Whether you like your sugary sweet or filled with healthy grains, there’s no denying the power of cereal. It’s quick, convenient, and filling. It’s easy to see why it’s the top breakfast food of choice for 56% of Americans.
The only problem? Storing cereal has always been a bit of an issue. Once you peel open that top flap, you’re left with a big predicament. Roll the plastic bag down and hope it’s sealed tightly enough to keep fresh? Or, pour the contents into an airtight container?
The latter is a much more efficient way to store your beloved Frosted Flakes, and it will keep them fresher for longer. Today, we’re sharing how to find the best cereal containers so your shelves are always lined with your early morning favorites.
What Are Cereal Containers?
A cereal container is a special type of food box that’s designed to be 100% airtight. Most are made of either BPA plastic or clear glass, which allows you to easily see the contents inside. These keep your cereal fresh by making sure that no air is allowed to interact it.
If you don’t have such a tool at your disposal, you can use a twist-tie to keep your cereal bag sealed. Or, you can roll it down and use a chip clip. While both of these methods are fine, they aren’t exactly airtight. Even the smallest gap can lead to an air leak, which can shorten the lifespan of your Grape Nuts or Apple Jacks.
To keep your pantry neat and organized, it helps to find containers that are shaped similarly to a cardboard cereal box. This means looking for ones that are tall and thin, so you can stack them neatly side by side in the same spot where you’d normally place your other boxes.
Why Should You Buy Cereal Containers?
Have you ever gone to pour a big bowl of cereal, only to find that it’s turned stale in your pantry? Next to noticing that you’re out of milk, that’s arguably the saddest realization you can have before the sun rises.
When left in the box, cereal is exposed to air. This catalyzes a process known as oxidation, which can affect its texture and taste. Your once-crispy flakes and granola nuggets may suddenly seem chewy and strangely soft. Cereal containers work to prevent this from occurring.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why they’re a smart addition to any home pantry!
Keep Cereal Fresher, Longer
Your cereal won’t last forever in any container, including one designed for cereal. However, it will have a longer timeline than you might expect.
If you leave your cereal sealed inside of the box it came in, food experts estimate that it can last for six to 12 months beyond the expiration date listed on the package. However, once you open the original packaging, that shelf life reduces to around three months.
Why is this the case? Exposed air isn’t the only culprit. As it sits in your pantry, opened cereal is also exposed to both humidity and sunlight. This is true even if you seal the bag with a tie or clip. These elements work together to change the structural makeup of your cereal, resulting in the unpleasant stale taste you’ll notice before too long.
A cereal container safeguards your cereal to the greatest extent possible. It shields the contents from air and humidity, so the oxidation process takes longer to occur. As soon as you fill yours up, write the date of purchase on the container so you can track its freshness.
Maximize Pantry Space
Cereal boxes might not be the largest items in your pantry, but they can quickly fill up your shelves. This is especially true if you buy the extra-large bulk sizes to feed your whole family. Cereal containers are designed to be as sleek and streamlined as possible, so they should take up less space.
Plus, have you ever noticed that cardboard cereal boxes can become misshapen over time? As you pull the plastic bag in and out, the contents shift to the bottom, which can cause the box to bulge in the front. You don’t have this issue with hard cereal containers, which will always maintain their shape.
Keep Pests Away
If mice or other rodents find their way into your pantry, cereal boxes are one of the first targets they attack. They’re nimble enough to eat right through a cardboard box and pry into a plastic bag. As such, it’s not uncommon to notice their handiwork all over your floor, usually in the form of half-eaten crumbs and spilled grain clusters.
Ants are other invaders that will quickly take advantage of any cereal box left half-opened in your pantry. If there’s even a sliver of space available, they’ll squeeze into it and enjoy a feast. Due to their tight seal, cereal containers help keep your food pest-free!
Accommodate Bulk Purchases
Speaking of buying in bulk, do you find that you’re always buying oversized boxes of cereal to accommodate the varying tastes of your family members? One child might prefer a certain brand, while the other likes another. Not only do those containers take up a ton of space in your pantry, but it’s also difficult to finish a box before it goes stale.
Even if your child adores Apple Jacks, it can be nearly impossible to reach the bottom of the bag with the crispy, fruity texture still intact. When you get home from the big-box store, you can simply open those bags and pour everything into designated containers. Then, recycle the box and breathe a little easier!
Store More Than Cereal
Despite their name, you don’t have to use cereal containers just for cereal! They also make excellent storage options for dry pasta, rice, and other grains, such as raw oats. Their spouts are easy to pour from, which makes it a cinch to portion out just what you need.
Other food items that you can store include:
- Snacks (potato chips, pretzels)
Plus, their use even extends past the kitchen. You can also use a cereal container to organize craft supplies, such as a collection of buttons or pom-poms. This keeps your space neat and clean, while the clear exterior ensures you always know exactly what you have on hand. They’re also great for storing pet food!
Mornings are usually one of the most rushed parts of the day. When you’re on the go, you need cereal that’s easily within arm’s reach. With so much going on, you shouldn’t have to drag out the step-stool to reach the largest box on the back of the shelf.
Cereal containers allow you to organize your items in a visible way, so you always know what you’re grabbing. They also make it easier to store your favorites for quick retrieval. In addition, they reduce the likelihood of spills and messes in your kitchen! Especially if you have pets or children to who love to get into adventures around the house, you’ll be glad to know that most containers are difficult for tiny hands (or paws) to pry open.
How to Find the Best Cereal Containers: Features to Look For
Have you decided that it’s time to add a few cereal containers to your kitchen setup? If so, it’s important to know which features set the best ones apart from the rest. As you begin your search, you’ll soon find that there are plenty of options on the market, but not all of them will work for your family. Let’s review how to find the top-performing ones.
The chief consideration when choosing a cereal container is the type of material used. Above all else, you want to make sure that it is sturdy and durable enough to withstand normal wear and tear. Fragile ones might look beautiful, but if you have a rowdy family that could knock them over, then they aren’t worth the investment.
Ideally, look for ones that are made of BPA-free plastic. Not only are these almost impossible to break, but they’re also lightweight and easy to clean. Though they will require more care, glass containers are also an option.
Unlike some plastic types, they won’t absorb flavors or smells from your cereal, and they won’t alter its taste at all. If you decide to go this route, then look for containers made of borosilicate glass, which will last longer and hold up better than common glass.
The manufacturer should clearly list the material on the item description. If there are any questions about its makeup, go ahead and reach out for clarification.
A cereal container won’t help too much if its seal is loose or faulty. A hermetic seal is preferable, as these are meant to be completely airtight and watertight. No air or liquid will enter or leave the container when it is shut.
Both glass and plastic cereal containers can be hermetically sealed, so look for this feature before buying. Without it, you could unknowingly expose your cereal to unwanted pests, air, and moisture.
Most cereal containers are designed with an easy-pour lid that anyone in your family can intuitively use. Usually, the lids are designed to pop up separately from the rest of the top closure with one hand motion. Then, they close back completely when you’re finished. However, this isn’t always the case.
You’ll discover that these containers are available with a wide range of closure systems, including tops that you have to remove in their entirety to use. For easy locking, look for a push-button system that doesn’t take too much maneuvering or manpower to operate.
The container you choose shouldn’t be difficult to handle or use. Think about the people who will be using yours the most, and make sure that they can easily grasp it. You may find that containers with large top halves and narrow lower halves are easier to hold than those with the opposite proportions.
Higher-end models will sometimes include special grips or contours where your hand should go. This makes pouring more intuitive and helps even the littlest eaters participate in breakfast.
One of the main reasons people invest in cereal containers is to easily see the contents of their items. For this reason, look for clear ones that don’t have too many markings or embellishments on them. While you might find it helpful to add labels to yours, you may not even need to do that with a totally transparent box.
With these, there’s no question as to what’s inside! You can also monitor the fill levels, so you always know when you’re running low and it’s time to restock.
Measurements and Style
It might seem like a minimal factor to consider, but you want your cereal containers to look clean and sleek in your pantry. You also want them to fit comfortably. Measure the height of your shelves to understand the dimensions and parameters that you need to shop within.
Some containers are designed with special contours that are more space-efficient than bulkier, rounder alternatives. You can also find stackable sets if you’re short on space! Then, there are modular containers that you can customize according to your specific needs.
As you browse, keep in mind that extra-large containers may be too tall to fit on a standard shelf. While you can turn them sideways or lay them flat, this can increase the risk of spills, especially if they’re within reach of a child. If you’re running low on shelf space, then elegant glass or plastic cereal containers can also look great on your kitchen counter.
In addition to your pantry, you may need containers that you can use in your refrigerator or even your freezer. For instance, you may prefer to keep your seeds and nuts cold for your morning smoothie bowls! Or, you may want to fill yours with frozen peas and small mixed veggies for easy weeknight meals.
Make sure you understand where you can use the ones you’re eyeing. If you’re unsure, then reach out to the manufacturer.
Ease of Maintenance
When the day finally comes and you find yourself at the bottom of the cereal container, it’s time to clean all the dust and tiny crumbs out. This way, it will be ready for the next fill-up! The best cereal containers are dishwasher-safe, with the possible exception of any silicone seals that come with the packaging.
Alternatively, you may need to hand wash some containers, especially if they’re too big to fit on the top rack of your dishwasher. Thankfully, both glass and plastic are non-porous, so they’re easy to clean. Most will wash up well with just mild dish detergent and water. Avoid abrasive scrubbers to keep the surface free of scratches, and you should be good to go!
4 Top Options for Cereal Containers
Now that you know what to look for in cereal containers, are you ready to start shopping? Below, we’ve curated a list of the five top options on the market, all available online in just a few clicks! We chose these cereal containers based on affordability, ease of use, and positive customer reviews! Most are available in sets, so you can keep more than one box of cereal open at a time. Breakfast is about to get a lot easier, so let’s dive in.
When almost 29,000 people get excited about cereal containers, then you know you need to check them out. The Chef’s Path Store Cereal Containers Storage Set is an Amazon’s Choice item in this category, and it’s easy to see why.
The set includes four containers made of BPA-free plastic. Each container measures 9.6 inches x 3.9 inches x 9.3 inches and holds 135.2 ounces or 16.9 cups. In addition to the containers, you’ll also receive a four-piece set of measuring spoons, as well as eight reusable chalkboard labels and a double-tip chalkboard marker.
Thanks to the four-sided locking lids and silicone seal, your food will stay fresh and crunchy for much longer. The upgraded, airtight pouring spout it easy to use
You can store these in your refrigerator or freezer, and the space-saving design helps you maximize space. If you don’t love them for any reason, then the Chef’s Path Store will fully refund your money plus let you keep the containers!
The FOOYOO Cereal Container Set includes four BPA-free plastic containers. Each one can hold up to 135.2 ounces, or almost 17 cups, and measures 8.5 inches x 3.15 inches x 9.65 inches.
Along with the containers, you’ll also receive 16 reusable, peel-and-stick chalkboard labels, as well as one handy chalkboard marker. You can apply the labels to the containers so you always know exactly what’s inside! There are also clearly visible graduation marks on the exterior of each container, so you know precisely how much you have inside.
We love the ergonomic grip on these containers, and the flip-top lid is intuitive and easy to use. Plus, you can rest assured it’s tightly sealed and leakproof, thanks to the airtight silicone seal and four-sided locking system. The manufacturer recently upgraded this system, making it even more secure.
The narrow design makes it easy to store in your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator, so stash them wherever you need! These containers are backed by the FOOYOO 100% Lifetime Guarantee. If you don’t love them, then you can get a full refund without any questions asked.
The Vtopmart Cereal Storage Container Set is available in a few different options, which is great for a family with varying kitchen needs. The first one is a set of two containers, which will hold 213 ounces each, or almost 27 cups. The other includes four containers that hold 84.5 ounces each, or 10.5 cups. All are made with BPA-free plastic.
Each container in the two-piece set measures 11 inches x 5.3 inches x 11.3 inches. Each container in the four-piece set measures 7.9 inches x 3.7 inches x 8.3 inches. Both sets includes 24 chalkboard markers and one chalkboard marker.
All of the containers feature a contoured design for easy pouring, as well as a flip lid that includes a convenient, sealed hole. This allows you to pour from the container without opening the entire lid. The ergonomic grips on the containers encourage easy handling, even if they’re full.
With nearly 4,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, these are top-sellers.
The Seseno Cereal and Dry Food Storage Containers are available in a four-pack. Each container is made of BPA-free plastic and holds 135.5 ounces, or roughly 17 cups. They measure 9 inches x 3 inches x 9 inches.
Featuring an air-tight, four-sided locking lid, these are sure to keep your items free of pests, moisture, and oxidation. Plus, we love the smart, stackable design that allows you to save space in your kitchen cupboard! Simply pop the non-slip lid open when you’re ready to use it, and seal it back when you’re done.
You’re free to use these containers in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. They’re even safe to use in the microwave, but you’ll need to remove the lid, first. When they get dirty, simply place them in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.
Transform Your Breakfast With Cereal Containers
You don’t have to struggle with unwieldy cereal boxes anymore. With cereal containers, you can be confident that your beloved Rice Krispies will stay crunchy, fresh, and ready to eat whenever a craving strikes. These must-have accessories are versatile, convenient, and easy for the entire family to use.
With this guide on how to find the best cereal containers, you can start looking for the perfect ones to fill your shelves! Along the way, be sure to check back here for more informative guides on what to buy and how to use the latest kitchen essentials.