The lunch box may be a childhood concept, but it has many uses in the years beyond school. Packed lunches are a way to save money, stay mindful of your carbon footprint, and abide by a healthier lifestyle. Bento boxes originate from Japan and come with multiple compartments, intended for different foods such as meat, sandwiches, salad and other snacks.
Instead of falling for unhealthy fast food or takeout traps, get all your nutrients while staying within budget from a bento box that fits your lifestyle needs. Upgrade from the brown paper bag and invest in an alternative with built-in compartments and stands the test of time. Nowadays, there are plenty of sophisticated options to make sure you won’t get laughed at by the water cooler. Here are our picks for the best bento boxes for adults.
Top 10 best bento boxes to buy
1. Umami Bento Box
Chic and strong, these bento boxes from Umami will keep your food fresh and protected – meaning you can enjoy a delicious meal every day of the week. Made from BPA-free plastic, this set is split into two large containers (both 600ml) with each one divided into two compartments; perfect for separating your rice, veggies and meat.
The best thing about bento boxes is that they help you stick to your monthly food budget and could save you hundreds a year (as much as £2000), especially if you’ve got a bit too familiar with that café around the corner. Mumsnet users say they’ve helped them break bad habits and that, with these, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well and save money at the same time. Umami also offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied.
2. Rubbermaid 2027441 Brilliance Lunch
The Brilliance range from Rubbermaid stack neatly on top of each other, meaning you can store multiple containers without ever having to play a game of fridge Jenga again. Their salad kit comes with a toppings and dressings tray but can be used without. Perfect for lunch, leftovers, and meal prep.
3. OXO Good Grips On-The-Go Lunchbox
Sometimes you just want something that is effective and solid without worrying too much about the style. This box has a deep main bowl which can easily house a large roll or salad. There’s also a removable shallow top layer for a sandwich, biscuits, carrot sticks or anything else you fancy, so you can keep your food separate.
The clear lid has four clasps to lock it, and the green seal – which can be removed for washing – provides a splash of colour. You can put the box in the microwave and the dishwasher. We did everything we could to make this leak but failed. It was absolutely airtight.
4. Bento Box with Fork and Spoon
The bento box has 3-layer design, which ensures a balanced diet and perfectly separate your food and isolate the smell. and the lunch box has 900ml capacity, enough to contain your healthy lunch food. The bento box has a sealing ring, easy to open, close, and cool. and the food box uses a high-density process and bacteria-free, you only need remove the lid of the bento box and then heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes to enjoy delicious food straight away.
The bento lunch box is made from natural and environmentally friendly wheat straw materials, which contains no heavy metals to promote a simple life. and the bento box has a light wheat taste to increase your appetite. The safe bento box has a rubber sealing ring, which is flexible durable and has a good sealing effect. the lunch containers are with a simple and delicate design, easy to clean and make you happy to enjoy your food.
5. Bento Box for Adults Lunch Containers
Three compartments in this box keep foods separate so the cookies won’t touch the salad. The box is leakproof so it won’t make a mess in a backpack, but liquids can transfer between compartments, so it shouldn’t be tipped if foods are saucy. These are freezer and microwave safe for easy prepping and fast reheating.
They’re also top-rack dishwasher-safe, but hand washing is recommended to avoid warping the lid. The bento box holds about 38 ounces, so there’s plenty of space for lunch or dinner, and the included fork means there’s no need to borrow the good flatware from the kitchen.
6. Navaris Bento Box
The bento box is made of bamboo fibre, and the lid is made of bamboo. This eco-friendly lunch box is made to last for years without holding in stains, odours or other issues you will find in generic food containers. It makes a perfect gift for that person looking to reduce plastic waste and be eco-conscious.
Bring the bento box to the office! Pack leftovers and add healthy side dishes for your lunch the next day while resisting impulse purchases. The cost of bento is much less than eating out for every meal.
With a 1100ml capacity, you can pack healthy meals and practice portion control for a well-balanced diet. The bento box is designed to take up very little room in your purse, backpack or gym bag – perfect for taking to work or to school.
7. Lunchbots Uno Stainless Steel Food Container
The LunchBots Trio has a very simple design—it’s stainless steel with only two parts: the base and the lid. That translates into being easy to clean and kid-friendly—you can just throw it in the dishwasher and there are no clasps or complicated opening procedures, making it great for small hands.
The simplicity also makes it easy to pack a healthy lunch for both adults and children; it’s big enough to hold a hearty sandwich and two sides. However, it’s not leakproof, so make sure the food you’re packing is fairly dry.
8. YBOBK HOME Bento Lunch Box
The round stainless steel bento set keeps food warm for up to four hours, so it’s perfect for those who want a hot meal but don’t have access to a microwave. This bento comes with its own insulated carrying bag and portable set of metal flatware, which makes keeping your lunch warm and ready-to-eat even easier. Each lid of this bento’s three stackable components has a vent plug to help ensure a proper leakproof seal, making it great for transporting soups and sauces.
The three compartments attach with snap closures, and the top lid also has a convenient handle to help you remove it from its carrying case. To best care for this bento set, you should wash it with mild soap and warm water after each use.
9. Monbento – MB Original black Onyx bento box
Looking for a leak-proof bento box? Consider this two-tier option from monbento. The box contains high-quality silicone seals in both the lid and middle layer—something that other bento boxes sometimes lack. Made of BPA-free plastic, the monbento box is heat resistant and won’t shatter if dropped.
The case has a soft-touch finish, giving it a sleek, modern look. Its extra-large size makes it ideal for long road trips (or for diners with good appetites). With two compartments stacked one on top of the other, it can transport an entire meal plus snacks.
10. PuTwo Lunch Box 2 Tiers Bento Box BPA Free
This microwavable & dishwasher safe 2 tiers lunch box bento boxes is made of food grade, BPA-free PBT Material (Stronger than PP plastic), which is durable, safe and non-toxic.
This minimalist Japanese bento box meal prep containers features air-tight and silicone sealed lid design & 2 tier design, this bento lunch box food containers keeps your meals fresh and mess free by preventing any spills leaks or smells in your bag. And this bento lunch box food prep containers is also very easy to clean due to the super smooth inner surface.
This fashionable and practical bento boxes lunch box containers is suitable for adults, kids, men, women, teens and students, which can be used anywhere such as for work, for school, for picnic, for camping and so on.
The requirements for a best bento box
- The container should be as leakproof as possible.
This is quite important since you don’t want the inside of your carrier bag, whatever it is, to get stained by leaking liquids. Many bento boxes from Japan have leak-resistant rubber seals. For any container you use, do a leak-test by filling it with water and shaking it around a bit. If any moisture leaks out easily, you probably want to try another box.
- The container should be easy to wash and take care of.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you should consider this especially if you want to use a bento box ordered from Japan. Most Japanese bento boxes are not dishwasher safe, so if you think you won’t remember to (or don’t want to) handwash your bento box, you will want to make sure you get a dishwasher safe container.
- The container should be microwave safe if you intend to nuke it.
The container should be the right size for your dietary needs. This is especially important if you are watching your calories to any extent. Generally speaking, for a tightly packed Japanese-style bento, the number of milliliters (ml) that a box can hold corresponds roughly to the number of calories it holds.
The options are endless when it comes to buying the lunchbox itself, so it comes down to your priorities. Do you want variety at lunchtimes and need a box with different compartments? Or perhaps space inside your bag is limited, and you need something slimline.