The best breast pumps in 2021


For breastfeeding parents, a breast pump is essential. It is a crucial tool that keeps your milk supply low when you cannot breastfeed directly, prevents clogged ducts, allows you to feed a baby who will not cling to your breast. Expressing milk increases milk supply and helps build a supply of breast milk when you are not at home.

There are many breast pumps to choose from, ranging from manual hand-held models to hospital grade breast pumps that you can rent. Until a few years ago there was very little innovation in breast pumps, but the newer models are cordless and rechargeable and some even slip under your clothes. These include electric breast pump, double electric breast pump, manual breast pump, manual breast pump, portable breast pump, portable breast pump, and single breast pumps that have a good suction level and suction force that will improve the flow of breast milk. It is advisable to consult your lactation consultant to choose a high quality breast pump which is hospital grade breast pump for exclusive pumping and according to your condition and needs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must cover breast pumps. However, if you purchased an older plan, you may not have coverage. Whether you are paying out of pocket or not, you will always need to choose a model that suits your needs.

Which brings us to determining which pumps are worth your money and time. I asked CNET Parents for their recommendations, which also happen to be some of the top models sold at Target, Buy Buy Baby, and Babylist. Check out the choices below.


Portable, rechargeable and quiet – these are the promises of the Spectra S1 Plus, which make it very popular among parents and healthcare professionals. Having spoken to many breastfeeding parents, the Spectra breast pump is clearly establishing itself as a favorite. Parent and former CNET editor Vanessa Hand Orellana praised it for its power and efficiency, and the fact that you don’t have to plug it in every time.

It supports a single and dual pump and has adjustable suction levels, all intended to mimic the breastfeeding experience as closely as possible. CNET editor and parent Karisa Langlo chose it “because it uses a closed pumping system to prevent backflow, which means I wouldn’t have to clean that part of the tube.” This Spectra breast pump is a double electric breast pump, a portable breast pump, and the parts of the breast pump that come into contact with breast milk are made with BPA free materials. “

If you have the money or can get your insurance to cover it, the Spectra S1 Plus is the top choice for breast pumps in 2021.


The Spectra S2 Plus has all the specs and features that make the S1 Plus great, except it’s not wireless. It also means it’s cheaper, at just $ 159.

While most parents I interviewed chose the S1 over the S2, the S1 is a good choice if you want to save money and don’t mind being strapped to an outlet while you pump.


While the Spectra S1 Plus lets you pump anywhere you have privacy, the Elvie portable pump lets you pump anywhere, period. This all-in-one breast pump slips into a bra, sits against the breast, and pumps discreetly – milk collects in washable 5-ounce bottles that snap into the bottom. There are no tubes or wires sticking out of your shirt; everything is contained in unity. It includes two 24mm nipples and one 28mm nipple, four 5oz. bottles, 4 storage lids and 2 storage bags.

The Elvie Double Breast Pump is also quiet, so you don’t have to listen to an annoying motor or draw attention to yourself. This makes it easier to multitask while pumping. If you really want your hands free while pumping, or if you need to pump when you get back to work but don’t want to be stuck in a room every few hours, the Elvie is for you.

CNET Senior Video Producer Ashley Esqueda said she “hated pumping and it was only bearable when I shelled out $ 500 for an Elvie.” CNET Reporter Laura Hautala liked the Elvie because “its flange shape is much less taper than a standard pump, which helps it to adapt more smoothly, but it also means the seal breaks more easily if breast compressions are needed (yes that’s one thing). “

There are a few downsides to the Elvie. The double set is expensive, at $ 500. You may be able to get your insurance to cover some of the costs, depending on your plan. If you want to save money, you can get a single Elvie pump for $ 280.

CNET reporter Joan Solsman tested the Elvie and pointed out that it’s hard to tell if your nipple is aligned correctly for proper pumping and it’s hard to see how much breast milk is accumulating because the The unit is in your bra. A workaround is to use the Elvie companion app, where you can control the pump (there are also physical buttons on the unit) and see how much breast milk you are expressing. Still, she noted that often the amount displayed by the app was greater than the actual amount of breast milk in the bottle.


Like the Elvie, the Willow breast pump lets you express while cooking dinner, at a business meeting, or with friends without anyone knowing. The unit slips into your bra, so you can wear it under just about any outfit. Breast milk flows into sealed mess-free bags that fit inside each breast pump and are removable for cold storage. You can also buy reusable containers for $ 50 from Willow.

CNET’s Bridget Carey tried out the third-generation Willow at CES 2020 and found it to be life-changing. When she pulled me aside to tell me that she was actively pumping, I couldn’t tell at all, and that’s the beauty of the willow. Much like the Elvie, using the Willow means that you no longer have to sit in a windowless room or bathroom to pump while you’re away from home.

Willow has different size options to accommodate a variety of nipple sizes. There is a guide on the company’s website to help you determine the size you need. It is also suitable for breasts up to size H.

Like the Elvie, the Willow doesn’t come cheap at $ 500. It is only available in a set of two, but Willow can help you purchase the pump through your insurance, if your plan covers it.


If you pump often, you might want to get a hand pump that you can use when you’re away from home. Rather than lugging around a big bulky motor, you can easily pack a hand pump in a bag. CNET editor-in-chief Carrie Mihalcik recommends the Medela Harmony.

She explains that it’s only a step above using your hand to express milk, but it was very easy to carry and use in the blink of an eye. I have used this Medela pump on airplanes and road trips and took it with me whenever I needed it. to be outside. This Medela pump is not the right tool for a full pumping session, but it can help you until you can move to a more comfortable and private place to pump.

How to buy a breast pump

With so many models on the market like the Lansinoh Breast Pump, Tommee Tippee, and the Haakaa Breast Pump, your first step in purchasing a breast pump is determining what type of model you will need. First, think about your lifestyle: do you plan to stay home often after the baby is born, or do you plan to travel and hang out a lot? Will you return to work while you are still shooting? Second, if your insurance doesn’t cover a breast pump, you’ll want to figure out your budget.

Less expensive models will do, but are more likely to have more powerful motors and require you to be plugged into a wall while you pump. If you spend around $ 150 or more, you can find a model that is quieter and uses a rechargeable battery to keep you moving around during a pumping session. Finally, top-of-the-line models, like the Willow and Elvie, have the quietest motors and are designed to be as quiet as possible so you can pump while you work or hang out with friends and family. .

Manual or electric

Breast pumps fall into two categories: manual and electric. Hand pumps are handy for traveling or to use in a pinch when you’re away from home, but you won’t want to use one as your primary pump. It’s just going to be too much work every time you’re already juggling a baby.

Electric pumps are available as plug-in or rechargeable units, using a vacuum to mimic a baby’s breastfeeding to collect breast milk. Plug-in options are generally less expensive, but require you to be attached to an outlet while pumping. Rechargeable units give you a lot more freedom, so if cost isn’t a factor, you’d better use this type of breast pump.

Tubes or not tubes?

Refillable breast pumps are available in about two different models – with or without tubes. Traditional machines have tubes that plug into the machine to create a suction to express breast milk. The milk flows into bottles that are connected to flanges that fit over the breast to create a seal for suction. You can purchase a special pumping bra to hold the bottles with straps in place to free your hands.

This style has been used for decades, but it requires you to remove your top and bra to pump. Newer bra pumps, such as Willow and Elvie, don’t use tubing at all – instead, milk flows directly into a bag or bottle into the unit. This allows them to tuck into your bra and pump without others knowing. However, these models are more expensive than a traditional electric breast pump.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have about a health problem or health goals.

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