Feeding your baby takes a herculean amount of effort when you’re a new parent, whether that means breastfeeding, formula feeding with a bottle, or a combination of the two. Your little one will probably need to eat every few hours and the choice of which bottle to introduce can feel like a huge decision.
Of course, your baby might have a bottle preference based on their unique needs and experiences, but there are some universal bottle qualities that will make your life easier as a parent. We researched and tested 9 of the most popular baby bottles, and in the end we landed on the Comotomo Baby Bottle(available at Amazon for $23.99)as the best option. It’s easy to clean and fill, made with a squishy silicone, and has a wide-neck, rounded nipple design that makes latching a fairly easy process for most babies.
Here are the best baby bottles we tested ranked, in order:
Comotomo Baby Bottle
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Original Newborn Bottle
Lansinoh Breastfeeding Bottles
MAM Easy Start Anti-colic Bottles
Philips Avent Natural Bottle
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle
NUK Simply Natural Baby Bottle
Munchkin Latch Anti-Colic Baby Bottle
Kiinde Twist Squeeze Natural Baby Breast Milk Feeding Bottle
Comotomo Baby Bottle - 8oz
If you’re introducing a bottle to an exclusively breastfed baby, the Comotomo Bottle is an ideal choice. Our baby took to the squishy, silicone bottle quickly, as it comes closest to mimicking a breast, compared to the other products we tested. After just a day of using these bottles, we immediately added them into our family’s rotation.
The Comotomo bottles are wide-necked, which means they’re easy to fill with refrigerated or pumped breast milk or to mix formula in with minimal spillage. The top of the bottle is easy to open and close, and the silicone nipple pops out for straightforward cleaning, plus there are few crevices for dried milk to get stuck in. We loved that this bottle can be put in the dishwasher (top rack!), and it’s also microwave safe.
During our leak tests, which involved dropping the bottle (with a cap on) from hip height, letting our 11-month-old son shake the bottle, and tucking it into a diaper bag during trips to and from the grandparents’ house, the Comotomo was the best of the bunch. (This matters because as any parent knows, there’s hell to pay for spilled breast milk!).
These bottles are slightly squishy, which means they’re also easier to store than most of their competitors, and they don’t retain that sour-milk smell that can sometimes permeate plastic bottles. With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.7 out of 5-star rating, it’s clear that parents agree: The Comotomo bottle is a winner.
The Comotomo comes in 5-ounce and 8-ounce iterations, in various colors. You can also buy a transitional sippy cup spout for the bottle.
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Original Baby Bottle - 8oz
If you have a preemie who needs to use bottles from birth, or if you decide to introduce bottles for breast milk or formula from the start, you’ll find that many doctors and NICU professionals recommend Dr. Brown’s Original Baby Bottles. Their slow-flow nipple design, which is purported to reduce colic and spit-up, makes them a favorite.
Dr. Brown’s bottles come with a filter, and the controlled flow allows babies to drink at their own pace. As they become more adept at bottle feeding, you can up the nipple size. (Typically you’ll start with a preemie nipple, then graduate sizes every few months.)
Dr. Brown’s bottles are fairly leak-proof, as long as they’re sealed well. (Although we found that after 6 or so months of using these bottles, there were more rogue drips during car trips.) These bottles don’t mimic a breast, but they’re still fairly easy to latch onto, especially for babies who use bottles from birth.
The tall, skinny configuration of Dr. Brown’s bottle makes them tough to clean. However, the set includes wire cleaners for the filters, and a good bottle brush will make a big difference for getting into all the nooks and crannies. The skinny neck can also make the bottles a bit harder to fill and mix formula in, but they’re not the worst of the bunch. (Many parents opt to use a funnel.)
These bottles are dishwasher-safe, and all of the separate parts (the filter, cap, nipple, and bottle) come apart; make sure you clean them well or you’ll find bits of formula or dried milk in the crevices, which can lead to a sour smell.
You can order Dr. Brown’s bottles in 2-ounce, 4-ounce, or 8-ounce configurations. If your baby spends time in the NICU after birth, the hospital will likely send you home with them.
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with a decade of experience writing about all things health and science. I previously edited longform product reviews about the outdoors, parenting, and travel at the New York Times product review site, Wirecutter. You can also find my bylines in all sorts of publications, like the New York Times, the Guardian, the REI Co-op Journal, Gear Patrol, and beyond.
I had my first baby—a little boy named Liam—in December 2019, and since then I’ve been reviewing baby gear and writing about the psychology of parenting. In the past, I’ve covered infant vitals monitors for Wirecutter and baby swings and baby baths for Reviewed. I was also an exclusive pumper because my son was born prematurely and spent time in the NICU, so I have many, many months of experience under my belt spent filling, washing, and feeding my son from bottles.
I used each bottle in this guide for at least two days. I filled them with infant formula or breast milk, offered them to my son Liam (who was 8-months-old when we started this guide), then cleaned the products by hand and in the dishwasher. I even tried to fill them all with one-hand while holding my 20+ pound kiddo.
I also did some serious leak-testing by packing the bottles in a diaper bag for car trips to the park. I also dropped them all-- both purposefully and accidentally -- to see if they remained intact, and allowed my son to play with them (which meant they all got a very good shake).
What to Consider When Selecting a Baby Bottle
Easy to assemble and fill
You should be able to easily put the pieces of the bottle together, which usually means popping in a nipple and screwing on the top. The bottle should also have a mouth that’s wide enough to pour milk into without dumping it onto the counter. Or, if you’re using powdered formula, the bottle should allow for easy stirring. (Pro tip: We like to use a chopstick.)
Easy to wash
When choosing a bottle, look for a shape that makes it easy to clean. Sour milk or extra formula powder can get stuck in the cracks and corners, which can lead to bad smells and make the bottle unsafe for a baby to use. Most bottles can be put in a dishwasher, but we prioritized bottles with a wider-neck shape, which made them easier to clean with a good bottle brush.
There’s nothing worse than discovering a puddle of breastmilk on the floor of the car next to a tipped-over bottle. Thus, we searched for bottles that sealed tightly and didn’t leak, even after being shaken up or dropped. Most came with lids, and we made sure that they sealed well and didn’t fall off in transit.
You’ll be using these bottles for at least a few months, if not for a full year, so we looked for bottles that could handle being used daily for many months, without picking up nasty smells or cracking.
While no baby bottle is completely convenient to store, we picked options that could at least be tucked into a bin or a drawer, or easily stored in the pocket of a diaper bag.
Appealing to your baby
Most babies have varying nipple preferences, based on the shape of their mother’s breast, so this measure is a bit subjective. But based on online reviews and our personal experiences, we noticed that certain nipple shapes were easier for most babies to latch onto. Wider, shallower shaped-nipples with a skinnier teet made for an easier experience, especially if the bottle's nipple had a little bit of give, just like a mother’s breast might.
Contains colic-free technology (maybe)
Some bottles, Dr. Brown’s in particular, are made with anti-colic vents, which limits the amount of milk your baby can take in and helps to reduce gas or air bubbles in their stomach. While this isn’t necessary for older babies, pediatricians often recommend this option for infants under the age of 6 months, and especially for babies born prematurely.
Other Baby Bottles We Tested
Lansinoh Breastfeeding Bottles with NaturalWave Nipple - 8oz
The Lansinoh bottles were just fine—not stellar, but not problematic. The bottle design is easy for an older child to hold, and the nipple shape (purported to reduce colic based on a “unique air venting system”) is intended to mimic breastfeeding, and was fairly easy for our baby to latch onto. However, if your child leans their cheek up against the nipple, as they might on a breast, it can add pressure to the bottle, which causes air bubbles.
We also found these bottles to be fairly easy to clean, as they have very few parts—just the nipple, cap, and bottle—with a neck that’s wide enough for easy filling, too. During leak testing, they emerged victorious with no stray drips. The Lansinoh bottles can be washed in a dishwasher, on the top rack, but the brand recommends hand washing for a longer-lasting experience. They come in 5 and 8-ounce capacities, in glass or plastic.
The MAM bottles were initially a favorite. Our son latched onto the nipple shape right away, despite it being a bit flatter than many other options we tested, and we loved that they had a 9-ounce capacity, with easy-to-see markings.
But quickly, we realized that the MAM bottles had many weak points—the bottom screws on and off, which occasionally meant that all the milk came pouring out the bottom if it wasn’t fastened on just right, and the lid had to be put on just-so to prevent leaking. In fact, this was the leakiest bottle we tested.
MAM’s anti-colic technology works well for slowing the flow of milk for young babies. Like Dr. Brown’s options, MAM allows you to size up on nipples as your baby gets older. The semi-wide neck of these bottles also makes them fairly easy to fill and clean, and the brand notes that you can self-sterilize the bottles by putting them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Choose from 5-ounce or 9-ounce versions in many different colors.
Another “just okay” option, the Philips Avent had a generic shape that was difficult for our baby to hold himself. The nipple shape was also harder for him to latch onto than many of the other options we tested, likely because the nipple attachment was fairly rigid.
The bottles have an airflex valve, to reduce colic, although we didn’t notice that the flow from this bottle was particularly slow. Like many of the other anti-colic options, you can size up on nipples as your baby grows more adept at feeding.
The fairly wide mouth made these easy to fill and clean, and they can be washed in the dishwasher, on the top rack. But the clincher was that the top didn’t easily seal, which made leaking a frequent occurrence.
These bottles are inexpensive, and it shows in the materials. They feel cheaper than their competitors, with a rigid nipple and tinny-feeling plastic. The ounce-markings are obvious and they’re easy to fill and clean (by hand or in the dishwasher), given their short and squat shape.
They’re also easy to store, given their small size, and they didn’t leak. However, our son found the large nipple size difficult to latch onto.
Inexpensive pricing shows on this product too. The nipple is rigid, which means it presses against your baby’s face rather than giving a bit as they lean into it, and the nipple’s shape (flat on one side, rounded on the other) may be tough for your baby to latch onto. That said, the wide-mouth shape of the bottle makes it easy to clean and fill, and it didn’t leak. These come in 5-, 9- and 10-ounce variations, in many colors, in glass, and tinny-feeling plastic.
The shape of the nipple pulled the Munchkin bottle out of the running from the start: Like the NUK, it was rigid and didn’t give when our baby leaned his face up against it. The straight nipple shape also made it tough for our baby to latch. However, the wide-mouth setup was easy for him to hold, and made for a straightforward filling and cleaning experience. We liked that the Munchkin could be thrown in the dishwasher, too.
Then came the true kicker: The Munchkin leaked when it was shaken, as well as when it was being transported. These bottles come in 4 and 8-ounce variations, but there are simply better options available.
It’s tough to compare the Kiinde to the other bottles in this guide because it’s a whole different beast. The Kiinde Twist Squeeze is basically a plastic holder with a nipple, which allows you to slide bags of breast milk right inside. If you’re pumping breast milk into Kiinde bags, this saves you the step of needing to transfer the milk from a bag to a bottle.
The Squeeze is a great concept, but filling the milk bags is tough unless you pump right into them. (We experienced a lot of leaking, due to the small opening.) It’s also easy to leak more milk onto the counter when you remove the bag’s lid, to screw it into the Squeeze bottle.
You won’t need to do as much washing (the only part that really needs to be cleaned is the nipple), but throwing away many plastic bags per day is not the most sustainable option. We also worried about the holder’s materials, which are made with a simple, thin plastic and feel likely to break over time. The nipple was also difficult for our son to latch onto, and the bottle’s shape makes it difficult for little ones to hold.
Jenni Gritters is a Seattle-based freelance journalist who covers health, psychology, business, and travel. You can find her bylines in The Guardian, Wirecutter, Outside magazine, 538, Mindbodygreen, and beyond. When Jenni isn't working with words, she's teaching yoga and mindfulness; hiking, camping, and snowshoeing in the Pacific Northwest mountains; and running with her husband and puppy.
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