Sterilisers and Warmers

Here we’re going to look at baby bottle sterilisers and warmers. You can buy them separately and they also come as one, which of couse takes up less room in your kitchen. We have put together a range of products, including our favorites, to compare and get a better understanding of what’s out there. We’ve provided some information about their function and also the opinions of real parents just like you and me.

What is a bottle steriliser?

There are many baby products that new parents buy or are given as a gift that just aren’t necessary, and sometimes are just plain pointless. A baby bottle steriliser is NOT one of those things. Sterilisers are important because babies don’t have strong immune systems and can fall ill more easily than us, and if they do it can be very dangerous. That’s why we have to take precautions to thoroughly sterilise bottles and eliminate germs and bacteria, instead of just washing them at the kitchen sink. Sterilisers sometimes have a drying function too, so that you can leave the bottles inside and they will dry and be stored there until you need them, without getting smelly from moisture and damp.

What is a bottle warmer?

Warmers are simply to warm up your baby’s milk (usually both formula and breastmilk) so unlike sterilisers, they’re not a necessity. I know what you’re thinking, they didn’t have these in the past and people survived without! Yes, that’s true, you can choose to warm the bottle in hot water like your parents did in the good old days, but when you’re exhausted in the middle of the night, sleep-deprived and trying to soothe a crying, hungry baby, the last thing you want to do is wait for the water to heat up and constantly check if its reached the right temperature, to avoid it overheating and having to cool it in cold water and wait even longer! Most bottle warmers will heat milk, and also baby food, to exactly the right temperature, so you don’t have to worry about it being too cold or too hot. Obviously I would recommend that you check the temperature quickly anyway, because we can’t trust machines 100%, but most of the time they’re accurate and you’re good to go. There are many different warmers available, some that simply warm and others with slightly more advanced technology that have more functions, there are even some great sterilisers and warmers all in one.

Steriliser Comparison

Scroll down to see a more detailed product summary, or click on the images in the table to see more product information.

Product Name Brand Strengths Weaknesses
Microwave steam sterilizer
Philips AVENT Rapid sterilisation in 2 - 6 minutes
24hr sterile storage
Low cost
Lightweight great for travel
Doesn't fit in small microwaves
Hard to fit 4 bottles in
3-in-1 Electric steam sterilizer
Philips AVENT 6 minute sterilisation
24hr sterile storage
Adjustable size
Takes up minimal space
Easy to clean
Holds up to six 11oz bottles

3 separate parts fall apart
Water leaks between sections
Must empty water tray between uses
Electric Steam Sterilizer
Tommee Tippee 5 minutes sterilisation
24hr sterile storage
Large 5 bottle capacity
Space-saving design
Easy to clean
Short lifespan
Recurring problems with heating element
Microwave steam an dcold water steriliser
MAM 4 minute sterilisation
24hr sterile storage
Can be used as cold water steriliser
Low cost
Compact design
Lid functions as draining board
Too big for some microwaves
Long sterilisation time in low voltage microwave
Steriliser and dryer
Bellababy 10 minutes sterilisation
Dryer function
Large capacity
Too small to fit many bottles
10 minutes is longer than others
Bulky size
Fits fewer bottles than claimed


This microwave steam steriliser from Philips AVENT kills 99.0% of germs in 2 minutes using your  microwave, which reaches higher temperatures than a dishwasher. It takes longer if your microwave has less watts but takes no longer than 6 minutes. The contents remain sterile for up to 24 hours if you don’t open the lid. You will find that this steriliser is amazing value for money. it holds four 9oz bottles or two 11oz bottles and can also be used to sterilise the non-electrical components of a breastpump and 4 breastmilk storage cup and lids for you breastfeeding moms. You can sterilise pacifiers, utensils and all microwave safe baby products. The compact size fits in most microwaves and is small and light enough to transport and use as a travel steriliser, which means you can use your baby’s usual bottles while away from home with the reassurance that they are germ free. The AVENT steriliser is BPA free and includes a steam tray, pair of tongs and a set of instructions along with the steriliser. There are stay-cool safety grips on the sides for easy, burn-free handling. This steriliser is not intended to be put in the dishwasher. Parents like this AVENT sterilisers because it is quick and easy and thoroughly sterilises at a very low cost. I think this is the best steriliser for babies if you have a low budget.


Another great steriliser from Philips AVENT is the 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser which kills up to 99.9% of germs using what they call “intense steam sterilization”. It works by simply plugging it into a standard electrical outlet and takes just 6 minutes. The 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser operate at a higher temperature than a dishwasher for a more thorough clean, and automatically turns itself off when it has finished the 6 minute cycle, for extra safety. The contents remain sterile for up to 24 hours if the lids isn’t opened. you can sterilise all baby products that are washable, including bottles, breastpumps and other accessories. You can alter the size to suit your needs, hence the name 3-in-1, as there are three different ways of using this steriliser.  Tongs and instructions are included and all materials are BPA free. It holds up to 6 standard size bottles yet takes up a very small amount of space in your kitchen.

With a sleek, oval, space-saving design, the Tommee Tippee Electric Steam Steriliser has room for 5 bottles, nipples and lids. If the lid remains closed it can keep contents sterile for a whole 24 hours. With very few parts, this steriliser is simple to use and easy to clean, and you can even turn the lid upside down to use as a sterile surface while preparing your baby’s bottles. It kills 99.9% of germs without any chemicals or dishwasher residue for maximum safety for your baby. With the push of a button it starts to sterilise and takes just 5 minutes. It comes in black or white and with or without a handle.

 

The MAM microwave steam and cold water steriliser  is a large capacity steriliser which fits up to 6 bottles with all their bits and peices, thanks to two baskets. Tongs are provided for extra hygiene.  The lid has latches making it easy to close, and can be used as a draining board for sterilised contents.

The Bellebaby 2-in-1 steriliser and dryer by Babytec can be used with the steriliser-only function, dryer-only or of course the steriliser and dyer together. Compact size is practical for small living spaces but it does fit large bottles. It’s great for holidays as a travel bottle steriliser due to its small size. A sterilisation cycle last around 10 minutes. While it might not be necessary for everyone, you have the possibility of drying your sterilised bottles with the ‘anion cyclonic vortex’ dryer function.  LCD display and micro-computer control.

For sterilisers and bottle warmers combined, see below.

Bottle Warmer Comparison

Again, below we have provided more details on the products shown in the table, and you can also click on the images in the table to see further product information.

Disclaimer: Instructions can be hard to follow, and when you need to time things yourself or use a specific measurement then it can be easy to make a mistake and overheat your baby’s milk. That’s why it’s extremely important to always test the temperature of the milk before feeding your baby, no matter what. Even the best baby bottle warmer might malfunction one day.

Product Brand Advantages Disadvantages
Closer to Nature Electric Bottle and Food Warmer
Tommee Tippee Quick and easy
Fits a variety of bottles
Doesn't tell you when it's reached the rigght temperatre
No on/off button
Very basic
Travel Food Warmer
Tommee Tippee Portable
Great for when out of the house
Easy to use like a thermos
Stays hot for around 8 hours
Doesn't stay hot forever and can't reheat itself once cold
Sometimes leaks
Fast bottle warmer
Philips AVENT Very quick (3 mintes)
Defrost setting
Easy to use
Maintains temperature once warm
No timer
Timing guidelies aren't always accurate
Thermo Express Bottle Warmer
NUK Automatically switches off
Warms using steam
Very quick
Basket allows bottles and jars to be easily removed
Light indicator
Can't regulate time
Cannot maintain temperature once heated
No measuring device despite precise water amounts needed
Perfect Prep Machine
Tommee Tippee Extremely quick
Can be used with any brand of formula
Can be used with most brands of bottles
Formula only
Doesn't make less than 4oz
Water must be cool so not ideal for hot climates
Quite noisy for night feeds
Natural Touch Warmer and Steriliser
Nuby Works with several brands
Turns off automatically once water has evaporated
Small and compact size
Only sterilises one bottle at a time
6 in 1 Electric Steriliser & Express Bottle Warmer
MAM Both electric and microwave sterilising
Defrost fnction
Can be used as cold water steriliser
Automatic shut off
Fits most brands of bottles and around 4 at a time
Quite big compared to others so not ideal for small spaces

Fast Bottle Warmer

Tommee Tippee’s Closer to Nature Electric baby bottle warmer and food warmer warms bottles of both breastmilk and formula as well as baby food jars in just 4 minutes*. Easy to use by simply adding water, and easy to regulate temperature with the control dial. Ideal to use with bottles from he closer to nature range. 

Another great warmer is the Philips AVENT Fast Bottle Warmer, which works in just 3 minutes*. It has a convenient and quite unique defrost setting which is safer than defrosting milk or baby food in a microwave. Hot spots are prevented as the milk swirls around which warms it through evenly. The product comes with a detachable warming reference table so that you obtain the right temperature no matter what quantity of milk you would like to heat.

*based on a 150ml bottle of room temperature milk (20 degrees)

NUK Thermo Express Bottle Warmer is a baby bottle warmer that uses steam to warm the milk and baby food. There are instructions to guide you with the quantity of water needed, then you place to bottle or jar into the machine using the basket provided and you simply push the button. It warms milk in 90 seconds (for a 120ml bottle) with a light to show that it is on, and then it shuts itself off automatically when the water has evaporated, which should mean that the milk or food it has reached the right temperature, if you used the right amount of water. This is great for safety and also for energy consumption. Works great if you have a measuring device like a pipette so that you can add the right amount of water according to the specific instructions. 

Travel bottle warmer

Next we have a travel bottle warmer which is extremely convenient for busy mums and dads. It works by storing hot water which you can use to warm expressed breastmilk or water for formula. In effect, it’s a thermos flask which you might use for tea, coffee or soup, but has a big lid which you pour the ht water into then place the baby bottle inside to warm it. Ideal if you need to feed your little one on the go.

Formula warmer

Tomme Tippee have created their Perfect Prep Machine which makes formula feeding even more simple. With t’s ‘hot shot’ button, hot water is released into the bottle to kill any bacteria and to quickly dissolve the powdered formula, which you add yourself. Then you can add cooler water to fill up the bottle and give you a perfect body-temperature bottle of milk. The machine has an anti-bacterial filter so you can use normal tap water.  It also has a cleaning cycle, with a light to prompt you when to do so. You can use any formula brand with this machine and you can prepare bottles from 4oz up to 11oz, simply by adjusting the dial.

 

Warmer, Steriliser ALL-IN-ONE

This baby bottle warmer and steriliser is the Natural Touch Bottle Warmer and Steriliser from Nuby. It’s a 2-in-1 appliance steam steriliser. Easy to use with measuring cup for the right amount of water. Simple put all components of the baby bottle into the basket followed by the bottle itself, and turn it on to steam sterilise in just a few minutes. Once the water has evaporated it turns itself off. It can be used to warm breastmilk and baby formula as well as baby food jars. This is a great travel steriliser and travel bottle warmer because of its compact size, and you can use it while travelling to places with no access to microwaves.

The 6 in 1 Electric Steriliser & Express Bottle Warmer by MAM literally does what it says on the tin. The six functions include sterilising and warming. It’s great because you can use it as a microwave steriliser or as a electric steriliser. The microwave steam steriliser takes just 5 minutes and can be used for cold water sterilisation. Once placed on the electric base, it becomes an electric steam steriliser, which takes 7 minutes to sterilise using just 200ml of water. Contents remain sterile for 48 hours if left closed. There is a gentle warming function as well as an express bottle warmer, with milk ready in just 2:30 minutes. This warmer also has a defrost setting, where both milk and baby food can be defrosted, warmed and ready to eat in just over 10 minutes. The ‘keep warm’ technology allows milk and food to stay warm for up to 45 minutes. It shuts off automatically for safety.