Best Silicone Food Storage Bags

The right reusable food bags will finally let you kick disposable bags to the curb for good!

(From left to right) Stasher, Xomoo, Aishn, Zip Top, and WP Silicone Food Storage Bags
From left to right: Stasher quart bag, Xomoo 600-milliliter bag, AISHN bag, Zip Top sandwich bag, W&P Porter sandwich bag.
Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

When it comes to the big problem with plastic waste, many people think of plastic shopping bags. But plastic food storage bags—used to store everything from sandwiches and on-the-go snacks to marinating chicken and freezer-ready rolls—are even more insidious. 

In 2018, Americans tossed out about 4.2 million tons of plastic shopping and food storage bags, sacks, and wraps, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. I crunched the numbers, and that averages out to nearly 26 pounds per person! And LDPE and LLDPE resins—the stuff used to make plastic baggies, films, and food wraps—made up more than two-thirds of that plastic waste.

Silicone bags are a popular replacement for plastic baggies. So much so that SC Johnson, which owns Ziploc, acquired the reusable silicone storage bag brand Stasher in 2019. These bags are made from silica (a natural element abundant in sand and rock) and are considered by the Food and Drug Administration to be generally nontoxic and safe for food storage.

“Find reusable bags that are designated food-grade either on the packaging or the website,” says James E. Rogers, PhD, director of food safety research and testing at CR. An FDA stamp of approval on a silicone product would also mean it’s safe to use with food. 

Reusable plastic bags made of PEVA and other polymers are available, but silicone is more durable (though tears and punctures can happen) and lasts longer than plastic, which explains the bigger price tags. Plus, silicone doesn’t degrade or break down into microparticles, making it potentially less harmful to your health and the environment. 

More on Plastic

However, for silicone bags to be genuinely sustainable, you have to actually use them and stop using disposable ones. “The key is to replace the single-use plastic bag and to use the silicone ones for a long time,” says Ushma Pandya Mehta, cofounder of Think Zero, a zero-waste consultancy. She adds that you should first get as much use as possible out of the disposable plastic storage bags and other food storage containers you already own “before buying a new trendy ‘zero waste’ product. Using what you have is more sustainable than buying something new.”

If you’re committed to kicking your plastic bag habit, using good silicone bags can help. I looked at five popular silicone bag brands and evaluated their quart-sized bag (or the size that came closest). If they offered a stand-up version, I checked that out, too. Many of them come in pretty hues, but I opted for white to best assess for stains. Learn more about how I evaluated these silicone food storage bags, below.

Editor's Pick: W&P

W&P Porter Flat and Standup Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Porter Sandwich Bag (34 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid: $12
Where to buy: W&P, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond

Porter Stand-Up Bag (36 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid: $14
Where to buy: W&P, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond

Of all the silicone bags I looked at, the W&P bags came closest to looking and feeling like a disposable zip-top bag.

The food-grade silicone is thin, soft, pliable, and crystal clear on the front. W&P offers flat bags (10, 34, and 46 fluid ounces) and stand-up bags (36 and 50 fluid ounces) in five colors. 

While the W&P bags mimic the convenience of zip-top bags, they outperform them when it comes to cleaning. The curved corners make them easy to wash, and unlike most other flat silicone bags, you can turn these inside out.

In the freezer, the bags stayed more airtight than the others, and while there was some frost clinging to the insides of the bags, there wasn’t much frost on the mango pieces, probably because I was able to press out a lot of air (the culprit of freezer burn). At one point, I rolled my ankle (unrelated to this article) and reached for this bag to make an ice pack. The thin, flexible material was perfect. 

The seal isn’t quite as leakproof as the Stasher (below) but is easier to close and open. There was no leakage with the bag halfway full of water and turned upside down, but when I placed the bag on a counter with a 5-pound weight on top, it slowly leaked out of one corner. It stayed shut when dropped flat from 3 feet but split open when dropped at an angle.

The same attributes that make W&P bags ideal for the freezer make it excel at sous vide, too. It was easy to displace air from the bag for a tight vacuum seal. The chop stayed submerged and didn’t take up much space in the pot, unlike the thicker bags. The Ziploc bag produced the juiciest, most flavorful chop, but the W&P chop was a very close second, making it the best silicone bag for sous vide. After cleaning the bag in the dishwasher, it retained no smell from the fish sauce marinade. 

Bolognese sauce stained every bag it touched even after a thorough wash, but the stains were entirely reversed in only two bags—this one and the Stasher—by simply letting the bags bathe in the sun for two afternoons (per Stasher’s recommendation).

Filling W&P bags requires two hands, one to splay the opening and the other to fill. With the stand-up version, you can at least let go of the bag without it flopping over (and it heats food in the microwave with ease), but filling the flat bag with liquid is much trickier because it is very thin and soft. The bags need to stretch over three rows of tines in the dishwasher to stay propped open.

Runner-Up: Stasher

Stasher quart bag and stand- up mini bag

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Quart Bag (40 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid: $19.99
Where to buy: Stasher

Stand-Up Mini Bag (28 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid:
$17.99
Where to buy: Stasher, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond

It seems like you can’t stroll through a store these days without stumbling into a Stasher. These tastefully tinted bags are everywhere, from Amazon and Whole Foods to Target and possibly your neighborhood co-op. The bags come in nine sizes, ranging from pocket (4 fluid ounces) to stand-up mega (104 fluid ounces). The weight of the bag is printed on it, so grocers can charge you for purchases without including the weight of the bag. They are made from platinum silicone. Yep, I wondered what the heck platinum silicone was, too, so I looked into it. 

Silicone products need to go through a curing process that uses either platinum or peroxide as the catalyst. Curing with peroxide is cost-effective but requires fillers that add contaminants and byproducts to the final product (that do not affect its safety for food storage). Platinum curing is more expensive but produces purer silicone with no fillers that is stronger and more durable as a result. All medical-grade silicone is platinum silicone, but not necessarily food-grade silicone.

So how did this popular silicone bag fare on my assessment? Let’s start with the good. Stasher’s thick silicone and airtight seal makes these bags best for protecting frozen goods from freezer burn. It was easy to press out excess air from the bag, and it stayed that way after a couple of days in the freezer. There was some frost clinging to the bag’s insides and the mango, but not as much as the others. That tight seal is also leakproof, so you can feel secure filling it with marinades. It stayed good and shut even with a 5-pound weight on the bag. It also stayed shut when it dropped from 3 feet flat, but it opened when dropped on its side.

I was able to displace most of the air in the bag for sous vide, but the puffy shape of the thick bag and seal did not make it easy. The bag also didn’t stay submerged in the water bath—it floats—so I had to place a ramekin on it to keep the chop below the waterline. Compared with a pork chop sous vide in a Ziploc bag, the Stasher chop was slightly dry and lacking flavor, but after cleaning the bag in the dishwasher, it retained no smell from the fish sauce marinade. 

Like all the bags I evaluated, the Stasher was no match for Bolognese sauce when it came to stains. After a wash in the dishwasher, the bag came out orange. Stasher’s website suggests setting stained bags in the sun for one or two days to remove stains. So I tried it out, and the stained Stasher looked as good as new after two days in the sun.

The Stasher bags were easy to hand-wash, thanks to the rounded corners, but there are many ridges in the seal that harbor food, which can be a tough task for a sponge to tackle. I had to use a brush to clean out the seal thoroughly. The bags take over three tines to stay propped open in the dishwasher, but they stand up well and don’t flop over. The openings are narrow, so you also need to prop them open to dry thoroughly. They took longer than most other bags to dry. It was easy to microwave sauce in the stand-up bag, and because the opening is just a slit, it kept my microwave splatter-free.

There aren’t many bad things to say about Stasher bags, but there are some notable problems regarding ease of use, especially for people with limited hand mobility. It’s easy not to seal the bag completely shut and not know it. Gliding your fingers along the seal like you would a Ziploc doesn’t lock it, but it appears sealed. You need to pinch the seal to lock it. The seal is also more difficult to open than most others.

Filling the flat and stand-up bags requires two hands, one to splay the opening open and the other to fill. With the stand-up version, you can at least let go of the bag without it flopping over, but filling the flat bag with liquid is much trickier. And because the silicone is thick and wants to revert to its closed position, it is a little frustrating when you need to access the bag repeatedly, like when snacking, for instance. It requires a bit of cramming if using only one hand.

Best Stand-Up Act: Zip Top

Zip Top Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag and Container

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Sandwich Bag (24 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid: $10.39
Where to buy: Zip Top, Amazon

Large Dish (32 Fluid Ounces)
Price paid: $15.99
Where to buy: Zip Top, Amazon

Zip Top bags have also become popular because they stand up and stay open, making it more convenient to fill with one hand. Some are even wide enough that you can eat out of them. The brand makes stand-up bags (4 and 24 ounces), cups (8, 9, 16, and 24 ounces), and dishes (16, 24, and 32 ounces) made of platinum silicone, available in five colors, and manufactured in the U.S. (it’s the only brand we looked at that’s not made in China).

Every bag has a platform bottom and rounded corners, so they’re easy to fill, wash, and dry. Since these bags stay open when unsealed, they can be placed anywhere in the dishwasher, even in areas that don’t have tines. The bags are frosted (semi-opaque) on all sides, but the front has a 1 ½-inch-wide clear stripe down the center for visibility. For some reason, Zip Top bags attract a lot of dust and lint, but they clean up well and repel water spots.

The seals are relatively easy to open and shut, and eating straight from the bags is convenient, thanks to the splayed openings, but the bags are not leakproof. With the seal completely shut and the bag half full, water dribbled freely out of the corners when turned upside down or placed on its side. It’s why “keep upright” is imprinted on the back of the bags. When dropped from 3 feet, they split open when dropped at any angle.

It’s also difficult to keep these bags airtight—partly because of the looser seal and partly because of the shapes—making them less than ideal for the freezer and sous vide. After 48 hours, the mango I froze in them had crystals on the surface and the pieces fused into one big brick. There was also frost and icicles on the inside of the bag. And I wasn’t able to displace all the air in the bag when I made pork chops, but the bag was able to stand in the water without tipping or floating. (Zip Top says to not completely submerge its containers in water for sous vide because water can seep into the seal.) The chop turned out dry and flavorless, and the bag retained the smell from the fish sauce marinade even after a run through the dishwasher. 

The bags also became stained from storing Bolognese sauce. The sun-bleaching trick from Stasher helped reduce the stains, but they were still visible after two days. Zip Top suggests treating stains with baking soda and water and letting it sit for 4 hours. I tried this, and while it removed some more staining, the bag remained tinged.

While Zip Top bags fall short in the freezer and sous vide categories, they are convenient for food prep and storing dry goods. However, I would get a little nervous transporting anything wet in them. I also found the seals most effortless to open and close and imagine children would, too. Zip Top has a kids collection that features 4-ounce cups in animal shapes that are supposed to be even easier for tiny hands to use.

Budget Pick: Xomoo

Xomoo Reusable food container silicone bag

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Price paid: $32.99 (for a six-piece set)
Where to buy: Amazon (exclusive)

Xomoo platinum silicone bags are available only on Amazon and in a set of six, which includes two bags (200 milliliters and 600 ml), two cups (400 ml and 750 ml), and two wide stand-up bags called dishes (600 ml and 1,200 ml). Each bag has a flat bottom, and the price averages out to about $5.50—much less than the very similar-looking Zip Top bags—and comes in two colors.

My first impression of the bags was that I had to unpack them from a thin plastic bag—the very thing we’re trying to avoid with this purchase. That annoyance aside, let’s look at how the bags performed.

Every bag has a platform bottom, so they’re easy to fill, wash, and dry. Since these bags stay open when unsealed, they can be placed anywhere in the dishwasher, even in areas that don’t have tines. The downside is the bags washed in the dishwasher came out with many water spots, making the frosted silicone even more difficult to see through. 

The seals are relatively easy to open and shut, and you can eat straight from the bags, but they’re not leakproof. “Keep upright” is imprinted on the front of the bags, but with the seal completely shut and the bag half full, water dribbled out from the seal when I flipped it upside down or placed it on its side. They split open when dropped from 3 feet at any angle.

It’s difficult to keep these bags airtight, making them less ideal for the freezer and sous vide. After 48 hours, the mango I froze in them had lots of crystals, and the sides of the bags had lots of frost, too. I couldn’t displace all the air in the bag when I sous vide pork chops, but because of the standing bottom, the bag also didn’t tip over or float, so I left the bag standing up in the water bath. The chop turned out dry and flavorless, and the bag retained the smell from the fish sauce marinade even after a run through the dishwasher.

The bags became stained from storing Bolognese sauce. The sun-bleaching trick from Stasher helped reduce the stains, but they were still visible after two days. Xomoo suggests treating stains with bleach water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. I tried the latter, which removed some more staining, but the bags remain tinged.

Similar to the Zip Top bags, I recommend Xomoo bags for food prep and storing dry goods. They’re convenient for keeping chopped vegetables, soups, dough, and leftovers in the fridge. Just avoid carrying around liquids in them if they’re going in your purse, backpack, or lunch sack.

Tightest Seal: AISHN

Aishn Reusable Silicone Food Bag Storage

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Price paid: $19.99 (set of four)
Where to buy: Amazon

AISHN is sold only on Amazon and in a set, which comes wrapped in a plastic bag. The AISHN set comes with four 30-ounce bags in four colors. Each bag lays flat but has a pleated bottom that spreads out when filled so that the bag can stand upright. Instead of a zipper seal, like all the other bags in this assessment, these bags employ a plastic bar that glides over the opening to seal the bag.

This bag is the only one I evaluated that I cannot recommend for any purpose. There is one thing the AISHN bag did better than the rest—it is truly leakproof no matter which angle I dropped it on the floor from or how hard I shook it or pressed on it. It was the runner-up in sous vide, producing a juicy chop lacking slightly in flavor because the marinade pooled in the pleated bottom instead of surrounding the chop. But it was tricky to displace the air in the bag while slipping the plastic bar on to seal the top since both didn’t fit in the pot side by side. Plus, the bar can’t be heated above 176° F even though the bag’s max temperature is 446° F. 

It was one of the worst performers in every other assessment. The mango was frosty, and there was a pile of snow at the bottom of the bag. I could not fully remove the Bolognese stains from the pleat even after two days in the sun and a rub-down with a baking soda-vinegar solution.

Getting that first spoonful of food in there is a crapshoot without a supporting hand to brace the bag. It falls over and flops onto itself very easily. After about 1 cup is in there, it can stand on its own more reliably. The bag can’t seal without the plastic bar (which you can’t buy separately if it’s lost), which you slide across the top along a ridge. It goes in only one direction, and you need to check the somewhat hard-to-read arrows on the bar and the bag to make sure they’re facing the same direction. Sliding the bar across gets sticky near the end, and that extra resistance requires dexterity and hand strength to get it over the finish line. And since the bar is heavier than the bag, it’ll make the bag flop over if it’s not full. Opening the bag is a messy pratfall waiting to happen. There’s a pull tab on one side, which you hold while sliding the bar in the opposite direction. And because it requires a firm initial tug to remove, you’ll be pulling hard, and then it’ll suddenly release with ease, causing the bag to go flying along with all its contents. Even when expecting this, it’s hard not to spill liquid in the bag. There are also measurement markings on the bag, but they’re off by about 4 ounces.

The AISHN was the most challenging bag to hand-wash because it doesn’t stay open, the insides stick to each other, and the creases are hard to get into to clean thoroughly. The bag must be stretched over three dishwasher tines to stand up and not flop over. The pleat on the bottom then becomes a well that holds dishwasher water.

How I Evaluated Silicone Food Storage Bags

I narrowed the silicone bag market down to the five most popular and readily available brands and evaluated each brand’s quart-sized bag (or the size that came closest). If the brand offered a stand-up version, I bought that, too. Many silicone bags come in pretty hues, but I opted for clear or white to best assess for staining.

Greasy, tomatoey Bolognese sauce stored in bags or 24 hours.
The silicone bags were filled with greasy bolognese sauce to assess for staining.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Freezer: I filled each bag with the same amount of freshly cut mango pieces and placed it in my freezer for 48 hours. While sealing the bags, I made sure to press out as much air as possible (the culprit of freezer burn). 

Sous vide and smell: I challenged the bags’ abilities to aid in cooking lean center-cut pork loin chops, a notoriously dry and flavorless cut of meat. Sous vide cooking involves a water bath kept at a steady temperature for hours while your food sits submerged until it reaches the water’s temperature and stays there. This method avoids overcooking but requires a bag to protect the food from getting wet—a job traditionally allocated to vacuum seal bags. Disposable plastic zipper bags are also often used because they can be easily vacuum-sealed by submerging the bag to displace the air before sealing. I used this method with all the silicone bags and tossed a Ziploc bag into the mix, too, as the control. Along with the pork chops, I added a pungent fish sauce marinade to assess odor retention after dishwasher cleaning.

Staining: To see if the bags would become stained from food, I stored greasy, tomatoey Bolognese sauce in them for 24 hours. I then microwaved the sauce right in the bags before emptying them and cleaning them in the dishwasher.

Leaking: I filled the flat bags halfway with water and held them upside down, shook them, topped them off with a 5-pound bag of flour, and dropped them from 3 feet (counter height) to assess for leakage.

Ease of use: This assessment considers the experiences of filling up the bags and closing and opening the seals. I also considered the bags’ transparency and whether the surfaces could hold the markings of a dry-erase marker. Finally, I hand-washed the bags and washed them in the dishwasher, assessing for ease and cleanliness, then looked at how they dry.

@consumerreports Trying to kick your plastic habit? We tried out several reusable food storage bags made from silicone. Learn more at cr.org/siliconebags #foodstorage #foodstorageideas #ecofriendlyliving #kitchentips ♬ original sound - Consumer Reports

This product evaluation is part of Consumer Reports’ Outside the Labs review program, which is separate from our laboratory testing and ratings. Our Outside the Labs reviews are performed at home and in other native settings by individuals, including our journalists, with specialized subject matter experience or familiarity and are designed to offer another important perspective for consumers as they shop. While the products or services mentioned in this article might not currently be in CR’s ratings, they might eventually be tested in our laboratories and rated according to an objective, scientific protocol.

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Headshot of Perry Santanachote, editor with the Home editorial team at Consumer Reports

Perry Santanachote

I cover the intersection of people, products, and sustainability, and try to provide humorous but useful advice for everyday living. I love to dive deep into how things work, and debunking myths might be my favorite pastime. But what I aim to be above all else is a guiding voice while you're shopping, telling you what's a value, what's a rip-off, and what's just right for you and your family.