In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow Review

While this pump gets the job done with minimal fuss and includes lots of accessories, we think there are better pumps on the market that offer more for less
Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow
Credit: Medela
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:   $250 List | $199 at Amazon
Pros:  Lots of accessories, efficient, hygienic closed system
Cons:  Price, unit doesn't keep track of anything, not very portable
Manufacturer:   Medela
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Jan 9, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

The Skinny

The Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow is a closed system electric, double pump. This pump plugs into the wall, or it has a battery backup pack. The set includes lots of extras, more than any other pump we tested, including a pump bag, insulated milk storage bag, 4 bottles, and more. Testers appreciated how easy it is to use and the comfortable silicone breast flange. We like the more hygienic closed system that prevented the backflow of milk or condensation in the tubing. Unfortunately, this pump is not the quietest, and some testers felt it might wake a sleeping partner or baby. Also, it had a greater tendency than the competition to leave nipples sore with regular use. Overall, it isn't a bad pump, and there is much to love, but we think there are better pumps in this review that will cost you less.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Medela is a household name among new mothers, active in the pumping industry since the beginning, originating in Zug, Switzerland. The Medela Pump in Style has long been used as a staple, daily use pump, and the company sells their breast pumps and accessories in more than 90 countries. This family-run business places emphasis on breastfeeding babies. For more than 30 years, Medela has been selling pumps in the US.

Performance Comparison



Electric pumps do the hard work for you with variable suction and...
Electric pumps do the hard work for you with variable suction and speed so you can get pumping done efficiently and simultaneously from both breasts.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Likes


The Pump in Style Max Flow is a closed system pump that worked efficiently in our tests. Testers report it is easy to use with an intuitive setup and buttons that didn't require extensive manual reading to decipher. Our tester pumped about 3.5 ounces every 11 minutes on average during testing, putting it on par with other closed-system, electric pumps in this review.

Many of the modern-day pumps offer a variety of flange sizes as...
Many of the modern-day pumps offer a variety of flange sizes as everyone's nipples and breasts a different. If you experience discomfort you should consider trying a different size flange before throwing in the towel or blaming the pump itself.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The pump includes silicone breast flanges for increased comfort, and the new Max Flowz version of the Pump in Style is a closed system, which is a massive improvement compared to some of the other Medela pumps from a hygiene perspective. There is no condensation build-up in tubing and/or backflow of breast milk traveling to the motor.

The Pump in Style comes with an insulated cooler bag and a cold pack.
The Pump in Style comes with an insulated cooler bag and a cold pack.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The full package has lots of extras and accessories, including the pump, a stylish bag, pump parts, 4 bottles, and an insulated cooler bag with an ice pack.

The Medela user interface is easy to use but doesn't give any...
The Medela user interface is easy to use but doesn't give any information like what suction level you are on or how long you've been pumping.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Dislikes


This pump is louder than other closed system electric pumps we've tested. While it isn't prohibitively loud, it can be heard and could wake a sleeping partner in the same room. It has to remain plugged in, which makes for some tricky transitions if you don't plan ahead or have somewhere to set up all your supplies. It does have a battery pack, but it still isn't as transportable as much of the competition. Last, our tester didn't like that there is no screen with information, and unless you keep track of the time or setting yourself, you can easily lose track of your suction level or how long you've been pumping.

The Pump in Style comes with more accessories than most of the...
The Pump in Style comes with more accessories than most of the competition including a carry bag and insulated cooler.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


While our testers liked how easy and straightforward this Medela is to use and all of the included accessories for storage and travel, it struggled somewhat to keep up with the similar competition. This pump has a higher price than higher ranking pumps, and it has fewer onboard features with slightly more discomfort after regular use. Overall, it is a good pump, but there are others we would choose over this option. However, should you receive it as a gift or hand-me-down, we suspect you'll be just as pleased with the efficiency and ease of use as our testers were.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz