Dr. Brown vs NUK Bottles – Differences Explained!

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


When it’s time to choose feeding bottles for your baby you’ll quickly realize there’s quite a huge variety to choose from! Two of the more popular options that you might want to shortlist and compare are Dr. Brown vs NUK bottles. Is there a difference? Is one better than the other? 

While both brands are quite popular, NUK bottles aren’t only affordable but make for a super easy transition for babies who are alternating between breast and bottle. Moms who pump also have better results with the NUK bottle range, that’s why I do recommend the NUK bottles especially if you’re a first-time parent. 

Dr. Brown vs NUK bottles – differences and similarities

Both Dr. Brown and NUK bottles feature anti-colic systems. Dr. Brown on the other hand has several small components that require precise assembly and cleaning to function properly. NUK makes it easy for babies to alternate between breast and bottle.


Dr. Brown has one of the best anti-colic systems. Their system allows air in the bottle to bypass movement through the milk or formula. This means no bubbles are being inhaled by your little one which in turn reduces any colic symptoms. NUK features a twin-valve that performs the same function but with fewer components! 


NUK is one of the more highly rated bottles in terms of no leakage. Dr. Brown bottles on the other hand are notorious for leaking. This usually happens when small parts aren’t assembled correctly. If you’re investing in any anti-colic bottle, you should read my article about leaking bottles.

Ease of Cleaning

Dr. Brown’s bottles can be a little tiresome to clean. With all the small components, it can turn out to be quite a job! Fortunately, the Dr. Brown kit comes with a small brush that makes it easier to clean the holes in the reservoir and insert. Sterilizing and cleaning could be time-consuming because of all the small parts. 

Dishwasher Safe

Both brands are dishwasher safe. Although, with the many small components in a Dr. Brown bottle, it’s always a good idea to place them in the top rack of the dishwasher or even better, make use of a dishwasher basket for baby bottles. 


Both brands are made of polypropylene plastic which is BPA-free and doesn’t stain or retain odor the way traditional plastic bottles do. NUK features Tritan plastic while Dr.Brown is pharmaceutical-grade borosilicate glass. Both types are heat and thermal shock-resistant. All of Dr. Brown’s various little parts are BPA-free.

Dr. Brown bottles

Dr. Brown's Options Narrow, 3 Pack, Clear, 8 Ounce

Dr. Brown’s bottles are often referred to as either blue or green. The choices available include the following: 

  • Original Natural Flow (Options): Dr.Brown’s Original Natural Flow is often referred to as Dr.Brown blue because it has a blue venting system.
  • Options Plus: The Options or Dr. Brown’s green has a green venting system. This bottle can be used by removing the vent when your little one grows older and no longer has colic. Knowing when to remove the vent will eliminate a lot of cleaning
  • Options wide neck glass: If you prefer a glass bottle with a wider neck, this is the Dr.Brown option for you. If you’re considering one of the Dr. Brown options, you might want to read my article on comparing Dr Brown’s blue vs green bottles to get an in-depth comparison. 

I know it’s quite a few different available options but note that I firmly believe in trying different options to see which one fits best – you can always sell the surplus bottles.


  • Constructed to reduce spit-up, burping, gas and other colic-symptoms
  • Vent system and nipple control milk flow, allowing baby to drink at their own pace
  • The internal vent system can be removed on the Dr. Brown Green version


  • Innovative vent reduces colic symptoms
  • The vent allows the baby to feed slowly
  • Inner vent valves prevent nipple collapse
  • Options green can be used without vent


  • Many small components to clean
  • Bottles are bulky
  • Assembling can be time-consuming

Do NUK teats fit Dr. Brown’s bottles?

NUK bottles have a larger rim and this makes it difficult for their teats to fit into Dr. Brown bottles. While it’s possible to squeeze it in there, you might end up with leaking, so it should really only be done in an emergency. 

NUK bottles

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NUK options include the following:

  • NUK Baby Bottles Perfect Fit: The Perfect Fit option boasts a special nipple that’s designed to accommodate the baby’s tongue while sucking. Nipples provide more space for the baby’s tongue which in turn create more room to move around naturally. 
  • NUK Gerber Natural Baby Bottles: The NUK Natural works best for babies who switch between breast and bottle. 
  • NUK Simply Natural: The extra soft nipples provide a natural feel when babies feed. The nipple is also flexible for a continuous latch. 


  • Angled nipples accommodate the baby’s tongue during sucking
  • Perfect Fit nipple makes it easier to alternate between breast and bottle
  • Glass bottles have silicone protectors
  • Available in sizes 5oz, 9oz & 10oz
  • Anti-colic system


  • Don’t usually leak
  • Perfect Fit nipple makes latching easier
  • Nipples fit the shape of the baby’s palate
  • Stain-resistant plastic


  • Tight cap makes assembly troublesome
  • Nipple move

Do Dr. Brown’s teats fit NUK bottles?

Standard-sized Dr. Brown teats will be too small for a NUK bottle Dr. Brown’s wide neck bottle teat might fit onto the NUK bottle though since they both have a wider neck. It’s always a good idea to buy a few extra teats in the brand you’re using to avoid having to use a different one in an emergency. 

For a more extensive look at how Dr. Brown’s colic system works, watch this short clip!


Dr. Brown and NUK are both top-notch bottle brands popular with experienced and first-time parents. If your baby suffers from severe colic, Dr. Brown is worth some consideration. If on the other hand, you want a simple solution between breast and bottle with minimal cleaning, then NUK is the choice you should go with! 

I would recommend NUK, especially the Simply Natural Bottles because they provide a realistic feel when your baby feeds.

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Or what do you think of the NUK or MAM bottles or a Tommee Tippee instead of a NUK as Dr. Brown’s alternatives? 🙂

Last update on 2024-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

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