In recent times, Japanese themed lunch boxes called Bento boxes have become quite popular in the West. These single portion boxes for packing home-cooked meals the traditional way is widely used, which has precipitated a sharp increase in demand for them. With different bento boxes ranging from handcrafted ones to factory-produced models on sale today, buyers have different options to choose from. Despite the wide array of options, deciding on the best bento boxes to buy is not as easy as it seems.
For Japanese buyers, spotting a good model is not hard because the boxes are part of Japanese culinary traditions. But for Westerners, many of us wrongly assume that any box with the name “bento” is a Bento box, but this is not often the case. If you want to pick the right bento box, this review will provide you with the valuable information that you need to make the right choice.
Best Bento Boxes
|Image||Best Bento Boxes||Rating|
|1. EZ Prepa 3 Compartment Bento Box||99%|
|2. Freshware Meal Prep Bento Box||96%|
|3. Sistema To-Go Collection Bento Box||92%|
|4. Umami Premium Bento Lunch Box||89%|
|5. Ozazuco Japanese Bento Box||85%|
Want to learn more?
Here are our Bento boxes reviews.
EZ Prepa is a three-compartment Bento box with protective lids. Made with durable, reusable plastic that is BPA-free, this box has sufficient storage space to store your food. Each compartment represents a space to store different types of food or sauce as you wish. EZ Prepa is designed to make food transportation an effortless task.
Made with high-quality eco-friendly materials, this is a bento box that will last long and serve you well. When it comes to maintenance, there are a few ways to go about it. You have the option of either washing it by hand or using your dishwasher. Unlike some other lunch boxes, this product does not depreciate when washed with a dishwasher.
The design is practical and will offer you comfort both in use and out of use. Even though the compartments are spacious, EZ Prepa is still very easy to store in your cabinet, your fridge, or inside a bag. For a cheap price, this bento box can be yours.
Why do we like it?
- Multiple functionalities
- Reusable box
- Very easy to maintain
- Strong lids protect your meals from spilling
Freshware Bento boxes are another option for you. This product is made from Premium Food grade materials free of PVC, BPA, and Phthalate. If you are looking for a bento box that is microwave and freezer safe, Freshware is one of the best options in the market. Anytime you microwave your food or store food in a freezer for long periods, you run the risk of having the content contaminated due to the container’s build materials holding the food. With Freshware, you don’t run such a risk due to its eco-friendly materials.
This package comes with a set of 21 reusable wrappers for storing your snacks or food for a whole day. Freshware bento boxes are also a smart way to keep your food fresh if you are going to spend a long time outdoors. Spotting an innovative design, it will withstand temperatures as low as -40C and a high as +120C.
With this bento box, you can preserve and transport your meals the Japanese way with relative ease and peace of mind.
Why do we like it?
- Sleek and lovely design
- Heavy-duty construction for long term use
- Preserves the freshness of your meal
Sistema To-Go Bento Box is a multi-compartment food box ideal for protecting your food and keeping them fresh. It allows you to separate your meals at the same time until you are ready to consume them. This box can be used to pack your sandwiches, salads, snacks, rice, and vegetables. There is even a removable tray as part of its make up for preserving your yogurt pots. For parents with school-age kids, this high-quality food container offers them a safe way to keep their kids nourished at school or when the family is on the road.
That you desire to carry food along on your trip doesn’t mean that you have to move with multiple containers. Sistema bento boxes have a roomy compartment to carry large food portions for more than one person. They are also good for storing leftovers.
The protective lids have locking clips and an extended seal that covers the box when it is closed. This airtight seal prevents your food from slipping out and from external contaminants. However, note that if you must microwave food in this bento box, you should do so without the lid.
Why do we like it?
- Comes in attractive color varieties
- This box is dishwasher safe, microwave safe (without the lids), and freezer safe
- The removable tray is quite functional
- Durable locking clips
Most Bento boxes are designed for adults, and there are special bento boxes for kids, but only very few models are ideal for both the young and the old. Umami Premium steps in to cater to the needs of individuals of all ages. This Bento lunch box for adults and kids includes as part of its package one saucepot and three pieces of cutlery. Classified under the Japanese Hermetic category of boxes, Umami has two compartments for storing two kinds of food simultaneously.
To improve your user experience, the manufacturer has also added two removable and movable dividers and cutlery pieces that are held in slots so that they don’t make clingy sounds when you are on the move. Umami has silicone seals to prevent leakage, and its plastic is of the highest reusable quality.
If you are a lover of color, you are going to love the color variations offered by Umami. There are Bamboo White, Bamboo Black, Black Matt, Pink Kawaii, and Denim Blue colors. When placing your order, indicate the color you want.
Why do we like it?
- Anti-leak seals are the best we have seen
- Super convenient box for adults, teens, and kids
- Durable eco-friendly materials
- Requires less than 3 minutes in the microwave for your food to warm up
If you are looking for a portable and lightweight box for your picnic and camping trips, this cute box is exactly what you need to keep your meal fresh and safe. Ozazuco is a meal prep container for adults and kids. This model is nondiscriminatory with a functional design. Made of reusable wheat fiber, Ozazuco is BPA free with a combination of wheat straws and plastic arranged to produce this long-lasting bento box.
The three-compartment interior space is spacious enough to accommodate significant food volumes. Ozazuco also has a removable tray compartment for reheating your meals in a microwave, and it is easy to clean after use. It will also delight you to know that this package has extra accessories, including a free portable food cooler, a fork, and a spoon.
No member of your family deserves to eat cold food when next they are out of the house for most parts of the day. Ozazuco’s compartments effectively store food and prevent them from mixing. The eco-friendly materials used in making this bento box also ensures that your food stays warm, fresh, and safe.
Why do we like it?
- It does not change the taste of your food
- Portable and easy to carry
- Extra accessories included
Bento Boxes Buyer’s Guide
Bento Boxes provide families with a convenient way to store and transport food. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you need to ensure that your dietary needs are well catered for. Not just your needs but those of your children as well. Finding the right food boxes that can guarantee food freshness is quite tricky, but Bento boxes offer you the best service. With that being said, you will agree that most lunch boxes look the same, so attempting to pick a Bento box based on looks alone won’t cut it.
What then are the major factors and features to consider when buying bento boxes for your home? In this buyer’s guide, we explore some of the things to consider.
The type of materials used in making the box will determine its shelf life, protective qualities, and ease of use. Traditional Japanese bento boxes are made with wood, but in recent times we get to see boxes made with other durable materials like plastic and aluminum. Although these materials are sustainable, they offer users different comfort levels. Let us explore these widely used materials.
- Wood: Wood bento boxes are pleasing to the eyes and quite homely. They do not expose your food to contaminants, and they are also known to be very durable. The only downside to using wooden boxes is that they are heavy. If you wish to buy the box for your child, we advise that you go for a different material.
- Plastic: Plastic boxes are by far the most cheaper and popular bento boxes. They are appealing and available in a wide range of sleek designs and color patterns. The ones made of tough plastic are microwave safe, but if they contain BPA agents, microwaving your food is not advisable. If you must go for plastics boxes, make sure it is BPA-free and produced with eco-friendly materials.
- Aluminum: Aluminum bento boxes are durable, very lightweight, and easy to maintain. You can wash them by hand or with a dishwasher. However, they are not microwave safe. If you prefer a box you can learn your food with; a plastic bento box is your best bet.
When shopping for a Bento Box, you need to order one that has leak-proof features. The last thing you want is to have your bag and clothes stained when on a journey because your food is dripping out of the box. Most bento boxes from Japan have leak-proof seals attached to their lids. Some seals are made with silicone or rubber. Once snapped shut, the liquid can not escape the box. This is the type of bento box you should be looking to buy.
Easy maintenance should rank high on your list of features, especially if you are ordering the box online. You want a box that is dishwasher safe should you choose not to wash yours by hand. Not all bento boxes are dishwasher safe. The ones that are not will quickly degrade should you use a dishwasher to clean them. This is why you should carefully read the instructions and only order boxes that have Dishwasher -safe boldly written as part of their features.
Although we have mentioned this point in a previous paragraph, we must reiterate it yet again. If you intend to heat your lunch with a bento box, make sure you avoid aluminum boxes because they are not ideal for microwaves or ovens. If you plan to buy plastic boxes, read the product description and make sure the words “Microwave-safe” is boldly written. Microwaving your food in an unsafe container will infect it with particles from the build material. Furthermore, the heat temperature will gradually degrade the box itself, leading to the container’s speedy wear and tear.
The size will depend on your dietary needs. If you are watching your calorie intake, we suggest that you order boxes that have millimeter markings. The number of millimeters that the box has corresponds with the volume of calories it can carry in most cases. If you cannot find a box with such markings, do a mental calculation of how much food you will need for your trips, then go for a bento box with enough space to contain your required food volume.
Most bento boxes have two compartments, but you can also find boxes with three or more compartments. Basically, these compartments are used to store different kinds of food. A box with several compartments offers flexibility since you can carry several meals in a single box. However, do note that more compartments mean smaller storage spaces for your food. Ideally, bento boxes with three compartments are ideal.