There’s a reason why experts all say that breastmilk is best for babies. It boosts their immune system and strengthens the mother-child bond. It helps the mom reach her pre-baby weight (woohoo!) and helps new parents save a ton of money. But breastfeeding your baby doesn’t mean you won’t be giving your baby a bottle. Moms need their rest. Dads also need bonding time with the baby.
And, let’s face it. Bottles are lifesavers for moms who are going back to work. But just because it’s a bottle doesn’t mean that it needs to be a formula. Breastmilk can be bottled too. And that’s where breast pumps come in. Unfortunately, there are just too many products in the market for frazzled, tired mothers sift through. Who has the time anyway with the baby taking up too much of your time? That’s why we’ve made things easier and found the 10 best breast pumps that’ll pump YOU up and your baby too.
Top 10 Breast Pumps of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 10 Breast Pumps of 2018 Reviewed
- 1. Spectra Baby USA S1
- 2. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-the-Go Tote
- 3. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- 4. Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
- 5. Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump
- 6. Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump
- 7. Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
- 8. Vakey Electric Breast Pump
- 9. Haoqin Micro Cube Breastfeeding Pump
- 10. BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
- Breast Pump Buying Guide
1. Spectra Baby USA S1Best Breast Pump to Induce Lactation
This is a double electric pump that comes with rechargeable batteries that will allow you to conveniently use the pump anywhere for up to 3 15-minute sessions in one entire day. It has customizable settings such as cycle length and vacuum strength. It also features the letdown and expression modes which enable the machine to mimic a baby’s suckling pattern very, very closely.
This breast pump utilizes a closed system. This means that there is a physical barrier in the flange that prevents the milk from accidentally getting into the tube going into the motor which could later turn to mold. This means that not only does your baby’s milk stay bacteria-free, you don’t have to dismantle the pump and clean the tubing every time. However, replacement parts are hard to come by and the shield sizes are limited. Also, the flanges don’t screw onto all bottle sizes. If you don’t need the battery option, Spectra offers the same features without the battery at a lower price – the Spectra Baby USA S2.
- Rechargeable batteries
- Customizable settings
- Closed system
- Limited shield sizes
- Flanges don’t screw onto all bottle sizes
- Hard-to-find replacement parts
2. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-the-Go ToteBest Breast Pump for Working Moms
This is the all-in-one electric double breast pump. You get the pump, the carrying case, a removable cooler bag, and a contoured ice pack. Everything you need to pump away from home. The bag can carry up to 4 breastmilk bottles which are included in your purchase too. These bottles come with lids, by the way, so spilling precious milk is not going to be an issue.
You also get a battery pack but the 8 AA batteries will need to be bought separately. Like our first pick, this unit makes use of two-phase expression technology which is the let-down mode and the expression modes. The speed and vacuum strength are also adjustable. However, there are some drawbacks. The motor isn’t that quiet. And it is built into the bag so it’s not removable. Since the Medela uses an open system, a lot of complaints are about condensation that builds is in the tubing which makes cleaning a pain to do. If you don’t like the tote, you can get the same model in a stylish backpack – Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump Backpack.
- All-in-one pumping kit
- Two-phase expression technology
- Battery pack
- Condensation issues
- Pump cannot be removed from the bag
- Noisy motor
3. Medela Harmony Manual Breast PumpBest Breast Pump for Inverted Nipples
If you want to go manual with your breast pump, there’s nothing better than the Medela Harmony. For one, you get extra accessories like 2 bottles with lids, a bottle stand, a nipple with collar, and 2 membranes for just a little over $30. And then, this pump also features Medela’s 2-Phase Expression technology through its unique lever which stimulates and increases milk flow.
It’s lightweight, compact, and easy to use. It’s perfect for traveling or if you want to express milk from one breast while your baby is feeding on another. However, it doesn’t always produce as much as electric pumps. You also need to switch hands a bit during your session because it can get tiring. You’ll also need both hands to operate and hold the bottle upright to maintain a good seal.
- Accessories included
- Can get tiring
- Requires two hands
- One breast at a time
4. Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast PumpBest Breast Pump for Travel
This is another manual breast pump option for moms who want something small, lightweight, and easy to use. What’s great about the Philips Avent pump is the fact that it comes with the company’s Natural bottle and nipple. Now, this specific bottle and nipple were designed to mimic the shape and feel of a breast so your baby won’t have a hard time transitioning between your breast and the bottle.
The flange comes with a massage cushion to provide comfort and help stimulate milk flow. The pump is designed to let you express milk sitting up straight so you can stay comfortable and relaxed. It’s very easy to clean. And it even comes with a travel cover, a sealing disc for storage, and 2 breast pad sample packs. However, it is noisy; the handle makes a squeaking sound when you pump. The bottle only holds 4 ounces so if you have more milk, you’ll need more bottles.
- Effective pump
- Easy to use; does not tire hand
- Comes with Natural bottle and nipple
- The bottle only holds for 4 ounces
- Very noisy
5. Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast PumpBest Breast Hand Pump
Out of all manual breast pumps in the world, there is nothing as convenient to use as the Haakaa model. It has no moving parts. It is only one compact piece made out of soft silicone that you can place on your breast and let the let-down do the work for you. One initial pump and you’re good as gold.
This is the perfect choice if you don’t want to fiddle with a pump while feeding your baby. As he triggers the let-down in both breasts, the Haakaa will stay in place and collect the leak from the other breast for you. Because it is one solid piece, it’s very easy to clean. The soft silicone is very comfortable and the shape can accommodate most breast sizes. However, you’ll need to place a hand on it if you have a fidgety feeder because a kick from the little one will have you crying over spilled milk, literally.
You’ll need to transfer it to a bottle for storage because the lid and stopper are not included in your purchase. And the measurements on the Haakaa aren’t accurate.
- Easy to clean
- Very compact
- Very affordable
- Can get easily dislodged
- Lid/stopper not included
- Measurements are inaccurate
6. Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump
This double electric breast pump is one of the best there is for many, many reasons. One, it comes with a bag which makes this easily portable. Two, it comes with two Natural bottles and nipples so you can have them at the ready as soon as you get home. Three, the angled neck and the soft massage cushion enables you to sit upright while you pump and makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. Four, there are three expression modes that you can choose from. after the pump finishes the automatic gentle stimulation mode (a.k.a. let-down mode).
The suction strength of this model is really good and you also get a tight seal so leakage is not something you have to worry about. Five, the assembly is so easy and intuitive, even for newbie moms. And six, it uses a closed system. However, it doesn’t have a battery option so you’ll need to have an outlet nearby whenever you want to use it. The noise is about average but some do find it annoying. Also, it doesn’t come with an insulated bag which means you’ll have to bring your own or have a refrigerator you can use to store the milk after pumping.
- Easy to assemble and use
- Three expression settings
- Closed system
- No insulation bag
- No battery option
- Slightly noisier than other picks
7. Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
The Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is one of the most affordable options in its category. Like a lot of our other picks, this comes with a bag and a boatload of accessories which includes 2 5-oz. bottles, 1 NaturalWave slow-flow nipple, 2 breast flange bodies, storage lids, diaphragms, and diaphragm caps. It also comes with an LCD screen with a backlit display so you can easily pump at night.
The display shows the monitored pumping sessions, a digital clock, suction levels, and battery power. You can also keep track of the phase settings using the display. There’s even a timer to let you know how long you’ve been pumping. The Lansinoh Signature Pro also makes use of a closed system which ensures your breastmilk remains bacteria-free. Similar to the others, it makes use of two-phase technology.
Like the Avent model, it also has three expression mode settings for you to choose from. But unlike all the others, this has 8 suction levels that are easily adjustable so you can customize your pumping session to mimic your baby’s natural feeding patterns. And it can also run on batteries (not included) should the power go out. However, some moms feel that it was noisy. Some also reported that it doesn’t fully drain their breasts.
- Lower price point
- Closed system
- Customizable pumping sessions
- Slightly noisy
- Does not fully drain breasts
8. Vakey Electric Breast Pump
This is a single electric breast pump that makes use of a closed system and features an LCD screen, 9 suction settings, and a USB cable for charging. It’s incredibly lightweight at less than 1.3 pounds. The weight and the USB charger ensures you can take this with you anywhere. You don’t even need an adapter to pump inside the car!
What’s even better is that the pump fits the standard bottle mouth such as the Avent “classic” bottles which means that you can use other bottles you have instead of just sticking with the one that you bought with this pump. However, it doesn’t have a battery option. It can only do one breast at a time. And there’s only one flange size offered. The price point though may be enough for some to overlook these drawbacks.
- Incredible affordable
- USB charging
- Lightweight and compact
- No battery option
- Pumps only one breast at a time
- Only one flange size offered
9. Haoqin Micro Cube Breastfeeding Pump
Similar to the Vakey model, the Haoquin Micro Cube pump is a single electric pump. It is also lightweight and comes with a USB charger which makes it convenient to use as well as very portable. Plus, it comes with a bag! The pump uses two-phase technology, starting with a gentle stimulation mode then going into the expression mode which has three settings you can choose from.
The pump also accommodates Philip Avent bottles which gives you a certain degree of flexibility in terms of bottle use. However, you can’t use different sized flanges with this pump. The instructions come in Chinese. In addition, you only get to do one breast at a time which lengthens your pumping session. But for the price, we may be willing to ignore all that.
- Comes with a bag
- Only one flange size
- Chinese instructions
- Pumps only one breast at a time
10. BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
The BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is a closed system pump that features 10 suction settings so you can choose which suction strength feels most comfortable for you.
It can run on a battery pack (sold separately) for times when the power is out. It features an LCD screen and even has a timer. But what makes this particular pump stand out is the independent dual control. What this means is that you can control the suction of each breast pump independently! However, parts and accessories are hard to find. Flange size cannot be changed. There’s no bag included in your purchase.
- Can run on batteries
- Independent dual control
- 10 suction settings
- Hard-to-find components and accessories
- Only one flange size
- No bag included
Breast Pump Buying Guide
Everybody says it: “Breast is best.” But you can’t always have your baby with you wherever you go. Sometimes, a mom just needs a break. Or, you need to go back to work. If you want to be able to continue to provide your baby with breastmilk, you’re going to need to store some away to be used later.
And that’s where breast pumps come in. Now, as any breastfeeding mom will tell you, not all breast pumps are made equal. And since we all know you’ll want the best there is, we’ve created a guide that has everything you need to know about getting the best pump for your breast.
As a general rule, your breast pump must mimic a baby’s suck and stimulate your milk supply. This means that it needs to have a sucking rhythm that is almost as efficient as a baby which is 40 to 60 cycles (of suck and swallow) per minute. Aside from efficiency, you’ll want a pump that feels comfortable for you. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to be painful; perhaps slightly awkward and uncomfortable at first.
But with the right pump, you should get the hang of it almost off the bat. Now, there are several different types of breast pumps in the market. Several factors will affect which type is right for you and your baby including how often you pump, where you’ll be pumping, and how much time you’ll be spending just pumping.
Type of breast pumps
Manual breast pump: As the name states, you manually suck out the milk from your breast with a pump mechanism like a bulb or lever. This type is typically small, light, quiet, and inexpensive. It also requires less setup and cleanup so it’s ideal for short/quick pumping sessions. However, it requires effort to use, can be cumbersome, and takes a while to use. Manual breast pumps are recommended for those who don’t (or aren’t planning on pumping often. It’s also a good travel option.
Electric breast pump: if physical exertion isn’t your idea of a good pumping session, an electric breast pump may be more your speed. This type features adjustable suction levels and cycles. You can buy a single or a double electric breast pump. This type is recommended for working mothers or moms who will regularly be away from their baby. Some models come with a bag and all the accessories you’ll need including milk containers and a cooler storage. Take note that experts suggest this type of pump for moms who already have little ones that are feeding well and an established milk supply.
Battery-powered breast pump: Some models have non-rechargeable batteries. The problem with these is that they lack the power to mimic the natural sucking cycle of a baby; they’re slow and run through batteries fast so you’ll need to keep extra on hand just in case. But they’re inexpensive, small, portable, and easy to use. Some models feature rechargeable batteries. These tend to be more expensive but typically have all the features of an electric pump which means you can switch between the two modes whenever the need arises.
Hospital-grade breast pump: this is the most expensive type (can reach up to $1000) that is found in hospitals and lactation centers. It is also available for rent from many medical shops. Compared to all other types, this breast pump is the best at efficiency. The controls are typically adjustable (i.e. speed, intensity, rhythm). This option is best if you’re having problems with nursing your baby or you want to increase your milk supply dramatically. However, keep in mind that these tend to be large and can be awkward to carry because it doesn’t come with a case or bag.
Double or Single?
All experts recommend double pumping because it cuts your pumping session in half as well as increases the level of prolactin in your body. Prolactin is the hormone that is responsible for milk production.
Features to look for
There are certain features that can make pumping milk a pleasure instead of a chore.
- Suction settings: you’ll want a pump that mimics a baby’s natural sucking cycle as close as possible. This means that you want a pump that offers two modes. Letdown mode – fast and shallow initially to get the milk flowing. And expression mode – slow and deep to get the most milk.
- Adjustable speed, rhythm, and suction: customizable settings will enable you to find what’s most comfortable for you.
- Memory: this feature allows you to store your favorite settings in the pump’s memory so you never have to fiddle with the controls every single time.
- Carrying case: if you plan to use the pump away from home, you’ll want something to carry it in that’s discreet. Some cases feature a cooling compartment that allows you to safely store your milk for later.
- Car adapter: if you want to pump on-the-go, then this is a handy feature. Keep in mind that pumping may distract you from driving so maybe you can use it as a passenger instead.
- Weight: if you’re always going to be going from one point to another, then lugging around a heavy breast pump isn’t going to pan out well for you. Even a light one that weighs only 5 pounds could feel heavy after some time. If you’re going to be on-the-go throughout the day, it’s best to get the most lightweight option you can find.
What about warranty?
Other than manual pumps, all breast pumps use a motor to get things going. This means that there are moving parts that may break down. At least get a pump that comes with a one-year warranty. Longer terms typically mean better quality and durability.
Shield size: the shield or flange is that circular thing that you put on your breast for pumping. You need to make sure that you have the right size. If it’s too small, it will make your breasts sore.
No BPA: parts of your breast pump, if not all, are made out of plastic. To keep you and your baby safe, make sure that you get a model that has a “No BPA” label.
What if you’re still not sure which one is best for you and your baby?
It’s easy to get confused or indecisive when it comes to making incredibly important decisions, especially if it’s something that concerns a loved one. Don’t get stressed out about not knowing what to do. Lactation consultants are everywhere these days. Find time to meet with one to help you with your selection process and get answers to any questions you may still have.