- Max Temperature
- Warming Time
- Digital Screen
Introduction to Bottle Warmers
A product that is often times overlooked on a parent’s baby registry is the bottle warmer. Because of their rise in popularity you now have a huge selection to choose from, but which bottle warmer is best? To find out we took an unbiased look at a myriad of warmers, and rated them on performance, ease of use, size and of course safety. We’ve narrowed down and ranked the top rated bottle warmers for you so you can get your baby’s milk ready to drink…at the perfect temperature! Check out our bottle warmer reviews below.
In-Depth Bottle Warmer Reviews
Bottle Warmer Buying Guide
What Are Bottle Warmers?
Bottle warmers have become kitchen or nursery countertop necessities of parents for the first year of their child’s life. Parents typically don’t realize they need one until they’re holding a bottle full of frozen breast milk, or cold baby formula under their sink faucet at 3 AM trying to get it to the correct temperature. Obviously the whole purpose of a baby bottle warmer is to speed up the bottle warming process to soothe your baby sooner, and give you much needed sleep.
Types of Bottle Warmers
Bottle Warmers come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. The three main styles are Standard (Countertop), Low Profile and Travel. When it comes to warmers these are not rigid categories, and most of the top rated warmers have features from multiple categories.
Standard (Countertop) – By far the most common type of bottle warmer you’ll find. Compared to the other two these are typically larger and can hold larger bottles, but by no means are these cumbersome. You’ll typically find more features on these units such as precise temperature and timer control, reservoirs, universal openings to fit bottles of all sizes, automatic shutoffs, audible alarms, and even bottle coolers for those that need that feature for nighttime feeding.
Low Profile – These have become popular over the last several years for their ease of use and the space that they take up on the countertop/dresser/changing table is minimal. These typically do not have all the bells and whistles the standard (countertop) warmers have, but get the job done while making them easy to store away keeping your countertop clean.
Travel – Essentially the same as that low profile warming units mentioned above, but with more travel focused features, like a spill proof design, suction cup base, and of course a cigarette outlet adapter so you or your partner can get the bottle to the perfect temperature while you travel down the road.
Features to Consider:
With all the options out there it can be difficult when you’re trying to compare different models available to you. As mentioned, some bottle warmers that have a lot of added features and others that are just simple and straightforward without a lot of bells and whistles. Your personal preference and parenting needs will play a large part in the decision, however we’ve highlighted a few of the features to consider before you make your final selection.
Warming Method – It should be noted right off the bat, that you should NEVER use a microwave to heat your babies bottle. Using the microwave can cause the milk, either breast or formula milk, to have dangerous “hot pockets” of liquid that can burn the inside of your baby’s mouth. And if that’s not enough to deter you, using the microwave instead of a bottle warmer can deplete the nutrient levels found in breast milk. There are 2 safe ways the bottle warmers can warm your baby’s bottle; steam warming and water warming. They both take water, however the steamed water units boil the water to over 212 degrees into a steam, and the steam is what heats up the bottle. The other water warming units essentially heat the water like bath for the baby bottle. This really is a preference, and we recommend if you do decide to go with a travel sized unit to opt out of getting a steamed bottle warmer because they tend to get warmer and the risk of that boiling water spilling over is greater.
Ease of Use – A parent doesn’t have time to be fiddling with complicated control settings, because there’s a good chance you’ll be filling the bottle and turning on the bottle warmer with your one free hand! Since you’ll be using this bottle warmer 40, maybe 50 times per week, you want to make sure the warming process is quick and efficient. We recommend looking for a unit where you can dial in the controls to the exact temperature required, because sometimes you have more milk at one feeding time than another and don’t want to scald your hands if you put too much water in the warmer.
Single Serve vs. Reservoir – Obviously having a built in reservoir on your bottle warmer is a feature most parents desire, however it becomes a compromise of space and a question of your lifestyle. If you have the countertop space and don’t mind the additional size, we found that having the reservoir built into the bottle warmer is a real time saver, especially when you’re filling the bottle with one hand. Almost always this feature comes at a premium vs. the single serve units but alleviates a lot of stress – when you remember to refill it!
Safety Features – While a lot of these units are manufactured to the highest quality standards (especially our top rated ones), there are some safety features to consider. It’s also important to note in testing and reading reviews of almost all bottle warmers, people still complained about how easy it still was to overheat the breast or formula milk. We recommend making sure the unit you select has an automatic shutoff feature. Apart from the danger of heating the bottle beyond the desired temperature, more commonly is the annoyance of going to grab the bottle to begin feeding and it has become scalding hot. Trust me, nobody likes to run an already heated up bottle back under cold water. Also, this applies more to people who will be putting the bottle warmer in rooms other than the kitchen; but making sure the bottle is plugged into a GFI plug is always important to do when have water around electricity.
Can You Sterilize? – Sterilizing bottles and nipples is pretty much a requirement now, but sometimes parents just don’t have the time to wash a full load of bottles and nipples in a big electric or microwave sterilizer. When you’re in a hurry popping a freshly rinsed out bottle upside down in a bottle warmer that has a sterilizer setting (212 F) is truly a life saver. When looking at bottle warmers, they will typically mention if they have a sterilizer tray that comes with.
Plenty of Size – Finding a marriage between an effectively sized unit and one that is big enough to fit all bottles can be tough. However we’ve done a good job reviewing these units to make sure that they can warm virtually all bottle types for the first year of your baby’s life. The benefit of having a larger chamber besides being able to fit different sized bottles, you’ll also be able to warm up baby food for your baby which essentially turns it into another appliance.
Clean Up – Cleaning the bottle warmer is probably the last thing you want to be doing once your baby goes to bed, however it’s something that will need to be done. This is probably one of the biggest complaints when reading reviews online so it’s worth a mention that selecting a bottle warmer that has a large enough opening to be cleaned out with either chemicals or hot water is important because invariably there will be debris that make their way down to the heating chamber and get burned to the warmer. This, over time, will make the heating process less efficient and could give off a poignant odor.
How to Use a Bottle Warmer
Using a bottle warmer should be pretty straight forward, especially for the warmers that really just have a simple on/off switch. However we’ve found this video to be really helpful. They use the
Parents can spend an inordinate amount of time making sure they have everything they need before their baby arrives. Picking a top rated bottle warmer is by no means major necessity, however a great bottle warmer can make a parents life so much easier. Let’s face it, late night and early morning feedings are can be exhausting, but having a trusty bottle warmer in your kitchen, or in your baby’s nursery is something a new, or even an experienced parent will appreciate.
The top rated bottle warmers that we reviewed are examples of the best options and features you’ll find on the market today. We feel confident that the top rated bottle warmers we ranked and the information in the buyers guide will equip you as a consumer to understand what to look for when selecting the best bottle warmer.
The Top Rated Bottle Warmers for 2016
Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer
Maxx Elite Bottle Warmer
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer