9 Best Breast Pumps of 2021
Best Breast Pumps of 2021
January 6, 2021

Best Breast Pumps of 2021

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Best Breast Pumps of 2021.
Here are the top breast pumps as voted by our users. Find one that is comfortable and fits your lifestyle.Best Breast Pumps of 2021

Breastfeeding provides a great source of nutrition for your little one and an opportunity to bond and connect with the newest member of your family. But there are certain circumstances—like if you’ll be away from your little one, are looking to share feedings with your partner or you’re struggling with feeding or low supply—when a breast pump can be hugely helpful.

Although choosing a breast pump can depend on a lot of lifestyle and personal preferences, there are a few brands and models that consistently rank high on the list for many breastfeeding parents. Here’s all the information you’ll need on selecting the best pump for you and the top choices as voted on by Babylist users.

In this article:

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

Since everyone’s situation is unique, you’ll need to think about your lifestyle, employment situation, feeding preferences and how long you plan on breastfeeding when making the decision on whether or not to purchase a pump. If you’re planning on working outside the home after baby is born and continuing to breastfeed, for example, then a good pump is a must-have. But if you expect to be with baby most of the time, it may not be quite as crucial.

We recommend getting a pump if:

  • You’re planning on being away from baby on a regular basis, such as for your job, or for an extended period of time, such as a trip.
  • You’re looking to maintain your milk supply, either because your baby can’t or won’t nurse or you’re dealing with an illness or a medication that isn’t safe for breastfeeding.
  • You’re dealing with low supply or engorgement.
  • You prefer feeding baby expressed milk.

Keep in mind that many health insurance plans now cover the cost of a breast pump for nursing parents. Be sure to call your health insurance company to ask about your specific benefits and what you’ll need to do to get your free pump.

What Types of Breast Pumps are There?

There are four main categories of breast pumps:

  • Hospital-grade breast pumps: These heavy-duty pumps feature powerful motors and a greater amount of “sucks” per minute. They extract milk quickly and are generally fairly quiet, but they’re bulky and lack easy portability. Hospital-grade pumps are usually rented, as they are upwards of $1,000 to purchase.
  • Electric breast pumps: Efficient, portable and adjustable for both suction and speed. While all require electricity to function, some models feature rechargeable batteries, giving you the freedom to pump without being tethered to an outlet. Electric pumps also typically come with a carrying case and cooler for milk transport, making them a popular choice for working moms. Single electric breast pumps are available, but a double pump is the more popular—and more efficient—choice.
  • Wearable electric breast pumps: Gaining in popularity over the last few years, wearable breast pumps are just what they sound like—a hands-free, completely portable breast pump that you can wear right in your bra. The pump is made up of pump “cups” that fit over each breast, flanges and milk bags. Wearable pumps let you pump discreetly and in many different positions, anywhere.
  • Manual breast pumps: These breast pumps use the pressing motion of your own hand to create suction and pump your milk. Some are easy to operate with one hand, while others require two hands. Because they lack a motor, these pumps are quiet and small (about the size of a bottle), making them a good choice for travel or for occasional pumping.

All breast pumps are made up of a few essential components:

  • A breast shield (also known as a flange) that cups your breast. Breast shields come in varying sizes depending on the type and brand of breast pump you choose. Some models provide multiple sizes for you to try out, while others offer additional sizes for purchase.
  • A bottle or bag for milk collection
  • A power source (a motor for electric pumps, and a handle for manual ones)

When Can You Use a Breast Pump?

According to the La Leche League, you can begin pumping once breastfeeding is well established—usually around four weeks after baby is born. However, if your baby is in the NICU, is having trouble breastfeeding or you wish to pump exclusively, you don’t need to wait.

They recommend introducing a pumping session after one feeding each day when your breasts are still feeling full. (For lots of people, this is often the first morning feed.) Around this time, you can also start introducing your little one to a bottle.

How long you breastfeed and pump depends on your personal situation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends trying to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and then continue nursing, while also feeding solids, through the rest of the first year. Ultimately, though, you need to do what’s best for you, your family and your childcare situation.

How We Chose Our Best Breast Pumps

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most now that their little one has arrived, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight. Here are the breast pumps we think are the best of the best.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Best Overall Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Rechargeable battery for wireless pumping
  • Adjustable suction
  • Quiet
What Our Experts Say

Packed full of features and with countless positive user reviews, there’s a reason (a lot of them, actually) why the Spectra earns our top spot when it comes to best breast pumps. This hospital-strength breast pump delivers big power with way less bulk and noise. Digital controls let you adjust speed and suction to maximize output, and the pump uses a closed system, which keeps milk completely separate from the pump pieces and ensures better hygiene and performance. There’s a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three hours, so you’re not always tethered to an outlet while pumping. Users also love the helpful extras like the timer and nightlight for late-night pumping sessions.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re looking to spend a bit less, check out the Spectra S2. It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, but is otherwise pretty comparable.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I loved everything about this pump! As an exclusive pumper, this was a must. It’s lightweight and has a rechargeable battery, making it easy to move around or bring to work. I was even able to pump in the car on my commute home easily. The light built into the handle was perfect for pumping in the dark or low light settings while baby was being fed. Also easy to adjust settings.” -Kate

Additional Specs
Includes Valves, adapter, tubing, (2) 24mm flanges and (2) 28mm flanges, wide-neck bottles and back-flow protectors
Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 7.5” x 7”

Best Breast Pump for Work

The Scoop
  • Pump + tote all in one
  • Easy set up and cleanup
  • Battery backup
What Our Experts Say

Don’t be fooled by this unassuming black tote—what’s inside is a game changer for working parents or anyone who pumps on the regular. The powerful double electric pump is built into the bag, while the other compartments hold everything you need to pump, making it simple to set up and pack up in no time. Two-phase pumping technology simulates the way a baby nurses, and you can adjust the speed and letdown feature to pump efficiently. This pump also comes with a power cord and a battery pack, which is a lifesaver when you need to pump and there’s no outlet in sight. Just don’t forget to keep batteries on hand.

What’s Worth Considering

The motor is loud. The pump is on the heavier side (but that’s because it’s built right into a tote) and there are also a lot of parts to clean, including the tubes.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I have needed replacement parts multiple times during my workday, so I liked knowing I could easily obtain them because Medela is so widely used. Also, it wasn’t terribly heavy, considering I would walk over a mile with it each work day.” -Erika

Additional Specs
Includes Breast pump, AC adaptor/charger/power cord, battery pack, set of 24mm shields, set of tubing, (4) 5 oz. bottles and lids, microfiber backpack, cooler bag, ice pack, 30 disposable nursing pads, nipple cream, 5 Quick Clean sterilizer bags, (2) 20-count Pump and Save Breastmilk Bag sets
Weight 7.4 lbs
Dimensions 10” x 5” x 7”

Best Wearable Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Hands-free pumping
  • Quiet and discrete
  • Pump in any position
What Our Experts Say

The future of pumping is here, and it’s the Willow. This wearable breast pump is the true definition of hands-free pumping: with zero cords or attachments, everything you need (even the motor) is right in the pump cups. Simply slip the cups into your bra and go about your day as you pump. The Willow is quiet, ultra discreet and spill-proof. You can pump and store your milk in the same bag and pump in any position without worrying about leaks. There’s also an app that tracks milk volume, pump sessions and time.

What’s Worth Considering

The Willow doesn’t come cheap. (And in most cases is not covered under insurance—although we’re hoping that will change as time goes on. It is eligible for reimbursement under FSA/HSA, though, and Willow offers a financing option via their website.) Bags are also expensive, and you can’t transfer milk from one bag to another nor can you reseal them. It only works with breast cup sizes A-H, and you can’t charge and pump at the same time.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Willow is amazing and gives you so much freedom.” -Miranda M.

Additional Specs
Includes 2 Willow pumps, (2) 24mm flanges (27 mm flanges ship separately), 2 Flextubes, charger, (24) 4 oz. milk bags, 2 cleaning brushes, 2 carrying bags
Dimensions 4.4” x 5.5” x 3.3”

Best Manual Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Compact and portable
  • Hand-powered and cord free
  • Great for quiet, discreet pumping
What Our Experts Say

A great manual pump is your BFF if you’re an occasional pumper or if you’re on the go and need to express a few ounces quickly and without the hassle or bulk of a full size pump (think date night, a long car trip, etc.). Since it’s small, silent and doesn’t involve any cords, this pump makes discreet pumping really easy. Its angled design allows you to sit comfortably when you pump, ensuring milk flows naturally into the container. It even comes with a bottle stand to help prevent a spill of even a drop of that liquid gold.

What’s Worth Considering

Your hand will get tired, especially if you plan to manually pump more than once a day.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s great to have on hand when you may need a pump but can’t bring your electric pump or if you don’t plan to pump. I would recommend getting the help of a friend who’s used one before or a lactation counselor but it’s relatively easy to use and is a life saver to have on hand when you need it!” -Hayley

Additional Specs
Includes One set of PersonalFit 24 mm/medium breastsheilds, (2) 5 oz. bottles with lid, bottle stand, valve and membranes
Weight 14.4 oz.
Dimensions 3.1” x 4.2” x 8.1”

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Easiest to Use Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Hands-free, one-piece pump
  • No separate parts to clean
  • Ultra affordable
What Our Experts Say

Think a manual pump is a lot of work? Think again. The Haakaa, made from 100% food-grade silicone, is about as low-maintenance as it gets when it comes to pumping. It’s a one-piece pump that attaches to your breast and collects milk using its own suction—no hands (or power source) required. Lots of pumping parents will pop it on while their baby nurses on the other side to gain a few ounces for their freezer stash. Better yet, it’s under 15 bucks.

What’s Worth Considering

The Haakaa is especially handy for travel since it’s small, lightweight and doesn’t have any small parts to clean.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I hated my electric pump, but loved the Haakaa. My pumping needs weren’t high since I wasn’t going back to work right away, and I could get about 4 ounces a day out of this just by snapping it on the breast I wasn’t nursing on a couple times a day. Comfortable and took zero effort.” -Heron

Additional Specs
Includes No additional parts
Weight 15.2 oz.
Dimensions 1.9” x 1.9” x 6.9”

Best Lightweight Pump

The Scoop
  • Compact and portable
  • USB-chargeable battery
  • Illuminated digital display panel
What Our Experts Say

Convenience-wise, this pump lands somewhere in the middle between a traditional electric breast pump and a completely hands-free, portable option. The Freestyle Flex is light and portable; it weighs less than 10 ounces and is small enough to fit into your palm, pocket or bag. There’s also a built-in rechargeable battery for cord-free pumping convenience (along with a USB port) and a two-phase expression that mimic’s baby’s sucking rhthym.

What’s Worth Considering

Some parents say the suction on the Flex isn’t as strong as it is with larger pumps like the Spectra.

Additional Specs
Includes (2) 21mm breastshields and (2) 24mm breastshields, (4) 150ml bottles with lids, 2 bottle stands, power adapter with USB cable and carry bag with cooler
Weight 10 oz.
Dimensions 13” x 7” x 9.5”

Best Affordable Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Affordable
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Lightweight and easily portable
What Our Experts Say

With thousands of almost unanimously positive online reviews, the Bellababy Double Electric pump is a fraction of the cost as many similar pumps on the market. This closed-system pump features four pumping modes and nine levels of suction. Breastfeeding parents love the pump’s light weight, wireless capabilities and, of course, the price.

What’s Worth Considering

Users complain that some of the suction settings are actually too strong. The pump is also on the louder side.

Lansinoh’s Double Electric Breast Pump and the Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump are two other well-reviewed pumps that are worth a look if you’re in the market for a more affordable pump.

Additional Specs
Includes 2 storage bag adapters and 10 storage bags
Weight 2.84 lbs
Dimensions 14” x 10.24” x 4.13”

Best Hospital Grade Breast Pump

The Scoop
  • Hospital-grade strength
  • Proven to achieve faster milk ejection and flow
  • Good choice for exclusive pumpers
What Our Experts Say

Don’t get sticker shock just yet—hospital grade pumps are almost always rented on a monthly basis through wherever you gave birth, so there’s no need to worry about forking over a ton of cash. If you’re an exclusive pumper or having trouble with supply, the Symphony may be the pump for you. It boasts a two-phase suction system that’s been proven to achieve faster letdown and faster milk flow. It’s efficient, easy to clean and even has a special system in place to prevent milk overflow.

What’s Worth Considering

This is a big, bulky pump, so you’re not going to want to tote it around unless absolutely necessary. Bottles aren’t included, but can be purchased separately with the Medela Symphony Double Pumping Kit.

What Babylist Parents Say

“As an exclusive pumper, this hospital-grade pump was an absolute must-have. It was quick, efficient and powerful and helped me pump for my son for almost a year.” -Jen

Additional Specs
Includes Breast pump, Symphony 2.0 Program Card, container stand, quick start card, protector for card/cord
Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 10.25” 8.25” 12.50”

Best Breast Pump Accessory

The Scoop
  • Transforms electric pump into a hands-free pump
  • Multiple flange sizes for all breast sizes
  • Discrete
What Our Experts Say

If you already have a breast pump but would love the convenience of a wearable pump, Freemie Collection Cups are an excellent choice. Compatible with most popular electric pumps (be sure to check the full list here), Freemies’ tubing plugs right into your existing pump, giving you the convenience of a hands-free pumping option without the steep price tag of buying a new wearable pump. Each cup holds up to eight ounces of breast milk.

What’s Worth Considering

The opaque plastic makes it tough for some moms to get proper nipple alignment. Others say you’ll need to pump a bit longer than with traditional flanges in order to get the same amount of milk.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The Freemies are my forever gift to pumping moms. They are the BEST things EVER!” - J.S.

Additional Specs
Includes (2) each 25mm and 28mm funnels, (2) cups, (2) valve bases, (2) barriers, (2) duckbill valves, Freemie Closed System Connection Kit, 3 lengths of Tubing and a Y-Connector; breast pump sold separately
Weight 8 oz. each
Dimensions 4.4” x 2.75”

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