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Best Bottle Sterilizers

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 104 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Researched
  • 2 Experts Interviewed
  • 257 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best bottle sterilizers

    Last Updated September 2018

    Keeping your baby’s bottles sanitary is no easy task. As soon as you’ve cleaned something, it gets dropped or thrown on the floor, and the cleaning process starts all over again. But today, there are modern conveniences, like bottle sterilizers, that make the cleaning process faster and easier, whether you’re at home or traveling.

    Like most baby products there are a lot of options on the market. Sifting through all of them takes time that most parents just don’t have. That’s where we come in.

    Here at BestReviews, we work hard to bring you the honest, unbiased reviews you need to make informed purchasing decisions. We find experts, ask them your questions, and test products, so that we have the inside scoop on what works and what doesn’t. We don’t accept free manufacturer samples, so you can be sure that we’re testing the same products you use.

    Our shopping guide can help you get an idea of what options are available, as well as what features might work best for your circumstances. Don’t forget to take a look at our top five bottle sterilizer picks for the products we think will give you the best value for your hard-earned dollar.

    A bottle-fed baby can easily go through 8 to 12 bottles each day. That’s a lot of bottles to clean. A large bottle sterilizer can help you keep on top of those bottles, without having to wash them all by hand.

    Types of bottle sterilizers

    Combination bottle sterilizer and warmer

    This is really an electric bottle sterilizer subset that has an additional bottle warming setting.

    You can cut down on the number of gadgets in your kitchen with a combination bottle sterilizer/warmer.

    Some combination models can also be used for steaming and pureeing baby food.

    CAUTION

    Sterilizers that are part of a food processor combo often take longer to sterilize, because sterilization isn’t their main function.

    Microwave bottle sterilizer

    Microwave sterilizers use steam, but rather than using a heating element, the microwave heats the water.

    The time it takes to sterilize will depend on the power level of your microwave.

    These models are smaller and less expensive than electric sterilizers, but they don’t have any drying or deodorizing options.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Microwave bottle sterilizers can save space, and don’t need to be plugged in for use.

    UV (portable) bottle sterilizer

    If you need to sterilize on the go, a UV bottle sterilizer makes an excellent addition to your baby arsenal.

    UV bottle sterilizers use ultraviolet light to kill germs and bacteria.

    These models are compact, lightweight, and don’t require an external power source.

    Most models are small enough that you can only sterilize small parts of the bottle at once, which means you’ll have to do the bottle first, then the nipple. It takes longer, but if you’re out and about, it can still save time, and make bottle prep easier.

    Portable bottle sterilizers are handy for cleaning the occasional pacifier that falls on the ground.

    Electric bottle sterilizers

    Electric sterilizers use a heating element to warm a water chamber, which in turn creates steam that surrounds the bottles. The steam gets hot enough to kill germs and bacteria.

    There’s quite a bit of variation with these sterilizers. Some can hold multiple bottles, while others can dry, and some can deodorize.

    Most can get the job done in less than ten minutes. While these might be the most expensive option, they are one of the most convenient, especially if you exclusively bottle feed your baby.

    EXPERT TIP

    Take the time to consider how you will use the sterilizer most often. If it's when you’re out and about, a portable model makes sense. If it’s for cleaning a full day’s worth of bottles, a large, electric model will probably work best.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Features to consider

    Portability

    When choosing a bottle sterilizer, you have to find a balance between portability and capacity.

    If you want something portable, you are going to get less capacity. You’ll have to decide which is more important to you and when you are most likely to use the sterilizer.

    Some parents choose to only have a portable sterilizer, simply because at home they wash bottles by hand. Others have a multi-bottle sterilizer at home and a portable model for travel.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    You do need to periodically clean your bottle sterilizer. Be sure to unplug it before you begin.

    Capacity

    Here’s where you take a close look at how many bottles you’re using every day. If it’s a lot, you’re likely to want a sterilizer that can clean several bottles at once. If you’re breastfeeding and want to supplement with an occasional bottle, a single bottle sterilizer will probably be fine, and save on space.

    Counter and storage space

    Take into account how much counter and storage space you have. You should also check the height of the sterilizer to be sure it can fit in your cupboards. If space is at a premium, a compact microwave, single bottle model might be your best choice.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Sterilizers that also warm the bottles for feeding can be used in a bedroom for nighttime feedings. You can wake up to an already sterilized bottle that’s ready to fill.

    Drying feature

    Drying is a convenient option, but not absolutely necessary. Drying a few bottles by hand isn’t a big deal unless you’re crunched for time. If you want one less step in preparing bottles, a drying feature might be right for you.

    Ease of operation

    Easy to follow instructions and control panel are essential for baby products. Parents, especially parents of newborns, are often sleep deprived. Gadgets should be easy to operate. Luckily, most bottle sterilizers are pretty simple. You put in the bottle, press a button, and walk away. Models that dry and deodorize have more complicated settings.

    CAUTION

    Steam sterilizers have holes in the lid to let steam vent. Please read and follow user instructions to be safe; be sure you or a family member don’t take the lid off before the sterilization cycle is complete.

    Bottle sterilizer prices

    Inexpensive

    For under $25 you can find many microwave sterilizers that hold multiple bottles. They don’t have a drying feature, but are affordable, and do a good job.

    EXPERT TIP

    Your baby bottles should be BPA free so they don’t release harmful chemicals when they are heated during the sterilization process.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Mid-range

    In the $25 to $50 range are many good electric sterilizers, and warmer/sterilizer combinations that can hold multiple bottles. There also many portable sterilizers at this price point.

    Expensive

    For over $50 you’ll find large electric sterilizers that hold multiple bottles, dry, and deodorize.

    You can use a bottle sterilizer to clean nipples, lids, pacifiers, and breast pump parts. Be sure to check the manual of each item being sterilized to be sure components won’t be damaged.

    FAQ

    Q. Do bottle sterilizers fit all bottles?

    A. Some sterilizers are designed for a specific brand or type of bottle, usually when they are part of a feeding system. Carefully check what kind of bottles the sterilizer fits before purchasing. One that is intended for universal use works best, because you never know what type of bottle your baby may prefer, or when he may change his mind about which bottle is his favorite.

    Q. Can sterilizers be used on the dry setting only? Can they be run only for sterilization?

    A. Most sterilizers with a drying feature can run on the dry setting separately from the sterilization setting. That lets you dry items after hand washing or running them through the dishwasher. Many models will allow you to run bottles through the sterilization process without drying. If you’re looking to save time or power, skip the dry setting.

    Q. Can I sterilize a breast pump as well?

    A. You’ll need to consult the instruction manual to know for your particular model, but many bottle sterilizers that are part of a feeding system are meant to sterilize coordinating breast pump components. Keep in mind that you most likely cannot sterilize all parts of the breast pump. Some won’t fit, and some may be made of materials that could be damaged by the heat of the steam.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Heather
      Heather
      Chief Content Officer
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer

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