Posted on 1 Comment

5 Best Stainless Steel Kids Lunch Boxes (2024 Review)

Disclosure: Our reviews stay ad-free as they're entirely reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. This revenue helps us test products and develop quality content.

Packing lunch for your kid can be a hassle. You want something healthy, but also good for the planet and your wallet.

Stainless steel kids’ lunch boxes are the answer! They’re safe (no yucky chemicals!), super strong, and kind to the earth. Plus, they save money in the long run.

This guide will help you pick your child’s perfect stainless steel lunch box. We’ll show you the best options, answer your questions, and discuss features like leak-proof lids, easy cleaning, and cool designs.

We’ll also explain how to avoid bad stuff like BPA and how to care for your steel so it lasts for years.

So, whether you care most about your kid’s health, the planet, or just finding the best stainless steel lunch container that works, this guide has you covered.

Let’s get packing!

Medically-reviewed by Dr. Ahmad Alsayes, MBBS

Key Considerations for Your Kid’s Stainless Steel Lunch Box

Picking the perfect stainless steel lunch box for your little one is all about safety, function, and fun! Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Safety & Durability: Look for high-quality, food-grade stainless steel from trusted brands. Avoid 201 grade steel (more on that later). A sturdy build that can survive bumps and drops is key. Opt for all-stainless steel boxes (including lids) for ultimate durability.
  • Leak-Proof Champs: Spills and soggy lunches are no fun. Ensure your lunch box has a leak-proof seal, especially if your child packs soups, sauces, or dressings. Tight-fitting lids and silicone seals are your best bet.
  • Organized Eats: Compartments are a lifesaver! They separate foods, preventing soggy messes and encouraging balanced meals with fruits, veggies, proteins, and grains.
  • Easy Cleanup: This is a must! Stainless steel shines (literally) for easy maintenance. Look for dishwasher-safe options or those that hand-wash easily without staining. Skip the hybrid boxes with plastic parts – they can be trickier to clean. All-steel with simple designs are your cleaning allies.
  • Kid-Friendly Fun & Ease: Lunchtime should be exciting! Pick a lunchbox with cool designs and features that appeal to your child. Easy-to-open lids and lightweight construction make it a breeze for small hands.
  • Temperature Retention: Some metal lunch boxes keep food hot or cold for hours, perfect for packing fresh items or warm meals. This is especially handy for parents packing perishables or wanting their child to enjoy a warm lunch.

Considering these key features, you can choose a lunch container that keeps your child’s food safe, organized, and temperature-controlled.

Next, let’s explore some top contenders in the stainless steel lunch box arena that best meet the above criteria:

Top 5 Stainless Steel Kids Lunch Boxes for School


1. G.a Homefavor

G.a Homefavor
  • Leak-proof design with a secure closure system, ensuring contents stay inside without spilling.
  • Durable and high-quality construction, suitable for everyday use and withstand the wear and tear of transportation.
  • Easy to clean (dishwasher-safe), with removable seals for thorough cleaning.
  • Versatile and eco-friendly, offering a sustainable alternative to plastic containers.
  • Suitable for various foods, including hot and cold items.
  • Not microwave-safe, so you’ll need to use a separate dish for reheating.
  • Smaller than expected, limiting the amount of food that can be packed (see 1200ml and 1400ml options below)
  • Difficulty in opening when contents are hot, which can be inconvenient (the steel gets hot)
  • Lack of insulation to keep food warm for midday lunches.

Homefavor’s stainless steel lunch box features a leak-proof seal to prevent messy spills in your kid’s bag. The durable 18/8 steel design is lightweight and dishwasher-safe (removable silicone seal for deep cleaning).

One key reason I chose G.a Homefavor is for their lid latches. I’ve found them easier to open (more child-friendly) than several competitors. Also, their versatile 27oz size is perfect for kids. For those with larger appetites (or adults), options up to 47oz are available (see below).

Pack anything from sandwiches to soups – the seal locks in odors, too! Backed by a lifetime warranty, this lunchbox is a convenient and frustration-free option for busy families.

Best for: Use it for sandwiches, salads, rice, juicy fruit, and even stew or soup without concern.

Recommend Options from G.a. Homefavor:

2. Bklyn Bento

Bklyn Bento/ Amazon
  • 100% plastic-free. Food-grade stainless steel and LFGB-certified silicone (the highest quality silicone available).
  • Leak-proof silicone lids keep contents secure, making these containers ideal for carrying liquids and runny foods.
  • Versatility: Use for daily lunches, snacks, or storing leftovers. You can easily bring these to restaurants for takeout.
  • Easy to clean and maintain, with the added benefit of being dishwasher-safe.
  • Not microwave-safe.
  • Lids may lose their snug fit after multiple washes. Wash on the top rack (or hand wash) to prevent this.
  • Not made in Brooklyn, made in China.
  • Smaller than expected; may not be suitable for older children (better for toddlers’ meals). See their 24oz container for larger portions.

Skip the mismatched plastic containers – Bklyn Bento’s stainless steel set offers a convenient solution for lunch and snacks!

This set includes four leak-proof containers in various sizes (1.5oz to 21oz) made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel with safe, LFGB-certified silicone lids.

The largest (21oz) is perfect for sandwiches or salads, while the medium holds 13oz (great for leak-proof soups!). The 7oz container is ideal for snacks, and the smallest one (1.5oz) keeps condiments or dressings secure.

Soft, easy-open lids and a lightweight design make them kid-friendly and portable. Plus, Bklyn Bento offers a warranty for added peace of mind – perfect for busy families on the go!

Recommend Options from Bklyn Bento:

3. Ecolunchbox Splash Box

  • Leak-proof with a flexible silicone lid, making it easy for children to open and close.
  • Lighter and more durable than similar containers, with no warping or bending after extensive use.
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, simplifying maintenance.
  • Offers a good storage capacity despite its compact size; suitable for children with large appetites or adults. It’ll fit sandwiches and sides.
  • Not microwave-safe.
  • Difficulty removing sticker labels from the container, leaving adhesive on the metal.
  • Potential for leaks when the lid is not sealed firmly or packed in crowded lunch boxes. Carefully seal the lid to ensure it’s closed properly.
  • It’s pricey for its size.

100% plastic-free, the Splash Box is a leak-proof, 24oz stainless steel lunch container with a silicone lid. Made from high-quality 18/8 stainless and food-grade silicone, it’s third-party tested for food safety compliance with US and EU standards.

The Splash Box holds roughly 3 cups (709 ml) at 6.5″ long, 4 ¾” wide, and 2″ tall. It’s perfectly portable and dishwasher-safe (silicone lid included – no more hand-washing hassles!). So is glass, but this option is lighter weight and virtually non-breakable.

This Splash Box is part of a collection of nesting containers in various sizes, offering convenient storage solutions. Eco-friendly, leak-proof, and easy to clean – this lunchbox is a winner!

Recommend Options from Ecolunchbox:

4. LunchBots

  • Compartments are perfect for packing various snacks or small meals, making it ideal for kids’ lunches and adult snacks.
  • Its simple construction cleans easily in the dishwasher, making it convenient for busy parents.
  • A safer alternative to traditional plastic containers, reducing the risk of chemicals leaching into food.
  • Despite its durable build, the container is lightweight and sized appropriately for children.
  • Not 100% leak-proof; not suitable for soups or other very wet foods.
  • The thin steel lid is prone to warping from excess heat, so use your dishwasher’s top rack only.
  • The container is smaller than expected; it won’t fit standard-sized sandwiches without cutting them.
  • Challenges with cleaning the inside lid corners.

LunchBots’ rugged stainless steel options feature compartments to keep snacks organized and prevent smashed pretzel disasters (we’ve all been there!). Made from durable 18/8 stainless steel, they’re built to last for years. In fact, my nephew has had one of these for over two years now, and it still looks brand new!

This dishwasher-safe lunch box is easy to clean and perfect for daily use. At 6″ x 5″ x 1.75″, the Medium Trio (pictured) is compact and fits easily into any school bag. Pack sandwiches, fruits, veggies, or cheese – its versatility shines for school, hikes, or road trips.

Backed by LunchBots’ 16 years of experience and a lifetime warranty, this is a safe bet for parents looking for sustainable lunch solutions.

Recommend Options from LunchBots:

5. WeeSprout

  • Made from 18/8 stainless steel, the bento box offers a healthier alternative to plastic containers.
  • Durable, easy to clean, and resistant to discoloration, rust, and mold.
  • Silicone grip sleeves prevent slipping, and the easy-to-remove lids make them suitable and safe for kids’ use.
  • The size is ideal for youngsters, including toddlers and preschoolers. It’s easy to carry in school bags or during travel.
  • A little too small for older kids or adults.
  • Not fully leak-proof, especially the small condiment container. They often require a rubber band to stay sealed during bumpy travel.
  • Does not retain heat well, affecting the ability to carry a variety of meals.

Tired of replacing flimsy plastic containers or packing multiple boxes for snacks? WeeSprout’s bento box offers a great solution.

Made from super strong 18/8 stainless steel, it’s practically indestructible and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. A removable silicone sleeve provides extra grip to prevent slips and spills. As a bonus, it offers a welcome splash of color to otherwise boring steel.

This bento box features a 3-compartment design perfect for packing lunches and snacks.  Measuring 6.5” x 5” x 2”, it has a generous 33oz capacity that fits neatly into lunch bags. Plus, it comes with a free leak-proof silicone dip container for dressings and sauces, keeping everything mess-free.

Lastly, its easy-open lids and silicone sleeves (multiple colors available) make lunchtime fun and functional for little ones.

Recommend Options from WeeSprout:

Care and Maintenance Tips For Safety and Longevity


A clean and well-maintained lunch container keeps your child’s food safe and lasts longer before needing replacement. Here’s how to ensure your kid’s stainless steel lunch box gets the TLC it deserves:

Cleaning Stainless Steel Lunch Containers

  • Daily Washing: After each use, give the lunch box a quick rinse with warm, soapy water. Use a soft sponge or cloth to avoid scratching the surface. This gets rid of food particles and stops bacteria growth.
  • Deep Clean Weekly: For a more thorough clean once a week, mix baking soda with water to create a paste. Gently scrub any stubborn stains or stuck-on food with this paste. Baking soda is effective and won’t damage the stainless steel.
  • Dishwasher Use: If your lunch box is dishwasher-safe (check the manufacturer’s instructions), you can toss it in there. However, use the top rack and avoid high heat settings to prevent warping or damaging silicone seals.
  • Drying is Key: After washing, dry the lunch box entirely with a clean towel or let it air dry (before closing the lid!). This prevents moisture buildup that could lead to mold or mildew growth.

Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Lunch Box

  • Skip the Harsh Chemicals: Stainless steel is tough, but harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can scratch it. Stick to mild dish soap and avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.
  • Store Properly: When not used, store the lunch box with the lid cracked (or off) in a cool, dry place. This prevents odors and keeps it fresh for the next use.
  • Regular Checkups: Inspect the lunchbox occasionally for signs of wear and tear, especially around the seals or clasps. Replacing parts like silicone seals can keep it leak-proof and extend its lifespan.
  • Go Easy on Salt and Acidic Foods: Direct and prolonged contact with highly salty or acidic foods can eventually damage the stainless steel. Try to clean the lunch box soon after packing these types of foods.
  • Use Soft Utensils: Encourage your child to use soft silicone or wooden utensils to avoid scratches. Metal utensils can be too harsh on the interior surface.

Lunch Box Materials and Chemicals to Avoid

In the quest for your child’s safest and most reliable lunch box, it’s crucial to be informed about specific materials and chemicals to avoid.

While stainless steel options are generally safer and more sustainable, understanding the pitfalls of other materials, particularly plastics, can help you make more informed decisions.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Bisphenol A (BPA): BPA is a chemical used to manufacture certain plastic types. It’s known for its potential to leach into food and beverages, especially with high heat, acidic foods, or exposure to sunlight. BPA can disrupt the endocrine system, leading to potential health complications in children, such as developmental disorders and an increased risk of obesity and certain cancers.
  • Lead: Sometimes found in plastics or paints used to decorate lunch boxes, lead is toxic and can have severe health implications.
  • Phthalates: These are added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Like BPA, phthalates are harmful to children due to their potential as endocrine disruptors. They can leach into food when exposed to hot or acidic foods or direct sunlight.

The Risks of BPA-Free Plastic

While “BPA-free” labels might seem reassuring, they don’t guarantee safety.

Manufacturers often replace BPA with BPS, a chemical cousin with similar estrogenic activity and potential health risks. Studies have shown that BPS can also act as an endocrine disruptor, raising concerns about its use as a BPA substitute.

Read more on plastic container safety in our Non-Toxic Food Storage Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes stainless steel a good material for kids’ lunch boxes?

Stainless steel is favored for its durability, corrosion resistance, and non-reactive nature, meaning it won’t leach chemicals into food. These properties make it safer than plastic, especially for storing hot or acidic foods.

Which metal is best for a lunch box?

Look for lunch boxes made from 304 (18/8) or 316 (18/10) stainless steel, as these grades are food-grade, resistant to corrosion, and do not leach chemicals into food. High-quality stainless steel lunch boxes often specify their grade in the product description or on the packaging.

Can stainless steel lunch boxes keep food hot or cold?

While stainless steel provides some insulation, it’s not naturally insulative enough to maintain food temperatures for long periods without additional insulation. However, some stainless steel lunch boxes come with insulated carrying cases or have built-in insulation to help maintain food temperature for several hours.

How do I prevent food odors from lingering in a stainless steel lunch box?

To prevent odors, wash the lunch box thoroughly after each use. For stubborn odors, a rinse with vinegar followed by a baking soda scrub can neutralize smells. Ensure the lunch box is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a stainless steel kids’ lunch box is more than picking a pretty pattern. With steel, you’re getting a lunch container that’s:

  • Safe: High-quality stainless steel resists rust and leaching, keeping your child’s food fresh and healthy.
  • Durable: Stainless steel lunch boxes are built to last, saving you money and reducing waste.
  • Eco-Friendly: Ditch single-use plastics and choose a reusable option that’s kind to the planet.

We explored excellent stainless steel options, from 100% leak-proof styles to perfectly portioned Bento boxes. No matter your child’s needs, there’s an option waiting to be their lunchtime companion.

And with our handy care tips, you can keep their lunch box sparkling clean and frustration-free for years to come! So go forth, choose wisely, and confidently pack those healthy lunches. Your child (and the environment) will thank you!

P.S. Visit our Non-Toxic Kid’s Dinnerware Guide to finish detoxifying your kid’s entire meal, from plates and cups to utensils!

Picture of Adam Heck
Adam Heck

Hi there! I'm Adam, author and founder of TGL. Since 2016, I've produced and sold non-toxic kitchenware throughout the US. Today, I'm using my passion and experience in sustainable product manufacturing to help families avoid unsafe reusable foodware. When I'm not writing, you'll find me hiking or camping throughout Appalachia!

1 thought on “5 Best Stainless Steel Kids Lunch Boxes (2024 Review)

  1. […] for kids who don’t want their foods to touch. And check out this awesome post on some different kid-friendly lunch boxes by The Good Life […]

Comments are closed.