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The Best Dry Food Storage Container


We tested seven top-rated container systems and selected Progressive – Prepworks ProKeeper as the best dry food storage container for keeping pantry ingredients fresh and pest-free. The Progressive containers are uniquely designed for functionality and include special built-in features specifically for storing flour, brown sugar, coffee and other dry goods. Another standout is the Rubbermaid – Brilliance four-container set, which is also airtight and allows easy access for scooping and measuring baking essentials.

Our Top Choices

Best Overall


Progressive

Prepworks

See Price on Amazon

Runner-up


Rubbermaid

Brilliance

See Price on Amazon

We tested seven top-rated container systems and selected Progressive – Prepworks ProKeeper as the best dry food storage container for keeping pantry ingredients fresh and pest-free. The Progressive containers are uniquely designed for functionality and include special built-in features specifically for storing flour, brown sugar, coffee and other dry goods. Another standout is the Rubbermaid – Brilliance four-container set, which is also airtight and allows easy access for scooping and measuring baking essentials.

Table of contents

How we selected containers to test

Whether you’re looking to reorganize your kitchen cabinets or pantry or want to prevent pests from burrowing into flour, sugar and other baking ingredients, dry food storage containers that are functional and airtight are essential.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Tupperware was the most recognized brand for food storage containers, and even today, it’s still used as a generic term for all plastic containers. Although Tupperware expanded globally, the company’s sales are primarily made by private parties, while its competitor, the less-expensive Rubbermaid, can be purchased virtually anywhere.

We previously reviewed food storage containers that are made for refrigerating, freezing and reheating food, and Rubbermaid – Brilliance, was our top pick for plastic containers.

For this review of containers for storing dry goods, we added Brilliance’s line of containers and another well-reviewed Rubbermaid product to our list to see how they held up to other highly rated containers. Amazon reviewers give a lot of love to certain containers, so we selected those that had at least a 4.3-star rating.

Since not everyone wants to use plastic, we decided to test acrylic and glass containers as well to determine whether they were better than plastic for storage of dry goods. The majority of dry food storage containers are sold as sets of three or more different sizes, and even though many may be bought separately, it’s more cost-effective to purchase them as a set.

Compare the best dry food storage containers

ProductPriceTypeTallest Container (inches)AirtightContainers in Set
1. Progressive - Prepworks$$$Plastic8.5Yes6
2. Rubbermaid - Brilliance$$Tritan plastic9.5Yes4
3. Bellemain$$Acrylic8Yes4
4. OXO - POP$$$Plastic12.75No5
5. Brabantia$$$Glass8No3
6. Chef's Path$$Plastic12No7
7. Rubbermaid - Modulars$$$Plastic10.25No4

How we tested

Every container we tested was heralded as airtight, which is especially important for storing flour, sugar and rice, since they are prone to infestation by Indian-meal moths, more commonly known as pantry moths.

To test whether a container was airtight, we sealed a piece of toilet tissue inside each container, locked its lid and then plunged it into two gallons of water. We held the container under water and revolved it several times. When we removed the container from the water and unsealed the lid, if the tissue paper was wet, the container wasn’t airtight. Only three of the seven storage containers we tested were 100 percent airtight.

Overall, dry food storage containers are either tall rectangles or cylinders. Some were slender modulars, no taller than 10 inches, designed to fit in most kitchen cabinets. Although they would look attractive on a countertop, these containers were too narrow to hold a five-pound bag of flour or to allow scooping flour out with a one-cup measuring cup.

Some people might only want containers for beans, rice and pasta, but we leaned heavily toward those that stored baking ingredients in a shape that allows easy access.

Best Overall: Progressive – Prepworks

Not only were the Progressive – Prepworks ProKeeper containers airtight, they’re truly unique from the others we tested — or any other containers we’ve seen. Although the ProKeepers could be used for storing any food item, each container in the six-container set is designed for storing a specific dry-goods product.

For example, the 15-cup flour container can hold an entire five-pound bag of flour, and it has a built-in leveler for leveling flour from a measuring cup, which easily fits into the container. The brown-sugar ProKeeper includes a terra-cotta disc that, when moistened, prevents brown sugar from hardening. The powdered-sugar ProKeeper has a sifting spoon, and the two mini containers each have a shaker for herbs, spices or cupcake sprinkles.

Progressive sells other containers for coffee, cereal, grains and pasta separately, and each has an individual feature, such as a coffee scoop or a wide-mouth pour spout for the cereal container. The herb ProKeeper is ingenious: washed herbs drain into a basket, and excess water drips into the lower part of the container, which can then be emptied through a built-in drain hole.

Best Functionality: Progressive - Prepworks

Each container in the ProKeeper set has been designed for a specific ingredient and includes special built-in features like a flour leveler, a coffee scoop, shaker spouts and a terra-cotta disc for keeping brown sugar moist.

Each container is made from BPA-free crystal-clear plastic, and lids are latched shut and sealed with a silicone gasket that can be removed for cleaning.

The containers were perfectly airtight, except for the white sugar container, which we found frustrating, because of a small design flaw. The white sugar ProKeeper has a pour spout, and although all other ProKeepers have a ¼-inch-thick silicone gasket for sealing their lids, the sugar container’s is thinner and doesn’t secure the spout cover tightly enough.

The white sugar container is large enough to store four pounds of sugar, so it’s a shame the clever pour spout didn’t work better in keeping contents airtight. However, the sugar container could certainly be used for storing beans or pasta or other dry foods that aren’t plagued by pantry pests and another of the airtight ProKeepers used for storing white sugar instead.

The six-piece set is slightly more expensive than other sets, but the superb design features and bonuses, like the terra cotta disc, are worth the added cost.

Key takeaways:

  • The Progressive – Prepworks ProKeeper six-piece set is the most unique and well-designed container system that we tested.
  • Each one has features for a specific ingredient, such as flour, brown sugar or cake toppings.
  • In testing, the ProKeepers were completely airtight, except for the sugar container, which has a pour spout that didn’t seal.
  • Other containers for coffee, grains, herbs and pasta are also available individually.

Runner-up: Rubbermaid – Brilliance

The thoughtful design of the Progressive – Prepworks containers gave them a slight edge over our runner-up, the Rubbermaid – Brilliance four-container set. In our review of food storage containers, Rubbermaid – Brilliance won best plastic food storage container for refrigerating, freezing and reheating food, because of its durability, ease of opening/closing and its 100% airtight seal, thanks to a thick, built-in silicone gasket.

Other than size and shape, there’s no difference between the Brilliance all-purpose containers and the Brilliance dry food storage containers that we tested for this review. The dry food set is, however, better suited for pantry storage, taking advantage of vertical space with taller containers.

The eight-piece set — each lid counts as a piece — includes a 9.25-inch-tall, 16-cup container that holds a five-pound bag of flour, a 12-cup container for sugar, a 9.25-inch-tall and narrow 6.6-cup container for pasta (which is a half-inch too short for uncooked spaghetti) and a squat, rectangular 3.2-cup container.

Best Airtight Seal: Rubbermaid - Brilliance

This attractive and sturdy set is 100% airtight and ideal for storing baking and pantry ingredients that are prone to insect pests. Modestly priced, this is a great starter set.

The small 3.2-cup container brought the Rubbermaid – Brilliance set down a notch in our rating, since it’s just a regular food-storage container and is too small for standard pantry items. However, additional sizes, including a container tall enough for spaghetti, are available to purchase either in sets or individually.

The eight-piece set is modestly priced, but it’s likely you’ll need to add to it for storing more than three dry food products in your kitchen or pantry. Still, the Rubbermaid – Brilliance containers are one of three containers we tested that you can completely rely on to keep pantry goods fresh and pest-free.

Key takeaways:

  • The Rubbermaid – Brilliance containers are made of durable and crystal-clear Tritan plastic, easy to open and close and are 100 percent airtight.
  • The three larger containers are great for storing dry pantry goods, such as flour, sugar and rice.
  • The smaller container in the set is too small for pantry items, but it’s still excellent for refrigerated food storage.
  • The Rubbermaid – Brilliance set is well-priced, but you’ll probably need to buy other pieces individually to store more pantry goods.

Other containers we tested

Bellemain – Acrylic Canister Set

The Bellemain – Acrylic Canister Set is the only other set we tested that was airtight. Honestly, we were surprised, because they’re very lightweight and their chrome latches are thin and wobbly. The containers look like glass Mason jars and would be an attractive addition to a kitchen counter. They’re supposedly unbreakable, but the lids and latches might not survive being accidentally knocked to the floor.

Because they’re airtight, the Bellemain will keep flour and sugar fresh, but they’re only large enough for scooping out a half-cup. If you wish to store dried food items, such as beans, lentils and short pasta, these glass containers would be a decent alternative to plastic containers.

OXO Good Grips – POP Containers

The OXO Good Grips – POP Container set includes two tall, narrow canisters, two small narrow canisters and a squat square. None are large enough to hold flour and sugar or wide enough for scooping with a measuring cup.

The POP lids are a great idea. They secure by pushing down on a large button in the center of the lid, which lowers the silicone seal into the lip of the container; pushing the button again releases the seal. Unfortunately, the seal isn’t airtight, and during our test, water seeped into the canister. If water can find its way in, so can bugs. The POP container set was the most expensive set we tested, and even though they look nice, they just don’t work.

Brabantia – Glass Storage Containers

There aren’t many glass containers available, and Brabantia is highly rated on Amazon. They’re not made of heavy-duty glass, like a Mason jar, but have a similar weight to an all-purpose wine glass. They have pretty colored lids in neutral Martha-Stewart-ish tones that are interchangeable. They’re too small for holding more than a pound of flour or sugar, and because they’re not airtight, we could see them being used for storing cotton puffs or Q-tips.

Chef’s Path – Food Storage Container Set

The Chef’s Path seven-piece set includes containers of four different heights, one of which is designed specifically for spaghetti. However, because they’re all only four-inches wide, they’re useless for storing flour or sugar, unless you want to scoop it out with a tablespoon. Since this is a modular design, the lids fit all the containers. The Chef’s Path lids secure with a vertical latch that can be closed on either side of the lid. A very thin silicone band isn’t enough to seal the container, and during our tests, water flooded in. The Chef’s Path containers have a sleek, modern design, but they aren’t airtight.

Rubbermaid – Modular Containers

The Rubbermaid – 1776464 Modular Containers are basic containers for a kitchen cabinet or pantry; they won’t be sitting pretty on your counter. The rectangular Modulars are wide and deep enough for scooping out flour and sugar, and the bright-red lids are interchangeable. Frequent criticism of the Rubbermaid Modulars is that the lids are ill-fitting and difficult to snap on. It does take a bit of effort, and we assumed the seal was secure. However, like most of the containers we tested, the Rubbermaid Modulars failed to be airtight.

The bottom line

Dry food storage containers need to be functional and airtight, but only two of the seven products we tested were both.

The Progressive – Prepworks ProKeepers were each specifically designed for storing a particular ingredient. The flour container is wide enough for scooping and has a built-in leveler; the container for brown sugar includes a terra cotta disc that prevents brown sugar from drying out.

Only the white-sugar container had a design flaw that made it not completely airtight; all other containers in the six-canister set were 100% airtight. We also like that Progressive has matching containers for coffee, cereal, grains and herbs in its product line.

A close runner-up is the Rubbermaid – Brilliance four-container set. These durable and attractive Tritan plastic containers are perfectly airtight and wide enough for scooping and measuring. The set includes a small container that’s better suited for refrigerated food storage, but like Progressive, Rubbermaid also sells other Brilliance containers that are intended for particular food products.

Best Overall: Progressive - Prepworks

For functionality, special features and protection from pantry pests, these beautifully designed dry food storage containers are your best bet. The affordable six-container set can be added to with other individually sold containers made for specific food products.

Gene Gerrard, Writer

Gene Gerrard was recently voted as one of the top five personal chefs in Los Angeles. He created About.com's Meat and Wild Game Cooking website and published hundreds of recipes, interviews, cookbook reviews and blog posts about food trends. Gene is also a professional magician, and when he's not writing for Your Best Digs, he's performing at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

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