The majority of parents still use plastic baby bottles to feed their little ones, but glass bottles are becoming increasingly popular once again.
If glass baby bottles give you a little blast from the past type of feeling, that's for good reason. The evolution of the bottle actually began in the mid-19th century with a glass bottle. Plastic didn't make it onto the scene until the 1960s. But it's not uncommon for life to come full circle, and glass bottles are no exception. Here we'll look into the benefits and key features of glass bottles and why you might want to choose one over a plastic bottle to feed your baby. And of course, we'll give you the best glass bottle options of 2020 to choose from because we know how overwhelming it can be to narrow down the best products.
Why Some Parents are Choosing Glass Baby Bottles over Plastic
With the comeback of glass bottles, you're likely wondering what their appeal is and if they're better than the typical plastic bottles most parents use. WebMD explored this very question. They did not find one bottle to be better than the other, but rather found some benefits to glass bottles that make them more preferable to some moms and dad to use for their babies.
Though there once was a valid fear of chemicals from plastic (BPA specifically) leaching into a baby's milk, this substance is now banned by the FDA. All baby bottles sold in the USA now must be BPA-free. So this would've been a good argument to making the switch to glass prior to 2012, but luckily this is no longer a concern. So, why are some parents choosing glass over plastic when it comes to giving their baby milk from a bottle?
Here are a few benefits to glass baby bottles that make them a choice more and more parents are choosing:
- though plastic bottles can no longer contain BPA, for some there is still a stigma around them that makes people turn to glass instead
- plastic bottles can get scratched much more easily than glass and this can be a tiny place for bacteria to grow
- glass bottles are easier to keep looking perfect and new, whereas plastic bottles develop a residue over time (and can also hold odors) - this makes parents more likely to use them for subsequent children which means less bottles in a landfill
- easily recyclable - recycled glass bottles can get back to the consumer as another glass bottles in close to a month!
- glass maintains the purity of taste of the breastmilk or formula and doesn't pick up other flavors or smells (such as dish soap or old milk)
- baby bottles are now made of tempered glass - meaning they can go from freezing cold to very hot without breaking
Though glass bottles aren't' necessarily better than plastic bottles, it's easy to see why their popularity has grown.
Features of Glass Baby Bottles and What to Know Before You Buy
Now that we've discussed some benefits of using a glass baby bottle over plastic, it's important to know what else to look for when making a glass baby bottle purchase.
Here are our top 4 features to look for when choosing a glass bottle:
- Compatibility - you'll want to make sure that the glass bottle you choose will work with the other baby products you can't live without - such as a portable bottle warmer like the Baby's Brew and your breast pump. Luckily, most glass bottles are compatible with the other products you'll want to use, but it's always smart to check!
- Silicone sleeve - some glass bottles come with a silicone sleeve that makes them much less likely to break if they get dropped. These also make the bottle personalized (since you can choose a color) which is always fun.
- Ease of use - just like any other baby bottle, you'll want to make sure it's easy to use with your baby as well as clean it. The fewer the parts, the easier it is to clean - plus glass bottles are even dishwasher-safe!
- Size - this is important with any bottle, but you'll want to check you're getting the right size glass bottle for your baby because glass can be more difficult to hold and grip (a silicone sleeve can help with this, as well.)
So, what about the downsides to glass bottles - are there any?
One of the biggest drawbacks of glass bottles is their price. You will find them to be a bit more expensive than plastic bottles. But if you keep in mind how they stay looking nice and new for years to come, you can actually save money in the long run. We recommend using them for any siblings that come along and you won't have to worry about buying new ones.
And as far as durability (even though technically they are) unlike plastic bottles glass ones CAN break. But the type of tempered glass they are made of makes this fairly rare, and choosing one with a silicone sleeve for protection makes it even less likely.
Glass baby bottles are an excellent, environmentally-friendly choice. Here are our top 6 glass baby bottles.
The Baby's Brew Gives Its 6 Top Glass Baby Bottle Picks
*A highly sustainable option since it comes with a silicone sleeve.
This glass bottle from Lifefactory is so great that it even made our 10 Best Baby Bottles to Buy 2020 list.
With a mission to make single-use items a thing of the past, it's not surprising that Lifefactory decided to add baby bottles to its list of high-quality products made from lasting materials.
These are the key features of these glass bottles:
- made from thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass (like Pyrex) meaning it's much less likely to break than other common types of glass
- can be used to freeze liquids or heated without cracking
- comes in 4 oz. or 9 oz. sizes so these bottles can grow with your baby - sippy caps can also be purchased once baby is old enough that she no longer needs to use a nipple
- comes with your color choice of silicone sleeve to help have a better grip on the bottle while also adding another layer of protection against breaking
*Get the perfect flow by choosing just the right nipple flow for your baby.
This bottle by Philips Avent is offered in both plastic and glass options. The nipples of both bottles are the same, so it really comes down to personal preference - but the glass bottles will stay looking newer longer (while the plastic ones are lighter and can be easier for your baby to hold.)
Here are some great features of the Avent Natural baby bottle:
- wide breast-shaped nipple helps baby to have a natural latch on
- the soft, spiral-designed nipple naturally flexes and feels very much like a real nipple
- there are 6 different nipples to choose from which means this bottle is great for any aged infant
- boasts and airflex valve design that helps move air away from baby's tummy in order to reduce gas pains and colic
- its ergonomic shape makes it easy for little hands to grip
*An easy to grip choice even without the silicone sleeve.
Parents will love that this bottle, unlike similar plastic bottles, is recyclable, sustainable and much better for the environment. It's thin and twisted shape makes it easier to hold than some wider glass bottles.
Other features to note include:
- 100% silicone slow flow nipples
- the nipple has a unique gradual transition between the nipple length and base in order to help baby keep a good latch
- comes in a 4 oz. and 8 oz. size so these bottles can grow with your baby
- the molded measurement marks make it easy to measure out your baby's milk (and these will never fade which can happen on plastic bottles)
*Great for babies with colic.
Dr. Brown's has replaced their standard narrow glass bottles with these wide-neck ones. Of our glass bottles recommended on this list, this one is the most highly recommended for a colicky baby who struggles with gas pains or stomach discomfort.
Here's what you'll find with these baby bottles:
- anti-colic vent system that's designed to grow with your baby to continue to reduce feeding problems, help digestion and preserve vitamins in breastmilk
- vent system can be removed in no longer needed
- comes in a 5 oz. and 9 oz. size (for even the biggest eaters!)
- Choose from 6 colors of silicone sleeves for extra protection of your glass bottles
*A solid choice for moms who are transitioning from breast to bottle.
These glass Nuk bottles are great for babies who need to transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. That's because they utilize a wide-neck with an orthodontic nipple that has multiple feeding holes. This makes it very similar to a breastfeeding mother's nipple. It's also listed as one of our Best Baby Bottles for Newborns.
- wide and flexible nipple mimics the shape of of a mother's breast and moves with baby so she can get a good latch
- advanced 1-piece anti-colic air vent for reducing colic, gas, and spit-up
- odor and stain resistant
- 3 parts makes this bottle easy to clean
*A unique glass bottle system that can grow with your baby.
These bottles have been clinically proven to reduce colic and gas in babies by 90% within the first week of use as well as help prevent ear infections. And who wouldn't want that for their little one? Here's what else you'll get with the BFree glass baby bottles:
- patented, leak-free air vent helps neutralize the vacuum that is so common in baby bottles - it allows babies to suck comfortably and control the flow of milk on their own
- each part of the Bfree bottle can be used on any other Bfree bottle or cup so these can grow with your baby into toddlerhood
- has a safety heat sensor so you know if your baby's milk is too hot to give them
- super resistant natural glass comes in a 5.5 oz. or 9 oz. option