The 10 Best Pantry Storage Containers to Organize Your Kitchen in 2022, According to Testing

The Rubbermaid Brilliance food storage containers combine value with versatility for an all-star set.

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Best Pantry Storage Containers

BHG / Greg DuPree

Is there anything more satisfying than a well-organized pantry? Having your dry goods and baking essentials laid out in well-marked containers not only adds visual appeal to your kitchen, it can also help keep your food from getting stale and make the most of your shelf space.

“Having an organized home that looks beautiful is an added bonus, but the most important thing is for your space to function for how you and your family live your life,” says Anna Butler, lead professional organizer at UnClutterCO.

There is a huge selection to choose from when it comes to the best pantry storage containers, so it can be hard to know where to even start. Most importantly, you’ll want to think about how much space you have and what kinds of items you’d like to store before making a purchase.

“Always measure your space before you go shopping,” Butler says. Planning ahead will ensure you maximize the amount of space you have. We also recommend thinking about what types of pantry items you frequently have on hand to make sure you buy the right range of sizes instead of pieces you don’t actually need.

We put some of the best pantry storage containers to the test in our lab in Birmingham, Alabama, to see which ones will keep your kitchen stocked and organized. Our expert testers spent an entire day putting glass and plastic containers through a series of splash, wash, and shatter tests, evaluating each one based on its durability and design.

Overall, we found that the Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers are an excellent fit for any home because of their classic design and incredible durability, airtight seal, and range of sizes.

Best Overall: Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Airtight Food Storage Containers, 8-Piece Set

5
Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Airtight Food Storage Containers, 8-Piece Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This mix-and-match line comes with pantry storage containers of different shapes and sizes, making it a great overall pick for any kitchen.

Keep in Mind: You can’t purchase these containers individually on Amazon.

If you are going to buy one set of pantry storage containers, the Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Set should be it. The stackable and versatile containers are airtight, allowing you to store cereal, sugar, pasta, and more without anything going stale.

Each container has clear, BPA-free plastic sides and tops so you can get a clear view of what’s inside no matter where you store them on your shelves. The tight seal and wide mouth openings make the Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Storage Containers excellent vessels for storing baking essentials like flour since you’ll be able to fit measuring cups and scoops inside.

The brand offers several different container sizes and shapes to meet your pantry’s needs, but we tested the 4-piece set, which comes with cup capacities ranging from 3.2 cups to 16 cups. Our reviewers found the overall design to be clean and attractive, making it easy to keep your pantry from looking cluttered while also displaying what’s inside at a glance. The containers also possess helpful little features like a lip around the rim to help open the sealed container and stackable lids to make use of your pantry’s vertical space.

The rest of the line has sizes ranging from 1.3 to 19.9 cups, so you can find a size that fits your needs pretty easily.

Our testers found that the airtight seal prevented liquid from leaking out, even when we shook them and dropped them on the ground. The Rubbermaid Brilliance pantry containers also remained essentially odor-free even when we used them to house smelly items like tomato sauce and chopped onion. Plus, they came out completely spic and span after a spin in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: from $47

​​Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 3.2 cups, 7.8 cups, 12 cups, 16 cups
  • Number of Containers: Four
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers

BHG / Greg DuPree

Best Budget: Seseno 7-Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set

4.6
Seseno 7-Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: If you have a lot of pantry space to fill, this is a great option to get organized without breaking the bank.

Keep in Mind: These containers cracked during testing when we dropped them on the floor, so they may not hold up well over time.

This stackable set from Seseno has everything you need to get started organizing your pantry space, and it includes one tall container, two medium-sized containers, two mini containers, sticker labels, and a liquid chalk marker. The containers are stackable with slip-proof lids, which click into place to help you avoid spills and other mishaps.

The Seseno set resisted stains even when filled with tomato sauce for several days, and it came out completely clean after we ran it through the dishwasher. It also performed fairly well in our smell tests,  though it still had a slightly oniony smell after rinsing it. However, it smelled “super fresh and clean” after a jaunt in the dishwasher, according to testers.

We found that the containers leaked a little after being shaken vigorously—not terribly so, but enough that you probably wouldn’t want to use these to hold liquids if they will be moved around, packed in a lunch box, or jostled.

The Sesenso airtight food storage set didn’t pass our drop test. When filled with water and pushed from the counter onto the floor, the container completely cracked, rendering it useless. If you expect to carry these containers around often, we recommend purchasing a more expensive set that’ll be durable against drops and jostling. Overall, however, our testers still found these to be some of the best pantry storage containers given the low price point.

Price at time of publish: $23

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 2.1 cups, 3.4 cups, 5.1 cups, 8 cups
  • Number of Containers: Seven
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Seseno Seven-Pack Airtight Food Storage Container Set

BHG / Greg DuPree

Best Airtight: Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canisters

4.9
Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canister

Walmart

Why You Should Get It: These airtight canisters didn’t leak in our tests even when shaken vigorously or dropped on the floor.

Keep in Mind: The lack of carrying handle or design features that allow for easy carrying might be hard for people who struggle with their grip, such as the elderly or young children.

Prevent cereals, pasta, and grains from getting stale while keeping moisture out of your sugar and flour with our very own Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canisters.

The set of 4 rectangular-shaped plastic containers features a flip-buckle lid that makes it easy to open and shut while keeping the contents protected. It includes canisters ranging from 6.5 cups to 19.4 cups, so there are several sizes to fit your most common pantry items.

Our testers put the Flip-Tite canisters through the same testing regimen as other pantry storage containers on this list, and it emerged with flying colors when it came to durability, sealing, and ease of cleaning.

Its food-grade silicone seal prevents the contents from getting stale, and our testers found that this seal wasn’t broken even when shaken vigorously or dropped on the floor. When it came to stain and odor resistance, we were pleased to see that the Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite canisters came out of the dishwasher looking and smelling fresh. One of our testers even mentioned that she has these plastic canisters in her home, and found that they were easy to stack and organize in her own pantry.

While the containers are dishwasher safe, note that you will have to remove the lids and hand wash those before putting the rest of the pieces through the wash. You’ll also want to avoid  carrying the canisters by the top buckle in order to prevent breaking the airtight seal. This requires a little mindfulness (and two hands) when picking up the containers and carrying them around.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 6.5 cups, 10.1 cups, 16 cups, 19.4 cups
  • Number of Containers: Four
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but lid is hand-wash only
Better Homes & Gardens Flip-Tite Canisters

BHG / Greg DuPree

Best for Flour and Sugar: OXO Good Grips 8-Piece POP Container Set

4.5
OXO Good Grips 8-Piece POP Container Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This set comes with several plastic scoops, which conveniently attach to the underside of the lid.

Keep in Mind: The lids tend to pop off when dropped, according to our testers.

While technically you can use any plastic container for storing baking essentials, this set from OXO really shines due to a series of thoughtful features to make storing your flour, sugar, and other accouterments as convenient as possible. Each container is sized to accommodate common baking items, such as a bag of brown sugar, flour, or chocolate chips.

The set also comes with a terracotta disk to keep brown sugar soft as well as 2 half-cup scoops that fit into the underside of the lids, which means less rummaging around in drawers for your measuring cups when you’re in the middle of a recipe. Finally, the airtight seal (that audibly clicks when engaged via the button on the lid) keeps your dry goods fresher for longer. Plus, the containers can be closed and sealed with one hand by pressing a button on top of the lid.

The OXO PoP Good Grips containers are dishwasher safe, and we found during testing that a single wash eliminates stains and odors, so you can use them to store items like onions or tomato sauce without ruining them.  The BPA-free plastic containers stack well and are designed to take up as little space as possible in your pantry, which makes them perfect for small spaces.

When we pushed the OXO Good Grips PoP containers off the counter during our tests, the top popped open and the contents went everywhere. Because of this, we don’t recommend using them on high, narrow shelves or places where they may get knocked down easily.

Price at time of publish: $68

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 1.6 cups, 4.4 cups, 17.6 cups
  • Number of Containers: Five
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes
OXO Good Grips Pop Container Set

BHG / Greg DuPree

Best Glass: Le'raze Glass Kitchen Canisters with Airtight Bamboo Lid

4.4
Le'raze Glass Kitchen Canisters with Airtight Bamboo Lid

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The silicone ring in these glass pantry canisters add an airtight seal missing from most similar products.

Keep in Mind: The cylindrical design isn’t the best fit for small spaces where you need to maximize every inch.

If you have limited pantry storage and are looking for an attractive way to store items out in the open, the Le’raze Glass Kitchen Canisters have a luxe look and feel to them that can’t be beat.

The set of five features crystal-clear glass bases and chic bamboo lids that are lined with a silicone band to create a tight seal. The canisters have varied heights ranging from 4 inches to 11.8 inches to fit pasta, flour, and other pantry essentials, and they all measure 3.7 inches in diameter.

The set is intended mostly for dry goods, but our testers reported that this set hardly leaked, even when shaken—meaning you could use them for liquids in a pinch. We also found that a quick run through the dishwasher eliminated all stains and odors from the inside of the glass canisters, so you can store fragrant foods inside without worry.

While beautiful to look at and functional on an open countertop,  Le’raze glass kitchen canisters likely aren’t a good fit for tight spaces. The round canister bases waste a little bit of shelf space, and they are not meant for stacking, since the canisters could slip off one another and shatter. If your pantry shelves are tight, we recommend purchasing rectangular, stackable containers.

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

  • Material: Glass and bamboo
  • Volume: 2 cups, 2.8 cups, 3.7 cups, 5 cups, 6.75 cups
  • Number of Containers: Five
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but the lid is hand-washable
Le'raze Glass Kitchen Canisters with Airtight Bamboo Lid

BHG / Greg DuPree

Best for Cereal: PrepWorks by Progressive Large Cereal Keeper, 4.5 Quart

4.6
PrepWorks by Progressive Large Cereal Keeper, 4.5 Quart

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It has measurement markings on the side and two separate openings at the top for filling or pouring.

Keep in Mind: It’s a bit pricey for just one piece of pantry storage.

It can be so disappointing when your fresh, crispy box of cereal goes stale within a few days. Keep the crunch going for longer with this large, 4.5-quart container that is specifically made for cereal and other bulk foods. We love that it has measurement markings along the side so you can easily see how much you’ve poured and when it’s time to re-stock. The airtight silicone seal effortlessly keeps the contents inside fresh.

Our tester loved the PrepWorks canister’s ergonomic groove for comfortable holding and pouring, as well as the two different openings at the top for filling and pouring. This means no more cereal spilling out all over the counter when transferring from the box! The opening flap also locks into place so it won’t slide and block pouring.

During testing, we used the container to store tomato sauce and sliced onion for several days to see if it would stain easily or hold on to odors, but we found that all traces came right out in the wash. Since the whole container is dishwasher safe, it was effortless to clean, and the lid still sealed nicely after being run through the dishwasher.

The PrepWorks large cereal keeper is ideal for cereal lovers but is a bit expensive for just one container. Our reviewer found herself wishing there were more components bundled in a set, as it can get pricey to purchase each piece individually. However, in this case, you get what you pay for–the BPA-free plastic is designed to resist shattering if dropped, and the PrepWorks line is known for being durable and high-quality.

Price at time of publish: $34

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic and silicone
  • Volume: 18 cups
  • Number of Containers: One
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Large: Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers

4.4
Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Each container has a volume of 5.2 liters and they’re easy to stack on top of each other.

Keep in Mind: These aren’t a good choice for smaller amounts of materials and would take up a lot of space to store when not in use.

The Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers are the best pantry storage containers for someone looking for an efficient, cost-effective solution to organize larger amounts of dry goods.

The set of four 5.2-liter containers has a large capacity and stacks easily on top of one another if you have more vertical space than horizontal. The sturdy, BPA-free plastic containers have lids that click on with four side-locking clips, and the whole container is dishwasher safe to make cleanup a breeze.

According to our testers, these pantry storage containers didn’t crack when filled with water and dropped on the floor, though it did leak slightly. We were also pleased to find that they didn’t stain or hold on to odors during our tests, making them a very durable choice. The set even comes with markers, labels, and a scoop to help you organize your pantry. The top openings are wide enough that you’ll be able to easily reach in with a measuring cup or transfer large bags of flour and sugar without making a huge mess.

The set is an incredible value with four containers, but they are all the same size. If you are looking for some uniformity and have a number of bulk pantry items to store this could be a great fit, but you’ll need to purchase a separate set if you have smaller food items you need to store, too.

Price at time of publish: $29

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic 
  • Volume: 18.8 cups
  • Number of Containers: Four
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Small: Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Container Set

4.5
Chef's Path Airtight Food Storage Container Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: The set includes a variety of container sizes, including several small containers for holding smaller quantities of pantry goods.

Keep in Mind: The containers warp a bit in the dishwasher and may not be as durable over the long run as some other options on our list.

Chef’s Path’s Airtight Food Storage Container Set will make setting up a well-organized pantry a total breeze.

The collection includes a versatile range of 14 stackable containers including two extra tall (2.5 quart) canisters, four tall (1.8 quart) canisters, four medium (1.2 quart) canisters, and four small (.7 quart) canisters, which means that whatever you need to store will have a place. Each container has a four-hinge locking system that forms an airtight seal and is made from BPA-free plastic.

When filled with water and shaken, these containers leaked slightly, so we don’t recommend using them to store liquids. However, we loved that the small containers in this set are ideally sized to keep dry goods like sprinkles, chocolate chips, and dried fruit organized in your pantry, or to store fresh food like chopped fruit and vegetables in your refrigerator.

Our reviewers found during testing that the lids were harder to fit onto the canisters after going through the dishwasher, making this set a better fit for long-term pantry storage than short-term storage that will cause you to wash them frequently. Handwashing may also help to avoid the slight warping.

The collection also includes a measuring spoon set and whiteboard label with chalkboard marker for an aesthetically-pleasing way to organize your space. The square shapes stack on top of each other, saving you valuable space, and the sleek design is simple enough to work in pretty much any pantry.

Price at time of publish: $34

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 10 cups, 7.2 cups, 4.8 cups, 2.8 cups
  • Number of Containers: 14
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Stackable: The Container Store 5-Piece Graphite Modular Canister Set

The Container Store 5-Piece Graphite Modular Canister Set

The Container Store

Why You Should Get It: These plastic containers are designed to stack on top of each other without toppling over.

Keep in Mind: The seal is not completely airtight, so they might not be suitable for baking goods.

To avoid a falling waterfall of containers spilling out of your overstuffed pantry, stackable containers like the Five-Piece Graphite Modular Canister Set make it easier to keep your space neat and organized.

The shape of the silicone lids allows you to securely stack the containers on top of each other without concerns about them falling over. The BPA-free plastic set comes with five sizes: one 2.64-quart container, two 1.7-quart containers, and two 24-ounce containers. The classic design or clear, square base and black lids will fit into almost all kitchen decor themes, should you choose to display them on your countertop.

During testing, we found that the inside of these plastic containers stained slightly when we put tomato sauce inside it for a few days, so we don’t recommend using them to hold sauces or other brightly-hued foods. However, our reviewers loved how easy to clean this set was, since all components are dishwasher safe. The soft silicone lids are easy to get on and off but don’t provide a 100% airtight seal, so they’re best suited for storing pasta, beans, rice, and other non-perishable items.

Keep in mind that these containers aren’t as durable against dropping as other pantry storage containers on this list, so avoid placing them on shelves higher than waist height to keep them from cracking if they fall.

Price at time of publish: $30

Product Details:

  • Material: Plastic
  • Volume: 3 cups, 6.8 cups, 10.6 cups
  • Number of Containers: Five
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes, top rack

Best for Countertops: Crate & Barrel Aspen White Ceramic Canisters With Scoop

4.8
Crate & Barrel Aspen White Ceramic Canisters With Scoop

Crate & Barrel 

Why You Should Get It: The attractive design of these stackable containers allow them to serve dual purposes as functional storage pieces and kitchen decor.

Keep in Mind: Stoneware is more prone to shattering than plastic containers.

If you have limited space in your pantry, or you’re looking for an attractive way to keep coffee, sugar, or other baking staples out on your countertop, the Aspen White Canisters are the best pantry storage containers for displaying outside the cupboard.

The white, glazed stoneware base is offset by a gorgeous hardwood lid, allowing it to double as a decor piece. The set includes three containers (small, medium, and large), and a stainless steel scoop that conveniently hangs on the outside of the canister for easy access.

While the stoneware base is dishwasher safe, the wood lids can be wiped clean, making it easy to wash and reuse these containers. Our reviewers found that the lids sealed surprisingly well compared to other, similar styles, and the canisters didn’t leak, even when shaken vigorously.

The clean lines and classic white and wood color combination will complement most kitchen aesthetics, and the stoneware isn’t prone to staining or holding onto smells, so you can use these containers to hold sauces or aromatic foods without worry. You’ll just want to be mindful of storing anything oily or greasy in these canisters, as the wooden lids could stain.

Of course, ceramic is quite fragile and will shatter if dropped, so we don’t recommend placing these containers in high-traffic areas or on narrow shelves where they’re more likely to fall. That being said, our testers reported that the Aspen line was surprisingly durable and sturdy, given the material.

Price at time of publish: $61

Product Details:

  • Material: Ceramic and wood
  • Volume: 9 cups, 13.4 cups, 21.6 cups
  • Number of Containers: Three
  • Dishwasher Safe: Base is dishwasher safe, lid is hand wash only

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of options when it comes to organizing your pantry, but our testers found the Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Food Storage Containers to be the best pantry storage containers overall. We love the variety of sizes, durability, stackability, and ease of cleaning this set offers, and our experts were also impressed with its airtight seal that prevented any leakage during testing.

Our Testing Process

Our team of vetted recipe testers and developers put some of the best pantry storage containers through a rigorous testing process to assess overall performance, capacity, ease of cleaning, leakage potential, and design. Each tester evaluated how long brown sugar stayed soft while stored in each canister and how well the seal prevented leaking when vigorously shaken. There is nothing worse than storage containers that hold on to smells and stains, so we filled each container with tomato sauce and onions and evaluated them for odors or discoloration after both a hand rinse and a round through the dishwasher, if applicable. We also had testers fill each plastic container with water and drop it off a countertop to assess its durability.

What to Know About Pantry Storage Containers Before Shopping

Material type

Pantry storage containers usually come in glass, plastic, or ceramic (also called stoneware) options. Choosing which one to use in your pantry storage comes down to personal preference. While some people prefer glass for its aesthetic and its ability to resist stains and smells, plastic might make more sense for your household if you want a more durable option.

“Plastic is often easier to store and stack and is also more kid friendly from drops and breakages,” Butler says.

However, you’ll want to ensure you are purchasing BPA-free plastic. BPA is an industrial chemical that is sometimes used to make plastic and has been linked to a variety of health problems. All the plastic storage containers on this list are BPA-free.

Container shape and size

While you might love the look of one container over another, the most important thing is that your storage canisters fit the space you have. You can maximize space by measuring your pantry shelves in advance and choosing containers that will fit comfortably. Consider both the height between shelves and the depth of the storage area. Stackable containers will help you fit even more into the space, too.

Airtightness

A good seal that keeps out all air and moisture is key for keeping your dry goods fresh for a longer period of time. The best pantry storage containers should have side clips, a top button, or a silicone liner that creates a physical barrier and seals off the contents inside. Pretty containers with lids that nest on top without a seal might look nice, but they won’t create an airtight barrier, forcing you to replace the contents much sooner.

Care and Cleaning

Always check that your pantry storage containers are dishwasher safe before throwing them in, or you risk warping them to the point of unusability. The top rack is always best for plastic containers, but check the manufacturer’s guidelines, since some pieces of the canister may be dishwasher safe while others should be hand washed or wiped clean. If you like the convenience of washing your pantry containers in the dishwasher, make sure you choose an option that accommodates that.

Other Pantry Storage Containers We Tested

Alcott Hill Kitchen Canister Set

While the Alcott Hill Kitchen Canister Set has a stunning design that caught our testers’ attention, we were disappointed to find that these ceramic dishes lack an airtight seal. This means anything you place inside will gradually go stale, making it less functional than other pantry storage containers on our list.

MDesign Airtight Stackable Food Storage Containers

Our testers found that the hinged lids on the MDesign Airtight Stackable Food Storage Containers were more of a nuisance than a helpful addition since it made it more difficult to store items inside and take anything out. They also leaked considerably during our tests, making them unfit for storing liquids, and the manufacturer recommends only wiping them down instead of actually washing them, making them impractical for actual use.

LocknLock Easy Essentials Food Lids

The LocknLock Easy Essentials Food Lids warped in the dishwasher, despite being listed as dishwasher safe. We found that these plastic containers were functional, but didn’t blow our testers away with any special features, which is why we chose not to include it on our list of the best pantry storage containers.

Your Questions, Answered

Is plastic or glass better for food storage?

When shopping for the best pantry storage containers for items like sugar, flour, and pasta, you’ll probably see a variety of plastic and glass options for sale. While there are individual drawbacks and benefits to each, Butler says it really comes down to personal preference.

“From an organizing standpoint, if you’re not swapping out the contents of the food often, both [plastic and glass containers] are great for dry storage,” Butler says.

Glass tends to be more long-lasting, stain and odor resistant, and easy to clean than plastic containers, but they’ll break more easily. Plastic also tends to be less expensive, which can be an important factor if you’re planning to buy multiple containers to organize your pantry. If you’ll be switching up the contents inside your containers or washing them frequently, we recommend choosing glass over plastic, since plastic canisters will deteriorate and stain more quickly.

Does sugar need to be stored in an airtight container?

“Sugar, like salt, attracts moisture,” Butler says. “If you want to avoid clumps, keep sugar stored in airtight containers.”

Sugar can also attract ants and other bugs, which means you want a tight seal to keep any curious critters out. During testing, we had our team of experts test the airtight seal on each container on our list to ensure that they didn’t leak, even if shaken or dropped. The best pantry storage containers remained tightly sealed, keeping the contents inside safe from exposure to moisture, air, or pests.

What is the best shape for pantry storage containers?

According to Butler, both square and round containers have a place in your kitchen or pantry, depending on what you are trying to store and what space it needs to fit in. She recommends considering the shape, size, and volume of what you’re putting inside—for example, cereal is easiest to pour out of a long, rectangular container, while items like sugar or flour are easiest to scoop from something with a wide lid. You’ll also want to consider how much space you have for the containers. Square containers can lend themselves well to small spaces since they maximize every inch of shelf space, while round canisters can offer a nice look if you’re storing items on a countertop.

Who We Are

Laura Fisher is a freelance writer for Better Homes and Gardens and has been writing about a variety of home projects and cooking for over four years. She used insights from our pantry storage container tests conducted at our lab in Birmingham, Alabama, for this story, comparing our real-life results with product specifications and her own research. She also got expert advice from Anna Cohen, lead professional organizer at UnClutterCo.

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