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The 2 Best Dry Food Storage Containers of 2023

May 09, 2024

We’ve reviewed this guide and we continue to stand by our picks.

A good set of dry food storage containers will keep your ingredients fresh longer and your cupboards and counters organized and tidy.

We’ve put 19 sets of containers through rigorous tests over the years, dropping them off counters and leaving them outside among creepy-crawlies overnight.

The Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers were the clear winner of all the models we tested. They’re durable, tight sealing, and available in a number of convenient sizes.

We knocked all the plastic containers off a counter to test durability.

We sampled Goldfish crackers stored in these containers over the course of three weeks, stomaching quite a few stale ones in the process.

We filled up all the plastic containers with water and turned them upside down to test how airtight their seals are.

We filled the containers with a water-and-sugar sludge, then put them outside to see whether they could keep bugs out.

These durable, well-sealed plastic containers fit easily in most cabinets. They come in many sizes, can stack securely, and are easy to scoop or pour from.

The sturdy Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers held up through multiple drop tests and trips through the dishwasher. Impressively, the lids are completely watertight, making these some of the tightest-sealing containers we’ve ever tested. Goldfish crackers stayed crunchy in them for almost three weeks, longer than in any of the other containers we tested. And no bugs got inside them when they spent the night outdoors. A narrow design allows the containers to stack nicely and fit efficiently into kitchen cabinets. They also pour easily and are a cinch to scoop from with a measuring cup. You can buy them individually or as a set, and they’re less expensive than some of the far more fragile models we tried.


These containers are designed for restaurant kitchens, so they’re super sturdy. They also come in sizes ranging from 2 quarts to 22 quarts. But they’re bulky and better for people with a lot of space.

The Rubbermaid Commercial Space Saving Food Storage Containers are workhorses, designed to withstand the abuse of a commercial kitchen. They’re similar to Cambro containers, the brand most commonly found in restaurant kitchens, but the Rubbermaid versions have a few advantages. Unlike those in the Cambro line, the 2- and 4-quart Rubbermaid containers have the same footprint as the 6- and 8-quart containers (so they can all use the same lids and stack easily), and they all have handles. The lids are also much tighter, though that can make them difficult to snap on and off, especially when they’re new. The wide mouth allows for easy scooping but also makes these containers better suited to large, walk-in pantries or shelves with plenty of room.

These durable, well-sealed plastic containers fit easily in most cabinets. They come in many sizes, can stack securely, and are easy to scoop or pour from.

These containers are designed for restaurant kitchens, so they’re super sturdy. They also come in sizes ranging from 2 quarts to 22 quarts. But they’re bulky and better for people with a lot of space.

For this guide, we spoke with three experts in 2016: Sarah Carey, then editorial director of food and entertaining for Martha Stewart Living; Toni Hammersley, the founder of the home organizing blog A Bowl Full of Lemons as well as the author of The Complete Book of Home Organization and The Complete Book of Clean; and Maria Speck, author of Simply Ancient Grains and Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. For our 2022 update, we consulted Melissa Clark, food journalist for the New York Times and author of numerous cookbooks, most recently Dinner in One.

We also combed through reviews from Cook’s Illustrated (subscription required), Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, The Spruce Eats, Allrecipes, and HGTV, and read through forum posts on Chowhound (which are no longer live) and Kitchn. Finally, we scoured Amazon, Target, The Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Sur La Table, and Food52 for the best-rated sets.

Since 2016, writers and editors on Wirecutter’s kitchen team—all avid bakers, some previously in professional settings—have tested a range of storage containers in our Wirecutter test kitchen, as well as in their own homes. We've also solicited feedback from our staff who have used the picks in this guide for years.

Without a good set of dry storage containers, a kitchen pantry can quickly get out of control. If you currently store your pantry goods in a collection of random jars and Tupperware, a uniform set of containers can keep your cupboards neater and easier to navigate. And in the long run, an organized pantry also saves time and money: It allows you to easily see what you have (and how much of it) at a glance, to grab ingredients quickly, and to scoop or pour anything without making a mess. Good containers can also keep ingredients free of pests that would render your food unsafe to consume.

If you regularly buy ingredients in bulk, a set of storage containers is essential. The paper or plastic bags you fill up at the grocery store are no place to keep dry ingredients: They tear easily, make pouring difficult, and pile up messily on the shelf. Frequent bakers especially find that it’s much faster and less messy to scoop and level ingredients such as flour from a wide-mouthed container than from the original packaging.

In some kitchens, dry storage containers can also function as decor, either on the counter or on open shelves. Unfortunately, after testing a number of attractive glass and ceramic containers, we’ve found they aren’t as good at keeping foods fresh as the plastic counterparts we’ve tested, and generally aren’t as practical or durable. But if spicing up the look of your kitchen is a consideration for you, and you find yourself drawn to glass or ceramic containers rather than more utilitarian plastic ones, we’d suggest using those stylish containers for storing the ingredients you dip into most frequently in your day-to-day routine, like salt, sugar, or tea.

After years of using and abusing food-storage containers, we recommend the glass Pyrex Simply Store 18-Piece Set and the Snapware Total Solution 20-Piece Set.

A good dry storage container should be sturdy, airtight, simple to clean, and easy to scoop or pour from. It should stack easily, fit efficiently in kitchen cabinets, and come in a few sizes. Below is a rundown of the requirements we think a good set of dry food storage containers should have, and what we looked for in our tests.

Tight-sealing lids: Most of the experts we spoke to stressed the importance of a good seal. An airtight lid helps containers protect cereal, grains, and snacks from staleness, and keeps brown sugar or tender raisins from turning rock hard. It also helps keep out pests like pantry moths, which can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces and multiply rapidly. As Maria Speck, author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, pointed out, moths occasionally hide in store-bought bags of grain or flour. “I’ve heard from so many people about how their cabinets are now infested,” she said. But if you make a habit of transferring all dry goods to containers with secure lids, those tiny stowaways can’t get out of control.

Transparent: Clear plastic containers make it easy to take stock of what you have and how much of it. (Even better if measurements are marked on the outside.) With opaque containers, you might have to go to the trouble of making labels, and you still could forget about those expensive heirloom beans you bought.

Useful shapes: We looked for containers that would fit nicely in a kitchen cabinet or on a shelf, and prioritized square or rectangular containers, which use space more efficiently than round ones. (Though we did test some round options.) We also looked for containers with an opening wide enough to easily scoop from with a 1-cup measuring cup.

A good range of sizes: To keep things looking neat, Toni Hammersley, author of The Complete Book of Home Organization, recommends sticking to containers in three sizes: large for bulk ingredients like flour, medium for snacks like pretzels, and small for things like nuts. People who have an extensive pantry may want one or two more sizes. You won’t find a consistent range of sizes from brand to brand, but we mostly tested containers that came in a size large enough to hold a 5-pound bag of all-purpose flour, which is somewhere between 4 and 5 quarts in volume (it varies based on how compacted or aerated the flour is).

Stackable: The experts were divided on whether plastic containers should also be able to stack easily. Hammersley said stacking “can get in the way,” making ingredients “not as easily accessible.” Carey, however, said it could be useful “if you have a lot of stuff.” We think it’s good to have the option of stacking securely, especially if you have limited pantry space, and we focused on containers that appeared stackable.

Durable: Not all plastics are equally durable, so among the plastic containers we tested, we looked for models that wouldn’t shatter if dropped and didn’t warp in the dishwasher or bend unreasonably when we squeezed them.

Easy to clean: Though it depends on what you store, you likely won’t need to wash dry storage containers often. We still preferred containers that were easy to clean, without tricky crevices. Ideally, both the lid and base should be dishwasher safe, though we did test some models that weren’t. We don’t consider hand-wash-only to be a dealbreaker, simply because dry food containers usually don’t need to be washed on a daily or even weekly basis.

Note that the only containers that really meet all our requirements are made of plastic. Glass and ceramic containers are breakable, heavy, and typically don’t come in a wide range of sizes, or stack or seal well. This is why we opted not to test glass and ceramic containers in the past. But glass and ceramic containers tend to be more attractive than plastic ones, which is important for some people, so we tried some out for the first time in 2022. We didn’t like any enough to make them a pick, but you can read our thoughts on the ones we liked best below.

To test how tightly each plastic container sealed, we filled each partly with water, put the lid on, and turned it upside down. We also repeated this process after each one had been through the dishwasher several times to make sure the plastic lids hadn’t warped or lost their seal. This is not a perfectly accurate test, since the pressure of water flowing out of a container is stronger than the pressure of air flowing in. But a lot of water leaking out is a pretty good indication that a lid is not tight enough to keep food fresh or pests out. We didn’t replicate these tests on ceramic and glass containers, since many had lids that can fall off simply by turning an empty container upside down.

We put the lids on and took them off all the containers multiple times, paying attention to how simple or hard it was to do so and looking for signs of wear. We also filled each container of the appropriate size with 5 pounds of flour and 4 pounds of sugar to see how easy it was to do so. Using a 1-cup measuring cup, we tried scooping flour from each brand of container both when it was full and when it was nearly empty.

To test sturdiness, we filled each plastic container with 2 pounds of beans and slid it off a counter onto the kitchen floor so that it landed sideways. We also dropped them all from waist height at other angles—upright, upside down, and on a corner—to see if they cracked or if the lids popped off. This was another test we didn’t replicate on ceramic and glass containers, since it didn’t seem fair; all of those would likely break if dropped on the floor.

We added two new tests for the models we included in our 2022 update. First, to find out whether they were appropriately bug-proof, we poured a powdered sugar and water sludge into each container. Then we left them outside overnight during springtime in rural Texas (a season notorious for an abundance of creepy-crawlies). The next day, we opened each container to inspect for bugs.

Second, to test how well the plastic containers kept food fresh, we filled each model with Goldfish crackers. We taste-tested these crackers periodically over the course of three weeks, noting which containers’ crackers tasted stale the most quickly.

These durable, well-sealed plastic containers fit easily in most cabinets. They come in many sizes, can stack securely, and are easy to scoop or pour from.

The Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers are the best dry storage containers we’ve tested. The lids and containers in this set are very sturdy and seal tightly, even after multiple runs through the dishwasher. Their rectangular shape is narrow enough to fit neatly in kitchen cabinets but still plenty wide enough to fit a 1-cup measuring cup. The 10-pack we tested included nine sizes, which fit one of three different lids. We also like that these containers are available both individually and sold in various sets.

The standout feature of these Rubbermaid containers is their exceptional seal. The gasket that runs the perimeter of each lid, combined with two locking clasps that snap down tightly, prevented even a drop from escaping when we filled the containers with water and held them upside down. Other canisters we tested, like the OXO Pop Big Square Containers and the ClickClack Cube Storage Containers, dribbled steadily when filled with water. Though we don’t recommend storing liquids or leftovers in these containers (we have a separate guide for that kind of food storage), their watertight seal is an indication of how well they’ll keep dry ingredients fresh. Indeed, they were the only containers to keep Goldfish crackers crunchy for a full three weeks during our 2022 tests. And when we left a container with powdered sugar sludge outside overnight, no bugs were able to penetrate the seal (although this was true for all the plastic containers we tested).

Rubbermaid’s relatively narrow Brilliance canisters are designed to fit nicely side by side in a kitchen cabinet. They also have a clear lid, making it easy to see what’s in them even if they’re in a deep drawer or on a low shelf. And stacking the containers is easy: The slight rim around the lid keeps the containers from sliding around on top of one another and helps secure them in place––a feature not every container we tested had.

Although the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers are somewhat slender, a 1-cup measuring cup does fit easily through the opening of all but the small (1.3-cup and 0.5-cup) sizes and has enough room to maneuver when you’re scooping from the bottom of the container. The narrow shape with rounded ends was also generally easy for us to grip with one hand and to pour (depending on the weight of what was in the container), whereas most of the other containers we tested required us to use two hands. The 16-cup Brilliance container perfectly holds a 5-pound bag of flour, while the 12-cup container neatly fits a 4-pound bag of sugar. We found these two to be the most useful sizes for storing most dry ingredients.

The largest container—19.9 cups—is an ideal receptacle for storing a big box of cereal, while the small containers of 1.3 cups and 0.5 cup are good for packing nuts or granola in a lunch. The 8.1-cup canister, designed specifically to hold spaghetti, is a bit awkward because it’s so tall and narrow. But we like that its height makes it easy to reach when stored in the back of a deep cupboard.

The Rubbermaid Brilliance containers, which are made of Tritan plastic, are durable and dishwasher safe. They emerged from our drop test without a scratch, while other, pricier competitors such as the OXO containers shattered on the first drop. Although Rubbermaid claims the containers are also microwave safe, we’ve read reviews that suggest they warp or crack after being subjected to high heat. We tried microwaving them and didn’t experience any of these issues ourselves, but since we recommend them only for dry food storage, we don’t think this problem is a dealbreaker the way it would be for containers meant to store leftovers.

Wirecutter senior staff writer Kaitlyn Wells purchased this set in response to finding grain weevils and ants in her pantry. She finds the seal much better than another brand she purchased previously, and is happy with how critter-free her cabinets have been since. She uses her large and medium Rubbermaid containers for flour, sugar, cereal, rice, and pasta, but finds there's limited use for the tiny containers “that are barely big enough for holding eight nuts” (though that’s exactly what she uses them for). She also stores lemon juice in the tiny containers, which she says never leak, even when they’re knocked over in the fridge. She’s noticed that sometimes dry ingredients like sugar stick to the silicone lining of the lid and make a mess when closing the containers, which is “a small annoyance.”

Wirecutter staffer Mackenzie Greene has owned her Brilliance container set for five years, and she described them as “tough as nails” even after going through the dishwasher countless times. She did have a lid crack, however (which she attributes to someone forcing it on to the container too aggressively), and she’s had trouble finding a solo lid to replace her broken one. (Rubbermaid does not offer replacement parts.)

As mentioned above, we’ve read a lot of customer reviews online that claim the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers warp, crack, discolor, or leak after microwaving. But since we recommend using these containers only for storing dry ingredients, not leftovers, we’re not overly concerned about these issues (for storing leftovers, see our guide to the best food storage containers). We’re also continuing to use these containers in our test kitchen to see if any problems arise.

If the Brilliance containers hit the floor lid first, the lids can sometimes pop off. Since the containers didn’t crack or scuff on impact in our tests, we don’t think this is a dealbreaker, but it can leave you with a mess.

We wish measurements were printed on the side of the containers, as on the Rubbermaid Commercial Space Saving Food Storage Containers, so you can gauge approximately how much of an ingredient you have at any given time. But since most of the containers we’ve tested lack this feature, we don’t think it’s a disqualifying factor.

The plastic clasps on the Brilliance lids require multiple steps to open and close, compared with container designs that allow you to peel the lid off in one motion. Sometimes the clasps can pop off, but they’re usually easy to snap back into place. Also, the silicone band along the perimeter of the lids has a lot of nooks and crannies that can be difficult to clean by hand. But we think the advantages of the tight-sealing lids will outweigh this flaw for most people.

We haven’t been able to find new replacement containers or lids sold individually, if parts of your container set happen to break. When we inquired about replacement parts, Rubbermaid customer service told us that, outside of the one-year warranty, they will consider sending free replacements for damaged parts on a case by case basis. But they won’t send you just a lid or just a bottom, only a whole new container. We wish it were easier to replace a single component, though this is a common problem among the containers we tested.

If you plan to nest the containers when you’re not using them, keep in mind that they can be quite tall (for instance, the 16-cup and 19.9-cup containers measure about 14 inches high when stacked). But this is really an issue only if you have short cupboards. Sometimes the containers have a tendency to stick together when nested, but since most people keep their dry storage containers in constant rotation, we don’t think this is a huge deal.

These containers are designed for restaurant kitchens, so they’re super sturdy. They also come in sizes ranging from 2 quarts to 22 quarts. But they’re bulky and better for people with a lot of space.

For people who have a spacious pantry or who regularly purchase ingredients in bulk, the Rubbermaid Commercial Space Saving Food Storage Containers are a great option. These are Rubbermaid’s version of a Cambro, the storage container found in just about every restaurant kitchen in the country. Like Cambro containers, they’re rugged, sturdy workhorses designed to survive innumerable bangs, drops, and trips through a high-heat dishwasher. They have measurements in liters and quarts clearly stamped and painted on the outside, and they are available in sizes ranging from 2 to 22 quarts.

The Rubbermaid Commercial containers have a few features that make them better than Cambro models. For one, their lids fit much tighter than Cambro’s lids, which leaked profusely in our tests (a problem restaurants often solve by just wrapping the whole container in plastic wrap). The Rubbermaid lids dripped only lightly around the corners of the container and always stayed firmly in place during our drop test, while the lid popped right off a dropped Cambro.

The only downside to that tight seal is that the Rubbermaid Commercial lids can actually be hard to snap on all the way. It took a firm smack on our part to make sure every corner was fully closed in our testing. And prying the lid off can take a pretty big tug, too. If you have trouble gripping, pulling, or snapping tight lids, these containers might not be best suited for you.

Rubbermaid makes all of its smaller containers (up to 8 quarts) the same shape, so that they stack easily. In contrast, Cambro’s 2- and 4-quart containers have a much smaller footprint than the larger sizes, so they can’t stack or line up neatly with larger sizes. Whereas the Rubbermaid sold as 4 quarts actually has a 4-liter capacity, which is plenty of room for a 5-pound bag of flour, the 4-quart Cambro barely has room for 5 pounds of flour.

All of the Rubbermaid Commercial containers also come with handles on two sides, whereas only those Cambro containers larger than 8 quarts (larger than most people ever need for home use) have handles. But handles make it much easier to pick up these bulky, slick-sided containers—some people might even be able to carry them with one hand, which is impossible to do with the Cambro containers.

Their considerable width makes these Rubbermaid containers easier to to scoop from than any other container we tested (aside from the similar Cambros), a benefit that frequent bakers especially will appreciate, since flour has a tendency to fly everywhere. The only downside is that when you’re almost out of something, it can be hard to round up the dregs from the wide bottom of the container. Their larger size also means they’re not the best choice for limited cabinet space.

Since they’re designed for restaurant use, the Rubbermaid Commercial containers are quite affordable but not as widely available as our top pick. Restaurant supply stores carry them, and Amazon usually has them in stock, but you won’t find them in stores like Target. It’s also important to note that the lids and containers are sold separately, which is a blessing if you tend to lose lids but also an annoying extra step when it comes to ordering.

We keep a large stack of the Rubbermaid Commercial containers in the Wirecutter test kitchen, where we use them for storing flour, sugar, and other dry goods. They’re big and easy to scoop from, but they’ve also become one of our favorite kitchen items (they’re in our guide to cheap, unexpected kitchen essentials) for their wide range of uses. In the test kitchen we also use them to store the mountains of leftovers—from dehydrating 126 pounds of apples, say, or slow cooking three pot roasts—we regularly produce in our testing.

Of the many containers we have, one has developed a hairline crack. But for the most part these containers have held up well to lots of abuse, and the one with the small crack is still perfectly usable for things like organizing cake decorating supplies.

During previous rounds of testing, we opted not to test glass and ceramic containers because they’re more fragile than the plastic containers we recommend, and they’re also often more expensive, smaller, and opaque. However, we do think there’s value in having certain dry ingredients easily accessible on your kitchen counter, tucked away in an attractive vessel. So, in 2022, we decided to try out a few different ceramic and glass models.

We had to tweak the original criteria we used for selecting plastic storage containers as we searched for glass and ceramic containers to test. We prioritized models that looked clean and elegant and (in the case of ceramic) came in neutral colors, so they’d match a wide variety of kitchen decors. Ceramic and glass will always run the risk of shattering when dropped, but we did look for containers that were made of thicker material to better withstand abuse. Stackability, while a nice bonus, is not a common feature of ceramic and glass containers, and also not all that necessary for containers you’d keep out on the counter.

As we predicted, there are several big drawbacks to these glass and ceramic containers. Most of them don’t have tight-sealing lids, so they won’t preserve dry food as well or as long as their plastic counterparts. We don’t recommend putting anything in them that you don’t plan on using relatively quickly and replenishing regularly. In general, Goldfish crackers became stale more quickly in these types of containers during our tests. And when we left them outside overnight, small bugs got into several of the ceramic models we tested.

Many of the containers we tested run small, and the ceramic containers specifically are significantly heavier than plastic ones, making them harder to pick up and pour from. We also found that, despite their poor seal, removing the lids from these types of containers could sometimes be challenging, as many of their lids don’t have a lip, groove, or handle to help you get a good grip.

Ceramic containers also aren’t transparent, making it harder to tell what or how much is in them. We’d suggest only filling them with the most frequently used ingredients in your kitchen, since you’ll have the best sense of your stock if you’re regularly using what’s inside.

Because of their shortcomings, we decided against recommending ceramic or glass containers as an official pick. But we’ve included a few we liked best from our testing below.

If you love gorgeous pottery and don’t mind a smaller canister: We were impressed by the sturdy craftsmanship of Le Creuset Stoneware Canisters. They’re made from a thick and substantial ceramic with a smooth wooden lid that fits securely, and we found their vibrant color options delightful. We could see these containers lasting for years if treated well (like many other Le Creuset products). Wirecutter editor Katie Okamoto stores looseleaf tea in one of these containers and called them an “attractive, sturdy, special-feeling” option. However, these containers come in three sizes that are all on the smaller side, the largest being only 2.5 quarts. They’re also some of the priciest options we’ve tested.

If you want ceramic containers that are simple and easy to handle: The Williams Sonoma Pantry Canisters had a few solid things going for them. We thought their all-white look was classy and versatile, and we especially appreciated the handles on top of their lids. They also come in larger sizes (think round, and wide, like a classic cookie-jar) than most other ceramic containers, which could be useful to some people. However, the seal on these containers left something to be desired, even compared with other ceramic containers, and bugs got inside them when we left them outside overnight.

If you’re a fan of glass: Williams Sonoma Hold Everything Containers get the job done. We found the square containers were easier to handle than the round ones, which had a very wide footprint and could make scooping difficult since ingredients could spread into a thin layer across their wide bottoms. They can be stacked safely if need be, thanks to the upturned lip on their lids, and their sleek exteriors would look lovely on any countertop.

We haven’t formally tested any basic glass jars (like Ball jars) but they seal tighter than anything we’ve tested, and could be a more sustainable storage option if you repurpose ones that used to hold other things. Several Wirecutter staffers attest that canning jars are a solid non-plastic option for storing dry ingredients (à la The Great British Bake Off). Although they have some downsides—they’re breakable, they don’t always stack, most won’t fit a measuring cup, and their sizing can be limited—they do seal better than most of the other ceramic and glass containers we tested. Jars from brands like Ball, Le Parfait, IKEA, and Kilner come in a variety of sizes; you might even have some at home that you can repurpose. If you’re going to use jars to store your dry ingredients, Melissa Clark recommends swapping the traditional metal canning lids that can disassemble into two pieces for a one-piece lid (if they don’t already come like that).

Using good dry food storage containers can be an environmentally-conscious practice in and of itself. For one thing, good containers help extend the shelf life of your dry ingredients for as long as possible. They also allow you to shop in bulk, cutting down on packaging waste (especially if you bring reusable bags to your grocery store’s bulk bins).

With proper storage in a cool, dry place (a safe distance from the oven), many dry ingredients can last months or more in good containers. Whole grains typically have a shorter shelf life because of their higher protein content, while things like white flour and white rice will last longer. If you need help gauging just how long you have before that bin of flour goes bad, apps like FoodKeeper (developed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service with Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute) can help tell you how long food lasts. It’s also okay to use your best judgment on dry ingredients. You can often tell if they’re past their prime simply by smell or taste; things like flour or oats will smell rancid, and spices start to taste a little bland and cardboardy.

We don’t have enough information to tell you the environmental impact of our picks compared with other plastic containers we tested, but we think the durability of our pick helps. The longer these containers last, the longer they’ll stay out of the landfill. If you’re wondering how to recycle old plastic containers, check the plastic type of the containers you own against the types your local recycling system accepts. Rubbermaid also has a program through Terracycle where you can mail in old plastic and glass containers (of any brand) to be broken down into their raw formats, which are then used to make new containers.

While generally ceramic may contribute less pollution than plastic products, in this case, there’s a clear trade-off: The ceramic containers we tested weren’t as effective at keeping food fresh, which means you may waste more food. If you think it’s more important that your containers be environmentally friendly than durable or lightweight, glass containers with airtight lids might be your best bet. They won’t introduce plastic pollution, and can still do a good job keeping your food fresh.

Of course, reusing things you already own is more sustainable than buying a new product. You might have some leftover vessels in and around your home that could do the trick nicely. Some dry ingredients fit well in unconventional containers, as long as you can find something well-sized for your needs with a decent-sealing lid. “Truly, free is often fine, even good. Some of my favorite storage jars are square-shaped jam jars that I reuse, and the tall pickle jars,” Wirecutter sustainability editor Katie Okamoto said. “Glass jars give me joy, even reused mismatching ones—I just find them beautiful in their utilitarian way, versus plastic.”

Maybe you have containers at home that aren’t so ideally-shaped, but you’re looking to adapt them for dry ingredients. If the mouths of your containers give you trouble when it comes time to replenish your supply, Clark recommends using a funnel when re-filling to make everything easier and mess-free.

Cambro’s Square Food Storage Containers are the restaurant-kitchen standard and come recommended by Cook’s Illustrated. But the lid allowed water to pour out and popped off easily in our tests. Plus, the 6-quart containers are a different shape than the 2- and 4-quart containers, so the lids aren’t interchangeable.

Cook’s Illustrated recommended ClickClack’s Cube Storage Containers with reservations, but we didn’t like the vacuum-seal lid, which can trap water and must be washed by hand. These also come in graduated sizes that don’t stack well and shattered the first time we dropped them.

We saw recommendations for the LocknLock Rectangular Food Containers in forums on Chowhound and Kitchn. They sealed just as tightly as the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers and survived all of our drop tests easily. But their sets tend to offer smaller sizes that are geared toward storing leftovers and fewer large containers for storing bulk dry items.

Mepal Modula Stackable Storage Containers are some of the sleekest plastic containers we tested. We wish their performance matched their good looks. Their lids were some of the loosest we tried (they couldn’t handle being filled with water and turned upside down), and their small sizes made them less handy for storing bulk ingredients. However, if you’re looking for nicer-looking plastic vessels to display on a counter (and function like a glass or ceramic container), these might be worth a try.

Oggi’s Acrylic Canisters looked nicer than most of the containers we tried, but the hardware felt flimsy. They also didn’t seal tightly, and they cracked when we dropped them on a corner. We’ve also found that round containers waste more space than rectangular ones.

OXO’s Pop Containers are hugely popular. They look nice, and the lid is easy to open with one hand, but otherwise they aren’t worth the price. The lids didn’t always feel tight (we were able to pull off some of the lids even in the “closed” position), and the containers shattered immediately when we dropped them. One of the OXO containers, in fact, cracked even before our drop test, just from knocking against the counter. We’ve included these in two different rounds of testing, and both times they came up short.

The Sistema Klip It Rectangle Containers are highly rated on Amazon. But they felt flimsy, and one even broke during shipping. The lids were leaky in our tests, and the sizes large enough to fit 5 pounds of flour are wide and shallow, not the best shape for kitchen cabinets.

Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Storage Containers felt sturdy, and we liked how easy the lever-gasket lids were to handle. However, our water and goldfish cracker tests proved the lids weren’t as tight-sealing as they appeared, and their plastic still cracked during our drop test.

The Container Store’s The Home Edit Canisters are made of thin plastic, with lids that pop off easily. We also found their size options limited. Because the containers are pretty narrow, they also can be difficult to scoop out of with a 1-cup scoop.

We also tested the Pottery Barn Mason Stoneware and the pricier West Elm Kaloh ceramic canisters. Though they’re slightly different in terms of ceramic texture and lid finish (and the Mason containers don’t come in the same variety of sizes) the two were similar enough that the West Elm set's significantly higher price felt unwarranted. In the end, we weren’t impressed by either, beyond their pretty looks. For both sets, each container has a uniquely sized lid, which makes them a pain to match. Plus, the lids themselves were made out of wood that felt flimsier and less-finished than, say, the polished tops of the Le Creuset containers. The larger sizes are also difficult to grip and pour without a firm two hands on them.

This article was edited by Marguerite Preston and Marilyn Ong.

Toni Hammersley, founder of A Bowl Full of Lemons and author of The Complete Book of Home Organization, interview

Sarah Carey, editorial director of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living, interview

Maria Speck, author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, interview

Dry Storage Containers, Cook’s Illustrated, May 1, 2016

Food Storage Container Reviews, Good Housekeeping

Emma Christensen, What Are the Best Airtight Storage Containers?, Kitchn, August 8, 2014

Arianna Flores

Arianna Flores was an updates writer at Wirecutter covering kitchen and appliances. She’s a native Texan, and her journalism on a variety of subjects has appeared in Texas Monthly, the Texas Observer, and the San Antonio Report.

Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan has been a staff writer on the kitchen team at Wirecutter since 2016. Previously, he was an editor at the International Culinary Center in New York. He has worked in various facets of the food and restaurant industry for over a decade.

Marguerite Preston

Marguerite Preston is a senior editor covering kitchen gear and appliances at Wirecutter, and has written guides to baking equipment, meal kit delivery services, and more. She previously worked as an editor for Eater New York and as a freelance food writer. Before that, she learned her way around professional kitchens as a pastry cook in New York.

by Anna Perling and Katie Okamoto

We have the best freezer containers, plus expert advice on saving money and reducing waste by getting the most from your freezer.

by Anna Perling, Michael Sullivan, and Ganda Suthivarakom

After years of using and abusing food-storage containers, we recommend the glass Pyrex Simply Store 18-Piece Set and the Snapware Total Solution 20-Piece Set.

by Jackie Reeve and Daniela Gorny

These containers will make any reorganization project a breeze.

by Haley Sprankle

Uncovering what makes fresh pet food different from the traditional stuff—and why you might consider it.

Tight-sealing lids: Transparent: Useful shapes: A good range of sizes: Stackable: Durable: Easy to clean: If you love gorgeous pottery and don’t mind a smaller canister:If you want ceramic containers that are simple and easy to handle:If you’re a fan of glass: