Last Updated: Jun 5, 2023 @ 3:35 pm.

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 Microwave Bottle Sterilizer

Easy on the wallet
Look, ma! No cord! Simple to use, this sterilizer pops in your microwave. Two minutes later, you have sterilized bottles. Also works for pacifiers. No electronics to break!

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Best Microwave Bottle Sterilizer: Philips AVENT Microwave 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—microwave, electric and combo models that sterilize and dry. 

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 Easy to Use

Simple controls
Loved how well this sterilizer worked—and yes, it can dry bottles as well. Tip: use distilled water to prevent spotting.

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Best Easy to Use: Dr. Brown’s Clean Steam Baby Bottle and Pacifier Sterilizer and Dryer

Yes, baby bottle sterilizers can get complicated, for some reason. Good news: we found a model that did well in our tests (7 minute run time) that is a snap to set up and use: Dr Brown’s.

What We Liked

 Easy to load.

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

• Can also use it for small toys.

• Easy to use.

• Built-in, removable tray for accessories.

What Needs Work

• Pricey compared to microwave sterilizers.

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Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer

Quick 6 minute run time
Love this easy-to-use sterilizer that uses steam to cleans up to six bottles. Worked well and easy to clean. Critics note you still have to dry bottles.

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Best Electric Bottle Sterilizer: Philips AVENT Advanced Electric Steam Sterilizer

In testing electric bottle sterilizers, we thought Philips AVENT’s Advanced Electric steam sterilizer performed the best. It worked in about six minutes (plus 4 minutes heating time) 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 Avent bottles. 

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

• Auto shut-off. 

• New: drip tray keeps milk off the heating plate so no burning odor.

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 (plus 4 minutes heating time) ; microwave sterilizers work in two minutes or so.

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Best Bottle Sterilizer & Dryer

Extra large capacity
Quiet and quick bottle sterilizer/dryer impressed in our testing. Love auto shut off and drying function, but be careful of steam when opening. Pricey.

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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 a 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.

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

• Auto shut off and timer.

• One dial controller.

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!

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