Fertility

Dr. Brown Bottles Vs. Avent: What’s The Difference & Which Baby Bottle Brand Is Better?

Updated on 6 January 2022 • 14 minute read
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Overview 

Dr. Brown’s and Avent are two popular name brands known for their anti-colic baby bottles. Both brands have special designs that may help reduce the incidence of colic, gassiness, fussiness, reflux, and spit-up in your little one.

They offer a wide range of bottle options, including ones made of glass. 

The plastic bottles from both brands are BPA-free to help ensure your baby’s safety. BPA (bisphenol-A) is a harmful chemical commonly used in plastic manufacturing. These toxic chemicals may affect your baby’s reproductive system and increase the risks for obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes (type 2), and high blood pressure. (1)

While both brands offer high-quality options, which one should you go with? 

Are Dr. Brown’s bottles really better, and what’s the green thing in these bottles? What’s so special about Avent bottles? Which brand has the best baby bottle for your little one? Find out below.

 

Dr. Brown Bottles Vs. Avent

Dr. Brown Bottles

  • Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle
  • Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle, Wide-Neck
  • Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle, Wide-Neck
  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottle or Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle, 8 oz/250 ml
  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options+ Sippy Bottle Starter Kit, 8 oz
  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options+ Sippy Bottle Starter Kit, Wide-Neck, 9 oz
  • Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options+ Preemie Baby Bottle, 2 oz
  • Dr. Brown’s Options+ Sippy Bottle Starter Kit

 

Nipple Sizes

  • Ultra-Preemie Nipple
  • Preemie Nipple, 0 months+ 
  • Level 1 Nipple, 0 months+ 
  • Level 2 Nipple, three months+ 
  • Level 3 Nipple, six months+ 
  • Level 4 Nipple, nine months+ 
  • Y-Cut Nipple (nine months+) 

 

Philips Avent Bottles

  • Philips Avent Classic Baby Bottle
  • Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle with AirFree vent (4 oz, 9 oz, or 11 oz)
  • Philips Avent Glass Natural Baby Bottle (4 oz, 8 oz, or 11 oz)
  • Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle (4 oz, 9 oz, or 11 oz)

Nipple Sizes

  • 0m – one hole
  • 0m+ – two holes
  • 1m+ – three holes
  • 3m+ – four holes
  • 6m+ – five holes

 

Main Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both brands have wide-neck bottles with a natural nipple for a more natural feeding experience that may help your baby avoid nipple confusion. It’s a situation wherein your breastfed baby gets confused about why the milk flows differently from your breast than the bottle. Your child might refuse to feed on the bottle or from your breast.
  • Both have bottles with an anti-colic system.
  • Both brands offer nipple options: from slow-flow nipples (0m up to 1m+) to faster-flow nipples (3m+ and 6m+)
  • All products are designed to minimize air bubbles to reduce your baby’s gas intake.
  • These items are small enough to fit in your diaper bag.

 

Are Dr. Brown’s Bottles Really Better?

Pros

All bottles have the following features:

  • Internal venting system (green attachment included with the bottle)
  • 100% vacuum free
  • Can reduce uncomfortable gas build-up in your baby’s tummy
  • Removable vent systems for use with older babies
  • More nipple size options (including the Y-cut for 9+ months)
  • Usually cheaper than Philips Avent, which make a big difference if you’re buying several bottles

 

The brand recommends keeping the vent system because these make the bottles work better in reducing colic and fussiness. But if you feel that your child no longer needs it, you can simply take it out. 

Cons 

  • Can be a hassle to clean because of the extra parts from the venting system

 

Do Dr. Brown Bottles Really Help With Gas?

The brand claims that its bottles are clinically proven to reduce colic symptoms. It may be due to your baby swallowing less air during feeding.

 

What Is The Green Thing In Dr. Brown’s Bottles?

That’s the internal vent system. It helps prevent air from coming in contact with the liquid and getting into the nipple for your baby to swallow. Less swallowed air may mean reduced gas, fussiness, and colic.

 

Who Is Dr. Brown Of Dr. Brown’s Bottle?

Dr. Craig Brown, a family physician, created the Dr. Brown bottle in 1988 because his colicky child cried non-stop. After noticing air bubbles in the bottle his baby was using, he designed a special vent system that solved his child’s colic problem within two days.

His wife began sharing the bottles with friends with colicky babies, and the brand slowly grew. Today, the brand is among the most trusted names for baby bottles.

Dr. Brown’s claims that their bottles aren’t just for colicky babies or those with digestive problems, but any baby can use them.

 

What’s So Special About Avent Bottles?

All bottles have the following features:

  • Wide neck design
  • Similar designs with interchangeable parts, so you don’t have to worry if you lose one item.
  • For example, adaptors, lids, and nipples of 2-ounce bottles may still be used with the 11-ounce bottles.
  • You can simply add an Avent baby bottle handle and switch to sippy nipples to convert any bottle into a sippy bottle.
  • All the parts and accessories of the sippy bottles are also compatible with the baby bottles, making transitions easier and cheaper. No need to buy lots of new parts for the sippy cup.
  • In contrast, you’ll need separate parts for Dr. Brown’s bottles because of their different sizes, whether glass or plastic. For example, you’ll need to get a narrow sippy spout for the narrow bottles. But the silicone sippy bottle handles may be used for wide and narrow bottles.

 

In choosing the best baby bottle for your little one, you might consider comparing similar products. Continue reading to find out.

 

Classic Bottles

Similarities 

  • BPA-free 
  • No recalls

 

Differences

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottle

  • 4 oz: $6.99
  • 8 oz: $6.99
  • Costs less than Philips Avent bottles
  • Special air vent system
  • Vacuum-free feeding can help with digestion

 

Philips Avent Classic Baby Bottle

  • 4 oz: $14.42
  • 9 oz: $16.74
  • Less prone to leaking
  • Hassle-free cleaning

 

Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle

  • 9 oz: $13.99
  • Natural shape that contours with your baby’s mouth
  • Hassle-free cleaning

 

Glass Bottles

Similarities 

Pros

  • Pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass
  • May withstand hot, cold, and gradual temperature changes.

 

Cons

  • May break or chip

 

Differences

Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle

  • Narrow neck: $8.99
  • Wide neck: $9.99
  • Costs less than Philips Avent bottles
  • Special air vent system
  • The brand claims that this bottle is clinically proven to reduce colic.

 

Philips Avent Glass Natural Baby Bottle

  • 4 oz: $15.02
  • 8 oz: $13.43
  • Fewer parts for a hassle-free cleaning
  • No-drip nipple design can prevent spills and lost milk
  • Bottle nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks

 

Upgraded Bottles

Similarities 

Pros

  • Removable air vent systems
  • May be converted to sippy bottles

 

Cons

  • May be prone to leaking.

 

Differences

Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle 

  • Preemie baby bottle, 2 oz: $5.50
  • Wide neck: $7.99
  • Sippy bottle starter kit, narrow neck: $7.99
  • Sippy bottle starter kit, wide neck: $8.99
  • Special air vent system

 

Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle with AirFree vent

  • $7.25
  • One-piece AirFree vent 
  • May be easier to clean
  • Costs less than Dr. Brown’s bottles

 

Learn more about each baby bottle below.

 

Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle

Price

  • Narrow neck: $8.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • Pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass
  • Can withstand hot, cold, and gradual temperature changes
  • The brand claims that this bottle is clinically proven to reduce colic.
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, and gas.
  • May help preserve nutrients in breast milk and formula
  • Flow rate that may mimic breastfeeding
  • Narrow bottle that may be easier for your child to hold
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 4 oz and 8 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Much heavier than plastic bottles
  • May break

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

I got this narrow glass bottle for my son because we already have the plastic bottles and love them. We wanted to try out the glass for the more sanitary reasons and this option just made sense. It is a bit heavy for my son to hold entirely on his own so it does require for me to hold it for his feedings whereas the normal plastic bottles he can hold up himself. The insert is easy to clean and came with a little brush to get inside and into the little holes to make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned. Dishwasher safe which we loved. All around a great glass bottle.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

We traditionally use the plastic bottles but when we went to the glass bottle it was so much heavier!” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

 

Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle, Wide-Neck

Price

  • $9.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • Pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass
  • May withstand hot, cold, and gradual temperature changes
  • The brand claims that this bottle is clinically proven to reduce colic.
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, reflux, and gas
  • Can help preserve nutrients in breast milk and formula
  • Flow rate that may mimic breastfeeding
  • Breast-like nipple for a more natural feeding
  • Wide bottle design mimics the shape of your breast
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 5 oz and 9 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • May break or chip
  • Much heavier than plastic bottles

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Dr. Brown’s gave me the Options+ Wide Neck glass bottle. I was worried about glass bottles breaking but I did several drop tests and no creaks or breaks!” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

I have been very disappointed in this bottle.They leak CONSTANTLY. I have also lost two bottles because the mouth of the bottles keep chipping. They have only been hand washed and handled gently.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

 

Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle, Wide-Neck

Price

  • $7.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, reflux, and gas
  • Can help preserve nutrients in breast milk and formula
  • Flow rate that may mimic breastfeeding
  • Breast-like, soft silicone nipple for a more natural feeding
  • Wide bottle design mimics the shape of your breast
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 5 oz and 9 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Can be a hassle to clean

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

The bottle is easy to use and my baby had no spit ups. My baby accepted the bottle right away with no issues. The added bonus was the little nipple brush that came along with the bottle. I would definitely recommend this bottle.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

Two words: THEY LEAK. I’ve tried all sorts of “troubleshooting” tips and searched online for ‘solutions’ but nothing works. No matter what angle I tilt the bottle, despite ensuring the green disc is properly placed they still leak. I reheat in another bottle and transfer the milk over. I’ve even bought all nipple sizes (great, you managed to get more money from me).” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

 

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottle

Price

  • 2 oz, 2 pcs: $9.99
  • 4 oz: $6.99
  • 8 oz: $6.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • Vacuum-free feeding can help with digestion
  • The brand claims that this bottle is clinically proven to preserve breast milk and formula nutrients.
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, and gas
  • Flow rate that may mimic breastfeeding
  • Narrow bottle that may be easier for your child to hold
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 2 oz, 4 oz, and 8 oz

 

These bottles were previously known as Dr. Brown’s Original Bottle.

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • May be prone to leaking

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

We bought the Dr. Brown’s standard bottles shortly after switching him over to formula. Ever since the switch we noticed a drastic difference. He was far less fussy, not spitting up as much and didn’t need to burp as often. We love the product so much we would recommend them to everyone and have been. We also purchased the Dr. Brown’s PreVent pacifiers and love them as well.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

If I could give 0 stars I would! I don’t know if I’m stuck with bad bottles or what but I have 15 bottles and 12 of them leak everywhere! I pump and feed my child and make just enough of what my baby drinks, so I can’t afford to lose milk to leaky bottles.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

 

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options+ Sippy Bottle Starter Kit

Price

  • $7.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, and gas if used with vent
  • Narrow bottle that may be easier for your child to hold
  • Converts to a sippy cup
  • Faster flow bottle designed for older kids (6 months and up)
  • Cute prints
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 8 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • May be prone to leaking
  • Can be a hassle to clean (with vents)

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

I personally loved the bottle and my baby too. The rainbow designs were so cute. I think all dr browns bottles should have more cute designs on them. The bottle really helped my baby’s gas and reflux. He’s also had a terrible time spitting up and after trying this bottle it has helped a lot. I no longer have a fussy baby since he doesn’t have nowhere near the amount of gas he did before. It also has the sippy spout for when changing over to be used like a sippy bottle which is an awesome feature.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

The bottle leaks when tilted towards baby. It leaks with and without the vent. I don’t recommend these bottles. If the baby is eating on their own, they will pretty much end up with milk all over them, no matter how they are drinking from it. I would go with a regular bottle.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options+ Sippy Bottle Starter Kit, Wide-Neck

Price

  • $8.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • May also decrease spit-up, burping, and gas if used with vent
  • Wide bottle mimics breast shape
  • Converts to a sippy cup
  • Faster flow bottle designed for older kids (6 months and up)
  • Cute prints
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 9 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • May be prone to leaking

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

The best thing about this bottle though is that it easily grows with your baby.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

I got this bottle for my daughter and every time I use it it always leaks. I don’t fill it up past the line and I always make sure it’s placed correctly but it always leaks and I have milk all over my baby. Terrible I used the normal bottles and worked fine but since my daughter is bigger wanted this one but not worth it.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Philips Avent Classic Baby Bottle

Price

  • 4 oz: $14.42
  • 9 oz: $16.74
  • 11 oz, 3 pcs: $22.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free 
  • Polypropylene bottles
  • May be easy to latch on due to the unique valve on the nipple
  • The brand claims that its anti-colic system is clinically proven to reduce fussing significantly.
  • Compatible with the Philips Avent range
  • Hassle-free cleaning with fewer parts
  • Size options: 4 oz, 9 oz, and 11 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Costs more than equivalent Dr. Brown’s bottles

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

I really like Avent bottles. They have all interchangeable parts, from 4oz bottles to 9 oz bottles to the sippy cup. Because of this feature there are less products to buy and it’s easy to ween your baby/toddler from the bottle to sippy cup because the sippy cup lid can attach to the bottle, and since your baby is used to the look and feel of the bottle it’s an easy transition.” – Reviewer on Philips USA’s website.

Negative Reviews 

I have twins and the only bottle they would take to was the Avent so we purchased around 10 of them. Every single one leaks. It is so frustrating to wake up in the middle of the night to feed a crying baby and instead of putting them back to sleep you have to change their clothes because the bottle leaked.” – Reviewer on Philips USA’s website.

 

Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle With AirFree Vent 

Price

  • Four bottles: $28.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free
  • Unique one-piece AirFree vent that can prevent air intake to reduce gas, colic, and fussiness
  • May be used with or without the vents.
  • Special nipples that are designed to prevent collapse
  • Nipple can stay full of milk even if the bottle is in a horizontal position
  • Size options: 4 oz, 9 oz, or 11 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Can be pricier than equivalent Dr. Brown’s baby products
  • May be prone to leaking
  • Some parents complain that the vent doesn’t work as advertised and wouldn’t stay full if the bottle is tilted.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

The design is so lightweight, which is something I would have never thought of as important when choosing a bottle until I started holding one with one hand for several minutes at a time. The AirFree vent is really fantastic; you can actually see it working as you tilt the bottle. But even better is how simple these bottles are to clean and put back together!” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Negative Reviews 

These bottles are terrible, my baby can’t keep up with the flow causing gagging and choking. This is with the smallest nipple. They are also hard to screw the lid on as the green piece pops out in the process. They also caused far more gas and burping then the Avent Naturals ever did Definitely don’t reccomend.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Philips Avent Glass Natural Baby Bottle

Price

  • 4 oz, three-pack: $45.05
  • 8 oz, three-pack: $40.30

 

Best Features & Safety

  • Pharmaceutical grade glass, purity, and heat resistance
  • BPA-free nipples 
  • No-drip nipple design can prevent spills and lost milk
  • Bottle nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
  • Can promote natural latch on with a breast-shaped nipple
  • May reduce colic and discomfort
  • Fewer parts for a hassle-free cleaning
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Size options: 4 oz, 8 oz, or 11 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • May be prone to leaking
  • Can break

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Baby is 5 months old, mostly breastfed, bottlefed a couple times each day. She is actually still on the first flow nipple and perhaps we will move her up to the second flow now that we have these. No leaks at her mouth, nipple valve, nor bottle neck. I love the anti drip tip. Milk doesn’t leak out before baby latches, less to no mess to clean up. Easy to clean and sterilize.” – Reviewer on Philips USA’s website.

Negative Reviews 

Do not waste your money and do not buy these bottles. They are awful. You have to spend a good 5 to 10 minutes getting the cap on correctly so that they don’t leak. You can’t even just simply screw the bottle cap on, you have to mess with it several times to prevent leakage. And it doesn’t just leak a few drops here and there, I mean it pours out.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

 

Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle

Price

  • 9 oz: $13.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • Nipple releases milk when baby actively drinks
  • Can promote natural latch on with breast-shaped nipple
  • May reduce colic, discomfort, gassiness, and fussiness
  • No-drip nipple design can prevent spills and lost milk
  • BPA-free nipples 
  • Lighter than glass bottles
  • Size options: 4 oz, 9 oz, or 11 oz

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Doesn’t have an air vent system

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Amazed! I am so excited to find a bottle and nipple that actually help my baby stop spitting up with the anti-colic feature. While the size of the bottle seemed large for a breastfed baby drinking 4oz per feeding, the shape of the bottle made it easy to hold and is likely a versatile size for those using formula or a combo.” – Reviewer on Philips USA’s website.

Negative Reviews 

They were easy to assemble and clean and the nipple shape is gradual. Unfortunately, my baby couldn’t quite figure out the bottle and was chewing on the end instead of sucking.” – Reviewer on Philips USA’s website.

 

Summary & Recommendation 

Which Brand Of Feeding Bottle Is The Best?

Bottles from both brands may be a good fit for your baby. Here are some things to consider before choosing:  

 

Dr. Brown Highlights

  • All have a special vent system that keeps air out of the liquid. It can reduce the amount of air that your baby swallows while feeding.
  • Options for narrow or wide-neck bottles
  • Usually cheaper than Philips Avent bottles

 

Philips Avent Highlights

  • Most have similar designs with interchangeable parts that can grow with your baby, from formula bottles to sippy cups.
  • Not all bottles have air vent systems, but they may still prevent colic
  • With fewer parts, they can be easier to clean

 

In choosing the best baby bottle, you can compare the options available from each brand. Here are our recommendations:

 

Classic Bottles (BPA-free plastic material)

Choose Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottle (4 oz: $6.99; 8 oz: $6.99) if you:

  • Prefer a more budget-friendly option
  • Want one with a special air vent system
  • Prefer vacuum-free feeding that can help with digestion

 

Choose Philips Avent Classic Baby Bottle (4 oz: $14.42; 9 oz: $16.74) if you:

  • Prefer bottles that are less prone to leaking
  • Want hassle-free cleaning
  • Don’t mind the higher price tag

 

Choose Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle (9 oz: $13.99) if you:

  • Prefer a natural shape that contours with your baby’s mouth
  • Don’t mind the higher price
  • Prefer hassle-free cleaning

 

Glass Bottles (pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass)

Choose Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottle (narrow neck: $8.99; wide neck: $9.99) if you:

  • Prefer a more budget-friendly glass bottle
  • Want one with a special air vent system
  • Prefer one that’s marketed as clinically proven to reduce colic

 

Choose Philips Avent Glass Natural Baby Bottle (4 oz: $15.02; 8 oz: $13.43) if you:

  • Want fewer parts for a hassle-free cleaning
  • Prefer a no-drip nipple design that can prevent spills and lost milk
  • Prefer a bottle nipple that releases milk when your baby actively drinks

 

Upgraded Bottles (removable air vent system)

Choose Dr. Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottle (from $5.50 to $8.99) if you:

  • Prefer more size options
  • Don’t mind having lots of parts to clean

 

Choose Philips Avent Anti-Colic Baby Bottle with AirFree vent ($7.25) if you:

  • Want a one-piece AirFree vent 
  • Prefer one with fewer parts for easier cleaning
  • Prefer a more budget-friendly option 

 

Bottlefeeding Essentials

Dr. Brown Accessories

  • Natural Flow Options+ Conversion Kits (narrow or wide neck)
  • Baby Bottle Storage Travel Caps (narrow or wide neck)
  • Baby bottle brush
  • Baby bottle cleaning brushes
  • Baby formula dispenser
  • Formula mixing pitcher
  • Drying rack
  • Baby bottle tote
  • Silicone dishwasher bag
  • Sippy straws
  • Dr. Brown’s bottle warmer
  • Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer

 

Philips Avent Accessories

  • Breast pumps
  • Glass bottle sleeves
  • Bottle and nipple brush
  • Drying rack
  • Pacifiers
  • Sippy cups
  • Philips Avent bottle warmer
  • Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer

 

Other Baby Bottles To Consider

  • NUK Smooth Flow Anti-Colic Bottle
  • Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle
  • Medela Breast Milk Storage Bottles
  • Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature 3-in-1 Convertible Glass Bottles

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

 

 

 

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