The 9 Best Lunchboxes for Kids of 2021

Help make lunchtime fun for your children

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Bentgo Kids Lunch Box at Amazon

A quality product specifically designed for kids, it has drop-proof, rubber-coated edges and a sturdy design.

Best Budget: EasyLunchboxes Bento Containers at Amazon

You get four colorful and stackable four-compartment containers to prep and pack snacks and lunches.

Best Bento Box: OmieBox Bento Box at Amazon

It comes with removable rectangular compartments and a removable leak proof bowl that can hold hot or cold food.

Best for Big Kids: Artovida Art of Lunch Insulated Lunch Bag at Amazon

These fun neoprene lunch bags partner with artists around the world that create the unique, stylish designs.

Best for Cold Food: Packit Freezable Lunch Bag at Amazon

Instead of worrying about ice packs, simply fold the bag up and put it in the freezer overnight.

Best for Toddlers: Mackenzie Glow in the Dark Lunch Box at potterybarnkids.com

It has a fun pattern and features a water-resistant exterior and an interior that is easy to clean.

Best for Teens: Waxed Canvas Lunch Bags at Amazon

They have the look of a brown bag, but are durable enough to withstand spills.

Best Insulated: L.L. Bean Expandable Lunch Box at llbean.com

Fans of the product love putting a bento box inside of it to keep cool and protect from any leaks.

Best Thermos: Thermos FOOGO Food Jar at Amazon

The insulation technology in this thermos keeps contents cool for up to 7 hours and warm for up to 5 hours.

Don’t let packing your child’s lunch slow down your morning. The best lunch boxes make it easy for the parent and child to enjoy lunchtime and pack food that can be kept cold (or hot) or separated, depending on your needs.

Bento boxes are the popular choice lately because they have small compartments that allow for creativity, variety, and plenty of snacks. A traditional insulated bag or thermos also makes great choices.

Look no further, these are our choices for the best lunch boxes for kids in 2021.

Best Overall: Bentgo Kids Lunch Box

Bentgo Kids Childrens Lunch Box

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Separate Compartments

  • Drop-Proof

  • Leakproof

What We Don't Like
  • Not Insulated

The Bentgo Lunch Box is specifically designed for kids. It has drop-proof, rubber-coated edges and a sturdy design. It comes in fun colors with five compartments that have been thoughtfully designed and portioned out.

Fans of the product rave about the sealing mechanism and that the food doesn’t leak into one another. A quality product, this lunchbox is easy to clean and easy to transport making it our best overall option.

Best Budget: EasyLunchboxes Bento Containers

EasyLunchboxes Bento Containers

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Good for Snacks

  • Stackable

What We Don't Like
  • Not Leakproof

  • Require Separate Lunchbox

For under $15, you get four four-compartment containers that are colorful and stackable. With these, you can make lunches ahead of time, or buy one set to share if you have more than one child.

The lids are not leakproof but can be easily removed by toddlers when it's time to eat. Parents recommend putting these containers in an insulated fabric lunch bag if the food needs to stay cold.

Best Bento Box: OmieBox Bento Box

What We Like
  • Stores Hot and Cold Food

  • Leak-Proof

What We Don't Like
  • Thermos May Make Other Food Warm

The OmieBox was invented by a mom who couldn’t find a good solution for both hot and cold food—one of the main reasons we love this bento box. It comes with a removable thermos compartment that can be used to keep foods like pasta and soup warm. For cool foods like sandwiches, you can remove the leak-proof bowl and use the removable rectangular compartment.

In general, bento boxes are great for kids because you can pack smaller amounts of food with more variety.

Best for Big Kids: Artovida Art of Lunch Insulated Lunch Bag

Art of Lunch by ARTOVIDA

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Insulated

  • Machine Washable

What We Don't Like
  • Small Interior

These fun neoprene lunch bags partner with artists around the world that create unique, stylish designs. The thick neoprene material keeps food fresh and insulated for up to 4 hours, and they’re easy to store at home or in your bag after lunch.

They lay flat and can be thrown into the washing machine to clean, and while it is on the smaller side, it has enough room to hold a water bottle along with lunch.

Best for Cold Food: Packit Freezable Lunch Bag

PackIt Freezable Lunch Bag with Zip Closure

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Keeps Food Cold

  • Roomy

What We Don't Like
  • Not Ideal for Hot Food

This lunch bag keeps food cold for up to 10 hours. Instead of worrying about ice packs, simply fold the bag up and put it in the freezer overnight. The patented freezable gel is permanently built into the bag, and the zip closure ensures it keeps all contents inside cold. This bag is large enough to hold a sandwich, a drink, and some snacks.   

Best for Toddlers: Mackenzie Glow in the Dark Lunch Box

Mackenzie Blue Dino Glow-In-The-Dark Lunch Boxes

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

What We Like
  • Personalized

  • Organized Compartments

What We Don't Like
  • Not Machine Washable

Toddlers will love the cool designs on this lunch bag. It glows in the dark and you can even get their name embroidered on it. It has a fun pattern and features a water-resistant exterior and an interior that is easy to clean.

To save space inside, the water bottle holder is on the outside and also includes a removable ice pack that fastens inside. Even better, Pottery Barn has a full collection of lunch boxes and accessories to complete the lineup.

Best for Teens: Waxed Canvas Lunch Bags

Waxed Canvas Lunch Bags Brown Paper Bag Styled

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Simple Design

  • Adjustable Size

What We Don't Like
  • No Handle

Getting a teenager to take a lunch box to school can be a challenge. We like these waxed canvas lunch bags because they have the look of a brown bag, but are durable enough to withstand spills. They can be cleaned with a damp cloth or rinsed with water.

The height can be adjusted and is quite roomy—it can fit a water bottle and lunch with snacks at its tallest point.

Best Insulated: L.L. Bean Expandable Lunch Box

L.L. Bean Expandable Lunch Box

Courtesy of L.L. Bean

What We Like
  • Expandable

  • Fits Ice Pack

What We Don't Like
  • Basic Color Options

This insulated lunch box from L.L. Bean is durable enough to last for many years, even in the hands of a child. We love the expandable option that gives you two inches of extra room when you need it. The internal mesh pocket fits an ice pack and the smooth plastic interior is easy to clean.

Fans of the product love putting a bento box inside of it to keep cool and protect from any leaks.   

Best Thermos: Thermos FOOGO Food Jar

Thermos FOOGO Food Jar

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Small Enough for Lunchbox

  • Good for Hot and Cold Food

What We Don't Like
  • Only for Single Food Item

Most kids don’t have access to a microwave or refrigerator while at school so having a reliable thermos can be a make or break at lunchtime. The insulation technology in this thermos keeps contents cool for up to 7 hours and warm for up to 5 hours.

The 10-ounce capacity is a good size for children and the rubber lid is easy for those little hands to grip to open and close. To maximize ensuring the food stays hot, fill the thermos with hot tap water or boiling water beforehand. 

Final Verdict

There aren't many options on the market that can really compete with the flexibility of the Bentgo Kids Lunchbox (view on Amazon). Your child can enjoy snacks and their main course all in one place without worrying about their food mixing into a mess.

For a simple option that can store all of your child's food while keeping it cool throughout the day, the L.L. Bean Expandable (view on L.L. Bean) is durable and will last throughout the school year.

What To Look for When Buying Lunchboxes for Kids

Size

Before buying, think about how much room you will need for your child’s food items.  If you want to be able to fit a bento box, an ice pack, and a water bottle inside a lunch box then you will require something larger.

Also, consider that a larger box may be too bulky and be tough to fit inside a backpack. Typically, older kids can get by with a smaller lunchbox as they don't need to pack several snacks for the entire day while toddlers may need an option that can hold breakfast, lunch, and snacks.      

Functionality 

What works for someone else may not work for what you pack for your child’s lunch. A bento box style gives your child lots of snack options, but an insulated box with room for an ice pack is better if the temperature is the priority for you. Keep in mind you may want a box that your child can open and close on their own.

Cost

A lunchbox can last a whole school year for some, where others may prefer to have a few reusable boxes. Most options range in the $20-$25 mark but there are a few great budget-friendly choices available as well.

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Deanna McCormack is a writer, copywriter, and creative consultant who specializes in beauty, parenting, and lifestyle products.

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