Best Baby Bottle Brush
Of all the bottle brushes we've had the pleasure of using, the OXO Tot Brush is by far our favorite. The plastic wiggle bristles find the ideal balance between soft and stiff, allowing you to get a good scrub going that doesn't fling water everywhere. The long, rubber-coated handle helps you to reach the bottom of taller bottles, and you can throw it in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. One of our favorite features of the OXO Tot is the nylon bristles of nipple cleaner, which do a superior job of getting things clean. When not in use, it screws into the handle of the larger brush and snaps securely into place, so there is no chance of losing it. We also love the sturdy base that provides a place to set up the brush when you are done.
The OXO Tot Brush is totally plastic, which we try to avoid due to its health and environmental concerns. The nipple brush is also a little tricky to remove as it requires you to press a button and twist the neck simultaneously, and we struggled to do it with one hand. We don't consider this a deal-breaker, but it is not as convenient as some other tested options. In the end, the superior functionality of this brush easily outweighed these minor flaws, and the OXO Tot is our top choice for a bottle brush.
The Mama Bear Bottle Brush is a handy bottle cleaning tool with a sponge tip and soft nylon bristles twisted in a steel neck. The handle is plastic with a slip-resistant coating and is relatively comfortable to hold. We really like the sponge and bristle combo as it seems to provide a good scrub but is also gentle on delicate surfaces. The stem of the brush is thin and easily fits into small openings, and the sponge can reach the corners of oddly-shaped bottles for a complete clean. The bristles are soft, so there isn't much back spray even when removing the brush from a narrow opening. The opposite side has a lightly textured plastic nipple cleaner. The entire brush is top-rack dishwasher safe for sterilization. These brushes typically come in a 3-pack and are very affordable.
The neck and handle of this brush are a bit short for cleaning taller 8-9 oz bottles. Also, the Mama Bear brush doesn't feel very durable. When frequently forced through a small opening, the sponge tip rips, and with regular use, you will likely need to replace it every 30-60 days. Such a short usage span means that more waste is created in the long term if you're concerned about your environmental impact. Despite these hiccups, the Mama Bear Bottle Brush is an affordable and effective bottle cleaner that most parents will like.
The Philips Avent Baby Bottle Brush has a very simplistic yet highly functional design. The brush only has bristles on one side, more like a traditional dish scrubber. However, the tip's curved shape splays out the nylon bristles and allows you to reach the bottom of narrow bottles with ease. The single-sided design also allows you to direct the overspray down towards the sink, not all over the kitchen. It has a very comfortable handle angled for ergonomic scrubbing, but the most attractive feature of this brush is that you can use it for more than just cleaning bottles. The bristles cover enough surface area that we like using this as a general dishwashing tool.
The Avent Baby brush is plastic with nylon bristles. While these materials offer durability and longevity, we aren't huge fans of plastic. The rear tip of the handle narrows into a textured nipple scrubber. However, it is elementary, and we would recommend purchasing an additional small brush for cleaning nipples and straws. Overall, the Philips Avent baby bottle brush is a simplistic yet highly appreciated workhorse, and we think it would be a great addition to your bottle cleaning arsenal.
The Dr. Brown's Straw Brush is a staple in our homes. These long and narrow brushes work perfectly with Dr. Brown's bottle system, but we find them useful for everything from nipples, straws, water bottle lids, and more. At a mere 5" long and 1/4" wide, these brushes fit in every crevice. The flexible wire stem reaches awkward angles and cleans items that are less than straight. Since they come in a pack of 4, you can customize one or two by bending them into different shapes to better clean specific bottles/lids in your home.
The downside to super tiny, flexible brushes is that they are much easier to lose or damage. Choosing a dedicated brush space on your counter or keeping them in a small cup helps limit this potential. The handles on these brushes (if you could call it that) are almost nonexistent and may be more difficult for large-fingered persons to maneuver. It is merely an extension of the wire with a small loop at the end. We appreciate these tiny brushes for their unique application and consider them an essential kitchen tool in any home.
The Redecker Beechwood Brush is an eco-friendly alternative to your traditional bottle brush. The handle is untreated beechwood, and the bristles are horsehair. Our favorite part of this brush is that there is absolutely no plastic. This feature is a big draw for those who would like to limit plastic for health or environmental reasons. This brush performs on par with other top products for cleaning ability. The bristles are semi-stiff and work up a good lather but are soft enough to mold around the curves and crevices. We also did not experience much back spray when pulling the brush head out of narrow-necked bottles, which reduces overall messes and cleanup.
This brush is a bare-bones product and does not come with fancy accessories or features like a nipple brush or stand. Redecker recommends that you hang the brush to dry, but you must devise a system of your own to do this. If you choose to purchase this product, you will likely need to invest in an additional brush for nipples and other small items. The Redecker is also one of the more expensive items in our review; however, it is highly durable and built to last. Some users choose to repurpose the brush for household cleaning after it is no longer suitable for dishes. We appreciate the Redecker Beechwood for its eco-health priorities and think it is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious families.
Dr. Brown's Bottle Brush is a tried and true bottle brush that many people love. The bristle and sponge combination on the brush head ensures that you can thoroughly clean any bottle, no matter how oddly shaped it might be. We especially appreciate that the bristles are soft enough not to cause overspray, but the sponge is sufficiently substantial to scrub off dried milk rings from the bottom of a bottle. The sponge is much less abrasive than bristles, and you can use it on more delicate items like wine glasses. The flexible neck allows you to reach awkward spaces and tight angles more easily. This brush has a textured plastic nipple cleaner on the handle and a suction cup base to keep it upright when not in use. If it ever gets too gross for comfort, it is dishwasher safe to keep things clean.
This brush is not very durable. While we feel that the sponge does a great job of cleaning bottles, it is easily torn when repeatedly forced through narrow neck openings. The soft bristles get bent out of shape quickly, and you may need to replace your bottle brush every 3-4 weeks, depending on how frequently you use it. The included brush stand is a good idea, but we think it is too small, especially compared to the much more substantial base of the OXO Tot Brush. Despite our durability concerns, Dr. Brown's Bottle Brush is one of the most affordable in our review, making it a reasonable monthly expense for some. We feel that given its fantastic cleaning ability, the trade-off is worth it if your budget and time allow.
The Boon Cacti comes with 4 brushes of various shapes and sizes to fit all your dishwashing needs. They are handy for cleaning sippy cups, breast pump parts, reusable straws, or travel mugs. We appreciate that the set comes with all the brushes you could need, meaning no additional purchases are necessary. The bristles of the largest brush are stiff nylon, while the smaller ones are less abrasive. It comes with a handy stand that keeps things organized and helps the brushes dry thoroughly between uses. The base pops open, so you can drain and clean it to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
Unfortunately, the Cacti brushes are not dishwasher safe and cannot be sanitized in the microwave or by boiling; you must use a chemical sanitizer. We also try to avoid plastic when possible, and these brushes are almost entirely plastic. The bristles of the largest cactus are stiff enough to cause some overspray, but that is the tradeoff for their more aggressive cleaning power. Although a bit more expensive than some other bottle brushes, the Boob Cacti Brush Set is a one-and-done deal and will look charming on the windowsill behind your sink, keeping your kitchen organized and cute.
If you are looking for a long-lasting, plastic-free, durable brush, then the Kitchiny Silicone Brush may be the one for you. This extra long-handled scrubber has a silicone-coated steel rod base, with a squishy handle on one end and a silicone bristle tip on the other. We like the idea of using silicone as it is healthier and more eco-friendly than plastic. It is also highly durable and will last longer than the average plastic bristled scrubber. Unlike many other options, the food-grade silicone is safe for sanitization, so you won't have to worry about replacing the brush periodically due to bacteria growth.
Most of the complaints our testers had about the Kitchiny centered around the size of the brush head. It is much smaller than much of the competition, and the bristles are short. We think this is because a more substantial brush head would not fit in many narrow-necked bottles, but it takes a bit longer to clean bottles with such a small surface area. It also does not create as much of a lather as a regular bristle or sponge. Lack of lather has nothing to do with the cleanliness of the bottle, but you may find yourself using more soap than necessary, waiting for a lather to occur. While there are a few flaws, if eco-health and cleanliness in your kitchen are priorities for you, then the Kitchiny Silicone Brush may be your perfect solution.
Sometimes you don't have time to clean your bottles immediately after use, so you then end up with solid, dried-on milk or juice residue. Enter the Munchkin Bristle Brush. It is a stiff-bristled, plastic brush with a rubber nipple brush that unscrews from the base. The stiffer bristles' nature means that this brush can handle tough, dried-on messes and get your bottles clean in no time. This brush was the most efficient at tackling day-old milk residue in our testing. The nipple brush fits into the small openings of nipples more precisely than any other we tested and is easy to remove from the base of the handle when needed.
Unfortunately, this brush has So. Much. Backspray. This brush had us turning our heads and closing our eyes in anticipation of the gigantic spit storm. This issue is due to the same stiff bristles that make it such an efficient scrubber; however, it was an unpleasant experience. We frequently chose to use other brushes precisely because of this issue. Also, the brush head is large, and the stiffness of the bristles prevent it from fitting in very narrow-necked bottles. We feel that this brush is more durable than many others we have used, but the Munchkin recommends replacing it every 30-45 days regardless. We recommend the Munchkin Bristle Brush for those extra stuck-on messes.
The Redecker Baby Bottle Brush is one of two products in our review made entirely from natural materials, and we appreciate their efforts at creating plastic-free alternatives. This brush has a twisted steel neck, pig hair bristles, and an untreated beechwood handle. The bristles are some of the softest in our review and are perfect for delicate surfaces, but they are still durable and hold their shape well. The brush head is very narrow and will easily slide into any sized neck opening and produce minimum back spray when removing it. Thanks to this, we like using this brush for more than baby bottles, branching out into narrow-necked vases or wine bottles.
The unique combination of a bend in the neck and a free-spinning handle is supposed to make it easy to swivel the brush around a bottle and expedite the cleaning process. In reality, this makes it more challenging to maneuver, and we struggled to reach some corners. Perhaps our biggest gripe is that the bristles on this brush are not stiff enough to do real scrubbing. This brush is great if you immediately clean your bottles or want something gentle to use on easily scratched surfaces. However, we don't think that it is the ideal brush for most circumstances.
Why You Should Trust Us
After years of testing and using baby bottles, sippy cups, and water bottles, we consider ourselves bottle-washing experts. Leading product selection and testing for our bottle brush review is Senior Review Editor Abriah Wofford. Abriah has gotten her hands on various brushes over the years, thanks to her experience as a nanny. She has a good grasp of what to look for in the perfect bottle brush. For this review, she replicated a worst-case dirty bottle situation during testing, leaving a layer of milk in bottles to dry overnight before testing each brush. Durability, eco-health, and baby health are other attributes she evaluated.
Analysis and Test Results
We bought, tested, and compared various bottle brushes to determine the most effective way to clean dirty bottles. While using each product, we paid particular attention to unique features, cleaning abilities and compared the options side-by-side.
Bottle brushes should excel at easily scrubbing away breastmilk, formula, or whatever else you choose to put in the container. While all of the products we tested worked well enough, a few options have more effective designs that made the bottle washing process significantly easier. We favor brushes with medium-stiff bristles and a larger brush head to clean a greater surface area. We also appreciate products with a nipple brush included or built-in. The OXO Tot fits the bill and has almost all of these features. The Philips Avent Baby Bottle Brush is a more straightforward brush and an excellent scrubber that we liked to use on lots of items in addition to bottles.
Any bristle brush will create some spray when you pull the brush out of a narrow-necked bottle. However, the Munchkin Bristle Brush had bristles so stiff that the overspray was ridiculous. We were splattered from the waist up with dirty water and soap bubbles at the end of each use, along with the walls, the countertop, and everything else in the vicinity. This issue did not lessen over time, and we were forever scrunching up our noses and turning our heads to avoid the mess.
A few of the brushes we tested have flexible necks like the Munchkin Bristle Brush. This feature dramatically improves ease of use by allowing the brush head to reach different angles. Be careful not to get too confident in the flex; the necks of the bottles will break if you push too much.
Durability directly affects the value of your baby bottle brush and indirectly affects its cleaning ability. While you should plan on replacing your bottle brushes periodically to maintain good hygiene, certain qualities can potentially improve longevity. For example, stiffer bristles like those found on the Munchkin Bristle Brush hold their shape longer than softer ones. Silicone brushes, like the Kitchiny, hold up to hot water and sanitization much better than plastic and don't require frequent replacement. The OXO Tot Brush has a somewhat flexible plastic handle, but it also feels less durable during testing. Brushes with steel or wood handles appear to be much sturdier than plastic versions, while the sponge scrubber on the Dr. Brown's is one of the least durable.
It can be a tricky task to find an eco-friendly baby bottle brush. Most of the popular options are almost entirely plastic; however, we included a few natural options like the Redecker Beechwood Brush and the Redecker Baby Bottle Brush in our testing as potential alternatives for those looking to limit their use of plastic. These two are the most eco-friendly and use all-natural materials. Another option is to choose a long-lasting plastic brush, so you can potentially purchase fewer brushes overall throughout your bottle washing years, therefore producing less waste. If this sounds more appealing to you, we recommend the Munchkin Bristle Brush or the Philips Avent Baby Bottle Brush for longevity.
A baby bottle brush is a simple tool that can make a world of difference when cleaning the odd shapes of bottles, sippy cups, and breast pump parts. Many people purchase their first bottle brushes for use with baby-related items but find them so handy that they continue to use them well past the bottle feeding stage. In addition to cleaning bottles, they come in handy for adult water bottles, travel mugs, vases, and more. We think that once you find the right brush, it is likely to become one of your most helpful kitchen accessories.
— Abriah Wofford