Since I recently did an article about baby bottles, I thought it would be a good idea to take the time to write detailed bottle warmer reviews while I’m on the subject.
I did a detailed research when I was picking out a bottle warmer for my son Leo, so I’m going to share some tips on how to choose the best one. On top of that, I’ll pick out seven models that fit the set criteria the most; that way, you’ll have an easier time making your choice.
Why Do You Need A Bottle Warmer
Raising a baby is by no means budget-friendly; I get it, you already spent an insane amount of money on other baby stuff that is considered a must-have and might think you’ll manage without a bottle warmer. With alternative methods of warming up your child’s milk, like using hot water or the microwave, you may think of a bottle warmer as something other than a necessity, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
The truth is, the results these methods will give can never be as reliable as using a unit made explicitly for warming up baby bottles.
Why Should You Avoid The Microwave?
I get that this method is convenient and takes the least amount of time, but if you’re using plastic bottles, you need to stop immediately. When you heat plastic in the microwave, it releases chemicals into your baby’s milk, which is something you should avoid at any cost. On top of that, if you’re warming up breastmilk, it will likely kill a lot of the nutrients in it. The same goes for formula, which has a recommended heating temperature (determined by the brand and listed in the preparation instructions found on the package), that shouldn’t be exceeded.
Why Using Hot Water Isn’t The Best Alternative Solution Either?
Its main drawback is its inconvenience. It will take a lot more time to heat up a bottle using warm water; not only does it take forever, but also wastes a lot of water in the process. There’s always the possibility of the bottle itself and the milk on the outer side becoming too hot, while the milk in the center of the bottle stays barely lukewarm.
Important Features To Look For In A Bottle Warmer
- Efficiency – You need to make sure that the bottle warmer can heat up a bottle evenly, to avoid any hot spots that could hurt your baby’s mouth. Consider if the unit is capable of warming up a chilled bottle, too.
- Warming speed – Another essential factor to consider is how long will it take to do the job. If it’s not able to do it quickly, it will be a waste of time (and money). The fastest warmers are the ones that cover the bottle with water, while those that use steam take a bit more time. If you’ve ever dealt with a hungry, crying baby while you were warming up a bottle, then you know that each minute spent waiting for the bottle to be ready seems like a century.
- Keeping all the nutrients intact – A bottle warmer that kills some of the nutrients in milk when you use it is no good at all. Pay attention to this when choosing a model; it should do the job without compromising the nutritional quality of breastmilk or formula.
- Mobility and Compact design – You want a bottle warmer that can easily be packed when you’re planning a trip with your baby. Also, since you’ll have to keep the unit on your kitchen counter, you want one that will take as little space as possible.
- Ease of use – Even though you’ll inevitably have to make an effort to learn how to use bottle warmers, it shouldn’t be too hard.
- Maintenance – No one wants to spend a lot of time cleaning the bottle warmer, especially not with all those bottles you need to wash at the end of the day. My best advice is to look for a unit that doesn’t require more than a weekly cleaning to prevent any mold and residue build-up.
- Using it for multiple bottles – Twin babies mean double the work; with a bottle warmer capable of heating more than one bottle at a time, this doesn’t have to be the case. Also, consider the size of the reservoir – can it hold enough water for more than one use?
- Versatility – This feature comes down to using the unit to heat up bottles that are not standard-sized or made out of different materials. For example, if you own a Comotomo bottle, which is a lot wider than a standard one, you need to make sure the heating chamber is wide enough to fit the bottle. Also, check if the appliance can be used to warm up baby food.
What Do You Need A Bottle Warmer For: Common Use
You can’t expect from a single unit to excel in every criterion previously mentioned – you’ll probably have to sacrifice some features to get others. To find the best one for you, consider what you’ll use it for the most and choose accordingly.
- Home Use – For those of you that plan on using the bottle warmer at home exclusively, the choice is less hard because there are less specific demands the unit has to meet. However, consider available kitchen counter space because the warmer will spend the entire first year of your baby’s life sitting on it.
- Suitable for Car Use – If you’re looking for a bottle heater to use on the go, then you’ll hugely benefit from one that can connect to the car’s power outlet. These are always a better choice than those that don’t need a power source.
- Traveling – Anyone who’s ever gone on a trip with a baby knows how much stuff they need to pack – a bottle warmer being one of them. If you want a unit that you can bring with you, look for one that is lightweight and compact, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space in the suitcase. For situations like this, I recommend getting a self-powered bottle warmer.
- Warming up Breastmilk – Breastmilk can be considered liquid gold when it comes to your child’s nutrition during the first year of their life. Look for a model that’s made explicitly for warming breastmilk.
- Dealing with a Fussy Baby – If your baby gets fussy when they’re hungry, you’ll need the quickest solution possible, so consider how fast the unit can warm up a bottle – some of them can do it in a minute, which makes them the ideal choice for situations like this.
How To Use A Bottle Warmer
Before we move on to the actual products, I’ll give you some tips on how to use a bottle warmer to assure best possible results and durability of the unit you choose.
- Make sure you pour the adequate amount of water in the reservoir. Consider the size of the bottle when you do this to prevent overflowing.
- Place the bottle in the heating chamber and set the timer or temperature (if possible) before you turn on the unit.
- Once the heating cycle is done, remove the bottle carefully, so you don’t burn yourself. Remember to check milk temperature on the back of your wrist, too. For a precise temperature reading, use a contactless thermometer – put the probe as close to the outer side of the bottle as possible, but remember to shake it beforehand, so that the temperature of milk evens out throughout the bottle.
Tip: To make sure your bottle warmer stays in best possible shape, you should descale it every now and then; this can be done with a mixture of water (around 3.5 ounces) and vinegar (roughly 1.5 ounces). Pour the mixture in the unit, let it go through one warming cycle, leave it for a few minutes, and then rinse and dry the appliance. That should take care of any unwanted build-up in the unit.
Top 7 Baby Bottle Warmers On The Market – My Reviews
1. Editor’s Pick – Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer – Best Bottle Warmer for Breastmilk
If you’re looking for a bottle warmer with a universal heating chamber, it doesn’t get much better than the Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer. You can use it for plastic, glass, and stainless steel bottle – or even bags. It warms up breastmilk, formula, and baby food with equal efficiency; you can set it to accommodate each of these food categories. Also, there is a defrost option, suitable for when only frozen formula or breastmilk is available.
The best thing is it does so without killing all the valuable nutrients because it uses a low-temperature water bath (and not steam) to warm up bottles; this is called the SAFEheat technology. I highly recommend it if you plan on using it for breastmilk, because out of all bottle warmers I’ve researched, this one’s proved to be the best one for the job.
Low heat is distributed evenly by circulating warm water around the bottle; this prevents the creation of hot spots that can burn your baby’s tender mouth. Once the heating cycle is over, the water is drained back to the reservoir to prevent overheating; you will be notified when this happens (even though the sound might not be loud enough) and the unit will automatically shut off after that.
- Up to ten uses out of a single reservoir filling
- Easy to use
- Has a countdown timer
- Auto shut-off feature
- Water draining feature prevents overheating
- Suitable for glass, plastic, and stainless steel bottles
- Preserves breastmilk nutrients
- Has an overflow valve
- The end-cycle audio notification could be louder
2. Alternative Pick – Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer
The Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer uses steam technology to warm up your child’s bottles and even food jars. Alternatively, you can use it as a sterilizer for smaller items like pacifiers; no wonder it’s the choice of many parents around the world.
What makes it stand out are its fantastic safety features – it comes with a basket used to remove hot bottles or food jars without getting burned, a lid that will protect you from the steam, and an auto shut-off feature that kicks in after ten minutes. You’ll be notified the heating cycle has ended both by a flashing light and alarm, so there’s no need to sit around and wait when you have better things to do.
Even though its big reservoir that holds enough water to warm up multiple bottles before needing a refill is one of the leading advantages, consider it a drawback, too. That is because it’s not easy to clean – it’s not detachable, so correctly washing it might take some serious effort.
If you prefer a steam bottle warmer over a water bath one, you should opt for this Dr. Brown’s model; that’s why I offered it as an alternative.
- Auto shut-off feature
- Remembers your preferred heating cycle time
- LCD control panel
- Notifies you when warming is complete
- Doesn’t take up a lot of counter space
- Can be used as a sterilizer for pacifiers
- Safety lid contains steam
- Cleaning is complicated
- Kills some of the nutrients in breastmilk
- Can’t be used for wide bottles
3. Upgrade Choice – Beleef Baby Bottle Warmer Steam Sterilizer
Even though it costs a bit more than an average bottle warmer on my list, the outstanding high-quality features of this unit entirely justify the price.
This Baby Bottle Warmer Steam Sterilizer by Beleef is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a three-in-one unit. Not only will it save some precious counter space since you won’t need three different appliances, but it will also save you some money in the long run – you won’t have to buy a bottle warmer, food heater and sterilizer separately. Overall, this is a good investment for those of you with a baby on the way; you may not know it yet, but you’ll need all of the appliances mentioned above, so why not get one that does it all?
Depending on what you’re using the unit for, there are three temperature scales – for milk, food, and sterilization, with an overall range from 95℉ to 212℉. And once the heating process is over, the bottle (or food jar) will be kept at the set temperature until you come to get it out.
Besides its versatility, I have to mention another fantastic thing about this product – the fact that it’s capable of warming up two bottles at once, so parents of twins, rejoice! Manufacturers have thought of you and made a bottle warmer that will cut your meal preparation time in half.
- Works as a bottle warmer, food heater and sterilizer
- Anti-dry-heating system
- Temperature control (98-108℉) in five scales
- Heat preservation function
- Lightweight and compact
- Can warm up two bottles at a time
- Short power cord
- Doesn’t have a precise scale for how much water to pour in
- Not budget-friendly
4. Budget Choice – The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
For those parents that are on a tight budget, but still understand the importance of owning a bottle warmer, The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer might be the right choice.
You need to keep in mind that with a price that low, you can’t expect the same high-quality features some more expensive units offer; this, however, doesn’t mean you can’t rely on this bottle warmer when it’s time to prepare a bottle for your little one in less than five minutes.
Since this is a pretty straightforward unit, without the bells and whistles that come with pricier models, it is effortless to use it – fill the reservoir with water, place the bottle inside, and push the button. Once the heating cycle is over, the light will turn off, and the warmer will shut off automatically, which is a valuable safety feature.
There are a few issues that I need to mention, though. The warmer doesn’t have a reservoir, which means you’ll have to refill it before every use; on top of that, it doesn’t heat up the bottle evenly, so you might be left with hot spots and a bottle too hot to handle bare-handed.
- Warms up a bottle in under 5 minutes
- Extremely budget-friendly
- Auto shut-off feature
- Suitable for different bottle shapes and sizes
- No built-in reservoir
- Doesn’t heat up the bottle evenly
- It has a cool-down period of 10 minutes after every use
5. Best Travel Bottle Warmer – Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer
My pick for the best travel bottle warmer is the Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer, a unit that comes from a trusted manufacturer that is a go-to choice for many parents out there.
The unit consists out a stainless steel thermal bottle and a container in which you place the bottle. As you might have guessed, you pour hot water in the thermos capable of keeping its temperature unchanged for hours. Then, when you need to warm up some milk, you pour the water from the thermos into the container and place the bottle in it; it will do the job in under five minutes. However, since there are no additional features such as a timer, you’ll have to go through some trial and error before finding the exact amount of time needed to warm up a bottle to the desired temperature. And once your baby moves on to solid foods, you can use this warmer to heat up food jars on the go.
The fact that you can use it anywhere and anytime makes it an ideal choice for traveling – it doesn’t need a power source to work. On top of that, it’s very lightweight and small, so it won’t take up a lot of space when packed in a suitcase.
- Doesn’t need a power source
- You can use it for different bottle shapes and sizes
- Easy to use
- You can use it to warm up food as well
- Doesn’t leak
- Thermal bottle holds enough water for only two feedings
- Doesn’t work well with frozen milk
- Not entirely safe to use around your little one
6. Best Car Bottle Warmer – Munchkin Travel Car Baby Bottle Warmer
The Munchkin Travel Car Baby Bottle Warmer is the best choice for long car drives that overlap with at least one feeding session and a lot of parents will agree with me on that.
The unit is powered by connecting to your car’s adapter, which makes it super convenient for life on the road. It works the same way as a heating blanket, which makes it a genuine user-friendly bottle warmer. Since it doesn’t include any water reservoirs, you can safely use it in the car.
One thing you need to keep in mind – this is the case with many car bottle warmers – is that it will take a bit longer to warm up a bottle. It will turn off after a 5-minute heating cycle, but that probably won’t be enough for chilled bottles; these might take as long as 20 minutes. It’s not an instant bottle warmer, but it will do the job, and that’s what matters most in situations when you don’t have other options at hand. To make the process a bit faster, you can use bottles that were kept at room temperature.
- Doesn’t use water in the heating process
- Shuts off automatically after every 5-minute cycle
- Adjustable band to fit different bottle sizes
- Easy to use
- The adapter has lights for nighttime use
- Takes a bit more time to warm up a bottle
- Doesn’t warm up ergonomically shaped bottles evenly
7. Fastest Bottle Warmer – Munchkin High Speed Bottle Warmer
If your baby tends to get extremely fussy when they’re hungry and can’t be bothered to wait even a couple of minutes for you to warm up a bottle, then the Munchkin High Speed Bottle Warmer is the right choice for you – it manages to heat up a bottle in just 90 seconds.
The problem with a unit that’s capable of warming up a bottle this fast is that it might do it too quickly – this can destroy some of the nutrients found in milk which is a huge disadvantage from a health point of view. Another thing that you need to have in mind is that the bottle could get too hot to handle; the manufacturer addressed this by providing a basket for safe removal of bottles and jars from the appliance.
This Munchkin bottle warmer has an auto shut-off feature or all those situations when it’s the middle of the night, and you’re half-awake in the kitchen heating up a bottle for your baby. You can return to your child without worrying if you turned it off or not.
- Warms up bottles in just 90 seconds
- It can be used to heat up baby food
- Has an auto shut-off feature
- Easy to use
- It can fit larger bottles as well
- It has a cool-down period after every use
- It might warm up milk unevenly
- Bottles can get too hot to handle bare-handed
The Final Verdict
I’ve given you a variety of models to choose from – each of them carefully picked out to suit different lifestyles and needs. My personal favorite, however, is the Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer – it will do what it’s supposed to without compromising the quality of milk in the process. In case you prefer a steam bottle warmer, you can opt for the Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer. I’m sure you’ll be equally happy with either one of these models.
I hope you found this article helpful and enjoyed reading it; if you have any additional questions about choosing the right bottle warmer, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Hi, This is Emma Baster; As a mom, I spend my free time caring for my kids. I’ve read a lot on the Internet to improve my childcare skill and bring the best to my kids. Eruditemommy shares my knowledge and experience through helpful posts. I hope you enjoy them!