The 12 Best Meal-Prep Containers, According to People Who Bring Lunch to Work Every Day

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Half the battle of bringing healthy, nutritious lunches to work is actually prepping the meals. Then you have to figure out how to transport your homemade soup to the office sans leaks. Plus, if you’re making a big batch of food on Monday, there’s the added challenge of keeping your portions for Thursday and Friday crisp and fresh.

Finding a proper food storage container will not only make it easier to bring your burrito bowl to the office but also make toting your vessel home, washing it and storing it a breeze. And who better to go to for suggestions than the people who have it all figured out? We asked our office’s resident meal preppers for their favorite food receptacles and, boy, did they deliver. Here are 12 of the very best meal-prep containers money can buy (and, bonus, they’re all available at Amazon).

The 6 Best Reusable Straws, from Silicone to Glass

The Best Meal Prep Container Winners at a Glance:

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1. Best Thermos: Stanley Classic Insulated Thermos

Back in the day, our parents sent us off to school with a trusty thermos filled with alphabet soup. And it kept our Campbell’s piping hot until lunch period rolled around. As an adult, executive editor Dara Katz has found her way back to the thermos. “My meal prepping usually consists of a giant tub of something—quinoa salad, curry or soup,” she explains. “I’ll usually plop the latter two over a bowl of rice. But I’ve learned the hard way that nothing transports soup on the NYC subway better than the real deal Stanley thermos with a hardcore seal. It’s not stylish, and it looks like I’m going camping at my desk, but it is the way.

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2. Best Single-serving Container: Takenaka Bento Box

As for the bowl of rice that Katz pairs with her soup or curry? She transports it in this adorable little bento box that easily fits a portion of rice, grains, salad or really anything that’s not a liquid. “It’s so cute, it makes up for my rugged soup container,” she adds. She warns that you can’t put anything in the Takenaka box that could leak, because the top section nestles over the bottom of the container, leaving a gap that could easily lead to a mess inside your bag if you’re not careful.

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3. Best Glass Container: Amazonbasics Glass Locking Lids Food Storage Containers, 20-piece Set

Not only is the glass of this AmazonBasics set microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe, but if you remove the plastic lid, you can even put it in the oven. PureWow director/producer Carmen Emmi uses these for leftovers at home and also brings them to work for lunch, although he admits they weigh him down during his commute. “It’s probably not best for transport, but I do it anyway, because it’s convenient and they’re microwaveable.” A few other PureWow staffers agree that these glass containers are heftier than plastic, but nothing beats the ease of being able to stick the whole container in the microwave at lunchtime—especially when every bowl in the office is already in the dishwasher.

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4. Best Looking: W&p Porter Plastic Bowl

W&P’s circular Porter bowl is peak millennial food storage. It’s gorgeous, well designed and easy to tote around, making it a status symbol among meal preppers. Brand strategy manager Ariel Pietrobono is a pretty big fan: “I absolutely LOVE IT. It’s a wide bowl, so you can fit any kind of food in it. It also can go in the microwave, freezer and dishwasher, making it so easy to clean and use. It isn’t the least bit bulky or hard to tote to and from work. Plus, it comes in BPA-free plastic/silicone and also ceramic. I truly want one in every color.”

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5. Best Space Saving: Keweis Silicone Collapsible Folding Food Storage Container

If we had to guess, the storage container cabinet in your kitchen is probably a scary mess. Lids everywhere, containers not nesting properly and orphan thermoses that lost their tops years ago. It may be time to invest in a set of Keweis collapsible containers. They’re made from high-quality food-grade silicone, which is eco-friendly, nontoxic and approved by the FDA, SGS and LFGB. Thanks to their ability to fold into nearly nothing, they can free up precious space in your cabinets and they can even be microwaved, stored in the freezer and cleaned in the dishwasher. One thing to note: An air valve on the lid allows steam to escape, so make sure to pull it up when microwaving and be careful to close it when storing liquids. PureWow’s VP of growth, Emily Kerr, brings her lunch in one of these every day. She says, “These jelly-ish ones are collapsible so they take up minimal room in your bag when you’re carrying them home.”

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6. Best For Soup: W&p Porter Seal Tight

Heidi Zwick, director of finance and accounting at Gallery Media Group, put it best when she told us her fave feature of this petite container: “The screw top [praying hands emoji].” From W&P, the same brand that created the best-looking bowl (see number four above), this seal tight container is ideal for storing anything that could possibly spill, like soups, bowls, sauces, yogurt, you name it. The size is perfect for a single serving of any of the aforementioned liquids and also takes up minimal space in your work tote. Plus, it’s made of BPA-free glass, so your soup can be reheated in the microwave without having to be poured into a bowl. And—even better—the silicone sleeve means you can transport it back to your desk without burning your hands in the process.

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7. Best Stainless Steel: Thermos Stainless King 16-ounce Food Jar With Folding Spoon

Yet another great soup option, this stainless-steel thermos is ideal for on-the-go consumption thanks to the included folding spoon. Associate managing editor Rachel Gulmi swears by it as a leakproof container that doesn’t stress her out, saying, “I love making soups in my slow cooker during the winter, and I needed a container that wouldn’t leak in my bag. After a long search, I landed on this classic and oh-so-glamorous thermos. I haven’t had one leak and it holds just the right amount of food.”

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8. Best For Condiments: Nakpunar 1.5-ounce Mini Glass Jars (six-piece Set)

Another option Gulmi swears by? Nakpunar’s tiny 1.5-ounce glass jars, which she uses to transport salad dressing. “When I meal prep salads for lunch, I leave off the dressing so the lettuce doesn’t get all soggy. I used to have those plastic condiment containers, but they are so hard to clean, especially with oily dressing. I found these tiny glass jars and they’ve been a game changer, plus they’re pretty cute, given their size,” she explains. To clean, just pop the jar and lid into the dishwasher.

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9. Best Plastic Container: Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers (12-piece Set)

Audience development editor Sarah Vazquez loves these bento box–style plastic containers because of their ability to keep her lunch crisp and fresh—even if she has to eat at 3 p.m. She explains, “I love bringing in a homemade salad for lunch, but I think we can all agree there’snothing worse than a sad desk salad. Thankfully, this container from Rubbermaid comes with a removable inner layer that helps keep ingredients separate until you’re ready to eat. It even comes with a handy dressing container, so wilted lettuce is no longer a thing!”

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10. Best For Keeping Food Fresh: Oxo Good Grips 7-cup Smart Seal Leak-proof Glass Round Food Storage Container

When it comes to meal prepping, a container that travels well is key for schlepping. But just as important is that it keeps food fresh while it’s waiting in your fridge. Assistant commerce editor Kara Cuzzone loves this glass container for those very reasons. She explains, “I never worry that my salad will wilt when I bring it in this OXO container. Plus, it keeps chickpeas fresh for over a week when I use it to store them in my fridge. I don’t know how that works, but I’m amazed every time I open the container and they’re still as good as new.”

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11. Best Stackable Containers: Durahome Food Storage Containers (set Of 44)

Sometimes simpler really is better. We admittedly have a plethora of these from our miso soup orders because we save and repurpose them post–sushi night. But if you’re not ordering miso soup on the reg, you can buy these restaurant-quality containers in varying sizes from Amazon. Matt Bogart, senior podcast producer says, “I really like these takeout containers. They stack, they’re easy to clean and you don’t have a bunch of different sized lids to puzzle together with their appropriate containers.”

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12. Stasher 100 Percent Silicone Reusable Food Bag

True, this glorified sandwich bag is no hard-sided container, but it works flawlessly for toting senior commerce editor Brianna Lapolla’s lunch of choice: two slices of sourdough bread, a few cherry tomatoes and an avocado for an epic avo toast. She explains, “The silicone is fairly thick, so it provides some structure and prevents the bread from getting smushed during my train ride to work. Plus, it’s super lightweight and takes up nearly zero space in both my cabinets and my backpack. I just make sure to keep a bottle of Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend at my desk to sprinkle on my toast so I don’t have to lug anything else back and forth.”

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Brianna Lapolla formerly held the role of Senior Commerce Editor at PureWow covering all things shopping across beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. Now, she's putting her 12 years of...