Fun fact: there’s no nutritional reason to heat breast milk or formula. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t! Warm milk will soothe baby during a feeding, prevent stomach upset, and make feedings go smoother overall.
Bottle warmers are for the parent who wants to save time- and who doesn’t? Some can even be used to warm your child’s food once they are ready for that stage.
Of course, not all bottle warmers are created equally. Here’s a look at some of our choices for the best bottle warmer.
The Best Bottle Warmers
Tommee Tippee Pump and Go Baby Bottle Warmer System
The Tommee Tippee Pump and Go Intelligent Pouch and Baby Bottle Warmer System takes the guesswork out of warming bottles. This warmer has a great range for compatibility and is one of the best models designed to work with breast milk pouches.
This warmer heats milk with high levels of accuracy using three buttons on the front.
For people wondering how to use the Tommee Tippee bottle warmer, begin by selecting the temperature of the starting milk from room temperature, refrigerated, or frozen. Then, select the type of container (pouch, glass bottle, or plastic bottle). Finally, choose the amount of milk you are trying to warm, close the lid, and push the power button.
When the bottle is warmed, the device will flash and beep three times. Even though there is a timer in this way, there is no display that tells you how long it will take to warm.
It is nice that you do not have to remove milk from the pouch before using the Tommee Tippee, as this stops mom’s hard work from being lost in the transfer.
Even though it only takes a few minutes to warm the pouches or small bottles, this loses its effectiveness with larger bottles. Some parents say that it might be better to use the hot tap water from your sink.
The Tommee Tippee model is free of BPA and phthalates. It is a little pricier than the average model, possibly because of the included pouch.
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Model is a good choice for parents who want to save money on the Tommee Tippee brand.
The Pump and Go Intelligent warmer is also a little larger than some of the other options.
- Works with breast milk pouches
- Don’t have to guess how long you need to heat milk
- Works with a wide range of bottle sizes and brands
- Easy to use
- No countdown timer
- Larger than some other warmers
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer has simple features like a one-button start and easy-to-use LCD panel. It also can be used several times before needing to be emptied, whereas most bottle warmers need to be refilled with every use.
One of the major benefits of this model is that you do not have to empty it every time you use it.
This works using steam from a water reservoir that can be used several times through the day. Even though the reservoir is a great idea, the way it is installed is not. You must fill it with water and hold it upside down, then install it. This can be messy.
Since this works with steam instead of by submerging the bottle, you don’t have to guess water levels or worry about the water tipping over.
You can set to your preferred heating time once you learn what works best by using the repeat cycle memory.
Other nice features include a single-button start and an audio and visual timer.
Inside the warmer, an adjustable basket lets you accommodate different sizes. It works at a fairly quick rate, warming a 9-ounce Dr. Brown’s bottle in just 5 minutes. (compare Dr. Brown bottles vs Avent bottles).
Even though this is a quality warmer, it is only available to parents in the United States and Canada.
A major downside of this warmer is the clean-up. Even though it does not need to be emptied after each use, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly every week. This is a hassle because of the small parts like the inside of the reservoir.
Over time, using tap water in the warmer makes particles stick to the inside of the machine. You can prevent this by using distilled water. If you are not diligent enough about cleaning, you will notice a mold/mildew smell after a week or two of use.
- Do not need to empty the reservoir after each use
- Warms bottles quickly using steam
- Repeat cycle memory stores preferences
- Very easy to use
- Audio and visual timer
- Difficult to clean
- Hard to install the reservoir
Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer
The speedy Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer won Mom’s Best Pick of 2018. It warms slowly to preserve the nutrients in food and breast milk.
The low warming temperature stops this warmer from heating up milk too much and destroying nutrients. Even so, it works quickly. Food and small bottles take around three minutes, while larger bottles can take up to eight.
It also works with toddler cups, which will be useful when your little one is ready to transition to a cup.
You can control how quickly the food or bottle is prepared by adjusting the temperature dial for cool or warm heating. A warming reference table is included, which takes out some of the guesswork.
It can be difficult to adjust the water level, which should be the same as the contents of the bottle.
Another cool feature is the defrost setting for frozen breast milk. This warms at a higher temperature, without causing hotspots that harm valuable nutrients.
One of the things this warmer is missing is a timer. There is a visible light that flashes when the bottle is warmed, however, you should always test this to be sure it has not been warming too long.
Like many models, you should unplug this and dump the water after each use.
This bottle warmer will not take up excess space on your counter. It is compact and weighs just 1.4 pounds. It is also recommended to use this with normal tap water and clean it with distilled vinegar and water every four weeks.
Like most warmers, this is compatible with a wide range of bottles. If your little one suffers from colic, the Philips Avent could work with some of the bottles on this list of anti-colic baby bottles.
It is free of BPA, phthalates, latex, and lead.
- Free of harmful chemicals
- Has a defrost setting for breastmilk
- Works with bottles, food jars, and toddler cups
- Mom’s Best Pick of 2018
- Can adjust temperature for slow or quick heating
- No timer
- Need to unplug, dump water, and wipe after every use
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Travel Warmer
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Travel Warmer is designed for parents who frequently need to warm bottles on the go. It is designed to work quickly without water.
For parents looking for simplicity on the go, this is a lifesaver. It works as a well-insulated thermos. Pour boiling water inside, be sure the cap is sealed, and go on your way.
As long as the seal is in place, this does not leak (which is a good thing since it is too wide to fit most cup holders). The water stays hot for 12+ hours.
Once you are ready to warm a bottle, place it inside the plastic ‘cup’ that comes with the warmer. Set the bottle (or food jar) inside and press the button on top of the ‘thermos’. Pour it carefully into the warmer. To close the thermos, push the button on top of the lid again.
One of the downsides of this method is that you have to transfer boiling hot water. You cannot pour above a point where you can grab the cup without risk of burning your fingers. This can also be difficult when in a moving car.
The Tommee Tippee travel bottle warmer is more affordable than many other options Its simple design makes it easy to use.
It also avoids the pitfalls of car travel warmers that may take too long or the need to find an electrical outlet while you are out.
- Works with most bottles and food jars
- Does not need electricity to work
- Very affordable
- No-spill seal keeps water inside
- Water will let you warm bottles for hours
- Risk of burning yourself with boiling water
- Does not fit in most car cup holders
- No timer or way to know if the bottle is done
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer
The Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer uses low temperatures and a swirling bath to avoid hotspots. Like the Philips Avent, its focus is not on speed—it is on being sure your baby gets the maximum nutrients from their breast milk, formula, or food once it is warmed up.
An auto shut-off function and low-temperature water bath method let this warmer preserve the nutrients in your child’s food.
Generally, 5-8 minutes are needed to heat a bottle. Some parents note that two cycles are needed to thoroughly heat breast milk from a frozen state.
The unique thing about the Kiinde Kozii warmer is its swirling bath. To use, you fill the reservoir that sits under the bottle of water. Set the bottle inside its holder and push the start button. The water rises and covers the bottle before flowing back into the reservoir. The bath moves the entire time the bottle is being warmed.
Another major benefit of this warmer is that you do not have to refill the reservoir every time it is used.
However, there is a safety feature that can be triggered when the reservoir starts to get dry. The water will rise, but it will not get warm. There are instructions for resetting the device if this happens—it must be unplugged, emptied, and reset.
One major downside is that the device will malfunction permanently if it is run dry more than three times. You must keep it full to continue proper functioning.
The wide range of compatibility lets this be used with metal, glass, and plastic bottles, as well as pouches and food storage containers.
It is also safe, being the first warmer to specifically adhere to guidelines by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
There is some guesswork, as this works using a timer that you set. However, included instructions for bottles, food jars, and more make this a little easier.
- Detailed guide included
- Uses a circulating bath
- Follows USDA and CDC guidelines
- Works for food and a wide range of bottles
- Do not have to refill every time
- Running dry three times destroys warmer
- Might take two cycles to warm frozen breast milk
Munchkin High-Speed Bottle Warmer
The Munchkin High-Speed Bottle Warmer is the fastest bottle warmer on the list, with the manufacturer promising warmed bottles in 90 seconds. It works using a steam bath.
Whether you are warming something frozen, refrigerated, or room temperature, this Munchkin warmer delivers fast. You fill to the indicated line depending on how much you are trying to warm, then place the basket and bottle in place before plugging in the warmer. When everything is in position, turn it on and wait.
It is important to keep the Munchkin warmer out of the reach of children. Steam may escape because there is not a full seal around the top of the device.
Another downside is measuring water levels. To get the perfect temperature, the water levels must be precise. It can be hard to see inside the device to achieve this.
When the bottle is ready, there is an audible alarm. The warmer also shuts itself off, which prevents over-heating of the milk.
This is also compatible with baby food jars.
A nice feature of this warmer is the included adapter ring. The adapter ring creates a better seal for narrow bottles, while wide-mouth bottles fit in the warmer as well. This makes it compatible with many bottle brands.
However, the quick speed that it heats at can cause the glass to crack or break, so it may not be suitable for glass bottles.
The included basket is a nice feature, as it stops burns when you are removing the bottle once heated. You must let the unit cool for five minutes before trying again.
However, this is not an inconvenience since most babies don’t eat back-to-back.
- Basket makes removing bottles or food jars easy
- Automatic shut off and audible timer
- Heats faster than any of the other warmers mentioned
- Adapter ring improves seal for narrower bottles
- Steam bath allows even heating
- Steam may escape from the top, burn risk
- Must be very precise when measuring water
- Not a good choice for glass bottles
BabeBay Deluxe Bottle Warmer
The BabeBay Deluxe Bottle Warmer is designed highly functional, being able to heat food, breast milk, and water, as well as sterilize bottles. It can also hold more than one bottle at once.
An LCD screen lets you view both the temperature that the water is and the ideal temperature for the milk. You can easily adjust it to meet your needs.
What is not as easy to adjust is all the parts. To make this work as a warmer and sterilizer, there are many pieces needed. However, it will get easier to use with practice.
The fact that this is a sterilizer as well makes things more convenient for many parents. It does not have the same problems of mold and mildew growth that are common in some of the other models.
Another convenient feature is the stay-constant temperature setting. This is ideal for parents who want to be prepared when their little one gets hungry.
Unlike other models that shut off, this warmer keeps the milk or formula at a constant temperature. Since it is not fluctuating, it does not allow bacteria growth.
The manufacturer reports that the bottle can stay at the same temperature for up to 24 hours.
Even though this is designed as ‘4-in-1’, many of the other models also heat formula, breastmilk, and food. The only extra feature is the sterilization. For parents who don’t want to use this 4-in-1 warmer and sterilizer, you can find separate sterilizers for your bottles.
The BabeBay warmer is compatible with glass, plastic, and metal bottles. It is constructed using food-grade materials.
It can also warm more than one bottle, which is great when you want to stay prepared and for when you are babysitting or hosting a playdate.
- Can be used as a bottle sterilizer
- Holds two bottles at once
- Keeps milk at a constant temperature for up to 24 hours
- Prevents bacteria, mold, and mildew growth
- Easy-to-use LCD screen
- The 4-in-1 label is misleading
- All the parts can be confusing
The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer is convenient and affordable. It costs around the same as the Tommee Tippee Close to Nature Model, but has additional benefits and is an electrical model.
When you are ready to use this warmer, pull the vial off the side. Fill this with water and pour it in the warmer. It is nice this is conveniently located on the side. Additionally, the clear markings ensure you are adding just enough water.
Put the food jar or bottle inside the basket and place it inside the warmer. Then, set the timer and press the on button. The device will automatically shut itself off once your little one’s food is ready.
This is designed to work with wide, narrow, and angled bottles, which is good for parents who have already chosen a favorite bottle brand.
One downside is that it may take some fiddling to get the timing perfect, especially if you are not using Munchkin bottles.
Though there is a wide range of compatibility, different thicknesses of bottles can make it hard to guess the right time.
Additionally, while there is information about warming times printed on the device, these times are off for some bottles.
This features a sleek design that will easily sit on your countertop. It works with formula, milk, and food jars, as well as pacifiers.
Another benefit is the non-slip feet. This ensures that it stays firmly in place while you are handling the basket and managing water levels.
The ability to pre-measure the liquid and put it in the reservoir is an excellent feature for night feedings. You will be able to put the bottle in the warmer and get it started, rather than struggling while you comfort a cranky baby.
- Pre-fill vial for middle-of-the-night feedings
- Timing instructions conveniently on warmer
- Basket makes handling food jars and bottles easier
- Auto shut-off when the bottle is warmed
- Non-slip legs
- Can be tricky to adjust feeding amount
- Vial is small
Bottle Warmer Buying Guide
Parents want to be confident they are giving their baby the best. There are several types of bottle warmer designed to work for different parenting styles.
Here are a few of your options:
- Standard Bottle Warmer– This is the most basic of the models. Many are designed compatible with a wide range of bottles, some even being universal. Generally, it takes 2+ minutes to use a standard bottle warmer, but this is still a lot faster than warming up using the tap!
- Express Bottle Warmer– This express warmer works fast. Some of these do not work as breast milk, as the warmer works by emitting sterilized warm water and mixing with formula. It is important to be careful using these. If the milk is warmed too quickly, it can cause nutrient loss and hot spots.
- Travel Bottle Warmers– These are designed for parents on the go. Some use an energy source like a battery, while others plug directly into the car. Others (like the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature warmer) are designed to work like a thermos, without an energy source. They are a good investment when you don’t want to search for warm water on the road.
After you have decided on a bottle type, there are many other factors to weigh before making your decision. Here’s a look at what you need to know.
Think about how you want to use your bottle warmer. Do you need it exclusively for bottles, or will you be warming pouches of formula, too?
For mothers who plan on freezing breast milk, they might want to choose a model that has a defrost or heat-from-frozen function.
You should also consider if you want the warmer to heat food. Bottle warmers can be a good alternative to a microwave once your baby is old enough, especially if you want to prevent hot spots.
Even though speed might seem like it is everything in a bottle warmer, what really matters is consistency. Be sure that your little one’s bottle is being warmed right, without hotspots.
Something else to consider is the temperature used for warming. High temperatures can destroy valuable nutrients that your little one needs to thrive.
Something else to keep in mind is that the timing differs depending on the consistency (formula, breastmilk, or food) and the size of what you are warming up.
Ease of Use
When you are stumbling out of bed in the early hours of the morning, the last thing you want is to deal with a complicated warmer. Take the guesswork out of it by looking up tutorials of some of your options online. This will give you an accurate idea of how easy the warmer is to use.
Some models rely on ready-made hot water to warm your baby’s formula and milk. Most rely on some type of battery charge or electricity.
When you are out and about, you may also find models that attach to the cigarette lighter or AC adapter in your car. These seem like good options—but keep in mind that most models plugging into the car take 10+ minutes to heat bottles.
Those that plug into the wall are generally quicker.
Many also require you to keep water handy for using in the warmer.
It can be challenging to plan ahead for feeding time if the bottle warmer does not deliver every time. Choose a warmer that consistently warms milk.
It should not have any hotspots. It should also heat the same amount of milk, formula, or food within the same amount of time each time it is used.
You want your bottle warmer where you can access it. For people with small kitchens or little counter space, a compact model may be best.
However, larger models may be better if you plan on heating more than one bottle at a time. This might happen if you frequently babysit or if you are a parent of twins.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Bottle warmers should make your life easier, not more difficult. Some warmers are difficult to upkeep, while others just require regular wiping.
In many cases, the manufacturer recommends cleaning with white vinegar and water at least once monthly to prevent mineral build-up and mold growth. You can see an example of how to clean the Munchkin bottle warmer here.
Some warmers are designed only with the basics. However, countless others have extra features that add to the quality of the warmer. Here are a few things you might want to consider:
- Audible/Visible Timer– Some warmers do not automatically shut off. The timer alerts you when the bottle has reached the right temperature, getting your attention and preventing over-warming.
- Temperature Adjustment– Have you ever wished you could get your baby’s bottle ready while you were giving them their bedtime bath? By choosing a bottle warmer with adjustable temp settings, you can slow heat bottles when you would like. This helps bottle warming fit around your schedule.
- Automatic Shut-Off– Some warmers automatically shut off after use. This is nice for those times you are busy with your little one and forget about the bottle. For example, if they lay down for a nap while you are waiting.
- Instructions and Guides– Feeding a baby should not be a guessing game. Consider choosing a bottle warmer that comes with clear instructions. If the manufacturer does not include any with the product, look around online.
- Warranty– Warranties are always nice to have, especially for products you plan to get a lot of use out of. It is also a reinforcement that a company values its customers and trusts its own product.
FAQs About the Best Bottle Warmers
Do I Need a Bottle Warmer for My Baby?
Bottle warmers are one of those items that first-time parents aren’t sure if they need.
You absolutely can thaw frozen breast milk and serve it cold or serve cold formula. Most parents choose to warm it up simply because it is more like breast milk and it has the benefits we discussed in the intro. The warmth can make it easier to transition if you are trying to wean or when mom goes for a night out (or goes back to work) and leaves her little one with a sitter.
That being said, it is best to be prepared. By having a bottle warmer, you will be prepared if that is your child’s preference.
You could warm formula or breastmilk up using hot water, but this usually takes longer. Microwaving is not an option because it can destroy breast milk nutrients and create hot spots that might burn your little one.
Bottle warmers deliver a warm bottle fast, typically much faster than you could warm a bottle using hot water.
It is not an absolute necessity for your child, but it is nice to have one on hand!
Does the Warmer Need to Be the Same Brand as the Bottle?
Manufacturers often recommend their customers buy their bottles to accompany their brand of bottle warmer. However, their opinions are a little biased.
Generally speaking, bottle warmers are universally compatible with standard-shaped bottles. Their mouths are made to accommodate different shapes and sizes.
Something that might differ is warming times. A bottle made of thinner materials is going to heat much faster than one made of thick glass.
How Do I Use a Bottle Warmer?
As you consider how to get the best results with a bottle warmer, you should always default to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most bottle warmers work using circulating water or steam. You set the bottle inside and pour water over the top.
Alternatively, you add water to a reservoir and then add the water.
For models requiring you to add the water to the chamber with the bottle, you should match the amount of liquid to stop the bottle from spilling or toppling over.
Next, you set the temperature and/or timer and turn the warmer on according to manufacturer instructions.
Remember that each bottle warmer is unique. You’ll have the best results using manufacturer guidelines. Here is an example of how to use the Tommee Tippee bottle warmer:
Who Makes the Best Bottle Warmer for Breast Milk?
When you are warming breast milk, it is best to choose a warmer compatible with pouches. You lose milk every time you transfer.
Additionally, many mothers freeze their breast milk to ensure it stays fresh. Frozen breast milk will need to be defrosted in pouches.
There are several models mentioned on this list designed to warm breastmilk, including the Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer, the First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer, and the Tommee Tippee Pump and Go Intelligent Warmer.
Are Bottle Warmers Safe?
Generally speaking, bottle warmers are safe.
Some may have hot components that should be kept away from children, but one of the major purposes of a warmer is to stop hotspots from developing in your child’s formula or breast milk.
Still, you should always test the bottle before giving it to them, as some of the machines heat unevenly.
Something else to keep in mind is that you must regularly maintenance the warmer to stop mold and other residues from building up. Always default to manufacturer instructions to do this thoroughly, properly, and regularly.
As you consider what is the best baby bottle warmer rated by moms, know that each mom is as unique as her child. They have their own needs and preferences. Some may need a warmer compatible with breast milk, while others may have a specific brand name they prefer.
The key to finding the perfect bottle warmer for your family is knowing what you need. Be sure to consider the type of warmer, how long it will take it to warm, and which additional features you want.
Then, find something that meets these guidelines—there are plenty of options out there!