Features three compartments and a swiveling lid. Cap lifts open and swivels out of the way for fuss-free one-handed pouring. Rounded compartments keep formula from getting stuck in corners. Well-constructed and dishwasher-safe.
Some reviewers found the swiveling lid a bit difficult to turn.
Portable and convenient. Comes with six individual formula dispensers, each BPA and phthalate-free for safe consumption. Each cup holds 9 oz. of formula. Can also carry dry powder or a combination of wet and dry formula.
Multiple individual dispensers take up more room than dispensers with an internal divider.
Comes with three compartments, fitted with flexible seals to prevent spillovers. Flip-up lid can be opened with one hand. Ergonomic design is easy to grip. Top-rack dishwasher safe. Affordable.
Some parents felt the spout is too narrow. Dispenser sometimes needs to be tapped to release all the formula.
The three chamber design of the cup will hold 9 oz. of formula in each section. The lid rotates around so you can pour out each chamber individually. Center divider is removable to use the cup with other liquids or foods. Microwave and dishwasher-safe.
Oval opening is difficult to use with some baby bottles without spilling formula.
Comes with three separate chambers, each of which holds enough powder to make a 9 oz. bottle of formula. Features a slightly extended spout for easier pouring with less mess. Lid flips open for one-handed use. Top-rack dishwasher-safe.
A few reviewers complained that it can be difficult to get all the formula powder out. Rotating lid can be tricky.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Formula feeding has its benefits, but it isn’t without drawbacks either. Every bleary-eyed parent prepping a late-night formula feed will at some point be left wondering: was that three scoops or four? And when it comes to meals on the move, having a bulky formula canister hanging out of your diaper bag just isn’t practical. Luckily, baby formula dispensers can help make bottle feeds a little easier, both at home and on the go.
While some baby formula dispensers are made to hold pre-measured formula powder until you’re ready to mix the next feed, others have high-tech designs that take the guesswork out of everything from measuring formula to getting the temperature just right.
Because we know that formula feeding can be complicated enough without having to worry about the finer details, we’ve gathered five of the best baby formula dispensers around. But before you buy, browse our detailed shopping guide to find out how different types, sizes, and pouring mechanisms stack up.
Baby formula dispensers are available in a handful of styles to suit every bottle-feeding need and preference.
Stackable: Stackable baby formula dispensers have multiple interlocking containers that stack one upon the other. These typically come in sets of three or five containers, each with its own lid to prevent leaks, and a top funnel for easy pouring. When mealtime rolls around, all you need to do is remove the top funnel piece, twist off the lid on the container below, replace the funnel, and pour. When you’re done, simply close the empty container, twist it off, and move it to the bottom. This way, the next pre-measured feed is at the top of the stack for quick access.
Compartmentalized: This style puts a nifty twist on traditional stackable dispensers. Rather than interlocking components, this design consists of a single container with built-in dividers to keep portions separate. Most compartmentalized baby formula dispensers feature a swiveling lid with a spout for pouring. Once you’ve emptied one compartment, all you need to do is twist the lid to access the next pre-measured feed.
Single: A handful of baby formula dispensers come in packages of multiple single containers. These are generally offered as an accessory for select baby bottle brands and are designed to fit in a clean, empty bottle. Although this design might seem to require more space, they actually take up less diaper bag real estate than others. Since you’ll be carrying bottles anyway, dispensers that can be stored right inside the bottles require no additional storage room.
Looking for a basic baby formula dispenser that you can use at home or on the go? Then size and capacity are important considerations. How many feeds do you need your dispenser to hold and how easily will the design slip into your diaper bag? While compartmentalized dispensers typically have three compartments, stackable varieties feature anywhere from three to five separate formula containers. High-capacity stackable formula dispensers might seem like overkill, but these can easily be customized by removing or adding containers according to your needs. For instance, a five-piece stackable dispenser can be left intact for day trips and downsized for shorter excursions, delivering fantastic versatility.
If you crave the convenience of an automatic baby formula dispenser, remember to take a look at your favorite model’s dimensions before you buy. While some are compact, others have larger footprints. Formula feeds are an all-day (and all-night) affair, so choosing one that fits comfortably on your countertop is essential.
Since the sole purpose of a baby formula dispenser is to streamline the bottle-feeding process, using one should be as fuss-free as possible. Automatic models should be straightforward and easy to operate with clearly marked settings for user convenience. While traditional formula dispensers are basic enough, a sturdy construction with well-fitted components, easy-to-open lids, and well-placed spouts can make life that much easier.
The vast majority of baby formula dispensers are constructed of plastic. Although the FDA has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, it’s best to check that all baby-related products are BPA-free before you buy. Not all plastics are created equal, though, so be sure to look for a dispenser that’s made of dishwasher- and/or microwave-safe materials. Formula dispensers that can be sterilized along with other bottle-feeding accessories or tossed into the dishwasher for hassle-free cleaning significantly boost the convenience quotient.
If you’re concerned about potential spills – especially if you’re planning to use your dispenser for travel – look for lids that twist and lock. Sometimes there can also be spillage between the individual compartments within a dispenser, so make sure they are separated with caps or lids that rotate. While not applicable to every model, dispensers with internal dividers tend to be more prone to leaking between compartments than stackable varieties.
To keep things simple, look for baby formula dispensers with easy-to-open lids, so formula comes out of the compartments without too much effort. Swiveling lids or hinged varieties that snap open are ideal for one-handed pouring, a convenient feature if you’re juggling a hungry baby and a bottle. Spout designs and funnel caps can also boost pouring ease, as the powder will be funneled down into the bottle rather than shaken out. When it comes to compartmentalized models, spouts that are positioned right against the edge of the dispenser deliver a more streamlined experience with fewer spills.
Basic baby formula dispensers are often ideal for travel. Look for dispensers that are small enough to slip into a diaper bag or that are stackable to minimize the amount of space they require while maximizing possible feedings. Some dispensers also have grab-and-go handles or loops so you can hang them off a stroller or easily pull them up out of a diaper bag.
The average baby formula dispenser isn’t likely to break the bank. Compartmentalized dispensers generally require fewer construction materials and tend to be the most affordable, with prices ranging from $4 to $6. A handful of stackable and single baby formula dispensers can also be found in this price range.
Whether stackable, compartmentalized, or single, formula dispensers boasting standout designs, convenience features, and generous capacities, or those that come in combo packs, will set you back anywhere from $6 to $15.
Automatic baby formula dispensers are by far the most expensive and typically cost anywhere from $130 to $300. However, the sheer convenience offered by these appliances can be well worth the extra cost.
Ensure lids, spouts, and individual components are well-secured. When it comes to spills, inferior craftsmanship isn’t the only culprit. Sleep-deprived parents filling a formula dispenser to the soundtrack of a wailing baby are unlikely to notice off-kilter components. However, for a leak-free experience, it’s vital that you take a moment to check that lids are closed tightly and twist-on components are screwed in correctly.
Test it out before tossing it in your diaper bag. It’s wise to test your formula dispenser before you drop it in your diaper bag. Holding your filled dispenser over a sink, give it a couple of gentle shakes to check for leaks. If nothing comes out, you’re good to go.
Check for leftover formula residue. Baby formula can end up sticking to the sides or base of your dispenser for a number of reasons, ranging from the texture of the interior and the shape of the dispenser to the humidity level in your area. Once formula stops flowing from the dispenser spout, check whether there’s any residue stuck to the sides or corners, and give it a pat or shake to remove any leftover powder if necessary.
Consider options that allow you to travel light. Quick walks, trips to the park, or a visit to a nearby friend’s house generally require only one take-along formula feed. To avoid being weighed down by a bulky dispenser every time you leave the house, consider a stackable model that can easily be downsized or a compartmentalized combo pack that offers an extra single-feed dispenser.
Q. Can I store pre-mixed formula in a baby formula dispenser?
A. Unfortunately, no. Formula dispensers are designed to hold powered formula only, and aside from being too small to hold a full pre-mixed feed, most will probably leak liquids. When it comes to storing pre-mixed formula, it's best to place it in a covered baby bottle and keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Q. Are there formula dispensers that are better for families with multiple bottle-fed kids?
A. If you have more than one formula-fed baby, we recommend opting for a high-capacity stackable dispenser. Depending on the age of your little ones, you might be able to get away with a single five-container dispenser. Since older babies require fewer feeds, you could allocate one or two for your “big kid” and three or four for your tiny infant. Alternatively, you could simply opt for two separate formula dispensers. Should you decide to go the stackable route, choosing a dispenser that has containers in varying colors can help prevent confusion.
Q. Do all formula dispenser compartments/containers hold the same amount of formula?
A. Baby formula dispensers sometimes have varying capacities, so if you have a hungry munchkin, be sure to check how much a dispenser holds before you buy. While most hold enough formula for an eight-ounce feed, some are capable of storing enough powder for a nine-ounce bottle.