As life becomes busier, the amount of time you can spend on cooking a healthy meal whether it be for yourself or for your family becomes more and more limited. As a solution, most of us have turned to the unhealthy option of buying our lunch from outside, sacrificing our dietary balance, for "grabbing a quick bite". If you have been looking for a way to avoid yourself and your family from succumbing to unhealthy fast food, then you are at the exact right place.
Today we are going to introduce you to the best bento boxes that you can find on the market today along with some of the important details about each of them so that you can identify one that is the perfect one for you. All of us have at least seen a bento box, or have ordered one at an Asian restaurant. But do we know the full benefits of it? Since bento boxes have multiple small compartments, it helps you to size down the portion of food you eat and also helps you to eat a more balanced diet consisting of different kinds of nutrients.
One of the best things that bento boxes can be used for is for your kids' lunch. They are mess-free, preserves your kids’ food reliably, and it makes school exciting for your kids. There is actually a specific type of bento called “Chara-ben” where the whole bento is made with the specific character theme in mind. This takes your bento making adventures to a whole new level where you can combine your culinary skills, creativity, aesthetics, and dietary choices to make up a treasure box packed with appetizing and nutritional home-made food.Once you land on the quest of finding the bento box for yourself, you would discover that it is not as easy as you have thought. However, you have been saved from that confusing ocean of various bento boxes, since we have done the hard part of going through many bento boxes, and have made a list including only the best ones among them. We hope that by the end of this article, you would be fully aware of the options you have on today's market when it comes to bento boxes, and you would also know how to choose the one that is a perfect fit for you.
At the best pick position in our list is a lunch box from Bentgo which has designed for children aged 3-7 years old. The box is leak proof, colorful, easy to be opened by your children, and has different compartments from a fun and versatile lunch item assortment.
The budget pick on our list consists of a bento box bundle that gives you a complete coverage when it comes to lunch on the go. The double-decker and super stylish bento box come with cutleries and a bonus lunch bag in which you can carry your bento box safely and fashionably.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Bento Boxes
- 1. Bentgo Kids Children’s Lunch Box
- 2. Original BentoHeaven Bento Box Bundle
- 3. GRUB2GO Plastic Free Stainless Steel Lunch Container
- 4. PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box
- 5. Skater Japanese Traditional Rabbit Blossom Bento Box Set
- 6. Click & Go Bento Lunch Box
- 7. Komax Lunchmate Bento Lunch Box Kit
- 8. Jeopace Bento Box
- Answering commonly asked questions regarding bento boxes
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Bento Boxes
Apart from our best and budget picks, we have several other bento boxes that we thought are superb, and hence we are going to give you an in-depth look of each of the boxes, so that you can know the unique features and designs of the products and in the end you can make an informed decision about which works the best for you.
1. Bentgo Kids Children’s Lunch Box
When you think of something that your children are going to use, you would want it to be kid-friendly, fun, colorful, durable, and easy to use. And this lunch box from Bentgo ticks all of those requirements.
The bento box comes in attractive pop colors with a food tray with five compartments, with the portion sizes to fit the appetite of children aged 3-7 years old. The box comes with two latches and an inner wall which make the box leak proof so your children can carry the box inside their bags without creating any mess.
The latches are very easy to open and close and your children will have no trouble to handle the box on their own. There is no guarantee that younger kids will not throw the boxes or turn it into a toy, so the box has been geared with a sturdy construction and a protective rubber lining to make it drop and impact resistant so it will be able to endure any kind of drops and being tossed around without cracking.
Since the box would be used by the precious children, parents would be concerned about the materials that the box has been made of and keeping that in mind, the box has been made with FDA-approved safe materials that do not contain any kind of BPA or PVC. The company has also been thoughtful for the parents and has made it very easy to use for the parents who will be preparing the boxes for their children. The inner tray consisting of the food compartments can be removed and put into the microwave to heat the food, and also can be safely washed in the dishwasher.
Sometimes, many of us think not only about the products that a company makes but also about the morals and ethics of the company itself. This company Bentgo supports a nonprofit organization called ‘Feed the Children’, in the form of donations. If you want to know more about the organization and what it does, you can find it here. This means that when you purchase a bento box from this company, you are contributing to the wellbeing of someone else who is less fortunate, which makes your purchase more meaningful.The bento box also comes with the privilege to access an E-book that contains more than 30 ideas for making nutritious and fun recipes for your children.
2. Original BentoHeaven Bento Box Bundle
If you want a bento box that you can take pride in, this is a great bento box that would be worth looking into. It has a very elegant design with a smooth top lid with woody appearance and made from high quality, durable plastic.
The box features two separate compartments that go on top of each other, and since each of the compartments has their own secure lid, the boxes are completely airtight and leak proof. There are many bento boxes on the market that will claim to be airtight but are not, but this one has a special silicone pop-up vent on the lid, which effectively seals the food compartment, making this bento box very reliable.
In addition to the effective sealing, there is an elastic strap band which will keep the compartments held together tightly so that they do not become displaced. Another great advantage of having this bento box is that it comes with a set of well-made fork, knife, spoon, and a pair of chopsticks, which means it can work as a portable tableware that you can take to your office, school, picnic or a sleepover, to help you have your healthy home-made lunch in style.The bento box offers you some exciting bonus items, such as printable notes and a bento bag. You can print out these adorable notes and stick it to the box to send a personal message to your loved ones to make their days better. The bag will hold the box inside it neatly and makes it an easily portable set.
3. GRUB2GO Plastic Free Stainless Steel Lunch Container
Although plastic bento boxes are a great choice, they come with an environmental cost and also with the disadvantage that plastic tends to absorb food odor. If you want to prevent these disadvantages and are looking for something that has versatility and durability, then you are looking at the right bento box here.
This is a bento box from GRUB2GO that is 100% plastic-free and is made completely of rust-free stainless steel. It is minimalistic, simple, hassle-free, and will give you a very pleasant experience in packing and enjoying your lunches when you are away from home.
To give you enough space and flexibility in planning your everyday meal, it offers you a three-layer construction, where the top layer is smaller compared to the bottom two so that you can pack small items such as a packet of dressing, napkins, and utensils. If you are worried about spillage, you can set your worries aside, since this box features a snug lid that closes around the bottom part, and is secured by two latches on the sides to make a tight and safe sealing.
4. PlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box
Who would have come up with the genius idea of combining vibrantly designed magnets with a stainless steel bento box to create a bento box which acts as a statement for your artistic side? Well, PlanetBox has accomplished this ingenious product designing which not only makes lunchtime healthy but also fun and creative for both adults and children alike.
The box is made of stainless steel so it is completely safe for your health and highly durable since it will not crack or break like other materials. The exciting twist to this story is that since the box is made of stainless steel, it can hold magnet decorations that come with the box, making the lid of the box a work of art.
This gives way to countless personalized and customizable designs as you can choose different magnet arts from them to suit your own artistic tastes. For example, if you are buying this bento box for your young child, then you can go for the rainbow, fairies, rocket, or dinosaur designs. But if you are planning to use this for an adult person, you might want to go for the more elegant cat design or choose to skip out on the magnets completely.
The aesthetic aspect is not the only amazing thing about this bento box. It has five compartments where you can arrange different items of your meal in an appetizing way. The lid is attached to the body of the box so there is no way of losing it. The lid can be closed securely using a latch at the front of the box. The box also comes with two bowls with silicone lids, which can be used to carry messy and liquid food without having to worry about spillage.The bento box comes with an attractively designed carry bag with a handle which gives you a mess-free way to have your lunch on the go.
5. Skater Japanese Traditional Rabbit Blossom Bento Box Set
Who else could you trust more when it comes to bento boxes, compared to a Japanese company, since the origin of bento boxes finds its way back to Japan? This bento box is not only made by a Japanese company, but it also comes with traditional Japanese designs both on the lid and the carry bag.
So if any of you want to have an authentic bento box experience or are in love with Japanese art and culture, then this is a must have for you! The inside of the box gives you a superior level of flexibility in organizing your meal plan, thanks to the innovatively designed dividers.
Whereas the size of the compartments is fixed in other bento boxes, you can customize the number and sizes of the compartments of this bento box. As you can choose the number of dividers you want to use in the two boxes that go on top of each other, and also can slide it across to adjust the size of each compartment, you can fit a variety of portions and sizes of food. For example, you can fit in something as big as a sandwich as well as fit in something as small as a piece of apple.Another unique accessory that comes with this bento box is a rice-mold using which you can mold your rice into 8 mouthful-size portions, or make nigiri, which is a type of sushi. When you shape and size your rice using this mold it will be a lot easier to pick up rice using a chopstick, so even a beginner with chopstick can enjoy their lunch in Japanese style.
6. Click & Go Bento Lunch Box
If you are looking for a simple but roomy lunch box, then this would be a great choice for you. The bento box is spacious and consists of three separate compartments, which are all removable so you can control the size of the food you want to fit inside the box.
For example, if you want to fit in three different kinds of food items, then you can use all three compartments, but if you want to fit in something bigger, for example, a sandwich, then you can remove one of the smaller compartments and make room for the sandwich.
The lid of the container is secured with clips on four sides, and that creates a completely leak-proof environment so you can carry even messy food like pineapples and watermelon in the box. The bento box is also safe to be used in the microwave oven without the lid, and you can also use it to store food in the freezer.
Since the bento box is made of BPA-free durable plastic, you can wash it in the dishwasher without the fear of the box becoming warped or cracked. Another advantage is that since this set comes with three bento boxes, you would not have to worry about washing it and drying it for the next day, you can simply use another one and keep rotating between the three for increased longevity.
7. Komax Lunchmate Bento Lunch Box Kit
For people who carry a small handbag, it can be a problem to give space to a large, wide bento box. And if you are one of them and are looking for a bento box that is slim, stylish and contemporary, then this is a bento box kit that would be worth looking into.
This set consists of two slim yet deep boxes, an olive colored and a black one. The black one also has two small boxes that can go inside it, so you can turn it into two smaller compartments if you wish to.
Both of the boxes have a secure clipping lock which prevents the boxes from leaking. Apart from these two boxes, it includes a cutlery box inside which there are a stainless steel spoon and a pair of Korean style chopsticks. The unique feature of this set that we are in love with is the slim and modern-looking bag that comes with it.
This bag has the ability to give insulation to its contents, so when you put your bento box inside the bag, it will maintain the temperature of the food that is inside the bento box so you can enjoy your meal at the right temperature. As the bag has a little more space after the bento box has gone into it, you can use this extra space to store something like a cold bottle of juice or a banana. This compact and slim bento box are a must-have for anyone who wants to carry their bento box in style.
8. Jeopace Bento Box
At the first look, you might think that this bento box is made of plastic, but this has been made of a unique organic material which makes it durable yet eco-friendly.
The box has actually been made of wheat fiber so it does not give off odors like plastic, yet it is drop resistant, FDA-approved, and is safe to be used inside the microwave, freezer, and be washed in the dishwasher! The box also has a very nice grainy texture and which comes in adorable and soothing colors such as purple, clear, and champagne. The semi-transparent lid helps you to see the contents of the box without having to open it.
The lid is airtight and leak-proof due to the four secure locking clips on the lid. Moreover, the bento box stackable, which is a very useful feature to have if you are going to use several of these boxes to prepare packed lunch for a picnic or a family outing.Now let’s take a look inside this amazing bento box. The inside has been divided into three compartments with a special cut in the middle of the walls where you can neatly fit the spoon that comes with the box. The compartments help you to eat a well-balanced and portioned diet which is a great way to maintain a healthy eating habit.
Answering commonly asked questions regarding bento boxes
How can a bento box bring positive changes to your lifestyle?
A bento box is more than just a lunch box for convenience. Actually, for some people, it might be less convenient compared to ordering a takeout or to grab a quick bite during their lunch hours. But once you become used to preparing your own lunch and packing it in a bento box, you will see the changes in your lifestyle and dietary habits. First of all, it is safer and much healthier compared to eating outside food, because you are able to choose what you are eating. Secondly, it helps you to maintain a healthy weight since most bento boxes consist of small compartments which encourage you to eat in healthy portions and helps you to stop yourself from overeating. This research that was published in the Journal of Nutrition studies how controlling the portion size can help us to tackle the obesity epidemic. Thirdly, it helps you to save money because eating home food is always less expensive than eating out. It also makes you more aware of what you and your family are eating as you are preparing and planning the contents of the bento box yourself. It also helps your children to make a good habit of eating home food rather than becoming addicted to unhealthy junk food.
Which material is best for bento boxes: Stainless steel or food-grade plastic?
When it comes to bento boxes, the two main available options are stainless steel ones or plastic ones. Although many people freak out hearing the word ‘plastic', there is no reason for baseless fear as long as the plastic is FDA-approved, free of toxic ingredients, and is labeled as food-grade. The plastic ones can have more kids-friendly designs, are better at being leak-proof, and are lighter. However, if you do not like the fact that some plastics absorb food odor, and you do not want your fruit yogurt to have hints of aroma from the sautéed chicken that you had for lunch the day before, then it is best to skip out on the plastic ones. The stainless steel bento boxes have the advantage of being more durable as long as they don't rust, and also do not give off or absorb unpleasant odors. If you want to go for something other than the two common materials, we have included an excellent bento box on our list which has been made of an organic fiber which appears like plastic but is eco-friendly and odor-free.
Are all bento boxes airtight and leak proof?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. But there is no reason to lose hope since there are bento boxes that are completely leak proof and airtight, you simply need to spot the one that fulfills those criteria. And also, this does not mean that bento boxes that are not leak proof are no good, since it is unlikely that you would be carrying something very runny like soup or porridge to your office lunch every day, and many bento boxes come with a carry bag which prevents the box from being tilted. The leak-proof feature also comes with the price of having to choose a plastic bento box that has silicone parts in it. If you are looking for a completely stainless steel bento box, you would not find it to be completely leak proof but this problem can be easily solved by putting the messy food item in a Ziploc bag and then putting it inside your bento box.
Which bento boxes are best for portion control?
As you have seen in the list of bento boxes that we have described in the previous section, bento boxes can come with multiple layers and compartments. What this does is that apart from giving you space where you can put your food, it helps you to control how much of what you are eating. If you are planning on following a controlled diet and on keeping track of your calorie intake, it would be advisable to go for a bento box which has multiple compartments, and better still, the ones that allow you to adjust the size of the compartments. But this might not be the best option for you if your daily work is physically demanding and you need enough space in your bento box to carry a large amount of food. In that case, there are bento boxes where you can take out the dividers to make the compartments roomier, and this will help you to carry large portions of food such as rice, oats, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.
What kind of bonus items should I expect to get with my bento box?
Bento boxes often come with bonus gift items and although these items can be bought separately, having these items come along with the bento box as a set can be very useful. One of the best items that come with bento boxes is a cutlery set that can go into the cutlery compartment of your bento box. This set can include knives, forks, spoons, and chopsticks. Apart from that, some bento boxes offer you a carry bag in which you can carry your bento box in style, and some offer you free e-books that contain recipes and ideas for bento meals.