In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

The 4 Best Breast Pumps of 2024

We tested the top breast pumps from Spectra, Medela, Baby Buddha, Elvie, and more to find the very best
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Best Breast Pump Review (Breast pumps come in various types, including manual pumps and electric pumps. Each type caters to the different needs...)
Breast pumps come in various types, including manual pumps and electric pumps. Each type caters to the different needs of breastfeeding moms.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Friday May 17, 2024

Looking for the best breast pump? We've got you covered. We've been testing breast pumps since 2013, and this review compares the ten best pumps on the market today. We've scoured the market and purchased well-loved and promising contenders for extensive hands-on testing. A breast pump is a nursing mom's trusty sidekick during lactation, only outdone by her baby. A well-considered selection is worth its weight in the liquid gold it helps express. However, selecting the right pump is easier said than done; breast pumps are far from one-size-fits-all. We put each product through rigorous testing to see how they perform, and we took into consideration user feedback. We evaluated influencing factors like efficiency, comfort, ease of use, portability, hygiene, and more. Our review can help you find the best pump for your needs and budget.

Babies can have an appetite like an all-you-can-eat buffet, demanding to eat when hunger strikes. Our list of favorite nursing gear covers all the bases, whether you're exclusively breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your baby. If you're on the move with your breast pump, consider a stylish and functional top-ranked breast pump bag.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on May 17, 2024, with an update on how we test and buying advice. With updated testing methods, we purchased and evaluated each of the ten best breast pumps available today on November 16, 2023.

Top 10 Breast Pumps - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 10
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award   
Price $216 List
$217.57 at Amazon
$190 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$33 List
$20.81 at Amazon
$172 List
$129.99 at Amazon
$120 List
$119.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
79
72
67
65
64
Star Rating
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Pros Efficient, comfortable, built-in battery, user-friendly, various settingsPortable, on-the-go use, offers excellent efficiencySimple operation, portable, easy to assemble, budget-friendlyHelpful features, several setting options, easy to use interface, great efficiencyNo outlet required, wearable, simple interface
Cons Cost, bulky, multiple partsComplex cleaning, non-intuitive interfaceSingle pump, hand fatigue, can develop squeaky noiseRequires outlet, bulky, large size inhibits portabilityNo timer, cup can leak, lacks strong suction power
Bottom Line A high-quality, efficient breast pump that's hard to beatA portable breast pump with a powerful suction that may be excessive for some usersA simple and portable manual option that is great for certain situationsDespite its need for an outlet, this pump impresses with its strong suction, comfort, intuitive interface, and relatively low noise levelA hands-free pump is tube-free, portable, and quiet but raises some concerns, such as suction power
Rating Categories Spectra S1 Plus Baby Buddha Lansinoh Manual Bre... Spectra S2 Plus Momcozy S9 Wearable
Efficiency (35%)
9.6
7.9
5.7
6.8
5.0
Comfort (25%)
7.8
6.9
5.9
7.8
6.6
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
7.4
8.2
8.0
6.6
Portability (15%)
5.5
7.6
8.3
2.7
8.5
Hygiene (10%)
6.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Spectra S1 Plus Baby Buddha Lansinoh Manual Bre... Spectra S2 Plus Momcozy S9 Wearable
Measured Ounces per Minute 0.55 0.45 0.28 0.28 0.20
Measured Suction 250 mmHg 290 mmHg 200 mmHg 270 mmHg 230 mmHg
# of Suction Settings 12 14 2 12 2 modes and 5 suction levels
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 3.1Ibs 1.1 Ibs .2 Ibs (one bottle) 2.9 Ibs 1.1 Ibs
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 21mm, 25mm, 30.5mm, 36 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, 24mm, 27mm
Open/Closed System Closed Closed Closed Closed Closed
Capability Double Double Single Double Double
Power Source Rechargeable Battery Rechargeable Battery Manual Plug-in Wall Adapter (must be plugged into wall outlet at all times) Rechargeable Battery
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life Up to 3 hours Up to 1 hour n/a n/a Up to 1.2 hours
App No No No No No
Night Light Feature? Yes No No Yes No
Measured Weight 2.9 Ibs .8Ibs .3 Ibs 2.7 Ibs .5 Ibs
Included Bottle Holder or Base? Yes - one built-in bottler holder Yes - bottle base Yes - bottle base Yes - one built-in bottler holder No
What's in the Box 2 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 Spectra Tubing
2 Spectra Duckbill Valves
2 Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
2 Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, disc, cap, and cover for each bottle
1 Spectra 12V AC Power Adapter/Charger
Baby Buddha Rechargeable Breast Pump Unit (Black)
2 24mm Flanges
2 Sets of Duckbill Valves
1 Pair of Silicone Diaphragms
2 Bottles
2 Bottle Bases
2 Bottle Storage Caps
2 Bottle Hygiene Covers
2 Pump Covers
3 detachable tubes & T-connector.
USB-C Charging Cable (charge to full in 4 hours)
Lanyard
Carrying Tote
2 ComfortFit® flanges (25mm & 30.5mm)
1 Lansinoh® breastmilk storage bottle (5oz)
1 Manual Pump Body, stem, handle, silicone diaphragm
1 White valve
1 Bottle stand
1 Bottle cap and bottle collar
1 NaturalWave® slow-flow nipple
1 Bottle storage lid
2 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 Spectra Tubing
2 Spectra Duckbill Valves
2 Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
2 Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and cover for each bottle
1 Spectra 12V AC Power Adapter/Charge
2 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 Spectra Tubing
2 Spectra Duckbill Valves
2 Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
2 Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, disc, cap, and cover for each bottle
1 Spectra 12V AC Power Adapter/Charger


The Best Breast Pumps for 2024


Best Overall Breast Pump


Spectra S1 Plus


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Efficiency 9.6
  • Comfort 7.8
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Portability 5.5
  • Hygiene 6.0
Power Source: Rechargeable Battery
REASONS TO BUY
Efficient
Easy to use
Valuable features
REASONS TO AVOID
Bulky
Heavy
Costly replacement parts
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Suction 250 mmHg
Measured Ounces per Minute  0.55
# of Suction Settings 12
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 3.1Ibs
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm
The Spectra S1 Plus is a popular choice among breastfeeding moms for a good reason. It is the one we recommend to friends and family looking for an easy-to-use, effective, and quality pump. With a rechargeable battery, you can pump wherever and whenever you need to. One of its key features is the strong and adjustable suction power, featuring 12 suction levels and different cycle speeds, catering to a wide range of preferences. A 270 mmHg suction level expresses more milk in less time than most competitors. Tester Gena Bradshaw remarked, “The efficient performance was impressive for both rounds.” This pump comes fully assembled with an easy-to-understand manual. Its closed system design prevents condensation build-up in tubing and microbial growth in the motor, which means that in the long term, the inner workings will remain in good shape, and breastmilk stays pristine. With a relatively quiet operation, you can pump without disturbing a peacefully sleeping baby or your partner.

This machine is bulkier and heavier than some breast pumps, which may not suit those seeking a compact and lightweight pump. Our tester, Gena, stated, “The S1 is a more substantial option than some competitors.” However, the Spectra S1 Plus is more portable than the Spectra S2 Plus as it has a built-in rechargeable battery, while the S2 Plus requires an external power source. Budget-conscious buyers might also hesitate due to its relatively higher price tag. But the Spectra S1 Plus offers superb pumping efficiency and has handy extras like a built-in nightlight, timer, bottle holder, and memory function that saves the prior setting. We think it's worth the investment.

Read more: Spectra S1 Plus review

Using a Medela Vacuum Gauge, we measured the vacuum or suction pressure produced by each breast pump at its highest level. This video shows the Spectra S1 Plus, an efficient pump among the group.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Budget-friendly Expressing Buddy


Baby Buddha


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Efficiency 7.9
  • Comfort 6.9
  • Ease of Use 7.4
  • Portability 7.6
  • Hygiene 5.0
Power Source: Rechargeable Battery
REASONS TO BUY
Portable
Rechargeable power source
Simple to use and clean
REASONS TO AVOID
Aggressive letdown suction
Loud
Timer in minutes only
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Suction 290 mmHg
Measured Ounces per Minute  0.45
# of Suction Settings 14
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 1.1 Ibs
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm
The Baby Buddha is well-liked for its compact and lightweight design, allowing you to stash it in your purse or diaper bag. Its lanyard-style design provides a higher degree of mobility. It has a strong suction power of 290 mmHg in our tests, and it offers customizable settings with 14 total settings. Our lactating tester, Veronica, noted, “I wasn't rushing to pump again from being engorged.” We think there's flexibility to find the right level of comfort. The rechargeable battery offers one hour of pumping and can be used while charging. The package includes useful accessories, like a lanyard for wearing the pump, a simple carry tote, detachable tubes, a t-connector, collection bottles, and 24mm flanges lined with comfortable silicone. Our tester states, “The Buddha latched on well and with few adjustments to achieve the best performance.” It also has a relatively wallet-friendly price that could be the right fit for some budgets.

Some users find the suction power too strong during the letdown phase, which might be uncomfortable for those with sensitive breasts or nipples. An electric pump like the Spectra S1 Plus offers several adjustable suction levels to cater to different comfort needs. Also, this pump is louder than some, and its user interface measures time in minutes, not seconds, which might be a minor inconvenience. Our tester noted, “The Buddah is louder than a vibrating phone alert.” Considering that some competitors don't measure the time at all, this is better than nothing. Overall, the Baby Buddha pump delivers a solid performance at a budget-friendly price.

Read more: Baby Buddha review

During our efficiency tests, the Baby Buddha demonstrated a suction level of 290 mmHg. While this is lower than the manufacturer's claim, it was among the highest readings among the competition.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best for On-the-Go Pumping


Elvie Stride


58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Efficiency 3.1
  • Comfort 6.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Portability 8.8
  • Hygiene 7.0
Power Source: Rechargeable Battery
REASONS TO BUY
Portable
Awesome app
REASONS TO AVOID
Subpar suction
Disappointing quality
Price
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Suction 170 mmHg
Measured Ounces per Minute  0.12
# of Suction Settings 2 modes and 10 suction levels per mode
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 1.1 Ibs
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 21mm, 24mm, 28mm
The Elvie Stride has gained attention for its standout feature of being a wearable design that fits inside your bra, allowing for hands-free pumping. The pump is extremely quiet, providing a discreet pumping experience whether you're at work or on the go. Our tester noted, “The Elvie was really quiet and could barely be heard above the ambient office sounds.” It offers two modes and ten suction levels per mode, so you can cater to your comfort needs. It is battery-powered with two hours of pumping on a single charge. It comes with an app that allows you to track your pumping sessions and control the pump remotely.

Some users find the wearable design uncomfortable or unsuitable for their body shape. Our lactating tester felt, “I couldn't get a consistent latch once the canal was wet.” While the app provides useful features, it relies on a device connection, and this may not be ideal for those who prefer a standalone pump without tech dependability. Also, it tends to be pricier compared to some options, which could deter those looking for a budget-friendly option, like the Baby Buddha. However, the Elvie Stride offers convenience and customization, which may be an attractive option for those looking for a hands-free pumping experience.

Read more: Elvie Stride review

Cleaning the Elvie Stride was uncomplicated.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Manual Pump


Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump


67
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Efficiency 5.7
  • Comfort 5.9
  • Ease of Use 8.2
  • Portability 8.3
  • Hygiene 8.0
Power Source: Manual
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight & portable
Budget-friendly
Quiet
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires repetitive hand motion
One breast at a time
Not suitable for frequent pumping
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Suction 200 mmHg
Measured Ounces per Minute  0.28
# of Suction Settings 2
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles .2 Ibs (one bottle)
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 21mm, 25mm, 30.5mm, 36
The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump is a budget-friendly, straightforward pump that's most suitable for occasional use. It's particularly handy if you don't require an electric pump regularly but need one for situations like dealing with plugged ducts or engorgement. Once your baby transitions to eating more solids and has fewer nursing sessions, this manual pump can relieve and alleviate discomfort during longer breaks between feedings. It has a two-mode operation, offering both letdown and expression modes. The kit includes a 5 oz storage bottle with a stand and two ComfortFit flanges in sizes 25 mm and 30.5 mm.

Manual pumps require effort, which might be physically demanding for many users, especially if you have any physical limits. Our tester reports, “It only got a small amount of liquid expressed with each pump; it was exhausting.” Also, it only pumps one breast at a time, so it will take longer if you need to express milk from both breasts. An electric pump, like the Spectra S1 Plus, might be better for building milk supply and regular use. Despite these considerations, this pump is an excellent choice for those seeking a manual pump, and it's virtually silent. It can be a helpful tool for busy moms who need a quick solution; as one tester put it, “It was nice to get a little relief from engorged breasts without setting up the electric pump.

Read more: Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump review

The compact and lightweight design of the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump is certainly a plus. However, the suction only pulled a minimal amount of milk with each pump.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Notable: Passive Letdown Collection Container


Haakaa Gen 1


51
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Efficiency 3.2
  • Comfort 2.4
  • Ease of Use 7.4
  • Portability 10.0
  • Hygiene 8.0
Power Source: Manual Passive
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight and portable
Easy to use and clean
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Not for everyone
SPECIFICATIONS
Measured Suction n/a
Measured Ounces per Minute  0.19
# of Suction Settings 1
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 0.2 Ibs (one cup)
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 30mm
The Haakaa Gen 1 is not an award winner, but it is an option we think fills a niche many women might not know about. Since it isn't like a traditional breast pump, it didn't perform well in testing. But it fits a niche. It's an inventive solution for passive breast milk collection. Made from soft silicone, this contender attaches to your breast and works with one single, long suction pull with no repetitive hand pumping. This option works particularly well for moms with a strong letdown and issues with milk leakage during nursing sessions. Our lactating tester remarked, “It isn't really a pump. It just encourages flow when you're engorged.” It's also a valuable addition for those who can easily hand-express breast milk. It's a breeze to clean, and many moms appreciate using it to collect extra milk instead of wasting it on nursing pads.

The suction can come loose if the pump is not attached well or if your baby kicks while nursing, which might lead to a milk spillage situation. But, for most users, the suction usually stays well in place without much trouble. Our testers felt, “The Haaka might not be the best for bigger breasts, as the cup might not be able to latch efficiently.” Also, the Haakaa is not a closed system. Considering that most of the contenders in our lineup have closed systems, such as the Spectra S1 Plus, we suggest looking elsewhere if that's important to you. Some users experience trouble coordinating the Haakaa with a breastfeeding baby on the opposite side. While it might require a touch of trial and error, most users feel that mastering the Haaka is worth the initial learning curve. Overall, we think this affordable solution is great for those with abundant milk production or those interested in collecting milk passively while nursing.

Read more: Haakaa Gen 1 review

The Hakaa Gen 1 collects breast milk passively without requiring manual pumping or power.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Second Hand Pumps
Although it's not recommended, if you do choose to use a previously owned, single-user closed system pump, it's crucial that you buy brand-new accessories for hygiene and safety reasons. This includes new tubing, breast flanges, bottles, lids, membranes, and valves.

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
79
Spectra S1 Plus
Best Overall Breast Pump
$216
Editors' Choice Award
72
Baby Buddha
Budget-friendly Expressing Buddy
$190
Best Value Award
67
Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
Best Manual Pump
$33
Top Pick Award
65
Spectra S2 Plus
$172
64
Momcozy S9 Wearable Breast Pump
$120
58
Elvie Stride
Best for On-the-Go Pumping
$270
Top Pick Award
57
Medela Harmony with Flex
$42
55
BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump
$80
55
Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow
$215
51
Haakaa Gen 1
Notable: Passive Letdown Collection Container
$23

breast pump - we have comprehensively tested and evaluated a wide range of breast...
We have comprehensively tested and evaluated a wide range of breast pumps, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each, helping you make an informed decision based on your needs.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

How We Test Breast Pumps


Since launching BabyGearLab, we've purchased and thoroughly tested over 25 different breast pumps. In this latest update, we've included the best options available today. Over several months, we subjected each pump to rigorous testing, assessing factors such as efficiency, comfort, ease of use, portability, hygiene, and more. To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, we enlisted help from breastfeeding moms who used each pump extensively and provided valuable feedback from their firsthand experiences. We combined our hands-on and lab testing findings to create a complete picture of each breast pump's strengths, weaknesses, and pumping performance.

Our testing of breast pumps is most heavily weighted on Efficiency and Comfort as we believe these factors impact your satisfaction with a breast pump more than the others. Our complete set of 5 test metrics and their weighting include:

  • Efficiency (35% of overall score weighting)
  • Comfort (25% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (15% weighting)
  • Portability (15% weighting)
  • Hygiene (10% weighting)

Our exhaustive and detailed testing process provides you with the critical information needed to make a well-informed decision. We meticulously examined various metrics and completed more than 25 individual tests per breast pump. With test results and breastfeeding mom input, we score and rank products to award our top picks.

Why Trust GearLab


Our breast pump review at BabyGearLab is led by Dr. Juliet Spurrier, our founder and mom-in-chief. As a mother of two, Dr. Spurrier combines her personal experiences as a breast pump user with her impressive qualifications as a board-certified pediatrician and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to shape our review testing standards and product selection. Other contributing team members include Senior Review Editors Wendy Schmitz and Molly Bradac. Wendy is a mother of two who breastfed her children and used multiple pumps while navigating the challenges of being a working mother and maintaining a milk supply. Spoiler alert… she still struggled (it's normal). Molly holds over 15 years of experience as a professional nanny and newborn care specialist. Her background also includes lactation education and support for breastfeeding moms. Molly leverages her knowledge and expertise to contribute valuable insights to our breast pump review. In addition to our team, we gathered feedback from pumping mothers who generously shared their thoughts and firsthand experiences with each pump.

How to Pick the Best Breast Pump


Choosing the right breast pump can be a challenging decision—there are so many brands and styles out there! Even if your seasoned friends swear by their favorites, it's essential to recognize that your pumping journey may differ from theirs. Finding the one that suits your needs can help in your breastfeeding or breastmilk efforts.

Pick a Type


Breast pumps fall into two main categories: manual and electric. Each type has its own pros, cons, and costs to consider. In the following sections, we will explore both types to help you determine which one best meets your unique requirements. Sometimes, a combination of both might be the most practical approach.

The Medela Harmony with Flex, a manual pump, features a stimulation mode activated by pressing the smaller handle section with the droplets icon and an expression mode engaged by using the longer, larger part of the handle.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Manual Pumps


Manual breast pumps require the user to do the work and only express one breast at a time. They work by using a flange and a lever that you squeeze and release to create suction. These pumps are great for times when a mom doesn't need to pump very often. Once a mom's milk supply is well-established, manual pumps can be handy for travel, quick relief from engorgement, or to address temporary leaks. They are less expensive than electric pumps and are easy to carry around because they're small and lightweight. You can take them in your purse when you're going out. A top-notch manual pump should make the expression process easy and efficient.

The Spectra S2 Plus has a closed system design, meaning there's a barrier between the breast milk and the pump's motor. This helps prevent milk from entering the pump's tubing, reducing the risk of contamination.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Electric Pumps


Electric breast pumps operate using a motor that's powered by electricity. Some electric pumps offer innovative designs with rechargeable batteries, allowing you to move while pumping. They are available in single (pumping one breast at a time) or double (pumping both breasts simultaneously) versions. If you ever need to pump only one breast, most pumps can easily convert a double pump into a single by closing off one of the suction ports where the tubing attaches. Electric pumps are generally best known for their power and consistent pumping rhythm, making them more effective and efficient than manual pumps. This efficiency helps maintain a good milk supply and saves time. If you find yourself needing to pump frequently, especially if you're a working mom or exclusively feeding your baby with expressed breast milk, investing in a double electric pump is a good idea.

Home or Away


Pumping away from home regularly is probably best completed using an electric pump as it is fast and easy to do multiple times a day without much effort. However, if you need a quick manual expression for relief, then an electric pump might be overkill. Alternatively, pumping at home with a manual option can be exhausting if you hope to get a significant amount of milk.

How Often


The daily expression really requires a high-quality electric pump. This allows for regular pumping without a hiccup and multiple settings to find the right one with the most effective suction.

Compared to others, the BellaBaby pump has an interface that&#039;s not...
Compared to others, the BellaBaby pump has an interface that's not intuitive.
The Momcozy S9 provides a convenient tube-free pumping experience.
The Momcozy S9 provides a convenient tube-free pumping experience.

Analysis and Test Results


To help shape our recommendations for this review, we considered test results, personal experience, and various user feedback. We also included advice from lactating professionals. Our comprehensive assessment of the breast pump competition involves analyzing key factors that we believe make a breast pump great, such as efficiency, comfort, ease of use, portability, and hygiene.


Value


Breast pumps span a wide range of price points, and there's an option to match every budget. However, your choice may ultimately depend on your specific budget and needs. In this review, you will find options ranging from around $30 for a basic handheld pump to over $200 for a top-of-the-line model. If you foresee regular pumping, invest in a quality product that consistently delivers performance and a comfortable experience, like the Spectra S1. It's more of a financial commitment, but it strikes a great balance between efficiency and comfort, offering excellent overall value you might be using for years to come. The Baby Buddha is a wearable, efficient pump for those searching for a more budget-friendly option. Though it might not match the Spectra S1's performance, its affordability and convenience make it an appealing choice for users who prioritize portability and cost savings. However, if your pumping needs are occasional, there's no need to splurge. The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump will do the trick. It offers an effective way to express and collect breast milk without the hefty price tag. A manual breast pump is simpler, lighter, and more portable than an electric breast pump.

breast pump - the primary goal of an efficient breast pump is to optimize milk...
The primary goal of an efficient breast pump is to optimize milk expression while being time-efficient. The photo here displays the Spectra S2 Plus.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Efficiency


Efficiency focuses on how many ounces of milk a pump can express. While every mom's milk production varies, some pumps are stronger and more consistent, resulting in more and faster milk expression. To assess efficiency, we conducted tests to evaluate each breast pump's milk expression performance and suction strength.


To ensure consistent and equitable evaluations, we used the the Emulait bottle with medium flow for all in-use pump tests. Our key objective was to measure how many ounces each pump could express within a 20-minute timeframe, and we conducted these tests twice, taking the average of the results.

The Spectra S1 Plus has a user-friendly interface. The screen displays important information, like suction level, cycle speed, timer, etc. It also features a built-in nightlight, useful for late-night pumping sessions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Spectra S1 Plus performed impressively during both test rounds, producing an average of 0.55 ounces per minute. In just over 10 minutes, it reached the 5.5-ounce mark. The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump is the top-performing manual pump. While it lags behind some electric options in terms of speed and efficiency, and you can only pump one side at a time, it's not the lowest-scoring option.

In our tests, the Haakaa collected a significant amount of milk with its passive letdown system. While it's not a high-scoring option in this sub-metric, we were satisfied with the result, given the small amount of effort it takes and the fact that it isn't actually a pump.

The Elvie Stride didn't perform well in our tests, mainly due to latch issues, which translates to less milk production from the Emulait bottle. Although our tester had a positive experience using this pump, it yielded an average rate of only 0.12 ounces per minute, indicating a less efficient milk expression.


In addition to our in-use pump tests, we used a Medela Vacuum Gauge to measure the negative pressure generated by each product. These measurements were taken while running each pump at its highest settings. This test allowed us to objectively compare pumps and evaluate their performance relative to each other and respective manufacturer claims.

The Spectra S2 Plus generated a maximum suction level of 270mmHg in our tests. For context, breast pumps often have adjustable suction levels, and the maximum suction pressure can differ from one model to another.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Spectra S1 Plus produced a 270 mmHg reading, which matched the manufacturer's claim. The same is true for the Spectra S2 Plus. The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow produced 160 mmHg, which is far below the manufacturer's claim of 295 mmHg. Also, the Elvie Stride produced 170 mmHg, which is below the manufacturer's claim of 300 mmHg.


Every mom's anatomy and milk supply will vary, so finding the right suction strength and levels that work best for you is essential. Also, a woman's breast milk output is directly related to the supply and demand cycle. While some moms produce more milk, some less, and everything in between, it's essential not to feel discouraged, regardless of where you fall on this spectrum.

breast pump - selecting the flange size for you can make the pumping experience...
Selecting the flange size for you can make the pumping experience more comfortable.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Comfort


When evaluating breast pumps, comfort closely follows efficiency as a crucial consideration. Let's be honest. Pumping can be far from a relaxing experience, and similar to breastfeeding, it comes with a learning curve. Also, every mom's unique anatomy and sensitivity play a role in the comfort equation. Therefore, our goal with this metric was to identify the key components we believe increase the likelihood of a comfortable experience for a wide range of users. Several factors contribute to this comfort aspect, including the material of the flange (the cone-shaped part that covers the breast), the availability of multiple flange sizes, and the presence of adjustable suction and pump settings to help mom find a good setting.


For those pumping regularly to establish a milk supply, a workhorse pump should be tolerable and relatively comfortable. It shouldn't cause discomfort or pain, either during or after use. Both the Spectra S1 Plus and Spectra S2 Plus earned top marks as the most comfortable pumps in our evaluations. While the breast flanges are plastic (we prefer silicone for additional comfort), they are equipped with 24mm and 28mm plastic flanges, and users can access other flange sizes on the manufacturer's website. They also provide a wide range of power levels and speed cycles, incorporating modes for massage and expression. This will allow you to adjust and customize your pumping session. Our testers noted that they closely mimic the natural feel of a breastfeeding baby.

The Haakaa Gen 1 ranks low in the comfort metric. While its cushy silicone material might initially give you pause and make you wonder why it didn't score higher, this contender is unlike standard pumps, so it doesn't check all the boxes we seek in the comfort department. With its one-size-fits-all 30mm flange, it might not work for all breast shapes and sizes, and we did notice users mentioning this. Also, as a passive milk collection system, it lacks the versatility to fine-tune suction strength and cycle speed. But if your nipples need a break from the repetitive suction and the grid of regular pumping, this could be just what you need for those moments when you want to collect some breast milk. Consider it a little vacation for your nipples, not your daily grind workhorse.

breast pump - while testing the medela harmony with flex, it felt less...
While testing the Medela Harmony with Flex, it felt less hand-friendly, especially compared to other manual pumps.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Medela Harmony with Flex also falls short in this metric. The pump features a single 24mm flange, and our search for alternative flange sizes on the manufacturer's website proved to be quite the challenge. Being a manual pump, it requires a fair bit of effort to operate, and the handle design isn't exactly the most hand-friendly, adding a bit of discomfort to the pumping experience. It felt flimsy, and the spinning handle feature didn't seem to help much. On the other hand, the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump earns a slightly higher score in this metric, thanks to its thoughtful design. It comes with two flange sizes, 25mm and 30.5mm, increasing the chances of finding the right fit for your body. The inclusion of a silicone rim further boosts comfort and helps maintain suction even during movement. Still, manual pumps, while they have their place in the pumping world, involve more effort, making the pump session less relaxing compared to electric pump counterparts. Also, they lack the range of suction level and cycle speed options.

breast pump - if you are experiencing discomfort while pumping, consider trying a...
If you are experiencing discomfort while pumping, consider trying a different flange size before throwing in the towel or blaming the pump.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Properly-Sized Flanges
Flanges are the funnel-shaped parts you position over your breast, centering on the nipple, and use suction to draw the nipple into the flange. Since nipples, areolas, and breasts vary in shape and size, having the right fit is crucial. Flanges that don't fit right can lead to discomfort, pain, chafing, bleeding, or even infection. If you have questions or concerns about flange fit, seek advice from a professional, like a lactation consultant. Also, if your nipples need extra care, consider using one of our favorite nipple creams to provide relief.

The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow does not have a display screen. Reading the user manual beforehand will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the buttons and functions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


When you're relying on a breast pump, having one that's effortless to use is crucial. For some, a breast pump becomes a regular part of their day, even at night, so ease of use impacts your pumping experience. In evaluating this metric, we examined the pump's interface and features, running various tests to gauge its user-friendliness.


The manual pumps in our review, the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump and Medela Harmony with Flex, score high in this metric. They don't have complex interfaces or systems to learn, sparing users from the learning curve that comes with feature-packed electric pumps. For the Lansinoh, the only “interface” is switching the handle between stimulation and expression modes via a stem on the pump's top, which is easily visible and easy to feel, eliminating any confusion about the pump's current mode. The Medela is also straightforward and intuitive to use, although referencing the manual before the first use is recommended to understand which part of the handle controls each mode. Both products have user manuals with clear visuals and helpful instructions, particularly for assembly and cleaning.

The Haakaa Gen 1 doesn't come with instructions, but it's relatively straightforward to figure out. Simply place it with one squeeze and proper placement, and you can relax while passive letdown does the work. This all-in-one design is incredibly simple to use since it has no interface, no parts to assemble, and nothing to plug in. However, it's important to be cautious if you're using it near a wiggly baby, as it might get knocked and affect the suction. Also, when the bottle is nearly full, it can cause the latch to weaken, leading to the bottle falling off and potential spills.

breast pump - the elvie stride has a straightforward interface, but its helpful...
The Elvie Stride has a straightforward interface, but its helpful app offers insights and details about your pumping session.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Elvie Stride is another notable contender in this metric, and we like its features. It has no interface but a few intuitive buttons, which we had no problem operating. The pump's accompanying app is user-friendly, serving as a virtual screen, allowing users to keep track of time, set levels, and monitor pumped volume. The app significantly enhances the overall user experience. However, without the app, there's limited data collection. We appreciate that you can change the power level without cycling through the multiple settings. The user manual includes easy-to-follow instructions and images with details. Despite these positives, avoiding messes with this setup can be tricky, and some parts feel flimsy, lacking a firm connection or a sense of security in their assembly.

breast pump - the bellababy breast pump has sensitive buttons, causing accidental...
The BellaBaby breast pump has sensitive buttons, causing accidental setting changes when the screen is touched. This may require extra caution during operation to avoid this issue.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conversely, the BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump is the group's most complex and convoluted option. It seems like what could have been a simple, straightforward system got needlessly complicated and complex. The buttons are finicky and lack intuitiveness, making the experience frustrating. The screen's sensitivity can accidentally change, which is annoying, and you must cycle through the power levels (which can be quite uncomfortable) to return to lower settings. This could be problematic for those who are sensitive. Also, the user manual is highly confusing, lacking explanations for the power levels and offering no guidance or troubleshooting support.

breast pump - not all pumps include accessories, but the medela pump in style with...
Not all pumps include accessories, but the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow does offer some handy items.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow includes accessories like a purse, mini soft cooler, reusable ice pack, and four bottles. However, the pump itself is minimalistic in design, which some users may find inconvenient. The user manual also leaves something to be desired as it lacks comprehensive information and details. Also, this pump has no screen display, so it doesn't provide information such as time and settings. While it can remember the settings from the previous pumping session when turned on, many users would appreciate a screen display for clarity.

breast pump - the elvie stride allows you to pump on the go, even when walking or...
The Elvie Stride allows you to pump on the go, even when walking or performing other tasks.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability


If you're considering using your pump at work or during travel, portability is an important factor. Consider the weight of the pump, the number of accessories, and its size to understand how convenient it would be to carry the kit around.


The Haakaa Gen 1 earned the highest score for portability due to its minimal, incredibly light design. It was followed by the manual pump contenders, the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump, and Medela Harmony with Flex. These options have fewer, easy-to-carry parts and are relatively quiet during operation.

Like the Momcozy, a portable pump can easily be stashed in a bag without hassle.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

There's a new trend in breast pumps toward mobility with hands-free pumping and rechargeable batteries. The Momcozy S9 Wearable Breast Pump and Elvie Stride fit this trend. These pumps fit inside your bra, allowing you to move around while pumping. These options offer convenience for working moms on the move who can't sit still to pump. The Elvie Stride is remarkably quiet, has tubes, and can be easily clipped to clothing or a fanny pack. On the other hand, the Momcozy is tube-free, and while slightly louder, the noise difference is minimal. Both are easy to transport in a purse or tote. While wearable pumps may not be for every mom, they offer a solution for those who don't want to be tethered to one spot during pumping sessions.

breast pump - some pumps offer a portable design, like the baby buddha.
Some pumps offer a portable design, like the Baby Buddha.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Thanks to its lanyard accessory, the Baby Buddha takes a hands-free approach. However, some users find the overall system slightly bulky, particularly with the dangling bottles and tubes. Although it provides hands-free operation, you might need to pay more attention to avoid tangles when multitasking during your pumping sessions. But we think it's a minor trade-off for the added convenience of hands-free pumping with this contender.

The Spectra S2 Plus didn't score well in this metric. Although it shares a similar size and shape with its sibling, the Spectra S1 Plus relies on an outlet for power, while the S1 Plus comes with a rechargeable battery offering up to three hours of cordless operation. This distinction can be a determining factor for those who require mobility.

Connecting Baby Bottles to Breast Pumps
Some baby bottles will attach to breast pumps. Given the high amount of bottles and pumps on the market, we are prohibited from checking or covering this. If you decide to store your breast milk in bottles, you need an airtight cap, and a nipple or dust cover is not that. It's not intended for extended milk storage. Every mother is different regarding how much milk they produce, pumping goals, and storage space. You will need to figure out what storage options work best for you, and for your baby's safety, it's important to follow the CDC breastmilk storage guidelines.

Our portability metric includes taking a dB reading for each pump, and this video shows the Baby Buddha result. While dB readings can fluctuate based on factors such as suction level and cycle speed, we noted the highest reading.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Acoustics


During our portability assessment, we specifically evaluated the noise levels at the maximum suction for each pump because loud pumping sounds can hinder the relaxation that's helpful to milk production. We also considered whether there were any unusual or strange noises coming from the pumps. While extra noise at work may deter interruptions during a pumping session, it can be problematic when pumping in bed next to your partner. In general, quieter breast pumps are preferable; we think you'll likely agree.

The Haakaa Gen 1 earns a top spot in this submetric due to its silent operation, primarily attributed to its no-motor design. The Elvie Stride also stands out for its remarkably quiet operation, and it's even quieter than the Spectra breast pumps. During testing, it had a low vibrating sound that resembles a gentle “shhh,” but it's so quiet and unobtrusive that louder background noises can easily mask it. We definitely think it offers a quiet and discreet pumping experience.

The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow had more noise-related observations during usage. It produced a thumping noise along with a rattle. The noise level of most electric breast pumps can fluctuate depending on the suction intensity and cycle speed, and for the Medela Pump in Style, the pump's highest sound reading was measured at 59 dB. This noise level is equivalent to the sound level of a conversation, moderate rainfall, or a refrigerator's hum. While not obnoxious, it's certainly noticeable and one of the louder options in our review. While the Baby Buddha and BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump didn't have any unusual or abnormal noises during operation, both were noticeably louder than the others.

breast pump - the s2 plus emits a relatively low noise level.
The S2 Plus emits a relatively low noise level.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Both of the Spectra contenders are relatively quiet in operation and emit a noise similar to a purring cat, with a noticeable click at the end of the suction motion. It's low-pitched and not disruptive, and we think some may consider it white noise. During testing, our measurements show the noise level falls within the 44 dB range. Most people should be able to use these pumps without disturbing others, whether they're watching TV or being near someone who's napping.

Cleaning and maintaining your breast pump is crucial for the health and safety of your baby. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning your specific breast pump model.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Hygiene


Maintaining hygiene is essential when using a breast pump, as it directly impacts the cleanliness of the milk you provide for your baby. When we evaluated hygiene, we considered a few things. First, for each pump, we checked how many parts required cleaning. Second, we looked at the accessibility of the parts and whether common tools, like a baby bottle brush, help the process. If parts are dishwasher-safe, we consider that beneficial as it streamlines the cleaning process. We also checked if the pump is an open or closed system. We strongly recommend a closed system because it's designed to prevent contaminants from entering the tubing, which connects to the motor. This can create a risk for germs or bacteria to grow.



In our review, most of the contenders fall within the average range when it comes to hygiene. This is mainly because they have closed systems and share similar cleaning methods. Only a select few slightly outperform the group but for different reasons.

The Haakaa Gen 1 has an open system, and the silicone material can attract hair and lint, but compared to the competition, it's the absolute easiest pump to clean. You won't find a breast pump with fewer parts to manage and clean. Its one-part, all-in-one design is as straightforward as possible and requires nothing more than a standard bottle brush.

The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump has a closed system, a handful of parts to clean, and it's also dishwasher-safe for added convenience. The pump's components are accessible, especially the wide-mouth bottles, which can be scrubbed using a bottle brush to remove milk residue. In the realm of breast pumps.

The S1 Plus and S2 Plus are equipped with more parts, totaling eight each, which is more than most competitors. Cleaning these parts isn't particularly challenging, but the most significant factor to consider is the time-consuming process of reassembling the system. The greater number of parts makes the reassembly more demanding in both time and attention than those with streamlined designs.

Each product varies in assembly time and effort. This video shows the BellaBaby.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Medela Harmony with Flex also has several pump parts, and this posed a challenge when it came to reassembly. It was somewhat more burdensome for a manual pump, and we consider it to have the same level of effort comparable to that of an electric pump. Also, the small o-rings used in this pump are easy to misplace, and without them, the pump doesn't function properly. We think this reduces the pump's overall user-friendliness in the hygiene department.

breast pump - keeping your pump parts clean with soap and water is essential for...
Keeping your pump parts clean with soap and water is essential for maintaining pump hygiene and the cleanliness of your baby's milk.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Does the Term “Hospital-Grade” Mean?
Breast pump manufacturers often use the term “hospital-grade” to imply strong suction, but it's important to note that this term isn't recognized or regulated by the FDA, despite the FDA's regulation of breast pumps, which are considered medical devices. Therefore, the definition of “hospital grade” lacks consistency, and its use by manufacturers doesn't guarantee a specific level of quality, safety, or performance. The FDA recommends paying closer attention to the terms “multiple-user” and “single-user” when selecting a breast pump. Understanding the differences between buying a single-user versus renting or investing in a multi-user can impact a mom's decision.

breast pump - despite not having a podium finish in our review, many users...
Despite not having a podium finish in our review, many users consider the Pump In Style with Max Flow a decent pump.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


Selecting the best breast pump for you is a personal journey influenced by budget and unique needs. Between our breast pump selection, test results, and detailed information, we believe you can find the perfect pump. By streamlining the pump selection process and making it stress-free, you can return to caring for your baby. We believe there is something for every lactating person who wants to collect and potentially store that liquid gold.

Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, and Molly Bradac