Best Baby Bottle Brush
Of all the bottle brushes we've had the pleasure of using, the OXO Tot Brush is an all-around crowd favorite. The bristles are the ideal combination of soft and stiff that allows you to get a good scrub going, but doesn't fling water all over the kitchen. The rubber-coated handle is slightly longer than average, enabling you to clean the bottom of taller bottles with ease. To sanitize the brush, you can throw it in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. One of our favorite features of the OXO Tot is the nipple cleaner. One of the few included nipple brushes with nylon bristles, we feel it does a much better job of cleaning than a rubber one. It screws into the neck of the larger brush for storage and snaps securely into place, so there is no chance of losing it. We also love that it comes with a sturdy base to set up when not in use.
While there is not much to complain about with the OXO Tot Brush, it is made entirely of plastic, which we prefer to avoid due to its health and environmental impacts. Another common complaint is that it can be somewhat tricky to remove the nipple brush. It requires a button pressing and twisting combo apart for which you must use two hands. We do not consider this a deal-breaker, but it is not as convenient as some other options we tested. In the end, we found that the functionality of the brush easily outweighed these small drawbacks. The OXO Tot is our top choice for a bottle brush and one we highly recommend.
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 made of plastic with a slip resistant coating and is fairly comfortable to hold. We really like the sponge and bristle combo as we feel it provides a good scrub, but is also gentle on delicate surfaces. The stem of the brush is very thin and easily fits into small openings, and the sponge molds easily to reach the corners of oddly shaped bottles. The bristles are soft enough that you do not get much back spray when removing the brush from a narrow opening. The opposite tip has a lightly textured plastic nipple cleaner, however, it is not our favorite. The entire brush is dishwasher safe on the top rack, however, hand washing will help with longevity.
Some may find the neck and handle of this brush a bit short for cleaning taller 8-9 oz bottles. One of our biggest complaints, and the most commonly cited by other users, is that the Mama Bear brush is not durable. When frequently forced through a small opening, the sponge tip accumulates small rips and tears. With regular use, you will likely need to replace this brush every 30-60 days. These brushes typically come in a 3-pack and are very affordable, so most families will not be concerned with the replacement costs. However, such a short usage span means that more waste is created in the long term. Despite these flaws, the Mama Bear Bottle Brush is a great affordable product and an effective bottle cleaner that most parents will be happy with.
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 te overspray down towards the sink, not all over the kitchen. It has a very comfortable handle angled for ergonomic scrubbing. Perhaps the most attractive feature of this brush is the fact that it can be used as more than just a bottle brush. 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. These materials offer durability and longevity, but we like to keep plastic use to a minimum in our homes and around baby, so to us, this is a downside. The rear tip fo 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.
In our homes, Dr. Brown's Straw Brush is a staple. These long and narrow brushes are made for and work perfectly with Dr. Brown's bottle system, but we find them useful for everything from nipples, to straws, to 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 may not be straight. Since they come in a pack of 4, many people 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. We find that if we choose a dedicated brush space on our counter, or keep them in a small cup, we have much less trouble with this. 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. For us, these flaws were not deal-breakers. 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 in their homes for health or environmental reasons. In terms of cleaning ability, this brush performs on par with other top products, only lacking extra features such as a stand, or nipple brush. The bristles are semi-stiff, and work up a good lather, but are soft enough to mold around the curves and crevices of a bottle. We also did not experience much back spray when pulling the brush head out of narrow-necked bottles.
As mentioned above, this brush is the bare-bones product and does not come with any fancy accessories or features. Redecker recommends that you hang to dry, but you must devise a system of your own to do this, as it does not come with a hook or stand of any sort. If you choose to purchase this cleaner, you will likely have 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. Many users choose to repurpose the brush for household cleaning after it is no longer useable 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 is. We especially appreciate the fact that the bristles are soft enough that they do not cause overspray, but the sponge is sufficiently substantial to scrub off dried milk rings from the bottom of a bottle. Many people also note that the sponge is much less abrasive than bristles, and they use it on more delicate items such as wine glasses. The flexible neck allows you to reach awkward spaces and tight angles more easily. This brush has a textured plastic nipple cleaner attached to 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 top-rack dishwasher safe.
One of our biggest complaints about this brush is the lack of durability. While we feel that the sponge does a great job of cleaning bottles, it gets torn up easily when repeatedly forced through narrow neck openings. The soft bristles get bent out of shape quickly, and you will likely end up wanting 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 felt that it was a bit dinky, especially compared to the much more substantial base of the OXO Tot Brush. Despite these durability issues, Dr. Brown's Bottle Brush is one of the most affordable in our review, making it a reasonable monthly expense. We feel that given its fantastic cleaning ability, the trade-off is worth it.
The Boon Cacti comes with 4 brushes of various shapes and sizes, to fit all your dishwashing needs. Thanks to the different forms, 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 want, meaning no additional purchases are necessary. The bristles of the largest brush are stiff nylon, while the smaller ones are a bit less abrasive. There is an included stand that keeps things organized and helps the brushes dry thoroughly in between uses. The base pops open, so you can drain it and give it a good scrubbing every once in a while to prevent mold and mildew 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 using more plastic than necessary, and these brushes are almost entirely plastic. The bristles of the largest cactus are stiff enough that they will cause some overspray, but that is the tradeoff for their more aggressive cleaning ability. Although a bit more expensive than some other bottle brush options, 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 for a few different reasons. It is a more healthy and eco-friendly material for those trying to reduce the amount of plastic in their homes. 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 most others, and the bristles are very short. We think this is because a more substantial sized 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. Another thing that may throw you off is that it 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, simply because it is hard to know how much is in there already. 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 just don't have time to clean your bottles immediately after use, whether you are rushing out the door, or just want to go back to sleep after a late-night feeding. Unfortunately, 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. We found that 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.
As for the drawbacks of this brush? We have three words: 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. A much less regularly noted complaint is that the brush head's size and the stiffness of the bristles prevent it from fitting in very narrow-necked bottles. We feel that this brush is much more durable than many others we have used, but the Munchkin recommends replacing it every 30-45 days regardless, so it may not last much longer than the others anyways. We recommend the Munchkin Bristle Brush for those extra stuck-on messes but think you may enjoy using a slightly softer brush.
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 options for parents. 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 will hold their shape well over time. 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 just 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, we found that this made 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 any real scrubbing. This brush is great if you are cleaning your bottles immediately after using them, or want something that will be gentle on easily scratched surfaces, but we don't think that it is the ideal bottle brush for most people.
Why You Should Trust Us
After years of baby bottles, sippy cups, and water bottles, we consider bottle-washing experts. Leading this bottle brush review is Senior Review Editor Abriah Wofford, who has had lots of hands-on use with a variety of brushes while providing in-home child care for over five years. We replicate a worst-case dirty bottle situation during testing, leaving a layer of milk in bottles to dry overnight before testing each brush. We also evaluated the durability and eco and baby health attributes.
Analysis and Test Results
We bought, tested, and compared various bottle brushes to find out which ones are the best. While using each product, we paid particular attention to a few features and compared them side-by-side.
Hands down, the number one most important factor in a baby bottle brush is how well it cleans bottles. While all of the products we tested did a satisfactory job, a few quickened the process and made the dreaded task of bottle washing more efficient and bearable. We tend to favor brushes with medium-stiff bristles and a larger size to clean a greater surface area. We also appreciate products with a nipple brush included or built-in. The OXO Tot Brush fit the bill and had almost all of these features. While much simpler, the Philips Avent Baby Bottle Brush is an excellent scrubber that we like to use for items more than just bottles.
With any bristle brush, you will have some spray when you pull the brush out of a narrow-necked bottle. However, a few brushes, most notably the Munchkin Bristle Brush, had bristles so stiff that the overspray was ridiculous. We found that we would be splattered from the waist up with dirty water and soap bubbles at the end of each use, along with the walls, the countertop, and anything else in the near vicinity. This issue does not lessen over time, and we were forever scrunching up our noses and turning our heads away to avoid the spray.
A few of the brushes we tested, like the Munchkin Bristle Brush, have flexible necks. This feature dramatically improves ease of use by allowing the head to reach different angles, but careful not to get too confident in the flex. When pushed too far, the necks of the bottles will break.
Durability directly affects the value of your baby bottle brush, and indirectly affects the cleaning ability. While you should plan to replace your bottle brushes periodically, certain qualities make some last longer than others. For example, stiffer bristles found on the Munchkin Bristle Brush will hold their shape longer than softer ones. Silicone brushes, like the Kitchiny, will hold up to hot water and sanitization much better than plastic. The OXO Tot Brush has a handle made entirely of plastic, resulting in a flexible, but somewhat less durable form. The brushes with steel or wood handles felt much sturdier than the plastic versions. The sponge scrubber foudn on the Dr. Brown's is one of the least durable. Being repeatedly forced through a small opening takes a toll on the soft sponge.
Finding an eco-friendly baby bottle brush can be tricky, as the most popular ones are made almost entirely from plastic. For this reason, we chose to include a few natural options like the Redecker Beechwood Brush and the Redecker Baby Bottle Brush in our testing. These two are the most eco-friendly, and both are entirely plastic-free. The other option is to go with a long-lasting plastic brush, so at the very least, you will have to purchase fewer throughout your bottle washing years, therefore producing less waste.
A baby bottle brush is a small addition to your kitchen but will make a world of difference when trying to clean odd bottle shapes. Many people purchase their first bottle brushes strictly for use with baby bottles and sippys, but like them so much that they continue to keep one around well past the bottle feeding years. They come handy for items such as adult water bottles or vases, and we think that once you find the right one, this simple tool is likely to become one of your favorite kitchen accessories.
— Abriah Wofford