12 Best Bottle Sterilizers in 2017
When you have a busy schedule and a baby (or two!) to care for, convenient products can help you get through the day stress-free. Take the bottle sterilizer, for example.
Rather than digging for a pot at the back of the cupboard, filling it with water, waiting for it to boil, dropping in the bottles and accessories and then waiting five minutes until they are sterilized, you can just pop them into a bottle sterilizer and let the machine do all of the work for you.
Whether this is your first time purchasing a bottle sterilizer or if you set out in search of a replacement unit, we have all of the valuable information you need right here.
We checked out 12 of the best bottle sterilizer products and did a side-by-side comparison of them.
Only five made it to our “Review” section, so head on down to see which ones we felt were worth the purchase!
Top 12 Bottle Sterilizers Comparison Chart
|1. Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer||Microwave||4 Bottles||4.7|
|2. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags||Microwave||Depends on Size of Bottles||4.7|
|3. Dr. Brown’s Microwave Steam Sterilizer||Microwave||4 Bottles||4.6|
|4. The First Years Power of Steam Electric Steam Sterilizer||Electric||5 Bottles||4.5|
|5. Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer||Microwave||4 Bottles||4.5|
|6. Kiddiluv Microwave Steam Sterilizer||Microwave||6 Bottles||4.3|
|7. Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus Version||Electric||8 Bottles||4.1|
|8. Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer||Electric||6 Bottles||4.0|
|9. Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer||Electric||6 Bottles||4.0|
|10. Munchkin Steam Guard Electric Sterilizer||Electric||9 Bottles||3.9|
|11. The First Years Simple Steam Microwave Sterlizer||Microwave||4 Bottles||3.9|
|12. Baby Brezza Sterliizer Dryer||Electric||6 Bottles||3.9|
Types of Bottle Sterilizers
There are two options you have when it comes to bottle sterilizers: microwavable units and electric machines that steam the bottles.
To determine which of these is best bottle sterilizer for your needs, you need to understand the little differences between them.
- Microwave – Most microwavable units look like number 1 on our list: the Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer.
Directions vary from one brand to another, but the overall concept is the same: just add water to the base, put the bottles on the rack and suspend over the water, put the lid on and then pop it in the microwave to kill bacteria.
You will also notice that we included a microwavable bag (number 2 in our table) that works in the same way. Just add in some water, the bottles and zap those bacteria into next week.
Microwavable units are the most affordable, and they’re ideal when traveling, but if you happen to use stainless steel bottles, then they’re out of the question. You can’t microwave stainless steel!
- Pros – More affordable, easy to store, faster sterilization times than electric units
- Cons – Made of plastic, less durable, no drying cycle option, some are too large to fit in certain microwaves
- Electric – Not everyone likes the microwave method, and not everyone has a microwave in the home, so if that’s the case for you, an electric unit is perfect.
As you can see from our table, electric sterilizers can usually fit more bottles, and they’re great for all materials: glass, plastic and stainless steel.
- Pros – Can usually fit more bottles and accessories in them, more durable, some include drying cycles, many come with a rack for accessories to make separating smaller items much easier
- Cons – Bulkier, cost more, sometimes cords aren’t very long
How to Choose a Bottle Sterilizer
Reading about a product is much different from actually using it, and naturally, you want to arm yourself with as much information as possible before you purchase!
In this section, we’ll go over all of the particular details you need to take into consideration to lead you to the right sterilizer for your needs.
- Bottle Capacity and Bottle Size – You’ll notice in our table that we mentioned how many bottles will fit in each sterilizer.
While this information is useful, do keep in mind that different bottle shapes and sizes may affect the way they fit in the sterilizer and you might not always be able to fit as many bottles in as they suggest.
- How Long Items Stay Sterile Inside – Another thing that some manufacturers will list is how long the bottle sterilizer will keep the items sterile after the cycle has finished if the lid remains closed.
This is useful information to know since it can help you avoid wasting time on unnecessary cleaning cycles of bottles that are already sterile.
- Extra Features – One of the reasons to love the electric sterilizer is the fact that it can come with some very handy extra features.
Our favorite is definitely the dry cycle: when you sterilize in the microwave, you have to hand dry (or air dry) the bottles until you can use them, but if you get an electric sterilizer with the dry cycle, the machine will take care of that for you.
Some also come with automatic shut off and an audible signal to let you know when the cycle has finished.
- Accessories – Some units come with handy little tongs that make removing the bottles and accessories easier, and while these are definitely handy, they’re not a deal breaker. You can always use some clean kitchen tongs if you already own them.
Some may also come with brushes, but since you can purchase brushes quite easily yourself, it is less important than the overall quality of the unit itself.
Remember that bottle sterilizers aren’t only for bottles: you can use them for breast pump parts, pacifiers, spoons and even small silicone or plastic toys that baby likes to gum.
Top 5 Best Bottle Sterilizer Reviews
To us, the best bottle sterilizer in the “microwave” category is definitely this one from Philips AVENT.
This lightning-fast sterilizer will zap away 99.9% of harmful bacteria in just 2 minutes, and it even keeps the items sterile for a full 24 hours after you take them out of the microwave if the lid remains closed.
If you happen to use Philips AVENT bottles, it will fit four of them inside (both the standard neck bottles and the wide neck bottles), and the unit itself fits in most microwaves (it measures 11.07 inches long by 6.54 inches high).
Other brands of bottles might fit in this, but it depends on the height of the bottle.
It is still an affordable, effective tool that you can use to keep your baby’s bottles free of germs, but if you don’t feel that it is the right one, we still have four more products to look at in this section.
Medela’s Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags may be designed for cleaning breast pump pieces, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work as a bottle sterilizer, too!
These also eliminate 99.9% of the most common bacteria and germs (most sterilizers do), and you can reuse each bag up to 20 times in the microwave.
Comparing it to the Philips AVENT sterilizer above, this requires slightly more time in the microwave (3 minutes), but we have to say that it is the most travel-friendly option on our list.
Most sterilizers are too bulky to throw in your purse or a diaper bag, but this one is slim, and you can even use it to store your items between uses.
Be careful when you take the bag out of the microwave because it will be HOT. Also, if you plan to store your bottles in it, make sure you dry it out thoroughly between uses so that the condensation can’t build up and leave everything damp.
Moving right on down the line, we have another microwave sterilizer from Dr. Brown’s that is worth the purchase if the other two options didn’t work out for you.
The tray in the bottom of this one is custom molded so that it can hold four Dr. Brown’s brand bottles, but if you use other brands of bottles, the chances are that they will fit in the sterilizer without a hitch. You will see in the video below how the bottles hook into the tray and rest at an angle rather than standing upright: this makes it easier for taller bottles to fit inside (see the bottle insertion at around 0:10 seconds in).
This unit is slightly taller than the Philips AVENT we looked at (6.7 inches tall), but it is slightly narrower (10.5 inches): this could be a good or a bad thing, based on your needs. It’s good for taller bottles but bad if you have a short microwave.
All right, enough of the microwave stuff: it’s time to check out a great electric unit!
We really liked this one from The First Years. It will fit five bottles on the bottom tray and then has two racks that sit near the top that allow you to place any accessories and smaller parts. If you don’t want to use those trays, you can remove them (which is especially handy when you air-dry the bottles that have been sterilized.
The only thing that would have made this better is a dry cycle, but if you don’t mind hand drying or air-drying bottles, this isn’t a big deal.
The unit itself is great and more affordable than some of the other electric sterilizers we looked tried.
If you’re on a tight budget and you need a sterilizer, this is a great choice.
Like the other microwavable options we looked at, this will hold 4 bottles and 2 breast pump shields (all at the same time) if you use them. We liked the fact that they designed it with user safety in mind because the latch on the lid opens away from you to prevent burns from the steam.
All materials are latex-free, phthalate-free and BPA-free, which means that you can feel good about cleaning your baby’s bottles with it.
The only complaint is that the safety lid (while it is does keep you safe), doesn’t always provide a snug fit to the base. Some have experienced leaks because of it, which is a pity since it does help prevent steam burns.
In spite of the few flaws, we still feel that it’s a sterilizer worth your money. If you don’t agree, have a look at the other great options we have included to find the right one!