Can You Put Hot Coffee in a Styrofoam Cup? – Use This Coffee Mug Instead | Coffee Cherish (2022)

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Styrofoam is just another terminology used for the polystyrene material.

Polystyrene is infused with gas to get polystyrene froth which is then utilized for food bundling.

As far as drinking coffee is in a Styrofoam cup is concerned, you may drink it sometimes.

But as far as your health is concerned, I will not recommend using a Styrofoam cup to drink your daily coffee.

A Styrofoam cup works effectively at keeping drinks or beverages hot for some time.

This is because Styrofoam is made from the material known as Styrene which is basically a petroleum product.

Through a process called as polymerization, it is converted into a foam board.

The cup made from Styrofoam offers good amount of insulation which helps to keep hot beverages hot for sufficient amount of time.

Although you can drink coffee from a Styrofoam cup, it is not good for your health to do so on a regular basis.

Because Styrene, the material from which Styrofoam is made, could be carcinogenic for humans.

Therefore, it is best for your health to avoid drinking coffee in a Styrofoam cup.

Rather than that, you can use eco-friendly options such as reusable coffee mug or a stainless steel Hydro Flask coffee travel mug.

Both of these coffee mugs are great for maintaining the coffee temperature for at least 7-8 hours.

Table of Contents

  • Are Styrofoam Cups Good for Hot Drinks?
  • Is It Safe to Drink Hot Coffee from a Styrofoam Cup?
  • Does Hot Coffee Melt Styrofoam Cups?
  • Can You Reuse Styrofoam Cups for Drinking Coffee?
  • Can You Microwave Styrofoam Cups for Reheating Coffee?
  • Final Thoughts

Are Styrofoam Cups Good for Hot Drinks?

In short, the answer is “No” if you are using it on a regular basis.

Heat from the hot drinks such as tea and coffee or the heat coming from microwaving drinks, is responsible for filtering few synthetics from extended polystyrene material.

These synthetic substances are styrene, benzene and more tiny measures of other poisonous materials.

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These filtered out chemicals then mix into the hot drinks stored in the Styrofoam cups.

Hot tea or coffee filled in the Styrofoam cup causes some filtering of these chemicals.

Styrofoam cups are utilized as insulators for home and family items, including expendable cups.

Major medical problems can appear in certain individuals with more utilization of extended polystyrene items such as these Styrofoam coffee cups.

Extended use of these cups may cause gastrointestinal problems and disturbance in your eyes, skin and upper respiratory tract.

Due to these health issues, it is highly recommended to avoid using Styrofoam cups for drinking hot beverages including your daily coffee.

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Is It Safe to Drink Hot Coffee from a Styrofoam Cup?

These items are intended for single time usage.

Several everyday office working individuals use extended polystyrene cups or Styrofoam coffee cups on a daily basis.

However, you must be careful not to use these types of cups excessively.

Polystyrene from Styrofoam cups and holders can undoubtedly get into the food or drinks conveyed in them.

Styrene is a carcinogenic agent that can also cause several other health issues.

Some of those issues include aggravation and emission of mucous from your eyes and nose, more exhaustion, affecting your capacity to think, and can upset the chemical capacities bringing about thyroid issues.

The ‘styrene’ present in Styrofoam cups and other such holders can infuse with the food or refreshments contained in them.

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These food varieties can be anything, going from hot or cold beverages, snacks, alcohol to acidic items.

Therefore, I would not recommend using such types of Styrofoam cups for drinking your regular coffee.

Instead, try using eco-friendly and safe stainless steel Hydro Flask coffee tumbler.


Does Hot Coffee Melt Styrofoam Cups?

Absolutely not, the Styrofoam cups are thicker and heavier than average paper cups.

Polystyrene being a nice insulator, helps keep the coffee hot for some time and prevents the cup from melting too.

Although the Styrofoam cup will start melting at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and will completely melt at 464 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is the reason, it is best for single time usage.

Reusing it more than once makes it even more thin and lightweight as it loses all its frontal layers.

Since the cups get soft at 212F, they would not survive the reheating temperatures of an oven (usually around 320F to 350F).

Also, if the Styrofoam starts burning then it is really bad for health, as it will release dangerous and harmful chemicals.

They might affect your lungs severely in this case.

However, reset assured that coffee will not melt Styrofoam cups because of their strong construction.

Can You Reuse Styrofoam Cups for Drinking Coffee?

As far as reusing the same Styrofoam cups for coffee consumption is concerned, I wound not recommend to do so.

The same Styrofoam cups must not be used again for consuming any beverages as it could be hazardous for your health.

The Styrene substance could be released in your hot drink and it can cause several health issues later on.

This is why it is not recommended to reuse Styrofoam cups to drink coffee.

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As you already know, Styrofoam contains Styrene which is not a bio-degradable substance.

Keep in mind that this substance requires around 500 years to break down.

It’s important to know that a large portion of the food items that we buy today could be dispensable but not decomposable.

Additionally, the simple course of handling polystyrene can pollute the air badly (Example – Burning of Styrofoam cups).

At the point, when polystyrene cups wander down the channels and drains to converge with the large oceans and seas, it increases the possibility of killing marine life.

This is why, we as humans must try to either reduce its usage or at least re-purpose the Styrofoam material.

Here are some unique ways to reuse your Styrofoam cups.

1. Tighten the loose screws around your house

2. Using it as packaging materials

3. Amplify sound for smart devices

4. Can act as a good sole pad for shoes

5. Can be used for stage props.

Can You Microwave Styrofoam Cups for Reheating Coffee?

The wellbeing of your health is one of the main concerns when one warms food and drinks in the microwave machine.

Because of the immense health-related concerns, these days, microwaving coffee in Styrofoam cups is not at all recommended for you.

This makes us think about which sort of cup is most appropriate for reheating coffee in the microwave machine.

Styrofoam coffee cups are moreover okay to use in a microwave, as long as the expendable cup is microwave safe.

You can put a Styrofoam cup in the microwave and heat your coffee if it is named as microwave safe.

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Styrofoam coffee cups in the microwave is labelled safe by FDA endorsed principles.

Also, you should really take a good look at the warming temperature and time.

Set the power level temperature to medium and warm it for 30 seconds or less, to keep up with safety principles.

Styrofoam coffee cups can meltdown in the microwave at really high temperature.

Therefore, you should limit the heating temperature to certain level and should not go beyond 30 seconds to 1 minute at max.

You may not place the coffee mug in the microwave for a lengthy stretch of time on a high heat level.

The given power level is medium hot to warm your drinks in the microwave, particularly when utilizing Styrofoam coffee cups.

At this point, we realize that Styrofoam is a low-cost option in comparison to disposable cups to serve coffee.

However, in case you are worried about your health concerns, then at that point, you won’t have any issues.

Styrofoam coffee cup is safe to use in the microwave up to certain temperature limit.

And you can surely warm your coffee with the help of microwave safe Styrofoam cups.

Final Thoughts

You can surely use Styrofoam coffee cups to drink hot coffee sometimes.

But I would not recommend using these cups on a regular basis as it contains carcinogenic Styrene substance.

You may use microwave safe Styrofoam coffee cups to reheat your coffee up to 30 seconds.

However, it is in your best interest not to reuse these types of cups for drinking any beverages to safeguard your health for long term basis.


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Can you put hot coffee in Styrofoam cups? ›

Based on what we now know, you're probably safe using styrene foam cups for cold drinks, but I wouldn't use them for hot coffee or tea, and I would avoid using plastic containers for hot foods. You can recognize styrene foam cups at a glance.

Can you put hot water in Styrofoam cup? ›

Styrofoam is an insulator, making it very poor at conducting heat. Heat can't pass on through to the water, so the Styrofoam disintegrates. Now go ahead and bet a friend or family member that you can boil water in a Styrofoam cup.

Can you put hot coffee in a glass mug? ›

Glass coffee mugs are perfect for any beverage- cold or hot. The glass works really well in both trapping in heat, and keeping in the cold. The glass is thick and sturdy in most glass mugs.

Is hot food in Styrofoam safe? ›

[Letter] Health hazards from food consumption

2 These toxins can leach into food that is acidic, warm, alcoholic or oily and into the environment after exposure to rain and other weather. It is critical that people do not microwave food in Styrofoam or put hot food into Styrofoam containers.

What temperature does Styrofoam Leach? ›

If the temperature of the material reaches 210 degrees Fahrenheit or more, the Styrofoam starts to melt and releases toxic chemicals that can leach into your food. This can be very harmful for your health.

Is Styrofoam safe for hot liquid? ›

In Styrofoam and PS cups studies, hot water was found to be contaminated with styrene and other aromatic compounds. It was observed that temperature played a major role in the leaching of styrene monomer from Styrofoam cups. Paper cups were found to be safe for hot drinks.

Does Styrofoam leach into coffee? ›

But the styrene monomer from which it is made is suspected of causing cancer and other health problems, and miniscule amounts of styrene could leach into your hot coffee.

Are Styrofoam cups safe? ›

Why ban polystyrene foam? Studies show that styrene, a likely carcinogen, can leach from polystyrene foam cups and containers when heated. Never put hot food/drink into polystyrene foam containers, and never microwave these (or any plastic) products!

Are glass mugs safe for hot drinks? ›

Yes, you can drink coffee or tea out of a glass mug. But it can't be just any glass—make sure that any glassware you're using for hot liquids is borosilicate glass, which is stronger and can hold hot liquids without shattering. Another consideration when buying a glass mug is that they're double-walled.

Can you put hot liquids in glass mug? ›

The effect of thermal shock is powerful and results in the cracking of glass. Even heat-resistant glasses like Pyrex can shatter when poured with boiling water incorrectly. To prevent the glass from cracking when exposed to boiling water, you should avoid extreme and abrupt changes in temperature.

What holds heat better glass or ceramic? ›

Ceramic Retains Heat Better Than Glass

Conduction is loss of heat through the direct contact of two materials, one of which is a colder than the other. Because ceramic is more porous than glass, conduction occurs slower in ceramic mugs.

Can you put hot soup in a Styrofoam bowl? ›

Styrofoam Soup Bowls Have Excellent Temperature-Retention Qualities for Hot and Cold Foods.

Can you get food poisoning from Styrofoam? ›

Chemicals Leach from Containers into Food

It means that if you buy hot food, fatty food, soup, or coffee and it is packaged in polystyrene, some of the chemicals from the container leach into your food. Over time, these chemicals can cause severe health problems.

What happens when you heat Styrofoam? ›

Traditional Styrofoam

During normal use, the material remains stable. But at high temperatures, it begins to melt or break down. Even if there's no visible damage on the foam, a microwave oven may cause the toxic chemical styrene (among other chemicals) to leach into your food.

Does Styrofoam release toxins when heated? ›

It leaches into food and drink.

and heat, a Styrofoam container's toxins (like benzene and styrene) seep into the contents. But even with cold or dry food, contact with Styrofoam is unhealthy. A huge portion of our food contains styrene contamination.

Does Styrofoam catch on fire? ›

Styrofoam and Fire Safety

It seems counterintuitive that a highly flammable substance like Styrofoam can go in the microwave. But while it can withstand some heat, it can also easily catch fire when exposed to an open flame.

Is it OK to microwave food in styrofoam containers? ›

You can microwave foods or beverages in polystyrene containers that are labeled microwave-safe. Conversely, avoid putting polystyrene containers without microwave-safe labels in the microwave.

What can be used instead of Styrofoam? ›

  • Cruz Foam. Pros. Cruz Foam offers an earth-friendly plastic alternative to Styrofoam. ...
  • PLA Lined Paper. Pros. Polylactic Acid (PLA) lined paper is an excellent sustainable alternative to Styrofoam food packaging. ...
  • Edible Packing Peanuts. Pros. ...
  • Plantable Packaging. Pros. ...
  • Mineral Filled Polypropylene.
25 May 2022

How long can you reuse a Styrofoam cup? ›

Lasts (almost) forever. It takes about 500 years for polystyrene to decompose in the environment.

Which type of cup will keep a hot drink warm longer? ›

Which type of cup will keep a hot drink warm longer: paper, plastic, Styrofoam, or glass? The answer to this question turned out to be that the Styrofoam cup was the best at keeping the temperature consistently hot.

Why do people use Styrofoam? ›

Lightweight polystyrene foam provides excellent thermal insulation in numerous applications, such as building walls and roofing, refrigerators and freezers, and industrial cold storage facilities. Polystyrene insulation is inert, durable and resistant to water damage.

Does Styrofoam have BPA? ›

A new study suggests that whole classes of BPA-free plastics—including the kind in styrofoam—release estrogenic chemicals.

Do they still make Styrofoam cups? ›

12 Oz Disposable Styrofoam Cups (100 Pack), White Foam Cup Insulates Hot & Cold Beverages, Made in the USA, To-Go Cups - for Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa, Soup, Broth, Smoothie, Soda, Juice.

Can drinking from a Styrofoam cup make you sick? ›

Acute Health Effects

Short-term symptoms of excessive exposure to styrene can include irritation of the skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract as well as gastrointestinal distress.

Does bacteria grow on Styrofoam? ›

It doesn't grow mold or bacteria, and it can stay sanitary in storage. Styrofoam is renowned for its long shelf life, which is precisely the problem.

What is the difference between polystyrene and Styrofoam? ›

Polystyrene is a common polymer material produces from the monomer, styrene. Styrofoam is a form of polystyrene. The key difference between polystyrene and Styrofoam is that the polystyrene is a form of synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer whereas the Styrofoam is a commercial brand of polystyrene.

What type of coffee mug keeps coffee hot? ›

A double-walled borosilicate glass mug is the most common type of home mug you'll find marketed specifically for keeping your coffee warm. I tried several brands with double-walled vacuum insulation, but only the Bodum worked as well as the two mugs above in keeping coffee warmer than a standard ceramic mug.

Is ceramic safe for hot drinks? ›

If ceramics are baked for long enough at hot enough temperatures, they may still be safe, but if not, the lead can leach into food and cause lead poisoning. Acidic food or drink is especially likely to cause lead to leach out of ceramics, unfortunately for coffee drinkers with favorite earthenware mugs.

Can you put hot liquids in ceramic mugs? ›

They're good to use for both cold and hot beverages and are microwave-safe! Ceramic mugs are the most neutral in terms of flavor. They do not hold on to flavors from other drinks. You can enjoy a variety of beverages in them without lingering smells or flavors.

Can you put hot coffee in mason jar? ›

Thus, you can turn your everyday wide-mouthed mason jar into a coffee cup that can be used in place of disposable or traditional coffee mugs at coffee shops. If you want to try a hot drink, Cuppow did a round-up of coozies for mason jars.

What temp does glass crack? ›

Glass is a poor thermal conductor and rapid changes in temperature (roughly 60°F and greater) may create stress fractures in the glass that may eventually crack. When heated, thin glass begins to crack and typically breaks at 302–392°F.

Which cup of coffee will stay hot the longest? ›

Stainless Steel Cups

This is the best option for people who need to keep their coffee hot but don't want to lug around a heavy mug. They're usually made out of heavy-duty stainless steel and will keep your drink at an optimal temperature for an hour.

What cup material retains heat the best? ›

Based on the thermal conductivity knowledge mentioned above, a glass mug should be used to keep liquids the warmest for the longest period, followed by the ceramic, and then the steel mug.

What holds heat better porcelain or ceramic? ›

Ceramic tile is crafted from coarser clay that includes less fine kaolin clay and doesn't contain some of the additives found in porcelain clay. It's fired at temperatures much lower than porcelain with it being no hotter than 1,650 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it safe to drink out of Styrofoam cups? ›

What happens when you ingest hot liquids and possibly hot food from polystyrene foam cups and plates is that the styrene may leach out of the foam food service ware and into our bodies. Styrene is such a problematic chemical, it's included on the Hazardous 100+ list that we're encouraging retailers to move away from.

Why are polystyrene cups used for take away hot drinks? ›

Made from petroleum, polystyrene foam cups are used for hot and cold drinks. They are generally selected because the polystyrene makes the cup sturdy and lightweight while providing a high level of insulation.

Are Styrofoam cups harmful? ›

Why ban polystyrene foam? Studies show that styrene, a likely carcinogen, can leach from polystyrene foam cups and containers when heated. Never put hot food/drink into polystyrene foam containers, and never microwave these (or any plastic) products!

Are Styrofoam cups bad for your health? ›

A lot of people assume that Styrofoam must be safe since it's often what our takeaway comes in… wrong! Styrene (a component of polystyrene) is a harmful chemical that can leech into food and drink. Even worse, styrene is classified as a carcinogen to humans according to the National Research Council.

What happens when Styrofoam is heated? ›

Traditional Styrofoam

But at high temperatures, it begins to melt or break down. Even if there's no visible damage on the foam, a microwave oven may cause the toxic chemical styrene (among other chemicals) to leach into your food. Styrene is a possible carcinogen, posing a threat to your health and reproductive system.

Is Styrofoam toxic to humans? ›

Styrene, the main ingredient in polystyrene foam, is a likely human carcinogen, according to both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program. In mice, it causes lung tumors. In people, it increases the risk for leukemia and lymphoma.

What can be used instead of Styrofoam? ›

  • Cruz Foam. Pros. Cruz Foam offers an earth-friendly plastic alternative to Styrofoam. ...
  • PLA Lined Paper. Pros. Polylactic Acid (PLA) lined paper is an excellent sustainable alternative to Styrofoam food packaging. ...
  • Edible Packing Peanuts. Pros. ...
  • Plantable Packaging. Pros. ...
  • Mineral Filled Polypropylene.
25 May 2022

Does Styrofoam protect from heat? ›

Polystyrene and plastic foam are both used as insulators as they have small air bubbles trapped inside them. This makes them very good insulators because heat energy can't flow through them.

Why do we use Styrofoam cups? ›

Compared to making paper cups, manufacturing polystyrene cups: requires about 42 percent less water. needs about 17 percent less energy. uses 22 percent less petroleum to source materials and ship cups.

Are paper cups better than Styrofoam? ›

If you're concerned with making the eco-friendly choice between the two, Styrofoam wins on many fronts. Unless you're using a paper cup that is biodegradable (most are not), there are some aspects to consider. A standard paper cup takes more than 20 years to decompose in a landfill environment.

What's worse plastic or Styrofoam? ›

Generally, Styrofoam is MORE HARMFUL than plastic to the environment. Even though both materials tend to litter the ground, Styrofoam is quite worse. Styrofoam is tough to recycle, meaning many people have to dispose of it in landfills.

How long can you use a Styrofoam cup? ›

Lasts (almost) forever. It takes about 500 years for polystyrene to decompose in the environment.

Is Styrofoam cancerous? ›

In the case of polystyrene, tiny amounts of styrene may remain following manufacture and it's this substance that may migrate. In 2014, the National Research Council in the US reviewed the evidence and concluded that styrene is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.

Why are Styrofoam cups banned? ›

Oftentimes, polystyrene foam products will break down into small pieces that and fragments that then pollute our land and waterways; fish and land animals will mistakenly eat these small bits and pieces of polystyrene foam and fall ill or die as a result.

Can Styrofoam make you sick? ›

Styrofoam is a foam plastic that does not break down or get absorbed into the body when ingested. If a large piece of styrofoam is ingested, it can cause gagging and choking. There is a chance for the piece to become stuck in the esophagus and cause mild discomfort with swallowing.

What is the difference between plastic foam and Styrofoam? ›

The key difference between polystyrene and Styrofoam is that the polystyrene is a form of synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer whereas the styrofoam is a commercial brand of polystyrene. Polystyrene is a polymer material. It forms from the polymerization of styrene monomer.


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