10 best baby bottle sterilisers that will make life easier for new parents
Whether you want an electric, microwaveable or cold water model, here are the sterilisers that will keep your tiny tot’s feeding equipment bacteria-free
Whether you’re formula feeding, breastfeeding or figuring out the best combination of the two, all new parents need to invest in a steriliser; a vital piece of kit which ensures all feeding equipment stays sterile and free of nasty bacteria.
There’s lots of different options on the market. Some prefer a more traditional cold water steriliser, which doesn’t require plugging in; while others opt for a steam steriliser (of which there are both microwave and electronic options).
They also come in different shapes and sizes and it can be worth investing in both a smaller, portable steriliser for when you’re out and about and a larger unit for your kitchen.
We recruited a team of new parents to test out a range of different options—taking into account how easy they were to use; sterilising time; capacity; storage space and value for money. Here are ten of the best…
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MAM electric steriliser and express bottle warmer: £90, Mothercare
The MAM electric steriliser might be the priciest on our list, but given its multi-functionality (it can be used as both an electric and microwave steriliser along with its extremely handy bottle warming and food warming program) it’s actually excellent value. The steriliser, which also comes with two MAM bottles and two soothers, comfortably holds four bottles with two separate racks: one for bottles and one for teats and soothers. It’s quick to sterilise (just add 200ml water to the bottom and press the desired function) in seven minutes and, unlike most models, also has a handy cool-down function to ensure it’s safe before opening. Once sterilised, bottles remain sterile for a whopping 48 hours.
Nanobebe microwave steam steriliser: £26.99, Nanobebe
This uniquely designed steriliser is big on practicality: its adjustable pegs with two heights means it can adapt to fit a range of bottle sizes (although our tester reported it could only hold between 2-3 bottles in one go) whilst its rubber handles are cleverly designed to avoid potential burns when handling. Our tester found it incredibly easy to use with sterilising only taking four minutes, it being extra quick to clean and its compact design not taking up much shelf space. The only downside was its height can make things a bit of a squeeze if your microwave is a little on the small side.
Phillips Avent 3-in-1 electric steam steriliser: £54.99, Amazon
Phillips have a range of sterilisers but the unique space-saving element of this product make it ideal for smaller kitchens. It can be adapted to three sizes: tall (which has the impressive capacity of six bottles), medium (billed as ideal for toddler plates or breast pumps) and small (for when you need to just sterilise dummies or teats). It sterilises in just six minutes and keeps your bottles clean for 24 hours. Our tester was impressed with how little space this took up compared to her previous model and found it extremely easy to put together, use and clean.
Medela quick clean microwave bags: £11.69, Amazon
These nifty microwave bags are the perfect thing to pack in your changing bag; allowing you to keep bottles sterile wherever you are. These quick clean bags work by simply adding water and popping in your microwave and whilst space is restricted when compared to sterilising unit, they can still hold two small bottles or be used to sterilise dummies, teats or breastfeeding equipment. At £12.99 for five bags, they might not seem particularly cost-efficient but in fact each bag can be used up twenty times (each bag has a handy tracker to fill out at the bottom so you can keep an eye on how much you’ve used it) making it surprisingly good value for money.
Phillips Avent microwave steam steriliser: £44.99, Phillips
If you’re looking to invest in a starter kit, this one gets our vote. Phillips Avent’s microwave steriliser comes complete with four bottles (with two small, two large and two different types of teats) and generous capacity without taking up much space in your kitchen. It doesn’t get much easier to sterilise than this: simply add water, pop in the microwave and take out after two to four minutes (depending on your microwave’s wattage). Once done, the contents stay sterile for twenty four hours. Our tester loved just how quick and easy this was to use; all four bottles could be sterilised at once and it was lightweight for taking with you when travelling.
Dr Brown’s deluxe electric steriliser: £74.99, John Lewis & Partners
This sleek grey and white electric steriliser is a stylish addition to any kitchen and has great sterilising capacity too (fitting up to six bottles). Its interface is particularly user-friendly; with our tester noting how the light system (green when ready to use and blue when in the handy cool down mode) made a sterilising cycle – which takes around ten minutes – effortless to navigate.
Tommee Tippee single bottle travel steriliser: £9.95, Amazon
This single bottle steriliser is another great travel option. The sleek nifty unit comes complete with a 260ml Tommee Tippee bottle and the ability to sterilise in the microwave (taking three minutes) or in cold water (using sterilising tablets). Of course, being a single bottle unit does restrict things (bottles are only sterile for three hours, it only holds one bottle and we found the steriliser didn’t always fit some of our bigger bottles by other brands) but for short day trips it is still a valuable addition to your changing bag.
Milton combi microwave and coldwater steriliser: £20, Amazon
Milton are known for their traditional cold water sterilisers, but this combination device can also be easily used as a microwave steriliser too; offering flexibility and excellent value at just £20. Its compact appearance is surprisingly deceptive, in fact this unit can accommodate six bottles and keeps items sterile for 24 hours. Timing depends on the method you’re using; with the microwave option taking as little as two minutes (depending on your wattage) and the cold water method (24 milton tablets come with the unit and then you’ll need to purchase your own) taking a little longer for fifteen minutes.
Tommee Tippee essentials 2-in-1 steriliser: £12.99, Argos
Another 2-in-1 unit that is light enough to pop in your overnight bag but substantial enough to accomodate up four bottles. It’s speedy too: with sterilising taking as quick as four minutes depending on the method. This steriliser can be operated in cold water mode when away from home or microwave mode and is easy to store. The only downside is that bottles are only kept sterile for three hours but this unit is still fantastic value for money.
Milton mini portable soother steriliser: £6.99, Milton
Whilst dummies might be an invaluable soothing method for your baby, they rarely stay clean for long. This miniature steriliser is easy to pop in the smallest of handbags (or even a jacket pocket) and provides must-needed reassurance to ensure your soothers stay germ-free. No equipment is required – just add the mini Milton tablets (15 of which are provided) to cold water and after 15 minutes, you’re good to go.
The verdict: Baby bottle sterilisers
MAM’s electric steriliser and bottle warmer is a fantastic piece of kit which ticks a lot of boxes in terms of functionality and ease of use. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, Tommee Tippes essential 2-in-1 steriliser offers unrivaled value for money. Finally, Medela’s nifty quick clean microwave bags got our vote for super easy sterilising on the go.
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