Pumping is a vital component of breastfeeding success for many moms, but not everyone needs or wants to purchase a high-end electric breast pump. Whether or not to invest in one depends on factors like employment situation, feeding preferences and whether baby will be bottle-fed or nursed, and how much time you plan to spend away from home and traveling. Size, portability and ease of use are also considerations.
The best breast pumps are lightweight and portable and offer multiple settings for customization, including suction strength. They’re designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble, and their motors and parts are separated from each other for better hygiene and performance. The best brands also have intuitive, easy-to-understand interfaces and a comprehensive user manual.
Often, the best breast pumps will be hospital-grade, which means they have a higher-powered engine and are more effective at increasing milk production. The Spectra S1 Plus, for example, is one of our top picks for its strong suction and efficient cycle speed, which mimic the natural baby’s sucking rhythm to encourage letdown and expression. Its digital controls make it simple to customize your setting, and its closed system keeps milk completely separate from the pump components for greater hygiene.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Elvie Stride, a wearable breast pump that allows you to be hands-free while pumping and multitasking. While it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, testers say they love that it can be used while doing work at their desk, caring for older children or even while cooking or driving. best breast pumps