Your baby’s immune system is still developing during the first year, and exposure to germs can easily make her ill. Therefore, sterilising baby toys, accessories, and eating equipment are vital. Electric and microwave sterilisers are two of the most popular sterilising methods for baby items.
Electric sterilisers are better for sterilising large quantities of baby accessories and ideal for parents of more than one infant. Microwave sterilisers are better for sterilising only a few items. Microwave sterilisers are also portable, take up less space, and can be used as cold sterilisers.
This article will discuss whether an electric or a microwave steriliser is better, the benefits and drawbacks to both, and the ages until which they can be used.
What Is an Electric Steriliser?
An electric steriliser is a plug-in sterilising unit for your kitchen countertop or table. After adding water, it heats up and creates steam to sterilise the contents. The process takes up to ten minutes, and the contents will be sterile for up to 24 hours, provided you don’t open the unit.
Electric sterilisers have a snap-on lid, and some models have an additional tray for sterilising small items like pacifiers or bottle teats.
Now that we have explained what electric sterilisers are, let’s take a look at them in more detail:
What Age Can an Electric Steriliser Be Used Until?
Electric sterilisers are primarily used to sanitise baby bottles.
Electric sanitisers can be used until your child stops using a bottle, normally at one year of age. After this, if you need to sanitise your infant’s items, you may find that an electric steriliser is too large and not as energy-efficient as a microwave one.
What Are the Advantages of Electric Sterilisers?
Some advantages of electric sterilisers are they don’t use chemicals, and the sterilisation process is fast and simple. Their large capacity makes them ideal for parents of twins, as you can sterilise around six bottles. Electric sterilisers are an excellent option if you don’t have a microwave.
Sterilising your baby’s items in an electric steriliser only takes five to ten minutes, and you can sterilise many items at once.
What Are the Disadvantages of Electric Sterilisers?
One of the main disadvantages of electric sterilisers is that they are costly. They’re also bulky, and the interior can burn your hands. Furthermore, they’re not energy-efficient if you don’t completely fill them up with items to be sterilised.
Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottle Electric Steam Steriliser, a popular electric steriliser, can cost just over £75, while you can buy a Nuliie Microwave Steam Steriliser for a little under £30. Both products are available on Amazon.
Due to their bulky shape, electric sterilisers take up a lot of space on your countertop, a problem if you have a small kitchen.
You should also handle them carefully if you want to remove the items just after sterilisation as the interior can become extremely hot.
The amount of electricity you use to sterilise each item can be a lot if you only use the electric steriliser for a couple of items.
What Is a Microwave Steriliser?
Microwave sterilisers are used to sanitise your baby’s items with hot steam, and the process takes around ten minutes. They’re smaller than electric ones and use a small amount of water for steam creation. Microwave sterilisers also usually have convenient snap-on lids.
Some microwave sterilisers even have removable lids. The inside of the lid is sanitised after each sterilising process, making them the perfect surface for preparing your baby’s bottles or food.
With this in mind, we can now discuss microwave sterilisers in-depth:
What Age Can a Microwave Steriliser Be Used Until?
Microwave sterilisers are multi-functional sterilising units as they can sterilise a range of baby accessories.
A microwave steriliser can be used until your child is one year old. This is when most infants stop drinking from bottles. They also have stronger immune systems at this age. However, you can continue to use a microwave steriliser for sanitising pacifiers, sippy cups, and hard toys after this age.
What Are the Advantages of Microwave Sterilisers?
Some advantages of microwave sterilisers are they’re compact and can be stored in the microwave. They’re portable, can double up as cold water sterilisers, and cost less than electric models. Microwave sterilsers are an excellent choice for breastfeeding mothers.
Since microwave sterilisers are smaller than electric ones, they don’t take up valuable space in your kitchen. It’s easy to pack them away in a kitchen cabinet, and you can store them in your microwave.
Microwave sterilisers are incredibly convenient because they’re portable and can easily fit into your bag. When on the go, you can use them in another microwave, or you can use them for cold sterilisation, making them ideal for vacations.
Breastfeeding mothers don’t need to sterilise bottles and only sterilise smaller items, such as pacifiers and hard baby toys. Microwave sterilisers are the perfect size for smaller baby items and have the benefit of being less costly than electric sterilisers.
What Are the Disadvantages of Microwave Sterilisers?
As you can see, there are many benefits to using microwave sterilisers.
Some disadvantages of microwave sterilisers are they can’t be used if the item contains metal, and some models can’t be used in a certain microwaves. Also, you can only sterilise about four baby bottles at a time, and on-the-go sterilisation is tricky if you don’t have access to a microwave.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose sterilising solution for your baby’s items, a microwave steriliser may not be a good option as you can’t sterilise items containing metal. Some baby bottles or pacifiers contain metal, and you would need to be careful what you buy.
You can use most microwave sterilisers in any microwave. However, some models can’t be used in modern, powerful microwaves, and some sterilisers won’t fit into your microwave if it’s too small.
Parents who use many accessories for their babies, or those with more than one infant, should think twice about a microwave steriliser since they can only sterilise about four bottles at a time.
What Is the Difference Between Electric and Microwave Sterilisers?
Electric and microwave sterilisers both sanitise baby accessories using the hot steam method. However, this is where their similarities end.
The main differences between electric and microwave sterilisers are how they function, their size, and their cost. Electric sterilisers use electricity and tend to be larger in size. Microwave sterilisers use the microwave, are cheaper and smaller, and can be used for cold sterilisation.
Electric or Microwave Steriliser – Which Is Better?
Both electric and modern sterilisers offer a unique set of benefits, but they also have disadvantages.
An electric steriliser is better if you have a bottle-fed baby, as it can sterilise around six bottles at once. A microwave steriliser is better if you’re breastfeeding, don’t have a lot of countertop space, or need a portable steriliser to use on the go.