Are you excited to begin your bento journey but unsure which bento box to choose? To make your decision easier, we've compiled a list of the 13 best bento boxes of 2023, taking into account various criteria such as size, design, and functionality. So, without further ado, let's dive into the world of bento boxes and find your perfect match!
Overall Winner: Itadakimasu Bento Box 1000mL
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Best for Picnics: Cherry Blossom Two-Tier Square Bento Box (15cm) | Purple
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Overall Winner: Itadakimasu Bento Box (Two tiers 1000mL)
Let's start with the overall winner, the Itadakimasu Bento Box, which has been a top bestseller at Bento&co since it was introduced more than 10 years ago. This two-tier box features a charming silk-screened illustration of a rice bowl and chopsticks along with the text "itadakimasu". This means "I humbly receive" in Japanese, a key phrase said before eating! It's made from BPA-free plastic, has a removable inner divider, and is microwave and dishwasher safe. It's the perfect size (1000mL) for a satisfying meal, and the leak-resistant lids ensure that your food stays fresh and in place
Migo N. says “This box is leaps and bounds above any boxes found on Amazon in terms of quality." Janelle K. says “Perfect size, perfect style, easy to clean, absolutely adorable. I'm completely enamored with my Itadakimasu Bento. It's my first ever bento box, and definitely the best size I could've selected."
Like the size and style of the box but want a different design? Take a look at the Nokorimono Bento Box in the same series.
Next up is the cutest bento box on our list, the Kokeshi Kyoto Bento | Geiko, a Bento&co Original design made from BPA-free plastic!
Inspired by the traditional Japanese wooden kokeshi doll, the Kokeshi bento boxes are an absolute delight. This particular one is styled to look like a geiko, (traditional Japanese courtesan from Kyoto) in an elegant purple and pink kimono that will look great, whether on your desk at lunchtime, or on display in your home. It’s topped with an inverted bowl that looks like a hat/headpiece for the bento box that you can use to serve some hot soup at mealtime (just pack some freeze-dried miso soup, or other instant soup with your bento!)
Donna T. says “I love this Bento box. The attention to detail includes notches so the strap does not slip off, seals tightly, heats evenly, cleans easily and most importantly - is absolutely adorable”
Best for Kids: Kao Neko Bento | White (One tier 500mL)
The Kao Neko Bento is the perfect bento box for animal loving little ones. Unlike bulkier American style lunch boxes, this BPA-free bento featuring a cute “neko” (cat) face in red, gold and black paint, is compact and cleverly designed. It even comes with two removable internal dividers that are great for kids who don’t want their foods to touch! The lid is leak-resistant and it comes with a cheerful red lunch band that keeps it securely closed. Not to mention it’s dishwasher and microwave safe!
Mo Z. says “It’s just too cute! My daughter has been taking her ‘cat’ bento to summer camp and every day she tells me that her lunch is super yummy. We love the quality and that the bentos are made in Japan.”
Best Plastic-Free: Zen 07 - Stainless Steel Two Tier Bento (700mL)
If you're looking for a plastic-free option, the Zen 07 stainless steel two-tier bento box is an excellent choice. Made in Tsubame Sanjo, Japan's metal-working capital, the sleek, rounded rectangular stacking boxes are made of satin-finish matte texture stainless steel, which is durable,and won't absorb unwanted smells or get stained. Boxes can be used separately, or stacked together, depending on your needs. Buy once and you're set for life!
Audrey A. says “Great size for a small lunch and fruit snacks when on the road or onsite at clients. Well crafted stainless steel will outlive me”
Most Elegant: Sakura Mokume One Tier Bento Box | White 600mL
For an elegant and sophisticated option, check out the Sakura Mokume One Tier Bento Box which features an attractive design of white cherry blossom flowers atop a distressed woodgrain background, complementing the smooth white base. It includes a removable rectangular cup to put your sauces or side dishes in, with a leak-resistant lid.
Justina L. says “This design is like a dream to me, so pretty. The "woodgrain" plastic looks very classy and not fake or cheap at all. The seal inside the lid has been trustworthy so far and the removable divider cup is just right. It's cool to find a very modern sakura motif like this. Feels unique and is just stunning in person”
Best Bundle: Beginner Bundle | Traditional
If you're new to bento boxes, the Beginner Bundle is an excellent place to start. This bundle includes the Nuri Wappa Wood Tone Bento Box (two-tiers, 900mL) made in Ishikawa, bamboo chopsticks made in Kyushu, and a beautiful made-in-Kyoto furoshiki featuring the iconic Hokusai print “The Great Wave of Kanagawa”. It's a great value and an excellent introduction to the world of bento.
Antonio F. says “Sure, I could have just used a regular launch box from Walmart, but I really liked the design of this bento. It's simple and elegant. Although it's not real wood, that makes it easier to clean. It's a great starter bento, and I love that the bundle came with a furoshiki and a pair of chopsticks. Overall, I think it's a great purchase if you ever wanted to use a bento.”
Best for Enjoying at Home: Shokado Ajiro Bento Box (2000mL)
The made-in-Japan Shokado Ajiro Bento Box is one of our bestsellers, which comes as no surprise with its lacquer-like glossy inner tray and lid with striking woven texture. With the tray with five compartments of varying sizes to elegantly display food, it’s perfect for entertaining, catering or adding a special touch to family dinnertime. These are the quintessential bento boxes you find at traditional Japanese restaurants!
Annie C says “I ordered a few from other manufacturers and found all of them to be of low quality and they cost more than the ones I bought from Bento and Co. These are beautifully made. I like serving dinner in these to my family even if we're not having Asian food. The bento helps with portion control and organizing food into something beautiful to look at has really gotten my children motivated to eat all sorts of new food as well as old favorites. Your imagination is the only limit to what can be served in them!”
Best Insulated: Hoka Don (Two tiers, 420mL)
If you are a fan of donburi (Japanese foods served over rice) look no further: the Hoka Don is the perfect insulated, round box to carry your favorite food in! It’ll keep things hot (or cold) for several hours and even comes with a thermal bag! Use the bottom tier for your rice, and your top tier for the toppings (saucy meat etc) , that way your rice won’t get soggy.
Agnes says “It is perfect for my kid to bring it to school, the size is just right. It is perfect for lunch like pasta and rice. The small compartment is an extra for vege or desert!”
Best for Picnic: Cherry Blossom Two Tier Square Bento Box (15cm) | Purple
If you're planning a picnic, then the Two-Tier Cherry Blossom Square Bento Box in purple is the perfect choice. This box has a beautiful cherry blossom design and is compact enough to carry around. It features a motif of sakura flowers by famous Kimono designer Uno Chiyo against an elegant soft-metallic purple color. Plus it has an inner leak-resistant lid and four removable cups on the bottom tier to conveniently separate your foods! Some of our customers even enjoy bringing it to work as it’s spacious enough to contain breakfast and lunch!
Jeannie G. says “It is perfect for a romantic picnic date with someone very special!”
Best Big Bento: Big Bento Mokume 1300mL (Two tiers)
For those who need a roomy bento box, the Big Bento Box Mokume is perfect. This box, which has over 20 5-star reviews, has a 1300ml capacity, making it great for those with big appetites or who want enough space for snacks or salads. Made from BPA-free plastic, it has an attractive wood like lid hand painted by artisans in Ishikawa, Japan, with a glossy black base. Compacts for easy transport home–when you’re done with your meal, just flip the top tier upside down to fit inside the bottom tier.
Alexandra N. says “I bought this bento for my husband and he loves it! The design is to his taste and it has a lot of room for food and small sides. It's sturdy, but light which is easy for him to carry on his commute to work.”
Best Slim Bento: Foodman Bento Box 600mL
Had your fair share of disappointments with bulky lunch boxes? The Foodman Bento Box 600mL is here for you! Designed to be thin enough to slide into most backpacks, bags, and briefcase, the height and width are in fact just about the same size as an A4 piece of paper. Features a sealing lid with four locks with the body divided into one long and two smaller sections, perfect for separating your food.
Stephanie B. says “I love it. Easy to clean, great size meal for one person and the top latches to the bottom for a secure seal. People at work have complimented me on the item and how it makes my meal look organized.”
Best for Onigiri: Onigiri Maker Lunch Case | Khaki (465mL)
Who among us DOESN’T like onigiri? If you make onigiri rice balls for your lunch (great life choice by the way) you can carry them in style with the Onigiri Maker Lunch Case, one of our most unique boxes. This box has one triangular compartment perfect for holding onigiri and a trapezoid shape where you can add your additional foods, like Karaage (Japanese fried chicken), or Tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelette).
Best Authentic: Magewappa Maru (640mL Two tiers)
And last but not least, for those who want a totally elevated bento experience, we recommend the Magewappa Maru, a Bento&co original, made from Akita cedar famous for its aroma and beautiful grain. These bento boxes and handmade one-by-one with the magewappa (bent wood) Japanese woodworking technique, passed down over 400 years.
Carrie K. says “You have to hold in your hand to appreciate it fully. Excellent workmanship. This is by far the best in workmanship and aesthetic amongst the few cedar Magewappa I now own. This will be passed down as a family heirloom.”
At Bento&co, we're big believers in the power of bento to change your life for the better! Not only can it help you save money and time, but it also cuts down on your plastic waste and encourages you to make healthier food choices. We're passionate about helping you on your bento journey and we hope our list will help you pick the perfect bento for your needs!
Have specific questions or needs when it comes to choosing your bento? Don’t hesitate to comment below with questions or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Start your bento journey today!