a healthy and artistic bento meal

Best Bento Lunch Box

When it comes to packing a satisfying meal that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also showcases a sense of artistry, the humble bento lunch box reigns supreme.

These compartmentalized containers have captured the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide, offering a perfect blend of convenience, nutrition, and aesthetics.

Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or simply someone who appreciates a carefully crafted meal, join us as we explore the world of bento lunch boxes and discover the best options to elevate your lunchtime experience.

Comparison Table

What Is a Bento Box?

The concept of a good bento box is actually quite simple. A bento lunch box is a reusable, Tupperware-like lunch box from Japan. These boxes can be made from plastic, bamboo, steel, or other durable materials.

Traditionally, bento boxes include foods like rice, fish, and vegetables. However, with the adoption of these boxes in the U.S. and elsewhere abroad, today’s bento boxes can contain practically anything.

Where did the bento box come from?

The history of the bento box is surprisingly murky. While we know that Japanese farmers and soldiers packed their food in boxes as early as the 5th Century and that this utilitarian trend spread across China, Korea, and other parts of Asia, things are a little unclear after that.

a bento rice meal on wooden lunch box

Image Source: Instagram.com

We do know that the bento box was a standard for schoolchildren in the early 1900s and about its role as an economic status symbol between the post-war haves and have-nots. When standardized school lunches were introduced, the bento box fell out of popularity.

That is, until the 1980s.

As frozen dinners and convenience foods dominated the market, the bento box reappeared. This also coincided with Japanese-American immigrants bringing the concept over to their new home.

a bento meal on rectangular containers

Image Source: Instagram.com

A few years later, around the 1990s, character-themed bento boxes became the new trend. Today, we still see these elaborate boxes on Instagram, YouTube, and personal blogs across the Internet.

One of the most popular bento box brands, Bentgo, was founded in 2013 as a branch of Bear Down Brands. Their mission? “Put the spark back into packing lunch” in a “healthier, more sustainable” way. Its headquarters is located in Santa Ana, California.

Larger Bento Box Compartments

One of the key features of bento boxes is their compartmentalized structure, which typically consists of both large and small sections. These compartments serve various purposes, enhancing the overall functionality of the bento box.

The large compartments in a bento box are usually intended for the main course or the primary dish. This could include rice, noodles, or any other substantial item that forms the core of the meal. The generous size of these compartments allows for a satisfying portion of the main dish, ensuring that the eater receives a balanced and fulfilling meal.

Smaller Bento Box Compartments

The small compartments in a bento box are designed for side dishes, condiments, or snacks. These smaller sections are perfect for accommodating a variety of items such as pickles, salads, fruits, or even a sweet treat. The separation of these components prevents flavors from mingling and helps maintain the integrity of each dish. Additionally, the small compartments promote portion control, allowing for a diverse selection of flavors without overindulgence.


Why the Bento Box Isn’t Just a Cute Trend

Yes, the best bento lunch box photos might dominate social media, but this isn’t the only reason why this trend seems to be here to stay. In fact, bento boxes offer several benefits.
Here are just a few reasons you should consider jumping onto this new lunch trend:

Save the Environment

One of the most important aspects of a bento box is that it’s reusable. Unlike plastic sandwich bags and brown paper lunch sacks, the bento box is just as permanent as your ceramic dishes or glass cups.

However, unlike your home dinnerware, a bento box is meant for transport. This means you can also avoid buying prepackaged foods. And as a result, cut down on the amount of waste you produce with each meal.

a stacked of colorful lunch boxes

Image Source: Instagram.com

Many of the best bento box brands of today emphasize this focus on sustainability by choosing eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices for their products.

If you care about the environmental impact of your purchases, we suggest seeking out one of these companies for your new lunchbox!

Save Time and Money

Dining out, even if you just make a pit stop at a convenience store or fast food joint, is expensive. This can also be true for children’s school lunches, depending on your district.
Actually, reports say that U.S. citizens spend an average of over $1,000 per year on restaurant lunches. And professionals aren’t the only ones affected by this, with college students spending an average of $27.47 dining out per week!

a bento box with rice chicken and spinach leaves

Image Source: Instagram.com

If you need a little extra motivation to pack lunch each day, a stylish bento box could be just the thing you need. It is easy cleaning and gives you more time to relax on your lunch break before returning to work.

Adaptable For All Ages

Yes, bento lunch boxes are suitable for individuals of all ages. The versatility of bento boxes makes them adaptable to various preferences, dietary needs, and lifestyles. They are commonly used by children, teenagers, adults, and even the elderly.

For school-age children, bento boxes can be an attractive and practical way to pack a well-balanced lunch with a variety of foods. Many parents appreciate the portion control benefits and the ability to include diverse food groups in a single container.

Teenagers and adults often find bento boxes convenient for packing lunches for school, work, or other activities. The compartmentalized design allows for creative and customizable meal options, making it easy to maintain a balanced diet.

Elderly individuals may also find bento boxes useful for portion control and organizing meals, especially if they prefer having a selection of different foods in one container.

Ultimately, the adaptability and user-friendly nature of bento boxes make them suitable for people of all ages who are looking for a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to pack and enjoy their meals.

Eat Healthy

Of course, switching to a packed bento lunch won’t do much good if you fill it with junk. Fortunately, there are several resources and cookbooks out there for healthy, bento-based meal inspiration.

a healthy bento meal on pink lunch box

Image Source: Instagram.com

First, bento boxes offer built-in portion control. With limited space in a single lunch box, it’s difficult to overeat. The beloved individual small compartments of the bento box help you portion out various food items such as carbs, vegetables, sweets, and more.

Second, the bento box goes hand-in-hand with creative, brightly colored lunches that are often in the shape of cute animals or cartoon characters. Who doesn’t want to snack on a carrot in the shape of a star?

Microwave Safe

The microwave safety of bento lunch boxes depends on the material they are made of. Some bento boxes are microwave-safe, while others are not. Common materials used in bento boxes include plastic, stainless steel, glass, and bamboo.

Plastic bento boxes are often microwave-safe, but checking the manufacturer’s instructions and looking for labels indicating microwave suitability is essential. Stainless steel and glass bento boxes are generally microwave-safe, but remove any metal parts or lids that may not be microwave-friendly.

Bamboo bento boxes may not be microwave-safe, as bamboo can be heat-sensitive. Always refer to the product information or label on the bento box to determine its microwave compatibility. If uncertain, it’s advisable to transfer food to a microwave-safe container before reheating.


Cute and Fun

Alright, while bento boxes are much more than just a cute photo op, we can’t deny that the bento community creates some absolutely adorable and delicious-looking lunches.
For example, a bento box can turn a normal, healthy lunch into something out of a culinary magazine:

a bento rice box with honey chicken and fresh veggies

Image Source: Instagram.com

Or, you can use your bento box to scratch that itch for symmetry and organization:

a bento box with different textures and shapes

Image Source: Instagram.com

Obviously, we can’t forget the incredibly creative lunches that bento fans are constantly putting together, like this Hermione Granger-themed lunch:


a hermoine themed bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

You can even celebrate holidays with themed lunches, like this creepy and cute Halloween-themed box (just look at that orange disguised as a spooky pumpkin!):


halloween themed bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

As you can see, there really is no end to the amazing things you can create with a simple bento box.

So, are you feeling inspired? Well, then, it’s time for you to find the best bento box for your newfound creative passion!

The Best Bento Box for Every Lunch and Lifestyle

Just a few years ago, buying a proper bento lunch box meant visiting a specialty shop or ordering one online. Today, though, you can find bento boxes almost anywhere.

However, just because you can run to your nearest general store and pick up one of these trendy lunchboxes doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily get the best bento lunch box for your needs. With their growing popularity, there are numerous types of bento boxes to choose from for packing your next lunch.

While the concept of a bento box remains consistent, each model offers its own unique set of features and conveniences. When selecting your perfect bento box, take into account factors such as the need for insulation to keep food cold or warm, compatibility with freezer or microwave usage, and dishwasher-safe capabilities. Keep in mind that not all bento boxes guarantee these features, but some do, so it’s recommended to carefully review the product description to ensure they meet your specific requirements.

Whether you want something sleek and office-appropriate or something you can haul around in a backpack all day, here are some of the best amazon bento lunch boxes you can buy today:

The Office

Sure, panda-shaped or colorful bento boxes might be adorable. But if you work in a professional setting, they might not be the most appropriate.

If you want a high-quality bento box that your coworkers won’t raise their eyebrows at, may we suggest one of the boxes below?

BentoHeaven Bamboo

BentoHeaven Premium Bentobox

  • GET THE MOST STYLISH BENTO LUNCH BOX: Friends, family, and colleagues will long for your lunch box by BentoHeaven from…
  • EAT SAFE HEALTHY MEALS ANYWHERE: reusable, airtight, leak-proof bento box containers made of food grade BPA-FREE…
  • GIVE THE BEST MOMENTS OF THEIR DAY: use your FREE lunch box notes to send a personal message to your loved ones! Print…

The Bentoheaven Premium Bento Box is a stylish and practical lunch solution designed for adults. This Japanese-inspired bento box features two spacious compartments, offering a generous 40oz capacity for versatile meal options.

It comes complete with cutlery and a set of chopsticks, making it convenient for dining on the go. The box also includes a large dip container for sauces or dressings. With its sleek “Symph-Onyx” black design, it adds a touch of elegance to your lunchtime experience.

This bento box is microwave-safe, allowing you to heat your meals with ease, and it’s also easy to clean. Whether you’re a bento enthusiast or simply looking for an attractive and functional lunch box, the Bentoheaven Premium Bento Box is a top choice for those seeking a well-rounded and visually appealing lunchtime companion.

Miss Big Bento Box

Miss Big Bento Box

  • Microwave-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Leak-proof design

The MISS BIG® Bento Box is a versatile lunchtime solution designed for both adults and kids. This bento box offers several appealing features, including a leak-proof design, ensuring that your meal stays neatly contained without any messy spills. Importantly, it is free from BPAs and chemical dyes, making it a safe choice for food storage. The box is also microwave and dishwasher-safe, enhancing its convenience factor.

With its spacious compartments and durable construction, it’s an ideal choice for those looking to pack healthy and well-organized lunches. The “White L” variant provides ample space for a variety of meal options. Whether you’re a busy professional or a parent packing lunches for your children, the MISS BIG® Bento Box offers a practical and safe way to enjoy your meals on the go.

Bklyn Bento Stainless Steel Bento Box

Stainless Steel Bento Box Lunch Box, A Large Metal 3-Tier Tiffin Food…

  • 3 TIER 100% STAINLESS STEEL LUNCH BOX: Some foods were simply not meant to mingle. Separate containers keep your…
  • 20% LARGER: Ahhh, nothing like market research. We found most people that use bento boxes really like them….
  • ECO & ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY: Not even a touch of BPA, PVC, BPS, or PHTHALATES goes into making this food…

Are you trying to limit your plastic use? Even if you choose the best bento lunch box made from reusable plastic, there are still downsides to how these products are created. Fortunately, you can do away with plastic completely with the Bklyn Bento Stainless Steel Bento Box.

This bento box offers a secure, airtight seal for all of your favorite foods. It includes three separate stacking containers that hold 9 ounces, 16 ounces, and 17 ounces from top-to-bottom. Unfortunately, because of the lid-sealing design, you can’t use just one or two of these containers at a time.

For The Kids

Being an adult might mean doing away with cartoon-themed lunchboxes and overly bright colors. But that doesn’t mean your children can’t indulge in these simple pleasures.
For many kids, their school lunchbox is a core part of their identity. Luckily, bento boxes come in all types of cool colors, designs, and themes!

If you’re thinking about switching your child to a bento-based lunch, here are some of the best bento lunch box styles for younger kids:

Bentgo Kids Prints

Bentgo Kids Prints (Pink Dots) – Leak-Proof, 5-Compartment Bento-Style…

  • LUNCH IN STYLE: Bentgo Kids has upgraded America’s favorite children’s lunchbox with fun patterns that showcase your…
  • IDEAL PORTIONS FOR KIDS: 5 practical compartments portioned perfectly for a child’s appetite to encourage a healthy…
  • LEAK-PROOF TECHNOLOGY: Keeps meals and snacks fresh and mess-free during transport – Designed with two kid-friendly…

One of the best bento box options for kids is the Bentgo Kids Prints collection. These bento boxes come in six different colorways, each with its own fun design on the top (our personal favorite is the Mermaid Scales version!).

Each of these boxes has a hinged outer shell that securely clasps shut and a removable, segmented tray inside. The tray features five different sections of varying sizes. Bentgo states that these sections are the perfect size for portion control in children ages 3 to 7.

YumBox Original

Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Neptune Blue)

  • PRACTICAL LEAKPROOF DESIGN: Yumbox Original is designed to make your packed lunches easy & delicious. Molded silicone…
  • IDEAL PORTION SIZES FOR KIDS: Yumbox Original is designed for little kids. Our goal is to promote healthy & balanced…
  • PERFECT HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH: YUMBOX is a winner of the Good Design Award for a Children’s Product. Yumbox makes it so easy…

If your child is a slow or reluctant eater, how about trying a bento box with a design hidden inside? The YumBox Original bento box, with its colorful interior images, is just one example.

These bento boxes come in all different designs, from adventurous astronauts to quaint forest creatures. YumBox even has one design that maps out the different food groups and appropriate portion sizes. Whichever design you choose, your child will be eager to finish their lunch so they can see the scene underneath!

YumBox Original bento boxes feature a hinged lid with a secure but easy to open latch. These boxes are great for toddlers and children up to 8 years old and fit perfectly into a standard insulated lunch tote.


Yumbox Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container (Neptune Blue)

  • PRACTICAL LEAKPROOF DESIGN: Yumbox Original is designed to make your packed lunches easy & delicious. Molded silicone…
  • IDEAL PORTION SIZES FOR KIDS: Yumbox Original is designed for little kids. Our goal is to promote healthy & balanced…
  • PERFECT HEALTHY PACKED LUNCH: YUMBOX is a winner of the Good Design Award for a Children’s Product. Yumbox makes it so easy…

The OmieBox bento box is specially designed to withstand the use and abuse that comes from young kids. You can even order replacement parts if your child is prone to losing or breaking things!

This bento box features three double-walled, insulated compartments, one of which can be used as a normal segment or hold an insulated thermos (which is included with the box). The OmieBox comes in several bright colors and includes a secure latch that’s still easy to open with small hands.

For On-The-Go

We don’t all have the luxury of walking into the office and tucking our packed lunch in the breakroom refrigerator. If you’re constantly on the move, whether for work or for play, you need a bento box that can keep up!

From carrying a whole day’s worth of food to feeding a small crowd, you’ll find the best bento box for your busy lifestyle below.

Caperci Stackable Best Bento Box

Caperci Stackable Best Bento Box

  • PACK LUNCH IN HEALTHY PORTIONS – Caperci features three stackable and perfectly portioned containers that hold an entree, sandwich, or fruits and vegetables in the bottom container, plus dip, toppings, or snacks in the middle container. (Not for children under three years)
  • PARTIAL LEAK-PROOF – The 4-compartment middle container features a food-grade silicone sealing ring and enhanced Leak-Resistant design to keep food fresh on the go. (Note: the bottom container is not leak-proof well.)
  • 3 STACKABLE CONTAINERS – The top container holds utensils and other essentials. The middle container features a 4-compartment including dip that holds 3.0 cups of food, while the bottom container with 2-compartment holds 4.0 cups – together, they’re perfect for packing a variety of foods in healthy portions.

The Caperci Stackable Bento Box Adult Lunch Box is a highly versatile lunchtime solution designed to cater to both adults and kids. This innovative bento box features three stackable layers, offering multiple compartments for organizing a variety of foods. With a generous 55 oz large capacity, it can accommodate substantial meals. The built-in utensil set adds convenience, eliminating the need for carrying separate cutlery. Moreover, this lunch box is BPA-free, ensuring the safety of your food. Its sleek black design adds a touch of elegance, making it suitable for both work and school lunches. The Caperci Stackable Bento Box is a practical choice for those seeking a spacious, organized, and toxin-free lunch container that caters to the needs of both adults and children.

Monbento Large Bento Box MB Square Onyx with Compartments


Monbento Large Bento Box MB Square Onyx with Compartments

  • WARRANTY & CUSTOMER SERVICE: the MB Square black Onyx reusable bento box comes with a 3-year warranty! From our Monbento head office in France, we love to hear from our customers and are happy to help you get the most out of your new on-the-go lunch companions!
  • FOOD CUP INCLUDED: in addition to the two compartments, each with its own airtight lid and elastic band holding them together, the MB Square black Onyx bento box for adults comes with a 10,5-floz food cup to keep your sauces, toppings, or other sides separate from the rest of your meal.
  • PRACTICAL & LEAKPROOF: the MB Square adult lunch box is microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe for extra convenience. Its intermediate lids are fitted with a silicone seal that ensures this bento box is airtight, putting an end to dressings spilling into bags and over clothing.

The Monbento Large Bento Box MB Square in Onyx is a highly functional and stylish lunch container designed to meet your meal-prep needs with ease. This sleek black lunch box is both practical and visually appealing, making it an excellent choice for work or on-the-go meals.

With its spacious compartments, the MB Square allows you to pack a variety of foods while keeping them neatly separated. This promotes portion control and ensures your meal stays organized. One of its standout features is its leakproof design, providing peace of mind that your sauces and liquids won’t spill inside your bag.

The BPA-free and food-grade safe materials used in the construction of this bento box prioritize your health and safety. It’s suitable for both adults and children, making it a versatile option for individuals and families alike.

In summary, the Monbento Large Bento Box MB Square in Onyx is a fantastic choice for those who value organization, style, and reliability in their lunch containers. Whether you’re meal-prepping for work or school, this container offers convenience, durability, and a sleek design to enhance your lunchtime experience.

NatraProw Bento Box

NatraProw Bento Box

  • 【Dishwasher and Microwave Safe】The reusable bento box lunch box is easy to use, easy to clean, supports microwave heating (lid not included) and dishwasher cleaning (top rack only, hand washing of lid and utensils is recommended to avoid deformation caused by high temperature).
  • 【Portion Control/Food Separation】NatraProw bento lunch box has 3 compartments to keep different types of food in the whole container, keeping the nutrition balance and original taste, So your prep bento is healthier and tastier than fast food; you can save money on your lunch box in one week.
  • 【Leak-Proof/High Quality】The silicone strip provides a good airtight seal for the lunch box, the outer seal holds everything in VERY well. so you don’t have to worry about food leaks even when carrying it for long distances…

The NatraProw Bento Box with Utensils is a versatile and practical lunch container designed to meet the needs of adults on the go. With a generous capacity of 1200 milliliters, this lunch box offers ample space to pack a satisfying meal. It features three compartments, allowing you to separate different food items and maintain their freshness until mealtime.

One of its standout features is its leakproof design, ensuring that sauces and liquids remain securely contained inside the box, preventing any messy spills. Additionally, it is made from BPA-free and food-safe materials, prioritizing your health and safety.

This bento box comes with included utensils, making it a convenient all-in-one solution for your lunch needs. It is also microwave-safe, allowing for easy reheating of your meal when needed.

Upgrade Your Bento Box with These Accessories

So, you have your new bento box, and you’re ready to create a picture-perfect lunch. But, of course, the bento trend isn’t fueled solely by the concept of using a box to carry your food. If it was, there would be no difference between a bento lunch and a Tupperware lunch.

Instead, the bento box trend is fueled by the use of shapes, characters, and colorful palettes. This concept, which started in the 1990s, is what makes bento boxes so special.

Ready to step up your bento skills? Well, you’re going to need some tools.

Fit The Mold

What says bento lunch more than anything else? Molded rice balls.

You might not be sticking with the traditional rice and vegetables found in Japanese bento lunches. However, you can still take advantage of cool shapes when creating your own box.

animal themed bento snack

Image Source: Instagram.com

For example, you can mold soft sandwich bread into an adorable panda or create cat face cut-outs with cheese and lunch meat. If you can think of it, there’s probably a bento-approved way to make it!

Make Shapes

Bento lunches are supposed to be helpful for getting kids to eat healthier and learn proper portion sizes. Still, it can be hard to get picky eaters to eat their carrots and zucchini.

star and fish shaped food on bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

One of the most popular trends in bento box lunches is fun-shaped vegetables. With a set of cute vegetable cutters, you can offer a little extra incentive to that veggie hater in your life. Or you can use these shapes in your next themed box creation!

Keep It Neat

Your new bento box might have its own built-in organization. But that doesn’t mean certain foods won’t make an absolute mess!

To help keep your lunches even tidier and more aesthetically pleasing, you can use reusable cupcake sleeves. Unlike paper or foil sleeves, these silicone cups can be washed and used many times over.

snacks on a bento box

Image Source: Instagram.com

And since you’re likely choosing to use a bento box for its sustainability, the last thing you want is to create unnecessary waste.

A Whole Kit

If you’re not too keen on buying a dozen separate accessories, you’re in luck. With the rising popularity of bento lunch boxes, especially for young kids, it’s easy to find complete kits that contain everything you need to master the best bento lunch box game in town.

Yes, these kits are typically marketed to kids and their parents. That said, we won’t judge if you start sneaking dinosaur-shaped sandwiches into your work lunch!

What’s in Your Bento?

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably feeling pretty gung-ho about your upcoming bento box adventures. Bento boxes offer tons of benefits, from cutting down on food packaging waste to teaching children healthy habits. So, combined with the cuteness factor, it’s no surprise that this Japanese trend has taken off around the world.

But remember, having the best bento lunch box doesn’t need to be a competition. If you choose to dive into the world of themed boxes, don’t let Instagram and Pinterest discourage you.

We promise all your kids will care about is the love and care that goes into their star-shaped carrots — not how many likes their school lunch garnered on social media!

If you decide to try out the bento box for yourself, keep in mind that these boxes aren’t one-size-fits-all. What works for someone with an office job might not work for someone who’s running errands all day. And vice-versa.

At the end of the day, what’s important is that you choose the best bento lunch box for you.

What do you like to pack in your bento box? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: Pixabay.com


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