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Do You Really Need a Baby Bottle Drying Rack? (With Alternatives)

Do You Really Need a Baby Bottle Drying Rack? (With Alternatives)

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Unless you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll be using and washing a lot of bottles throughout your baby’s infancy. Is it worth it to pick up a bottle drying rack? Do you really need one?

A baby bottle drying rack can be a helpful addition to your kitchen because it provides you with an easy, dedicated place for your baby bottles to dry completely without cluttering your counter. However, they are typically not dishwasher safe and can be difficult to clean by hand, as well as taking up counter space that you may not have to spare.

Read on to discover the details and weigh the pros and cons of baby bottle drying racks.

Is a baby bottle drying rack necessary?

Once you’ve washed, sanitized, or sterilized your baby’s bottle, you’ll need a place they can dry before they’re ready to fill and use. This may be inside the dishwasher, on your regular drying rack, or on a special, dedicated baby bottle drying rack.

Baby bottle drying racks are not necessary to have, but in some cases, can make your life a whole lot easier. Even if they aren’t truly necessary, they can be well worth it for parents looking for the simplicity of having and maintaining one, especially for the price.

While they aren’t a must-have, bottle drying racks can be handy for some, but what if they’re not for you? How do you dry your baby bottles without one? What happens if they aren’t sterilized properly? Can you put a drying rack into the dishwasher? Continue reading to find out!

How do you dry baby bottles without a drying rack?

Using a drying rack isn’t the only option for drying your baby bottles. There are several different methods you could use to dry your baby bottles.

If you’d rather not dedicate the money (or space) to a dedicated baby bottle drying rack, try using your:

  • Standard dish drying rack – Many households have a standard dish drying rack and these drying racks can also be used as a safe alternative to drying your baby bottles. For parents that don’t like drying their dishes and baby bottles at the same time, try washing the bottles separately when nothing is in the drying rack.
  • Kitchen towels – Although many people believe this to be unsafe for the baby bottles, as long as there is ample airflow both inside and outside of the baby bottle – without the opportunity for water to build up inside – you are ok to use a kitchen towel or similar to dry your baby bottles and components.
  • Dishwasher – Using the dishwasher may or may not be a viable option if you have one in your home. Even if you hand wash your bottles it is still perfectly safe to dry your baby bottles using the heated dry setting on your dishwasher.

If you are not interested in using a baby bottle drying rack, try out one of these other methods and see if this works for you.

What happens if you don’t sterilize baby bottles?

The CDC recommends that you sanitize your baby’s feeding items at least once a day until your child is more than three months old. It is believed that you are required to sanitize and disinfect your baby bottles after each use. However, there is no real harm in not sanitizing them if you are washing the bottles and all of their components with hot, soapy water after each use.

While it used to be a necessity, you no longer need to sterilize your baby’s bottles unless you are concerned that your water supply has been contaminated. It is still recommended that you sterilize them before first use.

To properly sterilize your baby bottles:

Can you put a bottle drying rack in the dishwasher?

When it comes to the bottle drying racks, you would assume that they would be dishwasher safe, right? Well, we always recommend looking at the manufacturer’s recommendations before doing anything. You just never know when something could come out deformed or otherwise compromised.

Generally, bottle drying racks are not dishwasher safe and should be hand washed periodically to ensure bacteria and other germs don’t have the opportunity to build up within. Wash with hot, soapy water and clean frequently to keep up with the germs.

Whenever washing something for the first time, make sure to sterilize properly and we can’t stress enough to always look back at the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to properly clean and sanitize products, especially when it involves your little ones.

Pros of using a baby bottle drying rack

Baby bottle drying racks are great for parents looking to keep them separate from other dishes, looking for a safe method that won’t allow water and bacteria build-up, or even parents needing additional space for the smaller components like nipples, straws, cap rings, etc.

Advantages of using a baby bottle drying rack include:

  • It keeps them clean and dry properly.
  • Allows for proper ventilation of the bottles and their components.
  • Creates a less cluttered kitchen counter.
  • They provide a dedicated place for your drying baby bottles and components.
  • Cost-effective.

These are just some of the key pros to using one. What are some cons, you ask? Read on to find out!

Cons of using a baby bottle drying rack

You don’t have to like the baby bottle drying racks to determine if they are good or bad. Some people may believe that they are great but don’t use one, or vise versa. Determining if a product is good or bad even goes beyond weighing the pros and cons. But we are looking at them here to better help you determine if they are worth it.

Here is a list of cons to using a baby bottle drying rack:

  • Most models are not dishwasher safe.
  • Potential water build-up in trays (if no drainage is provided).
  • Certain products may not have adequate space for your bottles.
  • Designs could be hard to wash by hand.
  • Some models may be inadequately produced and may not operate as designed.

The best bang for your buck baby bottle drying racks available

If you’re on the fence about picking up a drying rack specifically for your baby’s bottles, you may be happy to learn that (unlike so many things you need for your little one), they aren’t terribly expensive. You can get a good drying rack for between $10 and $20.

Our favorite baby bottle drying racks are the:

Boon Grass Countertop Baby Bottle Drying Rack

This drying rack is a fan favorite amongst parents. It’s stylish, functional, and has so much space for all of your drying needs.

Pricing and Availability

This drying rack is available for around $13-17 and is easy to find on Amazon, and at Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Materials and Durability

This drying rack is comprised of BPA-free, phthalate, and PVC-free plastic. It is sturdy and can hold heavier items.

Notable Features

The Boon Grass drying rack can hold a large number of baby bottles, cups, and accessories. It can also hold glass bottles and parents can use it years later for drying wine glasses and similar items.


  • Can hold a large variety of different bottles, cups, and accessories.
  • Is easily cleanable.


  • Not dishwasher safe.
  • Needs to be continuously drained of water between uses.

User Reviews

From Amazon user, JNoelle:

I love this bottle rack! I love the design because it kind of resembles wheatgrass and has a cute modern appeal. It’s nice because although it seems small you can actually fit a lot of stuff on it. I was able to fit all 10 of my 2oz bottles, a few larger bottles and all of my pump parts and a few nipples no problem. The quality is good for what it is and it’s easy to clean. I would definitely recommend it.

Dr. Brown’s Universal Drying Rack

This Dr. Brown’s baby bottle drying rack is one of a kind and has a unique function that allows you to store this rack when it is not being used. It hosts a sleek design and is also quite functional.

Price and Availability

This drying rack costs $17-20, and can be purchased from Amazon, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Materials and Durability

This drying rack is made up of BPA-free plastics. It is sturdy, functional, and easily stored and taken back out for each use.

Notable Features

This Dr. Brown’s drying rack folds down on itself, creating a very easily stored item that can be placed in a drawer, under the sink, in a cabinet, or anywhere else you may have extra space to put it between uses.


  • It folds down when not in use.
  • It is a very sturdy design


  • The width in between the pegs could be a bit wider to accommodate the wide neck bottles.
  • It is a smaller design, so it does not hold as many items as its competitors.

User Reviews

From amazon user, Sarah Butcher:

I bought this item and when I looked at it, decided that I don’t need it. Well, I guess shipping wasn’t worth the return, so amazon gave me a refund but told me to keep it. And I am so glad! This thing is awesome and I’m not sure what I did before it.

My twins are bottle-fed so we go through a lot of bottles. I can get 8 bottles on here. Took me a little while to figure out how but it’s awesome and I love it now. It’s a little bit annoying to clean the part with the little pegs but we just dish wash it every week. We’ve had it for 3 months and it’s hold up great plus it’s easy to fold down when I want to hide it.

Joshua Bartlett
Joshua Bartlett

My name is Joshua Bartlett I run this blog with my wife Jarah. We have more than 11 years of parenting experience including three girls and one boy. I started this blog in late 2018 when I realized that I was dealing with baby-related issues on a constant basis…please read more about me here!