When it comes to buying a bottle steriliser, the options really can seem endless – do you go for seam, microwave or electric? And even then, which brand should you buy? To make things easier, we’ve found the best bottle sterilisers on the market to help you make the best decision.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how each different steriliser works, and the pros and cons of each.
1. Electric steam sterilisers
As the name suggests, these clean your baby’s bottles, dummy and breast pump by using steam to kill germs. This will need to be plugged into the mains, and works like a kettle – heating the water, which turns into steam and sterilises the items inside.
The pros: Steam sterilisers are now being developed with fast cycles, which is always a winner. This is a great option if you don’t have a microwave in your kitchen.
The cons: You will need to clean or descale the elements every few weeks which can be time consuming. Electric steam sterilisers can also be quite bulky, so if you’re pushed for space in your kitchen, this might not be the best option for you.
2. Microwave steam steriliser
These also use steam to sterilise your baby’s bottles/your breast pump, yet unlike electric sterilisers, they do not need to be plugged in and work in the microwave. Once you’ve added water, the bottles and the over, you can simply pop these sterilisers in the microwave.
The pros: These take up a lot less space than electric sterilisers and do not need to be left out all the time. They do the job quickly and are much easier to clean.
The cons: You’ll need to make sure the steriliser will fit in your microwave, as some of them can be quite bulky.
3. Cold water steriliser
Like its name suggests, a cold-water steriliser uses a sterilising tablet or liquid and cold water to sterilise bottles or feeding equipment submerged in it.
The pros: A silent sterilising option if you’re up in the middle of the night, a huge plus of using a cold-water option is that your equipment will stay sterilised as long as they are submerged in water. When using steam sterilisers, once the lid has been opened, the bottles are no longer sterile.
The cons: Unlike steam sterilisers, when using cold water methods, you’ll need to wait up to 15 minutes.
4. Travel sterilisers
These are usually microwave steam sterilisers, but on a smaller scale which is perfect if you’re on the move. Whether it’s that first family holiday, or just a weekend with the grandparents, these usually only fit one or two bottles.
The pros: These can usually be used both in the microwave and with cold water tablets (which is a good backup when staying in hotels).
The cons: You won’t be able to fit too much in, so might find you’re constantly using it depending on how young your baby is.
5. Self-sterilising bottles
A bottle that cleans itself? It might sound too good to be true, but these work in similar way to the microwave steam sterilisers. Simply fill the base of the bottle with cool water and pop it in the microwave.
The pros: Super easy to use, this is a great option when you are on-the-go and means you don’t have to carry any extra equipment with you.
The cons: Obviously you are only sterilising one bottle at a time, so a larger steriliser might be more efficient.
6. UV Bottle Sterilisers
Never heard of a UV steriliser before? Neither had we. These gadgets are new on the market and innovating, in that they don't use water, steam, or chemicals at all to sterilise bottles or dummies. They use special LED lights to emit UV, killing off bacteria safely and quickly.
The pros: Easy to use, with no mess or water required.
The cons: The most expensive option of all bottle sterilisers.
Now keep scrolling to see our choices for each type of bottle steriliser:
The best electric steam sterilisers
Without taking up too much room on the kitchen counter, our mums loved how quick and easy this was to use, keeping bottles sterile for up to 24 hours. That said, they found unplugging, emptying and refilling the steriliser to be a bit of a faff.
This clever all in one product really does make life easier – saving space in your kitchen and money in the long run. Quick to assemble with clear instructions, this is perfect for the multi-tasking super mum who could do with a helping hand.
It's also an award winner - winning Bronze in the M&B Awards 2018 Best Bottle Feeding Product category, and was also Shortlisted in the 2018 Innovation of the Year category.
Tested by mum Michelle Walsh for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "I would recommend this to a fellow mum as it is fairly easy to use once it’s been assembled. It’s also convenient for travelling as it converts into a microwave steriliser which is handy. This particular steriliser takes up less counter space so it’s much better than the bulkier items available on the market."
Read our full review of the MAM Electric Baby Bottle Steriliser here
With the option to sterilise six bottles in five minutes, this Tomme Tippee steriliser is super simple and easy to use. It’s also pretty compact, which is great if you’re pushed for space in the kitchen; you can use the two-tier system as a drying rack, too.
Sterilising in six minutes, this clever steriliser has a heat sensitive handle which warns you when the lid is hot, and a side latch design to secure the lid and prevent accidental opening.
The best microwave steam sterilisers
This compact steriliser should fit into most microwaves, and holds four bottles. With a 4 to 8-minute sterilising cycle, this can also be used as a cold water steriliser if you need it to
Holding up to six bottles, this steriliser can be used as both a microwave steam steriliser, or with cold water tablets. The best part? This pack also includes two self-sterilising bottles, a soother and a pair of tongs.
Compact and easy to use, this Philips AVENT steriliser holds four AVENT bottles and will stay sterile for up to 24 hours if unopened. The clever design allows bottles to be sterilised in two minutes, and the safety clips keep the lid in place, avoiding any nasty accidents.
This bundle contains a range of soothers, teethers and Dr Brown’s Options bottles, as well as a microwave steriliser. The Dr Brown bottle design is said to eliminate air bubbles in the feed.
These bags work like a microwave steam cleaner, for all your feeding accessories. Each bag fits most breastpumps, teats or bottles and cleans and disinfects in around three minutes. The bag can be used up to 20 times, so this is a great idea if you are traveling and don’t want to carry your normal steriliser with you.
The best cold water sterilisers
An Amazon bestseller, this cold-water steriliser kills all harmful bacteria in 15 minutes. With a lockable lid, the contents inside stays sterile for 24 hours.
This Milton steriliser can be used either as a microwave steam steriliser, or as a cold water steriliser holding five bottles. A good one to buy if you want the option to do both, or find yourself on the move a lot. Comes with tongs and Milton Sterilising Tablets.
The best travel sterilisers
With the ability to use as a microwave steam steriliser or with cold water tablets, this little steriliser is a great on-the-move option. Our mums loved the size of the steriliser and the clever design – the steriliser has one flat side to prevent it rolling around in the microwave.
It was Shortlisted in the 2018 M&B Awards Best Travel Product Under £25 category.
Tested by mum Nicola Widger for the Mother&Baby Awards 2018: "I would recommend this steriliser to other mums because it's quick and easy to use. It is big enough for one bottle, and you can choose to either microwave or cold water sterilise. It even comes with free tablets to use. The instructions are very clear to understand. It is also not big and bulky to carry around! A great product!"
Read our full review of the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser here
A good buy if your little one is constantly dropping their dummy, this watertight sterilising device allows you to clean the dummy in 15 minutes, with the contents staying sterile for 24 hours.
The best self-sterilising bottles
These self-sterilising bottles can be placed in the microwave for three minutes – simply fill the base with water and heat. Great for on-the-go cleaning.
Not sure what sized bottled to get? This 15-piece start set includes small, medium and large bottles, teats, spouts and a soother, suitable from birth. All of the bottles are part of MAM’s self-sterilising range, which can be sterilised in the microwave in three minutes.
The best UV bottle sterilisers
Kills 99.9% of bacteria using only UV light from special LEDs, this clever machine has been proven to destroy bacteria after just 11 minutes without the need for liquids, chemicals, heat, steam or sterilising solution.
It was Shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category at the 2020 M&B Awards.
Read our full review of the Vital Baby Nurture Pro UV Steriliser & Dryer here
Tested by mum Jocelyn for the 2020 M&B Awards: "Most sterilisers I have seen advertised, and indeed have previously used myself, have been water-based. I think the idea of a steriliser using UV light is very novel and appealing - in a way, it sounds almost futuristic and certainly more modern than the usual options. This unit is also marketed as being able to dry your wet items after you have washed them, which is appealing if, like me, you get annoyed with bottles and teats sitting around waiting to dry and taking up space. You can also the unit it to sterilise other items - an example given is a TV remote control - so it opens this item up for use beyond the baby sterilising years. This obviously means better value for money."