Is a baby bottle warmer a luxury or a necessity today?
Without a doubt the majority of parents say this item is a “must have”, not a “nice to have”!
Using a bottle warmer, especially for middle-of-the-night feeds, is so much easier than waiting for a kettle to boil or for tap water to run hot. Who needs to stand there swirling hot water around a bottle when your baby is hungry and crying and you are tired?
So deciding whether or not you need one of these items is not usually the challenge. The difficulty lies in identifying the bottle warmer that best fits your specific lifestyle, needs, and budget.
Given there are a lot of bottle warmers available, making a choice can be hard. We’ve made this process a whole lot easier by testing and researching a wide range of bottle warmers to give you a list of the best ones out there for 2018.
Best Bottle Warmers for Babies 2018
We looked at counter-top and portable/travel models and products that use either hot water or steam to heat the bottle and its contents. Both advantages and drawbacks of each have been assessed so you can make an informed decision.
|Model||Heating Method||Features||Ave. Warm Time||Shop|
|1. Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer||Water bath||Auto shut-off, timer||6 mins||Check Price|
|2. Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer||Steam||Auto shut-off, timer, alarm||4 mins||Check Price|
|3. Baby Brezza Safe & Smart||Steam & water bath||Mobile App with Bluetooth, timer, alarm, auto shut-off||2 or 6 mins||Check Price|
|4. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer||Steam||Auto shut-off||4 mins||Check Price|
|5. Born Free Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler||Water and steam||Auto shut-off, timer, cooler||5 mins||Check Price|
|6. Maxx Elite Smart Bottle Warmer and Sterilizer||Water bath||Auto shut-off||9 mins||Check Price|
|7. Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer||Water bath||No electricity required||4 mins||Check Price|
|8. Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer||Water bath||N/A||6 mins||Check Price|
|9. GOLOHO Baby Bottle Warmer||Water bath||N/A||5 mins||Check Price|
|10. Munchkin High-Speed Bottle Warmer||Steam||Auto shut-off||3 mins||Check Price|
|11. Boon Orb Bottle Warmer||Steam||Auto shut-off||4 mins||Check Price|
1. Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer – The best baby bottle warmer
The Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer and breast milk warmer is unique in that it makes use of convection technology to circulate water around your babies milk.
It works by using a reservoir design that fills a water bath under the bottle. As it heats up, it rises and circulates around the outside of the bottle, heating the contents evenly and preventing any dreaded hot spots. If the water level gets too high, an overflow valve at the top sends it back to the reservoir. Once the timer is complete an auto shut-off is triggered and the water drains back into the reservoir so you can use it again.
Following the manuals instructions, we warmed the breast milk which took 6 minutes. The temperature never exceeded 92 °F which makes it perfectly warm and safe – no milk nutrients are destroyed at this temperature.
There are specific settings for warming breast milk and formula (takes less time). There is also a defrost feature which is handy when thawing frozen formula or breast milk. Depending on the materials and size of the bottle, you may need to play around a bit with the settings before you find the perfect combination.
The Kiinde Kozii is fairly light at 1.5lbs. It’s also compact but can still accommodate both wide and narrow mouth bottles and baby food jars. Basically, it’s a one size fits all solution, making it the only bottle warmer you’ll ever need.
From the patent-pending technology to the myriad of safety and convenient features, the Kinnde Kozzi is the best bottle warmer you can buy at the moment. It’s easy to use and provides results that are unparalleled. If you can spare the extra money, you’ll find no better solution to warming your babies milk.
2. Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer – The best steam baby bottle warmer
The Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer is a fast and safe product that uses steam as the heating mechanism. It has an easy to use LDC control panel that allows you to program for different sized bottles. What really makes this bottle warmer a highly recommended one is the outstanding safety features.
Finally, the lid mechanism provides protection from the steam and we found no issues or reports of long bottles being unable to fit.
Being a steam model, we had concerns that the milk would overheat, thereby causing damage to the nutrients. We put this to the test by following the manufacturers instructions and were pleasantly surprised that the milk reached a maximum temperature of 102 °F before the auto shut-off kicked in. This is a perfect temperature for warmed milk without causing any damage to the nutrients.
So you found the perfect settings for the milk? Well, this bottle warmer will also remember the last timer settings meaning you can easily replicate your results throughout the day if you are using the same bottle.
This product is a little bit more expensive than the average bottle warmer, but it provides a slew of safety and convenient features that makes it highly recommended. It provides fast and safe warming results, and when it’s 3 am in the morning and your baby is crying, that’s all you could really ask for.
3. Baby Brezza Safe & Smart – High tech solution with remote control
The Baby Brezza safe & smart bottle warmer lives up to its name and is very appealing if you enjoy modern and technology focused products.
Many bottle warmers do one of two things – warming with water, or with steam. The Baby Brezza tackles this fundamental limitation by offering you both modes.
The ‘steady warm’ mode uses a water bath that gradually heats the contents of the bottle, and is perfect for breast milk where you don’t want to destroy the nutrients.
If you want to heat jars of baby food or formula you may opt for the ‘quick warm’ mode which uses steam. Each mode takes about 6 and 2 minutes respectively, with the latter being impressively quick. You also get a convenient defrost mode.
We also found the reservoir measurements to also be a bit hard to read. Have said that, these are very minor quibbles and it would be a disservice to concentrate on these drawbacks considering the top performance this bottle warmer delivers.
The Baby Brezza Safe & Smart proves to be safe and smart. Baby Brezza have found a winning formula that provides two options to achieve optimal results. If you can get over the relatively expensive price tag and the formidable size, there is a lot to love here. Perfect for the tech-savvy, time conscious parent.
4. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer – The number 1 budget baby bottle warmer
The First Years quick serve bottle warmer is one of the most popular options on this list. It’s easy to see why, as it is very affordable and takes a hassle free approach to warming your babies milk, formula or food.
A common issue that plagues many bottle warmers is its compatibility with a wide range of bottle shapes and sizes.
Warming milk is also straightforward and simple. Fill the measuring vial with water to the desired level (as instructed by the manual) and pour into the reservoir. Place the bottle inside then press the large horizontal button to start the steaming process.
It’s pretty fast and you’ll have warm milk ready in no time. The button light will turn off which will signal the end of the process, with a auto shut-off function also coming into effect. You also get a basket and basket lid that is handy for handling jars and for sterilizing pacifiers.
The good news is that once you do find the perfect water level – which is a simple process if you follow the manual – you’ll get reliable warming results every time. Just keep in mind that you will need to refill the reservoir after each use.
This is a well priced and reliable unit that achieves fast and safe results. It’s super easy to use and clean, and comes with accessories to help you handle the different items you wish to warm.
5. Born Free Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler – Excellent option for night feeds
This bottle warmer from Born Free offers a number of unique features and abilities to make it stand out as one of the better products on this list.
Unlike many pure steam based bottle warmers which can destroy breast milk nutrients, the Born Free true-temp uses water and steam to keep the milk at a safe temperature that will not cause degradation of the nutrients.
The water bath heats breast milk and formula evenly and ensures there are no ‘hot spots’. Whereas many bottle warmers will auto shutoff after the water in the unit has run out, this model provides a control dial which allows you to set the timer dependent on the bottle size. Simply following the instructions provided removes all the guess work.
Apart from safely heating milk, this bottle warmer also saves you time when heating multiple bottles.
A potentially headache inducing task is made an easy feat thanks to a cool-down period of only 3 minutes between each heating cycle – it’s significantly faster than some other models on this list (such as the Boon Orb bottle warmer). Furthermore; the reservoir only requires a refill once a day and not after each bottle. Lastly, this unit will remember your previous setting so you can automatically set it to that if your using the same sized bottle.
A big sell point is the cooler with two freezer packs that comes attached. You can keep milk or formula chilled for up to 8 hours, making it convenient for night feeds as it removes the need for a walk to the freezer. Such an attachment considerably increases the overall size of this unit but it’s the price to pay for convenience.
While not inexpensive, this reliable bottle warmer is all about ease of use. Part of this is the cooler facility and ability to easily heat multiple bottles in a row. It proves to be a great choice for parents who are happy to pay for extra features that make night feeding a much easier job.
6. Maxx Elite Smart Bottle Warmer and Sterilizer – Flexible and effective value for money
The strength of the Maxx Elite bottle warmer lies in its three warming settings: “gentle warm”, “express warm” and “sterilize”. Between them they offer impressive flexibility in regards to heating speed.
The express mode, as the name suggests, heats the bottle contents much faster at a higher temperature. However, we recommend using this setting only for formula or jars of baby food.
Lastly, the sterilize mode heats the contents up to 212 °F, killing germs and bacteria in bottles, nipples and pacifiers.
We found the “gentle warm” process to take anywhere from 9 – 15 minutes, with the “express warm” function halving this time down to about 6 minutes. At no point did the gentle warming process cause the temperature to jump to unsafe levels, meaning all the nutrients in your babies milk will be preserved. These are actually pretty long warming times, even for the express settings, but it’s a good price to pay for milk that is evenly and safely warmed.
The bottle warmer also features additional safety in its auto shut-off function. It will shut off if it detects overheating, if the water is low or at the end of a sterilization cycle.
Upon completion of a cycle, the green LED light associated with the setting you are using will transition from blinking to solid. Considering the way this bottle warmer works, the auto shut-off serves its purpose well as you don’t have to be around during the gentle warming or sterilizing processes. However; we do advise you stick around if you are using the express setting as overheating may occur after prolonged use.
It’s clear the biggest selling point for this bottle warmer is its “gentle and steady warm” functionality that heats the milk to a safe temperature and keeps it warm for hours at a time. Such a feature makes the bottle warmer perfect for night feeds where having a pre-warmed milk bottle is highly convenient. All in all, this offering from Maxx Elite comes with our approval and it would be wise to consider purchasing one for yourself.
7. Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer – The best travel/portable baby bottle warmer
The Tommee Tippee, unlike any bottle warmer on this list, is all about portability. OK, to be fair, most of the bottle warmers mentioned here can be portable but they all require electricity.
The Tomme Tippee travel bottle and food warmer requires no electricity and is a truly portable solution for babies on the go.
The thermal container will keep the water hot for up to ten hours. Intelligently, the plastic reservoir also acts as an additional lid for the thermal container, making for a small and portable bottle warming package.
We found it takes about 4 minutes to heat the milk or formula to a safe temperature of about 100 °F, of course there are no timers, auto shut-off or settings to play with. The best way to achieve the perfect heating time is using good old fashioned trial and error. Also keep in mind that the water will slowly lose temperature the longer it is in the thermal container, so longer warming times should be expected if you use it later rather than sooner.
In addition, you can only heat one bottle before needing to replace the boiling water. Another drawback is that the plastic reservoir gets very hot to touch during the warming process.
However; you’ll find pouring to be a relatively safe task due to the small circular hole in the lid. It provides an accurate and small water funnel that minimizes the risk of any spills or burns.
There’s nothing serious to complain about this portable bottle warming solution. It’s a cleverly designed and inexpensive travel companion that is a great option for a parent who has to be away from home for a few hours.
8. Phillips AVENT Bottle Warmer – Safe warming solution
The Philips AVENT bottle warmer is an affordable option utilizing the water bath heating method.
As you can see from the image on the right, the AVENT follows a minimalist design and is egg shaped making it well suited to a modern kitchen. Looks match functionality as Phillips have made this bottle warmer super easy to use.
The warmer opening is large enough to cater for the majority of bottle sizes (such as Tommee Tippee or Comotomo) so you won’t have to worry if a certain brand will fit inside or not.
Warming results are good if your timing is on point, but we found the process taking closer to 6 minutes than the 3 minutes advised by Phillips. Typical of a safe water bath heating method, we found the temperature of the milk to be stable and not exceed the dangerous threshold in which nutrients begin to degrade.
All things considered, this bottle warmer performs slower than advertised and is missing a crucial auto shut-off feature. Even-though it warms milk in a safe way, it’s hard for us to recommend this over some of the other products on this list.
9. GOLOHO Baby Bottle Warmer – Stainless steel warming chamber with cleaning tools
The GOLOHO baby bottle warmer is a water bath warmer with several unique features.
The first and most significant is that it has a stainless steel warming chamber which conducts thermal energy far more efficiently than the typical plastic chamber you find in many other bottle warmers. This effectively distributes heat more evenly resulting in a warming process that eliminates hot spots.
The second excellent feature is that there is an inbuilt sensor that monitors temperature. It triggers the unit to maintain safe temperature levels, thereby preserving the nutrients in milk.
We put this to the test using the bottle setting (one of three settings available, the others being “jar mode” and “sterilizing mode”). At no point did the milk exceed 100 °F so you can rest assured that this unit will deliver safe warming results.
It’s also one of the few bottle warmers to come with cleaning tools in the form of a bottle brush and cleaning cloth. The stainless steel design makes it super easy to clean and you can easily get the job done with just the tools GOLOHO have provided.
Just like the Phillips AVENT bottle warmer, we recommend you keep a timer on hand so you can make note of the best time that works for you.
All things considered; it’s a solid bottle warmer that warms your babies milk safely. It’s a good choice for parents who are looking for ease of use and don’t mind the lack of finer features.
10. Munchkin High-Speed Bottle Warmer – A fast heating bottle warmer
The Munchkin High-Speed bottle warmer lives up to its name- it is very fast!
It uses a steam system to heat a bottle in about 90 seconds with larger bottles taking up to 3 minutes. While that sounds impressive and ideal if you have a very hungry baby waiting to be fed it’s not desirable in a couple of respects.
Munchkin have created a high-speed bottle warmer but at the expense of health and safety.
While you’ll find useful features such as auto shut-off and a timer, these positives just don’t offset the serious concerns already mentioned.
Unfortunately, this type of product grabs attention (and sales) because of its amazingly fast heating times. However; once you become enlightened to the dangers this ‘great’ feature poses, we’d be surprised if you still decide to pick this bottle over the others on this list. Patience is truly a virtue – you’re better off sticking to the slower but safer bottle warmers.
11. Boon Orb Bottle Warmer – Fun design
Like many of the other bottle warmers we’ve reviewed here, the Boon Orb bottle warmer is another such product that uses steam rather than water to warm your babies milk. This results in a quick heating time of 4 minutes – perfect for middle of the night feeds!
Due to the wide and shallow water reservoir it also makes cleaning a very easy. Simply take out the components and either individually wash them or chuck them in the dishwasher.
Whilst the bottle warmer looks snazzy, it just doesn’t perform up to par with others on this list. The ultra simplistic design has no indication of a completed heating cycle except for an auto shut-off mechanism. Whilst in theory this prevents the bottle from overheating, it also means you need to be nearby when the cycle is complete.
Despite the safety of an auto shut-off , we still found that temperatures far exceeded 104 °F during the warming process. If you didn’t know, anything above this level causes nutritional loss, which accelerates as temperature increases.
If this wasn’t disheartening enough, you’ll also have to wait about 10 minutes for the heating element to cool down before warming anything else. A wait is expected, especially amongst steam bottle warmers, but waiting for this long is a stretch too far and is a huge inconvenience if you are night feeding.
You will also have to refill a graduated tube with water for each use, as water is lost through steam. Unlike some other brands like Dr Brown, Boon Orb have not implemented a mechanism to capture the water for reuse.
This product looks great and is fairly affordable, but unfortunately it falls short in all the cases that count. Your better off looking at more complete options further up this list.
- Overall winner: Kiinde Kozii bottle warmer and breast milk warmer thanks to its range of settings, industry leading safety features, flexibility, general ease of use and fantastic bottle warming results.
- Best value: This award goes to the The First Years Quick Serve bottle warmer. It provides quick and safe warming results and is compatible with most bottles.
- Best safety features: Awarded to both the Kiinde Kozzii and Dr Brown’s bottle warmer. While the Kiinde Kozzii follows government regulations, Dr Brown’s bottle warmer has a safety lid and a great auto shut-off and alarm system.
- Feature award: Baby Brezza Safe and Smart is a high-tech solution that is jammed packed with options and comes with an App for remote control.
- Best night-time feed bottle warmer: This goes to the Maxx Elite with its ability to gently warm milk and formula and then keep them at optimal temperatures for up to 4 hours. The Born Free Tru-Temp bottle warmer also deserves recommendation due to its convenient cooler option which removes the need to walk to the fridge or freezer.
- Best travel bottle warmer: The Tommee Tippee is small, simple, and has a surprisingly short warm time. If portability is your priority then you can’t look past the Tommee Tippee.
So there you have it, the best bottle warmers for babies for 2018! We hope our list and recommendations have pushed you in the right direction in determining which bottle warmer is right for you. If you’re still having problems with which bottle warmer to go with, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide which will hopefully answer all the questions you might have.
Bottle Warmers for Babies Buyer’s Guide
After working through the list we trust that you feel a lot more confident about making a choice. However, there are a number of factors you should consider before you go shopping!
1. Water bath
As the name suggests, a water bath heats the milk via water that sits in a chamber.
The main disadvantage is that these warmers are generally slower, with warming times being about 50% – 100% longer than steam warmers.
The major benefit however; is that the slow warming process minimizes the chance of overheating break milk. If you didn’t know, heating breast milk above 104 °F causes damage to the nutrients and its for this reason that water bath baby bottle warmers remain a popular choice.
These bottle warmers heat the contents of bottles faster than their water bath counterparts as they use super-hot steam to do the job. This makes them great for sterilizing pacifiers or for use on formula which is less sensitive to high temperatures.
The bad news is that they are more prone to heating up breast milk to unsafe temperatures, as well as generating ‘hot spots’ which leaves milk that is unevenly heated. Steam bottle warmers also pose a greater safety risk in that they can cause the bottle to be uncomfortably hot. You’ll find most steam bottle warmers to have a lid mechanism which protects the user from rising steam.
3. Water and steam
These offer the best of both worlds by providing the speed of steam and the gentle warming capabilities of water. Bottle warmers with this mechanism usually provide two modes – one for steaming and the other for a water bath. However; these additional options usually bump up the price.
Bottle warmers are no different from any other product in that they come with a variety of features to enhance their usability and functionality.
This type of feature prevents the overheating of milk. Many bottle warmers have an auto shut-off that comes into effect when the timer expires or if the water is exhausted (in the case of a steam unit).
Beware of bottle warmers without this feature! Such bottle warmers are subject to overheating and even damaging the bottle due to extreme temperatures. Having an auto shut-off also means there won’t be any issue if you’re not around when the heating cycle is complete.
This usually accompanies an automatic shut-off or timer and is a way to alert the user when a cycle is complete.
If it’s an audible alarm, then great! You don’t need to be around whilst your bottle warmer is working its magic as you’ll hear when it’s complete.
If a timer is present, manufacturers will provide a general guide of what time to set it dependent on the bottle size being used or what you are heating (for example, formula). Upon expiration, a timer will usually trigger an alarm or/and an auto shut-off mechanism.
Like the other two functions previously mentioned, a timers main function is to ensure you don’t overheat the bottle as well as ensuring you heat the milk to an appropriate temperature.
Many bottle warmers come with a variety of heating modes. Typically you will find modes for warming breast milk, warming formula, heating baby food in a jar and sterilizing a pacifier. Each comes with different times and temperature requirements and can provide the most efficient settings to get the job done.
Some bottle warmers will also have additional functionality when it comes to heating modes. For example, there are some that maintain the temperature of a bottle once it reaches a certain temperature (such as the Maxx Elite smart bottle warmer and sterilizer).
Other bottle warmers have the ability to remember the heating settings you used previously, which is a great idea when you need to heat multiple bottles during the day.
Accessories can enhance the functionality or usability of a bottle warmer. Many come with baskets that make handling small containers (like jars of baby food) or hot bottles easier and safer. Some bottle warmers also come with cleaning tools.
The chamber is the place that the bottle or container is placed into. Some bottle warmers have large chambers that can fit bottles from any brand, whilst others have smaller openings that can only fit narrower bottles. It’s crucial that you check what types of bottles are compatible.
In particular, bottles from Comotomo and Tommee Tippee are usually the ones you need to look out for due to their wide construction.
Some bottle warmers have this as an accessory or already attached to the unit. A cooler replaces a refrigerator and will keep your milk or formula cool and easily accessible when you need to warm them up.
This is not a common feature, but we’ve seen some bottle warmers incorporate this type of functionality. For example, the Baby Brezza Safe and Smart bottle warmer uses a mobile App to allow its users to contol key functions remotely.
The water reservoir is responsible for holding the water used by the bottle warmer. Depending on the heating method and how much water is stored, some reservoirs need to be only refilled once a day, whilst others require refilling after each use.
You will commonly receive a measuring vial or cup with your purchase, that will allow you to precisely measure out the water required for different sized bottles and different contents, based on the manufactures guidelines.
How easy or difficult the cleaning process is, is dependent on the design of the bottle warmer and especially the chamber. Many allow you to take the parts out and clean them separately. Still, other models are more difficult to clean with hard-to-reach places.
When you are deciding what your next bottle warmer will be, it’s a good idea to keep these factors in the back of your mind:
Health and Safety: When it comes to bottle warmers, health and safety is paramount. We are dealing with your babies food after all. Ensuring that milk is not overheated is a great start. Other things like making sure the bottle or bottle warmer doesn’t get too hot is another thing to consider as you don’t want to get burned. Furthermore; you also want to ensure if the bottle warmer is compatibly with plastic and glass.
Ease of Use: How easy is the bottle warmer to use? If it’s 3am, the last thing you want to do is mess around with the manual trying to figure out the best setting. Do you go for simplicity or complexity?
In particular, factors like warming times, how to fill up the reservoir and the different modes available should all be considered.
Versatility: Does the bottle warmer excel in one particular thing? Or is it good at multiple things, such as heating milk, formula and sterilizing pacifiers?
Portable or Counter-Top
To be fair, all bottle warmers are somewhat portable. They are usually about as large as a big flask and weigh 1 – 3 lbs. However; they all require electricity. If you want something truly portable you need it to be a complete self-contained unit.
Counter-top models have the advantage of being packed with more features and are also pretty easy to use.
However; portable models can easily be carried in your bag and used without an electrical outlet. They may run on batteries or rely on the heat of pre-prepared boiled water.
In general, you’ll most certainly need a counter-top model but you’ll only need a portable model if you think you and your baby travel a lot.
Some final thoughts…
It’s really important that you are clear about what your requirements are and what is important to you before you draw up a short-list and make a final decision.
Consider the following questions: What is your baby being fed at the moment? What are your requirements in terms of ease of use and features? What are your constraints in terms of space and budget? Do you want something short-term or a product that will accommodate your baby as he or she moves from breast milk to formula to baby food?
Once you are clear about the answers to those questions you will be far better placed to use our list of the Best Bottle Warmers for Babies for 2018 to help choose the right product for you! As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions below. We’ll do our best to answer them!
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