What’s old is new. At the start of the 20th century, glass baby bottles won out over tin, pewter, porcelain, and earthenware bottles. Now, two decades into the 21st century, they are making a huge comeback. And they’ve come a long way since they first made an appearance over 100 years ago. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Best Glass Baby Bottles
If you want to avoid plastic for health and environmental reasons, glass is an obvious answer. Here are the best glass baby bottles based on how well they work for real families.
The Mason Bottle
The Mason Bottle – Best Glass Baby Bottles
A favorite among crunchy mamas for their versatility. They are freezer-safe, stackable, and re-useable, making them perfect for breast milk storage or even purees and smoothies down the road . They’re also compatible with the beloved Comotomo nipples—another huge bonus!
Bottom line: These bottles work great now, plus grow with you, making them a very smart choice.
Dr Brown’s Glass Baby Bottles Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
Dr. Brown’s wide-mouth glass bottles are easy to use with divots on the sides for easy grip. The nipple helps regulate the flow (so baby knows what to expect) and also has a low flow that’s ideal for breastfed babies. The wide, breast-like top also helps support natural feeding and babies who go back and forth from breast to bottle. It also uses venting to help reduce colic and digestive issues.
Bottom line: Parents who use Dr. Brown’s glass baby bottles like how solid they feel and how inexpensive they are.
Avent Glass Baby Bottles – Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
These glass bottles have a breast-like nipple and are slow flow to support healthy feeding for baby. The bottle has a slightly curved shape to support easy gripping. They also have venting that helps with colic and digestive issues.
Bottom line: Parents who use these bottles love that they are affordable, as well as the similarity to the breast.
Nuk Glass Baby Bottles – Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
The Nuk glass baby bottle comes with a low flow venting nipple like many other bottles. The nipples also have three holes for milk to flow (more closely resembling the breast), as well as a breast-like shape and feel. Nuk glass bottles don’t leak like some other bottles and also have an easy to hold shape.
Bottom line: Nuk glass bottles are great for all babies, but especially those who go back and forth between bottle and breast.
Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottles – Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
Lifefactory glass bottles come with a silicone sleeve to reduce breakage and make gripping easier. The bottle is dishwasher-safe (no need to remove the sleeve) and can be used with a variety of tops as baby grows. These bottles are also compatible with most breast pumps for ease of storage and feeding. Lifefactory’s silicone sleeves come in many colors, so you can choose one that fits you or your baby’s mood or personality. While Lifefactory bottles are more expensive than most other brands, the quality can’t be beat. They are made from top notch materials and are extensively tested for safety, durability, and minimal environmental impact.
However, Lifefactory’s nipples are more “standard” shape (narrow and elongated) and don’t resemble the flatter, softer breast nipple. Some breastfed babies actually prefer this different nipple type than other bottles that are modeled after the breast.
Bottom Line: These glass baby bottles are great for babies who are old enough to hold the bottle themselves, since the silicone sleeve helps with grip and prevent breakage.
Evenflo Glass Baby Bottles
Evenflo is the best glass baby bottle for the money. Though they are less expensive than other brands, they have many of the same features, like venting to reduce colic, easy to grip sides and ease of cleaning. The one drawback is that they don’t have a wide, breast-like nipple, but many families still love them.
Bottom Line: If you’re concerned about using plastic for your baby’s food, but don’t have a ton of cash to spend, these glass baby bottles are a perfect option.
Baby Brezza Glass Baby Bottles – Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
These glass bottles are one of the easiest to clean, since they have a wide mouth and are only two parts. The nipple is breast-like, so these are also great for babies that are transitioning or go back and forth between breast and bottle. Additionally, the nipples feature the TruFlo® Anti-Colic System, making them great for all babies, but especially those who are prone to colic or digestive issues.
Bottom Line: These glass baby bottles are great for families who don’t want to fuss a lot over cleaning bottles.
Chico Naturalfit Glass Baby Bottles – Best Glass Baby Bottles baby post by Mama Natural
These baby bottles include a slow-flow, breast-like nipple, an easy to clean wide mouth and a silicone sleeve for easy gripping. But these bottles also come with two nipples—one that is angled and one that is straight, so you can decide which works best for you.
Bottom Line: Parents who use these bottles love that the nipple is so soft, so baby can get a great latch.
Why Go With Glass? Pros of Glass Baby Bottles
If you’re wondering what the benefits of glass versus plastic are, here are some of the the biggest pros in choosing glass alternatives:
Many moms prefer glass, because it’s BPA-free. BPA is a chemical that was used in plastics, including baby bottles and sippy cups, up until research revealed just how harmful it is. BPA can cause hormone disruption and metabolic disruption, according to a 2011 review. The researchers discuss that BPA is particularly problematic for fetuses, infants, and children due to their smaller size and greater susceptibility to harm.
While BPA is no longer used in baby bottles, there is still some concern that other plastic chemicals can be harmful as well. A 2009 review says additives in plastic, like phthalates, may be harmful to human endocrine systems and reproductive health. For this reason: Many parents prefer to avoid plastic altogether.
2. Easier to sanitize and clean
These kinds of bottles can go into the dishwasher for easier sanitation, while plastic is best to hand wash. Any new parent will agree that hand-washing adds a layer of frustration to an already busy time.
Additionally, plastic bottles can get scratched from bottle bushes and can harbor bacteria in those scratches. Glass bottles don’t become scratched in the same way. Plastic also hangs on to smells and colors that glass does not.
Glass baby bottles today are often made from tempered glass, making them very strong and durable. What’s more? Glass bottles last longer than plastic bottles, because plastic can degrade with use. Plastic bottles have even been known to change shape after many uses or being heated repeatedly.
4. Can handle extreme temperatures
Because of the high-quality glass used, glass baby bottles can survive high heat (as well as switching from hot to cold). Glass bottles can be used in the microwave and dishwasher. Plastic, on the other hand, can degrade with high heat.
When you’re done using bottles, these types can be recycled and quickly turned back into sand. Plastic, on the other hand, can only be recycled a finite number of times (two to three times, according to National Geographic).
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Cons of glass baby bottles
As wonderful as they are, we’d be remiss if we didn’t address a few of the cons, including:
Obviously, glass can break, while plastic generally won’t. The bottles made today are made with tempered glass so they are less likely to break. And there are also silicone sleeves that help. But at the end of the day, glass is still breakable.
These bottles are more expensive than plastic ones. If you are exclusively bottle-feeding, it can be expensive to stock up on enough bottles to feed baby without doing dishes constantly.
3. Heavy and Awkward
Glass baby bottles are going to be much heavier than plastic ones and can feel awkward to hold. If you’re traveling, the added weight of glass bottles in the diaper bag can be frustrating, too.
So Are Glass Baby Bottles Really Better?
Overall, glass is the better choice. There are many BPA-free plastic options, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) recommends avoiding microwaving beverages in plastic and avoiding placing plastics in the dishwasher. (Note: No matter what type of bottle you use, NEVER microwave breast milk or formula. This can create dangerous hot areas in the milk that can burn baby.) Heating plastic can cause chemicals to leach into the food inside the container, so it’s best to avoid heating plastic if possible.
Glass is best if you don’t think you’ll have time to handwash and are concerned about chemical leaching and overuse of plastics. Glass baby bottles are also best if you like to heat the milk before giving it to baby.
If you’re generally concerned with plastic use and want to reduce the amount you use, glass baby bottles may be a good choice for you as well.
But Will Glass Bottles Break? Are They Dangerous?
Many parents like the idea of glass for all reasons except one—glass breaks! But while these bottles are more likely to break than plastic ones, they aren’t as likely to break as you’d think. Here’s why:
- Glass bottles are made from tempered glass, a much stronger glass. I have dropped tempered glass on a hardwood floor without it breaking.
- They’re thermal-shock resistant. These types of bottles can go from cold to hot (or hot to cold) without breaking. This is not true for most other glass. This is really helpful when you overheat the milk and need to cool it down or when you need to heat milk that was in the refrigerator.
Many glass options come with silicone covers that can help prevent the glass from breaking, which adds another layer of safety. These silicone covers are also helpful for gripping the bottle without slipping.
How About You?
Do you use glass baby bottles? Which ones are your favorite—and why? Share with us in the comments below.