There are so many parts to having a baby, and one of the most important parts is breast-feeding.
How do you breast-feed? How do you store milk and pump? Which is the best breast pump? These are likely al questions that are floating around your head as a mom-to-be.
This resource is a guide to help you find an excellent breast pump, and it’s full of breast pump reviews for every type of mother. Whether you’re going to be at home with your baby or heading back to work, we’ll help you find the top breast pump for your lifestyle. And by the end, you’ll be able to make a confident and concise decision.
Our Top Ten Best Breast Pump Comparison Chart
- Our Top Ten Best Breast Pump Comparison Chart
- Best Breast Pump for Working Moms
- Types of Breast Pumps
- Contenders for The Best Breast Pump: Our Reviews
- Best Electric Breast Pump
- 1. Philips AVENT Single
- 2. Swing Breast Pump
- 3. Bellema Mango Plus Single Electric Breast Pump
- Best Double Electric Breast Pump
- 1. Spectra Baby USA S2
- 2. Medela Pump In Style Advanced
- Best Single Breast Pump Reviews
- 1. Philips Avent Manual Comfort
- 2. Avo Babies BPA-Free Portable Pump
- 3. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- Benefits of Using a Good Breast Pump
- Best Breast Pump Brand Award
- Accessories to Consider
- Pumping Guide
- Summary and Making a Decision
Best Breast Pump for Working Moms
One of the first decisions that you’ll need to make as a new mother is whether or not to stay at home with your baby and for how long. Do you plan to be a stay at home mom indefinitely, or will there come a time when you’ll be heading back to work? Both options can be wonderful, and there are certainly pros and cons to each.
When it comes to breast-pumping and finding the top notch breast pump, however, working moms have a different situation than moms who plan to stay at home with their babies. The following is a great pump option for these mothers.
- Overall best electric breast pump for working moms
- Comes with discreet carry tote that fits pump and all accessories so that you can pump anywhere
- Pump can be used with batteries but may lose power quickly with this power source
Medela is the most critically-acclaimed breast pump brand, and this Pump in Style Advanced Pump is the best Medela breast pump.
If you are a working mother or plan to be one after your maternity leave ends, you’ll need to be pumping a lot if you want to provide your baby with breast-milk.
Stay at home mothers can directly feed their babies while at home, and you’ll be able to do this while you’re with your baby as well. But while you’re away, you must continue expressing your milk so that your body continues to produce milk in the first place.
This pump from Medela is a top rated breast pump for working moms because it comes complete with all of the components and parts that you’ll need for pumping anywhere at any time. This includes a double pumping kit, 24mm breast shields and the appropriate breast milk containers and lids.
As the best breast pump for working moms, it also comes with a discreet carrying case. Anyone who sees the case will simply think that you have an extra purse or bag.
I am often asked by new moms: “What are the best breast pumps for working moms?” And the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump With On-the-Go Tote is always my recommendation. It is the best double electric breast pump on the market.
Types of Breast Pumps
There are basically two types of breast pumps. Both electric and manual types offer a range of good breast pumps, but naturally, both have their pros and cons as well. Below, we’ll outline these two types of breast pumps to help you decide between the two.
Electric breast pumps are the best pumps for moms who plan on pumping regularly. The electronic pumping action of these products simulates the suckling of a baby.
There is a small motor inside the pump that creates these tiny suckle-like suctions, and this suction power can be turned up or down. You can also control how quickly the sucking happens. Tubes will run from the pump to the breast shields that attach to your nipples. Electric pumps are powered using a cord that needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet.
There are two types of electric pumps. First, there are single pumps that only attached to one breast. Double pumps can be used with both breasts at the same time. This makes a pumping session go faster and is easier for busy moms.
Moms who want to do things while they are pumping can even wear a breast pumping bra with a double breast pump. This frees the mothers hands from having to hold the breast and the breast shields while pumping.
Manual breast pumps are the most recommended breast pumps for moms who will only be pumping occasionally when they need to relieve engorged breasts or to prepare for being away from their baby for just a short time. Mothers who commonly used electric breast pumps may also want to consider having a manual pump on hand in case there is an emergency situation, such as the power going out.
Manual pumps are single breast pumps, and they require the mother to hand operate the unit so that a simulated suckling action can occur on the nipple. The mother places the breast shield over the areola and nipple and squeezes the lever or pump. It is important to squeeze in small quick movements at first to simulate the initial suckling of a baby.
The manual breast pump is not the best pump for moms who plan to breast-pump most of their milk because it requires a lot of work, can only be done on one breast at a time and is rather a slow process.
Contenders for The Best Breast Pump: Our Reviews
Best Electric Breast Pump
Let’s start by looking at the top three best electric breast pumps.
- Unique design offers a more comfortable pumping position
- Features massage cushion with soft, warm texture, which helps motivate milk expressing
- Easy to take wherever you go because of lightweight, compact design
- Because it works with standard batteries, the power may run low unexpectedly
The Philips AVENT Single is the best single electric breast pump. It consistently receives high breast pump ratings from both consumers and the manufacturing and testing industries. It’s also quite affordable.
The pump is not only easy to use, but it’s also a pleasant to use because of the warm stimulation massage cushion that helps start up your milk flow. If you work or are on the go, this breast pump travels extremely well too because of the lightweight parts and compact design.
As one of the best rated breast pumps overall and one that is sold at a moderate price, the Philips AVENT Single is definitely worth the money. It’s lightweight, compact and much more pleasant to use than many other pump models on the market.
- Use pump with electrical outlet or battery powered when you’re on the go
- Does not include a large number of parts, which makes cleaning a breeze
- Some electric breast pump reviews mentioned that the tubes that come with the Swing Breast Pump collect moisture and are stiff and difficult to maneuver.
- Some users have also mentioned that this pump tends to be rather loud when operating.
The Swing Breast Pump is another one of the top breast pumps on the market. The simple design and easy to use functions make it friendly for all moms, and the fact that it’s able to be used with both an electrical outlet and batteries makes it super portable.
Ultimately, you’re getting an excellent deal with the Swing Breast Pump. If you don’t want a lot of pumping options and fuss, then this is the pump for you.
- The best affordable breast pump that works effectively
- Use with electrical outlet or batteries when you’re traveling
- Features anti-backflow feature
- There is a small seal ring with this pump that is necessary for operation, but unfortunately, it’s all too easy to lose this ring. If you do lose it, the pump won’t work.
The Bellema Mango Plus Single Electric Breast Pump is the best electric breast pump that is also affordable. This pump can be taken anywhere because of being lightweight, easy to carry and compact in design.
The pump itself has an LCD screen to offer real-time status of your pumping settings, and a memory feature can recall your preferred settings for ease of use. The pump can easily be used with bottles and storage containers from various other brands, including Philips AVENT.
As one of the top rated breast pumps that is also affordable, this pump definitely gets my vote. The best breast pump reviews seem to especially like this pump because it’s well-made and compact too. It’s a simple pump that will effectively help you get your milk expressing done, and if you’re on a budget, it’s a great choice.
Best Double Electric Breast Pump
Now, let’s move on to the best double electric breast pump reviews.
- Overall best electric double breast pump
- Super quiet for discreet pumping
- Some double breast pump reviews did not like the fact that this pump doesn’t come with a carrying case, and it is rounded and rather big, so it doesn’t pack especially well.
The Spectra Baby USA S2 is the best double breast pump on this list. This pump is more expensive than other double pumps, but for me, it’s worth the price.
First, this is the best breastfeeding pump in terms of noise. Some pumps can be loud, but I love how quiet this pump is. You can use it anywhere, and it is hardly noticeable. It even has a timer and night light.
The closed system makes this pump especially hygienic as well. And finally, the adjustment settings are extremely comfortable.
I’ve chosen the The Spectra Baby USA S2 as the best double electric breast pump, and many moms agree with me. This is a best-seller. On the other hand, the unit does cost a little bit more, so be aware of that. For my money, it is worth it.
- Features the 2-Phase Expression technology patented by Medela to help you express 18 percent more milk than usual
- Motor comes in some carrying bag for discreet carry and easy clean-up
- This pump is slightly more expensive.
This is one of the top breast pumps and the absolute best Medela pump. This is mostly because of the special 2-Phase Expression technology that was patented by Medela. The technology allow moms to toggle between the “Expression Phase” and the “Stimulation Phase,” and this will help you ultimately express more milk. I also love the carrying case with this pump.
In conclusion, if you’re having trouble pumping and are looking for a double pump, this may be the perfect solution. I’ve seen it help many mothers who had trouble using other double units.
Best Single Breast Pump Reviews
- Compact design makes this the best portable breast pump
- Flanges are extremely squishy and comfortable contrary to many other hand pump models
- I’ve seen breast pumps review write-ups mention that this pump is good for travel, but if you pump regularly, an electric model might ultimately be a better choice.
The best rated breast pump for single breast, occasional pumping is the Philips Avent Manual Comfort. This pump is a reasonable price and has a super comfortable, compact design. You can also use it with a number of other pumping products from Philips Avent.
Ultimately, I think this is the perfect pump for moms on the go or for those moms who simply don’t pump very often. It’s sold at an amazing price as well, so if you’re looking for an inexpensive pump, this might just be the one for you.
- Simple design means no fuss when pumping
- Made of 100 percent BPA-free, lead and phthalate-free silicone
- Extremely affordable price
- Some mothers experienced a reduction in suction after using this pump for a long time, but it is generally recommended as a seldom use pump, so keep this in mind.
The is another one of the portable breast pumps that I recommend. The flange is super comfortable and soft and made of silicone that is food grade and 100 percent free of BPA and other toxins.
The lightness and portability of the pump makes it a perfect model for use on the go, and that’s what it’s meant for. In general, this is not a pump that’s meant for use on a regular basis or several times a day.
If you’re in the market for a great pump that is manually operated and portable, the Avo Babies BPA-Free Portable Pump is excellent. It works wonderfully and is certainly comfortable, and I personally use it when I’m traveling.
- Great, lightweight design for travel or use at work
- Some of breast pumps reviews mention that this pump should only be used when you have the occasional time away from your baby, but it’s not for use on a daily or regular basis.
The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump is an excellent manual pump for use when you need to be away for your baby from time to time. The unique 2-Phase Expression technology can be utilized with this pump, which means even easier expressing of your milk.
Unless you’re set on purchasing a portable electric breast pump for occasional pumping or pumping while on the go, I would recommend this model. The special technology and affordability make it an excellent option for mothers.
Benefits of Using a Good Breast Pump
Buying a breast pump isn’t like buying a new toaster. This machine will be a large part of your life for the next few months or years, so make sure that you find one that fits your exact needs and even goes the extra mile.
- The act of breast-pumping will go more quickly. You’ll begin expressing quicker, and you’ll fill your storage containers more quickly with a high quality pump. Furthermore, if you purchase a double pump, you can get twice the milk in the same amount of time it would take to pump one breast with a single pump.
- You’ll be able to pump more. Higher quality breast pumps do better at expressing milk consistently.
- The act of pumping will be more discreet. The top breast pumps come built into discreet carrying cases that can be taken anywhere and everywhere.
- You can do other things while you pump. Double breast pumps can be used with pumping bras to free your hands while pumping.
Best Breast Pump Brand Award
Lansinoh is my favorite brand of breast pump. This brand makes the best at-home and portable breast pumps, and it has a wide popularity in the breastfeeding community.
Lansinoh was founded more than 3 decades ago in 1984. The company focuses on producing high quality breast-feeding products and accessories. Their headquarters is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Mothers around the United States and the world love these products, and you’ll be sure to hear about Lansinoh on breast-feeding and mommy community websites and forums.
For my money, they certainly produce the best portable breast pump options. I especially like the portable electric breast pump options that they have. These products work like a charm, are sturdily made and last forever.
If you ever do need replacements for a Lansinoh breast pump, however, the Lansinoh Extra Breast Pumping Set is another one of my favorite products.
- A great back-up kit in case the original parts and pieces from your pump were lost or broken
- The highest quality products from Lansinoh
- The breast shields that come with this set fit most moms but not all
The Lansinoh Extra Breast Pumping Set does not include an actual breast pump. Instead, it includes all of the other parts and pieces.
For those moms who are having a second or third baby, almost every breast pump review that you read will recommend buying this set to complement the old pump that you used with your first child. It’s definitely not uncommon for pieces to get lost from an old pump, or you may not feel comfortable using older flanges and other parts. In that case, this is the perfect set to buy.
This is a great extra set for moms who have lost parts from an original Lansinoh breast pump or for parts that were accidentally broken. It’s also great for moms who want to have an extra set of things at their workplace or another location.
Accessories to Consider
What is a good breast pump? There are so many factors to consider as you can see, but I’m also partial to a pump that can easily be used with accessories!
After all, the experience of pumping breast milk can be sort of foreign and even uncomfortable at first, so making it as easy as possible is the name of the game. Let’s go over some of my favorite accessories to use with your breast pump.
I always include the Medela Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes in any breast pump review that I write. Because many moms need to pump on the go, cleaning pump parts in the sink with soap isn’t always an option.
These wipes fill this niche. They’re bleach and alcohol free, unscented and specifically designed for cleaning breast pumps and accessories. Use them on the road, at work or when you’re traveling.
The Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution is a kit that includes all of the best Medela products. With the kit, you’ll get breast milk bottles as well as bags and other containers for storing milk in the fridge and freezer. The bags and bottles fit with any Medela breast pump for ease of use.
You’ll notice that breast pumps reviews rant and rave about the fact that you must have a good drying rack when you’re dealing with breast pumps, bottles, bags, nipples and other parts. Otherwise, these small, oddly shaped items get lost, fall down drains or just get dirty again.
This drying rack is my absolute favorite. The OXO Tot On-the-Go Travel Drying Rack is compact and comes with a bottle brush that fits inside it. The tines can hold any pump or bottle part, and it’s so easy to clean.
Working with breast pumps when you’ve never done it before can be scary! And let me just say that I definitely don’t blame you if you look at a breast pump and think: “Is that a torture device?”
With that being said, your breast pump is your friend, and I mean that with the utmost sincerity. This product will save you from literally overflowing with milk, and when used properly, it can actually be quite relaxing. This is not to mention the fact that it will enable you to provide milk for your little one when you’re not there for a feeding.
If you haven’t used a pump before, there are some key things that you’ll need to know, so let’s go over some of the most commonly asked questions.
Why do moms need to pump their breast milk?
In general, mothers pump their breast milk so that they can have a storage supply when they’re not around for feedings. Other reasons might include increasing milk production and supply, collection of milk for premature babies or relieving pressure and pain from breasts that are too full.
When’s the best time to pump breast milk?
It doesn’t matter when you pump your breast milk, but you should try to keep up a consistent schedule. For example, if you usually feed your baby at a certain time of the day, try to keep that time of the day for pumping when you’re not around you baby.
How many times a day do you need to pump your milk?
If you plan on pumping your milk consistently, you’ll need to pump at least 8 times a day. This is true whether or not you need to store breast milk for later feedings.
What if I have trouble getting breast milk to express?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get milk to express from your breasts. There are many reasons that this may be the case.
For example, you may have the wrong suction attachment for your particular breasts, you may have the pump going too strong or too fast, or there may be something wrong with your pump. Speaking with a lactation expert can help you get to the bottom of the trouble that you’re having.
Extra Tips for Working With Breast Pumps
- Amazingly enough, it’s often the case that breast milk flows more easily when you’re looking at your baby. If you’re trying to pump when your baby isn’t around, try looking at their picture or smelling a piece of their clothing.
- Pumping can be hard, and this can make you frustrated. But pumping breastmilk is considerably easier when you are relaxed, so it’s important to keep your feathers down and calm yourself before getting started.
- Similarly, if you’re nervous or self-conscious when trying to pump, it’s often difficult to get the milk flowing. For this reason, make sure that you find private space that is away from distractions before you pump.
Summary and Making a Decision
Knowing which breast pump is best for you can be difficult at first, but hopefully, this guide has made your final decision much easier. As you can see, there are number of factors to consider and many products on the market.
What’s most important is that you find the best breast pump for your lifestyle before having your baby. Ideally, you’ll buy your breast pump weeks or even months before your due date. At that time, you should know how long you’ll be at home with your baby and what type of feeding and pumping schedule you’ll be having.
Buying your breast pump after the birth of your child can be too stressful. It’s simply not a good time to be filtering through breast pump reviews and messing around with your final purchase.
For this reason, try to make a final decision right now. How often do you plan on pumping? Do you need your breast pump to be portable? Do you plan on pumping two breasts at once or using your pump with a specific pumping bra? Do you already know which storage bags you’ll be using to store your expressed milk?
The breast pump that you ultimately choose will be based on all of these factors and others. Choose wisely!
In the meantime, look forward to welcoming your little bundle of joy and preparing for their arrival. You’ve got a lot of excitement coming to you!