The Best Bento Boxes for Upgrading Your Sad Desk Lunch

Bento boxes are great for turning even the most ho-hum of lunches into a tasty, aesthetic dining experience.

As mature, sophisticated (lol) adults, a brown-bagged lunch is not what we’re about anymore. Sure, it got the job done back in middle school, but now they’re a thing of the past, and we want them to stay there, along with the painful memories of Brad stealing our Uncrustables. Although we are hyperventilating into a brown paper bag from reliving this scenario, we’re also proud believers in a much better way to store our culinary creations: bento boxes. 

In the simplest terms, a bento is a boxed meal delivery system with compartments meant for separating portions or items. According to the snack lairds at Bokksu, Bento boxes were first used in the Edo Period of Japan to make meals more convenient. Specifically, they were used while traveling or in other situations where sit-down meals weren’t an option. Traditional bento boxes are often constructed with five compartments to separate the following flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. These days, they still serve their original purpose for convenient, no-waste storage, and are great for everything from taking a charcuterie board on the go to packing a salmon dish for your next sad desk lunch. Bento boxes just make eating more fun, so slap on your bib, because here are a few of the best bento boxes to cop for your next on-the-go meal.  

Store your steak

Bring last night’s filet mignon and risotto to work with two roomy, stackable containers that you can throw into the microwave. They come with built-in plastic utensils and a nylon sealing strap to make sure things stay put. The set is also BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and can fit a cup and a half of food in the two-compartment top container, while the bottom container can hold an additional two cups. 

Classic Lunch Box

$14.99 at Bentgo

For a little nibble

Sometimes we just need a little pick-me-up while toiling away at our desks. Snack baggies remind us too much of elementary school, and aren’t always sustainable (unless you get the reusable kind, of course). We've since upgraded to an exclusive, kawaii box to fit our latest snack vices. This one from Nordstrom has two smaller compartments (one of which has an airtight lid) and can be used for hot or cold food. 

Takenaka x Poketo
Rectangular Bento Nibble Box

$32.00$20.80 at Nordstrom

Bentos for lumberjacks

The design of this bento box reminds us of a tree stump, and we love the great outdoors. It’s also 100% leak-proof, but has a built-in air vent plug so your food doesn’t get soggy or wilted. It’s got two compartments and a removable divider so you can customize your compartments, a separate cutlery storage space and an additional container for sauces or snacks. In addition to being microwave- and dishwasher-safe, you can also pop it in the freezer to satisfy all your meal prep needs.

Premium Bento Lunch Box

$26.94 at Amazon

A bento that pumps iron

Sometimes we just need a big boi to hold our massive lunches. We’re hungry folks, and this stainless steel bento holds more than six cups of food. Its product description claims it has secure snap locks and crack-proof, which is great, since we've got no time for spillage. With three compartments and a special snack pod for your chips and dip, we’re throwing it in our shopping carts immediately. 

GreenLunch Bento Store
Stainless Steel Bento Box

$33.69 at Amazon

A bento box for a hellish commute

On a busy morning when you just need to toss your lunch in a bag and run out the door to catch the train, the last thing you want to worry about is spilling your salad dressing on your work laptop. Worry no more, hustler. This bento is completely leak-proof—confirmed by many reviewers—and eco-friendly, and it has multiple compartments, so you can make yourself a perfectly portioned lunch or a sick snack plate.

Bento-Box Set

$29.99 at Amazon

Picasso would eat out of it

This abstract, MoMA-worthy bento just made snacktime ~*aesthetic*~. Strapped with an airtight lid and multiple tiers, the munchable combos are truly endless. Keep your salad fixings separate to avoid soggy lettuce, or pack yourself a charcuterie board to go, because we all deserve to have one of these moments every once in a while.

Dual Bento Bite Box

$41 at Urban Outfitters

More flexible than Gumby

This durable and adaptable bento bends to your will with its adjustable food dividers and dip cup. It comes in a vibrant lime green color and is completely BPA-free. No longer are you bound to the confines of allotted portion sizes of other bento boxes, and you’ll never have to smush your sandwich halves into plastic baggies again. Be free.

Freezable Flex Bento Box

$19.99 at Target

Now get chomping. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.


Evergreen, lunch boxes

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