The 5 Best Baby Bottle Sterilizers In 2017 (Reviews & Buying Guide)
Last Updated October 30, 2017
There’s nothing worse than seeing your baby sick. Parents often beat themselves up by thinking about what more they could have done to prevent the illness. I know I do every time my child gets sick. It’s heartbreaking.
You won’t be able to protect your baby from everything, but you can take steps to make sure they aren’t drinking germs along with their milk. Having one of the best baby bottle sterilizers will cut down on some of your worry as a new parent.
Quick Comparison - Our Top 5 Baby Bottle Sterilizers
*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com or you can read our in-depth baby bottle sterilizer reviews below.
Do I Need To Sterilize My Baby’s Bottles?
Sterilizing bottles isn’t a necessity, but it’s a step many mothers still like to take. It’s easy, and it cuts back on the number of germs your baby is introduced to, and that’s always a good thing in my book. I know I can’t wrap my children in bubble wrap and keep them safe from everything, but if sterilizing bottles even prevents one illness, I think it is time well spent.
A baby’s immune system is fragile for the first year. When you’re a new parent, it feels like germs are everywhere and there’s nothing you can do to cut back on the exposure to some of those germs -- people love to touch and hold your baby. You don’t relish the idea of being labeled as the paranoid freaky mom who won’t let people around her baby, so you try to ignore your inner voice that is cautioning you about all those germs.
If you can’t stop all the germs caused by the touchy-feely types who are around your child, at least you can make sure her bottles aren’t making her sick.
When Can You Stop Sterilizing Bottles?
There’s no point in sterilizing bottles once a baby becomes mobile or begins to grab at everything she sees (source).
When your child is old enough to make the connection that she can grab things and put them in her mouth, she’s going to be introduced to more germs than will possibly accumulate in her bottles.
After you stop sterilizing, though, you should be certain that you’re doing a top-notch job of cleaning the bottles and nipples. And if your baby has an illness (source), you should sterilize her bottles until she is healthy again. You don’t want to reintroduce any germs to her recovering immune system.
The Different Ways You Can Sterlize a Bottle
There are several recommended ways to sterilize bottles and nipples.
The way many of our moms sterilized our bottles was to boil them in water on the stove in a pan. This is still the cheapest way to do it, but I’ve always avoided that method. I used plastic bottles, and I didn’t like the idea of boiling them because I wasn’t confident that harmful chemicals wouldn’t leach out as a result of the boiling water. Times have changed since we were babies, and there’s a simpler way to do it now.
You can use microwavable bottle sterilizers or electric steam sterilizers. They both use to steam to sterilize the bottle.
UV bottle sterilizers are one of the newest methods for sterilization. These units use ultraviolet light to kill germs. If you go this route, be prepared to pay dearly – these units can cost several times more than what you’ll pay for an electric or microwave sterilizer. The cost puts them out of reach for many people who aren’t prepared to skip a car payment just to be able to afford a bottle sterilizer.
What Should I Look For In A Baby Bottle Sterilizer?
- Ease of use:
Electric baby bottle sterilizers should be simple to operate – if you find yourself scratching your head over the instructions or there’s so many buttons that you’re sure you’ll never figure out the unit you’re looking at, you should move on in your search. There’s too many great choices out there to settle for something that’s less than ideal for you.
- The size:
You want the unit you buy to be large enough to suit your needs. Mothers who are breastfeeding and only use bottles if they are away from their baby will be able to get by with a small unit that just handles a couple of bottles.
- How many bottles can it sterilize at once:
Women who opt to feed their babies formula will sterilize bottles frequently throughout the course of the day if they buy a small unit. So they will want to look for a bigger sterilizer that can handle a larger number of bottles to cut down on their daily work.
- The cost:
If your cash flow is smaller now that you’ve become a parent, the cost will be an important consideration. Microwave sterilizers are usually cheaper than the other types on the market.
- Does it dry:
Microwave sterilizers work quickly, but the bottles are left wet, and they’ll have to be dried after they are taken out of the microwave. That adds an extra step to your workload.
- Space in your kitchen:
Some moms might like that microwave sterilizers won’t require any space on their kitchen counters. They can be stored in a cabinet until you need them and they don’t need an outlet to work. If you opt for an electric sterilizer, you’ll have to make some room on your counter for it.
Baby Bottle Sterilizer Reviews
Now that you know the different ways to use a sterilizer and exactly what to look for --
Here are our top 5 bottle sterilizers in 2017:
Best Baby Bottle Sterilizer On a Budget
A good baby bottle sterilizer must fit all your needs, and you must feel as if it was well worth the money you spent on it. It needs to do the job quickly, thoroughly and safely. Here is one that fits that bill and earns my pick as the best one overall.
This plastic product is BPA free, inexpensive and effective. In under two minutes, it can kill 99.9 percent of the bacteria that can hurt your baby. It can hold bottles, breast pump parts, and feeding accessories. It fits in most microwaves, and if you keep the lid closed until you need items out of the sterilizer, it keeps everything sterilized for 24 hours.
Moms may appreciate that this unit is easy to pack for weekend getaways, and it won’t take up much storage space at your house. It doesn’t involve any complicated instructions – anyone can figure out how to use it.
- Cheaper than other options on the market.
- Can sterilize up to four bottles at a time.
- The bottles will be wet when you remove them.
- You can burn yourself if you don’t open it carefully.
Best Microwave Bottle Sterilizer
Sterilizing your baby’s bottles in the microwave is a quick and easy process. You add water to the sterilizer, pop it in the microwave and minutes later, it’s done. Microwave sterilizers offer a cheap method of sterilization. If you’re looking for a microwave sterilizer that offers great value for its price tag, this is our pick.
This is one of the cheapest microwave sterilizers available.
Moms who have heard horror stories about their friends being burned by microwave sterilizers may appreciate that this unit has an open-away latch to help prevent burns from the steam. The heat-resistant handles may make moms feel safer taking this sterilizer out of the microwave.
Moms who want a multi-purpose steamer should like that this unit can also be used on pacifiers, teething rings and small toys. It fits all standard-sized microwaves and comes with tongs to help ensure the safe removal of the hot bottles.
- Fits up to four bottles and two breast pump shields at the same time.
- Works for both wide-mouth and standard size bottles.
- The bottles don’t stand up well in the sanitizer – they tend to fall.
- If you don’t seal the unit well enough, it leaks water in your microwave.
Best Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Combo
If the idea of having to dry sterilized bottles bothers you, you may want to consider buying a unit that does the drying for you. Although they are typically more expensive than microwave sterilizers, the units will save you time in the long run. Here’s our pick for the top sterilizer and dryer combo.
You’ll pay dearly to have dry bottles with this unit, which costs more than other sterilizers in this list. The Wabi sterilizer takes 8 to 15 minutes just to sterilize its contents, and it has a smart sensor that shuts the unit off automatically when it’s done sterilizing. It also has a countdown timer so you can track how much longer it will take.
It’s easy to operate – all you do is add the water, put the bottles in and press a button. Moms who go through a lot of bottles may appreciate the big load it can accommodate – it can hold eight standard-sized bottles.
- The bottles will be completely dry when finished with the drying cycle.
- Less chance of being burned with this unit because of the long drying cycle.
- Costs roughly six times more than microwave sterilizers.
- You’ll need to have spare bottles ready to use since these will take a long time to sterilize and dry.
Best Electric Sterilizer For Baby Bottles
Not everyone likes to use microwaves. Women who would rather use an electric sterilizer may want to keep an eye on the cost of the unit since they tend to be more expensive than microwave sterilizers. Figuring out how many bottles you’ll want to sanitize every day will also help you figure out which model would best suit your needs.
This unit may be the perfect choice for someone who wants to sterilize a lot of bottles at once. It can hold an entire day’s worth of bottles at one time. In just five minutes, all the sterilizing you’ll need for any given day will be done.
This sterilizer also will kill 99.9 percent of the germs that can harm your baby. Because it has a space-saving design, moms with limited counter space may like that it doesn’t seem too big for how many bottles it holds. The lid can be flipped over to serve as a germ-free place to prepare bottles.
- Easy to clean and store.
- Cools down rapidly so you can get the bottles right away if you need them.
- BPA free.
- Can get a strong plastic smell when heating up.
- Needs to be frequently descaled.
Best Baby Bottle Steam Sterilizer
Steam sterilizers have flooded the baby merchandise market in recent years with good reason – they are quick, easy to use, safe to operate and they do what they advertise. They harness the cleansing power of steam to make your baby’s bottles safer for her. If you are looking for a steam sterilizer, here’s a great option.
This steam sterilizer offers versatility – it can be used for bottles, pacifiers, and small toys. It was designed to allow steam to reach deep into the bottle, which creates better sterilization.
Moms may appreciate this unit has a built-in drying rack. The trays can be taken out of the sterilizer and placed on the counter to allow the bottles to air dry. This sterilizer is BPA and PVC free, which may be reassuring to parents who are worried about exposing their baby to harmful chemicals.
- Can accommodate a wide variety of bottle brands.
- Fits up to six bottles.
- Leaves a fair amount of water on the counter after it is opened.
- Residue builds up on the bottom of the unit and is hard to remove.
Our Favorite Bottle Sterlizer
The Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer is the best sterilizer for the money. It is effective at eliminating germs, and it does it in two minutes. This unit won’t need to be descaled like electric sterilizers do, and it doesn’t take up precious counter space which is important because, when you’re a parent, your baby’s gadgets seem to take up more room than your own do.
No electrical component of this machine will malfunction or break down, so you’ll always feel like you got your money’s worth with this unit. It’s a cinch to pack up and take with you on trips, unlike electric sterilizers which take up more room and have a lot of parts to keep track of. This unit will help you move full steam ahead in your quest to protect your baby.