The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best meal prep lunch box for 2023

Hey there! Do you struggle to pack decent lunches or wind up buying takeout? I’ve been there! After years of packing my own lunches, I learned what really works – and what doesn’t.

In this post, I’ll draw on my experience using countless meal prep lunch boxes and containers to walk you through picking the best options for your needs. I’ve been meal prepping for years, so I can share insider tips like prioritizing leakproof lids, strategic compartments, and lightweight materials. Plus simple cleaning methods to make your lunch box last.

With the right gear, you can upgrade your midday meal, save time and money, and get healthier. Ready to transform your lunch game and find the best meal prep lunch box?

Key Takeaways

  • This guide provides an overview of the top 5 meal prep lunch boxes for 2023, featuring various options to suit different needs and budgets.
  • When selecting containers, consider material type, durability, weight, and safety. Stainless steel or glass are optimal materials durable nature.
  • To maintain the good condition of a meal prep lunch box, it’s essential to uphold proper cleaning, maintenance, and correct storage practices.

5 Best Meal Prep Lunch Boxes for 2023

best meal prep lunch boxes
Image by Ksenija Pecerska

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Finding the right meal prep lunch box can be a game-changer when it comes to organizing your meals and sticking to a healthy diet. With so many options on the market, I’ve narrowed down the top 5 meal prep lunch boxes for 2023, catering to various needs, preferences, and budgets, ensuring that there’s a perfect fit for everyone.

These top picks include:

  1. The Durable Stainless Steel Choice – CUITISAN Airtight container
  2. The Glass Alternative – Bentgo® Glass Lunch Box
  3. The Best Insulated Lunch Box – Shell and Turtle Portable Insulated Food Lunch Container Set
  4. Budget Option – FIT Strong & Healthy 2 & 3 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers
  5. The All-in-One Meal Prep Kit – TO GO Meal Prep Bag Insulated Lunch Meals Bag

Each of these lunch boxes offers unique features and advantages, from eco-friendly materials and excellent insulation to versatility and convenience.

Read on to explore these options in more detail and find the best meal prep lunch box for your needs!

CUITISAN Airtight container – The Durable Stainless Steel Choice

MealPrep Lunch Box
Image source: Amazon

As a long-time meal prepper, I’ve tried many meal prep lunch boxes over the years. In my experience, stainless steel is hands-down the most durable, safest, and best option for food containers.

The Cuisinart Signature stainless steel lunch box has become my go-to for transporting meals. Here’s why:

  • Made of high-quality stainless steel that withstands daily use
  • The leakproof tight-seal lid keeps food fresh for hours and does not spill in your bag
  • Non-porous material prevents odor and bacteria absorption
  • Won’t crack or degrade over time
  • Freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe

While it may dent with drops or impacts, the stainless steel construction holds up better than plastic or glass over time. This lunch box is optimal for many dishes and it’s easy to store foods like leftover rice or chilli.

As a meal prep enthusiast, I prioritize materials that are non-toxic and easy to clean. Stainless steel is a tried and true choice used at home and in professional kitchens worldwide.

It comes with a bigger price tag, but the upfront investment is worth it for a lunch box that’s built to last. For serious meal preppers who value food safety, the Cuisinart stainless steel box checks all the boxes.


  • Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Won’t absorb odors or flavors
  • Leakproof tight-seal lids
  • Non-porous, food-safe material
  • Freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe


  • More expensive upfront cost
  • Can dent if dropped, but it is very hard to destroy

Bentgo® Glass Lunch Box – The Glass Alternative

Bentgo Glass Lunch Box
Image source: Amazon

Hey girl! If you’re looking for an eco-friendly lunch box, I’d totally go with one of those glass meal prep containers like the Durable Glass ones.

Here’s what I love about them:

  • Made of glass and silicon – way better for the planet than plastic
  • Your food won’t soak up any weird smells
  • Super easy to clean
  • You can zap them in the microwave and they are dishwasher safe

I know glass can be heavy and break if you drop it. But these ones feel sturdy to me and they’re cheaper than stainless steel! Saves you a little money.

For us meal preppers who want something sustainable, glass is a smart choice. Doesn’t leach chemicals like most plastics.

If you are making a lot of progress in cutting down your plastic use. I’d def recommend picking up some glass meal prep boxes! Bentgo Glass Lunch Box gets the job done.


  • Eco-friendly and sustainable
  • Won’t absorb smells or stains
  • Easy to clean
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe
  • Affordable compared to stainless steel


  • Heavier than plastic or stainless steel
  • Can break if dropped

Shell and Turtle Portable Insulated Food Lunch Container Set – The Best Insulated Lunch Box

Shell and turtle portable containe
Image source: Amazon

As an experienced meal prepper, I highly recommend the FineDine 4-in-1 lunchbox set. Here’s why it’s a gamechanger:

  • Comes with multiple containers and a large insulated jar
  • Keeps foods chilled or hot for a couple of hours during transit
  • Enough capacity for all your meal prep recipes
  • Leakproof lids prevent spills in your bag

Now, the company claims it can keep food hot for 6 full hours. However, food safety experts recommend only keeping perishable hot foods between 40°F – 140°F for a maximum of 2 hours to prevent bacteria growth.

That said, this lunchbox set keeps cold foods so well-insulated that means prolongs their shelf life and taste. For meal preppers seeking a better way to transport food safely, this set is a clutch. It seriously takes the stress out of carrying perishable foods. I’d highly recommend giving it a shot!


  • Comes with multiple containers and an insulated jar
  • Keeps food hot for 2+ hours
  • Keeps the food cold for 4+ hours
  • Good storage capacity for meal-prepping
  • Microwave-safe containers
  • Leakproof lids prevent spills


  • Large sizes may not fit in smaller bags
  • Can’t safely keep extremely hot foods hot for a full workday
  • Handwash recommended to preserve insulation

FIT Strong & Healthy 2 & 3 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers – The best budget meal prep lunch boxes

Glass Meal Prep Containers
Image source: Amazon

As a foodie who loves meal prepping, I found something special for food and nutrition geeks seeking budget-friendly storage. I highly recommend this budget-friendly borosilicate glass container set from Fit Strong and Healthy.

Here are the key benefits for meal preppers:

  • The set includes 2-compartment and 3-compartment containers for portioning
  • Holds a substantial 32 oz per container
  • Airtight lids keep food fresh for up to 5 days
  • Glass won’t absorb odors or stains
  • Oven, microwave, dishwasher safe

The compartments are perfect for separating foods from healthy dishes, like grains from veggies or fruits from savory stuff. And the generous 32 oz capacity ensures you’ll never be short on space.

At under $30 for 4 containers, this set doesn’t break the bank. It’s an affordable way for meal preppers to prep multiple meals in advance while avoiding plastic.


  • Incredibly cost-effective.
  • Ideal choice for those just starting their meal prep journey or those working within a tight budget.
  • Multiple compartments prevent different foods from mixing together
  • Microwave and freezer-safe
  • Dishwasher safe, making clean-up a breeze


  • Can be quite heavy
  • Break if gets dropped

TO GO Meal Prep Bag Insulated Lunch Meals Bag – The All-in-One Meal Prep Kit

To Go Meal Prep
Image source: Amazon

If you’re looking for a complete meal prep solution, look no further than the All-in-One Meal Prep Kit. These comprehensive kits include containers, a shaker bottle, and ice packs, providing everything you need for a seamless meal prep experience.

Some popular All-in-One Meal Prep Kits, like the ThinkFit lunch box kit, offer:

  • A shaker bottle
  • Two meal prep containers
  • Two ice packs
  • A meal prep bag, which is one of the essential meal prep bags for organizing your meals

This ensures that your meals remain fresh and organized, even on the busiest days when you need your food hot.

With the convenience and practicality of an All-in-One Meal Prep Kit, you can focus on enjoying your nutritious meals without any fuss.


  • Comes with multiple containers an insulated jar and 2 ice packs
  • Incredibly cost-effective.
  • Comes with a box with adjustable shoulder


  • Not environmental friendly
  • Handwash recommended to preserve insulation

Meal Prep Containers:

Materials and Safety Considerations

Choosing the correct meal prep container material requires careful consideration of factors like durability, weight, and safety. Glass and plastic are the optimal materials for meal prep containers, as they are non-toxic and BPA-free, and feature airtight lids with rubber gaskets to keep your food fresh and safe.

In the following sections, I will delve deeper into the benefits and drawbacks of glass, stainless steel, and plastic containers, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect meal prep lunch box.

Stainless Steel Containers

Stainless steel containers are an excellent option for meal preppers and are my go-to choice when it comes to quality and durability.

Stainless steel container benefits:

  • Very robust and will last a very long time with minimal wear signs
  • Freezer and Dishwasher-safe
  • Good models are microwave-safe
  • Possess a non-porous surface that diminishes the possibility of bacteria growth
  • Odor and stain-free food containers

However, there are some drawbacks to stainless steel containers, such as their higher price point compared to other materials and susceptibility to scratches and dents. Despite these minor issues, stainless steel containers remain my #1 choice for food containers.

They simply check all the boxes.

Glass Containers

Glass containers are a popular choice for meal prep due to their numerous benefits.

  • Resists staining and does not retain flavors or odors
  • Glass containers are often microwave, dishwasher and some even oven-safe
  • Cheaper yet still feels premium

However, glass containers can be delicate and prone to breaking, and they tend to be heavier than other materials.

Plastic Containers

When choosing plastic meal prep containers, it’s vital to look for safety features like airtight lids, rubber gaskets, and non-toxic, BPA-free materials. Look for microwave-safe plastic as many of them are not.

Plastic container benefits

  • Very affordable for any budget
  • Very light and easy to store
  • You can get microwave and dishwasher-safe plastic
  • Durable, could even survive a fall 🙂

Plastic containers are affordable and versatile for meal prep. On the other hand, they have some serious downsides to consider.

Many cannot be microwaved, which is a major deal-breaker for meal preppers who need to reheat food. Over time, plastics also absorb food smells, flavors, and stains – making them less ideal for long-term use.

Plastics also raise environmental concerns. And studies show BPA-free plastic alternatives may carry similar health risks as BPA (Bisphenol A).

For these reasons, I personally try to avoid plastic.

What is a bento box?

Meal Prep
Image source: Pexels – Ella Olsson

“Bento” in Japanese refers to a single-portion, compartmentalized meal often containing rice, protein, vegetables, and other side dishes, typically enjoyed as a convenient and balanced lunch option.

Bento boxes are known for their versatility and convenience, making them ideal for those who love having multiple compartments to organize their meals, snacks, and drinks. With a multi-compartment Bento Box, you can effortlessly separate different foods, ensuring that your meals stay fresh and appetizing.

However, there are some drawbacks to bento boxes, such as the lack of an ice pack and the potential for plastic to retain odors and stains over time. Despite these minor issues, bento boxes remain a popular option for meal preppers, with options like the Bentgo Fresh 3-Pack Meal Prep Lunch Box Set offering portion control, compartmentalized storage, and leak-proof protection.

Maintaining Your Meal Prep Lunch Box

Adhering to appropriate cleaning, storage, and maintenance practices is key to preserving the quality, appearance, and longevity of your meal prep lunch box, ensuring your food cold storage is optimal.

In the subsequent sections, we’ll share our best tips and recommendations to help you keep your meal prep lunch box in top shape and ready for your weekly meal planning.

Cleaning and Care

Keeping your meal prep containers clean should be part of your regular routine. I wash mine thoroughly with warm water and mild soap after each use. This helps keep my lunch boxes fresh and bacteria-free.

To remove stubborn odors between washes, I make a simple paste of baking soda and water. It works like a charm to deodorize and freshen up my containers.

I also avoid using anything too abrasive that could damage the surface over time when cleaning. Gentle dish soap and a soft sponge do the trick. Also, try to wash them as soon as they are used.

Storage Solutions

Proper storage helps extend the life of my meal prep containers. I keep mine in a cool, dry spot and out of direct sunlight when not in use.

Using airtight containers or bags creates another protective barrier against dust buildup. It also helps foods last longer in the fridge.

For further organization, consider using dividers or containers to separate different foods within your lunch box, ensuring that your meals stay fresh and appetizing. By following these storage solutions, you can prolong the life of your meal prep lunch box and keep it in excellent condition.

Maximizing Durability

I’m careful to handle my lunch boxes gently to avoid chips and cracks. And I make sure not to overstuff them with food that could cause damage.

When selecting your lunch box, look for durable materials like glass or stainless steel. I also check that lids seal tightly for maximum freshness.

With some basic care, my meal prep containers maintain their quality for much longer. I get the most value for my money.

In order to extend the life of your lunch box, be mindful of how much food you store within it, as overfilling can cause damage to the container. By following these guidelines and treating your lunch box with care, you can ensure its longevity and enjoy delicious, well-organized meals for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best meal prep lunch box?

For the best meal prep lunch box, the CUITISAN Airtight container provides the best overall features, and benefits, while the FIT Strong & Healthy 2 & 3 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers are the best if you are on a tighter budget.

Are meal prep bags worth it?

Meal prep bags are a great way to ensure your meals stay fresh and delicious throughout the day. They provide insulation and come in a range of sizes, making them an ideal solution for meal preppers. Yet they are mostly single-use, which is not too environment

What kind of lunch box keeps food cold?

Most good-quality insulated lunch boxes will keep the food cold for a few hours. To keep regular lunch bag food cold use an ice pack.

What meal prep lasts 5 days?

For those new to meal prep, soups, stews, and chili are ideal meals that will last up to five or six days and are freezer-friendly. The quality will degrade.

What are the top materials for meal prep lunch boxes?

For optimal meal prep lunch boxes, stainless steel is the top choice due to its durability and food safety properties. It’s followed by glass, which is also a great option for its non-toxicity, eco-friendliness, and airtight lids with rubber gaskets for freshness. Lastly, BPA-free plastic containers are a budget-friendly choice, providing an affordable yet safe alternative.

Final Thoughts

Food box
Image source: Pexels – Kindel Media

In conclusion, finding the best meal prep lunch box for your needs can be a life-changing decision, offering numerous benefits such as time and cost savings, healthier meals, and better organization.

By considering factors such as materials, safety, durability, and customizability for your dietary needs, you can select the ideal lunch box to support or start your meal-prepping journey. If you need a map for your journey check out my low-calorie high-protein meal prep ideas.

With the right lunch box in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals while achieving your health and wellness goals. Remember take it easy – one bite at a time.

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