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.

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. 

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 sugar in baby formula. 

Lactose serves as a great energy source for babies, supporting their physical and mental development, maintaining good gut bacteria, and aiding the absorption of calcium. Infants are born with the ability to produce the lactase enzyme, allowing 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, whereas sucrose is banned in European formulas, many US formulas use cheaper, more processed sugars (such as sucrose) instead of lactose. 

Some formulas also contain organic maltodextrin—a relatively tasteless complex carbohydrate derived from starch. Although maltodextrin does have a higher glycemic index than lactose, the small quantities included in these formulas are safe for infants. In fact, it 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

All HiPP baby formulas are entirely lactose-based, with the exception of HiPP Anti-Reflux formula, which also contains maltodextrin. The addition of maltodextrin can help ease digestion for those with sensitive tummies.

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 is comprised 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 some cow's milk proteins are present in different quantities in goat'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 those little 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. Prebiotics are a food source for probiotics. Probiotics aid in digestion, 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.

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. Beginning in 2020, DHA will be a required component of all European-made infant formulas. 

Holle

Holle formulas do not include DHA or ARA. Keep in mind, however, that with the 2020 regulation, they likely will add DHA to all their formulas. As with probiotics, there are also DHA supplements that can be added to formulas. 

HiPP

All of our HiPP formulas provide sources for ARA and all beginning-stage HiPP formulas contain DHA as well. These long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids have been safely derived from fish oil or vegetable oil. 

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

All HiPP formulas are EU certified organic (with the exception of HiPP Hypoallergenic, Anti-Reflux, and Comfort formulas, as these contain protein hydrolysates to break down the proteins, which requires more processing). 

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

Regular formula suits many babies, but infants sometimes have difficulty digesting typical 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 on the tummies of babies who struggle with sensitivities to cow's milk proteins.

HiPP

As mentioned earlier, HiPP provides Anti-Reflux and Hypoallergenic options that help infants break down and process proteins that may be otherwise difficult for their immature digestive systems to handle. 

What’s the difference between HiPP vs Holle?

As you can see, both HiPP and Holle have quite a range of healthy options for your baby. Both come as close as possible to resembling the composition 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, check out our baby formula comparison chart. Below, we’ve also summarized the nutritional differences between HiPP and Holle formulas that we’ve discussed in this guide.

Nutrients

Holle

HiPP

Carbohydrate

Bio PRE: Lactose-based
Goat & Bio 1 & 2: Lactose-based with added organic maltodextrin

Most HiPP formulas: Lactose-based
Anti-Reflux: Lactose-based with added organic maltodextrin

Protein

All Holle formulas: Protein ratios similar to breast milk
Goat: May be more tolerable for cow's milk protein 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: No DHA or ARA (will likely add DHA beginning in 2020)

All HiPP formulas: ARA
Beginning-stage formulas: ARA & DHA 

Organic

All Holle formulas: EU certified & Demeter biodynamic certified

Most HiPP formulas: EU certified organic
Hypoallergenic, Anti-reflux, & Comfort: Not EU certified organic

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


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 formula, including our HiPP and Holle formulas, here.

We're here to help.

Still feeling a little unsure? Give us a call at 1-833-HUGGABL, use our live chat, or send us a message. Our top priority is to help you find the best formula for your little one.

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