The 15 Best Lunch Boxes of 2023
Experience a meal as fresh as the moment you packed it, any time of day, with these high-quality options.
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Travel + Leisure / Kristin Kempa
Lunch boxes have changed quite a bit since the days of meals packed in actual brown paper bags. Today's top vessels are durable, compartmentalized, and insulated — and perhaps even heated as needed. Not only can you save cash versus eating out, thanks to modern technologies, you can enjoy your lunch at noon as fresh as the moment you packed it — no more soggy bread for you!
And spillage or wet, ripped paper? Don't worry about that anymore; these lunch containers will protect and secure your food, and any other bag they’re in, no matter where you go. Whether your kids will bring these to school or you’re heading to a full day at the office, we rounded up the best lunch boxes for any job at all.
This triple-insulated bag even has exterior pockets for non-food items and could double as a cooler (for 12 cans), too.
The lunch bag's dimensions may not be wide enough for larger food containers, so be sure to match up any items you’d like to place inside.
This exceptional pick combines all the good stuff: functionality, style, and quality for an unmatched dining experience on the go. With its thermal insulated lining and triple-insulated design, this high-quality container keeps your meals at the perfect temperature for hours, both hot and cold, ensuring ultimate freshness.
Leakproof, waterproof, and easy to clean (just wipe down the inside when you need to), the Tiblue lunch bag is great for travel and requires little maintenance. Its spacious compartments and savvy interior and exterior pockets provide storage for food and even other essentials like a phone charger. Plus, its reinforced handle and adjustable shoulder strap make it easy to take on the go.
Price at time of publish: $40
The Details: 10 x 6.7 x 8 inches | 5 compartments | Polyester, ethylene vinyl acetate | Wipe clean
The removable stainless steel container and dishwasher-safe components make cleaning this electric box a breeze, saving time and effort.
The self-heating process of the lunch box may take around 30 minutes to an hour, requiring some pre-planning before you eat.
The Vabaso Electric Lunch Box is about to improve your lunch game. Thanks to its self-heating system, you can indulge in warm, homemade meals anytime, anywhere. Plug it in 30 minutes to one hour before you’re ready to eat, and enjoy a steamy hot lunch without relying on fast food. With dual plugs for car and home use, this lunch box is great for professionals on the go.
Crafted from safe and durable materials, it offers a removable stainless steel container and dishwasher-safe components for easy cleaning. Plus, it’s enhanced with a leakproof seal, so you don’t have to worry about spills as you travel. Rest assured, if you’re ever disappointed with your purchase, the lunch box has a lifetime satisfaction guarantee for any heating issues.
Price at time of publish: $30
The Details: 9.45 x 6.69 x 5.12 inches | 2 compartments | PP material and 304 stainless steel | Dishwasher safe
This lunch box is designed to prevent leaks, providing peace of mind when storing liquids or moist foods.
The multiple compartments and design of the lunch box may make cleaning more time-consuming and complex.
Are you finally ready for a lunch box that prioritizes convenience? The Outdoorwares Cooler Bag features an impressive array of compartments, allowing you to separate and store various food items, snacks, and utensils. Bid farewell to the days of flavor mixing or rummaging through a chaotic mess of containers. Instead, this Cooler Bag is designed with organization and durability in mind to meet your everyday expectations, and its large size makes it perfect for picnics, day trips, and beach excursions, too.
Price at time of publish: $32
The Details: 11.3 x 16.5 x 3.1 inches | 6 compartments | Nylon
The retractable spoon and fork set included with the bowl ensures that you always have the right tools on hand.
Due to its insulation technology, the Bentgo Bowl is unsuitable for microwave use, limiting the option to reheat meals on the spot.
Upgrade on-the-go meals with the Bentgo Bowl, the ultimate travel companion for enjoying warm and delicious food anywhere. This nifty bowl has your back when it comes to soup, noodles, rice, stew, chili, and more. Say goodbye to leaks and spills with its clever double-layered design that keeps food fresh and mess-free. Plus, it's got insulation superpowers to keep your meals warm for up to four hours — perfect for those chilly adventures. And, hey, don't forget the retractable spoon and fork set for easy munching.
Price at time of publish: $17
The Details: 5.75 x 6 x 6 inches | 2 compartments | ABS | Hand wash
This lunch container is microwave- and dishwasher-safe, allowing for easy reheating and hassle-free cleaning.
Due to the limited capacity in each compartment, it may not be sufficient for larger meals.
This impressive Raibeatty Lunch Container is designed to revolutionize your meal experience, offering four practical compartments to keep food separated and prevent unwanted flavor mixing. Crafted with eco-friendly materials like natural wheat straw and food-grade PP plastic, this lunchbox prioritizes sustainability and food safety. Its lightweight and portable construction makes throwing it inside a purse or backpack a breeze. In addition, it's microwave and dishwasher-safe — and we love that it comes in a pack of four.
Price at time of publish: $15 for 4
The Details: 10 x 7.9 x 2.5 inches | 4 compartments | Wheat straw and plastic | Dishwasher safe
Courtesy of Amazon
The ebags Crew Cooler II has a pass-thru pocket perfect for stacking on top of a wheeled carry-on.
The available color choices for this lunch box are limited.
Get ready for the ultimate lunchtime convenience with the supersized eBags Crew Cooler. It’s got all the space you need and then some with multiple compartments to keep everything organized. The top compartment holds non-perishables safe and sound, while the bottom cooler section keeps food and drinks icy cold. Plus, it's built tough with a PVC-free PEVA liner for lasting freshness. With cool extras like an elasticized mesh pocket, front zipper pockets, and water bottle carriers, the eBags Crew Cooler is the ultimate lunchtime sidekick. Webbed handles and a removable shoulder strap make this bag a breeze to carry as well.
Price at time of publish: $48
The Details: 8.46 x 14.96 x 10.43 inches | 2 compartments | Nylon | Wipe clean
The design of this lunchbox is sleek and modern, adding a touch of style to your daily routine.
The compact size may restrict the amount, and types, of food you can pack.
The Alessi Food à Porter is all about being compact and stylish. It's the perfect size for any bag or backpack and, with three separate compartments stacked vertically, this lunch box has space for three separate meals, or three portions, without mixing. Whether stuck at the office or heading out for an adventure, the Alessi Food à Porter has your back, and there are three colors of this minimalist design to choose.
Price at time of publish: $80
The Details: 7.5 x 3.9 x 5.3 inches | 3 compartments | Plastic
The bowl’s steam release button ensures convenient and mess-free microwaving.
Some users may find its size too bulky for their preference.
With a generous capacity of 30.4 ounces (or 3.8 cups), the LMRLCS Microwavable Soup Bowl is perfect for your favorite soups, noodles, oatmeal, and more. The high-quality plastic cover and silicone seal keeps meals fresh and prevents messy spills. Plus, the steam release button ensures a hassle-free microwaving experience. Made of top-notch ceramic, it's easy to clean and safe in the dishwasher and refrigerator, too. And let's not forget the convenient handle that keeps your hands cool on the walk back to your desk.
Price at time of publish: $17
The Details: 5.6 x 3.6 inches | 1 compartment | Ceramic | Dishwasher safe
Made with 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel, this thermos ensures no flavor transfer, so your meals or drinks taste just as they should.
The double-wall insulation adds some bulkiness to the thermos, which may not be ideal for individuals seeking a more compact and lightweight option.
The Hydro Flask Food Jar will keep liquids hot or cold for hours, thanks to its TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation — no more lukewarm soups or melted ice for you! It's made of 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel so that you won't taste yesterday's smoothie after rinsing it out either. And guess what? It's leakproof so you can say goodbye to the thought of accidental liquid spills in your bag. The Color Last powder coat is incredibly sleek and can handle the dishwasher, making cleanup a breeze and it’s also BPA-free and phthalate-free for added peace of mind.
Price at time of publish: $40
The Details: 4.3 x 4.3 x 4.48 inches | 1 compartment | Stainless Steel | Dishwasher safe
The Porter Bowl is microwave-safe and dishwasher-friendly, making meal prep and cleanup a breeze.
This bowl is not designed to be leakproof, so it's important to carry dressings separately.
With its simple yet smart design, the W&P Porter Bowl takes salad bowls to the next level. Crafted from premium, food-grade materials like BPA-free plastic and silicone, it offers durability and peace of mind. The ceramic bowl's sleek minimalist design and muted hues add style to your everyday routine, all while reducing single-use plastics. With a roomy one-liter capacity, it can hold big salads, grain bowls, pasta, and veggies, making it perfect for on-the-go meals. Cleanup is a breeze as it is microwave-safe, dishwasher-friendly, and easy to rinse. Just remember, it's not leakproof, so carry dressings separately and reserve soups for another bowl.
Price at time of publish: $22
The Details: 7.52 x 7.52 x 2.99 inches | 1 compartment | Plastic | Dishwasher safe
With a spacious interior and a mesh zip pocket in the lid, this lunch box offers plenty of room for different food items and small accessories.
Although this lunch box is easy to clean, it is typically recommended to hand wash rather than use a dishwasher.
Designed with active lifestyles in mind, The Kavu Lunch Box is fully insulated and padded to ensure your kids’ meals stay safe and fresh throughout the day. Crafted from a lightweight yet durable polyester material, it strikes the perfect balance between heavy duty and easy portability. Not to mention its deep compartment will fit everything for hungry kiddos — from wraps to water bottles. Say goodbye to soggy sandwiches and hello to hassle-free lunch breaks with this convenient vessel, which comes in a range of colors and patterns so your youngster has plenty of options.
Price at time of publish: $35
The Details: 9.5 x 10.5 x 5 inches | 2 compartments | Polyester | Handwash
The foldable design makes it effortless to pack the lunch bag into your backpack or purse, allowing for easy transportation.
If you prefer keeping your food items separate, there may be better options than the single-compartment design.
Get ready to revolutionize your office lunch game with the Yeti Daytrip Lunch Bag which is a game-changer for keeping your meal safe and tasty all day long. It's foldable, making it super easy to throw in your backpack or purse without any hassle and its ColdCell Flex Insulation keeps food at the perfect temperature no matter where you are. The Thermosnap Closure adds another level of temperature protection and, when you're done, just fold it up, secure it with the hook, and stash it away until your next meal.
Price at time of publish: $80
The Details: 8.75 x 5.75 x 8.75 inches | 1 compartments | Foam | Hand wash
This high-quality stainless steel lunch box is built to last and can withstand daily use.
It is not designed to hold liquids, so if you frequently pack soups or drinks, you may need an additional container.
With its cool bento box style and clever compartments, the PlanetBox Rover Stainless Steel Lunch Box is a game changer for mealtime. You can easily separate your food into its four main compartments, and there's even a special treat spot for those little indulgences. Whether you're a grazer or a small portion lover, this lunch box has got you covered. Plus, it's super durable and compatible with other accessories like Square Dippers and Rover Pods for dips and other small snacks.
Price at time of publish: $56
The Details: 10 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches | 5 compartments | Stainless steel | Dishwasher safe
It comes with a recipe eBook filled with 30 delicious and nutritious lunch box ideas, curated by a renowned European gastro blogger.
Although a separate insulated lunch bag is available, it is not included with the bento box.
The Bentoheaven Deluxe Bento Box will elevate your on-the-go dining experience as this stylish and leakproof bento box isn't just about convenience, it's a statement. From its European-inspired design to the array of vibrant colors, it's a travel essential that adds a touch of personality to your lunch routine. With two spacious compartments, a handy divider, and all the necessary utensils, it's a food lover's dream, plus it comes with its own recipe book for mealtime inspiration.
Price at time of publish: $27
The Details: 7.48 x 4.33 x 4.33 inches | 2 compartments | Polypropylene | Dishwasher safe
The lunch box’s slim design fits into backpacks and bookbags easily.
While its stainless steel construction is more durable, it might not retain heat as well as insulated lunch boxes do.
Designed to captivate young taste buds and make mealtime a breeze, The Bentgo Kids Stainless Steel Lunch Box is compact yet spacious, thoughtfully organized, and has a leakproof silicone seal to ensure mess-free munching. Cleaning is a cinch, too, as the entire bento-style box can be safely placed on the top rack of your dishwasher. It also features a sturdy metal construction and four fun colors to choose. Plus, enjoy added peace of mind with its impressive five-year warranty, surpassing the plastic Bentgo's coverage by three years.
Price at time of publish: $70
The Details: 9.8 x 7.6 x 1.7 inches | 3 compartments | Stainless steel | Dishwasher safe
Not only does a leakproof design prevent messy accidents, but it also helps to maintain the quality and freshness of your food. It guarantees that liquids and sauces remain sealed inside their designated compartments, preserving the taste and texture of your meal. Additionally, a leakproof lunchbox prevents cross-contamination between different food items, keeping them hygienic and safe to consume.
Choosing a lunch box that matches the type of food you plan to pack is essential for several reasons. Different foods have specific requirements for temperature control and storage. For instance, if you frequently pack hot soups or warm meals, a lunch box with excellent insulation and heat-retention capabilities is essential. Alternatively, if your go-to items include chilled salads, fruits, or yogurt, opting for a lunch box with effective cooling features like built-in ice packs or insulated compartments will help maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.
In addition to temperature considerations, the size and layout of the lunch box should be suitable for the specific food items you intend to pack. Some meals may require separate compartments to keep ingredients divided and avoid flavor mixing, while others may need larger sections to accommodate portion sizes. By selecting a lunch box that aligns with your food preferences, you can optimize your meal prep's organization, convenience, and overall functionality. This ensures that your meals are well-preserved, easy to transport, and enjoyable to consume throughout the day.
A lunch box with temperature control is crucial for maintaining the freshness and quality of your packed meals. Whether you prefer hot or cold food, a lunch box with adequate insulation and temperature retention assures that your dishes stay at the optimal desired temperature. This feature also expands your options for packed lunches, allowing you to enjoy warm soups, stews, or homemade meals away from home without sacrificing taste or safety. It also keeps salads, fruits, yogurt, and beverages cool and refreshing anywhere at all.
Two standout materials are stainless steel and BPA-free plastic. Stainless-steel lunch boxes offer durability, insulation, and a sleek design, keeping your food hot or cold for extended periods. BPA-free plastic lunch boxes are lightweight, versatile, and often have additional insulation features.
Another material worth considering is nylon, known for its durability and water-resistant properties, making it ideal for outdoor use or those on the go. Each of these materials provides different advantages, so you can find a lunch box that meets your needs and preferences, whether you're prioritizing portability, insulation, or style.
With advanced insulation technologies and innovative design features, modern lunch boxes can maintain a low temperature for an extended period, keeping perishable goods chilled. Depending on the specific lunch box and environmental conditions, you can expect to keep your food cold for between four and eight hours. Some high-performance models even boast impressive in-box cooling capabilities, pushing the limit to 12 hours or more. Whether on a day trip, hiking adventure, or exploring a new city, investing in a lunch box with excellent cooling capabilities allows salads, sandwiches, and snacks to remain refreshingly chilled.
Finding a balance between portability and food capacity is essential in determining the right size lunch box. Generally speaking, a rectangular shape is the best choice as it maximizes space and easily fits into bags or backpacks. However, a slightly larger lunch box with multiple compartments can be more helpful for people with larger appetites or those needing to pack various food items separately. Additionally, the shape is important to prevent sandwich compression or food leakage. By carefully considering the size and shape of a lunch box, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your needs, guaranteeing an enjoyable dining experience.
To ensure a pristine lunch box, start by removing any leftover food and disposing of it properly. Next, carefully wash the lunch box with warm soapy water, using a sponge or cloth to thoroughly clean all surfaces, including the compartments and lids. For stubborn stains or odors, a mixture of baking soda and water can be applied and gently scrubbed.
After rinsing off the soap, allow the lunch box to air dry completely before storing it away. It's worth noting that some lunch boxes are dishwasher safe, providing an even more convenient cleaning option.
For this story, Haley Lyndes extensively researched and curated the best lunch boxes for each category, focusing on quality, durability, functionality, and style. After considering the various fit needs as well, she narrowed down only the best quality, well-priced options for meals of all shapes and sizes.
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