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Best insulated lunch box for hot food

Best insulated lunch box for hot food

When it comes to insulated lunch boxes for hot food, choices range from conventional metal containers to intricate models with separate compartments for various types of food. Some even come loaded with movable food dividers in easy-to-clean stainless steel.

Ultimately, you want the best insulated lunch box for hot food to keep your foods piping hot for hours and we’re here to help find the best option on the market. Turns out, the best models aren’t necessarily the most expensive insulated lunch boxes. Check out these favorites..

Best insulated lunch box for hot food – top 3 options

Whether you’re packing pasta for lunch or you’ll be packing grilled Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwich for your school-going kid, a great insulated lunch box will keep your foods warm for many hours and won’t mess your bag. 

After spending what looked like an eternity comparing what we found out there, we narrowed it down to these three fantastic choices.

1. OmieBox Bento Insulated Lunch Box for Kids

It’s pretty adorable (show me a kid who doesn’t love sweet colors), but what really makes this insulated hot/cold lunch box for kiddos a steal is the design.

You’re looking at 3 functional compartments, two dedicated temperature zones (thermal portion for hot food), a handy built-in handle (you don’t even need a bag), and a lid that opens so easily. What’s more, you can move the leak-proof thermos insert out to fit a sandwich.

Forget about buying a separate container- this even fits snacks and a drink. Everything is just perfect.

And yes, it has one of the best results and keeps food steaming hot for up to 4 hours (sometimes more).

Save bucks by buying the OmieBox Bento Insulated Lunch Box instead of paying for a regular bento box, a thermos, and a lunch bag separately.


  • So easy to clean.
  • Food is perfectly warm hours later.
  • Wide kids-friendly mouth (easier to scoop food out)


  • A bit tough to close.
Buy OmieBox Bento Insulated Lunch Box for Kids on Amazon

2. LunchBots Thermal Triple Insulated 8-oz Food Container

This keeps your favorite pasta, soup, or yesternight’s leftovers hot for up to 6 hours thanks to the three-layer interior insulation and is one of our most cherished insulated food containers.

The container is completely sealed so your soups and other drinks should be fine in this lunch box.

Everything-including the cap- is made of stainless steel here so your food will never touch plastic!

Don’t forget that a stainless steel lunch box is extremely hard to break, especially when it comes to children.

In addition, it’s quite easy to clean (it’s actually dishwasher safe). The container is large enough for a single serving of most meals (8-oz capacity) but sufficiently compact to fit effortlessly in your lunch bag, purse, briefcase, backpack, and more. In short, you have an excellent lunch accessory in this LunchBots lunch box.


  • Extremely durable.
  • A cinch to clean.
  • Awesome size.


  • Dents somewhat easily.
Buy LunchBots Thermal Triple Insulated 8-oz Food Container on Amazon

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3. Pinnacle Insulated Lunch Box (Set of 2), 16 oz

The latest version of Pinnacle’s bestselling insulated lunch box has undergone impressive upgrades including the introduction of a nice heat release valve.

Just lift the latch to allow heat escape and savor your packed delicacies at the just-right temp! The use of improved thermal technology means food remains warm for more hours (about 4-5 hours) now and like any good lunch box, this features a stainless steel interior.

The lid has also been re-designed and is easy to open/fasten even for the little ones (you’ll find the snaps so easy to detach/re-attach). Furthermore, the design is sleeker and looks quite professional (Hello, office worker).

It’s lightweight, always feels cool (even with warm foods inside), and seems pretty durable to boot.

Overall, it didn’t surprise us that this is one of the few models to be loved by both kids and adults.


  • Nice size.
  • Locks tight.
  • Easy-to-use wide bowl shape design.


  • You can’t wash it in the dishwasher!
Buy Pinnacle Insulated Lunch Box on Amazon

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What to look for when shopping for the best insulated lunch container for hot food

Picking the best insulated lunch box for you means considering all the features that will make bringing lunch to an out-of-town meeting, the beach, office, or school (for your kiddos) way easier. 

Keep the following in mind:

a) Construction

If you have the opportunity, touch and test whether the lunch box leaks and if its lid locks tight enough to prevent soups spilling and wetting everything  in the bag during daily commutes.

The other important thing here is durability. Now, a kid’s lunch box is ideally built tough enough to take the abuse from your 7-year old (you’ll occasionally find him knocking it around like a ball!).

Lastly, food separating compartments are convenient since you can fit several different types/portions of food in one package.

b) Materials

You may also want to consider the materials from which the lunch box is made.

If you plan to use it often and are perhaps not the most careful person in earth, consider a sturdy stainless steel lunch box.

The good thing is that most of the best insulated lunch boxes are made from stainless steel that is easy to clean and dishwasher safe though some are sturdier than others.

c) Capacity

Lunch boxes come in many different sizes with some being roomy enough to hold a lot more food and drinks and can make sense for those with hearty appetites.

A smaller container is the way to go if you (or your loved one) are not into large midday meals. Of course, you may go hungry and fail to focus if you pick a box that is too small so be careful here.

d) Does it hold the heat?

The best products can keep the contents warm for 5-7 hours because they feature maximum insulation and are great for packing lunch/quick on-the-go bites.

However, some disappoint and your food will be lukewarm, at best, after just 2 hours. Perhaps the best way to keep off such brands is by checking previous buyers’ comments about how long food stays warm.

e) Colorful flair

Young ones love fun colors like pink, blue, yellow, watermelon, green, and the right color may endear your choice to him/her. Truth be told, any lunch you’ve made yourself tastes a million times better than those slimy chopped salads we love buying. 

So, why not invest in the best insulated lunch box for hot food? The three insulated lunch boxes we have brought you here are perfect for school, summer camp activities, work, or whenever you want to savor a warm meal on the go. Pick your favorite.

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