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. They're made of a nonporous surface, so they don't absorb smells or stains like plastic containers.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and you should factor in your intended purpose for the containers as well as size, lid design, and what's included in a set. To help you decide, we sent several top-rated glass storage containers to experienced at-home testers, who used them to store leftovers, tote their lunches, and heat up food. The products were all rated on design, performance, durability, and ease of cleaning.
Here, the best glass storage containers for a variety of needs, according to hours of testing.
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
The Glasslock 18-piece set covers a lot of bases when it comes to food storage and performed exceptionally well in our tests, earning it our best overall award. This BPA-free set includes both round and rectangular containers in a variety of sizes with matching lids. Plus, they are all microwave, oven-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe, making it an especially versatile purchase.
In terms of performance, the lids are easy to use, and they seal the containers 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. Our product tester was pleased to discover that these containers distribute heat evenly in the oven and the microwave: "I reheated a casserole and found no hot or cool spots," she reported.
Cleaning is easy in the dishwasher or by hand, but food can get stuck in the crevices of the lids, so it's best not to overfill the containers in the first place. Our tester found it to be a very attractive set but recommends hand drying if you want to avoid water spots.
Price at time of publish: $54
Type of Glass: Tempered | Quantity: 18-piece set | Lid Type: Plastic, snap-tight
"I stored garlicky sauces and leftover Thai food and found no residual scents after a quick wash."
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
Great for meal prep, as the name implies, 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.
The containers are microwave-, oven-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe, but the lids are not. 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. Our tester reheated shepherd’s pie and mashed potatoes and then chicken alfredo and broccoli successfully.
Made from borosilicate, these containers are more heavy-duty than your average glass containers. In fact, according to the manufacturer, they are oven safe up to 840 degrees. Our tester found it easy enough to wash the lids by hand and throw the containers in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $33
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 5-pack set | Lid Type: Vented plastic with smart lock
"The divider makes the containers perfect for storing a sandwich (or a small chicken breast or steak) in the larger end and fruit or veggies in the smaller side."
AmazonBasics Glass Locking Lids Food Storage Containers
Microwave-, oven-, and freezer-safe
Lids are tight and leak proof
Wide range of sizes and shapes
Lids are not oven safe
Lids feel flimsier than some others
Don’t fully nest
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. In tests, the lids locked on with relative ease, and their silicone rings prevent spilling if the containers are accidentally tipped, but the lids did feel like they could be more susceptible to premature wear.
The containers are oven-safe to 752 degrees Fahrenheit, so they can handle the heat of kitchen ovens, or they can be used to reheat food in the microwave. For storage, they can handle the refrigerator or freezer. Our tester loved the convenience of the various sizes and found they fit well in both her refrigerator and 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 also top-rack dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 20-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic
"Overall, this is a very comprehensive set and you wouldn't need much else."
Best for Freezer
Razab 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, freezing fruits and vegetables, and collecting odds and ends in the freezer for making soup stock. They’re airtight and watertight, too, making them easy to transport to potlucks and parties. It’s worth noting, though: While the heavy-duty glass adds to durability, our tester thought the containers were too bulky and heavy for everyday transport (in other words, desk lunches).
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. (Our tester used the largest of the bunch for a full pot of homemade chicken stock!) The containers are safe for the microwave and for the oven to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’re great for baking and roasting, as well. The lids and containers are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning every time.
Price at time of publish: $36
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 6-piece set (lids and containers) | Lid Type: Plastic, silicone-sealed
"The lids snap on really nicely and kept everything from chicken broth to roasted vegetables nice and fresh."
Best for Leftovers
Pyrex Circular Glass Storage Container 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 can be used in the freezer, microwave, and preheated oven so you can stash the food for later or reheat it without having to transfer it to another bowl. Our product tester gave high marks to the set's tempered glass, which can withstand any oven temperature.
When the containers are empty, they’re dishwasher safe. 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 and made in the U.S.A.
Price at time of publish: $18
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."
Best with Sleeve
Frego Plastic-Free Glass and Silicone Food Containers
Dual-lock silicone lids offer tight seal
Oven-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe
Containers have shallow depth
Lids are difficult to fully press on
Glass is the perfect non-staining, 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 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.
Though an undeniable benefit, our tester found a drawback: Because there’s some space between the glass and the silicone sleeve, these are not satisfactory containers for transporting liquids since food can get stuck between the two layers. It also takes some muscle to get the entire silicon lid to snap down into the silicone sleeve.
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 you can color-code lunches for the family or remember which holds herbs and which contains tomatoes. The sleeves can be removed if desired.
Price at time of publish: $46 for 4 containers
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 4 containers (with lids and sleeves) | Lid Type: Silicone
"I didn't notice any issues microwaving. It's nice that the silicone doesn't get hot, so you don't need mitts or anything."
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. In tests, these containers were a breeze 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 tight seal. Our tester loved the fact that the entire lid comes apart easily, since baby food has a tendency to get stuck in crevices.
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 and spices, freshly squeezed lemon juice, or pre-prepped garnishes for your favorite recipes.
Price at time of publish: $22
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 4 containers with lids | Lid Type: Plastic, snap-tight
"Food looked just as fresh as when it went in, and because the glass is very clear with measurements, it's easy to see what you have."
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, our tester found it endlessly versatile: It’s perfect for a make-ahead French toast casserole, for bread pudding, and for all kinds of other casseroles. Make them ahead of time, snap the lid on, and refrigerate them to bake later. It’s also great for making a full tray of mac and cheese and marinating meats before they meet the grill and for storing leftovers without moving the food to a different container. You can even make dessert—our tester made apple crisp.
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 reheated easily. Our tester loved the fact that the lid is clear since you can more easily keep an eye on the goods. The glass dish is safe for the microwave, preheated oven, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. The lid is top-rack dishwasher safe.
Price at time of publish: $30
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 1 dish with lid | Lid Type: Soft rubber with TrueFit technology
"It kept my apple crisp really well preserved! It also was great for leftover pasta."
Best for Display
Le'raze Glass Kitchen Canisters with Airtight Bamboo Lid
Attractive for countertops
Wide enough to fit measuring spoons
Not best for liquids
Lids must be washed by hand
These spacious glass canisters make for a handsome display on your kitchen countertops, complete with rustic bamboo lids. Said lids are airtight for optimal food freshness, although testing found that it worked best with dry goods rather than liquids. This set comes with five different sized canisters—fill with dry pasta, beans, flour, or any other pantry items.
And you can rest assured that the borosilicate glass holds up to heat and cold wonderfully. These multipurpose containers will upgrade your kitchen and pantry organization. We love that this set is practical but still makes for a beautiful aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Quantity: 5 containers with lids | Lid Type: Bamboo with silicone ring
"These are great for storing dry goods on the counter. I get nervous with glass because they could fall and shatter, but these are very attractive and useful."
We awarded the Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set the top spot because each container is sturdy with a simple yet aesthetically pleasing design, and they reheated food easily. If you're looking to plan meals ahead of time, we recommend the Prep Naturals 2-Compartment Meal Containers, which feature divided interiors that our tester found convenient for storing a wide variety of mains and side dishes.
How We Tested
We researched top-rated glass food storage containers in a variety of shapes and sizes and sent them home to our testers to review. They stored leftovers of all kinds, using them in the refrigerator, freezer, microwave, and oven. They tested out their portability. They also cleaned them according to the manufacturer's instructions, evaluated whether there were any remaining odors after washing, and assessed their durability.
Other Options We Tested
- Flrolove Glass Kitchen Storage Canister Mason Jars with Lids: There’s a lot to love about these 32-ounce glass containers. They’re 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 small 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. It’s worth noting, though: Tests revealed some quality concerns. The labels came crinkled, so only four out of eight were usable. Additionally, two of the glass containers came chipped and had to be recycled before they could ever be used. They’re also not great for toting since they’re relatively heavy, and the seal isn’t tight enough to contain tipped liquids. For these reasons, we left this set off our roundup.
What to Look for in 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 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 covers. 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 when 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 them 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.
If you are committed to going the borosilicate route, check out OXO. Its glass containers, from chicken casseroles down to baby food, are made from durable glass.
Round shaped containers are easier for stirring your food around in, perhaps after reheating leftovers or meal prep. If your main priority is organization, we recommend stocking up on square or rectangular shaped containers. These stack up together easiest and can be stored compactly.
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 wash by hand.
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 is 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. Glass is 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.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This roundup was originally written by cookbook author Donna Currie, 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, that include 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. The accompanying buying guide was written by Marshall Bright.
This article was further updated by Brigitt Earley, a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience testing products for editorial inclusion. She tested six different sets for this list. Brigitt also holds a degree in culinary arts plus cooks multiple meals for her family of six every day of the week.
How is tempered glass made. Scientificamerican.com.