Congratulations on the new addition to your family! You’ve might have gotten some of your gear and picked out baby names, but one of the most important baby products you’ll buy is the perfect breast pump. Pumps give you the freedom to move about without your baby. Breast pumps are ideal for storing extra milk for those growth spurts, and for times when your baby won’t be near you breastfeed if they are in childcare or with family. Studies show that breast pump use is a good thing for the health of infants, as breast pumps could allow more infants access to breast milk, or to be breastfed for a longer period of time.
There have also been numerous studies on which breast pump is the best choice for specific women. Being able to choose the right pump based on a mothers’s needs and feeding goals is revolutionizing the health and well being of babies.
Let’s take a look at our five picks for the best breast pump, plus answer a few questions you may have about how to choose.
How To Choose A Breast Pump
Breast Pumps come in all sizes and capabilities from handheld travel options to full-scale double pumping electronic versions. It’s important to consider why, how, and where you’ll be pumping to narrow the field.
Automatic or Manual
Electric breast pumps are convenient. You position them, and the pump begins the process for you, allowing you hands-free operation and no learning curve. Having a handsfree beast pump can be very convenient when doing tasks, and allowing you to multitask. They’re great for if you pump at the office and need your hands for other things or for when you need to pump more quickly by tackling both sides at the same time.
However, some women don’t respond well to the automatic pump because the suction isn’t very customizable. Hand pumps are slower, and you won’t be able to multitask, but they allow you a truly customized suction that could help draw out more milk than the one-size-fits-all automatic pump.
Single or Double
If you need to pump quickly, a double breast pump extracts milk from both sides simultaneously, allowing you to get in and out quickly. This option is great for places like your job when you don’t have all day to pump.
Double pumps are unwieldy, however, and often heavier. If you’ve got the time and need something more discrete, a single pump is a much smaller option that could fit into a larger purse. It will take more time because you’ll have to handle each breast separately and may want to have an option for milk collection from the side not currently in use.
Make sure your breast shields are the correct size. Shield sizes vary because the size of your breast affects the suction. Make sure you know which size you need so that your pump works most efficiently.
Also, pumps with rechargeable batteries are great for regular pumping when you won’t always have a dedicated outlet. If you need be able to pump in your car, for example, or if the electricity goes out, having a aa battery option ensures you’ll always be ready.
The Best Breast Pumps of 2019
- Best Manual Breast Pump: Haaka Silicon Pump
- Best Hospitalgrade Breast Pump: Medela Symphony
- Best Portable Best Pump: YIHunion
- Best Display: Bellababy Double Pump
- Best Overall Value: Gland Double Electric Pump
- Best For Sore Breasts: KidsTime Double Pump With Heat/Cold Pads
Our list covers a range of options and designs. You should be able to find a pump for your situation and know that your pumping needs will be handled. Let’s take a look.
Haakaa Silicon Pump – Best Manual Pump
The first pump on our list is an extraordinarily designed pump designed to fit over a breast as you feed with the other. It’s made of food-grade silicone and offers complete control over suction and length. It creates suction and allows you to apply minimal pressure to create a flow, or allow your milk to let down gently and collect.
It’s great for providing gentle relief from engorged breasts and if you let down a lot of milk as your child is feeding. It’s great for those who need to catch every drop of milk available and has attachment options like a silicon top to prevent leaks.
It’s small enough to keep in your purse and features a single body that’s easy to clean with no small parts or things to disassemble. You can rinse it out quickly in the sink and store it until you’re better able to sterilize the body. Nothing to spoil in the meantime. It also acts as storage with the right lid attachments.
- Pros: easy to clean, saves milk from letdown, simple to manipulate
- Cons: slow for exclusive pumping.
Read our in-depth review of the Haakaa breast pump.
Medela Symphony – Best Hospital Grade
If you’re going all out with your pump and want maximum efficiency, this Medela pump is an excellent option. It’s on the expensive side, but it features both single and double pumping capability and expresses up to 18% more milk than standard breast pumps.
It uses a two-phase pump to initiate milk letdown more efficiently and allow faster expression. It’s extremely quiet and fast. It’s also designed to prevent overflow through a specially designed membrane that allows a free flow of milk on only one direction.
It doesn’t come with everything for double pumping so you may have to purchase kits separately to get exactly what you want. It’s best for those who have trouble responding to standard pumps or need maximum efficiency for pumping during frequent high-pressure days.
- Pros: double and single capability, hospital grade pump, fast expression, quiet motor
- Cons: expensive, may be overkill for moms mostly breastfeeding not pumping
YIHunion Single Pump – Best Portable
Pump in style with Yihunion’s innovative single pump is a rechargeable electric pump that fits into your purse. It features a low vibration motor that fits right onto the top of the bottle and is suited for one-handed use. It has the standard breast shields, and milk flows directly into the storage bottle.
It features three modes, massage, suction, and milking to encourage better milk flow and to help ease any pain from engorgement. Each mode has 8 levels so you can adjust for your particular comfort level. You can get about six uses from a single charge, and charging doesn’t take too long. It doesn’t come with a standard power cord, however, just a USB for plugging it into things like your laptop. You’ll have to find a block for wall charging.
- Pros: portable electric pump, ultra small, comes with storage bag
- Cons: no wall charger included
Bellababy Double Pump – Best Display
Many breast pumps have terrible displays, making it tough to see in the dark or causing you to perform gymnastics to view the settings. The Bellababy’s display is an excellent choice for an upgrade with a touch screen high definition display that makes it simple to adjust all your settings.
This is a pump for moms who pump several times a day and features a highly sensitive display panel that allows you to choose between four different modes and nine levels of suction. It has a massage mode, a normal sucking mode that mimics your infant, a frequency conversion mode that alters between different sucking modes, and a fast option for emptying the breast as quickly as possible.
- Pros: high definition display, overflow protection, quiet motor
- Cons: suction can be uncomfortable without quick intervention
Gland Double Electric Pump – Best Value
If you pump every day, but you’re on a limited budget, the Gland double pump is a great choice. It features two-phase expression to encourage milk letdown and has nine different suction levels for comfort. You can set your favorite settings, so you don’t have to fiddle with the machine every time you use it.
It has an overflow protection system and a simple display that can be adjusted easily. It has a rechargeable battery pack with a USB charging capability, or it can be left plugged into the wall when you need it. It’s quiet and portable and comes with BPA free storage. It’s not always the most intuitive to use, and it takes a lot of time to clean properly, but for the budget, it’s excellent.
- Pros: affordable, plenty of suction settings, portable, rechargeable battery
- Cons: hard to clean, the display is not great
KidsTime Double Pump With Heat/Cold Pads – Best For Sore Breasts
KidsTime double pump is a standard double breast pump with adjustable suction and dual phase expression to help let down and extraction. It’s a very quiet machine with quite a lot of power for a smaller machine.
The hot and cold pads can help with catching letdown or ease the pain of engorgement, and you can use them without the pads if you’re feeling fine. Built-in ice packs can help relieve sore breasts after pumping as well. It doesn’t offer a battery option, so you’ll have to stay near a wall plug to use it.
- Pros: hot/cold pads, quiet motor, easy to adjust settings
- Cons: no battery
The Winner: Haakaa Breast Pump
If this is your first baby, you may not need to invest in a huge system all at once. The Haakaa is easy to use and fits right into your purse for a quick relief pump, to catch let down from the other side as the baby is feeding, or as a gentler expression for sore breasts. It’s affordable and would still make a great option even if you upgrade to a bigger choice later.