

Overall
Even though this design is flawed a bit, one can’t deny how intriguing it really is. When you are trying to fight off temptations of specific food items, this can be fantastic.

Amazon Link
$69.90

7. OXO Good Grips POP

Where to buy
Amazon Link
OXO Good Grips POP
Amazon Link

This next design is quite ingenious and while the build quality leaves a lot to be desired, the design as a whole does not. With the integrated button on the top, you merely push it down to achieve an airtight seal.

Read more

Size
OXO manufacturers several different sizes for you to look through. What is nice is each one is specifically calibrated to store a certain household staple.

Effectiveness
The sealing design of this is quite ingenious. To seal the unit, all you need to do is secure the lid and push the button down. To release it, push the button again.

Durability
As some users have reported, the composition of the plastic is not the best. It is a little too thin and even during shipping, some users have noted there has been damaged.

Safety
All you really need to know about the safety of OXO’s containers is that they are made of BPA free plastic.

Ease of Use
Even though the top can be difficult to clean, this is a dishwasher-safe model. At least, the silicone seal is dishwasher-safe and the other parts need to be hand washed.

Overall
The innovative and ingenious design of this model can’t be underestimated. It is just a shame that it could not have been built with enhanced durability, as it could have propelled it to another level.

Amazon Link

8. Bellemain Acrylic

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.00
Bellemain Acrylic
Amazon Link

Bellemain’s canister set is a little different than the other models on this list and on top of the fact that they designed their pieces out of acrylic, they are canisters, to begin with.

Read more

Size
There are four different canisters that come with your purchase and each is a different size. The smallest measures 22 ounces and the largest 65 ounces.

Effectiveness
Both a silicone gasket and a clamp ensure that a tight fit is ensured every time. But, these gaskets also tend to fall off easily.

Durability
These are made of non-breakable acrylic and interestingly enough, when they drop, they are advertised to bounce and not break. Do not push your luck with this, though.

Safety
No harmful chemicals will seep inside of the contents inside any of the canisters. This is because the construction is BPA and chemical free.

Ease of Use
It is not advised to place these in the dishwasher and when hand washing it, it becomes somewhat difficult to dry them as the water tends to get stuck in the lid.

Overall
The four canisters that you receive within this set are great means to store all types of kitchen essentials such as sugar, flour, rice, etc. Plus, their acrylic nature better protects against accidents.

Amazon Link
$29.00

9. Sterilite Clip Box

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$46.99
Sterilite Clip Box
Amazon Link

Perhaps you are not looking for storage containers just for your food. In this case, this next model is ideal for smaller items and even papers. Plus, you can choose the quantity and size.

Read more

Size
While you can select the quantity and size you desire, this specific six pack comes in either small, larger, or mini sizes.

Effectiveness
Although this is not ideal for food, the tight-clasping latches will hold this securely to the base.

Durability
As opposed to other top brands, the plastic makeup of these containers is a little more brittle and less forgiving.

Safety
These storage containers are really designed for household items and such. It may not be wise to store food inside them as the plastic may or may not be BPA free.

Ease of Use
Truth be told, you probably will not need to clean this model. If you do, though, it can be easily be done with soap and water.

Overall
While you can’t merely recklessly handle these boxes as they may receive damage, they are very useful and well designed to account for smaller items around your home.

Amazon Link
$46.99

10. Iris Airtight

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$30.50
Iris Airtight
Amazon Link

In your household, you may not be the only species (so to speak) that need fresh food. Do not forget about your pet/pets and to accommodate them, consider this model from IRIS.

Read more

Size
IRIS includes only one airtight model with your purchase and if you have more than one pet, you may want to order a few of them. But, it does measure 47 quarts and can hold over 30 pounds of dog or cat food.

Effectiveness
IRIS advertises their model with an airtight seal but as one buyer noted, the seal in the cover makes it difficult to achieve this airtight seal.

Durability
Even if this falls over, you are good to go. Because it is designed of plastic, you do not have much to worry about.

Safety
To ensure your pets are not eating any harmful chemicals, this model has been designed with BPA free plastic.

Ease of Use
Probably the best way to clean this would be with a garden hose due to the size. In this manner, washing it is not too much of a hassle.

Overall
As some buyers have alluded to, it could be questionable to label this airtight. Still, the snap lock latches are designed to keep moisture out to prolong your pet’s food.

Amazon Link
$30.50

Sources

  1. Jackie Reeve, The Best Storage Containers, Buying Guide
  2. Julie Miller, The 9 Best Food Storage Container Sets of 2019, Food Blog