Plastic Free Baby Bottles

7 Best Plastic-Free & Non-Toxic Baby Bottles

As a parent or guardian, the well-being of your babies is paramount. In their early development stages, you can choose to protect them from toxic elements in everyday items. You might be looking for options to avoid plastic baby bottles that could harm your infant’s health. Fortunately, alternative plastic-free baby bottles made from materials like glass, silicone, or stainless steel provide excellent safe options. 

In this article, we provide a list of recommended non-toxic baby bottles. But first, here’s a quick dive into plastic baby bottles and their dangers.

Components of a plastic bottle

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The raw materials used to make plastic bottles include polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and so on.

High-density polyethylene

Polyethene is a thermoplastic polymer compatible with heat without losing its form. It grants plastic recyclable properties. There are three groups of polyethylene:

  • High-density polyethylene
  • Low-density polyethylene 
  • Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene

High-density polyethylene is a compound commonly used to make plastic bottles. It contains a single monomer and ethylene, making it a homopolymer. It is also a resin material with a moisture barrier and is impact resistant. Bottles manufactured with HDPE are usually transparent.

Low-density polyethylene is similar to HDPE, but it is more flexible. It does not have the level of chemical resistance in high-density polyethylene. LDPE costs more than HDPE, and manufacturers mostly use it for packaging materials. 

Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene is a linear polyethylene, also known as high modulus polyethylene. Furthermore, it has wear resistance, structural strength, and biocompatibility. UHMWPE helped achieve top-notch success in total joint arthroplasties, but its implants do not last long because of wear. 

Polyethene terephthalate

Polyethene terephthalate is a resin with a high level of impact and chemical resistance. PET is a reaction between ethylene glycol, a hygroscopic liquid, and terephthalic acid. It also has a suitable alcohol barrier.  Some products formed from polyethylene terephthalate are water bottles, carbonated drinks, and food containers. 

Plastic baby bottles

Most plastic baby bottles contain polypropylene. There are also hybrid bottles made with plastic on the exterior and glass on the inside. Plastic options have various plastic parts like the teat, collar, and cover. Their design provides a comfortable feeding experience for babies. 

Although there are different materials for manufacturing baby bottles, most manufacturers prefer plastic because of its ease of molding into different shapes. It is a standard to use materials that won't react to the edible content inside plastic containers. However, some plastic containers can release harmful chemicals into the contents they hold. Polycarbonate plastic is an example of such plastic material.

A lot of countries had to ban polycarbonate plastics. They contain bisphenol A. BPA baby bottles are dangerous to your baby's health because they leak harmful chemicals inside the breast milk or baby milk contained inside. The reaction is predominantly strong when heated. 

The dangers of plastic baby bottles 

Are plastic baby bottles safe? 

There is no 100% safe plastic bottle, do not believe anyone that tells you otherwise. All forms of plastics leach harmful chemicals. Two main reasons why you should avoid using a plastic bottle are:

  1. Microplastics 
  2. Bisphenol A

Microplastics 

Tiny fragments released from larger plastic materials as they degrade are called microplastics. They are less than 5mm in size, meaning you can’t see them with your bare eyes. Microplastics are everywhere around us. They are in oceans, tap water, living organisms, and the air. We are directly interacting with microplastics whenever we use plastic containers and packaging, as is also the case when using a plastic bottle with your baby.

Microplastics are released inside when you prepare baby milk in a plastic baby bottle. Plastic bottle options are generally less safe for human health; they are thought to be more dangerous for babies and newborns. The types of plastic that release high quantities of microplastics are polyethylene terephthalate and polypropylene. 

Plastic polymers are sensitive to heat. The mechanical friction occurs while you heat or shake plastic baby bottles causing plastics to break into tiny fragments. Hot boiling water breaks down the surface of these bottles into small pieces. 

To test this, researchers shook a plastic baby bottle filled with room temperature water and found thousands of microplastics inside it. Further tests with higher temperature levels led to the release of millions of microplastics2.

Also, using plastic baby bottles repeatedly makes them erode microplastic particles faster. It means that each use produces more microplastic particles1. According to research, an infant consumes an average of 1,580,000 microplastic particles daily.

There are speculations about the potential harm of microplastics on human health. It could damage our DNA cells and cause inflammation and other cell allergies. Although there isn't accurate information about the effects of microplastics on human health, in the absence of more research, the safest thing to do is to prevent infants and babies from consuming them. 

Related: Read more about the impact of microplastics on the environment.

Bisphenol A

Polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins contain a chemical called Bisphenol-A. These plastics are for manufacturing food packaging materials like plastic bags and bottles. BPA is the most manufactured global chemical. In 2003, about 13 billion kilograms of bisphenol A were manufactured3.

Heat and the age of plastics affect the amount of BPA released from plastic bottles. Studies show that plastic bottles leach harmful chemicals like BPA inside the bottle’s content. Small amounts of BPA leach out when you boil and wash the bottles. However, older bottles tend to release a higher level of BPA due to wear and tear. 

Although plastic manufacturers claim that BPA isn’t dangerous to human health, scientists discovered that BPA disrupted the cells and tissues when they examined its effects of BPA on animals4. Meanwhile, the results of a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the majority of Americans have BPA in their bodies. It also affects the functions of the placenta during gestation. Furthermore, it increases the risk of prostate cancer in male animals. 

Studies conducted on humans also showed similar levels of BPA5 found in animals in the human bloodstream, placenta, and fetal blood. The effects of this chemical on human health are unclear, so there is no accurate information about its impacts on babies. However, babies and children are easily affected by toxic chemical compounds. As such, the safest thing to do is to eliminate the possible adverse effects of BPA on your child’s health by using BPA-free plastic bottles. 

Types of plastic-free baby bottles

Instead of purchasing plastic bottles for your baby, invest in plastic and BPA-free alternatives. Also, using BPA-free baby bottles keeps the environment safe. Examples of non-toxic baby bottles are:

  • Glass baby bottles
  • Silicone baby bottles
  • Stainless steel baby bottles

Glass baby bottles

A glass baby bottle is a perfect non-toxic baby bottle. Many people avoid glass bottles because of their ability to break easily. However, the tempered glass used to make baby bottles is harder to shatter. They are thermal shock resistant- they can handle hot and cold temperatures. Glass baby bottles are microwaveable, unlike other bottles made with plastic. 

It is easy to clean a glass bottle, and bacteria do not have space for growth. It is entirely safe for your baby because it lacks toxic chemicals like BPA that are dangerous to human health. 

Silicone baby bottles

Silicone baby bottles recently gained popularity. Silicone, a soft and flexible material, like glass bottles, is free from harmful chemicals like bisphenol A and phthalate. You can heat a silicone baby bottle or sippy cup at 98F. Also, it is washable inside with warm water or a dishwasher. 

Silicone’s softness makes it the best material for the production of nipples and sleeves for bottles. It mimics the texture of a natural breast, making it easy to switch from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. They are also long-lasting baby bottles. Using silicone baby bottles is one of the best decisions you can make as a mother.

Stainless steel baby bottles

Stainless steel baby bottles are another safe alternative to plastics free of bisphenol. Unlike glass and silicone bottles, these bottles have high thermal conductivity for insulation. To solve this problem, some stainless steel bottles use a silicone sleeve to prevent heat transfer to the outside.

7 Best non-toxic baby bottles

Now that you know the danger plastic bottles pose to your baby’s health, here are some of the best non-toxic, plastic-free baby bottles. 

Quick links to our best non-toxic baby bottles recommendations:

1. Philips Avent Natural Glass

Philips Avent Natural Glass
Photo Credit: Philips

Features: plastic-free baby bottles, silicone nipples, anti-colic system, bite-resistant, dishwasher safe

The type of glass used to make Avent natural glass baby bottles is borosilicate glass. Avent is a fantastic choice for mothers combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The bottle has a widely shaped silicone nipple, similar to natural breasts, making it easy for babies to adapt smoothly. 

It also has a unique anti-colic vent system that provides comfort for your baby by removing air from your baby’s stomach. Avent is heat and thermal shock-resistant, meaning you can heat the bottle and keep it inside a fridge. 

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2. Life Factory Glass Bottles

Life Factory Glass Bottles
Photo Credit: Life Factory

Features: plastic-free baby bottles, thermal shock resistant, non-slip silicone sleeve, phthalate-free 

Life Factory makes glass bottles from borosilicate glass. It has silicone sleeves that protect the bottle from breaking and help keep them cool to the touch. They are easy to clean, and you can wash them with a dishwasher. 

Life factory bottles are also thermal shock resistant. You can freeze liquids in them. The bottles are also comfortable for babies to hold. Reviews testify to the durability of life factory glass bottles. 

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3. Dr Brown’s Glass Bottles 

Dr Brown’s Glass Bottles 
Photo Credit: Dr Brown’s

Features: plastic-free baby bottles, anti-colic system, silicone nipple, heat resistant, durable 

Dr Brown's glass bottles are some of the most recommended bottles. It is a pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass that is medically proven to prevent the intake of air bubbles and vacuum effect. It leads to a reduction of burping and gas in babies. It also has silicone nipples that allow a consistent feeding flow. Furthermore, it preserves the nutrients in breast milk and formulas. 

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4. Comotomo Baby Bottle

Comotomo Baby Bottle 
Photo Credit: Comotomo

Features: dual anti-colic vents, BPA-free & silicone nipples, durable

Comotomo baby bottle is a silicone bottle designed for natural and relaxed feedings. The manufacturer made it from medical-grade silicone, and you can clean it easily in dishwashers and microwaves. Its wide-mouth structure makes it easy to clean. 

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5. Pura Kiki Baby Bottle

Pura Kiki Baby Bottle 
Photo Credit: Pura

Features:  plastic-free, BPA-free, anti-colic vent, silicone nipples, recyclable

It is a food-grade stainless steel baby bottle. Pura Kiki manufactures the best non-toxic baby bottles, and they received a non-toxic certification from MADE SAFE. 

These bottles are very durable and recyclable. You can transform the feeding bottles into water, straw, or a sippy bottle by switching from silicone teats to silicone lids. Pura Kiki also has insulated baby bottles that keep food warm. They are available in 5oz or 9oz sizes. 

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6. Kid Kanteen Baby Bottle 

Kid Kanteen Baby Bottle 
Photo Credit: Klean Kanteen

Features: BPA-free, plastic-free, silicone nipples, silicone travel cover, anti-colic vents

Kid Kanteen baby bottle is a non-toxic feeding bottle made with stainless steel. It is durable and comes in 3 sizes: 5oz, 9oz, and 12 oz stainless steel baby bottles. There are measurements on the inside and outer surface of the bottle to ensure comfortable proportions. It also comes with medical-grade silicone nipples. You can clean Kid Kanteen stainless steel baby bottles with hot water and a dishwasher. 

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7. Evenflo Baby Bottle

Evenflo Baby Bottle 
Photo Credit: Evenflo

Features: BPA- free, vented nipple type, plastic-free, dishwasher safe, recyclable

Evenflo is one of the best glass baby bottles on the market. They were created alongside pediatric feeding specialists to achieve effortless feeding. They do not contain bisphenol A, polycarbonate, and phthalate compounds. It also has an ergonomic design that makes it easy for you and your baby to hold. Its anti-colic vents allow babies to maintain their latch while feeding. 

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Conclusion 

You must be careful about the materials and products you use on your babies. Babies are fragile and susceptible to dirt, bacteria, and toxic chemical compounds. The best choice of a bottle for your little ones is one without plastic. 

When you choose plastic-free, apart from its lack of harmful substances, its durability saves you from unnecessary expenses. For instance, you can repurpose stainless steel baby bottles into water bottles. Purchase plastic-free bottles and start living a zero-waste lifestyle.

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1

Li, D., Shi, Y., Yang, L. et al. Microplastic release from the degradation of polypropylene feeding bottles during infant formula preparationNat Food 1, 746–754 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-020-00171-y

2

Babu, Prasanth & Adyel, Tanveer & Shukla, Shobha & Saxena, Sumit & Chang, Victor. (2021). Effect of time and temperature gradients on releasing microplastics.

3

Quitmeyer A, Roberts R. Babies, bottles, and bisphenol A: the story of a scientist-mother. PLoS Biol. 2007 Jul;5(7):e200. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050200. Epub 2007 Jul 17. PMID: 17638419; PMCID: PMC1914410.

4

Richter CA, Birnbaum LS, Farabollini F, Newbold RR, Rubin BS, Talsness CE, Vandenbergh JG, Walser-Kuntz DR, vom Saal FS. In vivo effects of bisphenol A in laboratory rodent studies. Reprod Toxicol. 2007 Aug-Sep;24(2):199-224. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.06.004. Epub 2007 Jun 26. PMID: 17683900; PMCID: PMC2151845.

5

Laura N. Vandenberg, Russ Hauser, Michele Marcus, Nicolas Olea, Wade V. Welshons, Human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), Reproductive Toxicology, Volume 24, Issue 2, 2007, Pages 139-177, ISSN 0890-6238, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2007.07.010

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Photo by Josh Willink
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