Mellow Mummy: Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser Review : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 26 August 2012

Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser Review

Even though I am still mainly breastfeeding, our steam sterliser is one of our most used kitchen gadgets. Every evening I use it to prepare a bottle, the breast pump and my milk saver - our Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser takes pride of place in our kitchen nestled between the smoothie maker and the coffee machine!

Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser - SCF284
Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser - SCF284

The 3-in-1 Avent sterliser claims to be good for saving kitchen space because you can use it in three different formats. With just the big basket (for tall bottles), just the small basket (for soothers and teethers and small bottles) or with both baskets stacked on top of one another. In reality though it doesn't save much space because, when you are not using one of the baskets, you have to find somewhere for the spare basket to live - don't you? To me, the advantage of being able to only use the size of basket you need means that the time taken to sterilise is ever so slightly shorter because you only need to steam enough water for a smaller basket.

Sterilisation takes about 6 minutes.  It is incredibly easy; put water in the well at the base, put the baskets and the lid on top, press button and wait.  A small amount of excess steam escapes from the top of the baskets.  So long as you leave the lid closed, the contents stay sterile for 24 hours which is fab for me because sometimes Holly doesn't need a bottle in the evening so I can leave the bottle and breast pump there for the early morning feed without having to worry about sterilising in a hurry in the morning.

When Lara was a baby I had a second-hand (perhaps even third-hand) traditional Avent steam steriliser which served me well but which died after I failed to keep it descaled well enough (we live in a VERY hard water area).  I actually find it easier to descale this new style of steam sterliser because the well for the water is bigger and it is easy to see when the heating element is clean.  When I first started using it, I would occasionally suffer from the base of the bottom basket turning brown and smelling a bit caramel-like and the water well would go dark brown and icky... I read up about some tips on the Philips website and found it was to do with small remnants of milk remaining in the bottles etc. and that keeping the heating element clean would prevent this.  These days I clean and descale my steriliser once a week to keep it ship-shape.

Both of the baskets of the steriliser can take any brand of bottle (both wide and narrow neck) and have plenty of room for the various bits and bobs you need for feeding or weaning.  When it is fully loaded it takes 6 large bottles.  The SCF284 electric steam sterliser comes with one small newborn bottle and teat, a pair of plastic tongs (for taking the contents out without touching them with your fingers) and a newborn soother.

At around £60 it is quite an expensive piece of new baby kit but I think that it is good value for a product you will use daily for at least 6 months.

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