5 Best Insulated Lunch Boxes of 2021

When the weather gets chilled, we all like to have something hot for lunch, whether it’s some heart warming soup, pasta with meat sauce, or crispy fried dumplings. We carefully reviewed and picked these 5 brands of insulated thermos lunch boxes. They are high quality, durable and they have all sizes for kids and adults.

Features to look for when shop for insulated lunch boxes

  • A trusted brand – You probably will use it for more than a year. You want well established brands so that the containers have better construction and high quality control.
  • Good temperature retention – You are using it to keep food hot or cold, not in between. Pick a brand that is professional on insulated containers, and you’ll have a better chance of getting good quality products.
  • Size does matter – Think of who will be using it. You don’t want to give a toddler a 2-lb lunch box that they can’t carry or is difficult to open. 10 oz is a good starting portion for toddlers. When they grow up, you can up size to 16oz or even 24oz for adults.
  • Bonus features – When the lid is easy to open and close, your child is more likely to eat their meal. If you prefer not to mix up different dishes, a divided or separated bowl system is for you. Some may like the idea of keeping utensils in the jar so that it won’t get lost. The options depend on your actual needs.

Best for Asian dishes: Zojirushi Ms & Mr Bento (28/41 Oz)

Zojirushi Ms. Bento 28.5 Oz Stainless Steel Lunch Jar
2,443 Reviews
N/A at Amazon | Zojirushi.com
  • Three Separate blows: This 28.5 Oz Ms Bento comes with 3 microwavable food bowls for hot or cold lunch storage: 10 Oz main bowl, 11 Oz side bowl and 7 Oz soup bowl. They are designed to keep food from mixing together: bottom one is for hot soup or meat dish; middle one for main dish; top one for fruit or vege.
  • Larger Version Available: If you have big eaters, there is alarger, 41 Oz 'Mr' version atN/A, which comes with 4 bowls: 15 Oz main bowl, 10 Oz large side bowl, 7 Oz small side bowl and a 9 Oz soup bowl.
  • Great insulation and Heat Retention: Vacuum insulated stainless steel construction keeps food warm (or cool). Sitting at room temperature of 20C (68F), Zojirushi can keep hot water of 95C (203F) at 65C (149F) in 6 hours, and cold water of 4C (39F) at 10C (50F) in 6 hours, which are quite impressive.
  • Easy and Convenient: Easy-to-clean container washes quickly; forked spoon with protective cover attaches to jar. Comes with a convenient carrying bag for easy transport.

Watch below video for a better idea of how these bowls work.

I got this for my 2nd grader and she loves it! She said when she opens her soup container around noon, it is still steaming hot. She had a cheaper food container before and she said this one is 100 times better.

Happy Customer Female
Customer Review

Best for young kids: OmieBox (47 Oz)

OmieBox | Multiple colors available
4,523 Reviews
$44.50 at Amazon
  • Versatile. OmieBox has two compartments, plus a removable thermos insert; the large compartment can be divided into two (a divider is included). It’s extremely versatile: you can use the leak-proof thermos insert for hot food or liquid, or take it out to fit a sandwich, and you can use the divider to customize the large compartment and keep food separate. It’s Great for lunch or snacks; you can pack hot or cold food, or both, and soup.
  • Specs & Materials. Weight: 1.7 lbs | Dimensions: 8.5」 x 7.5」 x 3」 | Box volume: 47 oz | Thermos volume: 8.5 oz. Materials: 18/8 304 grade stainless steel, food grade plastic & silicon. It’s durable, built to last. The materials are FDA- and CPSIA-compliant, BPA-Free.
  • Easy to clean. All the rubber seals are all removable. If the seals get worn or damaged, you can purchase replacement.
  • Editor’s note: The portion size is more likely for elementary kids. I like the fact that you can take out the thermos insert if you don’t feel like bringing hot food, and that the side compartment is adjustable, making it more flexible and versatile.

We love our Omiebox so far. Our three year old loves it and as a parent I have the peace of mind of being able to send him to school with warm/hot food for lunch or remove the thermos portion for regular temperature food. Especially helpful for picky eaters.

Happy Customer Female
Ellin Chen
Customer Review

Colorful designs: Thermos Funtainer (10 Oz)

Thermos Funtainer | Many colors available | 10 Oz
840 Reviews
$23.99 at Amazon
  • Great Insulation. Constructed with double wall stainless steel, this food jar keeps food cold up to 7 hours and hot for 5 hours.
  • Wide Mouth. Durable stainless steel interior and exterior and features a wide mouth (3 inches) that is easy to fill, serve from and clean.
  • Leak Proof. You can put liquid food like soup, noodle soup or sauce and don’t have to worry about leaking.
  • Easy Clean. Stainless steel interior for easy scrubbing. Top rack dishwasher safe for added convenience.
  • Fun colors. Many colors and designs to choose from.
  • Editor’s note: 10oz is the perfect size for young kids. It holds one serving of food just right. For bigger kids,there's a 16 oz option called “Stainless King.”

My kids can now eat hot soups, mac n cheese, chili, rice and beans for lunch at school. The key is to fill up the thermos with boiling water and let it sit for 15 minutes to heat up the thermos. Then, remove the water and add the hot food to the thermos and your food will stay warm all day. My son brought back some soup and it was still hot 10 hours later.

Customer Review

Easy scooping: Thermos LunchBots (12 Oz)

Thermos LunchBots | Stainless Steel Wide Mouth | 12 Oz
671 Reviews
N/A at Amazon
  • Easy to Use. This 12 oz Thermal was designed to mimic a bowl shape, making it easy to eat from and convenient to fill. Newest model has a vent button in the lid to release pressure and make the lid easy to open.
  • Superior Insulation. Using triple-insulated Thermal technology, it will keep your meals hot for up to 6 hours, or cold for up to 12 hours. In fact, its Amazon listing description says that “We’re so confident in our 12oz Thermal that we guarantee it will outperform a product of the same capacity from any other brand.”
  • No Plastics. The Thermal’s interior, including the lid, is made of durable 18/8 stainless steel. Dishwasher safe for a no-hassle cleanup.
  • Holds a Full Meal. At a convenient 1.5-cup size, this Thermal serves up a perfectly portioned serving of soup! Its 4.5″ diameter is ideal for chunky stews or fruit salad, and it makes it easy to fill with your lunchtime favorites. At 4.5″ high, it easily fits in popular lunch bags.
  • Leak Proof. You can drop it in your purse, briefcase or backpack without the worry of accidental spills or messes.
  • Editor’s note: Highly recommend this wide opening jar. The release button makes it easy to open which is a great feature. 12 oz holds plenty of food.

This lunch jar is by far the best one I’ve had and believe me. I bought so many insulated lunch containers for my son and they turned out to be failures except Ms. Bento from Zojirushi. Ms. Bento works awesome as long as you prep it right, but I was looking for a “one piece” food container for my son. LunchBots is perfect because the size is right, it has a wide mouth/opening, and best of all, it keeps the food incredibly warm even without prepping it (instructions advise NOT to prep with hot water).

Customer review

Easy open & close: Arctic Zone food jar (16 Oz)

Arctic Zone Leak Proof Thermal Insulated Food Jar with Safe & Easy 4 Lock Lid | 16 oz
28 Reviews
$12.88 at Walmart.com | arcticzone.com
  • Easy to Open. No more twisting, turning and struggling to get the lid off. This BPA free, leak proof food container features a safe and easy to use 4 lift-and-lock lid.
  • Superior Temperature Retention. The container is constructed of stainless steel with triple-walled vacuum insulation for temperature retention and copper lining for better performance. It keeps food and liquids hot for up to 7 hours or cold for up to 9
  • Large Capacity. Holds 2 cups (16 oz./480mL) large enough for teen kids.
  • Wide Opening. 5 inch opening which is rare to find in the market with this size.
  • Editor’s note: Arctic Zone is a professional brand specialize in coolers and gears.

We have another thermos container that has a twist-off lid but my son has a hard time with it at school. I really like the snap lid on this thermos as it is easy for kids to open. I have used it to pack soup, rice and stew for my own lunch at work, I leave at 8am and have lunch at 1pm and the food is hot every time!

Extremely Useful
Customer Review
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Last update on 2022-02-12. Affiliate links and images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
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