Best Breast Pumps of 2017

Best Breast Pumps of 2017

Last Updated: January 1, 2017
Here are the top breast pumps as voted by our users. Find one that is comfortable and fits your lifestyle.Best Breast Pumps of 2017

If you plan on breastfeeding, and want to continue feeding your little one with breastmilk even when you’re away - whether at work or just out running errands - a breast pump is a must.

Types of Breast Pumps

Most pump models on the market now should be BPA-free and top-rack dishwasher safe, come with bottles you can pump directly into, and, for electric pumps, have controls to adjust the suction power and speed. There are several types of breast pumps on the market, but they all fall into the following three categories:

Hospital Grade Electric Breast Pumps

These are heavy-duty pumps with powerful motors and a greater amount of “sucks” per minute. They extract milk in no time flat and are generally pretty quiet. Hospital-grade pumps are usually rented since they are upwards of $1,000 to purchase.

Personal Electric Breast Pumps

Most moms going back to work opt for a double, electric, personal breast pump because it efficiently empties both breasts at the same time. These pumps typically come in a carrying case with the option to use battery power or an electrical outlet. Most offer a cooler storage too for transporting milk back home. You can also get a single, electric breast pump, although it will take you longer to express both breasts.

Manual Breast Pumps

Using a pressing motion, you create the suction for these pumps with your own hands. 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 have 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 from the get go while others offer additional sizes for purchase. If you are interested in renting pumping equipment, as well as meeting with a lactation consultant, your health insurance should be able to cover the costs.

Do you need a breast pump?

Every mom’s feeding situation is unique. If you are going back to work and primarily breastfeeding, you will definitely need a pump. Some moms also like to pump so they can share feeding duty with their partner or other family members; that way, you can get a break and allow your little one to have bonding time with another adult.

When do you need a breast pump?

It’s best to start using a breast pump (and getting your little one used to a bottle nipple) between three to four weeks. This allows enough time to establish breastfeeding and avoid nipple confusion (where baby starts to prefer a bottle nipple to the real deal). How long you breastfeed 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 baby food, through the rest of the first year. Ultimately though, how long you breastfeed depends on what’s working best for you and your family. Once you begin using bottles, be sure to check out our selection of the Best Bottles of 2016.

If you’re going back to work, Work. Pump. Repeat is a fantastic book to have by your side; this guide blends humor with practical advice that working, pumping moms will appreciate. Also remember that the federal law covers your right to a private place to pump and reasonable breaks. Make sure your employer is aware of your rights, though that doesn’t mean it has to become a tense struggle (after all, working together could save your company money).

How we chose our best picks

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

Babylist Best Picks

A WORKING MOM’S BFF

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-the-Go Tote - $210.00
WHY WE LOVE IT

The most popular pick, the Pump in Style comes in a tote with a battery pack as well as an adapter so you can pump with or without an electrical outlet. It features two-phase pumping to simulate the way a baby would nurse - first with quick and light sucks to trigger your milk coming down, and then deeper and slower sucking. Because this style is so loved, it’s easy to find accessories and parts for it too.

KEEP IN MIND

Milk and condensation can collect in the tubes which means you’ll need to clean them often (a pain!). You’ll also want to think twice about picking up that phone call from the VP while pumping - the whirring sound of the machine is pretty loud.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“Because my son was premature, I was able to bring the pump with me everywhere and it’s effectiveness is comparable to the Medela pumps used at the hospital. I’m able to pump both sides at once to save time, the parts are compatible with the parts provided by the hospital, and the backpack has enough storage space for pump parts, breast products (pads, creams, etc.) AND you can fit snacks in it! I just needed to tote one bag around with me!” - Karleen B.

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Comes With Four bottles and two sizes of breast shields

THE POWER PUMPER

Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump - $104.00
WHY WE LOVE IT

If you’re having trouble establishing your milk or producing enough for your baby, the Spectra S2 is your go-to. It’s lightweight, but its mighty motor quickly drains your breasts of every drop, and does it quietly. Plus, it has backflow filters to keep milk from getting into pump parts, as well as a timer, a night light, a cooler, and a tote bag.

KEEP IN MIND

The Spectra doesn’t have a battery or car charger so you’ll only be able to pump near an electrical outlet.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“It’s much gentler than the Medela PISA and I seem to be able to pump a greater amount of milk with the Spectra as well. I also like that the suction and speed are very customizable.” - Marietta C.

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Comes With Two bottles and one size of breastshields

COMFORTABLE & CONVENIENT

Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump - $125.00
WHY WE LOVE IT

Not as powerful as other models, the Purely Yours pump still does the job while offering a more comfortable feel for many moms. Like the Spectra, it also has an air-lock system that prevents liquid from backflowing into the pump parts so milk, bacteria or mold won’t build-up.

KEEP IN MIND

It doesn’t have the suctioning power of other models so it may take longer to empty your breasts.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“It’s small and portable, battery-powered or ac adapter, and the tote bag carrier doesn’t scream ‘I’m carrying a breast pump.” - Amanda G.

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Comes With Four bottles and three sizes of breastshields

BUDGET BUY

Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump - $88.95
WHY WE LOVE IT

If you’re not sure how often you’ll use a pump, or on a tight budget, the Advanced Double pump is easy on the wallet and a breeze to clean. (It also has the closed pump system to keep liquid from getting trapped in tubes.)

KEEP IN MIND

Pumping will be loud, and since the motor is less powerful, this pump may not fully extract all your milk in a session. Not good for those who need every bit they can get.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“Evenflo Advanced Double Electric fits me well, is easy to use and saves time by pumping both sides at once.”

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Comes With Two bottles and three sizes of breastshields

TRAVEL BUDDY

Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump - $44.99
WHY WE LOVE IT

Since manual breast pumps are so small and silent (if yours starts squeaking, check to make sure all the parts are clean and on tight), they are perfect for when you want to pump on-the-go or on the down-low. You don’t need batteries or an electrical outlet so you can pump anywhere (think: airplanes, camping, parties). Also, if you want to express one breast while feeding your baby on the other, a one-handed manual pump will probably disturb your little one less than a louder electric pump. Two to try are the Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump (seen here) and the Lansinoh Manual Pump.

KEEP IN MIND

For most moms, a manual pump will be annoying if you need to pump more than once a day - it just takes longer since you’ll have to do one breast at a time. And, some people’s hands get tired doing all that pumping. Also, if the one or two sizes of breastshields available for your manual pump don’t fit you right, pumping might be uncomfortable.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“The manual pump is easy to clean and has minimal parts.” - Mary B.

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Comes With Usually one bottle and one or two sizes of breastshields

Choosing what’s right for you

The best way to determine which pump is best for you is to think about how you plan to use it. Pricier models are usually more powerful and better for moms who pump multiple times a day. But, if you’ll only need to use it occasionally to make a bottle for the babysitter or while traveling, you can get away with spending less. Some moms may even opt for two types of pumps - one for everyday and another for traveling. Once you decide on a model, take your time learning about how it works and becoming comfortable with it. When you feel ready to use it, a breast pump can make life as a new mom a whole lot easier.

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