10 Best Breast Pumps for Mums in 2017

best breast pumps

Infant nutrition is very essential to their growth and development. And when it comes to infant nutrition, nothing can beat the superb nutrient profile of mom’s breastmilk. Unfortunately, because many of today’s women have exciting and very productive careers, they often don’t have the time to sit down and breastfeed their babies. Thankfully, there are nursing devices that can help today’s mums. Known as breast pumps, these nursing gadgets are proving to be an instant hit to career moms who would like to give their babies only the best nutrition Mother Nature has designed for them. As such we highly recommend getting a breast pump for yourself, a new mom friend, or even an expectant mom as a baby shower gift. Here are 10 of the best breast pumps you can choose from this 2016.

Top 10 Breast Pumps for Mums

Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast PumpSpectra Baby USA 5
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go ToteMedela4.8
Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast PumpPhilips4.6
The First Years Double Breast Pump, Quiet ExpressionsThe First Years4.5
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump StarterMedela4.3
Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast PumpPhilips4.1

1S2 Double/Single Breast Pump by Spectra Baby USA 

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One of the most talked about nursing devices in internet forums is the Spectra S2. This hospital-grade breast pump provides the power that modern moms need to supply their babies with only the highest quality of expressed breast milk but at a fraction of the cost of a real hospital-grade equipment. It was primarily designed to rival the Symphony from Medela but does so well in even surpassing it in some areas.

The Spectra S2 is a true closed system helping ensure that the expressed breast milk will not get contaminated by the moving parts of the machine. To accomplish this, there is a physical barrier that prevents the breastmilk from ever getting in contact with other surfaces so you can be sure that the breastmilk you are giving your baby is the same breast milk that was expressed from your mammary glands, no more no less. While it boasts of a 300 mmHg powerful suction, it’s super-quiet so it won’t disturb your baby while he or she is suckling on one breast and the Spectra S2 is expressing the milk from the other breast. And if baby is not nursing and you want to provide your little one with ample supply of milk, then you can use the Spectra S2’s double system.

The S2 is very easy to use. It has full LED display to notify you that it has initiated the “massage mode” at the touch of a button. This helps stimulate the mammary ducts and glands to start contracting. Within a few moments, just as the letdown reflex has been fully initiated, the Spectra S2 automatically switches to its “expression mode” where you can also easily control the level of milk expression. Normally, it produces slow but deep suction to mimic the way your baby nurses. You can actually program the rhythm and speed of the Spectra S2’s expression according to your personal preferences. It also comes with a night light so you can continue expressing milk even during the night without having to switch the lights on. It also has a timer feature so that your breasts won’t also get sore. 

What We Like about It – The Spectra S2 is one of the best breast pump we have in our list. We have seen a lot of parents who have tried using Mendela parts and accessories like flanges and tubing on the Spectra S2. While we don’t really recommend doing so, if you have a variety of Mendela products, it is comforting to know that you can use these on the S2 as well. What really impressed us about the S2 is its closed system design and its unique massage and expression modes. This helps ensure maximum supply of nutritious milk every time, all the time.

2Harmony Manual Breast Pump by Medela

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We can understand the apprehension of some mothers about using electronic devices in the expression of their breastmilk. As such, many still consider manual nursing devices to be a lot more sensible, not to mention more practical considering you are only going to use it for a few months. When it comes to manual breastmilk expression, Medela’s Harmony is a true best-seller. It’s lightweight and very portable that you can literally put it inside your bag for those once-a-week travel with baby. You can even express milk wherever you may be as long as you don’t expose yourself too much. At least, you won’t have to think about carrying rechargeable batteries or even bulky AC adaptors and then worry where you’re going to plug it into.

The Harmony features a unique and patented 2-phase breastmilk expression technology. The 1st phase is almost similar to the Massage Mode of the Spectra S2 wherein the breast is stimulated into initiating the milk letdown reflex. The 2nd phase is the actual expression or ejection of the milk from the mammary glands. The breastshield measures about 24 mm and we have seen some parents recommending using other breastshields of the same size. The breastmilk bottle also comes with both lids and a unique bottle stand so there’s no worry about the bottle tumbling. The suction is delivered through an ergonomic swivel handle, the forward part is for the 1st phase while the rear part is for the expression phase. Oh, we forgot to mention that it is BPA-free.

What We Like about It – If cost matters to you (not that it’s expensive as the Harmony is a fraction of the cost of electric nursing devices) and you have a flexible spending account, you can actually reimburse your expenses incurred on buying this product. Now, won’t that be great? The 2-phase expression technology is what really is amazing for a manual device like this. Cleanup is a breeze as well.

3Quiet Expressions Double Breast Pump by The First Years

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We find the Quiet Expressions quite unusual if only we are going to base it on the T-handle that joins one breast shield unit to the other for a double nursing device arrangement. Nevertheless, this handle should serve you well especially if you are too busy to be holding the Quiet Expressions with both hands. At least, you only get to use one hand while the other hand can continue keeping busy. The pump of the Quiet Expressions has 8 different levels of suctions that can be easily adjusted by pressing on the plus (+) or minus (-) buttons on the pump unit. This is powered either by electrical current or by 4 AA-sized batteries. What this simply means is that you can actually bring the Quiet Expressions to the park, grandma’s house, or even on an overseas travel as it also comes with a beautiful tote bag that can double as a storage for your other travel essentials. The Quiet Expressions comes with 2 uniquely shaped 4-oz milk bottles with storage lids and slow flow nipples.

What We Like about It – While the handle may seem odd at first, it does serve a very convenient purpose. But what we really admire about the Quiet Expressions is the 8-level settings of its suction as well as its flexible power supply. This should make for a great travel companion.

4Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote by Medela

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Many nursing units in hospitals have Medela units as a means of expressing breastmilk from their nursing patients. Now, you can have your very own Medela unit complete with a convenient carry-all tote bag that has been designed primarily to store and serve as a functional nursing unit. The Pump in Style Advanced with On the Go Tote is something that modern nursing mums should definitely have.

The powerful pump is already built into the On the Go Tote bag so there’s no need to carry a separate case just for the pump alone. It also has built-in bottle holders so you don’t have to fret about the milk bottles ever tumbling or spilling. The Pump in Style also features a storage pocket especially designed for the flexible tubing and which also allows for a more systematic organization of all the expressed breastmilk (EBM) essentials. The double pumping kit comes with patented PersonalFit breast shields. Inside the bag is a removable cooler bag complete with a contoured ice pack to keep your EBM fresh and free from spoilage. The whole system also comes with 4 milk bottles complete with air-tight lids.

Like the Harmony, the Pump in Style Advanced also comes with the very useful 2-phase breastmilk expression technology. Phase 1 is initiated with a single touch of a button while Phase 2 requires adjusting a control knob for managing the speed or rate of the pumping action as well as the force of the vacuum or suction. The unit is powered by a 9-volt AC adaptor and when you don’t have any electrical outlets around, you can also use the accompanying battery pack attachment which you must fill with 8 pieces of AA-sized batteries.

The On the Go Tote is made of microfiber and has been designed to be as fashionable as it is functional. You may be strutting your style to the office and no one will ever think that you are carrying a nursing unit slung on your shoulders.

What We Like about It – It’s easy to see why moms prefer the Medela over other brands, especially with the Pump in Style Advanced. You can now have a piece of hospital-grade equipment you can carry anywhere.

5Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump Starter Set by Medela

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Remove the On the Go Tote in the Pump in Style Advanced and you get Medela’s Starter Set. It only includes the pump unit complete with the dual pumping kit system, 2 PersonalFit breast shields, and a series of tubing that connects the pump to the 2-bottle system. It doesn’t have a removable cooler bag nor storage compartments that you get from the On the Go Tote variant of the Pump in Style Advanced. But it does have the patented 2-phase system for expressing breastmilk. The milk letdown reflex is initiated by pressing on the dedicated one-touch phase 1 button while expressing the milk is managed by controlling both the rate and force of suction. This effectively puts the control of BM expression right in your hands. And since there are no additional attachments, the Pump in Style Advanced Starter Set should be very easy to bring anywhere. And yes, it has the same dual power supply – 8 AA-sized batteries or a 9-volt battery pack with AC adapter.

What We Like about It – The Pump in Style Advanced Starter Set is, as its name implies, excellent for first-time nursing moms. This should introduce them to the convenience and efficiency afforded by these types of breast pumps. And with a name you can trust like Medela, what is there not to like?

6AVENT Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump by Philips

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If you’re a fan of Philips, then you might be interested in the AVENT Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump. It’s almost similar to the other electric nursing devices we have in this top 10 list except for the fact that the rhythm and force of the suction can only be set to three easy settings of low, medium, and high. But what is really fascinating about the AVENT Comfort is the way in which the pumping unit, particularly the breast shield, is designed to be at a certain angle that mimics the position of a baby nursing. This allows for more efficient expression of the breastmilk without you needing to reposition yourself. And while it does not have any fancy name for its automatic EBM technology, it nevertheless follows the same pattern as that of the Spectra and the Medela. Upon application of the breast shield and at the touch of a button, the pump goes to work first by gently massaging the breast to initiate the letdown reflex. Once sufficient milk is in the mammary ducts, it goes right into expression. The AVENT Comfort also comes with a travel bag so you don’t have to worry about purchasing a separate bag for it. It only runs on electricity, though.

What We Like about It – It’s the unique pumping kit angled design that we find very remarkable in the AVENT Comfort. This provides absolute relaxation and comfort on your part while pumping breastmilk. Some systems require you to stay in a rather forward leaning position so that the pump will be more effective. Not so with the AVENT Comfort. It’s the system that has adjusted to your position.

7S1 Double/Single Breast Pump with Rechargeable Battery by Spectra Baby USA

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If you are seriously considering on buying the Spectra S2 but are put off by its electricity-only power supply, then you might want to get the Spectra S1 instead. This closed system has technically all the same features of the Spectra S2 but with a more powerful suction at 350 mmHg (the Spectra S2 can only manage 300 mmHg; still powerful though) and, of course, the addition of a rechargeable battery pack that runs a full 60 minutes after a full charge. The Spectra S1 features the same closed system, the same 2-mode settings equivalent to the 2-phase milk expression system of Medela, the same timer and night light, and the same hospital-grade equipment you will find. Oh, the other difference is that the S1 comes in blue while the S2 is in pink.

What We Like about It – It’s the addition of the rechargeable battery that makes the S1 better than the S2. It has a more powerful suction, too. Unfortunately, ramping the suction to higher than what is necessary may not really be a good idea.

8AVENT Manual Comfort Breast Pump by Philips

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If you love the AVENT Comfort but just don’t think that it’s worth parting with that much dollars for a few months of nursing use or that you prefer a more portable and more convenient yet equally effective system of expressing breastmilk, then we suggest taking a look at the AVENT Manual Comfort Breast Pump. It’s technically like the electric version of the AVENT Comfort except that it is not attached to any other device. All you need is good old hand power to express the milk into the beautifully designed clear milk bottle. Like the AVENT Comfort, the Manual comes with the same signature angled design of its pumping unit. This makes for a really comfortable BM expression. Unlike other units where you have to reposition yourself to match the correct angle of the breast shield, the AVENT Manual Comfort is already engineered for optimum position.

What We Like about It – It’s lightweight, portable, and has the same unique angled design of the AVENT Comfort. At least, you can easily put the Manual in your shoulder bag.

9Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump with Independent Dual Control by BelleMa

If you like a slightly less expensive alternative to the Spectra S2, then you might want to consider the Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump. It features a closed system design to help ensure safe and high quality breastmilk all the time and a 9-level adjustable suction power, albeit lower at only 240 mmHg compared to the S2’s 300 mmHg. Nevertheless, the Effective Pro also comes with a 2-phase pumping mechanism for stimulating the milk letdown reflex and the actual expression of milk. It can be used singly or double with a touch of a button.

What We Like about It – The Effective Pro may not have a “hospital-grade” tag but it sure does serve its purpose really well. It’s the closed system that is remarkable. Its memory feature is also a welcome addition to its usefulness.

10Swing Breast Pump by Medela 

If you are the type of mom who doesn’t pump breastmilk on a regular basis, you might be interested in the Swing Breast Pump. You can think of the Swing as an oversimplified version of the Pump in Style Advanced or a revved up version of the Harmony. It has a very lightweight and compact motor that can fit right into your small bag. The unit is powered by 4 AA batteries or directly plugged into an electric outlet. It has the same 2-phase expression technology plus simple controls for adjusting the rhythm and force of the vacuum.

What We Like about It – It’s from Medela so quality is never a question. Its lightweight design is something that we know you will also love, not to mention its AC/DC power supply feature.

How We Chose the Top Breast Milk Pumps in Our List

It’s never easy to choose a product that you know will make a very big difference in the lives of very young children. Nevertheless, we did try to be as objective as possible in our effort to bring to you the top 10 breast pumps for mums.

First, we had to make sure that the design of the pump is one continuous system. Human breastmilk is a very sterile fluid that contains all the right nutrients including maternal antibodies that kids will need to help them ward off infections in the crucial first 6 months of life while they are still in the process of building their immune system. It is very important that the sterility of the breastmilk is maintained from the time it leaves the mammary glands until they reach your baby. This is very important because breast milk contamination is a very serious issue. As such, we had to look for nursing devices that are designed to be a closed system. If there are additional ports, we had to make sure that these do not introduce unnecessary microorganisms or even unwanted substances into the milk. What we want is a breastmilk that is as fresh and as sterile as if baby will be suckling directly from mum’s breasts.

Secondly, we had to look at the different features of the device. Many moms experience the milk letdown reflex while babies are nursing on one breast. This means that one breast is being suckled on by baby while the other breast is dripping with milk. That is why devices have to be ultra-quiet so they don’t disturb baby while he or she is nursing. This helps ensure that no breast milk is ever wasted.

Third, some companies really do provide excellent products. Their reputation is largely at stake. So, we had to make sure that only manufacturers with unparalleled credibility will be included in our list. To help us determine whether a manufacturer is worthy of inclusion, we had to consider the feedback, reports, or reviews of countless customers especially moms who have already tried and used the product. If the company has been recognized for its design, then we’d factor this as well.

We never thought that we’d be able to come up with the 10 best breast pumps for mums. But, with the dedication of our research team, we were able to create a very definitive list of the world’s top 10 breast milk pumps for today’s modern moms.

The Many Benefits of Breast Milk

If you are still wondering why a lot of modern women are preferring to give their babies breast milk even if they don’t breastfeed them themselves, then you just have to take a look at the following benefits of breast milk.

  • It provides the most complete nutrition for babies. Breast milk contains all the right and important nutrients in the correct composition and in the right amounts. In the first 6 months of your baby’s life he or she will never need anything else other than breastmilk.
  • It contains a lot of healthy and highly beneficial fatty acids that will help in your infant’s brain development. This provides the foundation for your baby’s cognitive development and help define how well he or she will think, learn, and solve problems as well as other cognitive processes.
  • The nutrient molecules found in breast milk are already in their simplest forms. This means that these are easily digested so your baby will not have any issues about food intolerances or even malabsorption syndromes that can produce stomach upsets and other physiologic complaints.
  • Breast milk has an abundant supply of antibodies which help protect your little one from infections especially those that develop in the respiratory passages, the gastrointestinal tract, and the ears. These antibodies as well as other protective substances can also guard your child against the development of type 1 diabetes mellitus. This is especially true for the first breast milk known as colostrum.

Breast milk is very beneficial in our babies’ overall heath and development. That is why even if we are too busy with our careers, we can still provide them with breast milk by expressing these into bottles which they can feed on at a later time. Of course, if we can breastfeed them ourselves, then it will be a lot better.

The Bottom Line

Breast pumps are very important tools in helping our babies obtain the best nutrition without sacrificing our careers and our modern lifestyle. With our list of 10 of the best breast pumps for mums, you can now be assured of a healthier baby regardless of how busy you may be.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!


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