Best Bento Box for Kids

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2020 @ 7:08 pm.What’s the best bento box for kids? To find out, we asked the experts—kids themselves! We put together a panel of our readers’ kiddos and had them try out 12 different bento boxes. Which were easiest to use? To clean? Here are the winners!

FYI: We’ve been reviewing and rating products for families, kids and the home since 1994. To keep it real, we don’t take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported . . . so we sincerely thank you for reading this article!

Cutest Bento Box for Kids

Bentgo Kids Prints (Unicorn)

Unicorns + Bento Box = Winner! Yes, it is a bit pricey but this beloved bento box won over our kid testers. Super easy to open and carry, it seals in five compartments to keep food separate. Easy to open and clean.

Cutest Bento Box for Kids: Bentgo Kids Prints

Yes, bento boxes are great for kid’s lunches—they keep foods in separate compartments and (thanks to their limited size) help in portion control. But which are best? To find out, we gathered a panel of kids to test out several popular bento boxes.

Which were easiest to use? Surprisingly, even bento boxes that are designed for kids sometimes can be difficult for them to open. We also found some boxes are designed to seal compartments, keeping food separate, while others didn’t have that feature.

One caveat to all the bento boxes recommended in this article (except the Ozazuco pick at the end): they are NOT insulated. They will not keep food cold—so most parents also buy an insulated lunch box to put the boxes in. (The Ozazuco bento box for kids comes with a separate insulated carry bag).

Finally, when it comes to bento boxes, let’s be honest—how cute a bento box looks is a factor! So we looked for bento boxes that were both functional, well-designed and . . .  super cute. For the cutest bento box, we thought Bentgo Kids Prints fit the bill best. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• 5 compartments, with seals to keep foods separate.

• Kids loved the design best! Unicorns + Bento Box = home run!

• BPA and PVC free.

• Rubber coated edges = keep it from breaking when dropped.

• For kids aged 3-7.

• Lightweight at 1.45 lbs.

• Easy to clean—dishwasher safe.

• Microwave safe.

• If you don’t like unicorns, there are 10 other patterns (sharks, rockets, etc).

• Latches are easy to open.

What Needs Work

• A bit pricey.

• Mold can grow in the seals if you aren’t super careful with cleaning.

• Have to take the box apart to clean it.

• Too small portions for larger kids? Yes, the boxes in this bento box are quite small—some folks think too small! We see that point, but still would recommend it for most kiddos.

• Too heavy for smallest kids? While this bento box weighs 1.45 lbs., that is empty—add food and it does get heavier . . . perhaps a bit much for three or four year olds to carry. If you want a lighter weight box, we’ll have a pick for that below.

Easiest to Clean Bento Box

Simple Modern Porter Bento Lunch Box for Kids

Snap in lock keeps lunch from spilling. Pop out the tray and throw it in the dishwasher—this bento box won over parents on cleanability. We loved the overall design with separate, sealed compartments. Affordable.

Easiest to Clean Bento Box: Simple Modern Porter Bento Lunch Box for Kids

Let’s be honest: bento boxes are great for kids, not so much fun for parents who have to clean them. Especially ones that require lots of effort to disassemble . . . or places where food can hide and turn into something nasty.

So one of the key features we looked at was cleanability—after trying out several brands, we think Simple Modern’s Porter bento lunch box was the easiest to clean. Here’s why:

What We Liked

• Removable insert is dishwasher safe. (The case has to be hand-cleaned—but we found that rather simple).

• Silicone seals keep food separate in five compartments.

• Over 20 colors and patterns.

• Lockable snap closure.

• BPA free.

 • Kids loved the patterns—but you can also get solid colors in case nothing strikes their fancy.

What Needs Work

• Heavy. At 1.7 lbs., this bento box is the heaviest among the choices we recommend. Add in food and it may be too heavy for youngest kids to lug around.

• Lock and hinges could be more durable. We see some reports they can break after moderate use.

• Not microwave safe.

Best Budget-Friendly

Bento Box for Kids Lunch Containers with 4 Compartments

Super lightweight = easy to carry. We liked this simply designed bento box, with 3 compartments. Loved the included flatware, plus it is microwave and dishwasher safe (without the lid). Caveat: food can mix in unsealed compartments.

Best Budget-Friendly: Jeopace Kids Bento Box

This bento box has two main advantages: it is easy on the wallet AND the lightest weight. Yes, bento boxes can be surprisingly heavy when packed with food . . . and that can be an issue with smaller/younger kids, who have to lug this thing to school or activities.

Jeopace’s kids bento box won over our testers, who loved the included fork and spoon. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lid completely removes. This turned out to be a suprise plus in our tests. Other bento boxes have a lid that opens on a hinge—the box plus open lid takes up a good amount of space. Sometimes too much space! This box is better when you need to be more compact.

• Super lightweight at 10 ounces. Yep, that is about 30% lighter than other bento boxes recommended in this article.

• BPA free.

• Microwave and dishwasher safe without the lid.

• Includes flatware (fork, spoon).

• Eco-friendly design. This box is made from wheat fiber derived plastic.

• Lid does a good job at preventing leaks.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Compartments can leak into each other. That is, they are NOT sealed like the bento boxes recommended above. That means if you put a liquid (yogurt, for example) it could migrate into other foods—and that is a kid deal killer.

• Separate lid can get lost.

• Seal in lid can fall out.

• Confusing design leads some kids to open it upside down—spilling out the food. That’s because the logo for this box is oddly on the bottom . . . that causes the confusion as what is the top!

• Tabs on lid can break if your kid is too rough.

Best Traditional Bento

Ozazuco Bento Box for Kids

Safe for dishwashers, but not microwaves. Super smart design made this bento box a hit with our testers. Traditional stacked box with an insulated carry bag, plus fork and spoon set . . . all at a price that is easy on the wallet.

Best Traditional Bento: Ozazuco Bento Box for Kids

Many traditional Japanese bento boxes have stacked boxes which each contain food—very simple, yet effective! If you prefer something more traditional, we’d recommend Ozazuco’s Bento Box For Kids, which packs a surprising amount of value in a small package. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• 3 long and skinny compartments,

• Includes insulated carry bag. That’s a plus!

• Includes fork and spoon.

• Leak proof seal that connects top layer lets you carry soup or other liquids. But see below for a caveat on this.

• Dishwasher safe.

• BPA free.

• Eco-friendly design. Plastic is made from wheat fiber.

What Needs Work

• Too small for some kiddos.

• Not microwave safe.

• Top compartment can leak, say some users.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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