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The Test to find the Best Baby Bottle

BabyGearLab's baby bottle finalists lined up for detailed hands-on testing! 

Which emerge as the top baby bottle when 18 of the most popular competitors are compared side-by-side? In this review, we took 18 of the top rated and most popular bottles on the market to see how they compared side-by-side. We set out to answer questions like: do all those anti-colic vents and valves really matter? Which nipple size and shape is best for baby? After months of hands-on-testing, we rated each on nipple comfort, ease-of-use, ease-of-cleaning, leakage in both feeding and travel, and on one of today's ever important topics, eco-health. With all that testing date, we then narrowed down our favorites, with reasons why, to share with you! Read on for the full review and comparisons.


Total 18 products tested.

Compare Gear Review Summary Retail Price Overall Rating"" Category Ratings
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Nipple" "Ease-of-cleaning" "Leakage" "Ease-of-use" "Eco-health"
"Pura

""

""

Pura Kiki Infant
The Pura Kiki Infant Bottle is one you can hands-down feel good about using with your baby. It is our Top Pick for Green Baby Bott…
""
$14

"Top
100
0
89
"Nipple
8
"Ease-of-cleaning
9
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
9
"Eco-health
10
"Tommee

""

""

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
Out of the box, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature baby bottle is nothing fancy. It's a short and sturdy little bottle, which we'…
""
$13

"Best
100
0
85
"Nipple
9
"Ease-of-cleaning
9
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
8
"Eco-health
6
"Comotomo

""

""

Comotomo Natural Feel
Comotomo won our Editors' Choice award baby bottles. It offers a cutting edge look and feel that caught our attention right away w…
""
$16

"Editors'
100
0
83
"Nipple
9
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
7
"Eco-health
8
"Lifefactory

""

""

Lifefactory Glass
The Lifefactory Glass Bottle is one of our favorite eco-friendly options. It has a modern, clean look, simple assembly, and the pr…
""
$15

100
0
82
"Nipple
6
"Ease-of-cleaning
8
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
9
"Eco-health
10
"Playtex

""

""

Playtex Drop-ins Premium Nurser
The Playtex Drop-Ins Nurser scored big with our testers, and most especially with those Moms who were breast pumping. The pump-st…
""
$7

"Top
100
0
80
"Nipple
9
"Ease-of-cleaning
10
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
7
"Eco-health
2
"Medela

""

""

Medela BPA-free
Medela's simple design and clearly marked measurements, combined with the fact that it's a great choice for pumping and storing br…
""
$7

100
0
78
"Nipple
6
"Ease-of-cleaning
9
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
9
"Eco-health
6
"NUK

""

""

NUK Orthodontic
The NUK Orthodontic offers a nice latch that we think most babies would be comfortable with, especially if they're already using t…
""
$5

100
0
76
"Nipple
8
"Ease-of-cleaning
9
"Leakage
7
"Ease-of-use
8
"Eco-health
6
"Born

""

""

Born Free Wide Neck
We liked the Born Free bottle for its durability and baby-friendly design. However, it's anti-colic vent system left us again wit…
""
$10

100
0
76
"Nipple
8
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
8
"Ease-of-use
7
"Eco-health
7
"Evenflo

""

""

Evenflo Classic Glass
Evenflo got it right when they labeled this bottle "Classic". It reminds us of the baby bottles from the 50's; simply glass with…
""
$11

100
0
75
"Nipple
3
"Ease-of-cleaning
9
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
7
"Eco-health
10
"The

""

""

The First Years Breastflow
The First Years Breastflow is another one of the bottles we tested that offers a unique design feature that sounded great on paper…
""
$8

100
0
69
"Nipple
5
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
6
"Eco-health
6
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Nipple" "Ease-of-cleaning" "Leakage" "Ease-of-use" "Eco-health"
"Dr.

""

""

Dr. Browns Glass
Dr. Brown's bottles are probably one of the most recognized "anti-colic" baby bottles. At first glance, there's a normal looking …
""
$7

100
0
63
"Nipple
5
"Ease-of-cleaning
6
"Leakage
7
"Ease-of-use
4
"Eco-health
9
"mimijumi"

""

""

mimijumi
With a life-like design that might have a tendency to make one blush, the Very Hungry by mimimjumi certainly bears a strong resemb…
""
$29

100
0
60
"Nipple
2
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
5
"Eco-health
6
"Philips

""

""

Philips AVENT BPA-free
Philips is a well-known quality provider of baby products, and we generally find their products to be top performing. However, in …
""
$9

100
0
60
"Nipple
7
"Ease-of-cleaning
8
"Leakage
4
"Ease-of-use
5
"Eco-health
6
"First

""

""

First Essentials Silicone Bottle
The Gerber First Essentials is a very popular bottle that bottoms out on cost, but in this case, we feel you get what you pay for….
""
$3

100
0
57
"Nipple
2
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
9
"Ease-of-use
8
"Eco-health
2
"Dr.

""

""

Dr. Browns Standard BPA-free
One of the most popular bottles in the anti-colic line up, Dr. Brown's is unique for it's two part "straw" vent. Although we noti…
""
$7

100
0
57
"Nipple
5
"Ease-of-cleaning
5
"Leakage
7
"Ease-of-use
4
"Eco-health
6
"Playtex

""

""

Playtex Ventaire
The Playtex VentAire is a skinny bottle with an angled neck we found to be both good and bad. The extra parts involved in it's an…
""
$4

100
0
55
"Nipple
5
"Ease-of-cleaning
4
"Leakage
7
"Ease-of-use
4
"Eco-health
6
"Adiri

""

""

Adiri Natural Nurser Ultimate
Eye-catching at first, the Adiri Nurser had our attention right out of the box. An all-in-one design, it's more like one giant ni…
""
$13

100
0
48
"Nipple
3
"Ease-of-cleaning
7
"Leakage
3
"Ease-of-use
7
"Eco-health
7
"MAM

""

""

MAM BPA-free
The MAM is a squat little bottle that we found to be complicated and leaky. Another bottle that unscrews from both the top and th…
""
$4

100
0
45
"Nipple
4
"Ease-of-cleaning
6
"Leakage
3
"Ease-of-use
5
"Eco-health
6
Compare
up to 5
Products sorted by Overall Rating score List Price Score 0-100 "Nipple" "Ease-of-cleaning" "Leakage" "Ease-of-use" "Eco-health"





 

Buying Advice
By Lindsay Ellis ⋅ Review Editor, BabyGearLab 
Drinking from the Lifefactory Glass bottle.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis

Whether you're expecting or you've just welcomed that tiny bundle of joy, you're already attuned to the decisions a new parent is faced with. Some of those choices are huge, life altering even. Will I work or stay at home? If I do work, who is going to care for my baby? Who should my baby's doctor be? Other choices, though still important, just aren't as major. Which pattern for the nursery? Which outfit should baby go home in? And then there are those that fall right in the middle. Items like diapers, strollers, car seats, and baby bottles often land in that "just-point-and-pick-one" category. It's great to have options but for a new parent standing in the baby isle for the first time, it can be overwhelming.

Here, at BabyGearLab, we're parents who've been there. We see great value in taking a close look at the products you'll be using, so you're not left wondering if there could be something better. And we didn't just set out to find better; we're looking for the best, and in this case, our focus was on Baby Bottles.

A newborn has to eat, and the options are breast, bottle, or a combination of the two. When it comes to baby bottles, there are a myriad of choices regarding size, shape and feel of the nipple as well as the bottle itself. When this is combined with different vents and valves, all claiming to "keep baby's tummy happy," you'll need to make a spreadsheet just to keep up! 

Based on valid concern of synthetic estrogen-mimicking chemicals in plastic, the options are quite varied when it comes to the materials in baby bottles. Is it really enough that most bottles on the market these days are BPA-free? Should you spend more and err on the side of an inert, safer material like glass?

We've assessed and weighed these many options for you. Read on to find out what you should be looking for in a baby bottle.

Leakage

"Click

Here's another instance where we came back to find the Adiri had leaked. This time milk had just seeped out the bottom, all over the counter.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis

Or more importantly, lack thereof. First of all, it's OK to cry over spilled milk! You work hard for that milk, whether pumping or mixing, it's a drag to watch it go to waste, especially due to a bottle malfunction. A bottle that's easy to assemble quickly or drowsily…in the dark…with a squirmy baby in hand (yes this will happen!) AND present a leak-free feeding experience is key. A new parent has enough to worry about besides making sure the bottle is put together properly, and once it is, having to watch for leaks. Usually, the more pieces (as in vents and valves) a bottle has, the more susceptible it is to leakage. We recommend starting out with a simple bottle at first like the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature or Lifefactory Glass to see if you can avoid the risk. 

Another instance where leaks can be a hassle is on the go. You should be able to toss a full bottle in your diaper bag and be out the door. Most bags have a pocket for bottles specifically, which helps keep them upright, but just in case the bag tips or the bottle gets shoved somewhere else, you still want to be confident you'll end up with a dry bag and a meal for your baby. The best bottles have a travel cap that audibly "snaps" on and comes in contact with the top of the nipple. This "plugs" the nipple hole and should keep milk where it belongs. 

To take the mystery out of whether a bottle leaks, you'll see that each bottle we've tested is given a 1-10 rating on leakage, which represents 30% of the bottle's overall score from our tests. 

Nipple

 

"Click

The Tommee Tippee nipple fits our best-of criteria: wide base with a soft, pliable nipple.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis

This is the part your baby actually acquires their sustenance from so it's very important to choose a good one! They come in all shapes and sizes but what you're looking for is that baby has a comfortable, solid latch. Baby shouldn't be gagging, smacking or leaking a lot of milk from the corners of their mouth. A nipple with a large base and supple feel will most closely mimic the breast and give baby that preferred latch. Our three highest rating bottles, Tommee Tippee Closer to NaturePlaytex Drop-ins and the Comotomo Natural Feel each have a nipple that meets the criteria, and that doesn't surprise us at all.

Nipple material is also important. Clear silicone is most popular, but you'll also come across bottles that have a latex option. Although softer than silicone, latex breaks down much more quickly which means it needs to be replaced often and should never be subjected to the high heat of a dishwasher. Some babies can also be allergic to it. Our recommendation is to avoid latex if you can.

The flow of the nipple is important as well. Newborn bottles (typically for age 0-3 months) come with a "slow flow" nipple and this can vary greatly between brands. Baby shouldn't be struggling or frustrated trying to get the milk out, nor should they be overwhelmed with a mouth full of milk they can't swallow fast enough. 

We rated each bottle 1-10 on nipple quality and performance, representing 25% of the weighting in the overall scores.

Cleaning

"Click

Washing bottles. Every bottle we tested is rated "Top-rack Dishwasher Safe," but experts recommend handwashing plastic baby bottles and parts. The friction and high temperatures in a dishwashing machine can break down the plastic and cause leaching.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis

A new baby needs to eat at least every 2-4 hours, which means an exclusively bottle-fed baby could be using over 12 bottles a day! Washing bottles every day will become part of your routine, and trust us, you don't want it to be a major part. The bottles we tested all recommend boiling for 5 minutes in a pot of water to sterilize them, then hand washing in warm soapy water. They all claim "top-rack dishwasher safe" as well, but hand washing will extend the life of your bottles and is recommended by manufacturers and experts alike, especially for plastic bottles and parts. Plastic is known to break down after repeated heat cycles of the dishwasher, which can lead to leaching of chemicals into milk or formula. 

When it comes to washing bottles, we hold firmly to a "less is more" stance. That is, less parts to wash = more time for you. Many of the special valves and vents require extra time and care to wash due to tiny crevices and holes. Some of the pieces are also very small and/or clear and can easily be swept down the drain with a sink full of soapy water. As we stated regarding leakage, start out simple (Tommee TippeeMedela BPA-free) to see if you can manage with out the hassle of all those parts.

One final tip: buy a bottle brush and a small brush for cleaning nipples and valves. A good set of bottle brushes makes bottle cleaning faster and more efficient. You'll be using them for years too, since hand washing is also recommended for the sippy cups in your future. 

Each bottle tested was given a 1-10 score for ease of cleaning, which represents 20% of overall score.

Overall Ease-of-Use

 
Feeding time, whether by breast or bottle, is one of the most tender and special times you'll have with your baby. Nothing should interrupt that, especially hassling with a bottle. A bottle should be easy to wash, assemble and fill, travel well, and most importantly, give baby and you a comfortable, uninterrupted meal. 

You'll want to note if the bottle's shape and weight feels good "in-hand". Stainless steel and glass are heavier but probably worth it for the health benefits. Think about washing and filling it. A wider-mouthed bottle is much easier to dump breast milk or powdered formula into without making a mess. The bottle should be durable and have easy to read measures so you know exactly how much baby is getting. It should have a well-fitting travel cap that stays on and keeps milk in when on the go. 

Each bottle was rated on ease of use, and that score factored in at 10% weight to the overall score. 

Eco-Health

 

"Click

The three glass bottles we tested, from left to right, Dr. Brown's Glass, Lifefactory Glass, and Evenflo Classic Glass.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis

As we learn more and more about the dangers of some chemicals, especially those found in plastics, we strongly urge caution. Yes, bottles on the market today carry a "BPA-free" label, but we're not confident that it's enough. Glass, an old stand-by, is making a stealthy comeback in the baby bottle world. Three of the bottles we tested were glass and many companies are now producing a glass version of their product. Glass doesn't carry the risk of leaching potentially harmful chemicals into your baby's food, plus it's better for the environment as glass bottles tend to last longer and can be recycled. 

There are some downsides to glass such as the fact that it's heavier than plastic and more prone to chip, crack or break. You can purchase special silicone sleeves to reduce this risk and some bottles, like the Lifefactory Glass, even come with one. Glass also heats faster than plastic so use caution and always check temperature before giving it to baby.

Another up-and-coming health conscious option is stainless steel. The Pura Kiki is a stainless steel bottle that made our finalist selection, and then proved itself by becomingthe top scoring product. This was largely due to the fact that it is a 100% plastic-free system, negating risk of plastic chemical leaching. We also prefer the stainless steel material over glass because it is lighter, and there is no worry of it chipping, cracking or breaking. 

We factored an eco-health rating of each bottle in at 15% weighting for overall scoring, knowing that for some parents this score will be a crucial differentiator, and others may consider it insignificant.

Conclusion

In conclusion we recommend buying just a few, basic bottles at first to see how your baby likes them. Every baby is different and you may need to adjust to their needs. What works for one might not be the go-to for another. That said, we hope that our rating and review process will help you make a smarter choice for you and your baby, saving you time and money. 

"Click

5 top scoring bottles, from left to right, Tommee Tippee, Playtex Drop-ins, Comotomo, Lifefactory Glass, and Medela. Not pictured here is the highest scoring baby bottle in our review, the Pura Kiki, Top Pick for Green Baby Bottle.

Source: http://www.babygearlab.com/

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