In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Philips AVENT Express Review

A simple looking warmer that proved to complicate the bottle warming process for us
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Price:   $46 List
Pros:  Compact unit, albeit a cumbersome cord
Cons:  Messy to fill, poor instructions, bath water too hot, no audible timer, confusing flashing light
Manufacturer:   Philips Avent
By Lindsay Ellis ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 30, 2012
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64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Health/Safety - 40% 7
  • Bottle Heating - 30% 6
  • Ease-of-use - 20% 5
  • Ease-of-cleaning - 10% 8

The Skinny

Out of the box, we liked the simple, compact look of the Philips AVENT Express. Unfortunately, that simple design left us with a more than complicated experience. The AVENT has a stiff, bulky cord that nearly negates the warmer's small size and it's settings and flashing light left us playing a guessing game…something we're not fond of during a late-night feeding. We also have concerns that the warming temperature it too high, and it is too easy to overheat breast milk in this warmer. Studies show that breast milk quality deteriorates rapidly if warming temperatures are too high, and we feel the Philips AVENT Express presents a risk in this regard.

The Philips AVENT Express was discontinued in September of 2015.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Philips AVENT Express uses a warm water bath (as opposed to steam) to heat bottles. At first, this seemed like a simple concept, with no vials or reservoirs to fill. Just set the bottle in the warming chamber and add water to just above the milk level. Well, in reality, you have about a 1/2 inch space between the wall of the warmer and the bottle itself to pour the water in and you'll most likely need a pitcher or a cup (neither are provided) to do so without making a complete mess.
Philips AVENT Express from above.
Philips AVENT Express from above.


Turn the unit on (note that the on-off switch is on the back side) and turn the dial to the appropriate setting. The instructions say it will flash when it's done, but there is no audible timer or beep, so it was easy to miss. We often lost track of the flashes and just went with a separate timer. The unit continues to flash and cycle until you turn it off or unplug it.

We tried leaving it on after removing the bottle and the water just kept getting warmer and warmer with no end in sight. After 10 minutes of being left on with no bottle, we tested the temperature; it had risen an additional 10 degrees, from 167 F(75 C) to 185 F(85 C). Even after unplugging the unit, we found it still steaming 10 minutes later! We feel this is a serious safety concern as it leaves hot water fully exposed to little hands, or maybe even the possibility of complete evaporation leading to a fire hazard.

Likes


The unit itself is small and compact with no extra parts to keep track of.

Dislikes


Confusing instructions.

No timer or auto shut-off, left dangerously hot water exposed.

We found it best to refill it with each use to get an appropriate water level.

We did not find the flashing light to be helpful at all.

Last, but not least, we worry about the fact that the warming temperature it too high. This makes it simple to overheat breast milk in this warmer. We measured warming temperature (of the outer bottle, not the milk) of 167 F (75 C), which suggests that the milk on the inner side of the bottle may be too hot. Information from studies shows that breast milk quality deteriorates quickly if sustained milk temperatures are significantly above 104 F / 40 C. We have concerns that Philips AVENT Express poses a risk with this.

Conclusion


The Philips AVENT Express did not score well in our testing. Using it proved cumbersome and it was hard to be consistent without the outside help of an audible timer. Too high a warming temperature presents an additional risk, and one we'd prefer not to take.

Average warming time:
4 oz. refrigerated bottle~4:00
5 oz. refrigerated bag~2:30

5 oz. frozen bag~7:00


Lindsay Ellis