In this investigation, the differences of heat transfer characteristics for insulated and non-insulated spherical containers between considering and neglecting the influence of heat radiation are studied by the simulations in some practical situations. It is found that the heat radiation effect cannot be ignored in conditions of low ambient convection heat coefficients (such ambient air) and high surface emissivities, especially for the non-insulated and thin insulated cases. In most practical situations when ambient temperature is different from surroundings temperature and the emissivity of insulation surface is different from that of metal wall surface, neglecting heat radiation will result in inaccurate insulation effect and heat transfer errors even with very thick insulation. However, the insulation effect considering heat radiation will only increase a very small amount after some dimensionless insulated thickness (such insulation thickness/radius =0.2 in this study), thus such dimensionless insulated thickness can be used as the optimum thickness in practical applications. Meanwhile, wrapping a material with low surface emissivity (such as aluminum foil) around the oxidized metal wall or insulation layer (always with high surface emissivity) can achieve very good insulated effect for the non-insulated or thin insulated containers.