6 Best Breast Pumps of 2019

Best Breast Pumps of 2019

May 24, 2019

Best Breast Pumps of 2019

Best Breast Pumps of 2019
Photo by @tonya.baker
Here are the top breast pumps as voted by our users. Find one that is comfortable and fits your lifestyle.Best Breast Pumps of 2019

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 moms. 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.

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

Since every mother’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 mothers. 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 women, 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!

The Portable Pick

Why We Love It

Don’t be fooled by this unassuming black tote—what’s inside is a game changer for working moms 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!

Keep in Mind

The motor is loud. (So be sure to hit your phone’s mute button before you hop onto that conference call!) 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 Four milk bottles and lids, an ice pack, cooler bag and breastshields

The Power Player

Why We Love It

No need to stress about milk supply when you have a Spectra S2. 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. Moms also love the helpful extras like the timer and nightlight for late-night pumping sessions.

Keep in Mind

This pump can only be used with an electrical outlet, which can be a hassle for women on-the-go who may not always have access to one.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Obsessed!! I was a full-time working mama and loved the way this pump functioned and the ease of use. ABSOLUTELY must have this on a registry.” -Nikki

Additional Specs
Includes Two bottles and one size of breastshields

Hands-Free, High-Tech

Why We Love It

The future of high-tech 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 right 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.

Keep in Mind

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.) 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 x 24mm Flanges (27mm flanges ship separately), 2 Flextubes, charger, 24 4-oz. milk bags, 2 cleaning brushes, 2 carrying bags

One-Piece Wonder

Why We Love It

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 moms 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 20 bucks.

Keep in Mind

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

Cost-Friendly Convenience

Why We Love It

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.

Keep in Mind

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

Grab & Go

Why We Love It

A great manual pump will be your BFF when you’re traveling or when you need to express a few ounces without a big fuss. Since it’s small, silent and doesn’t involve any cords, this manual pump will make discreet pumping on the go a breeze. Its angled design allows you to sit comfortably when you pump, ensuring milk flows naturally into the container.

Keep in Mind

Your hand will get tired, especially if you plan to manually pump more than once a day. On the plus side, this pump comes with a breast-shaped nipple so the collection container can be used as a bottle.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My favorite pump is my Philips Avent manual pump. It is extremely effective at removing milk, and it does the job quickly. It’s also comfortable and easy to use.” -Jen

Additional Specs
Includes One 4-ounce bottle and nipple

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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, so if you think that may be you, the cost is probably justified. But if you’ll only need to use your pump 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 travel.

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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