All the bottles were tested in a variety of categories: we investigated materials and conducted drop tests to assess safety and robustness. Each bottle was hand-washed, cleaned in the dishwasher, and sterilised repeatedly in electric steam sterilisers and in the microwave.

We filled them with breastmilk and formula, assessing them in conjunction with their matching breastpumps (where appropriate) and also on their own merits. The bottles were carried in changing bags and pushchairs, toppled on a variety of surfaces, assembled and disassembled in cars, on day trips, and during many night feeds.

Of course, feeding performance was even more important than day-to-day convenience, so we paid close attention to how each teat worked, the latch each bottle encouraged for the baby, and whether the flow of milk was too rapid or too slow. A crucial element for many parents is the anti-colic technology, so we made note of which bottles seemed to reduce painful episodes after feeds.

Finally we set each bottle’s score against price and availability, to find out which was our best all-round performer, and which four deserved honourable mentions.

Why you should trust us

Our tester is a busy mother of three, who has been around the block with breastfeeding, formula feeding and every combination in between. Her intrepid baby assistant, an enthusiastic combination feeder, tested the bottles from newborn age to around four months old. As the baby struggled with reflux and recurrent trapped wind, our tester assessed the anti-colic measures personally – as well as gathering consensus from the Mumsnet Talk boards.

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