Fifteen dollars for a bowl with a lid strikes me as expensive. I’m a frugal (cheap!) girl, and I had a hard enough time going from the “4 containers for $2 minus a $1 off coupon” Gladware to the “4 containers for $6-8 and no coupons” Pyrex glass dishes.
I have to say I was intrigued and skeptical when I got to test out Life Without Plastic’s stainless steel containers. I didn’t think there would be any validating points to spend so much.
I’ve since been convinced.
Why Stainless Steel Beats Glass
- It can go right on the stovetop. Since I more or less gave up the microwave about a year ago, I use my toaster oven and my stovetop more than most folks. Guess which one is faster? The stovetop kicks the toaster oven’s behind, but I hate dirtying the extra pot sometimes. You do know how I feel about dishes, right? I LOVE that these stainless steel dishes can be plopped right onto the stove and voila! Lunch is served.
- The kiddo factor: non-breakable. I know Maria Montessori would have me give my toddler glass dishes all the time and just teach her to use them properly. We Kimballs are clumsy people, unfortunately.
- Kiddo factor no. 2: easy to open lids. My son has trouble with the plastic lids on glass containers, and he’s almost five years old. He thinks the latches on the stainless bowls are as good as a toy.
- Lightweight. Especially when you’re packing something you’ll have to carry, stainless steel over glass is a wondrous thing.
- No plastic at all. I’m not terribly worried about the plastic lids on Pyrex glass containers, but I’ve heard from many other bloggers and commenters who are. Here’s the solution – there’s zero plastic in the stainless steel containers, so no chemical leaching concerns.
Why Stainless Steel and Glass BOTH Trump Plastic
- Please read Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish’s fabulous guest post about the dangers of plastic food storage containers. Glass and stainless have no health concerns.
- My favorite part, they’re not only dishwasher safe, but they dry all the way and don’t drip all over your other clean dishes because of their little nooks and crannies, like plastic containers do. Because you KNOW how I feel about dishes!
- Both can go in the toaster or conventional oven, right from the fridge. Nice – another dishes saver.
A Few Drawbacks
I’m not getting a reputation for balanced reviews for nothing. Here are the reasons I still love my glass storage containers, too:
- Stainless is pricey. However, I’m comforted by the fact that it will last forever and never break (see clumsy Kimball comment above).
- You can’t see through them. Once you get enough leftovers going in the fridge, this could be an issue. But hey – Tupperware was all opaque back in the day, too, and everyone still bought them!
- They can’t go in the microwave. For me, this is not a problem, but I understand that many people rely on the microwave for leftovers both at home and at work. You’ll want a balance of glass and stainless steel for various purposes.
Other Fun Products
The most important products that Life Without Plastic carries, in my opinion, is the glass baby bottles (no longer available) and child sippys. We need to protect our littlest ones from any potential plastic leaching as much as possible, and if you can’t breastfeed (or if you pump), please seek out a plastic-free bottle option. My friend with twins didn’t get to test it, because her girls were already too big for the nipple size (I forgot to specify; make sure you remember!). It will be put to good use by someone soon though!
I didn’t get one of these for review, but I have to give a shoutout to a product we use almost every day: our diaper bag staple is a 12-oz. Klean Kanteen with sippy spout. If you are prone to leave liquid in a bag for more than a few hours (ahem, maybe like a few days like me), you really need to avoid those plastics, which leach chemicals over time and with heat.
I also got to test out the stainless steel hot meal container, which is an awesome product for anyone trying to avoid the microwave AND avoid plastic, because you can heat up your food properly on the stovetop in the morning and have a hot meal at lunchtime. This is the modern-day version of the classic soup thermos that construction workers are often portrayed with. It’s shorter and wider, more like a traditional bowl.
After my daughter broke two glass dishes off her highchair tray in one week, I changed my mind about switching her to glass drinking glasses. I *cringe* actually use little bitty plastic ones. I was just saying before I revisited the Life Without Plastic site that I wished someone made lightweight, stainless steel cups for little ones. Well, duh, Katie – they do.
Disclosure: Life Without Plastics supplied three products for my review and two for you, but in no way did they influence my opinion or require a positive review. This post also contains affiliate links to Life Without Plastic. See my full disclosure statement here.
If you appreciated the balance and depth of the review you just read, you will love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!