I recently wrote an article titled Looking For a Breast Pump? Everything You Need to Know About Finding a Breast Pump that Best Suits Your Needs. In it I walk you through the four kinds of pumps, including: Hospital Grade, High-Range Electric, Mid-Range Electric and Manual Pumps. I also go into detail about other things to consider when buying a breast pump, including: Storage, Comfort, Cleaning/Maintenance and BPA & Phthalate Content.
So now that you’re familiar with all of that stuff [after reading THIS article], your head is probably spinning when it comes to actually buying a pump! With dozens of options out there, finding the one that best suits your pumping needs may seem downright impossible! Well, hopefully this list will help!
I want to help make [at least THIS part] of your breastfeeding / new baby experience as easy on you as possible! Trust me, I’ve been there and know how overwhelming it can be!!
With that said, below you will find the list of the Top 5 Best Breast Pumps of 2017. Each pump was graded on the very important factors of efficiency, comfort, durability and cost. However, I have labeled each with one specific strength to help you narrow down your choices and make this whole process a little easier! I have also ordered them in regards to their price: from lowest to highest, so you can help keep things straight when going through the list.
THE BEST BREAST PUMPS OF 2017:
1) BEST LOW BUDGET CHOICE (Manual Pump): Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
2) BEST FOR TRAVELING and/or QUICK RELIEF (Manual Pump): Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
3) MOST AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC BREST PUMP: Bellema Mango Portable Single Electric Breast Pump
4) THE BEST BREAST PUMP FOR EVERYDAY USE (Hospital Grade): Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump
5) BEST BREAST PUMP FOR THE WORKING/ON-THE-GO MOM: Medela Pump in Style Advance Breast Pump
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1) BEST LOW BUDGET CHOICE (Manual Pump)
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump $26.87 on Amazon
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
If you’re looking for a cheap and affordable pump, then meet the Medela Harmony. Super quiet and extremely portable, this pump is a good option if you are looking to discreetly pump at work, on an airplane, etc. This pump is also great because it offers a two-phase stimulation and expression system. (The downside to this is that you’ll have to pump hard with your thumb to get the milk flowing. Then, once you see a steady flow rising, simply switch to the handle).
Another pro to the Medela Harmony is that the shield is very soft and generally sits very comfortably. The handle pivots for comfort as well, and can be used with either your left or right hand. Furthermore, this pump only has a few removable parts, so cleaning it is pretty simple.
However, I will say that many mothers find that this pump gives them poor milk flow – a cause of poor suction. If this is you, it’s probably best to choose another pump. Another con is that the little rubber o-ring in the pump tends to wear out quickly and cause leaks; it can be replaced by contacting Medela for parts.
IN SUMMARY: Super affordable and oh-so-easy to transport, this pump is perfect for those who are only looking to pump on rare occasion or want to try pumping before they spend tons of money on a “fancy” pump.
2) BEST FOR TRAVELING and/or QUICK RELIEF (Manual Pump)
Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump [Recently dropped in price] $23.19 on Amazon
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The Philips Avent Breast Pump is definitely the Top Manual Pump of 2017. Not only is this pump available at a super reasonable price, it pumps super efficiently for a manual pump, is easy to use, and is actually really comfortable, thanks to the addition of soft gel pads. It also has minimal parts, making for easy clean up. Great for flat or sore nipples, Philips Avent Breast Pump was also ergonomically designed for your hands and wrists so they won’t strain like they will with other hand pumps.
However, you’ll want to keep in mind that this pump only works with the new, wide-mouthed Avent bottles. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue though, since they are very affordable and most babies seem to do well with them. I will say that some moms have complained about some milk dropping down from the cushion area, but if you position yourself more upright, this should help prevent [most] of that.
IN SUMMARY: If you don’t have any milk flow issues and want a manual pump for traveling and/or work, this is the one I’d recommend.
3) MOST AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC BREST PUMP
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For those looking for an occasional pump to use in case of emergencies, or for that rare time you get a Mom’s Night Out – but still want an electrical pump for quick relief – this is the pump for you!
Super small and lightweight (about the size of a mango!), this pump is surprisingly powerful and will make pumping from one breast at a time [somewhat] effortless. It even comes with a lanyard to wear around your neck and a belt clip, to make it that much easier.
Just like the Medela Pump in Style, the Bellema Mango Portable Single Electric Breast Pump has a 2-minute Stimulation mode. It then automatically switches to the same suction level in Expression mode (which can then be adjusted). This is great to help get the milk flowing, and can be adjusted to different power settings, if need be. There is also a countdown timer from 30 minutes so you can easily keep track of how long you have been pumping – if you are one of those moms who care.
Furthermore, the Bellema Mango Portable Single Electric Breast Pump is super easy to set up and can be used with 4AA batteries, which is great if you want to walk around with it or take it on-the-go.
This pump is compatible with all Philips AVENT natural/classic plus wide neck bottles. However, it includes a bottle adapter to convert to standard bottles (like Dr. Brown's), which makes it super convenient if you already have those on hand.
IN SUMMARY: The Bellema Mango Portable Single Electric Breast Pump is by far the best single breast pump on the market, and is great if you like to feed your baby on one breast while pumping from the other. It’s also great for quick relief – especially if you don’t like the idea of manually pumping.
4) THE BEST BREAST PUMP FOR EVERYDAY USE (Hospital Grade)
Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump $129 on Amazon
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Spectra Breast Pumps have only been available in the US since 2013, making them a [relatively] new player to the game, and is why their popularity is nothing compared to that of Medela – and why you probably haven’t heard much about them. However, let me tell you, for my next kid, this is definitely going to be my go-to pump!
As a Hospital-Grade pump, the Spectra S2 has an incredible maximum suction strength of 350Hg, meaning that you will get the maximum amount of milk [that your body can produce]. Yet despite its power, it is still incredibly gentle. This is in part due to the silicon cushion inserts for the breast shields, offering moms maximum comfort while they pump.
The Spectra S2 also offers both Massage and Expression Modes. The pump will start in Massage Mode: a short, shallow mode designed to stimulate your body’s letdown reflex, mimicking how a baby sucks at the breast when it first starts nursing. It will then switch to Expression Mode: a deeper, slower pattern of suction which mimics how your baby nurses after your milk has let down. Plus, unlike other pumps, the S2 allows you to switch back and forth between the two, which is helpful for women who find it hard to get a good letdown while pumping.
Furthermore, the Spectra S2 is also a closed-system pump, meaning there is a barrier between the pump tubing and the milk collection kit so you won’t have to worry about condensation in the tubes (like you do with Medela pumps, for example). This also means one less thing to clean!
Another cool feature with the Spectra S2 is the night light. This comes in handy for those late night pumping sessions. There’s also a timer that will automatically shut the pump off after a certain period of time (just in case you doze off).
The one downside to the Spectra S2 is the bottles. For the quality of the pump, it’s surprising how cheaply made they are. Plus, the S2 demands wide-neck bottles, which a lot of moms don’t seem to use. Thankfully, you can buy adapters so you can use small-neck bottles. You can also use many of the Medela parts on the Spectra system, which I find really convenient – especially if you are like me and have only owned Medela pumps in the past!
The directions are also kind-of confusing, so for those who have never used an electric pump before, please ask your hospital’s lactation consultant (or me J) to help show you how.
Oh, and the Spectra S2 doesn’t come with a carrying case. But for all the money you save on the pump, you can easily stick it in another bag or backpack – and is the reason that I voted this the Best Pump for Everyday Use (and not for on-the-go) ;).
IN SUMMARY: As already mentioned, Spectra Breast Pumps have only been available in the US since 2013, and is why you’ve probably never heard of them. Don’t let that fool you though – these pumps truly are fantastic! Super lightweight and with a powerful, yet super comfortable suction, the S2 is the way to go if you are looking to get a ton of milk out as fast as possible!
I do want to mention that there is also a S1 model – and people often get confused between the two. The main difference between the S1 and S2 is that the S1 has a battery option, which makes it more portable, compared to the S2. However, the Spectra S1 costs about $50 more, so it’s up to you whether the money is worth it…
5) BEST BREAST PUMP FOR THE WORKING/ON-THE-GO MOM
Medela Pump in Style Advance Breast Pump $180.60 on Amazon
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The Medela Pump in Style Advanced is the best breast pump for the busy, pumping mom (whether that be because of work, your baby doesn’t latch, etc.) – bar none! Take it from me who has pumped for the last 20+ months/5-6x day, this pump gets the job done! This pump is super efficient and easy to carry, thanks to the tote bag that easily holds all of the bottles, breast shields, the cooler bag [for insulation], ice pack, battery pack and AC adapter that it comes with.
This pump is also extremely powerful and versatile. Whether you want to pump from one or two breasts, the Medela Pump in Style Advanced has a 2-phase pumping system (stimulation mode for 2 minutes, then expression let-down mode), a powerful vacuum, and a consistent pumping rhythm that allows you to really get the milk flowing! It also has a let-down button, allowing you to customize pumping phases to your individual body. However, because there are so many options, those who have never used an electric pump should ask their hospital’s lactation consultant to help show them the proper technique to use it.
The one thing I don’t like about this pump is that it is an open-system, meaning that condensation will collect in the tubes and mold will form, if you aren’t careful. To prevent this, I just let my pump run when I finish pumping (after I detach the bottles), until the clear tubes are completely dry.
Oh, and there are also lots of little parts that go along with this pump that all need to be individually cleaned. If you pump as much as I do, this can get extremely cumbersome and downright annoying. However, with the amount of milk you can get from this thing, it’s definitely worth it! (I mean, I pumped up to 50oz extra/day, not including what I exclusively breastfed my baby!)
IN SUMMARY: If you are planning on going back to work, or are looking to grow your back-up supply of milk, then this pump is for you! Oh, and don’t forget to purchase the Hands-Free Double Breast Pump Bra! It’s a total game-changer and allows you to pump while making dinner, driving, or a zillion other things us moms need to do all at once!
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Ok, so I know that I’ve inundated you with TONS of information…
I hope after digesting it all that you are able to choose a breast pump – and one that you [hopefully] will LOVE!
Do you have any more questions about breast pumps? Breastfeeding? Want to learn how to produce more milk? Want to find out more about providing milk for another family? Then CONTACT US today to learn more!
Oh, and don’t forget to check out our JABitUp More Momma’s Milk Powder to help you produce even more milk to encourage your baby to thrive!
Best of luck with you and your little one!