First-half strikes from Ben Pringle, Conor Sammon and Paul Green put Rotherham in a commanding position on Tuesday night before Matt Derbyshire’s thunderbolt made it four in the second half.
Two late strikes from Bolton duo Liam Trotter and Matt Mills ensured a nervy finish but the home side had done enough as they ended a run of three straight defeats in style at the New York Stadium.
Bolton had only lost once in their previous 13 matches in all competitions but they were in trouble as early as the second minute here as Rotherham made a flying start to the match.
Conor Newton, making his first start for the club, put in an inch-perfect cross which Pringle duly volleyed in at the back post to put the hosts ahead.
A speculative effort from Rotherham captain Craig Morgan then had to be tipped over the bar by Andy Lonergan for a corner before Green and Derybshire each fired a shot wide as the home side went about the startled visitors.
At the other end Eidur Gudjohnsen’s path to goal was blocked by a terrific sliding challenge from Richie Smallwood.
The lead was doubled on 23 minutes when Derbyshire was played in down the right-hand side by Pringle and the striker cleverly hit his shot across Lonergan who could only palm it to Sammon to tap in.
Darren Pratley horribly miscued a shot into the stand as Bolton attempted to respond to the early setbacks.
Neil Danns also had an effort before the break to force Adam Collin into his first piece of action.
Rotherham could have been even further ahead had Tim Ream not cut out two dangerous looking crosses in quick succession.
Bolton felt they should have been awarded a penalty before the break when Josh Vela looked to have been upended just inside the box.
Referee Darren Drysdale gave nothing and an incensed Neil Lennon kicked a bottle in frustration.
He would have felt even worse moments later as Green glanced in the third on 44 minutes from Derbyshire’s centre.
Rotherham started the second like they finished the first with Derbyshire testing Lonergan from distance before he smashed in a cracking effort on 57 minutes after he glided unopposed through the Bolton midfield.
Lonergan continued to be busy in the Bolton goal and had to be at his agile best to tip over Sammon’s header.
Trotter struck a consolation strike on 77 minutes after he latched onto a knockdown from Mills.
Just two minutes later Bolton captain Mills headed in following a scramble inside the penalty area to give the travelling support a bit of late hope, but the visitors could not get any closer in the closing stages.