Your young baby’s immune system is not yet strong enough to fight off the common bugs and infections older children and adults don’t even think about, which is why it’s important that all feeding equipment, such as bottles and breast pump parts, be properly cleaned and sterilised before used by babies under the age of twelve months.
The old fashioned technique of boiling bottles in a pot on the stove may be the simplest and most cost effective solution, but it does take considerable time each day which can add up very quickly especially with a young baby to attend to, and can become rather tiresome.
The solution? Bottle sterilisers. When used correctly, they will reliably kill up to 99.9% of common germs and bacteria within minutes. For bottle fed babies who may go through six to eight bottles a day, they really are a time effective solution as sterilisers can hold and clean multiple bottles at once. They can also safely sanitise other items such as breast pump parts, dummies and teethers, so you can be confident that commonly mouthed items are as safe and germ free as possible.
This guide will go through with you the different types and review our ten best bottle sterilisers available now in Australia, followed by a handy list of features to look out for when choosing the best product for you.
Types of bottle sterilisers
- UV steriliser. Ultra violet rays are used to effectively sterilise and, importantly, dry bottles. UV sterilisers are more expensive than steam sterilisers and also take longer to complete a cycle, however once complete objects will stay in a sterilised state for up to three times longer than steam sterilisers, making it easy to plan ahead.
- Electric steam steriliser. A small amount of water is placed into these types of sterilisers and electricity is used to generate steam at high enough temperatures to kill bacteria. They are generally quite high in capacity and are suited to families who go through many bottles a day.
- Microwave steam steriliser. Smaller and more portable than electric sterilisers, microwave steam sterilisers are usually shaped like round platters with removable lids. Simply place your bottles with the appropriate amount of water inside and pop in the microwave which will generate enough heat to create the steam needed to sterilise. As with everything hot from the microwave, be careful of escaping steam when removing the lid.
Let’s now dive into our selection of the best bottle sterilisers in Australia’s market, from the most expensive to the affordable ones.
1. Tommee Tippee Ultra UV 3-in-1 Steriliser
Sterilises, dries and stores bottles safely and effectively
Free of heat, steam and harsh chemicals, Tommee Tippee Ultra UV 3-in-1 is our pick for best electric steriliser and uses UV light to safely dry sterilise your bottles, effectively killing up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and germs. It also filters out dust, pollen and other airborne toxins for the most hygienic clean ever.
Ultra quiet when in operation, you can sterilise up to six large bottles, as well as their teats, rings or other items such as dummies, toys and breast pump parts, in sixty minutes.
There are several other functions to this steriliser - dry function, which quickly dries wet bottles after being washed, and storage function, which hygienically stores your sterilised bottles by emitting UV light every two hours, maintaining a sterile environment.
The included high quality Philip UV globe is energy efficient and performs for up to 6,000 hours, and for safety, shuts off automatically if the door whenever the door is opened.
2. Rizees Baby UV Sterilizer & Dryer
The Rolls Royce of bottle sterilisers for families who demand the best
This high quality UV steriliser and dryer offers the very best in hygiene as well as function, with four intelligent modes of operation: auto, sterilise, dry and storage. Reliably sterilise and dry up to six large bottles and accessories, dummies, toys, even towels or your mobile phone, and store them in a perfectly sterile environment for up to 72 hours, ready for the next use.
With a high quality, non absorbent stainless steel inner tank, the Philips UV light effectively eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and germs, while the HEPA air filter system helps to eliminate air pollution for the highest level of hygiene possible.
The touch panel and display screen is intuitive to use and the lid opens electronically with the touch of a button, sealing completely when closed.
Sterilising takes no more than twenty minutes, and drying as little as thirty, so you can expect your bottles to be fully sterilised and air dried in less than an hour. The Rizees is the best baby bottle steriliser for families who bottle feed full time, and even for those with twins or multiple bottle fed babies.
3. Chicco 3 in 1 Steam Steriliser
Adaptable steam steriliser with different modes to suit your needs
Chicco 3 in 1 Steam Steriliser is an easy to use, fast and versatile electric steam steriliser that effortlessly adapts to your needs. There are several different modes to choose from depending on how you want to use it, with all modes delivering equally hygienic and safe bottles for your baby.
The full sized mode comfortably holds six large bottles with a separate shelf for accessories such as teats and rings, dummies and teethers. One sterilisation cycle lasts a speedy 12 minutes and you’ll be alerted when it’s finished with a beep, when the unit will turn itself off.
For when you have fewer bottles to sterilise, or you only need to sterilise smaller items, simply swap the racks to convert to compact mode, which will fit two bottles. When using compact mode, you also have the option to choose eco mode, which saves 25% in time and energy whilst delivering the same results.
There’s even microwave mode, which allows you to pop the unit inside your microwave for super fast sterilisation in as little as three minutes, perfect for when you need a clean bottle quickly.
In any mode, after sterilisation is complete, the contents will remain in a sterilised condition for 24 hours provided the cap remains unopened.
4. Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser
Ultra compact, modular unit which holds more than it looks
Featuring a modular and adjustable design, this Avent electric steam steriliser lets you to reconfigure its size and internal space to fit and organise your bottles optimally, whether you have just a few bottles to sterilise or a full load. Natural steam sterilises the contents reliably, killing over 99% of germs in just six minutes.
Fitting up to large six bottles comfortably, there’s also plenty of space for other items such as breast pump parts and dummies. With its clean lines and flat surfaces, the unit is also easy to clean either by wiping down each part or popping straight in the dishwasher.
Looking sleek on your countertop, the Avent 3-in-1 is ultra slimline and won’t take up too much space. Making effective use of vertical space, it’s the perfect choice if you bottle feed daily, have a small home or kitchen and still need a full capacity bottle steriliser.
5. Tommee Tippee Super-steam Advanced Electric Steriliser
So easy to use and dismantle with stackable shelves and easy lift handles
Compact in size and with an unobtrusive design, Tommee Tippee Super-steam Advanced is a great electric steam steriliser promising sterilised bottles in just five minutes.
It’s very easy to use and features two stackable shelves which can also be used as a drying rack, one push start and large, easy lift handles on the lid to keep your hands safely away from escaping steam.
The pieces fit together and come apart with no effort and no fiddly bits and it’s easy to see which part goes where, a godsend for tired new parents particularly in the middle of the night.
After the cycle is complete, the unit silently switches itself off automatically with the contents remaining sterilised for 24 hours as long as the lid isn’t removed, so it’s so easy to pop the bottles in before bed and wake up to clean bottles in the morning.
6. NUK Vario Express Steam Steriliser
This customisable steam steriliser maximises internal space
This countertop steam steriliser boasts a streamlined design that is practical as well as good looking. Up to six bottles and accessories can be sterilised at once inside this customisable unit, taking just six minutes.
You can reposition the rods and accessory basket as required to maximise the available space, and then it’s simply a matter of adding water, popping on the lid and pressing the power on button. With no separate heating phase, Vario Express heats up and boils the water quickly to create a super steamy atmosphere of over 90ºC, killing over 99% of common germs and bacteria that can be harmful to your young baby.
The unit turns off automatically and the power on light switches off to let you know that that cycle has finished, with no annoying beeping sounds. NUK’s signature bottle tongs are included in the package to allow you to remove the sterilised bottles touch-free.
7. Tommee Tippee Micro-Steam Microwave Steriliser
Perfect for travelling, doubles as a surface to prepare bottles
The ideal solution for space poor and travelling parents, this portable microwave steam steriliser steam sterilises four bottles in just four minutes with no chemicals or residue, and even doubles as a handy surface to prepare bottles.
It features special grooves to position your bottles optimally and to help keep them in place, and despite its small size at only 14cm tall, we’ve yet to find a bottle that won’t fit inside. Although designed for Tommee Tippee bottles, any narrow or wide necked bottle should fit inside, as well as smaller items like dummies and breast pump parts.
Effectively killing 99.9% of harmful bacteria, the contents will remain sterilised for up for 24 hours after the cycle has finished, as long as the lid isn’t removed. The lid itself locks in place sturdily and doesn’t dislodge easily, which is convenient if you want to move the unit from place to place without compromising the cleanliness of the bottles inside.
The BPA free unit can be stored in your microwave to save space, or easily transported with you for sterilisation wherever you are. Tongs are included in the package for hygienically removing sterilised bottles.
8. Philips Avent Microwave Steam Steriliser
Our fastest steriliser, delivering results in just two minutes
Delivering sterilised bottles in just two minutes, the Philips Avent Microwave Steam Steriliser is one of the fastest on the market which could prove invaluable if you ever find yourself short of clean bottles with a hungry baby on hand.
Compact in size, it’ll fit inside all but the smallest of home microwaves and is lightweight for easy transportation. Fitting four large bottles at a time, you can also use it to sterilise other small items like cutlery, teethers and breast pump parts.
The safety clips on the lid not only keep it securely in place but also remain cool to the touch so you don’t have to worry about accidentally burning yourself when removing the lid. We rate this as the steriliser with the best and most user friendly lid of all our listed microwave sterilisers.
9. NUK Micro Express Plus
This budget friendly design doesn’t compromise quality
This award winning, budget friendly microwave steriliser hygienically steam sterilises up to four bottles in just four minutes. It’s ideal for families who use bottles every day and need quick turn around.
With clever inbuilt notches, bottles are positioned perfectly for drying so you can simply take the unit out of the microwave when finished and leave to dry. Bottle tongs are included for removing the bottles touch-free, offering the highest level of hygiene as well as protecting you from accidental burns.
Although designed for NUK bottles, you’ll find that most branded bottles, both narrow and wide neck, will fit comfortably inside. The unit comes apart easily into several parts for cleaning and is dishwasher safe, but be careful when removing from the microwave as the lid has been known to leak a small amount at times.
10. Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags
Perfect for those who only need to sterilise bottles on a casual basis
An extremely handy way to safely sterilise your bottles as well as pumping equipment, Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags eliminate over 99% of harmful bacteria. These easy to use steam bags take just three minutes to sterilise its contents simply by adding water and popping into the microwave, making it a far more convenient method than boiling, and is suited best to families who use bottles only occasionally and don’t have need for a full sized sterilisation unit.
Made from a sturdy BPA free plastic, the bags are roomy enough to hold one or two bottles and accessories and stand freely by themselves. With five bags per pack, each bag can be used up to twenty times before needing to be replaced, and there’s even a handy grid you can tick off after each use so you’ll know when it’s time for a new bag.
Folding flat, the bags take up next to no room to store so you can stash them away in your kitchen drawers, and are the perfect option when travelling.
How to choose a bottle steriliser
Here are some important things to consider before deciding on the best baby steriliser for you.
Frequency of use. How often will you be using your bottle steriliser? You will go through a lot more bottles if you have an exclusively bottlefed newborn compared with a baby who only occasionally takes a bottle of expressed milk. For frequent use, you’ll want to be looking at sterilisers that can handle many bottles at once and are fast to complete a cycle. Electric sterilisers which are turned on with just one press, switch off automatically and run quietly will likely be most suited to you.
Capacity. How many bottles can the steriliser hold at once? You’ll want a steriliser that can easily handle everything and anything you want to throw at it! Want the option to sterilise other items as well as bottles? Maybe a larger capacity steriliser is for you, or consider a model that converts to different sizes depending on your needs.
Size and type of bottles. You want to be sure that the bottles you use will actually fit inside your steriliser. There are so many different types of bottles available in all different shapes and sizes, and taller ones may not fit inside some compact, and in particular microwave, sterilisers.
Where the steriliser will be used. A high capacity countertop steriliser with all the bells and whistles sounds great, but can you afford the bench space? Some models take up as much room as coffee machines or even more, and you can expect it to be a permanent fixture of your countertop for your entire bottle feeding journey. Microwave steam sterilisers are smaller and more compact for those short on space, and can even be stored inside the microwave to maximise space. Don’t forget microwave bag sterilisers which are the most space saving of all and are perfect for travelling or for taking to relatives.