When it comes to every last possible thing your baby could possibly put in their mouth during their very first year in life, sterilization is a must.
Whether it’s their toys we’re talking about, their pacifiers or the bottles they drink and feed from, all of these items need to be sanitized for the sake of baby’s health and well being.
After all, I think we all agree that there’s very few things out there that are worse than sitting there helplessly while seeing our tiny babies fall ill.
And when your baby does become sick, you’re going to feel much worse if you know for a fact that you didn’t do everything you could have done to prevent this from happening.
While there’s no 100% guarantee that you can prevent your baby from ever getting sick, no matter what it is you do, there are many ways you can greatly minimize the chances of that happening – one of which is sterilizing the bottles your baby drinks from.
Best Bottle Sterilizers – A Quick Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
*Note: Upon clicking on any of the links in this section, you will be redirected to the respective product listings on Amazon.com where you can learn about the product’s price, customer rating & customer reviews.
- Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer
- Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer
- Wabi Baby Touch Panel Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer
- Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Sanitizer
- Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer
- Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer
- Baby Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine
- Babebay Baby Bottle Warmer, Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer, & Smart Thermostat 4 in 1
- Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags
- Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer
Best Bottle Sterilizers – A More Detailed Look At Our Top 10 Recommendations
Here’s a more detailed look at what we believe to be some of the best bottle sterilizers available today for all your bottle feeding needs.
Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer
Philips AVENT offers sterilizers plus bottles and other baby products, so they know what parents need in a bottle sterilizer. This microwave version fulfills the basic needs: sterilizes bottles and kills 99.9 percent of bacteria.
Plus, we love it because it’s portable and easy to use.
The package includes one steam sterilizer, one steam tray, one set of tongs, and a set of instructions to make everything clear.
In as little as two minutes, you can have your baby’s bottles, pacifiers, and even pump parts sterilized and ready to use. The container also remains sterile for up to 24 hours if you keep it closed after running the microwave cycle.
If you’re looking for a budget bottle sterilizer, this one is a good option to consider.
It can handle daily sterilizing of about four bottles, depending on size. It’s also ideal if you already own Philips AVENT products since they fit better than other types of bottles.
However, if you have a lot of items to steam sterilize, such as pump parts or bottles for multiple babies, a larger counter-top model may fit your needs better.
You may also want to look at another type of steam basket to suit different brands of bottles if you don’t use AVENT already.
- Takes just a few minutes in the microwave (two to six minutes)
- Remains sterile for up to 24 hours if kept closed
- Fits up to four baby bottles
- May not fit in all microwaves
- Not all bottle types/sizes fit well
Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Baby Bottle Electric Steam Sterilizer
Philips AVENT’s next level up model of steam sterilizer is a countertop model. Instead of using a microwave, it uses its own power and added water to steam clean bottles and more. The design allows you to clean pump parts and accessories, too.
The package includes the sterilizer, tongs, and instructions.
This countertop sterilizer takes six minutes to fully steam your bottles, pump parts, pacifiers, and more – killing up to 99.9 percent of bacteria in the process.
The machine comes with a two-year warranty and fits both narrow and wide neck bottles.
If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to clean multiple bottles and pump parts, this might be a good option. Its one-button operation and automatic shutoff mean you can drop everything in, press a button, and walk away.
As long as the lid stays closed, the bottles inside stay sterile for up to 24 hours.
If you have fewer bottles or pump parts to clean, you may not need this large of a sterilizer. If you only sterilize occasionally, a smaller unit or a microwave product may suit your needs better.
- Sterilizes in six minutes
- Automatic shutoff feature for safety
- Stays sterile for up to 24 hours when closed
- Fits up to six 11-ounce AVENT bottles
- Adjustable to fit a variety of bottles and accessories
- One button for easy operation
- Takes up more counter space than other sterilizers out there
- Tends to rust; can clean with either lemon juice or vinegar to restore the metal
Wabi Baby Touch Panel Dual Function UV Sterilizer & Dryer
Wabi’s Baby UV Sterilizer is a countertop unit for cleaning bottles plus household items like jewelry or sunglasses.
Unlike other sterilizers, this model uses UV treatment to kill germs and ensure clean feeding materials (and other items).
The product includes the countertop unit by itself, which features a fully opening door (like a fridge) and racks to place items on.
Sterilization cycles take between 30 and 70 minutes, and the touchscreen interface makes it easy to set the device. And while you might feel intimidated by a UV sterilizer, the only maintenance it needs is cleaning of the ventilation filter.
A UV sterilizer like this one is ideal for households where keeping germs at bay is a must. For immunocompromised or otherwise ill babies, UV sterilization offers parents microbiology-backed sterilization for not just bottles and pacifiers, but also household items and devices.
If you prefer a bottle-only sterilizer, this may not be the best option for your family. Also, if you are hoping to stick within a specific budget, microwave or other countertop units can offer similar capabilities without the range of functions a UV device offers.
- 3rd party microbiology tested
- Uses UV sterilization; no water or rust
- Touch Controls
- Low heat drying functions
- Can sterilize nearly anything; electronic devices, remotes, household items
- Requires dual UV bulbs (will need to replace eventually)
- Takes 30 minutes to sterilize
- Potential for mechanical or digital failures
Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Sanitizer
Tommee Tippee’s steam sterilizer is a sleek countertop unit which doesn’t take up much space, making it a great option for those of you not wanting to waste valuable counter space.
It can hold five baby bottles, but parents aren’t limited to the Tommee Tippee brand only. There’s also a top rack to hold smaller items such as pacifiers or pump parts.
Included in the package are the sterilizer, tongs, and a newborn pacifier.
Whether you use their brand of bottles or not, this sterilizer holds around five baby bottles and smaller accessories.
Its cycle takes five minutes to sterilize the bottles, and the unit stays sterile for up to 24 hours with the lid closed. However, leaving the lid on allows water to condense inside, meaning the bottles often stay wet.
If you already use this brand of bottles, this sterilizer might be an excellent option. Plus, the top tray is ideal for pump parts for moms who express milk part-time or exclusively.
However, if you need to sanitize items less frequently, you may not need an electric unit which takes up any counter space to begin with.
- Stays sterile for 24 hours with lid closed
- Holds five baby bottles
- Takes five minutes to sterilize
- Compatible with Tommee Tippee and most other bottles
- Requires cleaning due to mildew over time
- Doesn’t dry bottles; water condenses inside leaving everything wet
Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer
Unlike their other sterilizer, this Wabi unit is not a UV one; it’s a steam sterilizer plus dryer.
It almost resembles a food processor at first glance, and it has a relatively large footprint. However, it can fit up to eight standard-sized baby bottles, which justifies the size.
The package includes the chamber-style sterilizer unit that also dries and descales itself, plus an extra plate rack.
Each sterilization cycle takes between eight and 15 minutes, and the auto-shutoff sensor turns the unit off for safety. For a drying cycle, the unit takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete the function.
A countdown timer lets you know when the bottles will be ready, and there’s a memory function to retain the previous settings for next time.
This sterilizer is ideal if you need to sterilize a few rounds of bottles per day but need them dry before use, too. It’s also great for avoiding manual cleaning or descaling, as there’s a one-button function to auto clean.
Of course, if you’re looking for a budget option, this dual sterilizer and dryer may not be right for you. It also takes up a large amount of counter space, which is a concern if you are limited in kitchen space.
- Accommodates up to eight bottles at once
- Auto shutoff for safety
- Dries bottles
- One-button self-cleaning function
- Large footprint
- Takes an hour to sterilize and dry
Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer
If you’re tired of scrubbing bottles and then waiting for water to boil, this small sized microwaveable bottle sterilizer could be the product you need.
Dr. Brown’s sterilizer holds up to four Dr. Brown’s bottles and only takes a few minutes to finish a steam cycle.
For small spaces, this unit is a great alternative to countertop models or those which require larger microwaves. With that being said, the molded tray for Dr. Brown’s bottles may throw off some parents who use other types of bottles.
You can fit either wide or standard-neck baby bottles, although the space is intended to fit Dr. Brown’s bottles rather than any other brand. So if you already use the brand, this could be the ideal small-scale microwave sanitizer for you.
If you use another brand of bottles or need more space to sanitize without running multiple cycles in the microwave, you may want to look at a larger microwave sterilizer. The Philips AVENT model, for example, is bulkier but a bit taller to fit a greater variety of bottles than Dr. Brown’s custom-molded one.
The package includes the sterilizer and plastic tongs.
- Fits most microwaves (only 7” tall)
- Holds Dr. Brown’s bottles perfectly
- Takes a few minutes to sterilize
- Custom-made for Dr. Brown’s bottles
- Only holds four bottles
Baby Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine
If you’ve never heard of Baby Brezza, the company was one of the first to create a “baby espresso” machine which automatically mixes and warms baby formula bottles.
Their sterilizer and dryer unit is a space-age-looking machine which is a four-in-one system.
You can sterilize only, sterilize and dry, dry only, or use the unit as a storage system. It takes only eight minutes to sterilize with the Baby Brezza, and the bottles go in upright, with a relatively narrow base on the pod-shaped unit.
You can fit up to six bottles, plus the interface is simple and uses a few buttons to set the automatic function.
The package includes the sterilizer itself with necessary racks.
This product might work well for you if you have a lot of bottles to sterilize and need them to be dried, too. However, it’s not a budget unit, so those looking for a budget steam sterilizer should try an alternative countertop model like the Tommee Tippee unit instead.
- Fits up to six bottles
- Has a one-year warranty
- Four functions in one
- Stays sterile for 24 hours with the unit closed
- Takes 30 to 60 minutes to dry
- Water level sensor is temperamental; be careful when pouring water to reach the proper amount
Babebay Baby Bottle Warmer, Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer, & Smart Thermostat 4 in 1
Gone are the days when parents had to buy a bottle warmer and sterilizer separately—these days, Babebay has us covered with this four-in-one unit. It can warm breastmilk, formula, baby food, and sterilize bottles.
The LED screen shows the temperature of your child’s meal, plus you can use the dials to sterilize bottles, too. Temperatures range from 98 (warm milk) to 212 (sterilize) degrees to evenly warm the interior of the unit.
You can also keep the unit in standby mode so you can easily warm up food or milk in just two to three minutes.
The purchase includes the unit itself, a reversible lid, a storage cup, storage cup lid, and steam tray.
While you can warm two bottles at once, the sterilizer function is limited to only two bottles. So while parents of twins (or more) may appreciate dual bottle warming, sterilizing bottles will take more time by default.
This unit is a great fit for parents who routinely require a bottle or food warmer but don’t want multiple appliances cluttering up the kitchen.
- Warms two bottles at once
- Dual warming/sterilization functions
- Range of temperatures for preparing breastmilk and formula
- Simple operation/LCD screen and dial
- Only fits two bottles for sterilizing
Medela Quick Clean Micro Steam Bags
Medela is another brand with a reputation for supporting moms in their baby feeding endeavors. So it makes sense for the company to make these steam sterilizer bags for easy steam cleaning anywhere—as long you have access to a microwave.
What’s so helpful about these bags is they’re multiple-use, so they can last for a while if you only need to sanitize items a couple of times per day.
The package includes five bags, each of which you can reuse 20 times before you have to dispose of it. In total, you get 100 uses per package, pretty impressive for a budget-friendly product.
Each bag can hold mom’s pump parts (two breast shield assemblies), two 5-ounce breastmilk bottles (plus caps), or two 8-ounce breast milk bottles (with caps).
Of course, Medela intends these bags for moms who pump breastmilk, but you can drop your child’s pacifiers, bottle nipples and collars, and other pumping and feeding items in the bags, too.
These bags are a great pick for moms who pump a lot, travel or work outside the home, or don’t have space for a larger sterilizer method.
Of course, if you have a lot of bottles or pump parts to clean, you may want to consider a standalone sterilizer or a microwave container instead to hold more items.
- Reusable bags take up very little space
- Can fit two feeding bottles per bag
- Convenient to transport and use on the go
- Eventually have to throw them away and get new ones
- Can’t fit many bottles per bag
- Takes multiple sterilization sessions to clean all your necessities
Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer
This countertop sterilizer from Dr. Brown’s has room for six bottles, includes electronic controls and an auto-off feature, a removable tray to position the bottles, and an accessory tray for pacifiers and small parts.
It looks a little boxy, but the machine itself doesn’t take up too much space in comparison with other electric sterilizers. Being able to sterilize six bottles at a time is a desirable perk, especially for moms who pump or are feeding twins or more.
The purchase comes with tongs and a measuring cup for adding water.
Dr. Brown’s recommends using distilled water, as the heating plate can become grimy with residue otherwise. However, regardless of the type of water you use, you can expect some buildup which will need to be wiped off.
This sterilizer might be a great choice for you if you have more than one baby, are exclusively pumping and need to clean pump parts often, and if you have the counter space to accommodate it.
If you don’t need the interior space, you might consider a smaller electric sterilizer like the Babebay bottle warmer 4-in-1 for food and breastmilk warming plus bottle sterilizing.
- Built-in accessory tray for smaller items
- Fits six bottles and can sterilize six bottles at a time
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Grime can build up on the heating plate
- Doesn’t dry bottles
Do I Really Need To Use A Bottle Sterilizer?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, you really don’t have any other option but to use a bottle sterilizer at times – and no, you don’t really need to use bottle sterilizers all the time.
Confusing? It really shouldn’t be – here’s what we mean.
Giving your baby’s bottle a good, thorough wash with hot water and soap, not cold water (or just placing them in the dishwasher and having it do its own thing) gets the job done as far as cleaning a bottle is concerned.
But cleaning a bottle and having it sterilized are two very different things.
Sanitizing your baby’s bottles will get rid of every last bit of harmful germs and bacteria that might be lurking inside, while only getting a bottle washed and cleaned won’t necessarily deal with these harmful germs and bacteria.
Not only that, but you’ll be keeping other nasty stuff like thrush development at bay.
So, think of the sterilization process as going the extra mile to minimize any potential risk on your baby’s health by disinfecting the stuff they put in their mouths.
This is especially important during your baby’s first year in life, as that’s when their immune system is usually at its weakest and any exposure to these harmful germs and bacteria could spell big trouble.
As your baby ages and their immunity system becomes stronger, you can take it easier knowing that exposure to these harmful germs and bacteria won’t cause as much problems.
When Can I Stop Using Bottle Sterilizers?
The good news about using bottle sterilizers is that you won’t have to do it for as long as your baby still drinks from these bottles – it’s not like you need one more daunting parenting task to dread throughout this phase!
Again, the most important and crucial phase in your baby’s life where you must sterilizer their bottles is during their first 12 months.
After your baby becomes 12 months of age, you can become less paranoid about all of this as they grow older.
Once your baby develops the necessary motor skills to begin holding their bottle on their own, as well as grab other stuff on their own that they also put in their mouths, that’s your cue to gradually stop using bottle sterilizers because there’s not much sense in following through with it anymore.
Besides their immunity system being able to better fend off the harm of the bacteria and germs they’re exposed to when they’re older, there’s not much point in going out of your way to make sure their bottles are germ and bacteria free while there’s tons of other stuff they’re putting in their mouths on their own that you don’t know about – all of which are not sterilized.
So unless you can make sure that anything and everything your baby decides to grab on their own and put in their mouth is bacteria free (which is just impossible to do), there’s not much point to it anymore.
This does NOT mean that you can also slack off on properly washing and cleaning your baby’s bottles and nipples in between feeds, though. On the contrary, you should always give these bottles the same thorough washing no matter how old your baby is.
But What If My Baby Is Ill?
No matter how old your baby is, you should sterilize any and all bottles they drink from when they’re sick.
During any period of illness, your baby’s immune system will take a significant hit and will become weak again, meaning any germs or bacteria they’re exposed to during this time will – once again – pose significant health risks.
Continue sterilizing any bottles your baby feeds from during this time and until your baby gets healthy again and gets over their illness.
When their immune system has completely recovered, that’s when you can stop sterilizing their bottles again, until they get sick the next time (hopefully they wont, but hey – let’s be real here).
What Should I Look For In Baby Bottle Sterilizers?
Before you buy any baby bottle sterilizer you can find in a store or online, here’s what you should look for in these machines first:
Before buying any bottle sterilizer, you should know how many bottles its able to hold and sterilize at once.
If you only directly breastfeed your baby and make use of bottles on rare occasions (using only two or three bottles at once), you’ll likely be fine with a bottle sterilizer that has limited capacity to it.
However, if you only feed your baby formula or expressed milk that you store in bottles, then you’ll need a sterilizer with larger capacity that can hold many more bottles at once, since you could be filling and storing 8 to 12 bottles at once when planning ahead of time.
At this day and age, we’re all living busy lives and need to get things done as fast as possible so we can move on to the next task we have to attend to.
For this reason, the best bottle sterilizers will get the job done in as little time as possible. For the sake of efficiency, the less time consuming any of this proves to be for you, the better.
Try to look for bottle sterilizers that need 5 to 10 minutes at most to finish their job.
How easy a bottle sterilizer makes it for you to get it to properly function is also very important, and this is especially true for electric bottle sterilizers.
Some electric bottle sterilizers are so complicated to operate, they fail miserably from a user-friendliness perspective.
Whether it’s the instructions that are poor and not nearly detailed enough as they should be to help you understand how the machine works, or there’s just one too many buttons for your liking that you have to press to get the thing to actually do its job, this is just poor user experience.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The best bottle sterilizers also often happen to be the most user friendly ones.
Depending on which type of baby bottle sterilizer you eventually decide to get, it’s important that you make sure – beforehand – that you have enough space for it wherever you plan to have it placed.
The sizes of these units will differ between different types of bottle sterilizers, and sometimes the size will also differ within the same type.
If you’re short on counter-space altogether, you might even opt for a different type of sterilizer by choosing one that relies on microwave steam.
Drying The Bottles
Look for bottle sterilizers that also go the extra mile and dry the bottles off after properly sterilizing them.
The less tasks you have to be involved in and the more automation you can implement, the more time and energy you’ll get to fulfill other responsibilities – win-win!
Look for the usual safety features you would search for whenever buying anything made from plastic, most notable of which is that it be made from BPA-free plastic.
More and more manufacturers are becoming aware of the dangers of BPA (and other chemicals) when dealing with plastic, and this is to our advantage.
If you plan to make any use of your baby bottle sterilizer when on the road or traveling, you should look for portable bottle sterilizers you can take with you and use on the go.
If, however, you only plan to use your baby bottle sterilizers at home, getting stationary bottle sterilizers is more suitable.
Even though this isn’t always a possibility, but ideally speaking – try to get a bottle sterilizer that doesn’t limit you to just one type of bottles.
Some bottle sterilizers will only limit you to being able to use the bottles that were manufactured by the same brand.
However, other bottle sterilizers will allow you to use any bottle manufactured by any company/brand, as long as the proportions of the bottle itself are similar.
This way, if you ever choose to change the brand of bottles you’re using, you won’t have to buy a new bottle sterilizer just to accommodate this change.
Just make sure that the dimensions of whatever bottles you’re using (or plan to switch to using) are compatible with the specific sterilizer model you already have.
What Different Types Of Baby Bottle Sterilizers Can I Choose From?
There’s several different types of baby bottle sterilizers you can choose from, each having its own set of advantages that makes it ideal for certain people and specific circumstances.
Electric Steam Sterilizers
For those of you looking to regularly sterilize baby bottles and not just do this every once in a while, and if you’re looking for something that takes the least time to get its job done, an electric steam sterilizer is probably the most fitting option for you.
These sit on your counter-top and use electric steam to generate high enough temperatures that eliminate any germs and bacteria that might be present.
Microwave Steam Sterilizers
If you don’t have the budget to spend on a baby bottle electric steam sterilizer or are short on counter-top space, a microwaveable bottle sterilizer that also works on steam is your next best option.
UV Light Sterilizers
For those of you who don’t want to deal with steam, be that electric steam of microwave steam, look no further than sterilizers that kill bacteria and germs present in bottles and other baby accessories by means of ultraviolet light disinfection.