Buying baby feeding products
Best baby bottle steriliser brands
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Babies' bodies are particularly vulnerable to bacteria that can grow on milk left in a bottle, so sterilising is something you'll need to do until your baby is around a year old.
But with so many bottle steriliser brands out there, and with prices ranging from around £10 to more than £50, it's hard to know which one to go for. But that's where Which? can help.
In March 2014 we asked 1,491 parents in the UK with children aged five and under about their experiences with different bottle steriliser brands.
The table below shows how popular brands, such as Tommee Tippee, Philips Avent and Boots, were rated for ease of use, ease of cleaning, speed of the cycle and value for money.
|Steriliser brand||Ease of cleaning||Ease of use||Speed of cycle||Value for money||Customer score (%)|
|Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature|
Table notes Sample sizes: Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature (542), Philips Avent (580), Innosence (Mothercare) (30), Boots (91). Customer score combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend to a friend.
We asked parents about their experiences with a number of steriliser brands, including Philips Avent, Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature, Boots and Innosense from Mothercare.
The most-owned brands by far were Philips Avent (38%) and Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature (36%).
Philips Avent makes three different sterilisers: 3-in-1 (£60) and 2-in-1 (£45) electric steam sterilisers, and a microwave steam steriliser (£26), all with different bottle capacities and sterilising times.
Tommee Tippee makes two sterilisers: a microwave steam steriliser (£27), which can sterilise six bottles and takes five minutes, and an electric steam steriliser (£47) that holds four bottles and takes four minutes to sterilise.
Boots, the third most-owned brand, has three sterilisers: a microwave steam model (£18), an electric steam model (£36) and a cold water steriliser (£15).
Innosense by Mothercare specialises in cold water sterilisers, and sells one for £15.
Given the price differences between sterilisers, our table with ratings from parents will help you decide which brand to spend your money on.
There are three methods of sterilising:
- electric steam method
- microwave steam method
- cold-water method (also known as chemical sterilisation).
Electric sterilisers tend to cost the most but take minimal preparation, while microwave sterilisers are a little cheaper but tend to hold fewer bottles. Both methods use hot steam to kill bacteria and don't use chemicals.
Cold-water sterilisation involves using tablets or liquid containing diluted bleach to clean bottles in cold water. This tends to take longer - around 30 minutes as opposed to five to 10 minutes with electric and microwave sterilisers - but the sterilisers are cheaper.
Find out more about the pros and cons of different sterilisers in our page on bottle sterilisers, including our tips for sterilising bottles.
One thing to keep in mind is that some sterilisers only work with bottles from that brand. If you have already bought bottles, make sure they will fit in the steriliser you've chosen. Alternatively, you could get a steriliser starter kit that comes with bottles.
Find out more about the types of bottles and teats you can buy, as well as how much they cost, in our guide to bottles and teats.