Taking care of your baby can be a bit complicated at times, but their health and safety is so important that you need to pay close attention! One area that is sometimes neglected by new parents and experienced parents alike is the need to sterilize bottles.
This applies to milk and formula bottles mostly, as these can grow bacteria very quickly if left unsterilized. You as a parent will want the best bottle sterilizer to keep your equipment well maintained and properly clean for use all the time.
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What Is The Best Bottle Sterilizer For Babies?
How Does A Bottle Sterilizer Work?
There are a few different kinds of bottle sterilizer, namely these three varieties:
Most cold water sterilizers come in the form of tablets that will dissolve into cold water and create a sterilizing formula for baby bottles and equipment. For this to work well, you have to rinse off the items before putting them in the sterilized solution and sometimes you may need to rinse again afterwards to remove chemical traces.
Cold water sterilizers are convenient when you don’t have access to electricity or a microwave, but they take a lot more time than other methods and require you to plan ahead when using them.
- Electric Steam Sterilizers
Steam is the easiest way to sterilize most bottles, because you can usually just plug these electric machines into an outlet and let them work. After a short time, the bottles and other things will be sterile and ready for use. For, if you leave the machine closed, bottles will stay sterile for sometimes up to 24 hours at a time.
Some bottle sterilizers can be placed in the microwave to utilize steam sterilization in that way. These are the quickest types usually, but they have a smaller space allowance, as they have to fit into a standard microwave in order to work.
How To Choose The Best Bottle Sterilizer
What makes one sterilizer right for you while another isn’t a good fit? Here are some of the criteria you should be looking at:
How many bottles, nipples, and other pieces of milk-contact equipment do you have that you will regularly need to sterilize? Most exclusive bottle-feeding parents will need space for at least 6 bottles per day if the sterilizer will only be used once daily. This, however, does not include the other space you may need for other items like pacifiers and such, if you choose to sterilize them in this way also.
Different types of bottles also affect the size of the sterilizer you will need. If your child prefers wide-neck bottles to standard sized bottles, then you may need a larger sterilizer to accommodate more of that type of bottle.
Your level of busy-ness and activity will have an effect on which sterilizer works best as well. If you need something quick and convenient, electric or microwave sterilizers are the best. If you’re looking for something cheap and easy, cold water sterilizers may be a good option. However, if you have multiple kids and want the most convenient solution, an electric sterilizer is a good choice for you.
Each type of sterilizer has its own price range, although this is not always the biggest concern for parents because of the low prices of most of these devices. Steam sterilizers are arguably the most expensive types, although some cold water sterilizing tabs can be expensive as well when in larger size packages.
You may not always have what you need to sterilize bottles if you travel around sometimes. Microwave sterilizers are the riskiest, as there are not always microwaves. Electric steam sterilizers are usually easy to manage, but even they can cause trouble if you’re going outdoors or if the power runs out where you are. Cold water sterilizers are easily the simplest to use, because all you need is a container and cold water.
Parents that travel will want something that’s easily portable. Microwave sterilizers are more compact, because of their space restrictions, so they can usually be easier to travel with than electric steam sterilizers and some cold water sterilizers.
Cold water sterilizers are only able to work one way, whereas some electric sterilizers are also able to be used as microwave sterilizers. This versatility can be helpful, based on the needs you encounter as a parent.
Top 5 Best Bottle Sterilizer For Babies
The Philips bottle sterilizer is great for parents who want to use Philips baby products, because it works perfectly with any other AVENT bottles and accessories. This is a small, microwave sterilizer that is made from hard plastic and is durable enough to travel around with you anywhere you are going.
It’s not a very large sterilizer, which might be an issue if you want to use tall or wide-mouth bottles. However, it does work well for the specific branded bottles and other similarly sized bottles. This sterilizer also fits milk accessories well, including breast pump pieces, bottle nipples, and even pacifiers.
If you’re looking for a quick way to sterilize bottles, this is a good sterilizer that works effectively in a short period of time.
- Easy to travel with, somewhat compact
- BPA free for safe microwave use
- Works with all Philips AVENT bottle types
- Great for busy parents who need a fast and effective sterilizer
- Bullet Point Compact size is not good for larger numbers of bottles
- You have to add the right amount of water for it to work
- Steam can cause burns if you open the top too soon after microwaving
Like other microwavable bottle sterilizers, this Munchkin product is small and compact, designed to easily fit into any standard microwave oven. It’s able to fit a lot of different bottles from various brands, and can usually fit around 4 bottles with their accessories.
Although there are heat-resistant handles on this sterilizer to help you remove it from the microwave, it does have a tendency to leak water from the sides. This can cause injuries and a lot of inconvenience, meaning many people have to leave it sitting in the microwave for extra time to let the water inside cool down before removing it, just in case of spills.
This sterilizer is better than some other microwavable sterilizers when it comes to storage and travel. It has a smaller surface area and can be more easily packed than others, making it a better fit for tight kitchen cabinets, suitcases, and small-medium sized microwaves.
- Heat-resistant handles help to prevent injuries
- Sterilize bottles in around 2 minutes
- Compatible with most standard sized microwaves
- Lightweight and small size is useful for storage in your kitchen
- Compatible with many different brands of bottles
- Steam is trapped inside and there is no vent to de-pressurize the inside before opening it
- Can cause water spills if not used correctly
The Tommee Tippee electric sterilizer is a reliable, useful sterilizing machine that can fit a lot more than you might think. If you just look at the device, it has a compact feel and doesn’t take up a lot of space, compared to some other steam sterilizers. Actually, the inside is broken up into two compartments: one lower section for the bottles and a smaller top section for lids and accessories.
Even though there is a lot of space, it’s not well designed for very tall bottles. You may need to remove the upper section to fit in a lot of the skinnier, tall bottles. This is okay, except that you will then have to do a separate load of nipples, lids, and accessories apart from the bottles themselves.
While the height might be a problem for some parents, it’s useful to mention that this sterilizer is compatible with a majority of other standard bottle sizes, and it can fit even the wide mouth bottles easily. Many mothers also use this sterilizer for breast pump pieces.
- Very simple for anyone to use, just one button on the device
- Faster than the traditional boiling water sterilization method – 5 minutes per sterilization
- Holds a day’s worth of milk bottles at once
- Separate top and bottom sections make it easy to load and unload
- May begin to leak water slowly as it is used more frequently
- Tall, skinny bottles may be difficult to arrange in the compartment
For the parents that want a bit more room for bottles and baby things, this bottle sterilizer is a good choice for large capacity sterilizing. It can fit as many as 9 bottles at one, depending on the specific sizes and shapes of the bottles, plus it will also hold accessories for those bottles in a separate compartment. No matter which types of bottles you use, you will more than likely be able to fit a lot of them inside this sterilizer per load.
It does have one issue that concerns some parents, which is that it may turn itself on if you leave it plugged in. If you want to make sure it doesn’t run dry or cause any damage, you have to unplug it from the wall, as there is no on and off switch to keep it in check
This is a large bottle sterilizer, which does mean that it will take up a lot of space wherever you are storing it. However, the trade-off is that you will not need to run as many loads to sterilize all of your bottles and equipment, and you can get it all done more quickly and efficiently.
- High capacity compared to many other similar sterilizing devices
- Takes only around 6 minutes to sterilize the entire contents
- Interior bottle rack is adjustable for different sizes and shapes of bottles
- Uses very little water to create steam
- Easy to clean when necessary
- Not very compact, so it’s a bad idea for tight storage
- Heating element easily builds up sediment/calcium from water
- This device sometimes turns on by itself
Most electric steam sterilizers are easy to use, but this particular model is also easy to pack. It has two sections that will fit a wide range of bottles of all heights and widths along with their accessories. Many parents like this sterilizer for use with pacifiers, baby spoons, and other items like that because it can easily fit almost anything, due to its open, modular design.
Each sterilization cycle runs for around 6 minutes, and the machine shuts off automatically afterwards. If you leave the lid closed, the items inside will stay sterilized for up to 24 hours, so you don’t have to sterilize them again right before use.
This sterilizer does come with one pesky issue that doesn’t seem to plague all machines. The heating element that creates steam for the device also builds up calcium and hard mineral deposits very quickly. Within a few uses, it could have a build-up that will put a funky taste in bottles and baby things that are sterilized. You can clean it with vinegar mixtures, but that is a bit of an inconvenience for some busier parents.
- No chemicals used in the sterilization process
- Sterilization stays for up to 24 hours, as long as the lid stays sealed closed
- 2 individual sections for various bottles and accessories
- Made from completely BPA free plastic materials
- Automatic shutoff after each cycle helps you know when it’s finished sterilizing
- Easy to store on a kitchen cabinet without taking up too much space
- Machine requires 10 minutes between each sterilization to cool down
- Heating element can collect calcium build-up rather quickly
In my opinion, the TommeeTippee Electric Bottle Sterilizer is the best bottle sterilizer I’ve talked about today. While it’s not a great sterilizer for traveling, it’s an all-around useful device that’s so simple to use. With a short 6-minute sterilization time, you can easily do all of your bottles and baby accessories within less than 20 minutes, even if you’re running 2 or 3 different loads. That makes it great for busy parents and those with a lot of different types of baby items to sterilize.
It may be difficult to choose the best bottle sterilizer for your family, but if you plan ahead and learn what you can about your choices, you’ll be better able to satisfy your needs on the first try.