“Can You Put Hot Coffee in a Red Solo Cup? Discover the Surprising Truth!”

By bobbreich@gmail.com •  Updated: 11/23/23 •  5 min read

Can You Put Hot Coffee in a Red Solo Cup? Discover the Surprising Truth!


Hot coffee is a beloved beverage that many people enjoy on a daily basis. Whether it’s to kickstart their morning or to provide a comforting pick-me-up throughout the day, hot coffee is a staple for countless individuals. But have you ever wondered if it’s safe to pour hot coffee into a red solo cup? In this blog post, we will explore the surprising truth behind this question and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

The Nature of Red Solo Cups

Red solo cups are synonymous with casual gatherings and parties. They are known for their durability and convenience, making them popular choices for serving beverages at social events. These cups are typically made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is lightweight yet sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of various environments.

Can Red Solo Cups Handle Hot Liquids?

While red solo cups are designed primarily for cold beverages, they do have some heat resistance properties. HDPE has a melting point of around 248°F (120°C), meaning that it can withstand temperatures well above what hot coffee typically reaches. Therefore, pouring hot coffee into a red solo cup might seem like a feasible option.

However, it is important to note that even though red solo cups can handle hot liquids, they may not be specifically designed for them. The material used in these cups may not provide adequate insulation against high temperatures, potentially resulting in uncomfortable handling or even burns.

Potential Risks and Concerns

Using a red solo cup for hot coffee does come with certain risks and concerns that should be taken into account. One of the main issues is heat transfer. Since HDPE doesn’t offer excellent insulation properties, the cup’s exterior can become too hot to handle without protection such as sleeves or double-cupping.

Another concern is the potential for melting or warping of the cup when exposed to hot liquids for extended periods. While the cup’s melting point is relatively high, prolonged exposure to high temperatures can still cause the cup to deform or release harmful chemicals.

In addition, there have been some concerns about chemical leaching from red solo cups. While HDPE is generally considered safe, it is always a good idea to use caution with any plastic product that comes into contact with hot liquids. To minimize the risk of chemical leaching, it is advisable to consider alternative options specifically designed for hot beverages.

Personal Experiences and Testimonials

Many individuals have shared their experiences of using red solo cups for hot coffee. Some have reported positive outcomes, stating that they haven’t encountered any issues and found the cups convenient and economical. However, others have expressed dissatisfaction due to heat transfer or concerns about potential health risks.

Alternatives to Red Solo Cups for Hot Coffee

If you’re looking for a safer alternative to using red solo cups for hot coffee, there are disposable cups specifically designed for this purpose available on the market. These cups are made from materials that offer better insulation and heat resistance properties than HDPE.

These alternatives often come with double-walled construction or additional insulating layers to keep your coffee piping hot without compromising safety or comfort. They also typically feature lids that can help retain heat and prevent spills.

Tips for Safely Using Red Solo Cups with Hot Coffee

If you decide to use red solo cups for your hot beverages despite the associated risks, there are several precautions you can take:

1. Double-cupping: As mentioned earlier, red solo cups may become too hot on the exterior when filled with a hot beverage. Double-cupping involves placing one cup inside another to create an additional layer of insulation between your hand and the hot liquid.

2. Allow coffee to cool slightly: Before pouring your freshly brewed coffee into a red solo cup, let it cool off slightly. This can help reduce the risk of burns and minimize the amount of heat transferred to the cup.

3. Use sleeves or insulating wraps: To provide an additional layer of protection against heat transfer, consider using sleeves or insulating wraps designed for red solo cups. These can help keep your hands cool while enjoying your hot coffee.


In conclusion, while it is technically possible to put hot coffee in a red solo cup, it is not without risks. Red solo cups are primarily designed for cold beverages and may not offer sufficient insulation or heat resistance properties for hot liquids. There is a potential for discomfort, deformation, or even chemical leaching when using these cups with hot coffee.

If you prioritize safety and comfort, it is recommended to explore alternative disposable cups specifically designed for hot beverages. These cups offer better insulation and heat resistance properties and can provide a more enjoyable drinking experience without compromising safety.

However, if you still choose to use red solo cups for your hot coffee, take necessary precautions such as double-cupping and allowing the coffee to cool slightly before pouring. Always prioritize your safety when handling hot beverages!