Parenting is hard work, and a bottle warmer is one way that you can make your life a little easier. While you are changing your child’s diaper, you can warm up a bottle. If you are planning ahead, a warm bottle will be ready when you need it. However, breastfeeding mothers have to search for a warmer that is designed for breastmilk, because it has special considerations.
Bottle warmers are, typically, designed for formula and breastmilk. There isn’t a warmer only for breastmilk. You can purchase ones designed for traveling or ones that stay on your countertop. Breastfeeding mothers have a few features to consider before you make your final purchase!
- Overheating: The largest concern a breastfeeding mother would have about bottle warmers is the heating method. Overheating breastmilk can diminish some of its nutritional value as well as posing a safety risk. No one wants to burn their baby on scorching milk.
Breastmilk is referred to as liquid gold for some reasons. The number one benefit of breastmilk is the nutritional value offered to your baby. It is full of antibodies, vitamins and essential fatty acids for the development of your child. Our bodies create milk that supports the growth of our child for the first two years of their lives.
If you don’t want to lose all of the fantastic benefits of breastmilk, you have to make sure you don’t overheat the milk. The nutritional value is degraded when heated too highly. Once the milk reaches a temperature of higher than 104 F (or 40 C), the nutrients start to go down slowly. At 104F, the immunological value starts to deteriorate.
However, the biggest changes start when the milk reaches 113 F (or 45 C). Degradation starts to take place faster, especially if you leave the milk at this temperature for longer periods of time. So, at what temperature should breastmilk be served? If your baby nurses, your body produces milk at body temperature, around 98.6 F (37 C), and this is the perfect temperature for breast milk.
You might think this isn’t very hot, and you would be correct! Most breastfed babies are used to lukewarm milk, rather than steaming hot. A child who is breastfed is accustomed to this temperature.
- The method of Heating: The second most important factor is how the warmer heats up the milk. The most common variety you will find on the market uses water bath technology. It takes longer to heat up the milk, but it does so at a consistent temperature that will not harm the nutritional value of the breastmilk. Water bath warmers circulate water around the bottle, gradually heating up the milk. Breastfeeding mothers benefit the most from these types.
The second method of heating uses steam. Water is put into the warmer, and an internal heating element heats up the water to a higher temperature. The benefit of steam heat bottle warmers is that the bottles are heated much faster. However, the milk reaches a much higher temperature, and the milk can be heated unevenly. If you opt for a steam heating warmer, make sure that you watch the temperature of the milk, so it doesn’t exceed 104 F.
- Efficiency: Parents don’t always have time to wait for bottles to warm up. It is important that the warmer works promptly. No one wants to have to wait an hour for the bottle to be warmed unless you are really good at thinking ahead. Mommy’s brain tends to prevent this type of preparation. The best bottle warmer for breastmilk warms a bottle in a timely and evenly manner. Consistency matters; it decreases the risk of hot spots which can burn your child’s mouth.
- Versatility: Breastfed babies are known for being very selective about the bottle they use. Many parents have to try a variety of choices before finding the perfect choice. There are some warmers on the market that aren’t able to hold a wide mouth bottle, limiting the number of choices you can try. Also, there are certain warmers that only allow you to use plastic bottles. Glass bottles can break if they are rapidly heated. Make sure the warmer you select versatile and can be used with an assortment of bottles.
- Extra Features: Some bottle warmers come with other features that can benefit you. The more expensive warmers allow you to heat up to baby food jars or containers or to act like a sterilizer. Some warmers sterilize bottles, pacifiers or nipples. Convenient features also include an auto-shut off feature.
7 Top Choices for the Best Bottle Warmer for Breastmilk
Maxx Elite “Gentle Warm” Smart Bottle Warmer & Sterilizer
The first warmer on the list is by Maxx Elite. It is a simple warmer that is efficient and offers reliable heating. They included a unique feature called a “2-second bottle process” that lets you heat up milk much faster when your baby decides he is starving right now.
- The warmer features a gentle warming cycle that heats up the milk to the temperature safe for breastmilk. It allows the milk to retain all of its vital nutrients.
- A steady warm feature allows parents to keep the bottle at a constant temperature for up to four hours. You can be prepared and heat a bottle before your child gets hungry and remove when the time arrives. This feature is the best for nighttime feedings.
- You can use this warmer to sterilize items such as pacifiers and nipples.
- If you need to heat up baby food, the Maxx Elite allows you to warm up froze cubes or to warm up jars evenly.
- It can take up to 10 minutes to heat a bottle of milk, but this can feel like an eternity when your child is screaming.
- If you use the express warm feature, you could potentially damage the nutrients of breastmilk. The milk gets too hot.
- Maxx Elite didn’t include any signal that lets you know if the bottle is ready.
Unlike other choices on the list, you can purchase the Maxx Elite in a single or double form. The double warmer features all of the same details as the single, but it can hold and keep warm two bottles at a time. Many parents prefer to use the double for nighttime feedings.
Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breastmilk Warmer
There are few bottle warmers that are designed specifically with breastmilk in mind. Kiinde Kozii followed the recommendations to thaw and reheat breastmilk safely. It is a well-designed, easy to use and compact warmer loved by parents.
- The warmer uses warm, flowing water that heats up the bottles rather than steam heat. This process retains all of the nutrients in the breastmilk, reducing the risk of overheating the milk.
- You can use almost any bottle, including glass and stainless steel bottles. Parents can place frozen storage milk bags in the warmer.
- It takes four to ten minutes to heat the milk, depending on if it is frozen. Four minutes is a great amount of time for chilled milk!
- You only have to add water after a few usages.
- The best reason to purchase Kiinde Kozii is that it was designed to heat up breastmilk. You never have to worry about overheating the milk.
- It features an easy-to-use timer and an auto-shut off feature. Once the warming time is over, it turns off immediately, so the risk of overheating is reduced.
- This warmer consistently heats the milk, resulting in no hot spot, which is dangerous for little babies.
- Compared to other bottle warmers on the market, it has a higher price tag.
- It heats slower than other warmers, especially if you are starting with a frozen milk.
- This warmer isn’t portable and would be difficult to carry in a diaper bag.
The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer
The First Years is a favored choice for parents. You can use it to warm up bottles, but it also warms up baby food jars and sterilize small items like pacifiers. Instead of water bath technology, the First Years warmer uses steam heat to warm up a bottle.
- This warmer is quite broad, able to fit in wide bottles. You can even use Tommee Tippee bottles, which are one of the widest bottles on the market.
- The water reservoir can hold enough water for up two uses. You can fill it up before nighttime feedings, without having to refill in the middle of the night.
- There is an automatic shut-off feature that reduces worry. When the light goes off, you know the warming process is over.
- It only takes two to four minutes to heat up a bottle! This factor is one of the best reasons to purchase this bottle warmer. You never have to worry about the warmer taking forever to heat up the bottle while your baby cries.
- The warmer is small and compact. It won’t take up much space on your countertops. If you are living in a small space, this could be a fantastic choice!
- You have the bonus of being able to heat up baby food and sterilize nipples. Instead of purchasing multiple machines, it does double duty for you!
- Steam heat can unevenly heat up milk, leading to hot spots.
- The temperature is higher than might be safe for breastmilk.
Born Free Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler
Born Free makes a popular choice for bottles. Their bottle warmer is designed to warm up breastmilk and formula to the correct temperature in three minutes. Unlike other warmers, the Born Free features a cooler and space for extra bottles.
- The insulated cooler allows you to store up to two bottles for eight hours. They will stay cold until it is time for feeding. It is the perfect choice for nighttime feedings; just bring the whole unit to your bedroom!
- Born Free Tru-Temp uses steam heat to warm up the baby’s bottle, but it does so in a safer manner. Born Free promises not to overheat breastmilk.
- The reservoir needs to be filled only one time a day.
- It is one of the fastest warmers on the market. You can heat up a 5-ounce bottle in three minutes. A 9-oounce bottle can be heated in four to six minutes.
- Once the bottle is heated, the warmer automatically shuts off by itself.
- On the front of the warmer, there is a dial that allows you to indicate the size and type of the bottle. You can use any bottle on the market, from narrow and wide. It is versatile and adjustable. Also, you can use glass bottles safely without causing the glass to shatter.
- The Born Free Tru-Temp Warmer has a steel exterior, creating a modern look. Many parents like to have a modern kitchen, so this warmer blends in perfectly.
- It is a larger unit. If you have a smaller countertop, you will take up a lot of space with this warmer and cooler.
- Born Free does use steam heat. While it is designed to use a lower amount of heat, you have to be sure that there are no hot spots which could burn your baby.
Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer
If you are looking for a travel bottle warmer, the best on the market is by Tommee Tippee. It is designed to heat baby food and bottles while you are out and about. It is portable, easy to fit in the diaper bag. Tommee Tippee designed the warmer to be sleek and stylish with plastic and stainless steel.
- You don’t have to worry about needing electricity or batteries to warm up the bottle. You store hot water for the bottles that warm up the contents.
- The entire warmer is BPA-free, without any toxic components.
- Tommee Tippee designed the warmer to be easy to use and to work quickly. There aren’t any warmers easier than this!
- The container is large enough for any size bottle or baby food container. So, you can use wide bottles, such as those created by Tommee Tippee, or standard sized ones.
- It sufficiently heats up the milk to a reasonable temperature that won’t overheat the milk and burn the baby. The milk will be heated within five minutes.
- Cleaning the warmer couldn’t be easier! It is very similar to a thermos in design.
- While the container is, for the most part, leak proof, you do have to take care to ensure it doesn’t tip over and spill inside of your diaper bag.
- The overall design makes the warmer quite bulky for portability.
- Once the hot water is cooler, it won’t heat up the bottle as well. For this reason, it is better to use this when you are out only for a few hours. Using this for an all-day trip wouldn’t be advised.
- There are no handles, which makes the process and usage a bit trickier while on the go.
Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer
Almost every parent has heard of Dr. Brown’s. They create one of the most popular bottles on the market. Breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers rave about their bottles. If you love their bottles, it would be a great idea to purchase their awesome bottle warmer to go along with it.
- The warmer uses steam heat to warm the bottles and baby food containers.
- You only have to refill the water chamber after several uses, making it even easier to use this warmer.
- Unlike other choices, a visual countdown is located on the front of the warmer. You always know how much time is left before the bottle is ready.
- Once you figure out how to operate the settings, it is easy to use and understand the warmer.
- Four minutes is all you need before the bottle is ready for your child.
- There is a basket inside of the warmer, allowing you to lift out 4-ounce bottles much easier. You can also use the basket for baby food jars.
- You can only use narrow bottles. This warmer doesn’t work for wide bottles. Dr. Brown’s designed it exclusively for their bottles, but you can use any similar sized ones.
- It is not suitable for traveling or use while on the go.
- The milk gets very hot. You have to take the bottle out immediately otherwise it will continue to heat up, degrading all of the antibodies and nutrients. Parents often need a hot pad to take the bottle out of the warmer and need to give it time to cool.
Baby Brezza Safe & Smart Bottle Warmer
Baby Brezza featured two warming modes and was designed with breastfeeding mothers in mind. Parents can select the right method for them, depending on whether you are heating formula or breastmilk. Best of all, you can control and monitor the warmer with your phone, because it is Bluetooth enabled.
- The best reason to purchase the Baby Brezza is that it heats up the milk slowly and carefully. You don’t have to worry about removing the nutrients and antibodies.
- You can use it to defrost frozen milk or baby food.
- There is a convenient free app that lets you know the bottle is ready. It allows you to control the machine from your phone, which is convenient when you are busy with other chores.
- “Steady Mode” lets you warm the breast milk to the perfect temperature.
- “Quick” feature was intended for formula bottles and works quickly around three to six minutes.
- The machine is easy to use. It saves the previous setting for the next use, so you never have to worry about trying to remember what you used last time. However, there is a reference chart to help with the settings.
- Once you open up the lid, it automatically shuts off, and the alarm beeps when the bottle is ready.
- You can only use standard sized bottles. If you use wide bottles, this warmer won’t work very well.
- The app may be pointless at times because the machine works so quickly.
- The quick feature may leave hot spots, not consistently heat the milk.
How to Select the Right Bottle Warmer?
There are fantastic choices for a bottle warmer for breastmilk. It can be so hard to make a final choice! Here are some ways to make your decision.
- Easy to Clean and Maintain: Do you have time to deal with a warmer that is hard to maintain? You don’t want something that is difficult at all. Parents are always short on time, or so it feels. Cleaning and working the warmer should take only minimal steps.
- Size: Some warmers are larger than others. If you have a smaller kitchen that is short on countertop space, you want to find a warmer that will fit comfortably. You also want to consider one designed for portability and traveling.
- Durability: The last thing you want to do is purchase multiple warmers for each of your children. You want something that will last and is worth your money. While it is important to watch your budget, a few dollars more could give you a warmer that lasts for double the amount of time.
- Budget: Of course, the budget is an important factor. Never go beyond what you can comfortably afford. There is always something that will fit into your budget size. It is important to remember that a bottle warmer isn’t a necessity. Hot water can do that job just fine; you are paying for convenience.
Out of all of the choices listed above, our top pick is the Kiinde Kozii. It was designed with the proper recommendations for warming breast milk, so you never have to worry about overheating and degradation of nutrients. Parents need peace of mind. The next choice for the best bottle warmer for breastmilk is the Maxx Elite. It is convenient, allowing you to stay prepared for the next feeding time. You don’t have to worry about the wrong temperature. The best thing about these particular two warmers is that you never have to worry about overheating the milk.