The 7 Best Lunch Boxes of 2022

The 7 Best Lunch Boxes of 2022

A packed lunch can provide a pause and nourishment during a hectic day. Compared with eating out, it can also be healthier, time-saving, and more affordable. A lunch box should be durable, easy to clean and carry, and hold enough food to satisfy your appetite. Ideally, it should also make a meal feel like a pleasure, not an obligation.

Employees everywhere are leaving their beloved loungewear behind and will soon find themselves under fluorescent lighting and working at a run-of-the-mill desk.

While we may rather our cozy blankets and consistent snack breaks, at least we now get to enjoy gorgeous office dresses, work totes and comfy heels.

But before you ditch your furry friend (I know, we are sad too) and head back to the office, you’re going to want to opt for a do-it-all lunch box.

The 7 Best Lunch Boxes of 2022: Our Top Picks

Best Lunch Box for WorkBentgo Classic
A classic optionBento Bite Dual from TAKENAKA
A large lunch bowlBentgo® Stainless
A streamlined lunch bowlStackable Lunch Container
A smaller classic lunch boxW&P Porter Plastic Bowl Lunch Container
A bigger, stylish bagHydro Flask Lunch Bag
A classic large lunch boxColeman Soft Cooler Bag

Below, we listed the best lunch boxes for adults in 2022. Options include bento lunch boxes, insulated lunch boxes and more.

1.Bentgo Classic

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Choose from eight different colors, and enjoy a BPA-free and microwaveable-safe stackable lunch box. Further details include three portioned compartments, eco-friendly material and nesting containers for space-saving goodness.

Top container features 2 compartments that each hold 3/4 cups of food while the bottom container holds 2 cups — together they’re perfect for packing a variety of foods in healthy portions

Made with food-grade, eco-friendly materials that are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe (Note: Do not put center divider in dishwasher or microwave)

Top container nests inside the bottom one for compact & easy storage

2.Bento Bite Dual from TAKENAKA

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What we’d use it for: The Takenaka Bento Bite Dual is great for carrying a small sandwich and a few sides, like fruit or chips. It’s also ideal for carrying a meal that includes discrete components, such as rice, a rolled omelet, salad, and dumplings.

Why it’s great: Among the bento boxes we tested, the Takenaka Bento Bite Dual was the best size and shape for packing bigger lunches with multiple fixings. It comes in a rainbow of trendy colors. And with its clean lines and simple design, the Takenaka strikes a good balance of being cute without being too twee. This company makes bento boxes in several styles, and the Bite Dual was the roomiest we tried, thanks to its two tiers and deep top compartment. These sections are perfect for packing a lunch with various foods that you want to keep separate until it’s time to eat. The Bite Dual is solidly built, and it survived our drop tests.

A good bento box should have distinct sections for packing different types of foods, and the Bite Dual delivers. The roomier top tier has a removable divider that you can use to partition toppings or sides. Since the divider doesn’t seal or suction to the bottom, it’s best for non-liquidy items. In the top tier, we envision packing a noodle dish with toppings, like dan dan noodles: We’d nestle the noodles on one side and use the divider to separate the garnish of peanuts and scallions (which you can add just before eating, for extra freshness and crunch). In the bottom layer, we’d pack a refreshing vegetable side, such as this cucumber salad.

3.Bentgo® Stainless

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The silicone seal keeps the lid airtight so your salads, sandwiches, and more stay fresh on-the-go

To open your Bentgo Stainless lunch box, simply release the venting valve on the lid and you’re ready to eat

An optional divider provides a second compartment adding versatility to creating meals, making it the perfect container for packing healthy and balanced foods

Made from quality stainless steel and food-safe silicone that’s both stain and odor-resistant, it’s BPA-free, safe, and a sustainable alternative to plastic. Note: The stainless steel is single-walled and won’t keep food cold or hot for an extended period of time. Use in combination with our Bentgo Ice Packs and insulated Bentgo Bags to keep your food fresh longer

4.Stackable Lunch Container

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Extra-large salad container features a spacious 54 oz salad bowl that fits up to 4 cups of healthy fruits and vegetables (with the compartment tray inserted) for easy portioning

Airtight lid features a rubberized sealing ring and locking clips to keep food fresh on the go – Top-shelf dishwasher safe and BPA-free

4-compartment tray includes 1 large 10-oz compartment and 2 smaller 5-oz compartments to fit toppings of your choice, plus a leak-proof 3-oz container that’s perfect for salad dressing

5.W&P Porter Plastic Bowl Lunch Container

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Crafted from high-quality BPA-free plastic & silicone, the Porter Bowl is a game changer. The durable plastic base is wrapped in the highest quality protective silicone with a silicone snap-strap to secure the plastic lid

The ceramic Porter Bowl’s sleek minimalist design & muted hues elevates the everyday – you can cut down on single-use plastics and look good doing it

Roomy, one-liter capacity packs everything from big salads and grain bowls to pasta and veggies.

6.Hydro Flask Lunch Bag

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Lightweight insulation keeps contents fresh for hours

Fully-lined interior with welded seams is easy to wipe clean

Exterior fabric is abrasion- and water-resistant

FDA food grade and BPA-Free. Free from toxins, free from worry.

Large exterior pocket and a zippered interior pocket for stashing

Dimensions: 9.5” H x 11.8” W x 6.3” D

7.Coleman Soft Cooler Bag

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Zippered main compartment keeps contents cold; use hard plastic liner if packing with ice, no need for liner with ice substitutes

Shoulder strap adjusts for comfortable carrying

Front zippered pocket, 2 side mesh pockets, dry storage pouch, and lid bungees available for added storage

How we picked and tested

For this guide, we tested lunch boxes for adults, focusing on bento boxes, lunch bowls, and insulated lunch boxes and bags. What makes these lunch boxes “adult” is mainly their larger size, but of course, anyone can use them. We also have a guide to the best kids lunch boxes.

Regardless of the type of lunch container you use, it should be durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean and store. For our 2021 update, we also looked for lunch boxes and containers that make eating lunch feel a little more special. That’s subjective, of course, but we appreciated lunch vessels that came in a range of fun and classic colors and that had extra touches like built-in utensils. We also appreciated thoughtful design elements, including rounded corners, which make containers easier to eat from and make them feel more like a dish than a container. That said, many people prefer to use regular glass or plastic containers to transport their lunches to and fro, and the distinction between “what is a container” and “what is a lunch box” isn’t always obvious. If you prefer a container, we’ve covered them in depth in our guide to the best food-storage containers.

Over the years, we’ve learned that lunch vessels come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and materials. And the best one for you may vary day to day, based on the type of meal you want to pack. Whether you choose a bento box, a lunch bowl, or an insulated lunch box depends in part on what you want to pack and whether you have access to a fridge. Because the categories are so different, they each merit their own criteria. This is what we looked for in the models we tested:

Bento boxes and lunch bowls

  • Both should have multiple compartments for packing various components of a meal.
  • The walls between the compartments should keep foods from mixing together.
  • For the bento-style boxes, we looked for containers that had either separate compartments with individual lids or a single lid that sealed the entire box.
  • Though most containers we tested don’t claim to be leakproof, we still tested to see how well they contained pure liquids, as well as thicker, saucier foods.

Insulated lunch boxes

  • They should hold many elements of a lunch, and they should provide more space for packing drinks and snacks all in one vessel.
  • Insulated lunch boxes should keep food cold without refrigeration. So they need to be large enough to hold multiple ice packs, too. (Ideally, they should have a mesh pocket on the interior lid for holding an ice pack in place.)
  • We looked for bags with adjustable straps and short handles for easy carrying.

Who should get these

When your lunch box is fraying at the seams or starting to smell less than fresh, or your bento box is becoming dinged or scratched, it’s probably time for a new one. But you can also get a nice lunch box just because you want one. Some of the lunch vessels we tested in 2021 look and feel like an accessory, such as a purse or a tote, or a well-designed dish that could be just as at home on a dining-room table as in an office cafeteria.

Ultimately, your lunch box of choice depends on your storage needs and what you’re eating that day. For adults who work in locations where access to refrigeration may be limited, a durable, insulated lunch box is a must for holding ice packs and keeping foods at safe temperatures. Smaller lunch boxes will be best for keeping meals like a sandwich or a container of pasta salad cold. And larger lunch boxes can act as personal coolers, holding enough food for a meal, as well as many snacks and drinks to consume throughout the day.

If you’re packing multiple prepared dishes, bento-like containers are ideal for keeping different parts of your lunch from mixing together. A roomy lunch bowl with a separate dressing container will ensure your salad remains crisp. And this type of vessel will allow you to add different elements of your meal—like crunchy seeds for salads or parmesan shreds for pasta—right before you eat, so everything stays fresh and vibrant.

You may also want to supplement your lunch box with food-storage containers. You can use these to pack separately the components you’ll combine later on (some smaller containers will even fit inside our insulated small and large lunch box picks).

Keywords in this article:Best Thermal Lunch Boxes

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