Baby bottle warmers are one of those baby gear necessities that have you wondering: Do I really need this to warm my baby’s bottle? When you’re learning about being a new parent, you often read about what a special bonding experience it can be when it’s feeding time. And sometimes it is … even if it doesn’t go exactly as you dreamed it would. Other times, it’s a f***ing frazzled mess. The baby is crying and hungry, your other kids are driving you crazy, the dog needs to pee, and the formula or stored breast milk is ice cold. Sigh. Some bonding experience.
If you have an easy to use bottle warmer, though, you can quickly raise the temperature of the milk to a safe level. These new bottle warmers chill till ready, sanitize, and are smarter than most moms during midnight feedings. Crisis averted— for now. Before you know it, the other kids are quieting down, the dog is nowhere to be found, and the feeding experience is a beautiful thing again. But now, you may be wondering: “Which bottle warmer is the best?” Well, Mama, stay tuned. We’ve got picks from trusted brands like Avent, Grownsy, Brezza, Bubos, and more.
(And yeah, yeah, we know the dog is whizzing on the rug in the other room, and the older monsters are quiet because they’re destroying something, but we’re going to pretend that’s not happening, so we can keep our sanity. Just let us have this.)
Are baby bottle warmers necessary?
Most moms would answer this with a resounding “Yes!” If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll likely need to heat up chilled (whether refrigerated or thawed from frozen) or even room-temperature breastmilk at some point in those early months. Same if you’re formula feeding … for some babes, anything cooler than a just-warmed (not hot!) bottle of milk will cut it.
Sure, you can warm your newborn’s meal in a bath of hot water (NEVER microwave!) but that takes extra time and effort in the (what feels like) eternal amount of time that your hungry BB is crying. Further, many warmers do double duty as bottle/paci sterilizers.
How long to bottle warmers take?
It can take anywhere from a few minutes to 15+. Electric bottle warmers (which you’ll most often find) tend to be the fastest and many let you control the time — some even let you set the exact temperature. There are also portable options that hold hot water and keep milk warm while you’re on the go. So, the short answer: It depends on your bottle warmer’s capabilities and how warm you’d like your baby’s bottle.
Are bottle warmers safe for breast milk?
Yes – if done correctly. One benefit of warming milk up more slowly is reducing the risk of nutrient loss if the milk gets too hot. Warming pre-thawed breastmilk, as opposed to breastmilk that’s still frozen, is also generally safer in terms of preserving nutrition. However, you can opt for a unit with a specific thaw function that does the job as efficiently as possible.
If you’re especially concerned about breastmilk nutrition, consider getting a more tech-forward unit that lets you set the time and temp. And PSA: Always, ALWAYS test the milk temperature on your wrist before feeding it to your baby to make sure it’s not too hot.
The Top Baby Bottle Warmers of 2021
These days, it seems like if a manufacturer just puts the word “smart” in a product name, it’s instantly appealing to consumers. Sh*t. It worked again. We love this product. This Bubos warmer is smart (we assume) because it has an LCD screen. It also has an auto-shutoff feature, so it doesn’t overheat the formula or breast milk. It even circulates the milk so there are no hot spots. That’s not just smart, it’s brilliant.
Dr. Brown is a well-known baby product brand name. This bottle warmer follows in the footsteps of the manufacturer’s other popular products, delivering ease of use at a reasonable price. It remembers your settings for heating the milk, allowing you to start it by pressing one button, which is great when you’re juggling 15 things and only have one pinky finger free.
When you have more baby gear than you have room to store it, you need a few products that can fill more than one purpose. This model is a best bottle warmer and sterilizer, as it warms breast milk or formula effectively, but it also can sanitize pacifiers. Best of all, it’s inexpensive. A good value and versatile? We’re in love … well, we’re at least in like.
This model is one of the most versatile units on our best bottle warmer list, as it has a size that will accommodate almost any size of bottle or baby food jar. It can handle plastic or glass containers. It has settings for quick heating to body temperature as well as a keep-warm setting. Will this warmer make you into a super mom? We aren’t saying no.
Sometimes, we’re willing to just let things happen. Other times, we need our steps to be followed precisely. And heaven help the spouse or kid who violates these steps. When it’s time to feed the baby, there’s nothing wrong with being a little anal-retentive. The Eccomum warmer feeds your need for exactness. It lets you set a precise temperature setting, verified with an LCD display. (And if this is the only thing you have precise control over today, we’re still counting it as a winning day.)
For another portable option, this stainless steel model holds the milk at a consistent temperature for a few hours, making it a best bottle warmer for formula or breast milk. Pour hot water into the outer shell, then place the bottle inside at feeding time to warm the milk. Best of all, the lid secures tightly, so if you feel some dampness while you’re on the go, you’ll know it’s the baby’s diaper, not a leaky bottle warmer.
Sure, you can use this unit as a bottle warmer and leave it at that. But it can do so much more to help you make feeding time extra efficient to the point that you’ll wonder how other parents survive without it. It can warm formula, stored breast milk, and baby food. After feeding time, it will sterilize bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and small teethers.
If you need a best bottle warmer that can handle more than bottles, this model is a great choice. It can warm bags, pouches, baby bottles, or glass jars equally well. It even works to thaw frozen stored breast milk in a gentle manner. It has no chance of overheating with its automatic shutoff. It’s so reliable, you’re going to start wondering why other things in your home can’t operate in the same manner. (If you looked at your spouse immediately after reading that last sentence, it’s okay. We won’t tell.)
With all of the things the baby needs, costs add up fast. And they only soar upward from there. (We won’t depress you by discussing what college will cost by the time your kid is ready to go.) So finding a best bottle warmer that’s effective and inexpensive for traveling is a great option. This model uses a thermal flask to store hot water, keeping it at a constant temperature for a few hours, so you can heat up the milk at any time as needed.
If you only will consider products that have the latest tech, this best bottle warmer was made with you in mind. It will warm the bottle to the desired temperature. Then it will send a message to your smartphone, alerting you it’s ready. Now if it could give us an alert when the baby’s diaper needs changing — or better yet, only send the diaper alert to our spouse’s smartphone — it would be the greatest invention in the history of humankind.
If the baby sleeps in your room, why walk to the kitchen to grab milk for the middle of the night feeding? Instead, use this to keep the formula or stored breast milk chilled in one compartment until you need it. Then place it in the warmer, and it’ll be ready in a few minutes. This thing is so convenient, you and your spouse may start fighting about who gets to do the 3 a.m. feeding. Not.
If you like the Bubos unit from the top of our list, but you don’t need the “smart” features, this brand has another, less pricey, option. This best bottle warmer doesn’t have an LCD screen, which will save you some money. And if you really feel like you can live with a dumb — sorry, that’s not very PC; let’s call it a non-smart bottle warmer — more power to you. I don’t have that level of self-control.
A trusted brand for quality, affordable baby feeding supplies, you can’t go wrong with this simple, sleek Avent bottle warmer. With the ability to heat 5 ounces of milk in 3 minutes, Baby will be happy again in (almost) no time. You’ll also appreciate how easy it is to use, especially at 3am: Just set the dial to the ounces in the bottle, and let the machine do the rest. It circulates milk for even heating and even keeps the bottle warm for an hour before automatically shutting off. Further, there’s a defrost setting for thawing frozen breastmilk or baby food. In essence, it has all the features you need — and none you don’t.
Baby stuff is so damn cool, none of us can truly can have enough. We’ll help feed your obsession with our best baby gear product guides. You’re welcome.