Whether they’re having formula or refrigerated breast milk, many babies prefer their bottles warmed up—and who can blame them? A baby bottle warmer is the most convenient way to achieve the ideal temperature, but there are so many on the market that it can be tough to decide which one is right for you and your family.
We looked into nine different popular models and found that the Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer(available at Amazon) was the best bottle warmer. As a parent who has spent months trying to quickly heat up a bottle for a fussy baby, I found this one to be the easiest to use with the most consistently fast results. It’s a huge upgrade from standing at the stove, waiting for a pot of hot water to get the job done (I know this from experience).
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer
Between the ease of use, quick warm-up time, and the price, the Philips Avent Fast Bottle Warmer came out on top. In my tests, it only took about five minutes to heat up five ounces of refrigerated milk, and about three minutes for room temperature formula. When you remove the bottle, it isn’t hot to the touch, so it can be given to the baby right away, and the milk is heated evenly.
It’s easy to use and customize as well. There are settings for larger or smaller bottles, and there’s a defrost setting that is perfect for frozen bottles or food. The interface is very user-friendly and won’t require glances at the instruction manual. I loved that it didn’t produce a lot of dangerous steam, and I also liked that you can easily fill up the reservoir in advance so that it’s ready to go when needed.
This product is also more compact than some of the other options on the market, so it doesn’t look like an eyesore on the kitchen counter and it's really easy to store when not in use.
Of course, it isn’t perfect: The biggest disadvantage here is that there’s no timer to let you know when the bottle is ready. This is easy to fix, though—you can set your own timer, which is what I did. Overall, it works well and comes in at a great price point, so for me, the lack of a timer was no big deal.
The Beaba Baby Milk 3-in-1 Bottle Warmer heats up bottles so quickly that it was an easy choice for second place here. I found that it was easily heating up my bottles in about three minutes, which was ideal. It also has a timer and beeps when it’s finished, which ensures you won’t forget about it and that it won’t overheat. It’s easy to figure out once you’ve read through the instructions, and the slim, compact shape is a nice advantage.
This one also has some nice features: It can warm baby food and can also act as a sterilizer to clean your bottles, which is great.
But the biggest disadvantage here, for me, is all the steam. While the steam warms milk quickly, it makes the bottle very hot to the touch, so I found it had to sit out for a minute or two before I could hold it for my daughter.
The nipple also has to be taken off the bottle, so there’s the possibility of spilling, making it a little harder to operate this one one-handed.
The Munchkin Digital Bottle Warmer is really straightforward and easy to use, with a few convenient features.
The digital interface allows you to customize the amount of time you want your bottle to heat up, although I did find some of the suggestions in the manual didn’t really heat my bottles enough, so you sort of have to play around with it to figure out what works for you.
Maybe the best part about it is the digital memory timer that remembers the last setting you used, which is perfect for tired parents.
The water reservoir for this one is fairly large, so you can get a bunch of uses out of a single fill. It has a basket that makes it safer to lift out bottles and baby food jars as well, which is nice. Overall, it heats bottles evenly and fairly quickly, and is a pretty compact size.
The Boon Orb Baby Bottle Warmer is another model that uses steam to heat up the bottles. Because of that, this one really did heat up the bottles quickly and in the amount of time the guide suggests. It’s a lot easier to clean than some of the other models, with a wide chamber and a plastic basket that can be removed. Filling the water reservoir was pretty frustrating—it has to be done with every single use, and the markings are really hard to read.
Unfortunately, the safety issues with this one were a pretty big deal for me. The steam heat left the bottle extremely hot, like so hot that I nearly burned myself taking it out. The guide recommends letting the bottle sit for up to 10 minutes to cool, so even if it heats up the milk quickly, that waiting time is a huge downer. It also doesn’t have a timer, so the bottle can sit in there and easily overheat.
The Chicco Digital NaturalFit Bottle Warmer is a small and compact option, with a conveniently easy to use digital interface and plenty of great features. The basket makes it safe to pull the bottles out and it fits nearly all bottle sizes.
The guide is very clear, and it’s easy to select the settings you want—the interface also lights up, so it’s easy to use in the middle of the night in the dark. It also has a timer that beeps when it’s finished so it’s harder to overheat the bottle.
The biggest disadvantage here, though, was a pretty big deal: I found that this didn’t warm the bottles up quickly. Oftentimes it took more than six minutes for the bottle to get heated up to an appropriate temperature, which was longer than many of the other options on this list. If you don’t mind waiting a little longer for a convenient, compact model, then try this one, but if you want something fast, it may not be for you.
On paper, the Baby Brezza Electric Bottle Warmer and all of its cool features sounds great. In reality, it didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had for it.
I found that this one wasn’t very user-friendly. It took a while for me to figure out how to use it, and I found myself having to re-read the instructions a few times. The fill line for the water reservoir is really difficult to see, which is especially frustrating in the dark.
One of the coolest features of this one is that it connects to an app on your phone so that you can control it with your phone—the app can alert you when it’s finished and you can turn it on with the phone too. While nice, this is an unnecessary feature.
It also has an option for warming breast milk to ensure nutrients are kept safe and formula warming. That’s great, but the steam from this one also leaves the bottle extremely hot and also soaking wet. I nearly burned myself getting it out of the basket, and so even if it heats up quickly, it has to sit for a bit before you or baby can touch it.
The best thing about the Kiinde Kozii Baby Bottle Warmer is also the worst thing: this one doesn’t use steam heat, which is safer because it doesn’t leave the bottle hot to the touch and doesn’t have the potential to burn your hands while you’re using it. However, the lack of steam heat also means this one takes a long time to heat up your milk—this was the slowest one we tested.
It has a timer and beeps when it’s finished, and it’s a nice and compact size. However, the guide that suggests timing was completely off for me—I had to add a lot more time to get the bottles warm enough. The manual also says to use two cups of water to fill it, but mine overflowed when I did this and made a huge mess.
You aren’t always home when you need to warm up your bottles, so it’s helpful to have a portable option as well. The Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Portable Bottle Warmer is one of only a few travel bottle warmers out there, but I found it fell short of my expectations.
This one isn’t electric like the other bottle warmers—it’s basically just a thermos with a container on the side. You fill the thermos with boiling hot water, where it stays hot until you need it. When ready to heat up the bottle, you pour the water into the container that comes with it, then stick the bottle in there. It’s a really simple concept, but it also takes a very long time to heat the bottle-—sometimes it took me at least 10 minutes.
I also felt like it wasn’t very safe: the container holding the bottle and the water could easily spill boiling water everywhere. Basically, if you have a thermos already, you probably don’t need this model.
Some parents will tell you a baby bottle warmer is a waste of money, while others swear by them. The answer to that question is really based on your baby and their preferences. Some babies don’t mind cold milk and they don’t need their bottles heated up, while other babies do better with a warmed up bottle. If you find that your baby isn’t taking well to bottles, it may be worth it to try a bottle warmer.
The Benefits of a Bottle Warmer
It’s totally possible to heat up a baby bottle in a pot of boiling water or even under the faucet, but these two methods take significantly longer than a bottle warmer, which is not ideal when your baby is hungry now. Baby bottle warmers are a faster way to heat up milk, and often easier to use since they’re less hands on. Most of them also heat up baby food as well.
Since you’ll spend much of your time using this in the middle of the night, half-asleep, you want something that’s easy to use, doesn’t require much thought, and heats quickly and evenly. Something that fits most bottles and doesn’t require an adaptor is also ideal. And since baby bottle warmers can get really hot, keep safety features in mind, especially if other little ones can get their hands on them.
Jessica is a freelance writer from New York who loves to write about travel, beauty, parenting, and food. She has also written for sites such as Refinery 29, Bustle, Parents, Romper, The Daily Beast, Insider, and Redbook. She spend most of her spare time on Instagram or in the kitchen cooking.
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