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There are plenty of great reasons to stock your freezer with good things to eat. For one, it can prevent impulse orders for takeout and delivery, and therefore save you money. That said, to freeze food properly, you need the right containers for the job. An empty sour cream tub, for example, will simply not do.
The Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container 5-Pack is our top pick because our home tester found that the contents remain easy to view when frozen, the lid prevents spills and leaks, and the containers can go straight from freezer to microwave. For a solid budget option, we recommend the DuraHome Food Storage Containers With Lids Combo Pack, which comes with a whopping 44 deli-style container and lid sets.
Think about the type of foods you’ll want to store and whether you prefer glass, plastic, or something else, like silicone. It’s a personal choice—glass is more durable and recyclable, but also more expensive. Plastic is typically budget-friendly and lightweight, but it's not exactly sustainable.
To help find a product that's right for you, we researched, tested, and compiled a list of the best freezer containers.
Best Overall: Rubbermaid Brilliance 3.2-Cup Food Storage Container, 5-Pack
Contents stay easy to see when frozen
Lids prevent spills and leaks
Container can go straight from freezer to microwave
Surface scratches easily
Who else recommends it? Bob Vila and Simply Recipes both picked Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers.
What do buyers say? 89% of 40,700+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
Available in a variety of useful sizes, these versatile all-purpose freezer containers are what every household needs. They’re made from durable, crystal-clear, BPA-free plastic with secure latches that provide an airtight seal—something Karrie Truman, author of "Seriously Good Freezer Meals" and owner of the blog happymoneysaver.com, notes is a must for keeping food fresh in the freezer, refrigerator, or on the go. According to our tester, the seal is so tight she was able to hear air escaping when she opened it.
Even soups and other liquid-based dishes won’t spill or leak when stored in these solid containers. This goes for reheating, too. The latches release to open vents that allow for splatter-free microwaving. Our reviewer zapped leftover rice, chicken, and vegetables for lunch, and heated up a slice of leftover quiche for breakfast, all of which took about 90 seconds to warm in total. When taking items from freezer to microwave, defrosting a 3.2-cup container of frozen pasta sauce took just four minutes with a stir break in the middle.
As for the plastic: It's as transparent as glass, so there's never any mystery about what’s hiding in your freezer. It’s also stain- and odor-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about putting a slice of cake in a container that recently stored onions. Unlike glass, these plastic vessels are light to carry and virtually indestructible, though they have that more expensive look considering the high-quality plastic is visually similar to glass. Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers are designed to stack neatly for compact storage, and they're super easy to clean via dishwasher.
What’s Included: Five containers with lids | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 3.2 cups per container | Container Dimensions: 7.89 x 5.36 x 2.49 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"Every item in the 14-piece set proves completely clear, so you can easily see which contains last night’s lasagna and which is the odd experiment your child is doing with bread mold." — Linnea Covington, Product Tester
Best Budget: DuraHome Food Storage Containers With Lids Combo Pack
Three sizes handle most freezer needs
Transparent lids stay securely closed
Lids fit all containers
Quarts may fit awkwardly in top dishwasher racks
You can’t beat the price on this 44-item set of deli storage containers, especially if you're someone who likes to send food home to friends. These tubs come in three handy sizes: quart (perfect for freezing soups and stews), pint (the right size for beans and grains), and cup (ideal for sauces). They're excellent for freezing food, even for long periods of time, and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
The deli-style container is what I stock my own kitchen with and I’ve yet to find a food I want to freeze that doesn’t work with one of these sizes. Best of all, the lids are interchangeable, so there’s no frustration trying to track down the right one when you’re trying to put leftovers away after dinner.
What’s Included: 44 containers with lids | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 1, 2, or 4 cups per container | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Top rack only
Best for Soup: Oxo Good Grips 4-Cup Glass Round Food Storage Container
Glass can withstand extreme cold and heat
Plastic lid with silicone gasket locks airtight
Glass surface resists odors and scratches
Identical containers don’t stack well when empty
Keeping a stash of homemade soup in your freezer is easier when you have the right container—and there’s a good reason to do so. Unlike some foods, soup’s flavor actually improves in the freezer. These containers by Oxo are an excellent option for all your soup- and stew-freezing needs. The shatter-resistant borosilicate glass guards against thermal shocks, so you can move a quart of chili directly from the freezer to the oven with no worries of breakage.
What you need most in a container for storing soup is a completely leakproof lid, and this one features four locking tabs that ensure the lid is on tight every time. Beyond that, glass containers like these appeal to those who want to move away from plastics. If your soup only partially fills the container, Truman recommends pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the food to prevent freezer burn.
What’s Included: One container with lid | Material: Glass and plastic | Capacity: 4 cups | Dimensions: 6.5 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
As tempting as it might be, you can’t put everything in the freezer. Freezing affects the texture and flavor of some foods negatively, including raw eggs in the shell, fresh lettuce and cucumbers, and many dairy-containing foods.
Best for Freezer-to-Microwave Meals: Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Square 3-Cup Food Storage Container
Stacks neatly with lids when empty
Can stain from colorful foods
These sturdy and classic containers from Rubbermaid are exactly the right size for stashing a homemade meal for one or two in the freezer. Portion lasagna, chicken enchiladas, tuna casserole, pasta dishes, or chicken breast with mashed potatoes in these durable containers, and you’ll never be without a quick dinner when you need one. They snap shut, forming an airtight seal to keep food fresh.
The special easy-find lids snap onto the base of the container for storage, so you’ll never have lidless containers or orphaned lids. This system also makes for neat and easy storage. The base is clear, allowing you to see inside, so you know what you're pulling out of the freezer to microwave for lunch. These are dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe, although they may pick up light food stains from dark-colored foods, like tomatoes or beets.
What’s Included: Four containers with lids | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 3 cups per container | Container Dimensions: 7.07 x 7.07 x 2.32 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Sauce: Souper Cubes 1/2-Cup Freezing Tray with Lid
Long bars defrost quickly
Easy-to-see fill lines mark smaller volumes
See-through lid shows contents
Cover can stick when frozen
This clever container is the perfect way to freeze sauces in practical portions, making small servings of pesto, marinara, and gravy available for speedy heating. That means your sauces won’t suffer from being repeatedly thawed and refrozen in larger containers—a process that can ruin them. A tight-fitting, transparent lid ensures that your sauces stay fresh when stored, and being able to see through the lid helps you identify the contents without needing to label anything.
Thanks to the BPA-free silicone material—which also happens to be oven safe, excluding the lid—each portion of frozen sauce pops out neatly and easily. The long, slender shape allows it to defrost quickly, too. If you make a lot of different sauces that you want to freeze, you might want more than one of these (they're stackable for easy storage). Each tray makes six 1/2-cup or 125-milliliter bars, and each compartment is marked with fill lines indicating ½ cup, ¼ cup, 50 milliliters, and 125 milliliters.
What’s Included: One tray with lid | Material: Silicone | Capacity: 1/2 cup per bar | Overall Dimensions: 11.5 x 5.5 x 2.25 inches | Microwave Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Bags: (re)zip Lay-Flat Gallon Leakproof Reusable Storage Bag
Material is sturdy and reusable
Zipper closes securely
Bags can stack when frozen flat
Not microwave- or dishwasher-safe
If you're looking to move away from disposable freezer bags, these reusable alternatives are Truman’s top choice. “If you don’t have a lot of freezer space, bags can save a lot of room. I use these a ton,” she says. Durable and lead-free, these gallon-sized bags can store almost anything you want to put in your freezer. For maximum space-saving, you’ll want to make sure you freeze them flat.
(re)zip estimates that just one of these can replace 300 disposable bags. They’re made of lightweight PEVA material and are just as flexible as the alternative. The closure has a double locking mechanism, providing an airtight seal and assurance against leakage. You should note that you will want to wash these by hand to ensure that they last as long as possible.
What’s Included: Four bags | Material: PEVA | Capacity: 1 gallon per bag | Dimensions: 11.5 x 12.75 inches | Microwave Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best for Ice Cream: Snapware Total Solution Rectangular Plastic Food Storage Set
Wide, flat shape freezes quickly
Well-sized for a quart of ice cream
Locking lid with gasket keeps out air
Locking tabs can stick when just removed from freezer
Although grocery store freezers feature ice cream in cup-shaped containers, this shape isn’t actually the best for storing homemade ice cream. You’re better off with a flat or skinny rectangular container, because the larger surface area exposes more of the ice cream to cold air, letting it freeze rapidly with few ice crystals.
Snapware’s 5-cup rectangular container fits the bill at an affordable price. Cold air quickly penetrates the single-wall plastic and freezes the contents. A quart of homemade ice cream, gelato, or sorbet fits with room to mix in bonus flavors, like fresh fruit and chocolate shavings. The lid’s four locking tabs and gasket keep air out, minimizing freezer burn.
The container stacks steadily with others, and the rectangular shape makes it easy to run an ice cream scoop down the length. As a bonus, you can write the flavor directly on the lid and wipe it off when you wash it by hand or in the dishwasher on the top rack.
What’s Included: One container with lid | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 5 cups | Dimensions: 6.75 x 4.75 x 3.5 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Top rack only
Best for Baby Food: W&P Peak Silicone Everyday Ice Tray With Protective Lid
Individual cubes pop out easily
Makes small portions for young eaters
Food-safe silicone resists stains
Lid doesn’t lock on
One challenge in freezing baby food is keeping the portions small enough to give a child a well-rounded meal. W&P’s silicone tray lets you freeze 12 cubes of various purees in one container and pop them out as needed from the individually molded compartments. The tray’s steel-embedded perimeter keeps it steady as you add puree and remove cubes. The silicone lid doesn’t lock closed, but it rests securely enough atop the tray to stack it with other freezer foods.
W&P designed this tray and lid to meet high food-safety standards. The silicone is BPA-free, complies with California’s Proposition 65, and has been LFGB certified, a more rigorous European food-safety test than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration standard. The tray is easy to clean by hand and resists staining even by bright foods, like raspberries. When you need larger portions, you can upsize to the W&P Cup Cubes Freezer Tray.
What’s Included: One tray with lid | Material: Silicone with steel frame | Capacity: 1 ounce per cube | Overall Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.6 x 1.6 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: No
The Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container is our top choice because it comes in multiple sizes, is leak-proof, and prevents microwave messes with splatter-proof vents. If you need a ton of tubs, but are looking for something budget-friendly, we recommend the DuraHome Food Storage Containers with Lids Combo Pack.
What to Look for in a Freezer Container
Containers and bags designed for the freezer are built to withstand extreme cold and the transition back to room temperature. Some materials are sturdy enough to go straight from the freezer to the microwave or oven. Check the manufacturer’s care and use instructions to see whether a freezer-proof container is also built to withstand heat and the dishwasher.
Air that sneaks into a container or bag after it’s been closed can lead to freezer burn, ice crystals, and dry, leathery food. A container with an airtight seal limits those issues and keeps your frozen food at peak quality. Lids that seal tightly can often be hard to open the moment they’re pulled from the freezer, so try letting the container sit at room temperature for a few minutes if it doesn’t pop off easily.
Extra air sealed into a container can also lead to freezer burn, so it’s best to freeze foods in a container that isn’t overly large. You don’t want to go too small either, because food expands as it freezes. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends leaving 1/2 to 1 inch of space in a container with a wide opening, depending on how much liquid is in the food you’re freezing.
Are there any container materials you shouldn't freeze?
Most food-grade containers can be frozen, but some work better than others. Filmy plastics and paper cartons won’t keep moisture out for long. Meat sold on Styrofoam trays and wrapped in clingy plastic will deteriorate quickly and should be rewrapped in freezer or butcher paper or vacuum sealed.
Glass can be an eco-friendly alternative to plastic in your freezer, but the jars should be designed for freezer use, because thin-walled ones can break at such cold temperatures. Glass is also less forgiving than plastic if food expands and will break rather than flex. Stainless steel containers also withstand freezer temperatures, are endlessly reusable, and won’t leave an odor or flavor. They, too, need adequate headspace for expansion and an airtight lid.
What type of container should you use to freeze milk?
Milk cartons don’t hold up well in the freezer, but sturdy plastic milk containers with a tight-sealing lid may do the job. Otherwise, milk should be repackaged in a freezer-specific container with an airtight lid. Smaller containers will freeze and thaw faster. If the container has a narrow opening, leave at least 1.5 inches of space at the top for expansion.
How do you label freezer containers?
Make a habit of labeling every container. Its contents and the date it was frozen are the crucial details. Sometimes you can write directly on a container with a waterproof marker, but it’s worth checking before you’re stuck with a permanent label or one that rubs off too easily.
A piece of masking tape and waterproof marker can produce a long-lasting removable label. The container needs to be clean, dry, and room temperature to get the tape to stick and ink to dry. If you’re replacing a label on a container already in the freezer, it’s easiest to swap the lid for a clean one from an identical container.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of "Almost Meatless" and "Stuff Every Cook Should Know."
Julie Laing has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years and published her first cookbook, "The Complete Guide to Pickling," in 2020. Besides pickling, she stashes a season’s worth of homegrown produce in her freezers, along with other treats, like homemade sorbets and vegetable purees for soups and sauces.
The Best Freezer Containers of 2022. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-freezer-containers/
The 7 Best Meal Prep Containers in 2022. Simply Recipes. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/the-best-meal-prep-containers-in-2021-5189398
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bisphenol A (BPA) factsheet.
Song YS, Al-Taher F, Sadler G. Migration of volatile degradation products into ozonated water from plastic packaging materials. Food Addit Contam. 2003;20(10):985-994. doi:10.1080/02652030310001606014
Food and Drug Administration. Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in food contact application.
California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. About Proposition 65.
HB Silicone Products Co. Testing standard for silicone products: LFGB vs FDA.
National Center for Home Food Preservation. General Freezing Information: Headspace to Allow Between Packed Food and Closure.