The best lunchbox gadgets

Do you like to make your own packed lunches? Do it in style by reading the BBC Good Food pick of the best lunchbox kit. We have recipe suggestions too.

Best … hot food flask 

Thermos copper flaskThermos small copper food flask

If you're tired of salads and sandwiches, you'll love this sturdy little stainless steel food flask that'll open up a whole new range of lunch options for you. The wide neck and dumpy shape allows you to pack soups, chunky stews and even sausages and beans and it’s virtually unbreakable so there are no worries about carrying it around in your bag. There’s even a clever full-size folding spoon tucked neatly into the lid if you want to eat your lunch directly from the flask. The flask has a capacity of 470ml and will keep cold food chilled too. As a tip, pour boiling water into the flask to heat up the interior before adding the food and it will keep hot for up to 9 hours. The wide neck makes it easy to clean too.

£19.99, buy from Lakeland
 

Best… box for lunch and snacks

Lakeland lunchboxLakeland leak-proof lunchbox with compartments

Great for those who like to pack a range of food to snack on through the day as well as your lunch, we we were very impressed with how much you can fit in to this rigid, high quality lunchbox. The box comes with two additional removable inner boxes with lids that fit neatly into inner grooves so they don’t slip about. The small one is ideal for dressings, dips or nuts for example while the large one is perfect for salad and will even go in the microwave for heating up leftovers. There is also a plastic spoon and an additional space in the main box for packing other snacks. Take everything out and the large box itself is roomy enough for lunch for two. The clear lid has lock down grips to make sure there won’t be any spills.

£9.99, buy from Lakeland


Best … for keeping lunch cool

Sistema ice packsSistema Lunch Coolers ice packs

If you don’t have a fridge at work and you want to keep your food cold until lunchtime, these little packs are ideal. Small (12 x 9cm), compact and lightweight, just put them in the freezer when you get home and they will be ready to use the next day. They come as a pack of three so are useful to slip between items or use one their own for sandwiches. Once they are thawed they are quite delicate so treat kindly.

£2.99, buy from John Lewis 


Best… for healthy drinks

Citrus ZingerCitruszinger Sport

If you are not a great one for drinking water at work but want a healthier option to squash or fizzy drinks, this is for you. It’s a clever plastic water bottle with built in straw that has a special compartment in the base with a citrus squeezer so you can add fresh lemons, limes, or small oranges to give the water a fruity twist. Simply unscrew the base add your chosen fruit then screw it back on, top up with water and give it a good shake. The top of the bottle is wide enough to add ice cubes too to keep it extra cold in the summer. Plus, the bottle holds over 800ml so you won’t have to keep leaving your desk to refill it!

£16, buy from Root 7


Best… small bottle for hot or chilled drinks

Judge bottleJudge stainless steel thermal sports bottle

Not everyone wants to pack a large drink to take to work, which is why we especially like this 180ml stainless steel sports bottle which is a convenient mug size. Many thermal bottles come with a fixed narrow plastic tube to drink from, which can be difficult to keep clean, so the wide mouth on this one was a great selling point as well as the fact that it’s safe to go in a dishwasher. The lockable lid provided an excellent seal – we stored the filled bottle on its side and there wasn’t a hint of a leak. As well as using it for hot or cold drinks it's also ideal for transporting soup (provided it's smooth) for winter lunches. The double wall insulation is very efficient so do be cautious when taking your first sip of a hot drink. 

£12.99, buy from The Old Railway Line

More on lunchboxes… 

Inspirational lunchbox recipes
How to pack the ultimate lunchbox
Top 10 things to put in your lunchbox
How to pack a healthy lunchbox
School packed lunch inspiration

This review was last updated in December 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

Do you have a trusty lunchbox gadget you can't live without? We'd love to hear your product recommendations...

Comments, questions and tips

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jcabot
26th Feb, 2016
Got a metal sigg bottle and sigg lunch box recently as my boy smashes everything and then was disapointed to realise they were aluminium. I have concerns about aluminium because of its links to neurological diseases, like dementia,autism and Parkinson's and since was concerned the lining inside would break with it rough treatment. Think stainless steel bottles are better like kleen kanteen or punc www.puncbottles.com. Although I must say I love the art work on my sigg bottles. :-)
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