Sterilizing baby bottles can bring peace of mind to parents wary of germs. For brand-new or hand-me-down bottles, for premature or young babies with developing immune systems, or for sick babies (especially in homes with more than one child), it’s definitely recommended to sterilize baby bottles. The best bottle sterilizers makes it that much easier.
Bottle sterilizers remove 99.9% of harmful bacteria using steam at high temperatures, made possible by an electric power source or by a microwave. Electric ones tend to be more expensive and command counter space, but they work well for frequent use and some have features, like bottle warming, bottle drying, and automatic shutoff. Microwave options store more easily, work more quickly, and come in travel-friendly options for occasional use. All of the picks below are confirmed as BPA-free for your child's safety, except for the last option, which is unclear.
Most sterilizers work for more than one bottle at a time, some as many as a day’s worth, and most can typically fit both tall and narrow or short and wide bottles. There are even a few picks below that can be used for pacifiers, nipple covers used during breastfeeding, breast pump parts, and teethers; just check your teether is safe to sterilize without warping the material.
Another factor to consider is how long models take to sterilize. Microwave sterilizers can work in as little as two minutes, while a sterilize-and-dry cycle in an electric sterilizer can take 45 minutes.
It's time to shop these highly-rated bottle sterilizers, available on Amazon.
1. The Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer
The Tommee Tippee electric sterilizer is fast, sterilizing up to five bottles in five minutes. Reviewers report it’s compact and easy to use with just the push of a button. This pick fits the popular and tall Dr. Brown’s baby bottles. It's also sleek-looking and keeps items sterile for a full 24 hours if the lid stays closed, meaning it can work while you sleep. Not only is it BPA-free, it's also free of phthalates.
What fans love: “The Tommy Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Bottle Sanitizer is easy to use, easy to clean, and works fast to help me sanitize my babies bottles. [...] This sanitizer gives me the peace of mind that everything is sterilized properly. I also love that I can just push a button and walk away to care for my baby instead of being trapped by a hot stove over a pot if boiling water. This sanitizer make my life so much easier and makes me feel so much better about keeping the my baby healthy. I can easily sanitize all the things she will put in her mouth.”
2. The Best Bottle Sterilizer And Bottle Dryer
If you want a bottle sterilizer that also dries bottles for ultimate grab-and-go convenience when baby is hungry, look no further than the Papablic Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer. This pick works by a dial rather than a button, but has the biggest capacity on this list for any kind of bottle, with three stacking options for maximizing space to hold up to 11 bottles and accessories like teethers, pacifiers, and plastic toys at once.
This machine sterilizes in eight minutes or sterilizes and dries in 45 minutes, and has an extra-dry option that sterilizes and dries in 65 minutes. Many reviewers tried other sterilize-and-dry models but were amazed by this one's performance in comparison. Parents also like not having to wait around for bottles to dry and that they remain sterilized for more than 12 hours (with the lid closed) until use and the safety of the automatic shut-off when a cycle completes.
What fans love: “This bottle sterilizer/dryer has been put through the paces. [...] I have been pumping since my daughter was a few days old. So, this equipment has hundreds of parts going through it every week. [...] It has held up beautifully! I could not be happier with the durability and quality of the product. [...] It can fit a lot of parts with no problem, if packed with care. Additionally, they actually come out of the sterilizer very dry. [...] The heating element can be descaled with cleaning vinegar and comes out looking good, if you don’t want to bother with distilled water every time you sterilize...Anyway, I love this purchase and I think it was one of the best items I bought, preparing for baby.”
3. The Best Bottle Sterilizer and Milk Warmer
The Grownsy Baby Bottle Sterilizer And Warmer sterilizes bottles and also makes food preparation easier. With a capacity of two bottles, this electric sterilizer warms and defrosts both baby bottles and food. This machine heats milk or sterilizes in three to seven minutes and can keep food and/or milk warm for up to six hours. Parents especially love it for warming up refrigerated or frozen breast milk. The touch screen and LED display makes it easy to use, and the automatic shutoff makes it safe.
What fans love: "This baby bottle warmer is a life saver! Not only does it heat up my baby's bottle, but it heats up food and even sterilizes things like pacifiers, nipples, and baby spoons. The buttons are easy to use and the digital display timer shows you exactly how long the bottle has been heating up. The auto shut-off feature is a good safety feature, plus this is made out of BPA-free material, so there is no harmful contamination. It works! I love the pink too. I definitely recommend.”
4. The Best Microwave Bottle Sterilizer
The Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer is highly rated with more than 1,100 reviews, and it's easy to see why. For under $20, sterilizes up to four bottles in just two minutes (or up to six minutes, depending on your microwave's voltage). Many reviewers report fitting even more bottles in this compact, lightweight container that keeps contents sterile for up to 24 hours if the lid stays closed. Safety clips keep the lid secure when removing the sterilizer from the microwave. This one's such a good deal, it's worth grabbing a second one to keep at a grandparent's house.
What fans love: "When I originally found out I was pregnant I was totally against all the [frivolous] plastic accessories geared toward new parents. [...] I ordered this sterilizer after about a week of pumping and boiling everything. It’s so convenient, saves time, and you don’t have to “babysit” it while it sterilizes as you would with a pot of boiling water. [...] Being able to clean and sterilize everything quickly at the end of the night is essential to me so I can spend more time with my precious baby! I put all my pump parts and bottles in the sterilizer and microwave it for 4 minutes and I’m DONE!"
5. A Space-Saving, Travel-Friendly Steam Bag
If you're really tight on space or want to sterilize bottles on-the-go, add this pack of 15 easy-to-use Medela steam bags to your cart. They're convenient, affordable, and durable, and each bag is good for 20 uses. Pop them in the microwave for three minutes and one bag sterilizes two bottles and perhaps a couple small accessories, like a pacifier.
What fans love: “Great value. Tons of bags. LOVE THESE! Soooo easy to use and convenient. Whether you’re a first time parent or not - THESE ARE A MUST!”
6. If You Want To Use Your Dishwasher: A Versatile Bag
Another option is to sanitize baby bottles and bottle parts, which you can do conveniently and affordably in a dishwasher. While sterilizing removes virtually all bacteria, sanitizing reduces microorganisms to safe levels, going one step further than cleaning alone.
Clamshell-type baskets are popular in this category of dishwasher containers for small bottle parts, but experienced parents will immediately recognize the value in this mesh dishwasher-bag. With smaller holes and a zipper, this $6 bag will securely hold bottle parts as well as straws and other cup accessories during the toddler years. Dishwasher-safe bottles are good to go in this bag in top rack.
What fans love: “These bags are very well constructed and fit perfectly in the top rack of the dishwasher to hold and wash breast pump parts and bottle nipples. The parts get clean - just make sure not to overfill the bags! These are really great. Wish I would have purchased sooner and saved myself a couple months of handwashing pump and bottle parts.”
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