One of my favorite morning munch is bagels. It’s just a perfect way to start the day.  However, bagels’ biggest drawback is that they don’t last long. Here, we cover the do’s and don’ts to make bagels last as long as possible.

Lifespan of bagels

Ensure you keep bagels at room temperature for two to three days in an airtight container to give them the longest possible shelf life. Put it in the fridge to extend its shelf life by one or two more days, or freeze it to preserve it for three months.

Check out the longevity information below:

Room temperatureRefrigeratorFreezer
Homemade Bagels2 days5 days3 months
Store-bought Bagels3-5 days5-7 days3 months

Now, let’s dive in a little deeper!

Bagels fresh from the store


If you purchased your bagels that same day, they were likely already pre-packaged in a plastic bag, just like most bread. They should stay fresh in this packet on your counter for two to three days. They should remain edible for a further day or two if you store them in the refrigerator.

Bagels frozen from the store

The bagels you purchased frozen are probably wrapped in a plastic bag. These bagels shouldn’t lose their quality after three months of storage in their package without defrosting, and they may even last longer than that if you’re lucky.

Bagels from an artisan bakery

Possibly, your bagels were not pre-packaged if you purchased them from an artisan bakery. They may have been placed for you in a paper or plastic bag, but it’s doubtful that these bags will close tightly. In this situation, store the bagels in the brown paper bag for one night at room temperature, five days in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.

Bagels freshly baked at home

If you’re a fan of preparing bagels at home like I am, you should know that while they taste the nicest, they have the shortest shelf life. At room temperature, homemade bagels would last for two days, four to five days in the refrigerator, and three months in the freezer.

Storing bagels

If you plan to consume your bagels within a day, you can keep them in your paper bag. Put them in a plastic bag if you plan to store them for several days. Bagels can also be refrigerated, although doing so involves sealing them in a bag or other airtight container.

Although it’s not the ideal way, leaving bagels on the counter in a half-opened paper bag works OK if you want to consume them the same day they were prepared. One of the most common extended preservation methods is placing your bagels in a resealable bag.

Variety of assorted authentic New York style Bagels with seeds in a brown paper bag.

Saving stale bagels

By heating them in a toaster oven or utilizing a microwave-to-bagel method, you may quickly revive stale bagels.

Via toasting

This approach is perhaps the simplest. A freshly toasted bagel has a crispy outside and a chewy inside. This may be done in a standard oven to 190°C or 375°F.

If your bagel isn’t completely dry, bake it for four to five minutes. Before putting your bagel in the oven, spritz it with water or even submerge it in hot water if it is too dry.

Via microwave

The bagel should be heated in the microwave with a moist paper towel. It may be heated in the microwave for 20 seconds; then, you can test it. Continue in 10-second intervals if you need extra moisture or time until you get the desired outcome. On chilly mornings, warm bagels make the ideal breakfast.

How to detect a stale bagel?

brown bread on brown woven basket

Mold eventually starts to form on bagels. While certain foods remain fresh for longer than others, those without preservatives could go moldy after a week or so. However, most bagels go bad after just 3 to 4 days of storage, at which point most people throw them away.

Of course, bagels are still fine to consume even after hardening. Providing no mold or other visible or odor alterations exist. The problem is that stale bagels only have a mediocre flavor.

Frequently asked questions

How long are bagels good for?

How you wish to store them matters.  If kept in a bread bag, bagels can be kept at room temperature for 2–7 days. They can also be frozen and kept there for 3-4 months.

Can bagels be frozen?

Absolutely, yes! Your bagels must be pre-sliced, in a resealable bag, and kept in the freezer.

How long do bagels stay fresh in the refrigerator?

In the refrigerator, bagels will quickly go bad. So it’s preferable to freeze the bagels to extend their shelf life. To make frozen bagels taste as good as new, reheat them in the toaster.

Last thoughts

Bagels are a delight to eat; no bagel should ever go to waste. If you find your bagels at home going bad on you, the discussion above may help you solve the issue.