For as long as your baby needs to feed out of a bottle, you will need a sterilizer to clean these bottles or any other feeding equipment that comes into contact with milk. This is because milk is an easy breeding ground for harmful bacteria that babies are especially vulnerable to and cleaning the bottles with just detergent is simply not enough.
Back in the days, mothers would have to go through the hassle of boiling a pot of hot water before submerging their baby bottles into it for sterilization (refer to above picture). Lucky for us, technology has helped created countless of baby bottle sterilizers for us to choose from in the market nowadays. Click on the links provided below to go to your interested section directly, or read on our bottle sterilizer reviews to learn all the information you need to find the best baby bottle sterilizer.
1. Things to look out for
Different parents have different requirement so make sure you understand what you want in a bottle sterilizer. Below are the three most basic criteria that parents find helpful as a starting point in determining what sort of baby bottle sterilizers is the best for them:
Perhaps the very first thing you should consider is: how many bottles can the sterilizer hold at one time? Most sterilizers hold up to 6 bottles at one time, though there are some that can hold 8-9 bottles of all size. If you are having twins or more, capacity is something you should put more consideration into as you would want to sterilize as many bottles as you can at one go.
There are some sterilizers that come with drying feature and there are some that don’t. This means in addition to sterilizing the bottles, it dries them as well so that you can use it straight away once they are out from the sterilizer. Definitely consider if this is a priority when you are choosing your best baby bottle sterilizer.
If you travel quite a bit or have to be always on the go then it’s best that you choose one that is smaller in size for easy portability. Or you can consider these microwave sterilizers which are both light and very affordable and does the same trick as the traditional ones.
2. Best baby bottle sterilizer
Here, we have compiled a list of the best baby bottle sterilizers in the market for your easy reference. We have separated both traditional, electric steam types with those that come with dryer function to assist your choosing.
A. Traditional Electric Steam Version
This is one of the top rated baby bottle sterilizers and it is not hard to see why. Sleek and compact in size, the Philips AVENTS 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer kills 99.9% of germs through 6-minute intense steam sterilization. Using temperature higher than a dishwasher, it generates steam through electric to sterilize its contents.
Once sterilization is complete, the machine will shut off automatically for safety. If the lid remains unopened, the contents will remain sterilized for up to 24 hours. Free from BPA and backed by a 2-year warranty, it also includes a pair of tongs for you to remove the sterilized contents safely and conveniently.
Do not be fooled by its size – it can fit up to 6 Philips AVENT 11-ounce bottles at its full capacity. If you need to sterilize other items, do not worry, its adjustable rack allows you to clean different sizes of bottles (both wide and regular neck), accessories and equipment. Such adjustable size also means it takes up less counter space.
One downside is that this steam sterilizer requires 10 minutes to cool down after one use which means you cannot sterilize your next batch of items straight away. Another and most common ‘complaint’ about this sterilizer is that ‘rust’ will form at the base after several uses. This is a big misunderstanding as these ‘rust’ are generally milk residue that got caramelised at the base of the machine due to the intense temperature. This is addressed in the instruction manual provided which also directs the proper vinegar-water ratio for clean-up.
Also, the Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer does not dry bottle or other items so you will need to dry the contents on a drying rack after removing them from the sterilizer.
Parents love this sterilizer for how fuss-free and convenient it is to sterilize their bottles and other feeding equipment. If you are looking for the best electric steam steriliser, this is it. To get the best value, parents often buy the Philips AVENT Natural Newborn Baby Bottle Starter Set and the Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer combo together with this sterilizer and they will be good to go with the basic feeding and cleaning equipment.
The Dr Brown's Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer is another top rated electric steam steriliser that is loved by many. This is a newly improved design which does not have an open bottom area anymore so that water cannot flow in for deposits to build up. It can sterilize up to 6 bottles at one time and it fits all Dr Brown’s baby bottles as well as most other bottle brands. The new electronic controls have cycle indicators and will shut off automatically once sterilization is complete.
The new design eliminated the indented side which the old model had (to hold tongs and water cups). The removable tray allows you to position the bottles so that steam reaches each bottle directly thus ensuring a 100% sterilization. You can place other small items such as nipples, pacifiers, bottle caps, breast pump equipment etc. on the tray and place it over the bottles for simultaneous sterilization as shown in the pictures above.
Parents love this improved design and commented that the electronic control are much easier to use compare to the old model. They also love that it fits most baby bottle brands as it claims and that it comes with a pair of tongs which make fishing the sterilized contents out easier as well as a measuring cup that helps them gauge the exact amount of water required for each sterilization cycle.
Like the Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer, the Dr Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer does not dry the contents simultaneously so you would have to wipe them clean manually after removing them out. Or you can use of these drying racks to save you the trouble, or alternatively, choose a sterilizer that comes with a dryer option like this.
Similarly, parents who buy the Dr Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer also bought the Dr Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Warmer together to get the best value as well as the Dr Brown’s Bottle Brush which cleans baby bottles thoroughly, especially its own Dr Brown’s brand.
The biggest selling point of the Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer is definitely its capacity. It is not surprising that this is the best baby bottle steriliser for parents expecting twins or more!
Fitting up to 9 bottles at one go, it starts the cleaning cycle with just a push of one button and it automatically shuts off upon completion of sterilization which takes 6 minutes.
The adjustable tray keeps bottles uptight and in place and it fits different sizes and brands of baby bottles. It also means you can place other items such as nipples, pacifiers, small toys, breast pump equipment on it as you like to sterilize them. The heat resistant dome lid ensures you do not burn your hands while keeping hot steam trapped inside for thorough sterilization.
Parents love that it has heat-resistant tabs that close upwards to prevent accidental openings and that the one-way latch helps remind them to open the lid away from the body for safety purpose. Of course, one thing they cannot stop raving about is its large capacity that helps make their life easier and more convenient. Also, the heat-resistant tongs provided can clip onto the adjustable tray for convenient sterilization as well.
Nonetheless, its bigger capacity also means that the Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer is bigger in size compare to other steam sterilizers and will therefore take up more counter space. Also, it does not have dryer function as well so you will still need to dry them off these drying racks. Parents also notice that it takes up considerable time to dry the sterilizer once sterilization is complete so for those that do not have the time for this, it is best that you go for this that comes with dryer function.
This steam sterilizer is often purchased by parents who are expecting twins or more as they have comparatively more bottles and items to sterilize at one go. It is also frequently bought together with the First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer by those who want a better deal.
This is a newer, improved version of the Tommee Tippie Electric Steam Sterilizer. It comes in two colours – black and white and two versions – with handle and no handle, the latter being cheaper than the former. For convenience and safety purposes, we would recommend getting the one with handle.
This sterilizer takes only 5 minutes to sterilize its contents and is by far the fastest in the market, and despite only being able to hold 5 bottles at one time, its capacity is surprisingly large. You can fit other feeding equipment such as nipples, pacifiers, breast pump equipment and small toys to sterilise together at one go as well. It is easy to operate which requires just a push of a button to start sterilizing and you are good to go after 5 minutes.
It is also easy to maintain as the base is smooth and does not have holes for water to drain, meaning it is easy to clean the base and you do not have to worry about deposits or mineral residues from forming. You will be pleased to know that it also fits most bottle brands and sizes, apart from its own Tommee Tippie Closer to Nature bottles.
There is not much to fault this steam sterilizer, which is rated as one of the best steam steriliser, however, like most other brands, it does not have a dryer function. If this is not a problem for you, then the Tommee Tippie Closer to Nature Electric Steam Sterilizer is a great product that is worth getting.
The First Years Power of Steam Electric Steam Sterilizer is another top bottle sterilizer well loved by many. Bearing two separate adjustable layers of trays above the bottle racks, there is plenty of space for you to place smaller items such as nipples, pacifiers, equipment to sterilize alongside your baby bottles, which a maximum of 5 of any size and brand can fit.
Unlike most sterilizers that adopt a more rounded and shorter design, this electric steam sterilizer bears a tower-like design that stands tall amongst its other peers. And there is a reason behind its unique design – to direct steam deep into the bottles for thorough sterilization. This allows steam to be directed into each bottle individually so that you can be assured that nothing is left unsanitized with this sterilizer.
Another convenience that many parents love about the First Years Power is that the rack is totally removable to stand on its own as a drying rack. This means you do not need to buy a separate drying rack to air-dry sterilized items like those of the above require. It’s like having your very own inbuilt drying rack that is completely detachable from the machine itself!
B. Electric Steam Sterilizer with Dryer Function
If you are concerned that all your sterilizing effort will be put to waste if you simply air dry them on a drying rack, why not consider the following list of best baby bottle steriliser and dryer?
The new Plus version of the Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer now comes with dryer function. No longer will you need to air-dry your sterilized bottles and worry about it reversing the effect of sterilizing. Also, this means lesser cluttering on your countertop as there is no need for a separate drying rack anymore!
You can use both sterilizing and drying functions together, or independently. Like most of its counterparts, the Wabi Baby takes 8-15 minutes, depending on the capacity of its content, to complete one sterilizing cycle. If you wish to use the drying function, you can choose from 30, 45 to 60 minutes. If you choose to use both together, the maximum time required is just 1 hour. The improved design memorizes the last setting under drying and auto mode so that you can just press on one button for your next use. And oh, you can use it as a storage item too by keeping sterilized items for up to 12 hours if the lid remains closed. It will automatically run drying for 10 minutes every 3 hours for 3 times to ensure its contents are kept dry and sterilized.
The Wabi Baby plus version has also enlarge its basket so that it can now store more accessory items such as nipples, pacifiers, teething toys and even nebulizer etc. At its maximum capacity, you can fit up to 8 standard size bottles of any brand and the chamber style makes it easier for you to load all your items. What’s better, is that an extra plate rack is provided to provide you the versatility of sterilizing different sized items of your infant needs.
The exclusive design of its bottle rack ensures that hot steam goes straight into the bottles to perform optimum sterilizing results. Also, an air rotator is specially designed to increase air flow speed in the chamber to reduce drying time tremendously. In fact, it claims that as long as you place all your items properly without blocking the airflow, the Wabi Baby will dry everything you fit inside. Microbiologically tested and approved by independent lab, you do not have to worry about there being a burnt/chemical smell after each use as the Wabi Baby is made from FDA food grade approved material to ensure a toxic-free environment.
The downside of the Wabi Baby Electric Sterilizer is definitely its price but understandably so because you are getting a 3-in-1 sterilizing, drying and storage item. Also, you will have to allow an hour for sterilization AND drying to be completed, so make sure you time your usage well or else you will find yourself not having enough bottles for baby to use
Also, the Wabi Baby does not eliminate what other baby bottle sterilizer faces – mineral buildup maintenance. You will need to clean the sterilizer regularly according to the instruction given to clear buildups but this is now made easy with a One Button Descaling, meaning you just have to press the descaling button to start the process. This works best with the Wabi Baby Fast-Action Descaling Powder, which most parents buy also when they purchase the Wabi Baby Plus Version.
If you have a few extra bucks to spend, and are concern about air-drying reversing the effect of sterilization, the Wabi Baby is definitely your best bottle sterilizer and dryer.
Similar to the Wabi Baby, Baby Brezza has also come out with their own sterilizer with dryer function. It also has an 8-minute sterilizing cycle with 30, 45 or 60 minutes of drying options for you to choose from. Likewise, you can choose to sterilize only, dry only or both sterilize and dry options by using the easy-to-control panel.
The Baby Brezza Sterilizer Dryer can hold up to 6 baby bottles of any brand in its maximum capacity plus other smaller accessories. It is better than the Wabi Baby in the sense that it keeps its contents sterilized longer – 24 hours – if the lid remains closed, however, the reason we rate it second to the Wabi Baby is primarily its lesser capacity and flexibility.
The basket-like holder of the Wabi Baby allows you to chuck random smaller accessories onto it without worrying the lid will not close, however, with the Baby Brezza, because of the way it is designed, you will have to carefully stack up your items into the sterilizer or else you will not be able to close the lid. Unless you are sterilizing bottles and nipples only, which the Baby Brezza’s rack is wonderfully designed for, you may not be able to fit other accessories like small toys, breast pump equipment and the like which the Wabi Baby has no trouble fitting at all. Also, if there is something hanging over the edge of the unit, you may find it difficult to close the lid.
If you are looking for a sterilizer with dryer that is purely for bottles and nipples, then you will love the Baby Brezza Sterilizer Dryer. It lasts well unlike some which stop working after just a few months’ use, and the longer preservation of its sterilized content is definitely a plus point too. No doubt that this is slightly pricier but it is still affordable. In fact, it is considered as a reasonably priced item amongst sterilizers that are equip with drying function.
The black sheep of the bunch, the UviCube is the first baby-focused sanitizing device in the US that utilizes ultraviolet (UV) light to sanitize its contents. This means that it features a highly reflective inner chamber that maximizes the reach of UV light to kill bacteria on exposed surface of the contents inside.
UviCube is found to eliminate 99% of harmful bacteria and this is nationally recognized and verified by independent third party authorities. Aside from sterilizing, it also dries and stores sterilized items until you need them. As long as items are kept inside the UviCube, they will remain sterilized without any time limitation. All you need to do is place anything that you wish to sterilize into the UviCube, and yes, that includes any of your adult items such as moisture or heat-sensitive items like electronics, press a button and let the UviCube works its magic.
No longer is there the need to do any prior setup, such as filling the item with water like all the sterilisers reviewed above require for sterilizing purposes. Because it does not use high temperature steam, you do not have to worry about risk burns or having to do any set up prior or clean up after.
The UviCube is generally bulkier than most sterilizers, however, it is still rather small and will sit well on any kitchen countertop without taking up much space. Price is perhaps its only downside as the UviCube is the most expensive out of all but if you consider all the uses you can take out of it, and the fact that it is not rendered useless once baby grows out of bottles and pacifiers, the UviCube Uv Sterilizer, Sanitizer and Dryer is definitely a worthy investment for those who like to keep things clean and hygienic.
3. Other alternatives
A. Microwave Sterilizers
An alternative to the traditional sterilizers reviewed above is the microwave sterilizers. Not only are they much compact and lightweight, they are very affordable too and this is perfect for parents who travel a lot, or for those that simply do not have enough counter space to place a traditional bottle sterilizer. In fact, given its affordable price point, most parents bought it in addition to their traditional sterilizers for days when they travel.
How it works
Similar to how you heat up your food in the microwave, microwave sterilizers come in a tray-like container with enclosable lid. All you need to do is fill it with equipment you wish to sterilize, add water and chuck it into the microwave. It uses the power of your microwave to create natural steam and operates at a higher temperature than dishwashers thus killing 99.9% of harmful bacteria.
Among all the microwave sterilizers available in the market, these particular three are the best microwave sterilizers in our opinion:
The Philips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer is compact and lightweight and it can fit up to 4 (9 ounce) or 2 (11 ounce) of its Avent Natural or Classic bottles. Don’t worry, it can fit other bottle brands also as well as pacifier, nipples, breast pump accessories and the likes.
After fitting all that you need to sterilise and filling up the required water level, all you have to do is just close the lid and pop it into the microwave. In just 2 minutes, this steam sterilizer will complete its job and if left unopened, the content inside will remain sterilized for up to 24 hours.
Other amazing features include the stay-cool safety grip, 1 year warranty and it also comes with 1 steam tray and 1 set of tongs. Extras like these are always a plus point.
The downside of this microwave sterilizer is that some parents observed that it does not hold other bottle brand as well as it does with its own Natural or Classic bottles. Apart from this, users are generally happy with this product and many commended its very detailed and helpful manual that makes things easier.
Don’t be fooled by its size, the Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer can hold up to 4 bottles and 2 breast pump shields at one go. This includes both regular and wide-mouth bottles and most baby bottles from different brands like Avent, Dr Brown’s etc. fit well into it. This compact sterilizer can also fit pacifiers, teethers, nipples, small toys and other breast pump accessories and all it takes is just 2 minutes to fully sterilize all that it contains.
Your safety is well taken care of too by its heat-resistant handles and the open-away latch prevents steam burns. It also comes with heat-resistant tongs, which is always a plus point, and fits well into all standard microwaves. Weighing at just 1.3 pounds, the Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer is free from BPA, latex, phthalate, PVC and nitrosamine.
Most parents love how convenient and easy-to-use it is and is amazed at how much it can fit. For some, its versatility to fit not just baby bottles but other items like breast pump equipment, pacifier and the like make it an even more attractive option compare to the traditional sterilizers.
There are some who find issues that the lid and handles do not stay on very well and that the handle may come off when removing this sterilizer from the microwave, so make sure you do not overload it and be careful when pulling it out from the microwave.
For the price you are paying for the Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer, there really isn’t much to fault this item. If you do not wish to spend $50 or more on a sterilizer, this is definitely the best microwave bottle sterilizer to go.
This microwave steam sterilizer is similar to the previous two, except that the Dr Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer is made in USA. Its sterilizing tray holds up to 4 bottles (both standard and wide-mouth) and this tray is removable for easy cleaning. It also comes with a pair of tongs for you to remove the bottles once they are sterilized.
This microwave steam sterilizer is loved by so many parents, it does not have much, if any, complaints about it. The only thing that some may find inconvenience is that this sterilizer is slightly shorter so you will have to angle taller bottles in order to fit it inside. If you’re using the Dr Brown’s bottles, this will not be a problem for you at all.
If you want something even more convenient than the microwave steam sterilizer, you can consider the microwave sterilizing bags.
How it works
Fill the bag with small feeding items and water, pop it into the microwave and start on with the steam clean. Most bags are reusable (some as many as ten times!) so this is definitely a favourite alternative for many.
Many brands have come out with their own microwave sterilizing bags and they all function in the same way so we won’t review them one by one. Bag size, quantity and price are the main factors to consider when buying your microwave sterilizing bags. Here is a list of the sterilizing bags available in the market for you to choose from:
Do note that these microwave sterilizing bags mainly used during travels and generally do not replace traditional sterilizers because it wouldn’t be economical to use them in a long term.