The 10 Best Breast Pumps

Updated April 13, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Breast Pumps
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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether you're building a backup supply for your little one, grappling with latch and feeding issues, or seeking relief for mastitis or engorgement, a well designed and reliable pump is an essential piece of breastfeeding equipment. Our comprehensive selection includes hospital-grade and portable electric models as well as manually operated versions to suit a variety of needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best breast pump on Amazon.

10. Philips Avent Comfort

The Philips Avent Comfort features an angled neck for comfortable positioning and optimal milk flow. Its silent, discreet operation makes it versatile enough to use wherever you are, but the lack of a swivel top may lead to sore, achy hands in short order.
  • pliable 5-petal cushioning shields
  • similar output to other manuals
  • fits only on wide-mouthed bottles
Brand Philips AVENT
Model 075020072993
Weight 12.5 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Lansinoh Signature Pro

From one of the most trusted names in lactation care, the Lansinoh Signature Pro provides an accessible, flexible, contamination-resistant solution that can be used in either single- or double-collection mode, with three pumping styles and variable suction levels.
  • intuitive lcd interface
  • less costly than other electrics
  • a bit on the noisy side
Brand Lansinoh
Model 53050
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. BelleMa Mango Plus

With a dual-stage operation for stimulation and expression, nine different settings for up to 320 millibars of suction strength, and adapters to work with a wide range of bottles, the BelleMa Mango Plus is an excellent portable electric unit for moms on the move.
  • works with ac or dc power
  • backflow contamination prevention
  • limited runtime on aa batteries
Brand Bellema
Model XN-2201M1
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Spectra S2

Lighter, quieter and less expensive than other hospital-grade solutions, the Spectra S2 features a user-friendly digital interface and a highly customizable configuration with adjustable dual-phase settings to make maintaining your supply an absolute breeze.
  • helpful timer function
  • programmable speed and suction
  • no battery backup
Brand Spectra Baby USA
Model SPS200
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

6. Haakaa Silicone

To catch the extra milk from letdown on one side while your baby nurses on the other, there's no need for bulky collection devices or tons of nursing pads. Just keep a Haakaa Silicone handy, so that not a drop will go to waste. It can also help prevent painful engorgement.
  • simple one-piece design
  • straightforward and easy to use
  • not intended to initiate lactation
Brand Haakaa
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. BelleMa Plenitude

You don't have to break the bank to get the premium functionality and on-the-go convenience of the BelleMa Plenitude, a single- or double-mode closed collection system that's powered by a lithium-Ion battery for up to four hours of continuous operation per charge.
  • 9 adjustable levels
  • stores preferred settings in memory
  • bottle adapters included
Brand Bellema
Model XN-2219M2
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Medela Pump In Style Advanced

Widely available, interchangeable components make the Medela Pump In Style Advanced a practical solution for busy moms who can't afford the downtime of searching for hard-to-find replacements for lost or worn-out parts in order to keep their device running.
  • simple one-touch operation
  • can also run on aa batteries
  • convenient tote bag
Brand Medela
Model 57063
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Lansinoh Manual

Even if you've got an electric model, a compact, handheld, human-powered option can be a godsend when the need is urgent and there's little or no power to be had. The fatigue-reducing, ergonomic grip of the Lansinoh Manual makes it a solid choice for your go-bag.
  • easy to assemble and clean
  • 2-stage letdown stimulation function
  • affordable backup solution
Brand Lansinoh
Model 50520
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. BelleMa Euphoria Pro

Independent dual vacuum control means that the quiet, portable BelleMa Euphoria Pro works equally well in single- or double-pumping mode, and innovative three-stage technology mimics the suckling action of an infant to express milk as naturally and effectively as possible.
  • anti-backflow collection system
  • rechargeable battery
  • easy-to-use touchscreen
Brand Bellema
Model pending
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Spectra S1

The hospital-grade Spectra S1 has it all: a patented anti-backflow closed system, built-in rechargeable battery for use at home or on the go, two-phase cycling, and customizable settings for suction strength and speed to ensure the comfort and efficiency of every session.
  • versatile option for long-term use
  • programmable electronic controls
  • integrated nightlight with timer
Brand Spectra Baby USA
Model pending
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Proactively Pumping For Baby's Benefit

Nursing is a natural and biologically important part of rearing offspring, both in the human and animal world, even for creatures you'd never expect. For busy women concerned about the extra time required to feed their little ones while working or away from home, a breast pump is a very useful tool for ensuring they get the nutrition they need when direct breastfeeding is not convenient or possible.

A breast pump is a mechanical device designed to extract milk from a lactating mother for storage and feeding to an infant by a caregiver. It is considered a valuable addition or alternative to live breastfeeding. The breast pump operates in very much the same way as a milking machine does on a dairy farm. Instead of sucking milk out of the breast, the pump stimulates milk ejection via a mother's letdown reflex, which is ordinarily brought on during normal breastfeeding by a baby's sucking action on the nipple.

When the nerves of the breast have been stimulated, the oxytocin hormone is released. This hormone then encourages the muscles around the milk-producing cells to contract, thereby releasing milk into the ducts and down to the nipples. The pump stimulates the letdown reflex by using suction to first pull the nipple into the tunnel of its breast shield and then release. This pull and release action counts as a single cycle. The majority of mechanical breast pumps can achieve between thirty and sixty cycles per minute.

Breast pumps are categorized into two main types, manual and electric. Manual pumps are operated by a lactating mother through repetitive squeezing action of the device's handle. This gives the mother direct control over the amount of pressure and frequency of milk ejection. Manual pumps are typically less expensive than electric pumps, but they also require more effort from the parent and cannot extract milk from more than one breast at a time. Electric breast pumps are normally powered by an electric motor that supplies suction through plastic tubing to a horn that fits over a woman's nipple. Those components of an electric pump that come into direct contact with milk are typically sterilized to prevent contamination.

A major benefit to the electric pump is its ability to pump milk from both breasts simultaneously, making the process more efficient than that of a manual pump. Many electric pumps are also portable with their own battery packs and they can fit inside a backpack to remain inconspicuous. Finally, these types of pumps often feature an integrated milk collection system in which the storage portion of the device also functions as a feeding bottle, which prevents the need to transfer breast milk to another bottle.

These devices use either open or closed collection systems. With a closed collection system, the pump and its tubing are separated from the horn (the part that fits over the breast) by a barrier. In a closed system, the suction of the pump's electric motor lifts the barrier to create a vacuum, which extracts a woman's breast milk. By contrast, an open collection system does not use a barrier and allows for the free passage of air through the device while the suction has direct contact with the mother's breast. Open collection systems allow for greater airflow than that of closed systems, which also makes them better suited to deal with a range of breast shapes and tissue elasticity.

What's Best For A Little One

A woman's lifestyle and preference will have the greatest influence on the type of breast pump one decides to invest in. Since many electric pumps are designed with the working mother in mind, finding one with a reliable battery pack will be important. This will allow for pumping virtually anywhere that is convenient and private when not at home.

Efficiency and comfort are also big considerations. Many pumps offer electric operation with breast shields made from soft and durable silicone material that won't be painful or interfere with proper nipple stimulation. Also, finding a pump with double shields will maximize efficiency for a working mother wishing to pump as quickly as possible when time is limited. On the same note, integrated feeding bottles attached to the pump will make it much easier to transport and store freshly-pumped milk for extended periods of time.

A woman must also consider the position they'll be sitting in during a pumping cycle. For that reason, pumps with angled necks allow a mother to remain in an upright position, which stimulates a natural milk flow from the breast directly into the pump itself.

Finally, when concealment and privacy are important, many pumps can operate even when remaining fully clothed through the use of collection cups that fit underneath a nursing bra.

A Brief History Of The Breast Pump

The first patent for a breast pump was filed by Orwell H. Needham in 1854. In 1864, inventor L.O. Colvin filed a patent for a similar device whose main purpose was to improve the milking process of cows. Although simplistic in nature, the process would eventually pave the way for the development of more modern breast pumps for human women. Developers continued to refine the design of the breast pump through the latter part of the nineteenth century.

In 1898, Joseph Hoover patented a pumping device that mimicked the nursing process of a human mother and baby as closely as possible. Hoover's device was designed to encourage a continuous flow of milk along with its pulsating movement that would occur when an infant nursed at the breast.

By 1925, German immigrant and international chess champion Edward Lasker invented one of the first electric breast pumps that imitated an infant's sucking action. It was considered a major improvement to existing, hand-operated pumps of the time. Dedicating his career to helping breastfeeding mothers, Swedish engineer Einar Egnell invented the first truly comfortable breast pump in the 1950s as a response to all previous iterations of the device causing pain and difficulty with milk expression. Egnell's invention was considered a major breakthrough in breast pump research, as it set the standards for pump vacuum and cycling technology still used today by lactation consultants when judging efficiency of the device.

Hospital-grade, personal use pumps continued to emerge throughout the latter part of the twentieth century and their popularity is still going strong today.

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Last updated on April 13, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with a broad constellation of interests, Lydia Chipman has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts. Bearing the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience—with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order or becoming an artist—she still can’t resist the temptation to learn something new.

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