11 best lunch boxes for kids

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Versatile, fun and practical lunch boxes for kids that you might be tempted to borrow too!

    Here are 11 of the best lunch boxes for kids ranked by versatility, design and value for money. We wouldn’t be surprised if you grab one for yourself too! 

    Finding a lunch box your little one will love that’s also practical and affordable needn’t be a daunting task. Whether you’re preparing for their return to school, or like to keep lunch at home consistent with the school term, these lunch boxes are ideal.

    Most of the lunch boxes we’ve included below are big enough to hold at least a sandwich and a couple of snacks. If you’d like some more recipe inspiration for your child’s lunch boxes, be sure to read our round-up of packed lunch ideas the whole family will love.

    The lunch boxes are great for at school, nursery or even just a picnic to the park or beach. We know how important routine is for little ones so a lunch box that’s suited to all occasions is invaluable.

    While you’re buying a lunch box for your little one, consider investing in one for yourself. Not only is making your own lunch cost-effective, but it’s also a brilliant way to cut down waste and it’s often healthier too. We’ve got plenty of healthy lunch recipe ideas for you to explore.

    Things to consider when buying a kids lunch box:

    Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing your child’s lunch box? Here are some useful pointers.

    Does it need handles?

    Will the lunch box be carried on its own or stored inside another backpack or school bag.

    How many compartments are needed?

    If you want to cut back on packaging, consider a lunch box with lots of compartments so that food can be stored without contamination.

    What does your little one eat most often?

    If your child’s lunch often consists of a sandwich and a couple of snacks, consider buying a lunch box that’s specifically designed to house these.

    Do you need room for a water bottle?

    If you are packing your child’s drink inside the box you’ll want one that’s roomy and leak-resistant.

    How unique do you want it?

    Lots of lunch boxes come with name tags inside, but for something a little more unique and special consider a lunch box that can be personalised. Try to find a lunch box that also reflects your little one’s hobbies and interests and they are more likely to take care of it.

    Best compact lunch box for kids: Sistema Lunch Slimline Quaddie

    Best compact lunch box for kids_ Sistema Lunch Slimline Quaddie

    Key features:

    1. Two tiers, multiple compartments
    2. Comes with compact drinks bottle
    3. Easy to clean

    With two tiers and separate lids for different compartments, this compact lunch box is as practical as they come. At a very affordable price point, we think this lunch box is great value and perfect for those looking for a slimline lunch box that fits lots in too. However, this lunch box isn’t insulated so it’s not ideal if you plan to carry it in a bag without an ice pack on a hot day.

    Buyer reviews:
    “Good price. Quite large so can be used by children and adults.”
    “Has a bottle that can be filled with juices/water and fits nicely into the box. 3 separate compartments are handy too. Only difficulty is we can’t fit an apple in the box.”
    “What a fabulous lunch box, the water bottle inside is great too. “

    Product details:
    Price: £6.99
    Material: Plastic
    Weight: 229g
    Dimensions: 23 x 16.2 x 9.6 cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: Yes
    Suitable for microwave: Yes

    BUY NOW: Sistema Lunch Slimline Quaddie, £6.99

    Best lunch box for kids with a strap: Momcozy Lunch Bag
    Best lunch box for kids with a strap_ Momcozy Lunch Bag

    Key features:

    1. Strap and handle for easy carrying
    2. Can keep food hot or cold for over 5hrs
    3. Lots of pockets

    Available in a dinosaur or strawberry design, the Momcozy lunch bag keeps food hot or cold for over 5 hours.It’s waterproof and leak-proof and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The main compartment is very spacious but there’s also a large front pocket, side water bottle holder and a mesh insert on the inside to secure an ice pack. The lunch bag also comes with a top handle or strap if your little one would prefer to carry their lunch bag across their body or as a tote.

    Buyer reviews:

    “Great little lunch bag! Bright colours, nice design, thick material and a zip on the outside too. I bought a bento box to go inside which fits perfectly.”
    “This was a great little purchase for my son’s first lunchbox! [sic]”
    “My little one loves it as it’s big enough for his lunch (but not too big) and looks great! It’s one of the few with a strap, which is a “must have” in my opinion.”

    Product details:
    Price: £10.99
    Material: Fabric
    Weight: 200g
    Dimensions: 29.8 x 22 x 6.8cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Momcozy Lunch Bag, £10.99

    Best kids lunch box for animal lovers: Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Monkey

    Best kids lunch box for animal lovers_ Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Monkey

    Key features:

    1. 11 different designs to choose from including a Narwhal, Fox and Bat
    2. Matching school bag ‘zoo pack’ and water bottle available
    3. Large main compartment

    If your little one is obsessed with animals, there’s a good chance the Skip Hop collection has a lunch box they’ll love. We think the monkey is most practical because of it’s darker colours which should hide marks easily but still really fun to look at. Plus, who can resist the banana zip pull?!

    Also in the range is an adorable Narwhal, Fox, Bat, Bee and more. The bags are insulated and wipe clean and have a compartment big enough for a sandwich, snack, drink and more.

    There are matching items available with every item from water bottles, cutlery and a school rucksack.

    Buyer reviews:
    “Very spacious and pretty. The lining is water-resistant. Nice that it’s got a name tag inside. Just the right size for a 4-year-old picky eater.”
    “It is good quality, easy to clean and has a handy net pocket on the inside for cutlery.”
    “Really lovely quality, easy to clean and holds a lot including her lunch, snacks and full 240oz water bottle.”

    Product details: (Monkey, others may vary)
    Price: £14
    Material: Fabric
    Weight: 136g
    Dimensions: 22.9 x 19 x 8.3cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Skip Hop Zoo Lunchie Monkey, £14

    Best themed lunch boxes for kids: Fortnite Lunch Box

    Best themed lunch boxes for kids_ Fortnite Lunch Box

    Key features:

    1. Fortnite branding
    2. Insulated
    3. Practical padded handle

    If your son or daughter is obsessed with Fortnite, this lunch box will rock their world! It’s insulated to keep the contents cool and has a strong, padded handle for comfortable carrying. There’s also a mesh pocket on the side which is perfect for their water bottle. The green camo design should also help hide the odd scruff so it’s perfect for any adventurous little one!

    Buyer reviews:
    “Great size lunch box for my fortnite fanatic son”
    “It’s a great size easy to open and close[sic]”
    “Perfect fit for a back pack, spacious compartments, easy to clean”

    Product details:
    Price: £12.95
    Material: Fabric
    Weight: 141g
    Dimensions: 26.4 x 24 x 6.6cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Fortnite Lunch Box, £12.95

    Frozen 2 Glitter Lunch Bag and Reusable Matching Water Bottle Set

    Frozen 2 Glitter Lunch Bag and Reusable Matching Water Bottle Set

    Key features:

    1. Matching water bottle
    2. Padded handle
    3. Name tag

    Your little one won’t want to let this one go! This Frozen 2 branded lunch box comes with a matching water bottle and a practical holder on the side to keep it all together. The inside of the lunch bag is lined with PVC-free food safe lining so there’s no need to package sandwiches in additional wrapping. It can easily be wiped clean once home with a damp cloth and helps you avoid single-use plastic. There is a padded handle for easy carrying and a small plastic window with a paper name insert so that you can label your little one’s lunch box. It’s insulated and can easily fit into a school bag or fridge.

    Buyer reviews:
    “Little girl loves it. Easy for little hands to open and carry.”
    “My daughter loves it. It is a good size and bottle holder is handy.”
    “Great lunch bag, roomy but not overly.”

    Product details:
    Price: £11.99
    Material: 600d polyester PVC front panel
    Weight: 213g
    Dimensions: 8 x 19.5 x 23cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Frozen 2 Glitter Lunch Bag and Reusable Matching Water Bottle Set, £11.99

    Best bento-style lunch box for kids: Sistema Bento Cube Box to Go with Fruit/Yogurt Pot

    Best bento-style lunch box for kids_ Sistema Bento Cube Box to Go with Fruit_Yogurt Pot

    Key features:

    1. Moveable internal compartments
    2. Compact
    3. Easy portion control

    Available in a number of different colours, this lunch box is brilliant if you want to give your child variety at lunch while also keeping an eye on portion control. This set comes with a seal-tight yogurt pot which is perfect if you prefer to buy big tubs of yogurt rather than individually portioned ones which are often more expensive. You could also put hummus in here or delicate fruits such as blueberries and strawberries.

    Buyer reviews:
    “This has changed my life! It is a fantastic product – well made.”
    “I am a Sistema fan and these lunchboxes don’t disappoint.”
    “Love this and it is used as a school lunchbox. The compartments are a good size and nothing has leaked so far. It is good quality and has taken some knocks and bumps with no cracks or marks. It can hold sandwiches, an apple and other snacks. Ideal size to put inside a lunch bag.”

    Product details:
    Price: £8.98
    Material: Plastic
    Weight: 240g
    Dimensions: 16.8 x 18.6 x 7.7cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: Yes, hand-wash recommended
    Suitable for microwave: Yes

    BUY NOW: Sistema Bento Cube Box to Go with Fruit/Yogurt Pot, £8.98

    Best retro lunch box for kids: Luckies of London Insulated Bag

    Best retro lunch box for kids_ Luckies of London Insulated Bag (1)

    Key features:

    1. Tear-resistant
    2. Compact and easy to fold away
    3. Insulated

    Can you get any more retro than a brown paper bag? We think not! This simple design is practical and quirky. The lunch bag is insulated to keep food cooler or hotter for longer. It’s tear and leak-resistant, so it’s sure to stand up to the adventures your little one takes it on!

    The bag is sealed with a magnetic clip and is best cleaned with a damp cloth. Customise the bag by writing on it with a permanent marker, you could even let your little one draw their own design.

    The main disadvantage is that the food inside would need to be packaged in paper, cling or another tub to prevent contamination – no one wants a cheese and pickle sandwich chocolate biscuit hybrid do they?

    Buyer reviews:
    “I bought this bag for my 5-year-olds school lunches. We absolutely love it [sic]”
    “Excellent well made item that can store a large lunch and cooler no problems. Wipe clean on most of the inside and looks like a real paper bag”
    “I love it! It flatters down after I’ve had my lunch and holds way more than I thought it would!”

    Product details:
    Price: £10.93
    Material: Fabric
    Weight: 49.9g
    Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 20cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Luckies of London Insulated Bag, £10.93

    Best colourful lunch box for kids: FRINGOO® Multi-Compartment Kids Lunch Bag
    Best colourful lunch box for kids_ FRINGOO® Multi-Compartment Kids Lunch Bag

    Key features:

    1. Two compartments
    2. Carry handle
    3. Keeps food cool or warm for up to 4hrs

    This bright and colourful lunch box is sure to get your son or daughter excited for lunch time. There are two handy compartments, so you can store hot and cold food at once, with plenty of room to pack a drink inside too. Choose from a variety of fun designs that are suitable for boys and girls.

    Buyer reviews:
    “well made and bigger than I expected”
    “Really good quality materials and zips, great carry handle, very roomy!”
    “A fantastic lunch bag, just the right size for school lunches. The two compartments are spacious and can fit a variety of snacks in.”

    Product details:
    Price: £13.99
    Material: Fabric
    Weight: 222g
    Dimensions: 25 x 16 x 14cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: FRINGOO® Multi-Compartment Kids Lunch Bag, £13.99

    Best personalised lunch box for kids: FRINGOO Personalised Kids Lunch Bag Thermal Insulated 2 Compartment Cooler Bag with Side Mesh Pocket

    Best personalised lunch box for kids_ FRINGOO Personalised Kids Lunch Bag Thermal Insulated 2 Compartment Cooler Bag with Side Mesh Pocket

    Key features:

    1. Personalised
    2. Insulated
    3. Side drinks bottle pocket

    This lightweight lunch bag comes in 12 different patterns and has the option of adding your little one’s name to the front. It’s fully insulated, durable and comes with two compartments, plus a holder for a drinks bottle. Matching items are also available if you’d like to buy the full set.

    Buyer reviews:
    “This is a great lunch bag I’m really happy with them. (I bought one then a second for my other son). They are a good size with extra pockets and the side net that holds a drink bottle is great for my forgetful kids.”
    “We got the unicorn lunch bag with our daughter’s name and last initial on. It looks really good – just like it did in the customization picture when we ordered.”
    “Bought this for my 4 year old for school. Absolutely perfect!”

    Product details:
    Price: £16.99
    Material: Polyester
    Weight: 200g
    Dimensions: 21 x 20 x 9 cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: No
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: FRINGOO Personalised Kids Lunch Bag Thermal Insulated 2 Compartment Cooler Bag with Side Mesh Pocket, £16.99

    Best kids lunch box for fussy eaters: Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container

    Best kids lunch box for fussy eaters_ Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container

    Key features:

    1. Labelled food sections to help portion control
    2. Compact
    3. Leak-proof

    If you’re struggling to get your little one excited about lunchtime, or you’re in need of some structure and inspiration, the Yumbox is a good option. It’s leak-proof and suitable for things like yogurt and hummus and comes with a removable tray. There are five portioned sections with Paris-themed illustrations.

    Buyer reviews:

    “Really good lunchbox for my 6 year old daughter. Bought as she’s a fussy eater and I thought that seeing the named compartments would help. So far so good.”
    “This is the third one of these I’ve bought… we love them! My eldest granddaughter got her first when she was being weaned and it was perfect for holding small amounts and a variety of finger foods when out and about.
    Now she has a younger sister and they’re always excited for a yumbox lunch, it’s a real treat as they know their mum will have filled them with the things they love!”

    Product details:
    Price: £25.95
    Material: Stainless steel
    Weight: 399g
    Dimensions: 21.6 x 16.5 x 4.6cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: Yes
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box Container, £25.95 

    Best eco-friendly lunch box for kids:Ecozoi Leak Proof Stainless Steel 1-Tier Eco Lunch Box

    Best eco-friendly lunch box for kids_Ecozoi Leak Proof Stainless Steel 1-Tier Eco Lunch Box

    Key features:

    1. Great for older kids
    2.  Leak-proof
    3.  Designed to last forever

    This lunch box arrives in recycled packaging and is designed to last forever. It may be tricky for younger children to use the clasps and it’s heavier than plastic or fabric alternatives but it’s a great option for older children. The lunch box comes with a lifetime warranty but shouldn’t be stored in the fridge or freezer.

    Buyer reviews:
    “It fits a great portion inside and I love the little pot that I can use for berries or even yoghurt/salad dressing/dips etc!”
    “I just love this lunch box, very spacious, leakproof, keeps all nice and fresh. Doubles as a plate for my toddler when out, and love the extra box inside it. Very pleased!”
    “It’s everything I expect from a lunch box – perfectly sized, a small box to hold sides and most importantly- leak proof.”

    Product details:
    Price: £26.95
    Material: Stainless Steel
    Weight: 454g
    Dimensions: 17.1 x 13.1 x 5.1 cm
    Suitable for dishwasher: Yes, but hand wash recommended for lid
    Suitable for microwave: No

    BUY NOW: Ecozoi Leak Proof Stainless Steel 1-Tier Eco Lunch Box, £26.95

    What is BPA and should you avoid products that aren’t BPA-free?

    All of the lunch boxes that we have included below are BPA-free so we haven’t listed this under each individual listing but if you choose to look at other lunch boxes this is something to consider. BPA stands for the chemical Bisphenol A and is found in several household items that are made from plastic and resin.

    Some research has suggested that high exposure to products with BPA in can be dangerous but there is a massive lack of human data to confirm this. Regardless, several experts suggest reducing your contact with BPA products where possible.