Best forParents who want an easy-to-clean natural-latch bottle
Top BenefitsWide, breast-like nipple, minimal parts, easy to clean
ConsiderationsOccasional leaks, travel lid pops off easily
Bottom lineA good basic bottle with a wider nipple and a simple venting system
Short, cute and compact, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle is BPA-free, easy to use and simple to clean. Tommee Tippee has been around for over 50 years, and it's a name parents know and trust. The silicone nipple on the Closer to Nature bottle is large, soft and meant to replicate mom, making it easier to switch back and forth from bottle to breast. The hourglass shape of the bottle is easy for parents to hold during a feeding, and it makes for an easy-to-grab shape for baby once she's old enough to hold a bottle on her own. The bottle consists of four just parts—bottle, nipple, collar and travel cap—which keeps confusion and cleaning to a minimum.
In an ideal world, bottles would clean themselves (oh, how we wish!). Thankfully, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle is pretty easy to clean as far as baby bottles go. While it has a wide mouth, you might still want a bottle brush to clean in around those curves that make the bottle so comfortable to hold. And though the venting system, located on the side of the nipple, has a tendency to get clogged with formula and close up during cleaning, we found that a simple squeeze easily opened a blocked vent, so it's nothing to worry about too much. Stains are another consideration: the collar and nipple both stained when we let them sit in a soapy-water-and-spaghetti-sauce bath, but after we ran them through the dishwasher they looked pretty much good as new. If you exclusively hand-wash bottles, the potential for staining is worth keeping in mind, though.
Bottle prep with powdered formula is a snap thanks to the wide neck and easily visible measurements on the bottle. The markers are a bold black against the translucent bottle, making them easy to read even in dim lighting. Despite the top-heavy hourglass shape of the bottle, we didn’t have any issues with it tipping over during prep, and it fit into the standard bottle warmer that we used in our tests. (The last thing you want is a cute bottle that won’t fit into the warmer you already have at home.)
Like many other bottle systems, you can swap out the nipple for one with a faster flow rate as your baby's feeding needs change: the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature nipple is available in four different stages, from slow to variable flow. The age markers, molded into the side of the nipples, can, however, be difficult to see—we definitely missed them the first time we unboxed the bottle—so you'll want to keep them organized to avoid grabbing the wrong one during a groggy late-night feeding.
Our on-the-go test results for the Closer to Nature bottle were a bit of a mixed bag. The travel cap popped off the bottle every time we dropped it from counter height in our testing—not ideal for those of us who are routine droppers, but not a big deal if you plan to use the bottle more at home. And while we found the Tommee Tippee to be one of the leakier bottles when we carted it around in a diaper bag for a half hour, our hands-on parent testers said they didn’t notice any leaking.
Easy to take apart, put back together and clean, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle is a solid, no-frills option for families. Based on their use of the bottle, our parent testers said that the bottle offers good quality overall, and ease of use was fairly average as far as bottles go. As with any baby bottle, you'll probably want to buy and try a single one before investing in a full starter set, but we think it's a good bet if you're wanting to try out a wider, natural-latch nipple.
Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners