Reviews and rating of the best breast pump for breastfeeding moms to help feed your new baby, and increase low milk supply for worried mothers.
If you are looking for a breast pump for your new baby, then look no further than this detailed breast pump review. Many electric breast pumps are covered through insurance, so be sure to call yours and find out which models they support, then come back here and look at the different features that each model has.
Finding a comfortable, reliable, quite and safe breast pump can get overwhelming as there are so many choices. Because a breast pump is not exactly the cheapest baby item that you need to purchase, it’s a good idea to look at each option so you can be sure to find the most effective model for your needs.
There are three different breast pump styles: manual, electric (single and double) and a new style called the wearable breast pump.
We have used and reviewed the top 5 breast pumps of the year and written an in-depth review of each one so you can be sure to find the one that fits you best.
(This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
Top 5 Best Breast Pumps
Spectra S1 – Best Overall Electric
Madela Harmony – Best Manual
Haakaa – Best Wearable
Willow – Best Wearable Electric
Because breastfeeding babies is challenging enough, the right breast pump can help ease the hardship of the task for new moms. Pumping can help prevent Mastitis, milk blisters and provide relief from engorgement.
Most budget breast pumps can be uncomfortable and can hurt your milk supply if they are not able to fully empty your breast.
You should be expecting to spend around $200-$300 on a high-quality breast pump if you want to ensure your baby gets all the fatty liquid gold that your amazing body creates.
Here Are The Best Breast Pump Options For 2021
The Spectra S1 Breast pump is the best pump you can purchase for your new baby, and the bonus is that most insurance companies do cover it. This pump can run you around $200 without insurance.
Comparable to the Madela breast pump, the Spectra S1 offers a comfortable fit and a comfortable suction. The suction isn’t as powerful as the Madela, but the more powerful suction can hurt your nipples, so it’s not a bad thing that you can’t crank it up too high.
The difference between the Spectra S1 and S2 is simply the ability to be portable, otherwise the S2 is a perfectly good choice as well.
The S2 must be constantly plugged into the wall while it runs, and the S1 can be used with battery power, which is why we like it a touch better.
The suction and strength of pumping can be controlled separately so you can really customize your pumping experience according to your body. You can also use the pump as a single or a double, whichever your prefer that day. There is a convenient nightlight and timer too.
This pump is quiet and will not wake a sleeping baby and can be used discreetly in the office if you need to as well.
The battery life is decent and can last 2-3 full pumping sessions without needing to be plugged in again.
The downside of the Spectra pumps is the availalbity of parts. It can be more difficult to track down parts for the spectra versus the Madela which is widely available everywhere.
This pump can accommodate madela and Avent bottles, and we do prefer the madela bottles over the spectra ones.
This breast pump does not have any sort of bag included in the price. You can purchase a bag for a extra $50 if you need one.
This hospital-grade electric breast pump is one of the best options out there for breastfeeding mothers, you can check out the Spectra S1 breast pump here.
|Approved by most insurance companies||Does not come with a bag|
|Portable and rechargable||Parts can be more difficult to track down|
|Quiet||Bottles are not awesome|
|Can use Madela and Avent bottles|
|Control suction and strength separately|
Reasons Why You Will Love
This pump is covered by most insurance companies and is portable and rechargeable, quiet and comfortable and has separate suction and strength controls for a fully customizable experience.
Madela is a trusted breast pump manufacturer and a manual pump is a great option.
The madela manual breast pump runs you approximately $30 and it is a reliable manual pump. We tested a few manual breast pumps and we decided that the Madela Harmony is the best breast pump you can purchase in this category.
This supoer portable breast pump offers comfort and is very effective in getting out the liquid gold.
There is a 2 phase stimulation option so you can activate the let down before full expressing the milk. This really helps get more milk out, and provides a higher efficiency pumping session.
We found that the breast shield is soft and comfortable and the handle can be used comfortable with left and right hand.
This pump is also super quiet as there is no motor making noise, potentially waking up your new baby.
This pump is also fairly easy to clean thoroughly and there are no membranes and tubes to bother with. This pump has no heavy batteries, chargers wire and tubes which makes this a great pump for on-the-go in your diaper bag.
Because this is a manual breast pump, you may get tired of pumping after about 5 minutes, so if you need longer pumping sessions to full empty your breasts, then this pump isn’t for you. However, if you are on the go and want to be able to quickly control your engorgement, a manual pump is a handy tool to have with you.
|Portable||Hands get tired after 5 minutes|
|Easy to clean with minimal parts||O ring sometimes needs to be replaced as it leaks after some time|
|Can be used with left and right hand|
|Has a letdown option for optimal pumping|
|Quiet – no motor|
Reasons Why You Will Love
This portable breast pump is easy to use and easy to clean. It’s a great breast pump to have in your diaper bag for on the go pumping.
Haakaa Manual Wearable Breast Pump
A new style of breast pump on the market is the silicone grade Haakaa which breastfeeding moms are raving about.
This is a one piece pump that is very simple to use. You can attach it to your breast and collect milk from it’s own suction. You don’t need to use your hands at all and there is no power source required.
Many moms love to pop it onto the breast when baby is nursing on the other side to collect extra milk for the freezer stash.
This pump is super affordable, and even if you do purchase an electric pump, this is a great pump to have at your disposal.
Working moms can also pop this pump on while the work at their desk and just collect milk as they work!
There are no extra parts to clean, it can be sterilized easily and thrown into the diaper bag for easy on the go pumping to express milk discreetly, quietly and easily.
You can purchase the pump with the suction at the bottom (which we recommend to avoid spilling your liquid gold) and a cap to prevent air from getting into your pump when you set it down between sessions, or you can purchase the pump on it’s own. The option with the cap and the suction cup runs you around $30 and the pump on it’s own is about $12. Even if you have an electric pump, you should still invest in a Haakaa.
Better yet, add it to your baby registry!
|One piece||Some women have found they cannot express too much milk while nursing|
|Easy to clean|
|Easy to use|
|Can use while nursing|
|Made with food-grade silicone|
Reasons Why You Will Love
Things to keep in mind:
The Madela Pump In Style is an awesome, reasonably priced electric breast pump and comes with a sleep backpack for easy transport.
This is a very versatile pump and is powerful to get that liquid gold flowing. There is a 2 phase pumping and expression sequence that stimulates let down for 2 minutes before going into the expression phase.
This portable electric pump has a rechargeable battery and a built in cooler to help keep your milk cool while you’re on the go.
This high quality system was designed for moms who stay at home or work in the office. The quality, efficiency and comfort of the total system is amazing.
The stimulation is effective and the expression mode can full drain a breast in approximately 20 minutes.
The Madela shields are very comfortable and the parts are easy to clean. The downside is that there are a lot of parts to wash, but with a complex system that works this flawlessly, it just makes sense that there are a lot of parts.
It’s a good idea to take everything apart and clean very well to prevent moldy milk in the system which can make your baby sick.
We love the Madela brand because extra parts are very easy to source out at Amazon, Babies R Us, Target and Walmart as well as other large retailers who carry baby items.
We did find the membranes needed to be replaced every month, but they are not very expensive and the original pump kit does come with extra membranes.
This high quality kit comes in around $300 and includes 24 and 27mm flanges, a cooler and ice pack, four 5oz bottles, and mesh storage bags.
It’s an all in one system that helps you pump your milk efficiently in about 20 minutes per pumping session.
If you want to use the Madela Pump In Style hands-free, you can try this handy double breast pump bra.
All the moms rave about this system and if you are returning to work when your baby turns three months old, then a pump like this is a great investment. Check with your insurance and see if they can cover this pump for you!
|Drains breasts in 20 minutes||The motor is loud|
|High-quality equipment||The system is on the heavier side|
|Great for pumping at the office||Lots of parts to clean|
|Comes with 2 different sized flanges|
|Comes with cooler bag and ice pack|
The Madela Pump In Style double breast pump is a great option for working parents who have to pump multiple times in the office. It’s best to leave this pump at the office as it weighs 7.4lbs and is uncomfortable to have to bring it with you on a daily basis. Check with insurance if you can get this pump with coverage.
Want to go hands free and electric? The Willow pump is the best pump for that.
This hands free, in bra pumping solution is perfect for moms on the go and for pumping at the office. The willow pump has some basic features that create a great experience such as wireless, rechargeable batteries, seven suction levels, quiet when in action and a handy dandy app.
The app is available for both android and apple and provides a real time status of how much milk you have pumped, which helps with ensuring you aren’t going to overflow your “bottle.”
You can collect milk in two ways: the pump and store method and the pump and pour method.
When you choose to pump and store you just add a freezable bag to the cup as you pump. The pump and pour method is when you pump the milk into the 4oz cups and then pour into your preferred bottle.
We love that you can choose the 21, 24 or 27mm flange which you can choose before you make your purchase. You may need to get a more flexible bra to fit the pump, but it’s well worth it we think.
Control the pump with the handy app and don’t worry about bending over, laying down, relaxing or sitting down, there will be no spills.
The battery lasts approximately 3 20 minute pumping sessions which should help you get through an 8 hour day at work comfortably.
You can tell that there is a pump in your bra because of the shape, so it’s not THAT discreet, but it’s also a lot better than having bottles hanging off your nipples at the office.
Some cons of the willow are that sometimes the app overestimates how much you have pumped, creating an inaccurate measure of milk. Some moms have expressed that the pump isn’t as comfortable as some of the other options, and some have even expressed that they get less milk from the Willow pump than the Madela and Spectra.
This is a great option for all moms, and if you are interested in the Willow pump, click here.
|Very discreet design||Cannot pump directly into the bottle|
|Mobile design||Battery life could be longer, or an additional battery should be available|
|Spill-proof||Collection bags can get pricey|
|7 levels of suction|
Reasons Why You Will Love
The Willow is the best breast pump that offers hands free pumping. Enjoy the cordless pump that has everything you need, even the motor, right in the collection cups. this discreet pump is spill-free, can be controlled through an app and is great for pumping at the office.
More Pump Options
This wearable hands free pump is super comparable to the Willow pump and comes in close second to it. Each breast can collect up to 5 ounces, it comes with 2 storage containers and has a 90 minute battery life.
Some moms have found this pump to be more comfortable than the Willow but it has pretty much the same features and is about the same price point.
Most wearable breast pumps are less powerful than the traditional electric pumps so keep in mind that you may need to pump more often with this pump.
The suction is extremely quiet so you can use this pump while on a conference call with your boss or while you’re chasing your kids around the house.
There is a light that can shine through your clothes, so it’s better to wear darker clothing but otherwise, the Evie is very easy to se and the app is fairly accurate in estimating how much milk is being produced.
The parts of the Evie are easy to clean too which is a huge bonus.
The Evie is an impressive system as the pumping technology has come a long way, especially when you consider being able to pump while laying down and now spilling your milk.
If you are interested in the Evie, check it out here.
This is a newer addition to the market and its a great affordable option for new parents.
This portable, quiet comfortable pump is super small, small enough to throw into a diaper bag.
This pump does put out hospital grade power and offers two-phase expression starting with stimulation which helps with starting a letdown. The pump comes with 24mm flanges, but an additional 28mm and 30mm flanges are available.
You can pump directly into popular wide mouth bottles such as AVENT, and adapters are available if you would prefer to pump into smaller mouth bottles such as the dr. browns. This is a closed system, and the milk does not overflow into the tubing and moms have not experienced milk leaking from the bottles.
This is a very comfortable pump with a battery that lasts up to 2 hours. It takes a few hours to charge back up again if the battery is completely drained.
If you are interested in the Ameda Mya, check it out here.
Another affordable breast pump option is the Phillips AVENT double electric pump. It is a quiet and efficient pump that has a unique lean forward design. You can lean back comfortably and still be able to pump into the bottles without worrying about spilling.
This BPA free plastic pump offers 3 expression settings after the let down stimulation mode which helps empty your breast efficiently.
This pump comes with 2, 25mm flanges that are soft and comfortable to wear.
While this pump doesn’t have any add ons like ice packs, coolers and cord free use options, the suction is great and comparable to the Madela pump in style.
Phillips makes some of the best baby bottles on the market, and this pump is compatible with them.
The AVENT double breast pump is a great choice and nothing to sneeze at. If you are interested in the AVENT double ump, click here.
Similar to the Spectra S1, the Madela Sonata is an excellent breast pump. It features a sleek design, it is small and simple to use. This pump is powerful, even more powerful than the pump in style, but less powerful than the symphony and the swing.
Madela makes sure that the motor runs just as strong whether the pump is plugged in or running on battery mode. You can get about 2 pumping sessions on one battery, which is less than other leading breast pumps.
The motor on this pump is quiet, more quiet than most other pumps which helps with pumping at night and not waking a sleeping baby.
There is a 2 phase expression, one for the letdown and the other for pumping. The handy timer helps you keep track of your session without checking your watch. Another interesting detail about this pump is that it uses Bluetooth to communicate with your phone. This can help you keep track of your pumping so you don’t have to do it manually.
The not so great things about this pump are the small screen display which can be difficult to read and the flange design allows milk to splashback onto the nipple before making its way down to the bottle which gives a strange sensation.
Lansinoh created a smart breast pump system that can communicate with your smart phone via bluetooth. This feature is helpful when you’re trying to track your pumping sessions. The app is a wonderful addition to this hospital grade pump.
This hygenic closed system pump can be used by multiple moms, as long as they have their own parts. The system does not allow any moisture into the tubes which is helpful for avoiding bacteria growth in your pump.
This powerful machine has two pumping modes like most other breast pump models including the 2 minute let down and the longer expression mode. There are 3 pumping styles that mimic a baby’s natural eating habits along with 8 different suction levels. This pump really gets every last drop of milk out of the breast.
Enjoy the padded comfortable flanges which feel great on sore nipples after a long day of pumping.
This kit comes with little add ons that make the pumping experience better such as extra bottles, a cooler, caps and nipples too. This portable and lightweight system fits snugly into the included bag and also fits well into most diaper bags.
You can use this system with an AC adapter or go portable with 2AA batteries, which is helpful if you need to unplug and go chase your toddler around the house.
This pump tends to be a little louder than other breast pumps on our list which does make this a less desirable model for taking to the office as it’s not as discreet. The screen lacks a backlight which makes pumping at night difficult.
All in all, however, this is a great breast pump that many parents do enjoy using. Interested in the Lansinoh Smart Pump Double Electric Breast Pump? Check it out here.
Guide To Buying A Breast Pump
Most new mothers do not consider a breast pump a must-have item. Why would they? Breastfeeding should be easy enough, right?
Well by the 8th week of your new life with your new baby, you may need to step away and have someone else look after your little one for a few hours, or head back to the office full time. Maybe you’ll want to create a breastmilk freezer stash. A breastpump makes all of those things so much easier.
Breast pumps come in many different shapes, sizes and prices too, so the whole choosing of a perfect pump can be a difficult decision, and you’ll want to pick a good model because it’s all about providing the best nourishment for your baby.
Some factors to concider when shopping for the best breast pump for you, you’ll need to think about your budget and what your needs are. Working full time means being away from home for over 8 hours, so you’ll want to consider how discreet your pump is. For the office you’ll want something that is powerful and can get the job done as quickly as possible, and double electric pumps are the best for this purpose.
We don’t recommend borrowing or purchasing a used breast pump as there is no guarantee that the breast pump is germ-free, even if you have your own parts and accessories for it.
If you are a stay at home mom and only need to have a small amount of milk stored in the freezer for an emergency or if you need to go out for a short while, a manual pump or a single electric could be enough.
Before choosing a pump, you’ll want to think about how you are going to use your new breast friend, and then consider your pump options from there.
What Types of Breast Pumps are There
Breast Pumps typically fit into these 4 categories:
- Manual: A manual breast pump is a pump that requires the user to use their own hands to create the suction which pumps out the milk from the breast. Many can be operated with one hand and some require two hands to use. These pumps do not have a motor and are small in size which makes them a great pump to throw into the diaper bag.
- Wearable: Wearable breast pumps are hands-free portable breast pumps that can be worn inside the bra. The pump is made from cups that fit over the breast and have flanges and milk bags all in one system. These are great for pumping when you’re out and about discreetly.
- Electric: An electric breast pump is a pump with a motor that can be adjusted for suction and speed. It requires electricity to work and some models do have rechargeable batteries so you can use them on the go. They are a popular choice for all moms. Electric breast pumps can be either single or double.
- Hospital Grade: Hospital-grade breast pumps have powerful motors and generally pump milk out quickly. You can rent or purchase a hospital grade pump, though they are more costly than an average electric pump.
How To Use A Breast Pump
Once you have a breast pump and you’re ready to start expressing your breastmilk there are some things you can do to get the most out of your pump.
If you can, find a comfortable spot to pump such as the couch or a quiet room at the office. If you are relaxed, your let down will come much faster. If you need to get the let down come faster try massaging the breast or use a hot compress on the nipple. If your little baby is close by, you can cuddle him or look at a photo of him throughout your pumping session.
When using an electric breast pump you’ll want to start with a low suction and then go up as you progress your pumping session. It can take some time for the milk to get going so be patient.
As a breastfeeding mother, you’re going to want to keep hydrated, and a pumping mom should aim for 8 glasses of water a day. You’ll likely produce the most of your milk first thing in the morning, you’ll be surprised how much milk you can pump even after you feed your baby in the mornings.
It’s a good idea to pump when the baby normally eats as well so you can keep your supply up.
When collecting your milk, use a BPA free plastic bag that is designed for storing and freezing breast milk so you can ensure your baby is not getting bacteria in their milk. It’s best to cool the milk down before you freeze it.
Milk can be stored in the fridge for 4 days and up to 3 months in the freezer. Fresh milk can stay at room temperature for up to 6 hours.
How To Pump At Work
When you return to work, you may want to keep feeding your baby breastmilk. Pumping at work presents it’s own challenges, but new moms are masters of overcoming challenges by the time the baby is 3 months of age.
Even though work schedules can be tough to work around, it’s a good idea to pump a few times a day at the same time each pump.
For example, if your work hours are from 7am to 4pm the following pumping schedule is ideal:
6am: Nurse at home
10am: 15 minutes pump at work
2pm: 15 minutes pump at work
If you need to pump 3 times at work, here is a sample schedule for that:
9am: 15 Minutes pump at work
12pm: 15 Minutes pump at work
3pm: 15 Minutes pump at work
Here is some information about the required break times for pumping as well as some more information about laws and pumping at work.
Cleaning pump parts at work can be tricky if you don’t have a common area with a sink. Make sure to add a little bit of extra time to your pumping session for cleaning pump parts. You can also put your pump parts into the fridge so you can avoid the whole washing of pump parts in the office and deter any embarrassing conversations with your co workers.
How To Clean A Breast Pump
Breast pumps all need to be cleaner, whether they are manual or electric. There are often large parts such as the flanges and smaller parts like connectors, tubes and membranes.
Most of the parts can be washed in hot soapy water between uses and then air-dried. It is recommended that all parts get sterilized daily. Making sure your pump is cleaned on a regular basis ensures that your baby is not getting bacteria in their milk.
Clean up can be a bit of a pain no matter which system you choose, but it is an important part of the breastfeeding and pumping process so be sure not to skip it.
What Are The Best Breast Pump Accessories?
Lanolin Cream: Avoid sore and damaged nipples with this very important lanolin cream. It doesn’t come at a high price and its breastfeeding must have, especially in the early days. If you don’t have lanolin cream, you can use coconut oil or breast milk to help with sore dry cracked nipples.
Breast Pump Car Adapter: A breast pump car adapter can help a breastfeeding momma pump in the car easily without worrying about the pump battery.
Pumping Bra: To go hands-free pumping is a total lifesaver when you have a baby. Pumping bras are specially designed so you don’t have to hold the flange for every pumping session.
Spare Pumping Parts: Madela and Spectra pumps have pumping parts you can purchase. You never know when a piece of your pump will need to be replaced and it’s a good idea to have membranes and valves on hand.
Breastmilk Storage Bags: The best storage bags are the Medela Breastmilk Storage Bags. They don’t leak during freezing and make it easy to pour in milk after pumping.
Breast Pump Wipes: If you don’t have access to a sink, these wipes are handy. It’s important to keep your pump clean.
Sanitizing Bags: Sanitizing bags make it easy to quickly sanitize your small pump parts in the microwave. Sanitizing is a daily task, so it’s best to make it as easy as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Breast Pumps For
Breast pumps are designed to eliminate milk out of a mothers breast to be fed to an infant at a later time or to be used for different items such as making milk jewelry or drawing milk baths.
What Are Closed System Breast Pumps
A closed system breast pump is a pump that has a milk barrier that prevents the milk from leaking and overflowing into the pumping mechanism and it ensures that your milk is going through a hygienic system.
What Are The Membranes On A Breast Pump?
The membranes create the suction which makes the breast pump work. When the pump sucks air in, the membrane that makes a complete seal over the valve is working. It creates suction that allows the pump to pull your nipple.
What Are The Laws For Breast Pumping At Work
What Is Power Breast Pumping
Power Pumping is a term that describes an hour pumping session which helps the body produce more milk.
What Is The Best Breast Pump For Working Moms
We believe the Madela Freestyle or the Spectra S1 are excellent choices for pumping at work.
Why Sterilize Breast Pump Parts
It is important to clean your breast pump parts well after each use. Dried on breast milk can create bacteria which is harmful for your baby if ingested. You sterilize your pump parts and bottles to keep your baby healthy and safe.
Can I Rent A Hospital Grade Breast Pump
If you cannot afford to purchase a hospital grade breast pump, then it may be beneficial to rent a hospital grade breast pump. See if your insurance can cover rentals and purchases.
What Does Hospital Grade Pump Mean
A hospital-grade breast pump is a pump that can help mothers feed babies in the NICU or babies with other medical issues. A hospital-grade rating on a pump means that multiple users can use the pump safely with new parts, whereas a single-use breast pump should only ever be used by one person. Hospital-grade breast pumps are also very durable and have powerful motors.
What Are Some Essential Parts Of A Breast Pump
All breast pumps have these parts in common:
A shied or flange: This is a part that covers the breast and can come in different sizes. Each brand will have its own designs.
A bottle designed for the pump
Some sort of power source such as a handle for manual pumping or a motor for electric models.
Is The Haakaa Pump Easy To Use
Is There A Special Way To Pump At Night
You may need to pump at night for the following reasons:
1. Going too long between pumping sessions which can negatively impact breast milk supply.
2. Avoiding clogged ducts and engorged breasts
3. You can generally express more milk at night than daytime so it’s a good time to stock up
To successfully pump at night you should be prepared ahead of time. The less thinking and fumbling around you have to do when it’s 3am the better.
Pumping at night will be easier if you change first, then feed the baby and then continue pumping.
Make sure you have snacks and water while you pump because pumping milk burns a lot of energy!
How Often Do You Replace Pump Parts
Valves: 2 – 8 weeks
Membranes: 2 – 8 weeks
Duckbill Valves: 4 – 12 weeks
Backflow Protectors: 3 – 6 months
Tubing: 3 – 6 months
Flanges: Every 6 months (or as needed)
Connectors: Every 6 months (or as needed)
Milk Collection Bottles: When chipped, cracked, or leaking
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