Best Hands-Free Pumping Bras of 2022
Best Pumping Bras of 2022
October 26, 2022

Best Pumping Bras of 2022

Babylist editors love baby gear and independently curate their favorite products to share with you. If you buy something through links on our site, Babylist may earn a commission.
Pinterest logo.
Best Pumping Bras of 2022.
Best Pumping Bras of 2022

There are lots of ways to feed your baby, and giving them pumped breast milk is one that many parents may choose.

But it can be tough to get pumped about pumping. The right pumping bra can help.

A pumping bra frees up your hands to do other things while you pump. (Those “other things” can involve anything from prepping dinner to answering work emails to scrolling social media on your phone—we’re certainly not about to judge.) Pumping bras make it easier to pump when you’re out and about or if you’re expressing milk at work, and they make pumping more comfortable. Most pull double duty as nursing bras, too.

What Is a Pumping Bra?

A pumping bra is a bra that’s specially designed to hold your breast pump parts in place while you express breast milk.

Depending on the design, pumping bras hold your flanges (the piece that fits directly over your nipple, sometimes also called a breast shield), wearable pump or collection cups in place while you pump, freeing up your hands to do other things.

Most pumping bras come in two styles:

  • Bustier-style bras that either slip on or zip into place. While some of these types of bras can be worn solo, most are designed to be worn over a nursing or regular bra.
  • Traditional hook-and-eye or racerback-style bras with slits on either side of the cups. The slits can be either horizontal or vertical and are designed to hold your flanges in place while you pump. These types of bras generally double as nursing bras, as well, featuring either a clip-down flap or pull-down sides.

Are Pumping Bras Necessary?

Is a pumping bra an essential postpartum item? No. But is it a really helpful nice-to-have? Definitely.

If you pump very infrequently, you can simply hold your flanges and bottles in place while you pump. (Just be warned that your arms may get tired and you won’t be able to do anything else with your hands!) There are also plenty of creative hacks and DIY solutions out there to turn an ordinary bra into a hands-free pumping bra. (Think: using two elastic bands to hold your flanges in place on a nursing bra or cutting slits in an old sports bra.)

But, if you plan on pumping even semi-regularly, we recommend investing in at least one hands-free pumping bra. It will make your life as a pumping and nursing parent a whole lot easier and will free up your hands so you can multitask while logging your time on the pump.

Are Pumping Bras FSA Eligible?

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many health insurers now cover the cost of a breast pump for nursing parents, so be sure to check if you qualify before purchasing one. But what about pumping bras?

While pumping bras aren’t covered by insurance, you may be able to get reimbursed for one if your employer offers an FSA—a Flexible Spending Account—and you decide to participate and contribute money toward it. These special accounts can be used for certain out-of-pocket healthcare costs, including pumping bras, and you won’t pay taxes on this money. The FSA Store is a good place to start to check if the pumping bra you want to purchase is eligible.

When to Shop for a Pumping Bra

Your body and your breasts are going to change dramatically immediately following the birth of your baby, throughout the postpartum period and beyond. Wait until at least your third trimester to start shopping for a pumping bra, and even then, start by purchasing just one. Save the rest of your shopping until after your baby arrives so you can measure yourself and ensure the correct fit.

Babylist Picks for the Best Pumping Bras

Best Hands Free Pumping Bra

What Our Experts Say

All of the pumping bras in our best-of roundup let you pump hands-free, but the Simple Wishes is an original—and one of the best. The easy zip-on, zip-off style is what makes this pumping bra stand out from the crowd. You can wear it on its own or fold down the flaps of your nursing bra and slip it on right on top. You can even wear it over a regular bra if you pull down your bra’s straps and cups.

The bustier style and compressive fit of the Simple Wishes hold your shields, flanges and bottles securely in place, leaving your hands free to do other things while you pump. And there’s a 10” adjustable Velcro panel in the back, another favorite feature, so you can adjust the bra’s fit as your body changes throughout the postpartum period and beyond.

What’s Worth Considering

This isn’t the type of pumping bra you’ll want to wear all day on its own, so stick to pumping sessions only.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-Plus
Padding None
Closure Adjustable Velcro back; zipper front

Best Nursing and Pumping Bra

What Our Experts Say

As its name implies, this bra really can do anything. Thanks to its design and function, it’s a favorite for all-day wear if you’re exclusively pumping, exclusively nursing or doing a combo of both. When it’s time to pump, simply slip your flanges through the slits on each side of the bra. Want to nurse instead? Just clip down the flaps.

This hybrid nursing and pumping bra is also a lot less bulky than other similar-style bras. It’s made from soft, silky material that’s comfortable enough to wear all day and features a v-neck design so you can wear it under almost any type of shirt. And one more thoughtful detail to love: you can adjust the bra from the front (rather than from the back like most other bras) so it’s quick and easy to get a good fit.

What’s Worth Considering

The Do Anything Bra offers mid-range support. If you prefer something with more hold and compression, this probably isn’t the pumping bra for you. And while the built-in slits are super convenient, they do create a seam that’s visible under certain types of shirts.

Additional Specs
Size Range S-3X
Padding None
Closure Hook and eye

Most Comfortable Pumping Bra

What Our Experts Say

Most pumping bras aren’t known for their comfort level, but the Larken is an exception. Unlike most pumping and nursing bras, this bra doesn’t have any wires, elastics, clasps or tight straps. Instead, it slips on like a racerback-style sports bra and has two layers of buttery soft material in front that crisscross to hold your flanges in place in a very cool, clever way. (Can’t quite visualize it? There’s a video that can help.) The Larken is comfortable enough for all-day and overnight wear and can be pulled down for nursing, too.

What’s Worth Considering

The Larken is definitely a low-support bra. If you’re hanging at home, you’re out and about but not moving around a ton or are fairly small-chested, it’s fine—but save the jumping jacks and stair climbing for a different type of bra.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-SSL
Padding None
Closure None

Best Low Impact Pumping Sports Bra

What Our Experts Say

Finding a good sports bra when you’re not pumping or nursing can be hard enough; throw in these added curveballs and the whole process is even more frustrating. Kindred Bravely’s Sublime bra is the answer. It’s perfect for low-impact activities and functions as either a pumping bra or a clip-down nursing bra. This bra has three standout features: it’s comfortable, supportive and easy to get on and off. The bra is made from a soft, moisture-wicking fabric that pulls sweat away from your body and dries quickly. It’s just the right combination of compressive without feeling constrictive. And, unlike lots of pumping and nursing sports bras that feature complicated closures, the Sublime’s racerback style makes it easy to pull on and take off. Similar to Bodily’s Do Anything bra, the strap adjusters are in the front, so it’s easy to tighten or loosen the bra straps when needed.

What’s Worth Considering

The Sublime is a low-impact sports bra. For most nursing or pumping people, it won’t cut it for higher-intensity exercise like running or HIIT, but it’s perfect for things like walking, yoga, Pilates or spinning. Also note that the slits on the Sublime are horizontal, not vertical, and some pumping people say they don’t hold their flanges in place quite as well.

Additional Specs
Size Range Regular S-3X; Busty S-3X
Padding Removable
Closure None

Best High Impact Pumping Sports Bra

What Our Experts Say

Need more support? Your breasts can feel even more sensitive when you’re pumping or nursing, so finding a supportive sports bra for high-impact activities like running or interval training is crucial if you’re doing these types of exercises on the regular. Sweat and Milk makes a range of high-impact pumping sports bras, but Venice is one of our favorites.

Venice is specifically designed to provide maximum support for high-impact activities. It’s full coverage, fully adjustable, and fits all types of body shapes and cup sizes. The wide shoulder straps help distribute weight more comfortably while you’re in motion and both the straps and back can be adjusted depending on how compressive (or not) you need the bra to be.

What’s Worth Considering

Finding the proper fit for a high-impact sports bra like this one is critical. Follow the brand’s fit guide and be sure to measure before you order. You can even download a measuring tape if you need one.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-XXL
Padding Removable
Closure Hook and eye

Best Pumping Bra for Large Breasts

What Our Experts Say

If you have a large chest, it can be challenging to find a pumping bra that fits well, feels good and provides enough support. This pumping bra from Kindred Bravely (that doubles as a nursing bra) checks these boxes and more and is a favorite among Babylist parents. It’s available in both regular and busty fits in small through XXL, sizing that’s equivalent to a 30B all the way through a 44I.

What else is there to love about this bra? The soft but supportive fabric, double clips for nursing or pumping access, underwire-free support and a seam-free design around the flange openings. The Sublime also works well if you’re using a wearable breast pump.

What’s Worth Considering

Because of the double layer of fabric that’s on the thicker side when compared to some of the other bras on our list, this bra can feel a bit bulky. It also sits a bit high in the cleavage area and may be visible if you’re wearing a lower-cut shirt.

And don’t be dissuaded from the Sublime if you’re not large-chested; it works just as well for smaller-chested folks as it does for people with larger breasts.

Additional Specs
Size Range Regular, S-XXL; Busty, S-XXL
Padding Removable
Closure Hook and eye

Best Pumping Bra for Wearable Pump

What Our Experts Say

If you frequently pump with a wearable breast pump like the Elvie or the Willow or use collection cups, not all pumping bras are going to cut it. You need a bra that’s either specifically designed to fit a wearable or one with the right amount of stretch + compression to hold your wearable properly in place. The Amelia is Davin & Adley’s bestselling hands-free pumping bra and the one voted on by users to work best with wearable breast pumps.

This crop cami-style bra has a unique design. There are adjustable straps, but no clips or fold-down panels. If you’re using it with a wearable or collection cups, simply slip them right in, but if you’re pumping with flanges, pull up the top layer of fabric to reveal a second layer with flange slits on either side. For nursing, just loosen the bra strap on whichever side you’re nursing from and pull down at the bra’s neckline. Bonus: the Amelia comes in a ton of fun colors and has a really cool lacy back.

What’s Worth Considering

As noted on the brand’s website, the Amelia runs tighter than Davin & Adley’s other bras, so you may need to size up. Definitely review the size chart and check your measurements before ordering.

For another wearable pump and collection cup-friendly pumping bra, check out Hatch Collection’s Wearable Pump Bra.

Additional Specs
Size Range S-2X
Padding None (cups are lightly lined)
Closure None

Most Affordable Pumping Bra

What Our Experts Say

Over 50,000 Amazon users are onto something: this well-priced Momcozy pumping bra is worth a try. At around twenty bucks, it’s the most affordable pumping bra on our list, and one of the most well-loved. Like many of the bras on our best-of list, this one has dual functionality for both pumping and nursing. The cotton/spandex material blend is soft and comfortable, and the mid-range support works well for most day-to-day activities. It’s available in three different colors and the strap adjusters are located in the front, a feature we appreciate.

What’s Worth Considering

Because this bra only has one layer of material (the slits for your flanges are located on the outer part of each cup), there’s a seam that runs down each side, making the bra visible and sometimes bunchy looking under some clothing. The fuller coverage scoop-neck style means you’ll be able to see the top of the bra if you’re wearing a lower-cut shirt. And some pumpers say the removable pads that come with the bra don’t sit in the cups very well.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-SSL
Padding Removable
Closure None

Most Stylish Pumping Bra

What Our Experts Say

Think all pumping bras have to look like something you found at the back of your grandma’s closet? Think again. This pumping and nursing bra from Dairy Fairy is as stylish as it is functional. The soft, silky material, pretty colors and lace accents make the Rose 2.0 look more like lingerie than like a pumping bra. As for function, there are slits on either side of the cups for your flanges and clips at the top if you need to pull down the bra to nurse. The straps are detachable and can be worn either as traditional bra straps or racerback style.

What’s Worth Considering

Wondering why the flange slits on most pumping bras are located a bit off to the side rather than directly over the center of the cup? It’s so they won’t irritate your nipples. Just keep in mind that, like other similar pumping bras, these slits can create an uneven area on some shirts. Some customers also report that the slits are on the smaller side.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-2XL
Padding None
Closure Hook and eye

Best Pumping Tank

What Our Experts Say

If you’re newly postpartum and can’t stomach the idea of putting on a bra, or simply just prefer a tank, then this pumping tank from Storq is the way to go. It’s made from soft, formfitting micromodal jersey fabric so it’s as soft as a pajama shirt yet stylish enough to wear all day long. The tank features an internal shelf bra with pumping access, and the neckline is stretchy enough to pull to the side if you need to nurse. (It won’t lose its shape, either—it’s designed for this.) It can even accommodate nursing pads.

Pro tip if you need to pump while you’re out or at work but don’t want to wear a pumping bra: layer this slim-fitting tank right under your shirt.

What’s Worth Considering

This tank is expensive. Like most nursing tanks, this pumping tank provides fairly light support. And Storq recommends laying the tank flat to dry instead of putting it in your dryer.

Additional Specs
Size Range XS-XL
Padding None
Closure None

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.