Today we are going to compare electric warmer from two specific brands. We are looking at the Tommee Tippee and Philips AVENT.
Both are global brands with their own loyal followings.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
In terms of operation, both brands offer very user-friendly controls and comparable performance.
The Philips AVENT comes with more control settings including one for defrosting frozen milk. Breast milk that’s meant for storage beyond 48 hours are kept in the standard freezer compartment to prevent it from turning bad. Over time, it becomes frozen and has to be defrosted for use. Defrosting of frozen milk takes time and while you can use the electric warmer to defrost over 1-2 hours, the better approach is to bring the frozen milk to the front of the refrigerator where it is less cold. This allows it to thaw gently over time and a good duration is to thaw overnight (8 hours) before putting the thawed milk through further defrosting.
If the milk is thawed rapidly by putting it into hot water, it can create hot spots. Hot spots occur when the outside is hot but the inside remains frozen. This can cause burns to your baby’s mouth. The other reason is that rapid heating can lead to valuable enzymes in the breast milk being destroyed. You don’t want to do that.
The Tommee Tippee does not have such a defrost feature though you can probably achieve the same effect by setting it to the low to medium level temperature (denoted by level 1 and 2).
The Philips AVENT also provides preset markings to indicate the temperatures for different amounts of milk / food to be heated up. This can be convenient feature, especially for new parents. This is not available on the Tommee Tippee. On the bright side of things, as parents, once you start using these warmers, you will develop an acute sense of the desired temperature as well as duration for warming. It’s just experience at work.
The Tommee Tippee is a bit more compact yet fits most wide neck bottles in the market. Size is not really a deal breaker unless you are really cramped for space. In terms of weight, both are quite lightweight though I feel the Tommee Tippee is a tad heavier and gives a sense of stability.
How fast do they warm up the milk? The specs for both indicate 3 mins and 4 mins for the Philips AVENT and Tommee Tippee respectively for 150 ml (5 oz). If you trust this, the AVENT has an advantage but it is not earth-shattering either. What we gathered from direct user experience and feedback from other parents is that it takes more than 3 or 4 mins to warm up the milk. Factors like how cold the milk was and how warm you want the milk to be come into play.
Generally speaking, most parents tend to warm the milk slightly more than necessary. We think this is more psychological than anything else. Expressed milk is at most 37 degrees or less. In other words, you do not need to warm up your milk to anything beyond 37 degrees. At this juncture, a challenge comes in. Both brands do not offer any timer feature and there is no automatic shutdown either. In other words, you have to repeatedly check the temperature of the warmed milk to determine if it’s ready for consumption.
You can check the temperature by dripping a few drops of the milk onto the back of your hand. With experience, the human thermometer is faster and more efficient. This can be a bit tedious at the beginning but once again, as you gain more experience, you will be able to figure out quickly how long to heat up.
Generally, the Tommee Tippee electric warmer is cheaper compared to the Philips AVENT electric warmer. Philips also has a premium version electric warmer which costs almost twice of Tommee Tippee. Personally, I don’t think it is worth the price because it doesn’t really do anything drastically different or better. For sure, it is able to maintain the desired temperature for 20 minutes before an automatic shutoff triggers. On top of that, it has a warming indicator to show the progress. After testing it out, we think these features are cool but not really crucial. For example, when we are warming up milk, usually it is just meal times and we never leave the milk warming for longer than necessary. Secondly, we (as well as most parents) are super busy and we don’t spend time scrutinizing the progress indicator.
Again, we are not saying these features are worthless as I remember when we first have our firstborn, we simply had no idea what’s best. It was a lot of trial and error. With these features, it can help in the learning curve before experience takes over.
In comparing the two brands, it’s really hard to declare an overwhelming winner. The Philips AVENT clearly has more control settings and also comes in several models to cater to different budgets whereas Tommee Tippee only has one single version. It also doesn’t have a defrost or food warming setting. However, user experience informs us that these features are not critical and the Tommee Tippee does a solid job of warming up the milk. Ultimately which model you choose may be determined by your brand preference and budget of course.
Are you using electric warmer from either of these brands or others? Share with us your “warm” experience.
Products mentioned in this article