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Best kids' thermos

Which kids' thermos is best?

Whether it's homemade soup, stew or mac and cheese, you don't want your child's hot food to be cold when it's time for lunch. Using a thermos that comes in fun colors and prints is the best way to ensure their meal is still appealing to them several hours after you pack it. There are also thermoses with straws that can keep beverages like milk and water chilled all day.   

The best kids' thermos to store food in is the DaCool Insulated Lunch Container. It comes with a fold-up spoon and can maintain an internal temperature for up to 12 hours.

What to know before you buy a kids' thermos

Kids' thermos types

Kids' thermoses come in two types: bottles and jars.

  • Bottles are meant to hold your kids’ drinks, no matter the temperature, such as milk and hot chocolate.
  • Jars are much squatter than bottles and are meant to hold foods of any temperature. Their wide bodies and mouths make it easy for children to eat from them directly, and many include foldable spoons that can be stored in or on the jar.

Size and capacity

Kids' thermos sizes and capacities are relatively narrow.

  • Size: Size is a combination of type and capacity. The biggest concern with sizing is whether it fits in your or your child’s bag. Otherwise, size is one of the least important factors.
  • Capacity: Kids' thermos capacities are much smaller than adults — typically between 7-16 ounces or a little more. Jars tend to have lower capacities than bottles.

What to look for in a quality kids' thermos


Insulation is not made equally in kids' thermoses despite it being the most important factor. Some can only keep foods hot or cold for a few hours, others can maintain their temperature for almost an entire day. 

Insulation quality is often given in terms of time, with hot times always being shorter than cold times. The best hot times are roughly 6-8 hours while the best cold time are roughly 8-12 hours. Make sure your prospective thermos has at least 4 hours of insulation for both hot and cold.

Ease of use

Older kids can typically use any kids' thermos without issue, but younger kids can struggle. The best kids thermoses for the youngsters are those with lids that aren’t too tight and are small enough overall to be comfortably held. Some kids' thermoses have handles on the sides for the especially young.


Kids' thermoses are often placed in the lunchbox for school, so it’s important for your child to have a thermos design they can be happy about and proud of. Listen to what your child likes or have them share the shopping experience with you as a bonding activity.

How much you can expect to spend on a kids' thermos

Kids' thermoses typically cost $10-$30. The largest and those with the most attractive designs or included accessories start around $20. Everything else is roughly $15-$20.

Kids' thermos FAQ

How long can foods and drinks stay safely inside a kids' thermos?

A. That depends mainly on the temperature of the food. For hot foods, anything that has dropped below 140 degrees for two hours or more should be disposed of to be safe. For cold drinks, such as milk, anything that has warmed up to and above 40 degrees for two hours or more should be disposed of.

How should I wash a kids' thermos?

A. Technically, many kids thermoses can be washed safely in the dishwasher. However, many dishwasher-safe thermoses with special designs can have their designs damaged in the dishwasher. So, it’s typically best to wash your kids thermoses by hand no matter what.

How can I get rid of stains and smells from a kids' thermos?

A. Thankfully, it’s simple. Just add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar to the thermos before filling it the rest of the way with boiling water and let it sit for roughly 10 minutes. Drain it, scrub any remnants out with a soft sponge and give it a good rinse. The lid and any other parts are cleaned similarly, only they need to soak in a small separate container.

What’s the best kids' thermos to buy?

Top kids' thermos 

DaCool Insulated Lunch Container

What you need to know: It’s effective and affordable.

What you’ll love: It’s available in 16- or 24-ounce sizes and in five colors, including pink and light blue. The wide opening makes it easy for kids to eat straight from the container but the lid can also double as a bowl. It’s PVC- and BPA-free.

What you should consider: Younger kids have been reported by consumers to struggle with opening the lid. Each piece, including the spoon, isn’t dishwasher-safe.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kids' thermos for the money

Mira Insulated Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos

What you need to know: It’s got a simple design enjoyed by younger and older kids alike.

What you’ll love: It comes individually in eight colors or in a two-pack with three color pair options. It keeps foods hot for up to five hours or cold for up to 10 hours. The stainless steel construction is durable enough to handle drops and spills.

What you should consider: This is another thermos with a tight lid that kids can struggle with opening. It’s smaller than most thermoses at 13 1/2 ounces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Thermos Funtainer

What you need to know: It comes from the brand that started it all.

What you’ll love: This Thermos thermos can hold 12 ounces of cold drinks and maintain its temperature for up to 12 hours. It comes in 48 designs and can also be purchased with a hot food jar. It has a hygienic pop-up straw that stays hidden when not needed.

What you should consider: Some purchasers had issues with leakage. Some of the designs can be scratched off easily. It’s only for cold drinks and needs to be hand-washed.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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