Packed lunches comprise a topic that can be both exciting and dreadful. It can evoke someone’s gastronomic creativity or ruin someone’s mood because it will be too much work. It can also save you some money, or conversely, cause you to waste a lot of money in the process if you’re not smart about it. 

The experience can be quite subjective, but we will keep you excited and on your toes in this quick and informative article about the best bento lunch box for adults. If you’ve been spending a lot of money on fast food meals during lunch breaks, it’s never too late to do a 180-degree turn and go wild and adventurous about lunch ideas. 

The Humble Bento Box: A Kid’s Dream Evolving Into A Bento Box For Adults 

A bento box is a simple box with different divisions where various food items can be placed with various portions for different types and quantities of food. Traditionally, bento boxes are made of wood, but now, they can be made of plastic and metal, depending on the manufacturer. 

Simple bento boxes can have as low as two divisions and can be presented as a single layer. However, bento boxes for adults can have as much as six portions and three layers for a complete meal with all the appetizers and desserts you could want. 

You might have seen those DIY videos in Youtube about bento box ideas for children’s packed lunches. But creativity does not stop there, and it will be such a refreshing adventure to prepare your own food, one meal at a time. 

Bento boxes have been developed to have a carry-on packed meal for lunch, primarily because the warmth of the packed hot meals is still present during lunch time. However, with the development of microwave-friendly bento boxes, they managed to gain this type of flexibility for them to be used for packed snacks and packed dinners as well, especially for the bento lunch boxes for adults.

From there, a lot of bento box ideas for adults have surfaced and have been inspiring the working class all over the world to be creative with their lunch and dinner ideas.

What Is The Ideal Bento For Adults?

The answer to this question is quite subjective, and will completely depend on the user’s needs. However, these are the general considerations you have to look for when shopping for the best bento box for adults.

Durability

You can find bento boxes for adults made from three materials: plastic, wood, or metal. While you can find very durable products regardless of the material it has been made of, some are slightly more durable than the others.

As you may know, wood and metal bento boxes for adults provide a more organic feel as they are made from natural products, while bento boxes made of plastic can have a distinct “plastic or rubbery” smell that lingers even after long-term use. Wood and metal bento boxes for adults are durable but prone to cracks and buckles, especially when they fall from a high place.

Partitions And Portions

This is what makes the selection for best bento box for adults difficult, as the partitions or portions will be based on your needs. We can offer your multi-portioned bento lunch boxes for adults, but if you only need a low-portion bento box, it will not work for you. The standard portion is about three or four, but this can go up depending on the bento size and levels.

Microwave And Dishwasher Safety

Another thing to consider when finding the best bento box is whether it is microwave and dishwasher safe. Of course, bento boxes for adults made from metal are not microwaveable, but most of them in general are dishwasher safe. Meanwhile, bento boxes for adults made of plastic and, in some cases, wood, can be both microwave and dishwasher safe. 

Price

While the price of bento boxes, even the best bento box for adults, is generally relative and reasonable, the range still varies based on the material, layer, and portion. Usually, price is the first consideration when buying an item, so in this list, we consider this as one of the priorities.

Our Recommendations: Best Bento Box For Adults

Now that we’ve mentioned the most important considerations in finding your very own bento boxes for adults, here are some of our recommended products that you might be interested in.

Cheerfullus Wooden Reusable Picnic Carrier Container

Starting our list is one of the wooden bento boxes for adults currently available on Amazon. Cheerfullus is made from high-quality natural wood with three sections for a well-portioned meal, and it comes in three variants (an oval bento box, a rectangle bento box, and a double-decker oval version). It is ideal for main courses for lunch or dinner, although it can also be used as a snack bento box. 

Cheerfullus Wooden Bento Lunch Box

Portable food container is made of natural wood,safe and healthy


AOOSY Japanese Vintage Traditional Natural Square Wooden Lunch Food Containers

One of the bento boxes for adults is from AOOSY, and it showcases one of the simplest yet most beautiful double-decker designs for bento lunch boxes for adults. Made with natural wood, as well as natural paint, you are guaranteed that this product is free from harmful components, such as PVC, BPA, or phosphates. 

It is perfect in size and has the right number of compartments to make sure that every serving is satisfying. In addition, it promotes good thermal insulation so the food inside will remain warm while the external portion is still comfortable to hold. 

AOOSY Japanese Vintage Traditional Natural Square

APANESE TRADITIONAL LUNCH BOX: Natural Camphor Wooden Multi function Double Layer lunch box


Monbento Original V Black Bento Box

One of the premium bento boxes in the market, this very stylish yet minimalistic bento box is BPA free and features an airtight hermetic feature to ensure that the temperature and smell are properly contained. Monbento V Bento Box is also microwave and dishwasher safe, and it has two layers for maximum storage and functionality. If you think black is too formal-looking, you can also choose between gray, a quirky matcha-colored one, or even pink. 

Monbento 1200 02 102 MB Original V Black Bento Box

BPA free and food safe black box with black strap


Original BentoHeaven Bento Box Bundle

This is perhaps one of the most stylish two-layer bento lunch boxes for adults in the market today. This BPA free, airtight, and very durable product ensures that your meals are mess-free and fresh from the moment you place them in the container.

We can’t get over how well-thought of this product is. The multilayer feature provides space for utensils and lids without adding bulk or cramping up the space. The BentoHeaven Bento Box Bundle comes in Bamboo Black and Bamboo White color variants.

Original BentoHeaven Bento Box

GET THE MOST STYLISH BENTO LUNCH BOX: Friends, family, colleagues


Bento Box Ideas For Adults: Things To Get Started

It might be an overwhelming experience seeing those drop-dead gorgeous bento box ideas for adults in various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. But fear not, because as long as you know the basics and what food items you can use, you gain enough leverage to let your imagination run wild. Here are just some edible decorations you can use.

The Blank Canvas: Cooked Rice

Rice is the foundation of almost all bento box ideas for adults. It gives you flexibility as it serves as the starting point of your concept. Whether it will be a simple childlike illustration of the sun and mountains or a very detailed forest in a bento box, having cooked rice will always be a treat.

For the Tiny Details: Nori And Roasted Sesame Seeds

Whether you are adding depth and contrast to the pearly white rice base, shreds or strips of nori can be a flexible medium to add details like eyelashes or other lines and pieces that cannot be done using other ingredients. Roasted sesame not only enhances the aroma, but it can also allow you to add those kawaii eyes for small animal creations or caricatures.

The Bright Tones One: Vegetables

The good thing about vegetables is the level of color they can provide to any meal. Vegetables are usually steamed and lightly seasoned depending on how well they complement the actual dish. Whether you opt for lush greens (broccoli and green bell pepper), oranges (carrots and squash), or yellows (yellow bell pepper), there will always be a color to help you materialize your gastronomic masterpiece.

The Bright Tones Two: Fruits

Additional color palette options can be obtained from fruits. You can use apples, lemons, bananas, oranges, or go more exotic and tropical with dragon fruits, kiwis, watermelons, and pineapples. Just make sure that you store them properly to avoid premature browning or dehydration. 

Shapes: Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs provide well-defined circular and ovoid shapes in your meals. Have them boiled and sliced to add a dynamic range of shapes and colors. The most popular ones are farm-raised chicken eggs and quail eggs because of their shape and size, which can be used well in irregular or limited spaces.

The Flavors One: Steamed Buns And Meat Slices

This is the “meat” of your meal, as it will dictate the overall flavor of the meal, particularly whether it will be meaty yet light or heavy and savory. For beginners, we recommend cold cuts or light and thinly sliced pieces of meat that have been prepared with a little seasoning and oil. This helps control the oil from seeping into the other ingredients and spoiling the entire preparation. 

The Flavors Two: Seasoning And Condiments

These include your soy sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, or other dressings that not only add intensity in flavor but also intensity in color. However, be extra careful by using dressings that are not too viscous because they can creep around the containers and tamper with the taste you are trying to achieve.

Tips For Your First Bento Box

Now that we have mentioned the basics, it is very important to have some tips on how to have a successful bento box packed lunch experience. Here are some things to observe when preparing your first bento box.

Begin With The Flavors That You Want To Eat

Expert-level bento box ideas are fantastic to look at, especially those where a lot of food items have been utilized. However, this can be such a chore for picky eaters. If you consider yourself a picky eater, it would be best to focus on the flavors you love. If you have a love-hate relationship with vegetables, narrow them down to the ones you actually eat (as the idea behind bento boxes is for the contents to be 100% edible), as leftovers will defeat the purpose.

Start Simple, Then Work Your Way Into More Complex Ideas

We are all for those bento box ideas that came straight out of a painting or something, but the best approach to a successful bento box adventure is to start simple. Start with simple patterns and layers of colors by using steamed vegetables and eggs. Patterns are the easiest way to go because they can easily conform with the shape of the bento box. From there, try experimenting with various shapes and flavors.

Remind Yourself That This Should Be An Enjoyable Experience

Half the experience and joy of this activity is how open your mind could be when preparing the bento box. If your mindset is that this will be a tiresome experience, you will never enjoy making one, let alone enjoy eating it after. 

Bento box ideas for children are prepared with a great deal of effort and, most importantly, love. This is why love is an ingredient for a delicious meal. When you pour your heart into it, you will have a more meaningful experience, and the food will taste more delicious because it has been prepared with love.

Evolve Your Concept

Once your bento box game elevates, challenge yourself, and be more creative and daring. You will be surprised about how much you can do with the ingredients available in the market and how delightful of an experience it could be. 

Conclusion

When food is made with love, its taste evolves into something heartier and healthier. Love will always be an important ingredient for any type of food that you eat. This is one of the principles of bento boxes that made it applicable for both the young and old. To have a meal prepared at home, placed in simple and dainty boxes, and shared with colleagues and friends, will always be a memorable experience compared to fast food and the usual take out. If you’ve been considering a shift in meal plans and ideas, you can never go wrong with bento box packed lunches and snacks.

John Hashimoto
Born in Chiba, Japan, but raised in Austin, Texas, John is a very active promoter of Asian culture in the United States, particularly the rich Japanese culture, which he is very passionate about. He is here to guide you about the best products in the market and provide honest-to-goodness reviews and information about commercially available products in the market today. John is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, but his passion for Japanese culture, particularly its food and unique culture that has taken over the international scene, is one of the things that excites him the most.

John will help you to assess Japanese products, especially when it comes to commercial Japanese food and how to find the authentic ones. His father once told him that he seems to have been born out of ramen, and as an adult, it really shows because John knows this dish like the back of his hand.