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Are you thinking it may be time to ditch the plastic and upgrade to glass storage containers? While plastic containers may be convenient, they aren’t always the best choice. Unlike plastic, certain glass containers can go from freezer to microwave or oven to table, for example.
But making the switch to glass containers has benefits beyond versatility. Turning to glass has both environmental and health benefits. Glass containers minimize our exposure to harmful plasticizers like BPA and phthalates found in a lot of plastic containers. They're made of a nonporous surface—so they don't absorb smells or stains like your plastic containers. While the price might be higher than their plastic counterparts, containers made of glass last longer.
Here, we list the best glass storage containers that are free of BPA, phthalate, and PVC to help you find the perfect fit for all your storage needs.
Best Overall: Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set
Oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe
Made with durable, BPA-free glass
Lids are tough to secure at first
Users praise the Glasslock lids for being easy to use and for sealing the container securely, so there are no leaks or drips when you’re storing food. They’ll keep your food fresh, whether you’re stashing leftovers or prepping herbs and spices for a recipe. This set includes both round and rectangular-shaped containers with matching lids. The rectangular containers include one 6.3-cup, one 3.3-cup, two 3.5-cup, and one 1.6-cup container. The round containers include one 3.1-cup, one 1.6-cup, and one 0.7-cup container. There is also one 3.3-cup square container. They are all microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe. Our product tester was pleased to discover that these containers distribute heat evenly in both the oven and the microwave: "I reheated a casserole and found no hot or cool spots," she says.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Quantity: 18-piece set | Lid Type: Plastic, snap-tight
"I stored garlicky sauces and pungent leftover Thai food and found no residual scents after a quick wash." — Linnea Covington, Product Tester
Best for Meal Prep: Prep Naturals Glass 2-Compartment Meal Prep Containers, 5 Pack
Durable borosilicate glass
Vented lids for easy cooling
Compartments aren’t individually sealed
Lids aren't dishwasher-, microwave-, or freezer-safe
Lids are hard to lock at first
Great for meal prep, each of these containers has two compartments so you can portion ingredients for meals and keep them separate without having as many containers. The containers hold 29 ounces each, with one section larger than the other. Our product tester does note, however, that the divider is shorter than the rest of the container. "If you have liquids on one side, it could easily spill over into the other compartment," she says.
The containers are microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher safe. While the manufacturer says that the lids are not microwaveable, some users reported that they have used them in the microwave with no issues. A vent on the lid allows you to vent steam if you’ve put hot food in the container, or to release pressure if food has cooled and the lid has suctioned on. This is a set of five containers and five matching lids.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 3-pack set | Lid Type: Vented plastic with smart lock
"The divider makes the containers perfect for storing a sandwich (or, say, a small chicken breast or steak) in the larger end, and fruit or veggies in the smaller side." — Rebekah Joan, Product Tester
Best Set: AmazonBasics Glass Locking Lids Food Storage Containers
Microwave, oven, and freezer safe
Lids are tight and leak proof
Lids are not oven safe
This set of ten containers with lids includes a variety of sizes and shapes that will come in handy for storing everything from leftover cooked pasta to gummy candies. The rectangular containers include two 1.6-cup, two 3.6-cup, and one 7.6-cup. The round containers include two 1.28-cup and one 3-cup. The square containers include one 1.8-cup and one 4-cup. The lids lock on and have a silicone ring that prevents spilling if the containers are accidentally tipped. Many reviewers praise the secureness of the lids, saying that they don't have any trouble with leaks and spills.
The containers are oven safe to 752 degrees, so they can handle the heat of kitchen ovens with ease, or they can be used to reheat food in the microwave. For storage, they can handle the refrigerator or freezer. The lids are not oven-safe, but they can handle the microwave if they’re vented and can be used in the refrigerator and freezer. They’re top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 20-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic
Best for Freezer: Razab HomeGoods Extra Large Glass Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lids
Containers made of heavy-duty glass
Lids are airtight and watertight
Containers are microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe
Lids may be difficult to snap on
These extra-large containers are perfect for make-ahead dinners for the family, for freezing fruits and vegetables, and for collecting odds and ends in the freezer for making soup stock. They’re airtight and watertight for safe storage and for transporting food to potlucks and parties. The set includes one 27-ounce container, one 40-ounce container, and one 74-ounce container, so you won’t have to use multiple containers for large quantities. The containers are safe for the microwave and for the oven to 932 degrees, so they’re great for baking and roasting, too. The lids and containers are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning every time. This set garnered high marks for how durable and heavy duty the glass containers are.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 6-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic, silicone-sealed
Federal law requires manufacturers to submit studies to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration including testing data used to show the amount of migration into food of chemicals applied on, or that are present in, the final container or cookware, explains the FDA's Kimberly DiFonzo. If a product is deemed safe for use, the FDA will authorize the manufacturer to market it. If not, the product can't legally be used in contact with food.
Best for Leftovers: Pyrex Glass Food Storage Set
Stain- and odor-resistant
Durable, high-quality tempered glass
Dishwasher-, freezer-, and microwave-safe
Containers get very hot in the microwave
This set of six glass storage containers, plus lids, is perfect for stashing leftovers, whether it’s meat and vegetables from dinner or leftover chopped vegetables from salad prep. The set includes three different sizes: 2 cups, 4 cups, and 7 cups, so you can choose just the right size no matter what needs to be stored. The containers are made from tempered glass that is freezer, microwave, and preheated-oven safe, so you can safely stash the food for later or reheat it without having to transfer it to another bowl. Our product tester gives high marks to the set's tempered glass, which can withstand any oven temperature.
When the containers are empty they’re dishwasher safe for super-easy cleaning. The lids are plastic and can be used in the freezer—though our tester found that they're not quite microwave-safe, despite being advertised as such. They’re top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, but they can’t be used in the freezer. These are made in America.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Quantity: 6-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic
"The 4-cup container traveled well and didn’t leak in my backpack on the way to work." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best for Small Kitchens: Anchor Hocking TrueSeal Round Glass Food Storage Containers, Set of 3
Safe for microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher
Lids seal well and are easy to attach
Made in the USA
Lids take a long time to dry
This six-piece set consists of one 2-cup bowl, one 4-cup bowl, and one 7-cup bowl, so you’ll always have the right size for storing everything from leftover stew to premade salad. It's great for food prep or stashing leftovers or tasty snacks, too.
Each is safe for use in the microwave or a preheated oven and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. For cleaning, the containers themselves are dishwasher safe, and the lids are top-rack dishwasher safe, so after-dinner cleanup is nearly effortless. Our product tester liked that she was able to use one container for everything from meal prepping to cooking to reheating. Not to mention, these are made in America.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Quantity: 6-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic
"The smaller containers make the set great for meal prepping and packed lunches, while the larger containers make storing large portions of leftovers easy." — Rebekah Joan, Product Tester
Best for Dry Storage: Flrolove Glass Kitchen Storage Canister Mason Jars with Lids
Lids are tight and seal completely
Wide mouth for easy pouring
Includes chalkboard labels and marker
Not "Mason jar" quality as described
These 32-ounce glass containers are great for pantry storage since the lids clamp on tight and seal completely to keep pests and dust out. The lids open wide for pouring pasta or snacks, and the wide opening allows a scoop or measuring cup to fit inside. This set also includes chalkboard labels and a chalk marker to attractively label the containers so everyone knows what each one holds. While these are great for dry goods, they can be used for liquids as well since the silicone seal prevents spilling and the glass jars are easy to wash in between uses. Several reviewers say they are happy with how these containers perform for dry food storage, though many observe that the jars are not mason-jar quality as described.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Quantity: 4 jars | Lid Type: Plastic, glass with hinge
On the topic of whether glass food containers are safer to use than plastic, the FDA "does not evaluate food contact substances as being 'safer'; rather, it determines those that have been found to be safe for their intended use, and those that have not."
Best with Sleeve: Frego Plastic-Free Glass and Silicone Food Containers
Includes removable silicone sleeves
Dual-lock silicone lids offer tight seal
Oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe
A bit shallow
Glass is the perfect non-staining, non-toxic, odor-resistant material for containers, but the downside is that glass can break if it’s bumped hard or dropped. These handy 2-cup containers help to solve that problem since they’ve covered with a silicone sleeve that cushions and insulates the container for safer storage. Meanwhile, the dual-lock lids seal tight, keeping food fresh, whether it’s leftover gravy, a sandwich for lunch at work, or onions that were prepped ahead of time for taco night.
The containers are oven and microwave safe for easy cooking or reheating, and they’re dishwasher safe so cleaning is a snap. This is a set of four containers, each with a different colored sleeve, so it’s easy to color-code lunches for the family or remember which holds herbs and which contains tomatoes. The sleeves can be removed if desired.
Several reviewers gave these containers high marks because they're shatter-resistant when cushioned with the silicone sleeves, though a few say they wish the containers themselves were a bit deeper.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 4 containers (with lids and sleeves) | Lid Type: Silicone
Best for Baby Food: Oxo Tot 4-Ounce Glass Baby Food Storage Blocks
Freezer-, dishwasher-, oven-, and microwave-safe
Includes measuring marks
Easy to store in the fridge and freezer
Perfectly sized for baby food, this set of four containers has measuring marks that make portioning easy. You can also monitor how much your baby has eaten. Several reviewers like how easy these containers are to store: a plastic tray is included, and you can neatly stack sets on top of each other. These are freezer, dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe, and the lids snap on securely for a sure seal. These come with teal or pink lids, and 8-ounce containers are also available, for hearty eaters. When your little one has outgrown these containers, they’re handy for storing small amounts of herbs, spices, freshly squeezed lemon juice, or pre-prepped garnishes for your favorite recipes.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 4 containers with lids | Lid Type: Plastic, snap-tight
Best Bake and Store: Anchor Hocking TrueFit Glass Baking Dish
Glass dish is microwave-, oven-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe
Lid fits well and is easy to seal
This 3-quart dish is the one you’ll reach for when it’s time to prep ahead and cook later. In fact, the dish garnered high marks from several reviewers for its versatility: it’s perfect for make-ahead French toast casserole, for bread pudding, and for all kinds of casseroles. Make them ahead of time, snap the lid on, and refrigerate them to bake later. Plus, it's great for marinating meats before they meet the grill and for storing leftovers without moving the food to a different container.
When it’s time to bring a dish to a potluck, the lid makes it easy to transport everything from salad to lasagna to cookies, and since it’s microwave safe, food can be easily reheated. The glass dish is safe for the microwave, preheated oven, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. The lid is top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 1 dish with lid | Lid Type: Soft rubber with TrueFit technology
We awarded the Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set the top spot because it's sturdy and eco-friendly with a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing design. Small kitchen? Try Anchor Hocking's TrueSeal Food Storage Containers.
What to Look for When Buying Glass Storage Containers
You may think glass storage is just for use in the home or for storing leftovers, but there are a wide variety of options, including lighter-weight glass containers designed for taking lunch on the go. On the other hand, heavier glass containers are often chemically treated to withstand high and low temperatures without breaking; these are a lifesaver for baking and freezing. But if you simply want glass containers to store dry goods at room temperature, you can go with a lighter-weight, untreated glass. The kinds of storage you want to do will also influence what kind of lid or seal the container has. Many glass containers have a plastic or silicone lid, which can offer a tight seal that protects leftovers or dry goods.
Most glass containers feature some kind of silicone or plastic lid. Snap-on lids protect from spills, and are good for travel or storing liquid. If you want to go completely plastic-free, you will have to look for silicone lids or glass cover. While glass is typically microwave-safe, not all the lids sold with glass containers are—if you want to microwave covered food, be sure to check on the microwave specifications of the entire set when you shop.
Glass containers range from big (like for your lasagna) to itty-bitty (baby food). Most containers will list their capacity in cups or ounces, though you can also typically find dimensions listed in inches. If you want an all-purpose set for leftovers, look for sets that contain a variety of sizes so you can store leftover veggies as easily as last night’s pot roast.
For dry goods, bigger isn’t always better. Consider the shelf life of what you’re storing: spices can lose their flavor stored too long, for example, and some flours can go bad in a few months. If you are buying in bulk and storing food, consider your own usage and buy containers accordingly.
As previously stated, certain glass, like tempered and borosilicate, are specifically designed to be heated or frozen without shattering. While untreated glass can typically be frozen, you will have to carefully thaw it at room temperature before transferring it to an oven or microwave. Untreated glass is also unsafe to put in the oven. Treated glass, however, is oven-safe with limits: usually around 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can buy containers in sets as well as piecemeal. Sets typically offer some value and allow you to build up your kitchen quickly. But you can also buy individual pieces if you primarily want it for packing lunch, for example. Sets also often offer the advantage of being easier to store together if they’re designed to nest. Rather than buying things one at a time from different brands, you can often more easily stack and store containers from the same brand or collection.
Types of Glass Storage Containers
The cheapest glass to produce is likely all around you: untreated soda-lime glass is used to make jars, bottles, and cups. If your glass container doesn’t say it’s tempered or strengthened, it’s probably untreated, or just regular old glass. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing; for storing food in the fridge or at room temperature, soda-lime glass is fine. It’s when you freeze or heat the glass that you want another option.
Soda-lime glass can be tempered or heated in such a way that it can withstand a wider range of temperatures. This tempering process also means that the glass is less likely to shatter. And, when tempered glass breaks, it tends to fracture into small, harmless pieces, not the big, jagged pieces of untreated glass. Tempered glass is not just used in food; car windows, shower doors, and microwave oven doors are made from this material.
Borosilicate contains boric oxide, which makes it even more resistant to thermal shock than tempered glass. But it’s also more expensive to produce. If you’re not ready to shell out for borosilicate, don’t worry; it usually takes an extreme temperature change, like putting a frozen casserole directly in the oven, for tempered glass to shatter.
Pyrex containers were some of the first to be made out of borosilicate glass. Today, however, Pyrex is made out of tempered glass. While some die-hards scour the internet for vintage Pyrex made from borosilicate, most home cooks hardly notice the difference and heat and freeze their food in Pyrex with no problem.
If you are committed to going the borosilicate route, check out OXO. Its glass containers, from casseroles down to baby food, are made from durable glass.
Like Pyrex, Anchor Hocking has been a mainstay in American kitchens for over a century. In addition to selling tempered glass containers and bakeware, Anchor Hocking also sells glassware, bowls, and other kitchen pieces.
If treated with care, glass can last and last. A good glass food container should be dishwasher-safe. If you need to really scrub, a scrubby sponge, as well as steel wool pads, are perfectly fine. The trickier part may be cleaning the lids. Plastic lids are more likely to warp in a hot dishwasher, so be sure to check cleaning instructions before buying. Debris can also build up in crevices of snap-on lids, so be sure to spend some time scrubbing there if you hand-wash.
Can glass food storage containers go in the oven and freezer?
This all depends on the type of glass and the time allowed for temperature change. High-quality borosilicate glass is the gold standard in heating and cooling stability, but hard to find except in vintage pieces and a few of our picks on this list. That type of glass can withstand extreme changes in temperature.
The more common tempered glass can also handle cold freezers and hot ovens, but some care must be taken. You want to avoid temperature shock to prevent shattering. When tempered glass is heated or cooled rapidly, the glass expands and contracts, which causes stress on the container. The best approach is to make sure your container is room temperature before hitting the freezer or oven. This will cause less stress on the glass and keep your container intact.
Generally, glass food storage containers can withstand ovens up to 425 degrees, but always check the product's safety manual or with the manufacturer before proceeding. Those wonderful lids that help keep everything fresh, though, are not oven safe.
Are glass food storage containers better than plastic?
This really comes down to a personal decision. Most plastics now are BPA-free and safe from chemical leaching, but glass is more environmentally friendly and durable. Glass is chemical-free, oven-safe, and heavy-duty, but susceptible to breaking. Plastic is light and easy to store, but stains and can degrade over time with microwave use. Plastics eventually reach the end of their shelf life and must be replaced, but they are lighter and easier to transport. With care, glass can be used for years without replacement, which means less garbage in our landfills.
Are glass food storage containers safe?
Yes. Glass has none of the issues associated with plastic or metal containers. It's free of BPA and other potentially dangerous chemicals, can withstand extreme temperatures because it is nonporous, and does not absorb odors or stains.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Cookbook author Donna Currie is a writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. She's also an expert on all things to do with kitchen storage and meal prep solutions. Take a look at her other roundups on this topic: top meal prep containers, avocado storage solutions, and the best bento boxes.
This article was updated by Carrie Honaker, who currently resides in Panama City Beach, Florida, where she writes about the next crave-worthy baked good, the perfect use for a baking stone, and the little-known Florida wine scene.