The 8 Best Lunch Boxes to Buy for Kids in 2018

Keep your child's meal fresh

Mixed race mother handing lunch box to daughter
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When your kids leave for school in the morning, you probably make sure they have a few essentials with them: backpack, homework, etc. No matter how old your children are—preschool or high school—chances are you also send them off each day with a lunch box packed with their favorite foods.

In the market for a new lunch box for kids? There are a whole lot of products to choose from, made by a variety of top-name brands such as Pottery Barn, Thermos, Rubbermaid, Lands End, and more. The best one for your kids will likely depend on their age and style preferences, so here are the best kids’ lunch boxes that you can buy today.

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  • 01 of 08

    Best for Preschool: Thermos Novelty Soft Lunch Kit

    If you're searching for an adorable lunch box for your child's first-ever day of school, look no further than the Thermos Novelty Soft Lunch Kit. This product was created with preschool and kindergarten-age children in mind, and it comes in a variety of sweet designs featuring kid-favorite characters.

    The Thermos lunch box is best for children ages 5 and up, and it has a kid-friendly zippered opening. You can choose from dozens of cute designs, including a fire truck, police car, Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Minions, Spider-Man, Disney Princesses, and more.

    Each lunch box has a comfortable carrying handle, as well as foam insulation to keep their food cold. To top it off, the lunch box also lights up and makes sounds! For instance, the police car has a siren and R2-D2 beeps.

    Parents say that their young children absolutely loved these lunch boxes, especially because they light up. Many also note the product is sturdy and can hold a decent amount of food.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Kindergarten: Mackenzie Pink/Gold Foil Hearts Classic Lunch Bag

    Mackenzie Pink/Gold Foil Hearts Classic Lunch Bag
    Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids

    Send your little one off to kindergarten with the cute and functional Mackenzie Classic Lunch Bag. This particular version of the Pottery Barn lunch bag is light pink with gold foil hearts on it. There are a wide variety of designs available, including ballerinas, ladybugs, dinosaurs, skateboards, and more—perfect for both boys and girls!

    This playful lunchbox has a spacious interior where you can pack a generous lunch for your kindergartener. The exterior is made from durable polyester fabric and features a zippered pocket, as well as a mesh pocket where you can stash napkins, utensils, or even love notes. The interior is lined with PEVA—an eco-friendly, food-safe vinyl—that is easy to wipe down when your kids get home. Not to mention, This lunch box can even be customized with your child's name for additional flair.

    Overall, the Mackenzie Classic Lunch Bag is a high-quality product that's perfect for kindergarteners. It may very well last your family for years!

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Elementary School: Rubbermaid LunchBlox Small Lunch Bag

    This budget-friendly lunch bag is perfect for children in elementary school. Despite its low price, the Rubbermaid LunchBlox Small Lunch Bag gets top marks from reviewers, who say it's surprisingly spacious and perfect for school lunches.

    This lunch bag comes in four colorful designs including blue, purple, and black patterns. The lightweight product is designed to be used with Rubbermaid LunchBlox food containers, but you can also use it with whatever Tupperware you have at home.

    Reviewers love that it has a side zip closure, making it easy to pack and unpack. There are also mesh pockets on either side where you can store additional food.

    This lunch box is safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer. It's also BPA-free, so you can rest assured it will be safe for your kids and easy to clean. If you don't believe that such an affordable product could be such high quality, just check out its more than 1,000 5-star reviews!

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Middle School: PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box

    As your kids get older, you may want to get them a lunch box with a little more room. The PackIt Freezable Classic Lunch Box is a great option thanks to its sturdy construction, spacious interior, and unique ability to be frozen.

    This product comes in several cool designs, including camo, stripes, plaid, and other simple patterns. It has a large zip opening that allows you to quickly pack and unpack. There is an exterior mesh side pocket that's perfect for storing water bottles as well as a zip pocket for napkins and utensils. The exterior is made from polyester canvas, and the lining is food safe and water resistant.

    The coolest thing about this lunch box is its all-in-one cooling system. The walls of the bag contain a freezable gel, allowing you to put the bag in the freezer overnight. In the morning, just pack it up and it will keep food cool the entire day. Reviewers love this unique feature, saying it truly does keep food cold without an ice pack and there's no condensation inside or out.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for High School: Gear-Up Navy Pin Dot Essential Lunch Bag

    Gear-Up Navy Pin Dot Essential Lunch Bag
    Courtesy of Pottery Barn Teens

    As your children reach high school age, they’ll no longer want childish lunch boxes. Instead, you can get them a chic, simple lunch bag to carry their food, such as the Gear-Up Navy Pin Dot Essential Lunch Bag.

    The lunch bag from PBteen is simple yet classy. This particular design is navy blue with white polka dots and teal trim, but there are several other colorways available.

    The top zips off for easy loading, and there’s a small zippered pocket on the front. The shell is made from a durable, water-resistant polyester fabric, and the interior is made from eco-friendly, food-safe vinyl, so it's easy to clean and will keep lunches fresh.

    To take the Gear-Up Essential Lunch Bag to the next level, you can choose to have it personalized with your child’s name or a monogram. Overall, it's a lovely lunch bag that's cool enough for any high school kid.

  • 06 of 08

    Best Monogrammed: Lands' End School Uniform ClassMate Soft Sided Lunch Box

    School Uniform ClassMate Soft Sided Lunch Box
    Courtesy of Land's End

    Want an adorable monogrammed lunch bag for your children? Then you have to check out the highly-rated Lands’ End School Uniform ClassMate Soft-Sided Lunch Box. Not only can you put your child's initials on this lunch box, you can also choose an embroidered patch to go on it.

    This lunch box comes in three plain colors, and it features gray trim and zippers. The interior is spacious and it is designed to keep food cool for up to 5 hours with an ice pack. The interior is leak-resistant and easy to clean, and there’s a side mesh pocket and zip-up front pocket if you want to pack extras like napkins and utensils.

    The coolest part about this product is arguably the customization choices. You can choose to have the lunch bag monogrammed with your child's initials, or pick an embroidered patch, such as an American flag, a rocket ship, an avocado, a llama, or many other options. You can also opt for both an embroidery patch and a monogram!

    Reviewers write that this is a high-quality lunch bag, and many parents have gotten several years of use out of it. Plus, kids love the personalization options that come with it.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Bento Box: OmieBox Bento Box With Insulated Thermos For Kids

    Bento boxes have become increasingly popular for children. If you're looking for a great segmented lunch box to send to school, look into the unique OmieBox Bento Box. It features two temperature zones, which allow you to store both hot and cold foods in one box.

    The OmieBox Bento Box comes in five bright colors, and it includes a built-in thermos food jar. This keeps entrees like soup warm until lunchtime and reviewers say it really works. The lunch box itself is double-walled and leak-proof, so you don't have to worry about spills and its contents will stay cool and fresh.

    Parents love that this lunch box keeps food warm for their little ones, and many say it's versatile and easy to clean. However, some note that the thermos lid is can be a bit hard for younger kids to open, so this may be best for elementary school children.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Insulated: MIER Portable Thermal Insulated Mini Lunch Bag

    If you're looking for an incredibly affordable lunch box with impressive insulation, this is the one for you. The MIER Portable Thermal Insulated Mini Lunch Bag might not be the biggest option out there, but it comes with an incredibly effective insulated lining and a super cute design.

    At less than $10, you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this lunch bag. You can choose from four brightly colored designs, each with a convenient carrying handle.

    The top of this lunch box zips off for easy loading and the interior is covered in an aluminum foam lining that will keep food hot or cold for up to four hours. It's perfect if your children have a long commute to school or are going on a field trip. Reviewers say it will keep items cold even longer if you freeze it overnight.

    The bag gets consistently high marks from reviewers, who say it's the perfect small lunch box. Many point out that it's great for packing a few small items and the patterns are quite cheery. Plus, the insulation is unbeatable and makes it easy to clean.