The 9 Best Glass Food Storage Containers for Keeping Your Food Fresh
If you're tired of rifling through an overflowing drawer of dingy plastic food containers, consider upgrading to a quality set of glass food storage containers. Unlike plastic, glass is oven-safe, and certain containers can even go straight from the oven to the freezer and vice versa.
To come up with our list of the best glass food storage containers, we spent hours researching top-rated products and reading user reviews, considering factors such as durability, thermal shock-resistance, versatility, and value. We also received tips and recommendations from Talia Koren, founder of the meal planning subscription service and blog Workweek Lunch and author of The Workweek Lunch Cookbook.
Our top pick, the Pyrex Simply Store Glass Food Storage Container Set, was chosen for its durable tempered glass construction, variety of shapes and sizes, stackability, and reasonable price.
Below you'll find more recommendations for the best glass food storage containers, and keep scrolling for information on how to buy the best glass food containers for all your needs.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Glass Food Storage Containers: Pyrex Simply Store Glass Food Storage Container Set
- Best Budget Glass Food Storage Containers: Bayco 24-Piece Glass Food Storage Container Set
- Best Glass Food Storage Containers for Dry Food: Sweetzer & Orange Glass Food Storage Containers with Bamboo Lids
- Best Glass Food Storage Containers for Meal Prep: Prep Naturals 2-Compartment Glass Container Set
- Best Glass Food Storage Containers With Locking Lids: Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Food Storage Container Set
- Best Glass Food Storage Containers With Glass Lids: Pyrex Ultimate 10-Piece Glass Storage Set
- Best Vacuum Seal Glass Food Storage Containers: Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum 7-Piece Starter Set
- Best Large Glass Food Storage Container: Oxo Good Grips 8-Cup Smart Seal Glass Container
- Best Small Best Glass Food Storage Containers: lunchley 12-Pack Glass Food Storage Container Set
1 Best Overall Glass Food Storage Containers: Pyrex Simply Store Glass Food Storage Container Set
2 Best Budget Glass Food Storage Containers: Bayco 24-Piece Glass Food Storage Container Set
3 Best Glass Food Storage Containers for Dry Food: Sweetzer & Orange Glass Food Storage Containers with Bamboo Lids
4 Best Glass Food Storage Containers for Meal Prep: Prep Naturals 2-Compartment Glass Container Set
5 Best Glass Food Storage Containers with Locking Lids: Rubbermaid Brilliance Glass Food Storage Container Set
6 Best Glass Food Storage Containers with Glass Lids: Pyrex Ultimate 10-Piece Glass Storage Set
7 Best Vacuum Seal Glass Food Storage Containers: Zwilling Fresh & Save Vacuum 7-Piece Starter Set
8 Best Large Glass Food Storage Container: Oxo Good Grips 8-Cup Smart Seal Glass Container
9 Best Small Glass Food Storage Containers: lunchley 12-Pack Glass Food Storage Container Set
The Pyrex Simply Store Glass Food Storage Container Set is our top pick because it features the best variety of shapes and sizes for any storage, baking, or serving need. The containers themselves stack together neatly and are made from durable, tempered glass that is both lightweight and resistant to breaking if dropped or hit against something.
How to Shop for Glass Food Storage Containers
Glass is glass, right? Turns out, depending on how it's treated, glass can vary greatly in terms of durability, price, and function. Here are some of the most common types of glass you might come across in cookware or food storage:
Untreated soda lime glass is the least expensive type of glass, and is most commonly used for window panes, glass bottles, food jars, etc. Untreated glass is prone to shattering as a result of thermal shock, which is why it's not oven- or freezer-safe. Therefore, you're not likely to find food storage containers made with non-heat-treated soda-lime glass.
Tempered Glass is soda lime glass that has been heat treated to make it more durable and heat-resistant. It's considered safer than untreated glass, because when it does break, it crumbles as opposed to breaking into shards, so there's less likelihood of injury. Compared to both untreated glass and borosilicate glass, tempered glass is much less likely to break when dropped or hit against something.
Borosilicate Glass is the most resistant to thermal shock, meaning it can withstand extreme temperature changes. It contains boron trioxide, an ingredient that changes the nature of the glass and allows it to go straight from the freezer to the oven without cracking. On the downside, borosilicate is more expensive and more brittle than tempered glass, meaning it's more likely to break if you drop it.
So which type of glass is right for your needs? For carrying leftovers or work lunches on-the-go, tempered glass is the least prone to cracking if dropped. However, if you plan to subject your containers to extreme temperature changes (e.g. going from the oven to the fridge and vice versa), borosilicate glass food storage containers are the least likely to crack under these conditions.
Most glass food storage containers feature a plastic or silicone lid (often a plastic lid with a silicone seal), although it is possible to find glass food storage containers with glass lids. Be sure to check the manufacturer instructions when it comes to your lid—oftentimes the glass containers will be oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe, but the plastic lids will not. Many plastic lids may be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack only.
Glass food storage containers with snap-on or locking lids feature a lock-in-place mechanism that protects from leaks and odors, making them an excellent choice for on-the-go storage, such as school or work lunches. "Snap-on lids are ideal for food storage because not only does it help keep odors in the containers (and not in your fridge), but it also ensures food won't spill if you're taking food to work with you," says Koren.
When you think about how you plan to use your storage containers, consider what features are most important for your needs. Planning to reheat leftovers at work? Make sure your containers are microwave-safe. Want to bake, serve, and store all in one container? Double check that your container is oven-safe and consider borosilicate glass for extreme temperature changes. Looking for a meal-prep helper? Freezer-safe food storage containers allow you to prep and store meals weeks in advance. Be sure to consider how these features may differ when it comes to lids, which are generally made from plastic.
Size and Shape
How you plan to use your glass food storage containers will affect which size or variety of sizes you choose. Whether you're baking a family-size lasagna or storing tiny portions of baby food, glass food storage containers generally range from 1 cup to 7 cups, so there's a size to fit any storage need.
"For most lunches and dinners I like to use a 30 oz (roughly 3 cups) container," says Koren. "This size holds plenty of food for one portion and is easy to carry around."
When it comes to shape, rectangular containers are the best for optimizing fridge or freezer space, while round containers can be good for storing liquids. For storing dry goods, consider what you plan to store in them—bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. Some ingredients, such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, or ground spices, can go rancid when stored in bulk over long periods of time, so it may make more sense to purchase smaller containers for these ingredients.
Variety and Quantity
When in doubt, you can't go wrong with a variety of shapes and sizes for any need. Oftentimes variety sets feature containers that will stack easily to minimize the amount of space they take up in your cabinets. If you're looking for a container for a specific purpose, such as storing baby food, you'll also find sets that include just one or two different sizes and shapes for a designated purpose.
Questions You Might Ask
Are glass food storage containers better than plastic?
This really comes down to personal preference, but Koren prefers glass: "Glass and plastic food storage containers function the same when it comes to storing food, though I prefer glass and recommend them to people who utilize meal prep and leftovers often," says Koren. Glass food storage containers generally have a longer lifespan (provided they don't break), are oven-safe, and less likely to retain odors or stains.
However, glass does have its disadvantages: Glass containers are heavier, more likely to break or shatter, and more expensive than plastic containers. With proper care, glass food storage containers will last a lot longer than plastic containers, but you have to assess their potential drawbacks as well, especially if you plan to carry the containers with you on-the-go. People with kids may also want to consider plastic containers to eliminate any risk of the glass breaking and causing injury.
What type of glass is best for food storage?
Tempered glass is one of the most common and reliable types of glass for food storage because it's affordable, heat-resistant, and the least likely to break when dropped or hit against something. However, borosilicate is the better choice if your containers will be undergoing extreme heat changes.
Can glass food storage containers go in the oven and freezer?
Tempered glass containers can go in the oven and freezer, but you have to take special measures to avoid temperature shock: "If you plan on reheating food from frozen in glass containers, I recommend letting the container sit in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours to avoid the risk of shattering a cold container in a hot oven," says Koren. If you don't want to take these measures, opt for thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Melanie Fincher, associate commerce editor for Real Simple with nearly three years of experience writing product reviews and lifestyle content. To put together this list, she spent hours researching the best glass food storage containers and combing through user reviews. For expert recommendations, she consulted Talia Koren, founder of the meal planning subscription service and blog, Workweek Lunch and author of The Workweek Lunch Cookbook.