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Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle involves being attentive to how much you repurpose and recycle. Not all reusable products are created equally, but the goal is to stock up on those items that lessen one’s carbon footprint in addition to saving time, and money, long-term. One simple way to do this is by swapping out single-use cling film made out of plastic (or foil) for reusable beeswax wraps.
"Beeswax wraps are great because you just wrap the fabric around the food tightly, and it sticks to itself," says Emily Waddell, founder of The Honest Consumer and Give a Damn Goods. "Once you're done with the wrap, you can wash it with cool water and soap and reuse it. Be careful not to use hot water because this can cause the beeswax to melt. They typically last a year or so with good care, which saves a lot of money and resources since you won't have to buy plastic cling wrap anymore."
To help you figure out which beeswax wraps are best for your needs, we tested them side-by-side at home and evaluated each on design, size, durability, and overall value. Sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and loose snack items, such as pretzels, were stored to test the beeswax wraps' ability to keep food fresh and intact, and, ultimately, make sure they are are truly the best.
Ditch food storage accessories destined for the landfill by instead using the best beeswax wraps, according to our at-home testing.
Best Overall: Lilybee Wrap Organic Cotton Bees Wax Wrappers
Comes in different colors
Can transport delicate foods
Moderately pricier than others
Beeswax wraps are self-adhesive, so they can also be used in various capacities to help put food away. This set is made from 100 percent cotton along with a solution of beeswax, tree resin, and organic coconut oil. What’s also great about these wraps is that each is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. All six are vibrant, eye-catching, and grip well to the side of plastic and glass containers. Simply rub your finger along the edge of the container to form a seal.
According to our tester, this wrap seals extremely well and isn't super thin, so there you don't have to worry about what's inside potentially getting smashed. Better yet, out of all the options on this list, this was the only one that stayed properly closed and stuck together for the complete duration of the time it was refrigerated or frozen. It's our tester's number one pick when it comes to wrapping, storing, or transporting any food, and although it's a little pricier than some competitors, high marks across the board justify the cost.
Material: Assorted patterns | Count: 6 | What’s Included: 2 small, 2 medium, 1 large, 1 extra large
"I would feel comfortable using this in place for just about anything I previously would have used cling wrap for, and I plan on continuing to use this item at home from now on."
Best Roll: Navega Beeswax Food Wrap
Large amount of wrap included
Can cut to exact size you need
Not totally suitable for transporting delicate snacks
Beeswax wraps usually come in sets of pre-cut sizes to conveniently fit a variety of food items, but those specific sizes aren't always a perfect fit for every container or produce item—that’s where this brand has an advantage. Navega Beeswax Food Wrap is packaged as reusable 13 x 39-inch roll that isn't pre-cut, similar to cling wrap or aluminum foil, allowing it to be cut to the exact size needed before use. It's made of organic cotton, harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin.
Our tester was impressed with the seal for this wrap, dubbing it excellent. It's very sticky, so it provides full closure, and there were no issues whatsoever in regard to food storage or transport. Something to note: When storing fruits and vegetables, it sealed tight before being placed in the fridge, but the longer wrap was in the cold, the more it loosened up. The food was still protected enough to prevent spoiling, though. Because it is a bit thin, things like pretzels or crackers could easily break inside, though, depending on what else is being toted around in a purse or lunch sack.
If you don't enjoy the strong beeswax scent that often comes with beeswax wraps, our tester found that this product in particular is odorless. It's easily cleaned with cold water and a mild liquid detergent, and dries quickly after each hand wash. It won't be quite as sticky as its first use after washing, but it is still completely functional.
Color: Beige, bee pattern | Count: 1 | What’s Included: 1-meter (13 x 39-inch) roll
"This is a product I would buy again myself because I really like how it comes in one roll and can be cut to exact size amount that you need, nixing extra material and causing overhang at the ends or along the seal."
Best Starter Set: Bee's Wrap Assorted Set, Three Sizes
GOTS-certified organic cotton
Easy to clean
Doesn't adhere as well as others
Won't take shape around produce
Beeswax wrap is one of the most efficient ways to reduce repetitive waste in terms of food storage. Instead of using disposable plastics like cling wrap to cover food, beeswax wrap can be reused over and over again. This set from Bee's Wrap includes three sheets—one small sheet (7 x 8 inches), one medium sheet (10 x 11 inches), and one large sheet (13 x 14 inches), each made from organic cotton infused with beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin.
This set stands out because of the included button and tie that can be used to make wrapped bundles more secure for transport. It’s also an economical choice for those looking for a starter set to try out. Our tester noted these wraps are more pliable than other wraps by other brands she's used. They are also available in different prints if the ability to incorporate a splash of color to packed sack lunches is appealing.
While the wrap was sufficient for storing a sandwich, it is a little harder to form around produce, and it's certainly doesn't adhere well enough to store loose snacks, like pretzels. Essentially, it works best with food that can remain at least partially in its original packaging. On the other hand, you could secure it with an elastic, string, piece of tape, etc., for added security. When it comes time to clean, wash with warm water and soap. Our tester confirmed that this product retains its original level of stickiness and durability after washing and air drying on the counter.
Color: Honeycomb print | Count: 3 | What’s included: 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
"I like the thickness of this wrap and how easy it is to wash. Its packaging is compact, as well, so I like how easy it is to store the remaining unused wraps until they're needed."
Best for Produce: Abeego The Original Beeswax Food Storage Wrap, Set of Three
Resistant to odors
Dries quickly after washing
Because the Abeego wrap sizes are smaller than other brands—one small sheet (7 x 7 inches), one medium sheet (10 x 10 inches), and one large sheet (13 x 13 inches)—they work exceptionally well at storing sliced cheese as well as fruit and veggie slices. The individual wraps seal very tightly to themselves, too, so if it’s typical in your home to refrigerate leftover pizza slices, this wrap is an excellent alternative to disposable options, like plastic wrap.
This wrap was easy to shape around food, according to our tester. Also, forming a tight seal at the end of each wrap was no issue, and it didn't appear to loosen after being in the fridge for several hours. Impressively, it was able to cling to multiple different types of containers and adhered great to both plastic and ceramic bowls. After cleaning, these wraps retained the full firmness of their initial shape. They also dried the quickest out of all the beeswax wraps tested.
Color: Light cream, garden pattern| Count: 3 | What’s included: 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
"I appreciated how quickly this particular wrap dried and how well it can take on the exact shape necessary when in direct contact with food—a carrot or cucumber, for example."
Best Pattern/Design Selection: HoneyBee Kitchen Starter Pack
Works well in the fridge
Longer delivery time
Seals well, but isn't quite airtight
For those looking for a beeswax wrap that is sustainable as well as chic, this assortment is an ideal choice. Each sheet—one large sheet (14 x 14 inches), one medium sheet (11 x 10 inches), and one small sheet (8 x 8 inches)—features an artistic print and is made from 100 percent organic cotton infused with a special blend of local organic beeswax, certified organic coconut oil, jojoba oil and natural tree gum products. They are also biodegradable, so once the adhesive has worn away, feel free to dispose in a compost bin or even bury directly in your backyard.
When our tester tried these out at home, she found that each wrap was easily malleable, but never completely sealed airtight, such as when storing a sandwich. That said, they didn't exactly come apart, either. The thickness of these wraps makes it harder to get a true hold onto other objects, such as bowls. It seems to grip best to itself, but needs a larger surface area than others to adhere to itself and stay stuck together.
As far as cleaning goes, this option one was the hardest to wash. It took more than one wash to get the few crumbs that were stuck to it. It needs to be completely dry before its properly adhesive again, and it took a bit longer to dry than some of the other beeswax wraps tested.
Color: Assorted patterns | Count: 3 | What’s Included: 1 large, 1 medium, 1 small
"I really like the different colors and patterns it came in. It's definitely not as functional as some of the other wraps, but it is certainly more aesthetically appealing."
For the best of the best, Lilybee Wrap Organic Cotton Beeswax Wrappers (view at Amazon) has the clingiest seal when it comes to adhering to itself, bowls, and other containers. If you're unsure of what dimensions you'll need, customize your cuts to the exact shape and size with Navego Beeswax Food Wrap (view at Amazon), which conveniently comes in a roll.
How We Tested
We sent six beeswax wraps to our product tester, who used each to store and travel with sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, and loose snacks, such as pretzels, to determine which products are truly the best. Each beeswax wrap was rated on design, size, durability, and overall value. Our tester then offered additional insights on each beeswax wrap's strengths and weaknesses.
Other Options We Tested
- ENEY Premium Organic Beeswax Wraps: We liked the idea of this product because it comes with a wax bar to refresh worn beeswax wraps. Unfortunately, our tester found that it doesn't adhere well, wasn't suitable for travel, and started to show small signs of wear after its initial use and wash. When storing food items in the fridge, the longer the wrap was cold for, the less airtight it became. The food inside was OK, but our tester didn't trust the wrap to keep anything fresh for long.
What To Look for in Beeswax Wraps
Many beeswax wraps come in pre-cut sheets in different sizes, and sets will often include a variety of them, ranging from small to extra large. Exact measurements vary, so make sure to check the dimensions of each before purchasing to make sure they will properly fit the food you intend to store. Alternatively, you can get beeswax wrap in roll form, so instead of it arriving in pre-cut sheets, it's just one continuous roll—similar to how plastic cling wrap and aluminum foil are packaged. This allows you to customize the shape and size of each sheet you need to better fit the food and containers you wish to use it with.
Since beeswax wrap will likely replace your plastic cling wrap and aluminum—two kitchen essentials needed often—you'll want something that will stand the test of time and frequent use, so you don't have to replace them prematurely. In addition to the above insights, read customer reviews about how well certain products have held up over extended periods of time. Quality over quantity is definitely the better call when trying to decide if a higher price point is worth it.
The general rule of thumb, according to Lisa Dekeling, creator of the blog Sustainable Living, is that you can use them again and again for up to one year before they need recoating with beeswax, "although I have had the same beeswax wraps—purchased and homemade—for over two years and the majority are still working perfectly,” she says.
“My preferred type is the wrap made with beeswax, pine rosin, and jojoba oil," Dekeling says. "This combination gives the beeswax wrap a slight tackiness, which allows you to use it like cling wrap. It's also waterproof. The other type of beeswax wrap only has a coating of beeswax, so although it is waterproof, it doesn't have the cling ability. This means you will need to use an elastic or tie to keep it in place.”
Whichever type of you choose, when a beeswax wrap is no longer usable, it can be composted.
How do you use beeswax wraps?
Use beeswax wraps as you would plastic cling wrap or aluminum foil—simply take a sheet and mold it around a food item or adhere it to a container in which food is stored. To help shape beeswax wrap and aid it in sticking either to itself or a container, Raising Eco Minimalists podcast host and Reduce, Reuse, Renew founder Laura Durenberger shares this trick: Put the wrap around a container or food and let the heat of your hand mold it for a tighter fit.
Are beeswax wraps reusable?
“Beeswax wraps are reusable for up to a year if cared for properly," Durenberger says. "One common mistake that can shorten the lifespan of a wrap is improper cleaning. It’s important when cleaning your beeswax wraps to use cold, soapy water instead of hot. Hot water can soften the wax and remove important ingredients needed for the wrap to work properly. Additionally, you’ll want to use a dishcloth or the soft side of a sponge vs. something that ‘scrubs’ for the same reason. Let them air dry for the best results.”
If your wraps start losing their stickiness, the good news is that you can refresh them. To do this, Durenberger says you’ll need beeswax pellets, preferably from a local beekeeper, or a block of beeswax that you can grate yourself. If you want to add even more stickiness, Durenberger suggests pine resin. Here are some basic instructions on how to bring your beeswax wraps back to life:
- Set an oven to 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lay parchment paper on a sheet pan
- Lay your wrap on the parchment paper
- Lightly sprinkle the beeswax and pine resin (if using) over the wrap
- Place the sheet pan into the oven for about five minutes
- After five minutes, check on your wrap. If the beeswax hasn’t melted, put in for another one to two minutes until fully melted. You may need to spread the new mixture around a little bit to ensure it is evenly distributed
- Once your wrap is ready, take out the pan and let the wrap fully cool before moving
Are beeswax wraps airtight?
Beeswax wraps are cotton sheets of fabric coated in beeswax, oils, and resin, which makes them airtight (if the directions are properly followed on how to seal and clean).
How do you clean and store beeswax wraps?
“You clean beeswax wraps with cold to lukewarm water,” Sustainable Living's Dekeling says. “The most efficient way I've found to clean beeswax wraps is to flatten them out on a chopping board and place under cold running water, gently wiping with a wet cloth. Then, repeat on the other side. After the beeswax wrap is clean, I hang it on a tea towel rack to dry. Once dry, it can be stored in a larger container with a lid to keep out the dust.”
Can beeswax wraps go in the freezer or microwave?
“I often use my beeswax wraps in the fridge and freezer,” says Master Gardener and Gather & Grow founder Brianne Dela Cruz. She also secures the wraps in the freezer with twine or a rubber band because very cold temperatures can cause the wrap to separate from the object. That said, she warns that beeswax wraps should not be put into the microwave nor expected to endure overly hot temperatures, since this could melt the wax off of the wrap. With that in mind, it's always best to default to the manufacturer's instructions included with your product.
Can you cut beeswax wraps?
Beeswax wraps can easily be cut to whatever size is needed, then used to cover, wrap, or transport a variety of ingredients or prepared food.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Rachel Werner is a pro foodie who regularly writes consumer reviews of sustainable products. Her water bottle, reusable paper towels, and organic snack bag obsessions are taking over her kitchen cupboards. Rachel has bylines in a variety of regional and national publications, such as Fabulous Wisconsin, BRAVA, Hobby Farms Magazine, and PopSugar, is a teaching artist at The Loft Literary Center and Hugo House, and personally tested six products for this roundup.