Top Manual & Electric Breast Pumps Reviewed
Using a breast pump is a great way to ensure your child is able to get the benefits of breast milk even when you are not around. With so many breast pumps on the market it can be very difficult to determine which one is the best. Before we dive in to discuss a few of the best breast pumps, let’s first discuss the two main types of breast pump you can choose from.
First up is the electric breast pump. An electric pump uses electricity to operate. While most will need to be plugged into a wall outlet, there are some pumps that can run on batteries. The second option you have is a manual breast pump.
Manual breast pumps require you to do all the pumping. How does that work? The lever attaches to the breast and you simply squeeze and release to extract the milk from the breast. Manual pumps are great when you are traveling as they don’t require a lot of parts. However, electric pumps are far more effective due to their ability to pump at a consistent rhythm.
Best Manual Breast Pumps
If you are a mom on a budget this pump is for you. It’s a simple and compact pump that is very versatile. It’s efficient, easy to use, portable and comfortable. Unlike most manual pumps on the market, this one doesn’t have the sharp tug that causes a lot of discomfort and pain.
If you are looking to get away for a few hours, this pump will allow you to do that conveniently. It is a manual pump which means it is not ideal for pumping out milk in volume. This pump is a great option for those who are traveling or having the occasional pumping requirements.
- EASY AND CONVENIENT PUMPING: Harmony is a manual pump that has been designed for the occasional time when you’re away from your baby. Features a soft-touch, ergonomic swivel handle for enhanced comfort
- EASY TO USE: Manual controlled vacuum allows you to adjust the suction for the most optimal comfort level and efficient flow of breastmilk. Once milk starts to flow, you switch to the longer side of the handle which creates a slower sucking cycle to express the majority of your milk
- RESEARCH-BASED TECHNOLOGY: Unique to Medela breast pumps, this research-based and patented design allows mothers to pump more milk in less time. It resembles a baby’s natural nursing rhythm for improved comfort and efficiency.
- INCLUDES: (2) 5 oz/150 ml breastmilk bottles with lid, bottle stand, (1) valve and (2) membranes, instructions for use, and a breastfeeding information guide
- Founded in 1961, Medela has long been recognized as an expert advocate of breastfeeding through its development of innovative, research-based breastpump technology. As a result, is the #1 breast pump brand in America and the most recommended by doctors, chosen first by moms, and used most in hospitals*
This pump is so compact you can carry it just about anywhere. If you are in a rush it will allow you to quickly and easily pump breast milk. The adjustable lever gives you control over the amount of suction that takes place. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, BPA-free and a great compliment to an electric pump.
- LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE: This lightweight manual breast pump has an ergonomic easy-express handle to reduce hand fatigue. It can be easily carried in any bag while traveling for quiet pumping sessions.
- IDEAL PUMPING: This pump features dual mode pumping & includes 2 flange sizes (standard 25mm & large 30.5mm), and NaturalWave nipple, cap & collar. It provides ideal suction, storage and feeding.
- CONVENIENT & HYGIENIC: Lansinoh breast pumps allow you to pump directly into our pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags for convenient, hygienic pumping that saves precious breastmilk & time.
- BY & FOR MOMS: Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh is committed to helping moms succeed in breastfeeding with breast pumps, nursing pads, nipple cream, breast milk storage bags & more.
- MOM FOUNDED & PARENT LED: Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh has supported moms for 35 years with award winning breast pumps, nipple creams, nursing pads, and breast milk storage bags, helping families create bonds that last a lifetime.
Best Electric Breast Pumps
If your goal is to pump out as much breast milk as you can in a short amount of time, this is the pump you want. It’s effective, efficient and will save you a great deal of time. The timer on the pump will show you the duration of each pumping session. It will also save your settings, making your next pumping session even quicker.
For hygiene purposes this pump uses what is known as a close hygienic system. This basically means there is a barrier between the milk and the pump, which ensures the milk isn’t contaminated in any way.
- Includes: Spectra S1 Hospital Grade Double/Single breast pump, 12 volt AC power adapter, detachable power cord prongs, (2) Spectra wide neck bottle, (2) Spectra backflow protector, (2) Spectra duckbill valve, (2) Spectra tubing, (4) flange (2-24mm & 2-28mm)
- Closed system: No need to clean the narrow tubing because Spectra S1 has a closed pumping system that keeps tubing dry by preventing air flow between expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping protecting breast milk and baby from bacteria, mold and viruses
- Rechargeable battery: Spectra S1 has a convenient, inbuilt rechargeable battery
- Customizable settings: Each mother can customize her pump’s settings to her own body’s response and follow her flow to find her own best settings with the S1's completely adjustable suction and 2 phase cycling in let-down and expression mode
- Mommy owned: Spectra Baby USA is owned and run by registered nurses, board certified lactation consultants, and more importantly… by moms
This electric pump is a workhorse. And while you may be able to find cheaper options on the market, very few can do what this pump does. It comes with a tote bag, a cooler bag that’s insulated, bottles and of course the pump system. It is easy to put together and is very efficient. To avoid condensation buildup be sure to replace the tubes every so often.
- ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY FOR SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE: Thanks to its patented and research-based 2-Phase Expression Technology, mothers can produce more milk in less time; this breastpump was made for optimal efficiency and maximized flow
- CUSTOMIZABLE SETTINGS AND ACCESSORIES: Single knob adjustable speed and vacuum with one touch letdown button; Set of 24mm/medium size flanges allow moms to enhance their pumping experience, based on what’s most effective and comfortable
- DISCREET AND DURABLE BACKPACK: With built-in breastpump holds everything you need for portable and discreet pumping; Removable cooler bag holds ice pack and bottles to help your breastmilk stay cool while away from baby
- OVERFLOW PROTECTION: Closed system at the motor, which prevents milk from entering the motor
- INCLUDES: Built-in breastpump in backpack; Battery pack; Cooler bag and ice pack; (4) 5-oz. 150 mL bottles with lids; Double pumping kit: 1 set of 24mm flanges, 2 connectors, 2 valves and membranes, 1 set of tubing; 120 VAC; 60 Hz transformer
It’s All About Efficiency
When it comes to finding a breast pump, the most important factor is usually efficiency. You want to be able to pump your milk as quickly as possible. While most pumps will render the same amount of milk, the amount of time it takes to render said milk can vary greatly.
Comfort is also another important factor. In general, breast pumps just aren’t fun to use. That’s why comfort level is something you should really look into. Things that affect comfort include cone shape, suction settings, and pump settings.
Ease of use is just as important as comfort and efficiency. The last thing you want is an overly complicated breast pump. Keep in mind you will probably be using your breast pump several times a day. If you are a working mom you don’t have time to figure out how to use a breast pump.
You need something that is as easy as pushing a few buttons. The Meddle Pump In Style is a great option for ease of use. Another issue you may run into is acoustics; some breast pumps can be surprisingly loud. Ideally you should look for a pump that is relatively quite so you can use it in more places.