Plastic vs Metal: Which Storage Container Is Best for You?

The innovation of storage spaces has become one of the changes we have seen in the 20th Century. As the population increased, people, at the time, started to become more conscious about maximizing spaces whether for personal or communal use. Nowadays, we have become more creative in maximizing storage spaces, from dual-purpose furniture to hidden compartments in the house.

In this article, we will be focusing on whether what material is better for storage. Is it plastic? Or metal? And we will be discussing why. Before choosing one of them, we will be judging them with these three components: Functionality, Durability, and Aesthetic value.

Metal Storage

Nowadays, metal is used for different purposes, from engineering to agriculture. And one of these purposes is storage. Metal containers have been used for the longest time. School lockers, metal containers with lids for storage, container vans, and more. You might be thinking that metal tends to rust. Metal may rust, but some metals are corrosion-resistant. Such as corten steel used in container vans, aluminum used in coating lunch boxes, and standard steel used to make school lockers.


  • Compared to other types of materials, metal is one of the best materials when handling pressure. Any metal container is known to be sturdier compared to others.
  • Metal containers make the best option to store food and drinks. Usually, metals such as aluminum or stainless steel are for food-related storage.
  • It is the ideal material for large storage containers.
  • Some metals can also be used to hold dangerous chemicals that are very corrosive such as acids.
  • Metal is an excellent choice for aesthetic purposes since most metal containers give off a rustic vibe.
  • Metal is malleable, which means metal storage containers are somewhat repairable.
  • Metal, if properly maintained, can last a very long time.


  • Most metals are not corrosion-resistant. And those that are can be more expensive compared to the standard metal used for storage containers.
  • Most metals are also not heat resistant. Metals are conducive to heat, so exposure to high temperatures may cook the items inside the container.
  • It is heavier than other materials, causing difficulty when moving large containers without the right equipment.
  • It is also electrically conductive, which can cause problems if the containers are near live wiring.

Plastic storage

Through the years, we have enjoyed using materials made of plastic. With thorough research, we have determined that some plastics are very detrimental to the environment. Nowadays, we found new ways to make plastic more environment-friendly by eliminating dangerous chemicals produced by plastic after production. When dealing with plastic, we developed a labeling system called the International Resin Identification Coding System, which helps the customer become aware of the kind of plastic used to make the product.

Just like metals, plastic is a decent material for producing storage containers. The plastics used to make storage containers are often made of High-Density Polyethylene, Low-Density Polyethylene, and Polypropylene. These plastics are strong, non-reactive, flexible, and able to withstand high temperatures and strong chemicals.


  • They are heat resistant, withstanding up to 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Some plastics are safe with food, allowing them to serve as great storage containers.
  • Plastic containers can be water-proof and corrosion-proof. It is also well known that plastics are non-reactants, making them the perfect material for storing different chemicals.
  • Since they are lightweight, they are easy to transport.
  • They are cheaper than metal storage; thus, most people would use plastic containers when transporting many things.
  • Plastic containers can also be more durable and resilient compared to other materials.


  • Some plastic containers can’t hold heavy materials that a metal storage container can handle.
  • Plastic cannot store large quantities of objects.
  • Plastic containers are not weatherproof thus susceptible to brittleness, and eventually, breakage.
  • Once the plastic containers are damaged, it is challenging to repair or restore them.
  • Plastic storage containers have little aesthetic value; so, purchasing such containers is only best for storage purposes.
  • Some plastic containers, when not handled properly, may cause chemical leakage. These can be detrimental to our health and the environment. That is why checking the label of its coding system is a must.


So, which is better? Plastic or metal storage? Based on our discussion, we can say that both materials have unique qualities that serve various purposes. There is no actual winner because it will heavily depend on your situation at hand.

Since plastic is non-reactive, you can choose this type of container to store photo albums, scrapbooks, documents, and other precious belongings that you would like to keep for a long time. On the other hand, if you need something more sturdy to store heavy objects or materials of large quantities, then the better option would be a metal storage container.

We hope this guide has helped you choose which type of storage you should get. For more storage items and ideas, visit now!