Bento box : Which one to choose ?

Bento box : Which one to choose ?

Looking for a great way to enjoy your lunches during your breaks at school or at work? We recommend you to invest in a bento box.

Basically, bento boxes are of Japanese origin and have existed since ancient Japan. In the tradition of the country, the word ''bento'' refers to a balanced home-made meal ready to be taken away. At that time, the Japanese bento box could contain white rice or potatoes. Today, the concept of these containers has evolved with new designs and styles that fit all needs.

However, to choose the best bento box on the market, it is important to take into account some selection criteria. These include the size of the container, its durability and its type. Of course, other subjective elements may come into play such as the shape or the appearance of the insulated container.

Want to know more? Discover in this article a comparison of the best Japanese bentos on the French market as well as a customized buying guide.



Top 5 best bento boxes

The Chic Wooden Lunch Box Beige


Bento lunch box lovers will love this container with its light wood design in Japanese style. Both elegant and simplistic, it is rightfully at the top of our list. Indeed, the Japanese bento is composed of two storage levels held together by an elastic band. The second floor has a single compartment while the second one has an adjustable divider for a double compartment. Each space has its own airtight lid, which prevents food from leaking out.

Furthermore, our testing team noted that the rectangular box is quite compact and particularly spacious. Technically, you can store up to 1200 ml of food in it: meat, vegetables, sweet treats, sauces, etc. Your food will be kept safe while retaining its food quality. This is easy to understand because the bento box is made of recyclable and very strong polypropylene. It is therefore BPA free and without any other toxic product.

Finally, to clean this bento box, you just have to put it in the dishwasher on the top rack.

Specifications of the chic beige wood lunch box

  • Dimensions: 18.5 cm x 10.5 cm x 9.2 cm
  • Materials: 100% recyclable healthy plastic without BPA
  • Compartments: 1 to 2 depending on the container
  • Storage capacity: 1200 ml

Highlights of the chic beige wood lunch box

  • Has a storage space for cutlery
  • Can be delivered with Healthy Lunch insulated bag
  • Microwave safe
  • Has a small air channel to allow hot air to escape during the microwave
  • Cheap Japanese Bento
  • Secure delivery

Weaknesses of the chic beige wood lunch box

  • May be difficult for children to open due to tight fitting lids


The Bento Stainless Steel Round White Compartments


If you are used to packing small salad dishes for work, this bento box will do the trick. Indeed, it includes a large capacity container of 2300 ml with the possibility to go up to 4000 ml thanks to its double layer. So you will have enough space for your greens, croutons or any other salad toppings of your liking.

In addition, this uniquely designed oval box is enhanced by a translucent lid with folding handles for easy food protection. It's also a great way to make opening the jar easier. We also don't forget to mention that the inside of the food jar is made with stainless steel. Therefore, it is an isothermal bento box that can keep your meals at the right temperature. This is an advantage that you will not find in the majority of Japanese style bento boxes that dominate the market.

Specifications of the white round stainless steel bento box

  • Dimensions: 17cm x 8 cm (1st floor height) - 14.5cm (2nd floor height)
  • Materials: 100% recyclable BPA-free plastic + stainless steel
  • Compartment: 2 levels
  • Storage capacity: 2300 ml - 4000 ml

Strong points of the white round stainless steel bento

  • A design with non-toxic materials for the users' well-being
  • A stainless steel bento that can be microwaved without any difficulty, provided that the stainless steel compartment is removed
  • Easy to clean with a dishwasher
  • Cheap bento box
  • The possibility to order an isothermal bag to facilitate the transport of the stainless steel bento
  • Secure delivery

Weaknesses of the white round stainless steel bento lunch box

  • The bento lunch box does not come with cutlery


The Lunch Box Japanese wood


This model signed Healthy Lunch is one of the best definitions of the Japanese bento lunch. First of all, it features a wooden layer with a design that immerses you in the world of manga. You will love the simplicity of its design, easy to open and close.

Moreover, the bamboo bento has 3 compartments to organize your food. The main section is reserved for appetizers while the other two smaller spaces are for side dishes. And even though its capacity is not specified, you can easily pack rice, a portion of spaghetti, meatballs, etc. Better still, all these compositions will be kept safe and secure from spills thanks to the hermetic lid of the wooden bento.

On the other hand, we remind you that the brand certifies this model as a microwave bento. So, do not be afraid to put the jar in the device, because its design materials are perfectly compatible with household appliances. These include polypropylene, a silicone that is very heat resistant, reusable and food certified.

Specificities of the Japanese wooden lunch box

  • Dimensions: 18.5 cm x 12 cm x 5.5 cm
  • Materials: 100% recyclable healthy plastic without BPA
  • Compartment : 3

Strong points of the Japanese wood lunch box

  • An original and unique design that follows the Japanese concept of the bento box
  • The quality of the materials of the bamboo bento box allows it to keep the flavor of your different meals
  • The compatibility of the Japanese bento box with the microwave is effective
  • Cheap bento box
  • Secure delivery

Weaknesses of the Japanese wood lunch box

  • The storage capacity of the lunch box is not mentioned in the product sheet


The Japanese bento Inox Black


This product is an alternative to the previous traditional Japanese bento. Instead of a wooden design, it relies on stainless steel which remains a very popular material. You have here a black bento that can keep the temperature of your meals for an excellent shelf life. Moreover, the material does not alter the quality of your food so that it keeps all its flavor. As far as capacity is concerned, you are entitled to a nice capacity of 1900 ml divided into two compartments. It is therefore a bento lunch box for adults.

However, if the stainless steel is one of the advantages of this lunch box, it is also a limitation. Indeed, the stainless steel lunch box is not microwave safe. It is therefore suitable for meals eaten cold or at room temperature.

On the other hand, we congratulate the presence of latches on the lid of the bento lunch box. They lock securely so that the box remains hermetically sealed until the time of consumption of the meal.

Specifications of the black stainless steel bento lunch box

  • Dimensions: 20 cm x 14 cm x 6.8 cm
  • Materials: stainless steel + healthy plastic 100% recyclable without BPA
  • Compartment : 2
  • Storage capacity: 1.9 liter

Strong points of the black stainless steel bento lunch box

  • An airtight lunch box with a carrying handle
  • A large capacity for a complete meal and the pleasure of people with a big appetite
  • Safe materials to maintain your healthy lifestyle
  • Cheap bento box
  • Safe delivery

Weaknesses of the black stainless steel bento box

  • The Japanese bento box is not microwave safe


The Grey Japanese Bento


The particularity of this bento lunch box is that it is fully equipped with a set of kitchen utensils. We think of a spoon, a fork and a knife. In addition, it is a square bento that can easily be moved to work or on a picnic. Looking at its contents, we notice that it has only one main compartment, but spacious enough for a hearty meal.

The team of testers also appreciated the way the bamboo lid is fitted to provide a seamless seal. Technically, even if you keep sauce in it, the food will have a hard time finding an exit. You can also reheat your fries in the microwave in your office or home. For this purpose, remember to leave the vents of the microwave bento open." Such manipulation allows the hot air to escape during heating.

Specifications of the grey Japanese bento

  • Dimensions: 19.3 cm x 11.7 cm x 6.5 cm
  • Materials: 100% recyclable healthy plastic without BPA
  • Compartment : 1

Strong points of the grey japanese bento lunch box

  • The japanese bento box is hermetic because of its lid and the elastic band that protects it
  • Bento without BPA
  • The jar is microwave safe and dishwasher safe
  • Cheap and ecological bento lunch box
  • Secure delivery

Weaknesses of the grey Japanese bento lunch box

  • The capacity of the ecological bento box is not specified in its product sheet


How to choose a bento lunch box ?


Your bento lunch box according to its size

The size or capacity of your airtight box will depend on the amount of food you usually carry. For a child's meal, it is obvious that a small size container should store enough to satisfy their nutritional needs. This means that jars with a medium size will do well for growing teenagers. And for adults, the larger sizes will be suitable for high-calorie meals.

However, if you're planning a full meal for a picnic with friends, you'll want to go with an ultra-large model. Basic sizes vary from 250 ml to 2 liters.


Your Japanese bento according to its durability and type

Durability is an important consideration. For this purpose, everything will depend on the type of material with which the food box is designed. On the market, you can find bento boxes made of plastic, stainless steel and wood.

The first type of bento box offers enough sturdiness against shocks and falls. Whether you are a student or a worker, it will withstand the rigors of a trip. In addition, healthy plastic bentos are dishwasher and microwave safe. Contrary to popular belief, they will not melt when exposed to heat.

Stainless steel containers are also durable options. They are unbreakable and have the same characteristics as the first bento. Here, the only difference is the compatibility with the microwave oven. In other words, the double-walled insulated container cannot go in the microwave.

On the other hand, you can also choose a bamboo bento. It has the shape of a traditional Japanese bento with wood as the main material. However, if you choose wood, it is recommended to use it for special occasions in order not to damage it.


Your airtight container according to its shape

Bento boxes come in just about every shape imaginable. The shape is important if you need to store your bento in a lunch bag or a briefcase. Of course, a sleek rectangular shape will probably be more compact than a large round or irregularly shaped box.



What is a bento box?

Originally from Japan, the bento is now a lunch box that can contain solid or liquid food protected by a perfectly sealed lid. It easily stands out from other lunch boxes because of its appearance.

Do bento boxes keep food warm?

Unlike a thermos, the bento box is not insulated. Therefore, it cannot keep a meal warm for a long time.

Are bento lunch boxes microwave safe?

Yes, there are many boxes that can be safely put in the microwave. This is the case with most of Healthy Lunch's eco-friendly bento boxes.

Are bento boxes dishwasher safe?

Yes, some bento boxes, especially the insulated models, have removable inner trays that are dishwasher safe. However, traditional materials, such as bamboo or wood, require more care and should be washed by hand.

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