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Your Guide to the Best Breast Pumps in 2024




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

A breast pump for everyone

Navigating the world of breast pumps can be overwhelming, especially for new mothers. Using thorough research, reviews, and my own experience, I've curated an awesome guide to help you make an informed decision on the best breast pumps for your lifestyle. Whether you're a working mom seeking a lightweight, portable solution or a busy mom prioritizing comfort and convenience, I've got you covered!

Electric vs. wearable vs. manual

When it comes to the top breast pumps of 2024, you'll find three main categories: electric, wearable, and manual. Choosing the “best” type really depends on your unique lifestyle and breastfeeding needs. Each type offers its own set of benefits, so it's all about finding what works best for you!

Electric breast pump: These breast pumps are powered by electricity or batteries and they mimic the sucking action of a nursing baby. They are fast, and efficient, and usually come with adjustable suction levels, allowing for a customizable pumping experience. Electric breast pumps are perfect for moms who pump frequently or are returning to work.

Wearable breast pump: The latest innovation in the breastfeeding world, wearable breast pumps offer the ultimate in convenience and discretion. Designed to be worn inside your bra, these pumps let you move freely so that you may pump on the go. They're quiet, compact, and hands-free, making them a top pick for multitasking moms.

Manual breast pump: These breast pumps require you to manually pump a handle to create suction. While they may be more time-consuming, manual pumps are quiet, portable, and don't require an outlet or batteries. They're a great option for occasional pumping, for travel, or for moms who prefer a more natural feel.

Best Breast Pumps 2024

Choosing the right breast pump

When choosing the right breast pump, various factors come into play. Consider your lifestyle and specific needs: will you be pumping frequently or occasionally? An open system or closed system pump? Do you prefer a portable option for on-the-go pumping or a stationary, more powerful breast pump? The frequency of use, your comfort, budget, and ease of cleaning and assembly are also crucial considerations. Also, pay attention to the noise level if discretion is a priority for you. Keep in mind, the best breast pump is one that fits seamlessly into your schedule and makes your breastfeeding journey smoother, and extracts the right amount of breast milk to avoid issues like clogged milk ducts.

Type of pump

Hospital Grade Electric Pumps: These pumps offer the most efficient pumping experience. With strong suction, various milk expression modes, and high-speed capabilities, they're designed to help establish, maintain, and increase milk supply. They're ideal for moms who are unable to breastfeed directly or babies who require additional supplemental bottles.

Double Electric Breast Pumps: Using a double electric pump is a game-changer! It lets you express milk from both breasts at once, saving you loads of pumping time. They can mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm, which can help maintain your milk supply.

Battery-Operated Breast Pumps: These are portable and handy for occasional use or travel. However, they may not be as efficient as electric or manual pumps with diminishing battery life, and replacing batteries can add to the cost.

Size and portability

When considering breast pumps, size and portability play a significant role. If you're a busy mother always on the move, a compact, lightweight, and portable pump will be your best ally. Consider models that can easily fit into a handbag or a tote bag. These pumps make it easier to pump on the go, whether you are at work, running errands, or traveling. Although smaller pumps might not be as powerful or efficient as larger models, it's a balance between convenience and performance.

Suction strength

The suction strength of a breast pump is an essential factor to consider. The suction strength, or vacuum, is what draws the milk out of the breast, and a pump with adjustable suction levels is highly recommended. This feature will allow you to control the suction power to mimic your baby's natural nursing rhythm, providing a more comfortable and efficient pumping experience. Be aware that pumps with a higher suction strength aren't necessarily better – too much suction can cause discomfort, and efficiency is more about the pump's ability to mimic a baby's natural feeding patterns.

Assessing ease of use

Breastfeeding can be quite the journey with its own learning curve, and having a complicated, clunky machine to manage only adds to the stress. Look for pumps that have intuitive controls and straightforward instructions. For instance, some pumps come with touch screens or simple dials to adjust settings. Also, consider how easy it is to assemble and disassemble the breast pump, as this will directly impact your routine, especially when it comes to cleaning. A pump made up of fewer parts will be easier to clean and reassemble. The best breast pumps are made with busy mothers in mind, showcasing designs that make your life easier, not more complicated.

Cost and insurance coverage

Breast pumps can range from affordable single-use manual pumps to high-end hospital grade closed system electric pumps. While it may seem tempting to go for the more cost-effective option, sometimes a higher price point equates to better quality, more features, or longer durability. Sometimes a slightly heftier investment can yield better returns (liquid gold!), increased comfort, and enhanced efficiency.

You don't necessarily need to empty your savings for a breast pump. Many health insurance plans cover the full cost of a breast pump. Get in touch with your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers and which specific brands are included. They might cover a certain model or provide a stipend that you can put towards the pump of your choice.

Best Breast Pumps 2024

Top Picks for the Best Breast Pumps in 2024

I’ve done in-depth research into the best breast pumps for working moms, hands-free breast pumps, the Spectra S1 vs. S2, and even the best breast pump bags. Based on these results, I’ve put together the ultimate list of my best breast pump picks.

Best hospital-grade breast pump

Medela Symphony

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Medela Symphony is a hospital-grade breast pump designed for long-term use and frequent pumping. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Price: The Medela Symphony is a premium product, with a price tag to match. It usually retails around $2,000. However, it is often available for rental through hospitals and pharmacies which can make it more affordable.
  2. Weight: Weighing in at approximately 7.05 lbs, it is not the lightest pump on the market.
  3. Pros: The Medela pump is known for its excellent efficiency and effectiveness. It offers a 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics a baby's natural nursing rhythm and is designed to express milk in less time. It is also quieter compared to other hospital grade pumps, which can provide more discretion and comfort during use.
  4. Cons: The Symphony's high price point is its most significant drawback. Due to its weight and size, it is not easily portable.
  5. Why we chose it: Despite its cons, the Medela Symphony stands as our top pick for the best hospital-grade breast pump because of its superior performance and the technology it employs. It is a reliable choice for mothers who intend to pump frequently or need to boost their milk supply. Its overall durability and quality make it a worthwhile investment for many mothers.

Best double electric breast pump

Spectra S1

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Spectra S1 is a standout among double electric breast pumps with features that address the most common concerns of nursing mothers.

  1. Price: The Spectra S1 comes at a mid-range price point, typically retailing around $200. Considering the quality and features it offers, the value for money is quite impressive.
  2. Weight: This pump is relatively lightweight compared to some other models, weighing approximately 3 lbs. This makes it easier for on-the-go pumping.
  3. Pros: Some of the major advantages of the Spectra S1 include its adjustable suction levels for comfort, quiet motor for discretion, and built-in rechargeable battery for portability. It also features a nightlight for those middle-of-the-night pump sessions.
  4. Cons: One potential downside is that the Spectra brand accessories and replacement parts may not be as readily available in stores compared to other popular brands. Some mothers also find the initial settings and configuration a bit complicated.
  5. Why we chose it: The Spectra S1 was chosen as the best double electric breast pump for its excellent balance of price, comfort, and performance. The added features like the nightlight and rechargeable battery make it an excellent choice for busy moms who may need to pump at various times and places throughout the day. It offers a user-friendly and efficient pumping experience, making it a top choice for many nursing mothers.

Best wearable breast pump

Willow 3.0

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

With Apple Watch compatibility, the Willow 3.0 is designed with a zero-gravity latch and leak-proof mobility.

  1. Price: Retailing at around $500, the Willow 3.0 is a luxury wearable breast pump. The price reflects its advanced technology and convenience features.
  2. Weight: The design is compact and lightweight, with each pump weighing just under a pound.
  3. Pros: Its key advantage is its hands-free and cordless design, which offers unparalleled mobility for moms. It fits discreetly in a bra, allowing for pumping on the go or while multitasking. The Willow 3.0 is also very quiet and connects to an app for real-time tracking of ounces of milk pumped and pumping sessions.
  4. Cons: The higher price point may not be affordable for most mothers, and the proprietary bags required for milk collection can add to the ongoing cost. Some users also report needing additional practice to get the positioning right for optimal suction.
  5. Why we chose it: Despite the cost, the Willow 3.0 was selected as the best wearable breast pump because it successfully combines technology, convenience, and efficiency.

Best manual breast pump

Medela Harmony

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Medela Harmony is a manual, single breast pump, perfect for on-the-go moments and travel.

  1. Price: The Medela Harmony is an affordable option, typically priced under $30. This makes it an excellent choice for those on a budget or as a backup to a primary pump.
  2. Weight: The Harmony is extremely lightweight and portable, weighing in at less than half a pound. It can easily be slipped into a purse or diaper bag for on-the-go use.
  3. Pros: The manual operation allows for more control over the pumping speed and suction, and with no external power source it's notably quieter than electric models. It's also simple to assemble and clean, making it user-friendly for first-time mothers.
  4. Cons: Manual pumps can be more labor-intensive and time-consuming than their electric counterparts. It may also be challenging for mothers who need to pump frequently or have a low milk supply.
  5. Why we chose it: We selected the Medela Harmony as the best manual breast pump due to its affordability, simplicity, and effectiveness. Its small size and manual operation provide flexibility and control, making it a popular choice for mothers who need a convenient and cost-effective solution for occasional pumping.

Best breast pump for on the go


The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Elvie is a wearable and hands-free breast pump that fits inside your bra for ease and an efficient pumping experience.

Price: As a premium option, the Elvie is typically priced around $550.

Weight: The Elvie pump is one of the lightest and most compact pumps on the market, weighing only 7.9 ounces.

Pros: The Elvie is wearable and hands-free, allowing women to pump discreetly while multitasking. It's also quiet and connects to an app for easy tracking.

Cons: With a high price point, the Elvie may not fit everyone's budget. Some users report that it can be tricky to maintain a good seal and that the suction may not be as strong as other electric pumps.

Why we chose it: While the Elvie Breast Pump may come with a higher price tag, its unparalleled convenience is a standout feature, particularly beneficial for mothers returning to work shortly after childbirth or those leading a consistently mobile lifestyle. For numerous women, the investment proves to be worthwhile.

Best budget-friendly breast pump

BellaBaby Double Electric

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Bellababy electric double pump is an affordable choice for a wearable breast pump.

Price: BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump is an affordable option, typically priced under $60. It's a suitable choice for moms seeking cost-effectiveness without compromising on quality.

Weight: Weighing just over a pound, this pump is reasonably light and portable.

Pros: The BellaBaby pump boasts a dual-motor design for powerful, efficient suction. It's also got a rechargeable battery for wireless use, and it's easy to clean and assemble.

Cons: Some users have reported lower suction power over time, and it may not be as quiet as some premium models. The durability could also be a concern for frequent users.

Why we chose it: The BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump is a favorite among budget-conscious moms. It offers an impressive blend of affordability, efficiency, and user-friendly design.

Best for milk collection

Elvie Curve

The Best Breast Pumps in 2024

The Elvie Curve is a manual, hands-free suction, wearable pump designed to collect milk when you're feeding or pumping on the other breast.

Price: Each pump costs $40.

Weight: The Elvie Curve is remarkably lightweight, weighing about 0.7 pounds.

Pros: One of the key advantages of the Elvie Curve is its wearable design, providing hands-free convenience for busy new moms. It utilizes natural suction and allows for comfortable, one-handed pumping or milk collection.

Cons: It's pricey compared to other suction pumps on the market and its capacity is somewhat limited, making it less suitable for moms with heavy milk flow.

Why we chose it: While it has a smaller capacity, it's an ideal choice for breastfeeding mothers seeking an effective and portable solution for collecting milk on the move.

Cleaning your pump parts

Maintaining the cleanliness of your pump parts is crucial for various reasons. Firstly, it helps ensure the safety and health of your baby. Unclean pump parts can harbor harmful bacteria that could potentially contaminate the milk and pose a risk to your baby's health. Secondly, regular cleaning can prolong the lifespan of your pump, helping you to get the most from your investment. It prevents the buildup of milk residue which can degrade the pump's components over time. Lastly, it keeps your milk supply tasting fresh and free from any unpleasant odors that can occur from lingering milk residues.

Cleaning your breast pump at home

Cleaning your breast pump is simple. After each use, all parts that come into contact with the milk should be disassembled and rinsed under running water to remove any milk residue. Once rinsed, these parts should be cleaned in warm soapy water using a soft brush. Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing materials because they can damage the parts. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse the parts in clean water before allowing them to air dry on a towel. The pump should only be reassembled when all parts are completely dry to prevent bacteria growth.

Weekly sterilization is also advised for some brands. This can be done by boiling the parts in water, using a steam sterilizer or microwave sterilization bags, depending on the manufacturer's guidelines. Not all breast pump brands can be sterilized so for safety, make sure to read the manufacturer's cleaning guidelines.

Cleaning your breast pump on the go

Cleaning your breast pump outside of your home may seem overwhelming, but with a few helpful tips and tricks, it can become a convenient and stress-free task. If you don't have access to a sink, investing in extra sets of pump parts can be very useful, allowing you to simply switch to a clean set without the need for immediate washing. If you happen to have access to a sink, it's a great idea to pack a small cleaning kit that's travel-friendly. Just include a bottle brush and a travel-sized gentle kitchen soap. Once the parts are dry, consider storing them in a ziplock bag or sealed container to keep them clean between use.

Remember, a breast pump is a powerful tool in your breastfeeding journey, but it's equally important to take care of you, including ensuring you are properly nourished.

Featured Image by Изображения пользователя Yevhen


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