As parents, I think it's easy for us to say things like, "Well, I didn't have XYZ and I turned out just fine." I know I catch myself saying things like this a lot! There are obviously things you NEED for your baby, like diapers, milk, clothes, etc. and then almost everything else is a convenience. Well, let me tell you, actually becoming a parent was a huge wake-up call. With as exhausted as I was and the amount of attention my little love required, I realized that any mom or dad would be crazy to ignore the modern conveniences we have available now. There are so many tools that make taking care of a baby so much easier. The convenience we're talking about today is a bottle warmer.
Lined up here are the BEST BOTTLE WARMERS OF 2020 including our top pick: The Baby’s Brew. We’ve put them in the following categories:
- Best Portable Bottle Warmers
- Best Bottle Warmers for Breastmilk
- Best Combined Bottle and Food Warmers
- Most Affordable Bottle Warmers
- Best Bottle Warmer for Multiple Children
Before we get knee-deep in these, let's talk what bottle warmers do exactly, and why you need one for your baby stat.
Bottle Warmers: Why You Need One and How They Work
If you're sitting here thinking you can just use your microwave or a bowl of hot water to warm your baby's bottle, let's discuss.
1.) It is not a safe practice to microwave your baby's bottle and all the literature will tell you not to do this due to the hot spots it can cause. Additionally, if you breastfeed, microwaves will kill all of the important nutrients your body has worked so hard to produce.
2.) Though using a bowl of hot water is doable, technically the water should not be "hot." Which means you should be using warm water and let me tell you, your baby will probably be screaming at the top of his lungs by the time that it's ready. Plus, this method is messy and annoying.
But thank goodness for bottle warmers! Because unless you have the most flexible baby on the planet, she is not going to want cold or even room temperature milk. Most warmers that you will find plug in and are electric (such as the Philips-Avent Fast Bottle Warmer) but there are also now portable options (such as the Baby's Brew.)
So, how do bottle warmers work? There are two main ways that bottle warmers generally work to heat up your baby’s bottle.
1.) Water Bath - With this method, a water bath warmer heats breastmilk or formula by moving the water around the bottle. Though these work a little more slowly, the bottle of milk will be warmed in an even manner. If you're heating breastmilk, this is a great way to ensure nutrients are protected.
2.) Steam Heat - Steam heat bottle warmers work by utilizing water inside a reservoir that heats an internal heating element. Steam heat bottle warmers generally will heat a bottle faster, which is definitely nice, but there is more likelihood of uneven heating which can cause hot spots. With the steam heat mechanism there can be a risk of overheating breastmilk which decreases the amount of nutrition. Steam heat would be better suited for formula bottles.
Finding the Bottle Warmer That Works Best for Your Baby
Like most baby gear, there are a lot of choices. And that can be overwhelming. No one wants to spend unnecessary money on a product they don't need, they don't use, or ends up actually making the process harder not easier.
We've done the research on different types of bottle warmers available and who they'll work best for. You'll want to consider these questions as you make a decision about which bottle warmer will work best for your baby and your lifestyle:
- Will you be warming breastmilk or formula?
- Will you also need to warm food jars or pouches?
- Do you want to be able to have a warm bottle at the ready while out and about?
- Do you like to travel?
- Do you have a picky baby who needs a specific temperature of milk?
- Will you need to warm more than one bottle at once for multiple children?
- Will this fit the bottles you use?
- What's your budget?
Not all bottle warmers are created equal and they each have different features. Ease of use, safety, and maintenance are other factors to pay attention to. We've created the following list of the best bottle warmers of 2019 to help you make your decision!
Best Portable Bottle Warmers
We have quite the list here depending on your bottle warming needs. But, we're starting off with portable bottle warmers, because who doesn't want to have the ability to get out of their house with their little one? Skipping errands or forgoing travel just because you can only warm your baby's bottle with an electric warmer at home is a thing of the past. And these portable bottle warmers can also make your life easier at home, too.
*TOP OVERALL PICK*: THE BABY'S BREW PORTABLE BOTTLE WARMER
What You'll Love: The Baby's Brew has changed the game of bottle warmers. Until it's release in 2019, there were no other battery-powered bottle warmers. The other portable bottle warmers on the market either can only be used once before reactivating, mimic a warm bowl of water, or utilize a car adapter. The Baby's Brew is the most reliable, mess-free choice when it comes to warming your baby's bottle. Even though it's a portable bottle warmer, there's no reason it can't also be your go-to bottle warmer at home (after all – it can easily be carried to any room in the house!).
Other features you'll enjoy include:
- 4 temperature settings means it's great for both breastfed and formula-fed babies (choose from 80 degrees, body temperature, 104 degrees, or the highest acceptable temperature of 113 degrees)
- Slow-heat mechanism means it will preserve all breastmilk nutrients and warm a bottle safely in 5-10 minutes
- this bottle warmer keeps its charge for up to 12 hours and can even keep liquids warmed that long as well (meaning you can have your baby's bottle ready well before they need it)
- made with all safe food-grade materials
Formula-feeding parents will also love that the Baby's Brew comes with the option of a detachable formula dispenser.
It really has everything we could want in a bottle warmer!
Something to consider: The Baby's Brew fits most wide-neck bottles out of the box. Otherwise, adapters are available so you can use the Baby's Brew with any bottle!
TOMMEE TIPPEE TRAVEL BOTTLE WARMER
What You'll Love: This is a simple to use bottle warmer that you can take on the go. It utilizes an enclosed system that boiling water is poured into. The thermal flask that keeps water hot until you need it. When it's time to feed your baby, the water is poured into the connected lid carafe. It works similarly to warming a bottle in a bowl of hot water, but the carafe is taller which can accommodate your baby's bottle better.
What you can expect:
- a warmed bottle in about 5 minutes
- no external heat source means it's ideal for travel
- a simple two-part system with the stainless steel flask for holding the hot water and the plastic cup cap used for warming the bottle
Something to consider: You'll need to be careful about the temperature of water you pour into this. Some recommend putting in boiling water but that can make a bottle too hot. Since the water is exposed while the bottle is warming, take care against any spills.
Best Bottle Warmers for Breast Milk
Breastfeeding mothers have a unique need to preserve the precious immunological nutrients they provide their babies. According to La Leche League, "Overheating during the warming process causes denaturation and inactivation of milk’s bioactive proteins and decreases fat content."
The combination of a high temperature (113 degrees Fahrenheit or highter) and too much time at that temperature can damage the nutritional elements. This means breastfeeding moms will want to choose a bottle warmer that has a body temperature setting that also utilizes a slow-heat mechanism.
KIINDE KOZII BOTTLE AND BREAST MILK WARMER
What You'll Love: The Kiinde Kozii warmer was designed to follow the CDC and USDA recommendations for safely thawing and warming breastmilk. A warm, flowing water bath is utilized.
Additional features include:
- uses a low temperature, nutrient-safe water bath (about as warm as warm tap water)
- uses steam-free "safe heat" technology
- preserves delicate and nutrients and proteins of breastmilk
- safe for all bottle and bag types
- auto-shutoff timer avoids overheating
Something to Consider: This one takes time. But honestly, if breastmilk is what you're warming up, you really don't want anything that works too quickly. If you can be proactive in your baby's hunger needs, this should work great for you!
DR. BROWN'S MILKSPA BREAST MILK AND BOTTLE WARMER
What You'll Love: Breastfeeding moms will appreciate the gentle water bath that safely and quickly brings breast milk to body temperature. This is the ideal temperature that breast milk should be heated to. Your baby's milk will have an even and consistent temperature that aligns with CDC and USDA guidelines.
Other features include:
- convenient auto shut-off and timer means you can set it and forget it
- more than 12 pre-programmed settings allow you to customize the warming cycle depending on starting temperature as well as bottle or bag size
- also warms baby food jars and pouches
Something to consider: If you are using Dr. Brown's bottles (or similar) with this warmer you'll want to be sure to remove the internal vent system first and then screw on the travel cap.
Best Combined Bottle and Food Warmers
If your baby not only wants a warm bottle of milk, but also prefers warm food, then utilizing a combined bottle and food warmer makes sense. (Keep in mind that many warmers not sold as a food warmer actually still can be used as one.)
TOMMEE TIPPEE EASI-WARM BOTTLE AND FOOD WARMER
What You'll Love: This quick warm system ensures your baby has perfectly heated milk and food. Since it fits most brands of bottles and food jars, parents can be sure that they can warm whatever their baby needs.
Other features include:
- warms baby's milk in as little as 4 minutes with steam
- the gentle warming process preserves nutrients
- three settings to choose from include: warm from fridge, warm from room temperature, and keep warm
Something to consider: Breastfeeding moms who need to warm up breastmilk from frozen may find that it won't be heated up as required since there is no "warm from frozen" setting.
BABY BREZZA SAFE AND SMART BOTTLE AND FOOD WARMER
What You'll Love: The Baby Brezza works great for breastmilk, formula, and baby food jars. The design utilizes two different types of warming settings to ensure that breastmilk is never overheated (using the water bath system), while formula is heated to your baby's liking as well (using the rapid steam heat system). This is the only warmer on our list that can be controlled from your smartphone.
Other features include:
- warming basket fits all bottle and brand types, most storage bags, and food jars
- the auto shut-off prevets overheating
- ensures a safe and even temperature every time.
Something to consider: The bluetooth operation is a great feature, but the warmer must already be on in order for it to be managed from your phone.
Most Affordable Bottle Warmers
Though most bottle warmers don't break the bank, there is some variation in cost. If you are looking to add some convenience to your life while ensuring your baby has a warm, comforting bottle, these are good, inexpensive options. Though they do the trick, just keep in mind that these are the most basic on our list.
CHICCO NATURAL FIT BOTTLE WARMER
What You'll Love: This is a quiet bottle warmer that also doubles as a food jar warmer. It's a no-frills bottle warmer that you can rely on to quickly and safely warm your baby's bottle.
Other features include:
- wide opening accommodates all sizes of baby food jars
- a basket insert can be used to place smaller containers eliminating extra mess
- automatically shuts off for safety
Something to Consider: This bottle warmer only has two settings: one for a bottle and one for a baby food jar. You won't be able to choose varying temperatures for your baby's milk.
PHILIPS AVENT FAST BABY BOTTLE WARMER
What You'll Love: Users of this compact bottle warmer can be sure that the internal temperature of their baby's bottle will be safe to drink. Having a bottle warmer you can trust to not ever be too hot for your baby is important. This bottle warmer is easy to use and heats up bottles just as described.
Additional features include:
- can warm 5 ounces of milk in as little as 3 minutes
- warms quickly and evenly by circulating both the water and milk continuously
- compact size makes it east to store on countertops
- gently defrosts frozen bottles
- when complete, the blinking light will indicate baby's bottle is warmed and ready to drink
Something to Consider: From reviews, it appears that this bottle warmer can accommodate several types of bottles (such as Comotomo, Dr. Brown's, Medela, etc.) but since Avent states that it "works with all Philips Avent bottles" you'll want to double-check that it fits your bottle of choice.
Best Bottle Warmer for Multiple Children
If you are a twin mom or have two little ones close together in age, then you're a busy parent when it comes to feeding time. Warming bottles can be overwhelming without a bottle warmer or without two available. These double bottle warmers make double-feedings a much easier endeavor.
MUNCHKIN NIGHT AND DAY BOTTLE WARMER AND COOLER
What You'll Love: This warmer also has the ability to keep your babies' bottles cool until you need them. This can come in handy for night feedings so that you don't have to go all the way to the kitchen to grab the bottles. The built-in reservoir utilizes a water bath for warming.
Other features include:
- both warms and cools bottles
- BPA free
- insulated cooler keeps bottles cool for up to 8 hours
- works with most standard and wide-mouth bottles
- warms evenly
- adjustable timer
Something to Consider: Some reviews express that the churning sound of the water, as well as the clicking sound of the timer, can be bothersome.