The Munchkin Speed is a fast heating steam warmer that warms bottles in as little as 90 seconds. This unit works with a variety of bottle sizes and materials, but it will not work with breastmilk storage pouches. It does have an auto shutoff when the cycle is over, but there is no audible sound to tell parents it is time to remove the bottle. This design flaw could result in parents missing the end of the cycle which could lead to a bottle that is too hot as it overheats quickly when left in the chamber. While we like most things that help parents and give them time, the safety concerns with the Speed make it a warmer we don't recommend. We feel that a few more minutes to warm a bottle is acceptable if it means avoiding potential risks.
Munchkin Speed Review
Pros: Inexpensive, fast, quick second bottle heating
Cons: Too hot, hard to fill vial, gross build up
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Munchkin was founded in 1991 by a dad who liked inventing. Since then, the company has acquired over 200 patents and a loyal following of parents worldwide. Munchkin's tagline is that it is the little things that matter most, offering all sorts of gear from feeding to diaper pails.
Health and Safety
The Munchkin Speed earned the lowest score for health and safety in our tests. The Speed is a very hot unit with potential for steam related injuries. While it heats faster than any other option when following directions, it heats ridiculously high temperatures if you stray from the guide and either leave the bottle in after the heat cycle is over (132F at 12 minutes) or use the maximum heat setting. In our tests, maximum heat resulted in bottles with temperatures as high as 147F at 12 minutes and over 104F at only 3 minutes. This temperature is when breastmilk starts to lose nutrients, and we imagine it might be tempting to heat a bottle on high and forget it is in the chamber until it is over the recommended body temperature.
Ease of Use
The Munchkin has some ease of use issues that hurt its score in our tests, earning it a below-average score, but not the lowest of the competition. The munchkin instructions are easy to read, with each language having its own section. However, the heating chart is convoluted, and you'll need it every time you change a bottle type, size, or content level. If this chart were on the warmer, this would make life easier, but as it stands, you'll need to keep the instructions nearby. It has an auto shut-off, but there is no audible indicator for the end of the cycle.
The unit includes a vial for water measuring with arbitrary lines labeled with letters. It's nice that the vial attaches to the warmer, so you are less likely to lose it, and if you do, the warmer is virtually useless. Once you know your line, you are set, but this line can change as your little one needs more food. Also, the vial can be challenging to fill to the right line and requires some patience and time to get right. It also involves the use of the adapter ring to heat the bottle properly. You could easily forget this ring in the middle of the night. The user interface is off and on, which is as straightforward as it can be.
The Munchkin Speed has the fastest heat cycle time in this review, earning it a top score for warming efficiency. Following the instructions, this unit shut off at 2:30 minutes, and the bottle reached a temperature of 97F, which is one of the closest to body temperature without going over in the group. So, not only is it fast, but it delivers the temperature most parents desire. However, during testing, we did have some disparity with bottles that varied from 75-97F degrees using the same settings and water. While not a deal-breaker, it is something to keep in mind. Unfortunately, if you don't follow the instructions, or you don't remove the bottle when the heat cycle is over, you can find yourself with a bottle that is too hot for a little one's mouth or breastmilk losing nutrients if temperature surpasses 104F.
Before you give a bottle to your baby, you should test the temperature of the contents. This includes swirling the bottle to limit hot spots and dripping some on the inside of your wrist. Your wrist is more sensitive than your finger, and therefore, better at determining if something is too hot or cold.
You only need to wait about 5 minutes before heating a second bottle, but you do run the risk that the second bottle will be warm faster or too hot if you warm it for the same amount of time.
Ease of Cleaning
The Munchkin Speed earned a slightly above-average score for ease of cleaning. Everyday cleaning requires dumping the cooled water and wiping the unit clean. The basket and ring are dishwasher safe, or you can wash them by hand and air dry. Many users report that regular use creates a brown and crusty residue in the chamber that is hard to clean. We didn't experience this, but it seems common enough to mention.
The Speed also requires descaling about once a month, something true of each unit. Descaling consists of a vinegar/water solution that you let sit in the chamber until the mineral deposits are gone. This time can vary depending on how significant they are.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz