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If you need to be away from your baby or want to share the task of feeding them with your partner or other relatives, pumping milk is a great option that gives your baby the benefits of breast milk but gives mums a bit more flexibility and freedom.
Single or double?
There are a huge range of pumps out there, from manual to electric, single to double, budget to pricey.
We’d definitely recommend opting for a double electric pump if the budget allows to save your valuable time expressing and maximise your milk flow. After all, if you express from both breasts simultaneously, you’ll get your precious milk out in half the time than if you have to sit there swapping the pump from one breast to the other.
Do I need a pumping bra?
If you’re looking to multi-task, we’d definitely recommend buying a pumping bra in addition to your pump: some brands stock their own that specifically fit the pumps they sell, while others are universal and will fit a range of pumps.
This means you can simply strap your pump in and have your hands free to do whatever you want to do, although just how unencumbered you’ll be will depend on the pump style as well as whether it’s portable or mains-powered.
We tested a range of breast pumps across all budgets to bring you a huge range of options. We took into account the pumps’ value for money, comfort, efficiency at expressing milk and ease of assembly and use. Whatever your budget, and whatever your priorities, you’ll find a pump for you in our roundup.
Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump
Anyone who has tried the Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump will know just how truly game-changing the gadget from innovative women’s technology brand Elvie really is.
Worlds away from the noisy, obtrusive pumps you might have seen years ago, this genius contraption slots into your bra and makes virtually no noise while pumping. It’s entirely hands-free and discreet, making it possible to pump while cooking, working, changing nappies… you name it.
The futuristic gadget also connects to a free app where you can track your milk volume, pumping history and gain insights on your pumping patterns.
Best of all, it’s not just good to look at and packed with fabulous features: it really does work excellently, extracting loads of milk even in short pumping sessions. It’s on the pricier end of the spectrum, but in our tester’s opinion, this ground-breaking pump is more than worth the money: the hands-free element is a lifesaver for busy mums.
Medela Freestyle Flex
If you’re looking for a sleek, efficient and flexible pump that gets out as much milk as possible in each pumping session, you’ll love the Freestyle Flex from leading breastfeeding product brand Medela. We were bowled over by just how much milk it extracted in record time.
It’s easy to use, with a portable and rechargeable breast pump, comfortable breast shields that have been proven to get 11% more milk and an app so mums can track their breastfeeding progress.
Our tester was impressed by the efficiency of the pump and how comfortable it was to use, as well as by how long the battery lasted.
We also loved how this pump came with so many included accessories: a stylish carry bag so you never lose any of the parts, as well as a cooler bag to keep your precious milk fresh. You can also buy a bra to make this pump hands-free: recommended for busy mums on the go.
Lansinoh SmartPump 2.0 Electric Breast Pump
If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you’re already a huge fan of the hugely relieving nipple cream from breastfeeding product pros Lansinoh.
And the brand’s efficient and comfortable SmartPump 2.0 Electric Breast Pump is equally noteworthy, extracting an impressive amount of milk with each pumping session, easily tracked on the brand’s app.
We really loved how this pump comes with everything you’ll possibly need: a tote bag to keep your kit in, a cooler bag and ice pack to keep your milk fresh, and a teat to feed your baby straight from the bottle you’ve pumped into.
It’s also genius that you can pump either into the included bottles or into milk storage bags - music to the ears of any mum who has accidentally spilled their precious milk while transferring it from bottles to bags. A great all-rounder.
Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breast Pump
New parents will almost definitely be familiar with baby brand Tommee Tippee: whether you’ve got their steriliser, bottles or genius Perfect Prep machine, the products are a staple in many new parents’ homes.
The brand is so trusted that we weren’t at all surprised by how excellent the Made for Me Double Electric Breast Pump is.
It’s incredibly comfortable to use, efficient at getting out as much expressed milk as possible, and is fabulous value for money for a double pump.
We were also impressed at how little it leaked compared to other pumps we tried. A brilliant option if you’re on a budget but don’t want to compromise on comfort and strength.
Vital Baby Flexcone Electric Breast Pump
If you’d rather a single pump than a double, you won’t be disappointed by the Flexcone Electric Breast Pump by family-run baby care business Vital Baby.
It works by mimicking your baby’s suckling motion to stimulate and induce your milk flow and encourage let-down, with nine speed settings so you can choose your most comfortable level.
We found this breast pump incredibly comfortable to use, as well as excellent at extracting as much milk as possible.
It also comes with a manual breast pump conversion kit if you’d prefer manual expressing to electric. It’s a great option if you want an affordable single pump that’s simple to use and that feels really comfortable, even after numerous pumping sessions.