At present, there are so many features and technologies that are incorporated to breast pumps to make it more comfortable, efficient, and effortless for mothers to pump their breast milk for their children – so much so that new parents now often automatically think of buying or renting electric breast pumps by default without considering the manual ones at all. Nonetheless, despite the now much more affordable electric pumps, the manual types are still not without their own perks. Therefore, in this article we will review some of the popular manual models and telling you a few points to watch out for when you’re picking your own manual pumps, before selecting our 5 favorites from the list to recommend to you.
Best Manual Breast Pump Review
|Model||Price||Rating (out of 5)||Pros||Cons|
|Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump||$$||4.2||BPA-free, lightweight, quiet, 2-Phase Expression technology to help you pump faster||Some reviews have said that the seal between the top (the pump side) and the bottom part (the bottle) is not tight, and so if you don’t use the bottle stand that comes with the product, it could easily tip over and spill.|
|Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump||$$||4.2||Has massage cushion, handle made with ergonomic design, not too many parts/pieces, compatible with other products from the Philips Avent line||Not as good for those with low milk supply (when compared to other Philips Avent models)|
|Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump||$$||3.9||Two modes available – to stimulate first before expression, flanges available in 2 sizes for better fit||Tries to go for an ergonomic design but maybe only suitable for small hands, according to some reviews.|
|Medela Symphony Double Pumping System||$$$||4.6||Not many manual pumps come as a double, BPA free, etc. essentially the same perks as the first Medela model||Breast shields only come in one size|
|NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump||$||3.5||Lightweight, easy to clean, breast cushion also provides a light massage, can customize speed/suction||Suction cup sizes limited|
|Manual Breast Pump by NipSweet||$$||3.6||Lifetime warranty, lightweight, all accessories come with just one purchase||Some mothers have said it is not as comfortable, handle needs some force when operating|
|Evenflo Manual Breast Pump||$$||3.7||Comes with a silicon insert for the suction cup so as to fit different breast sizes, easy to clean||Some have found that they needed some time before they got used to the strong suction|
|Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump||$$$||4.2||Uses Philips Avent’s patented technology, which is the 5-petal massage cushion, certain parts compatible with other Avent products||Discontinued|
|Philips AVENT Isis Manual Breast Pump||$$$||4.3||Same Avent’s patented technology, also clinically proven to work as effectively as electric breast pumps||Discontinued, first few pumps may be uncomfortable but after that is fine and with good milk flow|
|Tommee Tippee Manual Breast Pump||$$||4.0||Has very few parts – only 3, so it is easy to clean, lightweight, quiet, comes with useful accessories||Sometimes the milk doesn’t drain as quickly|
Guide to buying a manual breast pump
In choosing to look into manual breast pumps, parents are most likely interested in its lightweight and portable qualities that most effective electric breast pumps will not be able to offer. Therefore, that will be a main feature to assess when buying them. A lot of the perks you want will come with a tradeoff, so it is up to you to prioritize which features matter more to you.
Manual breast pumps also usually come as a single pump, meaning they only work on one breast at a time. While that is expected, there are also some models, like the Medela Symphony Double Pumping System model that we reviewed, that can work on both sides at once as well, but these options are very limited. Just to simplify it for you, most electric breast pumps are double pumps, whereas manual ones are single pumps. Electric single pumps are also available, but they usually have very little suction power and are not as efficient. It is compromise between power or efficiency and convenience in terms of mobility.
Whether you are on a trip or just carrying this back and forth between home and your office, you will most likely want to be able to clean your gear without too much fuss. And so, it would be a good idea to also look for ones that do not have too many intricate pieces so that the breast pump’s accessories are easy to wash.
Another point you may want to consider is the sizes of the suction cups that the breast pumps come with. Would they fit you? If not, would it be possible to switch to a different size? This is particularly an important aspect to consider for those with larger or smaller breasts than average. Some models may also offer massaging cushion design to ease you into lactation, in addition to the mode or the expression phases function. Some models also feature a stimulating phase prior to milk expression phrase.
Other than these aforementioned points, there are just a few more minute details. For example, if the plastic parts coming into contact with the breastmilk are BPA free, how long the warranty covers, as well as the tool parts’ compatibility with other models. Buying a brand with several lines of products may offer you this advantage, as most of the time the parts or spares are interchangeable.
One last thing, just because a model is discontinued does not mean it does not work well. It just means that the production is no longer in process and so it may be more difficult to find those models once the last lot has sold out.
Editor’s Pick 5 Best Breast Pumps
1. Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
This Avent Manual Comfort model looks simple enough, but the plain looking design is actually well thought out and prioritizes your comfort and efficiency. It is the successor of the two other Philips Avent manual pump models we have reviewed earlier but have already been discontinued. Nonetheless, the bottles and accessories can be used together, since they are from the same product line.
What we love about this breast pump is the fact that its BPA-free material is easy to clean because it is dishwasher safe. And the suction cup is designed with the Avent’s signature petals that are meant to massage and stimulate your breasts to let down milk. It is also suitable for use by those who have sore and/or flat nipples as well.
2. Medela Harmony Breast Pump
Here’s another simple looking yet thoughtfully designed breast pump, except the look of this one is more kiddish than the simple modern sleek the Avent line offers.
This product is made BPA-free, and uses PersonalFit breast shields for the relieve you of both mental and physical stresses.
Medela Harmony utilizes its 2-Phase Expression technology, whereby you press on one end of the pump during the stimulation phase to mimic how babies first start suckling, and then you can press on the other end once the milk is already going during the Expression phase to reap from the flow. This then, in a way, will feel more natural for many mothers who are still breastfeeding too.
3. Tommee Tippee Manual Breast Pump
The Tommee Tippee Manual Breast Pump actually comes as a BPA-free set with everything you need. The three piece pump is easy to clean, and the cushion cup is also soft, so that it is tender to your breasts’ touch and can also accommodate various breast sizes. In addition to the pump and the bottles, the set also comes with a microwaveable sterilizer box, so you don’t have to worry about the inconvenience that often comes with concerns for cleanliness.
The design of this Tommee Tippee pump is similar to that of other products by the same brand – they are plump, cute, and sleek at the same time, giving a modern look. The pump also has its own patented Expressables system, which is meant to “Express, Protect, and Feed” the milk to your baby in the most convenient and discreet way possible.
4. Philips AVENT Isis Manual Breast Pump
Our first rank’s predecessor which has already been discontinued from production but still has some stocks available for sale. This manual breast pump has been clinically tested to be as effective as electric ones, which is very impressive considering that none of the other models we have looked at could make that claim. And just like the first one we’ve discussed, this being form the Philips Avent line, you can just switch the bottles and what not as you please because they are all compatible.
5. Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump
This is hardly different from the Philips Avent Isis model, except that it is BPA free. The suction cups made of silicon are soft and the patented 5 petal design also gently massages and produces as soft vacuum to encourage let down, instead of utilizing suction alone.
So while this seems like an ideal option, and it already works so well and easily fits with other Philips Avent products, the one ranked number one is the most recent model of the product line.
Did you find this article helpful? Was our review comprehensive? Let us know in the comment section! Please also feel free to provide your own reviews, suggestions and tips that you think other parents will also benefit from.