You’ll need a steriliser to keep bottles and other feeding equipment like breast pumps sparkling clean and germ-free for your baby

What are sterilisers?

OK, so a steriliser isn’t the most glamorous product you’ll be buying for your baby, but it is one of the most important – even if you’re breastfeeding, and only expressing occasionally.

That’s because dangerous germs and bacteria love a warm, milky environment, so it’s vital to sterilise all feeding accessories and your breast pump. 

It’s recommended you keep sterilising feeding equipment until your baby is a year old – including any bottles or sippy cups used for juice.
There are 3 types of steriliser you can buy:

  • Cold water
  • Electric
  • Microwave

Which steriliser is right for you?

Each system has its pros and cons – it’s really up to your lifestyle and budget:

Cold water steriliser - The cheapest method: you can either buy a special cold water unit or use any strong plastic tub or bucket with a lid. Then all you need are sterilising tablets or liquid to add to the water – and you’re ready to add the bottles. They need to stay submerged for 15-30 minutes (depending on brand, see label for precise time) then they are ready to use. With some brands you will need to rinse the bottles to prevent a nasty taste, but with others you don’t. You can re-use the solution multiple times over 24 hours, and items in the solution stay sterile for 24 hours.
Pros: Cheap; good for travelling when there’s no electricity/microwave; you can keep chucking things in over 24 hours; don’t have to wait for bottles to cool down.
Cons: Rinsing can be a pain; bulky tub takes up kitchen space.

Electric steriliser - These kill bacteria with steam and plug in at the wall; most take 6 bottles and the cycle takes around 5-10 minutes depending on the brand. Bottles will stay sterilised for 24 hours if the lid is kept closed. Most units are around £50-£60.
Pros: No chemicals; quick and easy.
Cons: Expensive; descaling the unit (every 2 weeks in hard water areas); need plug socket; takes up worktop space.

Microwave steriliser - Uses steam just like electric units, but these fit inside your microwave. Cycles often take 4-8 minutes, and units usually hold fewer bottles because they are smaller than electric sterilisers. Contents remain sterile for 24 hours if lid kept closed. Most cost around £20-£28. Some double up as a cold water steriliser when travelling.
Pros: Compact so you can put away when not using; quick and easy.
Cons: No metal; holds fewer bottles; need a microwave!

How much will a steriliser cost?

Cold water sterilisation is the cheapest: a unit will cost around £15 but you can use any plastic tub with a lid and just buy the sterilising tablets. Electric units generally cost £50-£60 and microwave units come in a bit cheaper at £20-£28.

Top tips for buying a steriliser

  • Consider how often you’ll use it before buying. Breastfeeding mums will have it running less often than bottlefeeding mums, who will get through 6-8 bottles a day.
  • If buying electric/microwave, check your brand of bottles fit in the unit you’ve chosen. Wide-necked and anti-colic bottles take up more space.

Ready to buy?

Take a look at some of the popular sterilisers below.

Steriliser Philips Avent 3 in 1

Philips Avent 3 in 1 Steriliser

RRP: £59.95 - Buy now
This versatile steam steriliser can accommodate different sizes of bottles and accessories, and you can even use its size for easy kitchen storage.

  • natural steam sterilisation kills 99.9% harmful germs without the need for chemicals
  • fast six-minute cycle
  • fits all bottle types
  • BPA free
  • space saving design – adjust it to suit your storage
  • automatic power switch off when finished

What you get:
1 x 3-in-1 Steriliser
1 x Tongs

Why we love the Philips Avent 3 in 1 Steriliser ....

  • it fits bottles, breast pumps and accessories, and toddler plates and cutlery
  • space saving - we all know how much space baby kit takes up, so we love how this can be adjusted into three shapes to squeeze into your cupboards

More Breastfeeding products

Great offers for you

Show all products