13 Best Japanese Bento Box 2021 | Guide to Buying Bento Boxes

by Takashi Nomoni
best japanese bento box

I absolutely love taking bento box lunch meals to work. They’re practical and you get to pack a variety of things. So here are the best Japanese bento box you could choose from.

A bento box is a single-portion boxed meal, which contains a balanced meal we need every day. Typically, a bento box is an assortment of rice or noodles, meat or fish, vegetables, and fruits.

Best Japanese Bento Box for Adults and Kids — Quick Summary

Best Japanese Bento BoxBest ForLink
BentoHeaven Bento BoxBest Japanese Bento Box For AdultsLink
Traditional Rabbit Blossom Bento BoxBest Japanese Traditional Bento BoxLink
Renewed Traditional Rabbit Moon Bento BoxTop Japanese Bento Box For AdultsLink
Japanese Bento Box Microwave-safe Lunch BoxBest Microwave-safe Bento BoxLink
Traditional Japanese Wooden Bento BoxBest Japanese Wooden Bento BoxLink
Leakproof Bento BoxBest Japanese Leakproof Bento BoxLink
Bentgo Kids Print Bento BoxBest Japanese Bento Box For KidsLink
Panda Bento BoxTop Japanese Bento Box For KidsLink
Kotobuki Geisha Doll Bento BoxBest Bento Lunch Box For KidsLink
Stainless Steel Bento BoxBest Bento Box For AdultLink

So let’s check out some of the best Japanese bento box available.

Top Japanese Bento Boxes

Grub2Go – The Original Japanese Bento Box

Grub2Go original Japanese bento box is the best Japanese bento box. It has a versatile design and a minimalistic design. It features 2 dividers so you can pack a little of everything. It’s also air-tight so your food stays fresh for hours! ALso you don’t have to worry about anything leaking when you pack it in your bag as this bento box is also leak-proof. Made of BPA-free, food grade, non-toxic material, this bento box is microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe!

best bento box

Key Features

  • Air-tight
  • Leak proof
  • BPA Free
  • Food grade material
  • Microwave safe
  • Dishwasher safe

Related: Best Japanese Cookbooks

Jeopace – Bento Box for Adults

The next best Japanese bento box is by Jeopace. It features three compartments of different sizes so you can carry a well balanced meal when you go out. It’s also perfect for kids to take to school as well. It comes along with a fork that fits inside the bento box so you never have to worry about forgetting to take cutlery along with you! It is made of BPA free materials and is resistant to stains. It’s also designed to be leak-proof and airtight so that your food stays inside the box and fresh! This bento box (without the lid) is microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and freezer safe as well. 

best bento box from japan

Key Features: 

  • Three compartments 
  • Comes with a fork
  • Made of BPA material
  • Airtight 
  • Leak proof
  • Resistant to stains
  • Microwave safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Freezer safe

Related: Best Japanese Instant Ramen

Bentgo Fresh Bento Box

best japanese bento box 2021

This best Japanese bento box comes with three compartments that are built in to the bento box. You can pack the perfect meal with this bento box. The compartments are leak-proof that is food from one compartment will not leak into the others. It also comes with an additional divider incase you want a fourth compartment. 

Related: Best Japanese Rice Crackers

BentoHeaven Bento Box

Best Japanese Bento Box For Adults

The BentoHeaven Bento box comes at affordable rates that will not burn a hole in your pocket. It is functional with a modern design that makes lunch a fun time. The design of the lunch box is rooted in Japanese traditions. 

japanese bento box for lunch

The containers of the Japanese Bento box are leakproof and airtight, which ensures that you always get fresh food. The BPA-free containers prevent mess and smell. The containers let you set perfect portions of your meal. 

The containers are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. They come with silicone-sealed lids and ventilation caps that shorten the re-heating time. 

stackable japanese bento box

In the bento box, you also get a fork, a knife, a spoon, and a pair of chopsticks. This is definitely one of the best Japanese bento box out there!

Key Features:

  • Leakproof bento box
  • Airtight bento box
  • Microwave-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Freezer-safe
  • Features silicon-sealed lids and ventilation caps to reduce re-heating time
  • Comes with cutlery

Related: Best Coffee Makers Made in Japan

Traditional Rabbit Blossom Bento Box

Best Japanese Traditional Bento Box

The food-safe plastic Japanese bento box has a stackable double lunch box and comes with a band to hold the two together. You also get a beautiful, premium lunch bag with the lunch box. 

best japanese bento box for school

When you have eaten, you can place the upper box inside the lower box to save space – I really like this feature because this makes it easy to fit in my bag and also one of the reasons why it’s in this list of best Japanese Bento box!

The compartments make it easy to put proper portions of the food. Enjoy an assortment of colorful and delicious food. You cannot wash the box in dishwasher or microwave. You should only hand-wash it. 

best japanese bento box for kids

Key Features:

  • Stackable lunch box
  • With drawstring bag
  • Comes with rice ball press
  • Store the upper container within the lower container to save space
  • Hand-wash only
  • Not microwave or dishwasher safe

Related: Best Japanese Rice Brands

Renewed Traditional Rabbit Moon Bento Box

Top Japanese Bento Box For Adults

The rabbit moon bento box is the renewed version of the traditional rabbit blossom bento box. The original box was not microwave and dishwasher safe. However, this drawback is not present in the new rabbit moon bento box.

The double stackable containers are perfect to portion the food. Once done eating, you can stack the upper box in the lower box to save space. It comes with a pair of chopsticks, a band to hold the boxes together, and a beautiful bag. 

cute japanese bento box

Key Features:

  • Stackable box
  • Upper lid fits into the lower lid to save space after eating
  • Chopsticks included
  • Comes with a drawstring bag

Related: Best Japanese Baking Tools

Japanese Bento Box Microwave-safe Lunch Box

Best Microwave-safe Bento Box

Wheat-straw and eco-friendly food grade lunch box is BPA-free and non-toxic. It is safe and healthy, even for your kids. The containers are durable and will last you a long time.

japanese bento for adults

You can either use the stackable containers together or separately. They are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. You only need about three minutes to heat your food. The design gives you maximum feasibility and keeps your food fresh and separated. 

japanese bento box for office

The containers come in an insulated lunch bag that keeps your food warm for at least two hours. It also has an elastic band that lets you bind the boxes securely.

The lids are silicone-sealed, and you can use the upper box lid to hold the cutlery that you get with the lunch box. The top lid securely closes it. 

Key Features:

  • Eco-friendly food-grade lunch box
  • Stackable container
  • Microwave-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Freezer-safe
  • Comes with an insulated lunch bag to keep food warm for longer hours
  • Cutlery included

Traditional Japanese Wooden Bento Box

Best Japanese Wooden Bento Box

The traditional natural camphor wooden bento box is a healthy way of packing bento lunch. It’s one of the best Japanese bento box I have.

It is painted with natural colors and is PVC, BPA, and phosphates free, as approved by the FDA. The box is well-insulated to ensure that no matter how hot or cold the food is, your hands remain safe. 

The box comes with a divider that lets you portion your food and keeps them separated. The food inside remains warm, and so is perfect for camping, hiking, picnic, or regular lunch.

wooden japanese bento box

Key Features:

  • Approved by FDA
  • Natural wooden look
  • Insulated box

Leakproof Bento Box

Best Japanese Leakproof Bento Box

The two-layer lunch box is perfect for kids and adults and is microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe. It is made of non-toxic materials and is free of BPA. 

Leakproof technology prevents your food from spilling, and the ventilation locks keep food fresh. The box set comes with a pair of chopsticks and a spoon. The strap keeps the stackable containers in place. 

japanese bento box

Key Features:

  • Made of BPA-free plastic
  • Two-layer bento box
  • Microwave-safe
  • Freezer-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Leakproof
  • Features ventilation lock to keep the food fresh
  • Cutlery included

Bentgo Kids Print Bento Box

Best Japanese Bento Box For Kids

While you can use any bento box for your kids, what makes this box a favorable choice is the design and the compartments. The bento box comes in six fun designs that your kids will love.

Whether you have a princess who loves unicorns or a lovely boy who loves space and rockets, there are designs available for them.

best japanese microwave safe bento box

The bento box is feasible and has five compartments that allow you to put the right portions for your child’s well-being. Add a healthy and tasty combination of carbs, protein, and the goodness of vegetables and fruits to provide nourishment. You can use the tiny circular compartment for sauces and dressings. 

The compartments of the bento box prevent mess and spill, keeping food fresh until your kid is ready to indulge it. 

best japanese bento box for adults

Key Features:

  • 5 compartments to separate the food
  • Durable with rubber-coated edges and sturdy design
  • Drop-proof
  • Made of BPA-free plastic
  • Leak-proof
  • Microwave-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe

Panda Bento Box

Top Japanese Bento Box For Kids

Which kid will not finish every single item in their lunch box if it is as cute as this panda bento box?

The bento box has a cute panda face on the lid that will instantly brighten your child’s mood and bring a big smile. And that’s why this Japanese bento box made to this list of best Japanese bento box!

The bento box is two-tiered and stackable. You can put healthy and nutritious in your child’s lunch with this adorable bento box. The compartments have separate lids to ensure the freshness and health of the food. 

kids japanese bento box
best japanese bento box for kids

Key Features:

  • 2 stackable layers
  • Both layers have separate lids
  • Made of food-grade plastic
  • Both compartments are dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe
  • The lids are not dishwasher-safe or microwave-safe

Kotobuki Geisha Doll Bento Box

Best Bento Lunch Box For Kids

Are you looking for a fun twist to your lunches, or are you looking to make lunch fun for your kids? Get this Kotobuki Geisha Doll Bento Box. 

The bento box is pretty and looks like a Geisha doll. It has three containers that are big enough to hold large quantities of food. There is a band to hold the bento box together to keep your food mess and spill-free. Your kids are going to love eating out of this box. 

traditional bento box
best japanese bento box for kids

Key Features: 

  • Two-tiered bento box
  • Also includes a bowl to make instant soups or broth
  • The top tier comes with a lid

Stainless Steel Bento Box

Best Bento Box For Adult

If plastic is not for you, you can go for this stainless steel bento box that comes with a lifetime manufacturing warranty.

It has three compartments where you can store nutritious food for your kids and you. So next time you plan a picnic with the kids – this is the best Japanese bento box you can take along!  

stainless steel japanese bento box

The stainless steel lunch box is BPA-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free, and lead-free. You can create a healthy and delicious bento lunch for your family in this safe box. 

stainless steel bento box

The three containers are perfect for holding large amounts of food and sharing with others. You can use silicone bowls and cups to hold different food items. 

Key Features: 

  • Three-tiered bento box
  • Made of food-grade Stainless steel
  • BPA-free and lead-free material
  • Includes a small container inside for nuts or sauces
  • Snap-secure locks

BONUS: Best Japanese Bento Box Accessories

Bento boxes are a great way to provide the right nutrition to your kid in a balanced way. The compartments let you put the correct portion to give your child and yourself everything that you may need. However, presenting the food in a fun way is equally important.

You can use this set of Japanese bento box accessories to make food preparation and presentation an art. The set contains everything you need to make art out of your food. Kids and adults will love eating it with joy and fascination. 

japanese bento box

What is a Japanese Bento Box?

A Japanese bento box is a boxed meal usually meant for one. A bento box ideally consists of protein like fish or meat, carbs like rice or noodles, and some cooked or pickled veggies. A bento box has several compartments to accommodate different kinds of foods and avoid mixing of the foods. Bento box is meant to provide you to pack a balanced meal for school or work!

Types of Japanese Bento Boxes

There are many types of Japanese bento boxes to choose from. The type of bento usually depends on the buyer and sometimes the occasion too. The main type of Japanese bento boxes are: 

  • Makunouchi bento (between act) 
  • Koraku bento (picnic)
  • Jubako bento boxes
  • Aisai bento (love) 
  • Chara-ben (character bento) and orkaki-ben (picture bento)
  • Sora-ben and Eki-ben (‘Sky’ bento and station bento)
  • Makunouchi Bento

Makunouchi (~between act) bento box is the most common and standard bento box in Japan. It has two sections – one for rice and the other for an assortment of side dishes. You get separate bento accessories like little boxes and cups to hold the side dishes that fit inside the compartment. You can easily find Makunouchi bento boxes in markets and convenience stores.

  • Koraku Bento

Koraku bento is meant for a large group. During cherry blossom season, family and friends usually get together and head to the park for cherry blossom viewing. During this occasion, families usually pack a koraku bento meant to be shared by everyone. A Koraku bento, in the spirit of season, is packed with traditional Japanese dishes. For example, during cherry blossom seasons traditional dishes like hanami dango, cherry blossom cookies, and sakura mochi are packed. Whereas during the Japanese doll festival or Hina Matsuri, dishes that are inspired for this season are packed to enjoy while viewing the beautiful doll display. 

  • Jubako Bento 

Jubako bento boxes, like Koraku bento, is meant for a large group. This stackable bento when put together reveals an amazing design of nature or dressing rooms in shades of glossy gold. 

Jubao boxes have been a common sight since the 18th century and usually used during the New Years feasts. 

  • Aisai bento 

Aisai bento is a special one. It is usually prepared for your partner. It’s a sweet way of showing your love and affection by adding cute and crafty treats along with cute messages addressed to your partner. What better way to tell your partner that you’re thinking of them when they’re at work! 

  • Chara-ben and Oekaki-ben

Chara-ben and Oekaki-ben mean character bento and picture bento, respectively. This type of Japanese bento box is popular with the kids and anime fans. The ingredients of the bento are arranged ina  way to mimic their favorite anime or cartoon character or animals. This is a great way to get your kids to eat, especially if they’re picky with their food! 

  • Sora-ben and Eki-ben

Sora-ben and Eki-ben are meant for those who are always on the go! You’ll find this type of bento boxes at airports and train stations and are usually packed with locally-available ingredients. 

How to choose the best Japanese bento box?

Here are some thing you should consider when choosing a Japanese bento box for yourself and your family:

  • Material of the bento box
  • Size of Japanese bento box
  • Design of Japanese bento box
  • Features of Japanese bento box
  • Material of the bento box

You’ll find a lot of modern bento box made of food-grade plastic. If you’re selecting a plastic bento box, make sure that it’s BPA-free. BPA is a chemical used in the making of plastics. Heating plastic can, eventually, break it down and BPA can leak into the food, which inturn will be absorbed by the body. So BPA-free plastic bento boxes are a good option as they can be microwaved and cleaned easily. 

You’ll also find bento boxes made of stainless steel. These are way more durable but can’t be microwaved. But most stainless-steel bento boxes are usually really well insulated so it keeps the food warm for hours. 

While BPA-free plastic and stainless steel bento boxes are good for everyday use, I love the elegance of traditional materials like bamboo, wood, and wheat straw. These are slightly delicate and you can’t stick it in the microwave or dishwasher. But they look amazing, they’re reusable, nontoxic and sustainable! 

  • What size should the bento box be?

Bento boxes come in different sizes meant for kids, adults, teens and larger groups. There’s a common misconception that bento boxes are smaller when compared to other type of lunch boxes. The idea behind a bento box is to pack a meal that has a little of everything so you get a balanced meal. This way you can pack a healthy meal with reasonably sized portions. The capacity of the bento box is usually given in litres or ml and dimensions in inches. This way you can compare the different sizes available and pick the one that best suits your general appetite.  

  • Design of the Japanese bento box

There are all sorts of designs today but traditionally a bento box came in a rectangular design with rounded edges. This design made it easy to carry and travel with as well. Inside, the bento box is usually divided into two or more compartments to section different foods. You’ll also find bento boxes that are stackable. This is especially useful when you plan on packing anything liquid like soups, soy sauce, or yogurt. You’ll also find some designs where the lid of the bento box has some space for fork, chopsticks, and/or spoons so you won’t forget cutlery wherever you eat. And my favorite is when some bento boxes’ lids double up as plates, bowls, or cups for soups and other dishes! 

  • Features of the bento box

Here are some features you need to look for in the best Japanese bento box. 

  1. Easy to clean: Selecting a bento box that is easy to clean makes your whole experience pain-free. If you use a dishwasher then make sure that the bento box you select is dishwasher-safe. Usually durable, BPA-free plastic and stainless steel bento boxes are dishwasher safe. If the bento boxes have a lid with silicone seals or are made of natural ingredients then a dishwasher isn’t recommended for these lids. 
  2. Leak-proof:  If your bento box leaks then you might as well throw it out. A bento box is meant to travel along with you. Which means it’ll probably go into your bag. SO you have to make sure that it is leak-proof. Look for bento boxes lids with airtight silicone seals. You’ll also find lids with elastic straps or snapping locks that help avoid leakage of foods. If you’re buying it online then make sure to read the reviews. 
  3. Insulation: There are two benefits to insulated bento boxes. Firstly, it’s designed to seal tightly so there’s extra protection against leakage. Secondly, it’ll keep your food warm for hours! But if you’re going to opt for a microwave-safe bento box then insulation wouldn’t be a big concern. 

How to prepare a bento box meal?

To prepare a bento box cook rice separately and stew, fry, or boil any protein of your choice. Add vegetables and fruits to this. Include carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruits to provide different textures and to make a balanced diet in your bento box. Add fruits, vegetables, or any other dish with one of these colors – red or orange, yellow, green, white, and black. And using bento accessories can minimize efforts and maximize aesthetics. You can use silicone cups to arrange your food, so they do not mix. You can also use silicone dividers to avoid movements between the food items. 

What is the best bento lunch box?

The best Japanese bento box is the BentoHaven Bento Box. It’s air-tight and leakproof. It’s also microwave safe, dishwasher-safe, and freezer-safe. It also comes with cutlery.

Where can I buy a bento box?

You can buy the best bento boxes for adults and kids online on Amazon store. You will find a wide selection of Japanese bento boxes with features like microwavable, and leakproof.

Can bento box be microwaved?

Some bento boxes can be microwaved. But it depends on the type of bento box you’re using. You can check the details of the bento box to find out if it’s microwavable or not. Most manufacturers specifically mention on the packaging if the bento box is microwave-safe. 

Do bento boxes leak?

Ideally, bento boxes should not leak. But low-quality bento boxes may not entirely be leak-proof. Make sure you select a high-quality bento box like BentoHaven when you buy a bento box. 

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