You’ve probably been there: it’s 2 a.m. and you hear the sound of rustling on your monitor and you know what’s coming. Soon, your sweet little one is going to be fully awake and hungry, hungry, hungry. I remember the thought of going all the way downstairs, through the living room, through the dining room, all the way to the kitchen seems like a mile-long trek. The worst part was getting to the kitchen and discovering that there were no clean bottles! Don’t judge. Newborn-Mom life is hard! Besides the fact that every extra minute means baby is getting madder and madder! Luckily, there’s a very doable solution! New technology continues to evolve, bringing with it ways to make our lives easier – especially in the middle of the night! We’re going to look at the best baby bottle sterilizers and warmers that are on the market today after we talk about what you should be looking for when you start your search.
Mom on the run? Here are the bullet points…
- Electric Steam Sterilizer with Dryer: Baby Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine
- Microwave Steam Sterilizer: Philip’s Avent Microwave Steam Sterilizer
- Budget Sterilizer: Munchkin Steam Guard Microwave Sterilizer
- Overall Sterilizer: Philip’s Avent 3 in 1 Electric Steam Sterilizer
- Budget Baby Bottle Warmer: The First Years Night Cravings Bottle Warmer and Cooler
- Bottle Warmer for Breast Milk: Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer and Breastmilk Warmer
- Bottle Warmer with Cooler: Born Free Tru Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler
- Baby Bottle Warmer for Use in the Car: Munchkin Travel Car Baby Bottle Warmer
- Baby Bottle Warmer for Travel: Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer
- Overall Baby Bottle Warmer: Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
All About Baby Bottle Sterilizers and Warmers
We all know that germs are bad and make us sick, right? It’s important that your little one has the most germ-free bottles and accessories possible to protect their sensitive immune systems. You may be tempted to think that the dishwasher is a good enough sterilizer, but the fact is, most sterilizers on the market today get hotter than your dishwasher will. Plus, sterilizers not only work with bottles but also with nipples, breast pump accessories, teethers, pacifiers, toys, and non-metal utensils.
When it comes to temperature, some babies will gobble down a bottle that’s any temperature, from fresh from the fridge to pleasingly warm. Others are a little more finicky and will turn their tiny noses up at anything less than the perfect temp. You will quickly realize the need for a bottle warmer if you have a picky eater!
Features to Think About When You’re Shopping For a Sterilizer or Warmer
Every parent wants the best for their baby, but sometimes the overwhelming amount of choices can cause you to grab the first thing you see and be done with it. We’ve done the hard work for you! Let’s take a look at what features you should look for when you’re choosing a sterilizer or a warmer.
There are several different types of sterilizers and we’re focusing on the two most popular: microwave and electric.
- Microwave options are generally cheaper and they use heat to create the steam that sterilizes the bottles, killing all the germs and bacteria. They can hold several bottles at a time – sometimes up to six.
- Electric options are a little more common but work the same way as microwave sterilizers, utilizing steam to kill the bad stuff.
When it comes to warmers, these are the types you have to choose between:
- Water bath warmers heat bottles by circulating hot water around the bottle. This type is thought to be better for bottles containing breast milk because it’s a gentler heat and helps the milk contain the all-important nutrients and antibodies.
- Steam warmers heat the bottle when water from a chamber comes into contact with some type of heating element which creates steam.
- Feeding system warmers not only heat up the bottle of milk or formula, they also come with an added cooler section that can hold a couple of extra bottles. This allows you to have some chilled and ready for the next feeding.
- Portable bottle warmers have a simple design and a smaller size, so they can be taken with you wherever you go. They do take a bit longer to warm the bottle than some other types but are still handy when away from home.
- Car bottle warmers are extra handy because they can be plugged into a power socket or a car’s cigarette lighter, so you can use them on the road. They take the longest to warm up of all other bottle warmers, though, so if using these ones, plan ahead.
Obviously, the more bottles your sterilizer holds, the less frequently you have to use it! On the other hand, if you live in a small space, you may have constraints that cause you to pay close attention to the dimensions of your sterilizer. It’s all up to you!
Ease of Use
When you have a newborn, the last thing you want to do is waste time taking a complicated machine apart to clean, or spend a whole lot of time reading a manual to figure out how it works! Pay attention to how simple it is to use your sterilizer in the way you want to use it.
Baby bottles come in a variety of sizes and shapes. For example, some have wide mouths while others are narrower. If you are loyal to one certain brand then it won’t matter as much if the warmer of sterilizer you choose only accommodates your kind of bottle. But, if you’re like many of us indecisive mamas, you may have several different types and it makes more sense to have a sterilizer or warmer that can fit any of the bottles and accessories you use.
The hazy days of mixed up days and nights can leave you feeling like you’re in a daze. It may be worth it to choose a machine that has an automatic shut-off so that you don’t have to worry if you step away and leave the bottle in the warmer or sterilizer longer than you intended.
Length of Cycle
Every second counts when you’ve got a screaming infant who wants to eat IMMEDIATELY. You’ll probably want to consider how long it takes to go through the warming or sterilizing cycle when you’re making your decision.
Most of us have to take our budget into account when we’re shopping. Make sure that you’re getting the most for your money! The good thing is, neither of these machines is very pricey items and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a quality warmer or sterilizer that won’t break the bank.
Portability/Ease of Travel
There are warmers and sterilizers that are specifically made for travel, though that doesn’t mean that others aren’t easy to take along. Consider how much traveling you do and how much time you spend in the car. If it’s a lot, you’ll probably want to invest in a warmer that can plug into your car adapter for heating bottles on the road.
Using Bottle Sterilizers and Warmers
After buying your new sterilizer, it’s time to put it to use. Whether you’re using a microwave or an electric sterilizer, the rules are pretty much the same.
- Clean the bottles, nipples, caps, and any utensils you used to make the bottle as soon as possible after the baby is finished feeding. Use a bottle brush to get into all the nooks and crannies of the bottles and nipples. This should be done with hot soapy water. Make sure all milk residue is removed and the soap residue is washed away. Let the bottles air dry.
- Place the bottles and nipples with their openings facing down in your chosen sterilizer.
- Read the instructions for your sterilizer to make sure you are adding the water in properly.
- Begin the sterilizing process, following the instructions.
- When it is finished, leave the bottles in the sterilizer until they are needed to avoid contamination. If they are in too long, you may need to sterilize them again before use, so check the instructions for the maximum safe bottle storage time. (https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/cleaning-and-sterilising-baby-bottles)
When it comes to using your bottle warmer, it all depends on the type you buy. Read the instructions carefully, to ensure you are using it correctly. Also, be sure to check the temperature of the bottle by applying a few drops to the inside of your wrists. If it feels warm to you, it will be too hot for the baby.
Best Baby Bottle Sterilizers on the Market
Best Electric Steam Sterilizer with Dryer:
When it comes to your baby’s health, you want to eliminate as many contaminants as possible, but time is always an issue. The Baby Brezza only takes eight minutes to kill 99.9% of the germs in your baby’s bottle using natural steam. As long as the lid stays closed, the bottles will remain sterile for up to 24 hours. The feature that makes this sterilizer stand out is that it dries the bottles, too. You can choose a setting for a 30, 45, or 60-minute drying cycle. The Baby Brezza has a control panel that’s simple to use and gives you several options: sterilize only, sterilize and dry, or dry only. It also holds up to 6 bottles of any brand. It can also accommodate the parts of a breast pump or pacifiers. This sterilizer and dryer would be a great choice for parents who don’t mind spending a little more for a multifunctional machine that gets rid of germs and also allows you to forego drying the bottles with a towel that could re-contaminate them! Watch The Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer in action here.
- Sterilizer can also be used as a rack to hold bottles and accessories.
- Sterilizes items in 8 minutes.
- Drying mode can be set for 30, 45, or 60 minutes.
- Sterilization lasts for 24 hours.
- Sterilize and dry as many as 6 bottles, accessories, pacifiers, and parts of a breast pump.
- It’s simple to operate.
- It can be tricky to get everything to stay put when you’re filling it to maximum capacity with bottles and more.
- Sterilizer may be prone to leaks after several months of use.
- The price is steeper than other comparable options.
- Item Weight: 6.8 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches
Best Microwave Steam Sterilizer:
This Philip’s Avent sterilizer uses your microwave to create natural steam, killing the harmful bacteria and germs before they get a chance to infect your little one. The temperature in this sterilizer actually gets hotter than the dishwasher and it holds as many as four natural or classic Avent bottles at one time. You could also use this sterilizer for breast pumps, cups, non-metal utensils, and pacifiers. All you have to do is add water and microwave for two minutes. The safety clips keep the lid closed so that the sterilizing steam can’t escape. Things in the microwave get hot, right? No worries, the Avent has safety grips that stay cool so you don’t have to worry about burns taking your sterilizer out of the microwave. It’s small enough to take with you for vacation or a quick weekend away.
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
- Only takes two minutes to get rid of 99.9% of germs.
- Fits in most microwave ovens.
- Holds a wide range of Avent bottles, breast pumps, and other accessories.
- Easy to use.
- Compact enough to take on the road.
- Price is budget-friendly.
- Can only be used with Avent bottles.
- Doesn’t include a device for measuring the right amount of water.
- Item Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 11 inches
Best Budget Sterilizer:
You want to do everything in your power to keep your baby safe and healthy – including their feeding supplies. The Munchkin Steam Guard can kill the bacteria on bottles, nipples, teethers, pacifiers, and breast pump accessories. 99.9% to be exact! It uses natural steam from the microwave and it holds up to four bottles at a time – and two breast pump shields. This sterilizer doesn’t take up much room, fits in all standard microwaves, and holds various types of bottles – including wide-mouth. The Munchkin has a locking lid to prevent the steam from escaping and has a heat-resistant handle and comes with heat-resistant tongs.
- Eliminates 99.9% of germs in two minutes.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Can hold up to four bottles and two breast pump shields.
- Fits in all standard microwaves.
- Price is very reasonable.
- Works with all different types of bottles.
- Heat-resistant latch and tongs prevent steam burns.
- Condensation can collect on the top, causing small leaks.
- Bottles don’t dry quickly.
- Item Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 11.3 x 6.7 inches
Best Overall Sterilizer:
This deluxe sterilizer uses electricity to generate the steam that sterilizes bottles and other accessories in just six minutes. As long as the lid stays closed, the bottles will stay sterilized for 24 hours. All you have to do is plug the unit in, add water to the base, load it up, and turn it on. Plus, all the materials used to make this sterilizer are BPA-Free. In addition to breast pump accessories, nipples, and pacifiers, it can hold up to six 11-ounce Avent bottles.
- Kills up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria in six minutes.
- Adjustable size.
- Automatically shuts off when sterilizing cycle ends.
- The slim design takes up less counter space.
- Price is reasonable when compared to other similar products.
- Bottles and accessories stay sterile for up to 24 hours when the lid stays closed.
- Condensation can leave a little water on your countertop.
- Cleaning can be complicated.
- Item Weight: 1 pound
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 11.4 x 13.8 inches
Best Baby Bottle Warmers on the Market
Best Budget Baby Bottle Warmer:
Middle of the night feedings can be rough. Anything that can make that time easier and more of a bonding experience than a headache is a bonus. The First Years Night Cravings Bottle Warmer would be a great way to avoid having to go all the way into the kitchen for bottle prep at 3 a.m. The attached cooler can keep two bottles cool for up to eight hours and the warmer only takes five minutes to get the bottle to the correct temperature. By the time you’ve changed your little one’s diaper, the bottle will be good to go. The built-in night light will keep bleary-eyed parents from stubbing their toes in those pre-dawn hours.
- The cooler is removable.
- Warms formula, breast milk, and baby food.
- Features an automatic shut-off when the bottle is warm.
- Works with any brand of bottle.
- Heats bottles in as little as five minutes.
- Built-in nightlight.
- Budget-friendly price.
- Doesn’t take up a lot of space.
- The cooler has a removable, freezable piece that you have to remember to take out and refreeze each day for it to be ready for that night.
- Can be tricky to figure out the right amount of water to heat each bottle appropriately.
- Item Weight: 3 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 10.2 x 10.5 inches
Best Bottle Warmer for Breast Milk:
There’s a difference when it comes to warming breast milk. You don’t want one bit of those precious nutrients to be wasted or destroyed. For this reason, you need a warmer that takes the fragility of the breast milk into account. The Kiinde Kozii doesn’t use steam to warm the milk, but rather a warm water bath, and shuts off automatically when the milk is at the right temperature, ensuring it doesn’t get too warm. Heating by convection makes sure the bottle is uniformly warm and is quick, too! The Kozii has its own reservoir, saving you the trouble of having to measure and pour water each time you want to heat a bottle. Another feature unique to breast milk is the ability this warmer has to thaw bags of frozen milk without destroying any of the good stuff.
- Warm water bath heats formula and breast milk quickly and safely.
- Water doesn’t have to be measured or added each time the warmer is used.
- Automatic shut-off will stop the warming process even if you leave the bottle in after the timer goes off.
- Warming chamber can heat bottles, liner bags, frozen milk, and baby food jars.
- Price is reasonable.
- No worries about steam burns or anything becoming dangerously hot.
- No onboard light means you’ll need a nightlight or to turn the lights all the way on to prep bottle.
- The timer ticks audibly.
- Item weight: 1 pound
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 6 inches
Best Bottle Warmer with Cooler:
The Born Free Tru Temp Bottle Warmer makes it easy to care for baby in the middle of the night. It eliminates the need for a trip to the kitchen to prepare the bottle. The attached cooler holds two bottles and keeps them cool all night long so that you can keep it at your bedside or in baby’s room. Unlike other warmers, the Born Free has a reservoir of water that only needs to be filled every day or two. It gauges the size of the bottle and the temperature so that it knows the right amount of water to supply for warming. It’s also simple to use and only requires you to follow three easy steps: Find the right setting by looking at the table on the back of the warmer, dial the setting, and push the button for either room temperature or refrigerated. You’ll see a green checkmark when the bottle is ready. The automatic shut-off ensures no issues if you forget. The cooler is insulated and requires two included ice packs to keep the bottles cool. A five-ounce bottle will warm in approximately three minutes and a nine-ounce bottle takes four to six minutes. The look of the warmer/cooler is modern and will fit with any decor, too!
- Compatible with all the top bottle brands.
- Warms formula and breast milk.
- Dial to the proper setting for the perfect amount of warmth.
- A visual indicator counts down the time until the bottle’s ready.
- Stainless steel exterior has a modern look and matches any style.
- Warms a five-ounce bottle in three minutes and a nine-ounce bottle in four to six minutes.
- Cooler keeps two bottles cold for up to eight hours.
- Automatic shut-off ensures the milk doesn’t get too hot.
- Easy to use.
- Not recommended for use with glass bottles.
- Can be prone to leaks after extended use.
- Item Weight: 3.4 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 9.2 x 7.8 inches
Best Baby Bottle Warmer for Use in the Car:
There’s a lot to worry about when you’re taking a road trip. Thinking of a way to heat your baby’s bottle while you’re in the car can be an issue. The Munchkin Travel Car Baby Bottle Warmer can take that trouble off your plate. It plugs into the car adapter and warms your little one’s bottle evenly, with no hot spots and it only takes a few minutes. It has a digital display that lets you know how much time is left before the bottle is ready and shows you the temperature. It’s designed to fit most of the top bottle brands as well as your vehicle’s cup holders.
- Reasonably priced.
- Easy to use.
- Heats evenly and doesn’t create any hot spots.
- Plugs into your car’s adapter.
- Compatible with most bottles and vehicle cup holders.
- Won’t take up too much room.
- Can take a long time to heat the bottle.
- May not work as well with bottles that use plastic bag liners.
- Item weight: 8 ounces
- Product dimensions: 6.8 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches
Best Baby Bottle Warmer for Travel:
This travel warmer heats formula, breast milk, and even baby food on the go. One of the most unique features of the Tommee Tippee is that it doesn’t require any external warming source due to its thermal properties. The flask is stainless steel and all the other parts are BPA- and Phthalate-free. It’s simple to use. First, you have to fill the flask with water that has been boiled and slightly cooled. When it’s time for a bottle, pour the water into the frosted container that acts as a lid when not in use for warming. Put the bottle into the hot water and wait for it to warm up. Always test the temperature before feeding baby!
- Lid latches securely to keep hot water from leaking.
- Doesn’t require any external heat source.
- Easily portable for traveling.
- Price is budget-friendly.
- Can heat formula, breast milk, or baby food.
- Only compatible with Tommee Tippee bottles.
- Size may be a bit prohibitive for travel situations in which space is limited.
- In certain situations, the water may stay hot enough for three to four hours.
- Item Weight: 11.7 ounces
- Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 11.4 x 13.2 inches
Best Overall Baby Bottle Warmer:
This Dr. Brown bottle warmer earns its top spot on our list. The Dr. Brown Bottle Warmer uses steam to heat bottles and food and has a larger interior that can accommodate any size bottle or jar of food. It has an easy to use LCD panel that provides light at night so that you don’t have to turn on bright lights that can make baby more alert and awake than you want in the middle of the night. It has a handy alarm when the bottle is finished warming and has a memory feature that allows you to save your preferred heating time. It’s also easy to adjust for different size bottles. The heating basket is adjustable and the water reservoir doesn’t need to be refilled too frequently and the one-button start makes it quick to get baby’s bottle ready.
- Warm two to three bottles before the water reservoir needs to be refilled.
- Can accommodate different size and brands of bottles and jars of food.
- Uses steam to evenly heat milk, formula, or food.
- Control panel is simple to operate.
- Alarm alerts you to a warmed bottle.
- The cost is affordable.
- Adjustable basket.
- Water measurement doesn’t need to be precise.
- Must be cleaned frequently to prevent mold growth.
- Moving it with water in it may result in some spilling of water.
- Item Weight: 2 pounds
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 7.9 x 9.6 inches
Best Bottle Warmer and Sanitizer Final Thoughts
Choosing the right baby bottle sterilizer and warmer will make a difference in the flow of your days – and especially your nights! We’ve given you the low-down on the best sterilizers and warmers on the market today. From the best budget items to the best overall, you’ll won’t have trouble finding one of each that suits your needs. We picked the Philip’s Avent 3 in 1 Electric Steam Sterilizer as the best overall sterilizer because it has the germ-killing power you want in a tidy, slim package. It’s adjustable for holding different accessories and the price is very reasonable for most budgets. Our overall winner for a baby bottle warmer is the Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer. It’s simple, easy to use, isn’t cost-prohibitive, and we love the memory feature. What are you waiting for? Get shopping! We hope that you found this round-up of baby bottle sterilizers and warmers helpful! We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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