The best bottle sterilizer

Allen Foster

Unless specifically stated in the owner's manual, all bottles need to be cleaned before being placed in a bottle sterilizer.

Parents are hardwired to do all they can to protect their child from harm, so when it comes to sanitizing any item that baby puts into her mouth, a little soap and tap water simply isn't going to cut it. For a baby bottle to be germ-free, moms and dads need a bottle sterilizer.

Sounds simple enough but finding the right bottle sanitizer can be a challenge. That's where our buying guide can come to the rescue. Our top choice is Wabi Baby's Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer, a high-end bottle sterilizer that can clean eight bottles at once. To get tips on what features to look for in a quality bottle sterilizer, keep reading.

Considerations when choosing bottle sterilizers

There are three types of bottle sterilizers available: electric steam, microwave, and UV.

Electric steam

Of the three types, electric steam bottle sterilizers offer the most versatility. Besides sanitizing with steam, these models can often warm, store, and dry bottles and other accessories as well.


A microwave bottle sterilizer also uses steam to kill germs, so it is very similar to an electric steam model. Since these types of devices are basically steam containers (the microwave does all of the heating work), they are very affordable, but their functionality is limited to sanitizing --  no drying.


A UV sterilizer utilizes ultraviolet light to kill germs. These models typically use less energy than the other two types. If you purchase a portable model, not only will it be considerably more affordable, but you'll also be able to sterilize everything from toothbrushes to TV remotes. The full-size models, on the other hand, can be rather expensive.


Two key features that you might want to consider before purchasing a bottle sterilizer are its capacity and portability.


Do you need a model that can sterilize eight bottles at once or is six sufficient? How often will you be using your bottle sterilizer for other items, such as nipples, teething toys, and breast-pump parts? After answering these questions, you'll have a better idea of how large you'll want your sterilizer to be.


If you know that you will be traveling, whether on vacation or just the typical day-to-day running around, a large, cumbersome bottle sterilizer won't be the best choice for your needs. You'll want to look for a model that is easy to take with you, no matter where your adventures in parenting may lead.


On the inexpensive end of the price range, you can find microwave bottle sterilizers for under $20. The average electric bottle sterilizer will cost less than $50. However, if you want a  top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles, you can spend up to $100 or more. The top UV bottle sterilizers (non-portable models), on the other hand, can cost $200 or more.


Q. How many bottles does a baby drink in a day?

A. Depending on the bottle size, babies drink four to five bottles each day. After taking into account travel bottles, bottles that get dropped, and nursing accessories, you'll quickly see why having a bottle sterilizer makes a great deal of sense for most families.

Q. Does a bottle sterilizer only sterilize bottles?

A. You can use a bottle sterilizer to sterilize a wide variety of items ranging from pacifiers and teething toys to breast pumps and nebulizer parts. Always check the owner's manual for both your bottle sterilizer and the item you want to sterilize to make sure you won't inadvertently damage either.

Bottle sterilizers we recommend

Best of the best: Wabi Baby's Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer

Our take: A top-end, large-capacity, 3-in-1 bottle sterilizer, dryer, and storage device.

What we like: This bottle sterilizer is designed for fast, easy, and efficient, one-touch sterilizing. It can hold up to eight standard-sized bottles at once, and it features an automatic shut-off. The sterilizing and drying functions can operate independently of each other.

What we dislike: This model costs significantly more than the other bottle sterilizers on our shortlist.

Best bang for your buck: Philips AVENT's 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer

Our take: An affordable 3-in-1 bottle sterilizer that can accommodate up to six Philips Avent 11-ounce bottles.

What we like: Philips' bottle sterilizer uses steam to eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful germs without the need for chemicals. The process takes roughly six minutes and bottles can be safely stored in the device for up to 24 hours. The unit's modular design allows you to sterilize a variety of items and accessories.

What we dislike: The cleaning and maintenance of this bottle sterilizer typically requires a larger commitment than other models.

Choice 3: Dr. Brown's Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer

Our take: An impressive midrange bottle sterilizer that incorporates features found on higher-end models.

What we like: Dr. Brown's Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer has an easy-to-use interface and a removable tray to facilitate sterilizing accessories. It can accommodate up to six Dr. Brown's bottles at a time and features an automatic shutoff for convenience.

What we dislike: Sterilized items may require additional time to achieve a satisfactory level of dryness.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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