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It is no secret that one of the biggest issues we are facing as a planet is global warming, and the use of plastic is adding to the problem. We produced 6.3 billion tons of plastic in 2018 and 79 percent of it went straight to the landfill. When I look at my kitchen waste alone, a big part of it is plastic: food packets, produce bags, saran wrap, and counting.
Luckily we've got eco-friendly storage solutions that can help curb our excessive use of plastic in the kitchen. One increasingly popular example is beeswax wrap, a natural, waste-free alternative to plastic wrap.
Beeswax wraps are sheets of fabric, most commonly cotton, that are coated with food-grade beeswax, tree resin, jojoba oil, and/or coconut oil. These wraps are moldable, tacky, washable, and most importantly, biodegradable. Unlike plastic wraps, beeswax wraps are breathable, allowing the food to stay fresh longer. This means you can still store leftovers in the refrigerator or pack your favorite sandwich to work, school, park, or wherever, without being wasteful.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is the exposure to heat, whether it comes from the food itself or from the water when washing it. So remember to let any food come to room temp, and to wash it with cold water.
There are many options when it comes to beeswax wraps—so much so that it might get a little overwhelming if you're new to them. So I've done some heavy lifting for you and did the research on some of the top-rated ones based on different needs.
Here, my list of the best beeswax wraps.
Best Overall: Bee's Wrap Assorted 3-Pack
What We Love: Comes in three sizes and several beautiful designs, good malleability and stickiness, 100 percent biodegradable and compostable
What We Don’t Love: Can leave wax residue
Bee’s Wrap is one of the more popular brands of beeswax wraps in the market. Found and made in Vermont, quality-wise this beeswax wrap is top-notch. Though not the thickest in the market, these wraps are easily moldable and they keep food fresh longer because of the good breathability of the material.
They are washable and pretty much ask for the same care as any other beeswax wrap. This particular pack contains three convenient sizes, but Bee's Wax has a huge variety of products to choose from on its website.
Bee’s Wrap makes its products with organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. The beeswax wrap is also reusable and 100 percent compostable—and you can even use it as campfire fodder once it loses its usefulness, which the company says should take a year or longer with regular, careful use.
Dimensions: 7 x 8 inches (small), 10 x 11 inches (medium), 13 x 14 inches (large) | Materials: Organic cotton, beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin
Best for Produce: Abeego The Original Beeswax Food Storage Wrap
What We Love: Thick, durable, easy to store and clean
What We Don’t Love: Some say it's stiffer than they expected
Abeego makes high-quality products, and its wraps are thicker than most beeswax wraps in the market. This also means that these wraps are more durable and robust than other comparable options. Made in Canada, this pack contains six sheets of the same size (7 square inches), perfect for wrapping herbs, ginger, cheese, and more. If you are looking to wrap a sandwich, though, you'll probably need a larger wrap. Luckily, Abeego sells medium and large sizes, in addition to variety packs.
The company promises that each sheet acts like the food's second skin, giving the food "nature's best protection" while allowing it to breathe. Abeego advises steering clear of microwaves and hot temperatures, as well as hand washing them with cold water and air drying them only (no wringing).
Online reviewers say they find the small size of the Abeego wrap the one they reach for the most, due to always having small pieces of fruits and vegetables left over, such as avocadoes, lemons, limes, and onions. The medium is great for covering medium-sized bowls or wrapping sandwiches.
Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 0.1 inches | Materials: Cotton blend fabric infused with beeswax, tree resin, organic jojoba oil
Best Sandwich Bags: Etee Reusable Beeswax Food Bags
What We Love: Easy to use, zip-top closure, breathability helps produce last longer, users say these last for years if used properly
What We Don’t Love: Pricey, no option to buy single bags or a set of same-size bags
These wraps are great because they're just as easy to use as ziptop or resealable baggies—just with less waste. Completely reusable, they'll keep your food fresh and tasty for days and weeks at a time. The waxed cotton is thin, pliable, and sticky, so they're ideal for wrapping sandwiches and making little snack pouches. The opening sticks together for a good seal.
This is a variety pack with three sizes. At around $25 a pack, these aren’t the cheapest on the market, but they’re well made and more convenient to use compared with the straight beeswax sheets. They're easy to clean, too—simply rinse them with cold water and gentle soap and you're good to go.
Reviewers highlight how great these bags are for keeping produce, leafy greens, and baked goods fresh for longer, thanks to their breathable material.
Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.75 inches (small), 12.5 x 11 inches (medium), 14.5 x 12 inches (large) | Materials: Organic cotton muslin with beeswax lining, tree resin, jojoba oil, cinnamon and clove essential oils
Best for Bowls: LilyBee Wrap Organic Cotton Beeswax Wrappers
What We Love: Leaves little to no residue, pretty design, easy to use, has a 100 percent money-back guarantee, sticks well to plates and bowls
What We Don’t Love: Pricey
Made from 100 percent cotton, with a solution of beeswax (of course!), tree resin, and organic coconut oil, LilyBee beeswax wraps are great when it comes to adhesiveness. They stick well to the sides of the bowls and plates, and their good breathability helps food last longer.
A variety of sizes are available in various sets. The company's family pack includes two small bags, one medium bag, one large bag, and one extra-large bag. They work great to cover pretty much anything you need to put in the refrigerator, from fruit and small covered bowls of leftovers to large sandwiches and bread loaves. Plus, if cleaned and cared for properly, LilyBee claims that these are completely reusable for a year.
While these are more costly than your basic roll of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, many users say that their stickiness, cute designs, and—most important–effectiveness at keeping foods like a half avocado and weeks-old lemons fresh for longer make them worth the extra dollars.
Dimensions: 7 x 8.5 inches (small), 10 x 13 inches (medium), 13 x 13 inches (large), 16.5 x 16.5 inches (extra large) | Materials: Cotton, beeswax, tree resin, coconut oil
Best Roll: Bee’s Wrap XXL Roll
What We Love: Can be customized to any shape or size, works well for freezing food, easy to clean, keeps food fresh
What We Don't Love: Some say it may leave a mild beeswax flavor on food
One of the first Beeswax wraps in the market, Bee’s Wrap is also one of the few that is GOTS-certified. Made in the USA with certified organic cotton, responsibly sourced beeswax, certified organic plant oils, and tree resin, this combination creates a durable yet pliable plastic wrap alternative that many trust.
This item comes as a roll of 14 x 52 inches in size. Based on your need, you can cut the roll into smaller shapes and sizes or use it as a long sheet to cover your food vessel or container.
While the general consensus among users is that these are great performers overall, some (including the user I interviewed) say that after multiple uses the roll might take little work to stick to edges. But its top-notch pliability makes the roll a worthy purchase.
I have been using Bee's Wax Wrap for over five years now. It is open-ended and versatile, so I can pack a variety of things in it, including oddly shaped things. It does not let things like sandwiches dry out (as cloth would), but it also lets them breathe (as opposed to plastic). It is moldable, though not always sealable (especially as more time goes by). I like the feel and smell (honey-ish), and it is not as wasteful as paper, foil, or plastic. — Anchita, Mother of Three and a Longtime User of Beeswax Wraps
Dimensions: 14 x 52 inches | Materials: Organic cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil, tree resin
There's a reason Bee's Wax Reusable Wraps are popular—and our best overall pick. Not only is it easily moldable and very breathable (helping keep foods fresh for longer), but it's also 100 percent compostable once it reaches the end of its lifespan. If you can spare a couple more extra bucks, we like the LilyBee Food Wraps assorted sets. They're sticky, pliable, and breathable—great for covering bowls and keeping produce fresh. Plus, they sport cute designs.
How We Selected
Prerna combed through scores of best-reviewed beeswax wraps on the market, looking at a combination of online customer reviews and information available from manufacturers. She interviewed home cooks who use beeswax wraps to learn more about what features they look for before buying a set, including stickiness, pliability, and price point. Prerna then used these findings to come up with her picks for the best beeswax wraps.
What to Look for When Buying Beeswax Wraps
You want the beeswax wrap to be smooth and easily moldable in order to wrap the food item or food containers with it. Jojoba oil (or any plant-based oil) used as a coating on a beeswax wrap is what helps it with its smoothness and pliability. So when buying a wrap, look for one that doesn’t break the wax at places with folds and is easy to mold and wrap just with the warmth of your hands.
Another thing to look for when buying a beeswax wrap is its ability to stick to a food container. Just like plastic wrap, a beeswax wrap should stick well to glassware, china, or itself. Plant resin is used as a coating over a beeswax wrap that helps with its stickiness. This stickiness can be activated with the warmth of your hands, especially when cold beeswax wrap loses its stickiness. So just rub the wrap between your palms if you feel it is not sticky enough.
Beeswax wraps today comes in all sizes: anywhere from 7 x 7 inches to 14 x 14 inches in size, or in the form of 14 x 52-inch sheets that can be cut into smaller sizes of your choice. So depending on the size that suits your needs, you can pick your choice. We suggest you try a couple of smaller sizes in the beginning to get used to how these wraps work. Once you are comfortable with using, storing, and cleaning them, go for bigger sizes to perhaps mostly or completely replace plastic wraps in your kitchen.
The product can probably give you a sticker shock. Even though beeswax wraps are reusable (and so with time the cost evens out a bit), they do ask for an upfront cost which can seem to be high for a food wrap.
Typically a beeswax wrap can cost you anywhere from under $10 for a small set of three to around $40 for a roll that is 14 x 52 inches in size.
How long does beeswax wrap last?
With some care and regular use, a beeswax wrap should last you a year. You will know a beeswax wrap is coming close to its end of life when they are stretched too thin or does not stick anymore. For it to last longer, wash beeswax wrap under cool water. If not soiled, wiping with a wet towel always works. One longtime user shared with us, “I first started using it five-ish years ago. Each set lasts a long time for me—at least a couple of years if I care for it well. I also have multiple sets of multiple sizes (for multiple kids).”
How can I make my beeswax wrap sticky again?
With multiple uses, a beeswax wrap can begin to lose its stickiness. It might not stick well on the edges and might not wrap well. To make it sticky again, re-melt or re-set the wax on the wrap. Lay it flat on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes under the lowest temperature.
How should I store my beeswax wrap?
Beeswax wraps can be stored folded in drawers or in any cool, dry place. Beeswax wrap should not be exposed to heat or the wax coating can melt. Keep it away from sunlight or any other heat source.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Prerna Singh is a food blogger, cookbook author, and food photographer who has been featured all around, from Food Network to The Guardian to Saveur Magazine. She's currently working on creating an international platform for Indian food lovers around the world.