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Hands-on Gear Review
Price: $15.00 List | $14.99 at Amazon
Pros: Sleeve, latch, easy to clean/assemble, eco-health
Cons: Potential for breaking, hard to clean
Bottom line: Great glass bottle that is easy to use
The Lifefactory bottle offers simplicity in a well working bottle that limits baby's exposure to plastic. Everything in this bottle works well and looks good. This bottle has a limited number of parts that are easy to assemble and clean. The nipple is one that babies in our tests took to easily, and we like that this bottle can grow with baby by changing nipple tops to sippy options. The bottle has quality components that, if cared for, should stand the test of time. This product is one of the few glass options we looked at that comes with a silicone sleeve (Philips AVENT Natural Glass does not) and doesn't have a complicated venting system that is difficult to assemble and clean (like Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Glass). This bottle has a simple design, comfortable grip sleeve, and few plastic parts, none of which come in contact with the contents. We like this bottle a lot and would recommend it to a friend.
RELATED: Our complete review of baby bottles
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
Lifefactory glass bottles are made of thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass with a silicone sleeve for better gripping and added protection from occasional dropping. The nipples and caps come in a variety of shapes and flow rates useful for baby to toddlers and beyond. All materials are FDA approved, BPA and phthalate free, made in the US or Europe and assembled in the US. The nipples are medical grade silicone, dishwasher safe, and made in France. The bottles are compatible with most major brand breast pumps for easy breast to baby transitions. Lifefactory bottles are durable, but not unbreakable so care should be taken to avoid dropping and throwing. These bottles can be moved safely from freezer to boiling water without the fear of breakage, and are a good choice for families that want to minimize exposure to plastic.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for each bottle tested in this review. It is clear to see why the Lifefactory bottle (in blue) earned an Editors' Choice award with its impressive score and rank.
The sections below include details on how the Lifefactory performed during testing and what we like and dislike about this product. Its performance during testing determined its overall score.
We like just about everything about the Lifefactory bottle with very few dislikes arising during testing. This bottle did well in our tests for leakage with no leaking in the diaper bag or otherwise in transport or usage. The stopper piece inside does fall off fairly easily when you open the bottle, but this didn't cause us any problems while using it. The nipple also does its job well at protecting from leaks, even though it is smaller than some of the competition we had no leaks during feeding unlike some of the competition that has more breast like nipples that resulted in leaking while eating.
The nipple on this bottle is smaller in size and not as "mound like" as some of the more breast like competition. However, the narrower nipple made it easy for baby to latch onto and we didn't have any babies in our tests have difficulty feeding from this option. The nipples are longer and narrower than the wider mouth options, but it can be interchanged with the Dr. Brown's nipples and some other average side products in the event that your baby isn't a fan of the standard Lifefactory choice that comes with the bottle.
This bottle also scored well in our tests for ease of cleaning. It has only a few parts to clean and none of the tricky venting systems that are difficult for parents to clean completely thanks to nooks and crannies. The glass surfaces leave no residue on the inside unlike plastic, and all the parts are dishwasher safe. The silicone sleeve can be tricky to remove, but unless it is soiled, it doesn't have to be taken off for every cleaning. A standard bottle brush is a tight squeeze in the opening and it will spray when you remove it, but we considered this favorable over the internal venting systems.
The Lifefactory has one of the highest ease of use scores tying with the Comotomo bottle. The bottle is straightforward, uncomplicated, and requires no instructions for assembly or use. The bottle has a minimal number of parts, is easy to prep and use and the collar and nipple screw on easily with no threading problems like those we experienced with the Philips AVENT. The bottle feels durable and survived several intentional drops on the floor. It is heavier than plastic bottles, but lighter than the Dr. Brown's bottle. The Lifefactory venting is in the ridges located on the nipple; tightening the collar too much will prevent the venting from working properly and could cause nipple collapse. We didn't have this problem, and instead found the threading and tightening to be easy and no reason to overdo.
Eco-health is one of the bottles best features being made of glass without the potential for leaching chemicals into the contents. Nutrients can also cling to the sides of plastic, but doesn't do this with glass. The glass itself is recyclable and reusable with a longer shelf life than plastic. Plastic can also be scratched more easily which creates a potential home for bacteria growth. The sleeve is made in the US and the glass bottle is made in France.
The dislikes for the Lifefactory bottle are minor and few, most of which we think are easy to overlook when considering all the likes and that no bottle is perfect.
Ease of cleaning is not a problem as already mentioned in our likes, however, the bottle brush is a tight fit in this bottle and it might benefit users to look for a narrower bottle brush option or learn to cope with the splatter and spray that will result from using an ordinary brush. This is still preferable in our minds over the venting systems that require special brushes.
We didn't like that there are no measurements on the bottle itself. The volume measurements are on the silicone sleeve only, rendering the bottle more or less useless for this skill should the sleeve become lost or damaged. The bottle also heats up faster than plastic, which may or may not be a negative, but it is important to note. In addition, it is probably best to handle a hot bottle with the sleeve on to avoid discomfort or injury.
The Lifefactory bottle performed well in all our tests and came in first place out of 9 bottles. Parents who are concerned with durability, quality and simplicity of design will like this bottle for all it has to offer, and the fact that it can be baby's first and last bottle as well as sippy cup with a transition mouthpiece. While it may be more than other award winner and the competition, we feel it has a fair value given the quality of the product and its longevity. This bottle is one of the few not made in China, it has eco-friendly materials and manufacturing and it has a very solid functional design and comes a variety of fun colored sleeves. The bottle is easy for parents to use and clean, and it is easy for babies to hold and latch onto. We think this is one of the best bottles on the market and certainly the best in our review.
Other Versions and Accessories
There are also a variety of accessories available with this bottle including sippy caps, travel and storage flat caps, and ring and stopper sets with a dome cap. No accessory is needed for use with most major brand breast pumps and it fits in many major brand bottle warmers with ease, including the Kiinde Kozii that won an Editors' Choice award in our bottle warmer review.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
Most recent user review: July 1, 2016
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