Does your pantry always look like a jumbled mess of half-open bags, overflowing boxes, and mystery jars buried way in the back? If disorganization and clutter are your biggest enemies, the right storage containers will help you transform the space from chaotic to coordinated.
Say goodbye to messy spills and constant scrambling to find what you need. A well-organized pantry not only looks great but saves time and reduces food waste.
Glass containers are a timeless choice for storing staples in the kitchen pantry. Unlike plastic, glass jars and canisters won't absorb moisture, oils, or food odors over time, which helps maintain freshness and prevent flavor transfer. Many glass options create an airtight seal that extends the shelf life of low-moisture goods such as flour, sugar, rice, and coffee.
Glass containers are handy for a variety of cooking tasks since they are durable enough to handle the temperature shifts of meal preparation. When it's time for clean-up, most glass lid and jar combos are dishwasher safe. No annoying hand washing required!
Transparent glass food storage containers offer an aesthetic bonus that serves a functional purpose as well—you can clearly see the contents instead of playing the guessing game. Labeling and chalkboard markers make identifying and rotating pantry goods even easier.
Our natural bamboo-lid jars are a great option for keeping your food fresh! It is made of high borosilicate glass that is non-toxic and dishwasher safe. This 8.5 oz glass jar comes with a bamboo lid and silicone ring for an airtight seal.
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When it comes to storing dry goods in your kitchen cabinets, plastic storage containers come in a variety of sizes to suit different needs. Small pour containers neatly store staples like sugar and flour. Larger containers keep bulk snacks, cereal, and other foods easily accessible and fresh. Clear plastic allows for easy visibility of container contents so you know exactly what's inside.
Many quality plastic food storage containers are made of BPA-free materials that resist warping and stains over time. Airtight lids seal out moisture and prevent flavor transfer between ingredients stored close together. This makes durable plastic a great choice for storing coffee beans, tea, pasta, baking essentials, and more.
Unlike glass and stainless steel, plastic containers are lightweight and often feature lids that snap open easily with one hand when cooking in a hurry. Some also have built-in scoops that drop back into place.
Stainless steel containers
Stainless steel containers are a popular choice for storing bulk dry goods and keeping your kitchen pantry organized. Unlike plastic or glass options, stainless steel provides superior durability that withstands constant use and occasional drops.
Many high-quality stainless steel canisters feature tight seals that maintain humidity levels. and extend the freshness of contents such as coffee, spices, herbs, sugars, and even pet food.
Their solid metallic construction also helps to regulate hot and cold temperatures. This makes stainless steel containers suitable for keeping frequently used ingredients neatly displayed on countertops.
The best stainless steel containers are made of food-grade steel (18/8 or 18/10 for example) with seamless polished welds that leave no crevices for debris or bacteria buildup. This material resists dents, warping, and staining even with excessive use.
Acrylic containers provide a durable and stylish storage solution for dry food items in your pantry or kitchen cabinets. Made from plastic polymers, acrylics are shatter-resistant and transparent, allowing you to easily see the contents of containers. Easily monitor food supply levels so you know when it’s time to restock your dry ingredients.
Acrylic resists the absorption of food odors, grease, and stains that can occur as a result of poor kitchen organization. Properly sealed acrylic containers with lids prevent moisture and humidity exposure that can lead dry foods to cake, clump, or spoil prematurely. Their airtight silicone seal also keeps pantry pests out.
Compared to glass and stainless steel, acrylics withstand drops and dings without denting or breaking. They are lightweight and often come in matching sets that provide uniformity for a streamlined look.
Acrylic canisters make it easy to establish order, keep food fresh, and instantly spot ingredients when cooking in a hurry.
How to choose the right pantry container
Pantry storage containers are a great way to tidy up clutter and better preserve your dry foods. With so many materials, styles, and options on the market, it can be tricky to decide what works best for your space and needs.
Here are some key considerations:
Look for containers that feature airtight and watertight seals, such as snap-lock and flip-buckle lids. Flip-tite canisters prevent oxygen, moisture, humidity, and pests from getting into your dry food containers. This helps maintain freshness and prevent dry goods such as flour, coffee, and spices from premature spoilage or clumping over time.
Airtight containers also inhibit the transfer of food odors between ingredients in your pantry or cabinets.
Visibility of contents
Clear containers allow you to easily see what’s inside your dry food storage containers without constantly having to open them and rummage around. Transparent jars and canisters allow for quick visibility of what you have in stock and when staple ingredients are running low. Just one glance at a jar will tell you exactly what's inside (e.g. brown sugar vs. white sugar), and how much you have left!
The best pantry containers are made from durable materials such as glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic that resist warping, denting, and other damage over years of use. Long-lasting materials also provide reliable protection against air, moisture, humidity, and food odors to keep their contents fresh for as long as possible.
You can find quality pantry containers for nearly every budget. Focus your spending on containers for staple ingredients you use frequently or that spoil fastest.
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What are the best pantry storage containers?
There are a variety of food storage container providers to choose from. Here are our top picks:
- Savvy & Sorted
Savvy & Sorted
Savvy & Sorted offers a line of high-quality storage canisters. They display dry goods through transparent glass, maintaining visibility without yellowing over time. Hand-painted bamboo lids add natural style while silicone gaskets create tight seals for retaining freshness.
Borosilicate glass construction resists odors, stains, and cracks better than plastic containers. The bamboo lid and glass body are durable and made to last, while an airtight seal keeps out moisture, humidity, and pantry pests.
You can choose between black and natural bamboo spice jars. Our glass containers provide an aesthetically pleasing way to organize your kitchen pantry.
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The Rubbermaid Brilliance pantry food storage container set offers leak-proof, BPA-free plastic containers for organized and fresh food storage. The clear Tritan plastic allows 360-degree visibility of contents without having to open lids. The secure latches create an airtight seal to maintain freshness and prevent spills.
Convenient built-in vents also enable splatter-free microwaving. The tapered, nesting shape helps maximize space efficiency.
Although not as shatter-proof as glass or steel, the stain-resistant durable plastic resists odors and stands up well to repeated use. Clean-up is easy as these containers are top-rack dishwasher safe.
The Vtopmart plastic canister set offers affordable, organized kitchen storage. The BPA-free set includes 12 clear 1.5 quart containers with airtight silicone-sealed lids that lock tightly to side handles. This prevents moisture absorption and maintains ingredient freshness. The tapered stackable shapes efficiently maximize shelf space.
Also included are 24 reusable labels for convenient organization of flour, pasta, spices, and other staples. The plastic is durable enough for general use but can crack if dropped. While it is on the thinner side, this budget-friendly option neatly contains dry goods for tidy access
The OXO POP containers offer stainless steel canisters well-suited to display and dispense staples on the countertop. Square shapes maximize space efficiency and transparent windows show supply levels at a glance. The innovative push-button mechanisms create an airtight seal, also allowing for easy, one-handed opening.
The durable and sleek design of Oxo containers resists dents and suppresses odors better than plastic versions. Lids are leakproof and bug-proof, while an inner silicone gasket allows for freezer storage. The perfect choice for bulk ingredients.
Snapware offers a variety of plastic food containers that feature airtight storage and transparency for easy visibility of contents. Models range from inexpensive to high-end.
The Total Solution line provides a quality budget option with basic but durable snap-tight lids that seal in freshness. The Airtight Premier collection containers have thicker BPA-free plastic and more secure lids with locking tabs for an impenetrable seal.
Snapware containers are lightweight and stackable to conserve space.
Chefs Path premium food-grade Tritan plastic resists stains, cracking, and odors that can come with repeated use. Tight-sealing lids feature silicone gaskets that create an impressive airtight seal to maintain ingredient freshness in the pantry or freezer.
Textured bottoms help prevent sliding on countertops and other slippery surfaces. Small vents allow pressure release when microwaving. ChefsPath containers stack cleanly to maximize space efficiency.
Storage containers FAQ
Is plastic or glass better for storing food?
Glass is generally considered better than plastic for long-term food storage because it's nonporous and chemically inert, meaning no chemicals can leach into foods. Unlike plastic, glass doesn't absorb food odors or stains either.
However, plastic storage containers are typically more affordable, lightweight, and less prone to breaking than their glass counterparts. If you opt for plastic, look for BPA-free models.
Can food last longer when it's put in storage containers?
If you transfer an opened box of cereal, chips, or cookies, out of their original bags and into airtight storage containers, it can dramatically extend freshness and shelf life.
The secure seal created by quality storage containers prevents moisture, humidity, and air exposure from causing staleness or spoilage of contents.
What are the benefits of putting dried goods in storage containers?
The benefits of putting dried goods in storage containers are:
- They retain freshness by preventing moisture absorption and contamination from insects or other pantry pests
- Containers keep contents neatly contained
- Their transparency allows you to easily see what needs replenishing
- Stackable containers maximize cabinet organization
Is it okay to store pantry items in plastic containers?
It is generally safe, convenient, and budget-friendly to store pantry staples in plastic containers, as long as you select durable BPA-free food-grade plastic models.
When buying plastic containers, compare product details to avoid thinner, lower-quality containers that might warp, crack, or leach chemicals over time with repeated use.
What is the safest plastic for food storage?
The safest plastics for food storage are polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in BPA-free versions. These plastics are durable, microwave-safe, and less likely to leach chemicals.
But glass is even better.
What is the best shape for storage containers?
The optimal shape for storage containers depends on your needs. Rectangular or square containers make the most efficient use of shelf space. Their uniform shapes fit together and stack neatly with little wasted space between them.
Some people choose cylindrical or round containers, especially for kitchen counters. Their curved shape provides a soft accent to kitchen décor. Round containers also work well for storing bulk dry goods like flour or sugar. Their narrower footprint takes up less countertop space while accommodating larger volumes overall.
What is the best way to organize my pantry on a budget?
To organize your pantry on a budget, start by taking inventory and sorting all items by category or frequency of use. Install adjustable shelves and get clear plastic bins in a variety of container sizes to hold bulk goods, taller items, and small goods neatly.
Label everything using painted chalkboard bins or printable labels. Designate prime real estate for your most used ingredients, while lesser used ones go up high or down low. Spinning racks and corner mounts maximize vertical storage. A tidy labeling system makes finding anything easy in a nicely organized, budget-friendly pantry.