Trying to select the best baby bottle? We purchased 28 for testing and ranked the top 9 bottles of 2020. To find the best, each bottle is assessed for ease of assembly and usability, nipple shape, leakage, anti-colic features, ease of cleaning, material, and cost. We know that navigating a market flooded with baby bottles can be overwhelming, but we are confident that this review will help you narrow the field to choose the best bottle for your baby and wallet.
The Best Baby Bottle Review
The Comotomo impresses with its eco-friendly materials, breastlike nipple, and overall simplicity. With only three parts, it is simple to assemble. The silicone body and nipple ensure that baby's milk has minimal contact with plastic, while also providing a soft, breastlike surface for baby to grab when feeding. The nipple is softer than average and has a vent on either side to help your baby swallow more milk and less air. Users report that the silicone is durable, and thanks to its wide-neck design, cleaning is a breeze. Still, you'll likely want a small brush to make sure that the nipple valves are clear of residue to keep the milk flowing freely.
We like the advantages of silicone for the body, but there are some downsides. The pliable material does not create much support, and because the bottle's base is smaller than the top, it can fall over. Also, due to the squeezable nature of silicone, a small stream of milk can spray from the nipple when only a little pressure is applied (think inside a diaper bag or accidentally sat on). All things considered, these are relatively minor drawbacks, which is why the Comotomo is one of our favorites and one we would use or recommend to a friend.
Read Review: Comotomo
We are huge fans of the Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle. Constructed from durable borosilicate glass, this bottle is thermal shock resistant, meaning it can withstand extreme temperatures without fear of breakage. Imagine a freezer to bottle warmer scenario, all in one-step - very convenient! The stylish silicone sleeve, which is included, provides a layer of protection, along with added grip. Since the glass bottle seals with the silicone nipple, liquids do not come into contact with the plastic outer ring. The valve system is super simple with ridges on the nipple flange that allow air to pass through. One thing to note, avoid screwing the nipple on too tightly, or it will prevent ventilation, and the nipple may collapse. With sippy caps available, this bottle can be used well into toddlerhood.
The downside of glass is its weight; a heavier bottle can be more difficult for a baby to hold. The bottle's narrow mouth requires more precision when transferring or pouring liquids, and can be troublesome to clean, even with a bottle brush. Additionally, a narrow neck means the nipple base is narrow, too. While we much prefer nipples with a broader base because they are more breastlike, we haven't heard many baby latching complaints. There are raised dots on the silicone sleeve to indicate volume measurements, which are easy to read but can be hard to line up with liquid in the bottle. Despite these minor issues, we believe the Lifefactory bottle is an excellent non-toxic product and a great longterm investment for the eco-minded.
Read Review: Lifefactory Glass Bottle
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature is an affordable plastic bottle that is a long-time favorite for many reasons. The squat, contoured shape in combo with its lighter weight makes this bottle easy for small hands to hold. The wide mouth is easy to fill and clean, and with only three parts, there isn't much to keep track of or clean. The volume markings are dark and easy to read. The nipple mound is wide and mimics the shape of a breast, making this a good option for babies who switch back and forth from breast to bottle feeding.
Even though the wide mouth makes cleaning more manageable, you'll need a bottle brush to clean the uniquely shaped bottle. Some users report that with heavy use, the volume markings wear off, and liquid can become stuck below the rim, requiring some feeding acrobatics to consume. Despite our preference for non-plastic, there are many things to love when it comes to this bottle. Most noteworthy is its durability and budget-friendly price, making this a great backup, travel companion, or daycare option.
Read Review: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature
The Evenflo Vented + Glass is a simple classic; no tricks or twists with this one. We appreciate the fact that it is made of glass and is still one of the least expensive bottles in this review. Made from tempered glass treated to be more durable than regular glass, it still may be more prone to cracking than borosilicate. With only three parts, it is easy to clean, but the narrow mouth opening requires a bottle brush. A single vent in the nipple allows air to pass and helps prevent colic, but it may need a special tiny brush to clean.
We like that this bottle is glass, but it is not the sturdiest type, and Evenflo doesn't offer a protective sleeve, so it is likely to break sooner than other glass bottles in this review. The nipple mound is pretty small and could be challenging for breastfed babies. The volume measurements are clear raised markings on the glass that can be difficult to read, whether the bottle is full or empty. Although it may not be the top of the pack, we still believe that the Evenflo Vented + Glass bottle is a good option for those on a tight budget trying to maintain a health-conscious environment for baby. If you are willing to take extra care with your bottles, it could be the right choice.
Read Review: Evenflo Vented + Glass
The innovative design of the Boon Nursh presents a new twist on an old concept. While most baby bottles have a valve for airflow to prevent colic, the Nursh relies on its collapsable silicone liner that squeezes out air. This design is similar to a bottle with a plastic drop-in liner, but it uses eco-friendly and health-conscious material. The silicone liner seals with the silicone nipple, keeping liquid in a chemical-free environment. The liner drops into a plastic outer shell that acts as a base so the bottle can stand on its own. The bottle's wide-neck makes liquid transfer effortless, and when it comes to cleaning, it is beyond easy. Not only is the silicone liner removable and can be flipped inside out for easier cleaning and drying, but there are also no small parts or tiny vent holes to worry about. The wide nipple base creates a more breastlike feeding experience for little ones and may make it easier to get a good latch.
Although the silicone liner is thin and pliable for natural sucking, it can be somewhat delicate. If handled roughly, it may tear easier than other silicone bottles. However, with regular use, this shouldn't be an issue. The hard plastic outer shell gives nearly 360° protection when the bottle is assembled and prevents liquid from being squeezed out by mistake. The nipple is stiffer, perhaps to avoid the nipple from collapsing as the baby feeds. While we appreciate that the material that touches the baby's food is healthier, a good portion of this bottle is plastic, which isn't great. The volume markings are etched into the outer shell and match up with liner markings, but they can be challenging to read. Despite these considerations, we think the Boon Nursh is an excellent bottle. Silicone is an excellent alternative to plastic that is lighter and more durable than glass, and the unique non-venting system of the Nursh may be just right for your baby.
Read Review: Boon Nursh
The NUK Simply Natural Glass is a straightforward glass bottle that gets the job done, with no extra frills. This bottle is made out of durable borosilicate glass that seals with the silicone nipple, ensuring that liquid never has contact with plastic, making this a great eco-healthy option. A unique feature of the nipple is that it has multiple holes, similar to a mother's breast, and the number of holes increases as the baby moves through the flow rate stages. The nipple is also slightly flattened on one side, which is more ergonomic and better for teeth development. As for the nipple mound, it is wide, a design that can be good for babies who struggle to latch on narrow or standard nipples.
Unfortunately, NUK doesn't offer an outer sleeve for the Natural Glass bottle, so with less protection, it can be more prone to breaks. The volume measurements are marked in white and can be seen with white milk in the bottle, but we much prefer darker markings. There is an anti-colic vent that must be positioned right under the baby's nose when feeding, and users report that if the vent is not positioned correctly, it won't let air in, and the nipple can collapse. Luckily, you can realign the vent with a twist of the bottle. Overall, if you are budget-minded, yet want a glass bottle that will keep potential chemicals out of your baby's food, we think this could be a good fit.
Read Review: NUK Simply Natural Glass
If you live on-the-go with a formula-fed baby, then the PopYum may be the perfect bottle for you. These innovative plastic bottle stores pre-measured water and the formula powder without mixing them. By squeezing two buttons, you can have a freshly mixed bottle anywhere, eliminating the need to carry a separate container. The volume markings are clear white numbers on an orange background that don't disappear when the bottle is full. The wide nipple mound provides a more breastlike feeding experience, and the wide mouth opening makes filling the bottle a cinch. While it does have several parts to facilitate the separation of liquid and powder, the whole thing comes apart for easier cleaning. If you happen to lose one of the parts, the company has a good reputation for being helpful and often sending replacement parts for free.
We don't like the materials of this bottle, as it is mostly plastic. However, when used on-the-go, this is beneficial, as it will travel better and be more durable. Another downside is that it only holds 5 oz of mixed formula, but it is twice as large as the competition. This is inevitable as it needs twice the space to keep water and formula separate, but in the end, it will still take up more space in the diaper bag. Last, you must take special care to correctly assemble the bottle after filling the compartments. A failed seal can result in bottle contents mixing before your baby is ready to eat, which defeats the purpose. We like the PopYum and think it fills a specific niche in a way that some parents will find helpful enough to overlook its few flaws.
Read Review: PopYum
Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Original has long been touted as the ultimate solution for colicky babies. Their unique venting system ensures that air is properly funneled through the bottle without coming into contact with the milk, which prevents air bubbles that the baby could swallow. It is also supposed to help prevent nutrient loss by avoiding oxidation that occurs when air bubbles pass directly through the milk. Many parents claim it works so well to reduce colic that it is worth all the extra time cleaning multiple parts. It is also very light, which makes it easier for a baby to hold on their own when the time comes. The volume markings are blue and easy to read.
We are not huge fans of plastic, and this bottle has a lot of it. With a total of 5 parts (not counting the nipple cover), all but the nipple are plastic. Not only are there lots of parts to clean, but there are so many small openings and crevices that Dr. Brown's sells a special cleaning kit to accommodate this. The directions say that all parts are dishwasher safe. Still, we strongly discourage throwing plastic in the dishwasher as it can degrade the plastic and increase the likelihood of chemicals leaching into the contents of the bottle. Some parents find relief for their gassy babies with this bottle, and it may be precisely what your baby needs, but if your little one isn't colicky, we think there are better (less convoluted) options to try first.
Everything about the Boob bottle screams ease of use, and the Joovy Boob Diamond is an improved version of Joovy's original Boob bottle. This new version is made from borosilicate glass, which can withstand temperature shock, and claims to be 50% less breakable; thus, earning the diamond status. Besides its increased durability, it functions the same as the older Boob bottle. The volume markings are dark numbers printed on the glass, which are easy to read. There is a total of four parts to clean, and the wide mouth makes the job easy without the need for special tools (although a bottle brush may come in handy, even if it's not necessary). The contoured shape is easier to hold, and if you purchase the silicone sleeve, available in various colors, you'll get a better grip and added protection from potential breakage. The vent system is a ring that fits on the bottle's rim that allows a bit of air to pass through. This system is not as simple as a vented nipple, but it is easy to clean and assemble. The nipple mound is not as wide in comparison to others, but we think it is wide enough to suit most baby's needs.
Even great bottles have some downsides. For this bottle, liquids do come into contact with the plastic vent. Users report that the venting ring warps over time, especially if you put it in the dishwasher. It is possible to buy replacements, but wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to worry about it? Also, this bottle is costly, and considering the additional cost of the sleeve, it nearly doubles the price of the average bottle, with no extra features to show for it. We love this bottle, but couldn't bring ourselves to give it an award, especially when other options on the market are almost as good, for half the price. The one advantage is the breast like shape of the nipple, so if you find that your baby prefers this nipple over others, and your budget allows, we think you'll love the Boob Diamond.
Recommended If It Worked Better
The aLoo is a creative solution to a frustrating problem: wasted breastmilk. Often a baby will begin a feed but decide halfway through they don't want to finish. Since bacteria grow the moment your baby's saliva enters the bottle, the remaining nutrient-rich breastmilk will need to be discarded. The aLoo solves this problem by creating a barrier between the nipple and the body of the bottle; thus, it keeps breastmilk and saliva separate, without inhibiting milk flow. Score! The aLoo is compatible with 7 different bottle brands at the moment, with more on the way.
This product is new and still in the works, so it has a few kinks to iron out. During testing, we discovered that although the aLoo fits with the Philips Avent Natural Glass bottle, milk would leak from the rim if the bottle was left on its side. Many other users expressed similar troubles with achieving a proper seal, or not fitting correctly in the nipple. Also, it is plastic, so if you are using a glass or silicone bottle to avoid plastic, using the aLoo will throw a wrench in. We love the idea of the aLoo, and if it worked 100% of the time, we'd highly recommend it. However, at $15 a pop, it can double the price of your bottle, and in this stage of its development, it may cause more problems than it solves. From what it looks like, aLoo is working hard to improve the functionality, and we think this could be a must-have item in the near future for breastmilk and formula-fed babies.
Why You Should Trust Us
When it comes to baby bottles, the BabyGearLab Team is exceptionally knowledgeable and equally passionate. Overseeing the review is BabyGearLab founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier a board-certified pediatrician and mother of two. With a combination of her medical training and experience as a physician, Dr. Juliet Spurrier selects only the top products on the market and identifies the critical metrics in which the baby bottles will be tested. Product testing took place in-house at BabyGearLab by Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford a leading member of BabyGearLab's Review Team since 2015. Also contributing with hands-on, real-world testing is MaryAnn Wofford and her 7-month-old charge, Annie. MaryAnn has over 10 years of experience as a professional nanny in addition to being a mother to 6 children.
The bottles we purchased were tested side-by-side for things like leakage and ease of cleaning. Feedback from tiny testers and their caregivers about baby preference and ease of use also influenced the final analysis and ranks.
There are so many baby bottles on the market, and it may be hard to tell the difference between them. You may be tempted to close your eyes, point your finger, and let fate decide. However, there are some specific qualities that we think can make your baby bottle days much easier… or harder, depending on your choice, so it's best to put some thought into what features are important to you before investing in a bottle for your little one.
Ease of Use
Baby bottles are gear you'll be handling upwards of 7 times a day for the first few months, so it must be as simple and painless as possible. You should ask questions like how many pieces will I have to assemble and clean? How tricky is a liquid transfer? Is it comfortable to hold? Our favorite bottles have very few parts and are fool-proof to assemble. Bottles such as the Boon Nursh with a wide neck opening will be much easier to mix formula or pour breastmilk into, reducing waste and eliminating the mess. While narrow neck options could result in the loss of liquid and a big mess.
A bottle with clear volume markings you can see in the dark may be vital if you want to keep a close eye on how much your baby is eating. Is it comfortable to hold for extended periods of time? What about for baby? Glass bottles like the Lifefactory or the NUK Simply Natural Glass are heavy and harder for a baby to hold. Plastic and silicone options are generally lighter and more comfortable for small hands to manage; the Comotomo is both lightweight and pliable for easy gripping.
The nipple your baby will like best is hard to predict, so we recommend narrowing it down to just a few brands and purchasing one bottle from each to test. Almost all nipples are made from silicone, but each is shaped differently, and some are stiffer or softer. The NUK Simply Natural Glass has a flattened nipple tip and soft silicone that is meant to closely imitate the breast. There are some common features that babies typically like. In general, the more breastlike the nipple, the more likely the baby is to get a good latch. This means a wide base is usually best and selecting the correct flow rate a must.
The last thing you want to worry about is leakage. You want to be able to whip up a bottle, screw on the top, and soothe baby ASAP. None of the bottles we tested leaked when they were correctly assembled, but bottles with fewer parts, such as the Evenflo Vented + Glass or the Comotomo, are less likely to be assembled incorrectly, which can prevent leaks. Our tests show that when used in conjunction with the aLoo, any bottle may leak if left on its side too long.
Every baby bottle in this review has some anti-colic system or claim. Most use a vented nipple, which allows a small amount of air to pass through a hole in the base of the nipple to prevent a vacuum. The Lifefactory has ridges on the base of the nipple that serve the same purpose.
Others have an additional piece that allows air in and out of the bottle. The Joovy Boob Diamond has a collar that fits around the rim of the bottle and leaves a bit of space without releasing milk. Dr. Brown's is perhaps the most complicated venting system with a multitude of parts that requires special tools to clean. However, parents of colicky babies often swear by this bottle.
Lastly, as seen in the Boon Nursh, having no vent can also be an effective anti-colic system. This bottle has a silicone liner that seals tightly with the nipple and creates a vacuum, the liner then collapses as baby drinks to relieve the pressure without the need for added air.
Ease of Cleaning
Although all of the bottles we chose are "dishwasher safe" (as indicated by the manufacturer), we strongly recommend handwashing plastic parts to reduce leaching chemicals and to prolong use. We love the Munchkin Bottle and Nipple Brush for handwashing, but even with a special brush, certain bottles will be easier to clean than others. A baby bottle with a narrow mouth opening will likely spray as you pull the brush out, a problem you won't encounter with wide-neck options. The Boon Nursh has only two parts that need real scrubbing, both of which can be turned inside out and cleaned with a regular sponge.
Eco-health is very important to us, and many of the bottles we chose are glass or silicone, both of which are generally considered safer than plastic.
There are three main types of plastic that are used in bottles: Polypropylene (PP), Polyethersulphone (PES), and polyphenylsulfone (PPSU).
- PP plastic is the cheapest and least durable of the three. It quickly degrades in boiling water and can only withstand max temperatures up to 120° C. If you have a bottle that uses this plastic, they recommend that you replace it every 6 months.
- PES is the middle of the road option. It will start to degrade when placed in boiling water and can handle temps up to 180° C, making it more durable for daily use. Experts also recommend that you change PES bottles every 6 months.
- PPSU is the highest performing of the three for durability and heat tolerance. It is frequently used in aerospace and medical devices. Thanks to its high melting point of 208° C, it can be repeatedly sterilized in boiling water. It is naturally BPA-free and does not absorb color or odor. PPSU bottles should be changed yearly.
If the manufacturer does not state the type of plastic used in the bottle, you can typically assume that it is PP.
There are two types of glass used in the baby bottles in this review, tempered glass and borosilicate glass. Tempered glass is created by treating regular glass with a chemical or thermal process to increase durability. It is also more resistant to heat, but it is still not a good idea to go straight from the freezer to the bottle warmer with tempered. Borosilicate glass has a different chemical makeup that makes it extremely durable and helps it endure significant and sudden temperature changes without breaking. These bottles generally last a long time and can be trusted to withstand daily use.
Silicone is perhaps the best of both worlds. It is much healthier than plastic and more durable and lighter than glass. Silicone bottles use to be kind of a rarity, but there are many new options on the market. Silicone options included in this review are the Comotomo and the Boon Nursh.
When purchasing a baby bottle, you should consider how much you plan to use it. Are you planning to bottle-feed exclusively? Then you will want something that will stand the test of time, not break, and will work well day-to-day. If you are planning to breastfeed and occasionally supplement with formula, then you may opt for a less expensive bottle, as its functionality may be less important on a daily basis. Maybe you want something you can use beyond bottle feeding; if so, the Lifefactory would be a good choice as you can buy sippy caps and flat covers for toddlers.
Another consideration is the cost of healthy choices. Is it worth saving a few bucks now, when it could potentially cause health issues down the road? We don't think so. Plastic bottles may not break as often as glass, but if you have to replace them every 6 months, it will add up and be more expensive than glass or silicone in the end.
Baby bottles are an essential piece of baby gear and one that you might be using multiple times a day for more than a year, so it's important to choose the right one for your baby. Important factors like leakage, ease of cleaning, and convenience are all things you should consider. This roundup includes the best of the best with an option for even the most discerning baby and parent, and while we can't say what your baby will prefer, we feel confident there is something for everyone on our list.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD, Abriah Wofford, Molly Bradac