Medela Breastmilk Review
Pros: Works w/ Medela breastpumps, easy to assemble
Cons: Nipple leaks, plastic, nipple, hard to clean
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Medela Breastmilk Bottle is made by Medela, a familiar brand for many parents, even new ones. The manufacturer is practically synonymous with breastfeeding thanks to their impressive lineup of breast pumps and accessories that make breastfeeding and collecting and storing breastmilk easier. They offer products that for pumping, storage, and feeding baby, including the Breastmilk bottle. The Breastmilk is compatible with all the Medela pumps, is dishwasher safe and BPA-free, made of FDA food contact grade polypropylene. It comes with minimal parts making it easy to clean, and it attaches directly to the pump for easy collection and storage without transfer that can result in losing milk.
This comparison chart shows the overalls cores for the bottles we tested in this review. The Medela is shown in blue for easy comparison.
The sections below provide additional details on what we liked and disliked about this product.
The best thing about this Medela bottle is the compatibility with Medela breast pumps and other accessories. Being able to pump milk directly into the same bottle baby will drink out of limits waste, uses fewer containers, and reduces the number of steps necessary to make a bottle for your baby.
The Medela is an uncomplicated bottle with a simple design and few parts. We were able to assemble the parts without the instructions and having fewer parts makes cleaning easier. This design gave the Medela its highest score in the review for cleaning. The plastic bottle is BPA-free and won't break like glass can, reducing the risk of possible injury (though slim) related to broken glass. The nipple compatible with the bottle is of medium firmness and gets the job done even though it is on the smaller side.
We also like the outside measurement markings on this bottle because testers found them easy to read and well defined. This bottle is compatible with most bottle warmers, and it is the lightest weight bottle in this review.
We found more dislikes than likes when it came to the Medela bottle compared to the competition. Testers felt the bottle failed in comparison on some pretty key factors that spelled trouble for baby and parents.The Medela nipple leaks regularly and despite our efforts to limit this problem. We experienced leaking around the nipple area and around the collar where the nipple portion attaches to the bottle. Leaking is a problem when baby drinks and you invert the bottle for use. If leaking while in use isn't bad enough, the cap for this bottle doesn't sit on the body of the bottle securely, so the bottle might leak when carried and stowed as well. For any mother that has struggled to create enough of the liquid gold known as breast milk, this is a very frustrating thing, and it makes this bottle a disappointment to many of our testers.
We also weren't big fans of the nipple design or feel on the Medela as it is on the smaller side and caused latching problems for our little testers. Because some babies could get the entire nipple into their mouth, they had problems with the nipple collapsing. Even many Amazon reviewers experienced similar events that we did in our testing of collapsing nipples, indicating it might be a widespread issue for this nipple design. The collapsing nipple means you have to remove the bottle from baby's mouth and right the nipple before feeding can continue. The lack of venting on this bottle likely exacerbates this problem.
While the bottle has few parts making cleaning easier and less time consuming, it also has a narrow neck design that makes fitting the brush into the bottle more difficult and increases the chances of parents needing an additional smaller cleaning brush on hand to get deep inside the container. The bottle design is also somewhat strange because it offers no venting (something very common in most modern bottles) and the milk had a tendency of getting stuck in the wide area below the nipple when the baby was drinking.
The Medela also didn't score well for eco-health thanks to its plastic body (see our article on plastics). While we understand it is BPA free FDA food contact grade polypropylene, it still isn't as inert as glass or stainless steel, and we think glass offers potentially more benefits to your baby because the nutrients in the breastmilk don't cling to the inside of the bottle like it can with plastics. Also, this bottle is made in China, and we prefer those created in America or Europe.
Overall, the Medela Breastmilk isn't the best choice for most parents, though we can see the argument for moms who use a Medela breast pump keeping some on hand for quick transfers and convenience for storage or while traveling. We think it is better to invest in other options for your go to bottle given the lower score of the Medela and the fact that it came in last place in our tests. With the potential of finding a similarly priced glass bottle that performs better and leaks less, the Medela becomes a less desirable option.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More