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HiPP vs Holle: Which is the better baby formula?

Although many mothers breastfeed initially, about 50% of them start using formula by the time their baby reaches six months of age. Two popular choices for baby formula are HiPP and Holle. Many parents have trouble choosing between them because they're THAT good!

If you're interested in learning about HiPP vs. Holle so you can make a final decision, this guide is for you. Let's take a look in this Holle and HiPP baby formula guide!

What Are the Main Types of Baby Formula?

Baby formula, sometimes called infant formula, is a formula that's designed to provide infants under 12 months old with the nutrients that they need to stay healthy. Baby formula is a replacement for breastmilk. Mothers can either breastfeed while using formula or use it on its own. 

There are a couple of different types of formula out there. The three main types of formula you'll find include: 

  1. Cow Milk Formulas
  2. Goat's Milk Formulas
  3. Protein Hydrolyzed Formulas

Let's take a closer look. 

Cow Milk Formulas

Cow milk is the standard type of protein used for baby formula. When manufacturers use cow milk, they alter it slightly so that it more closely resembles breast milk. Doing so ensures that the cow's milk has all the right nutrients that babies need to stay healthy and grow. The majority of children do fine with cow's milk formula. 

Note: there are other animal milk formulas out there that work much the same way. This includes goat and sheep's milk formula. 

Goat Milk Formulas

Another type of baby formula you'll come across is a goat milk-based formula. This is good if you're looking to add extra protein to your child's diet as goat's milk has higher protein levels than cow's milk. Goat's milk-based formulas also work well for children with an allergy to cow's milk or to lactose. Plus, it contains additional nutrients such as phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. 

Protein Hydrolyzed Formulas

These types of formulas contain hydrolyzed (broken down) proteins. These proteins are smaller in size than what you'll find in soy or cow's milk protein. Protein hydrolysate works well for babies who are allergic to soy or cow's milk formula. They're also a great option for kids with protein allergies. 

What Preparations for Baby Formula Exist?

There are a couple of different preparations for formula out there. The type of preparation you use will change the cost and the convenience. 

One preparation is a powdered formula. Powdered formula is the cheapest option, but you have to mix the formula with water in order to use it for your baby. The second type of formula is concentrated liquid formula. Like powdered formula, you'll need to mix this with water. Last but not least is a ready-to-use formula. This is the most convenient formula since you don't have to mix it with water. However, it comes with a higher price tag. Regardless of which type of formula you use, make sure to wash your hands before using it. And, make sure to follow the instructions for storage and preparation on the label.

Why You Should Buy European Baby Formula

While there are plenty of American baby formula brands out there, there's still a good reason to buy European baby formula: the ingredients are better.

European formula tends to have nutrients that are closer to that of breastmilk. Plus, they don't include harmful ingredients such as guar gum or corn syrup. Better yet, there are plenty of nutritious, organic European baby formulas out there. That makes it a great choice for nourishing your baby. The big difficulty with European formulas is that there are tons to choose from! And, as you're about to see in this guide, they have similar benefits and nutrients. 

A Quick Overview of HiPP

With the finer details out of the way, it's time for us to take a look at HiPP and Holle. HiPP was founded in 1899 by a man named Joseph Hipp. 

Hipp's wife had issues breastfeeding, which is why he decided to make a formula for his kids. He enriched milk with rusk flour to enhance it, and wound up with more than seven healthy kids! The risk flour formula took off and became widely available by the 1970s. This was around the time when one of Joseph's sons, Georg, decided to manufacture the product on a larger scale. He also decided to use organic ingredients only. Today, the HiPP company creates a number of different products, not just baby formula. You'll find juices, meats, food, and even whole-grain fruit pops that your kids can enjoy. 

A Brief History of Holle

Holle has a slightly different history. This company was founded back in 1933 in Switzerland. The company still operates out of Switzerland and is a company that prides itself on using preservative-free formula. 

Holle includes many different products, including formula, porridge, and infant milk. The company has seen a lot of expansion in the last 50 years, growing to offer its products in 40 different countries. Parents love Holle for its holistic quality and nutritious, wholesome ingredients. It's a great option for anyone that wants their children to get all the right nutrients without needing breastmilk. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a key ingredient when looking for infant formula. The main carbohydrate you'll find in breast milk is lactose, which is why it's often included in baby formula. 

Carbohydrates are key ingredients because they give your baby energy to get through the day. They also help with mental and physical development, maintain good gut bacteria, and improve calcium absorption. What's interesting is that babies are actually born with the lactase enzyme. That makes it easy for them to digest lactose. European formulas have to have at least 30% of their carbohydrates sourced from lactose. That's a contrast to US formulas, which don't have to include lactose at all. What's more, European formulas can't contain table sugar but US formulas can. 


Holle's organic formulas contain slightly different lactose contents depending on which you buy. Their stage1 baby formula uses a combination of maltodextrin and lactose as carbohydrate sources. On the other hand, their Bio Stage PRE uses only lactose.


HiPP's organic baby formulas are all based-on lactose. The only formula that's specially designed without lactose is their anti-reflux formula. This formula contains maltodextrin to help babies with sensitive stomachs. 

Holle vs. HiPP: Proteins

Proteins are also crucial parts of a baby's diet. That's because proteins help little ones get strong and develop their muscles properly. 

However, you can't put just any proteins in your baby's formula. Babies need specific proteins to make sure that they're getting all the nutrients they need. Breast milk is made up of whey proteins and casein proteins, although it contains more whey than casein protein. In contrast, cow's milk contains more casein proteins than whey protein. That can make it a little bit tough on their stomachs. To make sure that you're choosing a formula that your baby can handle, read the ingredients list. Look for 100% whey proteins or for formulas that contain protein hydrolysates. 


Holly baby formulas add whey to them. This helps create a healthy protein ratio for little ones. 

On top of that, Holle's organic goat milk formulas work as a great option for babies with sensitive stomachs. Goat milk proteins are smaller and easier for kids to digest, helping Baby keep the milk down.


Similar to Holle formulas, most HiPP formulas have proteins that are similar to that of a mother's breastmilk. 

They also have special formulas such as their anti-reflux and hypoallergenic formulas. These formulas contain protein hydrolysates to make them easier for your baby to digest. Just keep in mind that these formulas aren't completely organic. That's because you can't get hydrolyzed milk in organic form. Still, the rest of the ingredients in the formula are completely organic. Plus, the special formula may be just what your child needs if they struggle with cow milk sensitivity. HiPP just launched a new product, the HiPP Goat formula. A long anticipated launch. This goat milk is Hipp’s (long awaited) answer to that fast growing demand for this specific kind of products and helps for babies with a sensative tummy. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Prebiotics & Probiotics

A mother's breastmilk has probiotics and prebiotics that support their baby's immune system and digestive tract. Having enough of these healthy gut bacteria helps reduce colic, eczema, and poor immune responses. 


If you purchase Holle formula, you won't find any probiotics or prebiotics in them. These formulas have a short list of ingredients, and these bacteria don't make the cut. The good news, however, is that you can buy additional prebiotic and probiotic supplements. You can then add these to your baby's formula so that they're getting all the nutrients they need. 


The good news about HiPP formula is that all their formulas contain prebiotics. Plus, their Stage 2 and Stage 1 Dutch Formulas, anti-reflux formula, and hypoallergenic formulas all contain both probiotics and prebiotics. All HiPP formulas contain prebiotics, and HiPP Hypoallergenic, Anti-Reflux, Comfort, and Dutch (Stage 1 and Stage 2) formulas contain both prebiotics and probiotics. 

HiPP vs. Holle: DHA & ARA

DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. ARA is a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Both types of fatty acids are important for developing your baby's nerve, vision, brain, and immune systems. In US formulas, manufacturers don't have to include omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids. However, European formulas have to contain DHA. That ensures your baby gets enough nutrients! 


Before 2020, you wouldn't find DHA in any Holle formulas.

However, in the last two years, the company began incorporating fish oil into all of its cow's milk formulas. They began using algae in their goat's milk formulas. Thanks to those additions, these formulas now contain ALA, LA, and DHA in their formulas. 


Unlike Holle, HiPP formulas have always included ARA and DHA in their Stage 1 formula. However, in recent years they've increased those quantities. Today you'll find tons of important ingredients in their formulas including DHA, choline, and vitamin D. They source these additional ingredients from vegetable and fish oils. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Organic & Grass-Fed

In the United States, regulations about what is considered organic are a bit loosey-goosey. On the other hand, Europe has strict standards for what can be called organic. HiPP and Holle are both certified organic in the EU. There are a few specialty formulas that don't meet this requirement, but that's because they contain specialized ingredients that can't be produced organically.


What's exciting about Holle baby formula is that they're not only organic, they're also Demeter biodynamic certified. This is the top certification that biodynamic farms can achieve. 

In order to maintain its certification status, Holle has to undergo an annual review, ecosystem preservation, biodiversity promotion, and welfare guarantees. Thanks to this extensive process, you can trust that Holle meets stringent standards for eco-friendly and organic farming. You know that the team doesn't use harsh chemicals or GMOs that could harm your baby. 


Just about every HiPP formula out there is EU certified organic. However, you'll remember that some formulas contain hydrolysates. Since hydrolysates can't be produced organically, these formulas are not considered organic.The formulas that aren't organic are HA, AR, and Comfort varieties of formula. All the rest are organic formulas. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Specialty Options

While most babies don't have a problem with standard baby formula, there are those that have trouble digesting them. In that case, it can be tough for moms and dads to find a good formula. The good news is that there are options out there! And, Holle and HiPP both have choices for parents whose kids have sensitive stomachs. 


Holle has formulas made with goat's milk. Goat's milk is easier for children to digest because it contains proteins that are more similar to that of breast milk. If you have a child with lactose sensitivity or who struggles with cow's milk, this might be a good option. 


HiPP comes out the winner when it comes to creating formulas for kids with sensitive stomachs. The company has hypoallergenic, anti-reflux, and comfort formulas that make it easier or children to process proteins. They also offer options that don't contain corn. This is another good choice for babies who struggle with protein allergies. 

Are There Any Concerns About these Formula

We've covered the most important elements of the HiPP and Holle baby formula. Let's take a look at the downsides:

Palm Oil

Palm oil is an ingredient that many parents have been concerned with in recent years. Why? Because some people claim that it may cause reduced bone density in children. Holle and HiPP both use palm oil in their baby formulas. However, they also dilute the oil with sunflower, coconut, and vegetable oil so that the palm oil content is low enough that it won't harm your child. This ingredient has been receiving negative attention within the last few years. Many are concerned with palm oil because some studies link it to reducing bone density. Both HiPP and Holle inlcude vitamin D in their formula to counteract any possible affects of the palm oil. Please see our blog about palm oil in baby formula for more information. 

How Much Does Each Formula Cost?

The biggest question in most parents' minds when choosing baby formula is how much it costs. Now, this gets tricky because baby formula can be measured in different ways! However, when it comes to Holle and HiPP, it's important to know the price differences. Let's take a look at a couple of cost estimates to give you an idea of what to expect to pay.  


You can purchase both goat milk and cow milk formulas from Holle. Holle's cow milk formula is available for about $0.24 to $0.28 per fluid ounce. On the other hand, Holle's goat milk formula will usually cost you between $0.31 and $0.35 per fluid ounce. 


HiPP formula's prices are much harder to calculate. That's because the prices vary depending on where the product was made and what specialty formula you purchase. Here are a couple of common prices per fluid ounce for HiPP formulas: 

  • HiPP Acid Reflux: $0.26-$0.29
  • HiPP Hypoallergenic: $0.28-$0.32
  • HiPP UK: $0.20-$0.22
  • HiPP Dutch: $0.21-$0.24
  • HiPP German: $0.23-$0.25

Both HiPP and Holle offer similar prices per fluid ounce. The most expensive Holle formulas are their goat's milk varieties while HiPP's priciest variety is their hypoallergenic blend. The difference between HiPP and Holle formulas tends to be about $4 per day. That's not a whole lot in the great scheme of things!

Just remember, you'll also have to consider the specific needs of your baby in order to choose the right formula.  

Pros and Cons of HiPP vs. Holle

Okay, so you've got a good idea of the macros and micros in Holle and HiPP baby formulas. But what does that look like when comparing the two? To help you get a better idea of which is right for you, let's take a look at a few pros and cons of each formula. 

Benefits of Using HiPP

There are quite a few benefits of using HiPP formula. A few of the most important ones include: 

  • Relies on lactose as a sweetener and protein
  • Has a variety of formulas for different baby stages
  • EU approved
  • Free of GMOs
  • Reduced heavy metals
  • Has high fatty acid contents
  • Free of chemicals and pesticides
  • Organic and grass-fed
  • Goat milk options for sensitive tummies
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • Gluten-free
  • Doesn't contain soy, wheat, or peanuts

All these features can make it a great choice for your child's diet. 

Downsides to Using HiPP

Despite the many benefits of HiPP, there are a few downsides to be aware of. These include: 

  • Palm oil is present in the formula
  • More expensive then most US formula

As you can see, the downsides are fairly minimal when you stack them up against the benefits!

Benefits of Holle

There are multiple benefits of using Holle baby formula. Some of the most important ones include:

  • It's organic
  • The formula is GMO-free
  • There are no hormones, preservatives, chemicals or steroids added to it
  • Eases constipation
  • Is gentle on the digestive system
  • Contains added minerals, iron, and vitamins
  • Grass-fed 
  • Contains essential fatty acids
  • Comes in goat's milk and cow's milk varieties 
  • No corn syrup, wheat, soy, or peanuts
  • Gluten-free
  • Biodynamic

With all these benefits, it's no wonder so many people purchase Holle!

Downsides to Holle

Holle also has a few downsides that you should know about. This includes:

  • Contains palm oil
  • Contains maltodextrin

Despite these downsides, Holle can work well for parents who want to give quality baby formula to their kids. You'll be able to avoid harmful additives and find plenty of variety in the options offered for kids with sensitivities.

HiPP vs. Holle: The Lowdown

Both Holle and HiPP are amonst the healthiest baby formulas in the world. They offer key nutrients that your child needs to grow healthily and meet his or her milestones. Although there's a lot to know, being well-versed on the subject is what will help you provide your child with the nutrients they need to grow big and strong. Are you ready to get started with HiPP or Holle?

Get in touch with us and we'll help you out with product suggestions so that you can buy the best baby formula!