In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

AVENT Natural Comfort Manual Review

This pump gets the job done but with a few drawbacks including efficiency, comfort and hygiene.
AVENT Natural Comfort Manual
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Price:   $45 List | $31 at Amazon
Pros:  lightweight, portable
Cons:  uncomfortable, difficult to clean, inefficient
Manufacturer:   Philips Avent
By Lindsay Smith and Curtis Smith  ⋅  Mar 4, 2014
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Efficiency - 30% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7
  • Portability - 10% 8
  • Hygiene - 10% 4
  • Accoustics - 5% 9

The Skinny

The AVENT Natural Comfort Manual is a single breast pump offered by Philips, a tried and true company that many have come to trust. This pump does its job, but it wasn't our favorite manual pump for many reasons. The efficiency, comfort and hygiene left something to be desired, especially compared to the similarly functioning (and our Top Pick Award winner), the Medela Harmony Manual.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Philips is a very large company with a subset of breast pumps as well as other products available. This manual pump received a lot of positive reviews from moms on various websites, citing very few negatives. Overall we agree, as we found this to be a very efficient manual pump. Although it didn't score quite as high as our Top Pick Medela Harmony Manual pump, it was a close second. Read on to find out why.

Performance Comparison


A view of the breast pump with its protective cap designed to keep it clean during transport.
A view of the breast pump with its protective cap designed to keep it clean during transport.

Efficiency


We scored this pump at a 6/10 for efficiency. Once the pump is lined up correctly on your breast, it expresses a good amount of milk in a reasonable time. We did notice a slight draw back to its efficiency would be the rubber inlay. Many moms appreciate this rubber inlay on the breast flange for comfort, but when it comes to efficiency it has a couple of problems. Mainly it leaves less room for your breast which can cause your breast to be pulled sideways if it is not lined up properly. This often takes a couple of tries to correct.

Comfort


The rubber flange insert that might make pumping more comfortable for some  but for us  that wasn't the case.
The rubber flange insert that might make pumping more comfortable for some, but for us, that wasn't the case.
This pump scored a 5/10 for comfort. We scored this pump low on comfort due to the rubber inlay. While for some moms, it seems this is an aide to make pumping more comfortable, for others it seems to make pumping very uncomfortable. It's difficult to recommend this pump when there is such a split opinion on comfort, but for us, it just wasn't comfortable at all. It was the same problem we encountered with the AVENT Comfort Double Electric Pump in that if your breasts aren't lined up correctly, it creates what one of our testers called a "tittie twister event" which trust us, no mom wants! We found it more comfortable to take the rubber inlay out and pump with just the plastic flange. Of course this all depends on breast size, nipple size, etc…

Ease of use


We gave this pump a 7/10 for ease of use. All of the manual pumps are very easy to use with the exception of the work it requires from your hand. This pump requires you to empty each breast separately while using your opposing hand to work the pumping lever. We found the lever on this pump to be a little more labor intensive than that of the Medela Manual pump. Its the lever angle that is a little more harsh which requires a little more work from your hand.

Portability


Loaded up and ready to go.  The bag has a nice sturdy structure but also fairly tight quarters.
Loaded up and ready to go. The bag has a nice sturdy structure but also fairly tight quarters.
As with most of the manual pumps we tested, this pump scored well on portability. All the manual pumps are very portable, and can fit easily in your purse or a carry on bag for a flight. However, it doesn't come with a tote bag or insulated bag to store your milk in. It does come with one extra bottle so you can store up to 10 ounces of milk in a refrigerator without needing any other storage solutions for expressed milk.

Hygiene


This pump received a pretty low score for hygiene. It was difficult to pull each section apart and clean all the crevasses completely without finding dried up milk on the next pumping session. This is mainly due to the rubber inlay that creates the suction on the pump adapter.

Acoustics


This manual pump works quietly with a simple squeeze and release operation.
This manual pump works quietly with a simple squeeze and release operation.
This pump scored great on acoustics. All of the manual pumps are virtually silent, baring the sound of the lever actually moving to pump. This pump scored just behind the Medela Harmony Manual in the manual pump section for acoustics. It is a great, discrete way to pump especially if you are on a plane or in a public place that does not offer a lot of privacy.

Best Applications


This pump is best suited for a mom who plans on pumping less than once a week or as a companion pump for a mom who is planning a vacation or two during her time still breastfeeding or pumping. On a vacation, we'd still only recommend using it to provide a date night stash. Anything more than that you may want to check your double electric pump at the gate.

Value


The AVENT Natural Comfort Manual retails as the most expensive manual breast pump we tested, coming in around $45 list price. You can occassionally find better deals on it at various online retailers, but those sale prices are still usually more expensive than the other two manual pumps we tested. This pump is a good pump, but not comparable to the lower priced Medela Harmony Manual.


Conclusion


This is a good, portable, easy to use manual pump. It would be sufficient for your needs if you don't pump that often or are planning a trip or a date night. As stated, the rubber inlays in the breast flanges can be either a positive or a negative, as some moms seem to love them but we found them to be uncomfortable and to decrease our efficiency.

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Lindsay Smith and Curtis Smith