Easy to clean
Made with BPA-free plastic
Shows wear and tear easily
Not the best value
Why settle for a boring brown bag when you can pack your kid’s food in a fun bento-style lunch box like the Yumbox Original? This leakproof container is perfect for elementary school-aged eaters, with six compartments for sampling all sorts of tasty and healthy foods. We tested this product by using it to pack lunch for our 5-year-old son for a week straight, evaluating features like its design, durability, and price. Keep reading for our insights.
Design: Fun illustrations
The Yumbox Original has two parts: an outer shell and a six-compartment removable tray. Five of these compartments can hold the same amount of food (½ cup), while the sixth is a small circular well that’s perfect for sauces or dips. What’s unique about this product, though, is that the bottom of each compartment features a printed illustration. The five larger compartments are also labeled by food group (protein, grains, dairy, fruit, and veggies) to help you keep things organized.
We tested the outer space-themed Neptune Blue box, which featured illustrations of an astronaut floating above noodles, a moon made from cheese, a planet made from an orange, a rocket ship, a UFO, and a star (the smallest compartment). There are several other colors (and themes) available, including Lotus Pink, Surf Green, Bijoux Purple, Cilantro Green, Jodhpur Blue, Kashmir Aqua, and Saffron Orange.
After we used the Yumbox Original for the first time, it looked as if we’d been throwing it into backpacks and coolers for months.
The Yumbox Original’s outer shell is smooth; we found that it slipped perfectly into a handbag or backpack and closed easily with a clasp. It also has a leakproof silicone seal, which prevents wet foods from leaking out of the box itself as well as between compartments. We found this feature worked very well; we never experienced any leaks or spills when turning this container on its side.
An important thing to note, however, is that this product’s outer shell is not microwave safe. Yumbox also discourages users from microwaving the inner tray. According to the company, this product is designed to store cold or room-temperature foods—and that if these foods require reheating, it’s best to pack them in removable silicone cups and warm them that way.
Material: Looks old fast
The Yumbox Original is made with BPA-, phthalates-, and CPSIA-free plastic. It’s also FDA compliant. While the fact that it’s free of harmful chemicals gave us much peace of mind, we do wish it didn’t show wear and tear so easily.
After we used the Yumbox Original for the first time, it looked as if we’d been throwing it into backpacks and coolers for months. In other words, we felt that it was durable in terms of functionality, but the softer outside plastic scratches so easily—plus, it shows water residue and fingerprints. Same thing goes for the insert: After a few washes, the illustrations had scratches and the texture of the base felt rough. In other words, don’t expect it to remain shiny and new for too long.
Cleaning: Pretty easy, but make sure it’s dry before you re-pack
According to Yumbox, both the tray and outer shell of this lunchbox are dishwasher safe (top rack only), though the company warns against using a heat dry cycle. You can also clean this product by hand with warm soap and water and let it air-dry—when we did this, however, water spots formed on the outside of the shell, which made it look dirty.
We never experienced any leaks or spills when turning this container on its side.
After cleaning the Yumbox Original, make sure that it’s totally dry before you pack and seal it again. At one point, we refilled it when some of the compartments were still slightly damp, and when we opened it, we discovered that the sandwich bread and chips inside were a bit soggy.
Price: Unique but expensive for what it is
If $30 seems like a lot for a lunch box, you’re not alone in that sentiment. While cute illustrations make the bento box unique, and it is leakproof and easy to use, we’re not sure it’s worth the splurge.
Competition: Lots of options
Bentgo Kids’ Lunch Box: This line of bento boxes, one of which we also tested, is super popular with parents—and you can see why. The five-compartment, leakproof containers keep food safe and are very easy to clean. Plus, they come in a slew of fun colors and prints. While the basic boxes have an MSRP of $40, they retail for closer to $30, which is about the same price as the Yumbox. The main difference, based on our experience, was that they don't show wear and tear as easily.
OmieBox Bento Box for Kids: If you’re in the market for something a little different, this container from OmieBox includes an insulated thermos insert for hot and cold food. It only has three compartments, though, so you don’t get to pack as many different foods as you do with the Yumbox. Also, at almost $40, this is one of the more expensive models available.
Comfook Lunch Box for Kids: Being able to microwave the inner tray of a bento box, just like you can with this option from Comfook, can have its advantages, especially during colder months. This leakproof container can also handle cold foods—it’s freezer safe—and has five separate compartments. It also comes with its own spork. Lastly, it’s around $17—an excellent value, especially if you’re on a budget.
Interested in reading more reviews? Check out our list of the best bento boxes for kids.
- Product Name Original Leakproof Bento Lunch Box
- Product Brand Yumbox
- SKU NB-I-201704-R
- Price $28.00
- Weight 1.05 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6 x 1.5 x 8.5 in.
- Color Lotus Pink, Surf Green, Bijoux Purple, Cilantro Green, Jodhpur Blue, Kashmir Aqua, and Saffron Orange