How We Tested
I’m Jenni Gritters, a journalist with a decade of experience writing about all things health and science. I previously edited longform product reviews about the outdoors, parenting and travel at the New York Times product review site, Wirecutter. You can also find my bylines in all sorts of publications, like the New York Times, the Guardian, the REI Co-op Journal, Gear Patrol, and beyond.
I had my first baby—a little boy named Liam—in December 2019, and since then I’ve been reviewing baby gear and writing about the psychology of parenting. In the past, I’ve covered infant vitals monitors for Wirecutter and baby swings and baby baths for Reviewed. I was also an exclusive pumper because my son was born prematurely and spent time in the NICU, so I have many, many months of experience under my belt spent filling, washing, and feeding my son from bottles.
I used each bottle in this guide for at least two days. I filled them with infant formula or breast milk, offered them to my son Liam (who was 8-months-old when we started this guide), then cleaned the bottles by hand and in the dishwasher. I even tried to fill them all with one-hand while holding my 20+ pound kiddo.
I also did some serious leak-testing by packing the bottles in a diaper bag for car trips to the park. I also dropped them all– both purposefully and accidentally — to see if they remained intact, and allowed my son to play with them (which meant they all got a very good shake).
What to Consider When Selecting a Baby Bottle
Easy to assemble and fill
You should be able to easily put the pieces of the bottle together, which usually means popping in a nipple and screwing on the top. The bottle should also have a mouth that’s wide enough to pour milk into without dumping it onto the counter. Or, if you’re using powdered formula, the bottle should allow for easy stirring. (Pro tip: We like to use a chopstick.)
Easy to wash
The shape of a baby bottle should also make it easy to clean; sour milk or extra formula powder can get stuck in the cracks and corners, which can lead to bad smells and make the bottle unsafe for a baby to use. Most bottles can be put in a dishwasher, but we prioritized bottles with a wider-neck shape, which made them easier to deep clean with a good bottle brush.
There’s nothing worse than discovering a puddle of breastmilk on the floor of the car next to a tipped-over bottle. Thus, we searched for bottles that sealed tightly and didn’t leak, even after being shaken up or dropped. Most came with lids, and we made sure that they sealed well and didn’t fall off in transit.
You’ll be using these bottles for at least a few months, if not for a full year, so we looked for bottles that could handle being used daily for many months, without picking up nasty smells or cracking.
While no baby bottle is completely convenient to store, we picked options that could at least be tucked into a bin or a drawer, or easily stored in the pocket of a diaper bag.
Appealing to your baby
Most babies have varying nipple preferences, based on the shape of their mother’s breast, so this measure is a bit subjective. But based on online reviews and our personal experiences, we noticed that certain nipple shapes were easier for most babies to latch onto. Wider, shallower shaped-nipples with a skinnier teet made for an easier experience, especially if the nipple had a little bit of give, just like a mother’s breast might.
Contains colic-free technology (maybe)
Some bottles, Dr. Brown’s in particular, are made with anti-colic technology, which limits the amount of milk your baby can take in and helps to reduce air bubbles in their stomach. While this isn’t necessary for older babies, pediatricians often recommend this option for infants under the age of 6 months, and especially for babies born prematurely.
Other Baby Bottles We Tested
More Articles You Might Enjoy
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.
Shoot us an email