The Chicco NaturalFit Digital is a steam warmer with a digital user interface and countdown timer. This Chicco has an auto shutoff, and an audible beep with 5 beeps to ensure you hear it. The warmer heats faster than the water bath Chicco NaturalFit, but the final bottle temperature is lower by almost 20 degrees. The Digital is more complicated to use and has a warming chart to follow depending on the bottle content amount, which can be misplaced or forgotten when the bottle size changes. And, while we like the timer countdown feature and knowing when the cycle is almost over, we think the additional complications that come with steam and digital isn't worth the added cost over the simpler and warmer non-Digital version.
Chicco NaturalFit Digital Review
Pros: Auto shut off, audible beep, fits most bottles
Cons: No storage pouch use, cooling between bottles
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Chicco (kee-ko) company was started by Enrico Catelli, which is part of the Artsana Group. As one of the most popular baby gear brands in the US and Europe, Chicco designs products for children from newborns to preschool. Chicco creates a variety of gear that can be found in over 120 countries.
Health and Safety
The Digital loses some ground for safety with steam heating, earning an average score, and it does not beat Chicco NaturalFit in this metric. This warmer varies from its brother that uses water bath technology, which is inherently safer because it doesn't have the potential for steam related injuries.
When following the instructions, the Digital heats the contents to 82F at 5:30 minutes. If left in the chamber when the heat cycle turns-off, the bottle can reach temperatures up to 93F after 12 minutes, and, if set to the warmer's maximum setting, the bottle contents can reach 105F at 7 minutes, and 139F after 12 minutes. These temperatures are far too high for both baby and breastmilk since breastmilk starts to lose nutrients after 104F.
Ease of Use
The NatrualFit Digital is harder to use than the Chicco NatrualFit, earning it a mediocre score, whereas the non-Digital version received a higher score. Also, the non-Digital version has two modes for heating and a single water amount to heat. The Digital has more buttons and requires a chart to determine the water level to use. We also like the countdown timer, which gives you more information if you are waiting for the cycle to end. The user interface is not as user-friendly as it could be with multiple button pushing and holding a button for 3 seconds to power it up. It does have an automatic shut-off or an audible beep to indicate the end of the heat cycle. The user manual is easy to understand, but the three languages in a row mean you need to jump around.
The NaturalFit Digital is faster at warming than its brother with a heat time of 5:30 minutes versus 9:30. However, it isn't as efficient, earning it a mediocre score. The final temperature at shut-off for the NaturalFit Digital is 82F, while the non-Digital temperature is closer to body temps at 97F. If you want to heat a second bottle, you need to let the unit cool completely, which can take 15-30 minutes, making this warmer a poor choice if you have multiple babies.
Never give your baby a bottle until you check the temperature of its contents. Swirl the bottle before testing to avoid any hot spots. Always test on the inside of your wrist as the skin is more sensitive than your finger.
Ease of Cleaning
The NaturalFit Digital scored slightly below-average for ease of cleaning, the lowest score among all metrics. This unit is easy to keep clean daily by wiping it dry and emptying the water after each use. However, regular descaling is where things get a little tricker. The Digital requires a water and vinegar solution and running the warmer through a heat cycle and soaking overnight. Overnight soaking means you'll be without a warmer at least one night a month, which could be a problem if you rely on it for nighttime feeding.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz