5 Expert Tips To Choose Kitchen Canisters & Jars

A fully-stocked and organized pantry featuring lots of matching kitchen canisters & jars is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing sights at home!

While it might seem like a trivial purchase, these containers will allow you to safely store your food for years and (why not?) turn them into bold, decorative elements: don't buy them randomly! Here are some things to consider when choosing kitchen canisters & jars.

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1. What type of kitchen canisters & jars do I need?

  • See-through canisters are best for items that you need to keep track of regularly (such as pasta), or if you're planning on keeping them behind closed cupboards;

  • Opaque canisters can add an element of color and help you protect the most delicate goods (such as coffee beans) from oxidation; a wiser choice if you have open cupboards or are planning on leaving them on your countertop;

  • Space-optimizing square or rectangular options that you can easily stack on top of each other are perfect if you haven't got a lot of room in your cupboard;

  • Smaller jars (especially with measurements on the side) are a practical choice if you're looking for containers to refill at your local zero-waste store;

  • Look for items with airtight seals for the most delicate goods.

Metal 4-Piece Bulk Storage Set
Traditional 3 Piece Kitchen Canister Set in White
Kitchen Canister Set in White
4 Piece Round Top Glass Kitchen Canister Set
Metal Small Kitchen Canister Set
White Decorative Kitchen Canister Set

2. How many kitchen canisters & jars should I buy?

Be realistic! Run a little inventory and write down a list of the food items that you have or would like to buy on a regular basis:

  • If you haven't got one, start with a coffee, tea and sugar set of canisters;

  • Love cakes? Grab yourself a baking set that is big enough to fit the content of a standard 2lb bag of flour: they usually come with canisters for superfine and brown sugar, too;

  • Once you've got these sorted, look for separate jars for the remaining items on your list. Easy!

Door Knob Coffee Jar in White
3 Piece Kitchen Canister Set for Flour and Coffee
Coffee and Tea and Sugar Jar Set in Red
Universal Coffee Tea Jar Set
Big Glass Single Coffee Jar
Decorative Nesting 4 Piece Coffee Set

3. What size kitchen canisters & jars do I need?

Consider how often you use those items and how much available space you've got:

  • Stay on the large side for food that you eat regularly, or else you'll find yourself refilling them every other day;

  • Look for smaller sets with complementary shapes for items that you don't use as often;

  • Jars with wider tops are handy for food that must be scooped out;

  • You could also look for jars that have the capacity of the average size package of a specific food product, so that you can then transfer it into your canisters.

4. What's the best material for kitchen canisters & jars?

Glass

  • Glass is one of the most popular options for both: thanks to its see-through property, it makes it easy to keep track of your stock;

  • It's usually dishwasher-safe and, while perfect to convey a classic feel, it can easily work well in modern kitchens too (just choose sleek shapes and less ornate lids);

  • However, it won't protect your food from oxidation, so you shouldn't store delicate items in it;

Plastic

  • Still potentially see-through but lighter and less fragile, plastic is a cheaper and usually dishwasher-safe alternative;

  • Although it's rather durable, it could absorb your food's odors over time, and you must always make sure that it's BPA-free;

Simple Glass Storage Jar Set
Decorative Glass 3 Piece Storage Jar Set
Screw Top Glass Kitchen Canister Set
Plastic Classic Kitchen Canister Set
Halloween Themed Plastic Kitchen Canister
Plastic Round Storage Jar Set

Ceramic

  • Ceramic canisters do a fantastic job at preserving your food for longer and conveying a traditional or retro feel;

  • They're usually available in white or light colors and a variety of designs, including more ornate options;

  • Double-check whether or not a specific model is dishwasher-safe, and keep in mind that even the most durable ceramic canisters can get chipped if not handled gently;

Metal

  • If you're mainly after a robust and durable option (perhaps you have some clumsy kids around?), go for metal!

  • Available in lots of colors, it's a breeze to match the style of your kitchen, or you can opt for plain stainless steel if you're going for an industrial décor;

  • They may or may not be dishwasher-safe;

Ceramic Kitchen Canister Set with Spoons
Ceramic and Wood Kitchen Canister Set
Rustic 3 Piece Tri-Color Kitchen Canister Set
Long Stainless Steel Kitchen Canister Set
Metal Coffee Tea and Sugar Jar Set
Medium Metal with Golden Strip Kitchen Canister

Wood

  • Wood is a rarer and more expensive alternative that must be hand-cleaned, but it could be the right match if you're after natural or Scandinavian-inspired containers;

  • Alternatively, look for canisters in other materials but with a wooden lid.

5. How do I style kitchen canisters & jars?

Open shelves and kitchen counters are ideal to turn your containers into conscious decorative elements:

  • Consider going for the accent color in the room's palette when you choose kitchen canisters & jars: this will allow you to maintain a cohesive feel while still letting them stand out;

  • Combining containers of different heights (the tallest one at the back, the middle one slightly on the side, and the smallest on the front) results in a pleasant decorative statement.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.