Best Breast Pumps 2022

2023-01-13 00:51:14 By : Ms. Leona li

Choosing the best breast pump for your breastfeeding journey can make each pumping session a little bit easier—more successful, too. Whether you’re pumping during the workday or in the wee hours of the morning, it’s important to find one that fits your lifestyle, although there are some features (for instance, ease of use and adjustable suction) most moms generally need. I’ve been breastfeeding on and off for about a decade and am currently nursing my fourth child, so I know a thing or two about breast pumps. After trying out several options, tapping lactation consultants and asking Forbes moms for their recommendations, I assembled this list. Our top overall pick is the Spectra S1 Plus, a Forbes staffer favorite, while the powerful and affordable Medela Pump In Style is my personal top choice.

Our favorite breast pump, the Spectra S1 Plus, is powerful and easy to use. Manual breast pump

Best Breast Pumps 2022

In general, a “double electric pump is the best fit for most families,” says certified lactation education counselor Rebekah Huppert, R.N., B.S.N., a lactation consultant at the Mayo Clinic. But at the end of the day, “it is important to remember that everyone responds differently to different pumps. There is no one size fits all,” says Leigh Anne O'Connor, board-certified lactation consultant and La Leche League leader.

Here, you’ll find the best breast pumps according to moms who have used them. Also, be sure to read about our favorite nursing and pumping bras, baby bottles and high chairs to cover more baby feeding needs.

When asked their top breast pump recommendation, parents in our Forbes Moms chat group, as well as many parents in outside forums, praised the Spectra S1 Plus. A big selling point of this machine is that it’s cordless, one of the main differences between it and its sister model, the S2—which we also recommend if the cordless feature isn’t important to you. At around at 3.3 pounds, the S1 is still a bit cumbersome to carry, but you won’t be tethered to the wall. Plus you’ll avoid the hassle of a cord getting tangled with the pump tubes (and everything else).

Practicality-wise, the S1 offers both single and double pumping, has a massage mode for stimulating letdown, adjustable suction and a built-in night light—a small but helpful feature for late night feedings. Shares one Forbes mom, “It has a built-in timer, which helped during the work day, and it was as effective as a hospital grade pump.” Another adds that it’s quiet enough to pump during Zoom meetings without too much interruption.

The Medela Maxflow is a popular breast pump that efficiently gets the job done. This pump features MaxFlow technology that’s inspired by hospital-grade pumps to deliver some serious suction power. You may need to dial back on the power at first—it gets to work ASAP and doesn’t hold back, although it does go through a two-phase expression technology to mimic your baby’s natural sucking rhythm.

The Pump In Style doesn’t have a lot of parts to keep track of, which is a perk. There’s just the pump itself, breast shields, bottles and tubing—and it all easily stores in a petite bag you can stash in your go-to tote for daily travel. Choose between two sizes of the brand’s PersonalFit Flex breast shields to find one that most comfortably covers your size nipples. There’s also a battery pack and included cooler for pumping on the go. If you’re having trouble getting enough milk expressed, or if you’re dealing with a lower-than-desired flow, this pump and its intense power is sure to help you max out your breastfeeding potential. It also weighs a mere pound, making it easy to tote around.

At just 9.5 inches high and 13.5 inches wide and weighing in at less than 1 pound, the Medela Freestyle Flex is downright teeny compared to other pumps. It’s also powered by a USB rechargeable battery, so you can seamlessly pump on the go. I took it to a wedding, and it was easy to conceal my pump in an oversized tote. My sturdy primary pump would have been obvious.

Despite its petite size, the Freestyle doesn’t skimp on power: This pump can provide impressive suction, although not at the same level as hospital-grade pumps. It also features two-phase expression technology to mimic your baby’s natural feeding pattern. Choose from two sizes of breast shields for that just-right fit. Once you’re done, store your milk in the included cooler and toss your gear in the included carrying bag.

Wearable breast pump technology is amazingly convenient, but keep in mind that these ultra-portable models aren’t as powerful as hospital-grade machines. Still, if you’re willing to foot the bill, they make an excellent alternative for pump sessions while you’re on the go or in the middle of a busy work day. The Elvie is one of the most popular models of its kind, earning an average review rating of around 4 stars across sites big-name sites (including Walmart).

Here’s how it works: You slip the cups in your bra—you can do double or single sessions—and control the settings and track the output estimations through an app. The brand also claims this pump is silent, making it more discreet than some standard machines. The cups each have their own motor, so it’s completely cordless and tubeless; just keep in mind that the battery is limited to about two and a half hours’ worth of of pumping time (and it takes about two hours to recharge). Further, wearable pumping devices typically take some getting used to for the best results.

One Forbes mom admits that her traditional pump is more powerful, but “the Elvie is great on the go.” Another shares, “[The] Elvie is a timesaver — Elvie is easier to assemble and manage [than a similar model].” If you want to save some cash and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of convenience, consider the Elvie Stride (around $270). As opposed to the Double Electric, the Stride cups share a motor so they’re connected to the pump by tubes.

The Lansinoh Smartpump has a lot of features that make it easy to use—and a lower-than-average price tag to go with it. It sets up similarly to most pumps: You simply connect the tubes to the machine and bottles and get down to business. Adjust between eight suction strength levels and three pumping styles, along with hospital-grade strength to really help empty your breasts. I felt like the Smartpump got a little more out of me than my standard Medela Sonata, which is always a plus.

The Smartpump is quieter than many other pumps, so you can actually use it during work calls without having to repeatedly put yourself on mute. Conveniently, there are three power options: a plug, AA batteries or a separately purchased car adapter. A built-in carrying handle makes this pump easy to tote around, and it weighs only a pound. The whole thing is Bluetooth compatible, so you can track all the action from an app on your phone.

This breast pump is on the pricier side, but reviewers, including Forbes Vetted’s executive content director and new mom Cory Baldwin, swear by its powerful suction. Baldwin handpicked Spectra’s latest model after getting frustrated with the subpar performance of the only option covered by her insurance (the Ameda Mya double electric breast pump). The feature that separates Spectra’s Synergy Gold from other models is a double motor, which allows the user to independently select settings for each breast. (Moms can choose from among 15 vacuum suction levels on expression mode and five on massage mode.)

Spectra Synergy Gold also features a patent pending, realistic suction motion that offers “a more comfortable, and for me more productive pumping session” according to Baldwin. Other favorite features include memory settings, quiet operation, a three-level night light and an LCD touchscreen. While its sleek control panel and metallic accent may not be a necessity, it’s certainly a bonus. Be aware that its dual motors make it heavy at over 5.5 pounds and it requires an outlet to operate, making it powerful but not particularly portable.

“Some women will do well with a manual pump,” explains certified lactation education counselor Rebekah Huppert, R.N., B.S.N. “But [manual pumps] do not work well if she is pumping with any type of consistency.” In other words, a manual pump probably won’t be the primary pump for most moms, but it’s good for short sessions or if you’re traveling and need some relief. Many women also like to use a manual pump such as the Haakaa to catch milk from the opposite breast during breastfeeding sessions.

The highly rated and ultra-affordable Haakaa is a staffer recommendation and all-around fan favorite among mom reviewers. It’s made from soft food-grade silicone that suctions to the breast and gently expresses milk, and it’s especially ideal for milk catching if you’re pumping or feeding with the other. You can get this set, which includes a leakproof lid so you can stash it right in the fridge; or, opt for the pump-only option for a mere $13. One thing to note: It’s 4-ounce capacity may be too small for a full pump session for some mamas. All in all, though, it’s a nice and affordable addition to have in your breastfeeding toolkit.

I’ve been breastfeeding on and off for about a decade and am currently nursing my fourth child. I’ve relied on Medela for my breast pumps since I had my oldest son in 2013. To choose our best breast pump recommendations, I looked at the top models on the market and spoke to parents and lactation consultants about which pumps they preferred. I had the opportunity to try out several other pumps over the last few weeks to compare features and to try to determine the best options for different lifestyles. I have also enlisted the help of other Forbes staffers who have experienced the breastfeeding journey; their recommendations and advice are added throughout this story.

If you’re looking for a traditional electric breast pump from a reputable brand, the Spectra S1 Plus, Spectra Synergy Gold or Medela Pump In Style With Max Flow received top marks for effective performance overall. While some of our other picks offer perks like better portability and smart features, the aforementioned models are the most efficient at getting the job done. You could also consider renting a hospital-grade pump such as the Medela Symphony.

Yes. Most insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost of your breast pump. You can speak directly with your provider or ask your OB/GYN to guide you through options. You can also enlist the help of a third party site, such as Edgepark Breast Pumps to simplify the process. It’s worth noting that some insurance companies have restrictions around which pump you can purchase.

“A good breast pump is a great tool to have when it is needed, but not everyone needs a pump,” says Meghan Devine, R.N., B.S.N., I.B.C.L.C., clinical supervisor for the Lactation Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If you are directly breastfeeding, your baby is growing well and you are rarely apart from each other, a pump is not necessary.” But if you and your baby are unable to directly breastfeed for any reason, Devine says you’ll want to have a pump. In order to build and maintain milk supply, “you will need to express your milk at least as often as your baby normally breastfeeds or a minimum of every two to three hours, eight or more times in 24 hours,” Devine says.

I've been a reporter at Forbes since 2016. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farming in Uruguay, and lots of stuff in between. I graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in international relations and Arabic. Feel free to reach out at with any story ideas or tips, or follow me on Twitter @Noah_Kirsch.

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I’m a digital media executive recognized for building engaging content experiences that delight and inspire audiences. As Chief Product Officer of Forbes, I lead a team of world-class product managers, designers, e-commerce leaders, and other experts focused on building the products that shape the Forbes brand across the web, mobile, social, and emerging platforms.

I’m a London-based freelance journalist who specializes in all aspects of technology including reviews, investigations, comment and news. I'm a recovering founder of the investigative journalism focused YouTube channel, Point. I also write for The Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard, TechRadar, New Scientist and others. (Pronounced: jan-eye).

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Leah Koenig's writing and recipes have appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Epicurious, Food52, and Tablet, among other publications.

Leah is the author of six cookbooks including The Jewish Cookbook (Phaidon, 2019) and Modern Jewish Cooking. (Chronicle Books). In addition to writing, Leah also leads cooking demonstrations and workshops around the country and world. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.

Best Breast Pumps 2022

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