A breast pump is an essential tool for new mothers. Pumping allows you to bottle feed, helps relieve feelings of engorgement, and enhances milk flow. Especially helpful for mothers with twins or premature babies that are struggling to latch, breast pumps allow partners to help feed babies as well. Many mothers we talked to said they would not have been able to return to work without a dependable pump.
Studies have shown that breast milk is the best thing you can feed your baby, and we believe that breastfeeding is always the best option when possible for the mother and the child. That’s why we felt it was so important to review the best breast pumps for mothers in 2021. We searched far and wide to help our readers find the perfect pump for them. Here are the best ones we found.
- Features to Consider in Good Breast Pumps
- Top 10 Best Breast Pumps 2021
- 1. Best Overall Breast Pump: Spectra Baby USA-S1 Rechargeable Electric Breast Pump
- 2. Best Budget Breast Pump: Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
- 3. Best Premium Breast Pump: Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
- 4. Most Comfortable Electric Breast Pump: Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
- 5. Best Manual Breast Pump: Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
- 6. Best Wearable Breast Pump: Elvie Pump
- 7. Best Quiet Breast Pump: iAPOY Electric Breast Pump
- 8. Best Simple Breast Pump: Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump
- 9. Best Lightweight Breast Pump: Eccomum Breastfeeding Pump
- 10. Best Adjustable Manual Breast Pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- Guide to Buying the Best Breast Pumps
- Final Note
Features to Consider in Good Breast Pumps
Every mom has individual needs based on their lifestyle and how often they plan on using a pump. You have lots of different choices when buying a breast pump, and not every option will meet your specific needs. The first thing you need to decide is what kind of pump you are looking for. All the entries on our list fall into one of the three following categories.
Types of Breast Pumps
Hospital-grade Breast Pump
A hospital-grade breast pump is the most efficient type of pump. It is not only heavy-duty but also sucks faster at a higher frequency. However, hospital-grade pumps are also the most expensive type on the market. These pumps are designed for multiple users over time, with all of the personal attachments (tubing, breast shields, milk containers, and so on) being replaceable.
Electric Breast Pump
An electric breast pump is the most popular device for home use because of its low cost.
These devices generally come with a control unit allowing mothers to select their preferred speed and suction level. There are two types of electric pumps: single and double. The double electric breast pump is more efficient for obvious reasons, and will save quite a bit of time. Electric breast pumps will either run on batteries or by being plugged into a wall outlet. Some feature both options for flexibility.
Manual Breast Pump
This type of breast pump requires you to squeeze the lever by hand repeatedly in order to create the needed suction to extract the milk. The breast pump does not have a motor. Manual breast pumps are preferred by some mothers as they are quiet, compact, and more affordable compared to electric breast pumps. Manual breast pumps are also easy to set-up and clean. However, they are not as quick, easy to use, or efficient as electric pumps.
After some research, many mothers end up buying multiple breast pumps to take advantage of the benefits of each. If you’re new to breastfeeding, we recommend that you reference the AAP recommendations for any questions you may have.
Picking the Best Breast Pumps of 2021
Here is what we looked at for each pump we reviewed:
- Performance: Pumping is more comfortable when done efficiently and with adequate suction power. In the performance section of each review, we’ll look at how well each pump performs when used.
- Features: There are lots of additional features available depending on what model you choose. We will outline the features of each model on our list to help you choose the right one for your needs.
- Portability: For lots of mothers, the freedom of a portable breast pump is absolutely necessary. We’ll let you know which pumps below are suitable for moms on the move.
It’s time to break down our picks for the 10 best breast pumps of 2021:
Top 10 Best Breast Pumps 2021
The Spectra S1 is our favorite hospital-grade breast pump. It’s lightweight and portable compared to the majority of hospital-grade pumps we reviewed. We also like the wide variety of features included, like a nightlight and a timer. We talked to some mothers of twins who say this pump is a total lifesaver for them.
The breast pump mimics the feeding of a baby thanks to the nifty massage feature. If you haven’t used a similar pump before, you’ll notice that the pulsation of the pump during suction feels a little weird at first. However, over time it will feel more comfortable.
Thanks to the massage feature of the pump, extraction is sped up while it also stimulates letdown. It is really efficient for busy mothers that do not have a lot of time, but the massage feature can be switched on or off if its not to your taste.
The device offers twelve levels of suction. The variable levels are designed to meet every mom’s pumping needs, even those with inverted nipples. The control for suction strength is separate in order to control frequency. It allows a woman to adjust each control separately in order to accurately mimic their baby’s nursing pattern.
Set-up is extremely easy. The Spectra Baby USA-S1 Electric Breast Pump has a memory feature, so it recalls and returns to your preferred settings. The product also has a backlit digital readout and a nightlight so you can use the device in the dark without turning on additional lights to stir a sleeping baby.
Cleaning is super easy as the whole unit breaks into small pieces. The included collection bottles feature wide mouths and are simple to clean with a brush. The silicone membranes of the Spectra S1 are easy to wash.
The Spectra Baby USA-S1 is very portable. It is pretty lightweight and small in size, so you can carry it around when you need to get something in the middle of pumping. The rechargeable battery allows mothers to use the pump while on the go. Mothers have the choice between plugging in the device or making it more portable with battery operation.
- Portable unit with comfortable and secure carrying handle
- Smooth plastic and round design is easy to handle
- Lightweight breast pump (3.3 pounds)
- Very quiet. You can even talk on your phone as it pumps
- Plugged in or rechargeable battery operation
- Easy to set-up and use
- The double electric pump is very efficient
- Watch tracks the amount of time spent expressing milk
- No carrying case provided with the unit
- The nightlight feature is helpful, yet will drain the battery faster
- The battery takes longer to charge, but you get three hours of pumping once fully charged
The Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump stimulates and massages breasts in different modes in order to adapt to what works best for the mother. The four modes include massage and stimulation, continuous sucking, frequency conversion sucking, and normal sucking mode.
Mothers have nine levels of suction to adjust to for maximum comfort. The breast pump operates at a quiet level, reducing excess noise. It helps prevent you from waking up your baby at the worst possible moment.
The Bellababy electric breast pump works on both battery and cable power adapter. The USB charging cable can quickly build back battery strength through a power bank or laptop.
The product is shipped with milk storage bags. It is convenient and easy to directly express breast milk into the storage bags. Customers receive 10 bags, which is enough to get started, but it is possible to order more if you like the feature. Additionally, the Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump has a closed system. We found this pump to be very sanitary and safe for your baby to rely on for clean breast milk.
The device features an easy-to-read screen with important information such as working mode, suction level, time of use, and battery status. The touch panel is sensitive to the touch of a single finger making the device very easy to operate.
The Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump is portable. It is a lightweight dual-use breast pump. Mothers can take the device with them for peace of mind as it will not take up a ton of space. The milk storage bags also make it easy to transfer milk and storage later for use.
- Double pump to extract milk quicker
- Variety of operating modes for customization
- Varying levels of control for suction speed and strength
- HD display with important information
- Included storage bags for expressing milk
- Built-in battery for outdoor use
- Designed to reduce pain and feel more comfortable
- Louder than some other pumps on the market
- Portable, yet not the most compact breast pump available
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump is an extremely reliable device. Only slightly louder than the Spectra S1, the device features a wide range of adjustable options. Medela breast pumps are outstanding when it comes to finding replacement parts or accessories.
The Medela breast pump is easy to customize with accessories from other companies. The model is sold in three different versions: a backpack style, tote version, and metro bag style.
The Medela Pump in Style mimics natural breastfeeding of a baby very well. This breast pump can be plugged into a wall outlet or run on batteries. The device is not shipped with the eight AA batteries required to use it.
Women are able to keep their stuff organized in the tote bag version that is oversized yet prevents you from taking the device out while in operation. Regardless of which version you select, the unit is very lightweight and portable.
Set-up is easy since you don’t have to take the entire device out each time you need to use it. The breast pump also holds up to four bottles, and the ice packs included are really proficient and stay cool for hours.
- Great quality and very reliable
- Three different bag carriers with cooler system
- Simple to use and easy to clean
- Helps you maintain your milk supply
- Covered by most insurance providers
- Runs on AC power or AA batteries (included)
- Very portable breast pump
- It is a little loud so pumping is not nearly as discreet
- No adjustable controls for suction speed and strength
The Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast has three different pump styles. It gives you complete control over the extraction of milk. Each pump style provides eight adjustable suction levels. Therefore, you can customize it to mimic the feeding pattern of your child extremely well.
The assembly is pretty straightforward. The product is also easy to take apart for cleaning. The hygienic closed system does its part, but it doesn’t hurt to clean up the unit when time allows. If you need to pump frequently, the Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is among your best options.
Everything is controlled using five simple buttons. All the information is presented on the backlit LCD screen that shows a timer to make it easy for you to know how long you have been pumping.
The product is shipped with breastmilk storage bottles, two flanges, a carrying tote, bottle stands, a bottle nipple cap and collar, replacement parts, and an AC adapter. There is no need for milk transfers as the milk is pumped directly into storage bags. The double breast pump extracts milk quicker and saves you time.
This hospital-grade breast pump is very comfortable for the user. It works well even for females with inverted nipples thanks to the breast shield. The 25mm ComfortFit Flange is even adaptable to a 30.5mm version for added flexibility.
The Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is excellent for extracting milk while on the go. It is lightweight, especially for a hospital-grade version. The compact design allows you to take it with you. The breast pump has been around for many years, and it’s a trusted choice by most breastfeeding moms.
- Large backlit LCD Screen
- Portable design for a hospital-grade version
- Hygienic closed system design
- Three pumping styles to mimic natural feeding
- Eight adjustable suction levels
- Runs on a power cord or six AA batteries
- The letdown feature is very proficient
- Most affordable double electric breast pump
- The device is noisy, but it’s manageable
- The product is not sold with a carrying bag
The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is among the premier devices on the market, and one of the top-ranked manual breast pumps. It is a really straightforward manual pump with not a ton of customizable features.
Manual pumps are generally not quite as comfortable for the woman as electric pumps, and though some mothers may complain about the discomfort, this Philips pump does get the job done at a reasonable price.
The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is known to be a little noisy since the handle on the pump doesn’t have a bumper to prevent it from clacking against the collection bottle when you squeeze it all the way. The sound is a little annoying, yet definitely not a reason to avoid buying the unit.
The breast pump is very efficient at extracting milk. The few flaws with the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump do little to affect its performance and reliability. Furthermore, it is affordable, and replacement parts and accessories are easy to find in most stores. The device is also extraordinarily easy to clean. Parts can quickly get assembled or disassembled for maintenance.
Additionally, women can sit in a more reclined position while pumping due to its ergonomic design. A reclined position makes it far more comfortable for the woman as she expresses milk compared to a hunched forward upright position.
The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is very portable. It is lightweight and compact, excellent for being on the move. The manual breast design also doesn’t restrict you by keeping you close to a power source or relying on a battery.
- Extremely comfortable to use
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Replacement parts and accessories are easy to find
- Very effective at milk extraction
- Portable unit with compact and lightweight design
- Not annoyingly loud and definitely quieter than electric pumps
- Great suction power for a manual device
- Features a removable silicone liner that is very comfortable
- BPA-free breast pump
- Your hand will probably tire quickly during the first few uses. The pump’s handle does not swivel and you cannot adjust the grip.
The most unique of any of the breast pumps we reviewed, the Elvie Pump is meant to be worn underneath clothing. Made to be worn inside a standard nursing bra, Elvie’s silent motor means that you can pump in peace and free from judgment anywhere you want. Perfect for working moms, the Elvie Pump includes an app that allows discrete control and lets you know how much milk has been pumped without having to check the bottle.
While it is not the fastest pump we reviewed, the freedom offered by the Elvie Pump is totally unmatched. The included app is really handy, and helps you keep track of how much has been pumped so you can ensure that your supply stays high.
While the Elvie features several modes and adjustable levels of suction, the real key feature is how easy it is to wear underneath your clothing for ultimate privacy.
This pump offers ultimate portability and can come anywhere with you. This is the perfect pump for moms who want to pump discreetly while at the office.
- Can be controlled remotely using the app for maximum privacy
- Can be used with any standard nursing bra
- The best discrete breast pump for working moms
- Easy to clean
- Because of the size restrictions of a wearable breast pump, the collection bottle that accompanies the Elvie pump can fill up quickly
Making less than 50 decibels of noise while in use, the motor of the iAPOY Electric Breast Pump.is only slightly louder than a whisper. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking the suction is weak. With 8 adjustable levels, this pump provides enough suction to work quickly and comfortably. Available in two different packages for single or double pumping, there is also an included adapter to make the pump fit normal sized plastic baby bottles as well as the two included bottles.
When reviewing the iAPOY Electric Breast Pump, we heard from lots of moms who believe this little, inexpensive unit did a better job than the expensive pumps provided to them by their health insurance. Not only does it have excellent suction and a wide variety of features, but it also features a very quiet motor. With 8 adjustable levels and a memory function that remembers exactly how you used it last, the iAPOY breast pump is a great value.
In addition to the quiet motor and powerful suction, the iAPOY Electric Breast Pump is also exceptionally easy to clean.
We really liked that the iAPOY pump comes with a USB charging cable, making it easy to charge no matter where you go.
- The quietest motor of any breast pump we reviewed
- Comes with a USB charging cable for convenient charging
- Variable settings with 8 different levels of suction
- Excellent value
- Has a shorter battery life than other portable pumps we reviewed
Have you noticed that nursing a baby on one breast or using a single pump always triggers a letdown in the other breast? Well, you don’t have to let that milk go to waste thanks to the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump, which can even be used as a secondary pump to catch leaks while you use a heavier-duty pump on the other breast.
The suction is simple. All you do is squeeze the collection vessel then position the shield on your nipple. Now release the base: that’s all it takes for a quick and efficient extraction. Even better, once you master this simple technique you can even express milk hands-free. Then, once you are done collecting the milk you can easily pour it in another container.
If you don’t like milk leaking onto your clothes or pads, the Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump will help. It can also assist mothers who need help dealing with engorged breasts to get some comfort and relief.
The pump features a very simple design, yet is very effective for passive pumping. The product is not equipped with a lid since you only need to empty the milk in a storage container, but there is an option to add a lid as a separate accessory if you prefer one.
The Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is quite possibly the most portable breast pump on the market. It is extremely compact and lightweight. As a result, the manual breast pump is incredibly useful for mothers that are frequently on the move.
- Very affordable yet effective
- Easy to use and clean
- Lightweight and compact design
- Best travel pump on the market
- The device provides suction as well as acting as a drip catcher
- Hands-free manual extraction once you learn how to use the device
- Not nearly as customizable as some other breast pumps available
- The silicone knocks over easily, so you have to be careful when using it to not lose milk
For moms who are looking for a lightweight electric breast pump with good suction power, the Eccomum Breastfeeding Pump is an ideal choice. Because of the light battery and control unit, this unit is ideal for moms who want to pair it with a nursing bra for hands-free use. The Eccomum pump comes with an innovative valve system making backwash nearly impossible. Combined with the ultra-light battery and powerful suction, the Eccomum makes for a perfect secondary unit for moms with larger equipment at home.
We were most impressed by the sheer number of options when using the Eccomum. There are 9 levels of suction and 6 different intensities of massage. Moms we talked to felt that this control allowed them to use this device comfortably, and that it was able to pump much more efficiently than other lightweight units.
The Eccomum comes with an adjustable valve for single or double pumping. The lightweight control unit allows for easy switching between modes.
Thanks to its lightweight design and long battery life, the Eccomum is a great choice for women who are looking for a portable breast pump.
- Lots of different settings for massaging and pumping
- Best pump for use with a nursing bra
- Unique backwash filter for sanitary reasons
- The bottle is prone to leaking if not tightly secured
The one thing that you should not forget to check when buying a manual breast pump is the action of the handle. The reason is simple: if the handle action is bad, the pump is useless. The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump features a swiveling handle that swivels a full 180-degrees in order to shift into a stimulation mode.
This adjustability makes the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump comfortable to use, especially for a manual version. You can adjust the grip to your preferred hand position. It actually does an excellent job of triggering the milk letdown, and you will find it easy to control suction strength thanks to the smart design.
The pump also features a small divot that is located below the breast shield. This seems like an ordinary feature, yet it not only makes the pump more comfortable but also easy to grip. Any mother that has tried other manual pumps in the past will attest to how advanced this breast pump operates. You do not receive the same annoying clacking sound against the bottle like you would with more efficient yet louder devices such as the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump.
The pump is lightweight and small in stature. Medela breast pumps have been around for a long time and are known for their reliability. If something does break down, it is easy to track down replacement parts. There are also a large number of compatible accessories on the market for the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump.
- Easy to use manual breast pump
- Smooth handle action with adjustable grip
- Very comfortable experience for the woman
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe (top rack)
- Portable breast pump to take anywhere
- The pump seems to lose suction with time when the rubber O-ring gets ragged. However, the O-ring is replaceable, and you can find them at a number of brick and mortar stores
Guide to Buying the Best Breast Pumps
How Natural Do You Want It to Feel?
We have two main types of breast pumps: electric and manual. It is important to note that a breast pump does not exist that will mimic how your baby feeds. However, some electric breast pumps get very close to mimicking the natural scenario. Some of the top electric breast pumps have a two-phase extraction system. The first phase stimulates the flow while the second phase produces the letdown. At the end of the day, some devices feel more like natural breastfeeding than others.
How Often Will You Use Your Pump?
Manual breast pumps are an excellent choice for occasional pumping or as a backup for an electric pump. Some of the best manual breast pumps are reliable enough for frequent extraction. That being said, most mothers prefer electric pumps if they extract often. Manual breast pumps are compact and discreet, making them excellent for travel. The biggest downside is that they are more labor-intensive and are unable to compare to electric pumps in terms of efficiency.
What Is Your Budget?
Baby products are expensive, and breast pumps are no different. Yet there are still some affordable options. The most affordable type of pumps are manual, but there are some reasonably priced electric options. If you can afford to spend more, you may want to consider an electric pump for improved efficiency, but all you need is a little practice and patience to get the job done no matter which device from our list you choose.
Single vs. Double Breast Pumps
Mothers have a couple of primary options for extraction. A single breast pump allows the woman to use on the opposite breast while the baby feeds on the second breast. Meanwhile, a double breast pump is outstanding for twins, or for mothers that are away from their baby for an extended period of time. Double breast pumps help stimulate additional milk extraction and prolactin levels. Consequently, you will not only produce more milk, but the milk will also contain higher energy content for the baby.
What Makes a Good Breast Pump?
The whole point here is to extract milk from your breasts, and the best breast pump should do it effectively and without requiring a ton of energy or effort from the mother.
The bottom line is that most breast pumps feel uncomfortable. However, pumping should never hurt so much the extraction is a painful process. If the process is painful, get rid of the breast pump and consider better options on the market.
What defines a breast pump’s suction is its frequency and strength. The best breast pump extract the most milk per suction, and at a high frequency. Some women may prefer a lighter frequency or level of suction, so products that have adjustable suction levels are in high demand for this reason.
Whether you use the pump at home, work, or while on the go, the noise level is an important consideration—especially when used in public. You also have to consider your baby’s ears if you are extracting while your son or daughter feeds. Manual pumps are the quietest, but some electric pumps are not too noisy.
A breast pump is important in many way, yet the product is only useful for until your baby stops depending on breast milk. As a result, though you may want to spend money on a high-quality product, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Each of the options on this list are well-priced, with great value for the quality they provide.
Because nipples and breast sizes vary, the top breast pumps on the market provide the necessary accessories to make it fit different sized breasts and nipples. Look for a product that is versatile and adaptable to your own unique body.
Though you will not use a breast pump forever, it is surprising how quickly some parts break down on certain devices. As such, it is advisable to invest in a product that has a quality warranty and quick access to ordering and receiving replacement parts. Some of these parts are even available at your local pharmacy.
Easy to Maintain
There is a lot of cleaning required to ensure that you’re giving your child the best milk possible. The many parts involved in some pumps may make the task even more complicated. Consequently, you should only consider a product that has a reputation for being easy to clean and maintain. If not, bacteria can build and cause harm to you and your baby.
Easy & Quick Set-Up
There are some manufacturers that have made breast pumps too complicated, to the point where it takes a rocket scientist just to get it assembled. Of course, this causes frustration to mothers with newborns, so only consider a product that is shipped pre-assembled or prides itself on quick set-up.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Breast Pump
Automatic vs. Manual Pumping
The two most common choices on the market are manual breast pumps and automatic, electric breast pumps. The two types of devices have their own strengths and weaknesses. Mothers must decide between one, however, unless there is enough money in the budget to buy one of each.
Single vs. Dual Pumping
Another important consideration is if you want single or double extraction. Single pumps work well for extracting milk while the baby naturally feeds on the other breast, while double pumps work better for twins and extract milk quicker. If you’re a busy mom, an electric double breast pump is the most efficient.
BPA and Phthalate Content
It is vital that your baby is fed clean, safe milk. Therefore, only consider a BPA free breast pump. You can learn more about safe and effective breastfeeding methods that eliminate exposure to harmful chemicals by referring to this excellent resource.
The Number of Extraction Phases
The extraction phases built into breast pumps are designed to mimic natural breastfeeding as closely as possible. There are some products that do a far better job of this procedure than others. In general, most breast pumps have between three and four extraction phases. If the breast pump is produced without taking these phases into account, the extraction will feel awkward and painful.
A portable breast pump is small, compact, lightweight, and ideal for travel. Any mother will tell you it is like packing for a camping trip every time you take a step outdoors with a newborn. Simply put, you do not need a breast pump that takes up excess space and weight.
Breast pumps do require some cleaning and maintenance in order to produce a reliable, high functioning product. Unfortunately, mothers do not have all day to spend attending to one of many different baby products they own. So an ideal breast pump is easy to assemble, straightforward to use, and quick and easy to clean.
If you prefer certain bottles it is important to confirm that the breast pump is compatible with them. There are some pumps that will only work with the bottles shipped with the product. So it is a good idea to double-check beforehand. Other pumps deliver milk directly into storage bags, and these options are great for storing a healthy supply of milk.
Do you need to get a nursing bra?
Nursing bras are convenient yet not mandatory to use with a breast pump. Nursing bras are handy when you need to free up your hands while breast milk is extracted. It allows you to do other tasks while gathering milk.
What’s the difference between a multiple-user and single-user breast pump?
As the names suggest, a single-user breast pump is designed for use by just one individual. Therefore, never rent or borrow a single user breast pump. On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable to share a multi-user breast pump with other women so long as it is kept clean and you have your own personal accessories. Multiple-user breast pumps prevent each user’s milk from reaching the pumping mechanism, and therefore are considered safe to share.
What is the difference between open- and closed-system pumps?
Do you plan to rent or buy a breast pump? A closed-system pump has a barrier between the milk container and the pump mechanism. This engineering prevents dirt and bacteria from penetrating the unit. If you plan to rent or borrow, you should only consider a device that has a closed system. An open system works perfectly well, but is only intended for single users. It also needs extra time and attention to get cleaned properly.
Federal law clearly states you have a right to reasonable privacy and breaks if you need to use a breast pump at work. If you plan to return to your career while breastfeeding, it is important that you notify your employer of the circumstances. Any decent supervisor should be more than understanding and help accommodate your needs. The best breast pumps for 2021 will make things easier for you as you return to work and your typical lifestyle once again.