Best breast pumps in 2021

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A breast pump is a must for breastfeeding parents, a vital device that keeps your low milk supply flowing when you can’t breastfeed directly. Breast pumping increases milk production and helps build up an accumulation of breast milk when you are not at home. Breast pumps also prevent clogged ducts and allow you to feed a baby that doesn’t stick to your breast.

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There are many breast pumps to choose from, ranging from hand-held manual models to hospital-grade breast pumps that you can rent. Until a few years ago, there was little innovation in breast pumps, but newer models are wireless and rechargeable and some even fit under your clothes. These include electric pumps, double electric breast pumps, manual breast pumps, manual breast pumps, portable breast pumps, wearable breast pumps and single breast pumps that have good suction levels and suction strength that will improve the flow of breast milk. It is advisable to consult with your lactation consultant to select a high quality breast pump that is a hospital-grade pump for specialized pumping and based on your health condition and needs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans breast pumps should cover, However, if you are on an older plan, you may not have coverage. Whether you’re paying out of pocket or not, you’ll still need to choose a model that works for your needs.


Which leads us to find out which pumps are worth your money and time. I surveyed parents at Nerdshala for their recommendations, which also happen to be some of the most popular models sold on Target, Buy By Baby, and Babylist. Check out the selections below.

how to shop for breast pump

With so many models on the market like the Lansinoh Smartpump, Tommee Tippee and Haka breast pumps, your first step in shopping for a breast pump is figuring out what type of model you’ll need. First, consider your lifestyle — do you plan to stay home after childbirth, or do you plan to travel and go out a lot? Will you be returning to work when you are pumping? Second, if your insurance doesn’t cover breast pumps, you’ll need to figure out your budget.

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Cheaper models will work, but are likely to have a more vigorous motor and require you to plug into the wall while pumping. If you spend about $150 or more, you can find a model that is quieter and uses a rechargeable battery so you can move around during a pumping session. Finally, high-end models like the Willow and Elvi have the quietest motors and are designed to be as intelligent as possible so you can pump up while working or hanging out with friends and family.

manual or electric

Breast pumps fall into two categories: manual and electric. Manual pumps are handy for traveling or using in a pinch when you’re away from home, but you might not want to use it as your primary pump. When you’re already juggling taking care of a baby, a lot more work needs to be done every time.

Electric pumps are available either as plug-in or rechargeable units, using a vacuum to collect a baby’s breast milk to mimic feeding. Plug-in options are generally cheaper, but require you to be tied to an outlet when pumping. Rechargeable units give you a lot of freedom, so if cost isn’t a factor, you’re better off with this type of breast pump.

Tube or no tube?

Rechargeable breast pumps are available in broadly two different designs – with or without a tube. Traditional machines have tubes that plug into the machine to create suction for expressing breast milk. Milk flows into bottles that are attached to flanges that fit over the breast to create a seal for suction. You can buy a special pumping bra to keep the bottoms in place with flanges to free your hands.

This style has been used for decades, but it requires you to pump up your top and bra. Newer in-bra pumps, like the Willow and Elvie, don’t use a tube at all—instead milk flows directly into the unit into a bag or bottle. This allows them to fit inside your bra and pump up without others knowing. However, these models are more expensive than traditional electric breast pumps.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with respect to any questions you may have about a medical condition or health purposes.

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