I Dropped Two Dozen Plastic Storage Containers to Find the 8 Best Ones

These brands withstood tomato sauce stains and getting dropped when full of water.

9 minutos de lectura

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For most leftovers and meal prep portioning, I usually go for inexpensive plastic deli containers in half-pint, pint, and quart sizes from a restaurant supply store. But after a few incidents of leaking, dropping, and exploding into a mess, I wanted to see what else was out there. My mission: Find the best plastic food storage containers that are durable, leak-proof, stain-resistant, and easily storable, as well as dishwasher-, fridge-, and freezer-safe. Easy enough, right? 

I ended up stress-testing two dozen different shapes, sizes, and styles of food containers by filling them with a few inches of water and dropping them from three feet in the air into my sink. That way I could tell if accidentally dropping or slipping would cause the lid to pop off, part of the plastic to crack, or other potential hazards. Then I chose a few that touted stain resistance or, due to cheaper prices and materials, seemed more prone to stains, and put tortellini with marinara sauce in all of them. After letting them sit for two days, I hand-washed each one to see if they came out squeaky clean.

So, without further ado, here are the eight best plastic food storage containers and what they’re best used for — whether that’s saving leftovers or bringing dip to a party.

The Best Plastic Storage Containers on DoorDash

For Saucy and Stinky Foods: Rubbermaid Brilliance Stainshield Plastic Food Containers 

This is the only one on the list that I used consistently prior to The Big Container-Dropping Test. I’ve had a collection of Rubbermaid Brilliance for almost six years, and shockingly have never had one stain, spill, leak, or stink. Even after storing kimchi for more than a month, it was as good as new after a run through the dishwasher. I did buy a brand-new one with “stainshield” technology to double-check the quality, and it passed the red sauce test with flying (lack of) colors. It also did not pop open when thrown into the sink.

My favorite is the 3.2-cup size, which holds one or two portions of leftover pasta, salad, roasted veggies, or proteins — and the lids for this size also work for the same brand’s larger-capacity containers (like the 4.7-cup size that I once dropped full of soup with nary a spill or leak). This makes organizing the containers easier as one locking lid universally fits many different-capacity containers. The fact that these are also safe to use in the fridge, freezer, dishwasher, and microwave make them a really solid choice.

For Lunchtime Stacking (and Snacking): Figmint 6 Piece Set of 3 Plastic Rectangle Clear Food Storage Container Set


This is a more budget-conscious version of the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers. They latch in four places around the perimeter of the container (one snap-’n’-lock piece per side) to make sure nothing leaks or spills. The three sizes in this set (¾-cup, 3-cup, and 6.7-cup capacities) would be great for storing croutons and dressing separate from a salad, bringing your own snack box on a plane, or just storing leftovers. 

The best part? Their smell- and stain-resistant material cleans up to a sparkling, glass-looking shine, even after being full of tomato sauce. The trio stacks neatly when full, and all the pieces nest together when empty for storage. The bases are also microwave-safe, and all parts are dishwasher-safe. 

For Retro Aesthetics: Tupperware 5.25-Cup Heritage Bowl Flamingo


This vintage-inspired Tupperware is the best-looking, most fun, and most colorful option of plastic storage containers out there. This is just one of the many sizes and colors available — all of which are dishwasher-safe and odor-resistant — but this 5.25-cup square container felt like the most versatile size for storing ample leftovers, holding a DIY snack mix, or shaking up a salad. The handles make it even sturdier to carry, and it has a cool feature of pressing the lid’s center to instantly seal it up. Bonus: It’s attractive enough to use as a serving bowl. 

For Dips, Dressings, and Drinks: up & up Twist and Store Round Food Storage Container Medium 


Out of all of the up & up brand options, these twist and store containers were the most sturdy for a very low price. Feeling the lid lock when twisted made it seem very secure, and it did not leak, even when shaken upside down. The 16-ounce container would be great for taking a smoothie on the go, storing homemade vinaigrette in the fridge, or serving a mini seven-layer dip at your next picnic. These are also available in 4-ounce and 32-ounce sizes, and all are freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe.

For Large-Portion Meal-Prepping: GoodCook EveryWare Round Extra Large Food Storage Containers


If you like to make one big container of cut-up fruit, roasted veggies, rice, beans, or proteins, you can fit a lot in these surprisingly durable (yet affordable) containers. The tight-fitting lids also won’t bust open when dropped. Though they aren’t marketed as stain-resistant, they passed the red sauce test on the first try. Safe for use in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.

For Individual Meal-Prepping: GoodCook 3 Cup 2 Compartment Meal Prep Containers + Lids


If you’d rather meal prep into individual portions, these two-compartment containers are ideal for 1 cup of dip and 2 cups of dippers, 2 cups of veggies and 1 cup of protein, or 1 cup of yogurt and 2 cups of fruit, granola, and other fixings. The possibilities are endless with these simple containers that are safe for use in the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. It comes with ten sets, so you’ll be set up for meal prep success for two full work weeks (just make sure to freeze anything that won’t be eaten for more than four or five days).

For Party-Going and Couch Snacking: American Maid 3 Section Round Food Storage

This container is divided evenly into three sections that can be filled to your heart’s desire. Try chips, pretzels, and candy for hanging out on the couch or store three types of berries for yogurt-parfaits-all-day. You could even transport multiple dips or spreads with crackers to a party. Plus, it’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

For Soups and Brothy Things: Cambro Round 1 quart Food Containers with Lids

Cambro is known to the restaurant world for their large-capacity dry goods storage, but the company also makes smaller containers that are industrial-chic and surprisingly sleek. The lid has to be snapped on tightly to make sure the container doesn’t leak, but once on, it’s actually difficult to pry off — meaning it won’t easily pop off, crack, or spill. These are like sturdier deli containers (especially at this quart size) and are ideal for storing soups, broths, stocks, and other liquidy things. The containers stack nicely in the fridge or freezer, nest for storage, and are microwave- and dishwasher-safe. 


  • Photography: Paul Quitoriano

  • Prop Styling: Gerri Williams

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez