The Best Sugar Storage Containers for Bulk and Long-Term Storage

Sugar is one of those foods that can last a lifetime, but only when stored properly. Moisture, insects, pests, and bad smells can ruin your sugar stash in an instant.

For best results, sugar containers should be odor- and moisture-proof, airtight, and opaque. The more airtight your container, the better it preserves. 

Read: Does sugar go bad?

Here are our preferences for the best long-term sugar containers.

Mylar Bags

Mylar bag

The versatility of the Mylar bag makes it exceptional for long-term food storage. Its impermeability truly protects your food from air and moisture. However, once you’ve squeezed out all the air, you need an impulse sealer, iron, or some other heating mechanism to seal your bags.

Mylar bags come in a variety of sizes, so you can store small or large amounts. The most common sizes are half a gallon, one gallon, and five gallons. 

They also come in varying degrees of thickness. Serious preppers recommend 5 to 7 ml for optimal protection. Mylar bags that are 4 mils or less do not adequately block light or humidity and, therefore, won’t provide sufficient UV protection for long-term storage.  

While Mylar bags seem costly, they’re generally cheaper than most of the other options on our list. You can also reuse them, which is an added bonus. 


  • Opaque and airtight
  • Odor- and moistureproof
  • Durable
  • Optional sizes and thickness
  • Reusable


  • Not entirely rodent proof
  • Difficult to stack 
  • Can burst
  • Requires equipment to seal

Food Grade Buckets With Gamma Lids

BPA free bucket

Investing in food-grade buckets that are BPA-free is always best practice. Many new preppers believe any old bucket will do, but BPA (bisphenol A) buckets can seep into your food and make you sick. 

BPA-free buckets are specially designed to ensure food storage items won’t be contaminated by toxic chemicals. 

If you’re not sure whether your bucket is BPA-free, find the recycling triangle stamped into the side or bottom of the bucket. If it’s a 1 or 2, it’s food grade, 2 being the better option. 

The most common bucket sizes include 2-, 3 ½-, 5-, or 7-gallon options. 

Gamma lids are a two-piece sealing system that makes buckets airtight. The first piece is a gasket lid containing a rubber seal, usually pounded onto the bucket lip with a mallet hammer. 

The second piece is an inner lid that screws into the gasket lid to provide easy access to what’s inside.

Buckets and lids can be purchased together or separately. Over time, the seals on gamma lids can deteriorate, so it’s always a good idea to have a few extra on hand. 

You can place your sugar directly into the bucket or seal it in polyethylene or mylar bags first.

Buckets and gamma lids aren’t 100% airtight, so this does affect your sugar over the long term. Many preppers prefer to line their buckets with mylar bags first for a double barrier of protection, which also helps prevent clumping.  

I like to package several one-pound Mylar bags and then drop them into a food storage bucket. Then, I can pull out single packages as I need them. Even the smallest one-cup bags are a great option for camping or even bartering. 


  • More durable than mylar
  • Rodent proof
  • Opaque 
  • Various sizes
  • Reusable
  • Stackable
  • Good for large amounts


  • Gamma lid seals deteriorate over time
  • Lids can be quite difficult to seal properly
  • Pricey
  • Heavy when filled

Airtight Stainless Steel Canisters

Stainless steel

People often overlook stainless steel containers, but in the 1970s, they were the premier food storage option next to Tupperware. Thanks to their eco-friendly nature, they’re gradually becoming more popular once again.

Plus, they meet all the criteria for optimal food storage—opaque, airtight, leakproof, and odor-proof. They also don’t absorb bacteria or leach chemicals. 

Stainless steel containers with an airtight seal are by far one of the best impermeable options available. 

They come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Although not quite as large as a five-gallon bucket, larger storage containers are available. Their stackability depends on their design. 


  • Opaque and airtight
  • Odor- and moistureproof
  • Heavy duty and rodent proof
  • Optional sizes
  • Reusable
  • Good for large amounts
  • Lighter than glass


  • Expensive 
  • Stackability depends on design

Amber Mason Jars

Amber jars

Amber mason jars offer the opaqueness that regular canning jars lack. Plus, they’re BPA-free and lead-free. Mason jars are quick, easy solutions for properly storing your sugar. 

However, jars can only hold so much, and even your largest option is small in comparison. Amber mason jars are generally available in pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes.

Although glass is prone to breaking, it is also one of the most impermeable options, making it a top choice for long-term storage. 

If you reuse mason jars, sometimes they can retain certain smells no matter how many times you wash them. Exercise caution in storing sugar in something like an old salsa jar. Like baking soda, sugar can absorb residual odors. 


  • Opaque and airtight
  • Easy and convenient
  • Reusable
  • Rodent proof


  • Only suitable for small quantities
  • Breakable
  • Don’t stack well
  • Can retain smells
  • Sometimes hard to find

Rubbermaid or Tupperware Containers


Rubbermaid and Tupperware both make a variety of airtight storage options. Although their storage capacity is limited, they’re an easy-to-use, convenient option that’s highly affordable and optimal for daily use. 

They’re not always opaque, but storing them in a closed pantry or cabinet can help minimize light exposure. They are airtight and moisture-proof, which will deter pests and preserve your sugar for the long haul.  


  • Budget friendly
  • Airtight and moistureproof
  • Stackable 
  • Durable
  • Rodent proof


  • Not opaque or odor proof
  • Small capacity

#10 Cans 

Generally, #10 cans are coated in tin, which is noncorrosive and nontoxic, and are a great option for storing food that you don’t intend on using anytime soon. In addition to being non-corrosive, they’re also extremely durable and impermeable. 

Because of their durability, #10 cans are especially sought after by preppers in earthquake territories. However, finding #10 cans has become exceedingly difficult in the past couple of years. 

There are still a few places to buy them, but you’ll also need a can sealer to use them, which is also quite expensive. Additionally, you’ll need a can opener to access your sugar when you’re ready to use it.

Still, #10 cans are slightly more durable than mylar bags and certainly provide coveted benefits in some geographical locations. Just don’t forget to pack the P51 in your survival gear.


  • Opaque
  • Airtight and waterproof
  • Extremely durable
  • Impermeable


  • Expensive
  • Requires can sealer to seal
  • Requires a can opener to open

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