Which Glass Container Sizes Are Best for Meal Prep?

We found the right sizes for everything from a serving of salad dressing to a big batch of soup.

Published July 22, 2019.

More on the Best Glass Food Storage Containers

This review looks at all the different sizes of our favorite glass food storage container, the OXO Good Grips 8 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle Container. You can read our original review with detailed brand comparisons here.

When we last tested glass food storage containers, we recommended the OXO Good Grips 8 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle Container. But what if you do a lot of meal prep and need glass containers that can securely contain smaller quantities of food? OXO produces smaller sizes of our favorite glass container, so we rounded up the 7-cup round container, the 4-cup round container, the 3.5-cup rectangle container, the 2-cup round container, the 1.6-cup rectangle container, the 1-cup round container, and the 4-ounce rectangle container to see if they would perform as well. And since many meal preppers prefer to buy sets of matching containers, we also tested the 16-piece mixed shape, the 12-piece mixed shape, the 8-piece rectangular, and the 8-piece round container sets, all made by OXO.

Our goals were the same as when we tested the winning OXO 8-cup glass container: to find truly airtight, leakproof containers that resist stains and odors and can be used to store food in the refrigerator and freezer and reheat food in both the oven and microwave.  

To see if all of these containers were airtight and leakproof, we first opened and closed their latches 25 times. Next, we submerged all the containers in water to see if they let any liquid in before filling them and vigorously shaking them to see if they let any liquid escape. 

Which Meal Prep Containers Should You Buy?

The good news: We can recommend all the containers we tested. All the latches proved durable, as their seals proved to be airtight and leakproof. In other words, you can be sure that these OXO Smart Seal containers, no matter their size, will keep your food fresh with no mess. 

And since these containers come in both rectangular and round shapes, we made some notes along the way detailing what we liked about each. We appreciated the rectangular-shaped containers for their efficient stackability, and liked how deep the larger round containers were, which added to their versatility. Another plus? Since they’re glass, they can function as serveware, going right from the oven to the table. 

So, which should you buy? Your choices will depend on your storage needs. If you want multiple containers in different sizes we suggest buying a set; it's cheaper than buying individual containers. If you’re looking for a set of identical containers for meal prep, we suggest buying multiples in one of two sizes: either the 3.5-cup rectangle or the 4-cup round—both are roomy enough to hold a sandwich and a side, a grain bowl, a hearty amount of soup, or generous green salad. We’ve outlined potential uses for all the containers below.

OXO Good Grips Smart Seal 16 Piece Container Set

Best Overall Set

With one 7-cup, one 4-cup, one 2-cup, and one 1-cup round glass containers and one 8-cup, one 3.5-cup, one 1.6-cup, and one 4-ounce rectangular glass containers (and their lids), this set has as an array of sizes that accommodates most of your meal prep needs, whether that’s enough grilled chicken or roasted tofu for lunches all week long or the small amount of vinaigrette you need for tomorrow’s salad. The empty containers can be nested inside each other, making for easy storage.
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OXO Good Grips Smart Seal 12 Piece Container Set

Best For Storing Smaller Items

This set has two 4-ounce rectangular containers with lids, two 1-cup round containers, one 1.6-cup rectangular container, and one 3.5-cup rectangular container, which means it has a lot of small storage options, but nothing that would house an entire baking dish’s worth of mac and cheese or a pot of soup. If you already have a few great large storage containers you love, this set would be a good supplement.
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OXO Good Grips Smart Seal 8 Piece Rectangle Container Set

Great for Meal Prep or Lunches for One—Rectangular

This set has one 8-cup container, one 3.5-cup container, one 1.6-cup container, and one 4-ounce container, all with lids and in rectangular shapes. It’s a perfect set for those looking to do a bit of meal prep and lunch packing for one.
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OXO Good Grips Smart Seal 8 Piece Round Container Set

Great for Meal Prep or Lunches for One—Round

This set has one 7-cup container, one 4-cup container, one 2-cup container, and one 1-cup container in round shapes and all with lids. The 7-cup size is good for storage, while the 4-cup, 2-cup, and 1-cup containers are excellent for lunches.
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OXO Good Grips 7 Cup Smart Seal Round Container

Best for Big Salads and Storage

This is a fairly large round container, which makes it good for a salad with lots of leafy greens, storing a sizable amount of pasta, or freezing big batches of soup. It’s also a great size for bringing something such as a dish of pasta salad to a picnic.
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OXO Good Grips 4 Cup Smart Seal Round Container

Best for Soups and Most Lunches

This round container is an excellent size and shape for packing up soup or grain bowls for lunch. It could also accommodate a small salad, however it’s not quite large enough for big servings of leafy greens.
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle Container

Best for Leftovers and Storing Moderate Amounts of Food

If you have a moderate portion of leftovers, this container is the perfect size. It’s also a great size for a sandwich and a few small sides, and is slim enough to slip easily into a bag or backpack. Of all the containers we tried, this size proved the most versatile.
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OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Smart Seal Round Container

Best In-Between Size

This container isn’t large enough for a full-size meal, nor small enough for single servings of snacks. It would be useful for storing extra grains or beans, or for that bit of leftovers you’re not quite sure what to do with. It’d also be good for a cup of soup to go along with a sandwich.
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OXO Good Grips 1.6 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle Container

Best for Sides

You wouldn’t be able to fit a huge amount of roasted carrots or mashed potatoes in this container, but this is a good size for smaller quantities of sides, a portion of cheese and crackers, or that brownie you’d like to pack for dessert.
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OXO Good Grips 1 Cup Smart Seal Round Container

Best for Small Amounts of Salad Dressing or Dips

This is a tiny container and is ideal for single-serving amounts of salad dressing, dips, or that bit of leftover avocado.
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OXO Good Grips 4 Ounce Smart Seal Rectangle Container

Best for Small Snacks

This size is just a bit larger than the 1-cup size and rectangular instead of round. A handful of almonds or blueberries would fit perfectly in this container. It could also be useful for storing odds and ends of cheese in the fridge, or that last bit of sauce you don’t want to waste.
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