As a nursing mother, you can't always be near your baby or have an electric pump. This is why having the best manual breast pump with you can give you so much peace of mind, especially if your job requires you to be on the go.

Having an electric breast pump is great, but having a manual breast pump is greater. As a nursing mother, you have to be prepared for everything, including not finding an outlet or running out of batteries. You can prepare by arming yourself with one of these manual breast pumps that cost less and are durable.

After doing significant research, we've created a list of the top and trustworthy manual breast pump brands that'll have your back wherever you are. Let's look at some of the best manual breast pumps on the market.

1. Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Medela, Harmony Breast Pump, Manual Breast Pump, Portable Pump, 2-Phase Expression Technology, Ergonomic Swivel Handle, Easy to Control Vaccuum, Designed for Occasional Use
  • EASY AND CONVENIENT PUMPING: Harmony is a manual pump that has been designed for the occasional time when you’re away from your baby. Features a soft-touch, ergonomic swivel handle for enhanced comfort
  • EASY TO USE: Manual controlled vacuum allows you to adjust the suction for the most optimal comfort level and efficient flow of breastmilk. Once milk starts to flow, you switch to the longer side of the handle which creates a slower sucking cycle to express the majority of your milk
  • RESEARCH-BASED TECHNOLOGY: Unique to Medela breast pumps, this research-based and patented design allows mothers to pump more milk in less time. It resembles a baby’s natural nursing rhythm for improved comfort and efficiency.
  • INCLUDES: (2) 5 oz/150 ml breastmilk bottles with lid, bottle stand, (1) valve and (2) membranes, instructions for use, and a breastfeeding information guide
  • 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 Manual Breast Pump works like an actual pump as it pumps out your liquid gold. You can attach the suction cup to your nipple then use the swivel handle to pump your milk out actively. Although it's not a double electric breast pump, this best breast pump is very easy to use and requires little pressure to get the milk out.

The ergonomic design of this Medela Harmony manual breast pump plays a huge role because it is strong but easy to use. Also, the two-phase handle gives the Medela Harmony breast pump two compression points for expression milk. One is for getting the milk to flow, and the other is to collect letdown. The design of these Medela Harmony manual breast pumps makes them easy to assemble as they are made to be for use on the go.

The purchase of this manual breast pump comes with two 5-ounce collection bottles, a cap to save the milk, and a stand that prevents the bottles from tipping over. Made for mothers on the go, these best manual breast pumps are discreet and small enough to fit in your purse. They are great for out-of-the-office meetings, aeroplane travel, and work occasions where electric breast pumps can't go. You can use this Medela pump in style wherever you are.

  • Pros
  • Resembles your baby’s natural nursing rhythm for improved comfort and efficiency.
  • Has a small, portable, and lightweight design.
  • Allows you to pump more precious milk in less time.
  • Hospital-grade breast pump.
  • Easy to use.
  • Highly portable.
  • Easy to clean.
  • It uses 2-phase expression technology.
  • AffordableQuiet.
  • Cons
  • Suction power may lessen after repeated use.

2. Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump Milk Pump 100% Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free
  • 2019 New Model. Award winning, best-selling, nursing mom and lactation consultant recommended.
  • Patented design. Pat. No. USD810,925S. Distributed by Haakaa USA. Counterfeits will be removed by Amazon.
  • Material: 100% food grade silicone. Soft and comfortable. BPA PVC and Phthalate Free
  • Easy to use: simply suction to your breast and let the pump do the work for you as it draws your milk using suction. Attach the pump while your child is feeding on your other breast and collect all let down and milk which would other wise be lost into a breast pad. Waking up in the middle of the night or if engorged during the day also attach your pump for relief. perfect for long distance trips, planes, car rides or anywhere you would like to discreetly express silently and quickly.
  • Easy to clean and washable: 100% dishwasher safe, can be boiled and sterilized using steam sterilizers.

This manual breast pump fits perfectly into your handbag or baby bag with complete ease. We've carefully selected the best manual breast pumps for you, and this one fits the bill with its 100% food-grade quality and its iconic design. Specially designed to stimulate milk production, this manual breast pump functions by using natural sucking pressure.

The compact design of this manual breast pump makes it ideal for car rides, plane rides, long-distance trips, and even family BBQs. All you need to do is to attach the breast pump to your breast, gently massage your breast with your hands, and sit back and wait while the milk collects. As simple as that. Not many best manual breast pumps can boast of doing the same.

Placing a warm flannel on top of your breast is a tip that you can use to get the milk flowing. Once the milk starts flowing, leave the pump to work its magic. When the pump is full, empty the milk into a glass storage bottle and reposition the breast pump again. Gently clean after each use and pumping session and avoid using any bleach-based agents.

  • Pros
  • Highly affordable.
  • Quiet.
  • Lightweight.
  • Very easy to clean.
  • 100% food grade.
  • Comfortable against your breast.
  • Cons
  • Might not suck well after repeated use.
  • Not strong enough to actively pump a lot of milk.

3. Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump, Hand Pump for Breastfeeding
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE: This lightweight manual breast pump has an ergonomic, easy-express handle to reduce hand fatigue. It can be easily carried in any bag while traveling for quiet pumping sessions.
  • IDEAL PUMPING: This pump features dual mode pumping and includes 2 flange sizes (standard 25 millimeter and large 30.5 millimeter), and Natural Wave nipple, cap and collar. It provides ideal suction, storage and feeding.
  • CONVENIENT AND HYGIENIC: Lansinoh breast pumps allow you to pump directly into our pre-sterilized Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags for a convenient, hygienic pumping that saves precious breast milk and time.
  • BY AND FOR MOMS: Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh is committed to helping moms succeed in breastfeeding with breast pumps, nursing pads, nipple cream, breastmilk storage bags and more.
  • MOM FOUNDED AND PARENT LED: Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh has supported moms for 35 years, breast pumps, nipple creams, nursing pads, and breastmilk storage bags, helping families create bonds that last a lifetime.

This pump for working moms works with an ergonomic lever that is easy to use and press to express milk quickly. You don't need to worry about hand cramps during your pumping sessions, thanks to this lever. This Lansinoh manual breast pump is easy to use and delivers on both speed and suction.

This pump comes in two suction cup sizes. The first is the ComfortFit Flange standard 25mm and a 30.5mm cup large cup. This large size flange cup works well when covering large size nipples. This suction cup is also great at alleviating discomfort and allows you to express more milk. Therefore, you can use this pump if you have large breasts.

You'll also get amazing pump parts with this purchase, including an extra valve and lid, a bottle holder stand, and a hand breast pump manual that has instructions and helpful diagrams.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Very affordable.
  • Features dual-mode pumping.
  • You can pump directly into expressed milk storage bags.
  • Founded by a breastfeeding mom.
  • Cons
  • Suction may become weak after continued use.

4. Philips Avent Breast Pump Manual

Philips AVENT Breast SCF330/30 Pump Manual, Clear, 1 Count (Pack of 1)
  • More comfortable pumping position due to unique design.
  • Soft, textured massage cushion helps stimulate milk flow
  • Compact, lightweight design of the pump body makes it easy to hold and position on your breast
  • Compatible with other Philips Avent feeding products, such as Natural and Anti-colic bottles and breast milk storage containers
  • BPA-Free

It's no surprise to see Philips Avent on our best breast pumps list. This best manual breast pump works with a lever similar to the Lansinoh and Medela manual breast pumps. Nonetheless, the one thing that this option has that the other best breast pumps don't is a cushioned flange.

This feature makes this best pump perfect for moms with smaller nipples. This is because the extra cushioning provides you with a tighter suction that aids milk supply and collection and reduces discomfort and pain.

Also, moms who use Philips Avent bottles are lucky to pump their milk directly into the bottles conveniently. This makes milk collection easier. The soft massage cushion with five textured petals helps stimulate your milk flow by mimicking your baby's natural suckling patterns. You can operate with one hand thanks to the ergonomic handle. This manual pump also features an uncomplicated design with only a few parts that can all be washed in your dishwasher.

  • Pros
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Compatible with other Philips Avent feeding products.
  • Easy to position on your breast.
  • More comfortable pumping position thanks to the unique design.
  • A soft, textured massage cushion helps stimulate milk flow.
  • BPA-free.
  • Cons
  • Can be a bit loud.

5. NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump

NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump
  • Control the suction and speed you need with easy, one-handed pumping
  • Ergonomic handle helps to minimize hand fatigue
  • Skin-soft breast cushion for ultimate comfort
  • Lightweight to hold - weighs only 5.5 ounces
  • Few parts to assemble and clean

If you want to pump in style despite being on a budget, go for this manual pump that is made for occasional use. Moms can choose to adjust the speed and suction of this manual pump while using it. An advantage of this manual pump is that you can pump your breast milk directly into any NUK bottle you attach.

Although you can't pump hands free, this system pump allows moms to pump one-handed as it only weighs 5.5 ounces. The pump parts are also very few, so you can easily clean them after pumping and assemble the pump without much fuss. This pumping system also comes with a comfortable silicone breast cushion for you.

The ergonomic handle makes this one of the best pumps on the market as it allows you to avoid hand cramps and strain. This pump works best when you lean slightly forward, allowing the breast milk to go into the bottle without spilling.

  • Pros
  • Highly affordable.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comfortable and soft against your breast.
  • Cons
  • Can be slightly uncomfortable against your hand.
  • Makes an annoying popping sound while pumping.

Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Manual Breast Pump

1. Cost

Cost is always a factor to consider because getting a manual breast pump that is within your budget will allow you to have enough money to get other things for you and your baby. Luckily, manual breast pumps are cheaper than electric breast pumps.

We've five amazing options above that are affordable and still very high-quality. Manual breast pumps are also very handy, especially when you don't have a rechargeable battery, battery pack, or power source nearby.

2. Ease of Use

You don't want to struggle with pumping your milk as your baby waits or while you have a small window of time before your next meeting. Therefore, choosing a manual pump that's easy to assemble, quiet, and can easily and comfortably fit in your purse is a good way to go.

We've selected options for you that fit this description. Therefore, you shouldn't have a hard time pumping your precious milk for your baby.

3. Hygiene

Of course, you want a pump that will not allow any germs or contaminants into your baby's milk. In addition to being able to pump with ease, you want to protect your milk at all costs. You don't have to have a closed system pump for you to protect your milk. Even an open system pump will do a good job as long as you are careful while you suction your milk.

Whether you want to suction one breast or both, we've ensured that the options we've provided above are the best in terms of quality and hygiene. Remember to clean all the parts well after each pumping session, including the storage bags.

4. Comfort

Comfort is key when you are using one of these manual breast pumps. You should ensure that you choose a pump whose flanges fit properly onto your nipple. This is to avoid any unnecessary discomfort and pain on your part.

Most moms find that when their nipple is suctioned, it can cause friction and abrasion with the plastic and leave them with an infected nipple. To avoid this, moms must ensure that they choose a pump that is suitable for them. For example, moms with smaller nipples can choose our fourth option, which is designed specifically for them.

5. Durability

The effectiveness of the suction of your pump depends on the frequency of use. That's why we've seen that some pumps look their suction ability after long-time use. This is why knowing how frequently you'll use the pump is important, as it will determine the manual breast pumps you choose.

Making the right choice will help preserve the life span of your pump. Also, ensuring that you get an original and high-quality pump will increase their durability. All breast pumps of 2021 above are original and very high-quality.

6. Effectiveness

Effectiveness comes down to the milk volume you can pump with the pump in the least amount of time. The suction strength and speed can affect the effectiveness of the pump. Nonetheless, choosing a pump that is durable, comfortable, and has great suction can go a long way in ensuring that you get a highly effective pump.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are manual breast pumps any good?

Yes. They are more affordable than electric pumps. They are also lighter, quieter, and smaller than electric pumps, making them very convenient to use on the go. The lack of a motor plays a part in the fact that they are quiet.

Getting a good manual pump that you can occasionally use when you want to express milk is a convenient option. However, you may need to lean forward when using some of these great options.

2. Which is the best, manual or electric breast pump?

The best one depends on your preference as well as your lifestyle. We've seen that manual breast pumps are much cheaper than an electric pump. And they can be used for the occasional milk expression. However, compared to the electric pumps, they can be hard work if you use them regularly.

This is because you have to keep pumping the handle to create the vacuum. For an electric pump, the motor does the pumping for you, which means that you can even go hands-free, and you don't have to lean forward. With the manual pump, you cannot go hands-free as you are the one doing the work. Therefore, it comes down to your preference. 

About the Author Tom Brewer

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