UV light sterilizers harness the power of UVC rays to kill microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria. Portable UV light sterilizers bring this technology to your home. This technology claims to kill a variety of germs, viruses, and bacteria to disinfect phones, wallets, credit cards, keys, and more.
Keep safety in mind when using a UV light sterilizer: Never use them on your skin and do not look at the light. UVC lights that are strong enough to kill germs can also damage skin and eyes. The best UV light sterilizers are self-contained to prevent any exposure to your skin or eyes. It’s important to note that UV light sterilizers work best on smooth, clean, and nonporous surfaces; they are not able to penetrate through dirt, oils, or dust or into nooks and crannies.
Consumer UV light sterilizers are not yet widely regulated. For this reason, it’s best to choose products that are third-party tested or certified.
Our Top Picks
UVC light is proven to kill several types of germs and bacteria. But consumer UV light sterilizers aren’t held to the same safety and efficacy standards as medical models. For this reason, the following top picks are self-contained products, which means they reduce the chance of hazardous UV exposure. Each product has undergone third-party testing or certification.
This useful sterilizing box takes only 3 minutes to disinfect small items. It fits more than just your smartphone, but it is not too large or bulky. 59S recommends this device for sanitizing phones, glasses, keys, beauty tools, watches, and more. It’s an ideal pick to sanitize a range of germy everyday items.
This sanitizing box emits UVC light in the 260- to 280-nanometer range for proper disinfection. Inside the box are eight UVC LED light chips that offer 360-degree disinfection. Since it uses LED technology, this sanitizing box contains no mercury or ozone.
The lights automatically switch off when you open the cover, protecting you from UV exposure. This sanitizing box is FCC and EPA certified. This unit measures 8.5 inches by 4.1 inches by 2.8 inches.
This nifty and affordable bag from HoMedics offers sanitization on the go. The bag design is soft and compact, making it easy to throw in a backpack, gym bag, diaper bag, or purse. This device features a rechargeable battery that provides up to 18 uses on a single charge.
It takes only 1 minute to sanitize everyday objects like phones, watches, wallets, remotes, and more. This product includes interchangeable platforms and phone clips, and these fit in the bottom of the bag to hold the item and ensure optimal UV exposure. The zippered top keeps harmful UV rays inside while sanitizing and a safety magnet closure prevents the zipper from slipping open.
HoMedics’ UV Clean technology is third-party validated to kill up to 99.9 percent of commonly found bacteria and germs. This sterilizer device uses LED lighting to keep this product free of mercury and chemicals. The HoMedics pouch measures 4.1 inches by 3 inches by 8 inches to fit a range of small items.
PhoneSoap’s patented design disinfects your smartphone in 10 minutes. Although it’s made for phones, this device can disinfect anything that fits inside, like keys, credit cards, earbuds, and smartwatches.
This phone sanitizer features a USB and USB-C port, so you charge your phone while it’s sanitizing. This device fits any smartphone, including larger models like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S10+.
This device has a sleek style and comes in a variety of colors. It is thoughtfully designed to fit next to your bed, on the kitchen counter, or on your desk. The product measures 8.5 by 5 by .75 inches, and the interior dimensions are 6.8 inches by 3.74 inches by 0.78 inches.
The Coral UV 3-in-1 Sterilizer has three operating cycles: sterilize and dry, sterilize only, and dry only. This countertop sterilizer eliminates germs in 10 minutes with two UVC lights. The highly reflective stainless steel lining allows for disinfection from all angles.
A built-in HEPA filter prevents large particles from entering the chamber while it’s in use. For prewashed plastics, glass, and silicone, you can also choose the drying function on the convenient touchscreen. The safety switch automatically turns off the light if the unit is opened.
This Coral model has undergone third-party lab testing and is ETL listed. The large inside capacity measures 10 inches by 8 inches by 7.5 inches; it can fit up to six baby bottles or a range of electronics, kitchenware, and other household items.
The 59S UV Light Sanitizer Bag blends the large size of a sanitizing box with the portability of a sanitizing bag. This product weighs only 1.36 ounces and has a handle for easy carrying. The bag has a UV leak-proof zipper closure with a smart sensor that automatically turns off the light if the bag is opened. The front of the bag has a one-touch power button that activates the three-minute disinfection cycle.
Inside the bag, a stainless steel holding rack and reflective interior ensure disinfection from all angles. The inside of the bag has 24 LED UVC lights that are mercury- and ozone-free. The lights disinfect at an effective wavelength of 260 to 280 nanometers.
This product has FCC certification and EPA filing and has passed SGS testing. The device measures 9.5 inches by 7.7 inches by 5.9 inches.
HomeSoap is PhoneSoap’s advanced disinfection chamber made for larger electronics. The interior chamber measures 13.17 inches by 3.43 inches by 9.13 inches to fit laptops, tablets, remotes, gaming devices, and more. Although it is designed with electronics in mind, it can sanitize any item that fits inside.
This upgraded model includes an on and off switch to toggle between automatic and manual modes. It is equipped with USB and USB-C ports inside the chamber so you can charge devices while sanitizing. The two powerful UVC lights and patented inner reflection chamber provide 360-degree disinfection in 10 minutes.
The micro-suction feet prevent this device from tipping over. PhoneSoap’s devices are clinically proven to kill up to 99.99 percent of Staph, E. Coli, Salmonella, and other bacteria and viruses.
The UV Clean Phone UV Light Sterilizer from HoMedics has a unique pop-up design. When you’re ready to sanitize, expand the patented pop-up top, which contains two mercury-free LED UV lights. The top collapses flat when you’re done sanitizing, making this device super portable and easy to store. This sanitizer is rechargeable and offers up 70 cleaning cycles per charge.
This device sanitizes in 1 minute (30 seconds per side). The zipper closure keeps UV rays inside, and the magnet safety lock prevents accidental opening. This phone sterilizer is third-party validated to ensure a 99.9 percent decrease in commonly found germs.
This handheld HoMedics device measures 4.75 inches by 1.25 inches by 9.38 inches and can easily fit in a purse, backpack, gym bag, or suitcase. It can hold most smartphones and other small items like keys, credit cards, and headphones.
PhoneSoap’s Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer is a step up from their regular model. It includes all the unique PhoneSoap features, like the sleek design and USB and USB-C charging ports. The reflective patented interior sanitizes your phone from all angles. But with the PhoneSoap Pro, you can toggle between automatic and manual disinfection mode. This device also kills germs in 5 minutes—half the time of the standard PhoneSoap device.
The PhoneSoap Pro interior dimensions are 7.13 inches by 4.38 inches by 0.72 inches. This device is designed for phones but will clean any item that fits inside, including keys, credit cards, and watches.