The 10 Best Baby Bottles
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in May of 2016. When it comes to feeding time for a little one, there is an enormous choice in baby bottles. Whether you favor glass, silicone, or BPA-free plastic, we've found options to fit your needs. Our top picks are available in a variety of styles to suit any taste, with useful features such as anti-colic designs, easy-to-grip shapes, wide mouths for a quick cleanup, and measuring marks. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 10, 2020:
There’s no single best baby bottle out there, as every child is different. Finding the right one can take trial and error and a lot of patience, but thankfully, many bottles mimic mom's breast and nipple and boast thoughtful designs that help baby latch and hold onto them, all while being free of BPA, lead, latex, phthalates and other concerning chemicals.
Our latest round of updates saw the removal of the Medela Breast Milk Set, which had more than several confirmed complaints regarding the quality of their nipples. We added the Evenflo Premium Proflo in their stead. The Evenflo models boast an angled design that helps keep baby in a semi-upright feeding position and have technology to keep air and bubbles at bay. That makes them a solid choice for little ones who are prone to gas, acid reflux, and colic.
We also removed the Nuk Perfect Fit in favor of the Nuk Simply Natural, an upgraded design that was accepted by 96% of babies during independent market research from 2019. And finally, because of leaking issues and complaints regarding the cleaning process, we said goodbye to Mixie Magic in favor of the PopYum Dispenser, which also features a one-handed, formula-mixing design, but with superior construction and more thoughtful features.
Many of the options on this list are compatible with popular breast pumps and bottle sterilizers, with some being dishwasher and microwave safe as well.
Babylist Bottle Box This box from Babylist contains five popular bottles to enable new parents to try out different selections to see which works best for them before buying an entire set. It includes a Comotomo bottle for babies who switch between bottle and breast, a Nuk Simply Natural that's helpful for transitioning, a Herobility HeroBottle, Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow, and finally, a Nanobébé Breastmilk Bottle, which sports a breast-inspired shape. babylist.com
The Best Bottle For Your Baby
While any bottle worth your consideration should be free of BPA, phthalates, PVC, and lead, that still doesn't mean that all materials are equal.
Choosing the right bottle for your baby is no small matter; finding the right baby bottle means identifying a tool your child (or a child in your charge) will use to receive nourishment and hydration. Almost any parent who has been through the struggle of finding a bottle for their child will agree that it's seldom a one step process.
In fact, the experienced parent (or the family that has done its homework) will often buy two different bottles with markedly different designs and try them each out in the early days of bottle feeding. A bit of wasted cash is well worth dodging days of stressful feedings if your baby does happen to gravitate to a specific bottle design right away.
As no one can accurately predict which nipple shape a child will find the most agreeable, considering the shape of a bottle's nipple need not be a primary concern in shopping for a baby bottle (make sure to find a unit with a different design if your child resists the first bottle, of course). Instead start with the most basic factor: liquid capacity. If you are giving a bottle of formula or breast milk to a newborn, it's quite unlikely he or she will consume more than four ounces per meal, and thus almost any baby bottle on the market will offer enough liquid per feeding. For children well into their first year, you should be considering bottles with an eight-ounce capacity -- you might only fill the bottle rarely, but it's better to have the extra room available for the child with the growing appetite.
Next consider the bottle's material. While any bottle worth your consideration should be free of BPA, phthalates, PVC, and lead, that still doesn't mean that all materials are equal. While glass baby bottles may be the easiest to keep clean, as they can be boiled for the ultimate sterilization, they tend to be heavier, which can make them harder for a child to hold on his or her own. (And of course even a glass bottle with a protective sleeve can shatter if dropped far enough or bumped with enough force.) Some bottles have soft sides that can be easy and comfortable for a baby to grasp, but watch out when packing them in a diaper bag, purse, or your luggage, as when squeezed, they may expel milk or formula.
Finally, do consider price. Some baby bottles can be costly when sold individually, while others come in multi-packs that are more wallet-friendly. As you search for the right nipple design, bottle shape, and size, it's OK to mind the budget.
Other Baby Bottle Accessories
Finding the right baby bottle is a big accomplishment for a parent, nanny, or other caregiver. It means reduced stress for the adult and child alike as feeding times become more efficient and productive, with less time spent fussing and more time spent on nourishment. But a bottle alone is just the start of the bottle feeding story, as it were.
Putting a bib on your child before a bottle feeding can mean not having to change his or her entire outfit later.
Picking a baby bottle made from materials that are safe and certified nontoxic is a necessary first step in keeping a child healthy, but proper cleaning of the bottle and its various attachments is also critical. After every use, a bottle should be rinsed out with water and then cleaned with a mild soap, then thoroughly rinsed again. Allowing the bottle to fully dry is also of great importance. A good dish drying rack can provide the ideal design a bottle needs to fully drip and air dry, reducing the chance for mold or mildew growth to commence.
Regular use of a bottle brush is also a good way to break up and remove any remnants of milk or formula that may have been left in the bottle after a rinsing. So long as your baby's bottle is rated safe for such treatment, it's also a good idea to periodically run the bottle and its parts through the dishwasher and even to submerge them in boiling water for a tried and true way to kill off all bacteria.
To make a bottle more enjoyable for the infant partaking of its contents, consider using a bottle warmer. Unlike the process of microwaving a bottle, which can damage the nutrients within its milk or formula, or submerging it in hot water, which can make temperature regulation difficult, bottle warmers gently warm fluids to the ideal temperature for a young child's comfort and pleasure.
And of course don't forget to have a bib or burp cloth (or two) on hand for catching and/or cleaning up the drips, dribbles, and spit-ups that occur with feeding an infant. Putting a bib on your child before a bottle feeding can mean not having to change his or her entire outfit later.
Why BPA And Phthalates Are To Be Avoided
Bisphenol A is a chemical additive common in plastics ranging form vehicle dashboards to molded furniture to food service items, such as cups, baby bottles, and more. Or rather it was once common (indeed nearly ubiquitous) up until recent years, when fears over the health impact of this plastic softening and preserving chemical saw its use begin a precipitous decline.
While lower levels of BPA may be relatively harmless for adults, it is more dangerous for smaller children, and its ingestion should generally be avoided by everyone.
The hazards to human health caused by Bisphenol A -- better known as BPA -- are caused by its ability to act like an endocrine disrupter; that is to say BPA harms the body's ability to create and distribute many of the hormones needed for proper growth, development, and general maintenance of healthiness. While lower levels of BPA may be relatively harmless for adults, it is more dangerous for smaller children, and its ingestion should generally be avoided by everyone.
Phthalates are yet another once common class of chemicals used to keep plastics softer and more malleable, making them easier to mold into goods and protecting the lifespan of items so produced. Too much exposure to phthalates during the early years of development may hamper proper development of the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, and the reproductive system. In studies conducted on laboratory animals, these compounds had the most marked effect on developing testes.