Finding the right bottle for your little one usually comes down to a little trial and error. Consider buying a few different brands and types of bottles and see which one your baby likes best. To help, we’ve narrowed down some of the top-rated bottles available, and share some shopping tips.
Data obtained May 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Do I need bottles?
Yes, most families will need to use a bottle here and there. If you exclusively bottle-feed, you’ll definitely need to have plenty of bottles on hand.
But even if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need bottles if you plan to go back to work in your baby’s first year or so, or if you’d like to have the option of other family members or caretakers feeding your baby expressed milk while you take a moment’s rest.
What types of bottles are there?
Bottles come in an array of shapes and sizes, but most are made out of one of these four materials:
Today’s plastic bottles are BPA-free and designed to be strong and durable.
Some parents concerned about chemicals in plastics
May not last as long as other options
These contain a glass bottle with a silicone nipple attached. Some come with removable silicone sleeves.
No exposure to plastic
Easy to clean
Last longer than plastic
Consists of a silicone bottle and nipple.
Can be harder to find
Can be expensive
Consists of a stainless steel bottle and a silicone nipple. Many are insulted to help maintain the milk’s temperature.
Easy to clean
Can be harder to find
Can be expensive
How many bottles do I need?
This will depend on whether you choose to bottle-feed or breastfeed and how often you plan to sanitize your bottles. Generally speaking, you may need anywhere from four to 12 bottles, depending on these factors.
Parents who choose to bottle-feed exclusively may need to have more bottles on hand than mothers who are breastfeeding. Start with around six bottles if you’ll be bottle-feeding and closer to four if you’ll be breastfeeding.
What size bottles do I need?
The size of bottle you need will depend on how old your baby is. As they grow, you’ll need to increase the bottle and nipple size. Here’s a general timeline to get you started:
Minimum bottle size
How to compare baby bottles
Many new moms find that their baby does the decision-making when it comes to finding the right style of bottle. So you may want to pick up a few different brands and see which one baby likes best.
Compare these main features when shopping:
Price. Bottles come in a wide range of prices, depending on the material, size, brand and how many come in a pack. A three-pack of plastic bottles can be as low as $3, while a two-pack of silicone anti-colic bottles can run around $25.
Type. Consider the material and design when choosing bottles. Some may be easier for you or baby’s little hands to hold than others. Also, some brands claim to mimic mom’s natural breast, while others are geared toward exclusive bottle-feeding. Many models now also come with an anti-colic design.
Nipple size and flow. Most bottle nipples are made out of silicone, but come in a variety of sizes, shapes and flows. Some bottle sets will come with a range of flow amounts to save you from purchasing each one separately.
Disposables. Some bottles come with disposable plastic inserts that you fill with milk and drop down into the bottle. This makes traveling and clean-up a breeze.
Extra features. Some bottles come with extras like a removable anti-colic venting systems, which allows baby to use the bottle with or without this added piece. Some sets may come with a carrying case, bottle warmer or extra lids.
How to clean and sterilize baby bottles
You should thoroughly clean your baby’s bottles after each use with soap and water, using a bottle brush to reach the bottom. You can then use a bottle drying rack to air dry them.
You may also want to sterilize your bottles every so often, until your child is around three months old and their immune system is stronger. Sterilizing bottles is also a good idea after baby’s been sick or if they were born prematurely. You may also want to sterilize new bottles before using them.
To sterilize baby bottles, follow these steps:
Fill a large pot with water.
Submerge clean bottles upside down in the water. There should be enough water to completely cover the bottles.
Bring the water to a boil.
Boil bottles for approximately five minutes.
Turn the heat off and carefully remove the bottles from the water using tongs or another kitchen utensil.
Place upside down on a bottle drying rack or clean dishtowel to dry.
Shopping for baby bottles can be a hassle-free process. Decide how much you want to spend and what material you prefer, then choose a few different brands and designs and let baby pick the winner.
To create our list of the best baby bottles, we conducted online research to find some of the most popular bottles available. We then compared the size, price, type and overall features, taking into account third-party product reviews as well.
Frequently asked questions
This may come down to your baby’s preferences, but some of the most popular bottle brands that are specifically designed to mimic the feel of breastfeeding include:
If your baby is having trouble taking a bottle, try these tips:
Mom may have to leave the room if someone else is trying to bottle-feed the baby.
Introduce the bottle when baby is falling asleep or has just woken up.
Try different bottle brands and/or nipple flow speed.
Check the temperature of the milk. You may have to try different temperatures to find that sweet spot your baby likes.
Try different positions.
Give it time. Practice makes improvement.
All plastic baby bottles and cups are now made with BPA-free plastic. However, some parents are still concerned about the possibility of exposure to chemicals in plastics, making glass a popular alternative.
There are several benefits to using glass bottles, like their lack of chemicals, ability to heat to higher temperatures when sterilizing and ease of cleaning. But the right fit for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget and what your baby likes best.
Colic is a catch-all term used to describe otherwise healthy babies who regularly become fussy and uncomfortable for several hours at a time. Colic is believed to be linked with indigestion or air pockets in their stomachs, causing discomfort.
Gabrielle Pastorek is the shopping and travel publisher at Finder, helping readers to round up the best deals, coupons, retailers, products and services to make sound financial decisions. She's contributed more than 800 articles to the site and is a quoted expert in Best Company and DealNews. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, with essays and short stories published in The Collagist, Blue Monday Review, Blotterature and others. When she’s not writing, Gabrielle can be found out in the barn with her horse, Lucy.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
finder.com is an independent comparison platform and information service that aims to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions. While we are independent, the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which finder.com receives compensation. We may receive compensation from our partners for placement of their products or services. We may also receive compensation if you click on certain links posted on our site. While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn't influence our assessment of those products. Please don't interpret the order in which products appear on our Site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. finder.com compares a wide range of products, providers and services but we don't provide information on all available products, providers or services. Please appreciate that there may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.