The best breast pumps - electric manual, wearable, singles and doubles tested by mums
Breast pumps are a great choice if you need or want to express breast milk regularly, so we put them through their paces and asked real mums to recommend their favourites
Breast pumps are designed to help express breast milk regularly and efficiently while offering comfort and convenience. Here we’ve rounded up the best breast pumps as tested by real mums and midwives.
Breast pumps help you to collect your breast milk. They can also help increase milk supply, by simulating a baby’s feed and emptying your breasts to trigger more milk production. This is important if your baby is not able to latch or suck well, but you still want to give them breast milk, as you can give your baby stored breast milk in a bottle and possibly get your partner to take over a nighttime feed.
Expressing is also useful if you need to be away from your baby for any reason but want to continue to give breast milk – whether you’re going back to work or one of you is poorly. Some mums need to express because of inefficient feeding and to provide top ups due to a low milk supply. If you suffer from engorgement or over-supply, expressing can relieve discomfort and build-up.
To find the best breast pumps out there, we’ve researched and rigorously tested a range of different pumps. Each of our recommended picks have been used regularly and reviewed by breastfeeding mums with young babies. We also spoke to experts – such as midwives and lactation consultants – to see which products they recommend. We’ve combined all of this feedback to bring you the best breast pumps on the market.
Best breast pumps at a glance:
- Best breast pump for simple manual pumping: Tommee Tippee Made For Me Single Manual Breast Pump, £20
- Best breast pump and collector: Elvie Curve, £34.99
- Best breast pump for discreet pumping: Fraupow Wearable Pump, £79.99
- Best breast pump for electric and manual pumping: Vital Baby Nurture Flexcone Electric Breast Pump, £99.99
- Best affordable hospital grade pump: Minbie Hospital Grade Rechargeable Breast Pump, £159
- Best breast pump for wireless pumping: Lola & Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump, £126
- Best breast pump for powerful pumping at home: Ardo Alyssa, £180
- Best budget double electric breast pump: Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breastpump, £199
- Best budget single electric breast pump: Pippeta Wearable Hands-free Breast Pump, £59.99
- Best smart breast pump: Elvie Single Breast Pump, £269
- Best breast pump for multiple pumping options: MAM 2in1 Single Electric Breast Pump, £130
- Best breast pump for fast charging: Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump, £159
Manual vs electric breast pumps: what’s the difference?
Manual breast pumps
There are two types of manual pumps; ones that require you to pump using a handle, and ones that use vacuum suction in order to extract breast milk. The more traditional hand pump can take a fair amount of effort and time to pump a volume of milk, and it’s not always possible to adjust the level of suction, so these types of manual pumps are often more suited for occasional use.
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Vacuum suction pumps are newer and fit onto your breast like a suction cup. Once fitted (there is a knack to it) it will stay attached to the breast while the vacuum pressure extracts milk. These pumps often double as let-down milk collectors – meaning they collect small amounts of milk from the other breast while you're breastfeeding – making them more versatile than a hand pump.
Both kinds of manual pumps are cheaper, portable and tend to be more compact and weigh less than electric versions. They are usually quieter than motorised pumps and don’t need to remember to charge a manual pump or worry about batteries. However, in general they take much longer to express milk than an electric pump.
Many mums new to expressing may start with a manual pump to see whether expressing works for them, and then progress to an electric to produce more milk, more quickly.
Electric breast pumps
Electric pumps create suction using a motor powered by mains, USB cord or batteries.
Electric pumps create a rhythmic suction pattern and allow you to control suction strength and frequency, enabling you to pump larger volumes of milk in less time, but they are more expensive and often noisier and bulkier than manual ones.
Most electric pumps now have 2-phase programmes that are designed to closely mimic the way a baby feeds – light but fast sucking initially to stimulate flow, followed by slower and deeper sucks that draw out large quantities of milk – promoting greater comfort and efficiency.
There are now a number of wearable electric pumps that charge up and then slip into your bra for hands-free pumping, making them more convenient than something with trailing wires.
Which type of pump should you use?
Manual pumps are only available as singles because, well, you’ve only got one pair of hands and you usually need both – one to hold the breast shield in place, the other to pull the handle. They are good for occasional pumping, if you want to have the occasional bottle feed.
Let down collectors and silicone pumps can be used to empty full breasts. They are often more eco-friendly options, and they collect milk every time a baby feeds on the opposite breast, so no milk is wasted.
Medical or hospital grade pumps are powerful, robust, and durable. They are best for mums with low milk supply or engorgement, but are expensive and usually hired out to multiple mums, rather than purchased. There are some hospital-grade pumps available to buy if this is something you require for a long period of time.
Electric pumps are either sold as singles – which allow you to express milk from one breast at a time – or doubles – which enable you to extract milk from both breasts simultaneously. Electric pumps are great for those looking to express excess milk or to maintain their milk supply, particularly when returning to work. While double pumping cuts expressing time in half, they are more expensive (not twice the price of but certainly more than their single counterparts). They are also good for draining breasts with blocked ducts, engorgement or mastitis or when it’s too painful to breastfeed.
Wearable pumps are either manual or electrical. They offer more freedom than traditional pumps because they're self-contained and worn inside of the bra, where the milk is collected. They are not attached to any tubes and are wireless, making them more discreet than traditional electronic pumps. Wireless pumps have the motor, breast shield and bottle integrated in one unit and don’t require mains power or your hands to hold them in place, offering both discretion and freedom as you can carry on virtually as normal – be it at home or out and about.
What should I look for when buying a breast pump?
Type of use - There are so many reasons you may want to express, and this is key to deciding what kind of pump will suit your needs best. Frequent pumping with a double electric pump or medical pump may be needed when trying to increase a low milk supply or deal with engorgement. If you just need to pump occasionally, a manual or collector pump would suffice. If returning to work from mat leave you may want to discreetly express at your desk, so a wearable or manual pump could be best for you.
Portability - If you don’t want to be tethered to a plug socket while you pump, look for a pump that can run off batteries or a rechargeable power pack. This will mean you can move around while pumping. It’s worth mentioning that there are accessories such as specially designed expressing bras or bustiers that hold the breast shields and bottles in place give you a hands-free option for double and single electric pumps too. However, the wires and tubes of these pumps do still get in the way, making movement limited.
Price - Prices of breast pumps vary dramatically, with non-electric manual pumps starting at around £20 and high-tech, electric pumps that promise hands-free wireless pumping retailing up to around £200 – and up to £400 for a double. In between, a decent single electric hand-held pump will set you back around £130 to £150.
Second hand pumps - They are cheaper than brand new pumps, but generally not recommended by manufacturers. This is because plastic parts can deteriorate or become defective with frequent use and over time. If it is not a closed system pump it is possible for milk to be drawn up the tubing and into the motor housing and this could possible increase the risk of cross infection. Have a chat with your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding consultant before you buy a second hand pump, and if you do, choose a brand that sells spare parts so you can replace any worn out elements.
The best pump for you will depend on your needs and preference. As with virtually all parenting products, there are dozens of different choices on offer so if you’re unsure which breast pump is right for you, use our buyer’s guide to help you decide.
Here’s our pick of the best breast pumps for expressing milk in 2023:
1. Tommee Tippee Made For Me Single Manual Breast Pump, £20
– Best for simple manual pumping
Type: Manual | Hands-free: No | Power: Non electric hand pump | Awards: Gold – Manual Breast Pump & Milk Collecting Product, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This ergonomic and compact pump is small enough to fit into your hand for comfortable pumping, and into your changing bag for on-the-go expressing, with no need for batteries, tubes or wires.
Parent tester Hannah found the pump to be effective and commented that “I was able to easily express milk and it’s handy that the pump attaches straight to a bottle so I was able to give my baby the bottle as soon as I finished pumping”. It's designed to work with Tommee Tippee's range of bottles, including the ever-popular Back to Nature bottles we recommend for breastfed babies.
The pump also comes with easy to understand instructions for putting together the 7 parts, all of which are BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
At £20 the breast pump is definitely worth the money as it helps to ease discomfort with its soft silicone breast shield and to aided our tester’s breastfeeding.
However, our midwife and breastfeeding consultant Alissa pointed out that the pump “would be effective for mums with a well established supply but if you have a low supply, it wouldn’t be a good option.” It also only comes with a single flange size, so fit may vary for different people.
Pros: Compact, easy to use, comfortable
Cons: Not great if you’ve got low milk supply, no alternative flange sizes
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2. Elvie Curve, £34.99
– Best breast pump and collector
Type: Manual wearable | Hands-free: Yes | Power: None | Awards: Silver – Manual Breast Pump & Milk Collecting Product, MadeForMums Awards 2022
No longer will breast milk go to waste with this part pump, part milk collector. The Elvie Curve can be used as a manual suction pump to relieve a full breast, or to collect milk let down from one breast while feeding from or pumping on the other.
Comfortable, easy to put together and simple to use, the suction is created by a quick squeeze of the silicone pouch towards the breast, with a valve to ease off or release pressure – allowing you to reposition mid-feed with just a press. The pump sits in your bra and can collect up up to 120 ml of milk.
Like any silicone pump it takes some practice to position the Curve correctly but once the silicone pouch is pressed to create suction, parent tester Amber blown away by how comfortable it was to use, commenting; “wearing like this is was as comfortable as wearing nothing!” And because it’s worn inside your bra, it leaves your hands free and the lack of motor means it’s totally silent when expressing.
The only issue our testers experienced is that the suction tends to decrease if you move around “so it’s not as great on-the-go.”
Pros: Comfortable, silent, hands free, can be used to ‘catch’ let down as well as extract milk
Cons: Suction decreases if you move around, can only hold 120ml of milk
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3. Fraupow Wearable Pump, £79.99
– Best for discreet pumping
Type: Electric wearable | Hands-free: Yes | Power: Rechargeable battery with USB type C port | Awards: Silver – Wearable Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Small enough to wear and express while breastfeeding on the other breast, this lightweight, portable pump delivers up to 7 breast pumping sessions on a single charge.
Despite having no wires and no plugs, our testers report that the Fraupow has good suction, and it also boasts an anti leak lip and a storage capacity of 180ml.
This pump impresses with its simple assembly, affordable price and portability. Our parent tester Casmine, who tested this with her 2 month old, called it “A really useful pump that is extremely effective. I was worried that the suction might not be as strong as other pumps but it really was.”
Parent tester Alexandra said it was the “best product I ever tried. Comfortable to wear and easy to use. Portable as well, fits in my bag without any issues, has saved me time.”
Pros: Lightweight, discreet, comfortable
Cons: Not noiseless, need to remember to charge it
Available from: Fraupow
4. Vital Baby Nurture Flexcone Electric Breast Pump, £99.99
– Best for electric and manual pumping
Type: Single Electric | Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and rechargeable battery with USB type C port | Awards: Bronze – Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This effective pump has 9 speed settings and uses a 2-phase expression mode that promotes milk production. The Vital BabyNurture Flexcone pump is also hailed for its versatility as the electric pump is supplied with a manual conversion kit, making it a 2 in 1 option that saves you having to buy different pumps individually.
Our testers found this pump to be comfortable, easy to operate and easy to set up. Parent tester Clara, who tested it with her 3-month-old baby, found it to be quick, allowing her to “get cracking with expressing just minutes after getting it out of the box. There are quite a few components which might be overwhelming for a breast pump newbie but it's definitely not difficult to work out.” The pump allowed her to “express a good amount in a short time”.
Parent tester Ruth, who tested it with her 4 month old, said she could move easily between settings and speeds, adjusting the pump for what worked best at the time, saying: “Pumping is gentle but effective, making expressing quicker than ever; I can express enough for a feed in about 15 mins.”
On the downside, it's quite a top-heavy unit with a tendency to tip over so you do need to keep a tight hold of it. Our testers also reported that the buttons on the display are quite small and close together.
Pros: Easy to assemble, effective, affordable
Cons: The unit itself is top heavy, buttons are close together
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5. Minbie Hospital Grade Rechargeable Breast Pump, £159
– Best affordable hospital grade pump
Type: Double electric, hospital grade | Hands-free: No | Power: Rechargeable battery | Award: Silver – Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This hospital-grade pump has 8 stimulation and 12 expression modes, meaning you can customise for your comfort, a great feature that was noted by breastfeeding expert Zeenath Uddin.
The Minbie expresses quietly, despite being a powerful pump, and also has a backlit display that our mums loved, which can double as a handy night light for the 3am pumping sessions.
Testing this pump while exclusively expressing, mum Amy found the pump to be effective, saying, “I was happy with my previous pump, but since the Minbie has arrived I’ve not even looked at my other pump. It’s efficient, comfortable and easy to disassemble and reassemble after each clean, with no loss of suction.”
Hospital-grade pumps can be very expensive to buy outright, but this model offers a way of getting that power for a competitive price. Our parent testers did point out that it's a large and heavy model which does require both hands while pumping, and it comes with quite complicated instructions, but tester Charlie said, "I did get a good amount of milk from both breasts, around about 100ml - 120ml per breast in less than 30 minutes."
Pros: Efficient and powerful suction
Cons: Confusing instructions, loud beeping when pressing buttons, large pumping unit
Available from: Minbie
6. Lola & Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump, £126
– Best for wireless pumping
Type: Single Electric | Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and rechargeable battery with USB type C port | Award: Gold – Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Stylish and well-made, with no tubes or wires and a built-in smart touchscreen pump unit, the Lola & Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump has been designed to support positive postnatal recovery and the health and wellbeing of new mums.
It definitely looks the part, in muted colours with an embossed leaf pattern on the flange. Although aesthetics aren't top of the list when choosing a breast pump, it's a nice bonus that Lola & Lykke has put some thought into making this practical item feel a bit more glamorous.
Plus, it delivers on performance, too. There are only 5 parts to this simple pump, making it easy to put together and it features 4 pumping modes ; stimulation, expression, automatic and memory. When charged it lasts for 2 hours, and can be recharged quickly via a USB lead.
According to mum Katie, who tested this with her 1 month old: “I wish I had this pump with my first baby as it’s powerful with great levels of suction, the silicone flange fits the breast nicely, and does a fantastic job without being too loud. In just a few minutes, I was able to express a decent amount of milk.”
Pros: Extremely quiet, no tubes or wires, compatible with most standard bottles
Cons: Digital display screen overly sensitive
Available from: Lola & Lykke
7. Ardo Alyssa Double, £180
– Best for powerful pumping at home
Type: Double electric and medical | Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and rechargeable battery | Award: Gold – Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Ideal for mums with low milk supply or ones trying to increase milk production, this double electric pump has the power of medical pumps used in NHS hospitals and the comfort and functionality of home pumps.
The Power Pumping programme, with pre-set phases and pauses, mimics babies’ natural cluster feeding to promote milk production. Other features include a memory button that saves your session history and automatically reproduces it during your next session, which our parent testers felt was invaluable when using the pump as a double “while holding both breast shields in place.”
“Personally, this has been a game changer for me, as I used it right when needed. It has allowed me to increase my milk supply and have extra milk for my newborn,” explains parent tester and mum of 1, Hazelann.
The Ardo Alyssa is continuously credited with allowing mums to express more milk than other pumps, in one sitting. The instructions are easy tou understand, while the pump itself is easy to use, comfortable to use throughout and the associated smart phone app makes it easy to track how much milk is being expressed. On the downside, it is one of the most expensive on our list, and it's not hands-free.
Pros: Powerful suction, affordable, wide range of settings, memory mode
Cons: Need both hands to express or expressing bra, expensive
8. Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breastpump, £199
– Best budget double electric breast pump
Type: Double electric | Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and rechargeable battery | Award: Silver – Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Electric breast pumps are not a "budget" item, but at less than £100 for a double pump, the Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breastpump offers good value compared to the competition. It has 5 massage and 9 express levels it is powered by a USB rechargeable power unit you can charge it up and pump without needing a power supply. A full charge gives you over 90 minutes of power to pump on the go.
“I was able to express just under 120ml from one side in 8 minutes – and it was more comfortable compared to my usual hands-free pump,” revealed tester Carly, mum of a 3-month-old baby.
The flanges only come in one size, but parent tester Kristina, who tested this with their 4 month old, said, “the flanges were really, really comfortable and the silicone cups made a massive difference as I didn’t feel like there was any friction on my nipple when in express mode.”
On the downside, our testers all felt the instructions confusing, so this is best not used for the first time in a hurry.
Pros: Good suction power, all accessories included
Cons: Difficult to read instructions, noisy, only one flange size
9. Pippeta Wearable Hands-free Breast Pump, £59.99
– Best budget single electric pump
Type: Electric wearable | Hands-free: Yes | Power: Rechargeable via USB | Award: Bronze - Wearable Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
This wearable pump is hands-free, fits in your bra, has two different sized flanges, a 180ml capacity and two settings with 5 pumping levels, all for under £60. It's no wonder our testers loved it.
The Pippeta is simple to use, comfortable, and effective, despite its size. In fact midwife Alissa Pemberton, says the pump is “comfortable to the point you would hardly notice you are using it, helped by the soft silicone breast shields in different sizes to ensure the right fit for mum’s nipples.”
Anything wearable runs the risk of some leakage, but parent tester Jodie says: “It expressed and collected milk really well. There was a tiny bit of milk leakage, but I really appreciated the two different functions, and the five different levels. I felt like I had enough functionality to promote good milk flow, without it being too complicated.”
Pros: Simple to use, cheap and portable
Cons: May not be the easiest to clean, can leak a little
Available from: Pippeta
10. Elvie Single Breast Pump, £269.00
– Best smart breast pump
Type: Electric wearable | Hands-free: Yes | Power: Rechargeable via USB | Award: Gold – Wearable Electric/Battery Breast Pump, MadeForMums Awards 2022
Billed as the first silent wearable breast pump, all the parts of this high-tech pump are hidden away inside the minimalist white hub. The Elvie’s unique features are that it is completely tube-free, hands-free – it’s powered by an internal battery that can be charged via a USB cable so there’s no need for a power cord when it’s in use – and silent. It's discreet and designed to be worn inside your bra so you can, in theory, pump anywhere.
“This is a game changer as, instead of being chained to the sofa holding the breast shields and attached to a motor by wires, you can carry on as you were,” revealed MFM home tester Tamara. “I also found the pump so quiet, I could pump when we had company over, often without them realising.”
The lack of tubing also means there is no chance of breast milk getting sucked into tricky-to-clean plastic and fewer parts to clean and assemble, as MFM reviewer and mum-of-3 Gabrielle discovered, “putting the Elvie pump together took moments as there are only 5 parts.” The Elvie App is essential to control the pump remotely as, once it’s in your bra, it’s impossible to change the settings. “Plus, it allows you to monitor your milk production and track your pumping history for each breast,” commented Gabrielle. “Luckily, it’s easy to install and navigate, even for the least techno-savvy person or sleep-deprived mum.”
There have been reports that it can leak if you move around too much while pumping – bending over and moving too quickly can cause spillage – but there's no denying this pump revolutionised the market and paved the way for other wearables featured here, and it's still lauded as one of the very best. A double pump is also available (£499).
Pros: No tubes or wires, discreet, wearable
Cons: Expensive, does occasionally leak or spill
Read our full MadeForMums Elvie single breast pump review
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11. MAM 2-in-1 Double Electric Breast Pump, £200
– Best for multiple pumping options
Type: Electric and manual | Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and USB-powered rechargeable battery
Portable and versatile, this pump can be used as an electric double or single using either mains or battery power – and as a manual single. This “excellent, sturdy and durable pump is straightforward to use in both electric and manual modes,” according to home tester Hannah, mum of a baby and toddler.
There are 9 different levels for both stimulation and expression, which are controlled by a “sleek, modern display.” As a double, the pump can be set to different suction strengths on each breast and either dual or alternate pumping in 30-second cycles. Our tester Jessica, mum of a 3-month-old baby, found this variety allowed for “pumping personalisation” that led to a higher milk yield.
The motor unit is “roughly the size of a 500ml bottle, so definitely compact enough for travel“, and quiet too, while the battery can power the pump for up to 3 hours, which should get you through a day of expressing. The fact it can also be used as a manual increases your travel options too, making this a great choice if you want a powerful pump that can be used in lots of different ways.
There are plenty of extras in the box, including 2 milk storage pots, 2 anti-colic bottles, 2 extra-slow flow teats, silicone breast shields and covers. “The compatibility with MAM bottles is a standout feature that makes the whole process of pumping and sterilising much easier,” according to Hannah.
Pros: Variety of modes, bottles and storage pots included, long-lasting battery, feeding bottles fit directly into pump
Cons: No hands-free option, can’t pump directly into storage pots
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12. Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump, £159
– Best for fast charging
Type: Electric| Hands-free: No | Power: Mains and rechargeable battery with USB type C port
This is the next generation and enhanced version of the best-selling and award-winning Swing Flex breast pump from Medela, a brand synonymous with dependable and efficient breastfeeding products. The Solo uses the same “incredibly effective” 2-phase expression technology to mimic a baby’s natural sucking pattern but is lighter and more compact than its predecessor, largely because it has a built-in rechargeable battery rather than a compartment for disposable batteries. The battery charges via a USB type C connector – which charges faster than a micro-USB port – and lasts for up to 6 pumping sessions, making it a great choice for trips or long days in the office.
Parent tester Amy’s only complaint with the previous model was “how noisy it is”, but Medela claims the Solo is noticeably quieter compared to the previous generation.
The rubber-tipped, rotatable and wide-opening breast shields are still here, reducing pressure on the breast and encouraging, according to Medela, 11% more expressed breast milk per session – impressive when every drop counts. It’s also easy to use, with an intuitive control panel featuring just 4 buttons and 9 levels in stimulation and expression modes. Our only gripe? The control panel isn’t backlit, making it tricky to see in the dark.
Pros: Flexible breast shields, intuitive to use, easy and quick to charge
Cons: Not ideal for night pumping
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How did we choose our 10 of the Best?
When choosing these breast pumps, we considered factors including cost, pumping power, speed, convertibility, capacity, and comfort. We considered ease of cleaning and maintenance (including charging times). All the products on the list were tested by multiple breastfeeding mums to get first-hand feedback on how they perform in a real setting.
Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.
Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.
About the authorHazelann is an experienced journalist and was MadeForMums Editor for many years. She is a mum of 1 and has tested a number of breast pumps during her breastfeeding journey.
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