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Which bulk food storage container is best?

After spending hours crafting a meal, storing leftovers should be the easy part. Flimsy food containers and wasteful plastic bags can make a menial task far more difficult than it needs to be. There are thousands of food storage containers on the market, and most people will want to be sure they are choosing the best option for their needs. 

The Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container Set is the gold standard of bulk food storage. A collection marked by its versatility and practicality, the Rubbermaid reputation is upheld by thousands of positive reviews.

What to know before you buy a bulk food storage container

It is important to consider the size, materials and additional features that comprise the perfect food storage container. They are just the most basic aspects that should play a role in the final purchase. Always look at the bigger picture, as a lunch tote might be needed to carry food storage containers while out and about.

Shapes and sizes

Most households need a variation in the size of their food storage containers. For example, a container made for holding a whole loaf of bread will probably not be practical for also holding a half cup of tomato sauce. People need a variety of sizes and shapes that can store leftovers of all kinds. Ideally, these sizes are stackable and easily compacted when not in use. 

Glass, plastic or stainless steel

Glass material has the longest longevity as a product, but it is also the heaviest and bulkiest option. Many glass containers are both oven and microwave-safe, but always check the product to be sure. 

On the other hand, plastic is unlikely to match the lifespan of its glass counterpart. Plastic makes up for short-term usage by having a more flexible shape. Plastic containers come in many more shapes and sizes and are physically light to hold. Some plastics are microwave safe, though consistent microwaving often quickens the deterioration of the product.

Often forgotten are the food storage containers made of stainless steel, which is an unpopular and alternate option for food storage. Stainless steel products cannot be reheated in the microwave or oven but have a durability that far outlasts plastic and glass. Moreover, their reusability and longevity make them the eco-friendliest option.

Additional features

The most important feature of a food storage container truly depends on the lifestyle of the person buying it. There is no “one size fits all.” Those who have little room in their cabinets may prioritize having stackable containers over lockable ones. People with packed schedules might just need containers that can be cleaned efficiently. 

What to look for in a quality food storage container


Make sure the lids are airtight and as durable as the rest of the container. Nothing is more infuriating than realizing that the lid does not firmly fit over the container. If oxygen is still able to get in or out, food will not keep for very long. If the lid does not fit properly, it does not matter how good the rest of the product is.


Having a chemical-free product should be on the forefront of a consumer’s mind. Unfortunately, many food storage containers are still being produced with bisphenol A. BPA is a harmful substance when it touches items meant for consumption. Avoiding this substance is easy, as most containers will be labeled “BPA free.”


Having stackable containers is a simple feature of the highest convenience, especially for those with a large collection of food containers. A pile of food containers are far less stress-inducing when they can be condensed and organized. Having a method of organization for food storage containers fends off the headache of finding matching lids and bottoms later and is also a perk for those with limited kitchen space.

How much you can expect to spend on a bulk food storage container

Standard sets of food storage containers can be found at as low as $6 or as expensive as $89.99. Keep in mind that glass and stainless steel sets will almost always cost more than plastic.

Bulk food storage container FAQ

Which food storage container is the most environmentally friendly?

A. Glass requires more fossil fuels to produce than plastic, making its production more detrimental to the environment. However, the long-term use of glass makes it more sustainable than the plastic option. Although stainless steel costs more to produce, it is 100% recyclable and does not leach chemicals. Stainless steel containers will last even longer than glass, making their longtime use the most appealing for the environmentally conscious.

Can you put my food storage container in the dishwasher?

A. Always check your purchased product and make sure that both the lid and bottom of the container are labeled dishwasher-safe. Some products require hand-washing due to lid locks or airtight seals. Containers that are not dishwasher-safe can be warped by the dishwasher. Warping will diminish the quality of the container, reducing its lifespan and the quality of your preserved food.

Are “single use” food storage containers actually reusable?

A. Many inexpensive plastic containers are sold in bulk as “single use” containers. If the plastic is still in decent condition, there is no reason why these containers cannot be reused after one use. Be aware that they will be more prone to wear-and-tear than more sturdy containers. It is highly likely that these containers are not oven-safe, microwave-safe or freezer-safe.

What’s the best bulk food storage container to buy?

Top bulk food storage container

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Six-Piece Container Set

Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Six-Piece Container Set

What you need to know: This bulk set of microwave- and dishwasher-safe plastic containers comes in three sizes and has been crafted to resist staining and odors.

What you’ll love: These containers have BPA-free lids with airtight seals and secure latches to keep food contained and fresh. Both the lid and bottom are microwave-safe; built-in vents under the latches keep food from splattering while being reheated. When not in use, the lightweight containers are stackable.

What you should consider: These containers are made of plastic, so their durability is not guaranteed. The containers will need to be replaced regularly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top bulk food storage container for the money

Rubbermaid Easy Find Vented Lids Food Storage Containers (42 Piece)

Rubbermaid Easy Find Vented Lids Food Storage Containers (42 Piece)

What you need to know: The 42-piece set has a large selection of containers that come in multiple shapes and sizes.

What you’ll love: The containers are BPA free and are microwave and dishwasher-safe. Not only are the containers stackable, but the lids snap together to reduce clutter when not in use. There is a very large quantity of containers for a very low price.

What you should consider: Only the four large containers in the set are vented, and the set primarily consists of smaller pieces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Tramontina Three-Piece Stainless Steel Container Set

Tramontina Three-Piece Stainless Steel Container Set

What you need to know: This three-piece stainless steel set is an environmentally conscious and resilient option for storing food.

What you’ll love: This storage container set is durable enough to be placed in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry. The lid is self-sealing to keep food safe, and the stainless steel material has ensured durability. Despite being stainless steel, the containers are lightweight and come in multiple sizes. They are also dishwasher-safe and have a lifetime warranty.

What you should consider: The lids are made of plastic and may need to be replaced at some point even if the bottoms are in perfect condition. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot


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Gwen Swanson ​​​​​writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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