Best Travel Steriliser 2020

Milton Solo Travel Steriliser review

Because travel sterilisers need to be compact enough to carry around, they’re usually short on bells and whistles. What we loved about the Milton Solo, though, was that it’s more adaptable and comes with more useful design features than any other travel model we tested. Generously sized for a bottle or breast pump parts, it can be microwaved or used with cold water sterilising solution, whichever works best for where you are.

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Good for parents who

  • Need a steriliser for travel or to live at a grandparent’s or child minder’s house
  • Want the flexibility of microwave and cold water sterilisation in one unit
  • Have a small microwave that wouldn’t fit a steriliser upright

Pros

  • Can be stored in a cupboard when not in use
  • Keeps items sterile for 24 hours
  • Can be used in the microwave or with cold water sterilising solution
  • Short two-minute cycle in microwave or 15-minute cycle (manufacturer's guidelines) with cold water
  • Can fit most bottle brands (i.e. Tommee Tippee), though not very tall ones like Dr Brown’s

Cons

  • It’s not as roomy as the microwave steriliser bags, which can usually fit two bottles or a bottle and a breast pump – this fits one or the other
  • When filled with water, it leaks while on its side
  • The width of the unit means it’s hard to open when wet or very hot

Product information

  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
  • Included: Steriliser only
  • Available from a wide range of retailers, including Boots, Amazon and ASDA
  • RRP: £10.99
Really impressed with the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser - very quick and easy to use. I've used it both for cold water sterilisation and in the microwave at home. Now my daughter has fewer bottles, it's meant that I can put my large steriliser away. Works well with our Avent Natural bottles.

What’s the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser like to purchase and assemble?

The Milton Solo is widely available from Boots, Tesco, Amazon and others – though it’s worth remembering that, if you intend to use it with cold water solution, you’ll need to buy sterilising tablets or fluid separately as it doesn’t come with any.

It comes pre-assembled and will just need a quick wash before its first use.

Instructions are helpfully printed on the box as well as on a separate leaflet in colour (unusual!) and there’s lots of information about how the product works on Milton’s website, including an explanatory video.

Milton’s FAQ section is particularly helpful if you have questions about the sterilisation process.

Is the Milton Solo safe?

The steriliser is made from tough, BPA-free plastic and feels robust and well-made. Our tester, Maisie, did wonder whether the air valve in the lid might become a weakness over the course of a few months, but it stayed in perfect condition during the 10 days she used it herself.

Speaking of that air valve – the Milton Solo’s lid screws closed tightly, but the valve pops out quite easily so it shouldn’t be left within reach of children, especially when hot.

The unit does get very hot, in fact, after a microwave cycle. Its wide diameter means it’s a two-handed job to open it, which is tricky when it’s too hot to touch. Our tester recommends leaving it for a few minutes before attempting to remove the lid.

There’s a small, flat lip on the lid so it can be laid down horizontally in a compact microwave, which also means there’s no danger of it rolling around and falling off the kitchen counter.

What’s the steriliser like in day-to-day use?

As a small travel unit, the Milton Solo is easy to store, pack away or take with you to a grandparent’s house – though it’s worth remembering that, while it’s watertight when upright, it does leak when on its side so it would need to be carefully positioned in transit (assuming you were using it to sterilise when travelling).

It’s roomier than the Tommee Tippee 2-in-1 Travel Steriliser, which we also tested, though not quite as capacious as the microwave steam steriliser bags, like the Medela Quick Clean Microwave Bags.

Our tester fitted one regular-sized bottle, i.e. any bottle but the extra-large Dr Brown’s, and also managed to fit all her breast pump parts in it easily (separately, not at the same time).

It’s also incredibly straightforward to use, sterilising the contents in a rapid two minutes in the microwave or 15 minutes in cold water sterilising solution as per manufacturer instructions – the NHS recommend 30 minutes. Once the cycle is done, the contents will stay sterile for 24 hours.

There are markings on the side showing the correct water level for cold water sterilisation, although none for microwaving, and our tester felt that would have been a useful addition.

Unlike the other travel models we tested, like the Tommee Tippee or the microwave bags, the Milton Solo is designed to be able to lie on its side if necessary so it should fit in even the smallest of microwaves.

I really like this steriliser and it's great for travel. We used ours while out for a day trip with my MIL as I hadn't had time to sort out all the bottles for the baby, but the system meant that I didn't have to!

Is the Milton Solo easy to keep clean?

Shaped like a large cup, the Milton Solo Travel Steriliser is a cinch to handwash quickly, even with the few nooks and crannies in the lid.

It’s also dishwasher-safe, which is a huge bonus for busy parents. Our tester put it in the dishwasher with other items and it came out stain-free.

How does it look?

The Milton Solo is comprised of clear and white plastics – it looks of good quality, but quite plain and utilitarian.

As it can easily be packed away when not in use, however, its aesthetics may not matter all that much.

Is it good value for money?

The unit retails at around £10.99. Our tester considered it excellent value for money and said she’d happily buy one to travel with or send to a grandparent’s house.

Final verdict

It might not come with any extras and, of course, it’s less capacious than a full-sized steriliser (see our round-up of the best sterilisers) – but for all that the Milton Solo is surprisingly flexible, roomy and designed with a number of useful features, which elevated it well above the other travel models we tested, like the Tommee Tippee 2-in-1 and the ClevaMama Soother Tree.

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For more information about what to look for when buying a steriliser, check out our buyer's guide.

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Awards

  • Best Travel Steriliser 2020

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