Best steriliser: Protect your little ones from germs with the best steam, electric and UV sterilisers

Now, more than ever, it’s vital to protect your newborn and little ones from unnecessary germs, and finding the best steriliser you can will put your mind at rest.

For the first year of a baby’s life, their digestive systems are developing at a rapid rate and this makes them incredibly sensitive to germs and bacteria, many of which their bodies aren’t yet equipped to deal with.

Sterilising helps remove these potentially harmful substances and reduces the chances of your baby getting sick or having diarrhoea. It may seem overwhelming, and even a little scary, when deciding how to sterilise, but there are various options for you to choose from to suit your lifestyle and budget.

How to choose the best steriliser for you

What type of steriliser do I need?

This entirely depends on your budget, your lifestyle and what you want a steriliser for, but there are three main types.

The first, and probably most common type is the steam steriliser. Bacteria thrive at 37°C and steam sterilisers kill this bacteria by blasting them with 100°C water vapour. To heat the water to the point where it becomes steam, you can either buy an electric steam steriliser or a microwave one. These, effectively, clean themselves each time they’re used but it’s still best to wash them every few days.

 Second, there’s cold water sterilisation that takes advantage of a purified chemical called sodium chlorate. This form of sterilisation involves putting either tablets, or liquid, into cold water and soaking the bottles, dummies or anything else you want to sterilise in this solution for a few hours. The chemical is highly diluted so doesn’t pose a threat to your little one, but it does effectively kill the bacteria. This solution needs to be changed every 24 hours, at least.

And then there’s UV sterilisation. These sterilisers use UVC rays – as opposed to the UVA and UVB you’re likely familiar with. These rays are particularly good at destroying genetic material, such as microorganisms and viral particles, and they can kill germs and bacteria on the surface of bottles and dummies (among anything it comes into contact with). It’s a popular form of sterilisation in hospitals, on planes, and in more industrial settings.

How much do I need to spend?

If you’re breastfeeding or combi-feeding, and will only be using a bottle occasionally, it’s unlikely you’ll need to spend a fortune on large, bulky, all-singing, all-dancing electric sterilisers. That said, the most you’ll pay for a decent steriliser of any type is £90 so, if you can afford it, it can’t do any harm. Your feeding plans may end up changing for a variety of reasons and at least this will be one less thing to worry about down the line.

If you’re planning to not use bottles at all and only want a steriliser for dummies, these are much cheaper. They’re usually portable too.

How to handle sterilised bottles

Although sterilisers kill the bacteria, they shouldn’t be a substitute for washing the bottles. All bottles need to be cleaned in soapy water and rinsed before being put in the steriliser, to make sure milk residue doesn’t remain in the teat or under the rims of the lid.

With all three types of sterilisers, if the bottles remain in the sealed compartment, or inside the cold water solution, they remain sterile for 24 hours. However, as soon as any of the bottles touch the air, bacteria can start forming.

With my baby, we sterilised six bottles at a time and then made them up by putting the teat and lid on to create a seal. This meant they were sterile for 24 hours and could be put in a changing bag when out of the house, or going on a trip.

Alternatively, you can sterilise bottles as you need them.

Note: Once the bottles are sterilised, make sure you use sterilised tongs – many sterilisers come with these as standard– to make the bottles up so you don’t get any germs on the teats.

The best sterilisers you can buy

1. MAM Electric Baby Bottle Steriliser and Express Bottle Warmer: Best all-rounder

Price: £90 | Buy from Amazon

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