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The bento box as we know it has come a long way since its first iteration. The very first bento box came into being around 900 years ago, when busy Japanese hunters, fishermen, and warriors carried parcels of rice to eat while they were on the go (via Sushi Shack). Today, bento boxes have come a long way. They’re now available in a huge range of colors, sizes, and designs. And unlike traditional lunch boxes, bento boxes typically feature multiple compartments, making packing lunches with different components a breeze. They are also great for separating different foods to prevent them from touching each other during transit, something that slightly picky eaters (or people who just don’t want food to get soggy) may appreciate.
Since keeping to sensible portion sizes is key to weight management, bento boxes can also make a big difference in your dietary habits. Arranging your lunches in pre-sized compartments can help ensure that you only get a single serving of each food item without overdoing it. Bento boxes are also perfect for encouraging your kids to eat healthier and more nutrient-rich meals. Even the pickiest child will find it hard to resist the different colors of compartmentalized fruit, veggies, and sauces.
Ready to revolutionize your lunch times? Here’s our list of the best bento boxes in 2022.
How we selected products
Tired of ziploc baggies, food bars, and pre-packaged cheese sticks? A bento box might just be the answer. However, before you rush off to hand over your hard-earned cash to the nearest retailers, it’s important to consider what kind of bento box would best fit your lifestyle. Here’s where we can help. After hours of online research, we have come up with a list of some of the best bento boxes on the market — each under a specific category to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
During our research, we took into account a number of factors. First, we looked at each container’s size, material, and durability. Next, we took into account the design. That’s because bento boxes come with a variety of compartments, which are often designed for different purposes and can vary from product to product. For example, a salad compartment is going to be very different from one where you would want to store soup. Finally, we took into account each item’s price, since we know how important value for money is to many of our readers. You should be able to find a bento box here for just about any budget, from the ultra-affordable to the seriously spendy.
Best bento box overall
Both a two-tiered lunch box and a fashion statement, the Bentoheaven Bento Box comes in a range of unique color designs including the purple Very Berry, the white Bright Light, and the black Symph-onyx. It’s not here for just looks, either. The leak-proof bento box features two stackable 20-ounce compartments and an adjustable divider. It also comes with cutlery, chopsticks, and a sauce cup — all of which fit inside the box. There’s also a sealing strap to complete the sleek lunch picture and ensure that everything stays together. The Bentoheaven Bento Box is dishwasher-, freezer-, and microwave-safe (via Amazon).
The Bentoheaven Bento Box has been a hit with shoppers, receiving a rating of 9 out of 10 on Don’t Waste Your Money and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Anthony, who has given the container 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, has said, "This product is the perfect size for me to carry to work, not too small where I feel like I didn’t get enough food, not too big where it’s bulky. Has a container for dips or small snacks, It’s super cute and easy to clean."
Purchase the Bentoheaven Bento Box from Amazon starting at $27.
Best budget bento box
At under $15, the Bentgo Classic Stackable Bento Box is an absolute bargain. Suitable for up to 24 ounces of food, the compact container consists of two stackable compartments with lids and a nylon strap that seals it for easy portability. The top container nests inside the bottom one for convenient storage when the box isn’t in use. The bento box is dishwasher- and microwave-safe (except for the divider and lid) and comes with utensils. While the food container seals well, it isn’t leak-proof and needs to be kept upright during transportation.
The Bentgo Classic Stackable Bento Box has received rave reviews across various platforms, including 9 out of 10 from OveReview, 8.9 out of 10 from Don’t Waste Your Money, and 9.2 out of 10 from Best Views Reviews. According to Dive In Everyday Life, despite its low price, the Bentgo Classic Stackable Bento Box boasts good quality and great design. The container’s only notable drawback is its flimsy cutlery.
Purchase the Bentgo Classic Stackable Bento Box from Amazon starting at $15.
Best stainless steel bento box
Composed of three different compartments, the Ecolunchbox Stainless Steel Bento Box makes separating different foods — namely, the main course and two side dishes — a breeze. More specifically, the stainless steel bento box features a 12-ounce bottom section, a 14-ounce top section, and a 5-ounce snack container. The box closes with side clips that can be loosened or tightened according to your individual preference. While the Ecolunchbox Stainless Steel Bento Box is dishwasher safe, it is made out of metal and so shouldn’t be placed in the microwave. It’s also not leak-proof.
The Ecolunchbox Stainless Steel Bento Box has received 4.4 out of 5 stars across more than 1,000 Amazon reviews, indicating that shoppers have been generally happy with their purchase. One Amazon reviewer loves the fact that the container is made from stainless steel, saying, "First off, the stainless steel is great because it doesn’t trap food odors or stains and gets clean easily, meaning it won’t get you sick with food remnants […] It also keeps the food at its temperature. Putting cold food in it keeps it cold even without a fridge."
Purchase the Ecolunchbox Stainless Steel Bento Box from Amazon starting at $44.
Best bento box with a slim design
Slim enough to slide into your bag, backpack, or even large purse, the Modetro Sports Flat Bento Box is easy to take with you wherever you go. This, however, isn’t at the expense of capacity. The Modetro bento box features three compartments — one 14-ounce compartment and two 7-ounce snack compartments. Plus, it comes with a leak-proof lid, making it suitable for soups. The Modetro Sports Flat Bento Box is freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe, and comes with an insulated bag to keep your food at a stable temperature throughout the day (via Amazon).
The Modetro Sports Flat Bento Box has received a favorable reception on various platforms. Don’t Waste Your Money has awarded the lunch container 9.1 out of 10. The box has also received 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with 68% of shoppers giving it 5 out of 5 stars. One Amazon customer who has purchased two of the containers — one for lunch and one for dinner — has said, "This bento is rugged. I can stuff two in my backpack along with my mac laptop and not have to worry about them popping open."
Purchase the Modetro Sports Flat Bento Box from Amazon starting at $21.
Best bento box for salads
Ideal for all sorts of different salad greens, the Bentgo Salad Stackable Lunch Container consists of a large 54-ounce salad bowl, a four-compartment tray for salad toppings, and a dressing container. Plus, the bento box comes with an airtight lid, a salad fork, and a utensil cover. When not in use, all the elements can be conveniently stored inside the salad bowl. The Bentgo Salad Stackable Lunch Container is dishwasher-safe and comes with a two-year warranty for peace of mind.
Girl Planted really enjoyed this bento box, going so far as to add it to a list of essential kitchen items. The bento box also gained points for keeping lettuce fresh in its separate compartment, where other containers would allow the leaves to become slimy far too quickly. That’s great news for those of us who eat a lunch salad every day.
Purchase the Bentgo Salad Stackable Lunch Container from Amazon starting at $15.
Best designed bento box
Functional and visually appealing, the Monbento Bento Box comes in a multitude of stunning designs from graphics of blossoms and strawberries to solid colors including black, pink, and blue. Plus, unlike most other bento boxes, it features a soft touch finish. Composed of two main containers and a smaller sauce container, the lunch box comes with airtight lids to prevent accidental leaks. The Monbento Bento Box is microwave-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe, and comes with a three-year guarantee (via Amazon).
So how does the Monbento Bento Box stack up with reviewers? Reviewed has said that it’s the only product they use to bring their lunch to work, noting that the convenience and aesthetics of this bento box are well worth the comparatively high price tag. Another reviewer has praised the Monbento Bento Box on Just Bento, going so far as to call this as exceptionally classy lunch container that will add an extra touch of style to lunchtime.
Purchase the Monbento Bento Box from Amazon starting at $48.
Best bento box for a splurge
At over $70 a pop, you may be forgiven for thinking the PlanetBox Rover Eco-Friendly Bento Lunch Box is seriously overpriced. However, if you are looking for a quality product that’s bound to go the distance, then this may just be a worthwhile investment. Available in various designs for both adults and children, the stainless steel lunch box features five compartments (including a special treat spot), two mini containers with lids, and an insulated carry bag made from recycled polyester fiber.
The PlanetBox Rover Eco-Friendly Bento Lunch Box has received positive reviews. Barefoot Carrot said that this was a particularly convenient and expansive variety of bento box. Meanwhile, Baby Foodie agrees that the Rover is worth its relatively hefty price tag, especially since you can expect to use this lunch box for quite a few years to come.
Purchase the PlanetBox Rover Eco-Friendly Bento Lunch Box from Amazon starting at $77.
Best stackable bento box
The Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar features two parts: a stainless steel outer container and four BPA-free plastic inner bowls with lids. All four bowls can be stacked within the vacuum-insulated outer container for easy portability or storage. In order to retain food temperature, the 15-ounce main bowl and the 9-ounce soup bowl are separated from the 7-ounce and 10-ounce side bowls with an inner lid. All the bowls are microwave-safe (this doesn’t include the lids). The bento box is available in multiple colors and comes with a convenient carry bag and a forked spoon (via Amazon).
The Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar has received 4.4 out of 5 stars across more than 1,000 Amazon reviews, with 72% of shoppers awarding it 5 out of 5 stars. According Curated Cook, the Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar stands out from the pack due to its double wall vacuum technology, which ensures that the food inside the box stays hot for longer.
Purchase the Zojirushi Mr. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar from Amazon starting at $40.
Best disposable bento box
Available in a wide range of quantities, specifically from 21 to 150, the Freshware Meal Prep Containers are ideal for meal preppers. They are also great for lunches on the go and storing leftovers. And while the containers won’t last you a lifetime, they can at least be reused multiple times before they reach their use-by date.
Made from food-safe, BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free polypropylene (PP), the 24-ounce containers come with three compartments — one larger 12-ounce compartment and two smaller 6-ounce compartments. Plus, they are stackable and come with leak-resistant lids to keep your meals fresh for longer. The Freshware Meal Prep Containers are dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe, withstanding temperatures between 250 and -40 degrees (via Amazon).
The Freshware Meal Prep Containers have achieved great ratings on various platforms, including 9 out of 10 on Don’t Waste Your Money, 9.5 out of 10 on Best Views Reviews, and 8 out of 10 on The Review Index. The bento boxes have also scored 4.6 out of 5 stars from Amazon shoppers. One Amazon customer has praised their sturdiness, saying, "I’ve bought these three times now, even though we haven’t lost one yet. I find them perfect for homemade tv dinners — I just throw leftovers in if they’re appropriate for freezing and voila."
Purchase the Freshware Meal Prep Containers from Amazon starting at $19 for a pack of 21.
Best bento box for kids
Available in a multitude of appealing print designs and colors, the Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box is bound to spark your little one’s imagination every time they reach for their lunch. Pick from such creative designs as Green Rainbow, Lavender Galaxy, Mermaids in the Sun, or Space Rockets.
Slim and lightweight, the Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box features a dishwasher-safe tray with five handy compartments. Meanwhile, the leak-proof outer box comes with easy-to-open and close latches, rubber-coated edges, and a drop-proof design for active kids. The Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box is also microwave- and freezer-safe.
ParentLife Network has given the Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box its seal of approval, adding that it’s ideal for children between the ages of 3 and 8. With a wide variety of differently-sized compartments, it’s also easy to keep things organized, even with potentially messy things like dipping sauces and salad dressings.
Purchase the Bentgo Kids Bento-Style Lunch Box from Bentgo starting at $30.
Best electric bento box
Tired of cold or lukewarm lunches? The Eocolz Electric Bento Box might just be the solution to your room temperature lunchtime woes. Consisting of two parts — a stainless steel outer container and a removable plastic inner container — the lunch box comes with two plugs that let you heat up your food on the go. Use the 110V plug at home or in the office and the 12V/24V plug in your car. The Eocolz Electric Bento Box also comes with a stainless steel spoon and fork (via Amazon).
This bento box offers more than just a pretty face, too. The Eocolz Electric Bento Box has received quite a few positive reviews from the hungry public, including a very solid 9.6 out of 10 stars on Best Views Reviews and a rating of 8.4 out of 10 on OveReview. Meanwhile, Amazon shoppers have given the lunch box 4.4 out of 5 stars across more than 1,800 reviews. One Amazon reviewer has said that her always-on-the-go husband loves the container, writing, "He’s a truck driver and he gives it a good 40 minutes to heat the food but he said it will boil it, it gets super hot!"
Purchase the Eocolz Electric Bento Box from Amazon starting at $24.