Whether you're prepping for the baby's arrival or searching for an alternative, one thing's for sure; it's always a stressful affair trying to choose the best of anything.
In this case, choosing the best breast pump may not necessarily be as fun as picking out cute baby clothes but picking the right one can literally save you both time and money (plus maybe even change your life).
The best breast pump not only allows you to collect breast milk when you are away from your baby, but it also allows you to store extra supply. This is especially handy for working moms. The best breast pumps allow you to pump and build up a milk supply that you can freeze.
To make this process a little easier, we listed our top favorites in the market. We also created a guide outlining the best features to consider when buying the best electric breast pump.
The Best Electric Pumps
1. Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump
- Natural Nursing Technology: Our Spectra S1 electric breast pump features technology that allows comfortable suction levels that mimic the experience of natural breastfeeding as closely as possible
- Perfect for Travel: The Spectra S1 is portable and rechargeable, making it ideal for an on-the-go mom, with the back compartment that fits a Spectra bottle
- Single or Double Pumping: Can be used as a single electric breast pump or a double electric breast pump and for best results, authentic Spectra Baby accessories are recommended
- Hygienic: Spectra backflow protector creates a complete physical barrier between your milk and the pump motor, ensuring that your milk is protected while also being easy to clean and maintain
- Made For Moms, By Moms: We`ve committed our lives to providing the best breast pumps, accessories, education, and customer care that we can, supporting every mother with the beauty of parenthood
The Spectra S1 electric breast pump has a closed system; hence it prevents airflow between expressed milk and pump tubing while pumping, thus protecting the breast milk and baby from bacteria, mold, and viruses.
The breast pump has an inbuilt rechargeable battery. It comes equipped with customizable settings that allow you to customize the pump to suit your body's response and follow your flow. It also has an adjustable suction. The pump has a nightlight with two light levels and a timer that can be useful for those late-night pumping sessions.
2. Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
- 1 Come with 2 pcs of milk storage bag adapters and 10 pcs of storage bag,moms can express to the milk storage bags directly by the adapters.
- Four modes and 9 levels of suction for choice,massage and stimulate breasts before pumping,comfortable and pain free.
- High definition Screen,display the working mode,suction level,time and battery status etc clearly.
- Sensitive touch panel,click by one finger to operate,easy and convenient.
- Lightweight and portable,2200mAh Li-ion battery built-in,good for travel.
The Bellababy electric breast pump is an affordable choice for moms who are looking for portability. It is one of the best hospital-grade breast pumps and is designed for mums who pump several times a day. The breast pump features a closed system with 4 modes and 9 levels of suction for choice.
It has a built-in battery that a power bank can charge. The electric breast pump's soft cushion is made of soft silicone and is designed to mimic the baby’s sucking rhythm hence allowing you to feel comfortable and barring you from any pain from the breast.
The double electric breast pump has a working noise lower than 45 dB, which is great as it doesn't risk waking your baby/babies up. Lastly, it offers a touch HD display screen with a sensitive touch panel.
3. Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump
The Medela Pump in Style breast pump is one of the most widely known breast pumps in the market. It is a double electric breast pump and is designed for all mums, be it working mums, stay-at-home mums, or whether you're on the go or traveling.
The breast pump comes in a stylish microfiber tote bag and features built-in bottle holders that help prevent spills and a tubing storage pocket that helps you stay organized between pumping sessions.
The Medela Pump in style features a double pumping kit with 24mm PersonalFit breast shields (additional sizes are sold separately) for comfortable and efficient pumping. It comes with a cooling system that includes a removable cooler bag, a contoured ice pack, and 4 breast milk bottles with lids. The breast pump comes equipped with a portable battery pack.
4. Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump
- DESIGNED FOR MOMS ON THE GO: All in one mobile and portable pumping solution, small enough to take with you anywhere. Designed for your active lifestyle, fits into your pocket, purse or baby bag for easy access and portability
- DOUBLE ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP: Designed for daily use for moms who pump several times a day, thanks to its patented, research based 2-Phase Expression Technology which produces more milk in less time* for more efficient expression and maximum flow
- RELIABLE CLOSED SYSTEM: Closed system design with Overflow Protection at the kit prevents your breast milk from entering tubing; easy to clean connectors
- PORTABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Compact, easy to hold, and weighs less than 1 pound, the Freestyle Flex has a modern design and an easy to use digital display and back lighting, best of all it fits right in the palm of your hand
- RECHARGEABLE BATTERY: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, USB charging cable and Bluetooth connectivity to the Medela Family app provides convenient pump operation; battery lasts up to 2 hours, making it easy to be out and about
The Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump is the best breast pump for working moms and moms who are on the go. It's super light and conveniently fits in your purse or diaper bag. The Medela freestyle flex features a closed system with Overflow Protection at the kit that prevents your milk flow from entering the tubing.
The Freestyle Flex is compact and features a digital display and backlighting. It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, and through Bluetooth connectivity, you can access the MyMedela app, which provides convenient pump operation.
The battery lasts up to 2 hours hence allowing you to go about your day. The breast pump has been clinically proven to increase milk. It comes with 2 sizes of PersonalFit Flex breast shields with soft rim and oval shape for enhanced fit and comfortable pumping for more milk. (**Compared to traditional 90° breast shield.)
5. Medela Symphony Breast Pump
- HOSPITAL GRADE: Helps initiate and maintain milk supply with Medela’s patented, research-based 2-Phase Expression Technology, designed to closely mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythms and proven to express 18% more breast milk when double pumping
- INNOVATIVE DESIGN FEATURING OVERFLOW PROTECTION: The Symphony Breast Pump’s kit (sold separately) is independent from the pumping mechanism and protected from milk overflow by a specially designed membrane to create a closed system.Phthalate free
- EFFICIENT, COMFORTABLE, WHISPER-QUIET: Clinically proven to achieve faster milk ejection and flow when pumping at Maximum Comfort Vacuum for optimal efficiency; whisper-quiet operation ensures discretion during late night or early morning pumping
- REQUIRES MEDELA SYMPHONY DOUBLE PUMPING KIT FOR USE: Sold separately (model #67099); this kit includes all necessary components to get started, including tubes, valves, membranes, breast shields, and bottles
- Founded in 1961, Medela has long been recognized as an expert advocate of breastfeeding through its development of innovative, research-based breastpump technology. As a result, is the #1 breast pump brand in America and the most recommended by doctors, chosen first by moms, and used most in hospitals*
The Medela Symphony is the best breast pump if you're trying to initiate or increase your milk supply. It offers both single and double pumping. The Medela Symphony contains a computer chip that stores all information about the pumping program.
It has a great suction that mimics the baby's nursing pattern. Its closed system is well designed and sealed such that hospitals are willing to let multiple lactating women use the same machine.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Electric Breast Pumps
a) Types of Breast Pumps
- Electric Breast Pump
They either come in double or single breast styles and are generally single user only. This basically means that they can't be shared as it's very easy for bacteria to get into the milk even when it's your own collection equipment. If you're working full time, a double electric breast pump would be ideal.
Electric pumps closely mimic the baby's natural sucking pattern and are the most efficient way to pump. It's important to remember that you're pumping to provide milk for the baby and keep up with your milk supply when breastfeeding. Investing in a high-quality electric breast pump guarantees you roughly 15 minutes per pumping session. Most come with the necessary accessories, including a cooling carrier, case, collection containers, bottles, storage bags, and nipples.
A single electric breast pump is less efficient as compared to a double electric one. However, they are smaller and cheaper. They are better suited for moms who are away from their babies for no more than several hours a week but require the efficiency and speed of an electric breast pump.
- Manual Breast Pump
The manual breast pump is smaller and simpler compared to the electric breast pump. A squeezable hand pump operates it.
Working moms tend to prefer to have both a double electric breast pump and a manual breast pump in emergencies. The manual breast pump can come in handy, especially in the early weeks when breasts become engorged.
It is also a great breast pump for stay-at-home moms who might appreciate having one on hand if they are separated from the baby for some reason or need to pump at a go. Stay-at-home mothers might also appreciate having one of these on hand if they have to be away from their babies for some time.
- Hospital-grade Breast Pump
These are considered the most powerful breast pumps as they can be used to initiate milk supply for mums who are separated from their babies due to complicates on their end. A hospital-grade pump can also either be rented from a store or hospitals.
If you're not sure about breastfeeding, you can consider getting a hospital-grade pump before investing in a breast pump. If you decide to rent one, you'll need to buy your own collection of bottles, flanges, and tubes.
- Wearable Breast Pump
The wearable breast pump is the newest style of breast pump in the market. This style is such that instead of having a separate motor that connects to flanges and bottles, the wearable breast pump combines the motor and milk collection into a single piece that you wear inside your bra.
It's essentially a hands-free breast pump, as you can pump while on the move. These breast pumps are quite pricey, though. The best wearable breast pumps are from brands like the Elvie pump.
b) Closed-system Pump or Open-system Pump
- Closed-system Pump/ Hospital-grade Breast Pump
The closed system pump is also referred to as the "overflow protection". The pump is sealed off from the milk by a barrier that prevents it from getting into the machine. This is considered the most hygienic pump as the barrier protects the milk from getting into the tubes and small pieces, which would have otherwise been difficult to sterilize. It is more expensive than open system pumps.
- Open-system Pump
The open system pump doesn't have a barrier between the milk and the pump mechanism. Hence, the milk flows through the tubes and the other small pieces into the bottle; thus, it can contact the pump mechanism, leaving it at risk of bacteria.
c) Pump Elements
These refer to soft cone-shaped cups that fit over your nipples and areolas. When looking for the best breast pumps, consider those that can change the flange sizes since your needs may change over time or the initial ones might not fit right. It's essential to find what fits you as it's not a matter of one size fits all. Also, remember that the valves and membranes connect the flanges with the tubing.
- Collection Bottles
Your milk flows into your collection bottles; hence if you have a specific brand in mind, ensure to check if it's compatible with your pump.
When pumping, check to see that the suction level and cycle rate are adjustable. This allows you to control the intensity and rate at which the pump sucks and releases.
d) Power/Electricity Source
Flexibility is key when working with a breast pump. Having a breast pump that can run either on a power cord or disposable or rechargeable batteries can come in handy. Some breast pumps are versatile enough to run on a car adaptor. The best breast pumps can withstand emergencies. There's the option of a manual pump as well.
e) Milk Volume
Your milk volume determines the type of breast pump you'll buy. For instance, if you intend to pump a lot, a manual pump would not be ideal. You'd be better suited with an electric pump as it can handle high supply plus it won't be tedious.
f) Single or Double Pump
- Single Electric Pump
It has one pumping cup; hence you can only express milk from one breast at a time. Single Electric Pumps are lightweight and portable compared to double electric pumps. They are ideal for when you need to pump occasionally or only need to ease breast engorgement on one side.
- Double electric pump
The double electric pump has two pumping cups. This allows you simultaneously pump from both breasts. It saves time whilst improving the rate of milk expression. These pumps are more expensive than single pumps.
g) Single-user or Multi-user
The single-user breast pumps are designed to be used by one person; hence they can only last for one lactation phase.
Multi-user breast pumps are designed to last longer and for multiple uses. They are more robust and tend to come as hospital-grade pumps.
When buying an electric breast pump, it's important to find a product within your budget. This does not mean that you should stick to something cheap as cheap does not guarantee quality. You're better off saving up to get something that's of better quality, as it will pay off in the end.
However, there's the option of insurance coverage. If you intend to have your insurance provider cover your breast pump, check and see which breast pumps they pay for.
i) Ease of Cleaning
Hygiene is essential as you don't want anything contaminating the breast milk. All accessories from the flanges, valves, and collection gear, generally anything that comes into contact with your breast milk, must be washed after every pumping session. There's the option of soap and water. You can also boil the equipment or buy microwavable bags that steam clean in a few minutes.
The tubes also need to be washed in case there was any milk overflow or moisture. You'll also want to wipe the pump in case there were any drops of milk on it. Generally, cleaning is an ongoing process when it comes to breastfeeding. At the end of the day, as long as the baby's health is fine, it's okay to be a germaphobe.