The best baby bottle sterilizers

Health & Safety

Washing your bottles is great, but sterilizing them with a baby bottle sterilizer can kill 99% of the remaining germs and viruses to keep your baby safe.

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Which baby bottle sterilizer is best?

Feeding your baby is a daily part of being a caregiver. However you feed your baby, you will likely use a bottle at some point. When you do, you’ll have to keep your bottles as clean as possible to avoid passing germs and bacteria to your baby. To do that in the most efficient way, a baby bottle sterilizer can be extremely useful. 

With the combination of sterilizing and drying, the Baby Brezza One-Step Sterilizer and Dryer is the top pick for baby bottle sterilizers.

What to know before you buy a baby bottle sterilizer

The primary reason to invest in a baby bottle sterilizer is to protect your baby’s health. Because their immune system is still developing, they are more vulnerable to things like infections, bacteria and parasites. One of the places germs grow quickly is an unsterilized bottle. While washing your bottles gets them mostly clean, sterilizing them takes it one step further by killing more germs and bacteria. 

The CDC recommends sterilizing baby bottles once per day. While you don’t have to sterilize them between uses throughout the day, getting in the habit of sterilizing them at the end of the day is a good practice, especially if your baby is less than 3 months old, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system. 

There are a couple of methods you can use to sterilize your baby bottles. Boiling them for 5 minutes or steaming them in the microwave are both popular methods, though they don’t have the same efficacy as a baby bottle sterilizer. 

The benefits of a baby bottle sterilizer are its convenience, thoroughness and efficiency. With one simple machine, you can sterilize your bottles and, depending on the machine, dry them in a way that ensures your bottles are completely sterile and ready to use. 

Before you buy your baby bottle sterilizer, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Microwave vs. electric

There are two main categories of baby bottle sterilizers: microwave and electric. Some of your consideration between buying a microwave sterilizer vs. an electric sterilizer is personal preference. Both will kill 99% of the germs and bacteria. An electric sterilizer will typically sit on your counter and could take up additional space, while a microwave sterilizer could be a little cumbersome. 

UV sterilization

Another popular type of baby bottle sterilizer that has come to the market in the last few years is the UV sterilizer. This will break down the DNA of the germs on the baby bottles at a molecular level. While these are extremely effective on the areas they affect, they are more expensive and more likely to miss spots. While the steam from a traditional sterilizer will sanitize every part of the bottle, a UV sterilizer only works if the UV light hits the surface. 

How long you’ll use it

Because a baby bottle sterilizer can be a pricey purchase, you’ll want to consider how long you’ll use it. If you plan on needing your sterilizer for years, you may want to invest in a more durable machine with additional features. However, if you think you’ll only use the sterilizer for a few months, a more cost-effective microwave model might be a better bet. 

What to look for in a quality baby bottle sterilizer

Drying feature

Sterilizing your baby bottles is a pointless task if you don’t dry them properly. You can easily contaminate your baby bottles again if they aren’t dried correctly on a drying rack. Many caregivers prefer a sanitizer that has a drying feature. This gives your baby bottles an ideal setting to dry without the risk of recontaminating them. 

Speed

When shopping for your baby bottle sterilizer, look at the speed of the process. When your baby needs a bottle and you’re waiting on the sterilizer, speed will make all the difference. The faster your sterilizer functions, the sooner you’ll have the bottles you need to feed your baby. 

Capacity

Check how many bottles a sterilizer will hold. Some are meant to only hold one at a time, though these are typically portable sterilizers. For an at-home sterilizer, be sure you choose one that can hold at least a few bottles at a time or you’ll quickly become frustrated with the amount of time you spend waiting for clean bottles. 

How much you can expect to spend on a baby bottle sterilizer

Baby bottle sterilizers fall in a large price range, costing anywhere from $20-$150. The price depends greatly on the size and features of the sterilizer. On the lower $20 end, you will find the non-electric, microwave sterilizers. On the $150 end, you’ll have more features and likely a drying function.  

Baby bottle sterilizer FAQ

Do you really need a sterilizer for baby bottles?

A. You don’t need a sterilizer every time you wash your baby bottles. But the CDC recommends sterilizing your baby bottles once a day. Washing baby bottles with soap and water will get them clean, but the daily sterilizing will kill more of the germs than washing alone, keeping your baby safer. 

What is the safest way to sterilize baby bottles?

A. While there are a couple of tried-and-true ways to sterilize baby bottles, a baby bottle sterilizer will ensure that you kill 99% of germs and bacteria. Along with that, it’s an easier and more convenient way to sanitize baby bottles without boiling water or using harsh chemicals. 

What happens if you don’t sterilize baby bottles?

A. Baby bottles, if not properly cleaned, can become contaminated with viruses, bacteria and parasites. Things like hepatitis A and rotavirus can linger. Germs can live on an unsanitized surface for weeks and if they get in your baby’s system, can make them sick. 

What’s the best baby bottle sterilizer to buy?

Top baby bottle sterilizer

Baby Brezza One-Step Sterilizer and Dryer

Baby Brezza One-Step Sterilizer and Dryer

What you need to know: In one simple process, the Baby Brezza One-Step Sterilizer and Dryer lives up to its name by sterilizing and then drying your baby bottles. 

What you’ll love: This easy-to-use machine can sterilize six bottles in 8 minutes, making it a time-efficient way to sterilize all your bottles at the end of the day. 

What you should consider: Some have noted some difficulty in closing the lid completely when the machine is fully loaded, meaning you might have to rearrange some pieces to get the full benefits. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby

Top baby bottle sterilizer for the money

Phillips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer

Phillips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer

What you need to know: The Phillips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer is a reliable workhorse that will work efficiently simply by putting it in your microwave. 

What you’ll love: All you need is two minutes to have your bottles sterilized and ready to use. 

What you should consider: The cool-down time is about 10 minutes, which can feel like forever when your baby needs a fresh bottle. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby

Worth checking out

Wabi Baby Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus

Wabi Baby Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus

What you need to know: With an eight-bottle capacity and the combination sterilizing and drying functions, the Wabi Baby Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus is the perfect option for sanitizing all your bottles at once. 

What you’ll love: The sterilizing and drying functions can be used independently and the machine is roomy enough to handle all your bottle pieces, as well as some pacifiers or teething toys. 

What you should consider: Along with taking up some real estate on your counter, this is a pricier model that will only be worth the investment if you plan to use it for years. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby

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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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