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The Mystery of Sterilisers Revealed

The Mystery of Sterilisers Revealed

A good steriliser is one purchase that is essential for all new born babies, as their immune systems are not developed enough in their first year to protect them sufficiently from infections.


You might wonder why if sterilisers are such a necessity for parents, how is it possible our ancestors survived without them? Honestly, medics advised them to boil all feeding equipment and similar items being put into baby’s mouth prior to being used.

During the First World War, there was an outbreak of gastroenteritis, which sadly lead to the death of around 4,500 babies, and as a result the UK Ministry of Health put out a national request for a cost and time effective alternative to sterilising baby bottles. Milton came up with a pioneering dilutable solution, killing all germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi), with no need to rinse after application and safe for baby. This remains one of the most cost effective ways to sterilise and is still made in the UK and sold in mass quantities around the world (available from us here).

What do sterilisers do?

Sterilisers are designed to protect baby’s health by killing harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses from items that come into close contact with or inserted into the mouth of baby - such as baby bottles, teats, pacifiers, and breast pump parts.

This is particularly important for formula feed babies as the formula contains certain bacteria that can cause your baby to become ill if the equipment is not properly cleaned after each use. In addition, sterilising your baby's items is also particularly important if your child has a weakened immune system or if they were born prematurely.

Sterilisers get into those hard to reach places that can harbour bacteria, and with bottles and soothers often used multiple times a day, an efficient way of managing sterilisation is vital – it’s not like you have free time anymore!

What types of sterilisers are available?

There are 3 main forms of sterilising: chemical, steam and UV light (and boiling if you wish to count that!). At Baby City we offer 1 chemical (also know as cold water sterilising), 3 forms of steam sterilising and 1 UV LED steriliser. Here’s more information on each type:

  1. Cold Water Sterilisers – a container is used alongside water and a diluted chemical fluid or a tablet, that sterilises the products in minutes, and immediately ready to use without rinsing.
  2. Microwave Sterilisers – these units tend to have ample space, and are generally lightweight. Just pop your items into it, along with a specified amount of water, and then onto a microwave cycle, of usually not more than 4 minutes. The steam generated sterilisers the items and usually if the unit is unopened will keep the contents sterile for 24hrs.
  3. Steam Bags – these are great for when travelling as the reusable bags can be used in anyone’s microwave with a little water added, to quickly sterilise the bottles or few items required at that time. Cycle time is around 2 minutes.
  4. Steam sterilising – this is a standalone unit that does the sterilising. It offers the largest capacity allowing for more items at a time to be sterilised and with more sections/trays to organise them (particularly helpful when it comes to retrieving items). Cycles are about 4 minutes and again just require the addition of water. Most now also have a built in dryer that starts after the sterilisation cycle so that items are immediately ready for use.
  5. UV LED sterilising came to market around 2020 and is the latest technology in sterilising that eliminates the need for water, chemicals or heat. The also has an inbuilt dry, so after washing items and placing them in the unit, it will dry and then sterilise the units. It offers the largest capacity and can even sterilise soft toys, but it does take longer at around 7 minutes. It can also be used to store goods, coming on automatically every 1hr for 1 minute, keeping contents sterile for up to 3 days.

    How much do sterilisers cost?

    The cost of sterilisers at Baby City ranges from £9.99 up to £200, depending on what type of steriliser you choose and which brand. Some parents prefer to use the same brand as the bottles or breast pump they have purchased but this is not necessary as most have space to accommodate such size differences.

    Buy Now

    Baby City is an established baby products store in the UK, offering same day dispatch and next day delivery on a wide choice of trusted baby brands and products.

    We offer a range of around 26 sterilisers covering each of the 5 types of sterilisers described in this blog, that you can purchase with confidence, knowing they are from leading brands that we have worked with for many years. There is also a choice of price, size and functionality to ensure you can choose the steriliser that suits your lifestyle, requirements and means best. Shop the full range here.