How Long Do Bagels Last

Hungry for breakfast? One of the first thoughts that come to mind is a bagel. And whether you’re a fan of the raisin, blueberry, or everything bagel, you need to know how long they last. After all, who wants to bite into a stale bagel? I certainly don’t!

Hi! My name is Michelle, and my kids and I eat bagels at least once a week (although it’s more like three or four times a week!). That said, I typically buy a fresh pack of bagels on my weekend grocery haul.

Although it’s unlikely for bagels to last longer than a week in my household, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. For example, if we go out of town or there is a two-for-one special, I need to store it in other places other than my trusty countertop to extend longevity.

Well, if you’re looking for how long bagels last (and how to store them to preserve their shelf life), I’m here to share my knowledge.

Let’s discuss how long bagels really last.

How Long Do Bagels Last

Bagels can last as little as two days, or they can last up to six months. It really depends on where you’re storing your bagels and what you’re storing them in. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics.

On the Countertop

If you’re planning to gobble up your bagels in less than a week, the best place to store your bagels is on the countertop at room temperature. That way, they will retain their moisture and freshness and provide the perfect slightly chewy texture.

How you store your bagels will depend on how long they last at room temp.

  • Stored in a paper bag, bagels will last up to two days
  • Stored in a plastic bag, bagels can last up to seven days

Ensure the bags are entirely closed but not too tight around the bagels. 

In the Fridge

I know most people will say, “Avoid the fridge at all costs” when it comes to bread. But if I’m being honest, I store almost all of my bread in the fridge for short-term storage and have yet to run into any issues.

As long as your bagels are stored in an airtight container or a sealed plastic bag, they can last up to two weeks in the fridge. 

If you pull them out and they’re dried out or taste stale, you can spritz them with a bit of water and toast them. They will return to their original, delicious state. 

You can also spritz it with water and warm it in the oven for five minutes at 350F or wrap it in a damp paper towel before heating it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

In the Freezer

Stash your bagels in your handy freezer if you’re looking for long-term storage. In the freezer, bagels will stay at their peak of freshness for up to three months. They will still be safe to eat at the 6-month mark, but they may be a little stale and dried out.

The best way to freeze bagels is to cut them in half and wrap the separate pieces in plastic wrap. Then, place the slices in a resealable plastic freezer bag. This will make it easy to pull out the desired number of bagels when you need them, without any flaws like freezer burn.

When you’re ready to consume, do not let the bagel thaw. Thawed bagels do not return to their original state. Instead, pop them directly into the toaster or heat them in the oven at 350F.

Homemade Bagels

Homemade bagels are undeniably delicious, and you can create a multitude of flavors with ease. They have a reasonably impressive shelf life, too.

Homemade bagels can last anywhere between four and seven days at room temperature, two weeks in the fridge, or up to three months in the freezer.

Store each individual bagel in a paper bag. Then, place all of the paper bags inside an extra-large resealable freezer bag. This will extend the longevity immensely. 

How to Tell if Bagels Have Gone Bad (4 Signs)

The above-mentioned shelf lives are just approximations. Just because a bagel can last that long doesn’t mean it necessarily will. With that in mind, the best thing to do is watch out for signs that your bagels have gone bad. 

1. Discoloration

The first thing to do is look over your bagel. Are there any signs of discoloration? If there is even a single spot on your bagel, you will need to throw it out. Don’t try to consume it, as it could be the beginning stages of mold.

2. Mold

Speaking of mold, mold is another primary indicator that your bagels have gone bad, and they need to be tossed immediately. Mold usually presents itself as a white, blue, or green fuzzy spot on bagels.

3. Odd Smell

Another red flag is the smell. You know what your bagels are supposed to smell like. If they have a change in smell or take on a pungent, undesirable odor, chances are it is no longer good.

4. Hard Texture

Bagels can get dried out and stale, especially if stored in the fridge or stored improperly. While this can be fixed, a rock-hard texture cannot.

If you pull out your bagel and notice that it feels more like a boulder than a bagel, I suggest throwing it out and buying or making a fresh batch.


Bagels have a pretty short shelf life, just like most other types of bread – unless they’re stored in the freezer. If you have some more questions, check out these frequently asked questions below.

How long do bagels last past the expiration date?

As long as the bagels are stored correctly, they can last a few days past the printed “expiration date” at room temperature. If stored in the freezer, they will last for a few months beyond the printed date. 

Note: the date is likely a “best by,” referring to how long the bagel will remain at its peak of freshness.

Do bagels last a month?

Bagels can last up to a month (or long), but only if stored in the fridge. Break or cut them in half and wrap them in plastic wrap. Then, place the slices inside a large plastic resealable freezer bag. They will be safe and tasty for up to six months.

Is it OK to eat a bagel with a bit of mold?

It is not OK to eat a bagel with a little mold – even if you cut the visible mold off. Mold has roots that will extend to the rest of the bagel. 

While eating a little mold likely won’t make you sick, there is a chance of stomachache, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms will be worse if you’re allergic to mold.

Final Words

Bagels can last anywhere from two days to six months, depending on where and how they’re stored. I recommend storing them in the freezer if you’re not planning to eat them within a week. Otherwise, the kitchen countertop is a fine location for them. The fridge is OK, too, but they will dry out quicker and will need to be “brought back to life.”

Where do you store your bagels? 

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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