Glass, Plastic or Metal? How to Choose the Right Food Container

Glass, plastic and metal containers all have their pros and cons, but the differences can often seem vague and elusive. Today we’re here to help you figure out what makes each material a great (or not so great!) choice based on your own needs and preferences, allowing you to choose the right container with more confidence.

Glass containers: healthy but breakable

The best thing about glass? It’s super easy to clean and doesn’t absorb or release any smell, taste or colour. As far as health goes, it’s definitely our top choice. However, it’s the most breakable material out there, so if you’re particularly clumsy, glass may not be the ideal option. Do also keep in mind that glass is generally pretty heavy and often not leak-proof around the edges, so we don’t recommend it if you bring your lunch to work every day.

squarerooms ikea glass food containers cucumber storage kitchen

Image courtesy of IKEA

Plastic containers: convenient but wasteful

Plastic is not a great choice if you’re looking for a sustainable material, but there’s no denying that it’s convenient. It’s lightweight and cheap and additionally tends to be leak-proof, meaning that you don’t have to worry about liquid spills. It does, however, absorb odours fairly quickly and can get stained by colourful foods, making it difficult to clean and fairly short-lived.

squarerooms ella olsson plastic food containers kitchen storage veggie meatballs meal prep

Image courtesy of Ella Olsson

Metal containers: sturdy but smelly

Environmentally friendly and almost impossible to break, metal containers may seem like the best of both worlds, and in many aspects they are! But they do of course have their drawbacks too. If you’re planning on getting takeout meals in your food containers, metal may not be the best option as it absorbs temperatures and can thus grow pretty hot in your hands. It also unfortunately isn’t particularly leak-proof. But its biggest con by far is that it often releases a metallic smell and taste into your food, which is unpleasant to say the least.

squarerooms the sustainability project steel bento box food kitchen storage

Image courtesy of The Sustainability Project

Featured image courtesy of Ella Olsson