4 Best Food Storage Containers for 2021

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Having a cabinet full of the great food storage containers really makes a difference. Mediocre (or just plain bad) food storage containers will leak, stain, or totally fail to keep your food fresh. My advice, and I’m pretty sure it would be Marie Kondo’s too, is to ditch any that are stained, pitted, don’t have a lid, or simply don’t bring you joy. Then, take a look at this list. If there’s a container out there, I’ve probably tested it. These are the very best options — whether you want glass, plastic, or something you can give away — when it comes to food storage. Don’t just take my word for it either, these container recommendations all come with second opinions!

Snapware Total Solution Glass Food Storage Set 

The Best Glass Storage Containers

There are a lot of reasons to choose glass. First of all, it’s not plastic, which means you’ll have absolutely no worries that it’ll leach into your food, stain, or start to smell. And it’s attractive enough to use for serving. Eat your lunch out of glass and it’s not quite as sad as scarfing down leftovers from a plastic container. And most importantly, glass isn’t porous so it does the best job of keeping food fresh, with one caveat — it has to have a tight-fitting lid.

With a gasket and four locking tabs on all sides, Snapware Total is absolutely airtight. This set comes with three 2-cup containers, one 6-cup container, and one 8-cup container. They can be used in the freezer, microwave, or dishwasher and you can even write on the lids (and then erase your note) so you can make sure you know just how long that leftover chicken has been sitting in your fridge. In your cabinet, they’ll nest within each other. Just keep in mind that the lids are made of plastic so they could stain if you store something like marinara sauce in them.

Second opinion: “I’ve collected a random, jumbled assortment of storage containers over the past several years, but when I reach into my cabinet, I always grab the Snapware ones first,” says Grace Elkus, Deputy Food Director. “Not only is it super satisfying to snap them shut, but the airtight seal also means I’m never worried anything will leak. Plus, they stack or nest inside one another, so they take up less room in my kitchen.”

The Best Storage Containers for Dry Goods

If you keep dry items like flour, beans, and cereal on a kitchen counter, open shelves, or in a showcase pantry, how your containers look is probably important to you. Whatever you do, don’t fall for ceramic canisters. They’re porous and air can seep in, so even if their lids have an airtight gasket, they won’t keep crackers crunchy and coffee aromatic.

Evak storage containers are attractive and effective at keeping food fresh. When you push down on the lids, they force any excess air out. To open, you simply pull up. Choose from glass jars in small, medium, and large sizes with lids in dark chrome, glossy black, and matte black. The jars (but not the lids) can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Second opinion: “I first got a few of these because I was enamored of how they looked,” admits Lisa Freedman, Lifestyle Director. “But they also work really well! I have one for coffee beans, one for rice, and one for pasta and I couldn’t be more obsessed with them. The lids are a little tough to pull out, but that just means that the vacuum seal is legit.”

Glad Food Storage Containers

The Best Disposable Storage Containers

When you’re dropping food off at your neighbor’s, and it’s highly likely that you won’t be getting that container back, you don’t want to use one from your pricey set. For times like that, there’s Glad, which is so inexpensive that you won’t fret about giving it away or even if it gets tossed. While these lightweight plastic containers aren’t tops at food preservation, they aren’t the worst. You can use them in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher but they will stain badly if you warm up, say, leftover baked ziti in them. A myriad of sizes and shapes are available. When not in use, Glad containers nest and the lids snap together.

Second opinion: “I used to have plastic containers from another well-known brand, but they stained pretty easily and I felt like the lids never fit perfectly,” says Ariel Knutson, Features Director. “Those issues have yet to come into play with my new Glad pieces that I’ve had for a few months.”

Rubbermaid Brilliance 14-Piece Container Set

The Best Plastic Storage Containers

Plastic has its advantages. It’s lighter in weight than glass, which is ideal if you’re transporting food. In addition, it’s unlikely to break (unless it’s frozen). Rubbermaid Brilliance is made of clear, hard plastic and, thanks to two snap-on fasteners and a gasket in the lid, is totally leakproof. Unlike many plastic containers, it’s also fairly attractive for serving or displaying your dried beans and lentils. Brilliance comes in lots of sizes including one that’s small enough for mayo for a sandwich and one that can hold a five-pound bag of sugar.

Second opinion: “These are the only containers I trust when it comes to stashing liquids.” says Lifestyle Editor Lauren Masur. “I also love that they are microwave-safe and go right in the dishwasher — and the fact that they stack really nicely in the fridge.”

Why You Should Trust Our Gear Pro

For more than 30 years, I was in charge of testing and reporting on everything from wooden spoons to connected refrigerators at the Good Housekeeping Institute. I’ve walked the floors of every trade show and read every new product release for longer than most digital publications have existed!

My street cred? I also worked as a chef in New York City restaurants for seven years.

I’ve tested, used, and played with nearly every piece of kitchen gear (including storage containers) to come on the market for years. When it comes to gear, it takes a lot to impress me, and I know what actually works.

Picked by a Pro. Tested by Real Home Cooks.

I’ve tested what feels like every storage container oven on the market (at all the price points, low to high!) and these are my all-time favorites. But you don’t have to take my word and my word alone, either. Kitchn editors — a unique hybrid of professionals and home cooks, who develop and test great recipes in real home kitchens — weighed in on some of these picks too, testing my favorites in the context of their actual home cooking.

After all, when it comes to kitchen gear, what matters is that it works for a home cook — not just that a chef endorses it, or that it passed some high-flying bar in a sterile test kitchen. You want gear that is above all, practical, long-lasting, and mindful of real cooks, real kitchens, and real budgets.

Do you have a question about food storage containers? Leave it in the comments!

Sharon Franke


Sharon Franke is the kitchenware maven. For over 30 years, she was in charge of testing and reporting on everything from wooden spoons to connected refrigerators at Good Housekeeping. In her free time, you’ll find her banging pots in her own kitchen.

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