Last Updated: Dec 17, 2020 @ 10:43 am.

Who makes the best baby bottle sterilizer? And which of the three types of sterilizers work best: microwave sterilizers, electric sterilizers or multi-tasking sterilizers that also dry bottles? We tested 10 of the most popular bottle sterilizers to find out.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the babies, kids and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer

Quick 6 minutes run time
Loved this easy-to-use sterilizer that uses steam to clean up to six bottles. Worked well and easy to clean. Critics note you still have to dry bottles.
$74.99

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Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer: Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer

We tried out 10 different bottle sterilizers with several brands of baby bottles to find which worked best in the real world. We looked for ease of use, how fast they worked and affordability

Yes, there are three types of bottle sterilizer—electric, microwave and combo models that sterilize and dry. The most popular are electric models. 

After all our testing, we thought Philips AVENT’s 3-in-1 electric steam sterilizer performed the best. It worked in about six minutes in our tests and can keep contents sterile for up to 24 hours (if you don’t open the lid).

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to use. The controls are simple enough—just one button to push!

• Fits 6 bottles (11 ounce bottles). 

• Easy to clean. The maker suggests using distilled water to avoid mineral deposits collecting on the heating element.

• Auto shut off. 

What Needs Work

• Takes up a good amount of counter space.

• Doesn’t dry bottles.

• Takes longer than microwave bottle sterilizers. This model works in six minutes; microwave sterilizers work in two minutes or so.

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Best Budget-Friendly Sterilizer

Fits 6 wide neck bottles
Excellent sterilizer has electronic controls that are easy to use. We liked how easy it is to load . . . plus it can be used to sterilize small toys as well. Dissenters note bottles come out wet.
$46.81

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Best Budget-Friendly Sterilizer: Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer

Yes, baby bottle sterilizers can get pricey, for some reason. But we found a model that did well in our tests (7 minute run time) at a price that doesn’t break the bank: Dr Brown’s Deluxe Bottle Sterilizer. It has much the same features as the Philips Avent model recommended above.

What We Liked

 Easy to load.

• Larger capacity. This model is about twice the size (length-wise) as other models we tested.

• Can also use it for small toys.

• Easy to use.

• Built-in, removable tray for accessories.

• Includes tongs and measuring cup.

What Needs Work

• Bottles come out wet. 

• Heating element can rust over time. We see reports of this issue, although we didn’t see it on our tests (we didn’t test this unit over a longer-term, however).

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Best Microwave Bottle Sterilizer

Easy on the wallet
Quiet and quick bottle sterilizer/dryer impressed in our testing. Loved auto shut off and drying function, but be careful of steam when opening. Pricey.
$20.99

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Best Microwave Bottle Sterilizer: Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer

If you are looking for the most affordable and low-tech way to sterilize bottles, we’d suggest Philips Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer.

As the name implies, you pop this unit in the microwave with some water, set for two minutes and poof! You have sterilized bottles. We liked its simplicity.

This sterilizer also avoids the issue of rusting heat elements—this is a complaint with some electric bottle sterilizer. 

Here’s more on why this solution is a good idea:

What We Liked

• No electronic parts to break. We love gadgets as much as other folks, but electric bottle sterilizers have one key flaw: they can break! This microwave steam sterilizer works as long as your microwave is working.

• Fast. Microwave bottle sterilizers take about a third less time to sterilize bottles.

• Safety clips keep lid on and prevent burns when removing hot unit from microwave.

• Affordable.

• Fits in most microwaves.

What Needs Work

• Bulky to store.

• Doesn’t dry bottles. When the bottles come out sterilized, they will be wet and hot (as you might guess). So you have to wait a few seconds for them to cool back down.

• Can melt bottles if not careful. If you don’t follow the time instructions, you can easily melt or damage your bottles.

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Best Bottle Sterilizer & Dryer

10 bottle capacity
Quiet and quick bottle sterilizer/dryer impressed in our testing. Loved auto shut off and drying function, but be careful of steam when opening. Pricey.
$69.95

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Best Bottle Sterilizer & Dryer: Papablic Baby Bottle Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer

If you’ve read through the above reviews, you might have noticed one key flaw with many bottle sterilizers we tested: they do not DRY bottles. That extra step can be frustrating, especially if you have a hungry baby who isn’t happy with delays!

We tested a handful of bottle sterilizers that also dry bottles before landing on the Papablic sterilizer and dryer as the best bet.

Yes, it is more pricey than most plain sterilizers—but you probably would have guessed that since this extra function adds to the device’s complexity. Here’s more on why we liked this choice:

What We Liked

• Quiet.

• Quickly sterilizes and dries. This took about 8 minutes total. Note that some bottle sterilizers take six minutes to sterilize—and then you still have to dry the bottles after that!

• Can hold 10 bottles at a time. There are three stacking options, which worked well in our tests.

• Easy to clean. The maker suggests using filtered water; we’d suggest distilled water to keep mineral deposits from building up.

• Accessory tray for smaller items like nipples, pacifiers or toys.

• Auto shut off and timer.

• One daily control.

What Needs Work

• Some bottles may be too tall. You can slant the bottles at an angle to fit, however.

• Hot steam. Read the instructions to make sure you aren’t burned when opening the lid.

• Pricey.

• Hard to clean. It’s best to wipe down the heating element with a paper towel after each use to avoid rust or deposit build-up—and that is a hassle, in our opinion. Other folks didn’t think that was too taxing, so the jury is out on that issue.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here's another key point: we don't take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no "partnerships." Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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