Babies Newborn Care Baby Care Basics The Best Baby Bottle Warmers for Fuss-Free Feedings Get milk and formula to that Goldilocks just-right temperature, even in the middle of the night. By Elizabeth Kocan Updated on May 12, 2023 Medically reviewed by Yamel Belen, R.N., IBCLC Fact checked by Rich Scherr Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Parents / Jaclyn Mastropasqua Babies are fickle. Between their erratic sleep schedules and their often trial-and-error feeding sensitivities, no baby is the same, and it can take time to figure out what your baby wants. When it comes to feeding a newborn, whether you’re breastfeeding, pumping, or using formula, many babies prefer their milk warm, and baby bottle warmers are a helpful tool for quickly and safely heating up their next meal. Many find it especially helpful to heat frozen breast milk to a safe temperature to that Goldilocks “just right” temperature that your child prefers. (Did I mention that babies are fickle?) Yes, you can defrost breast milk slowly in the refrigerator, but you should not take other shortcuts such as microwaving it. This is because it heats unevenly and often overheats the milk, and overheating destroys the vital nutrients babies need from breast milk. A good bottle warmer will get the milk to a lukewarm temp without zapping all its good stuff away. And for the formula-feeding, bottle warmers are often an efficient way to prep water for easy mixing. “At a certain point, I realized, ‘Oh, I need this now,’" says Melanie Pochat, a mother of two who found herself searching for a way to defrost breast milk fast. "I wasn’t even putting it in the bottle. I picked a warmer that would defrost it in the storage bags a little bit faster.” Depending on what your needs are and how much you want to spend (our picks range from $17 to $80), you may want a warmer that rapidly heats water for formula, one that pulls double duty as bottle sterilizers, or one made to fit breast milk storage bags and food pouches in addition to bottles. We kept in mind heating time, capacity, safety, value, and more to get you this list of the best bottle warmers to make feeding babies just a little bit easier. Our Favorite Baby Bottle Warmers Best Overall: Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Milk Spa Breast Milk and Bottle Warmer Best Overall (Runner-Up): Tommee Tippee Easi-Warm Electric Bottle and Food Pouch Warmer Best Budget: The First Years 2-in-1 Simple Serve Bottle Warmer Best for Breast Milk: Baby Brezza Safe & Smart Electric Baby Bottle Warmer Best for Travel: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer Fastest Warmer: Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer With Smart Temperature Control Best for Formula: Baby Brezza Instant Advanced Warmer With LED Nightlight Best Warmer & Sterilizer Combo: Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer and Sterilizer Best Overall: Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Milk Spa Breast Milk and Bottle Warmer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Babylist.com Why We Like It: Its 12 pre-programmed settings take away the guesswork for tired caregivers. But Take Note: Some find it a little slow to heat. Dr. Brown’s is a trusted brand in feeding, and its Milk Spa Breast Milk and Bottle Warmer is our top baby bottle warmer because its versatility and pre-programmed settings take the guesswork out of figuring out how long to heat your milk or formula. This device uses a gentle water bath (as opposed to the steam heat some other warmers use) to warm warm milk, formula, or baby food evenly and safely. Not only will it heat from cold and room temperature, it also offers a defrost function for frozen milk. The Milk Spa promises to fit baby bottles up to 2 1/2 inches, as well as breast milk storage bags and baby food pouches and jars. It has more than 12 pre-programmed settings to choose from, with guidance based on the amount of milk, type of bottle or pouch, and starting temperature. There’s also a quick setting, and you can steam sterilize small parts in the heating basket (though bottles can’t be sterilized using this device). Price at time of publication: $60 The Details: Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.6 x 9.1 inchesWhat it heats: Bottles up to 2.5 inches in diameter, bags, pouches, and jarsAuto shut-off? Yes Best Overall (Runner-Up): Tommee Tippee Easi-Warm Electric Bottle and Food Pouch Warmer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Babylist.com Why We Like It: This no-frills warmer just has three settings and doesn’t take up a lot of space. But Take Note: It doesn’t heat milk storage bags or pouches, and doesn’t have a setting to heat frozen milk. The compact Tommee Tippee Easi-Warm Electric Bottle Warmer is affordable and compatible with a wide range of baby bottles, making it a great overall choice if you’re looking for something with minimal bells and whistles. Rather than having to make complex calculations or press a lot of buttons to control it, this warmer has a single dial and three settings: for heating from the fridge, for heating from room temperature, and for keeping warm at a steady temperature. The brand states that a 5 ounce bottle at room temperature takes just four minutes to warm, but colder milk can take between five and 10 minutes. Price at time of publication: $27 The Details: Dimensions: 7 x 6 x 5 inchesWhat it heats: Bottles and jarsAuto shut-off? No Best Budget: The First Years 2-in-1 Simple Serve Bottle Warmer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Target Why We Like It: This inexpensive device gets the job done without a lot of fuss. But Take Note: There’s no sound to tell you it’s done. The Simple Serve Bottle Warmer is one of the most beloved options on the market, lauded for its compact size, ease of use, and automatic shut-off feature. It evenly and quickly heats both milk and formula (in bottles only), and that’s not to mention the fact that it typically costs around $18. As a bonus, it also sanitizes small breast pump parts and pacifiers, and several parts of the device are top-rack dishwasher safe. Of course, with great bargains come a few drawbacks. The compact size of the product means that certain bottles don’t fit it. It also tends to be slower to heat than most of the competition, and unlike higher-end warmers, there isn’t a timer that alerts you when your milk has reached its desired temp. It simply clicks off. Price at time of publication: $20 The Details: Dimensions: 6.53 x 4.65 x 4.65 What it heats: Bottles and jarsAuto shut-off? Yes The 7 Best Rocking Chairs and Nursery Gliders to Soothe You and Your Littles in 2023 Best for Breast Milk: Baby Brezza Safe & Smart Electric Baby Bottle Warmer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Target Buy on Nordstrom Why We Like It: You can heat breast milk slowly and other food quickly, all with the convenience of an app on your phone. But Take Note: It does not fit ComoTomo bottles. The majority of baby bottle warmers warm both breast milk and baby formula at the exact same speed, which is to say as fast as possible. But heating breast milk too fast can lessen its nutritional benefits, so this device offers a “steady warm” mode, which uses a gentle warm water bath to defrost and warm. As the water circulates, it heats the milk to 99 degrees and will notify you either by beeping, or with a Bluetooth function that will ping your phone when warming is complete. Meanwhile, if you’re also supplementing with formula or serving warm baby food, there’s also a steam heat function to get those up to their ideal temperatures faster (just over five minutes for 4 ounces). This device is compatible with most brands and sizes of bottle (the website does note that ComoTomo bottles are not compatible) and works with milk storage bags too. One notable feature of this Baby Brezza is its app, which is a pretty handy way to control the warmer when you’re busy tending to all your baby’s many other demands. All that tech comes at a higher price than other warmers, but the convenience is worth it to many. Price at time of publication: $80 The Details: Dimensions: 4.37 x 13.58 x 7.31 inchesWhat it heats: Bottles, jars, storage bagsAuto shut-off? Yes The Best Baby Wipe Warmers for More Comfortable Diaper Changing, According to a New Mom Best for Travel: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Babylist.com Why We Like It: It requires no batteries or power source and fits in your diaper bag. But Take Note: It doesn’t heat the water for you; you’ll have to do that separately before you leave the house. The Tommee Tippee Portable Baby Bottle Warmer is essentially a Thermos to store hot water for baby bottle heating on the go. It features two primary components: a stainless steel flask you fill with hot water and a large canister into which you pour said water and immerse your bottle (or baby food). It requires no electricity or batteries, just your ability to plan ahead and keep it filled with warm water so you can use it when you need it. Parents say it actually keeps water hot anywhere from six hours to “seemingly forever.” This bottle warmer was designed to fit in a diaper bag and guarantees that it can fit all Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature baby feeding bottles, as well as other standard-size bottles. Price at time of publication: $24 The Details: Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 7.54What it heats: Standard-size bottlesAuto shut-off? No Fastest Warmer: Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer With Smart Temperature Control Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Target Why We Like It: This machine senses the milk’s starting temperature to get the warming time just right—and it’s faster than most other warmers. But Take Note: There’s no audible alarm to indicate the bottle is warm, so you’ll have to pay attention to the light on the machine, otherwise you could overheat your milk. Most of the bottle warmers on our list come with an instruction manual that outlines how long it should take to heat milk or formula. The Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer lets you skip the reading list and just input the volume of milk you have; the machine senses the milk’s starting temperature and heats accordingly. While the speed of heating depends on the volume of milk, the type of container it’s in, and whether you’re heating it from cold or frozen, this warmer promises by far the fastest heat time, about three minutes for a 5 ounce bottle. That’s reassuring when you’re working against the backdrop of a crying baby. What’s more, it circulates the milk while it’s warming to avoid having hot spots, which happens with some other warmers. There are also settings for defrosting milk and heating food. There’s a light, but no sound, to indicate it’s done. Constructed to fit most bottles, including wide-mouthed varieties, as well as standard baby food jars, this bottle warmer stays on for an hour before the machine turns off. Price at time of publication: $55 The Details: Dimensions: 6.30 x 6.89 x 7.29 inchesWhat it heats: Bottles and baby food jarsAuto shut-off? After 1 hour The 13 Best Baby Play Mats for Tummy Time and Beyond Best for Formula: Baby Brezza Instant Advanced Warmer With LED Nightlight Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Babylist.com Buy on Sears.com Why We Like It: The tank holds enough water to formula-feed a baby for an entire day. But Take Note: You’ll need to clean this daily for your baby’s safety. There are a few key features that set the Baby Brezza Instant Advanced Warmer apart from other formula preparation devices, the first being that the air-tight 50 ounce water chamber holds roughly enough water for a whole day’s worth of formula for a baby, so it doesn’t need to be refilled at every use. The water is continuously heated, so you just need to set the temperature (the options are body temperature, warmer than body temperature, or room temperature), leave the machine on, and your water will always be ready for your hungry baby. As an added feature, a built-in LED night-light makes late-night feedings a touch easier. If you feed your baby formula, this dispenser saves so many steps, but you also can’t skip certain details. Certified breastfeeding counselor Kate Arquilla cautions that it’s crucial to follow proper cleaning procedures with a machine like this one and clean the water reservoir daily (at the very least) due to potential bacterial contamination. Price at time of publication: $70 The Details: Dimensions: 15.4 x 7.4 x 7.1 inchesWhat it heats: WaterAuto shut-off? No Best Warmer & Sterilizer Combo: Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer and Sterilizer Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Babylist.com Buy on Bed Bath & Beyond Why We Like It: You save space and money by buying a device that both warms and sterilizes bottles efficiently. But Take Note: Some find the water reservoir awkward to fill and leaky. Ensuring that you’re feeding your baby safely can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re concerned with sanitizing all the tiny parts that are needed for bottle-feeding and pumping. The newest Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer now has a sterilizing option steaming clean bottles, pacifiers, and pump parts without having to buy a separate appliance. For bottle warming, the device prompts you to select your starting temperature, bottle type, and volume to get your bottle to the perfect temperature with steam heat. An audible alarm lets you know when it’s ready, and it will shut down automatically 60 seconds after that. While the product description guarantees that the bottle warmer fits all Dr. Brown’s bottles, including wide-mouth options, as well as most other mainstream brands of bottles, some have noted that certain brands of wide bottles don’t fit in the heating chamber. Some also find that the water chamber is awkward to fill and sometimes leaky. Price at time of publication: $49 The Details: Dimensions: 6.5 x 10.6 x 10 inchesWhat it heats: Bottles and jarsAuto shut-off? After 60 seconds How We Selected the Best Baby Bottle Warmers We gathered an assortment of the highest-rated, best-reviewed baby bottle warmers currently available at most major retailers, with prices ranging from about $16 on the low end to $80 for a top-tier model. We took into account the advice of former NICU nurse and breastfeeding counselor Kate Arquilla, MS, RN, CBC, while making sure to search for the features parents need most, including temperature controls, bottle size, overall capacity, automatic shut-off, and overall ease of use. Factors to Consider For most people, baby bottle warmers fall into the “nice to have” category, as opposed to being must-have baby gear. That being said, there are many reasons a person would use one, including the fact that many of them perform the task of heating milk or formula more quickly and safely than other methods. We looked at a variety of factors when choosing our baby bottle warmers, here’s what you should consider if you’re looking for one: Ease of Use Considering the distressed and/or groggy state you may be in when dealing with a hungry baby, it’s best if your bottle warmer has uncomplicated buttons and dials, with clear indications of when the bottle has reached its ideal temperature. And once you know the machine is good with the basics, look at the special features, lights, or sounds that the baby bottle warmer makes. Some feature things like night-lights, Bluetooth apps, or remote controls which might be convenient for some people, but a nightmare for others. Consider what will be most helpful and least disruptive to your and your baby’s routine when choosing the right bottle warmer for you. Bottle Capacity Some parents and caregivers are looking for a baby bottle warmer that will grow with their baby and can hold a larger bottle. Others, like Pochat, want one that can also warm milk directly in their breast milk storage bags, or that can warm pouches of baby food. And parents of multiples (or very hungry singletons) might need something that can warm two bottles at once. Check the specs from the manufacturer, and look through the user reviews to see if your baby’s favorite brand of bottle will fit in the warmer. Heating Time How much time does a bottle warmer take to bring milk or formula to the optimal temperature? They vary drastically depending on the brand, but you also need to consider whether you’re warming milk from frozen, room temperature, or straight out of the refrigerator. Also remember that if you’ll be heating breast milk, faster isn’t necessarily better. How to Use Bottle Warmers Safely On a very basic level, you don’t want to burn your sweet baby’s mouth with milk or formula. Beyond trusting that your machine is doing what it’s supposed to do, always give the contents of the bottle a swirl to even out the temperature and do that old-fashioned drop-on-the-wrist trick. It’s also important to discuss how to store breast milk and formula safely. Breastfeeding counselor and parenting coach Arquilla suggests abiding by the “rule of fours”: “Freshly expressed or pumped breast milk can stay out for four hours at room temperature before you have to put it in the refrigerator. Then that milk can stay in the refrigerator for up to four days before you either use it or freeze it.” Arquilla adds that though frozen breast milk is technically good for up to a year, it’s optimal to use within six months because the milk may lose nutrients over time. Once thawed, milk can stay out at room temperature for up to two hours, or in the fridge for up to 24 hours. “Unfortunately if you don’t use it within 24 hours, you should discard it, and you can’t re-freeze human breast milk,” Arquilla says. Once a baby has sipped from a bottle of milk, the contents must be consumed within two hours. Any contents that the baby doesn’t drink in that time will need to be thrown out, because bacteria from the baby’s mouth has been introduced to the bottle. As for best practices when dealing with formula, Arquilla explains that the most important thing is to follow the instructions on the packaging, as different brands of formula may require different things. “If you’re not using ready-to-feed formula, it’s important to follow the directions on the back of the formula can, because each formula could potentially have a different ratio for how you’re supposed to mix the water with the scoops of formula," Arquilla says, "For example, with the formula shortage there have been a lot more imports of European and Canadian formulas, and the way that they provide the size of the scoops can be different, so it’s really important to follow the guidelines on the back. Just because one formula states that 2 ounces of water is mixed with one scoop doesn’t mean that every formula is like that.” And as for properly mixing formula, she states it’s important to always add water first, and scoops of formula second to ensure the proper nutrient ratios your baby needs. You can warm a bottle of mixed formula in the same way that you would a bottle of breast milk using a bottle warmer or warm water bath (or by using the Baby Brezza Instant Advanced Warmer listed above) but Arquilla states that it is not recommended to pre-mix formula and freeze it for later use. Your Questions, Answered Are bottle warmers safe? If you follow the recommended guidelines per the user manual, bottle warmers are safe. Most caution against opening the chamber while heating is in progress to avoid the risk of steam burns or other heat-related injuries, and all of them require you to change out the water used to create the water bath or steam heat that warms the bottles on a regular basis to avoid bacteria and reduce mineral buildup. As long as the machine is kept clean and used according to the instructions, they pose no risk to your baby. Are bottle warmers necessary? This is perhaps the biggest question about bottle warmers. For many people, they’re not a necessity, so long as you understand the proper guidelines regarding how to warm milk properly. “It’s important to never thaw or heat breast milk in a microwave,” Arquilla says, “A microwave can create hot spots in the milk, not only can those destroy nutrients in the milk but it can be dangerous if the baby were to sip from a hot spot, it can burn the baby’s mouth.” Similarly, leaving a bottle or storage bag of breast milk to thaw in a bath of too-hot water can also diminish the nutrients in it, so it’s best to let your milk thaw in the fridge, and to bring it to a drinkable temperature without overheating it if you’re not using a bottle warmer. Whether or not you’ll use a bottle warmer also depends on your personal needs, your milk supply, and your baby. As Pochat mentioned, it wasn’t until after she started pumping and understood her own milk supply that a bottle warmer became necessary for her family. That’s something many nursing parents won’t know until after their baby is born. “I would recommend waiting to see if you’ll use a bottle warmer,” Pochat says. “Because with breastfeeding, you can be so unsure about what’s going to happen. Having a bottle warmer might present this pressure to use it, but some parents might find that they aren’t pumping. But if you have enough supply to warrant putting it in the freezer, a bottle warmer is always something you can purchase during a late-night run to the store or in an Amazon order.” Do bottle warmers fit all bottles? Not every warmer universally fits every bottle on the market, especially wide-mouth bottles. Some warmers explicitly state that they shouldn’t be used with bottles made of certain materials like glass, which can be bulkier than plastic. Look for information about those specific features in the product descriptions and user manuals. Who We Are As a mother of two boys, writer and editor Liz Kocan has spent her fair share of nights feeding or pumping or washing spare bottles and flanges because where did they all go? After nearly 10 years researching the best products to help make her own parenting a little easier, she’s sharing what she’s learned with other (exhausted at times, possibly desperate) parents. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Bransburg-Zabary S, Virozub A, Mimouni FB. Human Milk Warming Temperatures Using a Simulation of Currently Available Storage and Warming Methods. PLoS One. 2015. Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022.