The 13 Best Storage Containers of 2023

Stash just about anything in the Rubbermaid Brute Food Storage Tote with Lid.

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The 13 Best Storage Containers of 2022


Organizing your home can be daunting unless you have the right storage containers. Some are designed to be beautiful and functional, while others are geared more toward functionality rather than current storage trends. Regardless, finding the right containers can help you fight clutter at home.

When on the hunt for the best storage containers, Julie Morgenstern, New York Times Bestselling author of Organizing From the Inside Out recommends first taking an inventory of the items you need to store. “Before going shopping for storage containers, make sure you have sorted, purged, and grouped your belongings," she says. "Then you will be sure to get the right containers and really complete your organizing project.”

To help you find the best storage containers for your home, we researched many storage solutions looking at size, capacity, material, and more to create this list.

Here are the best storage containers.

Best Overall

Rubbermaid Brute Food Storage Tote with Lid

Rubbermaid Brute Food Storage Tote with Lid


Why You Should Get It: If you're looking for a sturdy container with handles that is a great all-purpose storage option, this is a smart choice.

Keep in Mind: This storage tote is more functional than beautiful, and the handles take up extra space.

Rubbermaid is a household name, and many people may already be familiar with their totes. Their Brute storage tote with lid is our pick for the overall best storage container for its ability to store all kinds of items.

The 14-gallon capacity and measurement of 16.75 inches in width and 27.8 inches in length means there is plenty of space for stashing sweaters, summer bedding, or seasonal decor in the garage. The lid snaps on for a more secure storage solution, and built-in handles make it easy to lift and transport. However, keep in mind that the handles do take up a bit of extra space, which is a concern if your storage area isn’t all that large.

The tote's aesthetic is more industrial, so it's probably not a storage container you’ll want to leave out on display. Yet, multiple totes can easily be stacked together to maximize vertical space, and they’re a wonderful all-purpose storage option.

Price at time of publish: $27 for 14-gallon storage tote

Product Details:

Size: 16.75 x 10.5 x 24.5 inches | Material: Polyethylene | Capacity: 14 gallons

Best Clear Plastic Bins

IRIS USA 12 Qt. Plastic Storage Bin Tote Organizing Container

IRIS USA 12 Qt. Plastic Storage Bin Tote Organizing Container


Why You Should Get It: These bins are easy to see through and come with lids, making them a great storage option.

Keep in Mind: The plastic material is lightweight, so it may not be ideal for heavy-duty storage items.

Sometimes, you just need to see exactly what’s in a storage box. This set of six clear plastic bins is the best storage container when you’re looking for easy visibility. Measuring 16.5 inches long and 11 inches wide, their rectangular shape makes these containers great for storing many different items, such as sports equipment, guest towels, and other miscellaneous items. They’ll hold 12 quarts and come with lids that fasten on with buckles. The lids keep out dust, making them a convenient pick for storing seasonal clothing you don’t want to wash before you wear it again.

One thing to keep in mind is that their plastic material may not be your best bet for heavy items. If you own lighter items you want to stash away but can grab at a moment’s notice, these bins are ideal.

Price at time of publish: $45 for six 12-quart storage bins

Product Details:

Size: 11 x 16.5 x 6.8 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 12 quarts

Best Heavy Duty

CX Black & Yellow Tough Storage Containers

CX Black & Yellow Tough Storage Containers


Why You Should Get It: These storage containers are great for storing heavy items and sport ergonomic handles for easy lifting. You can also zip-tie the lid.

Keep in Mind: They are not aesthetically pleasing and are heavy, even when empty.

If you own heavier items, opt for these heavy-duty storage totes with a generous size of almost 31 x 20 inches with a height of 14.5 inches. Its 27-gallon capacity is ideal for storing heavy items such as tools. The plastic material is designed to stand up to rugged use, meaning you won’t need to worry about shattered plastic or rust.

Even better, these totes are weather- and water-resistant thanks to the lids that come with a snap-lock mechanism. Using caution while lifting heavy things is important, and the totes have ergonomic handles to help out. Be aware, though, each tote weighs several pounds when empty, so filling it up will make it significantly heavier.

While these storage containers are not necessarily beautiful options, we found them to be the best storage containers for heavy items. Corral bulky tools and materials in a workshop or garage, for instance. You can even secure the lids with zip ties.

Price at time of publish: $99 for four 27-gallon storage totes

Product Details:

Size: 14.5 x 30.8 x 20.3 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 27 gallons

Best for Pantries

Praki Airtight Food Storage Containers

Praki Airtight Food Storage Containers


Why You Should Get It: This storage container set is airtight and offers four sizes to fit a variety of your pantry staples.

Keep in Mind: The set of 24 may include too many containers for some people.

A well-organized pantry is a soothing sight to behold. One key to achieving pantry organization is this set of containers. With 24 pieces in four different sizes, you receive six of each size. Ranging in size from 0.7 quarts up to 2.5 quarts and with a tall rectangular shape, these containers come in heights of 3.5 inches, 5.9 inches, 8.1 inches, and 11.6 inches tall.

The containers nest together, so they take up minimal space when you’re not using them to store food. Organize cereal, pasta, and more into these clear plastic containers, and you can easily see what needs to go on your grocery list each week. The plastic containers are airtight and can even go right into the dishwasher for convenient cleaning. A bonus is the marker and chalk labels included with the containers to help keep everything labeled.

Price at time of publish: $40 for 24-piece set

Product Details:

Size: 11.6 x 6.1 x 4.3 inches, 8.1 x 6.1 x 4.3 inches, 5.9 x 6.1 x 4.3 inches, and 3.5 x 6.1 x 4.3 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 0.7 quarts, 1.3 quarts, 1.8 quarts, and 2.5 quarts

Best Airtight

M Mcirco Tall Food Storage Containers

M Mcirco Tall Food Storage Containers


Why You Should Get It: This set has airtight lids and includes reusable chalkboard labels. Plus, it's easy to see what is stored in the containers, making them a wonderful storage solution.

Keep in Mind: Their large capacity may not suit everyone’s storage needs.

For those looking for airtight options, this set of four containers is the best storage solution. Their food-grade plastic combines with airtight lids to make an ideal option for decanting flour, sugar, and other food staples. Measuring 15 x 12 x 7 inches with a 6.5-liter capacity, they are on the larger side, so they may not be the best option if you aren’t storing large amounts of spices or baking supplies.

You can freeze the containers, opening up even more storage possibilities in the kitchen. They also come with measuring cups and reusable chalkboard labels to keep everything tidy. You can even use these stackable containers beyond the kitchen. Organize soaps in the bathroom, or stash powdered laundry detergent in them for your laundry room. The transparent plastic makes it easy to see everything in the containers if you’re searching for something specific.

Price at time of publish: $36 for four 6.5-liter storage containers

Product Details:

Size: 15 x 12 x 7 inches | Material: Silicone | Capacity: 6.5 liters

Best for Photos

novelinks Photo Case 4" x 6" Photo Box Storage

novelinks Photo Case 4" x 6" Photo Box Storage


Why You Should Get It: This case holds up to 1,600 photos, plus has 16 smaller containers in one large one, offering a way to separate your photos by category or vacation.

Keep in Mind: The plastic clasps may not be a heavy-duty option.

High-quality cameras are now included in our smartphones, so printed photos aren’t quite as abundant as they used to be. Yet it’s good to preserve printed photos, and having a way to organize them can make you more inclined to look through them. This is the best storage container for 4 x 6-inch photos. The lid snaps on tightly to keep the pictures in place and adds a bit of protection so they don’t crease.

There are 16 small cases inside one larger case, each holding 100 photos. This safely stores up to 1,600 photos all in one spot. Made of colorful or clear plastic—allowing you to see which section the photos are in—the overall dimensions are 14.8 x 12 inches and a little over 5 inches high. Though the plastic clasp may not be the strongest option, the case is a great way to sift through your printed pictures and keep things organized

Price at time of publish: $28 for clear photo case

Product Details:

Size: 12 x 14.8 x 5.1 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 1,600 photos

Best for Decks

Rubbermaid Outdoor Deck Box Extra Large

Rubbermaid Outdoor Deck Box Extra Large


Why You Should Get It: This deck box is weather-resistant and offers extra-roomy capacity, making it an ideal option for storing patio items.

Keep in Mind: Some assembly is required for this storage box.

Decks and patios often need roomy storage solutions just as much as our homes do. This extra-large box is the best storage container for decks and patios. Holding up to 134 gallons and measuring 55.5 x 27.5 inches wide with a height of 27.5 inches, this box can accommodate a number of your patio items. A bit of assembly is required, but the plastic material is weather-resistant and has a water-tight lid. Plus, you can use the closed storage box as extra seating or a table during peak patio season.

The box stands up to UV rays and resists fading, rusting, and rotting. This is an excellent pick for stowing patio chair cushions, pool toys, and even landscaping tools when you’re not using them.

Price at time of publish: $178 for extra-large deck box

Product Details:

Size: 27.5 x 55.5 x 26.75 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 134 gallons

Best for Documents

Pendaflex Portable File Box with File Rails

Pendaflex Portable File Box


Why You Should Get It: The ideal choice for keeping paperwork organized, this file box holds up to 22 hanging file folders.

Keep in Mind: Once full, it may be heavy and hard to move or lift.

Certain documents and paperwork need to be safely stored, such as tax returns. This portable file box is an ideal option for safely stowing away those important documents. You’ll be able to store up to 22 letter-size hanging file folders in the box. Rather than simply storing paperwork in an all-purpose box, the option to use hanging folders will keep things neat and organized should you need to locate anything in the future. Also included are three hanging folders, tabs, and inserts.

It’s made from durable plastic and measures 11 x 14 x 11.13 inches. The file box weighs just under 3 pounds, so depending on how many documents you store in it, it may become heavy. However, it comes with a handle and a hinged lid that keeps everything in place if you need to transport it.

Price at time of publish: $27

Product Details:

Size: 11 x 14 x 11.13 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: Up to 22 folders

Best for Pet Food

GAMMA2 Vittles Vault Outback Airtight Pet Food Container

Gamma2 Vittles Vault Pawprint Outback Food Storage Container


Why You Should Get It: This storage container holds up to 35 pounds and seals securely to keep moisture and bugs out of your pet's food.

Keep in Mind: You may not want to lift the container once it’s full.

People with pets can appreciate the logic behind buying pet food in bulk quantities. That’s especially true if you own multiple pets or large-breed dogs that tend to gobble up lots of food. This storage container holds up to 35 pounds or 8.5 gallons and measures 16.8 inches in height and 12 inches in width and length, allowing you to stock up on your pet’s favorite kibble. Double gaskets and a threaded locking system ensure that excess moisture stays out. Plus, it’s designed to keep bugs away from your pet’s food. And it’s made of BPA-free plastic, so it’s a food-safe option for your furry family member.

You may want to select one of the smaller capacity options if you’re concerned about the weight of the container when full. Otherwise, the included scoop makes it a cinch to feed your pets right from the container—just be sure you place it in the right spot before filling it.

Price at time of publish: $30 for 8.5-gallon storage container

Product Details:

Size: 12 x 12 x 16.8 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 8.5 gallons (35 pounds)

Best Underbed

Onlyeasy Foldable Underbed Bags



Why You Should Get It: A transparent top window and breathable fabric make this an ideal solution for storing clothes and bedding.

Keep in Mind: The bags are not airtight, and the fabric panels will bend.

Using the space under your bed for storage is smart, especially when you have limited space. These zippered cloth bags are almost 40 inches long and are designed with a see-through top panel, which will let you sneak a peek at what’s inside. They are ideal for storing seasonal clothing and bedding, and stashing them under the bed will keep them close at hand. They aren’t airtight, but the polypropylene fabric is specifically designed to let air circulate.

The handles are convenient for retrieving the bags from under the bed in a snap. While the fabric panels aren’t going to be sturdy like a hard plastic container, these do fold up easily when you’re not using them. 

Price at time of publish: $13 for two under-bed bags

Product Details:

Size: 39.4 x 19.7 x 5.9 inches | Material: Polypropylene | Capacity: Not listed

Best for Wrapping Paper

Zober Wrapping Paper Storage Container

Zober Clear Gift Wrap Storage Bag


Why You Should Get It: This container holds up to 20 rolls of wrapping paper and is made with clear plastic so you can see what’s inside.

Keep in Mind: There is no room for wrapping accessories.

A fun part of the holiday season is wrapping gifts in shiny paper. One not-so-fun part: storing the wrapping paper for the rest of the year. This simple, cylinder-shaped storage bag, which measures 41 inches tall and is a little over 11 inches around, is made of clear plastic and is the best storage container to wrangle your wrapping paper.

It holds 14 rolls that are 2.5 inches thick or 20 rolls that are 1.5 inches thick. Stash holiday and birthday papers together in one convenient place. Come wrapping time, select the tube you need or simply use the handles to carry the bag to your DIY wrapping station. Though it cannot hold wrapping accessories like tape or ribbon, it’s still a convenient option for corralling otherwise unruly rolls of paper.

Price at time of publish: $11 for black wrapping paper storage container

Product Details:

Size: 41 x 11.2 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: 14 to 20 rolls of wrapping paper

Best for Shoes

Attelite Drop Front Shoe Box

Attelite Drop Front Shoe Box


Why You Should Get It: These boxes organize shoes and keep pairs together. The magnetic doors allow easy access with ventilation.

Keep in Mind: They require some assembly.

This set of six clear plastic storage boxes requires a bit of assembly. Once that’s done, you’ll own a see-through place to keep your favorite shoes free from dust and dirt. The containers are vented, so they’ll allow air to circulate and prevent odors. The doors are magnetic and keep the boxes closed.

We also love that you can stack every box next to or on top of each other, adding storage room for multiple pairs of shoes. Each container holds one pair of shoes (up to a size 12) and measures 13.5 inches in length. They easily allow you to keep everything separated and highly visible—ideal for choosing your go-to shoe at a glance or simply admiring your favorite pair of heels.

Price at time of publish: $48 for six shoe storage boxes

Product Details:

Size: 7.5 x 13.5 x 10.6 inches | Material: Plastic | Capacity: One pair of shoes per box

Best Crates

Juggernaut Storage 24 Quart Heavy Duty Plastic Milk Crates

Juggernaut Storage 24 Quart Heavy Duty Plastic Milk Crates


Why You Should Get It: These crates are not only stackable but allow for plenty of ventilation.

Keep in Mind: They only hold up to 50 pounds and have no lids.

Sometimes, lids just aren’t needed when you’re storing things. These milk crate-style storage containers made of strong plastic allow plenty of air to circulate and stack together, even without lids. Although you won’t want to store more than 50 pounds in the crates, they’re great for various storage needs. With a 24-quart capacity, these crates provide ample storage room. Try them for storing extra garden produce as you head into fall, stashing folded blankets, or storing your kiddos’ art supplies for easy cleanup.

These crates can also be used outdoors thanks to their heavy-duty construction and reinforced handles. They’ll work wonders for organizing garages and workshops that tend to collect miscellaneous odds and ends. They come in a pack of three, giving you a few to get started with any organization project.

Price at time of publish: $39 for three 24-quart milk crates

Product Details:

Size: 19 x 13 x 11 inches | Material: Polyethylene, plastic | Capacity: 24 quarts

The Bottom Line

The Rubbermaid Brute Food Storage Tote with Lid is the best overall storage container. It’s made of sturdy, food-safe material and is a great all-purpose storage solution.

What to Know About Storage Containers Before Shopping


If you rush out to buy containers without pausing to think about what sizes you need, it’s easy to make storage mistakes. Julie Morgenstern, NY Times Bestselling author of Organizing From the Inside Out, says before you buy storage containers, sort through whatever you’re storing. “You need to know exactly what you are going to store and where you are going to store it," she says. "Then measure your space to see exactly how many containers you need and what size you need based on what you are storing and where you are storing it.”


When it comes to material, Morgenstern advises avoiding clear containers when storing items “that are visible or out in the open.” She also recommends you pick out containers with a material that you like. “You want to love the containers you are storing things in as it motivates you to put things away,” she says. Her go-to containers for kitchen and office drawer organizers, for instance, tend to be either metal mesh or clear acrylic.


It’s important to consider how much a container can hold. “For maximum storage and efficiency in your space, avoid containers that are tapered [are wider at the top than the bottom] or have things that extend outside of the container, such as handles," she says. “Figure out what you are storing, group your items by categories, and create your puzzle with the containers where every category has its own container, and you are making the most of the space.”

Your Questions, Answered

How do you know if a storage container is airtight?

Libby DeLucien, owner of Organize It SWFL, says there are two ways she uses to check if a container is airtight. First, you could put a piece of bread in the container and seal it up. If the bread hardens after a couple of hours, your container is not airtight. “The other way is by submerging the container in water to see if water is able to enter the container," DeLucien says. "If the container is too large to submerge, you can fill the inside with water and turn it over or shake to see if water leaks [from] the container.”

How do you keep bugs out of storage bins?

“Using airtight containers is best when it comes to keeping out bugs,” DeLucien says. “Try to never use cardboard boxes to store items, and make sure that there are no edible items in the containers. Lastly, if possible, do not store the containers in a garage unless they are airtight containers.”

Do clothes get moldy in storage containers?

Clothes can grow mold, even in an airtight container, if the clothes were damp when stored, according to DeLucien. Avoid this problem by only storing clothes that are clean and completely dry. DeLucien notes that “climate-controlled environments are best when storing clothing.”

Who We Are

This article was written by Brittany VanDerBill, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer whose work has been published with several Dotdash Meredith brands. To find the best storage containers, she researched a variety of factors about them, including their size, material, capacity, and more. She also consulted Libby DeLucien, owner of Organize It SWFL, and Julie Morgenstern, New York Times Bestselling author of Organizing From the Inside Out.

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