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If you are in the market for a new baby bottle sterilizer, look no further because we did the research for you! One of the most important instincts we as parents harbor is that of protecting our children. Sometimes the threats are easily identifiable while other threats are not so easy to identify and protect our babies from.
A prime example of this is bacteria; often lurking within items we offer our little ones such as bottles, pacifiers, teethers, and toys. This is why having a decent bottle sterilizer can be real-life (and time saver!).
It can be used for multiple items and even if you choose to breastfeed your baby, chances are that you will still need to use a bottle sometime, whether it be to express breast milk or when you start to offer your little one something other than breast milk as they grew older.
We’ve taken the liberty to review some of the most popular sterilizers currently on the market, hopefully making it easier for you to choose a sterilizer most suitable to your specific needs.
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Why use a bottle sterilizer?
During your baby’s first year, he or she will have a very delicate immune system, making them incredibly susceptible to bacteria that can cause serious illnesses such as severe vomiting and diarrhea, depending on the type of bacteria they ingest.
If left untreated, these illnesses can cause dehydration and even lead to death. Other less serious illnesses such as a cold (that can very quickly turn into something serious) can also be easily transferred from our parents or siblings when we handle items such as pacifiers and bottle teats.
Baby bottles these days consist of various elements that are often hard to reach when cleaning by hand but by investing in a bottle sterilizer, you can rest assure that you are giving your baby clean bottles when they are most vulnerable. Most bottle sterilizers can also be used for pacifiers, eating utensils, and other items and will save you time so you can hopefully catch up on some much-needed rest.
Electric vs Microwave
Before we compare a few models, it is important for you to assess your own personal needs and budget and decide on whether you want to purchase an electric or microwave bottle sterilizer. Though both generally sterilize with steam, microwave sterilizers seem to be a little less expensive and faster at sterilizing bottles whilst electric sterilizers are often easy to use and comes with extra useful functions such as drying and deodorizing bottles and utensils.
If space is an issue, microwave bottle sterilizers are usually the way to go as they are smaller in size easier to travel with, given that the place you are traveling to has got a microwave of course.
Entering the marketplace is the UV Bottle Sterilizerthat makes use of ultraviolet light in order to sterilize bottles and other utensils. Though not quite yet a popular option amongst parents, we’re pretty sure that with a few tweaks, we’ll see a rise in popularity due to its portable size and convenience.
It requires no power supply which makes it ideal for traveling, however, many models only sterilizes the teat and not the whole bottle. For this reason, it hasn’t made our top 5 list but does keep an eye out for these models.
Our Top Five Sterilizers
Phillips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer
If you are always in a hurry and would like to sterilize multiple bottles in one go, then the Phillips Avent 3-in-1 electric steam sterilizer is an excellent choice. It sterilizes in just 6 minutes and claims to kill 99.9% of harmful germs. Items in the sterilizer will also stay sterilized for up to 24 hours if left unopened. This model fits 6 Avent bottles but can also take various other items such as breast pumps and other utensils.
Bonus points: It’s easy to keep clean thanks to its open design. It also comes with a small and large container, making it easy to adapt to both small and large bottles.
Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus
This sterilizer made the list due to its multiple functions and large capacity. It sterilizes up to 8 bottles at a time using steam and also dries the contents for you. The drying function makes use of hot air and will aid in sterilization compared to the more traditional open-air drying.
Unfortunately, drying and sterilizing can be a lengthy process – it can take up to an hour when using both processes which means that you should plan well in advance, something that might be tricky with a newborn at home.
It has to be said that the sterilizing itself only takes a few minutes – It is the drying that is rather time-consuming. As a reward, it does offer a more sterile bottle as mentioned above. Taking into consideration that it also acts as a storage unit, the Wabi Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Plus is rather large in size but it does make the chamber easy to pack.
Any bottle can be used in the sterilizer and one can also use it for other items such as pacifiers, breast pumps, and utensils. It’s easy to use, easy to clean (requires a cleaning agent).
Phillips Avent Microwave Sterilizer
This nifty little sterilizer is small in size, can take up to 4 bottles depending on your microwave wattage, it can sterilize bottles in the microwave within 2 to 6 minutes. Let me put your mind at ease – the plastic is BPA-free. It’s been specifically designed for Avent bottles and can fit four 9-ounce bottles or two 11-ounce bottles but it can take some other bottles as well.
The sterilizer can also be used for other utensils such as breast pumps, pacifiers, and soothers. It made the list due to its short cycle but also because it is easy to transport and it contains stay-cool safety grips to prevent burns. Its compact size makes it easy to store and easy to travel with, provided that you know you are going to a place with a microwave.
Brown’s Electric Steam Sterilizer
The Dr. Brown’s Electric Steam Sterilizer can sterilize up to 6 bottles within 12 minutes. It makes use of hot steam to sterilize the bottles. What makes it different from other sterilizers is its effectiveness in killing germs. Bottles inside the steamer are positioned in such a way that steam directly enters each bottle ensuring that there is no place for bacteria to hide.
Although specifically designed for Dr. Brown’s bottles, one can also use them for the most popular brands. Another reason this sterilizer is fairly popular amongst mothers is the one-button operation that makes it easy to use.
It comes with a removable basket and accessory tray for other items such as pacifiers and utensils and includes its own tongs. It is recommended that only distilled water be used in order to prolong the durability of the product.
Tommee Tippee Microwave Steam Sterilizer
The Tommee Tippee Microwave Steam Sterilizer is compact and quick to use. It can hold up to four bottles, depending on the size of the bottle, and sterilizes the nipples and lids at the same time. Items will stay sterile for up to 24 hours if the lid remains unopened and cleans using only water (steam) to ensure that no harmful chemicals are used during the process.
It does take about 4 minutes to clean – a little slower than the Phillips AVENT microwave sterilizer but its compact size and sturdy build are why it made our top 5 list. If looked after, one can use this sterilizer for several years.
Although all of the above sterilizers display excellent features, we’ve come to learn that more often than not, it is your own personal needs as new parents that will influence your choice of bottle sterilizer.
Some new parents are strapped for cash, others only have limited space available, and some look for a sterilizer that sterilizes bottles within minutes. The models we’ve reviewed all have great reputations where effectiveness and durability are concerned and come highly recommended but at the end of the day, it is important that you sit down and establish your needs before purchasing one of these outstanding models as it is something you will use at least for the first year of your little one’s life.