Everyone suffers from food boredom at times, and if you work the 9-5, or have children that need a packed lunch for school, you know exactly what I am talking about. Throw in the majority of the world living in a climate that isn’t consistently warm and sunny, eating cold food on fall and winter days can be downright miserable.
A portable thermos for soup is a great way to not only change up the routine, but provide hot meals on those days you wish you could’ve stayed in bed. With a variety of options available, which is the best thermos for keeping soup hot? From multiple sizes, ergonomic designs, assortments of colors, and functional flexibility, we explain all the important things you need to be aware of when buying a new soup thermos.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Thermos for Soup
Number of Hours It Will Keep Food Hot/Cold
Obviously, if you are buying a soup thermos you want something that keeps your food hot for a long time. Most thermoses will give you full heat retention for around 4-6 hours. Cold drinks can also be stored in thermoses and will afford you a bit more time, hovering around the 10 hour range. You will see some models claiming to have 24 hour temperature retention, but that only produces lukewarm results, never fully hot or fully cold.
Pre-Heat or Pre-Chill Before Each Use
Thermoses do a great job at keeping soups hot but you will get the maximum number of hours out of your thermos if you pre-heat it. Conversely, if you are using the thermos for cold beverages or food, you will want to pre-chill it. Using boiling water from a kettle, or cold water from the fridge, filling up the thermos and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes will give your foods greater longevity. Obviously, dump out the water when you are ready to fill it with the soup.
Only Use With Foods That Are Hot Or Cold
This rule is strictly a safety issue. You want to fill the thermos with piping hot soup (around 212 degrees Fahrenheit), and any cold foods should be at a temperature similar to a refrigerator (35 – 38F). When you stick to this rule, not only will hot soups and cold beverages stay that way for longer periods of time, but you will also greatly reduce the chances of bacteria and other food borne illnesses from growing, which can happen when your food temperature falls in the danger zone (40 – 140F). You should only use your thermos for foods that have a liquid component to them (ie. soup, stew, chili, fruit salad, etc.). This is the only way to keep the interior temperature constant, as a lack of liquid will cause a temperature shift and food will spoil within a few hours.
It is important that you get an eco-friendly soup thermos. This means it uses 18/8 304 food grade stainless steel, BPA-free plastic and silicone, is lead-free, and contains zero phthalates. All of these contribute to keeping your food non-toxic, and eliminate harmful chemicals from leaching into your food.
Not Dishwasher Safe
Most thermoses are not dishwasher friendly. It is recommended to wash them before first use, and after every use with mild dish soap and warm water, rinsing with hot. If you notice any odors in the tumbler, add some vinegar to disinfect it. Dishwashers use ungodly high heat temperatures and abrasive detergents during their wash cycle that can make your thermos exterior peel, and warp plastics and silicones that may be present in the construction.
While the majority of thermoses won’t break the bank, a good quality model will set you back around $20. Depending on size and build quality you can get some for under $15, while others hover near the $30 mark.
Best Thermos for Soup Reviews
Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar with Folding Spoon Review
Standing 5.6 x 3.7 inches and with a volume of 16 ounces, the Stainless King from Thermos is available in multiple colors, and is an excellent option for keeping soup hot for hours on those cold work days. Outfitted with a full stainless steel design for durability, it is virtually indestructible and ergonomically functional, giving you 7 hours of hot liquids, and 9 hours of cold. With a wide opening, it’s easy to fill and eat straight out of, the lid can double as a cup, and it includes a full-size spoon that collapses down for increased portability. Thermos uses double-wall insulation, which keeps the interior temperatures ideal, while eliminating heat escaping, or entering the thermos. This makes it sweat-proof when you have cold liquids in it, and cool to the touch when hot liquids are housed inside. An airtight stopper and gasket make it leakproof, ensuring you can bring it anywhere without making a mess
- Can Hold 16 Ounces
- Durable Full Stainless Steel Design
- 7 Hours of Hot Liquids, 9 Hours of Cold
- Wide Opening For Easy Filling and Eating
- Includes Fold-Up Spoon
- Can Be Difficult For Children To Open
Thermos Funtainer 10 Ounce Food Jar Review
Great for school lunches, the Funtainer comes in various colors and kid-friendly themes (ie. Frozen, Toy Story, Batman, etc.), and has a wide opening that makes it easy for kids or adults to easily eat from. With 5 hours of hot liquids, and 7 hours of cold, this 4.5 x 3.5 inch Thermos fits lunch bags easily, and is versatile to hold anything from hot soups and chili, to mac and cheese or colder items like fruit salad. An interior and exterior stainless steel design makes for a durable build that will come in handy around the clumsiness of children, and a double-wall insulation keeps temperatures locked in, eliminating heat escaping from the bottle, making it sweat-proof and easy to handle at all times. With a 5 year warranty you can be sure that your purchase will afford you hot meal for years to come.
- 10 oz. Model Geared Toward Kids for School Lunches
- Available in Multiple Colors and Themes
- 5 Hours of Hot Liquids, 7 Hours of Cold
- Full Stainless Steel Design
- Double Walled Insulation
- Cool To The Touch At All Times
- 5 Year Warranty
- Need to Pre-Heat / Pre-Chill Thermos For Maximum Hours
Thermos Stainless King 24 Ounce Food Jar Review
Capable of holding up to 24 ounces of food or liquid, this Stainless King model from Thermos is 7.2 inches high with a 3.7 inch diameter. Using thermax double wall insulation technology, you are allotted 14 hours of hot food and drink, with cold items staying that way for a full day. The high-performance insulation ensures there is no heat transfer, meaning it will always be cool to the touch, and condensation is also a thing of the past if you are storing cold beverages in it. Lightweight at just under 1 lb., this portable jar is available in different colors and has a full stainless steel body and lid which doubles as a serving cup. The plastic stopper uses a twist and pour design for drinks, and works to prevent leaks. A side effect of this stopper is that plastic will come in contact with your food and drink, which can be off-putting to some.
- Large 24 Ounce Portable Thermos
- Double Wall Insulation
- 14 Hour Hot Food, 24 Hour Cold Food
- 100% Stainless Steel Body and Lid
- Twist and Pour Stopper for Drink Dispensing
- Safe Exterior Temperature At All Times
- Plastic Stopper Comes Into Contact With Hot Food/Beverages
DaCool Insulated Lunch Container Hot Food Jar Review
Available in 2 sizes (16 or 24 oz.), as well as a variety of colors, this insulated food jar will keep your soups hot on those cold days. Complete with a foldable spoon, as well as a wide mouth to directly eat from, the lid is crafted from food grade materials, allowing it to double as a cup. It also works with the inner stopper lid to provide extra protection against your food leaking from the unit. The 16 oz. version holds about 2 cups worth of ingestibles, and its small 5.86 x 3.86 inch dimensions make it easy to carry anywhere. Equipped with a silicon base for added stability, it uses a double wall copper-lined insulation for excellent heat retention, as well as elimination of heat transference. BPA-free, with no PVC’s, DaCool uses food-safe 304 stainless steel to ensure you aren’t digesting harmful substances with your delicious meal.
- Crafted From Non-Toxic Materials
- Available in 16 or 24 oz. Sizes
- Variety of Colors to Choose From
- Double Leakproof Lids
- Double Wall Copper-Lined Insulation
- Easy Open Button on Stopper
- Need To Pre-Heat / Pre-Chill Thermos For Maximum Hours
- Not Dishwasher Safe
MIRA Lunch, Food Jar | Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos Review
With non-existent toxicity levels, this leak-proof thermos from Mira uses a copper lining between two stainless steel walls, providing triple layer vacuum insulation for keeping your food and drinks at the desired temperature. Everything in the thermos stays hot for 5 hours, or cold for 10 hours, and it’s 5 x 3.25 inch, 13.5 oz. size fits perfectly in the hands of adults or children. With an array of colors to choose from, this thermos is certified BPA-free, and uses 18/8 food grade stainless steel to avoid leaching. Due to its insulation technology, the exterior of the bottle will never heat up or cool down in relation to what you put in the thermos, making it cool to the touch at all times and sweat-proof, and a matte finish provides a sleek look as well as a no-slip grip.
- Triple Layer Vacuum Insulation
- 5 Hours of Hot Food, 10 Hours of Cold
- Made From Non-Toxic Materials
- Multiple Colors Available
- 13.5 oz. Size May Be Too Small For Some
- Not Dishwasher Safe
Food Jar Insulated Lunch Containers 16 Oz Stainless Steel Thermoses Review
Affordable and compact, this thermos can hold 16 ounces of soups, foods, or beverages, giving you about 5 hours of fully hot or cold food, with retention of up to 12 hours. Designed with an exhaust valve to release built-up pressure before removing the lid, this 5.9 x 3.5 inch thermos has an anti-slip silicon bottom that provides additional protection against accidents. A superior seal makes it 100% leakproof, whether its tilted or completely upside-down. With a few different colors to choose from, the thermos has no toxicity levels, using food-grade 304 stainless steel, zero PVC’s, a non-toxic seal ring, and is BPA-free for FDA-approval. The 2 layers of vacuum insulation provide zero heat transference, the exterior has a frosted lacquer finish for an attractive aesthetic and firm grip, and it also includes a foldable spoon and wide mouth opening for eating straight from.
- Uses Vacuum Insulation Technology
- 5-12 Hours of Hot / Cold Retention
- FDA Approved
- Can Hold 16 oz.
- 100% Leakproof
- Pressure Release Button on Lid
- Includes Foldable Spoon
- Can Be Hard For Children to Unscrew Lid
Stanley Adventure Vacuum Food Jar Review
The Adventure thermos from Stanley is a real workhorse. With the ability to house 18 ounces of food or liquids, it utilizes a full food-grade 18/8 stainless steel design from the top of the lid right down to the base. Double-walled vacuum insulation is present in both the container as well as the lid, with up to 12 hours of hot and cold retention, although you will get a 4-hour window of time to eat your hot or cold food at their original temperatures. Structurally, it stands 7.9 x 3.93 inches with a wide mouth that is easy to eat from using the provided spork, and as it caters to everyone from office workers to school kids and adventurers, it has a D-ring clasp on one side of the thermos so you can clip it onto a backpack when trekking.
- Uses 18/8 Food Grade Stainless Steel
- 4-12 Hours of Temperature Retention
- No Heat Transference Due To Double Wall Insulation
- Wide Mouth Makes Easy To Clean and Eat From
- Includes Spork
- Includes D-ring to Clip to Backpacks
- Width Can Be Troublesome For Single-Handed Holding
- Needs Temperature Prepping
- Hand Wash Only
Energify Vacuum Insulated Food Jar Review
For the price of the Energify thermos, you get a large amount of features in addition to top performance, making it an excellent choice. With multiple colors to choose from and capable of storing 17 ounces (there is also a 24 ounce model), it measures 6.29 x 3.93 inches, and includes a flexible silicone handle as well as a fold up spoon. Double-wall insulation provides hot soups for up to 12 hours, with 24 hours of return on cold food, and the insulation eliminates temperature transference to the exterior making it sweat-proof and condensation free. Safe and FDA approved, the stainless steel, silicone and plastic that are used are all BPA-free, with an air pressure release valve on the stopper making lid removal simple. Using the stopper with the insulated lid (which also doubles as a bowl/cup), the thermos is sealed up like Fort Knox, and a silicone coated base provides an anti-slip safety feature in situations where you may inadvertently knock it over. With a lifetime warranty, and an included e-book providing meal suggestions for your new thermos, its hard to look any further than the Energify.
- Available in 16 and 24 oz. Sizes
- Multiple Colors to Choose From
- Provides Up to 12 Hours for Hot Food, 24 Hours for Cold Food
- Uses FDA Approved Stainless Steel, Silicone, and Plastics
- Air Pressure Release Valve on Stopper
- Fully Insulated Thermos and Cup
- Includes Foldable Spoon
- Additional E-book With Meal Suggestions
- Lifetime Warranty
- Wash By Hand
Milu Thermos Food Jar with Folding Spoon Reviews
This sleekly designed thermos from Milu holds 15.2 ounces of various soups, foods, or beverages, and uses double wall, food grade 304 stainless steel that is vacuum sealed. Food will stay fully hot or cold for about 5 hours, and with no heat transfer you will never burn your hand on the bottle, or have to wipe condensation from it. Dimensionally, it stands 4.92 x 3.94 inches, with a 2.6 inch wide mouth opening allowing for eating directly from the thermos using the included foldable stainless steel spoon. The lid provides a leakproof unit while doubling as a cup/bowl, and the exterior base is lined with silicone for a firm grip an all surfaces. Taking it anywhere is simple with the silicone handle, a pressure release button on the stopper allows for safe opening, and Milu also includes a cleaning brush for use after every meal.
- Available in 15.2 and 22 oz. Sizes
- Safe, Food Grade 304 Stainless Steel
- Pressure Relief Button on Stopper
- Includes Foldable Spoon
- Includes Cleaning Brush
- Not Dishwasher Safe
Zojirushi SW-EAE35XA 11-3/4-Ounce Stainless-Steel Food Jar Review
Zojirushi has a reputation for providing high quality products, and this model is one of the best rated for soup. Constructed out of BPA-free plastic and durable 18/8 food grade stainless steel, the interior is electro-polished so it won’t rust or stain, and it also works to keep odors from attaching to the thermos. Soup will stay fully hot or cold for 5-6 hours in this 16 oz. bottle, and there are larger sizes available if you are looking for thermos that can hold more. A dimpled lid provides a superior grip to grab while twisting the gasket-sealed leakproof lid off. A 2.5 inch wide mouth opening makes it easy to fill, clean, and eat from. With multiple colors to suits everyone’s personal tastes, superior vacuum sealed insulation with zero heat transference, and an attention to design and high-quality materials, Zojirushi’s travel thermos will enhance the lives of anyone looking to bring hot meals anywhere they go.
- Double Wall Vacuum Sealed
- Non-Toxic Stainless Steel
- BPA-free Plastic
- 5-6 Hours Of Fully Hot or Cold Food
- Available in Multiple Sizes and Colors
- Dimpled Lid For Superior Grip
- Wash By Hand
BUILT 5237387 Double Wall Stainless Steel Vacuum Review
Comfortable to carry with its soft-edge design, and equipped with a wide-mouth opening for eating straight from, this 10 ounce thermos will keep hot food at its maximum level for 5 hours, and cold foods for 7 hours. Vacuum insulated with 18/8 double-wall stainless steel, it won’t sweat and is cool to the touch at all times. Free from BPA’s, phthalates, and lead, you can rest assured there is no leaching and it won’t alter your DNA when you ingest food or drink. Available in multiple colors, it also comes in a 16 oz size for those that are looking for a larger thermos.
- Constructed from 100% BPA-free Materials
- Vacuum Insulated 18/8 Stainless Steel Wall For Maximum Temperature Retention
- Hot Food for 5 Hours
- Cold Food for 7 Hours
- Available in Multiple Colors
- Comes in 10 oz. or 16 oz. Sizes
- Soft-Edge Design for Comfortable Carrying
- Not Dishwasher Friendly
- 10 oz. Model May Be Small For Some
Will My Soup Stay Warm in Tupperware?
No it will not. Tupperware is great for storing food in the fridge or freezer, or using as a portable carrier for dry foods, but ultimately, they are not insulated, and will not hold in heat.
Can I use these food jars for storing coffee hot?
If your aim is to keep the coffee hot these will work, however, you will not be able to drink your coffee directly from the food jar as you could with some travel mugs. Check out our Best Thermos for Keeping Coffee Hot post for thermoses that are specially designed for drinking coffee.
How To Keep Soup Hot Using A Thermos?
Thermoses stay hot using double-wall vacuum insulation to retain heat. This wall removes the layer of air between the steel plates, resulting in a reduction of heat transferring to the outside of the bottle, and escaping. Some higher end models use a layer of copper between the steel plates, which aids in keeping heat in due to its high-conductivity properties.
Length of Time for Hot Soup in a Thermos?
Hot soup can stay that way in a thermos for around 4-6 hours. After that time frame, the heat will slowly begin to dissipate.
Are Stainless Steel Thermoses Safe?
Stainless steel thermos are very safe provided they use 18/8 304 food-grade steel. These steels are regularly used in food-related products and are highly resistant to corrosion and rust.
Thermoses are a great way to bring hot soup with you on the go. You should have a good idea now of what is available and what model will suit your life best.