What Makes a Good Food Storage Container

Updated: Aug 17







My food storage container drawers needed a makeover and it was beyond time to upgrade. I’ve known for a while that upgrading will save time when fishing for the right containers, save storage space, and save my sanity. I am a little embarrassed that it took so long for me to actually do this.



Do you have food storage containers that you love? I recently went on a quest asking this question to everyone I know and sadly not that many people said they love their food storage containers. In fact, I heard a lot of the opposite. I was in search of the perfect collection and let me tell you, I had a lot of requirements for a food storage set.



Below are the requirements I believed would be ideal - stick with me because my list is long.

  1. Glass - Glass is durable, safe, can be microwavable, can be freezer safe, and can be oven safe. It’s also sustainable and looks nice.

  2. Clear - When it comes to storing food, it’s important to be able to see into the containers to know what you have and how old something is. Although I think it’s still ideal, this is not as important of a feature if you are great at labeling all containers with the date and the contents before they go into the fridge.

  3. No plastic - There are definitely plastic options that are better than others but in general, plastic can warp when washed, discolor, hold on to food smells, harmful chemicals can leach into your food, and it’s not good for the environment. I definitely use plastic for some things but this seems like an area that I can do without and still not compromise my needs.

  4. Sustainable material - Ideally, I would love a plastic alternative that is sustainable.

  5. Very secure lids - so nothing leaks. Even though I probably will not do this, I want to be able to put a container of soup into my handbag on its side and not worry about it leaking.

  6. Rectangle or square shape - to efficiently use space in the fridge and food storage container drawer. As an organizer, rounded corners and worse, round items, bother me because they waste space.

  7. Modular - Again, I would love to efficiently use the space in the fridge and the food storage drawer.

  8. Stackable - This helps with efficiently using the shelf space in the refrigerator.

  9. Nesting - this helps keep them compact in the drawer. I don’t have a large space to store these items so it would be super helpful if they could nest when stored.

  10. No lip (or barely any lip) - so that they can be flush against each other without wasting space.

  11. Dishwasher safe - I need to be able to throw these in the dishwasher after use.

  12. Freezer safe - This can is important for meal prep and leftovers that I will not be eating quickly.

  13. Microwave safe - This saves dishes if I can easily pop the container in the microwave

  14. Aesthetically pleasing - For food storage containers, function definitely beats out form but it would be nice if it look good anyways.

  15. Lids that stay with the bases and never get lost - remember, this list is my ideal. Lids that clip to the bottom of the containers when not in use so they can still nest properly and you don’t ever have to sort through the lids to find the right one.


And then I searched...


I found many options but I was not able to meet all the requirements with any set of food storage containers. Who would have thought that my long list of requirements would stump container makers or my googling skills?






The top choices are as follows:

  1. Pyrex Glass Lids - These are by far the closest I could find except that they have rounded corners and the set comes with some entirely round pieces. However, they have glass and silicone lids so they completely forgo plastic. They were the only practical option I could find that does not leak that uses no plastic. The price is a little high but possibly worth it given how many boxes they check on my list.

  2. Bayco Assorted Set - This is a great price for what you get. The lids are plastic although they are recyclable and BPA free. The lip on these is also significant.

  3. Prep Naturals Set - Although this wasn’t part of my criteria, I kind of love the dividers in the middle of these for food prep or storing items that need to be separated.

  4. Nummyware Bamboo Lidded Option - These are glass with bamboo lids. The lids cannot go in the dishwasher since they are made of bamboo and I question how good bamboo lids would stand up to leaks and smells. The lip on these is also significant.

  5. Inka World Set - Honestly, once I started searching for food storage containers online, I started getting targeted ads from Inka World. I love the sizes, shapes, and look of these but I wish they were made of glass. I think that and the high price are the only downsides of these. Thankfully these are recyclable, BPA free, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe.

  6. Lustroware - I really like the simple and clean look of these but they are 100% plastic. They have a minimal profile lip and stack quite nicely.


Note: No food storage container options that I could find met the ideal of having lids that clip to the bases. If you are aware of any like this, please let me know!


The Two Winners



Bayco Assorted Set

Pyrex Glass and Silicone Assorted Set


My final choice was the Bayco assorted set because of the price. I should note that my very favorite set is the Pyrex Glass and Silicone but I decided against it because of its higher price. I needed a substantial number of containers and buying four sets (what I would need) of the Pyrex was cost prohibitive. However, I am still dreaming of that set so hopefully it will be mine one day or someone will come out with something even better.




One of My New Food Storage Drawers


I chose to corral the lids with the bases so that it saves me time whenever I look for a food storage container. No longer am I digging for matching lids and getting frustrated when they are not where I want them to be. This is a great option for anyone that has the room for it. However, this storage option does not allow you to nest your bases and therefore takes up more room. If you do not have room for the lids to be stored with the bases like this, I suggest using a bin to corral the lids next to the bases so they are not strewn all over the drawer.

Takeaway

When you go through the process of looking for food storage containers for yourself, I suggest rating the list of requirements I noted above by what is most and least important to you. Once you have that decided, it will be easier to pick an option that fits your highest priorities.


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