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11 Best Baby Bottle Sterilizers (2022 Reviews)

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Bringing home a new baby is one of the greatest joys of parenthood, but also comes with so much added stress. We worry about everything all of a sudden from when the umbilical cord will fall off to how often our new bundle of joy should be eating. One thing we shouldn’t have to worry about is how dangerous bacteria in bottles, on pumping supplies, and on pacifiers can be. We all know that sterilizing everything that goes into baby’s mouth is crucial to their wellbeing. Our mothers and grandmothers boiled pot after pot of water in order to keep their babies safe. Luckily, thanks to technology, we don’t have to do that. There’s a better way.

Bottle sterilizers make what used to be a time-consuming task as easy as pushing a button. Many of them have added features like built-in dryers or bottle warmers. This piece of baby gear is a must-have for any mommas who will bottle-feed their babies. They are also amazing for sterilizing breast pump supplies. From using natural steam to UV light, here are my 11 favorite bottle sterilizers:

The Best Bottle Sterilizers

  • 1.

    (Best for Travel — $)

    Why it’s great: Not everyone wants another kitchen appliance, so for those mommas, a microwavable bottle sterilizer may be a better choice. The Philips Avent sterilizer uses steam, just like the other sterilizers in this list, but it doesn’t have to plug in because it uses heat from your microwave.

    This sterilizer is pretty straightforward. You add water, add your unsterilized bottles or pumping gear, secure the lid, and pop it in the microwave (depending on the size of your microwave, sterilizing can be done in as little as 2 minutes).

    Keep in mind: Although your bottles will be sterilized when they come out of the microwave, they will not be dry, so air drying is an extra step with this model.

    Good for: Mommas who travel a lot and need a convenient on-the-go option for sterilizing bottles or pumping parts.

  • 2.

    (Best for Twins — $$)

    Why it’s great: With the highest capacity on the list, that fits 11 bottles and accessories, and a 3-in-1 design that sterilizes, dries, and stores bottles for up to 12 hours, you can’t go wrong with the Papablic sterilizer. Keeping things simple but safe is the name of the game with this piece of baby gear.
    The penetrating steam gets hotter than your dishwasher, ensuring your bottles are clean. The drying features means that there’s less time for bacteria to grow between sterilizing and air-drying. Anyone who has stored bottles in a cabinet knows they can be a hassle (picture opening your cabinet door to an avalanche of once clean bottles that are now scattered on the floor), so the ability to store the bottles in this sterilizer for up to 12 hours is also helpful.

    Keep in mind: Dr. Brown’s bottles don’t fit perfectly, but with some wiggling you can still make it work for you.

    Good for: Mommas with twins, who need to be able to sterilize lots of bottles at one time.

  • 3.

    (Best Dryer — $$)

    Why it’s great: This bottle sterilizer not only has an attractive design, but it’s also super easy to use. Instead of playing Jenga, like some other sterilizers, the Baby Brezza has a built-in bottle tree. There is enough room for 6 bottles and accessories.

    Finding time to do any chores is challenging with a new baby. In only 8 minutes your bottles are sterilized, and in just 30 minutes they are dried. Another super cool feature is that you can store your clean bottles in the Baby Brezza sterilizer for up to 24 hours.

    Keep in mind: The design of this bottle sanitizer doesn’t work great with pump parts.

    Good for: Mommas who are feeding formula, since pumping parts don’t fit well.

  • 4.

    (Best Sanitizer — $$$)

    Why it’s great: This sterilizer has double the disinfectant power. It uses UV-C lights to eliminate germs and bacteria. Plus, it has HEPA air filters that prevent particles from entering it. It also dries your bottles and accessories, in 40-70 minutes, depending on the amount. This one is completely safe, with a safety mechanism that shuts off the UV lights when the door is opened. The best thing about this sterilizer is that it can sanitize other items too, such as cell phones, stuffed animals, or just about anything else!

    Keep in mind: You’ll need to replace the lightbulbs and the filters every so often.

    Good for: Moms looking for a sterilizer that can also sanitize other things.

  • 5.

    (Most Compact — $)

    Why it’s great: For moms that don’t want something that will take up a lot of space, this sterilizer is perfect. It’s small and compact, but can still hold 4 bottles and accessories. This is another microwavable sterilizer, which means that it uses the heat from the microwave to steam and sanitize the bottles. The nice thing is that the handles are heat resistant and the latches open away from it, preventing any steam burns when it’s done.

    Keep in mind: While it only takes 4 minutes in the microwave, you need to let it sit for 10 more minutes after that before you take the bottles out.

    Good for: Moms that want a small, compact sterilizer.

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  • 6.

    (Most Compact — $)

    Why it’s great: This is an electric steam sterilizer, but it’s designed to not take up too much space on your countertop. Plus, it is modular, so you can organize it easily. The big compartment can hold up to 6 bottles, the medium part can hold baby plates, silverware, and breast pump accessories, and the smaller part is perfect for pacifiers and bottle lids. You can even keep the items stored in this sterilizer for up to 24 hours after use.

    Keep in mind: This sterilizer does seem to rust easily; however, it’s very simple to remove it with vinegar and water.

    Good for: Moms who want a sterilizer that takes up minimal counter space.

  • 7.

    (Most Versatile — $$)

    Why it’s great: This one is similar to the previous option, because it has three different compartments. The full size compartment can be used for bottles and bigger loads. The middle size is an efficient, faster mode. The smallest is a quick, microwavable option. Having 3 options to use makes this the most versatile sterilizer of the bunch! It’s very easy to use, no matter which option you choose at the time. The full size can hold up to 6 bottles, including the bigger, 9 oz bottles that don’t fit in all machines.

    Keep in mind: It can get some scaling if you’re not using filtered water, but it’s easy to clean off with vinegar.

    Good for: Moms that want more options in when and how fast they sterilize their bottles.

  • 8.

    (Easiest to Use — $$)

    Why it’s great: This easy to use bottle sterilizer fits up to 6 bottles at a time. It accommodates all styles of Dr. Brown’s bottles (yes, even the wide neck bottles) and fits most other brands also. This model comes with tongs and a water cup (ensuring you add the perfect amount of water), making sterilizing your bottles, pumping supplies, or pacifiers even easier. Not having to break out the measuring cup (that’s rarely convenient to get to) is seriously an added bonus that makes this sterilizer fool-proof.
    The controls are straightforward. It keeps you updated with cycle indicators and a handy auto-shutoff when the cycle is complete. You can’t go wrong with a trusted brand like Dr. Brown’s when it comes to cleaning baby bottles.

    Keep in mind: Dr. Brown’s sterilizer doesn’t have a drying feature, so you will have to air dry your bottles and accessories.

    Good for: Mommas who use Dr. Brown’s wide-neck bottles.

  • 9.

    (Best Set — $)

    Why it’s great: This is another microwave sterilizer, but it’s big enough to hold up to 6 bottles. It also has two compartments, so you can separate the accessories and bottle parts. This one comes with tongs, so you don’t burn yourself when you’re pulling out the steamed bottles. Plus, it comes with a bottle! The bottle has a vented base, which helps to prevent colic by minimizing the amount of air bubbles your baby takes in. It even has a cute design and the colors match the sterilizer.

    Keep in mind: This is bigger and bulkier than the other microwave options.

    Good for: Moms that want a cute, colorful sterilizer with a matching bottle.

  • 10.

    (Best Value — $)

    Why it’s great: The Nuby doubles as a bottle warmer and sterilizer, making it extra convenient. It’s easy to use in either function and fits all sizes of bottles. With one machine you can warm your baby’s bottle and make sure it’s cleaned after they’re done with it. The warmer heats your baby’s breastmilk, formula, or food safely and evenly, while still retaining all of the nutrients in it. The sterilizer has a cup and a guide on how much water to add based on what you’re cleaning, taking out all the guesswork.

    Keep in mind: This only fits one bottle at a time.

    Good for: Moms that don’t use a lot of bottles, but like to have a warmer along with a sterilizer.

  • 11.

    (Best Basic Sterilizer — $$)

    Why it’s great: The Cuisinart sterilizer has a sleek, contemporary design that’s compact enough to fit easily on the countertop. It’s very simple and easy to use and even comes with an integrated measuring cup, so you don’t have to guess at the water level or pull out a measuring cup each time you use it. Plus, it can hold up to 6 bottles of any size or brand, including both glass or plastic bottles. It also has a small basket up top that will hold pacifiers and other small accessories.

    Keep in mind: This one doesn’t have a dryer, so you’ll need to air dry your bottles afterward.

    Good for: Moms that want a simple and easy to use sterilizer.

Best Overall

The Philips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about bottle sterilizers

  • 1. Do I have to wash the bottles before I put them in the sterilizer?

    Yes, the bottles will need to be washed prior to putting them in the sterilizer. The sterilizer is designed to get rid of germs, not particles of breastmilk or formula left behind.

  • 2. Can I just use plain tap water in my bottle sterilizer?

    Yes and no. If you don’t have particularly hard water, tap water is generally sufficient in sterilizers. If you have hard water your sterilizer is going to get buildup in it, thus requiring more cleaning or even potentially breaking it. An easy fix is to use distilled water in the sterilizer.

  • 3. At what age can I quit sterilizing bottles?

    If you have a healthy baby who was born full-term the general consensus is you can stop taking extra steps for sanitizing at 3 months. However, many mommas choose to sanitize feeding supplies through 12 months. When you add the convenience of a bottle sanitizer to your baby gear, you may find it easy to keep up the routine until your baby is off the bottle.

  • 4. Which is best, stand-alone, plug-in steam sterilizers, UV sterilizers, or the kinds that go in the microwave?

    This is more of a personal option. They all three get hotter than your dishwasher and use natural steam or UV light to kill off 99.9% of bacteria. If you have the counter space, you may choose to go with one of the stand-alone options, as most of these also give you the chance to store clean bottles in them for 12 to 24 hours. If you didn’t exactly budget for a bottle sterilizer and don’t mind using your microwave, that option may be a better fit.

  • 5. Do I have to dry the bottles before I can use them?

    If you need to use a bottle straight away, the water in them isn’t really an issue. The water just underwent the same sterilization process that the bottle did, so there’s no need to worry. However, you don’t want your bottles to sit for long periods in damp environments, as this can lead to bacteria growth.

  • 6. How do I clean my bottle sterilizer?

    If you are using tap water in your bottle sterilizer you will find that you need to descale the unit more often. Your model will come with directions for descaling; however, almost all steam sterilizers can be cleaned by running the empty unit with half vinegar half water.

Conclusion

Parenting an infant comes with many joyous moments, sterilizing bottles just doesn’t happen to be one of those. Boiling a big pot of water and tossing everything in is an option for sterilizing bottles, but it is undoubtedly not the best option for busy moms. This process takes much longer than using a steam or UV sterilizer. Not to mention, who wants to stand over a boiling pot of water making sure your bottle nipples aren’t melting and sticking to the bottom?

Infant safety is such a huge concern, but knowing that your baby’s bottles, pacifiers, and pumping gear are 99% free of germs and harmful bacteria gives you some peace of mind. Just remember, you won’t be sterilizing bottles forever, even though in the trenches of new parenthood it may feel like it.