While the bestselling book, Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System, urges parents to introduce their children infectious germs to strengthen their immune systems, this technique should not be incorporated into your child’s daily life until they are at least six months old. That’s where a bottle sterilizer comes in. A bottle sterilizer can prevent harmful bacteria from infecting your baby during feeding time.
While there are other methods of sterilizing bottles, such as boiling water, they aren’t as effective. Hot water can wear down the bottles and make them unsuitable for use after a very short time. Alternatively, steaming and microwaving are efficient and harmless techniques that will protect your little one from catching an illness or bacterial infection such as gastroenteritis.
With a good bottle sterilizer, you’re not only assured of your child’s improved health and hygiene. You also have more time to bond with your child. Using a sterilizer means it only takes a few minutes to have the bottles ready. It’s even faster and easier if you have a bottle warmer
, too. Most sterilizers today are versatile and can sterilize everything, including utensils, pacifiers, and plastic toys.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need know about these vital tools, including the different types, their differences, and how to pick one that will serve you best. For instance, if you have twins you’ll need a sterilizer that can hold as many bottles
as possible. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a travel-friendly option then you’ll need a compact unit that can fit easily in a tote bag
. Now that we’ve introduced ourselves, let’s talk about how much a good bottle sterilizer is likely to cost, as well as what features to consider when making your purchase.
A good bottle sterilizer will cost you between $20 and $250, depending on what it can do. For instance, a sterilizer will cost more if it keeps bottles and pacifiers sterile for up to 24 hours. A bottle sterilizer’s price can also vary based on its capacity, portability, and brand. Some sterilizers can hold up to eight pieces of pumps and bottles at once while others can even hold feeding dishes. On the lower end you can find cheap bottle sterilizers, but we haven’t featured any because they are often unreliable and made from flimsy materials.
How do you pick a sterilizer that will meet or exceed your expectations? Simple answer: pick one with the right features. For example, if you want a travel-friendly unit that is equally useful at home, a compact unit that employs multiple methods of sterilization is the best for you.
Here is a list of the vital features to consider when buying a bottle sterilizer:
- Sterilization method
- Capacity and what it can sterilize
- Material and ease of portability
- Size of your microwave
- Time taken to sterilize
- Auto shut-off and drying functionality
- How long the bottles stay sterilized
With these features in mind, let’s go a step further and discuss how these features affect design and, ultimately, the performance of a bottle sterilizer.
Construction and Design
Because there is no room for even the mildest germs, the best sterilizer should kill at least 99%, if not 100%, of germs and bacteria. As a sign of quality assurance, some models undergo independent laboratory tests or come with special warranties. When it comes to construction, consider the sterilization method, capacity, and material. Steam sterilizers are the are the most popular type of bottle sterilizer. They are usually either electric or microwavable, but some sterilizers can run on UV batteries.
Most electric sterilizers take less than ten minutes to sterilize up to eight bottles. Some advanced models can also dry and deodorize the bottles. Others can keep bottles sterilized for up to 24 hours with the lid closed. These sterilizers’ only downside is that they are bigger and more expensive. Other features that you’ll find in electric sterilizers include the auto-shutoff feature when a sterilization cycle is over and a descaling mode.
Microwavable bottle sterilizers differ in size and capacity, and they lack advanced features like drying and deodorizing. However, they are cheaper, equally powerful, and take less than five minutes to sterilize. Most microwavable sterilizers can fit up to four bottles. Remember to check the size of your microwave to ensure the sterilizer will fit.
UV battery powered sterilizers are loved for being travel-friendly and for their small size; however, they can only sterilize a single bottle at a time and take longer to sterilize. For any sterilizer that uses water, use distilled water, if possible, to avoid build-up of scales or go for a unit with a descaling mode feature.
After deciding on a sterilization method, choose your preferred capacity. While UV sterilizers always have a low capacity, electric sterilizers can hold up to eight bottles at once. Some models can also sterilize breast pumps, pacifiers, and other feeding equipment. Some sterilizers can only sterilize a specific brand or size of bottles. For best results, go for a BPA free unit that can sterilize standard baby bottles, wide neck-necked bottles, anti-colic bottles, and unusually shaped bottles.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a bottle sterilizer will depend on your preferences. Remember to keep capacity in mind and choose a sterilizer that is compatible with your baby bottles’ size and brand. Sometimes babies reject certain bottles and favor others, so it may be smart to go for a versatile sterilizer that allows you to adjust accordingly. If you aren’t breastfeeding, you’ll probably require more bottles so a sterilizer with a larger capacity is important.
If you’re not on a tight budget, go for a large unit that can hold as many bottles and accessories as possible and keep them sterilized for up to 24 hours. This makes sterilization a once-a-day activity. For further ease of use, look for a sterilizer with an on-indicator light and an auto-shutoff feature. If you go for a microwavable sterilizer, ensure it can fit a wide range of microwaves
Let’s now get into reviews of the best bottle sterilizers on the market.
The best bottle sterilizer should get the job done thoroughly without compromises. It should kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria and have the capacity to accommodate as many bottles as you need. For example, if you’re blessed with twins, you should get a sterilizer that is fast and can hold up to eight bottles at a time. The sterilizer should also have an aesthetically pleasing design without taking up too much counter space. With all these considerations in mind, we’re almost certain that you’ll be able to find what you need from our top 5 favorites.
Philips has been part of our lives from when we were born. For the last century, this decorated Dutch brand has led in providing technologies and products that have contributed to developments in a number of industries. The company’s major focus is on home care products, healthy living and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. Along with bottle warmers and sterilizers, its childcare line includes breast pumps, baby bottles and teats, baby gifts and sets, and toddler cups.
The Philips AVENT 4-In-1 Electric Steamer Sterilizer has a unique and impressive 4-in-1 design. It holds accessories (breast pumps, cups, etc.) and bottles you want to sterilize in an organized manner, enhancing sterilization effectiveness. This also makes it easy to load and unload the dirty items. It comes with a dishwasher basket that keeps the items together when dishwashing and transferring them to the sterilizer. The design is also a plus, since this unit takes up only a small part of your countertop space.
Its sterilizing capabilities are impressive. Thanks to the natural steam, up to 99.9% of harmful germs are killed, keeping your baby safe, without using any chemicals. Another great feature of this unit is that it keeps the contents sterile up to 24 hours if the lid is closed.
One sterilizing cycle takes six minutes, and there is an auto-shut off feature after the cycle is complete. Apart from seeing the sterilization progress, you’ll also know when the contents are cool and safe for removal. Using this sterilizer is a breeze too. Add water in the unit’s base, put the rack in, connect it to a source of power and wait for six minutes. This sterilizer is backed by a two-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry about manufacturer’s defects.
Maxx Elite knows the worries of any parent, and the hygiene requirements when feeding a baby. That's why this brand chose to focus on bottle warmers and sterilizers. Its mission is to listen to parents' needs and fill the gaps and shortcomings of other manufacturers. Along with bottle warmers and sterilizers, the brand also manufactures lock and store cups, food feeders, and bottles for all babies. The quality of its products is evident from the customer feedback on different platforms, including Amazon.
The Maxx Elite “Gentle Warm” Sterilizer has great functionality, performance, and design. This product is made to give you peace of mind by serving as a convenient means to always have food ready for your baby.
How do you feel when you have to wake up at night to warm your baby’s food? Or when you’re holding your baby, and you have to take 5-10 minutes to sterilize a bottle and warm the food? Don't forget that all this time, your baby may be crying, as you are forced to leave them, especially if you're alone. These are the exact reasons and motivations behind this product.
The advantage of this product is the ability to keep your baby’s food warm for a longer time, until the baby is ready to feed. This is very important as it keeps the food warm, preserving the important nutrients and antibodies. You’ll be able to keep milk at a warm temperature for up to four hours. When it's time, shake the milk and feed the baby! This is what makes it one of the best warmers for night feedings.
It has three settings: gentle warm (40°C/104°F), which is best for keeping breast milk and formula ready; express warm, (70°C/158°F) for fast warming, in case you forgot to prepare the food in advance; and sterile setting (100°C/212°F) to kill bacteria and germs in nipples, bottles and other small items.
For safety, there is an auto shutoff feature when water is getting depleted in the warmer and after each sterilization cycle.
In just a few years, Wabi Baby has made a mark on the baby products industry. The brand’s mission is to make products that wow modern parents. The company manufactures versatile sterilizers, to help sterilize and dry baby bottles and everything else they need. The brand is known for its steam and UV sterilizers. After the success of these two items, the company is working on more products, which are coming soon.
Wabi Baby believes that sterilizing baby bottles or any other feeding component isn’t the end. That's why it developed the Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer, for a new way of handling the after-wash care procedures of these products. With this unit, sterilizing and drying happen simultaneously in just one hour, eliminating the risks of open air-drying. The traditional air-drying method causes accumulation of dust and encourages the development of bacteria, which is very risky for your baby.
This sterilizer is made from FDA-approved materials, providing a toxin-free environment to sterilize and dry baby products. It comes in a modern and sleek design and takes up only a small space in your kitchen. After drying, the baby products remain inside the sterilizer, keeping them sterile for up to 12 hours and de-cluttering the countertop.
It is great for sterilizing and drying baby bottles, sippy cups, breast pumps, teething toys, pacifiers, kids' dining ware and medicine feeding tools. Unlike other sterilizers that are for specific products, this one performs all the sterilizing tasks. According to independent lab tests, this sterilizer kills 99.9% of germs. In case there is a formation of scales, the one-button descaling feature comes in handy.There is also a setting allowing you to choose the dry only option, sterilize and dry, or sterilize only option.
Tommee Tippee has been around for over 50 years. Today, it is one of the most recognizable and trusted baby brands globally. The company has different infant products and accessories for use in different growth stages. For example, for the weaning stage, it has bibs, cups, tableware, and cutlery. In the playtime line, the brand has bath and play toys. In the soothing product line, it has soothers and teethers. Whatever baby product you're looking for, Tommee Tippee has something for you.
Tommee Tippee believes that sterilizing baby feeding and playing accessories should be easy, thorough and fast, and that shows in its Electric Steam Sterilizer. With this unit, you can switch it on at night, and when you wake up, the bottles will be ready for use. This is provided you keep the sterilizer’s lid closed.
No one wants an ugly-looking sterilizer, and this unit passes that test successfully. It comes in an impressive sleek design, saving space on your kitchen countertop.
Since this is a steam sterilizer, it is chemical-free and effectively kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. The use of steam also saves you from dishwasher residue and chemical ingredients, which pose a health risk to your baby. Within five minutes, it will heat up, sterilize the contents, and cool dry, by just pushing a button. Its six-bottle capacity is enough to prepare a whole day's worth of bottles and other feeding components, and it will keep them sterile all day. When you buy it, you get nipple tongs, a formula dispenser and two Closer to Nature five-ounce bottles.
The last thing parents want near their baby's feeding supplies are chemicals and germs. Luckily, with an efficient sterilizer, you have nothing to worry about. This is what Munchkin is determined to help parents achieve. Along with sterilizers, Munchkin has everything else you need for your baby, including cookies, bottles, feeding supplies, and potty and bath products. If you are looking for nursery products, apparel, or gifts for new parents, it has great collections in each of these areas. One of its great offerings is this microwave sterilizer.
The Steam Microwave Sterilizer stands out for its versatility and efficiency, yet it is very affordable. With this sterilizer, you will efficiently sterilize bottles, pacifiers, nipples, breast pump accessories, teethers and small toys, eliminating 99.9% of harmful germs and bacteria without using chemicals or detergents. For your baby’s safety, this sterilizer is latex-free, BPA-free, PVC-free, nitrosamine-free, and phthalate-free.
It can hold four bottles and two breast pump shields at a go. However, this is the standard bottle number; the capacity may differ depending on whether you have placed the bottles upright or horizontally, and their sizes. It works well with both wide and narrow bottles, including Dr. Brown, Avant and Playtex Ventair bottle brands. There is also a locking tab, to secure the sterilizer and prevent accidental opening.
While our featured products are some of the best on the market currently, the best sterilizer for you depends on several factors, including your budget. Shop confidently, as quality is almost guaranteed from any of these brands.