BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Kitchen

Best lunch box for adults

Which adult lunch boxes are best?

Whether you’re trying to save money or don’t have time to eat out every day, packing your lunch is an excellent option. While many lunch box designs are geared toward kids, there is an abundance of options that are perfectly suitable for adult working professionals. 

From size to shape to style, there are a lot of design features to consider when choosing a lunch box. However, if you’re looking for a lightweight lunch box that will keep your food hot or cold, the Hydro Flask 5L Insulated Lunch Bag is an ideal choice. 

What to know before you buy a lunch box for adults

Purpose of a lunch box

Here are a few reasons why a lunch box might be right for you.

  • Save money. Saving money is one of the main reasons adults pack their lunches. Most people spend between $5-$15 on their daily lunch, which can add up to several hundred dollars a month. Packing a lunch from home is a great way to cut down your food expenses.
  • Eat healthier. It’s no secret that restaurant food is not always the healthiest. Even if you opt for a healthier option like a chicken salad, you may not always know the exact ingredients of what you’re eating. Packing your lunch allows you to know specifically what you are consuming and can even lead to healthier food choices.
  • Reduce waste. If you want to reduce waste, packing your lunch is a great place to start. Packing leftover food from dinner the night before is one way to reduce food waste. In addition, if you reuse the same lunch box or glass container every day, you’re also reducing the number of takeout containers that come with eating out.

Kid vs. adult lunch boxes

The main difference between a lunch box for adults and a lunch box for kids is the size. Kids don’t need as much food as adults, so their lunch boxes are not as large. You’ll also notice the individual compartments are also larger to accommodate for larger servings. Additionally, adult lunch boxes tend to come in solid colors rather than unicorns or dinosaurs.

What to look for in a quality lunch box for adults


Insulated lunch boxes or bags are designed to keep your food hot or cold. There’s nothing worse than packing a cold beverage for lunch, only to have it be lukewarm when it’s time to eat. If you have access to a refrigerator while at work, lunch box insulation may not be a big deal for you. However, if you are relying solely on your lunch box to keep your food and beverage at a safe temperature, insulation is essential. A lunch box should specify whether it is insulated and might even mention how many hours you can expect your food to stay cool. 

Water-resistant fabric 

Getting a lunch box that is water-resistant on both the inside and outside will prevent a ton of messes. If you work outdoors, having a water-resistant exterior will keep rain, snow and other outside elements from contaminating your lunch. A water-resistant interior will keep spilled foods and drinks from soaking through and staining your car seats, desk or bag.


If you pack a small lunch and don’t bring drinks or snacks, you can probably get away with purchasing a smaller lunch box. However, if you pack several drinks, snacks and a sizable lunch, getting a large lunch box is a smart choice.

How much you can expect to spend on a lunch box for adults

Depending on the size, brand and material, lunch boxes can cost between $10-$60. 

Lunch box for adults FAQ

Do I need to refrigerate my insulated lunch box?

A. No. An insulated lunch box does not need to be refrigerated and should still keep your food cold. How long your food will stay cold depends on the individual lunch box and if it’s kept closed. However, it’s still helpful to use an ice pack for extra assurance that your food stays cool.

Will my lunchbox keep all foods at a safe temperature?

A. Proper insulation, ice packs and not opening your lunch box will all contribute to keeping your food at a safe temperature while storing it in the long box. It’s still wise to avoid packing foods that quickly spoil, like raw fish and dairy products.

What’s the best lunch box for adults to buy?

Top lunch box for adults

Hydro Flask Insulated Lunch Bag

What you need to know: Lightweight and insulated, this lunch box is ideal for taking lunch on the go.

What you’ll love: This lunch box is roomy and has pockets for silverware or napkins. The interior is easy to wash or wipe clean, while the exterior fabric is water-resistant.

What you should consider: Some users thought this lunchbox was oddly shaped and didn’t fit certain food containers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amazon

Top lunch box for adults for the money

Bentgo Classic All-In-One Stackable Bento Lunch Box

What you need to know: Inspired by the classic Japanese bento box, this lunch box is perfect for those who prefer to keep their food items separated.

What you’ll love: This lunch box includes two stacking containers, one of which is separated into two sections, with an additional area for the built-in fork, spoon and knife. It’s also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

What you should consider: The container with sections doesn’t keep smaller food items from mixing and isn’t ideal for liquids.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Stanley Classic Large Lunch Box

What you need to know: This durable and secure lunch box is suitable for camping, a road trip or an outdoor worksite.

What you’ll love: It’s roomy enough to fit a thermos and lunch together. Additionally, the stainless steel is sturdy and can withstand being dropped, knocked over and anything else that can occur at a busy worksite.

What you should consider: While it’s advertised as insulated, users have noticed that it doesn’t keep foods hot or cold for an extended period of time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: