Baby wipes are an essential part of every diaper change, but sometimes a place to keep them clean, warm and handy is also necessary for your sanity. In fact, though it may seem a little bougie, a baby wipes warmer can be an essential addition to your list of baby gear whether you’re using cloth or disposable wipes.
This guide includes information to help you decide if one is right for you, and point you to some of the best baby wipes warmers on the market for your specific needs.
Is a Baby Wipes Warmer a Nursery Necessity?
Some parents swear by having a baby wipes warmer in the nursery, while others can take them or leave them. While it may not be life-or-death, a wipes warmer can certainly come in handy in a few circumstances, including:
- You want to use pre-moistened cloth wipes.
- Your baby doesn’t like it when cold wipes touch them.
- Cold wipes disrupt your baby’s sleep during nighttime diaper changes.
- You want your baby’s changes to be calm, soothing experiences.
- You need a clean and one-hand-accessible container to keep your wipes in (and not in those janky, crinkly plastic wrappers)
- You want to keep your wipes moist for as long as possible (some wipes warmers have features that prevent the wipes from drying out).
While baby wipes warmers aren’t something you absolutely can’t live without, you probably can find at least one or two ways in which they make your life as the parent of a new baby just a bit easier.
How Do Wipes Warmers Work?
Baby wipes come in a variety of styles with different features, but they usually function similarly. The container itself looks just like a baby wipes dispenser. You’ll put a pack of disposable wipes or a stack of cloth wipes inside, and pull out one wipe at a time through the top dispenser.
Inside, the warmer keeps the wipes warm with a heating element, which is typically underneath the lid. Closing the cover of the warmer triggers the heat, which then circulates through the container to keep each wipe warm.
Most baby wipes warmers plug into a wall outlet to power them and have an on/off button to control the power so you don’t have to unplug the whole thing while you’re at work.
Other wipes warmers are rechargeable with a USB cable or a car charger, making them practical for keeping wipes warm while traveling. These warmers can also come in handy when your baby’s nursery doesn’t have available wall outlets or no safe place to store the warmer cord away from your baby’s reach.
Can I Use a Wipes Warmer for Cloth Wipes?
A few baby wipes warmers can accommodate cloth baby wipes, but not all of them will. Many wipes warmers are designed for pre-packaged water-based disposable wipes.
If you plan to use washable cloth wipes, you’ll need to look for a baby wipes warmer with extra space inside to fit the wipes. The best wipes warmers for cloth wipes also have better heating capabilities to heat each wipe thoroughly, as they’re usually thicker and require more heat penetration.
Features to Look for in a Wipes Warmer
Because there are many wipes warmers available online and in stores, you might not know what kind is the best one for you and your baby. Here are a few features to consider when searching for the best baby wipes warmers:
Designed for Your Wipes (Cloth or Disposible)
Whether you use cloth or disposable baby wipes will change which warmer is best for you. Most baby wipes warmers are designed for disposable wipes rather than cloth wipes.
This is of course not be a problem if you’re combining cloth diapers with disposable wipes (and many parents do), but if you’re choosing cloth wipes, even part-time, you’ll want to factor the size of your wipes in.
Often, you’ll need a larger internal compartment and possibly a more powerful heating element for any cloth wipe.
Consider the type of wipes you’re using, too. If you choose multi-layered, handmade or flannel wipes, those will be bulkier than baby washcloths or other types of cloth wipes.
One of the best perks of having a wipes warmer in the nursery is that it keeps your baby’s wipes at a comfortable temperature for night changes. With their warm temperature, the wipes can make the diaper change more soothing, allowing your baby to drift back to sleep.
That’s why many wipe warmer manufacturers make their warmers with a soft-glow light that comes on at night. The light makes it easy to spot the warmer and can even illuminate the changing table. Some warmers even have automatic shut-offs to turn the light off when you’re not using it.
Easy to Clean
It’s incredibly important to keep any baby gear clean and disinfected regularly. In the case of a baby wipes warmer that’s consistently moist inside, regular cleaning and checking for mold growth can prevent harmful bacteria from taking over.
Some wipes warmers are easier to clean than others. Removable inner pieces can make the process simpler for cleaning, drying, and sanitizing. Wipes warmers with antimicrobial coating can offer additional protection against mold and bacteria growth.
A baby wipes warmer should heat the wipes quickly once you turn it on. How fast it begins to work depends on the type of heating element inside.
An under-lid heating element may be one of your best options for quick heating. These heating elements warm the top layers – those you’ll be using right away – fast without causing all the wipes to heat too quickly, leading to scorching and drying.
Best Travel Wipe Warmer
If you plan to travel with your baby, can you bring along your wipes warmer?
The NCVI Wipe Warmer is the one I love for this because it isn’t just for travel, it’s for everywhere. It comes with a regular wall plug and a car charger adapter so it plugs it into the car and the hotel wall outlet, then it can come back home and sit on the change table without looking like a travel container.
The NCVI Wipe Warmer comes with a sponge in the unit’s bottom after adding water. This helps circulate the steam through the machine and keeps the full stack of baby wipes warm without burning them (but do check the sponge is wet now and then as it can dries out before a pack of wipes is done).
The heating element adjusts itself according to the temperature you set.
I’m one of those paranoid moms always worried about fire, so probably one of my favourite features is that when it doesn’t need as much heat to maintain it’s temperature, it will shut off and continue to keep the wipes warm inside. The process also helps to save energy when you’re not using the warmer.
Its small-ish size will fits well in the car, too. Depending on what car you’re in of course, you can tuck it neatly away under a seat or on the floor as you travel.
- Three settings for temperature control
- Energy efficient
- Works with any wipe brand
- Keeps wipes warm for up to 24 hours
- It takes about three hours to heat after being off
- Somewhat noisy clicking when it turns the heating element on and off
Best Wipes Warmer for Cloth Wipes
Cloth wipes typically don’t work the same as disposable wipes in a baby wipes warmer, so it’s important to choose a warmer that can store and warm your cloth wipes safely and conveniently.
Luckily, the Prince Lionheart Warmies Wipe Warmer is designed to do just that. In fact, if this warmer had been around when I began cloth diapering, I think I would have used cloth wipes from day one!
This warmer comes with four Prince Lionheart Warmies cloth wipes, so even if you’re making your own you’ll be able to use them for sizing. But if you’re not a sewer, the wipes themselves are not too expensive, and a decent size.
You can either put the dry cloths inside to warm or moisten them with a little bit of water before placing them inside. The warmer has plenty of room to hold 16 neatly rolled cloth wipes, which for most babies is enough for all of the day’s diaper changes.
This system uses an moistened pillow that sits on the bottom to prevent the wipes from burning and control steam and moisture. The warmer inside has an anti-bacterial coating to fight germs as the warmth and humidity continue to penetrate the wipes.
One feature I can really appreciate is the wide-open lid on this warmer. Flip it up, and you can access any wipe inside easily and quickly during a diaper change. There’s no trying to grab them the right way, it’s all accessible.
- Energy-saving operation and plug
- Comes with 4 Warmies wipes in the box
- Holds 16 Warmies wipes
- Antibacterial moistening pillow last up to three months
- Wide opening makes the unit easy to access and perfect for cleaning
- Cools wipes quickly after shutting off
- Nightlight may be too bright for some nurseries
Best Wipes Warmer for Water Wipes
If you use disposable water-based wipes rather than cloth wipes, you may want to try the Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer. This warmer works well with pop-up wipes, as its lid opening makes it easy for you to grab one wipe at a time, just like you would with a regular wipe dispenser.
A stand-out feature of this warmer is its ability to keep wipes moist, which is precisely why you choose to use water wipes. The Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer comes with a seal all around the lid that locks in moisture to prevent it from drying your wipes. Because the wipe opening is small, you won’t have to worry about moisture escaping from there when you open it, either.
The light on the front of the warmer works double-time. Not only does it add a soft glow to the room that could be calming for a baby during nighttime changes, but it also is somewhat transparent, so you can see when you need to refill your pack of water wipes.
- Nightlight shuts off after ten minutes
- Quick heating compared to other models
- Holds a full pack of wipes
- Keeps wipes moist with regular diaper changes
- Budget friendly, and available in multi-packs on Amazon if you need more than one changing station
- The power cord may be too short for some nursery setups
- May need a small amount of water with refills to boost moisture circulation
Best Budget Wipes Warmer
With many of the best baby wipes warmers ranging between $30 to $50, you might be wondering if there’s a more budget-friendly option to try out a warmer and see if it’s something that helps your baby’s diaper changes.
If so, try the Prince Lionheart Ultimate Wipes Warmer. At a slightly lower price point, you can get many similar features as you’d get from pricier options, including a soft-glow nightlight and a soft-pull dispenser opening to remove one wipe at a time for one-handed diaper changes.
However, you will need to consider that you’ll need to purchase the replacement moisture pillow for the bottom of the machine about every three months. This unit is more affordable than some, but others don’t require replacement pillows to keep wipes moist. It does come with your first one.
- Antimicrobial coating to prevent bacterial growth with regular cleanings
- Consistent, thorough heating
- Warms to 100 degrees
- Many full wipes packages may not fit comfortably in this warmer
- No off switch for the nightlight
Best Wipes Warmer
So which wipe warmer is best? All things considered, the Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer takes the top spot in our list of the best baby wipes warmers, especially for disposable wipes.
The Munchkin wipes warmer can hold standard packages of about 100 wipes, so you probably won’t need to take some out of the pack before putting them in the warmer.
Once they’re in, the dispensing lid prevents more than one wipe from coming out each time, allowing you to grab wipes with just one hand for more streamlined diaper changes. One-handed operation of your wipes warmer can also make diaper changing safer for baby, as you’ll always have your other hand available to make sure they stay safely on the changing table.
I also love the nightlight on this warmer. It’s bright enough to illuminate the changing table, but it’s soft enough not to disturb your baby. Plus, it shuts off after ten minutes so that it won’t light up the nursery all night and waste power.
Because the Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer gets relatively hot inside compared to other similar warmers, it’s a good idea to stay on top of regular cleanings. The inside has a wide, roomy area that makes the unit easy to clean between wipe package changes. You can also remove the lid entirely for a more thorough cleaning.
Unlike some of the other options on this list that can take about two to three hours to warm the stack of wipes, this Munchkin warmer begins warming the top few layers in just a few minutes. This is because of its lid-warming technology that heats from the top down, so the top several wipes are usually heated and ready to go.
Although the full stack of wipes will take some time to heat, you can at least have access to warm wipes for your current diaper change.
Overall, the Munchkin warmer hits the nail on the head for convenience of use and all-around capabilities to keep your baby’s wipes moist and heated to add comfort to your baby’s diaper changes.