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Best heated lunch box

Which heated lunch box is best?

Heating food in the microwave is convenient, but microwaved food rarely tastes the same. Even if you don’t have time to heat your food on the stove, a heated lunch box can keep your homecooked meals warm and delicious. And the Hot Logic Personal Oven is excellent because of its compact design, 12-hour warming capability and ability to heat food without burning or drying it out.

What to know before you buy a heated lunch box

Size and capacity

You don’t want to be lugging around a bulky lunch box, but it should be ample enough to hold an average meal, including small portions of sides such as vegetables, salad or rice. However, if you prefer having large meals on the go, consider getting a large lunch box.


Heated lunch boxes are built similarly to lunch coolers, as they have a hard plastic exterior, although some have an insulated fabric exterior. The inside often has a stainless-steel tray or aluminum lining, used to keep food warm. All materials used in a heated lunch box must be heat resistant and rustproof, and plastic containers must be food-grade.


Heated lunch boxes have electric components that make them unsafe for dishwashers, but they’re relatively easy to clean. Some lunch boxes come with dishwasher-friendly plastic containers, but if the compartments aren't removable, you’ll have to use a damp or dry cloth to remove food residue and stains.

What to look for in a quality heated lunch box


The last thing anybody wants is hot soup or pasta sauce leaking out their lunch box and onto their clothes or workspace. A leakproof lid is crucial for safety reasons and prevents messy spills. Some lunch boxes are advertised as fully leakproof but still let some liquids seep through. In that case, it’s best to kep your lunch box upright at all times.

Warming period

A high-quality heated lunch box can reheat food and keep it warm for at least 10 to 12 hours. A lunch box that keeps food warm for less than that isn’t ideal because by the time you get to your meal, it might be cold or lukewarm.

Also, some premium heated lunch boxes can cook raw foods and keep them warm for several hours, making them an excellent option when you’re too busy to cook or prepare your meal at home.

Power source 

All heated lunch boxes come with a cord to connect them directly to a power outlet, but some don’t require much power to work, meaning you can hook one up to your car using an adapter to get it going. It’ll probably take longer to heat your food using your car’s battery, but it’s excellent for long-haul truck drivers or long-distance road trips.

How much you can expect to spend on a heated lunch box

You can find a quality heated lunch box for $20-$30. However, if you want something bigger or more powerful with accessories or multiple containers, expect to spend up to $60.

Heated lunch box FAQ

Are heated lunch boxes safe?

A. As with all electric appliances, there is always a risk of an electric shock or burning out a fuse, but they’re relatively safe. However, they’re unsuitable for children and aren’t permitted in most schools.

How long does it take to warm up food in a heated lunch box?

A. Depending on the food's original state and the lunch box, it takes approximately 15 to 35 minutes to warm up food.

What’s the best heated lunch box to buy?

Top heated lunch box

Hot Logic Personal Oven

What you need to know: This portable oven and food warmer reheats fresh or frozen food without burning or drying it out.

What you’ll love: It works well with frozen foods, prepared meals and leftovers, and holds the temperature for up to 12 hours. You don’t need to monitor it, as it doesn’t overcook food, and it only requires low-power wattage, making it suitable for use with a car adapter.

What you should consider: It’s only big enough for one average-sized food container, and some customers reported that pasta becomes too mushy if left heating for too long.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top heated lunch box for the money

DaCool Insulated Lunch Container Hot Food Jar 

What you need to know: This food jar is great for keeping your lunches warm and has a compact, sleek design.

What you’ll love: It has a double-walled stainless steel interior and uses water to preheat and pre-cool food before it’s placed into the container. It comes with a folding spoon, vacuum insulation technology and seamless welding technology to keep liquids warm or cool for up to 12 hours.

What you should consider: Although easy to clean, it’s not dishwasher-safe. Also, some users found it difficult to open using the pressure-release valve.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cortoc Electric Lunch Box

What you need to know: This versatile lunch box keeps food warm for several hours and works whether you’re at work or on the road.

What you’ll love: This portable self-heating lunch box is made with high-grade stainless steel and has strong heating resistance. It features three-dimensional fast heating and has a comfortable plastic handle for easy carrying. Also, it has a compact design, but the tray is spacious enough to fit an average-sized meal.

What you should consider: Some reviewers found it harder to close than other lunch boxes, and the plastic outer shell is flimsy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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