Best Breast Pumps (Buying Guide & Reviews)


best breast pump

When it comes to finding the best breast pump, there are a few things you need to consider. The first decision is whether you want an electric or manual pump.

Manual pumps are cheaper and smaller, but they can be tiring to use if you’re pumping frequently. Electric pumps are more expensive but often come with features like adjustable suction and speed that can make them more comfortable to use.

The trouble is that some breast pumps just won’t be right for you, even if they are right for someone else. What one mom finds comfortable can feel like a specially designed torture device to another. 

Trust me, I remember pumping manually till I thought my hand would fall off – so if you’ll be pumping a lot, then rather just get an electric one.

Based on my research and testing, I’ve put together my list of the best breast pumps on the market to help you decide.

Best Breast Pump Comparison


Best breast Pump Reviews

1. [Best overall] – Spectra Baby Electric Breast Pump

The Spectra S1 is the best double electric breast pump on the market. It maintains your milk supply while also providing a 30 minute timer for reference. The breast pump is also your top solution for twins.

The Spectra Baby USA-S1 Electric Breast Pump is an improved version of Spectra S2. All the features are the same except the S2 doesn’t operate with a battery. As a result, the S2 is cheaper yet the S1 introduces more variety for operating the device.

The main difference between the Spectra pumps and the workhorse Medela Pump in Style Advanced is that the Spectra pumps have a closed system, versus an open system.

An open system doesn’t have a barrier between the pump mechanism and the milk collection system, while a closed system does.

The streamlined design builds in a super-convenient handle for portability and a space at the back to secure a bottle. Although the S1 can use a main plug electricity supply it does also come with a rechargeable battery built in for convenience and portable travel.

The double-electric, closed-system design has a digital display that lights up so you can easily set the speed and rhythm. Turn it off, and its memory will even recall where you last left off.

PROS

  • The S1 model can be operated with batteries or a power cord.
  • Quiet, which makes for a more relaxed pumping experience.
  • Expresses milk quickly and comfortably.
  • Closed system.
VIDEO: Everything you need to know about using a Spectra Breast Pump

Alternatives

And another great double electric breast pump that we rate highly, is the Bellababy double electric. It also uses a closed system, has a lithium ion battery for portability, and fast usb charging.

PRO TIP: Get the S2 model and Save around $30: The cheaper Spectra S2 electric pump version has the same features but just doesn’t include the rechargeable battery – so usually at around $30 less it’s a worthwhile saving if you don’t mind just always plugging it in.

Check S2 price on Amazon.com

Our Verdict – Spectra Baby Electric Breast Pump

Crammed with features and lots of positive reviews from customers, there’s a reason (a lot of them, actually) why the Spectra 1 is our number 1 pick as the best breast pump. This hospital-strength breast pump delivers big power with way less bulk and noise. Digital controls let you adjust speed and suction to maximize output, and the pump uses a closed system, which keeps milk completely separate from the pump pieces and ensures better hygiene and performance. There’s a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three hours, so you’re not always tethered to an outlet while pumping. Users also love the helpful extras like the timer and nightlight for late-night pumping sessions.

2. [Most easy to use] – Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

An award-winning manual breast pump design, the Haakaa is a simple yet highly effective manual breast pump.

And if you think you need to work up a sweat pumping by hand, well then you’ll be thrilled to find that the Haakaa simply attaches to your breast and uses its own suction and gravity to collect milk all on its own. Made from 100% safe food-grade silicone, this manual breast pump is genius in its simplicity.

And we love that it’s so portable and that you don’t need fancy tubes, or battery power to pump milk for your baby.

PROS

  • Small, light and portable
  • You don’t need to hand pump (uses gravity and natural breast flow process)
  • Budget friendly

CONS

  • Can be easy to tip over if you’re not careful

Our Verdict – Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

The lightweight, one-piece HAAKAA Silicone Pump is excellent for moms who need help beginning a milk flow.

You can use this pump on its own to create suction, no tedious hand pumping needed. Simply squeeze it a little, and the suction causes a flow using the natural breast letdown process.

It does work for pumping as well, or to relieve and reduce engorgement. And as a bonus: It’s tubeless and doesn’t need any power, so it’s easily mobile to take with you on the go.

Another great manual breast pump is the Harmony breast pump from Medela – it also has 2-phase double pump action for quicker pumping.

3. [Best for working moms] – Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding

This double electric pump is a real workhorse and the best breast pump for working moms. Light but powerful. On one full charge, the battery lasts for three 20-min pumping sessions, or more, and keeps its suction power over that time.

This pump is portable, reliability and hospital strength to ensure you’re covered during your busy workday (or night). With a closed-loop, there’s no back spill and it’s safe to use both indoors and outdoors.

It also has an HD display for more conveniently changing and viewing the various settings.

You can charge it’s internal lithium ion battery via the built-in usb port – we found that even a powerbank works for this making this pump usable for even longer if needed.

Something we think they could improve is to add a button to go down a suction level as well. If you want to go back down you need to cycle through all levels to get back down to level 1 again. I just normally take the suction cups off first so it doesn’t suck harder when I quickly click through the higher level, which is fine but can be irritating if you change suction levels a lot. But most people find a level they like and just stick with it so shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

PROS

  • Includes lithium ion battery – charges via usb port (can use a powerbank)
  • The pump can charge your phone
  • Small but powerful (hospital grade)
  • 9 different suction levels
  • Well priced

CONS

  • The bottles and storage bags come separately
  • Need to cycle through all suction levels to get back to lower setting (easiest is to remove suction cups first)

Our Verdict – Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding

A great portable pump that always delivers reliable results. It even has a massage that stimulates your breasts before pumping to ensure better and easier suction flow. It’s a great breast pump if you don’t change your suction levels a lot, and generally find the suction level you like and leave it on that setting.

4. [Best Smart Breast Pump] – Lansinoh SmartPump Double Electric (with Bluetooth and App)

You don’t always need a hospital-grade breast pump for high-tech efficiency. The motor of the Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump offers three pumping options and eight different suction levels.

Lansinoh has a free iOS and Android tracking app that lets you record milk volume and the pumping session date and time for tracking – this helps make sure you get the most out of each breast pumping session. But you don’t need to wait for your baby to be born to download it.

The apps got many features that you can use before pumping, like tracking dirty diapers while you’re breastfeeding, baby growth and bottle feeding.

PROS:

  • Uses a free smart app that tracks your pumping sessions (and wet nappies)
  • Affordable
  • Quiet with low noise leve

CONS:

  • Some people reported the suction not being as strong as they liked

Our Verdict – Lansinoh SmartPump Double Electric

Easy to use and affordable and definitely the best smart breast pump out there. The Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric has lots of settings with 3 pumping styles and 8 suction levels with a tracking app to get the maximum out of your pumping sessions. We like that its also nice and quiet compared to some of the other breastpumps we’ve used.

Breast Pumps Buying Guide

Types of breast pumps

There are three main types of breast pumps: manual, electric, and hospital-grade.

Manual vs electric breast pumps

Manual breast pumps are best for occasional use when you’re away from home. They can be used a couple of times per day, but they take longer than electric models and usually cost less money.

Manual pumpers may also have fewer features such as suction adjustments or timers that measure how much milk has been pumped out in one session (which can be helpful if you’re trying to keep track of your breast milk supply).

Electric breast pumps are best for frequent use when you’re at home. They have stronger suction, so they usually work faster than manual models and cost more money.

Electric pumper may also offer features such as timers that measure how much milk has been pumped in one session (which can be helpful if you’re trying to keep track of your breast milk supply).

Double vs single breast pumps

Double breast pumps allow you to pump both breasts at the same time, which can be helpful if you’re trying to keep track of your milk supply.

Single breast pumps only work on one side at a time and are best for mothers who don’t need as much milk output or if they have trouble pumping from one side (for example, due to mastitis or a previous surgery).

Hospital grade or personal use breast pumps

Hospital-grade breast pumps are larger and more powerful than personal breast pumps. They’re best for mothers who need to pump frequently and produce a lot of milk (such as women who are exclusively pumping).

Personal breast pumps are smaller, lighter, and less powerful than hospital-grade pumps. They’re best for mothers who only need to pump occasionally or don’t need as much milk output.

Closed vs open system breast pumps

Open system breast pumps allow you to see the milk as it’s being pumped and they draw milk from the container directly into the pump. Closed system breast pumps do not let you see the milk as it’s being pumped and the milk is drawn into a separate container that you then attach to the pump.

Closed system pumps are best for mothers who want to avoid contact with bacteria or other contaminants.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of breast pumps, let’s take a look at some of the best models on the market.

How to choose the best breast pump for you

Choosing a breast pump can be tricky, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

Before you start shopping for a breast pump, it’s important to set a budget. Breast pumps can range in price from $30 to $600, so it’s important to find one that fits your budget.

Once you’ve set a budget, you need to decide which type of breast pump is best for you. If you plan on using the pump frequently and need to produce a lot of milk, then a hospital-grade breast pump may be the best option.

If you only need to pump occasionally or don’t need as much milk output, a personal breast pump may be best for you.

Another thing to consider is the type of pumping action that you prefer. Some women prefer electric breast pumps because they have stronger suction and work faster than manual models. Other women prefer manual breast pumps because they’re more affordable and can be used for occasional use.

Once you’ve decided on the type of breast pump, you need to decide which features are important to you. For example, some women want a breast pump with a timer that measures how much milk has been pumped in one session, while others don’t mind if they don’t have this feature.

Finally, you need to decide whether or not you want a closed system breast pump. If you’re worried about bacteria being drawn into your milk during pumping sessions, then it’s best to choose an open system breast pump that allows you to see the milk as it’s being pumped and draws it directly from the container into the pump itself.

If you don’t mind bacteria being drawn into your milk during pumping sessions, then a closed system breast pump may be best for you.

Tips for choosing a breast pump

  • Milk expression: The type of milk expression needed (breastfeeding, pumping, or both)
  • Manual or Electric: If you need to pump a lot then rather go for an electric breast pump, otherwise a manual breast pump might be sufficient.
  • The features you need: Check that the breast pump has features you need. If your main concern is to make it as easy as possible to use a breast pump while going about your everyday activities, e. g. by using a hands-free kit, make sure this accessory is included in the box before you buy the breast pump. If you want to be able to remove the pump from its motor unit and use it as a portable hand-operated device, check this option is available before buying the breast pump.
  • Where you’ll be using the pump: In some situations it is not possible to transport a heavy and large device that uses mains power. A small battery-operated pump can be all that’s needed in such cases, especially when you only need the breast pump occasionally or for short-term use.
  • Portability: Some electric breast pumps are relatively light and compact, making them easy to transport. Some battery-operated pumps are also fairly lightweight, but don’t forget to take the batteries into account when measuring their total weight
  • Strength/variability of suction: Many electric breast pumps have various adjustable settings for suction strength, which can be an advantage. Breast pumps with only one setting may not produce the optimum level of suction for some mothers.
  • How often you’ll use the pump: If you’ll be using the breast pump frequently, choose an electric breast pump since it is much more convenient and more efficient. If you plan to use a breast pump only occasionally, a small battery-operated pump or a manual breast pump may be sufficient.
  • Milk output: If you need a lot of milk output, choose an electric, or hospital grade breast pump, You can also consider getting an electric bresst pump with double suction for pumping both breasts at once to produce more milk in one sitting.
  • Your Budget: Consider your budget when choosing a breast pump. Manual pumps are less expensive than electric models, but they also take longer to use.
  • Ease of use: Choose a model that is easy to use for you. Many electric breast pumps come with easy-to-follow instructions and can be used immediately. Hand-operated, battery-operated and some electric pumps require a certain amount of practice and patience to master .
  • Comfort: If you’re not comfortable using a certain type of breast pump, you won’t be able to use it as often. Comfort is best determined by trying out different breast pumps before you decide to buy one. This also applies to hand-operated, battery-operated and electric breast pumps.

Benefits of using a breast pump

Breast pumps are mostly about convenience. They allow you to pump as much or as little milk as you need, whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you.

Breast pumps can also be used in conjunction with breastfeeding. If your baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk, then pumping before each feeding can help increase your supply of breastmilk so that they get more nutrition from the breast.

Finally, breast pumps can be helpful for mothers who are returning to work. Pumping at work allows you- and your baby- to maintain a breastfeeding relationship even when you’re not able to nurse them directly.

Breast Pumping Benefits Table

BenefitDescription
ConveniencePump whenever and wherever it is convenient for you.
Increased milk supply for babies who need itIf your baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk, then pumping before each feeding can help increase your supply of breastmilk so that they get more nutrition from the breast.
Can be used for mothers who are returning to workPumping at work allows you- and your baby- to maintain a breastfeeding relationship even when you’re not able to nurse them directly.
Helps increase breastmilk supplyIf your baby isn’t getting enough breastmilk, then pumping before each feeding can help increase your supply of breastmilk so that they get more nutrition from the breast.
Reduced engorgement and mastitisUsing a breast pump will help prevent engorgement and mastitis by removing some of the milk from your breasts.
Easier breastfeeding for babySome babies are fussy or have difficulty latching onto the breast. Using a breast pump can make it easier for them to get milk from your breasts.
More restful sleepSince pumping takes less time than nursing, you’ll be able to rest more while your baby sleeps since they won’t need as much attention during their naps.
Saves moneyBreast pumps can be expensive, but they are cheaper in the long run than buying formula. You can also use many insurance plans to help cover the cost of a breast pump.
More time for mom to relax or do other thingsSince pumping takes less time than nursing, you’ll be able to rest more while your baby sleeps since they won’t need as much attention during their naps.
Less stressBreastfeeding can be stressful for some mothers because of the amount of time it takes out of their day and also because there is a learning curve involved with breastfeeding successfully.

Helpful Breast pumping tips

  • Wait till after first week before starting: It’s best to wait until after the first week of breastfeeding before starting any type of pumping routine because breast milk supply can fluctuate during this time
  • Be comfortable: Make sure you’re comfortable when pumping. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t be able to use the pump for very long.
  • Pump both breasts: It’s a good option to try pump both breasts at the same time if possible. This will help keep your milk supply consistent.
  • Keep a pumping log: Track how much milk you produce each day. This can help you troubleshoot any problems with your milk production.
  • Clean your pump: Make sure to clean your breast pump after each use. This will help prevent bacteria from growing in the pump.
  • Keep breast milk freash: Store your breast milk in a refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible after pumping. The fresher the milk is, the better it will taste for your baby.
  • Limit pumping time: Try not to pump for more than 20 minutes at a time. This can cause irritation to your breasts and nipples, which may lead to discomfort when feeding your baby from them later on in the day
  • Pump before feeding: Try pumping before you feed your baby so that there is enough milk available during their next feeding. It’s best not to wait until after they’ve eaten because this can cause an overactive letdown response and lead to breast engorgement later on in the day
  • Hands free pumping: You may want to consider using a hands-free pumping bra. This will allow you to pump while multitasking around the house or doing other things that require both hands.
  • Quiet place to pump: If possible, try to pump in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed by noise from other people or activities going on nearby
  • Use breast pads: Many women find it helpful to wear breast pads while pumping. This will help prevent leaks and stains on their clothing as well!
  • Have your baby look away from you: If possible, try not to look at your baby during the feeding time because this may cause them to be distracted and want more milk than necessary. Instead focus their gaze somewhere else in the room where they can’t see you
  • Within arms reach: Make sure that everything you need is within reach before starting to pump (i.e., breast pumps, bottles/bags for storage, etc.). This way if something happens while pumping like a power outage or spilled water bottle nearby it would be less likely to interrupt your session because there won’t have

Breast pump accessories you’ll need to buy

  1. A breast pump bag: This is a special bag that holds all of your breast pumps and accessories. It can be carried like an ordinary purse or backpack, making it easy to transport when traveling.
  2. Breast pads: These are small circles made from absorbent material that goes inside your bra to catch drips of breast milk before they leak onto your clothes.
  3. Nipple shields: These are small plastic shields that go over the nipples while pumping breastmilk so that the suction does not irritate them too much. They also protect against chafing from rubbing against clothing during long periods of wear time
  4. Breast pump bottles: These are containers for collecting and storing breast milk. They come in a variety of sizes, so choose the ones that best fit your needs.
  5. Breastmilk storage bags: These are special breast pump bags that are designed to store breast milk in the freezer. They come in a variety of sizes, so choose the ones that best fit your needs.
  6. A cooling pack: This is a small bag filled with ice or gel that can be used to keep breastmilk cold while traveling. It fits inside most breast milk storage bags.
  7. A breast pump cleaning brush: This is a special brush that can be used to clean your breast pump after each use. It has long bristles on one side and short ones on the other, allowing you to get into nooks and crannies without damaging any parts of the pump
  8. Herbal tea or supplements for lactation: These are special herbal teas or supplements that can be taken to help increase breast milk production. Many women find them useful during the first few months of breastfeeding when supply might not be enough for their baby’s needs
  9. A bottle brush: This is a special brush that can be used to clean bottles after each use. It has long bristles on one side and short ones on the other, allowing you to get into nooks and crannies without damaging any parts of the bottle
  10. Bottle sterilizer: This is a special device that uses steam to kill germs on bottles and breast pump parts. It can also be used to sterilize pacifiers, teethers, or other baby items
  11. Breast care products: These are creams or ointments that may help prevent soreness during breastfeeding, like Aquaphor and Lanolin cream. They should not be used while pumping, but can be applied after breast milk has been expressed.

How to store and transport pumped breast milk

Pumped breast milk can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, or in the freezer for up to six months. Label each container of pumped milk with the date it was expressed. When storing breast milk in the fridge, place it in a back area where it is unlikely to get warm from other foods being opened and closed nearby

To transport breast milk, you’ll need an insulated cooler bag or container. These are best because they can keep pumped breast milk cold for up to 24 hours without needing ice packs (which could melt). Breastmilk storage bags should be placed in the freezer until ready to use again later that day before transferring into the cooler bag.

You can also freeze ice packs and use them in place of regular ice packs if you need to transport breast milk for a longer period of time

When thawing frozen breast milk, do so slowly by placing it in the fridge overnight or letting it sit at room temperature for a few hours. Do not microwave breast milk or heat it up in hot water because this can kill some of the nutrients. It is best to thaw breast milk over a few hours so that it doesn’t separate into curdled layers while being warmed up too quickly.

Common Questions about Breast Pumps

Does it matter what breast pump I use?

Answer:
There are a lot of different breast pumps on the market these days, but the most important thing is to find one that you’ll actually use. Some women prefer electric pumps, while others find that manual pumps work just fine. It really depends on your personal preferences and what will work best for you and your baby.

That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a breast pump. First, make sure the pump is comfortable to use and has adjustable settings so that it can be tailored to your own needs. Second, look for a pump that’s easy to clean and doesn’t have too many nooks and crannies where bacteria can accumulate. Finally, be sure to choose a pump that fits your budget and schedule.

You can get a good idea of what kind of pump you might want by talking to other women who are using breast pumps, or by asking your healthcare provider for recommendations. Your hospital may be able to provide you with a loaner breast pump, which will give you an added incentive to visit the lactation consultant.

Is it better to get a single or double breast pump?

Answer:
A single breast pump is cheaper and more portable, but a double breast pump will be more efficient.

A single breast pump is cheaper and more portable than a double breast pump. However, a double breast pump will be more efficient because it will allow you to express milk from both breasts at the same time. This will save you time and energy since you will not have to switch back and forth between breasts.

It’s also worth considering the features offered by each type of pump. For example, single pumps often have smaller motors and are not as powerful as double pumps. Double pumps tend to have larger motors and are better for expressing large quantities of milk. Additionally, some double pumps come with interchangeable flanges that can accommodate different sizes of breasts, while most single pumps do not include this feature.

Should you pump both breasts at the same time?

Answer:
It is generally recommended to pump both breasts at the same time. This will help to maintain your milk supply and ensure that the breasts are stimulated evenly.

If you are only able to pump one breast at a time, make sure to switch breasts every few minutes. This will help keep the milk flowing and ensure that both breasts are receiving an adequate amount of stimulation.

Is Medela or spectra breast pump better?

Answer:

It really depends on your individual needs. Medela pumps are known for being more powerful and efficient, while spectra pumps are known for being more quiet and gentle.

Do you need a pump that can quickly expressed large quantities of milk? Then Medela would be a better choice. Do you need a pump that you can take with you on the go and that is quiet enough so as not to wake your baby? Then spectra would be a better choice. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to try both out and see which one works better for you.

What breast pumps are considered hospital grade?

Answer:

There is no single definition of a hospital grade breast pump. A general consensus seems to be that pumps that are approved for hospital use are more powerful and have more features than those that are not. Some of the features that might make a pump hospital grade include the ability to express milk in both breasts at the same time, the ability to expression milk in large quantities, and the ability to work with multiple power sources (e.g., batteries, an AC adapter).

Some of the best-known hospital grade breast pumps include Medela Symphony Breast Pump and Spectra Baby USA’s S2 Plus Hospital Grade Breast Pump. These electric breast pumps are considered a hospital grade breast pump. These are two of the most popular breast pumps in the world and is used in hospitals around the globe.

They have a closed system that prevents milk and bacteria from entering the tubing, and it also has an automatic shut-off feature that stops the pump when it’s not being used to prevent over-milking.

What are the disadvantages of breast pump?

Answer:
There are a few disadvantages to using a breast pump:

  1. It can be time-consuming to use a breast pump. You have to set up the pump, attach the tubes and shields, and then pump for a certain amount of time.
  2. It can be expensive to buy or rent a breast pump.
  3. Some women find that they produce less milk when they use a breast pump.
  4. Some women feel uncomfortable using a breast pump in public.

Best Breast Pump Summary

People have different preferences for the best breast pump. Some people prefer electric pumps, while others prefer manual pumps. There are pros and cons to both types of pumps. Electric pumps are faster and more efficient, but they can be expensive. Manual pumps are less expensive, but they are slower and require more effort from the mother.

Having said that, our top recommended breast pump overall is the Spectra S1 electric breast pump. For moms who need to pump often or for long periods of time, the Spectra S1 is an excellent choice. It’s easy to use and comfortable with its hands-free function (so you can keep your baby close), plus it has a timer that lets you know when 5 minutes are up. The only downside? You have to buy additional accessories separately if you want them–but they’re not too expensive!

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type of breast pump is the best fit for you and your situation.

Good luck! 🙂

Key Sources and References:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/healthychildcare/infantfeeding/breastpump.html

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.medela.com/breastfeeding/products/breast-pumps

https://www.spectrababyusa.com/

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