Lunch Box Comparison Chart: How 6 Popular Boxes Stack Up

A comprehensive chart comparing 6 popular boxes on 21 different criteria -- UPDATED for 2016

NOTE: This post has been completely reviewed and updated — from top to bottom — as of July 2016.

As a lunch box aficionado and…ahem…collector, I am regularly asked to recommend a lunch box to friends, family and readers. While I would love to have a quick, easy answer to give people, I actually have a very hard time answering this question because there are so many variables that determine which box is the best option for any given kid (or adult). How old is the child? What’s her appetite like? Are you only packing lunch or do you need to include food for snack breaks too? Are you OK with plastic or do you prefer to avoid it? What’s the budget? Do you hate managing lots of pieces? I could go on and on…

I decided what was needed was a handy dandy chart that showed all these different variables side by side, so parents could make their own informed decision easily. I knew I couldn’t include all of the dozens of lunch and bento boxes in my collection, so I needed to narrow it down a bit. Here are the criteria I settled on for the boxes I included in my chart:

  • Each one is easy to purchase online or from retail stores. I love my imported bento boxes, but I know not everyone has access to those.
  • Each one is divided into 3 or more sections. Many children are not interested in different foods touching and many parents are not interested in dealing with silicone cups and decorative baran.
  • My kids and I like them. There is not a single stinker in this bunch. I’ve only included boxes that I reach for repeatedly and that my kids like. These boxes have all been used dozens — if not hundreds — of times and are all still in great shape.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Ready? Here we go!

Bentology (formerly Laptop Lunches)
LunchBots Trio
PlanetBox Rover Complete
Yumbox Original
(Get 15% off with code WENDY15)
Exterior EasyLunchboxes - Exterior Bentology - Exterior LunchBots Trio - Exterior PlanetBox Rover - Exterior Yubo - Exterior Yumbox - Exterior
Interior EasyLunchboxes - Interior Bentology - Interior LunchBots Trio -- Interior PlanetBox Rover -- Interior Yubo - Interior Yumbox - Interior
Price $13.95 for a set of 4 boxes $19.99 $24.99 $55.95 $29.99 $28.00
Color 3 color options available — Classic, Brights, and Urban 4 color combinations Stainless; colored, snap-on lids also available in 9 colors for an additional $1. Stainless; decorative magnets in choice of 20+ designs included 6 color options; dozens of decorative faceplates available 10 colors; multiple tray designs
Dimensions 9.4 x 6.1 x 2 inches 9 x 7 x 2.25 inches 6 x 5 x 1.75 inches 10 Γ— 7 Γ— 1.5 inches 9.8 x 6.9 x 3.5 inches 8.5 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
Weight (empty) 4.5 ounces 14 ounces 9.6 ounces 20 ounces 20.8 ounces 17.5 ounces
Volume 3 3/4 cups 4 1/3 cups 3 cups 4 1/2 cups 4 cups 3 1/2 cups
Materials BPA, phthalate, and lead-free plastic BPA, phthalate, and lead-free plastic Food grade stainless steel Food grade stainless steel BPA, phthalate-free plastic BPA, phthalate-free plastic
Number of Compartments 3 — 1 large, 2 small 5 — 2 large, 2 medium, 1 small 3 — 1 long, 2 squarish 7 — 1 large, 3 medium, 1 tiny in tray; 1 large, 1 small lidded containers 3 — 1 large, 2 small 6 — 5 medium, 1 small
Configurable No Yes — inner containers can be rearranged or removed. No Sort of — lidded containers can be added or removed Yes — inner containers can be rearranged or removed No
Leakproof No — lids are designed to be easy for young children to remove Partially — three lidded containers are leakproof, the rest is not No – lid is tight-fitting but not water tight Partially — lidded containers are leakproof, tray is not Yes — lidded inner containers are leakproof Yes
Cleaning Dishwasher safe Dishwasher safe, top rack only Dishwasher safe Dishwasher safe Dishwasher safe, top rack only Inner tray is dishwasher safe, top rack only; hand-washing the outer box is recommended to protect the seal
Number of Pieces 2 8 2 5 12 2
Easy to Open Yes Can be tricky for preschoolers, older kids have no trouble Can be tricky for preschoolers to open Tray is easy to open, lidded containers can be tricky Outer box is easy to open, but if child opens the wrong side it can get messy Yes
Cuteness Low cuteness factor — 4 different lid colors per set add appeal for kids Low cuteness factor — multiple color options allow for playful or sophisticated choices Low cuteness factor — colored lids add appeal for kids, stainless looks cool for older kids/adults High cuteness factor — magnet sets are fun and at least one design should appeal to your child High cuteness factor — the intechangable face plates are adorable High — the outside of the box is plain, but the inside features cute food pictures
Bag Available separately for $7.95, machine washable, 7 color choices. See more about this bag here. Available separately in 2 bag/sleeve styles and multiple colors/patterns. Prices range from $12.99 – $18.99. See more about one of these bags here. Bag available separately for $34.99; easily fits inside standard lunch bags. See how this lunchbox fits in various bags here. Available as part of a kit in choice of 6 colors ($14.00) or 4 patterns ($16.00). Purchase separately for $26.95-28.95. See more about this bag here. Bag that fits inner containers only available separately for $21.95. (No bag needed for this configuration.) Available separately for $15.00. It fits easily in most thermal lunch bags. See how this lunchbox fits in various bags here.
Accessories Set of 8 Mini Dippers (small lidded containers that fit inside the box) available separately. Set of 4 extra inner boxes available separately, including an extra large box that can be swapped for the 2 large boxes. Small leak-proof condiment cups, side dish containers, thermal jars, extra lids available separately. Extra magnets, inner containers, silicone pods, utensils, and an excellent (though pricey) water bottle available separately. Extra face plates, medium sized inner containers and a strap on drink holder are available separately Extra trays can be purchased separately.
Other Lunch Boxes from This Company None Portion Perfect” line aimed at adults. Same-sized box with 1, 2, 3, and 4 compartments. Larger “Bento” boxes in multiple configurations. Snack-sized Shuttle, larger Launch. None Yumbox Panino with 1 large, 2 medium and 1 small compartment. Smaller MiniSnack.
See this box packed with food EasyLunchboxes gallery Bentology/ Laptop Lunches gallery LunchBots gallery PlanetBox gallery Yubo gallery Yumbox gallery
Notes This no-frills box is a sturdy and economical choice. Great for adults and kids of all ages! The Bentology box is a work horse (we love ours), but if you’re prone to losing things the multiple pieces can be a pain to keep track of. Though this box looks small, it easily holds enough food for elementary school kids when packed tightly. It’s the priciest option in this round-up, but our PlanetBox Rover is one of our family’s all-around favorite lunch boxes and is going strong after 4 years of use. The super cute Yubo is a good choice for preschoolers and young elementary aged kids, but keep in mind that it is a large box. Yumbox is compact, fun and easily managed by preschool and elementary school students.
Full Review Read my full EasyLunchboxes review Read my full Bentology/ Laptop Lunches review Read my full LunchBots Trio review Read my full PlanetBox Rover review Read my full Yubo review Read my full Yumbox review
Purchase link* Purchase EasyLunchboxes Purchase Bentology Purchase LunchBots Purchase PlanetBox Purchase Yubo Purchase Yumbox
(Get 15% off with code WENDY15)

* Disclosure: Though this post contains affiliate links, I have not been compensated in any way for writing this post or pulling this information together.

A few more notes:

Data in this chart: This chart was originally compiled in 2013. I have completely reviewed and updated it from top to bottom as of July 2016. I try to stay on top of the info in it but occasionally manufacturers make changes I’m not aware of. Please be sure to double-check information before purchasing!

Durability: All of these boxes are durable. The have been all been used continuously for 2+ years. The stainless steel boxes look practically new after years of use. I had a hinge break when I dropped the first generation Yumbox a couple years ago, but it has since been redesigned and I have not had any problems since then.

Ice packs: With the exception of the Yubo, none of these boxes or their bags comes with an ice pack. I highly recommend that you invest in several ice packs to place inside your lunch bag, along with the lunch box to keep the food at a safe temperature until you or your child sits down to eat.

Did I miss something? Do you have a question about these boxes that I didn’t answer? Please leave it in the comments below and I’ll do my best to find the answer.

Have you got your lunch boxes all lined up for the new school year? Which boxes will you be using?


A comprehensive chart comparing 6 popular boxes on 21 different criteria -- UPDATED for 2016

Do you need a bag to put your lunch box in? Get the details about seven popular lunch bags — and which lunch boxes fit in them — here:

Lunch Bag Comparison -- all the details about 7 popular brands, PLUS which lunch boxes fit in them!
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Interested in packing bento lunches? Check out my book:
Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go -- Buy now on Amazon!



















  • Momtoafew

    Would love to know as well! I need a lunchbag that fits the planet lunch box with just a smidge of room to fit a small kleen kanteen on the inside too. I would buy the planet lunchbox bags, but the design has the drink on the outside, which means I won’t be able to pack milk since there is no way to place insulation on the outside. πŸ™ Open to bag ideas people!

  • Hi Kerrie, Mary and Momtoafew — I asked around a bit and got a recommendation for this bag: My friend said: “It works with the Rover and a good sized water bottle inside or in the sleeve on the side.” I didn’t turn up anything else! (Other than the PlanetBox bags, of course…)

  • Momtoafew

    Thanks! I will go check it out. πŸ™‚ Today I ordered some gogreen bags-they should fit rover with room to spare-I will let you all know how they fit too πŸ™‚

  • MamaZ

    Before dd started preschool, I bought the laptop lunch kit. I quickly realized that, if I was having a little trouble opening and closing, she would too. So I got the Planet Box. Seemed really steep to pay that much for a lunch box, but it’s easy to open and, when I thought about 3 teachers opening and closing multiple containers for 24 kids, I decided on something dd wouldn’t need help with. I typically pack a sandwich, fruits, veggies, nuts–things that don’t mind being tipped over for carrying(I’ve rarely used the included containers). And it’s been great. She has used if for 3 full years and is about to start the 1st grade with the same Planet Box. The main box still looks as good as new. The zip case looks a little worn, with one or two spots where the zipper caught the fabric. But it has tons of life left. I’ve even put it in the washing machine(one that doesn’t have the twisty thing in the middle). Then just hang up to air dry, over the weekend. A few parents told me in the first year, that they replaced their cheaper lunch boxes 2 to 4 times. If that’s the case, then this has paid for itself several times.

  • MamaZ

    I got excited that PotteryBarnKids has PlanetBox, but it’s their own set, not actually Planet Box. I checked it out thinking it might cost less, but it’s the same. Good configuration. They also have a plastic bento box, but at PotterBarnKids, the bag and other pieces are all separately priced. Lots of cute designs.

  • Laura

    Which of these would you say is easiest for a 4-5 year old child to open? We’re currently looking at the Yumbox and the Planet Box Rover (maybe getting both!) We have the Easy Lunch Box at home, but my child can’t open it without help, and especially without food flying everywhere! Thank you πŸ™‚

  • The Yumbox and PlanetBox lunch boxes are the easiest of these six to open. Most kids aged 3 and up should have no trouble with them.

  • Laura

    Thank you!

  • KarenC

    My older kids all use Laptop Lunchboxes. My oldest two kids have been using theirs for 5 years…this school year will be their 6th year with the same lunchbox. So durable. Easy to pack – each kid has a different color combination so that it is easy to line up the lunchboxes the night before and fill them according to each kid’s preference and then put them in their bags in the fridge for the morning. We have two old style bags and one newer style and the old style bag didn’t have a ton of room for an ice pack since it is a tight fit, but the newer style bag does have room for that.

  • Patricia Ong

    I saw the OmieBox on Kick starter and thought it was ingenious as it can hold hot AND cold foods at the same time. My daughter is starting kindergarten next year and I’m browsing and researching lunch boxes. What do you think about it?

  • I am very excited to get my hands on an OmieBox and check it out! The owner and designer are local to me so I had a chance to check it out and it looks very cool. I can’t wait to get the one I ordered this fall!

  • Viann

    Have you tried out the new yumbox panino? If so, how does it compare to the regular yumbox?

  • Kathryn
  • Thanks, Kathryn!

  • fumofu

    I wish someone would come out with a stainless steel version of the Yumbox. Why doesn’t it exist?!

  • AF

    Hello! I am curious to know if you’ve tested the Go Green box?

  • Nope — I haven’t tested the Go Green box. One of the kids at my son’s preschool used it and his mom loved it but I don’t have any first hand experience.

  • Stacy H

    I’m going crazy trying to find my son a lunch box that will meet his standards that will fit the easylunchboxes container. I bought their blah bag, but he is highly unimpressed and sad over having to use it. He starts kindergarten on Wed of next week and I want him to be excited to use all his new stuff. Does the ELB fit into your son’s dual thermos lunch box ( I want ELB to lay flat, but also have enough room to fit his thermos drink bottle and possibly also fit his thermos food jar. Most important though is if that lunchbox will fit the ELB. Thank you so much for your response. This article was super helpful.

  • Colleen

    what do you think of the Go Green Lunchbox?

  • Hi Colleen — I haven’t tried the Go Green Lunchbox myself, so I can’t comment on it from personal experience. One of the kids at my son’s preschool used it and his mom liked it a lot. The only complaint I’ve heard about it is that it’s quite large.

  • Colleen

    thank you for the quick reply… I saw some comments below about it after posting (sorry about that). If I do decide to try it, I will be sure to post my review

  • Oh, please do!

  • Libby

    Depending on how you look at it, the Planetbox is only one piece. The lid is on a hinge and you don’t always need the extra containers (we only use them once in a while).


    Hi All, Just thought I’d throw in a few updates on the YUMBOX! πŸ™‚ 1) It is now available in a 4-compartment version (it fits a sandwich or a salad…) – You can get more info at 2) If you’re looking for YUMBOX in CANADA, you can get it at (free pickup in the GTA too!)

  • JB

    Big issue in my family: accidentally tossing out the lids. Grrrr. I am trading in my Easy Lunch Boxes (bottoms only) for a model with an attached lid.

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  • Katherine

    We ordered two YumBoxes last September and already they have either cracked or the locking mechanism has snapped off. They are awfully cute, but not durable with regular use from a 6 and 4 year old!

  • Celine

    This is a really great review. super helpful. thank you

  • Richard Mohorovich

    That comparison table is awesome πŸ™‚

  • Emily Laughlan

    Wow thanks for doing all the research for me! Well done!

  • Ruth L

    Thank you so much for this list, it is so helpful! My three-year-old is starting preschool soon and I dont know whether I should get her the Planetbox or the LunchBot! What do you think? Thank you!! Just a nervous Mama, want to buy her the perfect thing!

  • Gretchen

    Pottery Barn used to sell Planetbox with covers that matched their other lines. So bummed out that they don’t sell them anymore — after three years of use, my son forgot his at school on the very last day and it never showed up in lost and found. I’m sure I will buy a new one from Planetbox, but the PBK covers were so much cuter.

  • Natalie

    Yumbox have a bigger adult version now πŸ™‚

  • Natalie

    Yumbox now have a bigger adult version πŸ™‚

  • Gerwin

    Hi! Thx for the detailed review πŸ™‚ IΒ΄d like to know the weight of those boxes, can you provide this information too?

  • This was a great option with Pottery Barn Kids was selling the actual PlanetBox, but they are no longer carrying the original PlanetBox, they are now selling their own design of stainless lunch container that looks similar, but not a real PlanetBox.
    We did buy one of the discounted PlanetBox sets through Pottery Barn Kids a couple years ago and it was a steal of a deal. Something like $40 for the full Rover set, with adorable polka-dot carry bag.
    The new stainless lunch sets that PBK is making that looks similar has different dimensions than the original PlanetBox, so I’m not sure the bags (called “all-in-one”) will fit a PlanetBox. It might squeeze in, depending on how much flex the PBK bag has in it. I’ve got one on the way, so I’ll know shortly. πŸ˜‰
    Great post, Wendy!

  • Hi Gerwin — I added the weights of the boxes to the chart. Hope that’s helpful!

  • Heather McElyea

    I am trying two new ones this year πŸ™‚ Rubbermaid Lunch Blox and Food Movers πŸ™‚ Trying some inexpensive choices this year after losing two yumboxes and a planet box last year :-/

  • Agassner

    Do you think the ice pack from planet box is good/worth the price or will any ice pack work?

  • OUCH!

  • I haven’t tried the PB ice pack, so I can’t comment on whether it’s better or worse than any other ice pack, but one thing I’d recommend is that you make sure whatever you do buy fits in the special ice pack pouch in the Planet box bag. It’s kind of long and narrow.

  • Becky Hammond

    This is EXACTLY what I needed!! Thank you so much for following your passion and your niche!

  • Have you considered Lunchpal Lunch Boxes? 100%leakproof Fun Colors~Healthy Stainless Steel

  • Torben Pasucha

    Thanks for not minding about BPA! Rare to see.

  • This is amazing! I have been searching for a 5 compartment, leak-proof and cute box for my son at daycare and I think the Yumbox is it! Thanks so much !

  • you want lunch box Clear Plastic Bags?

  • dweebner

    Hi, do you have any experience with the Go Green Lunch box?

    I feel like choosing a lunch box is harder than choosing the right school.

    I’m stuck between the yumbox, the planetbox, and the go green for my daughter who will be starting JK in September.

  • Hi! I don’t have any personal experience with the Go Green, but I’ve looked into it and I know a few people who have one. I’ve decided to pass on it for my boys because it’s on the large side. At 13 inches, it’s 3 inches wider than our biggest lunch box, which is a bit more than my kids want to deal with. There are definitely Go Green fans out there though. If I were choosing for pre-K, I would personally go with the Yumbox with a planetbox coming in a close second. Good luck!

  • Holly

    Are any of these good for soups? Or would it be better to get a separate thermos?

  • liz ardila

    I love the compilation they do in this blog, thanks for sharing.
    Many lunchboxes are spilled in the bag and smelly: besides when you go on the train people know that you will have for lunch. After try and buy different lunch boxes, I found a very good lunch box using leak proof and airtight technologies, to preserve food longer and very fresh, no spill, no odor in my bag anymore, the lunch box call β€˜β€™ EcoNaturell Lunch to Go Box’’. Also it is not very large and fits well in my bag. I can also measure my portion, as I want to lose weight. β€˜β€™ EcoNaturell Lunch To Go Box, also come with small leaf proof container for soup or snack. I acquired it by Amazon. Before, I used system lunch boxes; no bad but them wasn’t leaf proof. Now I finally found what I needed. I could not be happier.