Finding the best portable bottle warmer has several factors. It is not as simple as just picking up one at the store since you have many things to consider when buying one. While it may not be a simple task, it certainly does pay dividends to do your research beforehand. It will help you make an informed decision and narrow down things you should look for.
So Many Choices!
There are many choices when you are looking to buy a bottle warmer. While it may, on the surface, appear to be an easy decision, it is not. In sorting through the various models, each has its own features, and it is easy to become overwhelmed by all the information. How can you be sure that you are buying the best bottle warmer for your baby? Is there a way to know?
Some parents may try several warmers and become frustrated when they don’t meet expectations. Where we go wrong is not having a clear understanding from the start of what we need this warmer, considering our lifestyle. While most parents know what they want it to do, they don’t always consider how they will incorporate using it.
Guidelines to Selecting the Best Portable Bottle Warmer
When you walk into the store, you will notice several baby bottle warmers on the shelves. Yet not all are created for the same purpose. There are warmers for countertops, portable ones to use while driving, and some designed for travel. The one you choose should be specific to your situation.
It is conceivable for families to have two bottle warmers. When breastfeeding, it is advisable to thaw breast milk in a bottle warmer rather than a microwave because microwaving these packets removes nutrients that the baby needs. Not only that, but microwaving any milk – breast or formula – can create hotspots.
Microwaves do not heat foods or liquids evenly. Therefore, most instructions require people to stir before serving to warm up the entire meal and eliminate hot/cold spots. When microwaved, there can be hotspots in the milk. When consumed, these hotspots can burn a baby’s mouth or throat.
You should always test the bottle before giving it to your baby.
While microwaving does remove nutrients from breast milk, it doesn’t have the same effect on formula. However, to keep the baby safe, it is recommended to heat all products using a bottle warmer which heats the bottle evenly and thoroughly by offering precise temperature control. This, in turn, eliminates hot spots from forming and harming the baby.
For this reason, it is not uncommon for parents to buy a bottle warmer for home. Some parents choose to take these warmers on the road to warm up bottles if needed. It isn’t a bad idea, but it does have its complications.
The largest complication is where you will stop to plug in the device. Will there be a plug nearby? Will you be able to use it, or will someone become snarky at your request? While most places understand parents trying to feed their children, a few may not be entirely accommodating, or they may simply offer the use of their microwave.
If you go this route, you may need to plan where to stop to plug in the warmer. While this may be a detriment, if you are successful, the advantage is that you may be able to warm up the bottle quicker than with one that plugs into the car.
The disadvantage is that, while they take up little counter space, many of these warmers may take up a great deal of precious space in a diaper bag.
The next possibility is buying a portable bottle warmer. These bottle warmers are more compact, and some easily fold down to take up minimal space in the diaper bag. Furthermore, some are for breastmilk, others are for formula, and some can do both.
With these, you want to consider, first and foremost, your bottle type. Not all portable warmers support every bottle. Some are more mainstream, while others can fit a wide variety of manufacturers. Before making a purchase, you want to ensure that it will fit your baby’s bottle adequately.
The second factor to consider is where you will be warming up the baby’s bottle. Will it be while driving, in the car, or do you need something on the go? These all factor into which one you choose.
If you are feeding the baby in the car, you may want to consider a plug-and-play, USB connector, or one that plugs into a cigarette lighter to warm up the bottle. Ensure that the container or wrap-around allows the bottle to be placed in the cup warmer while warming; otherwise, the bottle can fall, and milk will spill everywhere.
Warmers that connect via USB are often one of the most practical for a family that’s constantly on the go. Not only do some of them connect to the car, but they also connect to power/battery packs as well. These are especially useful when you need to feed a baby anywhere. With these devices, you just plug them into the source, and you can warm up bottles anywhere.
This is what makes them a more diverse choice when feeding your child.
On the other hand, both methods of heating a bottle may require a bit more time. Since some parents find the heat-up time too long, they quickly become discouraged because they don’t know what to expect, nor do they know the timing. Always examine how long it takes to heat the bottle while traveling so that when you are on the go, you can time it to your baby’s feeding schedule.
Then, there are bottle warmers that are more thermos style. They don’t require batteries, plug-ins, or electricity. All parents need to do is heat water and place it in the triple-insulated thermos to keep warm. When a baby is hungry, simply place the bottle in the device, or often you can pour water into a cup that surrounds the bottle.
This is an incredibly eco-friendly way to heat a baby’s bottle, and it can be done anywhere (except while driving). You don’t have to plug into anything, and it is a relatively low-maintenance way of heating the milk.
The disadvantage is, again, the time it takes to heat. Plus, some find that while the warmer does stay hot, the flask loses heat every time it’s opened. Some parents find that they begin well and are great for short trips, but not wonderful for longer destinations. They find that they tend to cool off too quickly.
Some are battery-powered, but they are few and far between. They have the advantage of going anywhere, but some parents don’t like having to carry spare batteries.
Travel bottle warmers aren’t much different from simple portable ones. Some parents even take their regular ones from home when traveling because you can warm them in hotels, terminals, etc. Others will take more portable ones just for the convenience that they offer.
Ultimately, when looking for a portable baby bottle warmer, you want one that:
- Fits the size of the bottle
- Is easy to clean/wipe down
- Is simple to use
- Fits your lifestyle
- Warms up the bottle relatively quickly
- Is compact enough to fit in your diaper bag
You need to ask yourself:
- Where will I use it the most?
- How long will it last on a single charge?
- How long does the water remain hot?
- Can it be used for formula, breastmilk, or both?
- Can it be used to warm up food?
- What temperatures do I need it to reach?
- Do I need to have one with a preferred temperature?
- Can I bring it on an airplane?
These questions will help you determine which bottle warmer is best suited for you.
When You May Require a Portable Bottle Warmer
Before we get to our baby bottle warmer review, here are some things to think about. If you’re thinking about buying a portable baby bottle warmer but are unsure as to whether you need one, these are the circumstances wherein you may find them exceptionally handy:
- Day trips to the zoo, planetarium, aquarium, etc.
- Eating out at restaurants
- Traveling by plane, train, or on a boat/cruise
- Running errands
- Spending time outdoors/in nature/hiking/jogging
- Road trips
Best Portable Bottle Warmer
Best Overall: Bopopo Instant Warmer for Travel
A built-in temperature sensor allows this portable warmer to control temperatures between 98-113° F. It will also display the current temperature in real-time as it heats up. Equipped with a 4400 mAh battery, it effectively warms water without a cable, making it completely wireless. You can make a warm bottle of formula anywhere.
- Battery lasts for 6 hours and can heat up to ten bottles
- Adjustable temperature control
- Comprised of food-grade plastic (BPA free)
- Easy to use
- Milk may not get warm enough
- Leaves a slight chemical taste
Best Thermos Style: Beisluo Portable Milk Warmer
This battery-operated flask stores eight ounces of water or milk. It heats the liquid in about 20 minutes using a 4400 mAh battery-operated heater. A temperature-controlled chip displays the warmth in real-time while the “Keep Warm” feature ensures that it will be ready when the baby is.
- Heats in 20 minutes
- Made of food-grade plastic – does not contain toxic chemicals
- Easy to clean and use
- Heats bottle evenly
- Battery lasts 6-10 hours
- May leak
- Bit of a smell when unboxing
Most Versatile: Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle & Food Warmer Set
This Tommee Tippee bottle warmer is a combination of stainless steel and plastic. It is easy to use and portable as it does not require electricity to heat it. Users can warm both milk and food jars using this warming container.
- You can use it for a longer duration than other baby bottle warmers
- Warms both bottles and baby food jars
- Takes 20 minutes to warm the bottle
- Loss of some heat every time flask is opened
Best for Formula: Befano Portable Bottle Warmer
Parents can use this bottle warmer for breast milk and formula, but it is particularly well-suited for formula. You can divide this device into formula storage and a warmer. The dispenser is food-grade plastic, and the heater is stainless steel. The silicone ring provides a relatively air-tight seal that prevents leaks.
- Fits most bottles
- Temperature sensing chip allows parents to set level of warmth
- Maintains temperature for 2-6 hours
- Displays the amount of power left
- Screws in easily to a bottle
- Shorter heating times depend on the amount of liquid (usually 7-20 minutes)
- May leak a bit
- Doesn’t fit all brands (up to 80%)
Best Multipurpose: Mummy Diaper Bag Backpack and Bottle Warmer
This diaper bag is practical and perfect for when you’re on the go. It contains a nappy bag, a waterproof compartment, side pockets for wipes, two large, zippered compartments, and an anti-theft bag. It has two warm baby bottle pockets, which can keep multiple bottles warm for 2-4 hours.
In addition to the warming area, you can use the USB charging port to keep milk warm when you have access to a power supply.
- Reinforced pockets
- Wide opening
- Keeps bottles warm for 2-4 hours
- Pockets to hold spoons
- Doesn’t fit tall bottles
- Battery pack sold separately
Best USB Warmer: Razzil Portable Bottle Warmer
This warmer takes 30 minutes to heat using a USB cord. It works by circulating at a constant temperature to prevent hot or cold spots and preserves heat well. It comes with a long cable, is adjustable, and is completely washable.
- Long USB cable
- Takes half an hour to heat
Best Battery Warmer (Rechargeable): Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer
This warmer will heat a bottle to a perfect 98.6° quickly. It uses a slow heat technology, which preserves all the nutrients found in milk and prevents the development of hot spots. Bottles tend to be ready in about 5-10 minutes, depending on the volume of milk. Additionally, the temperature is completely adjustable.
- Warms in 5-10 minutes
- Uses batteries with an 8–12-hour lifespan
- Fits a variety of bottles
- Doesn’t work with premixed or ready-to-feed formula
- No bottle adapters are included
Best Travel: Philips Avent Fast Baby Bottle Warmer
The Philips Avent warmer requires an electrical plug-in but is very small and compact. It’s also a fast bottle warmer that easily fits into a diaper bag and can be used easily while traveling on a plane or staying at a hotel. It will warm a five-ounce bottle in three minutes. This best travel bottle warmer has an even and gentle heat as well, so it will not burn the baby’s mouth.
- Holds warmth for up to one hour
- Automatic shut off
- Works with leading bottle brands
- Can also heat food jars
- Some issues controlling the temperature
- No timer
Quickest Warm-Up Time: Evohom Portable Bottle Warmer
If you are looking for a quick solution to warm up your baby’s bottle, Evohom offers the quickest warm-up time available. Bottles can easily warm in 5-10 minutes using one of the three temperature settings. It heats without cables, or you can use the USB in the car.
- Cordless and USB rechargeable
- Heats bottles in 5-10 minutes
- Not compatible with thin-necked bottles
- Temperature in Celsius
There are many portable bottle warmers to choose from, each with advantages and disadvantages. The main thing is to isolate what you need the bottle warmer to do and where you will use it most. What will be the most convenient for you and your baby?
Once you isolate those answers, research portable bottle warmers beforehand to ensure they work with your specific bottle type. Once you have a list going, then you can narrow it down.
By incorporating this method, you can avoid the frustration of needing to do a return or the product not working as expected. Having something malfunction while traveling can ruin the experience and frustrate those involved. It is always better to test the warmer beforehand instead of using it for the first time on the road.
This way, you ensure that everything will run smoothly while you travel. It will also let you know what to expect timing-wise. Furthermore, if you use a portable charger or batteries, make sure they have are fully charged each time you head out. It always pays to have a backup just in case.
Whichever one you end up choosing, make sure that it works for your lifestyle. Ensure that it is perfect for your baby and warm it to the appropriate temperature. Also, be aware that portable bottle warmers do take longer to heat a bottle. They are not as fast as ones that use electricity.
Portable bottle warmers are great for all types of travel. They are easy to clean and fit nicely in your diaper bag. Make sure that using them is convenient for you, and try as much as possible to time the feedings to approximately when your baby will be hungry. Most warmers will keep the milk warm for a bit longer.
Trips are always more enjoyable when your baby is happy and content. It just takes a bit of prep work to get there.