Are you trying to ditch the plastic and go green? Are you looking for bottles that don’t contain harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates?
Glass baby bottles are chemical-free, durable, and easier to clean than plastic. What’s not to love?
We’ve rounded up the best glass baby bottles currently on the market, and show you how to choose a high-quality glass bottle for your baby.
- Have “petals” that makes nipple softer
- This anti-colic system
- Ergonomic design
- Withstand sudden temperature changes
- Comes with silicone sleeve
- Helps reduce colic
- Sturdy, attractive design
- Helps preserve vitamins in milk
- Wide necks for easy cleaning
- Don’t break easily, even when dropped
- Doesn't leak
- Easy to clean
- Everything is dishwasher safe
- Withstand sudden temperature changes
- Easier to grip
- Reasonably priced
- Super lightweight, but durable
- Dishwasher safe
- Easy to grip
- Angled for more comfortable hold
- High-quality glass
Should You Use Glass Baby Bottles?
When my first baby was born, I didn’t see the harm in buying plastic bottles – they were cheaper and they wouldn’t break into a million pieces if I accidentally dropped one. They were lighter and easier to grip than glass bottles. I didn’t understand why anyone would prefer glass bottles over plastic.
I quickly saw the appeal of glass bottles once I’d had my plastic ones for a while, though. It was impossible to keep those suckers really clean. They always had this weird film on them and there was no way to get it off.
They just never seemed to be clean, compared to the sparkling glass bottles a friend of mine was using for her child. I was developing a big case of bottle envy – I regretted my choice to save money with plastic bottles.
Even worse was wondering what I was doing to my child’s health by using plastic. That film had me wondering. For all we know, BPA isn’t the only harmful component of plastic (1).
With all the extra steps we take to ensure our babies’ health – sanitizing bottles, breastfeeding, washing their clothes in Dreft detergent rather than our usual detergent – it doesn’t make sense to ignore the big, plastic elephant in the room. Our children would likely be better off with glass bottles.
The Benefits of Glass Bottles
- No chemicals: Glass doesn’t contain any chemicals – it’s made from silica. With no chemicals, it’s a safe bet to use for your baby’s milk.
- Milk fat won’t stick to the sides of the bottle: When you use plastic bottles, the fat from your breast milk can stick to the sides of the bottle. That doesn’t happen as much with glass bottles.
- Better for heating milk: If you’re using plastic bottles, chemicals tend to leach out into your baby’s milk even more when the plastic is heated (2). You can safely heat milk in glass bottles without fear that you’re releasing more toxins into your baby’s food.
- Glass doesn’t scratch as easily as plastic: Scratches on plastic can quickly accumulate grime and bacteria. Glass bottles don’t scratch as often, but on the rare occasion they do, toss them out because you won’t be able to properly clean the scratch, and you can’t guarantee that bottle will be sterile.
- Plastic baby bottles smell bad: I hate that dreaded plastic smell that you get when you first begin using a new plastic product. If parents can smell that awful odor, can kids? Plus, when you’re drinking from a new plastic cup, your drink doesn’t only smell – it tastes bad too. It takes a lot of washes before that plastic smell and taste begin to fade.
Plastic bottles do not last from child to child- they discolor no matter what chemicals they are free from. This alone may be a good idea to invest in some glass bottles.
Editor's Note:Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC
The Disadvantages of Glass Bottles
While it’s true that glass bottles have a lot going for them, it doesn’t mean they’re an obvious choice for you. Consider the following drawbacks:
- Weight: You might like the feeling of a solid glass bottle in your hands, but glass may actually be too heavy for your little one if they’re self-feeding.
- Cost: Anything plastic is usually cheaper, and this is true for bottles, too. Glass bottles can be a lot pricier.
- Risk of breakage: You’re always going to be a little antsy about giving a tiny baby something made of glass. While many bottles have a safe coating around them to prevent shattering even if they fall, the fact is that if they’re dropped, they can and will break.
- Availability: Plastic bottles are more popular and that makes them far easier to get hold of. If you want good a glass bottle, you may have to hunt them down.
- Less choice: Glass bottles are less likely to come in loads of shapes, sizes, or styles as plastic bottles do, since they’re simply not as common.
The Best Glass Baby Bottles of 2021
Here are the top glass baby bottles currently on the market.
1. Philips Avent Natural Glass Baby Bottles
These bottles are made from high-quality borosilicate glass, and you’ll get three 8-ounce glass bottles in this pack. You can heat up all your baby’s bottles without fear because these are heat resistant.
The Philips Avent bottles are a good choice for breastfed babies because of their big, breast-like, silicone nipples. While using these, babies can find a latch similar to the latch they’d form when breastfeeding, so there’s no confusion going back and forth between breast and bottle.
These wide-neck bottles are easy to clean and they only have four parts so they’re easy to put back together. They have an anti-colic system to help your baby feel more comfortable. While these bottles come with slow flow nipples, you can use any other Philips Avent nipples with them.
The ergonomic design of these bottles makes holding them easy – you won’t have any hand discomfort.
- These bottles have “petals” that make the nipple softer and also stop it from collapsing as your baby drinks.
- This anti-colic system means your baby will swallow less air, which means less discomfort.
- The ergonomic design will help your baby hold onto the bottle, even though it will be heavier than plastic bottles.
- Drastic temperature changes from hot to cold make these bottles break occasionally.
- Some parents found the soft nipple leads to leaking sometimes.
2. Joovy Boob Glass Baby Bottles
The Joovy Boob glass bottle comes in a three-pack and they each hold 8 ounces. They have a one-piece Clear Flow vent that helps reduce the amount of air your baby gulps down, which will cut down the chances of developing colic. The vent is a snap to clean and great at preventing leaks.
For added comfort and security, you’ll get a silicone sleeve with this set. Simply snap the sleeve in place over the bottle for a better grip and less chance of the glass breaking.
This set comes with three medium flow nipples and caps for the bottles. Sudden temperature changes are fine with this bottle, up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit, which means if you bring it from the freezer to a warm cup of water to heat the breast milk, you shouldn’t have any breakage.
- Made to withstand sudden temperature changes from the freezer, dishwasher or bottle warmer.
- It comes with a silicone sleeve, which may stop the bottle from slipping out of your hand.
- It helps reduce colic.
- More expensive than many glass bottles.
- The measurement numbers will wear off the glass over time.
3. Dr. Brown's Wide Neck Glass Baby Bottles
These bottles from Dr. Brown’s have two very attractive features. Firstly, they’re made of sturdy glass but are lightweight enough in their silicone sleeve that they almost feel like plastic, and secondly, their anti-colic mechanisms are great for helping babies with spit-up, indigestion, and gas.
The makers claim that this bottle has been clinically proven to reduce colic by creating a vacuum that stops the formation of tiny air bubbles. There’s also a silicone nipple with a controlled flow design so your baby is never gulping milk down, but drinking more naturally, as they would if they were breastfeeding.
The internal straw-style vent can be easily removed from the bottle as your baby develops and no longer needs it. All the parts can be steam-sterilized with no fear of breaking the glass.
- Sturdy, attractive design.
- It helps preserve vitamins in the milk.
- Wide necks make for easy cleaning.
- Some parents found the bottles leak easily.
- Some have noticed that although it doesn’t shatter, the glass does chip.
4. NUK Simply Natural Glass Bottles
These bottles are super cheap, and they’re affordable for moms on nearly any budget. The set comes with three 4-ounce bottles, nipples, and lids.
This glass is gender-neutral so you can buy it even before having your little one’s gender-reveal. The glass is thicker and sturdier than some other brands, and it holds up well to long-term use. If you tend to be on the clumsy side, you might appreciate the durability of these bottles.
They come with silicone nipples that have vents to stop the nipple from collapsing when your baby is drinking, and they also help cut down on how much gas your baby will swallow.
You can place these in a bottle warmer without fear that they’ll shatter, and you can boil them when you need to sanitize them. Many standard-sized rings and nipples will fit on these bottles as well if you already have a particular type of nipple you like to use.
- These don’t break easily, even when dropped.
- Super cheap for a glass bottle.
- Easy to clean.
- Parents noted that this is lighter than other glass bottles.
- Doesn’t leak.
- Doesn’t do well with extreme temperature changes – you don’t want to put these into boiling water straight from the freezer.
5. Lifefactory BPA-Free Glass Baby Bottles
This great set includes two 4 oz bottles that both come with silicone sleeves, and you’ll also get a teether too. The teether doesn’t contain BPA, phthalates, latex or PVC. It’s made with medical-grade silicone, and so are the nipples and bottle sleeves.
These are a good choice for newborns with their Stage 1 nipples. Because these are resistant to thermal shock, you can move bottles from the freezer straight to boiling water without fear the bottles will explode.
Every part of these bottles can be put in the dishwasher and sterilized. When your baby outgrows them, they’re compatible with faster flow nipples made by Lifefactory. As a bonus, if you’re breastfeeding, these bottles are compatible with most breast pumps, which means you can still buy these even if you’ve already bought a breast pump from another brand.
- Everything, including the sleeve, is dishwasher safe, and you don’t have to remove the sleeves before cleaning.
- Can jump right from the freezer to boiling water without breaking, which is good news for moms who freeze breastmilk.
- The sleeves make the bottles easier to grip, without fear of them slipping out of your hands and breaking.
- These are really expensive bottles.
- Some parents found it hard to see how much the baby has already eaten through the silicone sleeve.
6. Simba 9-ounce Ultra Light Bottles
The Simba bottles have wide necks for easy cleaning, which is important when you’re on vacation and you don’t have access to all the cleaning tools you have at home.
These bottles are also made out of really light, medical-grade borosilicate glass, which means they won’t make your luggage as heavy as some other glass bottles would. When it comes time for your baby to learn the art of self-feeding, they won’t feel like they’ve just had a full-on workout just from holding their bottle up.
Drastic, sudden temperature changes won’t bother these bottles at all – the temperature can change up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit and they’ll be fine. They can also resist heat up to 1,112 Fahrenheit, a temperature not even my famous milk-burning husband can accomplish.
The nipples have an anti-colic design to help keep your baby comfortable, even when away from home. You’ll be able to steam sterilize these in the microwave in your hotel room, if you have one.
- Reasonably priced.
- Super lightweight, but durable.
- Dishwasher safe.
- You’ll need to make sure they are packed appropriately in your luggage because they are a thinner glass, which can mean breakage if they bump each other.
- These don’t come with silicone sleeves.
7. Chicco Natural Fit Glass Baby Bottles
One glance at this bottle design and you can see why a baby might take to it. The soft, silicone nipples look and feel like a breast, and the angled shape makes it easier for you to cradle your baby with one arm and feed easily with the other.
The bottle has all the features you’d want, including a BPA-free nipple in various sizes for babies of all ages, and anti-colic vents to make sure that once they’ve fed, they can happily go right off to sleep. If you’re trying to coax your breastfed baby onto bottles, this one will likely do the trick, as the company claims that 96 percent of babies latch to it immediately.
These have a wide neck to make them easier to reach when hand washing, but can also be put in the dishwasher, microwave or steam sterilizer with no problems. These bottles are a great all-rounder and they offer all the features of a plastic bottle but made of a safer material that won’t discolor with time.
- The cheerful blue silicone cover is easy to grip and lessens the chance of breaking.
- Angled for a more comfortable hold.
- High-quality glass doesn’t break easily.
- Many parents have complained that the nipple frequently collapses.
- The bottle isn’t freezer safe.
Do Glass Baby Bottles Break Easily?
If you’re living in fear that you’ll break bottle after bottle if you buy glass, you don’t need to be overly concerned. Unless you’re greasing your hands before handling your baby’s bottle, the replacement issue won’t be as big as you think it will.
You only need to replace glass bottles when you shatter them, or if they have chips or cracks in them (3).
To make sure you’re as gentle as possible with your glass bottles, avoid putting them in your kitchen sink when they’re dirty. If you keep them on the counter next to the sink, you’ll avoid accidentally breaking them when you place other dishes in your sink.
If you are extremely clumsy, you can separately buy silicone outer sleeves to wrap the outside of your bottle. That way if you drop the bottle, it will have added protection from breaking. The silicone won’t come in contact with any of the milk in the bottle.
How Do I Care for Glass Bottles?
You’ll clean glass bottles in exactly the same way you would clean plastic bottles, but there are a couple of extra perks to having glass bottles:
- You can boil them: While boiling plastic bottles to sterilize them is a no-no these days, you can still boil glass bottles. That’s good news for parents who are watching their money and don’t want to spring for a bottle sterilizer. Who wants to spend unnecessary money and give up extra kitchen counter space to buy a piece of equipment you don’t need?
- They air dry quicker: If you prefer to let your bottles air dry on the counter instead of drying them manually, you might want to buy glass bottles. Glass bottles air-dry faster than plastic bottles do.
How to Sterilize Glass Baby Bottles
Sterilizing bottles is not always necessary, and certainly not needed after every feed unless your baby has been ill, is very young or has a compromised immune system. You will, however, want to sterilize your glass bottles the first time you use them.
Your bottles can be sanitized pretty well by placing them on a hot cycle in the dishwasher or washing them and then boiling in a pan of water for 10 minutes. Air dry and seal carefully to prevent introducing any bacteria to the inside. If you’d like to sterilize more thoroughly, it’s usually fine to place glass baby bottles and all their attachments into an electric or microwave steamer.
How to Warm Glass Baby Bottles
We already know that microwaving baby bottles is not a good idea. So how can you heat them, then?
Most glass baby bottles can be warmed in pretty much the same way you’d warm plastic bottles, with a few exceptions. If you have a baby bottle warmer, carefully read the operating instructions to see if they’re compatible with glass – some are, some aren’t. if in any doubt, a glass bottle can safely be warmed under running hot water or else by placing in a warm water bath for a few minutes.
The Philips Avent Fast Bottle warmer is a great bottle warmer that works with glass baby bottles, but there are many others on the market that do the same.
Glass Baby Bottle FAQs
Can Glass Baby Bottles Go in the Dishwasher?
Typically, yes. Check the pack the bottle came in to confirm the cleaning instructions, but most glass bottles and accessories can be placed in the top drawer of the dishwasher.
Can You Microwave Glass Baby Bottles?
If you’d like to microwave your glass baby bottles to sterilize them, this should be fine so long as you use a special bottle steamer designed for this purpose. Avoid putting a bottle filled with milk in the microwave to heat for a feed, as this will result in hot spots that could scold your baby.
Again, check with the manufacturer first, since some glass bottles may be quite delicate and will break if repeatedly exposed to extreme heat changes. For this reason, take equal care when boiling to sterilize.
Can You Freeze Glass Baby Bottles?
A few bottle brands make glass bottles that can be put in the freezer (for example LifeFactory and Joovy Boob) but most don’t.
Milk (or any liquid, for that matter) will expand when it freezes. Even if you leave enough of an air gap in your bottle for the milk to expand into, you still risk it breaking the glass. If you’d like to freeze your milk, specially designed milk storage bags that can be frozen are ideal.
Can You Take Glass Baby Bottles on an Airplane?
Airport security protocols are bound to change with time, so if in any doubt, call your airline and ask what you are and aren’t allowed to bring in the hold or in your hand luggage. In general, there are exemptions to the liquid rules when you’re transporting food for infants, as long as you pack your milk in a separate bag in clear bottles (not opaque flasks) so that officials can inspect it if they need to.
This applies to milk or plastic bottles for babies, breast milk, formula, or pureed baby food. Some airports actually sell ready-prepared formula milk, which you can reserve ahead of time.