3am feedings are the true test of a parent’s love. Or at least the start of it. It’s also a test of patience when you need to warm up the milk while the baby won’t stop crying. Being able to heat up that milk fast is exactly what you need to ensure your sanity. Unfortunately, microwaves aren’t the solution. Using it will create heat spots in the milk that will scald your precious one’s tongue. Not to mention the fact that the plastic in your baby’s bottle may leach into the milk when heated. If you want a quick and safe way to warm one or more bottles of milk, you’re going to need a bottle warmer. Of course, one mom’s bottle warmer doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be perfect for you as well. There are different kinds of bottle warmers in the market with a variety of features to choose from. If you don’t have the time (i.e. you’re ready to tear your hair out because of your baby’s crying), then we’ve got just the list for you.
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Baby Bottle Warmer is definitely not the cheapest model out there. But there are several reasons why parents are still buying this device. The machine uses steam technology to warm both bottles and food jars. It features a warming basket that can be adjusted to fit a variety of bottle types and sizes. It features an LCD control panel that includes a one-button start function. And you don’t need to refill the reservoir at every use. Even better, the warmer comes with an automatic memory feature which remembers your preferred heating time. Also, for your safety, the warmer shuts down after 8 minutes. And in case you become too distracted while you wait, the audible alarm and flashing LCD will let you know that the bottle is ready to be served. Most importantly, the milk is heated up evenly. However, this bottle warmer isn’t the easiest to clean. The reservoir can get pretty dirty and it is quite difficult to get all the dirt out. It also doesn’t warn you when the water level is too low. Since the reservoir is tinted, you really have to look at it to know when you need a refill. Also, the LCD display isn’t easy to read from a distance which might not seem like a big deal unless you’re a tall person and bouncing a crying baby.
- Fits almost all bottles and food jars of various sizes
- Automatic memory feature
- Auto shut-off feature
- Hard to clean
- No alarm when water level is too low
- LCD display can be hard to read
Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer
For parents who are always on-the-go with the little one, it can suck big time when you have to ask for hot water and a bowl or container of some sort just to heat up your baby’s meal wherever you might be. Well, the Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle Warmer is the best solution for this pain. This travel bottle warmer comes with a thermos-type of bottle that will hold hot water for at least 12 hours. It also comes with a large white container where you can pour the hot water in and fit any size of bottle inside. You can even put in frozen breastmilk in a storage bag inside the container and warm it up. It only takes 5 minutes which is a lifesaver. When you travel, you just need to lock the thermos inside the white container and you’re ready to go. Of course, this is quite big and won’t fit in any cup holders inside your vehicle. It will add to the already enormous bag of essentials you need to bring with you. And there is no timer, audible beep, etc. to let you know when it’s done warming. But for the convenience and portability it provides, it might just be worth it for you.
- Warm baby’s feed on the go: The travel warmer securely stores hot water and keeps it hot so it’s ready to warm baby bottles or food on the go
- Closer to Nature compatible: The travel warmer is specially designed to hold Tommee Tippee’s Closer to Nature baby bottles and a wide range of branded baby food jars or pouches
- Thermal insulation: The flask’s thermal insulation keeps water warm and doesn’t require an external heating source – perfect for days out!
- Travel friendly: The portable and convenient design fits perfectly in your bag so it’s ideal for travelling and features a leak-proof lid for added peace of mind
- BPA-free: All the Tommee Tippee sterilizers, bottle warmers and feeding bottles are BPA-free for your total reassurance
- Can heat up all bottle types and milk storage bags
- Holds hot water for at least 12 hours
- Allows you to feed your hungry baby on-the-go
- Won’t fit cup holders in the car
- No timer or alarms to let you know when it’s done
Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer Review
The Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer utilizes the warm-water bath method which is, in our opinion, the best way to go. It stirs up the water and the milk continuously to ensure that the milk gets warmed up quickly and evenly; no hotspots allowed. The device also features a defrost setting for frozen milk or baby food. What we love about this device is that it’s very intuitive to use. Just turn the dial to the setting you prefer and viola! Plus, it is so compact that you don’t have to worry about taking up too much counter space. And in case you prepared the milk before your baby gets hungry, there’s a “warm” setting that will keep the milk at the desired temperature until your little one is ready to feed. There are drawbacks to using this device. One, there isn’t a timer or audible alarm so you need to be paying attention or risk overheating the milk. Two, there is no automatic shut-off feature so make sure to unplug it after use. And three, you’ll need to add water after every use which can be an extra step that some parents don’t want to take.
- Gently and evenly heats no hotspots as the milk circulates during warming; The voltage is 220-240 V
- Works with all Phillips Avent bottles, toddler cups, and most food jars
- Heats 4 ounces of milk in 3 minutes
- Convenient defrost setting that defrosts breast milk and baby food
- Small design fits on counter or nightstand
- Power consumption: 300 Watts
- Heats milk evenly
- Can fit most, if not all, bottle sizes
- Requires adding water for every use
- No timer or audible/visual alarms
- No automatic shut-off feature
Bellababy Fast Bottle Warmer
The Bellababy Fast Bottle Warmer is on our list because it does more than just heat milk and baby food. It can also sterilize baby items. The controls are very intuitive since there are only three options to choose from. Because the device uses the warm-water bath method, it is less likely to overheat the milk. The chamber is quite wide, able to fit most bottle types and sizes. And it’s super easy to clean. Now, this bottle warmer doesn’t get the job done fast like some of our other picks. But it will allow you to keep a bottle in Gentle Warm mode for at least 6 hours so you don’t even need to wait until the next feeding to warm up the milk. Just leave it on while you sleep and you never have to worry about warming up milk with a crying baby in your arms. However, if you need an instant warmer, this isn’t the best one in the market as the Express Warm still takes at least 9 minutes to heat up the milk and there’s a tendency to overheat if you don’t pay attention. There’s no timer or audible beep to let you know when it’s done.
- Upgraded version with 150W power,heat faster and more thoroughly(especially glass bottles). When the warming finished,it will stop heating and turn to keeping warm mode.
- 3 Levels for milk warming, food heating and simple steam sterilization
- Fit most bottles of different brands with 8cm caliber.
- Teflon coated aluminium heating plate,stainless, prevent incrustation scale,easy to clean.
- Anti dry heating,shut off automatically when boil dry.
- gentle warm mode
- easy to use
- easy to clean
- no timer
- no audible/visual alarm
- not quick to heat
Summer Infant Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler
If you want to eliminate one more step in your quest to feed your baby as fast as possible during midnight feedings, then the Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer + Cooler should interest you. Aside from letting you warm up milk as fast as possible (can be as little as 3 minutes), it features an insulated cooler with 2 ice packs to help keep milk cool for a good 8 hours. Why take a trip to the kitchen when everything you need can be placed in your room or the baby’s room, right? It’s easy to use, especially since the device takes away a lot of the guesswork from you. By choosing the bottle size and current temp of the milk (refrigerated or room temp), the warmer will calculate how much time and water from the reservoir is required to heat up the milk. For your convenience and the baby’s safety, the device will automatically shut off. Plus, a green check-mark will light up letting you know the milk is done. However, it doesn’t seem to be able to heat storage bags safely and it can be hard to get shorter bottles from inside the chamber without getting your fingers burned. A warming basket would have been a nice addition. Also, we noticed that the cooler doesn’t attach itself to the warmer very well which might make lugging this entire device from one place to another slightly more difficult than it should be.
- Compatible with the following Bottles: Breeze, Avent Natural, Avent Classic, Tommee Tippee, Nuk, Dr. Brown's Wide Mouth, Joovy, Evenflo Wide Neck, Medela, Chicco
- Designed to safely warm breast milk and formula to achieve the optimal temperature
- Dial bottle size to automatically calculate warming time, eliminates guesswork
- Warms a 5 oz. bottle in approximately three minutes and 9 oz. bottle in four to six minutes, with automatic shut-off
- Visual indicators count down time and indicate when bottle is ready; Refill water just once a day; The warmer automatically adjusts, so no measuring is required
- Removable, insulated cooler feature keeps two bottles cool for up to eight hours for convenient nighttime feeding; Stainless styling matches home décor
- includes a cooler
- fast warming
- doesn’t require you to add water every time
- Not for heating storage bags
- no warming basket
- cooler doesn’t attach securely
Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer
If you want your bottle warmer to have more than one function, then you might be interested in this product from Cuisinart. The Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer is a 2-in-1 device where you can heat up your baby’s milk and prepare delicious, healthy meals for him or her. This warmer uses steam technology to heat up the milk as well as cook veggies or different meats that you want to turn into baby food. The 4-cup container can actually create a lot of food that can save time for you in the long run. The device comes with a spatula for spooning the pureed food out as well as a bottle adapter ring that attaches on the lid when not in use. The latter is perfect for heating up narrow 8-oz. bottles. However, the unit isn’t as intuitive to use as our other picks. It has a lot of pieces and you will need to read the detailed instructions in the manual so you know what you’re doing. Also, the reservoir can be quite hard to clean. You’ll also need to keep the lid open when not in use to make sure that it gets dry and mold doesn’t settle in. Plus, you need to make sure that the blade attachment is correctly aligned with the metal rotator or it won’t work.
- baby food maker and bottle warmer in one
- comes with an adjuster ring for narrow bottles
- hard to clean
- can be difficult to align the blade to the rotator correctly
Bottle Warmer Buying Guide
One of the most crucial moments in a new parent’s life is the 3am feeding. You’ll need to be able to prepare your baby’s milk as fast as possible so that he or she will stop crying and you can go back to sleep that much sooner. If only your baby liked feeding cold milk, right? If your little one is as picky as most babies, then you’re going to need something to help you get through this process as quick as can be. Enter the bottle warmer. It can safely and quickly heat up breast milk or formula to the desired temperature.
Do I actually need a bottle warmer?
Well, like we said, if your baby isn’t picky about the milk’s temperature, you’ll be the envy of most parents out there. Considering that breastmilk is typically warm (at the level of normal body temperature), it isn’t strange that your little one will want all his feedings to be at the same temp. Now, you can warm up your baby’s milk by placing it in a bowl filled with warm water that you heated on the stove. There are two problems with that method, however. One, your baby won’t quit crying as you wait for the milk to get ready. Two, there’s no way to tell when the milk has warmed up to the right temp. And here’s one more, you need to pay attention to the entire process while your baby is crying and your brain is still on booting-up mode. You obviously don’t want to end up overheating the milk which end up burning your baby’s mouth. Equally important, you don’t want to end up eliminating the nutritional and immunological benefits of breast milk due to overheating.
A bottle warmer requires minimal effort from you, taking care of all these things so your sleep-deprived brain can get the boot-up time it needs. It’ll heat up the milk faster. You don’t need to worry about paying attention to the milk heating up as well as swirling it around to ensure consistent heating because it’ll sound an alert when the milk is ready. You can even change your little one’s nappies while waiting so you can get back to bed as quickly as your little one permits. So, while a bottle warmer is definitely not a must-have for new parents, you may thank the lucky stars you actually bought one once those midnight feedings start.
Are there types of bottle warmers?
There are two types of bottle warmers which are classified based on the method used to warm up milk. Some bottle warmers like the Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer use a warm-water bath, functioning quite similar to the water-in-the-pan-on-a-stove method. The bottle is circulated by the warm water and slowly heats up the milk until it reaches the desired temperature. The advantage of this method is that there is a lower chance of overheating the milk. Plus, the milk gets heated more evenly; no hotspots to worry about. However, it does take quite longer for the milk to become warm.
Other bottle warmers like the Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer use the steam method where a heating element causes steam to rise from a water reservoir located below the chamber where you place the bottle. Compared to the warm-water bath method, this one is definitely faster. However, because water requires a very high temperature in order to produce steam, the exterior of your bottle can get very hot which means you’ll still need to wait a bit for the bottle to cool down. Also, this method is less likely to heat the bottle and its contents evenly which means you’re more likely to get hotspots.
What factors should I consider when making my choice?
Health and Safety
Nothing’s more important than your baby’s health and safety. This means that your bottle warmer should only heat up the milk to the appropriate temperature which is 98.5F/37C (near body temperature), no more than that. Overheating is not something you want to happen. As we’ve mentioned before, this causes the nutritional and immunological value in the milk to deteriorate. Not only that, any hotter could potentially burn your baby’s mouth and tongue.
Baby bottles come in many shapes and sizes. Some are tall and narrow while others are wide and short, etc. You need to make sure that the bottles you have will fit inside the bottle warmer’s chamber. Moreover, some baby bottles are made of materials that are not compatible with certain warmers. For example, some bottle warmers are not compatible with glass bottles unless they are shatter-resistant because the bottles may break due to the quick heating process.
Because babies can be picky about the bottle type and nipple, it’s recommended that you get a bottle warmer that’s able to accommodate most, if not all, bottle sizes and materials. The Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer can fit most sizes including Medela bottles.
In addition, you may want to consider getting a bottle warmer that has more than one function such as a sanitizing bottle warmer which can disinfect bottles, nipples, pacifiers, and other baby items like the Bellababy Fast Bottle Warmer. Or even an all-in-one baby food prep device that includes a blender. This way, your counter is not overrun with too many specialized devices.
If you have more than one baby (twin, triplets, or even more), you’re going to need a bottle warmer that can handle warming at least two bottles at the same time. This way, you won’t have to endure too much crying because one of your precious bundles is still waiting for his/her warm bottle of milk.
Ease of Cleaning
You’ll naturally want to ensure that your baby’s bottle warmer stays clean so you’ll need to look for one that won’t be a pain to sanitize. While it’s not necessary to clean it after each use (unless you spill milk inside it), you will need to make sure that it doesn’t have any mineral deposits, mold, and/or mildew inside. This means that it shouldn’t take an army just to disassemble the parts that need cleaning and putting them back together. The Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer is one of the easiest to clean on our list.
Efficiency and Ease of Use
This is really why you’re buying the bottle warmer – to get the milk warmed up fast with minimal effort from you. You need to make sure that the bottle warmer you get is able to get the job done consistently; no going over 100F/37.8C. You’ll want one that has a water reservoir which doesn’t require a refill every time you use it because you want to save as much time (and sanity) as possible. And you’ll want one that will you can easily use when your brain is still down for the count. Take note that there is a slight adjustment period when you first get your bottle warmer. You won’t get the perfect setting right away because several factors can affect the outcome – type of bottle, size of bottle, cold or frozen milk, etc. But you also shouldn’t have to go through a lot of trial and error to find the setting that’ll ensure you get perfectly warmed milk every single time.
What features should I look out for?
Auto Shut-off and Timer
Like we’ve said a million times, you don’t want to overheat the milk which means that you either pay close attention to the bottle warmer or get one with a timer and auto shut-off feature. A timer allows you to fiddle around with the settings until you get the right one. We do recommend you get an automatic shut-off feature that works when the right temperature has been reached or when the water level in the chamber or reservoir gets too low (preventing the heating element from burning out). The Cuisinart BFM-1000 Baby Food Maker and Bottle Warmer is one of the models on our list that features an automatic shut-off feature that turns itself off when there is no water in the unit.
Audible End Beep
It’s easy to get distracted when your baby is wailing in your ear. So you’ll want a bottle warmer that lets you know when it’s done and you can now enjoy peace and quiet. Look for a model that features a loud, audible beep. In addition, this could be another level of protection against overheating. Even if the bottle warmer has shut down, the temperature of the water or inside the chamber would still remain hot, continually warming the milk which can lead to overheating.
Obviously, the chamber inside a bottle warmer can get quite hot. Some models will feature a warming basket, enabling you to remove the bottle or jar of baby food (if that’s what you’re heating up) from the chamber without burning your hands. Bottle warmers that use steam technology tend to overheat the exterior of the bottle, making it too hot to handle. Having a warming basket will make things easier.
Some bottle warmers like the Summer Infant Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler feature an insulated cooler attached which allows you to store milk for those 3 am feedings. Instead of having to go to the kitchen for the bottle, you just get one from the cooler, place it in the chamber, and start heating up. While this is definitely not an essential feature, it’s one you might want to consider if time and efficiency is a big factor for you.
A bottle warmer definitely isn’t a must-have for any new parent. But it sure makes life easier for those first few months. Keep in mind that there may be no “perfect” bottle warmer from the get-go. It takes a few trial and errors to get things running smoothly and your baby drinking perfectly warmed milk.