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Published Sep. 13, 2021

Even the most novice of home cooks or the barest of Airbnbs has a few basic spices tucked in a cupboard. (How long they’ve been there is another story.) But the more spices a person collects, the more cluttered a pantry or cupboard can become. All those container sizes and shapes—each brand is different, and if you start buying in bulk or at specialty or ethnic-food shops, you might even have a plastic bag or two. (Ask me about my 1-pound bag of za’atar…) So while there’s nothing wrong with keeping spices in their original containers, some folks opt for a more uniform look. Depending on your needs, any of these choices will make a fine addition to any kitchen.

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

As an avid home cook, trained chef, and recipe developer, I use a lot of spices, both every day (hello, chili powder) and occasionally (looking at you, furikake). I compared nearly 3 dozen spice jar/bottle sets, spending a lot of time with my own spice collection and measuring spoons. In addition to appearance and functionality, the overall cost was a consideration. While some sets require shelling out more money upfront, there was generally something about them that made the extra cost worth it. 

The Best Spice Bottles: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Aozita 24 Pce Glass Spice Jars

Fan Favorite

A full set of perfectly sized and sleek square jars made of durable glass that are just begging to be used. AOZITA

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Why It Made The Cut: These spice jars tick all the boxes: durable and airtight, with clearly printed labels and a chalkboard pen for customization, and sized to transfer most store-bought spices.

Specs:

  • Food-grade, lead-free glass 
  • Airtight metal cap
  • 2 types of easy-stick, washable, preprinted labels plus blank
Pros:Cons:
  • Snap-on, sift-and-pour shaker caps
  • Small size of jar opening
  • Includes collapsible funnel for transferring spices
  • Silicone funnel attracts spice like a magnet
  • Square jars fit spice racks and lie in drawers without rolling
  • Packing material leaves something to be desired
  • Clear glass shows off what’s inside
  • More than 18,000 5-star ratings on Amazon
  • If ever there was a cult of spice jars, this set from Aozita is their leader. With a 4-ounce capacity, these jars are tall enough to store cinnamon sticks and narrow enough to have a lot of them. Their square design makes them compact enough to stash in a tight space, set on any spice rack, or place in a drawer, knowing they won’t roll around. (Aozita also sells a set of 36 jars for people with more space for spice.) 

    The easy-to-apply labels come in fashionable chalkboard style, transparent, and blank—612 in all!—for labeling the tops and/or sides of the jars; a chalkboard pen is included. Though the clear glass does allow light to reach the spices, the thickness of the glass helps protect their color and flavor while still letting you see what’s inside.

    The snap-on caps have smaller holes for shaking finer spices like onion powder and ground cumin (which some users felt were too large), and a larger pour spout for dried herbs like rosemary and thyme (which some users felt was too small); some also felt the jars were no longer airtight with the snap cap in place. 

    The size of the jar mouth is a bit on the small side. At 1¼ inch, it barely fits the teaspoon of some measuring spoon sets. Some users found that spices stick to the silicone funnel, which not only wasted some spice but made it difficult to fill multiple jars (since it has to be rinsed and dried). Almost universally, the 1-star reviewers stated that one or more jars were broken during transit because of how they were packed; that complaint registered up through some of the 4-star reviews. 

    Best Value: Auledio 4-Tier Stackable Spice Rack

    All-in-One Investment

    Organize a spice cupboard, countertop, or drawer for one low price because this set has it all: jars, labels, pen, funnel, and rack. AULEDIO

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    Why It Made The Cut: Compared with other stackable racks on the market, this is by far the most customizable (and the prettiest), without having to buy additional jars, labels, or hardware.

    Specs: 

    • 24 square glass jars plus labels
    • Powder-coated stackable metal rack
    • 15.3 inches x 4.7 inches x 9.6 inches when fully assembled
    Pros:Cons:
  • Stackable racks with anti-skid feet or wall mountable
  • Smaller jars
  • 50 preprinted labels plus 30 blanks with chalkboard pen
  • Lids appear to dent easily
  • 4 racks come apart for customizable assembly
  • Includes silicone funnel for transferring spices
  • This set by Auledio is lovely to behold and its customizable options make it great for any kitchen. Stack all four racks vertically on a countertop, mount two stacks of two side by side on a wall, or set them individually in drawers—but their unique angled design will make you want to put them on display. 

    The set comes with 50 preprinted chalkboard labels for the most commonly used spices, plus ample blank labels for your own unique blends. (Pro tip: Cap the jar before affixing the label to the top, to ensure it’s set straight.) Clear-glass square jars allow you to see how much spice is left in each, and the pourer/shaker caps are suitable for their intended uses.


    The smaller-size jar—while tall enough to fit a cinnamon stick—might not be large enough to transfer the contents of most commercial spices, and the opening is on the small side for a measuring spoon larger than a teaspoon. Many reviewers, including those who gave 5 stars, reported dented caps upon arrival, noting that the labels covered the dents acceptably.

    Best for Measuring Spoons: Tzerotone Glass 12 Jars Set with Airtight Lids and Labels

    Homey Yet Modern

    Smart, stylish jars that fit right into any country home or modern kitchen. Tzerotone

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    Why It Made The Cut: Finally, a jar that can fit a measuring spoon—and it’s also airtight and cute as heck.

    Specs:

    • Durable and nontoxic borosilicate glass
    • Airtight bamboo and silicone lid
    • 3.1-inch x 2.5-inch round jars 
    Pros:Cons:
  • Sized perfectly to fit store-bought spices
  • Price 
  • Large mouth to fit most tablespoon measures
  • No shaker/pourer cap
  • Clear glass easily shows how much is inside
  • Labels not super useful
  • There are plenty of cute, country-style spice jar sets on the market, but this set by Tzerotone does not have pesky rubber gasket seals or space-hogging wire-hinged lids to make them airtight. The pale natural bamboo lid not only looks appealing, but it has a silicone ring that locks in the spice aroma and keeps out oxygen. The durable borosilicate glass is the same stuff used for microwavable glass measuring cups and is BPA-free and lead-free.

    Their size is the main attraction here. (Though they also come in a 2.5-ounce capacity, many customers report that version is too small for transferring most store-bought spices.) Beyond filling the bottles with whatever brand of spice you have, you can also fit in just about any measuring spoon—including a tablespoon. This is particularly handy since they do not come with shaker/pourer snap-on caps. 

    A downside of this set is that for just 12 jars, the price tag is a bit more steep than with other sets, but the quality backs it up. And if you require a lot of jars (as most cooks have more than 12 spices), you will need to buy multiple sets. And though they come with preprinted labels, they’re a bit too generic to be useful as a spice set (e.g., “herbs,” “essence,” “yeast,” “bulk”). Most users create their own labels or buy them online.

    Best Magnetic: Gneiss Spice Large Magnetic Spice Jars

    Artsy and Functional

    Keep your spices within easy reach, without rummaging through cupboards, while creating a colorful display that’ll be a focal point of any kitchen. Gneiss Spice

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    Why It Made The Cut: These sturdy and stylish jars come in 2 sizes (sold separately) to create an attractive honeycomb display on the side of a fridge or on the inside of a cupboard door. 

    Specs:

    • Clear glass hexagonal jars
    • More than 200 preprinted waterproof labels plus blank labels
    • Metallic screw-top lids with enclosed magnets
    Pros:Cons:
  • See how much spice you have at a glance
  • Price
  • Hanging jars declutter closets or drawers
  • No sifter/shaker caps
  • Terrific customer service
  • Small jars might be too small to be practical
  • Option to customize prefilled and prelabeled spice jars
  • Not enough blank labels
  • Gneiss Spice is a woman-owned company that assembles its lifetime-warranty products in Maine. These clear glass jars have a stainless steel–lined metal lid that can be stuck to any magnetic surface. Though it’s practical to be able to see how much is in each jar, spice purists would want to keep these out of direct light; Gneiss does also sell a stainless steel wall plate that could be affixed inside a cupboard or pantry. Wherever they’re attached, they free up cupboard, counter, or drawer space.

    The larger (4-ounce) size is ideal for transferring store-bought spices, and though the lid does not come with a shaker/sifter, the size of the jar opening is large enough for some tablespoon measures. Some users report that heavier spices, like salt, cause some slippage of the jars, but the exceptional and prompt customer service will send a replacement (or the jars can be affixed under a cabinet). While the smaller jar adds a pretty dimension to the display, it is a bit petite for even the tinier store-bought spices or for larger herbs like bay leaves. 

    Preprinted, waterproof labels can go on the lid or on the bottom of the jar, but some reviewers find the chalkboard labels easier to read than the transparent-with-black-print when the jars are full; many users would like more blank labels for their personal spice needs. To that end, the company excels at creating customized stamped jars prefilled with organic spices.

    The cost might be a deterrent for some, but art often comes with a price.  

    Best Plastic Spice Bottles: Baaxxango 16 pack 7-oz Clear Plastic Spice Jars

    Shatterproof and Worry-Free

    Never fear dropping a spice bottle again, as these won’t break (or uncap)! Baaxxango

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    Why It Made The Cut: This bargain-hunters special includes unbreakable bottles, versatile flip-top/stay-put lids, and cute customizable chalkboard labels that make it great for gifting (or keeping for yourself).

    Specs: 

    • Clear PET plastic bottles with black lids
    • 4.3-inch x 2.2-inch container
    • Includes chalkboard labels with marker
    Pros:Cons:
  • Flip-top shake-or-spoon lids remove to accommodate larger tablespoon
  • PET plastic
  • Nice price
  • Shaker holes might be too large for some spices 
  • Jars fit in standard spice racks or in kitchen drawers
  • No worrying about breakage or spillage
  • If you’ve been gathering various brands of spices with their different-size bottles, this collection by Baaxxango is just the thing to create a uniform look in your spice cupboard; the bottles’ larger size will accommodate transferring most store brands. 

    While there are many plastic spice bottles on the market, these have handy flip-top lids with a shaker on one side and an opening that can accommodate measuring spoons on the other side. (Those who care about their fingernails can appreciate the beauty of not having to remove the entire cap and pop off any interior shaker lid just to get a measuring spoon in there or reach a few cardamom pods.) The top comes off easily and fits the tablespoon of most sets. Lids come with an inner freshness seal, which reviewers report has kept their spices tip-top for months—and helped avoid spice catastrophe when they drop the bottles. That, and the fact that they won’t break, makes them ideal for packing if you’re going camping or needing to supply an Airbnb. The inclusion of chalkboard labels with a chalk marker truly makes this set a bargain.

    As for their material, PET plastic can leach chemicals when heated, so though it’s considered food safe and dishwasher safe, washing these bottles by hand with soap and lukewarm water would be recommended. These containers would also do better if not stored next to the stove (spices shouldn’t really be kept near the stove anyway). And because it’s clear plastic, light can affect the color and quality of spices inside, so these bottles should be stored in a cool dark place. 

    While the size of the shaker holes are great for seasonings like sesame seeds and chili pepper flakes, they might be too large to use for spices like cayenne pepper or ground nutmeg, where you want a bit more control over the amount that pours out.

    Things to Consider Before Buying Spice Jars

    No jar is going to be one-size-fits-all, but if you’re ready to standardize your spice cupboard, here are a few things to keep in mind.

    Size of Jar Mouth

    A larger bottle that can accommodate a tablespoon measure is great, but not everyone has the space for jars that size. Lids that remove easily with enough space to insert a teaspoon come in a close second (because 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon!). Anything smaller than that becomes a hassle.

    Size of Jar

    The most oft-repeated complaint I read about any spice bottle was that it wasn’t as big as advertised. What consumers should understand is that 4 ounces in volume means the jar can hold ½ cup water. But check the labels on your spice jars—the same volume size could have different weights, depending on what’s inside. If you don’t have the space to store excess spices in their original packaging, a smaller jar might be a dealbreaker, but you might not want huge jars in your spice cupboard either.

    Lids

    The lids have to seal well to keep out air. Most jars do not come with a hinge or flip top the way many store-bought spices do, but a lot of reviewers reported that those same tops fit on their new jars. Food for thought, if this is important to you.

    Snap-on shaker caps

    Not every set of jars comes with these. This might not be a problem for a novice cook who is following a recipe with specific measures, but it might be an annoyance for the seasoned chef who likes to shake in spices and taste as they cook. 

    Style

    We’re human—and we like pretty things. And with the kitchen as the hub of many homes, we want to display something even as mundane as spices with a bit of flair. Overwhelmingly, reviewers responded to the look of these choices, even when tucked into a cupboard or pantry. They appreciated the uniformity and the popular chalkboard-style labels.

    FAQs

    Q: How long do spices last in a jar?

    The USDA considers shelf-stable products, such as spices, to be nonperishable—meaning they don’t really expire and they are unlikely to make you sick. But what will diminish is flavor and potency. So no, you probably haven’t gotten used to your 5-alarm chili; rather, your chili powder is probably just old and flavorless. Spices do come with a use-by date, which you could write on labels on the bottoms of your new jars, but for them to really lose their impact, you’re looking at a couple years for ground spices, a bit less for dried herbs, and maybe another year for whole spices like star anise. 

    Q: What is the best way to store a spice?

    The three enemies of spice storage are heat, light, and oxygen. Opaque airtight jars would seem to be the best choice, but I prefer seeing how much of my spice remains in a jar so I’m not left scrambling when I need a tablespoon of curry powder for a recipe. What really matters most is where you plan on storing them. If it’s in a cupboard that doesn’t receive direct sunlight, then glass or even plastic is fine. But honestly, if you’re using your spices regularly (you don’t still have that bottle of mace from 2011, do you?), setting these spices out on a countertop won’t damage them beyond use. Storing near or above a hot, steamy stove, however, is another story.

    Q: Are mason jars good for storing spices?

    If you have the space for their wider footprint, mason jars make a great choice. Their lids are meant to be airtight (that’s why they’re good for canning), and they’re stackable. They’re also large enough to hold even the spices you buy in bulk, and their wide mouths can accommodate whatever measuring spoon you dish at them. Plus, the jars are dishwasher safe (as are most spice jars), but they’re a bit easier to dry.

    Final Thoughts

    I don’t mind the multitude of jars and bottles, since I hide them in a cupboard with a sorting system that makes sense to me. But if I were to organize that cupboard, the Aozita set would get the job done nicely.

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