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If you didn't have time for your overnight oats at breakfast or are trying to eat healthier or cheaper work lunches by bringing your own, there's likely a food thermos designed to meet your needs. Food thermoses, also called food jars or soup thermoses, are typically vacuum-sealed, insulated containers that keep your meals warm or cold at food-safe temperatures for several hours without the aid of electricity or microwaves. Many are designed to prevent leaks (so you can bring soups to work) and resist significant denting when dropped, making them ideal for on-the-go lifestyles.
There is a lot of variety among brands when it comes to how well each food thermos performs, so we compiled a list of the best food thermoses on the market.
Whether your job includes unpredictable meetings in the office or being exposed to the elements for hours on end, the most important thing about your soup lunch is that it is still hot when you want it. The Thermos brand's Stainless King Food Jar can do just that.
This insulated metal jar holds 16 ounces of soup—or any liquid—and will keep your food piping hot without the container ever being warm-to-the-touch. Available in green, blue, red, stainless steel, and black, the Stainless King includes a built-in spoon and a lid that works well as a bowl.
If you want to keep your meals extra hot without breaking the bank, the Mira Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos does the trick quite nicely. Affordable without sacrificing quality, this stainless steel, triple wall-insulated thermos boasts a 17-ounce capacity, so it’s great for holding soups, hot lunches, or snacks of varying sizes. It’ll keep your food hot for up to five hours and cold for up to ten hours.
This premium, durable Mira Lunch thermos is free of lead, BPA, phthalates, and PVC, and it’s very easy to clean thanks to its wide mouth. Customers report that it’s the “perfect thermos for on-the-go” use.
The Thermos Foogo food jar provides all of the functionality of a typical thermos, but with the colorful flair and rubber edges that kids will love. The BPA-free container is made specifically for kids—it won’t sweat in the backpack, it won’t spill, and it’s durable. Resistant to scratches and slips, this food jar can even go in the dishwasher.
The stainless steel, insulated container includes a rubber-cover bottom and lid that comes in fun colors like blue and yellow, watermelon and green, or pink and purple. Perfect for hot or cold items, the Foogo can keep soup warm for five hours and fruit cold for seven hours—great for lunch or after-school activities.
When you search for the optimal thermos, you probably have a few criteria in mind, such as affordability, durability, compactness, effectiveness, and design. This simple, yet well-made and popular food thermos is sure to fit the bill and will be a purchase that anyone will enjoy.
The massively popular Funtainer features a stainless steel, insulated body and comfortable exterior. This inexpensive 10-ounce food thermos is compact and comes in vibrant colors with designs inspired by "Paw Patrol," "Pokemon," "Spider-Man," and more. It keeps food cold for seven hours and hot for five.
Possibly more fun than the Funtainer is the Hydro Flask Food Flask thermos. This brand’s well-known colorful, matte metal—available in several colors including lava, mint, and mango—insulates your food in a stylish container that doesn't retain or transfer flavors from today's soup to tomorrow's smoothie.
You can get your Food Flask in either a 12- or 18-ounce size. This thermos is designed to be durable and is small enough for nearly any bag, making it an excellent option for any adventure.
There are few lunch options better for both kids and adults than the Lille Home Stackable Stainless Steel Thermal Compartment Lunch Box. This set of containers is convenient and stylish. The compact tower looks like one traditional, large thermos, but is actually three individual containers stacked on top of one another.
The Lille Home containers come in stylish green, gold, gray, blue, or pink designs. Along with their appealing exterior, the interior is made with an easy-to-clean stainless steel. Each comes with a foldable stainless steel spoon or cutlery set and an aluminum foil-lined lunch bag for enhanced insulation. The leak- and spill-proof containers total 43 ounces of storage and will keep food warm for two to three hours.
What to Look for in a Hot Food Thermos
Size: Thermoses come in a wide range of sizes. To choose the best one to fit your needs, consider the quantity of food and/or beverages you want to carry, as well as how you’ll be carrying it. For example, if you want to use it in a lunchbox, you’ll want a smaller size, while if you want it to hold a whole pot of coffee, you’ll need something bigger.
Features: Beyond keeping your drinks hot and cold, some thermoses boast features that may make them especially convenient to use. Some come in sets that can be stacked, while others contain multiple small compartments to hold various foods at the same time. Certain models also come with built-in utensils. Think about what features would benefit you.
Style: If you eat lunch at work or your kid takes one to the school cafeteria, you may want to consider style when selecting a thermos. Some are basic stainless steel, but others come in an array of fun colors and prints. Beyond that, certain models also come rubber details that look cool and make them more durable.