A drying rack just for your baby bottles may seem like an unnecessary luxury yet many parents swear by it. Join me as I take a closer look at these funky pieces of plastic and whether they are actually that great!
Have you ever grabbed a baby only to discover this:
Your baby’s bottle is soaking wet!
Okay so the picture below is a slight exaggeration…
The first question that comes to your mind is:
Why is your baby bottle wet?
Chances are you recently washed your baby’s bottle by hand and it has not dried before the next time your baby cries for food.
If that scenario sounds all too familiar then a baby bottle drying rack is just the thing you need to effectively dry your baby bottles.
Ignore the name, bottle drying racks are suitable for lots of different things that go in your baby’s mouth (and some things that shouldn’t).
- Baby bottle pieces (nipple, ring bottle)
- Sippy cups
- Breast pump pieces
One of the major advantages of a bottle drying rack is that it allows you to keep all your baby gear separated from your own dishes.
Although they are fairly inexpensive, a bottle drying rack wont be on your list of essential baby gear if you are on a tight budget. That said, many parents who wash their bottles by hand swear by them.
Related Post: How to sterilize baby bottles and nipples
What makes a good baby bottle drying rack
In all honesty, baby bottle drying racks are pretty basic items. There are only five simple things to look for when buying a drying rack for your baby bottles.
- Use of space – It’s all well and good to buy a drying rack but not if it takes up your entire counter. Remember, you need to have room do other things; like make baby food.
- Ease of cleaning – You spend enough time cleaning up after your baby without the added stress that comes with a hard to clean bottle rack. Not to mention, you have to wash bottles to put on the rack! Ironically you will probably need a drying rack for your bottle drying rack after
- Capacity – You want your bottle drying rack to fit in with the number of bottles you intend to clean at once. I cannot describe the frustration I felt when I washed 12 baby bottles only to discover the rack held 10. My missing clump of hair knows exactly how frustrating this minor annoyance can be.
- Prettiness – It’s like dating. If you are going on a date with an unattractive person your friends will judge you for it. You don’t want to be known as the mommy with the incredibly ugly bottle drying (parents can be so cruel). Fortunately there are plenty of drying racks out there that are easy on the eyes.
- Not crap – If a product can be cheap and is made of plastic then you can bet that there will be versions of it that suck. Avoid cheap generic drying racks that you find in the dollar stores that are flimsy, topple over under weight or worse; contain phthalates, BPA or PVC.
Pretty simple stuff. Moving on:
The best baby bottle drying racks
There are a LOT of different drying racks out there designed to
Lets start by taking a closer look at what I consider to be the best looking drying rack available:
Boon Lawn Counter top Drying Rack
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This is the drying rack that is currently sitting on top of my counter top. Whenever I have guests over I always get compliments on just how cute this drying rack actually is. See for yourself:
Did I hear you just wolf whistle? Yep, this is one pretty drying rack.
But the Boon lawn isn’t just another bimbo at the bar (all looks no game). In addition to the unique design the drying rack is incredibly good at what it is designed to do, drying out bottles.
Lighter items such as nipples and pacifiers will sit on top of the grass. When it comes to heavier items like the glass baby bottles, the rigid “blades of grass” will part and hold your gear in place.
The clever flat design means that even the most unusual of baby bottle shapes will be able to effectively dry. Fat bottles, short bottles, long bottles glass bottles. Whatever your baby bottle you will be able to fit it into this drying rack.
But how many bottles you can fit?
In terms of capacity this drying rack is no slouch. I can throw 10 baby bottles and two pacifiers on this drying rack without any issue as well as smaller parts from my breast pump and pacifiers and that is without getting creative with stacking.
Parents who have the patience to properly lay out their gear on the drying rack will be able to fit more again.
It looks like this drying rack would be difficult to clean, doesn’t it? That was a major concern of mine when I first bought it. Fortunately the drying rack is actually made up of two separate pieces…
A grass mat and a drip tray. The grass mat holds your baby bottle while the drip tray catches any water that falls from them.
Cleaning is an absolute breeze. I simply throw the two pieces into the top of my dishwasher when they begin to look a little gunky (okay, a lot gunky) and they emerge looking good as new.
I know it says not dishwasher safe but I have had no problems washing it in the top of my dishwasher. Just make sure you don’t use the heated dry setting on your dishwasher! If you don’t want to take the risk the grass drying rack is just as easy to clean by hand.
As you can see in the above picture, at the bottom of the blades of grass are holes that allow excess water to drain into the tray. The drip tray is deep enough that I have not had the drying rack overflow since I bought it. I am mindful that I empty any remaining water into the sink each time my bottles have dried.
If the awesome grass look wasn’t enough, boon also has some optional accessories to go with it:
The Twig and Stem give the flat drying rack some much needed height and are perfect for hanging nipples, rings and small breast pump parts freeing up more of the rack for bottles.
While I didn’t buy these (I can fit all my baby gear on the drying rack) I can see how they would be useful for those of you who clean lots of small parts and want to keep them together.
The boon grass drying rack is available in three separate sizes:
- Patch (small) – 3.5″ x 17.25″ x 3″
- Grass (medium) – 9.5″ x 9.5″ x 2.5″
- Lawn (large) – 13.5″ x 11″ x 2.5″
Out of all the drying racks this is definitely my top pick. Good looking and helpful. Everything my husband isn’t.
Now if you have a LOT of bottles to dry (say if you have twins) then you may find you run out of space even on the largest grass drying rack. If this sounds like a problem you will face then why not try the:
Munchkin High Capacity Drying Rack
While it may not be the prettiest drying rack it is hands down the most functional. Holding up to 16 bottles and a boat load of accessories; this rack is for those of you who find yourself with a seemingly endless amount of baby bottles to wash:
This drying rack comes in 5 separate pieces but don’t worry; it is incredibly easy to put together.
No they are not drumsticks, those blue pegs sticking up in the air are your bottle holders. Simply slide your baby bottle over the peg and it will be held in place.
I was initially worried that the baby bottles I use would be too tall for the bottom of this drying rack. I was super pleased to discover that the top level of the rack can be adjusted to one of three height positions allowing me to squeeze even more onto this already spacious rack.
In fact, this drying rack is one of the most customizable on the market providing enough space for all manner of objects that need drying, whether you are on baby bottles or sippy cups:
Now you may have noticed that the above right picture is missing some of the blue pegs. You know those times when you just a tiny bit more space on your drying rack for those unusual shaped things? The pegs can be folded down flat into the base, providing you with more room to stack your dripping wet baby gear.
Now I am going to show you something that completely blew my mind:
Yes, you are seeing that correctly. You can actually hang baby bottle nipples off the top shelf of the drying rack.
Have you ever picked up a baby bottle nipple only to have the water that has pooled inside fall to the floor? By hanging the nipple up there are no places for water to collect allowing the nipple to dry as quickly as possible.
This drying rack is also great at drying out one other problem object:
- Baby bottle drying rack holds up to 16 bottles and ideal for use on valves, straws, nipples, pump accessories, pacifiers...
- Convenient multi-level design allows you to adjust height to fit multiple size bottles and cups
- Pegs fold up and down for easy set-up, custom configuration and easy storage
Straws are well known for being difficult to dry. That is, Unless you can dry them so they stand up right.
Located in the top level of the drying rack are little holes that you can slide straws through, holding them upright. In this position any excess water can easily drain from the straw and air can easily circulate to dry small drops left over.
As for the drip tray:
1. Drains water – Any water will drain onto the surface below. A suitable option for those of you who are setting your drying rack up on the side of your sink.
2. Catches water – All excess water is contained in the base, ideal for those of you who are setting the drying rack on your counter away from the sink (no more wet countertop).
When cleaning time comes you can simply throw the this drying rack into the top of your dishwasher. Unlike the boon grass drying rack, this is actually dishwasher safe.
So if your twins (or even single baby) have left you with a truckload of baby bottles to dry then this is the drying rack for you. You can find the price here.
But what if you want something that is cheap but gets the job done?
Munchkin Deluxe Drying Rack
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If you only have a single child at the bottle stage and want an a reliable yet low priced drying rack then this is your best bet.
This drying rack can easily hold 8 baby bottles (even angled ones) as well as nipples, straws and rings to match.
The pegs fold flat when not in use, although this is only really useful for storage. It still looks like a large plastic white object on your countertop whether the pegs are up or down.
The rack is dishwasher safe (top rack only) and doesn’t seem to have any areas for grim to easily cling to.
But this drying rack does come with some problems that may not be apparent when you are looking at it in store:
If you have regular narrow bottles then this drying rack wont give you any grief. It’s when you try load the rack up with wide mouthed baby bottles (you know, the shorter fatter ones) or worse, glass that you will start to see this drying racks short comings.
I struggled to get four wide mouthed baby bottles onto the taller pegs. When presented with glass, the pegs kept falling over. Now this is somewhat to be expected since this is an economy drying rack. In this case you get what you pay for and if you use standard plastic bottles you will likely be happy with your purchase.
Now at the end of the day this drying rack is only $8.00 or so cheaper than Munchkins high capacity drying rack which not only holds more bottles (and weight) but is also a far better drying rack in my opinion.
It is definitely worth dropping the extra amount if you can afford it
Now some of you may be asking :
Is a drying rack just for baby bottles really necessary?
And I’ll be brutally honest. Despite my love for my boon grass drying rack, they definitely are not for everyone.
If you clean your baby bottles in the dishwasher then chances are that they will emerge almost dry at the end of a cycle. No drying rack needed
If you only hand wash your baby bottles occasionally. No drying rack needed
If you have mastered stacking your baby bottles up in the same drying rack you use for your dishes. No drying rack needed
Drying racks are definitely not a baby essential.
But if you find yourself nodding along to any of the following:
- You don’t want to dry your baby bottles with your dishes…
- You want a designated place to dry all the small parts of your baby gear (straws, pump parts, rings) so they don’t get lost…
- You don’t have enough space in your drying rack for both your dishes and your baby bottles…
- your baby bottles keep falling over allowing water to pool…
Then a baby bottle drying rack may be exactly what you are looking for.
What are your thought’s on baby bottle drying racks; a the best way to dry your baby’s bottle or unnecessary counter clutter?
You know the drill: Leave me any questions, wisdom, love or hate in the comments below and as always . . .
Keep being awesome!
Featured Image Source: Flickr