Anyone who’s used bottles knows how important proper sterilization is. And if you have or are using bottles for your baby you know how much time and effort it takes to ensure there’s always a hygienic, sterilized bottle ready. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve let the unsterilized bottles pile up then needed to quickly make sure we had enough. Finding the right baby bottle sterilizer makes everything that much quicker and easier.
If you’re travelling then sterilizing bottles is even more difficult; we found it hard enough to keep the amount of baby equipment down as it was.
In this guide we’ll look at the different options for bottle sterilizers and help you select the best baby bottle sterilizer that will meet your needs – travelling or otherwise – and keep your baby safe.
To help you find the best baby sterilizer for your needs, we’ve found the the best options and put them in in easy to use comparison chart. You can sort the chart: just click on any of the headings.
|Sterilizer name||Image||Type||Weight||Capacity||Price||Our Rating (/5)|
|Dr. Brown's Microwave Steam Sterilizer||Microwave||1lb||4 bottles||$||4.5|
|Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer||Electric||1lb||9 bottles||$$||4.0|
|[easyazon_image align="none" height="64" identifier="B004J4VY44" locale="US" src="https://www.wheressharon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41vuS3hAENL.SL75.jpg" tag="wheresharon-20" width="75"]||Microwave||1.5lb||4 bottles||$||4.0|
|Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Sterilizer||Electric||4lb||6 bottles||$$||4.5|
|Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer||Electric||2lb||6 bottles||$$||4.0|
|Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus Version||Electric||5.8lb||8 bottles||$$$||4.5|
|Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer||Microwave||2lb||4 bottles||$$||4.5|
|Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer||Microwave||1.3lb||4 bottles||$||4.0|
|Dr Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer||[easyazon_image align="none" height="75" identifier="B001D475FU" locale="US" src="https://www.wheressharon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41I8v3OfdL.SL75.jpg" tag="wheresharon-20" width="75"]||Microwave||1.4lb||4 bottles||$||4.5|
|Dr. Brown's Electric Steam Sterilizer||Electric||2.4lb||6 bottles||$$||4.0|
|Lil' Jumbl Baby Sterilizer||[easyazon_image align="none" height="75" identifier="B016LE7JJI" locale="US" src="https://www.wheressharon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41E1CcWtLqL.SL75.jpg" tag="wheresharon-20" width="75"]||UV light||1.6oz||1 nipple/pacifier||$||3.5|
|Binky Fresh UV Pacifier and Baby Bottle Sanitizer||[easyazon_image align="none" height="75" identifier="B00NQ9FF3Y" locale="US" src="https://www.wheressharon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41iFm9CNHLL.SL75.jpg" tag="wheresharon-20" width="75"]||UV light||6.4oz||2 nipples/pacifier||$||3.5|
|HyGenie Portable Bottle Sanitizer||UV light||0.5lb||1 bottle||$$||3.5|
There’s several types of bottle sterilizers in our best baby bottle sterilizer 2018 list, but the most common and popular are the bottle steam sterilizer.
There’s two types of steam powered sterilizers: electric sterilizers and ones that go in your microwave. Microwave steam sterilizers generally have you place bottles in a microwave proof bowl designed for steaming. Electric sterilizers are powered from your home’s electricity (like from a socket). These tend to be big enough to sterilize all parts of the bottle in one go, which I strongly prefer.
Another option are battery powered UV bottle sterilizers. UV sterilizers use ultraviolet light to kill germs. They use small but powerful UV light-bulbs. They are usually much smaller but only take one bottle at at time (or just the nipple). This makes them best when traveling but also convenient, as they are often lightweight and compact, with a couple of standout ones in our list of best bottle sterilizer 2018.
An electric steam sterilizer uses (hot) steam to kill germs and bacteria from bottles. There’s a wide array of options, so it’s easy to find ones that suit your budget. There are sterilizers that not only sterilize bottles but dry and even deodorize, too! Often all you need to do is put the bottles in, press a button and grab the bottles later.
Many electric bottle sterilizers are able to hold and steam more than one bottle at a time. This is something to keep in mind if you go through a lot of bottles (like we did!). They come in differing shapes and sizes so there is definitely one that can suit your needs.
Like with electric sterilizers, microwave bottle sterilizers use high heat steam to kill bacteria and germs. To use a microwave sterilizer you put your bottles in a container, add water and then put it in the microwave for the required time (which depends on the wattage of your microwave).
Sadly, there’s no drying and deodorizing but there are other advantages to selecting a a microwave bottle sterilizer.
They are low cost and can be stashed away when not in use. Thus, they are a simple and effective option for sterilizing. Microwave sterilizers were our choice when S and Z needed sterilized bottles.
A newer but (in my opinion) soon to be popular addition to the sterilizing of baby bottles is the UV bottle sterilizer. Especially during travelling. Unlike the other two options these sterilizers use ultraviolet light, not steam, to kill of any germs and bacteria.
By far the most portable bottle sterilizer, UV sterilizers are small and lightweight. Because they are so small they will often require you to dismantle the bottle and sterilize each part independently, and some also only sterilize the nipple of the bottle (which is not ideal but much better than nothing).
However, they are still a great option for travelling with a baby bottle sterilizer. With no need for mains power (either directly or with a microwave) these sterilizers are good not just for travelling but being out of the house in general. These would have been great when I took S and Z to the football with me (where we’d be away from the house for hours).
Of course you don’t. Many parents choose to wash bottles the traditional way – in a bucket with hot soapy water. Although most of the time this is safe, there are several reasons why a sterilizer is advantageous.
For starters, washing in soapy water requires a special type of detergent that is both effective but not harmful to your baby. Even so, you will be required to wash the bottles thoroughly wasting water as you go. The advantage of a sterilizer is that they use little to no water. You also save yourself the worry of having soap suds left on the bottles.
Another thing to consider is the volume of bottles there are to be washed. For most parents, this is not just one of two but a whole lot more. It can be time consuming to wash each individual one rather than hide them away in the sterilizer and have the job done for you!
This AVENT sterilizer electric option is suitable for up to 6 classic bottles, but both wide and narrow necked bottles can be used too. Sterilizing bottles takes only 5 minutes so the AVENT electric bottle sterilizer is as fast as you would expect from a quality sterilizer. In addition to this there is also an auto shut off feature so that you can program it and forget about it.
This system is fantastic in that it can be separated or used whole. There is a removable compartment at top for nipples, pacifiers, cutlery etc., and also a separate removable compartment below where the bottles themselves are placed.
This means that each part of the AVENT electric sterilizer can be used independent of each other, so that you do not have to have the bottle sterilizer running to sterilize other things (nipples and dummies). This clever design is essentially what makes the system 3 in 1, as you can use it in differing configurations to suit what you need. You can see the Philips AVENT bottle sterilizer action below:
The design is thin and so should not take up too much bench space. With its great price and speedy sterilization, it is a great sterilizing option.
You can use it like a traditional sterilizer – when you need it – or keep your bottles in the chamber where you can launch continuous cleaning and drying over 12 hours. The idea being you take a bottle out when you need it, all ready for action. And when you’re done just rinse it and put it back in.
Sterilization is done with hot steam, with the design ensuring the steam goes directly into the bottles as well as filling the chamber. Drying takes place with hot air. The whole sterilize and dry cycle takes less than an hour, of which drying is about 10 minutes.
The sterilizing and drying chamber is designed to be flexible in use. Although optimized for bottles you can use the large chamber with or without any of the included racks to clean children’s plates and cutlery or cups or even (as suggested) home medical equipment…if you have any.
Operation couldn’t get any simpler. Just turn it on, fill with the required amount of water and press the button for the operation you want. One button press is all you need:
Cleaning is similarly simple. While you need to add a cleaning agent like citric acid or vinegar, once you’ve poured that in (with water if needed) you press the cleaning button and empty when done.
The drawback of the Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus Version is its size. Although light, the chamber is large making it hard to store. The Wabi takes up more counter-top space than alternatives, too. And if you’re using it to store bottles you can’t put it away between uses. For the convenience and functionality, you might not be worried.
If you have more than one child then you need a sterilizer which holds more bottles, and this particular product holds up to 9 bottles at any one time, which is more than enough! This is an electric steam type of sterilizer, which is extremely easy to use, with a simple on/off button, and an automatic shut off to turn the machine off when sterilization is complete.
There are also many safety features included, such as heat resistant clips to stop the machine opening before the process is complete, and heat resistant tongs to help you remove the bottles, without burning yourself.
The tray inside the sterilizer is adjustable, so you can use various different sizes of bottle, and this works to keep them upright throughout sterilization. The lid is also domed, which provides a trap for hot steam to stay inside the machine, thoroughly killing 99.9% of bacteria types found in the home.
Dr. Brown’s Electric Steam Sterilizer has a large capacity. With room for six large bottles plus other accessories, Dr. Brown’s sterilizer does the job in 12 minutes at the simple press of a button. Although slower than other choices, it’s capacity more than makes up for this. You can safely and thoroughly sterilize not just the six bottles but pacifiers, spoons and breast pump parts with ease.
Although designed for Dr. Brown’s bottles it works well with bottles of all sorts. It’s design allows many different things to be sterilized properly. It does not dry the bottles once sterilized but you can remove the lid for quick air drying.
Like all electric bottle sterilizers, this unit is not as small as alternatives and can take up a large bench space. This is fine if you’re happy to use it to store bottles whilst not in use, it can be annoying if you’ve not much counter space in your kitchen. Another drawback is that distilled or pure water is strongly recommended to prevent mineral build-up on the heating element. Otherwise, a regular (perhaps weekly) wash cycle using 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water is needed.
This big named brand gives you peace of mind that you are effectively ridding your baby’s bottles of common household bacteria which can cause illness.
This particular plastic sterilizer is a microwave steam type, and holds up to four bottles at any one time. There is an internal sterilizing tray which keeps bottles in place, and it is easily removed for cleaning. There is also a pair of plastic tongs included which are heat resistant, to help you remove bottles after they have been sterilized.
Bottles which are both standard and wide neck are able to be used in this product, which is also dishwasher safe and uses tap water, for ease of use. This is also a standard priced product, so you are getting a cost effective purchase, which will more than cater for your needs, with four bottle capacity being more than enough for families with one child.Click here to read more about Dr Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer.
The sterilizer itself does a great job of sterilizing bottles are they are generally sterilized within 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave.
The real advantage of this sterilizer is that it could not be easier to use. Water is simply filled to the specified amount and placed in the AVENT microwave steam sterilizer for a time depending on your microwave’s power (in watts).
This AVENT sterilizer also includes an interior plate suitable for placing breast pumps and pacifiers. You can check this sterilizer out in the video below:
This sterilizer has been designed for the AVENT bottles, either four 9-ounce or two 11-ounce bottles, but most types should fit fine.
At around only 2 pounds the AVENT steam sterilizer is lightweight and could be an option for travel provided you know that there is a microwave where you’re going (it is probably best suited if staying with family/friends). We used this sterilizer a lot and were very happy.
This sterilizer works much the same as other microwave ones, by filling it with around 7 oz of water and allowing the sterilizer to steam for the specified amount of time for the watts of your microwave.
An advantage of this sterilizer is that is includes heat resistant handles and tongs so you eliminate the worry of burning yourself when collecting the sterilizer from the microwave. The system also includes a brush for more thorough cleaning.
The sterilizer fits up to 4 bottles and 2 breast pumps, and pacifiers and utensils are also fine to sterilize. The sterilizer allows room for any bottle size and shape, so it works well as a popular Dr Brown sterilizer.
This sterilizer is cheap option that does a great job at whats important, sterilizing.
The sanitizing process takes up to about 6 minutes, and starts by holding down the ‘start’ button which powers up the UV system. The con of this system is that is small and therefore only has the ability to sterilize either a nipple or pacifier and anything else than can fit within it. This is fine when traveling as these things take priority anyway but it is not suitable for bigger cleans/sterilizing of bottles. You can see this bottle sterilizer in the video below.
As a physically small device and weighing around only 3 ounces it is perfect for travel and takes up near to no room. The system uses 2 AAA batteries and can be used anywhere.
This is a sterilizer that offers great convenience and is a great one for travel.
If you have many small baby feeding or pacifying accessories then you need to know that they are also being satisfactorily sterilized.
This particular product is small enough to take with you if you head off for the weekend, and it is a very lightweight option too, at just 6.4oz. This particular product is a UV sterilizer, which is great for the environment, and is proven to kill most types of bacteria that exist in the home. You can easily fit in two pacifiers or nipples at any one time, but the sterilizer is also big enough to accommodate some types of teething toys and sippy cups too.
This is a great option to go for if you are heading off on vacation or to take with you to grandmas for the weekend. Easily portable and very effective, the product is round in design, which helps to kill bacteria from each side.
The HyGenie Portable bottle sanitizer is yet another bottle sterilizer that uses safe and tested UV technology to sanitize, also using concentrated ozone which is greatly effective for killing germs.
The advantage that this model has over many other UV light sanitizers is that it does have space to sanitize the whole bottle. This is unseen in many other UV light sanitizers and is hard to come across, so it scores massive points from this alone.
The sterilization process takes approximately 7 minutes so it should not dent too much time into your day, and a quick option is important when traveling.
This one really is small too, at about 6 x 3 inches it should fit well into your bag and at a weight of only 8 ounces it weighs about as much as a full bottle. You can see this bottle sterilizer in the video below.
The disadvantage of this model is that because it is so small each individual part of an average sized bottle will probably need to be sterilized separately. This is annoying but hey, a portable UV sterilizer that can actually sterilize a whole bottle whilst traveling is good enough for us.
What is your best tip for sterilizing bottles?
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