We will revisit this guide to test additional models, but for now, we’ve changed our pick to Snapware Total Solution because it’s more readily available, a better value, and has held up after a year of long term testing.
After over a year of long-term testing, I’m changing our recommendation to Snapware Total Solution. They’re cheaper than most glass containers (as little as $3.33 each), nestable, oven-, dishwasher-, and microwave-safe. Best of all, if you break a lid, Snapware provides a lifetime warranty for them, so all you have to do is call their customer service and you’ll get a speedy replacement.
Our original pick, the Kinetic Go Green Glasslock containers, are still great, but they would go in and out of stock regularly. They also come with a less generous warranty for the lids, which are often the first thing to break. If you are willing to pay a bit more, you get an elegant set that has a lot of fans.
I came to this conclusion after 24 hours of research, perusing reviews, talking to experts on food safety and editors who do a lot of food storage in their work, and then doing my own confirmation tests of filling, shaking, storing, freezing, microwaving, washing, and dropping these containers. I also used my experience as a food writer for Saveur, Garden Design, NYMag.com, and more.
Should I upgrade?
Unless you eat every single meal out, you’ll need a food storage container to store cooked foods, take-to-work lunches, frozen leftovers, small potluck contributions and cut fruit. You could just keep your food in a bowl in the refrigerator, but a good food storage container will keep air out, reducing spoilage and keeping stale refrigerator smells from permeating your goods.
These containers cost more than plastic ones, and if you tend to lose things, you’ll want to stick to disposables. But I wouldn’t.1
How We Picked and Tested
Deciding which kind of material to get? Here’s how we’d decide. 2
Best for most people, in general.
If you’re concerned about plastic’s safety.
If you’re using the containers mostly for storage at home.
If you store foods that tend to stain or smell.
But, plastic, if:
You want something cheaper that you can leave at potlucks.
Your family tends to lose containers.
You want something lighter to carry around.
Let me explain how I came to those conclusions.
Many of us grew up using plastic containers like Tupperware. In recent years, scientists have raised concern over the dangers of chemicals leaching out of plastic. One of the most well-known is Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to harden plastics. Though it could be found in many plastic food-storage containers and baby bottles for years, BPA is now thought to be an endocrine disruptor, which means that it mimics hormones in the human body and can change or block normal functions in the body and brain. Pregnant women, babies, and children are especially vulnerable.
Because organizations like the Consumers Union have raised public awareness about the dangers of BPA, most brand-name plastic food containers are now BPA-free, including all of the plastic containers we tested for this story.
That doesn’t mean we’re in the clear as far as chemicals in plastics, necessarily. While much attention has been paid to BPA, there are other chemicals in some plastics that may be similarly disruptive to the body. Phthalates, for example, are a class of plastic softeners. The ones deemed “safe” by the FDA can be present in some shampoos and cosmetics as well as soft plastic products like teething rings and medical tubing; other phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, with six being banned in certain amounts by the CPSC for use in children’s toys. (Some of the phthalates allowed in the U.S. are actually banned in Europe.)
Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports, cautions people not just to avoid BPA and phthalates, but also to be wary of the plastic chemicals that haven’t been studied well enough. “We don’t have a lot more safety information around daily ingesting of plastics,” she says. “If you heat in plastic, plastic will break down. If you wash your plastics a lot in the dishwasher, they will also start to break down over time. So you may get a little bit of those plastics, and whatever else is in them, and there’s a lot that’s in a plastic—colorings, additives, plasticizers, all sorts of things. Those things can degrade over time, and they can essentially go into what you eat.”
These concerns have prompted a resurgence in the popularity of glass containers. Dr. Rangan advocates reheating food in glass or ceramic containers, as there are no known chemicals to leach into food. Though the glass containers we looked at come with plastic lids, Dr. Rangan says, “If your food is not in contact with the plastic lid, I’m not sure how much plastic is moving through the air onto your food.”
Unlike plastic, tempered glass is heavy, susceptible to breakage and more expensive. Though there have also been reports of soda-lime glass exploding after extreme temperature changes when taken out of conventional ovens, which a Consumer Reports (subscription required and recommended) investigation confirmed through independent testing in January 2011, risk is reduced with correct handling. Precautions you should take with glass include putting your container on a towel in the microwave, never putting the hot container on a wet or cold surface, preheating your oven before putting a container in (if your container is oven-safe) and adding liquid to the container before heating if the contents may release liquid during the heating process. All of the glass containers mentioned in this piece are freezer safe, but not all are oven safe. The glass containers are freezer-to-microwave safe, but Glasslock suggests that you defrost frozen contents first.
In her book, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, Tamar Adler details how to make great meals from leftovers and ends, which she understands can be a challenge for some cooks. She prefers to save her food in glass (Mason jars, precisely). “I feel funny about plastic,” she told us. “I feel like glass dignifies everything.”
Faith Durand, Executive Editor for The Kitchn, had a similar sentiment. She told us, “I prefer glass! A few years ago I got rid of my old, mismatched plastic storageware and switched almost entirely to glass containers. I find that the lids fit better, and I am more comfortable storing food in glass instead of plastic. I also like how easy it is to see what’s inside. So I use glass for nearly everything.”
So, there are experts who prefer glass and plastic.
Here’s how we settled on glass over plastic (for most people), though
What swung the argument in favor of glass for us was a discussion we had with the FDA spokesperson about storing food safely. She said, “What makes a big difference is making sure you refrigerate your leftovers right away. Don’t leave them on the counter, and when you reheat them, make sure you reheat them to a specific temperature. Those are things that for us make a difference in preventing illness.” If we’re going to be ladling hot soup into containers for optimal bacteria-thwarting in the fridge and reheating to a hot temperature in the same vessel, we’d rather feel confident that no additives are dissolving into our lunch.
What to look for
With so much to choose from, we wanted to break down the basic requirements. A good container should be airtight, leakproof, break-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.
Food should last longer. Nancy Hopkins, Senior Deputy Food & Entertaining Editor for Better Homes & Gardens, told us, “If you’re going to use a container, you want something that’s really airtight with a good seal if it’s something you plan to keep for a bit.”
Leakproof construction is important for transporting liquids.
Durability is important, as is shatter-resistance, which eliminates the ceramic containers.
Anyone who has old food storage containers knows that there’s nothing more off-putting than a stained container that still smells of yesterday’s lunch, so stain and smell-resistance matter. We also wanted something that could go in the dishwasher and the microwave, which eliminates stainless steel.
We followed Woman’s Day’s advice and chose square or rectangular containers over round ones in order to maximize fridge space. Nesting and stackability are nice to have, as are interchangeable lids for different sizes.
Most of the models we tested had a gasket seal around the lip and plastic hinges that snap shut so you know the container is sealed properly.
And the containers should be clear or easy to see through, so that you can always know what you’ve got inside without having to open it up.
The presence of Bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor, is a major dealbreaker for us, since there are already so many alternatives without BPA. All of the containers we tested claim to be free of BPA.
A gasket with room for mold to grow can also be problematic after time if the gasket cannot be removed and cleaned on its own.
Beware of sellers who market their sets as 16-piece or 14-piece; they’re including the lids in that count, so you’re really getting 8 or 7 containers.
We decided to limit this discussion to reusable containers that aren’t meant to be disposable. Plastic or glass storage containers range from about $2.50 to $10 a piece, depending on which material they’re made of. They’re sold on Amazon both individually and in sets, which generally lowers the price per piece. Price was a concern in making our pick, but since glass containers will last a long time, price was not as big of a concern as one would think.
There’s a lot of overlap in manufacturing and brand names. One major player on the glass side is a Korean company called Samkwang Glasslock. Pyrex, of course, has its own glass containers in the category, as does its tempered-glass American competitor, Anchor Hocking. Rubbermaid and the Italian brand Bormioli Rocco are also available at major retailers. Interestingly, Ziploc has gotten into the glass business with a line called Versaglass, which seems to be a rebranded version of the Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Fun line. (We tried to confirm with Ziploc’s parent company. S.C. Johnson, but were told by a rep, “Unfortunately, I’m unable to comment on the exact manufacturer of the product as that is proprietary information to SC Johnson.” However, we did find a designer’s portfolio which claims that Frigoverre Fun is marketed as Ziploc Versaglass in the U.S.)
Even though we decided we preferred glass, we decided to test plastic containers for those of you who prefer the material. On the plastic side, there are a lot of repeat names—Snapware, Rubbermaid, Kinetic Go Green—as well as plastic specialists like OXO, Frieling Emsa, Sterilite, Martha Stewart, and Sistema. There are also plenty of smaller brands in both glass and plastic that are too numerous to list, in addition to ceramic and stainless steel.
In terms of winnowing down these major brands and models by using editorial sources, there aren’t a ton of comparative review sources for us to look at. The two main sources were the Cook’s Illustrated guides on plastic storage containers and glass storage containers, and the Good Housekeeping Institute reviews on food storage. Since these articles were written a few years ago, a few of the models promoted on both sites are either no longer being made or may have changed.
With that in mind, we decided to run our own tests on the best models we could find.
We stored cut and whole, unwashed strawberries in the refrigerator for as long as they could last, which turned out to be 13 days.
We also froze overnight and reheated a double batch of Marcella Hazan’s awesome tomato-butter sauce, which we hoped would show how the containers would react to stains and smells.
We divided up ground beef into ¼ lb. portions and froze a hunk in each container for two weeks to look at freezer burn patterns.
We filled the containers with water and shook them, both before and after they had run through the dishwasher.
And, most fun of all, we decided conducted a drop test from waist height for all the picks, including our glass containers.
Cook’s Illustrated didn’t do a drop test on glass at all, expecting them to break. We thought we’d try anyway, because we wanted to see if any of them would survive (spoiler: they did!). This test was done on a piece of wood over cement to try and simulate a non-bouncy kitchen floor (without breaking the tiles in my kitchen). We dropped each filled container right side up, upside down, on its side, and on a corner.
What we couldn’t simulate was wear and tear over time—for that, we relied on Amazon customer reviews and complaints.
The flaps open easily but feel secure when shut. The containers tested well across the board, and because they’re Pyrex, the bottoms are oven-safe. Containers of the same size nest beautifully, and the lids even lock together nicely. We were amazed that the container didn’t break after being dropped at different angles four times. The busy, decorated lids also have a write-on area where you can mark the contents or date using permanent or dry-erase marker. Snapware Total Solution is made in the USA.
In tests, the Total Solution performed admirably. When we filled several containers with water and shook them around, the seal held; however, we did notice that one of the containers sprung a small leak after a trip through the dishwasher. Cut and whole strawberries stayed fresh looking and tasting for over a week. Frozen ground beef smelled and looked fine after over two weeks in the freezer. The plastic lid didn’t retain smells or stains from our tomato-butter sauce.
And here’s what elevates the Snapware Total Solution above the rest — an excellent lifetime warranty for the most vulnerable piece, the plastic lids, combined with super responsive customer service. The open and shut hinges prevalent on many food storage containers are really convenient and easy on the hands, but since it’s just a seam in a piece of hard plastic, they tend to break before the containers do.
I dropped a heavy container as I was taking it out of the freezer. While the glass didn’t break, a hinge on the lid did. I called customer service (800-999-3436), gave them my details, and they promptly sent me a whole new container with lid. The process was painless and the replacement came quickly. The Pyrex bottoms come with a 2-year limited warranty.
We didn’t choose these as our initial pick because the product was so new, and there wasn’t any feedback on their longevity. But now that they’ve been around for a year, they’ve garnered a solid 4.5 star rating out of 55 reviews on Amazon, with most of the negative commenters from people with broken lids who don’t realize that a replacement is just a phone call away.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The lids are a little flimsy. All of these hinged lids are easy to use, but they can also get damaged easily. I dropped one container after pulling it out of the freezer and dropping it on ceramic tile. But as I said above, the lids have a lifetime warranty, and a replacement is just a phone call away.
Unlike Glasslock, these lids don’t have a removable gasket. Instead, the grooves around the lip of the containers are sort of lined with a silicone sealant. When you wash the lids, moisture can collect in this groove and not dry out on their own. If you get grease in the groove, it can be a little difficult to clean if you’re hand washing. It’s a little annoying, but it can be remedied with the swipe of a scrunched up towel or sponge.
They’re not the most elegant-looking glass containers, but they’re a great value for what you get.
Long-term Test Notes
I’ve been using these containers for about a year and they’ve held up well. I’ve only had one lid hinge break on me, but it was replaced with such alacrity by Snapware customer service that I can hardly begrudge them for it. I’ve run the lids and bottoms through the dishwasher many times and the lids still fit well.
The 16-piece, 8-container set we purchased comes with square and rectangular containers, as well as one round container, ranging from 14 oz. (1 ¾ cup) to 88 oz. (11 cups) in size. The walls are thick but perfectly see-through. The plastic top, labeled #5 for polypropylene, has a firm silicone gasket that fills the lid groove from edge to edge. We found the plastic hinges on the lid pretty easy to snap on and off, though we’ve seen reviews from people have trouble getting the lids on. Cleanup is easy; the lids must be washed on the top dishwasher rack, but the glass containers can go on the bottom. Like Pyrex and Anchor Hocking glass, the Glasslock containers are made of soda-lime-tempered glass.
Cut and whole, unwashed strawberries kept for 13 days, as long as the best containers, with the greens still sprightly and the cut fruit tasting a touch off. Tomato-butter sauce didn’t impart stains or smells to the glass or plastic lid. Frozen ground beef smelled and looked fine after two weeks in the container.
Unfortunately, the straight-sided containers of the same size don’t nest together, but the smaller containers will nest comfortably within the larger ones.
These containers aren’t cheap—the Kinetic Go Green set averages about $8 per container, whereas plastic sets can sell for as little as $2.50 per container. (An average set of 8 glass containers goes for about $40, while Kinetic Go Green’s Glasslock set is $62.) But because they are very sturdy, they last a long time, and customer reviews on Amazon back that up. Amazon customer Cosmos says, “After years of almost daily use the glass remains in perfect condition,” while Jennifer Hnatko says, “I’ve owned these containers for over a year, and I use them every day. They’re one of the best purchases I’ve made!”
Another complaint some have raised is that you can’t keep the lids latched on while nuking. However, we found that microwaving lids sealed on other containers sometimes caused warping, anyway. It’s not a bad idea to loosen the lids on any container you’re microwaving in order to preserve the longevity of the seal.
Kinetic Go Green has a 1-year limited warranty from the date of purchase to repair or replace parts, but offers the best price per container ($7.75) with the set we’ve highlighted. Martha Stewart Collection sells these exact containers with different colored gaskets at Macy’s in a $50 6-container set ($8.33 per container), coming with the liberal Macy’s lifetime return policy. Glasslock’s brand, which can be purchased at places like The Container Store and Whole Foods Market, comes with a 3-year limited warranty from date of purchase, but the containers must be purchased individually for an average per-container price of about $10, depending on the size you need. Keep your eyes peeled for deals, as we saw the Martha Stewart set offered on sale for $30 on Macys.com this summer; at that price, combined with their fantastic unlimited-time return policy, the Martha Stewart set becomes our top pick.
All Glasslock containers are made in Korea.
The Kinetic Go Green Glasslock with straight sides was the top choice in glass for Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required and recommended). They say: “A neat, tight, reliable seal, good capacity, and solid performance in every test made this container a standout.”
Real Simple gave a nod to straight-sided Snapware Glasslock for leftovers, saying, “The locking latches create such a good seal that ‘food tasted as if it had been prepared the night before.’ Even when exposed to a tomato-based soup, the glass didn’t stain.”
Boing Boing also recommended the Snapware Glasslock, praising the containers’ leakproof seal. “I have biked with one filled with soup and arrived at my destination without a drop missing (something I definitely couldn’t do with my old plastic ones), and I didn’t have to waste another bowl in order to microwave it.”
In this extensive Chow.com discussion, there are several nods for Glasslock. Referring to the straight-sided containers, Davidahn says, “We use Glasslocks nearly exclusively, using the Pyrex, Lock & Locks, and various others (Gladware, etc.) ONLY if there are no free Glasslocks available.”
The Kinetic Go Green Glasslock set we looked at has an average rating of 4.5 stars, with 36 reviews; a smaller Kinetic Go Green Glasslock set has 4.5 stars over 62 reviews. The Snapware version has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 122 customer reviews. Laney Bsays of the Kinetic Go Green Glasslock, “This is the third set of Kinetic Go Green Storage containers I own. I love the way they work. My food stays fresh in them for weeks, not days. Even fresh berries and vegetables last for up to two weeks.” Greg Smalter says, “I’m always willing to pay for quality, and I’d buy these again. The drawbacks versus Pyrex are that Kinetic doesn’t sell sizes as large as Pyrex, and that Pyrex can be used in the oven and these can’t. But the lids on these are way better than Pyrex lids.”
Unlike Pyrex and the oven-safe Glasslock, the straight-sided set we’ve chosen cannot go into the oven. We believe that usage in the freezer, refrigerator, and microwave are the most common use cases. Since none of the editorial we looked at tested and advocated for Glasslock’s oven-safe containers, we did not choose to include them in our testing. Given the increase of complaints of soda-lime glass breakage, we did not want to recommend an oven-safe container without plenty of editorial and customer backup.
And while Kinetic Go Green’s 1-year warranty can’t touch the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s lifetime return policy, the Kinetic set is enough of a value that you can just buy replacements for breakage. Let’s put it this way — if the Kinetic Go Green set costs $62, and the equivalent from the Martha Stewart Collection (the set plus extras) costs about $80, is the warranty (with the hassle of returns) worth that extra $18? Not to me.
If you prefer plastic
Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required) picked it as their top plastic container, saying, “Though it allowed a few drops of water during its first submersion test, after dishwashing, seal was perfect.” Good Housekeeping gave it a B+, saying, “The Mods [the old name for the Airtight line] stained and warped after being used to reheat tomato sauce, so you might want to use them exclusively for storage.” The set is cheap — only $23 for a 9-container set, and some of the sets are even cheaper. And though those plastic hinges seem to break for people often, Snapware offers a lifetime warranty on their containers for “products damaged during normal household use.” Call World Kitchen and keep the container or lid as you may be asked to return it. Snapware Airtight containers are made in the USA.
Care and maintenance
It’s tempting to just leave the lids on when you microwave them. Don’t. There’s no sealed lid that benefits from the vacuuming effect that happens when you heat up your food in the microwave. Abusing the lid in this way can cause it to warp and lose its seal. If you must keep the lid on when you microwave to prevent splatter, always make sure to loosen the lid completely and set it slightly ajar across the top of the container. But a much better option is to use a vented microwave cover or a paper towel over your container when you zap it. Also, if you’re using a microwave with sensor reheat, it won’t work properly unless it can detect the amount of moisture coming off of your food.
Handwashing works well for most food storage containers. When you’re running these in the dishwasher, plastic pieces should always go on the top and glass pieces can go on the bottom rack. If the lid has a removable gasket, it’s good to remove the gasket from time to time and clean it separate from the lid to make sure no mold can grow.
Dry the lids completely before storage, and store the containers without the lids on to protect the longevity of the seal.
The Snapware Glasslock containers we tested were the 2nd-generation design with sloped sides that allow nesting. (The 2nd-generation nesting-but-not-oven-safe containers no longer seem to be available through Amazon.) Faith Durand of The Kitchn recommends these containers. She told us, “Mine have stood up well for years. They have tight-fitting snap-on lids that truly don’t leak, and they’re easy to clean up.” On Lifehacker, Kevin Purdy (who also writes for the Sweethome but was not consulted for this piece) wrote that nesting Snapware Glasslock may be the last containers you need to buy. He says, “They’ve pushed plastic containers out of my house, and hopefully for good…Food lasts longer in these containers, and the containers themselves last.“ They’re oven-safe unlike our main pick, but unfortunately 2nd-generation containers sold under Snapware seem to have more complaints of chipping. And we found these performed just slightly worse than the Kinetic Go Green Glasslock straight-sided containers. During our drop test, one of the plastic hinges broke off, but the glass never broke. The Snapware version is a bargain by comparison, with sets going on Amazon for about half the price of the Kinetic Go Green. Unfortunately, Glasslock and Snapware ended their partnership and the containers are no longer being made under the Snapware name. Whatever you find on Amazon is the inventory that remains.
Because there were no editorial reviews of oven safety, and customer reviews of the oven-safe line are lower, we are not recommending the 3rd-generation oven-safe Glasslock containers.
Pyrex is a cheaper option; their shallow, nesting containers are made of soda-lime glass in the USA, with food-safe #2 plastic lids. Though the the Bake, Serve, and Store set was praised by Cook’s Illustrated and Woman’s Day, we found that the lids are Pyrex’s big weakness. Of the two tops we tested, we preferred the No-Leak lid set ($42 for 5 rectangular containers), as the Pyrex with standard blue storage lids ($19 for 3 rectangular containers) tend to leak quite a bit (this was also reported in some customer reviews). During our drop test, both lids loosened multiple times, spilling the contents of the container out. The No-Leak lids, which come with a vent for lid-on microwaving, seemed to warp a bit after the microwave and dishwasher run. Amazon user Rob Montana complains, “The ridge inside the lid gets displaced so it has been a chore getting the clean lid to snug up and to seal against the rim of the glass.”
Anchor Hocking glass containers ($25 for 5 round containers) got a B+ from Good Housekeeping, who said, “Of the 28 containers in our test, it did the absolute best job of keeping air out.” However, Cook’s Illustrated could not recommend them, because “after going through the dishwasher 50 times, its seal was noticeably looser and leaked profusely in every test.” Anchor Hocking containers, made of soda-lime glass, are made in the USA.
The Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Fun ($12 for 1 rectangular container) line (which appears to be the same as the Ziploc Versaglass line) are made in Italy, but they did not stay as airtight as other glass containers in Good Housekeeping’s tests.
We were intrigued by the Store N’ Lock containers ($11 for a large square container) at Bed Bath & Beyond, which are similar in design to the Glasslock brand but are made of borosilicate glass, the durable material old school Pyrex and European Pyrex is made of. But there weren’t enough editorial tests or customer reviews available on them to warrant a call-in for testing.
Among the plastic containers, our second-favorite plastic container was the more expensive, German-made Frieling Emsa Clip and Close ($24 for a 5 container set). Good Housekeeping praised its gapless silicone gasket seal, but says, “after being used to microwave pasta sauce, the translucent plastic bottoms turned bright red. The BPA-free containers are made of polypropylene and they come with a 30-year warranty. It also became hard to put on the lids after they were run through the dishwasher.” It performed fairly well in every test except the drop test, in which the flaps opened up easily.
The OXO Good Grips LockTop containers ($30 for 6 square containers) were praised by Cook’s Illustrated for their easy, flap-free pressed seal, though they also said the tester “Stained slightly more than other containers.” Good Housekeeping said, “While easy to use, they don’t provide the best air resistance.” Though we liked the transparency of the bottoms and the easy on-off tops, these cracked in our drop test. (Amazon reviewer Avid Reader had a similar experience.) And they seemed less airtight, leaving our strawberries tasting fermented after 13 days. This is the only container we tested that is made of Tritan, also known as Eastman Copolyester. Tritan is a hard, crystal-clear plastic that is also used in the reformulated, BPA-free Nalgene bottles. PlastiPure and CertiChem, labs that compete against Eastman, claimed that Tritan causes “estrogenic activity.” According to an article in the Austin Chronicle, Eastman fought back, claiming that PlastiPure and CertiChem’s in vitro tests overstressed the plastic, though the trial also raised questions about Eastman’s tests understressing the material. The trial also revealed that the supposedly independent study used as proof of Tritan’s safety was in fact funded by Eastman. In July 2013, Eastman won their lawsuit against PlastiPure and CertiChem for “false advertising, unfair competition, and conspiracy.” (For more on the Tritan controversy, here’s a long read from Lou Dubose at the Washington Spectator, Silencing Science: What You May Never Know about Plastic Baby Bottles.) There’s no specific warranty, but OXO offers a “100% satisfaction guarantee” on every product, so you can call customer service for a replacement or refund.
Though Kinetic Go Green’s plastic line ($29 for 7 rectangular containers) wasn’t mentioned in any of the editorial we read, we included it in our tests because it was the bestselling container on Amazon. They performed well on most of our tests, with the important exception of the strawberry freshness test; the mold and mushy texture on the fruit contradicts the container’s claims of “nano silver technology” preserving foods longer. One of the plastic hinges on a lid also broke right out of the box—not great when the warranty is only 90 days from date of purchase. Kinetic Go Green plastic containers are made in Korea.
Lock & Lock Containers ($23 for 8 containers on QVC) was recommended by Cook’s Illustrated and got raves from some Serious Eats and The Kitchn commenters, but we couldn’t find them in any of the stores we visited, and only a few online retailers actually keep them in stock. As for the lifetime warranty, there are a lot of recent complaints on QVC’s community board about L&L’s formerly liberal replacement policy changing.
Rubbermaid Lock-Its ($31 for 10 containers) have tops that snap neatly to their nesting bottoms, so it’s easy to keep mates together. While Good Housekeeping called it their top choice “for packing up leftovers after dinner,” Cook’s Illustrated labeled them “Not Recommended” because the seals distorted in the microwave.
The Sterilite containers ($42 for 6 containers), which you can find at many retailers, were given poor marks from both Cook’s and Good Housekeeping for a seal that wasn’t airtight.
Wrapping it up
Glasslock containers are expensive, but they are high quality and won’t leach chemicals into your food. With use over time, they might even save you money if they help you store more leftovers and bring your lunch to work.
Phthalates Linked to Teen Health Woes in Study, CBS News, August 19, 2013,“The researchers looked for levels of phthalates including di-2-ethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), a type of phthalate commonly found in food packaging and other consumer plastic goods. The researchers found an association between higher levels of DEHP found in urine with increased insulin resistance among the teens.”
Please Explain: Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health, The Leonard Lopate Show, February 22, 2013
The Efforts to Ban Phthalates, NOW, PBS, March 21, 2008“Phthalates have been banned in the European Union since 2005. Nine other countries, including Japan, Mexico and Argentina, have also outlawed the chemicals. China, which makes 85 percent of the world's toys, has developed two manufacturing lines, one for the European market and the other like-minded nations that ban phthalates, and another one for the United States and dozens mostly developing and third world countries that don't restrict them.”
Glass bakeware that shatters , Consumer Reports, January 2011
Are You Storing Food Safely?, FDA.gov, July 21, 2008
WD’s Guide to Storing Leftovers., Woman’s Day,“Square and rectangular containers are a much more efficient use of space than round containers, which really only make sense for liquids.”
Plastic Food Storage Containers, Cook’s Illustrated , May 1, 2010
Glass Food Storage Containers , Cook’s Illustrated, May 1, 2010
Food Storage Container Reviews, Good Housekeeping