Best Budget Steriliser 2020

Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags review

Realistically, it’s not always possible to pay out a whole week’s grocery money for a steriliser, even if you know you’ll be using it regularly. There is a solution. If your budget is a little tight and your sterilising needs aren’t too heavy, these reusable microwave bags from Medela are reliable, compact and surprisingly good value for money.

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Good for parents who

  • Have a small kitchen
  • Are on a tight budget that doesn’t allow for large outlays all in one go
  • Need to sterilise every day, but not intensively

Pros

  • At £12.99, they're about the same price as your fortnightly nappy bill, but will last three times longer
  • Small and portable – great for small kitchens, grandparents’ houses and holidays
  • Quick three-minute cycle
  • No assembly, pre-cycle or cleaning required
  • Each bag can be reused up to 20 times

Cons

  • Can sterilise two baby bottles per cycle – so if you’re getting through more than four bottles a day, it’s fairly labour-intensive
  • Requires a microwave to work
  • No measuring jug included

Product information

  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
  • Included: 5 bags
  • Available from a wide range of retailers, including Medela, John Lewis, Boots and Amazon
  • RRP: £12.99
I find the Medela Microwave Steriliser Bags really useful.

What are the Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags like to purchase and assemble?

The great thing about microwave steriliser bags is that there’s no assembly or pre-cycle required. You can get one out of the box, put the required amount of water in the bottom and you’re good to go.

Medela’s Quick Clean Bags can be bought directly from their website – or else from a variety of retailers like John Lewis, Boots or Amazon – and the almost pocket-sized box won’t add any bulk to your shopping.

Instructions come with images for clarity and are printed on each bag so can’t be lost. They’re extremely straightforward and easy to follow – any relative or babysitter should also manage sterilising without any issues.

Are the Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags safe?

The bags are made of polypropylene, a tough heat-resistant and BPA-free plastic, and are sealed with a strip along the top edge. Our tester, Maisie, found that the seal remained firm throughout all 20 uses – the bag didn't leak hot water or burn fingers.

Once the cycle is done, there’s a cool marked area to hold the bag and a hole to tip out the hot water into a sink before opening.

Our tester found that no steam escaped, so that wasn’t a safety issue – although, of course, the bags should be kept out of reach of little hands when in use.

medela microwave steriliser bags

What are the Medela Quick Clean bags like to use day-to-day?

Firstly, a hooray from all those with tiny kitchens – this little box of bags won’t be taking up any counter space and can easily be thrown in a handbag or a backpack and transported anywhere you might need it, whether that’s to a grandparent’s house or away on holiday. All you’ll need is access to a microwave and a tap.

The Quick Clean Bags have been thoughtfully and carefully designed. They stand up well by themselves, seal easily even on repeated use, and have a wide opening for awkward items or larger bottles.

The bags are surprisingly capacious too. Maisie found that they held either two large bottles, two sets of breast pump components or one set of breast pump components and a bottle per cycle.

Each bag can be reused up to 20 times and there’s a handy tick chart on the front of each bag so you can keep count. Anecdotally in reviews on Amazon, many users say the bag lasts far longer than that, but Medela advise 20 times per bag for safety so we’ll leave that one up to you.

Each cycle takes just three minutes in the microwave – very useful when you’re caught short with a hungry baby. Once the cycle is finished and you’ve tipped out the water, the items inside can be transported in the bag without opening it, which, again, is a good feature when travelling or on the go.

Just one extra note: the box doesn’t come with a measuring jug and there are no markings on the bag for adding water, so you’ll have to measure out the water yourself before pouring it in.

Are the Medela Microwave Bags easy to keep clean?

As they’re eventually disposable, the bags don’t need cleaning – you won’t need to do anything between uses either, except put in fresh water. Nice and easy.

We should note, however, that even though each bag can be reused, it’s not as eco-friendly as buying something more permanent, like the Philips Avent Microwave Steam Steriliser. Polypropylene is recycled by some local authorities but not all, so you’ll need to check with yours before disposal.

The Medela bags are very handy. You just stick your breast pump bits in the bag with water and bung it in the microwave for a couple of minutes - job done.

How do they look?

These microwave steam steriliser bags use the Medela branding and colours, with the photographs and illustrated instructions you’d expect.

But as they’ll likely be packed away out of sight, how they look won’t be a factor in whether or not you buy them.

Are they good value for money?

Here’s our caveat: it largely depends on how many bottles a day you use.

Imagine you get through four bottles in a 24-hour period – there are five bags in a box and each bag can be used 20 times, so a £12.99 box would last around two months before needing to be replaced.

Final verdict

With a cycle that's only three minutes long, the Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags don't use much electricity.

Our tester, who needed to sterilise breast pump parts and bottles every day but not intensively (every four hours), was hugely impressed with their capacity and longevity and enthusiastic about having a couple of boxes stowed away instead of keeping a large plastic unit on the counter.

Altogether, they are an affordable, reusable and space-saving option for sterilisation – which might just suit your budget or your kitchen.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet forums. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our how we test page to find out more.

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Awards

  • Best Budget Steriliser 2020

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