Options of Materials used in the Making of Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are made from varied materials and it can get quite overwhelming choosing one of them for your lunch box. Given below is a list of the varied materials used to make a bento box which will help you to make a right choice.

Options of Materials for Bento Boxes


Aluminum is a light weight metal and long lasting. It is dishwasher safe and free of plastic unless and until it comes with a plastic seal. But it has certain drawbacks too. It cannot be heated in a microwave and it is leak proof only if it comes with a plastic seal. An aluminum box that is uncoated can get affected by acidic foods. Moreover, some individuals are concerned about the safety aspects of aluminum boxes.


Bamboo is the best material for your bento box if you want it to be eco-friendly. Bamboo is a sustainable material, lightweight and long lasting if proper care is taken. However, it is neither microwaveable nor compatible with the dishwasher. It is pretty expensive and has to be cared for well. These boxes are more often used as basket-kind of boxes. They also have fresh or dried bamboo leaves that function as disposable wrappers for food items or as dividers.


A most commonly used material for kitchenware;a melamine bento box is attractive, bright and quite tough.  It cannot be used in microwaves or ovens and some varieties can be costly. These are however, a favourite among kids due to their varied and vivid colours.

Plastic Reusable

Bento boxes in this material come in varied price ranges and you can get ones that fit your budget. The price varies based on the quality, design etc.  A huge variety is available though some individuals are apprehensive about the safety of some plastics. Most of them are neither microwaveable nor dishwasher safe. However, manufacturers of repute disclose all information relating to the type of plastic used in their product and its features.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is tough and long lasting, can be heated on a hot plate and is normally dishwasher safe. However, these boxes cannot be used in a microwave and are an expensive option.  If you have a seal to it then it is generally made of plastic or silicone.

Options of Materials for Bento Box Accessories

Paper Coated

Dividers used for bento boxes are made from paper coated material and so are the bento cups. Reasonably water-resistant, these are lightweight and one-time use items. Available in cute designs these are again a hot favourite among kids. However, these are not reusable, microwaveable and are not a cost-effective option.


This material is normally used in the making of bento box dividers and cups. These are available in several colour hues and varied shapes. Besides being long lasting and lightweight, they are microwaveable and dishwasher safe.  Individuals who are against use of plastic may also be apprehensive on using silicone. They may require washing in hot water for removal of stains or stickiness.

On a Concluding Note

The above mentioned options will give you a fair idea of the materials used in the making of bento boxes and will help you to make a choice that fulfills all your requirements.