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The Best Glass Food Storage Containers

Sturdy, stain-proof, and microwavable, glass can be a good choice for food storage, but which container offers the best size, shape, and sealing power?


Published May 1, 2018.

The Best Glass Food Storage Containers
In this review we looked at glass storage containers that hold about 8 cups; a generous size for make-ahead cooking and holding big batches of leftovers. But what about smaller sizes and storage container sets? We tested all the available sizes and sets of our favorite glass storage container by OXO. You can read our in-depth review and recommendations here
See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

We don't think home cooks should have to choose between plastic and glass food storage containers, since both have advantages: While glass is heavier and more fragile than plastic, it also resists staining and warping, can go in the microwave without worry, and can even be used in the oven for cooking or reheating, offering great versatility. We tested five glass storage containers alongside six plastic containers (see related story for our plastic container testing results), all with capacities as close as possible to 8 cups, a good size for storing leftovers or a make-ahead meal. Some containers can be purchased a la carte, while others are sold only in sets. For those who purchase glass containers to avoid plastic, we did notice this: Most have plastic lids. Only one model we tested had a glass lid, with a silicone trim to seal it in place.

We put these glass containers through the same series of rigorous tests as our lineup of plastic containers, with the exception of knocking them onto the floor and with the addition of using them in the oven. Our goal was to find a truly airtight, leakproof container, in a size and shape that works well for home cooks, that resists stains and odors, can reheat food in both oven and microwave, and is easy to use and clean.

Are Glass Containers Really Airtight?

To keep food at its freshest, you want a container that is airtight and leakproof. If it tips a little in a crowded refrigerator or while you're transferring it from one location to another, you want to be sure it won't spill. And if you happen to be storing very fragrant food, odors shouldn't escape the container. We tested seal quality by filling our containers with water and shaking them in all directions, as well as by submerging them in water with moisture-detecting crystals sealed inside. One failed both tests right away: Its plastic cover lacked the silicone gasket and flaps that most others had to secure the lid, so it simply didn't seal completely. The rest performed perfectly—at least the first time we did this test. But after we'd used and washed them during routine testing and run them through the dishwasher 50 more times to simulate a year of weekly use, two of the four models failed to seal as tightly when we repeated the test, indicating that they might not hold up well over time.

To check whether they would retain smells, we filled the containers with oil-packed tuna and anchovies, refrigerated them overnight, washed them carefully, and conducted a “sniff test.” Only the container that had failed our leak tests, with its loose plastic lid and no gasket, was mostly odor-free; the others revealed the importance of re...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

Reviews you can trust

The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Lisa McManus

Lisa is an executive editor for ATK Reviews, cohost of Gear Heads on YouTube, and gadget expert on TV's America's Test Kitchen.