Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow Review
Pros: Lots of accessories, efficient, hygienic closed system
Cons: Price, unit doesn't keep track of anything, not very portable
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz