Tommee Tippee is synonymous with bottles, cups and beakers and produces a wide-ranging collection of popular baby feeding products.
So the Closer To Nature Perfect Prep machine is a logical extension of its feeding expertise, but it’s also a bold and innovative step. When the first Perfect Prep appeared in 2013, the industry had seen nothing like it.
“So what is it?” I hear you ask. Well, it’s a machine that makes a ready-to-drink baby’s bottle in less than two minutes. That’s right, under two minutes!
Being billed as a great buy for busy parents who want a fast and accurate way to make a baby’s bottle, it’s aimed at parents who are ready to make the move to formula milk.
Let’s be fair, that selling-point really stands out to anyone who’s been up at 3am with a crying baby waiting for a freshly-made, boiling hot, bottle to cool.
And if you think like I do, you may be thinking, “great concept – a bottle made in less than two minutes, but does it work? Could this machine be the saviour to the gruelling nighttime feeds?”
Well, does the Perfect Prep machine work?
Yes, it does, it actually makes a bottle to the perfect room temperature in two minutes.
Coupled with the fact that the filter system removes any impurities in water and a hot shot of water kills the bacteria that could be in the formula milk, it’s a must have product for any formula using parent.
Is the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine safe?
You may have seen a BBC Watchdog broadcast on the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, in which the programme said the machine contaminated water and not purified it.
While the tests show that new filters do indeed get rid of bacteria, over prolonged use of the machine and the same filter, bacteria could grow in the machine.
So we asked Tommee Tippee for a statement on the BBC show:
“Despite repeated requests, BBC Watchdog did not provide us (Tommee Tippee) with a full lab report for their tests. We shared the limited data they did give us with a leading professor of microbiology at a top UK University, who said that BBC Watchdog was “scaremongering”, the microbiology was “fundamentally flawed” and “the results presented simply do not stand scientifically.”
“It is vital though, that parents use the Tommee Tippee filter in the Perfect Prep machine as it has a special ultra-filtration membrane to physically prevent bacteria from passing through. Ordinary water jug filters which may fit the Perfect Prep machine do not remove bacteria.
“We would like to reassure parents that we have the utmost confidence in the safety of the Perfect Prep and its ability to make a quick, easy and, most importantly, safe formula feed. We understand that this broadcast may have raised additional questions and concerns from parents who rely on the Perfect Prep and that’s why we’ve made additional information available, including a video and also details of independent filter testing at http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/perfectprepanswers“
What about the reports that parents think they have seen ‘mould’ inside their Perfect Prep machine?
The machine has also come under scrutiny after a mum, Julie Hughes, posted an image on Facebook showing what looks like black residue in a pipe inside the machine. Some mums were suggesting this could be black mould.
Julie had taken apart her Perfect Prep machine and found black deposits in one of the translucent pipes that transports water from the top of the machine to the bottle. Tommee Tippee then launched an investigation.
Understandably, it has caused concern among parents, and Tommee Tippee has advised anyone worried about using the product to contact them straight away.
“After extensive discussions with the filter manufacturer, we remain 100% confident that it is impossible for bacteria to enter the pipework through the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep filter.
“We are aware – because you’ve told us – that some affected machines have at some point been used with a non-Tommee Tippee filter.
“Other brands do not contain the ultra-filtration antibacterial filter needed to remove bacteria, which could lead to bacteria and visible (but harmless) carbon deposits forming in the pipes. Even if a non Perfect Prep filter is used only once, it can allow bacteria into the system.
“However, we do know that some mums who say that they have only ever used the Tommee Tippee filter, are still seeing build-up.
“If this is the case, it is possible that bacteria has entered the pipes through accidental cross-contamination. It’s easy for this to happen, but, don’t worry, this can be remedied with the cleaning cycle described below, and by taking some simple additional preventative every-day steps when changing the filter and cleaning your machine.
“Either way, if you are concerned about build up in your machine for any reason, you can clean the machine and remove the build-up by running the following cleaning instructions.
“Run a first cleaning cycle with a sterilising solution such as Milton or food grade white vinegar. Then run a second cleaning cycle with water as per the normal recommended cleaning cycle instructions.
“Our tests have shown that doing this will remove any build-up or carbon deposits. You can then continue to use your machine as normal with confidence.
“However, it is very important that your everyday routine includes simple hygiene steps such as keeping formula away from the hopper and only ever holding the top of the filter. A full update of instructions and support on cleaning the machine and handling the filter will be available at www.tommeetippee.co.uk/perfectprepcleaning.”
We also asked our mums and dads who have the machine to see if they have found mould in their Perfect Prep, and this is what they said:
Where do you start with the Perfect Prep?
To begin with, there has to be a set-up and cleaning process that is supposed to last roughly 10 minutes but it takes a bit longer.
Start by placing a container under the dispenser to capture water and then press the cleaning mode button and wait for boiled water to fill the container.
After, discard the water and then put the filter in water until all the bubbles are gone and then fit it into the water hopper.
To finish off, press the start/stop button as the remaining water fills the jug, and you’re done.
How is it in action?
It’s great; you fill the tank with cold water (make sure it’s cold, otherwise the temp warning light may come on) and then select the amount of formula you want on the dial.
With the bottle placed in the slot, you press the start/stop button and wait for the boiling water to fill the bottle.
Remove it carefully, as the water is heated to 70c, and then add the correct amount of formula. Shake and place back and press the start/stop button again until it beeps twice.
It will then add cold water (quite neatly I might add) to bring the bottle to the perfect temperature, which Tommee Tippee have set at 23c or approximately room temperature, but always check the temperature before serving.
It’s worth noting here that if you don’t put the bottle back in the slot on the Perfect Prep within two minutes, it will beep very loudly and you’ll have to make a fresh bottle.
And to be frank, that’s the last thing you want to do, especially if it is in the middle of the night. You also may not want to make another bottle as the Perfect Prep itself is quite loud when making bottles and I sometimes worried about waking up the house.
Is the bottle the correct temperature?
Yes, it shouldn’t ever make a bottle that’s too hot for you baby. Every one I made was room temperature.
I would say though, that it would be nice if you could adjust the heat settings, as my son gets older he’ll be able to handle warmer milk, though he guzzles it down just the same.
Can you use it for all types of bottles and formulas?
Yes, the dish that holds the bottle is a large enough surface area to fit most, if not all bottle sizes. And you can use any formula.
Is it value for money?
The product costs £99.99 It is very expensive but worth it. What are not value for money are the replacement filters – each one retails at £9 and lasts roughly three months, which is expensive considering how much you’ve spent on the Perfect Prep.
What’s in the box?
- Perfect Prep machine
Any extra accessories
- Replacement filters – £10
You can buy the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep on Amazon, at Mothercare or at Boots.com.
Will it travel well?
Yes and no. It isn’t much smaller than the Tommee Tippee Steriliser, so it is quite big in size but for the convenience of having a feed ready in two minutes alone, it is worth travelling with.
When we asked our mums and dads on the MadeForMums forum what baby stuff they think is really useful to buy, but didn’t know about or realise you needed it till after the birth, many resoundingly said it would be the Perfect Prep.
One mum, Chlooepee said: “I LOVE IT! Heats bottles to a perfect temperature.”
While another, BabyTree says: “I was told about the perfect prep machine & I couldn’t wait to start using it. It’s a God send when she’s really really hungry & a bottle needs to be made quickly.”
And MFM forum user Bet124 also swears by the machine, saying: “Definitely the perfect prep machine. I used to make bottles in advanced and Emellia had sickness and dioreah at 3 weeks old and I put it down to making the bottles in advanced (turned out to be a cows milk allergy) so I bought a prep machine and it’s by far one of the best things!”
Overall a superb product! It is expensive for a product that does the same thing as a kettle and thermometer, however due to the ease and quickness of the Perfect it’s a must buy!
The only thing I can say against the machine is that it should have an adjustable volume bar as the beeps are far too loud. But it is conclusively; an irresistible product.