Last week the heater went out in my truck, my only vehicle. My commute usually takes 40 minutes in good traffic, which is not so bad. The problem is the cold weather. I did not have any good insulated lunch containers for hot food.
By the time I get to work my lunch is always cold. I was already chilled from the drive in and did not relish the idea of eating my lunch cold. I could temp the office microwave which only cooks on one setting, emergency room hot. A bit of an exaggeration, I don’t like using microwaves and think food taste better heated on a stove. So I had to get creative until my next paycheck.
After of week of trying to be creative I was tired of fighting a losing battle of keeping my lunch warm and finally broke down to find the best insulated lunch container I could find that would help keep my lunch nice and toasty.
There are so many insulated lunch containers to choose from, I was able to narrow it down to these top five. I’ll let you guess which one I picked (here’s a hint; it’s not the one with purple hippos on it)!
LunchBots Thermal Stainless Steel Insulated Food Container **
This 16 ounce insulated food container is made by LunchBots, a company dedicated to producing high caliber food containers and this one is no exception. This container is constructed of stainless steel which is one of the safest materials for food storage and is very durable. It is also leak proof, so its perfect for liquid types of meals.
This food container is rated to keep you food warm up to 5 hours and is designed with a wide mouth so you can eat right from the container like a bowl. It works best to first heat up the container before adding in your food, this can be done by adding boiling water to the container for a couple minutes, dump it out and then add in your desired food. Can also act as a cooler for colder foods. It’s about 5″ in diameter and 3.5″ tall.
This container currently holds a 4 star rating out of 486 reviews. While not a full lunch container solution, it’s a perfect addition to your lunch box (or even a as a gift). This product can also be seen as our featured image at the top of this post and is our top pick!
- Five colors to choose from
- BPA free
- 16 ounces of joy
- Very sturdy 18/8 stainless steel design
- Keeps foods warm up to five hours
- Is not microwavable
- Hand wash only
- Great for soups, other food types are suspect
THERMOS FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Food Jar
Another great BPA free insulated lunch jar addition for your lunch box, this 10 oz food jar is built by the industry leader, Thermos. Thermos has been building vacuum insulated based containers well over 100 years and has seemed to have perfected this technology. This food jar employs a double wall vacuum insulated design that helps keep good warm up to 5 hours. Built out of stainless steel (interior). According to its instructions, this unit is not dishwasher safe but because of its wide mouth, it is easy to clean by hand.
It’s small, which makes it easy to transport and a great addition to smaller lunch bags. The size of this food jar is best suited for babies, toddlers and kids lunchboxes. You could fit about six chicken nuggets inside. This makes a great addition as a snack jar or to a lunch bag.
- Keeps food warm up to five hours
- BPA free
- Leak proof
- Vacuum insulated technology
- 10 oz is not a lot of space, better suited for a child’s lunch box
- Not microwavable
- Can be difficult for smaller children to open
Happy To Go Adult Insulated Lunch Box Bag for Men and Women
Looking for more of a lunch box or bag instead of a container? This Insulated lunch bag does a good job of holding all your lunch containers and helps keep them warm for up to three hours. Its designed with a square bottom which helps keep your food containers upright and prevents spills. This design also allows it to be easily cleaned (wiped out). This unit also comes with a strap, making it easy to carry.
It measures in at 10″ by 7″ by 7″ and is made up of BPA free materials. You can easily carry a six pack of pop with a few sandwiches on top.
This insulated lunch bag also comes with a money back guarantee. According to the seller, you have six months to return it for a full refund.
- Keeps food warm up to 3 hours
- Comes with a strap
- BPA Free
- 2 Lunch Bags
- Easy to store when not in use
- Plastic insert is not removable
- Some people had zipper issues
- Advertised as keeping warm up to 3 hours, I guess that also depends on what type of internal containers you are using.
MIRA Lunch, Food Jar, Vacuum Insulated, Stainless Steel
This food jar is specially designed to keep you lunch hot for up to five hours using a high quality insulated design. To keep food optimally warm, its best to first heat up the jar by pouring boiling water in and then replacing that with your food. MIRA Brands specializes in creating snack and lunch containers for various purposes. Some of their more popular designs are these food jars. This model currently comes in three different colors.
This particular food jar can hold up to 10 oz. of food or liquid. Its open mouth design is perfect for eating out of and also ensure this unit is easy to clean. It uses vacuum insulated technology. Its interior is made of stainless steel. The jar is BPA free.
- BPA Free
- Easy to clean
- Holds up to 10 oz. of food
- Food stays warm up to five hours
- Stainless steel construction
- Leak proof design
- Not huge, but big enough for a child’s lunch box or an addition to an adults lunch bag
- Made is China
- Can be difficult to open for smaller children
Warmables Cherry-Pit Adult’s Lunch Kit
This little ingenious lunch kit is able to keep your lunch hot up to 6 hours. It comes with a 26 ounce food container which is big enough to fit two large sandwiches. How it works; first you first heat up your food and put it in the container, then you heat up two ‘cherry pit’ bags in the microwave. These bags are reusable. You place all of these into a Warmable bag and you are done!
The container is dishwasher friendly and easy to clean. The kit comes in five different colors. This product is currently rated with 4.5 stars.
This lunch kit is American made and the container is BPA free. Overall a great solution for keeping your lunch hot!
- Made in the USA!
- Container is BPA free
- Keeps food warm up to six hours
- Perfect solution for last night’s leftovers for today’s lunch
- Read instructions completely for the pit packs. Some reports of the packs catching fire in the microwave if kept in too long
- Product support is a little ‘iffy’
Insulated lunch containers for hot food are not designed like containers to keep your food cold. Sure your cooler could be used in a pinch, but if you enjoy your lunch hot and not just warm then you should opt for a container that’s actually designed to keep the heat in.