Women decide to get breast pumps for various reasons such as to feed the baby via a bottle, relieve engorgement, feed twins, boost their milk flow, or for premature babies. A breast pump will also help keep your milk levels up if your baby is not feeding well. Otherwise, your supply will go down with time.
If your partner wants to “feel useful” by helping with the baby, a breast pump will also help you share feeds. It allows the mother to continue breastfeeding after returning to work or when you must travel without the baby.
New mums should reference the AAP recommendation if they do not know much about breastfeeding. We have also put together our selection of the best breast pumps for 2019. The article includes a buyer’s guide to help you understand the different features that help make a breast pump qualify as one of the top products on the market.
- Features to Consider in Good Breast Pumps
- Top 10 Best Breast Pumps 2019
- 1. Spectra Baby Electric Breast Pump
- 2. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump
- 3. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
- 4. Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
- 5. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- 6. Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump
- 7. Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
- 8. Vakey Single Electric Breast Pump
- 9. SOMEX Cornetto Electric Single Breast Pump
- 10. elfinbaby Double/Single Electric Breast Pump
- Guide to Buying the Best Breast Pumps
- Final Note
Features to Consider in Good Breast Pumps
Each mum has her specific needs, and even though there are many breast pump options, not all will meet the needs of every mother. As a result, when buying a breast pump make sure that you know the factors to consider, based on your needs.
Types of breast pumps
Hospital-grade breast pump
This is the most efficient type of breast pump as it’s not only heavy-duty but also sucks faster at a stronger frequency. However, it’s the most expensive type out there, but most are available to rent because it features a multi-user pump design. All you need is your own attachments, i.e., tubing, breast shields, and milk containers.
Electric breast pump
The electric breast pump is the most popular device because mothers can select their preferred speed and suction level. There are two types of pumps: single and double electric breast pumps. The double electric breast pump is more efficient as it simultaneously empties both breasts, thus saving time. Electric breast pumps will either run on batteries or plugged into a wall outlet. Some feature both options for operating the instrumentment.
Manual breast pump
The 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 efficient as the electric pumps.
At the end of the day you may discover that you can use more than one type of pump depending on the situation. It is not uncommon for mothers to own both electric breast pumps and manual breast pumps.
How natural 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 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 you will be pumping
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. Though most mothers prefer electric pumps if they extract often. Manual breast pumps are compact and discreet, 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. Breast pumps are no different. Yet there are still some affordable options. The cheapest type of pumps are manual style. All you need is a little practice and patient to get the job done. If you can afford to spend more you should also consider an electric pump for improved efficiency.
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.
Top 10 Best Breast Pumps 2019
The Spectra S1 is the best double electric breast pump on the market. It maintains your milk supply while also providing a 30 minute timer for reference. The breast pump is also your top solution for twins. The Spectra Baby USA-S1 Electric Breast Pump is an improved version of Spectra S2. All the features are the same except the S2 doesn’t operate with a battery. As a result, the S2 is cheaper yet the S1 introduces more variety for operating the device.
The breast pump mimics how the baby sucks the breast 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 the extraction 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. The massage feature can get switched on or off.
The device offers twelve levels of suction. The variable levels are designed to meet every mum’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 your last massage and returns to your preferred settings. The product also has a backlit digital readout and a night-light 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 is 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.
You know how 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.
The suction is simple. All you do is squeeze the collection vessel then position the shield on your nipple. Now release the base. It’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. 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 dealing with engorged breasts get some comfort and relief.
The pump features a very simple design, but it’s very effective for passive pumping. It doesn’t come with a lid because it’s not that necessary as you can just empty the milk in your storage container. However, if you really need one, you can just buy it separately.
The Hakaa manual breast pump is possibly the most portable breast pump out there. It’s compact and lightweight and you don’t need much space to carry it.
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump is an extremely reliable device. The only reason it finishes third in our rankings is because the breast pump is a little louder than the Spectra S1. The device also doesn’t feature adjustable suction speed and strength.
The breast pump is outstanding when it comes to finding replacement parts or accessories. You can find several of the parts at a pharmacy, while the Spectra S1 requires you to purchase the parts online and wait for shipment.
The Medela breast pump is easy to customize with accessories from other companies. The model is also 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 really well. It starts with stimulation compared to the Spectra S1 that begins with the letdown mode. The breast pump is operable whether you choose to plug it into a wall outlet or run it on batteries. The device is shipped with eight AA batteries.
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 the 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.
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 discomfort it 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.
The one thing that you should not forget to check when buying a manual breast pump is the a. 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. The handle swivels a full 180-degrees in order to shift into a stimulation mode.
The adjustment 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. 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. It 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 the breast pump operates. You do not receive the same annoying clacking sound against the bottle like efficient yet louder devices such as the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump.
The pump is lightweight and small in stature. It makes the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump portable. 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.
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 yet it doesn’t hurt to clean down 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 on the breast with five simple buttons. All the information is presented on the backlit LCD screen. The screen also presents 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, carrying tote, bottle stands, bottle nipple cap and collar, replacement parts, and AC adapter. There is no need for milk transfers as the baby feed is pumped directly into storage bags. The double breast pump extracts milk quicker and saves you time.
The hospital-grade breast pump is also comfortable for the woman. 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.
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.
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 & 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 charger cable can 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 for a trial period. It is possible to order more if you like the feature.
Additionally, the Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump has a closed system. The product is really sanitary and safe for your baby to rely on for clean breast milk.
The device features an HD screen. It presents the mother with important information such as working mode, suction level, time of extraction, 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.
If you are looking for an inexpensive yet functional breast pump, the Vakey Single Electric Breast Pump is an excellent choice. It is easy and comfortable to use. The breast pump is also designed to mimic how babies suck, so it adapts well to brand new moms.
The design prevents milk reflux so there is no contamination. Mothers of newborns can have confidence knowing the baby will receive pure and safe milk. The device is compatible with most bottles so you can stick with the feeder you are most familiar with and not get forced to use the bottles provided by the manufacturer. The Vakey Single Electric Breast Pump is also sold with a USB cable and a nipple lid.
The Vakey Single Electric Breast Pump is slim, compact, and lightweight. The breast pump is good for travel so long as you can access a nearby power outlet. It is also very quiet for an electric breast pump. So you can express milk as discreetly in public as possible.
It is frustrating and sensitive for mothers that just delivered. Consequently, breastfeeding is discomforting, even painful. The SOMEX Cornetto Electric Single Breast Pump helps with discomfort by offering adjustable suction speeds. Some of the lower settings are recommended for mothers fresh out of delivery.
The 1-3 speeds are ideal for mothers that just delivered. Meanwhile, those that breastfeed naturally every day prefer levels 3-6. Women that are overful and experiencing breast pain can quickly extract with levels 7-9. It really helps relieve pain.
The SOMEX Cornetto Electric Single Breast Pump is safe to use since its parts are made out of edible food Grade silicone and its FDA and BPA free. The pump also features a closed system design with a backflow protector to keep tubing dry. The closed system ensures that there is no room for bacteria or milk contamination.
The SOMEX Cornetto Electric Single Breast Pump is also super easy to use. It is electric and produces dependable suction. The product is compatible with most cups. However, the device is not hands-free because you have to keep your suction pump pressed against the chest. The massage mode is practical. It prepares your nipple for the suction, and it’s also very lightweight. Adjusting the suction strength is straightforward. The parts are simple to assemble and sterilized.
Unfortunately, the SOMEX Cornetto Electric Single Breast Pump is not hands-free. Yet it is still fairly portable. The pumping is moderately discreet so you can do so in more public places. It is not overly loud with a 35db motor. It allows mothers to extract in the same room as the baby, or a sleeping partner.
The SOMEX Cornetto Single electric breast pump features three main modes: Expression, Massage, and Auto. The Suction mode has nine levels that can accurately imitate natural breastfeeding patterns. The Massage Mode helps prepare the woman for extraction.
The elfinbaby Double/Single Electric Breast Pump has two modes of operation. It is a game changer for busy moms. Women have the choice of expressing milk from one or both breasts at the same time. The express and massage phases feature different adjustments. The massage mode have five adjustments. Meanwhile, the breast express method offers nine adjustments.
There is another reason why we like the elfinbaby Double/Single Electric Breast Pump. The device is very quiet compared to most electric breast pumps that are known for being noisy. The last thing you want to do is wake up the baby from their beauty sleep, or disturb other people while expressing breast milk. Mothers are treated to a quiet and relaxing experience while extracting milk.
The breast pump includes a large LCD screen that you can use at night without turning on other lights in the room. It also provides tube connectors that are not complicated to use. If you choose to use two pumps to express milk, you will need to switch the tube connector button to a middle position. Meanwhile, only using one breast requires you to switch the tube connector to the left or right position.
After you are done expressing the milk it is easy to clean the pump. The bottler warmer is a convenient and energy saving accessory. You can put the baby bottles in the warmer immediately after expressing the milk so when it is time to feed the newborn, you will not need to reheat the milk.
Another reason why we like the elfinbaby Double/Single Electric Breast Pump is the item is not bulky. You can take it to your workplace as the product works with either a USB attachment, AC adapter, or built-in battery. The built-in batter can run for 90 minutes when fully charged.
Guide to Buying the Best Breast Pumps
What makes up 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.
- Painless suction
The bottom line is most breast pumps feel uncomfortable. However, it should never hurt so much the extraction is a painful process. If the process is painful then get rid of the breast pump and consider better options on the market.
- Adjustable suction
What defines a breast pump suction is its frequency and strength. The best breast pump extracts the most milk per suction, and at a high frequency. Some women may prefer a lighter frequency or level of suction. Products that have adjustable suction levels are in high demand for this reason.
- Quiet Operation
Whether you use the pump at home, work, or while on the go the noise level is an important consider – especially in public. You also have to consider your baby if you are extracting while your son or daughter feeds. Manual pumps are the quietest. Some electric pumps are not too noisy.
- Affordable Price
A breast pump is important in many ways yet the product is only useful for months before your baby stops depending on breast milk. As a result, you may want to spend money on a high quality product yet it doesn’t have to break your bank. Consider affordable options that are priced at a good value.
- Versatile Fit
The nipples and breasts on a woman vary. Therefore, the top breast pumps on the market provide the necessary accessories to make it fit different size breasts and nipples. You are looking for a product that is versatile and adaptable.
- Replacement Parts
Though you will not use a breast pump forever it is surprising how quickly some parts break down on the device. If that is the case, it is nice 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 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 your baby.
- Easy & Quick Set-Up
There are some manufacturers that have made breast pumps too complicated. It takes a rocket scientist just to get it assembled. Of course, this is a 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 baby 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. 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 milk. Therefore, only consider a BPA free breast pump. You can learn more about safe and effective breastfeeding methods by referring to an excellent resource provided by MarchofDimes.org.
# of Extraction Phases
The extraction phases built into breast pumps is designed to mimic natural breastfeeding as close 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 pour with these phases the extraction will feel awkward and painful.
A portable breast pump is small, compact, and lightweight. It is 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.
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 the 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 you have your own personal accessories. Multiple user breast pumps prevent the milk from reaching the pumping mechanism and therefore are considered safe to share.
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. The engineering prevents dirt and bacteria from penetrating the unit. If you plan to rent you should only consider a device that has a closed system. The open system works perfectly well yet 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 with a few months from delivery, 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 2019 will make things easier for you as you return to work and a more traditional lifestyle once again.