Save yourself money by bringing a packed lunch to work or school every day with one of our tried and tested, leakproof lunchboxes.
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Whether you're on a mission to eat healthier lunches, or just want to save a few pennies, taking a lunchbox to work or school can be a great routine to get into. We decided to put a range of lunchboxes to the test to find out which would survive our all-important leak test.
Best... leakproof design
Tala Push & Push lunchbox
Best bits: Secret compartment for cutlery
Need a lunchbox that will guard against leaks? The Push & Push range from Tala gets two thumbs up. The lid locks tightly in place and only opens when both of the push tabs are pressed at the same time, making it 100% leakproof. Available in a range of shapes and sizes, there's bound to be a box for you. If, like us, you hate it when salad dressing gets all over your fork, then this lunchbox is ideal as the recyclable cutlery has its own compartment inside the lid. The box is a good size for a large portion of pasta, salad, or leftover dinner. However, despite its leakproof qualities, we wouldn’t use it for soup.
Lakeland double decker collapsible lunchbox
Best bits: Slots neatly in your bag after lunch
Ideal for anyone looking to save a bit of space in their bag or Tupperware cupboard when lunch is finished. The lid comes complete with a hidden cutlery compartment as well as a dressings pot, however the latter feels a bit less secure than the rest of the product so be cautious, ensuring you screw it down tightly. Worth the investment if you tend to travel with more than one meal as both your breakfast and lunch can fit inside (and not come into contact with each other). The silicone material makes it easier to clean than plastic too – and it can go in the dishwasher. Also available in a 'healthy portions' version, with various compartments.
Available from Lakeland (£19.99).
Best... bento box
Periodic table adult bento box
Best bits: Handy two-tier design
Here's a great bento box that you'll get plenty of use out of. It’s split into two trays, each with a moveable divider so you can portion different parts of the meal and make them as big or as small as you need. It's ideal for anyone who dislikes different foods touching, or just to keep wet and dry foods away from each other. There’s a separate section for your reusable plastic cutlery, so it doesn't get greasy. It’s a decent size as well, and fits inside most backpacks comfortably. The periodic table design means science fans will be in their element... However there's a range of designs to suit different lunchers.
Available from Dot Com Gift Shop (£8.95).
Best... for keeping lunch chilled
Best bits: Clip-in ice pack
Anyone who has a long commute to work may worry that their lunch won't stay fresh, especially if there isn't a fridge to stash it in once you get there. Enter the Bobble Box. This range of Tupperware is set apart by the miniature ice block that clips into the lid, meaning that food – like a crisp salad, chilled meats, or cheese – stays cooler for longer. The tub is also ideal for anyone who works on the move. It's worth noting that it's not the easiest to clean and requires a lot of dismantling, but that is definitely outweighed by its leakproof properties as well as the fact that it can go into the microwave.
Best... space saver
Joseph Joseph GoEat lunchbox
Best bits: Hidden compartment
You may not realise at first glance that this lunchbox has a sandwich compartment and a separate one for yogurt, fruit or snacks. One of the slickest designs we tested, this box is ideal if you're a bit restricted on space, being large enough to pack your lunch in yet small enough to tuck inside a backpack or handbag. We were concerned about whether we'd find sandwiches covered in yogurt when we opened it up, but not at all – this box certainly withstood our leak test and despite different foods being kept closely together, nothing spilled. It can be easily washed by hand, however it's suitable for popping in the dishwasher, too.
Best... stackable design
Best bits: Use one or more
In the style of Russian dolls, this quirky set is made up of four parts hidden inside each other, and it comes complete with cartoonish emblems for each box. We used the largest of the four to transport a pasta dish – and it was a pretty big lunch. The mid-sized boxes could be used for a light breakfast or sandwich and the smallest for carrying snacks. The best part is that you can choose each day which box suits you best. Conveniently, too, they're all safe to put in the dishwasher or microwave.
Available from Ocado (£10).
For all of the products mentioned in this review, various retailers have been suggested by our affiliate partner Monetizer 101 and are not suggested or chosen by BBC Good Food. For more information on how these retailers are selected and the nature of our partnership, please read the Monetizer101 FAQ page.
What should I buy?
The options are endless when it comes to lunchboxes. It comes down to your priorities. Do you want variety at lunchtimes and need a box with different compartments? Or perhaps space inside your bag is limited and you need something slimline. There is no right or wrong type of lunchbox to buy, but try to make sure that you get one made without BPA – and one that doesn't leak is crucial.
What we looked for...
BPA-free: The lunchbox, especially if it contains plastic, should be completely safe to store food inside.
Size and storage: We searched for boxes of all shapes and sizes to suit different needs, excluding anything that seemed a poor use of space.
Cleaning properties: We looked for boxes that were easy to clean. Those that could go in the dishwasher were preferable, but for those that weren't, we made sure they could be cleaned easily by hand.
Aesthetics: We were on the lookout for any fun and unique designs. Any additional features such as cutlery, separate compartments, or cooling packs were also taken into consideration.
Leak test: Every lunchbox was put through our 'leak test' – filled with wet and dry foods, closed tightly shut and then shaken around before being checked for leaks. Any boxes that didn't pass the leak test were disqualified.
How we tested: Over a two-week period, we checked each shortlisted lunchbox against the testing criteria. After passing the leak test, boxes were reviewed based on their unique features.
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This review was last updated in March 2018. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.
Do you have a trusty lunchbox you can't live without? Leave a comment below...