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The Best Breast Pumps of 2017

Looking for a list of the Best Breast Pumps of 2017? Then look no further! From someone who has nursed two of her own children for 18+ months each, pumped and fed 3 others exclusively, plus the 10+ babies that I have sent 100s and even 1000s of ounces of pumped milk to, I know what it takes for a good pump!

Let me start off by saying that anyone who has pumped knows that it is a labor of love. Whether you are exclusively pumping or do it only once in awhile, it is a lot of work! In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say they actually enjoy doing it. However, no matter what your situation, it is oh-so-worth it and something that I don’t think should ever be taken for granted!

There are quite a few things that can make both breastfeeding and pumping more successful/easier though – one of which is your pump! And while, again, we may all have different pumping needs and situations, I have created a list that will [hopefully] best suit yours!

Need more help on finding the right pump, or with breastfeeding in general? Don’t hesitate to CONTACT ME and ask!


Ok, before we get into the actual pumps, there are 4 types of breast pumps that you should know about.

Hospital Grade Breast Pumps:

Hospital Grade Breast Pumps were created for, you guessed it, the hospital. Known for their superior quality and efficiency, they are intended for multiple uses/users and can even be rented or borrowed.  These are the pumps that hospitals will give to mothers who have issues with breastfeeding after birth, whose baby is in the NICU, or for mothers with multiples. Considered “double kit pumps”, these puppies express milk from both breasts at once, making the whole process much more efficient. They also accurately imitate a baby’s sucking motions, helping to significantly improve the flow of milk. However, be aware that they are quite loud, and are often big and bulky, so they aren’t something you will want to lug around.

Who Needs It?: Hospital Grade Breast Pumps are best suited for mothers who have a low milk supply or any additional problems breastfeeding. Also, if money is not an issue, these pumps will be much more effective and easier for you to use.

High Range Electric Breast Pumps:

While still somewhat expensive, High Range Electric Breast Pumps are definitely more cost effective than Hospital Grade Breast Pumps, and do relatively the same thing. These pumps are designed for women who also need to express milk several times a day, yet they are much more portable than Hospital Grade Breast Pumps (and can even be run on batteries or with a car charger [game changer!!]). These breast pumps also express from both breasts simultaneously, and have a cyclic rate of 40-60 “sucks” per minute, which is the closest to the speed of a baby’s suction. Please be aware that, while smaller than Hospital Grade Pumps, these pumps are also somewhat bulky and do make fairly loud noises. However, many of them (like the Medela Pump in Style – see below), come in convenient carrying cases, making them much more portable.

Who Needs It?: High Range Electric Breast Pumps are a great option for mothers who have to go back to work, or for those who plan on being away from their babies for extended periods of time (yet are still planning on giving them breastmilk).

Mid-Range Electric Breast Pumps:

Mid-Range Electric Breast Pumps are generally the most common type of breast pump and are a good choice for mothers who do not have to express milk often, but still don’t want to do it manually. These pumps are lightweight, portable and designed for one breast and usually don’t have a high cyclic rate. They are also more cost effective than the higher range pumps.

Who Needs It?: If you are a Mom who is only planning on pumping occasionally, and/or only wish to pump from one breast at a time, then a Mid-Range Electric Breast Pump is for you!

Manual Breast Pumps:

Manual Breast Pumps are the cheapest variety of pumps and are best for moms who want to avoid the temporary discomfort of engorged breasts, but aren’t trying to pump a large excess of milk. They‘re also great if your looking for a silent pumping session. Plus, they are lightweight and highly portable, and there’s no worrying about batteries/charging. However, pumping times may be a bit longer and switching “expression phases” will be based solely on your pumping abilities. Furthermore, you’re hands and wrists may get sore if you are manually pumping for extended amounts of time.

Who Needs It?: Moms who want to take total control of their pumping and/or want their pumping sessions to be [almost] silent.


STORAGE. While portability is briefly mentioned in each description above, the storage of your pump, along with the amount of milk you pump, also needs to be taken into consideration. If you go the manual route, you will have the most portable breastpump that you can buy. Since the bottles and breast shields are so compact, and the pump handle is very small as well, everything will easily fit in a medium purse or diaper bag.

On the contrary, Electric Pumps are much larger since you not only need the motor itself, but also the breast shields, bottles, battery pack, charger(s), vacuum tubes, etc. With both systems, you also need a place to store your pumped breast milk: either in disposable bags or bottles, at or below 59 degrees (F).

If you’re not planning on going straight home after you pump, or do not have access to a refrigerator, you will also need to carry a small cooler with a frozen ice pack. According to Medela, the maximum amount of time you can keep the milk in this storage type is 24 hours; then you'll need to move to a refrigerator or freezer (see our explanation of breast milk storage guidelines, here). Fortunately, many manufacturers of automatic pumps have actually started making it so all the pumping equipment, as well as a cooler and ice pack, are placed in the same bag, for both portability and convenience.

COMFORT. This is a hard area to assess since the comfort of a breastpump is highly individualized. Generally speaking, I would say that selecting the appropriate sized breast shield is most important (they come in up to 5 sizes).

How do you select the proper size breast shield? Make sure your nipple is centered in the shield and not rubbing the sides as it is pumped and that your areola (dark skin surrounding the nipple) has space to move up and down as it is pumped. You also want to make sure your breast moves gently and rhythmically with the pumping, and that it feels comfortable during pumping. If any of these aren't correct, than your breast shield may be too small and it is best to go a size up. Having the wrong sized shield may also hinder your let-down, so if this is an issue for you, again, check the size of your breast shields.

Another major factor in breast pump comfort is whether or not the vacuum strength/speed while pumping is set to your comfort level. If it’s too strong, you may feel pinching or pulling, which isn’t pleasant. Plus, this undue stress can actually hinder your milk flow. As a word of caution: don’t try to deal with the pain because you think it will improve the amount you will pump – it won’t!

Finally, correctly timing the shift of expression phases (in order to accommodate your body’s unique let-down pattern) can also play a role in how comfortable you are doing pumping, as well as to how successful your pumping session may be. Most pumps will typically begin in a 2-minute "stimulation" phase and then automatically switch to the expression phase. While this pattern may be optimal for many women, it certainly isn’t for EVERY woman, and you may find that more or less time in this initial phase works best for you.  Thankfully, many pumps offer a “let-down” button so that you can determine whether or not you need additional stimulation before you move on to the expression phase.

CLEANING/MAINTENANCE. My least favorite part of pumping… No matter which breast pump you choose, there will be a lot of parts that need to be cleaned. From the large breast shield and connectors, to the smaller valve and rubber membranes, every nook and cranny of every piece really does need to be thoroughly cleaned, due to the possibility of mold and residue buildup, as well as additional contamination due to outside influences (ie, where your pump has been, is stored, etc.).

Having washed 10s of 1000s of pump parts throughout my breastfeeding journey, I have found that the best and most convenient way to clean is to initially sanitize all of the parts in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then between uses, run a sink full of warm soapy water and allow the parts to soak a couple of minutes before scrubbing them with a round bottle brush. Next, use a smaller brush to get into the tiny crevices. Finally, I air dry them on a bottle drying rack.

While some brands recommend daily sanitization of the parts in boiling water, I personally think this is a bit over kill (unless the bottles are being shared between multiple children, the child is sick, or the emptied bottle was left out for a long period of time before being cleaned). However, please do what you feel is best for your baby – this is only my opinion!

BPA AND PHTHALATE CONTENT. Although no longer a big concern, since all of the major manufacturers are making their systems BPA-free, this is still worth mentioning – and is another major reason why you shouldn’t buy/borrow a used pump. The models listed below are all BPA-free.

Ok, so now that your mind is about to explode with all of this info…

But in all seriousness, buying the best breast pump truly does take a lot of thought and is why I have designed this list – to try and 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!!

Below is 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.



Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

  • Super cheap
  • Lightweight and extremely portable
  • Very easy to use
  • Quiet
  • Minimal parts
  • Easy to clean
  • Massage cushion for extra comfort

  • Can only pump one breast at a time
  • It may be hard to generate suction (depending on your boob shape)
  • Hands get tired while pumping
  • You can’t multi-task (since you need both hands to pump and hold the bottle)
  • Rubber parts may break off, if not careful

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.

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.


Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump

  • Super lightweight design
  • Great for travel
  • Great milk expression for a manual pump
  • Extremely quiet
  • Minimal parts
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Massage cushion for extra comfort
  • Very reasonably priced

  • Requires the new Avent bottles to work
  • Harder to assemble
  • Can only pump one breast at a time
  • Milk might drip from the cushion
  • You can’t multi-task (since you need both hands to pump and hold the bottle)


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 too. 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.

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.


Bellema Mango Portable Single Electric Breast Pump

  • Small, lightweight and portable
  • 2-phase pumping: stimulation & expression,
  • Strong, adjustable vacuum power (up to 320 mbar)
  • Can be powered by 4 x AA batteries
  • Soft silicone cushion for gentle comfortable pumping
  • Closed-pump system [anti-backflow]
  • Easy to assemble, operate and clean
  • Memory feature remembers preferred settings

  • Somewhat noisy
  • Only pumps from one breast as a time (although, that’s in the name…)

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 if need be). 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.

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.


Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump

  • Closed system, so it’s very hygienic
  • Super quiet
  • Hospital grade
  • Customized features (ie, suction speed and vacuum control)
  • Digital controls allow you to save your favorite settings and set a program
  • Massage feature to induce letdown
  • Super affordable (especially for a hospital grade pump)
  • Only weighs 3.3 lbs
  • Company offers great customer service
  • Powerful pump performance with a maximum suction strength of 350mmHg
  • Can be used as a single or double pump

  • Does not have a battery option/must stay plugged in (unless you get the Spectra S1, which is about $50 more) 
  • Bottles are not great and it does not come with a carrying case
  • Wide-neck bottles are needed (though an adapter can be purchased separately)
  • One size flange
  • Limited instructions on use, especially for beginners

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 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, if need be – and is the reason that I voted this the Best Pump for Everyday Use (and not for on-the-go) ;).

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 S1 costs about $50 more, so it’s up to you whether the money is worth it…


Medela Pump in Style Advance Breast Pump

  • Double electric pump for maximum efficiency and convenience
  • Compatible with all standard sized bottles
  • Has a two-phase expression system
  • Fully adjustable vacuum and speed settings (although they are connected; see CONS below)
  • Can be used as a single or double pump
  • Easy to replace parts due to wide availability
  • Car charger is great for pumping on-the-go
  • Highly reliable
  • Multiple breast shield sizes available

  • Open system so there will be condensation in the tubes, and the milk may leak out of the flanges
  • A single vacuum speed and pressure dial (so you can’t adjust the speed of the vacuum and pump separately)
  • Lots of parts, so lots of things to clean
  • Battery feature may not work (it never has for me)

The Medela Pump in Style Advanced is the best breast pump for the 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 finished pumping (after I detached the bottles), until the clear tubes were 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!)

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!


Ok, so I know that I’ve just inundated you with TONS of information… But 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’sMilk Powder to help you produce even more milk to encourage your baby to thrive!

Best of luck with you and your little one!