The 10 Best Bottle Warmers
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in February of 2015. Microwaving bottles can lead to dangerous hot spots and destroy many of the nutrients in breast milk and formula. So, check out the simple-to-use dedicated warmers on this list instead. They are designed to bring baby milk and food to the optimum temperature safely, ensuring little ones get all the nourishment they need, and some even offer sterilization for bottles and pacifiers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 02, 2020:
Safety is paramount with a bottle warmer, as the last thing you want to do is serve your child milk or formula that is dangerously too hot or too cold. These products either utilize a steam or water bath method for distributing their heat as evenly as possible, though this seems to work better with some models than others. One model from our previous ranking that didn't offer the kind of safety we'd prefer was the Maxx Elite Smart, which had a tendency to run away with its heating process and boil milk and formula, essentially destroying it and rendering it unsafe for consumption. We replaced that with the Philips Avent Fast Baby, which is designed to work with a number of the company's useful tools like toddler cups, making it a more long-term investment than the average warmer.
Others offer temperatures and ranges that can be defined by the user, either by inputting them into the warmer's interface as is the case with the TBI Pro Dual and the Eivotor Steam Double, or by selecting from among a small set of temperature settings, like you see in the capable Baby Brew Portable Pro in our special honors section. Whatever you're leaning toward, definitely consult with your doctor and pediatrician about whether you should be breastfeeding or formula feeding, and see if they have a recommendation from among the choices on our list.
The Baby's Brew Portable Pro For a model you can take just about anywhere with you, this will fit the bill. It runs on batteries, and can warm milk to one of four temperatures for things like breast milk and reflux reduction. It can be purchased with or without a convenient formula dispenser, and the top of the warming base is covered by a pair of friendly rabbit ears. thebabysbrew.com
Why Do I Need a Bottle Warmer?
The microwave's uneven way of heating can cause dangerous hot spots and destroy breast milk's delicate enzymes and valuable immunological properties .
A bottle warmer may seem like a luxury item for some, but many parents find it to be indispensable. Bottle warmers have increased in popularity as it has become more widely known that you should never microwave formula or breast milk. Even though microwave cooking has generally been proven to be safe, there are special risks when it comes to your baby's meals. The microwave's uneven way of heating can cause dangerous hot spots and destroy breast milk's delicate enzymes and valuable immunological properties .
While there are safe, free ways to warm a bottle, they often wastewater and time. Before you have a baby, heating up a pan of water on the stove, removing it from the stove and then patiently waiting for the bottle to gently warm in the water, might sound like a simple, almost relaxing task. But when faced with the reality of stumbling through the kitchen in the middle of the night with your hungry, screaming infant in tow, messing with the stove becomes a safety hazard, and every minute saved is precious.
For the record, it is perfectly safe to feed your baby a bottle straight from the fridge. A few lucky parents may discover that their baby is happy to drink a room temperature or chilled bottle, but most babies will outright refuse a bottle that isn't as warm as milk that comes straight from the breast.
For finicky newborns and tired parents, getting the bottle to the perfect temperature the first time will go a long way towards a more relaxing and tranquil feeding time.
A Brief History of the Bottle Warmer
You might think of bottle warmers as an recent invention, designed to satiate the "Me" generation's need for convenience and instant gratification, but the Hankscraft Company in Wisconsin began marketing novel home convenience products, including electric baby bottle warmers, as far back as the 1950s.
Fortunately, standards about the risks and safety of consumer products have changed.
After World War II, the popularity of scientifically perfect powdered formula paved the way for increased bottle feeding at a time when modern ideas for parenting and infant care were all the rage.
In a time when children played with real mercury in their science kits and could melt lead to make their own toys, scientific advances of the day were not always in the best interests of the child. This asbestos-lined bottle warmer for the automobile is perfect example.
Fortunately, standards about the risks and safety of consumer products have changed. Between the internet and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, parents have access to a lot more information regarding the products they bring into their homes.
How to Choose a Bottle Warmer
While there are dozens of bottle warmers on the market, the majority of them function in one of two ways. They use either a warm water bath or high temperature steam.
Warm water baths are recognized as the safest way to heat a baby bottle. The consistent temperature of the circulating water never gets too hot and leaves little chance for accidentally overheating the milk. This slow, controlled method also meets CDC Guidelines for thawing frozen breast milk. Some warmers will even have a special "thaw" setting.
They use either a warm water bath or high temperature steam.
Steam-heat warmers are often preferred because they are faster, but with the higher heat comes the risk of burns or overheating the milk. If you want the speedy convenience of steam-heat, look for newer models that come with extra features like an automatic shut-off and a removable basket that allows you to take out the bottle without touching it.
If you live in a two story house, splurge on a bottle warmer with an integrated cooler and save yourself trips up and down the stairs to get to the kitchen. These coolers are designed to keep up to two bottles refrigerated overnight until your baby is ready for feeding.
It is never advisable to purchase a used bottle warmer because it's important to know if the unit has been maintained, and you need to register your unit to keep up with product safety recalls. Maintenance is simple, but vital towards keeping your unit functioning properly.
A monthly vinegar rinse to remove mineral deposits is all most warmers need to stay safe and reliable. Some models have a handy water reservoir so you don't need to keep refilling it after every bottle. They will need to be cleaned more often to guard against mold and mildew.