large black lunch bag with sandwich, berries, yogurt and la croix - best lunch boxes

Best Lunch Boxes: Everything You Need to Know and Consider

When you think of the best lunch boxes, what comes to mind? Is it the Ben 10 plastic lunch box you had in elementary school? Or an industrial-sized cooler fit for a feast?

You may not realize it yet, but investing in a good lunch box is one of the most important decisions you can make as an adult.

Whether you're a career woman, a college student, a happy camper, or a wall street broker, you’re probably tired of buying your lunch every day. And any of the best lunch boxes on the market can be extremely convenient for eating better and saving money.

Lunch boxes are an investment that can reduce your waste and day-to-day expenses. If you use one of the best lunch boxes, packing your meals for work or a trip is easy.

However, the range of colors, shapes, and features of various lunch boxes on the market can make you groan in confusion. But the decision of which lunch box to buy is easier than you think.

How We Reviewed

We scoured countless websites and recommendations from professionals and blogs to bring you all the details you need to make an informed choice. We have taken into consideration important factors such as price, insulation features, styles, size, included containers, and the durability of products.

Since customer experience is also important with any purchase, we also referenced real customer ratings and reviews to help weed out lunch boxes that didn't quite stand up to the test.

With this information, you can easily determine which lunch box is right for you.

The Best Lunch Boxes and Personal Coolers You Can Buy Today

When it comes to buying a new lunch box, your options can seem practically endless. That's why we've put together a list of the best lunch boxes for a variety of lifestyle needs.

Our list is in no particular order, so be sure to check out all of the best lunch boxes we've highlighted below!

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure, Unicorn Sky
  • This lunch bag features PackIt's patented cooling technology. Freezable gel is permanently built into the bag, so you...
  • To use, simply fold the PackIt Lunch Bag flat and store in the freezer overnight (12 hours). In the morning, the walls...
  • PackIt lunch bags are perfect for packing healthy foods such as: dairy, fruits and veggies. Food and drinks stay cool...
If you’re looking for a stylish lunch box that keeps your food cold for as long as 10 hours, look no further. The PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag is perfect for kids, college students, and professionals who want a cool lunch for their midday meal.

Just place this lunch bag in the freezer overnight, and your food will remain cool for hours thanks to its patented cooling technology. The bag has freezable gel so you won’t have to prepare separate ice packs.

Part of the reason this is one of the best lunch boxes is because there are so many cool designs available. Whether you want a fun unicorn print or a solid color, you’ll find it.

This product has a zip closure to lock in the dry, cool air. It's also very easy to carry thanks to its buckle handle that clips onto backpacks, strollers, and totes.

This product is BPA-, PVC-, and lead-free, non-toxic, and food-safe. It measures 10 inches tall when expanded and folds down to just 2 inches tall when empty.

Notable features

  • Freezable gel interior
  • Quality construction
  • Stylish designs
  • Can be folded when not in use

Ramaka Large Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag

Insulated Lunch Box for Men | Lunch Cooler Bag | Lunch Boxes for...
  • INSULATED LUNCH BOX FOR MEN SIZE 11.6”W x 9.1”D x 10.6”H provides plenty of room for stacked containers. Can store...
  • LARGE LUNCH BAG WITH LARGER SIDE MESH POCKETS can store BIG 20oz water bottles. Inside mesh pocket on lid zips tightly...
  • LUNCH COOLER BAG WITH DURABLE high-quality Nylon construction is stain and water resistant. Wipe clean with a damp cloth...
If you need an oversized bag to carry a day's worth of food or something to bring on a picnic or a day at the beach, the Ramaka Large Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag will serve your needs. Its wide inner compartment makes this lunch bag a standout among even the best lunch boxes on the market.

Not only can this lunch bag fit your meals, but you can also squeeze in a couple of snacks. Plus, this lunch box comes in sleek, solid colors that don’t draw unwanted attention.

It features a padded and adjustable shoulder strap. It also features 2 mesh side pockets that can fit a 20-ounce water bottle or other items. The zipped mesh pocket inside is perfect for storing your utensils or condiments.

No matter how hot it is at your job site, this bag can keep your food cold with its durable nylon construction. This product is non-toxic and is also water and stain-resistant. It measures 9.5 inches wide, 9.3 inches long, and 7.9 inches tall.

Notable features

  • Large size
  • Multiple pockets
  • Water-resistant
  • Stain-resistant
  • Non-toxic insulation

Baloray Lunch Bag Tote

BALORAY Lunch Bag Cooler Bag Large Durable Insulated Water-resistant...
  • 【Larger Capacity&Durable Handle】L:11.5xW:7xH:8.5 inches.A standard size lunch bag version of our water resist lunch...
  • 【Sturdy Grab Soft Handles】2019 Upgraded handle strong linen handles and durable 600D oxford material connect by...
  • 【Insulated &Safe Quality】BALORAY reusable Lunch Bag is made of the highly 600D Polyester, food safe lining and...
Whoever said the best lunch boxes can’t also be stylish hasn’t seen the Baloray Lunch Bag Tote. Don’t be fooled by its classy design because it packs plenty of features under the surface.

This lunch tote is made from waterproof and insulating materials. Simply pop this tote in the fridge with fresh food and an ice pack, and you’re all set.

Aside from being the perfect storage for your food, you also won’t get weird looks if you choose to put your wallet and phone in this bag when you go shopping.

This bag measures 11.5 inches long, 7 inches wide, and 8.5 inches high. Its large size means it can fit your meals and snacks for the entire day.

Notable features

  • Water-resistant
  • Stylish design
  • Multi-purpose
  • Large compartment
  • Insulated lining

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch Bag

Rubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch Bag, Medium, Black Etch
  • Specifically designed to work with Rubbermaid LunchBlox food containers and Blue Ice packs; insulated to keep food...
  • Lightweight lunch bag with zip closure is easy to carry with comfort grip handle and removable shoulder strap
  • Includes specific compartments for bottles and utensils
Rubbermaid is one of the most trusted brands on the market when it comes to food containers. If you have Rubbermaid items at home, you might want to get the Rubbermaid LunchBlox Lunch Bag, too.

This lunch bag has insulation to keep your food fresh for a longer period and is meant for both children and adults. Despite its lightweight, it can still carry multiple meals and snacks.

It has a zip closure and a comfort grip handle. You can also use its removable shoulder strap for even more convenient carrying. Unlike some of the other best lunch boxes on the market, this bag also comes with separate utensil and bottle compartments.

Notable features

  • BPA-free liner
  • Insulated design
  • Works best with Rubbermaid LunchBlox products
  • Great handle and strap options
  • Utensil and water bottle compartments

MIER Double Deck Cooler Insulated Lunch Bag 

MIER Adult Lunch Box Insulated Lunch Bag Large Cooler Tote Bag for...
  • MIER reusable lunch box with a soft pu handle strap and a detachable shoulder strap for easily carry. Upper compartment...
  • Two sections that keep cold and warm items separate. On top, a roomy pouch is great for chips, fruit, drinks snacks and...
  • A front zipper pocket for putting your utensils, napkins, keys, small change, cards and other small stuffs, and two...
Looking for a sleek and straightforward lunch box that has everything you need? You won’t regret getting the MIER Double Deck Cooler Insulated Lunch Bag Large Cooler Tote. This spacious lunch box features thick insulation to keep your food fresh all day.

Its interior insulated PEVA lining is also food-safe and eco-friendly. Regular cleaning only requires a wet cloth or a wipe. It also features a detachable shoulder strap and a soft handle strap.

This lunch box is ideal for those who want to carry both hot and cold foods. Its upper compartment can be accessed through the front opening which has a two-way dual zipper. It also has a pouch that is perfect for storing chips, nuts, and other snacks.

This cooler also features a front zipper for storing utensils, cards, and even change. It measures 10.2 inches long, 7.9 inches wide, and 11 inches tall.


Notable features

  • Great handle and strap options
  • Two insulated compartments
  • Multiple small storage pockets
  • Thick insulation
  • PEVA lining
  • Easy to clean

Youkee Neoprene Lunch Tote

Black Neoprene Lunch Tote, Yookeehome Thick Reusable Insulated Thermal...
  • Insulated, The black lunch totes are made of thick neoprene material, can keep food cold or warm for a few hours
  • The heavy duty zipper ensures your lunch bag can be open and close smoothly even when it's full
  • The black lunch bags keep straight when it's packed items, so you don't need to worry that the soup or drink will spill...
A simple lunch box you can take anywhere with you, the Youkee Neoprene Lunch Tote offers a range of classic and hip designs. It's made with thick neoprene material for hours of quality insulation.

This lunch tote features a heavy-duty zipper. Because of its design, it can easily hold any kind of food, including sandwiches, snacks, water bottles, bento boxes, and juices. It is also perfect if you love bringing soups, since it sits upright.

This lunch tote measures 11.5 inches long, 6 inches wide, and 11 inches tall.


Notable features

  • Thick neoprene construction
  • Large compartment
  • Simple, upright design
  • Wide selection of colors and prints

Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag

Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag | Reusable Canvas Lunch Box for Women, Men, Kids...
  • REUSABLE: Intelligently and practically designed for daily use. This well-made bag is effortless to clean, pre-shrunk,...
  • DURABLE & SPACIOUS: Measuring 11” (h) x 8” (w) x 5” (d), this lunch bag is compact, yet roomy and flexible enough...
  • WATER RESISTANT LINING: Made with a rinsable, tested food-safe lining with a handy interior pocket (for a water bottle...
When you carry the Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag, people will wonder whether you have a statement tote, a lunch box, or a work bag. Despite having a heftier price tag than other options on this list, its features and design make it worth every penny.

This lunch box has a stretchy inner pocket big enough to fit a small flask. The exterior features two layers of thick organic cotton coupled with water-safe polyester lining, perfect for people who want more environmental-friendly options.

To clean this bag, you simply pop it in a washing machine. This lunch box measures 5 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 11 inches tall, and can easily be folded when not in use.


Notable features

  • Sustainable materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Plenty of unique designs
  • Water-resistant lining
  • Compact and folds when empty

Juliette Darras Insulated Lunch Bag

Juliette Darras Insulated Lunch Bag for Women - Elegant,...
  • Elegant Handbag for Women - This beautiful designer lunch bag from Juliette Darras turns heads. Made from stunning PU...
  • Insulated Lunch Purse Keeps Food Fresh - Insulated interior lining, made with food-grade aluminum, can keep food,...
  • Multifunctional Tote Purse - A lunch bag that looks like a purse, carry it by its stylish handles or extend the shoulder...
Do you dream of carrying a lunch box that looks like a designer handbag? The Juliette Darras Insulated Lunch Bag is for you. Without question, it will have you looking like a fashionista.

This elegant lunch box is made from PU leather and has fine stitching to add to its luxurious feel. Whether you bring it on a lunch date, business meeting, or shopping day, you’ll surely receive compliments on your bag.

This fancy lunch box has an insulated interior lining made with food-grade aluminum to ensure that your drinks and food stay fresh for six hours. Depending on your style for the day, you can switch between using the handle or the shoulder strap.

Notable features

  • Elegant style
  • Multi-function
  • Insulated lining
  • 12-month warranty

Carhartt Deluxe Lunch Cooler

Carhartt Deluxe Dual Compartment Insulated Lunch Cooler Bag, Carhartt...
  • Dual compartment insulated lunch bag made of heavy duty fabric with Rain Defender durable water repellent
  • Insulated main compartment keeps food and drinks cool and is large enough for a 6-pack
  • Separate insulated top compartment for additional food storage; front zippered pocket for utensils
Sometimes, a standard-sized lunch box won't cut it. One of the best choices for people looking for heavy-duty coolers is the Carhartt Deluxe Lunch Cooler. This cooler bag is not only spacious but contains 100 percent synthetic, water-repellent material.

Because it has multiple sections, it can hold all your food, utensils, and drinks with ease. Its main section is large enough to hold six cans of soda, and it has a separate compartment where you can place even more food.This cooler bag has a top handle and a shoulder strap to make carrying easier.

It boasts metal hardware, YKK zippers, an ID tag, and triple-needle stitching for added durability. It measures 7 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 9 inches tall.


Notable features

  • Elegant style
  • Multi-function
  • Insulated lining
  • 12-month warranty

Coleman 9 Can Cooler

Coleman 9-Can Soft Cooler with Removable Liner
  • Soft, portable cooler bag with 9-can capacity keeps food and drinks cold
  • Zippered main compartment features heat-welded seams to prevent leaks
  • Removable hard plastic liner for packing flexibility and easy cleaning
Sometimes, a standard-sized lunch box won't cut it. One of the best choices for people looking for heavy-duty coolers is the Carhartt Deluxe Lunch Cooler. This cooler bag is not only spacious but contains 100 percent synthetic, water-repellent material.

Because it has multiple sections, it can hold all your food, utensils, and drinks with ease. Its main section is large enough to hold six cans of soda, and it has a separate compartment where you can place even more food.

This cooler bag has a top handle and a shoulder strap to make carrying easier. It boasts metal hardware, YKK zippers, an ID tag, and triple-needle stitching for added durability. It measures 7 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 9 inches tall.

Notable features

  • Large compartments
  • Insulated lining
  • Handle and shoulder strap options
  • Durable stitching and hardware

What Is a Lunch Box?

A lunch box is a container in which you can carry your food easily, whether it’s at work, on a trip, or at school. Lunch boxes are a staple for elementary kids. But given their usefulness, it’s a wonder why people stop using lunch boxes as they get older.

Lunch boxes originated in the 19th century and were used by working men to protect their meals at job sites, usually in quarries or coal mines. During this time, the standard lunch box was nothing more than a metal pail.

Then, children who wanted to copy their fathers brought similar containers, usually empty tobacco or cookie tins, to school.

The first commercial lunch box was sold in 1902 and was decorated with drawings of playing

What to Consider in Your Search for the Best Lunch Boxes

hello kitty lunch box

Image via Pixabay

If you plan on using your lunch box every day, you need a product that is reliable and durable. After all, carrying a brown paper bag to the office isn’t the most appealing option out there.

Here are some factors you need to consider when checking out the best lunch boxes for you and your family:


Temperature control

When purchasing a lunch box, you need to know whether or not the product has insulation. This feature keeps your meal cool or warm throughout the day, or at least until your mealtime arrives.

The inner layer of an insulated lunch box features water-resistant material, usually made with aluminum, plastic, foil liners, or vinyl. These materials keep your food safe, dry, and fresh.

The best lunch boxes also feature a middle layer packed with insulating foam (typically made of polyethylene plastic, polyester fibers, or polyurethane). Some lunch boxes also contain gel or ice packs to keep your perishable foods safe for even longer.


All-in-one versatility

Some products offer one or two containers for better food organization. When choosing from some of the best lunch boxes, first determine whether you want one with built-in containers or not.

Also, if your lunch box does come with containers, find out if they are microwave-safe. If they are, you can easily heat your meal without transferring it to another container or plate that you'll then need to wash.


Bigger isn't always better

One of the most important factors you should consider is the size of your lunch box. Ensure that there is enough room to pack all of your drinks and food.

Also, consider whether you can use a large lunch box that takes up a lot of space in the office fridge or your desk.

Before shopping, figure out the ideal size for you. But if you’re unsure, get a bigger size since it’s better to have a little extra space than one that is too small.


Looks matter

Buying a lunch box that you don’t think is visually appealing means you probably won't use it. Instead, get a lunch box with a specific color, pattern, and shape that you like.

Also, assess if your chosen lunch box is suitable for the office or your specific workplace. In other words, cartoon characters might be a no-go.
lunch box image cartoon

Image via Pixabay

Not too hard or too soft

Before buying even one of the best lunch boxes, determine which style suits you best. Think of the possible situations and settings in which you’ll use your lunch box. Your personal preference will also come into play.

Lunch boxes come in two main types: hard and soft. The hard varieties are great at keeping your food protected. They usually use a plastic or metal shell that holds its shape.

Soft lunch boxes still have some structure, albeit not very rigid. This style is great if you want to fit additional utensils and foods in your lunch box. It also works well to save space since it can easily be flattened or folded to take up less room.


Grab-and-go or no?

Many people make the mistake of not considering the handle when buying one of the best lunch boxes. The handle needs to be durable enough to hold and support the contents of your lunch box.

If you opt for a lunch box with no handle, make sure you can fit your lunch box in your school or work bag. There are also some lunch boxes with long shoulder straps.

Easy cleaning

Anything that stores your food will require cleaning. It's essential to consider this factor when buying a new lunch box. If your lunch box is difficult to clean, then you might not want to use it in the first place.

If you're getting a soft lunch box, is it machine-washable? For hard lunch boxes, can it be easily wiped with a wet cloth? Also, check whether the thermos or containers it comes with are dishwasher-safe.

Pay attention to whether your lunch box is spill-proof, especially if it's a bento box. After all, you don't want your lunch to spill into your work bag or desk.

It's also important to determine whether your lunch box is stain-resistant. Whether you like it or not, leakage from your food or drink is inevitable. The last thing you want is to deal with a stain that is hard to remove.

Why You Need to Invest in One of the Best Lunch Boxes

Packing a lunch box can be an amazing experience for kids and grownups alike. With the best lunch boxes, you can enjoy healthy meals in style (and save some money along the way).

Here are some of the most important reasons why you should spend money on one of the best lunch boxes:


1. You can eat healthier

If you're busy at work, it can be time-consuming and expensive to get healthy meals that supply you with the right amount of nutrients you need.

When you have a lunch box, though, you won’t be as tempted to rely on packaged snacks and fast food. Instead, you can prepare fresh and nutritious food at home and take it wherever you go.


2. You can save money

Think about how much you spend on lunch each day. Although a $10 burger or salad might not seem expensive, these costs pile up over time.

No matter the cost of your lunch box, you will be getting your money’s worth because of its usability and functionality. With a lunch box packed with your favorite meal, you won’t have to order out every day!


3. You can help protect the planet

Nowadays, more people are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. The best lunch boxes are not only a great money saver, but they can also reduce your trash production.

Since you’re preparing your meal in a reusable container, you'll be saying goodbye to single-use plastic wrappers and sandwich bags. Without question, the best lunch boxes are a sustainable way to carry your meal.

Ready to Start Sporting One of the Best Lunch Boxes?

Choosing any of the best lunch boxes above is a great addition to your on-the-go arsenal. Plus, there's truly something available for every lifestyle and need.

If you want something compact and stylish, you can choose from products like the Baloray Lunch Bag Tote or the Juliette Darras Insulated Lunch Bag. If you want something unique and sustainable, then the Fluf Zipper Lunch Bag might just be perfect.

On the other hand, some people need more than the standard lunch box can offer. If this applies to you, then we suggest picking up a personal cooler like the Carharrt Deluxe Lunch Cooler or the Coleman 9 Can Cooler.

Whichever lunch box you choose for your daily meals, we're sure you'll be satisfied with anything listed above!

What lunch box do you currently use? Do you love it or hate it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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