Baby formula products can be really useful for new mothers, but there are so many options to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming to know which to choose. As we outlined in our comparison between Aptamil and Cow and Gate, there are pros and cons to each brand, and which is best for you and your baby might depend on a number of factors.
SMA and Aptamil are 2 of the biggest baby formula brands out there, and on the surface, it might seem like there is to much to separate between these 2 brands. But there are actually quite a few differences between the SMA products and the Aptamil products, so we thought it we be useful to publish a comparison guide. In this guide, we'll be looking at the quality of the products, the price, and other factors to decide which is best for you. Let's get into the comparison:
Which brand has the best first infant milk/formula?
As we did in our other comparison of Aptamil, we'll start by looking at the first infant milk from each brand:
Aptamil first infant milk
What we like about the first infant milk formula from Aptamil is that it's free from palm oil, and as we mentioned previously, this first instant milk is made using quality vegetable oils such as High oleic sunflower oil and Coconut oil. It also contains fish oil, which means it's packed with healthy fats. It has also been fortified with vitamins such as Vitamin K1 and Vitamin B12. This formula tastes very similar to breast milk and is made using mostly natural ingredients, which is impressive.
SMA PRO first infant milk
The SMA PRO first infant milk is also made using vegetable oils, including both rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. Unlike Aptamil, it isn't specified in the SMA ingredients if the sunflower oil used is high oleic. Aptamil first infant milk also contains coconut oil, whereas the SMA first instant milk doesn't. Both of the first infant milks contain Omega 3, and both describe themselves as nutritonally complete. It's quite interesting to compare the nutritional statistics of both first infant milks - the SMA first infant milk contains 1 more calorie and 0.2g more fat in 100ml of prepared feed compared to the Aptamil first infant milk, and the SMA first infant milk also contains 0.2g more sugar.
The SMA first infant milk contains more Vitamin A, more Vitamin E, more Vitamin B12, more Biotin, more Potassium, and quite a bit more Vitamin C (almost 3mg more) than the Aptamil first infant milk per 100ml prepared. So it's definitely fair to say that in terms of vitamins and minerals, the PRO first infant milk from SMA is definitely a better choice than the first infant milk from Aptamil.
We should also mention that neither the Aptamil nor the SMA website was very useful when it came to checking the nutrition of the First Infant Milks from these brands, and we actually had to refer to the Tesco website to get this information. Very frustrating!
The first infant milk from SMA is very slightly cheaper than the first infant milk from Aptamil. The first infant milk from SMA costs £16.25/kg, whereas the Aptamil product costs £16.88/kg
Which brand has the best follow on milk?
Aptamil follow on milk
Again as we've mentioned previously, the Aptamil follow on milk formula has what is described as a "unique blend of Galacto- and Fructo-oligosaccharides", something which you won't find listed in the SMA follow on milk.
SMA follow on milk
Once again, it seems that the main difference between the follow on milk from SMA and the follow on milk from Aptamil is the nutritional difference, and once again it's the SMA product which seems to come out on top in this regard, although it's not as much of a clean sweep as it was with the first infant milk. The SMA follow on milk contains more Vitamin C, more Vitamin A, more Vitamin B12, and more potassium. However, the Aptamil follow on milk is higher in Biotin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Magnesium, the latter being an important mineral for young children.
You'll currently pay £16.88/kg for the follow on milk from both brands.
Anything else to mention?
Yes - we really appreciated the popup which appeared when we visited the SMA website for the first time. This wasn't just a popup about cookies or anything like that, it was actually a popup giving us information about the importance of breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby's life, as recommended by the WHO. It wasn't a popup you could just easily scroll past either - you actually had to scroll down, read it, and then close it. There was a small popup on the Aptamil website but it wasn't as detailed as the SMA popup.
We should also mention that both Aptamil and SMA are halal certified.
We also appreciate that you can buy lactose free formula from both SMA and Aptamil, but again it's SMA which is quite a bit cheaper when it comes to the lactose free formula.
So although there isn't too much to separate between Aptamil and SMA formula products, we're slightly more impressed by the SMA products. They tend to contain more vitamins and minerals than the Aptamil products, and they also tend to be slightly cheaper (or at least, the same price).
Let us know what you think of this comparison and if you have any additional thoughts on Aptamil vs SMA products!