HiPP vs. Holle Formula: The Ultimate Comparison Guide

As the go-to provider of HiPP and Holle European baby formulas for thousands of families, we understand that you want the absolute best formula for your little one. With the many different HiPP and Holle formulas available, it can be tricky to begin narrowing them down and find the best organic formula.

While all of the HiPP and Holle formulas that we carry are high-quality, each one is unique. We created this in-depth guide to help you understand the specific differences between HiPP and Holle formulas so that you can choose the right formula for your little one.

Reputable Brands that Stand the Test of Time

Both Holle and HiPP have been creating baby formula for a long time. HiPP was founded in Germany in 1899, and Holle began in Switzerland in the 1930s. Both brands have refined their expertise over the years to produce the safe, simple, and nutritionally-complete formulas.

HiPP and Holle are both approved and certified organic by the European Commission (the European equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration). The European Commission has even more stringent regulations than the FDA. 

All HiPP and Holle formulas abide by these strict standards, but each formula has a unique set of ingredients. And while it can be overwhelming to make sense of the many different ingredients in different infant formulas, this is an important step in choosing the best formula for your little one. 

Let's review the similarities and differences in macronutrients, micronutrients, and supplements between Holle and HiPP formulas. If you want to know how these nutrients compare to those found in breast milk, be sure to check out our comparison guide here!

HiPP vs. Holle: Macronutrients

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate source is one of the most important criteria to consider when choosing an infant formula. Lactose is the main carbohydrate found in breast milk and it is the best option for baby formula. 

Lactose serves as a great energy source for babies as it supports their physical and mental development, helps to maintain good gut bacteria, and aids the absorption of calcium. Infants are born with the ability to produce the lactase enzyme which allows them to easily digest lactose.

The European Commission requires that 30% of carbohydrates in baby formulas come from lactose, while the US has no standard for lactose amounts. In fact, sucrose (table sugar) is banned in European formulas, while many US formulas use sucrose or other cheaper, more processed sugars. 

Some formulas also contain organic maltodextrin—a relatively tasteless complex carbohydrate derived from starch that helps balance out the sweetness of cow's milk or goat's milk. It also thickens formulas and releases energy more slowly than simple carbohydrates so babies can feel full longer.

Holle

Holle Bio Stage PRE is an entirely lactose-based formula. Holle Goat formulas (Stage 1 and Stage 2) and Holle Bio (Stage 1 and Stage 2) use a combination of lactose and maltodextrin as carbohydrate sources.

HiPP

HiPP baby formulas are entirely lactose-based, with the exception of HiPP Anti-Reflux formula which contains maltodextrin. This addition can help ease digestion for those with sensitive tummies, and the thickening properties of the maltodextrin help prevent reflux as it sits heavier in the stomach.

Proteins

Protein is crucial in a baby's diet, and it’s important that infants receive the right kinds of proteins. Breast milk contains 40% casein proteins and 60% whey proteins, while cow's milk consists of 80% casein and 20% whey. Casein proteins can be more difficult for little infant tummies to digest, which is why it's important to look for a formula that lists whey as an ingredient. This tells you that the protein ratio has been adjusted to mimic that of breast milk. 

Some formulas contain 100% whey for sensitive tummies, and others include protein hydrolysates, which break down these proteins for babies who struggle to do this on their own.

Holle

All Holle baby formulas have added whey to bring the protein ratio to a healthy balance for babies. Holle's goat's milk-based formulas may also offer a more tolerable option for babies who show signs of cow's milk protein sensitivity. This is because the proteins in goat milk are smaller and more easily digestible than those found in cow's milk.

HiPP

Similar to Holle, most HiPP formulas have a protein ratio that resembles what you find in breast milk. HiPP also offers an Anti-Reflux formula (100% whey), as well as HiPP Hypoallergenic (Stage PRE, Stage 1, and Stage 2), which contain protein hydrolysates. These hypoallergenic formulas are not 100% organic because the hydrolyzed milk protein is not available in organic form. However, all other ingredients are organic, and for babies with sensitivities or allergies, it may be just what they need to quiet their distressed digestive systems. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Micronutrients and Other Supplements

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Breast milk contains both prebiotics and probiotics which boost the beneficial gut bacteria in a baby's digestive tract and strengthen the immune system. Probiotics aid in digestion and can reduce colic, prevent eczema, and improve immune response. 

Holle

Holle formulas do not contain prebiotics or probiotics, as they maintain a simple, short list of ingredients. However, you can purchase pre- and probiotic supplements that can be added to formulas. Our guide to infant probiotics provides suggestions for the best probiotic supplements for infants.

HiPP

All HiPP formulas contain prebiotics, and HiPP Hypoallergenic, Anti-Reflux, Comfort, and Dutch (Stage 1 and Stage 2) formulas contain both prebiotics and probiotics. 

DHA & ARA

Omega-3 fatty acids (such as ALA & DHA) and Omega-6 fatty acids (like ARA) are instrumental in the development of a baby's brain, nerve, vision, and immune systems. These ingredients are not required to be in formulas produced in the US. However, DHA is a required component of all European-made infant formulas produced in 2020 or after. We’re excited about this!

Holle

Holle formulas did not include DHA prior to 2020. Now, all newly-produced Holle formulas contain DHA derived from fish oil (Holle’s cow’s milk formula) or algae (Holle’s goat’s milk formulas). These formulas now display the quantities of DHA, alpha linoleic acid (ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (LA, an omega-6 fatty acid) that they contain on their product labels. 

Please note that the instructions for preparing Holle formulas have changed with this new formulation. Be sure to consult and follow the preparation instructions for each box, especially if you’re not sure whether you have the new or prior version of the formula.

HiPP

HiPP formulas have long provided a source for ARA and DHA in their stage 1 formulas. As a result of the 2020 requirements, the quantity of certain nutrients has increased in all HiPP formulas, including DHA, choline, and vitamin D. Additionally, HiPP’s stage 2 formulas have also been changed to include DHA. These long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are safely derived from fish oil and vegetable oils. 

HiPP vs. Holle: Other Considerations

Organic & Grass-Fed

Europe's standards for what constitutes "organic" are much more extensive and detailed than those in the US. Both HiPP and Holle are EU certified organic (with the exception of a few specialty kinds of HiPP formulas). 

Holle

In addition to the EU certification, all Holle formulas are also Demeter biodynamic certified — the top certification for biodynamic farms. Demeter requires annual renewal, biodiversity promotion, ecosystem preservation, animal welfare guarantees, and more. Simply put, this means that Holle meets some of the most stringent standards in the world for sustainable, animal- and environmentally-friendly farming without the use of GMOs or chemicals (such as pesticides). 

HiPP

Nearly all HiPP formulas are EU certified organic. The exceptions are the HiPP HA, AR, and Comfort varieties, as these speciality formulas require protein hydrolysates which are not available in organic form. However, all other ingredients found in the formula are organic.

Specialty Options (for Reflux, Colic, Sensitivities, Allergies, etc.)

Regular formula suits many babies, but infants sometimes have difficulty digesting standard formulas. Parents of these babies may struggle to find a good formula fit and find themselves frequently switching through different formula varieties. While this can be a tough path to walk, Huggable supports you on that journey by explaining all your specialty options, and by offering a Baby Satisfaction Guarantee

Holle

Holle offers goat milk options, which may be easier for babies who struggle with sensitivities to cow's milk proteins. The proteins in goat’s milk are smaller and less allergenic, and this makes it a great fit for infants with sensitive tummies. 

HiPP

As mentioned earlier, HiPP provides Anti-Reflux, Comfort and Hypoallergenic (HA) options that help infants break down and process proteins that may be otherwise difficult to digest. HiPP also offers a hypoallergenic option that is free from corn, HiPP HA PRE, which is the most similar in make-up to the elemental formulas sold in the U.S. and is a great choice for babies who have cow’s milk protein allergy, or CMPA.

Cost Comparison

Many parents who are considering European baby formula are worried about the cost. It can be confusing to attempt to compare between options, especially when you factor in metric measurements like milliliters and grams! Here’s what you can expect from these two manufacturers when looking at their PRE and Stage 1 infant formulas; keep in mind that bulk ordering provides the lower end of each cost estimate!

Holle

Holle offers both cow milk formulas and their famous goat milk formulas. Holle BIO, a cow milk formula, can be purchased at $0.24-$0.26 per fluid ounce, while Holle BIO PRE is available for $0.26-$0.28 per fluid ounce. Holle’s stage 1 goat milk formula typically costs $0.31-$0.35 per fluid ounce.

HiPP

The cost for HiPP formulas varies widely based on country of origin and whether they address a speciality concern, like reflux. Here’s the breakdown of costs per fluid ounce for each formula type in stage PRE or 1:

      • HiPP AR and HiPP Comfort: $0.26-$0.29
      • HiPP HA and HiPP HA PRE: $0.28-$0.32
      • HiPP UK: $0.20-$0.22
      • HiPP Dutch: $0.21-$0.24
      • HiPP German: $0.23-$0.25

As you can see, both HiPP and Holle offer formulas with similar prices per fluid ounce. Holle’s goat milk formula is the most expensive while HiPP UK and HiPP Dutch formulas are the most cost effective. Even so, the difference between these formulas by price alone is about $4/day-- cheaper than a cup of coffee! The formula you choose should be made by reviewing several factors including price. Check out our formula comparison guide for more considerations when selecting a formula for your baby. Additionally, check out the chart below to see a cost comparison for European formulas and common American formulas. Hint-- some of Huggable’s formulas are the same price or even cheaper!

What’s the difference between HiPP vs Holle?

As you can see, both HiPP and Holle have a range of healthy options at a reasonable price. Both offer formulas with a similar nutritional profile as that of breast milk so you can provide the very best nutrition for your little one! For a quick overview of the differences and similarities between Holle and HiPP as they relate to specific ingredients, check out our baby formula comparison chart. We’ve also summarized the nutritional differences between HiPP and Holle formulas that we’ve discussed in this guide below:

Nutrients

Holle

HiPP

Carbohydrate

Bio PRE: Lactose

Goat & Bio 1 & 2: Lactose with added organic maltodextrin

Most HiPP formulas: Lactose

Anti-Reflux: Lactose with added organic maltodextrin

Protein

All Holle formulas: Protein ratios similar to breast milk

Goat: Additional casein but small proteins that are more tolerable for cow's milk sensitivity

Most HiPP formulas: Protein ratios similar to breast milk

Anti-Reflux: 100% whey

Hypoallergenic: Protein hydrolysates

Prebiotics & Probiotics

All Holle formulas: No prebiotics or probiotics

All HiPP formulas: Prebiotics

Hypoallergenic, Anti-Reflux, Comfort, & Dutch: Prebiotics & probiotics 

DHA & ARA

All Holle formulas: DHA from fish oil (cow formulas) and from algae (goat formulas)

Beginning-stage formulas: ARA & DHA from fish oil

Stage 3 HiPP formulas: ARA

Organic

All Holle formulas: EU certified & Demeter biodynamic certified

Most HiPP formulas: EU certified organic

Hypoallergenic, Anti-reflux, & Comfort: Not EU certified organic, but contains mostly organic ingredients

Specialty Options

Goat: For cow's milk protein sensitivities

Anti-Reflux: 100% whey to ease digestion & prevent reflux

Hypoallergenic: Protein hydrolysates to break down proteins

Cost

Cow: Similar price per fl oz as HiPP

Goat: Most expensive European option based on price per fl oz

Most cost effective: HiPP UK, HiPP Dutch, HiPP German

Speciality: AR, HA, HA PRE and Comfort options cost slightly more per fl oz

With extensive knowledge of these brands and their offerings, you're now equipped to make the right choice for your family. Weigh your options, consider your child's unique nutrition needs, and select a formula that will keep that little baby's tummy happy and healthy! And rest easy knowing that any Huggable formula you choose will be an exceptional product.

You can browse all of Huggable’s formulas, including our HiPP and Holle formulas here.

We're here to help!

Still feeling a little unsure? Use our live chat feature and send a message to one of our Product Specialists, or send us a message. Our top priority is to help you find the right formula for your little one.

2 comments

  • I have been looking online for a while now trying to figure out which formula to put my 4 months old baby girl on and i made up my mind for HIPP but i have read a lot about how Holle Goat milk is closest to breast milk and you have also said the same thing in your article.. So I am gonna order Holle from this online store. Heard they deliver pretty quick.

    Katherine
  • This was incredibly helpful. Thank you!

    Kristine

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