OXO Good Grips Pop Containers review
OXO Pop containers are great for arthritic hands
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As I’m obsessed with organization and efficiency, I got a set of OXO Pop containers a few months ago. I figured the airtight seal would help keep food fresh (and keep critters out), and the design of the containers meant I could easily stack one on top of another to help keep my pantry organized. I wasn’t thinking about my mother when I was researching food storage containers, but when they arrived, I realized how easy they were for her to open and close.
Due to advanced Parkinson’s and severe arthritis, my mother has struggled with writing, opening letters, twisting off lids, and opening jars for years. Pretty much anything that requires hand strength and finger dexterity is challenging for her, so she often has to ask for assistance. If she doesn’t want to “bother” anyone for help or if she’s alone at home, she has told me she might struggle with opening a container for half an hour. With the OXO Pop containers, this is not the case.
Not only can my mom easily access her favorite snacks at home (granola, pretzels, and whole-wheat crackers), but we now use the containers to pack her lunches for her weekly trip to the senior care facility. Previously, she would have to ask an aide to help her open her lunch containers, but now she’s able to open the pop-top containers on her own, which helps her maintain her independence, and it allows her to snack whenever she’s hungry instead of having to wait for staff to become available.
About the OXO Pop Containers
The OXO Pop containers are airtight, BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and easily stackable storage containers. They are mainly intended for storing dry snacks (chips, pretzels, nuts) and pantry staples like pasta, flour, sugar, oats, beans, and rice.
What I like about the OXO Pop containers
The lid buttons are very easy to use
The OXO pop-top lids have an easy-to-depress button (1.5 inches to 2.5 inches in diameter, depending on the size of the container) that you push down to activate or deactivate the lid’s seal. Once the seal is deactivated, the lid pops off very easily. When you put the lid back on the container and push the button down, the seal is activated and the container becomes airtight.
They stack very easily
As this series was designed with uniform container bottoms that fit snugly into the top of the lids, it’s easy to stack these containers to maximize storage space. We keep all the bulk items together, stacked on top of each other across several rows, so it’s easy to find and sort through items. Since my mother’s arthritis and Parkinson’s prevents her from cooking, we keep the baking and cooking staples (lentils, beans, oats, pasta, quinoa, etc.) in an out-of-the-way area that she doesn’t access, and we stash her favorite goodies in a floor cabinet that she’s able to reach from her wheelchair.
They are dishwasher safe
Considering how many dishes we go through in a six-person household, my family strongly prefers dishes that can go in the dishwasher. Most fully loaded dishwashers use less water than would be used if the same dishes were washed by hand, so this time-saving option is also good for the environment, which is very important to my family.
What I don’t like about the OXO Pop containers
The three-piece lids must be disassembled to wash
While we love that the OXO Pop containers can be thrown in the dishwasher, you need to first disassemble the three-piece lids in order for them to be thoroughly washed and dried. This is a quick process, but it’s an additional step that busy parents and caregivers would likely prefer not to have to deal with. I didn’t realize this at first, so I threw all the lids in the dishwasher without disassembling them. When I took them out, I could hear water sloshing around inside all the lids.
It takes a while for the lids to dry
Even if you disassemble the tops to wash them, it takes a while for the OXO Pop lids to dry fully before you can put them back together. Despite running the dishwasher on “pots and pans” mode (which uses very hot water and activates a drying cycle at the end), I still find water in the lid tops every single time. For the lids to fully dry, I need to shake out the water then put them back on the drying rack to dry completely. Laying them flat helps them dry quicker, but I’m certainly not going to lay all of the lids down flat during the wash cycle because it would take up far too much space (inefficient in terms of time, money, and water consumption). Instead, I place them upright in the dishwasher, in a row, just like the plates. When I unload the dishwasher, I then shake out the lids and lay them flat to finish drying. Again, it’s not a huge deal, it’s just an extra step I wish I didn’t have to take.
They aren’t totally leak-proof
The OXO Pop container sets are intended for bulk, dry goods, and they’re very well-designed for that use. The annoyance with the lids only comes up when you have to wash or dry them. When you use the containers as intended, you don’t actually have to wash and dry them that frequently, so it’s not a huge problem. In our home, when the granola container is empty, we refill it with granola. We don’t wash between every single use.
If, however, the containers are being used to store wet, oily, or juicy foods in packed lunches, washing and drying the lids every day would become very time-consuming.
Since the lids are so easy to open, we initially tried using them to pack lunches for my mom and for my 5-year-old niece (who previously had to request help from a teacher to open her lunch containers). These OXO Pop containers allowed both my mom and niece to open their lunches on their own without arthritis or dexterity issues getting in the way, but, in addition to having to disassemble/reassemble all of the lids when we washed them every day, we noticed that the containers also leaked liquids.
This isn’t necessarily a knock on the product, as that’s not how they were intended to be used. These containers weren’t created to pack lunches that may leak all over the place, we just have yet to find fully leak-proof containers that are also easy to open and close, so we were hoping these containers would also serve that role.
Should you buy OXO Pop containers?
It depends on what food you’re storing
If you or someone in your family would benefit from easy-open containers that store dry items, then yes, you should definitely consider the OXO Pop containers. While we only use the containers for storing foods, you could theoretically use them to store anything you want to access easily.
Before you purchase the containers, however, think about what exactly you would store in them and what sizes would work best for that application. I got so excited about the 20-piece OXO Pop container set (“it must have everything I’ll need!”, I thought), that I ordered it without really thinking about how I planned to use them. After I began transferring food to the containers, I realized that my family mostly needs very large containers for the huge amount of beans, lentils, rice, and oats we go through, and very few of the small, snack-size containers that the set mostly consisted of.
The OXO Pop container sets are typically cheaper than buying a bunch of individual containers separately, but if the sets don’t have the specific sizes you need, you’d be better off buying a few of the specific sizes you use the most.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.