Shopping·8 min read

Upgrade Your Sad Desk Lunch With These Lunch Boxes for Adults

Calpak Adult Lunch Box, W&P Porter Ceramic Bowl
Design: theSkimm | Image: Calpak, W&PDesign
March 3, 2022

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Always have lunchtime on your mind? Same. And as many of us transition from WFH life to days in the office, we’ve also got saving money on takeout on the mind. Enter: investing in an adult lunch box and doing a lil’ prep beforehand. From smaller bento boxes to larger insulated lunch boxes, we’ve rounded up some options for whatever’s on the menu. Bon appetit.

Adult Lunch Bags 

Waxed canvas lunch bag

An option with removable insulated lining to make cleaning up spills easier… 

Adult lunch box, meet statement work bag. This one marries utility with a chic washable paper-bag finish. It’s designed with a crossbody strap for easy wearing during your commute, and a convenient back pocket for storing cutlery. Is it lunchtime yet? ($44, Anthropologie)

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Assebo waxed canvas large lunch bag

A reusable lunch bag that can hold a surprising amount of food… 

This adult lunch bag’s design is a throwback to the classic paper-bag lunch — with a glow-up. It’s made with durable, water-repellant waxed canvas and can be hand-washed with soap. This version can hold more than 11 pounds — aka at least four to five casseroles, two bottles of water and three to four pieces of fruit. Relive your adolescent years and pack yourself an upgraded PB&J while you’re at it. ($20.97, Amazon)

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Cotton wrap lunch bag with buttons
Burke Decor

A 100% organic cotton adult lunch bag… 

Cotton can control moisture, insulate, and withstand weather. It’s also naturally absorbent. So you can be confident that this lunch bag will keep your food fresh. It comes with a strap closure, it’s available in five neutral colors, and it’s also machine washable. ($27, Burke Decor)

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Smallable twill lunch box

An adult lunch box made from recycled materials… 

This sustainable option is made from recyclable, organic, and biodegradable materials — plus it’s certified GOTS, and OEKO-TEX®. With a water-resistant cotton twill and Velcro closure, your lunch will be protected from the elements no matter what your commute looks like. Feel good, do good. ($24, Smallable

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Bento Boxes for Adults

Handmade bento box
MomoCoStudio via Etsy

A handmade bento box set with all the extras… 

This wooden bento box for adults is practically a work of art. It has a classic design, with one large space for your main course and two smaller spaces for your sides and snacks. It comes in two different colors — a lighter and darker wood — and there's an option to upgrade into the full package with a carrying bag and utensils. Looking for a little inspo when it comes to what to pack in it? Check out this guide with 16 easy bento box lunch ideas. ($34.87+, MomoCoStudio via Etsy)

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Modern bento box in pastel colors

A modern bento box with enough space for lunch and leftovers…

Have both cold and hot items on the schedule for lunch? This bento box comes with removable compartments that are all microwave safe, so you can pick and choose what to heat up. Aka no warm salad here. It’s also pretty big as far as bento boxes go, so you won’t have to sacrifice feeling full because of limited space. We’re also partial to its vibrant color options. Time to eat up. ($40, Food52)

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Stainless steel stackable bento box

A stackable, plastic-alternative bento box… 

We love a stainless steel bento box for adults. Because it’s easy to clean, durable, and just looks good. This dishwasher-safe bento box comes with three stacked containers: Use one for your main and two for your extras. It’s endlessly reusable, and we love that its packaging is plastic-free and recyclable too. ($37.95, Hive)

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Insulated Lunch Boxes for Adults

insulated hydroflask lunch box

An insulated lunch box from a trusted brand… 

Yes, Hydro Flask makes more than quality water bottles. This lunch box has a storage capacity of 3.5 liters and includes layers of insulation to keep your food cold for hours. Plus, it’s fully lined — so staying clean is just a wipe away. And if you want a little more space, there’s also a 5-liter option available. Top off your Hydro Flask collection with this portable utensil set and you’ll be golden. ($33.71+, Amazon)

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insulated lunch bag for adults

A carry-all insulated lunch box for all your favorites…

Is it a briefcase? A purse? Nope, it’s an insulated lunch box. This option comes in several eye-catching colors and patterns, with food-safe lining and a double-zippered main compartment. An external front pocket and adjustable loop for a canteen make it easy to tote the extras. Pro tip: Throw an ice pack inside and enjoy some ice cream or sorbet during your lunch hour. We love this genius recipe for delicious homemade sorbet. ($33.71, Corkcicle)

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polka dotted insulated lunch box

A lightweight insulated lunch bag with a drawstring closure… 

Function meets style in this lunch bag with multiple exterior pockets for your bottles and extras, and an easy-to-clean interior. Long carrying handles make taking this on the go a cinch. Psst…the brand also offers two-to five-year accident protection add-ons to cover any rips, stains, and more. ($42, Calpak)

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squared tote lunch bag

A lunch box that serves big hot ‘n’ cold energy… 

For when you wanna keep your cold foods cold, and your warm foods warm. This portable insulated lunch bag to the rescue. It’s made from strong, waterproof oxford cloth, and comes in 16 different designs. Pop an ice pack in for anything you need to stay cool. And get ready to spend less time at the microwave and more time chowing down. ($12.95+, Amazon)

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Cute Lunch Boxes for Adults

inscribed bento box
KeepThingsPersonal via Etsy

A personalized lunch box you can put in the shared fridge… 

Worried about someone “borrowing” your lunch in the community fridge? Not anymore. This bamboo lunch box gives you the option to have your name laser-engraved on the lid. It’s the perfect size for a quick salad or sandwich and comes with a band to secure the lid in place. We love its pastel color options and eco-friendly bamboo materials. ($25.34, KeepThingsPersonal via Etsy)

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ceramic and plastic reusable bowls

A chic ultra-light bowl for all your salad and grain needs… 

ICYMI, we’re a little obsessed with W&P’s storage options, and this bowl is no exception. Say goodbye to single-use plastic with this container, perfect for transporting your salads or grain bowls. It has a 1-liter capacity and is both dishwasher- and microwave-safe. If you want to take it up a notch, try the ceramic version. It’s wrapped in a silicone base and comes with a silicone strap to secure your goodies. Yes, please. ($20, W&P)

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