Babies’ immune systems are delicate little things, and until they’re a year old, they’re not strong enough to beat off bugs and germs. So you’ll need a steriliser for everything related to feeding in those first 12 months. With all those bottles, teats, and breast pumps to sterilise and with different systems available, we asked our mums what to look for before you invest.


Keeping it clean

“I didn’t ever think about having to clean the steriliser! But with our electric one, even though it cleans everything else, I still had to clean and de-scale it just like a kettle, so getting yourself an easy-clean model is vital! Our Medela steriliser is really easy as it splits into four easily washable separate parts.”

Lucy Chapman, 30, from Leeds, mum to Melanie, 14 months

Features and extras

“Check for bundles of extras such as bottles or cleaning products that come with the steriliser. Some of the more expensive machines also have extra features, including options that will keep all your bottles sterile for longer.”

Jacinta Fisher, 20, from Preston, mum to Max, 10 months

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Long vs short term

“How much use will you get out of it? If you’re planning more babies, shelling out on a sturdy one is an investment but otherwise you’ll only use it for the first year. We went for quite a cheapie travel option but it suited us and meant we could spend more on everything else.”

Hannah Hale, 24, from London, mum to Sally, 18 months

Storage savvy

“Most sterilisers take up too much room! We gave away our electric one because we didn’t have space for it and now store our new Philips AVENT microwave one inside the microwave when it’s not in use. But if you’re really pushed for space, microwave bags might be a better idea.”

Kate Roberts, 23, from Portsmouth, mum to 1-year-old twins Davina and Amanda

Trial and error

“We bought a cold water system rather than an electric or microwave steriliser. But the tablets in the water affected my skin, so the second time we got a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature microwave one, which is quick, compact and keeps everything together. I love it. It has a holder, so you know if you’ve lost something.”

Symone Darvell, 28, from Hull, mum to Mia, 2, and Ava, 11 months

The right mix

“Check your bottles will fit in your chosen steriliser. This is especially important for anti-colic bottles, which can be shaped differently and some models won’t fit other brands’ shapes and sizes. As we had loads of differently sized bottles, I found the cold water tank fitted them all best.”

Georgie Ross, 34, from Exmouth, mum to Joe, 8 months

Size matters

“Work out how much you’ll use it. If you’re expressing or using bottles regularly, a bigger steriliser might be useful. But if you’re mostly breastfeeding, it might be better to get a smaller, model. I hardly used our big electric one and regretted the cost.”


Sarah Pham, 28, from Staines, mum to Riley, 2