Best Electric Breast Pumps 2017

If you intend to breastfeed your baby, and want to ensure that baby has enough milk supply even when you’re away from home, then you might want to consider buying a breast pump. A lactating mom’s frequent savior, a good breast pump can ease engorgement, stimulate milk production, and buy mom some time away from baby. With all the models available, it’s not easy to decide on which breast pump to get. We have reviewed the most popular electric breast pumps and narrowed them down to our top 5, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs.

Top 5 Electric Breast Pumps

Below are detailed reviews for each of our top 5 electric breast pumps so you can see which models and features stood out enough to make our top 5 list.

Medela is a company dedicated to supporting the health benefits of breastfeeding. Their Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-the-Go Tote is a double electric breast pump made for moms who pump multiple times every day. Its discreet and portable design lets you pump whenever or wherever you need to. Other useful features of this pump include:

  • 2-Phase Expression technology with a one-touch letdown button
  • Double pumping kit with 24 mm PersonalFit breast shields (other sizes available for purchase)
  • Battery pack for easy portability (8 AA batteries not included)
  • Adjustable speed/vacuum settings with a single knob
  • Removable insulated bag with ice pack to keep bottles cool (holds 4 bottles)
  • On-the-Go microfiber tote has tubing storage and built-in bottle holders to avoid spills
  • All parts that come in contact with breastmilk are BPA-free

This breast pump gets high marks for its efficiency and ease of use. Moms like its suction power, its reliability, and the useful ice packs that come with it. Also, the tote bag is large enough to hold your personal effects as well as your pumping necessities. One complaint would be that, being an open system, the pump’s tubing tends to collect condensation.

In summary, the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-the-Go Tote is a great value pump with a lot of desirable features. It’s worth noting that with the well-known Medela name, accessories and spare parts are readily available.

Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump

Spectra Baby USA is a leading breast pump company known for their efficient and innovative designs. Their Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump will make mom’s life easier with its strong yet comfortable pump. This breast pump also boasts:

 Digital controls which let you set your preferred suction, speed and rhythm

  • Closed-system pump for better hygiene
  • Maximum suction strength of 300mmHg
  • Can be used as a single or double pump
  • Different suction modes to help stimulate letdown and maximize flow
  • Quiet motor
  • A timer and a nightlight

 The Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump is noticeably quieter than many other models. We also like that it’s so lightweight and stylish. Many moms find the flanges fit well and are comfortable, and they appreciate that they can control the suction strength. The downside of Spectra Baby pumps is that their accessories are not as readily available as, say, Medela’s. Also, you don’t get to choose the flange size; you’ll have to pay around $30 if you need a different size.

 Overall, the Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Single Breast Pump is a well-priced, efficient product that has made many nursing moms very happy.

Phillips Avent Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump

Philips, the innovative health technology company known for its high-quality baby products, brings us the Philips AVENT Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump. Easy to assemble and use, this is a great, compact pump for moms on the go. Included in this model:

  • Double pumping capability
  • Gentle stimulation mode to induce letdown, plus three flow settings
  • Unique design lets you sit upright while you pump, instead of having to lean forward
  • 25 mm massaging breast cushion (19.5 mm cushion available for purchase)
  • Closed-system pump that prevents milk from coming in contact with the tubing
  • Dishwasher-safe parts
  • BPA-free pump, bottles, cushions, and nipples
  • 2-year warranty

The Philips AVENT Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump is a convenient and highly portable option for frequent pump users. Though many moms find it comfortable, others mention that if you use the wrong cushion size, it can be downright uncomfortable. We gave this pump a big thumbs-up for its hygienic closed system, its ease of use, and its ability to let moms sit more comfortably while pumping.

Given how highly we recommend our number 3 choice by Philips AVENT, it should be no surprise that its single-pump counterpart, the Philips AVENT Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump, made it onto our list as well. Though a double breast pump is undoubtedly more efficient, some moms may prefer the lower price, portability, and simplicity of a single breast pump. This comfy and compact model is our choice for those looking for a great single electric breast pump. Similar to the double-pump version, it includes: 

  • Gentle stimulation mode to induce letdown, plus three flow settings
  • Unique design lets you sit upright while you pump, instead of having to lean forward
  • 25 mm soft, massaging breast cushion (19.5 mm cushion available for purchase)
  • Closed-system pump that prevents milk from coming in contact with the tubing
  • Few, lightweight parts that are dishwasher-safe and easily assembled
  • Pump, 4-ounce bottle, cushions, and nipples are all BPA-free
  • Compact, light construction for easy storage and portability
  • 2-year warranty
  • Compatible with other feeding products in the Philips AVENT Range

Like its double-pump counterpart, the Philips AVENT Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump is easy to use and works efficiently to help express your milk. This is the perfect choice for on-the-go moms who need a more compact option, or who don’t need a large amount of expressed milk on a daily basis. Moms appreciate its hygienic, closed-system design, its portability (with 4 AA batteries), and the flange cushion that is “super comfortable”. Some testers have noticed an imperfect seal at the connection point between the bottle and the pump, however, so avoid tipping the bottle over while it’s still attached to the pump.

The Nibble Double/Single Electric Breast Pump is a budget-friendly pump that moms love for its comfort and efficiency. Its list of features includes: 

  • Double pumping functionality
  • Two modes: stimulation mode to induce letdown, and expression mode
  • Ten suction levels for customized comfort
  • Hospital-grade, closed system with anti-backflow feature
  • Soft, massaging breast cushion
  • Designed to let moms sit back comfortably while pumping
  • Large LCD display clearly indicates pumping status
  • Made from durable, BPA-free materials

 Popular for its gentle action and ease of use, the Nibble Double/Single Electric Breast Pump gets a lot of rave reviews from nursing moms. Testers found that the silicon padding on the suction cups was very comfortable, and they liked that they could sit upright while expressing milk. We know that moms will also appreciate how quiet, light, and efficient it is. And with its economical price, this pump has earned its place in our top 5 list.

Choosing an Electric Breast Pump

Why Buy a Breast Pump? 

Deciding whether or not to breastfeed is every mother’s personal choice, but if you do plan to nurse your baby, a breast pump will help make the breastfeeding experience a lot easier. The primary benefit of a breast pump is that it ensures your baby has access to milk when you’re away from him or her. For example, breastfeeding moms who work outside of the home will definitely need a pump.  But there are other advantages of using breast pumps, like being able to ease engorged breasts, or to stimulate milk production. 

Why Moms Choose to Buy a Breast Pump:

  • Working Out of the Home: If working outside of the home, moms can maintain a stockpile of milk at home, while continuing to stimulate their milk supply.
  • Time Away from Baby: Stay-at-home moms may also need to step out for a period of time, and having a supply of expressed milk at home allows them the time and freedom to do so.
  • Extra Milk Supply:  Breast engorgement can be painful for mom and make latching on difficult for baby. A breast pump can relieve the excess volume and soften the breast for baby.
  • Low Milk Supply:  Milk production is based on supply and demand. Breast pumps provide the extra stimulation required to increase milk supply. 

Why Use an Electric Breast Pump? 

There are two main types of breast pumps: manual and electric. Manual pumps have no motor, so you have to create suction by pressing with your hand(s). Though they can be work-intensive to operate, they are small and quiet, making them ideal for traveling or occasional use. 

Electric pumps are powered by a motor and run via an electric outlet or battery pack. Electric pumps are much quicker and more efficient than manual pumps. Some models actually mimic a baby’s suckling pattern, which starts slowly to induce letdown, then changes to a slower, deeper motion. Once you get the hang of using a pump, they are quite easy to use. If you work full-time away from home or can’t nurse often for any reason, an electric pump would be a good choice. 

Many models have double-pump functionality, meaning they can pump both breasts at the same time. Double electric pumps are much more efficient than single pumps, and even though they are pricier, you’ll find it a worthwhile investment when you see how much time and energy you’ll save. Also, you can easily convert a double pump to a single pump if you just need to pump one breast. 

Benefits of Electric Breast Pumps:

  • Fastest way to express milk
  • Requires less effort then manual pumps
  • Saves you from aching, tired hands
  • Works at a pace that you preset
  • With so many settings, you can customize the action according to what’s comfortable for you
  • Many features available (hospital-grade, single/double pumps, timer, etc.)

Open vs. Closed System:

Electric breasts pumps designed for personal use have either an open system or a closed system. 

An open system has no barrier between the motor and the milk collection apparatus. This may allow milk and condensation to collect in the tubing, or expose milk to particles in the air. Because this may potentially be a health hazard, be sure to consult the owner’s manual for proper cleaning and maintenance instructions. An example of a breast pump with an open system is the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump, which we reviewed in our top 5 list. Medela provides a detailed video which describes how to properly clean the tubing and inner components.

A closed system has a barrier between the motor and the milk collection apparatus, so milk cannot enter the tubing or the motor. Also, the milk will not be exposed to air impurities. Generally, with proper care and cleaning, closed system pumps are more hygienic.

Breast Pump Features:

There are plenty of features to consider when shopping for an electric breast pump, so we thought we’d highlight the ones that would be of most benefit to both mom and baby: 

  • Natural Nursing Pattern:  A good pump will mimic baby’s nursing pattern, starting with a quick rhythm to induce letdown, then changing to a slower, deeper suction to encourage a steady flow. (This suction pattern is also known as dual-phase expression.) Some pumps also come with adjustable settings for speed and suction, so you can customize the experience to your liking.
  • Comfortable Flanges: Flanges are the plastic shields that fit over your breasts. When pumping, the nipple is pulled into the flange by the suction. You can imagine, then, how important it is that the flange is comfortable and fits correctly. Some pumps come with multiple sizes of flanges, while others have only one size and you have to purchase different sizes separately.
  • Efficiency:  This is a measure of how much milk the pump expresses, and how quickly it does so. Results may vary from mom to mom, but some pumps are noticeably more efficient on a consistent basis. Obviously, you’ll want a pump that produces a larger yield of milk in a shorter time frame.
  • Overall Comfort:  Breastfeeding can be quite uncomfortable, and the same applies to pumping. Look for a breast pump that takes comfort into serious consideration. The shape and size of the flanges, the amount of settings available to customize the process, and the overall design of the pump all contribute to your level of comfort.
  • Portability:  This is crucial for moms who work outside of the home or who travel. A highly portable breast pump is easy to carry around with all of its required components. Be wary of pumps that are heavy, need a lot of effort to disassemble, or are too bulky to fit in a compact bag.
  • Ease of Use: Your ideal breast pump should be easy to assemble and use. It should also be a relatively simple task to clean, maintain, and transport it.
  • Level of Hygiene:  How clean your pumped milk is will depend on how hygienic your breast pump is. As discussed previously, a closed-system pump is more hygienic than an open-system one. Another factor affecting hygiene is how easy it is to clean the pump’s parts after use.
  • Low Volume Motor:  If you are hoping to pump discreetly at work, or near your sleeping baby, then a quieter motor will be vital.
  • Power Supply: If you plan to use your electric pump away from home, you’ll need to have a portable power source. Electric pumps often come with an AC adapter, but you might want to also consider a car adapter or battery pack for times when you may not have access to an electrical outlet.
  • Motor Lifespan: Warranties vary among different manufacturers, but most electric breast pumps are built to last for about 1 year, nursing 1 child. Of course, this also depends on the frequency of use. Using a pump several times a day for a year will eventually cause the motor to lose strength, so be sure to look at the warranty before you buy. Note that many manufacturers will void the warranty if the pump has been used by more than one person.
  • Carrying Case: Many pumps come with a convenient carrying case, important for moms who travel or have to pump at work. A good bag will be big enough to carry pumping necessities as well as personal items, and stylish enough to pass as a cool-looking tote. Insulated storage compartments in which to store your milk are a definite bonus. 


In summary, shopping for an electric breast pump is no easy task, given the variety of options available. Whether your priority is comfort or efficiency, portability or price point, with enough research and the help of our guide, we know that you will be able to find the perfect breast pump for you and your baby.

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