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.
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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, and the large sizing requires a PlanetBox branded lunch bag for it to fit into.
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. Comes in many size options, including no sections, 2 sections, 3 sections, and 4 sections (and small, medium, and large size boxes).
4. Yumbox – One of the best plastic (food grade, BPA & phthalates FREE) boxes on the market. Entirely airtight and leakproof. Trays can go top rack dishwasher. Small chance of mold issues if you put them away wet (I’ve had no issues). One of my favourite bento boxes! American YUMBOX link.
- Yumbox Snack – 3 compartments, very small. Toddler size.
- Yumbox Original – 6 compartments, holds 2.5 cups of food.
- Yumbox Panino – 4 compartments, holds 2.5 cups of food
- Yumbox Tapas – 4 or 6 compartments, the insert trays are interchangeable meaning you can buy one shell and both trays and use whatever one you prefer. This bento box holds 4.2 cups of food and the one I use the most often. I’d consider this “Teen/Adult” size.
- Yumbox Presto – the stainless steel option.
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. I do love and use the Bento Twos for the snack size personally!
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 (but actually has a 8 cup food capacity). Definitely a win for teenagers and hungry spouses. The Go Green Snack Box (has a 4.5 cup food capacity, larger than the current biggest Yumbox) and the Go Green Break Box (6 1/3 cup capacity) are worthy contenders – both fit inside a regular lunch kit and have a huge capacity.
7. Bentgo – plastic, leakproof, cute patterns, but food capacity is small (and lots of wasted space in the design). A great starter bento and definitely geared towards small children due to the very small capacity. I LOVE the Bentgo Divided Glass bento boxes (and these) for microwave friendly boxes for adults!
8. Tupperware – also popular. I have some of the lunch-its (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 seeking these ones out for the price point. If you can find them on FB Marketplace or second hand, they are a worthy addition to your lunchbox making routine.
9. Goodful Stackable – A new brand by Amazon, The Goodful Lunch to Go salad container is unlike any other- offering removable trays to easily pour ingredients into your salad, pasta and more. The locking clasps on all 4 sides of the container sound an audible “click!” to let you know the contents are secure, while the gasket inside the lid ensures a leak-proof seal. This container also includes a screw-top dressing container to keep your favorite sauces or dressing secure during transport. This container is top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning in between uses, microwave safe (without the lid and trays) and freezer safe to keep your meal prepped foods fresh.
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.
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.