Whether it’s a sip of hot soup or a bite of ice cream, the best thermoses for food can bring the comforts of your favorite meals wherever you go. However, it should be noted that for foods to stay hot in a thermos, they must contain some liquid, like a soup, stew, or oatmeal. Key features that make a thermos better suited for food include:
- Wide-mouth: A larger opening will make your thermos both easy to fill and easy to eat from.
- Easy-to-clean: With a thermos that’s storing food, there’s a higher risk of bits getting stuck in crevices. It's crucial that a food thermos is simple to wash out after each use (with all parts having ample time to fully dry) in order to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
- Maintains a food-safe temperature: According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food is safe to eat when it's at least 140 degrees or above (for hot items), or 40 degrees or below (for cold items). Food will maintain its temperature for longer if you pre-heat your thermos with hot water and then discard the water (for hot foods) or temporarily chill your thermos in the fridge or freezer (for cold foods).
- Travel-friendly: For added ease, you may want a thermos that comes with its own utensil or has a lid that works as a bowl.
Whether you just want a simple thermos or your needs are more specific, these thermoses will make it easy to take your meals to go (and they even pair perfectly with the best thermoses for coffee).
1. The Overall Best Thermos For Food
MIRA Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos
This food thermos from MIRA is a great pick for a few reasons. First, it has a wide mouth that makes it easy to fill and easy to clean. The stainless steel thermos provides excellent insulation through its double-wall vacuum design, so food can stay hot for up to five hours or cold for up to 10 hours. The container is BPA-free and has a capacity of 13.5 ounces, which should be enough for the average meal. And if you’re unhappy for any reason in the first 30 days, you can return this thermos for a full refund.
2. The Best Thermos For Big Portions
Thermos Stainless Steel King Food Jar
If you have a bigger batch of food to keep hot or cold, this large thermos for food is the way to go. It has a 24-ounce capacity, which is significantly larger than your standard thermos. It also features superb temperature retention: it can keep food hot for 14 hours or cold for up to 24 hours. The wide-mouth design makes this thermos easy to fill and easy to clean, and the stainless steel lid doubles as a bowl, so you can have a sit-down meal wherever you are. Best of all, the surface of this thermos stays cool to the touch when you’re carrying something hot and sweat-proof when you're carrying something cold.
3. The Best Food Thermos For Small Snacks
Thermos Foogo Food Jar
If you just need a little device that can fit in your bag and carry your mid-day snacks, this small food thermos from Thermos Foogo is the perfect fit. The stainless steel, double-wall design keeps food cold for seven hours or warm for five hours, and its vacuum insulation prohibits the growth of bacteria. The thermos features a 10-ounce capacity that makes it easy to fit in your bag, plus an ergonomic lid with a rubber grip for added ease. This thermos is dishwasher-safe if you use the top rack, but some reviewers found that it developed mold when not washed properly, so it's probably best to wash this one by hand anyway.
4. The Best Food Thermos To Take On The Go
Energify Thermos Food Jar
This colorful container from Energify is by far the best food thermos to take on the go. Available in both 15.2-ounce and 22-ounce capacities, this stainless steel thermos uses double-wall technology to insulate and keep food hot or cold for several hours (while Energify doesn't specify an exact duration, most reviewers found their food was still piping hot six hours later). The thermos is made from BPA-free material and features a leak-proof design that helps prevent spills. Like with the previous options, the wide mouth makes it equally easy to fill and wash, and the lid can be used as a bowl. What really sets this thermos apart is its transportable features. It boasts a flexible handle, a foldable spoon, an air-pressure-release button on the lid for effortless opening, and a carrying case to keep it in mint condition no matter how often you use it.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.