12 Organic and Natural Baby Formulas Parents and Experts Swear By

Written by Moss Lane Staff

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Whether you’re choosing formula as your baby’s primary source of nutrition out of the gate, transitioning from breastfeeding, or looking to supplement, if you’re considering baby formula, you no doubt want to ensure you’re choosing a product that will be most beneficial for your child.

Many parents choose to exclusively look for organic baby formula to help monitor the quality of the product. Whether or not this is right for you and your family is ultimately a personal choice (and more on buying organic baby formula below if you’re still not sure). But if you made the choice to go with organic formula, we’ve ranked the best organic baby formula on the market based on reviews, ingredients, packaging, and your own (and baby’s!) needs and preferences. 

Best Organic Baby Formula

Best Overall

BEST OVERALL

Holle Bio Pre and Stage 1

Holle Bio Pre and Stage 1 are our picks for best organic newborn formula and best organic infant formula. Both of these formulas contain organic milk that comes from Demeter-certified farms. Demeter certification is seen as a step above organic, as it emphasizes sustainable and carbon-neutral practices. It is also European certified organic (which has stricter standards than the US) and is manufactured in Germany.

Holle’s Pre and Stage 1 products are nearly identical except for that Holle Pre does not contain maltodextrin. It, instead, uses organic lactose. Both products are from birth to 6 months. If you’d like to avoid maltodextrin, Holle Pre is your choice. If your baby has sensitivity to lactose, Stage 1 will be a better fit. 

These products contain palm oil, but it is organic palm oil produced in sustainable plantations. Their boxes are recyclable. 

Holle is a company prioritizing sustainability. Their formulas, porridges, and cereals are all carbon neutral products, which is why they are our top pick.

What parents love

  • Contains DHA
  • Kids love the taste
  • Better for digestion. Many parents report more regular bowel movements than compared to their child on American formulas.

What parents don’t love

  • Instructions come in German, so you need to be sure to order from a site that can provide English instructions
  • No pre or probiotics

Runner Up

RUNNER UP

Loulouka Stage 1

Loulouka Stage 1 is our pick for the best natural baby formula. They utilize organic milk from Switzerland in their products and EU certified organic ingredients. They’re our runner up based on the formulation of their stage 1 product, which doesn’t contain maltodextrin, palm oil, or soy. Their actual formulation appears to be the one that checks the most boxes, and their use of Swiss milk is a huge plus. 

Loulouka prioritizes sustainability, although not as much information is available about their practices as Holle and HiPP. For example, we do know they recycle waste heat, water, and carbon used during production. Their tins (the company recently switched from cardboard) are made from “mostly recycled materials.”

What parents love

  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contain DHA
  • Higher iron and fat contents than other European brands
  • All labels have an English translation

What parents don’t love

  • Contains L-carnitine

Other Notable Organic and Natural Baby Formulas

Best Organic Formula for Breastfed Babies

Best FOR BREASTFED BABIES

HiPP Dutch Stage 1 and 2

HiPP Dutch Stage 1 and Stage 2 are both great organic baby formulas for babies who are also breastfeeding. Stage 1 is good for babies 0-6 months and Stage 2 for babies 6-12 month.

These products contain DHA and pre and probiotics. They contain organic palm oil but do not contain soy. They are certified organic through the EU. These products do not contain maltodextrin.

Sustainability is a priority for HiPP. They have reached carbon-neutral production. 

This is our pick for best organic formula for breastfed babies as it is a wonderful formulation like many European brands, and  numerous parents report being able to transition between formula and breastmilk without issue.

Best Organic Baby Formula for 12+ Months

babys-only

Best for 12+ Months

Baby’s Only

Baby’s Only offers a ton of options for formulas for babies 12 months and older. Their organic formulas have received the Clean Label Project Purity Award.

They have dairy-based, plant-based, and lactose-sensitive formulas. Their formulas are USDA organic certified and do not contain palm oil. Many of their formulas have DHA. 

Their canisters are made from 100% recyclable cardboard and are partially made from recycled materials. Their products are made in the US. 

Best Organic Soy Baby Formula

earths-best

Best SOY FOrmula

Earth’s Best

For some babies, soy may be the best option if they aren’t handling any form of milk-based formula. Earth’s Best Non-GMO Soy formula is our pick for best organic soy baby formula as it is lactose free, gluten free, and made from non-GMO soy. It is Kosher certified and contains DHA. It does contain palm oil.

This formula is manufactured and packaged in the US.

Best Organic Non Dairy Baby Formula

else

Best Non dairy formula

Else Nutrition

Finding a non-soy, non-dairy baby formula for baby’s 0-12 months is tough. However, if your baby is 12+ months, the best organic non dairy baby formula is Else Nutrition. There is no dairy, whey, soy, or palm oil in their product. 92% of their formula comes from almond, tapioca, or buckwheat.

This product has received the Clean Label Project’s Purity Award and is USDA organic certified. Their products are manufactured and packaged in the US, and their packaging is recyclable. 

Best Organic Goat Milk Baby Formula

holle-goat

Best Goat milk

Holle Goat Milk Formula

Our pick for best organic goat milk baby formula comes from Holle, like many of our top picks on this list.

Holle’s goat milk formulas do not have a Demeter certification like their cow’s milk formula, but they are certified organic through the EU. Goat’s milk can be a great alternative if you think your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk. Like their cow’s milk formula, this is a carbon neutral product.

Holle Goat’s Milk Stage 1 and Stage 2 are our pick for best organic goat’s milk formula whether you are looking for 0-6 months for 6-12 month formulas. There is no soy or palm oil in this formula. It does contain maltodextrin. 

Best for Sensitivities

hipp-hypo

Best for sensitivities

HiPP HA Germany Hypoallergenic Formula

HiPP HA Germany Hypoallergenic Stage 1 and Stage 2 is our pick for the best place to start if your child is showing sensitivity to milk formulas. With this formula, the long-chain proteins are hydrolyzed to minimize any allergies. It’s a good starting point to see if this works for your child if goat’s milk didn’t work and you want to try something before moving on to soy. If your child is over 12 months, Else is another alternative to consider here. 

This product contains pre and probiotics, as well as DHA. It does not contain maltodextrin or soy. It does contain organic, sustainable palm oil.

As mentioned above, HiPP is a company prioritizing sustainability and we like this version as it uses an easily recyclable cardboard box. 

Best for Transitioning from Breastfeeding

holle-stage-2

Best Transition Formula

Holle Bio Stage 2

Holle Bio Stage 2 is our pick for transitioning from breastfeeding for many of the same reasons its Pre and Stage 1 formulas are our pick for best overall. Their Demeter certification makes it a step above traditional organic and their products are carbon neutral. This formula can be used from 6 months onward, which is a time many parents start to transition or supplement with formula. It is usually recommended you switch to Stage 3 at the 10-12 month mark. 

Holle’s sustainable initiatives, short list of ingredients and reviews from parents whose breastfed kids easily take to this formula make it our pork for best organic formula in this category. 

Best Organic Formula for Vegetarians

kendamil

Best Vegetarian

Kendamil Organic Formula

Kendamil Organic Stage 1 and Stage 2 are our top picks for vegetarians. Kendamil Organic Stage 1 is for babies ages 0 – 6 months and Stage 2 is for babies ages 6 – 12 months.

Kendamil is made in Britain, and uses 100% organic milk certified through the EU and Soil Association. What’s unique about their formula is that they use whole milk instead of skimmed milk like many brands. Their product contains prebiotics. It does not contain palm oil, maltodextrin, or soy oil. 

As Kendamil uses a plant-based DHA and not fish oil, this makes them our top pick for parents looking for a vegetarian-friendly organic baby formula.

A family-owned business, all of their milk is sourced locally in Britain and their factory is powered by 100% renewable energy. Their metal cans are recyclable .

Best Value

hipp-uk

Best Value

HiPP UK Stage 1

HiPP UK Stage 1 contains organic whey, milk, and vegetable oils. It also contains DHA and prebiotics. It does not contain probiotics like some HiPP formulas. There is no corn syrup, starch, sugar, or preservatives in the product.

A plus for this product is that you can alleviate any concerns in not understanding the directions (which can happen in some cases where you buy a European brand from a non-English speaking country). We ranked this as our best value organic baby formula as it’s about $10 cheaper a pack than its counterparts for the same amount of formula.

Best Organic Baby Formula Made in the USA

bobbie

Best Made in the USA

Bobbie’s Baby Formula

Bobbie’s baby formula utilizes milk that is organic and pasture-raised, the only US-based brand to do so. Their product contains DHA, another unique addition for US-made formula. They utilize a 60 to 40 whey to casein protein, which mimics the ratio found in breastmilk. The product does not have corn, gluten, or palm oil. It also does not have pre or probiotics. 

They offer a subscription service so you’re never caught empty handed. One can makes about 26 bottles. The box is recyclable, however their plastic lid, scoop, and metal seal are not.

Bobbie is certified USDA organic, woman-owned, made in the USA, and meets both the FDA and EU’s nutritional guidelines.

Organic Baby Formula Buying Guide

When shopping for organic baby formula, you are looking for two things: formula that can best mimic the nutrients found in breastmilk and formula made from the highest quality ingredients. The latter is the reason many parents choose to shop organic and organic only.

In short, while the definition of organic is vast, if a formula brand is certified organic, you can trust this means there are no preservatives, the product is non-GMO, there are no hormones, and it is generally free of toxic substances like pesticide residue.

In the US, you can verify a product is organic by looking for the USDA organic seal. However, you’ll see the majority of our product recommendations are not US-based brands. This is because Europe has much more stringent requirements for organic baby formula, such as there not being detectable toxic substances. But, just like with the US, the EU organic certification requires that 95%+ of ingredients in the formula be organic. As a parent, here are a few things look for and avoid when shopping for natural baby formula:

Things to look for:

  1. Organic lactose as primary source of carbohydrates
  2. Organic vegetable oil blend to mimic fatty acids
  3. Organic omega fatty acids. Be sure to avoid things like synthetic DHA or ARA extracted with hexane.
  4. Pre and Probiotics

Avoid (if possible):

  1. Carrageenan
  2. Corn syrup, glucose syrup, sugar, or brown rice syrup
  3. Soy, unless opting specifically for a non-dairy soy formula
  4. Palm oil
  5. Synthetic preservatives and nutrients

As you can, it can be overwhelming to try to read a label and track these things back. That’s why so many of our recommended brands are European. Most of the high quality baby formulas from Europe account for the things you need to consider. Or, if they contain something on the avoid list (like palm oil) it is usually an organic, sustainable version of the ingredient. 

The Environmental Impact of Formula

While our reviews and rankings accounted for things such as environmentally-friendly packaging, we do think it’s important – if environmental impact is on your list of buying criteria – to walk through the sustainability of baby formula.

For starters, when looking through the lens of the best organic formula, our primary focus was ingredients. Here, European brands clearly won out. However, shipping formula from abroad is going to create a larger transportation burden, and this is something you should consider if you go with one of our top choices. Our best pick for Made in the USA – Bobbie – could help alleviate this. That being said, many of our top European-based picks are organizations heavily prioritizing sustainability in their production and packaging. 

Additionally, when compared to breastfeeding, formula is understandably less green. There is no waste created with breastfeeding and no greenhouse gas emissions in the creation or shipping process. But as we’ve stated a few times now, this is a personal choice for you and your family and only you will know what’s best (and in many cases, there may not even be a choice). If you are unsure about breastfeeding versus formula, be sure to add environmental impact to your list for evaluation.

Majority of the formulas on our list use cow’s milk which, as an industry, is a large contributor to methane emissions. You can consider one of the goat’s milk or plant-based alternatives above, or even the soy-based products (which we know present a different set of concerns) if you are looking for a more sustainable option.

Our Research Process

Our research on best organic baby formula brands by referencing the reviews, ingredients, manufacturing and packaging for most top organic players in the space, which included:

  1. Baby’s Only
  2. Bobbie
  3. Earth’s Best
  4. Else
  5. Enfamil
  6. Gerber
  7. Happy Baby Organic
  8. HiPP
  9. Holle
  10. Kabrita USA
  11. Kendamil
  12. Kirkland
  13. Lebenswert
  14. Loulouka
  15. Nannycare
  16. Plum Organics
  17. Similac
  18. The Honest Company
  19. Up&Up

Our focus first and foremost was on the formula itself and assessing its organic ingredients, as well as its use of suggested ingredients and avoidance of harmful ingredients. Following, was assessing parent and expert reviews to see which products best delivered on their promise and had the highest success rate. In many cases, these products stood out for particular reasons (such as transitioning or supplementing breastfeeding), which helped create our best for rankings. While many of these products shared similar formulations or success rates, evaluating the company’s packaging and production for sustainability helped finalize our rankings. 

If you’re shopping for organic baby products, you may also want to reference our guides on organic baby food, organic diapers, and organic baby clothes

Sources

  1. https://www.parents.com/baby/feeding/formula/organic-baby-formula-everything-you-need-to-know/
  2. https://mommylabornurse.com/organic-vs-non-organic-formula/#baby-formula-requirements-an-overview
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/blog/us-parents-european-baby-formula/
  4. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/bfm.2020.0090
  5. https://fortune.com/2021/01/04/disrupt-infant-formula-bobbie-fda-recall/
  6. https://www.demeter-usa.org/about-demeter/biodynamic-certification-marks.asp
  7. https://gb.holle.ch/en_GB/about-us/sustainability/co2e-neutral-products
  8. https://thebiobaby.com/pdf/loulouka-brochure.pdf
  9. https://www.hipp.com/about-hipp/sustainability/sustainability-guidelines/
  10. Bobbie Customer Service
  11. Else Customer Service
  12. https://cleanlabelproject.org/product-categories/?refinementList%5BCategory%5D%5B0%5D=Baby&refinementList%5BAward_Types%5D%5B0%5D=Purity%20Award
  13. https://www.naturesone.com/sustainability/
  14. https://littlebundle.com/blogs/insights/everything-you-need-to-know-about-kendamil-organic-formulas

Moss Lane Staff

The Moss Lane Staff is comprised of seasoned content professionals who specialize in synthesizing large amounts of information and making it accessible to every day readers. This article was written and edited by multiple members of our staff to ensure comprehensive coverage of the topic.