Keeping food and drinks hot or cold is as simple as finding the right thermos. But with so many options on the market, it can be a little hard to choose the best thermos for you. In fact, you might be wondering what defines a thermos. Can you call any vacuum-insulated bottle a thermos? The short answer is yes. The Thermos brand lost the trademark right to thermoses, so you can call your Stanley a thermos without anyone at the campsite giving you a hard time. Some thermoses are designed for cold water, some for hot drinks, and some are made with soup and other hot foods in mind. In short, a thermos is any vessel built for keeping liquids a set temperature.
Even though Hydroflask is the thermos du jour of Gen Z, the technology it uses to maintain a liquid’s temperature is way older than baby boomers. Vacuum-insulation was invented in 1892, and, for decades, the Thermos brand dominated the market. These bottles use what’s known as double-wall insulation. Between each wall of the bottle is a vacuum, preventing air from escaping. By reducing convection, heat transfer is slowed and drinks stay at the same temperature. Classic brands like Stanley and Thermos, as well as newer brands like Takeya and Hydroflask, all rely on the same basic technology. The major variation comes down to the cap and any additional bonus features like a handle.
Whether you’re looking for a thermos for your commute or your next outdoor adventure, these are some of the best options on Amazon.
1. Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
Besides maybe the Thermos brand itself, there is no thermos brand more iconic than Stanley. This 1.1 quart bottle features a convenient handle, and it’s made out of durable rust-proof stainless steel. The lid doubles as an eight-ounce cup, making it a great option for camping, travel, or even just as a general-purpose option for your office.
Pros: Cap doubles as a cup, making it great for outdoors or on-the-go use. Keeps drinks hot or cold for up to 24 hours.
Cons: Somewhat heavy.
Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
2. Thermos Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle
It would feel wrong to have a roundup of thermoses and not mention Thermos. But even without the name, the brand still makes some of the best insulated flasks. This option features a convenient carrying handle and a serving cup. The picture doesn’t reveal how large it is — this massive bottle holds up to 68 ounces, making it a great option for groups or use outdoors.
Pros: Has a serving cup and handle for convenient use on the go. Large size is well-suited for groups or outdoor use.
Cons: Finish scratches easily.
Thermos Vacuum Insulated Beverage Bottle
3. Simple Modern 32oz Ascent Water Bottle
If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced option for storing cold liquids, consider Simple Modern’s line of water bottles. The brand offers reliable products at a reasonable price. These bottles come in a range of playful and eye-catching colors. The twist-off cap has a curved grip for comfortable carrying. You can choose between a wide range of sizes, too. The price below is for the 24-ounce bottle.
Pros: Affordable option that is available in a variety of stylish and colorful designs. Good as a daily water bottle.
Cons: Cap could be more durable.
Simple Modern 32oz Ascent Water Bottle
4. MIRA Lunch, Food Jar Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos
If you’re looking for an affordable and stylish option for food, consider this 13.5-ounce flask from Mira. It comes in a range of eye-catching colors, and it’s great for hot or cold foods. Mira also makes similar options in larger sizes. The thermos features a wide mouth and a simple but secure twist-off lid. It’s great for hot foods like soup or cold foods like fruit.
Pros: Eye-catching colors, wide-mouth lid makes it easy to fill with food. Additionally, the wide-mouth design makes cleaning a total breeze.
Cons: 13.5 ounce size may be too small for some for this option, although larger containers are available from Mira on Amazon.
MIRA Lunch, Food Jar Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos
5. Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle
Iron Flask is a great alternative to more expensive insulated water bottles. The bottle comes with three different lids, so you can swap them out based on your needs. There’s a straw nozzle for athletes or those on the go, a traditional twist-off lid, and a flip lid for hot drinks. It comes in over a dozen sleek colors, and you can choose between 14 ounce and 64 ounce sizes from this listing. The price shown is for the 18-ounce bottle.
Pros: Stylish and affordable option that comes with three different kinds of lids.
Cons: Not as insulated or durable as some of the more expensive options on our list.