When you are shopping for the right baby bottle choice for your young one you will more than likely stumble upon brand favorites like Dr Brown’s and Philips Avent. They are both top-notch bottle manufacturers that give you lots of options.
But, like with everything, not all choices are created equal and in some cases one bottle is better than the other.
Below, I have broken down all the main differences between Dr Browns’ bottles and Avent bottles so that you can quickly, easily and thoroughly figure out which is right for your baby.
Which Bottle Is Best?
It comes down to a few things in the end.
Anti-Colic/Gas: If this is an issue for you, or you want to prevent it before it starts, then Dr Brown’s bottles are the way to go.
Leaking: Dr Brown’s bottles, perhaps due to their vent system, tend to be fiddlier and leak more than the Avent bottles.
Nipple Adaption: Philips Avent bottles have two options with one being more like the natural breast. This is great for adapting your little one to bottles or mixed-feeding for their milk.
For the rest, it is always a matter of trial and error and seeing what your baby likes. In the end, I would not invest too much in bottles or related cleaning equipment until you are sure which one works for you. And remember, you can always change and might have to as your child grows. Nothing ever stays the same!
The Main Differences Between Dr Brown’s & Philips Avent
Dr Brown’s bottles and Avent bottles share a lot of similar features, but there are still a few key differences I should mention.
Dr Brown’s & Avent Anti-Colic (Anti-Gas, Reflux etc)
Colic is one of the most painful things to experience with a young baby. Both for you and them. So, if anything can be done to reduce this, I am sure you will put your hand up to do it.
Dr Brown’s bottles seem to have the edge on anti-colic features, even though Philips has added some great features to their Avent bottles too.
For Dr Brown’s it is very much the focus and their Natural Flow system is a big feature on all young child and baby bottles. Their patented vent system is a lifesaver when your baby is not happy with their bottle.
If you are unsure if you want to use it long term, you can also buy their Options baby bottles which give you the choice of whether you use the vent or not.
It’s not as big a focus for Philips with their Avent bottles, however, they have introduced their Air Vent Anti-Colic series to tackle this problem too. Most moms seem to be really happy with it too. For me though, having to hold it at a specific angle is a bit of a pain. Something I am sure you get used to, but if you have to let someone else feed? Hmmm. You might forget to tell them.
Dr Brown’s seems to have the edge in the area of anti-colic for sure.
Winner: Dr Brown’s
Easy To Clean
Let’s face it, having a bottle that keeps your baby happy is priority number one. But next in line is you. Cleaning the bottles is a daily chore and one that is going to take a lot of your time. So, anything that can help here is a life-saver.
Dr Brown’s bottles are the winner when it comes to anti-colic (gas) but unfortunately, there are so many more parts to clean. And on top of this, many of them are quite fiddly, so you end up spending way too long clean them. Don’t believe me? Just check out this video. See all the parts? Horrendous!
Because of this, some parents choose to change to Avent bottles or start their baby with them in the first place just to save time on cleaning. Of course, solving gas or colic issues comes first, but don’t forget to make your life easier too!
Note: There are dishwasher containers for the parts to help you put it in the dishwasher, but you might find that over time it still needs to be cleaned by hand anyway. If you want more detailed info on cleaning, check out this post.
Winner: Philips Avent
Both Philips Avent bottles and Dr Brown’s bottles use BPA-free plastic, which is really important. You probably heard about BPA as it was quite an issue over the last few years. It could potentially be really harmful to humans, and kids especially. As it easily leaches from the bottle into the liquid inside it. So, why take the risk, right?
So, either bottle is fine for kids. But, if you want to take it a step further, you can also get glass bottles. Both companies make them, so you have options there too.
Glass is obviously cleaner and has less potential to contaminate, but it’s also easier to break. Especially if you drop it, which you will probably do while juggling your baby, the bottle, the formula….you get the idea.
The glass is quite strong and durable, but breakage may still happen. If you are worried about that, luckily you can also buy a silicon sleeve to protect it. Or you can get the Dr Brown’s with the sleeve too.
Nipples Options & Breast Feeding
Every baby has a different preference when it comes to nipple size, type and the amount of food they can take. That is why it’s important for you to have options when it comes to nipple choice for your favorite bottle.
Of course, both Dr Brown’s and Avent come with options, that can be swapped out as your baby grows. However, there are some differences worth checking out.
Dr Brown’s favors just one type of nipple. And like with the Avent, they come in a variety of sizes for different ages. This helps adjust to your growing baby and their needs. They are also made of a nice soft silicone that is BPA-free.
Phillips offers a couple of nipple options. The first is focused on mimicking the natural shape of the nipple. This helps transition to bottles or do mixed feeding as it helps hide the fact that you are changing from your young one.
They also have a specific nipple to help reduce gas and colic-related issues. This is a great option if you are not using the other anti-colic features of philips or want to take it to another level if you are still having problems.
Winner: Philips Avent
This one is hard to pick a winner on. Both bottles can possibly leak. It’s always an issue depending on how well it’s cleaned, sealed, and manufactured. There is always a role of the dice on anything that we buy, right?
If you read a lot of reviews on Amazon, you will notice that Dr Brown’s leak a lot more than the Avent. Some say the reason is the way their flow system works, and that you need to prep the bottles a certain way to avoid it. This makes sense, given the pressure in the bottle etc. but the question for you is, do you want to have to worry about that?
For the better Anti-colic system, it’s worth it for me. But if this is not an issue for you, the Avent is better sealed.
Winner: Philips Avent
The standard sizes with baby bottles tend to be 2oz, 4oz and 8oz. As your young one grows, you can adapt to bigger bottles to suit new feeding needs.
Dr Brown’s covers the usual 2,4,8 oz range.
Avent however, has more variety with 2,4,8,9 and 11oz options. The anti-colic options only come in the 4,9 and 11oz from what I can see online.
With all of the differences above, both these bottles are also very similar.
They have a range of sizes to suit different ages. Their materials are all high quality and take care of the usual chemical suspects like BPA, ensuring that they are no longer used.
Anti-colic is an option for both, although Dr Brown’s seems to be a better solution for those with a real issue.
Washing and cleaning can be done however you want (including in the dishwasher for both, so they are easy to clean) but Dr Browns are a little fiddlier and might require a bit more hand cleaning or time.
Which Is Right For Your Baby?
It comes down to a few things in the end.
Anti-Colic/Gas: If this is an issue for you, or you want to prevent it before it starts, then Dr Browns are the way to go.
Leaking: Dr Browns, perhaps due to their vent system, tend to be fiddlier and leak more.
Nipple Adaption: Philips Avent has two options with one being more like the natural breast. Great for adapting to bottles or mixed-feeding.
For the rest, it is always a matter of trial and error and seeing what your baby likes. In the end, I would not invest too much in bottles or related cleaning equipment until you are sure which one works for you. And remember, you can always change, and might have to as you child grows. Nothing ever stays the same!
Dr Browns Vs Philips Avent Bottle Warmers
Another handy thing to have to help keep your baby happy is a baby bottle warmer. They all like their milk to be a similar temperature to what they are used to when breastfeeding, so being able to warm milk quickly and conveniently is the key to both your happiness in the long run.
Both companies offer a handy bottle warmer, but there are a few differences.
Dr Browns Bottle Warmer
Dr Brown’s bottle warmer uses heated water in the form of steam to help quickly heat up the bottle of milk (or jar if you like) that you place inside. It is easy to set it up via the LCD control panel on the outside and quickly get the bottle to your preferred temperature.
The positives of this bottle warmer are that it has a cage you use to load it, which can take quite a variety of sizes. The downside is that it uses indirect water heating via steam and some may find a water bath style faster and safer for their baby’s milk.
- Easy-to-use operation
- Electronic controls with cycle indicators plus an auto shut-off when cycle is complete
Philips Avent Bottle Warmer
Philips Avent bottle warmer uses a pre-defined amount of water that you add each time to circulate around the bottle and warm it evenly. It is far more gentle than other types of heaters and avoids hot spots in the liquid as a result. It also warms the milk quite fast, typically 3 minutes for an average bottle.
It doubles as a food warmer or defroster as well, which is great for those of us who want to avoid microwaves with our babies.