While bread cannot be preserved indefinitely, a bread box is an effective method for extending shelf life and quality. Placing baked goods from the oven or bread maker in the fridge is a common mistake: counter to popular belief, lower temperatures actually make them go stale faster. Storing bread in a plastic bag or food storage container doesn’t provide air circulation, which can contribute to mold growth in humid climates.
Many bread keepers are designed with special air vents for optimal humidity and moisture levels. These vents allow enough air to circulate to keep your bread soft, fresh, and free of mold. Bread boxes are particularly helpful when it comes to all-natural products; without preservatives, baked goods go stale faster than their modified counterparts.
In a dry environment, an attractive bread box without vents can lock in moisture, provide easy countertop access, and keep unsightly loaves hidden. Bread boxes can be both functional and stylish, with a variety of designs available to complement kitchen decor.
The guide below includes essential shopping considerations and well-designed products to help you select the best bread box for your home.
- BEST OVERALL: Home-it Stainless Steel Bread Box
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Culinary Couture Large Bread Box
- BEST STAINLESS STEEL: Brabantia Roll Top Bread Box
- BEST CERAMIC: A.C.K. Trading Co. Tuscany Fleur De Lis Bread Box
- BEST BAMBOO: Laura’s Green Kitchen Double Layer Bread Box
- BEST NON-VENTED WOOD: Finew 2-Layer Rolltop Bread Box
- ALSO CONSIDER: Home Basics Grove Bread Box
As you begin searching for a bread box, there are many different styles and options to choose from. Bread boxes come in an array of sizes and materials to suit the needs of different homes. Knowing which features and design elements to look for will help simplify the decision-making process, so you can find a bread box you’ll be happy with.
Size and Shape
There are two main factors that can help you decide how big the bread box should be. The first factor is how much bread you plan to store at one time. If you live alone or with just one other person, chances are you go through less bread than a large family. Think about how many loaves of bread and other baked goods you typically have on your counter, and look for a bread box that will offer enough space to keep them all fresh.
Consider the counter or pantry space that’s available. Before you begin shopping, figure out where you’d like to keep your bread box and then measure that space. You don’t want to buy one that’s too big or awkwardly-shaped. Even if space is limited, you may still be able to purchase a larger-capacity bread box, as there are multi-level options that have a small footprint. If you live in a humid climate, opt for a larger bread box or be sure not to overstuff it; this can result in moisture buildup, which contributes to mold growth. You can pack more into a bread box if you live in a dry climate.
Bread boxes with a rectangular base are among the most popular. Many bread boxes with a roll-top door feature a curved front. Some have a flat platform at the top for storing kitchen items. Overall, the shapes can vary quite a bit.
It’s important to pay attention to the material of the bread box you’re considering, which can have a big impact on its performance and longevity. Bread boxes are commonly made of stainless steel, wood, ceramic, or food-grade plastic.
Stainless steel bread boxes are the most durable and often have a modern look. Wood offers a more traditional or rustic design. Some types, such as bamboo (a sustainable material) are eco-friendly. Ceramic bread boxes have a solid build and come in attractive designs; however, they may crack or chip if dropped on a hard surface.
Plastic models are usually the most affordable options, and some are clear, allowing you to check on bread quality without opening the lid. On the other hand, plastic bread boxes can have a cheap look to them, and generally don’t offer much aesthetic appeal. A clear glass front on the bread keeper offers the same visibility benefit and looks nicer, without costing too much more.
The climate where you live can impact which material will perform best. Mold can grow quickly in a hot and humid kitchen. A wooden bread box is likely unsuitable—the wood may expand as it absorbs humidity, making it difficult to close or open the lid. Metal and plastic absorb heat, but as long as the bread box is not kept in direct sunlight, and there’s adequate ventilation, these materials are fine.
On the other hand, in a dry climate, lack of moisture is the concern. Ceramic bread boxes don’t contain ventilation holes, so they’re great for sealing in moisture. They keep baked goods soft while protecting them from contaminants.
Although it may not seem important, you’ll also want to take the lid style into consideration. There are a variety of options out there, including magnetic, hinged, roll-top, flip-down, front, and top lids. The lid design doesn’t necessarily affect how the bread box will perform, but it can impact how easily you’ll be able to access your baked goods, and the overall aesthetic.
For added functionality, some bread boxes have a flat wooden lid on the top that doubles as a cutting board for slicing the bread.
Your primary goal when choosing a bread box should be to find a product that will keep your loaves of bread and baked goods fresh. For optimal ventilation, the bread box must contain air vents or holes. Proper airflow and moisture levels will help keep the bread soft while also preventing it from getting moldy. These vents are usually hidden from view and barely noticeable.
Depending on how dry the environment is, ventilation may not be necessary. They may add to the drying process, leaving you with hard bread. Additionally, if you consume bread within a few days and just want your loaves to stay soft during that time, a completely sealed container is still safe.
In hot and humid environments, it’s best to keep the breadbox away from direct sunlight and store it in a well-ventilated area (likely not in the pantry). In other climates, placement is more flexible; a breadbox can be displayed and stored on the kitchen counter for easy access, in a cupboard, or pantry.
If you plan to move the bread box around on your counters or bring it out to the table during meals, you may want to look for an option that is lightweight and easy to carry. Plastic is one of the lightest options, while ceramic tends to be heavy. Some bread boxes also have integrated handles on the side, which may be useful if you choose a heavier model.
Our Top Pick
With those shopping considerations in mind, the top picks represent quality bread boxes containing a variety of materials, styles, and features. The recommendations below are among the best bread box models for keeping bread fresh and adding style to your kitchen.
The Home-it Stainless Steel Bread Box offers a large interior compartment to keep bread and other baked goods fresh. The bread box measures 16.5 by 8 by 10 inches, with a roll-top door that closes and opens smoothly. The sleek stainless steel is protected by a plastic trim to prevent scratches. Special venting holes in the compartment to optimize the humidity level and airflow.
This Home-it steel bread box features a brushed exterior and shiny interior to complement modern kitchens and other stainless steel appliances. This sturdy bread box will preserve your baked goods or keep loaves soft for an affordable price.
The Culinary Couture Large Bread Box accommodates larger loaves, pastries, bagels, and more with dimensions of 16.5 by 9 by 6.5 inches. This minimalist bread bin can fit many types of kitchen decor—featuring a glossy powder-coated finish in a range of colors. The sturdy stainless steel bread bin won’t rust, corrode, or lose its shine.
The front lid contains secure metal hinges and closes firmly, while small screened holes in the back provide ventilation and ideal moisture to keep loaves fresh. Its price is comparable to others on the list, but the Culinary Couture bread box also comes with a bonus ebook containing helpful bread-making tips and recipes.
Brabantia’s sleek stainless steel roll-top bread box has an ultra-modern look to it. This high-end model contains a fingerprint-proof finish, so the brilliant silver surface will look clean for longer. The high-grade steel is incredibly durable and rust resistant. The Brabantia bread box features a convenient flat upper surface for storing items on top, and ventilation holes built into the base to maximize air flow.
The bread box measures 6.8 by 17.5 by 10.6 inches, with a spacious bin that can accommodate two large loaves. An easy-roll curved lid opens access to the bread, with a plastic door stop to cut down on noise. The Brabantia Roll Top Bread Box is available in eight attractive metallic shades. It also comes in a medium-sized model capable of storing two smaller loaves.
This glazed ceramic bread box offers a hint of French decor to your countertop. The bread box is hand painted in a cheerful yellow shade with black accents, featuring the fleur de lis symbol for a touch of elegance. This countertop bread box measures 6.98 by 13.2 by 9 inches, suitable for smaller loaves or rolls, muffins, and pastries.
The Tuscany Fleur De Lis Bread Box is conveniently dishwasher safe. This bread box does not contain ventilation; it’s more suitable for preserving dry bread or storing baked goods short-term. Baked goods are accessed using the top handle. This stylish bread keeper is also available in red.
The Double Layer Bread Box from Laura’s Green Kitchen can hold two bread loaves in addition to muffins, pastries, rolls, or other small baked goods. This bread box has two shelves, so while it has a large capacity, the vertical storage won’t take up too much of your counter space. The bread keeper is made from an engineered bamboo wood that’s sturdy and long-lasting.
This bread box also includes air vents to ensure that the moisture levels stay in the ideal range to keep bread fresh. The front features a transparent plexiglass window for keeping an eye on your loaves. This window is part of a pull-down door, with a magnetic closure to keep it securely sealed when not in use. The Laura’s Green Kitchen Double Layer Bread Box measures 15.8 by 6.8 by 12.2 inches and is also available in an extra-large double window model.
Finew’s traditional bread keeper is crafted with thick 1.5-centimeter boards for added stability. The sustainable food-grade bamboo is pleasantly colored using odorless and non-toxic soybean oil. The thoughtful design of this two-tier bread box features a removable upper shelf that functions as a cutting board. A flat top surface offers additional storage, and matching bamboo toaster tongs are included for handling baked goods. The roll-top cover slides through polished grooves in the wood for a smooth open and close.
To keep water from penetrating the bread box, this model is elevated off of your counters with high feet. Slotted handles offer convenient portability to this model. Measuring 15 by 9.8 by 14.5 inches, this bamboo bread box offers reasonable storage. It contains no vents and is most suitable for preserving bread short-term in a non-humid climate. This bread keeper requires assembly and should be wiped clean with a dry cloth.
This attractive retro-style bread box can be a fun addition to the kitchen. In keeping with its unique 1950s aesthetic, the box features a rounded-corner design and engaging “bread” text in capital letters along the front. It contains durable powder-coated steel that’s resistant to rust and tarnish. The front lid opens on riveted hinges for smooth one-handed operation and closes firmly over a wide array of baked goods.
With roomy dimensions of 16.7 by 9.5 by 6.5 inches, two loaves of bread fit easily—kept fresh with hidden ventilation holes that let air flow freely, providing just the right amount of moisture. Home Basics offers the vintage-style Grove Bread Box in baby blue, red, black, and metallic shades.
FAQs About Bread Boxes
If you still have queries about bread boxes, consult the frequently asked questions and their answers below.
Q. Is a bread box sometimes called anything else?
The term “bread box” is primarily used in America, in addition to “bread keeper.” In the UK, bread boxes are commonly referred to as “bread bins.”
Q. Do bread boxes keep bread from molding?
Most bread boxes are designed to preserve bread over time, but they won’t keep mold away indefinitely. Certain products are designed with vents or air holes to provide air circulation and keep the humidity at the right level to discourage mold growth.
Q. What should I look for in a bread box?
Choose a bread box that is appropriately sized for the storage needs of your household. If you want to preserve bread over several days, as opposed to just a day or two, look for a bread box with ventilation. Consider whether you want features like a clear window for checking the quality of your loaves and top storage for kitchen items. Keep in mind whether you prefer stainless steel, plastic, wood, or ceramic; noting that wood designs are unsuitable for humid climates, and ceramic bread boxes do not contain ventilation.