HiPP vs Holle Formula

When shopping around for HiPP and Holle formula, it is important to know exactly what you are buying and how they compare to other options on the market. That’s why we have put together an all-you-need-to-know guide on HiPP vs Holle, and the pros and cons of each option. Enjoy!

A History of HiPP and Holle

We are talking about two brands that have been around for around a century, with HiPP being founded in 1899 and Holle in the 1930s. As such, these are two companies that have spent the last 100 years developing their products to be the very best on the market, both coming with European Commission certifications. For context, the rules and regulations surrounding the EC are even more strict than the FDA. That means each and every product that hits the shelves from HiPP and Holle has to follow these strict guidelines, however, that doesn’t mean every formula is the same. That leaves you with a choice from all these different options, each with its own unique blend of ingredients. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know about the different supplements, micronutrients, and macronutrients that go into each HiPP and Holle product.

The Macronutrients

Carbohydrates are one of the most important areas of focus when it comes to shopping for baby formula, with lactose being an ingredient found in both natural breast milk and quality formulas. Lactose helps to give your child energy, boosts mental and physical development, contributes to a healthy balance of bacteria in the stomach, and helps your baby to absorb calcium which has a whole host of additional benefits. Lactose is actually much easier for babies to digest because their bodies are born with lactase enzymes. Holle Bio Stage PRE is an exclusively lactose product. All HiPP formulas exclusively use lactose as carbohydrates, apart from HiPP anti-reflux.

The EC guidelines state that lactose must contribute to a minimum of 30% of the carbohydrates in baby formula, although that rule is not seen in America. The EC also has a strict ban on sucrose, which is a common ingredient in America and basically constitutes table sugar.

You may spot the ingredient organic maltodextrin on the back of some formula brands. This makes the formula a little thicker and ensures your child has a full tummy for longer as it releases energy at a slower rate. It also doesn’t taste of much and balances nicely against the sweet taste of milk. Holle Goat Stage 1 and 2, as well as Holle Bio Stage 1 and 2, use a blend of maltodextrin and lactose carbohydrates. HiPP anti-reflux is the only product from that brand that uses any maltodextrin as it helps settle a sensitive stomach.

Protein is also an extremely important ingredient within a formula as it is imperative for strength and growth within your child. The protein found in breast milk is four parts casein and six parts whey protein, compared to 80% casein and 20% whey in cow’s milk. You should always look for whey as a preference, or to at least be included, as it is far easier for young stomachs to digest. If they have anything close to 60% whey in there, you know they are trying to get as close as possible to real breast milk. Some products, particularly those designed for sensitive stomachs, even contain 100% whey, or protein hydrolysates to help babies to break down proteins.

Every single Holle formula product on the market includes whey, which is great news. The company’s goat’s milk products can also be better for children who struggle to deal with the protein found in cow’s milk because it is easier for them to digest.

HiPP products also closely resemble the balance of whey protein found in breast milk. The anti-reflux product has 100% whey for sensitive stomachs, and Hypoallergic Stage PRE, 1, and 2 all contain protein hydrolysates – although these products are not 100% organic.

Micronutrients and Other Supplements

Your child’s gut microbiome and immune system are aided by the probiotics and prebiotics found in breast milk. Probiotics make the digestion process easier and can even reduce eczema and reduce colic. Holle prefers to opt for a smaller and simpler list of ingredients, which is why they do not include probiotics or prebiotics. If you want, you can add the ingredients yourself with supplements bought separately. Every single HiPP formula has prebiotics included, while Dutch Stage 1 and 2, Comfort, Anti-Reflux, and Hypoallergenic formulas also contain probiotics.

ALA and DHA are fatty Omega-3 acids, while ARA is a fatty Omega-6 acid. All of these acids are important for brain, immune system, vision, and nerve development in babies. The EC requires all products in Europe to contain DHA, although there are no such requirements in the US.

Before 2020, Holle products did not feature DHA, however, this changed after the new EC rules came in. Any products now produced by Holle include DHA which comes from fish oil or algae for the cow’s milk and goat’s milk products respectively. You will be able to see the levels of DHA on the label, as well as the ALA and linoleic acid levels. Not only did the rules change in 2020, but the new ingredients also changed how formulas need to be prepared, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly.

HiPP has included ARA and DHA in Stage 1 formulas for a long time, but the levels of DHA, vitamin D, choline and more have increased since the new 2020 rules. In 2020, the recipes for HiPP Stage 2 formulas were altered to include DHA from fish and vegetable oils.

Other Things You Should Know

The regulations for ‘organic’ products are far stricter in Europe when compared to the US, however, Holle and HiPP both have organic EU certifications. The only exception is a few special types of HiPP formula.

Holle also holds the best possible certification you can get for biodynamic farms, as certified and renewed by Demeter each and every year. That ensures Holle must keep up their standards and make efforts to showcase positive animal welfare, preservation of the ecosystem and promotion of biodiversity. In short, they have to be sustainable environmentally and with regard to animals.

Most HiPP formulas are considered to be organic by the EU, apart from Comfort, HA, and AR as they contain non-organic proteins. But even the rest of the ingredients in these three ranges are all organic.

Special Options

There are a number of special options out there for your little ones, especially if they struggle to digest the regular formulas. Rather than chopping and changing in search of the one that best suits you and your child, let us present you will all the information you need to make an informed choice.

Children with sensitive stomachs may benefit from Holle goat milk products as the protein is easier to digest and less allergenic. HiPP, meanwhile, has a number of products designed to help children to break down tricky proteins, including the anti-reflux, comfort, and hypoallergenic products. The HiPP HA PRE formula also contains zero corn, perfect for children who are allergic to CMPA or cow’s milk. It is the closest thing to the US elemental formulas.

Cost Comparison

The cost of a product is one of the top concerns for parents, and rightly so. However, it can get confusing when different formulas contain different weights or measurements, and even use different measuring systems. So, let’s take a look at Holle and HiPP and what they are charging for their PRE and Stage 1 formulas. A quick tip – bulk ordering provides the best prices.

Holle BIO (cow milk) - $0.24-$0.26 per fluid ounce

Holle BIO PRE - $0.26-$0.28 per fluid ounce.

Holle Stage 1 (goat milk) - $0.31-$0.35 per fluid ounce.

HiPP AR - $0.26-$0.29

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

Holle and HiPP actually have very similar pricing models when you look at the formula based on fluid ounces, with HiPP UK and Dutch being the cheapest, and Holle Stage 1 (goat milk) being the most expensive. But even the difference between these isn’t huge. Remember to check those bundle deals!

The difference between HiPP and Holle

HiPP and Holle products have a lot of things in common, they are both providing healthy formula for your babies and at a competitive price too. They both look to get as close to natural breast milk as possible in terms of nutrition, but there are some slight differences in ingredients.





Bio PRE: Lactose

Goat: Lactose and organic maltodextrin

Bio 1 and 2: Lactose and organic maltodextrin

Majority: Lactose

Anti-Reflux: Lactose and organic maltodextrin



All: Protein levels close to breast milk

Goat: Smaller proteins that are easier to break down and casein

Majority: Protein levels close to breast milk

Anti-Reflux: 100% whey protein

Hypoallergenic: Protein hydrolysates

Prebiotics and Probiotics

All: None

All: Contain prebiotics

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


All cow milk formulas: DHA from fish oil

All goat milk formulas: DHA from algae

Early stage: ARA and DHA (fish oil)

Stage 3: ARA



All: EU and Demeter biodynamic certified

Most: EU certified

Anti-Reflux, Hypoallergenic, and Comfort: Mostly organic but not EU certified

Special Options

Goat’s milk for children sensitive to cow’s milk

Anti-Reflux: Easier to digest and less reflux thanks to 100% whey protein

Hypoallergenic: Proteins broken down by hydrolysates


Cow’s milk: Similar in price to HiPP

Coat’s milk: Most expensive option

HiPP UK, Dutch and German: Cheapest

Comfort, AR, HA PRE, and HA: A bit more expensive



Now that you know all about HiPP and Holle, and what their products have to offer, you are well placed to make an informed decision based on what is best for your baby and your family. Take a moment to think about what your individual baby needs, and what fits your budget. But you can rest easy knowing that everything from HiPP and Holle is healthy and top of the range.