I’ve been flooded lately with questions about which bento box is “best” – and it’s a loaded question. It really depends on your budget, your lifestyle, your personal preferences, and the eating habits/age of your child (or yourself!). I’ve done my best to outline the pros and cons of the top 10 bento boxes on the Canadian market based on my own opinions (which are not sponsored in any way) to help you make a decision as to what box is right for you.
1. Omiebox – the only bento box on the market with a dedicated “hot food” reservoir. Because it is made with plastic and silicone, you do get a leakproof seal – but with the hot food reservoir (made of stainless steel) filled, it’s a *super* heavy box. Without it, it becomes 30% more expensive than other plastic bentos. From what I’ve heard, food only stays lukewarm anyways – increasing risk of food borne illness. I feel like it’d be better to get a regular bento & separate thermos. With NO food, the omiebox weighs 1.7lbs and measures 6.8″ by 6.6″.
2. Planetbox – stainless steel is super popular right now. No risk of mold at all. This is the most expensive bento on the market ($80 CDN), but made to last. Multiple sizes for a range of appetites. NOT leakproof – but comes with some little stainless steel dippers and lids to put liquids in. Comes in larger sizes, and if your kid is 6-7+, consider this route. Note that the clasp/closure can be tricky for little fingers.
3. Lunchbots – another great stainless steel option. Again, no risk of mold. Arguably one of the easiest on the market to wash since the lid comes right off and everything is dishwasher friendly. Not leakproof at all – juice from fruit WILL spill all over. It is decently priced and there are many size/configuration options. Best stainless steel option on the market if that is important to you.
4. Yumbox – One of the best plastic (food grade, BPA & phthalates FREE) boxes on the market. Entirely airtight and leakproof. Comes in multiple solid colours and configurations (snack size, 4 compartment for sandwiches, 6 compartment for snack-y type meals, tapas for bigger meals). Inserts are transferable in the Tapas box. Trays can go top rack dishwasher. Small chance of mold issues if you put them away wet (I’ve had no issues). My fave.
5. Little Lunch Box Co – super similar to Yumbox, except no there are inserts, so they’re easier to clean. Leakproof also with silicone seals. Multiple patterns and sizes/configurations (snack size, bento 3 to fit sandwiches and bento 5 to offer choices), but geared towards kids under 6 and no large size for big eaters or adults. Small chance of mold if put away wet (I’ve had no issues). A great starter box and kids will love the designs. Doesn’t hold enough food for larger eaters or adults, in my opinion.
6. Go Green – actually gigantic. A huge 13″ wide – it needs its own lunchbag and would be a tough fit in some backpacks. Plastic and leakproof, but overkill I feel like. Feeds at least 14 children for lunch.
7. Bentgo – plastic, leakproof, heaaaaavy, holds enough food to feed 1/2 of a small child. There is SO much wasted space and the food wells are small. It’s a great price point and available on Amazon – so there is major allure there but back away from the Bentgo and just go to Yumbox for 10 bucks more.
8. Tupperware – also popular. I have some of the lunchits (regular and large) and they’re incredibly handy – but Tupperware is an MLM company and you can only buy through direct sales reps and since it is an unregulated industry that tends to prey on women, I don’t recommend these ones.
9. Munchebox – NEW addition to the list! This is an Australian brand that has snuck it’s way onto Canadian Amazon! Size wise, it is almost the exact same as the Yumbox Tapas, but 30% cheaper. You won’t outgrow this bento. It is also made of plastic and food grade silicone, so you do get the benefit of it being leakproof. It comes in a few different colours as well. An awesome starting point for adult/teen/hungry bento beginners.
10. Sistema – I am adding Sistema on here because it is within almost everyone’s price point. Sold at Walmart, Dollarama, Canadian Tire – there is something for even the most strapped budgets. There are many different size container options, and few all-encompassing boxes – but low prices ($2-$10) and reusability means that there are less single-use plastics headed to the landfill and that is a win all around.
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Did I miss a bento you’re interested in getting feedback on? Have more questions? Leave me a comment below and I will do my best to answer everyone.