Best breast pumps 2022: tried and tested by parents

We've reviewed a range of the best breast pumps - including manual and electric, and both single and double pumps - to help you find the perfect choice for you and your baby.

Best breast pumps: a young mother hands holding full plastic breast pump bottle. Closeup. Preparing milk for baby feeding.
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

Buying a breast pump? Read our roundup of the best breast pumps – put to the test by parents – to help you choose which one is right for you.

A breast pump is an indispensable piece of kit if you're breastfeeding (opens in new tab). But it can be complicated to work out which are the best breast pumps for your needs.  To help you make up your mind, we invited a panel of mums to put the market-leading breast pumps to the test. Based on their candid feedback and honest, independent reviews (opens in new tab), here's our lowdown on which breast pumps are worth considering - and why.

Best breast pumps according to our consumer reviews:

Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Philips Avent

1. Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump

Best buy: highly efficient, quiet and comfortable

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Power
+
Comfort
+
Ease of use

Reasons to avoid

-
Not hands-free
-
Fiddly to position
-
Has to be held in place

We say: The Philips Avent Ultra Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump is an efficient breast pump that's quiet and comfortable to use. 

'This double pump is a godsend,' says our tester. She was delighted to discover that she could express between one and three ounces more breastmilk than usual whilst using this pump. She also loved that you can use it as a double pump to express from both sides in one sitting, increasing her yield even further.

Tested by: Darryl Hannah Baker, mum to daughter Cole, aged three weeks

'The only downside to this pump is that you have to physically hold the pumps in place,' she says. 'Unlike wearable pumps, you can’t position it inside your bra, meaning you literally have your hands full while you're expressing. This means you need to find time when you can pump and do very little else, which can be challenging. It's possible to balance the pumps on your knees so you can scroll through your phone or change the TV channel, but that’s about all.'

Verdict: Overall, this is an impressive, comfortable pump. Our tester found she used it less than other pumps because it's not hands-free, but says she found it powerful enough to make up for that. Impressive power and unrivalled comfort make it the best breast pump of all those we tested. It's ideal if you can dedicate time to pumping, and a good choice for mums seeking to increase their milk supply or pumping to relive symptoms of mastitis (opens in new tab).

Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Elvie

2. Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump

Best premium buy: a game-changing wearable pump

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Fits easily into your life
+
Truly hands-free
+
Easy to control

Reasons to avoid

-
Fiddly to position 
-
Shields warp easily 
-
Expensive

We say: The Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump is a completely hands-free, wearable breast pump that's small enough to fit neatly inside your bra. This means you can express discreetly anywhere from the office to a coffee shop without feeling conspicuous. It was a hit with our tester from the moment she unboxed it. No wonder it pops up so often on best breast pumps buying guides.

Tested by: Lisa Murphy-O'Reilly, mum to Arlo, aged three months.

'From taking this out of the box to everyday use and cleaning, it's clear that Elvie has put a lot of thought into making it as simple and hassle-free as possible,' she says. 

It has seven different settings so you can choose the intensity, and it's easy to adjust. But the standout feature is the fact that it fits in our tester's handbag and is discreet enough to use at work. 'You could easily use it in a busy office,' she says. 'The pump isn't completely silent but the noise would be drowned out in an open-plan office or restaurant. You couldn't wear a tight top and expect people not to notice, but you could definitely conceal it underneath a loose-fitting top.'

This isn't a budget option, but Lisa feels it's worthy of its price tag. 'It's an expensive product but the design, ease of use, the functionality of the app, and the overall appearance of the pump make it feel like a premium product,' she says. 'It also looks great and it's truly portable.'

Verdict: On balance, we'd recommend this breast pump to someone who loves gadgets and appreciates excellent design. It's the perfect pump for a busy mum who is prepared to spend a bit of extra money on a premium product that will truly make life as a breastfeeding mum that little bit easier.

A double version of this pump is also available to buy.

Nuby Double Digital Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Nuby

3. Nuby Double Digital Electric Breast Pump

Best budget buy - versatile, efficient and great value

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: No

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable
+
Time-saving
+
Comfortable and efficient

Reasons to avoid

-
It's not hands-free 
-
Lots of parts to assemble and clean 
-
Not discreet for pumping on the move

We say: The Nuby Ultimate Digital Double Electric Breast Pump impressed our tester before she had even put it to the test – mainly because it's such good value for money. 'Most double electric breast pumps cost considerably more than this,' she says. 'It was also fairly easy to clean and put together. While there are quite a few different parts, I got the hang of it quite quickly.'

Tested by: Deborah Cicurel, mum to Mia, aged six months.

'It has nine intensity levels, plus soft silicone breast shield cushions and a handy digital display with a clock so you can easily check how long you've been pumping. The silicone breast shield cushions are really comfortable and make for a pleasant, pain-free pumping experience, while the touchscreen digital display looks sleek and is also handy to use.'

This can be either mains or battery operated for flexibility when pumping. You can also use it as either a single or double breast pump, depending on what you need.

It's not handsfree, but this is easily rectified. 'You could buy a generic pumping bra to keep the pump in place,' suggests Deborah. 'This will free you up to play with your baby, work on your laptop or do anything that doesn't involve moving around too much while you express.'

Overall, this is a brilliant budget breast pump. 'It's so much more affordable than other double electric breast pumps and very comfortable to use,' concludes our parent reviewer.  'Most importantly, the pump gets lots of milk out by mimicking a baby's feeding actions, and I also really like that you can pump straight into the same bottles that your baby feeds from – anything that saves time with a little one is a huge bonus!'

Verdict: This is the best breast pump for anyone who likes value for money and prioritises time-saving. It's also a good choice if you're planning to pump at home rather than when you're on the go. 

The Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump, one of our choices for the best breast pump

Credit: Medela

4. Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump

Best for: speed and efficiency

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: No

Reasons to buy

+
USB charging point
+
A dream to clean
+
Fast and efficient

Reasons to avoid

-
None

We say: The Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump is a compact single electric breast pump. A favourite with mums globally, the iconic Swing Flex has been reborn with a sleek new look and extra features. 

Designed to fit into your life as easily as it fits into your handbag, it's light, compact, and quieter than the previous generation. The Medela Solo Single Electric Breast Pump now also includes an integrated USB rechargeable battery supporting up to six pumping sessions on a full charge. With a closed system to prevent milk from entering the tubing, the new model is easier than ever to use both at home and on the go.

Tested by: Catherine Hudson, mum to three-month-old Iris. 

'This breast pump really is the perfect tool for building up a stock of breastmilk for those times you need to be away from your baby,' she says. 'Mine came in really handy when I had nipple damage for a couple of days and had to pump to avoid mastitis. It has also meant that my partner has been able to feed our daughter with my milk, meaning I can have a go at a full night's sleep for the first time in over a year. Priceless!'

Verdict: Our tester feels the Medela Single Electric Pump 'really supports breastfeeding life' and is ideal for mums keen to invest in a fast and reliable breast pump that won't break the bank.

Mam 2-in-1 Electric and Manual Breast Pump

Credit: Mam

5. Mam 2-in-1 Electric and Manual Breast Pump

Best for: ease and convenience

Specifications

Electric: Both
Manual: No

Reasons to buy

+
No need to be plugged in
+
Manual and electric 
+
Anti-colic bottles

Reasons to avoid

-
 Expensive 
-
Took a while to express enough milk

We say: Find it difficult to choose between a manual breast pump and an electric one? Problem solved – this is definitely the best breast pump for that dilemma Simply swap the top of the pump unit to switch between manual and electric modes. 

It has stimulation and expression modes that mimic a baby's natural sucking reflex, plus nine different suction strengths that you can adjust to suit you. It has a sleek touchscreen that's easy to use. The pump can be plugged in or used on the go, thanks to the rechargeable battery, which lasts for around five hours.

The MAM 2-in-1 is compatible with Mam's full range of Easy Start bottles and Food Storage pots, which attach directly to the bottom of the pump. This is handy for time-pressed mums, allowing you to store your milk in the fridge or freezer easily.

Tested by: Annie Quinn, mum to Leo, aged five months.

Our parent reviewer was impressed by this pump before she even unpackaged it. 'At first glance, you can tell it's high quality – the box itself has lots of easy-to-read snippets of information on it,' she says. 'Each part is well packaged and presented, so you can immediately see each individual item. The instructions are very easy to follow, especially for someone who doesn't have a clue what they're doing! I was able to clean, sterilise and put it together with ease.'

Cleaning this pump is particularly easy. The top and bottom of the bottle come off so you can clean hard-to-reach areas. It also comes with containers for storing milk.

'I had previously tried a different combined electric and manual pump and just couldn't get on with it, but I managed to express four ounces on my first go with this,' adds Annie.

Verdict: Overall, our tester gave this pump a double thumbs up. 'It's brilliant and so comfortable,' she says. 'It's ideal for a new mum that would like a breast pump that's really easy and convenient to express with.'

Lansinoh Smart Pump 2.0

Credit: Lansinoh

6. Lansinoh Smart Pump 2.0

Best for: portability

Specifications

Electric or Manual:
Dishwasher safe:

Reasons to buy

+
Portable
+
Easy to operate
+
Very comfortable to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Less powerful than other pumps
-
You have to experiment a lot

We say: The SmartPump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump from Lansinoh is the brand's quietest breast pump, while still having adjustable hospital-strength suction levels. It has a backlit LCD display for easy reading, and large buttons to help control the variable suction speed and pumping style. The closed system design helps prevent milk from backing up into the tubing, which means easier clean-up.

The Lansinoh Smartpump 2.0 Double Electric Breast Pump is lightweight with an ergonomic carrying handle, so it’s easy to take to work or on holiday. It's also compact enough to carry around the house so you can carry on with normal life as you pump. It connects to the Lansinoh Baby 2.0 app (free from your app store) via Bluetooth to enable you to keep track of your feeding and pumping sessions.

Tested by: Nicky Poole is mum to William, 16 weeks.

'My first impression of this pump was 'Wow, this is seriously portable',' says Nicky. 'The device itself is lightweight but sturdy. It came complete with a cool bag with a little gel freezer pouch and a bottle holder/cooler.'

The instructions were easy to follow and the pump came assembled. 'That was great because pumps are often ultra-fiddly,' adds Nicky. 'I felt like this wasn’t going to be torture to assemble or use, and far less mechanical and 'bovine-like' than other pumps I've tried.'

The pump has three modes that mimic different feeding styles. 'It's easy to switch on and very gentle, so there’s zero risk of accidentally clamping your nipple in it when turning it off,' adds Nicky. 'It also 'remembers' your settings so you don’t need to fiddle around each time you use it. Plus there’s a timer on the screen, which is very useful.'

Verdict: Despite the variable suction levels, Nicky found she got less milk than she typically does when using her usual breast pump, although that's no indication of how well it might work for you. 'I’d say this make would be best for an infrequent pumper preparing to return to work, or for medium-light use.'

Vital Baby Nurture Flexcone Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Vital Baby
(Image credit: Vital Baby)

7. Vital Baby Nurture Flexcone Electric Breast Pump

Best for: cordless use

Specifications

Electric or Manual:
Dishwasher safe:

Reasons to buy

+
Strong suction 
+
Affordable price
+
Useful extras

Reasons to avoid

-
Touch screen is fiddly
-
Lots of parts to sterilise 
-
Not wearable

We say: This breast pump has 2-phase expression to help you express more milk in less time. The first phase stimulates your breast, while the second phase uses longer and slower pulses to encourage let-down.

It has nine speed settings in each phase, so it's highly adaptable to suit your preference. The ergonomic design makes this a good choice for taking on holiday or for use when you're out and about. It also comes with a handle, so you can use it as a manual pump if you prefer.

Tested by: Georgia Sharp and her son, Indigo, 11 weeks. 

'I hadn't heard of this brand before but on first impressions I liked the packaging and design of the product,' she says.

The pump comes in lots of pieces which makes it a bit fiddly to clean and re-assemble,  but Georgia found it easy and intuitive to use. 'I was able to produce a lot of milk in a single session, and found it really handy being able to pump directly into a bottle,' she adds.

It's easy to control via a touch panel and can be cordless when charged or plugged in with the USB cable provided. However, Georgia found the touchscreen a little temperamental. 'On two separate occasions I accidentally turned it off simply by picking it up and having my finger on the on/off button,' she adds. 'Also I couldn’t use my thumb with the touch screen – only my index finger.'

Verdict: Overall, this is a powerful pump that will appeal to anyone who wants the flexibility of a rechargeable unit. The battery life is good, and it's great value for money.

Tommee Tippee Double Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Tommee Tippee

8. Tommee Tippee Double Electric Breast Pump

Best for: high-volume pumping

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: No

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Handy milk storage
+
Rechargeable

Reasons to avoid

-
Changing modes is tricky
-
Not hands-free

We say: The Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breast Pump is a good choice for mums who need to express as much milk as possible in a short amount of time, according to our tester.

This small, discreet, and quiet breast pump has five massage modes that mimic your baby’s latch-on to stimulate milk flow. Once your milk starts flowing, you can choose from nine expressing modes. The soft, cushioned silicone cups are designed to be gentle on your breasts.

There's no backflow into the tubes, so every drop of milk gets saved. It's powered by a lightweight, slimline USB rechargeable power unit, giving you around 90 minutes of cord-free pump time.

Tested by: Anna Watt, mum to Joshua, 12 weeks old.

'I have a single electric pump already but as a working mum with a five-year-old and a three-month-old, I am short on time so every minute counts,' she says. 'I wanted to try a double pump in the hope of pumping twice as much milk in one go.'

Anna found the pump easy to assemble, with instructions that are clear and easy to follow. 'I really liked the light-up buttons on the power unit, which make it easy to use in dim light,' she adds. 'It also clearly shows when the pump is charging and at full charge; something I've found lacking in other pumps when you only realise it's out of charge halfway through use.'

The pump has good suction, with five massage settings and nine express modes. Anna found level two sufficient and was able to pump 6oz-3oz from each breast in less than 20 minutes.

However, a downside of this pump is that it doesn't automatically change from the initial massage motion to express mode. 'In order to do this you need to press a button on the power unit, which is tricky to do when you're using both hands to hold the handsets in place,' adds our parent reviewer. 

'Therefore, to make the most out of this pump, you really need to purchase a pumping bra. It would be great if the pump came with one, as you'd be able to enjoy a cup of tea whilst pumping, or rattle a toy to entertain your baby.'

In addition, the parts are easy to take apart to clean, and the pumped milk is easily stored as you don't need to pour it into other containers. 'You pump into the same bottle you use to feed your baby. Once you've finished pumping, you just twist off the bottle, put the lid on, and store it in the fridge. When you're ready to use the milk, simply swap the lid for a bottle teat.'

Verdict: All in all, this is one of the best breast pumps for busy mums who don't have much downtime, or who usually express out of the house. Anna feels this pump did exactly what she wanted it to, enabling her to pump twice as much milk as usual in the same amount of time.

Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump

Credit: Medela

9. Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump

Best for: ultra comfort

Specifications

Electric or Manual: Electric
Dishwasher safe: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very comfortable
+
Intuitive to use
+
Can be hands-free with the bustier

Reasons to avoid

-
Not hands-free
-
Cumbersome to hold 
-
Not silent

We say: The Medela Swing Maxi double electric breast pump is a portable electric breast pump which mimics a baby’s natural sucking rhythm. It's billed as the perfect pump for mums who want to express more milk in less time.

It has nine adjustable levels that let you find the right rate of suction. The breast shields are designed to put less pressure on your milk ducts than traditional breast shields, resulting in a more effective and comfortable pumping experience. It has a USB type C connector, as well as a built-in rechargeable battery. It lasts for up to six pumping sessions when fully charged.

Tested by: Lex Courts, mum to Idgy, aged seven months.

'I was looking forward to trying this pump,' she says. 'I had heard good things about this brand, and lots of people recommended it to me when I was shopping around for the best breast pumps. I was excited to try it out and see if it was as comfortable and easy to use as everyone said.

She found the pump very easy to assemble and use: 'After sterilising all the parts, it was intuitive to set up and start pumping. It's also compact compared to other pumps I've tried, and very comfortable – there was no pulling sensation or discomfort at all.'

Lex found this quieter than other breast pumps. However, it was still loud enough that she had to turn the TV volume up when expressing.

Overall, Lex thinks this pump is comfortable, efficient, and excellent value for money. 'It performs really well and the functionality rivals premium brands, but it costs considerably less,' she adds. 'It's not a cheap buy but you do get a lot of value.'

Verdict: To summarise, we'd recommend this as one of the best breast pumps for mums who don't want to spend a lot of money on an expensive premium pump, but who also don't want to compromise when it comes to overall functionality.

How do I choose a breast pump? 

A breast pump is a device that extracts breast milk from your breast so you can bottle-feed it to your baby or store it for later use. There are lots of reasons why you might invest in a breast pump. If you’re breastfeeding and need to be away from your baby for any period of time, a breast pump enables you to store breastmilk ready for a caregiver to feed to your baby. Perhaps you’re returning to work after maternity leave but want to keep breastfeeding. Or just planning an evening out or a night away and want to fill the fridge with milk that someone else can give your baby.

The biggest benefit of using a breast pump is flexibility. With breast milk stored in the fridge or freezer, you can leave your baby in someone else's care but continue to breastfeed when you’re together. Expressing means you’ll have a supply of breast milk and using a breast pump can also bring relief if your breasts are engorged. Some mums find that expressing can also help to increase milk supply. 

Best breast pumps: manual or electric?

The key thing to consider when buying a breast pump is which type of pump will suit you best. A manual breast pump is operated by hand – you squeeze the handle to express your milk into an attached container. They take a bit of effort to operate but they're also light and portable, so very handy for use on the go.

An electric breast pump automatically extracts your milk from your breast. For this buying guide, we tested mostly electric breast pumps as they’re more efficient than manual breast pumps. Of course, they’re also more expensive.

But if you only intend to express occasionally, a manual breast pump is really all you need. If you expect to express on a daily basis, by contrast, then an electric breast pump is a practical choice and a good investment. You’re likely to express more milk in less time if you use an electric pump.

Keep in mind that electric breast pumps need a power source. Some run on batteries but others need to be plugged in which limits your movements when you're expressing.

Not sure how often you’ll express? That can make it tricky to decide which pump you need. However, it’s worth going for a combined 2-in-1 breast pump as it can be used in either electric or manual mode. That way, you’ll be covered for both eventualities.

If you're pregnant and shopping for baby essentials, it's also worth choosing the best pram (opens in new tab) so you can get out and about with your baby with ease and one of the best car seats (opens in new tab) to ensure the safest travel with your most precious cargo.

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