The Coral UV 2 is a large, multi-purpose UV sanitiser that packs in a lot more functionality than most on the market. You can use it to sanitise electronics; sanitise and dry baby bottles and other kids’ toys and equipment; and sanitise and store clean items for up to 24 hours.
If you haven’t yet come across a UV sanitiser, you can read our guide, which will tell you everything you need to know. But in short, these devices use UV-C light to break down and destroy the bacteria and viruses that may be lurking on the surfaces of your items. As you might expect, given that UV-C light will damage micro-organisms, it’s also dangerous to human (and pet) skin and eyes.
That’s why the best and safest UV-C sanitisers will only operate inside a closed box. You should not try to open the box while it’s running or tamper with the closing mechanism.
Design and features
The Coral UV 2 is, as the name suggests, a second generation appliance. The manufacturer took into account feedback from the first round of customers in its design and the resulting product is efficient and easy to use.
It’s the largest UV sanitiser we’ve tested, measuring 32 x 28 x 23cm. It’s about the same size and shape as a bread maker. In fact, you could comfortably fit a loaf of bread inside it (although there would be no earthly reason to do so).
If you want to get one, you’ll need to find a dedicated spot in your home to stand it. With a weight of 8lbs, you don’t want to be getting it out of a cupboard or shifting it around every time you use it.
The exterior is white plastic (although you can also get it in ‘Pine’ – a dark, forest green shade that seems an odd choice for a second colourway), with a black inset panel on the lid.
The lid also features the control panel and timer. In its centre is a perplexing window that glows green when it’s sanitising and orange when drying. Yes, it shows that the sanitiser is working but I’m not really sure what we gain from this when a dot-sized indicator light would have done the same thing.
The controls are simple. There are touch keys to switch the Coral on and off and start each of its three functions: sanitise; sanitise and dry; and sanitise and keep clean for 24 hours.
This last setting is useful if you have a load of baby bottles or other baby gear. Stick them in the Coral UV 2 and, after an initial 50 minute sanitise and dry cycle, it’ll follow up with repeated 2 minute sanitising cycles throughout the storage period so that, come morning, your items are still as clean as when the first cycle completed.
The test model I received had a flaw in the digital display (note the dodgy 9 in the picture above) but the Coral UV 2 has not yet gone into mass production, so I would hope that no consumer products would be shipped like this.
Inside, it’s polished stainless steel. The Coral uses 12mw LED lamps, which the makers claim are six times more powerful than those used by competing sanitisers. The LEDs are set into the lid and the reflective interior allows the light to bounce around inside so it can reach every part of the device you’re trying to clean.
Its interior dimensions are 21.8 x 28.5 x 18cm, which means it will fit a tablet but not a laptop. The makers weirdly note that you can fit 11 bottles of Perrier inside, which is presumably good news for someone, somewhere.
The Coral UV 2 comes with a handy wire metal tray that slots into a shelf just below the lid of the appliance, into which you can dump your phone, keys, earbuds and so on. Larger items can be placed straight inside the appliance, where ridges on the floor will allow some light to get underneath them.
For an additional $10, you can buy a square wire holder for makeup brushes or pens and the like or a metal stand for tablets and wallets. This will allow more light to reach every angle of the items you put inside but as the trays indicate, this is not a flawless process. We can’t imagine that every part of every item you put inside will be wiped of all germs.
The makers say that in independent lab tests, Coral destroyed 99.9% of harmful germs. However, even in a best-case scenario, this figure must be affected by how many items you place inside and their accessibility to UV light.
This is where we have to acknowledge the limits of our review. As with all of the UV sanitisers we’re testing, we can’t vouch for the germ-killing properties of the Coral UV 2. What we can say is that UV-C light is indeed effective at destroying bacteria and viruses.
We’d advise that, if you use a sanitiser, you should consider it an extra layer of protection. You should continue to wash your hands, clean your devices regularly and follow Covid protocols as you normally would. If you use it to sanitise a baby’s bottles, they should also be washed normally as well.
The Coral UV 2 has three sanitising cycles: 10, 15 or 20 minutes. I’m not sure what these different cycle lengths entail. Is 10 minutes enough? Is 20 minutes twice as good? Should you opt for a longer cycle if you have more items in the sanitiser?
All we know is that the makers increased the longest cycle length in response to customer feedback, so the longer time period may just be a matter of instilling more peace of mind.
Incidentally, many sanitisers come with a guide stating that they work better on non-porous materials than porous – but the makers of Coral indicate that their product can be used on items including soft toys.
The Coral UV 2 has another layer of protection, in the form of a HEPA grade filter that cleans the air going into the appliance so that the sanitisation of the items inside isn’t compromised.
The filter should catch 99.9% of airborne contaminants and this feature makes the Coral UV 2 much more substantial as a sanitising appliance.
The filter should be changed every 5-6 months and it’s easy to do, via a vent at the back that can be opened with a coin.
One thing that we were able to test is the Coral’s drying function. The heat goes up to 60°C, so while it’s fine for toys, home medical equipment and more, this setting is not for electronics, so unless you want your phone lightly baked, DO NOT DRY any of your tech.
Really, you’d use this programme to ensure that items you’ve washed won’t have damp patches where bacteria might flourish. There are four settings: 40, 50, 60 and 70 minutes.
When the Coral UV 2 is in drying mode, it’s mildly noisy, like a computer fan in a dusty room after a longish gaming session.
I rinsed out a glass with water, put it inside the Coral and set the timer to 50 minutes. When the time was up, I took it out. The glass was toasty warm and dry – except for a few drops that had collected at the bottom.
I tried again at 70 minutes with essentially the same results. All of the water on the sides of glass had evaporated, but not the water inside. Presumably, it would have been more effective if I’d upended the glass but it still gives me doubts as to how effective it would be at drying a kid’s toy if water could collect inside.
Lifespan and safety
The Coral UV 2 should comfortably last for 10 years and its LEDs should not need replacing. It is Mercury and BPA free.
Price and availability
The Coral UV 2 feels like a really substantial product, so it’s not surprising that it’s more expensive than most of the UV sanitisers we’ve tested, which tend to be straightforward plastic boxes, suitable for giving your phone a quick once-over.
Given this appliance’s additional functionality, its current price point ($129, which is roughly £94) seems very reasonable. Right now, it’s only available on Kickstarter.
If you’re looking for a spacious, easy to use multifunctional sanitiser that you can use on different items in your home, if you use medical equipment such as a sleep apnea mask, or if you have a baby, the Coral UV 2 is a good option to give you another layer of germ protection at home.
If you’re looking for a smaller, more portable UV sanitiser for your phone and other small items you carry around, check out our reviews of the Moshi Deep Purple and the QDOS UV sanitiser and Qi charger.