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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Food Storage Containers For Leftovers



inside of refrigerator filled with food storage containers full of food
Make your life easier with the best food storage containers for leftovers for your family.

Everyone loves good leftovers, but only if it’s properly preserved. A good set of storage containers is essential. But if you’re like me, your food storage container cupboard is a jumbled mess of mismatched containers and lids. Might be time to get a new set of storage containers for your leftovers. Enjoy your leftovers again with my picks for the way to store them.

Can’t contain myself: The best ones here are the Glass locking Containers.

Some of the best storage containers for leftover food available today have been designed with your needs in mind. They withstand accidental drops, they can be stacked both in your refrigerator and while they’re not in use for easy organization. You also get superior preservation features. Many are also designed with aesthetic appeal in mind so that you can have the best food storage experience possible.

Below is a list of the top rated storage containers available, along with what makes them so appealing to so many users. Grab a set today so you can enjoy your meal tomorrow!

Best Overall: Glass lock type Containers

Glass locking container sets are widely regarded as some of the safest and most versatile on the market. The 18 piece set (lids and containers included, so 9 altogether) comes with different sizes of rectangular and square pieces.

This wide range of sizes makes them easily able to handle any amount of any meal you want to keep. It also makes for easy storage when they’re not in use. They nest inside each other, just stack the lids on top.

Tempered glass

They are made out of tempered glass, which is safe to put in the oven or microwave for quick and easy reheating of your leftovers. The glass is also dishwasher safe, making clean-up a breeze. The containers are also BPA free and made with recyclable glass. They’re resistant to stains and lingering odors as well.

While many people are hesitant of potentially dangerous accidents if the glass drops and shatters, the Glass locking containers have withstood many counter-height drop tests without breaking.

Rubber gasket and 4 latches

The lids on the Glass locking storage containers also contribute to their superior food preservation abilities. The plastic lids have a rubber gasket, along with 4 latches on each side. These features make them completely leak proof and airtight, which is imperative for proper food storage.

Top Rated: Utopia Kitchen Glass Food Storage Container Set

Another great 18 piece glass food storage container option comes from Utopia Kitchen. It has a similar size range with 4 rectangular, 2 square, and 3 circular, making for maximum storage options.

They’re also made out of BPA free glass and have the same microwave, oven, and dishwasher safety as any glass container. The lid design is also similar, with rubber gaskets and four latches on each lid. The difference is that all of these lids are bright blue. You’ll definitely be able to tell these lids apart from your other container lids!

Utopia Kitchen has received rave reviews online, although they lack in the durability area. Some reviewers say that the rubber gaskets break or wear out over time. But many still recommend this product, and this set is competitive in price.

Plastic Pick: Popit Little Big Box Food Plastic Container Set

Glass may not be the best option for you if you’d prefer a lighter weight option. This is good for people who are primarily using these storage options to bring lunch to work or school and don’t want to lug around a heavy bag all day. Or maybe you just don’t want the weight of the glass in your fridge or are worried about glass shattering. Either way, Popit has the best plastic set of food storage containers for leftovers on the market.

Popit doesn’t compromise quality for material. It comes with 8 pieces, ranging from 3 to 47 ounces. While they cannot go in the oven for reheating, they’re microwave safe, BPA free, and also freezer safe. That’s a major advantage over the glass containers for long-term storage. They can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Make a big batch of lasagna and store the leftovers. Here’s the best lasagna pan for a crowd.

There are such better options for bringing your lunch. Say goodbye, brown bag.
There are much better options for bringing your lunch. Say goodbye, brown bag.

They have a similar leak-proof lid design with 4 latches, but no rubber airtight seal. Many users say the latches provide more than enough freshness, though. In terms of storage when they’re not in use, they also nest inside each other for a hassle-free organization. These are much cheaper compared to the glass containers. If you don’t need glass or are more focused on freezer storage, these are a perfect option for you.

Budget Pick: Rubbermaid LunchBlox

Another cost-saving plastic alternative is the Lunchblox set from Rubbermaid. The modular design of these containers allows them to easily stack onto and even inside each other, making lunch packing a breeze. Their lids snap on to create an airtight seal and the entire set is BPA free and microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.

The best feature of this set is its ice pack option. It comes with an ice pack that can snap onto the containers, perfect for storing leftovers from last night for lunch the next day. This set is much more affordable than others listed here, and while they don’t have all the same features and may leak more than others, this set is a great option if you’re on a budget and looking for great food storage containers for leftovers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reheat my leftovers directly in these containers?

Yes, you can! Why dirty another dish if you don’t have to?

With the glass containers, you can reheat your leftovers in the microwave, or do as I do and reheat your leftovers in the oven! Of course, then you’ll have to serve it in a different dish unless you want to wait for it to cool back down a bit. Don’t ruin your oven, keep the plastic containers out of it and stick to the microwave for those.

When microwaving your containers, make sure the lid is not sealed all the way. Vent at least one corner to allow the steam to escape.

Are they dishwasher safe?

All of the containers listed here are dishwasher safe.

I recommend removing the rubber seals on the lids if possible and hand washing those. The high temperature in the dishwasher could deform them, and then you’ll lose your airtight seal. This also allows for better cleaning of the lid. The plastic containers and lids should only go on the top shelf.

How well do these containers store?

If you have a cupboard you’re afraid to open, it might be time for a change. You’ll never have to worry about a mess of storage containers again if you get a set like the ones here. Out with the old and in with the new!

The containers listed in this review are all stackable, so they store great. You can stack the dishes inside each other and the lids on top of one another. It will help alleviate stress in the kitchen all day long.

Are these freezer- and/or oven-safe?

Freezer and oven safe storage containers are important for any kitchen. Whether you’re storing produce or leftovers, it’s great to have containers you can count on.

The glass containers listed here are made to be oven safe and freezer safe. This is great for both cooking and storing leftovers right in the same container! Do not put the lids in the oven though, only the containers are oven safe. Cover with foil if you need to cover something while it bakes.

The plastic containers are of course not oven safe, but they are freezer safe! So even if you can’t cook in them, don’t be afraid to store whatever you need to freeze in the airtight plastic containers.

Is there any residual flavor left by the containers?

Some plastic containers may leave behind an odd taste, but the ones reviewed here do not.

Of course, a glass container isn’t going to leave behind a plastic like taste. The food stored in these containers will also be safe from the freezer burnt flavor a lot of leftovers get stuck with as the seals are airtight.

The plastic containers, the Popit and the Rubbermaid, also don’t seem to leave behind any artificial flavors. According to reviews, the food tastes fresh and uncontaminated (of course only if you eat it in a reasonable amount of time).


Having a good reliable set of containers will help you get the most out of your cooking because you’ll be more likely to use up the leftovers. These are all great sets but among them, my favorite is the Glass locking Container set. The tight-fitting lids make sure all the flavor makes it to lunch the next day. I also like that they’re made from glass. Just a little extra care and these will last you for a long time.

Know before you store… Find out how long cooked crab lasts.

Additional Resources

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Randolph C. and Randy H.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Alexis DeAnda

Alexis DeAnda is a food fanatic, library card user, and cast iron hunter, in that order. She has been cooking for anyone that will taste it ever since her mom let her make doughnuts on Saturday mornings at the age of 7.

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