Best Breast Pumps iMore 2021
The world of breast pumps is huge, and there isn't one shining breast pump star that works for absolutely every Mom. To find the best pumps for this list, we've taken into consideration electric vs. manual, letdown and expression techniques, portable vs. stationary, and the ability to be completely hands-free. We feel that the Spectra Baby S1 is best overall for its customizable modes and closed system.
- Best Overall: Spectra Baby S1 Breast Pump + Gray Tote and Cooler
- Best Manual: BumbleBee Manual Breast Pump
- Best App Tracking: Medela Sonota Smart Double Electric Breast Pump
- Best Hands Free: Elvie Wearable Breast Pump
- Best Budget: Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
Best Overall: Spectra Baby S1 Breast Pump + Gray Tote and Cooler
Loved by moms and lactation consultants alike, the Spectra S1 is a rechargeable, portable breast pump so you can take it anywhere and everywhere. It comes with an added night light that allows you to pump at any hour and can be used as a single or double pump. The pump's digital controls allow you to set the pumping program to the speed and rhythm most effective for your body. Plus, the suction is adjustable in both letdown and expression mode. This bundle comes with the bonus of a gray tote and a cooler to keep your milk cold and fresh.
It also includes a timer so you can track your minutes on each side or overall. The "massage mode" simulates the natural suckling of your baby, and the adjustable suction levels provide for a more natural flow of milk. This pump also features a closed system, so there's no need to clean the narrow tubing. This protects breast milk and baby from bacteria, mold, and viruses while pumping.
This pump on the pricier side, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Most moms agree that it is well worth the money. It comes with two 24mm and 28mm flange, so if you need any other flange size, you must order separately. Also, beware that this pump does not start in letdown mode. It automatically resumes the suction and speed you left off with via your last pump. So, make sure you switch it to letdown mode when you start so you can get the most out of each session.
- Rechargeable (Portable)
- Customizable & adjustable letdown and expression modes
- Closed System
- Only comes with 24mm & 28mm flange
- Doesn't start in letdown mode
Best Manual: BumbleBee Manual Breast Pump
This manual breast pump is made of 100% food-grade silicone and is great at collecting breastmilk and relieving engorgement using pure natural suction pressure. It's extremely soft and comfortable to use and is BPA, PVC, and Phthalate free.
Pro tip: Use it on one breast while you nurse your baby on the other to catch any drip or flow on the opposite side. It can also be used for breast expression alone. It's very light and perfect for traveling. Plus, you can't beat the affordable price!
On the downside, the suction on this pump isn't super strong, and it's manually controlled, so you need to be fully present while expressing. This product is also not "hands-free," as you need one hand to create suction, and users report the product sometimes falling off the breast.
- BPA, PVC, & Phthalate free
- Light, portable, and travel-friendly
- No super strong suction
- Not hands-free
- Can fall off breast
Best App Tracking: Medela Sonota Smart Double Electric Breast Pump
The Medela Sonota means business when it comes to "smart" breast pumps. This double electric pump was designed with the comfort and convenience of both Mom and baby in mind. Engineered with two-phase expression technology and smart capabilities, the Sonata seamlessly connects to the MyMedela app for unlimited access to your personalized dashboard. It has real-time tracking of your pumping sessions and baby's growth, and a variety of breast milk feeding resources. Plus, it includes evidence-based lactation guidance and personalized content to help you reach your breast milk feeding goals.
This pump features hospital-grade performance but is ultra-quiet and discreet. It is customizable with two clinically tested pumping rhythms that allow you to choose the best pumping experience for your body. It also comes with Medela's new PersonalFit Flex breast shields that remove 11.8% more milk per minute than pumping with traditional breast shields.
On the downside, you're somewhat limited with only two expression modes, and this pump is pricey. Users report the parts being heavier than other popular breast pump models, and it being a little awkward to carry without a handle.
- Smart capabilities/app tracking and support
- New PersonalFit Flex breast shields yield more milk
- Only two expression modes
Best Hands-Free: Elvie Wearable Breast Pump
You can pump anytime, anywhere with the Elvie wearable breast pump. This light and quiet double pump makes it possible to pump on your own terms – at home, at work, or on the go. Elvie uses cutting edge technology to eliminate noise so you can pump in peace.
This pump is designed to be worn inside a standard nursing bra, making it truly hands-free. There's no annoying tubes or cords to get in your way or tie you to a wall. It's fairly simple with just five parts to assemble and clean.
It's smart, so you can connect to the free Elvie Pump app to monitor milk volume in real-time, track pumping history for each breast, and control the pump remotely. It will automatically switch from stimulation to expression mode when it detects letdown and will pause when the bottle is full giving you one less thing to think about.
On the downside, this pump will cost you. Pumping completely hands-free is worth the investment for moms that really need that capability. It's also important to note that this pump is quiet, not silent. It is audible to those within a close vicinity. Some users also reported app syncing issues and milk measurement discrepancies.
- Light and quiet
- Smart technology + free app
- Quiet, not silent
- App issues
Best Budget: Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pump
This super budget-friendly breast pump features four different modes and nine levels of suction so you can pick according to your pumping needs. The machine will automatically remember and start with the last mode and suction level you used when you start it the next time.
It features soft flanges that are made of silicone and designed to imitate baby's sucking rhythm. They're very comfortable and pain-free. When the machine is in working mode, the noise is lower than 45 dB. It's very quiet so it won't disturb your sleeping baby or those around you.
The coolest thing about this pump is that it has a built-in large capacity Li-ion battery making it portable. It can be used anywhere without an outlet. It has a high definition screen display that's easy to use and operate.
On the downside, this pump only comes with one size of flange. If you need a different size, you must order those separately. Some users also complained of it being very loud despite what the manufacturer says. There are a lot of pieces that need to be assembled and cleaned.
- Great value
- Soft, comfortable flanges
- Lots of pieces
- Comes with only one size flange
Breast is best
We know that breastfeeding is a full-time job in itself and that a solid breast pump is an essential tool for the superheroes we call Moms. We've put in the research and considered the crucial qualities of a top-notch breast pump, which is why we feel that the Spectra Baby S1 Plus is the best breast pump overall.
It has rave reviews from moms and lactation consultants alike. It has adjustable and customizable letdown and expression modes. Plus, it has the portability and rechargeable factor. With it's quiet and lightweight nature, the Spectra Baby S1 wins the best of the best when it comes to the breast. No matter what your pumping needs are, we've found the perfect pump for you on this list of the best breast pumps available.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.