You can’t microwave breast milk. The radiation kills the nutrients, making it useless for your baby.
That means that if you use a breast pump at all, you’re probably going to need a bottle warmer because stored milk has to be reheated before you can feed it to your child.
You can heat it up on the stove, but that isn’t necessarily the best approach. You have to make sure to heat the milk very gently, so you don’t damage the enzymes and nutrients.
As you can understand, buying a bottle warmer can be beneficial for a lot of reasons. Not everyone needs the same bottle warmers, however. Some women only pump occasionally and might be able to get by with a simple warmer. Others pump several times a day and need something that can keep up with them.
No matter your needs and circumstances, we’ve taken the time to review a wide variety of bottle warmers. We’ve listed the best of the best here as our recommendations.
Things to Consider
Since the nutrients in breast milk are somewhat fragile, care needs to be taken when heating it. With that fact in mind, here are five things you should take into consideration when shopping for a bottle warmer.
1. Slow Heating
In America, we like do everything fast. We like fast food, short lines and driving ten miles over the speed limit. Heating up breast milk is not something that is meant to happen fast. As I mentioned earlier, heating it in the microwave or boiling it on the stove will kill all the nutrients. So it’s important that a bottle warmer heat the milk slowly.
2. Ease of Use
Most moms and dads aren’t rocket scientists. A bottle warmer should be intuitive and easy to use right from the package. Many baby bottle warmers have a simple knob that you rotate on and off.
3. Temperature Control
Chances are you haven’t measured the temperature of your breast milk as it is being pumped into a bottle, so you don’t really know how warm they’re used to drinking it. At any rate, some babies prefer their breast milk at different temperatures. Some bottle warmers will accommodate this.
4. Compact Design
Everywhere you look in your house; you see things for the baby. Playards, cribs, breast pumps, rattles. Sometimes it’s nice to have something that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Warming breast milk is a simple task, and if you can find one that does it without taking up too much space in your kitchen cabinet, so much the better.
Bottle warmers can vary in price by as much as a hundred dollars or more. While it might be nice to have the very best of everything, in reality, most of us don’t need the most expensive warmer, and many of us won’t be satisfied with the cheapest. Try to evaluate your priorities and rectify them with your budget.
The Best Baby Bottle Warmers
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $20
Munchkin Travel Car Baby Bottle Warmer
This is really a simple, no frills warmer. There is no defrost mode or multiple heat settings. If you need a warmer with more sophisticated technology, this may not do it for you. But for a budget warmer, this one can’t be beaten.
The Munchkin Travel Bottle Warmer works a little differently than the other warmers on this list. Rather than a plastic device in which you insert the bottle, the Munchkin Travel is a polyester bottle warmer that wraps around the bottle. Simply plug it into your car adapter and go. A lighted display lets you read the dial by night, making this easy to use no matter what time it is.
This bottle warmer is only powered via car adapter and will not work for home use unless you have another adapter to convert the energy to AC power. Since there are plenty of bottle warmers intended for home use, there’s no reason to use it at home. For travel, however, it provides an ideal heating solution.
The First Years 2-in-1 Simple Serve Bottle Warmer
Babies are expensive, and a lot of people don’t have the money to buy fancy baby products. If you, like me, are working on a modest budget, this simple, affordable bottle warmer from The First Years offers just the basics while providing a nice, even warm for your breast milk.
This simple warmer is designed to work with baby bottles of varying sizes, and it is a cinch to use. Simply add enough water to the size of bottle and volume of milk in the bottle and insert the bottle. The light goes off on the warmer when heating is finished, and in case you’re preoccupied with a hungry baby (it happens), the warmer has an automatic shutoff. The warmer also includes a basket so you can use it to heat jars of baby food as well, once your child has progressed to that level.
Sometimes life requires you to hit the road, and you can’t always leave your nursing infant at home alone. Breastfeeding in the car can be a challenge, and depending on your schedule, you may not be able to stop when your baby is hungry. Thus, having a portable bottle warmer can be very important.
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $30
Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer
Philips AVENT has two different models of bottle warmer. This is their fast model, designed to provide you with a thorough, even heat as quickly as possibly.
The bottle warmer circulates the milk as it heats, preventing hot spots as the milk heats. The warmer comes with three different heat settings to different heat amounts of milk. The Phillips AVENT can heat five ounces of milk in as little as three minutes. In addition, the bottle warmer also has a defrost setting and can be used to warm baby food as well.
While there are better bottle warmers out there, this is a very good model. It heats quickly and evenly, can defrost breast milk and is very reasonably priced. An excellent choice.
Maxx Elite”Gentle Warm” Smart Bottle
If you are looking for a bottle warmer that will keep your milk at a constant temperature that can be served at a moment’s notice, this warmer from Maxx Elite is just what you need.
Maxx Elite is super easy to use. It can be used to prepare your baby’s bottle in advance so that you’re ready to feed them as soon as they’re ready to eat. By using the “Gentle Warm” setting, the warmer will heat your milk slowly, preserving vital nutrients. Hitting the “Steady Warm” button maintains a constant temperature for up to four hours. When your baby gets hungry, simply remove the bottle and feed.
This bottle warmer even comes with a sterilizer that will remove germs and bacteria from the lid of the bottle. This is a great bottle warmer because it is convenient and easy to use, and is especially well suited for busy parents. I loved this warmer, and you will too.
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $40
Chicco Two in One Bottle & Baby Food Jar Warmer
I’ve never understood the expression, “Like taking candy from a baby.” I’ve tried taking candy from my baby. He fights back!
Using the Chicco Two in One Bottle & Baby Food Jar Warmer is easier than taking candy from a baby. Simply insert the bottle into the warmer and turn the dial. It’s really that simple. The warmer can keep both bottles and jars of baby food warm for up to an hour. While it can’t maintain temperature as long as the Maxx Elite, it works for baby food as well as bottles, making it more versatile.
It also has an automatic shut-off, so if you forget to turn it off while feeding, no problem. The NaturalFit is a basic, no-frills bottle warmer than only does one thing, but it does it well.
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Baby Bottle Warmer
If you want a smarter way to feed your baby, you’ll love Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer. This warmer uses an LCD screen and smart computer memory to make feeding your child as stress-free as possible.
You can utilize the LCD screen to set the desired temperature for the breast milk, and the warmer releases steam to quickly and evenly heat the bottle, so it’s ready when the baby is. There is enough water capacity to steam several bottles before refilling, so you should only have to refill it once a day.
One of the features I liked was that the warmer has a memory feature that instantly recalls your baby’s preferred temperature, making the process quicker and simpler than ever before. It even sounds an alarm to alert you when the bottle is up to temperature. This is an efficient and effective bottle warmer perfect for any family.
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $50
Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer, Premium
This second Philips AVENT model adds several useful features to the fast version, making this a more powerful and effective machine. Because it heats the milk more slowly, more nutrients are preserved, ensuring improved nutrition for your baby.
The warmer avoids hot spots by gently circulating the milk as it heats up. There are several different heat settings, allowing you to optimize the temperature to your child’s preference. The warmer comes with three different heat settings to different heat amounts of milk.
The Phillips AVENT can heat five ounces of milk in as little as three minutes. In addition, the bottle warmer also has a defrost setting and can be used to warm baby food as well. The warmer is rounded out by an automatic shut-off feature.
While this model doesn’t work as quickly as the fast version, it provides better results, making this a better model. For those who aren’t usually in a rush to prepare food for their baby, this is the perfect warmer.
Chicco Digital Bottle & Baby Food Jar Warmer
This second bottle warmer is quite similar to the other Chicco NaturalFit, but it utilizes a more advanced digital screen allowing you to optimize your baby’s eating experience.
This warmer features 12 different heating options, letting you heat your baby’s food just how they prefer it. It features a digital countdown and a timer, so you know just how long you’ll have to wait. You can also set a delayed timer, so the bottle starts heating in advance as your baby begins to stir. An automatic shut-off system reduces stress by allowing you to focus on feeding your baby.
If you are looking for the best in digital baby feeding technology, this warmer comes pretty close to the top. The digital screen is easy to read and understand and provides parents with plenty of options to feed their children in the best possible way.
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $60
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breast Milk Warmer
The Kiinde Kozii is a Japanese-made bottle warmer that immerses breast milk in a water bath to ensure smooth, even heating.
The biggest advantage of this warmer is its accommodating warming chamber. The universal chamber is designed to hold any storage container, from bottles and baby food jars to formulas and storage bags. The water is heated to temperature evenly, thanks to the water bath, and the warmer features an automatic shut-off that fits in with your hectic life schedule.
This warmer works quickly and safely to bring your baby’s milk to the proper temperature. This is an excellent choice for the busy parent who wants an all-purpose breast milk and formula warmer.
Best Baby Bottle Warmers Under $80
Lil’ Jumbl 4-in-1 Bottle Sterilizer Warmer & Dryer
The ultimate in digital technology, the Baby Brezza bottle warmer uses Bluetooth technology to make breastfeeding easier. The warmer comes with an app that alerts you when your milk is ready, meaning you can spend more time with your baby and less time waiting for a warmer to work.
Two different settings on this warmer work for any situation. You can utilize a steady heating that uses warm water, or heat up the breast milk quickly with steam power. It works with all types of baby food bottles and is suitable for both breast milk and formula.
This warmer doesn’t necessarily work better than some of the other high-end bottle warmers, but the digital app is very useful. I don’t use a smartphone, so I wasn’t able to take advantage of the app, but it is a perfect model for the busy working family.
If you use a breast pump at all, having a bottle warmer is essential. I hope that you have a better idea of what you need a bottle warmer for and what to look for in a warmer.
There are no wrong answers here, as every mother has different breastfeeding habits and warmer needs. Do you have a favorite bottle warmer we didn’t list? Drop a comment and let us know!