The days of stocking up on disposable plastic baggies for food storage are over. There is a better, environmentally-friendly alternative that keeps food fresh without harming the planet – reusable silicone food storage bags!
Silicone bags are revolutionizing leftovers and packed lunches thanks to their versatility, safety, and durability. Unlike flimsy disposable bags, quality silicone can withstand freezing, microwaving, and repeated use over many years.
In this blog post we will overview the top silicone food bags on the market. We’ll also cover what to look for when choosing reusable bags that fit your lifestyle. And no discussion would be complete without answering some frequently asked questions about how to use silicone for food prep and storage.
Top 5 Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags
Silicone comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs to meet different needs. Here are five top-rated options to consider making the switch to:
Stasher is an American company that has practically defined the reusable silicone food bag industry. Their bags feature a patented self-sealing design that creates an air-tight vacuum seal without the need for zippers or clasps.
The pinch-lock seals keep food fresh while also being easy to open with one hand. Stasher bags are made from 100% platinum silicone that is BPA and latex free. They can handle temperatures from -40 to 400°F.
Stasher offers bags in half gallon, sandwich, snack, and stand-up megabag sizes. They come in fun pops of colors like aqua, pink, and yellow. When empty, Stasher bags collapse nearly flat for compact storage.
Highlights: No hardware self-sealing design, variety of sizes, food safe materials, bright colors, lifetime warranty
Potential Drawbacks: Upfront investment, hand wash only
Ziptop Reusable Silicone Bags
Ziptop bags originated on Shark Tank and feature a patented double zipper seal to keep food fresh and leakproof. The zipper gives you control over the closure – keep it air tight or leave a small vent.
Made from medical grade silicone, Ziptop bags are free from BPA, phthalates, and latex. They withstand temperatures ranging from -40 to 425°F so you can use them to freeze soup or bake a casserole.
Ziptop offers quart, sandwich, snack, and mini sizes. While the bags only come in clear, the double zipper seals really make this brand unique.
Highlights: Leakproof double zipper seal, medical grade materials, freezer and microwave safe
Potential Drawbacks: Only available in clear, hand wash recommended
BlueAvocado Rezip Bags
BlueAvocado is a vegan brand that emphasizes eco-friendly food storage. Their Rezip silicone bags are made from medical-grade, 100% silicone with no BPAs, phthalates or latex.
The flip-top closure creates an airtight seal, and the flexible silicone makes it easy to squeeze out excess air before sealing. BlueAvocado bags can withstand temperatures of -40 to 480°F.
The Rezip comes in quart, sandwich, and pint sizes. The translucent light blue color gives it a sleek, modern look. The lightweight silicone collapses for compact storage.
Highlights: Vegan brand, flip-top closure, lightweight and flexible
Potential Drawbacks: Only one color choice, hand wash only
LunchBots Reusable Storage Bags
LunchBots offers silicone bags with a leakproof zipper closure. They are BPA and phthalate free and hold up to temperatures ranging from -40 to 425°F.
The LunchBots bags come in quart, sandwich, and snack sizes. They are available in a variety of bold colors and fun patterns like hearts, polka dots, and tie dye.
The durable, flexible silicone makes these great for packing sandwiches or snacks for school or work. The rectangular shapes stack neatly in a lunchbox.
Highlights: Colorful patterns, zipper closure, durable for transporting food
Potential Drawbacks: Zipper may be prone to breaking, hand wash recommended
Qoo10 Reusable Food Bags
Qoo10 is an Asian brand offering reusable silicone food bags with both zipper and snap lid closure options. Their bags are free from BPA and latex.
Qoo10 bags can withstand an impressive temperature range from -76 to 392°F. They come in jumbo, large, medium, and small sizes.
The variety of seal choices and ability to collapse flat makes these very versatile to use. Qoo10 bags are also microwave safe for reheating foods.
Highlights: Zipper and snap lid options, wide temperature range, collapses flat
Potential Drawbacks: Limited colors, hand wash only
How to Choose the Right Reusable Silicone Bags
With so many silicone food storage bags out there, it can get overwhelming to pick the right options for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing reusable bags:
Consider Your Usage Needs
Think about how you plan to use your silicone bags to narrow down the right size and features. Will you use them for short everyday storage or long-term freezing? What types of foods do plan to store – liquids like smoothies or solids like cut veggies? Purchase a variety of sizes like quart and snack to fulfill different purposes.
Look for Quality Materials
The highest quality silicone bags will be made from 100% food grade silicone, preferably medical or surgical grade. This ensures they are free from hazardous chemicals like BPA and phthalates. Avoid cheaper silicone blends which may degrade more quickly.
Self-sealing silicone bags are great for creating an instant airtight seal without any hardware. Zipper closures give you more control over adjusting the tightness of the seal. And snap lids keep food secure while being easy to open.
Many silicone bags are hand wash only, so check the cleaning instructions. Some brands are dishwasher safe which makes cleaning easier, just be sure to use the gentle cycle. Also verify if the bags are microwave safe.
Some silicone bags have handy extras like attachable refrigerator/freezer racks for organization. Collapse-flat designs take up less storage space. Fun colors and prints help differentiate similar sized bags at a glance.
Established brands often have better product warranties and customer service. Reading customer reviews can reveal any potential durability issues to be aware of. Companies focused on food safety tend to select the highest quality materials.
Frequently Asked Questions About Silicone Food Storage Bags
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about using reusable silicone bags:
Are silicone bags microwave safe?
Most silicone bags are microwave safe up to temperatures of 400°F or higher. Always verify with the manufacturer. Limit microwave time to 3-5 minutes at a time.
Can silicone bags go in the freezer?
Yes, food grade silicone is safe for freezing. Look for bags rated for -40°F and below. Allow to come fully to room temperature before washing after freezing.
Do silicone bags need to be washed before first use?
It’s recommended to hand wash new silicone bags in hot soapy water before the first use to remove any residues from manufacturing.
How do you clean reusable silicone bags?
Wash silicone bags by hand with hot soapy water and a soft sponge. Avoid abrasive scrubbers. Fully air dry the bags inside and out before storing to prevent mold growth.
Can silicone bags be turned inside out for cleaning?
Yes, gently turn the bags inside out to clean all the sealing surfaces and inner areas thoroughly. Avoid aggressive tugging and pulling to prevent tearing seams.
Can silicone bags go in the dishwasher?
Some brands specify their bags are dishwasher safe. For longer life, hand washing is still recommended. If machine washing, use the gentle cycle and allow to fully air dry.
How do you get rid of stains and odors in silicone bags?
For stains, soak in hot soapy water with a mild scrub brush. For odors, soak in a vinegar and water or baking soda solution. Lemon juice also helps remove smells.
How long do silicone bags last?
With proper care, most high quality silicone bags will last for years. Typically the closure mechanics like zippers or seals tend to weaken over time after extensive use.
Can silicone bags be composted?
No, silicone itself cannot be broken down and composted. It is an extremely durable, long-lasting material. Reuse or recycle your silicone bags whenever possible.
Are silicone bags better than disposable plastic?
Yes! Silicone is more eco-friendly compared to single use plastics. It can be used repeatedly and is stable at high temperatures. Less likely to leach harmful chemicals versus disposable plastic bags.
Making the Switch
Hopefully this overview has shown the benefits of reusable silicone food storage bags compared to disposables. Silicone offers convenience, versatility, and peace of mind when it comes to storing leftovers and prepping meals.
When choosing silicone, be sure to consider your usage needs and select bags with quality materials from reputable brands. With the right care, silicone bags can be an investment that pays off for years to come.
The next time you’re packing lunches or storing food in the freezer, skip the wasteful disposable plastic and get your food prep into tip-top silicone shape! Your wallet and the planet will thank you.