7 Best Bottle Sterilizers of 2020

ghi best bottle sterilizers


During the first year of a baby’s life, parents have a lot to worry about, not the least of which is that a baby’s immune system is the most fragile at this time. Camille Sabella, M.D., Director of the Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, states that “an infant’s immune system doesn’t mature until around 2 to 3 months.” While there’s not much one can do to avoid exposure to household germs altogether, there certainly are steps to take to help ensure they are bacteria-free. Enter the bottle sterilizer – these nifty gadgets make it easy to sanitize (99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9}) bottles, nipples, toys, pump parts, and anything the baby may put into their mouth (which is, like, everything.)

The engineering experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute test all of the latest and greatest gadgets for all of your parenting needs, from baby monitors to kid’s toys. To find the best baby bottle sterilizers, our engineers in the Little Lab considered how easy they were to use, how long they took to operate, how easy they were to clean, and the number of bottles they can hold. Over the past four years, our engineering pros (and parents!) logged tens of thousands of hours sterilizing bottles and accessories! We also we relied on user reviews and feedback to pick the top-rated sterilizers. Here are our top-picks for saying bye-bye to germs fast:

Do I really need a bottle sterilizer?

While it is a personal choice for your family, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sterilizing bottles and parts once a day, especially for babies younger than three months, born prematurely, or have a weakened immune system. Although not mandatory, it is recommended to always sterilize new bottles before using them and if your doctor has recommended sterilizing bottles between feedings, you might like the convenience of being able to load and run a sterilizer without needing to boil water every time, especially if you have multiple babies.

Hand washing bottles with hot water and soap or running them through the dishwasher gives them a good cleaning but may not appropriately sanitize, while most sanitizers claim to eliminate 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria, helping to alleviate the potential for serious illness. You can certainly sanitize your bottles using boiling water on the stovetop, but it does get tedious and is time-consuming. While you don’t need a dedicated machine to sanitize, having a bottle sterilizer on hand certainly provides convenience, kills germs, and adds some peace of mind. We say that is a win-win for all.

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Best Overall Bottle Sterilizer

Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine Combo

Sterilizing baby bottles and accessories can’t get any easier than with the Baby Brezza One Step Sterilizer Dryer. This electric appliance automatically uses natural steam to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of the germs in bottles, breast pump parts, pacifiers, and other baby accessories in just eight minutes, then automatically dries in your choice of a 30, 45, or 60-minute drying cycle. Our Lab pros love that it can be set to automatically sterilize and dry in one cycle, or you can do each independently. It has an easy-to-use control panel and can hold up to six bottles of all shapes and sizes, plus accessories. 

  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of germs
  • Automatic drying and shut-off functions
  • Bottles and accessories stay clean for 24 hours
  • Holds up to 6 bottles plus accessories
  • Cleans and dries in one step
  • Pricey
  • Takes longer to run cycle

Best Value Bottle Sterilizer

Steam Guard Microwave Bottle Sterilizer



As one of the most affordable options out there, this steam bottle sterilizer is not only wallet-friendly, but simple to use and works in under two minutes. It is also a great option for those that don’t want another appliance on their countertop. This microwave sterilizer is a safe and efficient way to kill up 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria on bottles, nipples, pacifiers, teethers, small toys and breast pump accessories right in your microwave. It’s that easy. In our Lab evaluations, we found it lightweight and compact, and we appreciated that it has locking heat-resistant handles to help prevent accidents.

  • Fits all standard microwaves
  • Inexpensive
  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of germs in 2 minutes
  • Holds up to 4 bottles and 2 breast pump shields
  • Child-safe with locking tabs
  • Requires microwave access

Best Microwaveable Bottle Sterilizer

Microwave Steam Sterilizer

Budget-friendly, fast, and effective, this microwave sterilizer claims to be BPA free and kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria in under two minutes. It can hold up to four different sized bottles, breast pump parts, and feeding accessories. It fits into most microwaves and will keep everything clean for 24 hours if you keep the lid closed. Our engineers and parents noted loving that the handles stay cool, so parents or caregivers can safely remove it from the microwave without any harm.

  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria in under 2 minutes
  • Fits most microwaves
  • Holds different shaped and sized bottles, breast pumps, and accessories
  • Stays clean for up to 24 hours with closed lid
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Cannot hold more than 4 bottles at once
  • May be too large for small microwaves

Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer

Deluxe Electric Bottle Sterilizer

As one of the largest electric sterilizers on the market, this sleek machine has a spacious interior that holds up to six bottles on an upper tray and has a removable lower tray to hold accessories like nipples, breast pump parts, pacifiers, and toys.  In just 12 minutes, it will zap 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of germs and automatically shuts off when the cycle is complete. It also comes with a measuring cup and tongs to ensure you won’t get burned if you reach in to remove items while they’re still hot.

  • Removable accessory tray for easy positioning
  • Holds up to 6 bottles and accessories
  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} bacteria in 12 minutes
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Easy electronic controls
  • Pricey
  • Slower than other sterilizers
  • Long cool-down time

Best Bottle Sterilizer for Travel

Quick Clean Micro-Steam Sterilizing Bags

If you want something with no-fuss, easy to use, and great for on-the-go, try the Medela steam bags for all of your bottle sterilizing needs. They’re affordable (each steamer bag can be reused up to 20 times) and can be compactly stashed in your diaper bag if you need to sterilize while of the house. Simply add bottles, pump parts, or accessories with water to the bag and pop it in the microwave for about two and a half minutes. Parents love these bags even when in the house, as they don’t take up any counter space and are so easy to use. They come in a 12- or 15-pack for under $20. Our Lab team notes it’s important to check your microwave specifications to determine the appropriate time to run your microwave for effective results. 

  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} bacteria in under 3 minutes
  • Each bag can be reused up to 20 times
  • Inexpensive
  • Small capacity
  • Requires microwave access

Best Bottle Sterilizer For Multiples

Steri-Steam Electric Steam Sterilizer

Tommee Tippee


Perfect for multiple kids, sterilize up to six bottles in just five minutes with one push of a button. The Tommee Tippee Steam Electric Sterilizer uses only natural steam to zap 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of germs that may linger in baby bottles, nipples, pump parts, and toys. You’ll love its compact design with two stackable trays that have enough space to fit a wide range of bottles and all of your accessories. Bottles will remain sterile for up to 24 hours sealed, so set it and forget it. We love that you can place nipples in the top rack with rings and lids already on for quick assembly once they’ve been sterilized.

  • Contents stay sterile for 24 hours with lid closed
  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria within 5 minutes
  • Easy, single-button operation
  • Holds up to 6 bottles, plus accessories
  • Needs to be frequently descaled

Best Bottle Sterilizer/Dryer Combo

Baby Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer Combo

Wabi Baby


If budget isn’t a factor, this electric sterilizer and dryer combo does it all. According to the manufacturer, you can sterilize up to eight bottles, plus accessories, and kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of harmful bacteria in 8-15 minutes. It offers three different functions with the simple touch of a button: Sterilizing in as little as eight minutes, drying that leaves bottles condensation-free and ready for use from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, and descaling to take care of hard water and calcium deposits, a common issue with steam bottle sterilizers. 

It has a smart sensor that shuts the unit off automatically when it’s done sterilizing, and it also has a countdown timer so you can track how much longer it will take. Bottles will stay clean for up to 24 hours with a closed lid, so you can set it up the night before and wake up to sparkling bottles ready for your baby.

  • Holds up to 8 bottles
  • Claims to kill 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of bacteria in 8 minutes
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Sanitizes, dries, and descales
  • Expensive
  • Large footprint
  • Takes longer due to drying cycle

How to find the best baby bottle sanitizer for you

When choosing your sterilizer, consider how many bottles you’ll want to clean at once, the cost, how much counter space you have, and if it would be easier to have an all-in-one device that dries and stores or a simple unit that fits in the microwave when you need things cleaned. Some also include dryers, for an added bonus.

If you choose to use a bottle sterilizer for your baby’s bottles, there are two ways to go about it — microwave or electric. Both types use the steam to kill approximately 99.9{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of harmful bacteria in just a few minutes, so it’s simply a matter of personal preference which one you should choose, and they are both safe and effective given the right devices. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Electric steamer sterilizer: Simply plug it in and let the machine do all the work. In an electric sterilizer, the bottles and parts are cleaned at a high temperature to produce steam. Electric sterilizers come in many shapes and sizes, depending on your needs and countertop real-estate.
  • Microwave sterilizer: Easy and effective, microwave sterilizers can efficiently sanitize baby bottles and accessories in under two minutes. They come either in steam bags or in plastic containers. Just add water, and pop it right into the microwave for quick sanitizing.

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