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Materials Used for Making Bento Boxes

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Materials Used for Making Bento Boxes

When making bento boxes a wide variation of materials are used and it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your lunch box. Below is a list of materials used to make a bento box that will help you to make an informed choice.

Materials Used for Making Bento Boxes


Aluminium is a lightweight 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 leakproof only if it comes with a plastic seal. An aluminium box that is uncoated can get affected by acidic foods. Moreover, some individuals are concerned about the safety aspects of aluminium boxes.


Bamboo is the best material for your bento box if you want it to be eco-friendly. Bamboo bento is made from 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.


Wooden bento boxes are quite popular for use at home, workplace and schools.  Due to their durability, appearance and is made from sustainably sourced materials they are highly regarded as the best bento boxes you can buy. Available in many configurations including two-level with removable insert and trays. The materials used to make them are sourced from sustainable timber plantations or forests that contribute towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions as the trees actually remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen, making the air cleaner.


Melamine bento boxes are the most commonly used as their melamine coating 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 restaurants due to their vivid colours and durability.

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.

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 the use of plastic may also be apprehensive about 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 Bento Boxes and will help you to make a choice that fulfils all your requirements. Liked this article on Materials Used for Making Bento Boxes? Why not try our Bento Box Basics articles with much more information on bento. You might also be interested to see how wooden bento boxes are made on YouTube.

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