Best Lunch Boxes for Kids School Lunch – an expert review of our favorite tried-and-true lunchboxes! I tested out the top 6 bento boxes to help you find the perfect lunch box for your toddler, preschooler, or big kids that can go anywhere they go – school, preschool, a school pod, lunch at home, a playdate, or a fun outing. Plus, there are great options at all price points!

Graphic for post – best lunchboxes for kids, complete guide for ages 2–10. Images are of colorful lunchboxes in a grid against a white background.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Kids Lunch Boxes

I’ve spent the last 7 years packing school lunches, as well as buying and trying almost every lunch box on the market.

I had quite the lunch box storage situation happening in my house for a while 🙈, but I was determined to find the perfect lunch box for my kids.

My determination (and messy cabinets) is your gain!

I’ll share everything you need to know about the best bento boxes for kids in this review! Starting from how to find the best lunch box, to the top 9 bento boxes on the market, as well as what boxes are my all-time favorite winners, and so much more! This guide is great for kids 2 – 12 years old. You can also check out my best-selling school lunch cookbook for even more information and recipes!

Back to School Lunch Idea

Watch this video to see a fun back-to-school lunch idea!

How to Find the Best Lunch Box

  • Leakproof: Will the lunch actually get to school without everything spilling everwhere? I go into way more detail about this below.
  • Easy to Clean: Maybe the most important topic – how easy is it to clean, because none of us busy parents want to spend hours cleaning our kids’ lunchboxes.
  • Kid-Friendly: is the bento box easy to open, is it too heavy, are the containers sharp, this guide goes into all the details.
  • Materials: I talk about what type of materials are used for each bento. If you are looking for a plastic bento, plastic-free lunchbox or one made with only stainless steel – we’ve got you covered.
  • Fit in Lunch Bag: to me it’s important to know which lunch bag the bento box will actually fit into.
  • Capacity: You don’t want a bento box that’s too big or too small, you want one that will hold just the right amount of food for your child.

Things to Note

  • Honest Review: Below you will find a very in-depth and honest review of all of the bento boxes for kids. This isn’t a paid sponsorship from any of these brands and I purchased every box below with my own money so that I could personally give you the best review possible. Bento boxes are not cheap, I wanted to make sure your money was well spent.
  • Tried-and-True: We have had most of these bentos for years and I have tried each bento box and brand multiple times before I wrote this review.
  • Capacity: I started with the same amount of food and tried to show what it would look like in each bento box – 9 small flower pb&j sandwiches, 1/2 cup peaches and blueberries, 8 cucumber spears, a container of ranch, 1/4 cup carrot coins, 1/4 cup bunny crackers and 4 bunny gummies. If I couldn’t fit that much food into a container, I noted it in my review.

Looking for School Lunch Inspiration? Then check out my best-selling cookbook Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Box Lunches for Kids!

Bento Boxes Reviewed

A grid of the best bento boxes for kids winners.

Best Lunch Boxes for Kids

If you just want to cut straight to the chase – these are our absolute favorite lunch boxes for kids.

Best Overall Lunch Box: OmieBox

We love the OmieBox because it has a built-in thermos that can be inserted into the lunch box for warm or cold foods that can be removed if needed. How brilliant is that? Plus, you can insert dividers in the 2 smaller sections to separate the food, and each section is leakproof.

Best Eco-Friendly Lunch Box: PlanetBox Rover

We have been using the Planetbox Rover for years, and we all absolutely love it! The Rover holds a good amount of food for both my 5 and 7-year-olds, and I know I can pack it with even more food as they grow. My girls love the fun magnets, the carrying case, and the small colorful pods you can add into the bento for small amounts of food. This lunchbox is made completely without plastic – it is made with only stainless steel and food-grade silicone.

Best Value Lunch Box: Easy Lunch Boxes

A very basic bento that comes in a 4-pack with different colored lids. This set of Bentos comes with the smallest price tag, and you can get all 4 boxes for under $20. This bento is a great size for both kids and grown-ups which means you can use them for the entire family. They aren’t made with the highest quality of materials (BPA-Free Plastic), but we have had our bento boxes for over 6 years, and they are still going strong. I think every family should have a set of these. They are also a great option if your kid tends to misplace everything in their life;).

Best for Younger Kids: Bentgo (close runner up – Innobaby Bus Bento)

This is a great little lunch box for younger kids or kids who don’t eat very much. I loved that it is a compact, lightweight, and completely leakproof lunchbox. My kids loved the fun designs on the front. Plus, this lunchbox is super easy to open and shut for younger kids.

Best Bento Boxes for Each Age

Great for 2-5 Year-Olds

Great for 5-10 Year-Olds

Great for 10+

Frequently Asked Questions

Which lunch box is best?

This really depends on your child – how much they eat, how many different foods they can manage during a short lunch break, how old they are. The 6 below have been tested by my family and have all passed the test (they all rock!). You will also find our list of pros and cons for each lunch box that will help inform you before buying a lunch box.

How do I keep my child’s school lunch cold?

We recommend adding in a small ice pack into your child’s lunch bag along with their lunch box. We love the Bentgo Buddies Reusable Ice Packs, Thrive Ice Packs for Lunch Bags, or the Fit & Fresh Cool Coolers Lunch Ice Packs.

How do you keep kids lunches warm in a lunch box?

The best way to keep your child’s lunch warm is to use a OmieBox lunch box, which comes with an insertable thermos.

Full Review of the Best School Lunch Boxes for Kids

Silver planet box for kids full of lunch - winner of the best eco-friendly bento box.

PlanetBox Rover

Key Features

  • Each Rover Set includes 1 Rover Lunch Box, 1 Big Dipper food container, 1 Little Dipper food container, Insulated Carrying Bag, and Magnet Set
  • 5 compartments to make packing a variety of foods easy
  • Made of stainless steel and contains no lead, PVC, phthalates or BPA
  • Carry Bag fabric is made from durable, 100% recycled polyester fiber with multi use pockets and adjustable strap
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Recommended for ages 4-12 years

Why Our Experts Love it

The Rover holds a good amount of food for preschool and elementary age kids. Kids will love the fun magnets, the carrying case, and the small colorful pods you can add into the bento for small amounts of food. We love that this lunch box is made completely without plastic – only stainless steel and food-grade silicone.



  • Separate compartments make planning and packing lunch an easy process
  • Durable and safe stainless steel
  • Insulated carry bag
  • Easy for little hands to open and close
  • Eco-friendly


  • More expensive than other brands
  • Lunch box is not leak proof (although the food containers that come with it are)
  • Works best with cold foods
  • Heavier material than other options

Parent’s Review

So far we love our planet box. Came with two separate inserts with leakproof lids. Love the shallow compartments. The bag is insulated and fits over your shoulder perfectly. And love that it is eco friendly and stainless steel.


Tip: I would recommend ordering the Pods and the Carry Bag as well. Also, the magnets are super fun, and my kids love them.

Pink school lunch box full of healthy food for kids. This box won for the best overall bento box.


Key Features

  • Includes an 8.5 ounce thermos container along with two side compartments
  • Bottom tray is double-walled and air-insulated
  • Made of durable, 18/8 stainless steel
  • No BPA, vinyl, lead, or PVC
  • Comes apart for easy cleaning
  • Great for kids 4-10 years old

Why Our Experts Love it

We love the Omie box and use it for lunches all the time. Being able to insert or remove the thermos as needed for hot or cold foods makes it incredibly versatile. Omie also makes a silverware attachment that clips to the handle, which is fun and eco-friendly.



  • Easily pack hot or cold food with the insulated container
  • Durable and built to last
  • Leakproof
  • Multifunctional and versatile – can fit both a drink and food
  • Small and compact, ideal for younger kids
  • Fits in most standard sized lunch bags


  • More expensive than some other brands
  • Can be top load dishwasher safe, but hand wash is recommended

Parent’s Review

First of all let me just say that after reading all the reviews I decided to indeed buy this lunch box for my son’s bento lunches. I carefully read all the instructions (do’s and don’ts) and I’m pretty convinced I found the perfect lunch box for my little one. I had him open up the lunch box itself and then the warm compartment and he was able to do so perfectly fine with no help. He was very excited to have all his favorites foods and snacks in one box vs one box each item. We are very happy with it.

Plastic 3-section bento box for toddlers, preschooler and kids that is full of school food ideas.


Key Features

  • Set includes 4 stackable, portable, and reusable lunch boxes with 3 compartments
  • Easy open lids
  • BPA free
  • Microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe
  • Great for kids 4 years – adult

Why Our Experts Love it

This set of basic Bentos comes with the smallest price tag, and you can get all 4 boxes for under $15. This bento can be used for the entire family, a great size for both kids and adults.



  • Compartments are well sealed from each other
  • Good for those on a budget
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean


  • Not 100% leakproof
  • Less durable material may be more likely to crack and chip

Parent’s Review

I love the easy lunch boxes! I originally bought them for my kids for daycare and for future school lunches and ended up using them for mine and my husbands lunches as well! We used them so much we bought 2 more sets so now we have a total of 4 and all of the colors. They work GREAT!!

-K. Canady

Tip: I would recommend getting some silicone muffin molds to hold a bigger variety of foods for a kids’ lunch and these small sauce containers for anything you don’t want to leak.

Purple bento school lunch box - winner for best for young kids.


Key Features

  • 5 compartments for a main dish, sides or snacks
  • Rubber-coated edges to prevent cracks if dropped
  • Leakproof
  • BPA-free, and made with no PVC, phthalates, lead, or vinyl
  • Microwave and dishwasher safe
  • Recommended for ages 3-7 years

Why Our Experts Love it

This lunch box is great for younger kids or those that don’t tend to eat as much at school. It’s compact, sturdy, and completely leakproof. Kids will love the fun print designs. 



  • Sturdy and durable
  • Multiple food compartments help encourage variety
  • Easy to open and close
  • Comes in different colors and prints
  • Fits in almost any standard flat lunch bag – Bentgo also sells their own lunch bags that fit their boxes perfectly


  • Hand washing is recommended for the outer shell to preserve the leak-proof seal and extend the longevity
  • Holds about 2/3 the amount of food as the Omie or Planetbox, so may be better for younger kids or those with smaller appetites

Parent’s Review

Awesome company and high quality lunchbox! We’ve used this lunchbox with my toddler and it’s been amazing. Great portions, never leaks, and super sturdy! It’s SO nice to be able to send a lot of different foods and not have to worry about getting a bunch of little containers back. Easy to wash, easy to use. We load these up the night before and stick them in the fridge. My toddler loves them and I think it’s helped encourage him to eat a bigger variety of foods by seeing them all at once. It’s also challenged me (in a good way) to serve him a variety of foods for lunch every day. They have an ebook with lots of good meal ideas too! They also have super cute prints and bright color boxes for some variety. Their customer service is fantastic and they truly stand behind their products. It’s refreshing to see a company really care about their customers and want to help them.


Tip: I would recommend getting the Bentgo Fresh for kids ages 5-9.

silver bus platter full of healthy foods.

Innobaby Bus Bento

Key Features

  • Separated plate has 5 compartments and a lid
  • Made of food-grade 304, 18/10 stainless steel
  • Free of BPA, Phthalates, PVC and lead
  • Dishwasher safe (lid is handwash only)
  • Great for kids 2-5 year old

Why Our Experts Love it

This kid-friendly design has compartments that are shallow with curved edges, making them easy to eat from for toddlers and preschoolers. 



  • Durable and eco-friendly
  • Easy to stack and store
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Cleans easily


  • Small, shallow compartments may not be as functional for older kids with bigger appetites
  • Lid is handwash only
  • May be hard to find a flat lunch bag that will fit the bigger size 

Parent’s Review

My kids love these lunch containers soooo much that I am so sad that I haven’t purchased them sooner. My picky 3 year old is finally eating something at school, and my 5 year old is finishing his lunches every single day. I only received these a week ago, but my kids are even asking to eat dinner in them! Thank God, and thank you, Innobaby.

Blue 5-section bento box filled with healthy and colorful food.


Key Features

  • Removeable tray is divided into 5 compartments, each a 1/2 cup portion size, plus a round dip/treat
  • Leakproof
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack only)
  • BPA and phthalates-free
  • Great for kids 4-8 years old

Why Our Experts Love it

We adore Yumbox’s cute, illustrated, pre-portioned food tray that helps guide you (and your kids) to packing a balanced meal. The tray is divided into five ½ cup portions and lists the main food groups: fruit, vegetable, grain, protein, and dairy.



  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to open and close
  • Fits in most standard lunch bags
  • Multiple food compartments help encourage variety


  • Holds slightly less food than the PlanetBox and can be difficult to pack larger foods (i.e., a sandwich or wrap) unless you cut in quarter sizes due to the 1/2 cup portion compartments
  • Handwashing is recommended for the outer shell

Parent’s Review

One of my favorite purchases ever! (Seriously.) We spend half the amount of time packing lunches now, and I love only having to wash one thing instead of a ton of tiny containers, and no hunting around for missing tupperware lids. My toddler loves being able to see all of her food at once, and she doesn’t have to ask her nanny to open each separate container for her. It’s helpful to have visual reminders of what types of foods to pack, and how much of each type of food (vegetables/dairy/etc). The quality of her lunches has improved a lot because we can see it all at once. Plus the bento box makes her lunch LOOK amazing, which makes it more fun to pack.


Tip: I would recommend getting the Panino version so it would grow more with your child. The Panino has a bigger section for larger food items like sandwiches, pizza, wraps, etc.