The best baby sterilisers for bottles, dummies and more

Best baby steriliser

by Sophie Knight |
Updated on

When it comes to buying the best baby sterilisers, the options really can seem endless — do you go for a steam steriliser, a microwave one or electric one? And even then, which brand should you buy? To make things easier, we've found the best sterilisers on the market to help you make the best decision.

Breast milk is the perfect first food for your baby, as it's easy to digest and full of all the nutrients they need. But it also contains bacteria that can upset your baby's tummy if traces are left on feeding equipment and given time to multiply. That's why we sterilise our babies' bottles, as this is the best way to kill bacteria. It's important to know how to sterilise baby bottles and equipment correctly, as it'll make it impossible for germs to survive and be passed on to your baby. You can't sterilise baby bottles without some kind of baby steriliser, as it's the best way to kill bacteria, so it's important to find one that works for you and your routine.

The NHS say babies don't start producing germ-fighting antibodies until they're six months old, but by the time baby reaches their first birthday, their body will be able to kill off bacteria all by themselves. Therefore, it is important to sterilise your baby's feeding equipment until they are at least 12 months old. That means sterilising breast pumps, bottles and teats.

There are so many types of sterilisers to consider including steam and UV. Maybe you are looking for something more compact, or faster.

Best sterilisers and sterilising equipment at a glance:

Best dual-use baby sterilisers: MAM Easy Start Bottle & Microwave Steriliser Set - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best premium baby sterilisers: Vital Baby Advanced Pro UV Steriliser & Dryer - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best sterilising fluid: Milton Sterilising Fluid (2 bottles) - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best baby steriliser starter set: MAM Electric Baby Bottle Steriliser + Express Bottle Warmer - Buy now on Amazon UK

Take a look at our full list of the best baby sterilisers for your little one's bottles and teats, plus breast pumps. We have carefully considered features, prices, and design for all of our choices in this list, as well as used recommendations from our mum testers in the Mother&Baby awards.

The best sterilisers for 2024

Best dual-use baby sterilisers

Awarded Silver and Gold for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024

The MAM Easy Start Bottle & Microwave Steriliser Set holds up to six bottles (provided). This steriliser can be used as both a microwave steam steriliser or with cold water tablets. Bottles can stay sterile for up to 48 hours if stored in the steriliser and are good to go in just five minutes.

Plus, this set includes a SkinSoft™ silicone teat and a ventilated base designed to reduce colic. Our parent tester also said that their son really took to the MAM bottles, having previously breastfed, and reduced the amount of winding he needed.

Our parent tester said: "The MAM Easy Start Bottle & Microwave Steriliser set is absolutely brilliant. We had trouble finding the right bottles for our son, and as we were breastfeeding, we were worried about him adjusting to both ways of feeding. He really took to the MAM bottles, and breastfeeding, expressing and bottle-feeding the steriliser was a godsend as it really took the stress and time out of making sure his bottles were ready for the next feed. I couldn't recommend the MAM bottles more as they helped him with his wind (the bottles are designed with valves on the bottom to help with the airflow.) We really noticed a difference in how long it took to wind him with these bottles."

Read our full MAM Easy Start Bottle & Microwave Steriliser Set review


  • Comes with six baby bottles
  • It helps make sterilising easier
  • It can fit up to six bottles
  • Can also be used as a cold water steriliser


  • Some parents found the steriliser didn't fit their microwave, so check measurements
Sterilisation Time:Minimum of 5 minutes
  • Works in as little as 5 minutes
  • Comes with 2 bottles
  • 2 basket levels

Best premium baby sterilisers

Awarded Silver for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2023 and 2024

Tied for Silver, we have the Advanced Pro UV Steriliser and Dryer from Vital Baby. Sleek, efficient and fast, this steriliser works at the speed of light, eliminating bacteria in just seven minutes in a longer cycle. Isn't that impressive? This handy bit of kit has a drying cycle that automatically switches to a sterilising cycle. Plus, it's not just for babies – as it can take keys, cosmetic brushes and beyond.

Reviews Editor Emily Gilbert said: "I am so impressed with this steriliser. It's so easy to use (a dream for tired parents) and is seriously speedy when sterilising. I love that you can put in all manner of items like toys, keys and even phones and that it also dries the items so you've got one less thing to think about."

Read our full Vital Baby advanced pro UV steriliser & dryer review


  • It has multiple sterilisation modes, including a 7-minute and 29-minute cycle
  • It's easy to use
  • The steriliser looks more stylish than most


  • Some parents advised not over filling, to ensure even sterilisation
Dimensions:H25 x W27 x D27cm
Sterilising Time:7 minutes
Not suitable for microwaves or dishwashers
Batteries not included
  • HEPA filter
  • Energy efficient
  • Four modes
  • Sterile and dry in 29 minutes

Best sterilising fluid

Awarded Bronze for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024

Milton Sterilising Fluid allows you to sterilise in just 15 minutes. Milton is a well-trusted brand, and has been approved by midwives. It is also perfect for travelling when you might not have a microwave to hand, and it allows you to sterilise all sorts of different toys and other items, not just bottles.

Our mum tester said: "Milton is a trusted brand and this Sterilising Fluid didn’t disappoint. The ergonomic design of the bottle is easy to handle and non slip if you have wet hands. The lid is child proof yet not too adult proof! The nozzle makes it easy to aim on specific areas/stains as well as filling the measuring lid. It only takes 15 minutes for items to be sterilised."

Read our full Milton Sterilising Fluid review.


  • Kills up to 99.9% of Germs
  • Can be used multifunctionally to treat stains and brighten whites
  • It's ideal for travelling and can be stored in a suitcase


  • Using the fluid might not be as convenient for some parents than having a separate device
  • Cannot be used in metal containers
Ingredients:Active Chlorine Released from Sodium Hypochlorite (Cas N°7681-52-9), 1.9% w/w
  • Milton Sterilising Fluid 500Ml
  • Anti-germ efficacy: Bactericidal: en 14561 in 15 min at 0.6% v/v and en 16615 in 5 min at 3.0% v/ v.
  • Yeasticidal: en 14562 in 15 min at 0.6% v/v and en 16615 in 5 min at 3.0%.
  • Kills 99.9% of Germs
  • Effective for 24 hours
  • Sterilising Means Disinfecting

Best baby steriliser starter set

This clever all-in-one product really does make life easier – saving space in your kitchen and money in the long run. This isn't just a steriliser, it's a milk/food warmer too! Quick to assemble with clear instructions, this MAM Electric Steriliser & Express Warmer is perfect for the multi-tasking super mum who could do with a helping hand. The kit comes with a bottle, soother, and tongs. Milk can be heated up in just 2.5 minutes, and it can be defrosted in just 10 minutes.

Tested by parent Doran for the M&B Awards 2022: "I would definitely recommend this product because it has helped me out a lot as I use it daily, and it's an amazing product it's worth every penny. It's so fast to use and quickly warms up the milk, as sometimes you need it quickly. The design of the steriliser is perfect and easy to clean. Also, it's very hygienic as it makes the bottles stay disinfected for a longer period of time."

Read our full MAM Electric Steriliser and Express Warmer review


  • Sterilises in five minutes
  • Can be detached from the electric base to use in the microwave
  • Can also warm bottles


  • It's not clear how much water should be used for cold sterilisation
Dimensions:28 x 16 x 28cm
Sterilisation Time:5 minutes
  • Includes anti-colic baby bottle, MAM Slow Flow Teat, and MAM Baby Soother
  • Versatile and compact design

Best UV baby sterilisers

All parents want to protect their little ones, that's why Tommee Tippee Ultra UV 3-in-1 sterilisers are designed to kill viruses and 99.9 per cent of bacteria. Using UV light is a safe and dry method of killing 99.9 per cent of harmful germs without using heat, steam or harsh chemicals. You can rest assured that it sterilises those hard-to-reach areas, getting rid of germs that may linger in bottles, teats, breast pumps and other accessories even after thorough washing, and our tester said: "We found that it helps prepare the bottles quicker when your baby is hungry."

Our mum tester Sarah said: "This product really helps keep on top of sterilising the bottles. My husband would often give the bottle before bed and found preparing the bottle and sterilising it when the baby was hungry really stressful. However, because the steriliser keeps the bottles sterile, these can be prepared in advance. We found that it helps prepare the bottles quicker when your baby is hungry."

Read our full Tommee Tippee Ultra UV 3-in-1 Steriliser, Dryer and Storage review


  • Has a convenient auto re-sterilising programme
  • It doesn't use steam or chemicals
  • Helps keep contents sterilised for up to 24 hours
  • It fits alternative brands too


  • It does take 35 minutes to sterilise, which is a lot longer than some alternatives
Dimensions:378.1 x 35.5 x 35.3cm
Sterilisation Time:10 minutes
  • 3 different functions
  • Long-lasting UV bulbs
  • 2 replaceable, washable filters

Best baby sterilisers for quick sterilisation

Bronze Winner for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product for M&B Awards 2023

The Bronze winner in the 2023 M&B Awards was the Nuby UV Steriliser, which sterilises items using UV light. Whether you're looking to sterilise your baby's bottles, or other items such as a soother or teether, this versatile steriliser will keep items sterile for 24 hours if it is left unopened. There's no need to worry about drying items either, with this product due to it using the UV method, and our parent testers thought it was very easy to use and suitable for travelling, which was a big win.

One of our mum testers said: "I found the steriliser extremely straightforward and easy to use. I found it much less time-consuming when trying to make my child a bottle with the peace of mind that the quickness of the sterilisation has been complete."

Read our full Nuby UK UV Steriliser review


  • It's ideal to take travelling
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Doesn't need water, chemicals or a microwave


  • It can't fold down smaller
Dimensions:240 x 195 x 150mm
Sterilisation Time:Minimum of 3 minutes
  • No water, chemicals or microwave needed
  • Works in 3 minutes
  • Lightweight

Best practical baby sterilisers

An Amazon bestseller, this Milton cold-water steriliser kills all harmful bacteria in 15 minutes. It has a lockable lid to prevent it from accidentally being knocked open, and the contents inside stay sterile for 24 hours. It also has a handle to make it easier to transport, one dad was very happy with it, saying that it's more practical than steam sterilisers.

One dad's review said: "If you are not using bottles and you need dummies or nipple shields sterilised constantly, it is a bit more practical than steam sterilisers. The bucket is quite big for a few bottles in case you need them in the future. You change the water every 24 hours, and you can use half a pill/half a bucket if you have small things. And once in the water, you have the stuff sterile in 15 minutes."


  • Large design means more can fit in
  • It's a simple process to use
  • Solution stays sterile for up to 24 hours


  • It's a bulky design
  • Requires more effort to use than an electric steriliser
Dimensions:25 x 16.5 x 24.5cm
Sterilisation Time:15 minutes
  • Lockable lid
  • Sterilises in 15 minutes
  • Solution stays sterile for 24 hours

Best baby sterilisers for thorough clean

The Philips Avent Premium Bottle Steriliser + Dryer allows you to sterilise, dry and store, all in one. Our tester said it was simple to use, getting bottles for your baby's next feed in 40 minutes. This bottle steriliser and dryer uses jets of filtered air to dry bottles before turning off and the steriliser is quick and hygienic, killing 99.9 per cent of germs, for peace of mind at every feed. The steriliser's thorough, chemical-free cleaning can keep its contents sterile for up to 24 hours.

Our mum tester, Mary, said: "I would definitely recommend this product to a fellow mum as it is very simple to use. It has a large capacity, so it takes all day bottles in one go. Bottles are dried and ready to use again in 40 mins. There is no need to have another thing to dry the bottle after being in the steriliser. Every parent should have it in their kitchen."

Read our full Philips Avent Premium Bottle Steriliser & Dryer review


  • Doesn't use chemicals
  • Can store up to six baby bottles
  • It has an integrated drop tray to decrease unpleasant odours


  • Some parents found some elements difficult to clean
Dimensions:‎30.4 x 37.8 x 19.1cm
Sterilisation Time:Sterilise and dry in 40 minutes
  • Keeps them sterile for up to 24 hours
  • Integrated drip tray

Best travel baby sterilisers

These Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Sterilisation bags work like microwave steam cleaners for all your feeding accessories. Each bag fits most breast pumps, 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 travelling and don't want to carry your normal steriliser with you, with one customer saying 'These are so handy!".

One customer wrote: "We were introduced to these in the hospital when our baby was in NICU and my partner was pumping in the ward. These are so handy! Easy to use, no fuss and can take on holiday. We don't stick to the 20-use guide on the bag as we simply change when they get overly worn, and they've been great. The items do get very hot straight out of the microwave, but so long as you are cautious, there's no need to worry. Especially handy for grandparents who look after the baby from time to time and have no need for a more permanent sterilising solution."


  • Convenient to take on the go
  • Each bag can be used up to 20 times
  • They're fast and efficient


  • You have to ensure the bag is perfectly sealed, so you cannot put too much in
Dimensions:‎5 x 14.7 x 10.8cm
Sterilisation Time:3 minutes
  • Works in minutes
  • 20 uses per bag

Best convenient baby sterilisers

Best baby sterilisers Munchkin Steriliser Bags, Pack of 6
Price: $19.54

Shortlisted for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2021

If you're looking for something that is really convenient, then these Munchkin Steriliser Bags are brilliant. They are an easy way to sterilise anytime, any place and are super handy for packing in your bag. They kill up to 99.9 per cent of common bacteria on bottles, pump parts and accessories in as little as 90 seconds (high-wattage microwave), with each bag having up to 30 uses.

Our mum tester, Lyndsay, says: "The munchkin steriliser bags are great as a travel solution for sterilising. As long as you have access to a microwave, then they provide a compact space-saving solution to sterilising on the go, rather than taking bulky cold water sterilising equipment. They are particularly useful if you are just going out for a day or two to visit friends or family and want to travel light."

Read our full Munchkin 6pk Steriliser Bags review


  • Ideal for taking on the go or on holidays
  • It has a cool-touch grip for safer handling
  • Can sterilise in as little as three minutes
  • The bags can be used up to 30 times each


  • Cannot be used for sterilising a lot of products at once
Sterilisation Time:90 seconds - 5 minutes
  • 30 uses for each bag
  • Lightweight
  • Cool-touch grip

Best on-the-go baby sterilisers

MAM Easy Start Self-Sterilising Anti-Colic Baby Bottle 3 Pack
Price: $48.04

Despite being a little pricey, these MAM Easy Start self-sterilising bottles are a genius invention. All you have to do is fill the base with water, then place it in the microwave for three minutes and heat. They're also great for on-the-go cleaning and come in a handy pack of three.

One mum wrote: "Yes, they are pricey, but to combine a steriliser with a bottle is just genius. Saves on having a bulky steriliser hanging around the kitchen. Plus, you can take them anywhere without the bulk. They are great for holidays. I tried a few different bottles as I had originally bought Tommee Tippee, but our daughter didn't like the teats on those and the other bottles. She took to these bottles straight away without any issues. She was previously breastfed.

"Slightly fiddly to clean just because of all the components. Also, make sure you have the white circular base inserted correctly in the bottom of the bottle; otherwise, you'll get a leak. I wish I'd used these the first time around. Expensive initial purchase but very much worth it in the long run."


  • They're self-sterilising, which is ideal for being on the go
  • There's multiple colour choices to choose from
  • The bottles are an anti-colic design too


  • Some parents might prefer the convenience of a steriliser for other accessories
Dimensions:‎0.56 x 0.56 x 0.56cm
Sterilisation Time:3 minutes
  • Anti-colic
  • 100% BPS and BPA-free

Best baby sterilisers anti-colic bottle

Not sure what sized bottled to get? This 10-piece MAM Easy Start Self Sterilising Anti Colic Starter set includes small, medium and large bottles, teats, spouts and a soother, suitable from birth. One mum said it was great because it also came with a handle to turn the bottle into a sippy cup, for when the baby is older. All of the bottles are part of MAM's self-sterilising range, which can be sterilised in the microwave in three minutes, perfect when you're short on time.

One mum reviewer said: "This is a great little set to buy, has everything you'll need! All the sterilisers/feeding bits I bought for my baby were Tommee Tippee, and they all came with bottles. Alas, my son did not like the Tommee Tippee bottles (typical), so my friend kindly gave me one of her MAM bottles to try & he took it rather easily, so we ordered this set! I breastfeed mostly, but this is enough for me to start trying to wean him off the breast & onto formulas for when I go back to work. They came in a lovely little box, & you get the handle too to make a sippy cup for when they're a bit older. There's also a dummy in there!"


  • They're ideal for travelling or being on the go
  • It comes in various colours and set sizes
  • It's cheaper than buying a steriliser and bottles separately


  • A steriliser might be preferred for the other accessories with this set
Dimensions:‎14.2 x 16.8 x 21.2cm
Sterilisation Time:3 minutes
  • Self-sterilising
  • Anti-colic
  • BPA/BPS-free

Best portable baby sterilisers

Silver Winner for Best Steriliser/Sterilising Product for M&B Awards 2021

Perfect if you're out and about, this powerful little Munchkin UV steriliser eliminates 99.99 per cent of bacteria, viruses and germs in just 59 seconds (to be precise!). It's easy to throw into or attach to a purse or nappy bag, so when you need it, it's right at hand. Perfect for use in the home, but extra handy for public spaces such as daycare, playgrounds, doctors, offices, airports, and more.

Our parent tester, Helen, said: "If a mum has a baby or even twins who use dummies all the time then I can see a benefit in this product, especially if you are out of the house a lot. It may also be useful in the house if you need to quickly sterilise a dummy, as it is ready in less than a minute and can go straight into your baby's mouth rather than having to wait three minutes for the microwave and then having to wait for the dummy to cool."

Read our full Munchkin UV Mini Steriliser review


  • Ideal for taking on the go
  • Can be powered by USB or batteries
  • It only takes 59 seconds to sterilise items


  • Some parents struggled to clean it
Dimensions:‎12.5 x 9.2 x 13cm
Sterilisation Time:A minimum of 1 minute
  • Auto shut-off
  • USB cable included
  • Strap included
  • Child-safe UV light

Best overall baby sterilisers

Gold Winner for Best Steriliser/Sterilising product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2023

Milton's Sterilising Tablets don't require heating or rinsing and, therefore, no hassle. They're ideal for holidays when you are sterilising during the baby's first year, and with this kit from Milton, you can sterilise bottles, teats, soothers, spoons, weaning bowls, teething rings, breast pump parts, milk storage containers, nipple shields and breast shells.

Our mum tester said: "So easy to use, cold water and 1 tablet, wait 15 minutes and add your items to be sterilised. I used them to sterilise bottles, dummies, toys, teethers and weaning plates and spoons. When you take the items out, they always smell so clean, and you know that they are ready to use."

Read our full Milton Sterilising Tablets review


  • They're easy to take on the go
  • Has versatile use
  • It has powerful sterilisation


  • While it doesn't leave a smell on products, some parents mentioned the tablets do have a smell
Sterilisation Time:15 minutes
  • Effective in 15 minutes
  • Solution is effective for 24 hours

Best baby sterilisers that's easy to use

The Philips AVENT Microwave steam steriliser is compact and easy to use. It holds four AVENT bottles but is also compatible with various other brands and can keep items sterile for up to 24 hours if left unopened after the two-minute sterilisation cycle.

One customer wrote: "Nice, big steriliser which fits in lots of bottles! I used Tommee Tippee bottles as they are cheaper than Avent ones, and they fit in fine. It's quite a large steriliser, so you will need a big microwave. A quick way for sterilising though, and I would recommend it."


  • Takes up to two minutes to sterilise products
  • Works with bottles from other brands
  • It's easy to clean


  • Can only store up to four bottles at once
Dimensions:28 x 28 x 16.6cm
Sterilisation Time:A minimum of 2 minutes
  • Steralises in just 2 minutes
  • Fits 4 Avent bottles at once

Best baby sterilisers with timer

Sterilising up to six bottles in just six minutes, the Boots Baby Electric Steriliser can also do teats and other accessories for busy parents. The steriliser can keep your items sterile for up to three hours if the lid is kept on securely, and its lower price point was a hit with our reviewer, who said they really liked the quality. Some testers noted it was a little temperamental when putting in the correct amount of water, however they loved how easy it was to load, and that you could put different items in, not just bottles.

Mum Ruth Alcorn reviewed this steriliser for the M&B Awards 2021: "I really liked it. It's so easy to use and clean, and I love that it has a timer and makes a noise when it's finished its cycle. Really liked the quality, especially as it's much cheaper than other sterilisers on the market at the moment. It's quick to use and leaves my bottles and other things clean for three hours. I like it."

Read our full Boots Baby Electric Steriliser review


  • Can hold up to six bottles
  • Comes with tongs for moving sterilised products and an accessories tray
  • It's easy to keep clean


  • Only keep item sterilised for up to three hours
Sterilisation Time:6 minutes
  • Sterilises bottles in 6 minutes
  • Tongs included

Best baby bottle steriliser and dryer

Sure to be an essential for any new arrival, the Baby Brezza Steriliser and Dryer Advanced offers the most advanced way to sterilise and dry bottles and pump parts using natural steam. This device has four clear functions available on the LCD screen, and an automatic timer to keep things simple. 

Killing 99.9 per cent of germs in the sterilisation process, the modular system can be used in four different ways to work with all bottle designs/brands. The easy to use Steriliser-Dyer also has a large capacity, holding eight bottles and two pump parts, so is ideal for regular use in busy households. 

Our parent tester said: "This steriliser and dryer is a fairly straightforward and efficient machine that for us, as first-time parents, has turned out to be just what we needed. It's modular, with two different compartments (one of which splits into two) and has really useful additional features, like the hollow tubes that stand upright in one of the compartments which you can sit baby bottles on."

Read our full Baby Brezza Steriliser and Dryer Advanced review


  • Dryer cycle takes only 30 minutes
  • Can be used to store products and keep them sterile
  • Can store up to eight bottles and two full pump parts


  • Replacement filters must be purchased separately
Dimensions:24 x 32 x 40 cm
Weight:2.87 kg
  • holds 8 bottles and 2 full pump part sets and accessories
  • LCD control panel to choose from 4 functions (Steriliser & Dryer, Steriliser Only, Dryer Only or Storage System)
  • Natural steam effectively sterilises, then automatically dries 33% faster with air that’s 95% germ-free due to the replaceable HEPA filter
  • Products remain sterilised inside for up to 24 hours

Best compact baby sterilisers

If you're looking for a simple-to-use steriliser that you can use out and about, then the Milton Portable Soother Steriliser would be great. It's particularly 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.

Our mum tester, Kayleigh, said: "This product makes my life easier as a mum as obviously it is transportable. It is a perfect small size and so easily carried in my nappy bag or handbag. It fits one soother in perfectly and gives me the confidence that I am giving my baby a completely clean and sterile soother once the sterilisation process is complete."

Read our full Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser review


  • It's ideal for taking on the go
  • Convenient to use for dummies
  • The solution can be re-used throughout the day


  • It cannot be used for bottles
Dimensions:‎8 x 13.5 x 17cm
Sterilisation Time:15 minutes
  • Leak-proof lid
  • Works in 15 minutes
  • Can attach to prams and strollers

Choosing the right steriliser for you

Space: How much room do you have for a steriliser? Can you stretch to a larger one that will sterilise several bottles at once? Or do you need a more compact product?

Time: How long will it take to sterilise each item? Will that then fit into your routine and schedule easily? Do certain features take longer than others?

Accessibility: Is everyone that needs to use it able to use it? Will it work for a family with multiple children?

Ease of use: Do you find all the features useful? Are you able to fit it into your daily routine with baby easily?

Convenience: Does it make the task of sterilising easier and more efficient? Does it take up minimal time?

Easy to clean: Will cleaning it be quick and simple to do? Will it need regular descaling?

Sterilisation method: What kind of sterilisation method will work for your bottles, pumps, and teats? Will it give you the peace of mind you need when it comes to cleanliness.

Where: Do you want something you can use while travelling? Or will you be using it at home with mains electricity?

Portability: Will you be able to take it with you if you're going anywhere with your little one?

When: Do you plan to ditch the steriliser once your baby is 12 months? Or would you like to use it again?

Additional accessories: What else comes with the steriliser that might make it easier to use and worth the money?

What are the different types of sterilisers?

There are six different types of bottle sterilisers.

Electric steam sterilisers: These clean your baby's bottles, dummies and breast pump by using steam to kill germs. This is plugged into the mains which turns into steam and sterilises the items inside.

Steam sterilisers are now being developed with fast cycles, which is always a winner, and they're a great option if you don't have a microwave in your kitchen.

The only downfall is 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.

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 cover, you can simply pop these sterilisers in the microwave.

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. But you'll need to make sure the steriliser will fit in your microwave, as some of them can be quite bulky.

Cold water steriliser: A cold-water steriliser uses a sterilising tablet or liquid and cold water to sterilise bottles or feeding equipment submerged in it. It's a silent sterilising option if you're up in the middle of the night, and 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. However, unlike steam sterilisers, when using cold water methods, you'll need to wait up to 15 minutes.

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.

They can usually be used both in the microwave and with cold water tablets (which is a good backup when staying in hotels). However, you won't be able to fit too much in, so you might find you're constantly using it depending on how young your baby is.

Self-sterilising bottles: These work in a similar way to microwave steam sterilisers. Simply fill the base of the bottle with cool water and pop it in the microwave. They're super easy to use and a great option for when you are on the go. The only downfall is you are only sterilising one bottle at a time.

UV bottle sterilisers: These gadgets are new on the market and innovative. They use special LED lights to emit UV, killing off bacteria safely and quickly. They're easy to use, with no mess or water required, but are the most expensive option of all bottle sterilisers.

Do I need a steriliser?

Whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby, a steriliser is always handy to have. If you are not using baby bottles, you might still need a steriliser for dummies or teething toys for your baby.

You can also sterilise some breast pumps with a steriliser which can be incredibly useful.

Sterilising safety

Is it necessary to sterilise baby bottles?

It is important that you sterilise anything that goes into your baby's mouth, to ensure that they remain safe. Sterilised bottles and teats especially will help protect them from infections that could make them unwell. This should be a part of your routine with your child for at least the first year.

How do I clean bottles before I sterilise them?

It's important to clean bottles, teats and other feeding equipment in hot, soapy water and rinse all your equipment before sterilising.

You can use a clean bottle brush to clean bottles (only use this brush for cleaning bottles) and a small teat brush to clean the inside of teats. You can also turn teats inside out and then wash them in hot soapy water. Don't use salt to clean teats, as this can be dangerous for your baby.

Your baby's feeding equipment can also be put through the dishwasher to clean. Be aware that the dishwasher will clean but not sterilise. Ensure bottles, lids, and teats are facing downwards.

What is the difference between sanitising and sterilising?

Sterilising - This will remove the microorganisms that cause infections, preventing issues like diarrhoea and vomiting.

Sanitising - This will kill bacteria, removing them from surfaces that your baby may be touching like the table.

Do I need to sterilise bottles after every wash?

Before your little one hits the 6 months milestone, it is best to sterilise their bottles after every use and wash. After 6 months, their immune system will be stronger, so you can sterilise them once a day (still washing after every use). If they're poorly, we'd recommend going back to sterilising more frequently.

How do you store bottles after sterilising?

To keep everything sterile, we would recommend keeping the bottles and their teats/lids in the steriliser until you need to use them. If that's not possible, make sure the teats/lids and bottles are stored away somewhere clean, with teats/lids put on the bottles as soon as they're removed from the steriliser.

How long do bottles stay sterile for once out of steriliser?

As you can see by our list above, different sterilisers promise to keep your bottles etc sterilised for different amounts of time. On average, they're likely to stay sterile between 3-24 hours, so it's best to double-check when buying your choice of steriliser.

Sophie Knight is a journalist and mum of two, and previously edited before moving on to write about family cars for - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for Mother & Baby, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and

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