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Best Electric Breast Pumps Buying Guide
Several factors guide moms in making the choice to express breast milk. Whether it is for medical or personal reasons, or for occasional or extended absences such as a return to work, a breast pump can be a good investment.
Considering that your breastfeeding needs may change over time, it is recommended to wait until your baby is born to find out your real breastfeeding intentions. This will allow you to choose the breast pump best suited to your needs. It is essential that your breast pump is suitable for you and your baby’s needs.
To begin with, there are two main models of breast pumps: manual breast pumps and single or double electric breast pumps. A manual breast pump allows you to express milk, one breast at a time, from a pump that you operate with your hand. An electric breast pump allows you to pump milk, one or two breasts at a time, using an electric motor that drives the pump and runs on an electrical outlet or batteries. Manual breast pumps are portable and less expensive, but are usually less efficient than electric ones.
Depending on how you plan to use your breast pump, it may be a good idea to choose one or the other model. If you are planning to pump, an electric breast pump is inevitable.
There are 2 main types of electric breast pumps: singles and doubles. The first allows you to pump milk one breast at a time while the second can pump both breasts at the same time. There are also hospital-grade electric breast pumps that are available for rent at some hospitals and pharmacies.
A good electric breast pump will allow you to express your breast milk effectively without getting tired. Electric breast pumps are generally used by mothers who have made the choice, voluntary or involuntary, to use a breast pump. The use of an electric breast pump will help to maximize production and then stabilize it.
The purchase of an electric breast pump can be a significant expense, but it is not comparable to the cost of infant formula. Think about it!
As part of this review, 5 of the most popular models on the market were selected. The functionality of each is compared and the inventory of the pros and cons of each breast pump has been completed.
4 main criteria were assessed: Easy to use, for understanding and washing the device; Effectiveness for expressing milk and quantity; Quality, for comfort, materials and durability; and finally, the Overall Appreciation, for the overall performance.
My first choice for the best electric breast pump is the Medela Pump In Style. The performance of this model is flawless. It is not for nothing that the Medela company frequently tops the list of the best breast pumps. Quite expensive, your purchase still includes several extras, including the insulated transport bag and a renowned Calma teat. If you want a simple model, for casual expressions, do not hesitate to get the Swing model, which is compact and ideal for transportation. For tight budgets, the Lansinoh Signature Pro Double can be a very good choice. Its closed cycle system saves you from having breast milk in the engine and the control panel is very easy to use.
It is strongly discouraged from buying a used breast pump. A breast pump is an intimate device that should not be shared, even with a loved one. Even sterilized, milk residues may remain in the breast pump mechanism. Some diseases such as HIV and thrush can be passed on through breast milk.
I also recommend that you sterilize your breast pump before using it for the first time. Also remember to wash your hands thoroughly before each use of your breast pump. Please refer to the user guide supplied with the device for more information.
Finally, there are several tricks to make it easier to express milk: hot water compresses, breast massage, thinking about your baby, relaxing, etc. The morning is also the best time to express milk. Remember that the more you stimulate the expression of your breast milk, the more you will produce.
Don’t hesitate to use a breastfeeding sponsor or consult breastfeeding promotion organizations to support you in your breastfeeding effort.
Our Opinion on the Medela Pump In Style
- Excellent performance
- Easy transport
- Several accessories included
- Condensation in the tubes
- High price
Why We Love It
The Swiss company Medela is once again demonstrating its leading position in the world of breastfeeding with this double electric breast pump. With a reputation built on many years of research to develop a technology that best mimics a baby’s natural suckling, Medela has designed a product that closely resembles the performance of hospital breast pumps.
First, the double-phase expression technology developed by Medela allows you to move from the stimulation phase, which consists in stimulating the breast ejection reflex, to a phase with a slower rhythm to draw the maximum amount of milk. You can switch from one phase to the other by pressing the button on the control panel. This dual technology allows the breast pump to best imitate a baby’s suckling. This technology is also present in the Harmony manual breast pump from Medela. The simulation phase activates and changes to the expression phase automatically after 2 minutes. However, you can move from one phase to another using a button on the control panel.
The Medela Pump In Style offers outstanding milk expression performance, perfect for moms who need to express a large amount of milk every day. The pumping speed is adjustable according to your needs and the Medela Pump In Style can extract breast milk from both breasts at the same time. You can, however, use it with only one breast by plugging the suction hole with the yellow rubber element provided for this purpose. This pump has been proven to be very effective and many moms have confirmed how easy it is to express breast milk.
On the other hand, several moms found this model quite noisy which is not great if you have to express your milk close to others. Nevertheless, the efficiency of the breast pump should far exceed the noise criterion.
What’s also great about the Medela Pump In Style is its ease of transport. The breast pump is offered with 2 choices of bags: backpack and tote bag. The control panel is easily accessible through a pocket on the front of the bag. You will definitely go incognito with this bag.
The Medela Pump In Style works with an electrical outlet or with 8 AA batteries for expression anywhere, anytime. Medela also sells a 12-volt car-compatible plug separately.
This model is quite easy to wash, except for the bag which is difficult to wash since the control panel is inserted in it. Therefore, avoid milk mess in the bag as much as possible.
Also, the various spare parts of the breast pump are compatible with other Medela models and are easily accessible online, in pharmacies or at certain surface stores. However, the tubes are quite fragile and can sometimes disconnect in the event of sudden movements. Also, they can retain water and condensation may form during washing. Not ideal from a hygiene point of view! Fortunately, the tubes don’t have to be cleaned after each use and you can easily get additional tubes if there is too much build-up. However, be sure to dry each part thoroughly after washing before using your breast pump again to best avoid condensation in the tubes.
The Medela Pump In Style breast pump is compatible with Medela bottles. It can also be used with bottles from other companies, but you will need to use an adapter most of the time.
The Medela Pump In Style Electric Breast Pump purchase includes, in addition to the parts directly attached to the pump, 4 BPA-free 150 ml bottles, a Calma teat, an insulated bag to carry up to 4 bottles, a steam bag for microwave sterilization, a sample of breast milk storage bags and nursing pads and more. Therefore, yes the purchase price is higher, but it comes with more accessories than other models. This model includes 2 breast shields of 24 mm, but 4 other sizes from 21 to 36 mm are available separately.
Medela’s Freestyle model stands out from Pump In Style with its lighter weight, rechargeable batteries and memory-based LED display. Although a little more expensive, many moms prefer the performance of the Pump In Style.
In short, it’s a good idea to choose the Medela Pump In Style if you intend to pump your milk daily. The investment is well worth it. You won’t have to worry about finding the different spare parts either, as they are often available in any good pharmacy.
Our Opinion on the Medela Swing
- Easy to use
- Excellent suction
- Lightweight and portable
- High price
- Condensation in the tubes
- Not suitable for exclusive pumping
Why We Love It
Leading the way in breast pump sales, with which mothers who want to express their milk occasionally will be delighted. Indeed, since it is a simple electric breast pump, it is less suitable for moms who want to do exclusive pumping (also called EPing). However, it is the perfect model for the mom wishing to have a quality electric breast pump to pump daily in order to have a small supply of milk for occasional outings.
Weighing just 10.7 oz, it is definitely the lightest breast pump in the Medela range, perfect for transportation. Like any Medela breast pump, it has dual-phase technology that allows you to switch from stimulation to expression after a few minutes of pumping.
With 4 buttons that are very easy to understand, the Medela Swing is very easy to use, especially since the instruction manual is very clear with lots of pictures. First, there is the power on and off button and the one that allows you to manually switch from the stimulation phase to the expression phase. Then, the other 2 buttons allow you to increase or decrease the suction of the breast pump in 10 different powers. Nothing could be easier! Since the control panel is not equipped with LED lighting, you unfortunately cannot quickly know how fast you are pumping.
Like other Medela breast pumps, there is a possibility that milk will flow into the tubes and reach the engine. Be alert to this possibility to avoid motor failure, loss of suction, or the creation of mold as a result of the accumulation of uncleaned milk. If this happens to you, try to clean each part as best you can and dry them well. Also, you can purchase new tubes separately if necessary.
You can use this breast pump with a connection to an electrical outlet or using 4 AA batteries. With a size that is similar to the palm of your hand, you can easily insert it into your handbag or pump in motion using the belt clip located on the control panel. There is also a small rope included with the purchase to carry it around your neck. Although some mothers have found this model noisy, the sound level of the Medela Swing is very reasonable and will cause little discomfort.
Ten different suction powers will suit the majority of moms. You are unlikely to need maximum power suction to express your milk. In fact, many moms have found that the Medela Swing suction is too strong and quickly becomes uncomfortable. If this happens, reduce the power immediately to avoid sore and cracked nipples.
The Medela Swing is quite easy to use and you can also use the Medela sterilization bags sold separately for more simplicity and speed. However, be sure to dry the tubes thoroughly before using them again to avoid condensation build-up.
In addition to the control panel, your Medela Swing set comes with a 24 mm nipple, two 150 ml BPA-free bottles, a Calma teat, a bottle holder and a carrying bag. Also, you can buy separately a breast shield of another size ranging from 21 mm to 36 mm for better comfort and efficiency. Like all products in the Medela range, spare parts are really easy to find.
Medela has developed a double model of its Swing, the Swing Maxi. However, this model is not yet available in North America.
This simple model from Medela is sold at a fairly high price, more expensive than a double electric model from Lansinoh or Philips Avent. It is, however, a simple-to-use portable model that most moms will be happy with. If you want an electric breast pump for the occasional expression and don’t want to bother with a model that’s difficult to understand or bulky, this model is definitely a good choice for you.
Our Opinion on the Lansinoh Signature Pro Double
- Affordable price
- Closed cycle system
- Ease of transport
- Suction performance
- Hard to find spare parts
- Compatible with Lansinoh momma bottles only
Why We Love It
Lansinoh stands out in affordable childcare products, especially for infant feeding. Its Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is definitely a low-budget electric breast pump that positively surprises for the quality it offers.
The Lansinoh Signature Pro is very easy to use thanks in particular to its very user-friendly and intuitive LED screen panel. Expressing milk in low light has never been easier. However, some moms have reported that the indications on the buttons may fade with time and use. The sound level of this breast pump is acceptable and the instruction manual is really comprehensive.
You can easily use it as a double breast pump or use it with one breast at a time. Three different pumping rhythms are available to best mimic your baby’s pumping rhythm. This Lansinoh model features two-phase technology similar to that of Medela. You go from the simulation phase to the expression phase automatically after a few minutes of pumping. You can also manually go from one phase to another using a button on the control panel.
Then, the suction is adjustable in 8 different powers according to your comfort and your production. Users mentioned that this model does not offer the strongest suction for drawing the maximum amount of milk. The rubber on the ComfortFit breast shield appears to warp after several uses, which likely causes this suction gap in addition to allowing milk to flow out.
Lansinoh’s patented closed cycle technology is great and prevents milk from being introduced into the engine and tubes. This technology prevents the accumulation of milk and water and thus the creation of mold. A real advantage!
This model works using an electrical outlet or with 6 AA batteries during transport. In addition, it comes with a carrying bag.
In addition, the Lansinoh Signature Pro electric breast pump is only compatible with mOmma bottles from the same company. You can also express your milk directly in Lansinoh brand storage bags.
Want a trendy version of your electric breast pump? Go with the Lansinoh Smartpump model, which has a Bluetooth connection and app to plan your pumping sessions. Luxury? Indeed, because physiological signs are much more reliable in determining when it’s time to pump.
In conclusion, at this price, you won’t find better. If you want to buy a double electric breast pump to pump your milk occasionally without making it an exclusive pumping pump, look no further, this model is for you. The Lansinoh Signature Pro Double is of mid-range quality with acceptable performance to give you a good milk supply.
Our Opinion on the Philips Avent Comfort Simple SCF332
- Closed cycle system
- Perfect for transport
- Average performance
- Additional high-cost breast shield
- Incompatibility with other bottle ranges
Why We Love It
Philips Avent, renowned for its baby feeding products, offers an interesting product for expressing breast milk with its electric Comfort Simple model.
It is a fairly easy-to-use model with the assimilation of only 5 buttons. With this model, you start the expression using the stimulation mode located next to the power on/off button. When your milk starts to come out, you can choose 3 different levels of suction intensity.
With this model, you do not end up with a high-performance product. However, it can still be suitable for frequent expressions. The simple models are definitely not the best suited for exclusive pumping. This product is no exception.
Philips boasts of its ergonomically designed breast pumps that allow you to express milk without having to bend over to let the milk flow into the bottle. It’s a clever and practical design that allows moms to express milk from the comfort of their chair. Proper positioning during pumping is both more relaxing and less likely to cause back pain.
Philips Avent’s Comfort Simple electric breast pump has a closed-cycle system that prevents milk from ending up in the tubes and consequently in the engine. Perfect for a longer lifespan.
Also, it is probably one of the quietest reviewed electric breast pumps. Since it is very compact and light, the Philips Avent Comfort Simple electric is very easy to carry. Mothers who travel a lot appreciate the breast shield cover which prevents dirt and dust from getting into the mechanism. In addition, the breast pump works with an electrical outlet or with 4 AA batteries.
Like its manual model, the silicone coating on the breast shield can make wearing it uncomfortable for some mothers. Some have gone so far as to say that this pad interfered with the efficiency of the breast pump.
The Philips Avent Comfort Simple Electric Breast Pump is not compatible with other bottle models. However, it is compatible with all Philips Avent baby bottles. The set includes a 120 ml BPA-free bottle with a Natural line teat to facilitate the transition from the breast to bottle. A 25 mm nipple is included, but a 19.5 mm nipple is also available. This smaller model is, however, sold at a fairly high price. If you have small breasts, definitely add the purchase of this additional breast shield to your budget.
All parts, except the motor and the tubes, can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher. Also, all parts that come into contact with breast milk are BPA free.
Philips Avent also offers a double model of its Comfort breast pump. The performance of the double model is identical to the single. The difference is that you can pump both breasts at the same time and a carrying bag is included with the purchase. If you are an exclusive pumping and want to buy a Philips Avent model, we recommend that you buy the double model.
This Philips Avent model is offered at a highly reasonable price. Indeed, it is a simple model that is less efficient at getting the most milk out in the shortest time like other simple electric models. However, many mothers will still benefit from it. Its closed-cycle design makes it easier to use and avoids unpleasant surprises. The Avent line of baby food products is generally appreciated by moms. A purchase with good value for money.
Our Opinion on the Evenflo Advanced Double
- Very affordable price
- 3 sizes of breast shield included
- Closed cycle system
- Average performance
- Insufficient suction
- Long learning curve
Why We Love It
Evenflo stands out in several products for babies and children, such as car seats, playpens, high chairs and baby food products. Evenflo has designed a range of affordable manual and electric breast pumps. It must be recognized that the company is working hard to offer one of the best value for money products.
First of all, your pumping session is customizable with 4 different rhythms and 8 suction intensities. That’s more than 32 possibilities to suit the needs of all moms. With all these possibilities, however, it can be difficult for the novice mom to find the optimal setting to maximize production. Although it is a double breast pump, you can use it one breast at a time. In fact, some moms have mentioned that suction is better with a single use.
Surprisingly, at this price, the Evenflo Advanced Double has a closed-cycle system that prevents breast milk from ending up in the tubing and engine. Indeed, this hygienic system is rare for a double electric breast pump at this price.
The performance of this model has not stood out in the opinion of several mothers. You will certainly be able to extract your breast milk, but this model may not be the best to increase its production for an exclusive pumping. Lack of suction hinders the proper adherence of the nipple to the breast, thus decreasing the expression.
The Evenflo Advanced Double comes with 3 different breast shields size from 24.5 to 30.5 mm, enough to satisfy moms with large areolas. At this price, you won’t find anything better. Other sizes are also available separately. The company has definitely bet on accessibility and simplicity with this offer of 3 sizes.
This Evenflo model is easy to wash, either by hand or in the dishwasher. The pieces are large enough and dry well. The assembly of the parts is also quite intuitive and will not give you headaches.
This model can be powered by any electrical outlet or with 6 AA batteries. However, it is preferable to remove the batteries when using it with an electrical outlet to prevent battery leakage into the device.
A carrying bag is included with the purchase. By the way, this model is easy to carry. Lightweight and compact, you’ll carry it discreetly.
This breast pump is compatible with a few bottles from other companies, with or without an adapter, such as Medela, Philips Avent and Dr Browns. Spare parts, such as membranes, breast shields and diaphragms can easily be found in online stores.
In conclusion, the Evenflo Advanced Double offers quality equivalent to its price. Don’t have high expectations for its performance, but it’s still a good buy for tighter budgets. Just put some extra effort into finding the right setting for your needs.