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Best breast pumps, tried and tested by breastfeeding mums

Breastfeeding can be an emotionally complex time, so a little help can go a long way. In our mission to help new mums, we've researched and tested the best breast pumps on the market. Read on to discover our verdict on the UK's top breast pumps, as tried and tested by breastfeeding mums.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Sep 26, 2023


Prices and availability checked and updated by MNHQ on 6th September 2023.

Whether you’re exclusively pumping, going back to work or just looking to express the occasional bottle for nights away from your baby, choosing the best breast pump for you is really important. With a wide variety of breast pumps on the market - from basic manual pumps to app-controlled, wearable devices - we've done extensive research to bring you the breast pumps Mumsnetters are recommending most highly right now.

As the UK's largest online network of parents, we know all too well the value of a genuine recommendation from a mum who’s been in your shoes. With this in mind, we put the UK's best baby products through their paces with real parents, as well as vetting and collating authentic reviews from Mumsnet users, to help you make the right choices for your family - whether you're looking for the best changing bag or the best baby bottles.

While not all mums find that they need a breast pump, there are many reasons why you might decide to use one. You may need to relieve engorgement, boost your milk supply, express at work, or share feeding duties with a partner. But even when you’ve decided that a breast pump is the right choice for you, how do you know which one to go for?

These are the best breast pumps to buy.

10 of the best breast pumps - at a glance

1. Best breast pump 2023: Medela Swing Maxi Flex Double Electric Breast pump

Price on writing: £162 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Single or double pump: Double | Power source: Battery or mains | Number of settings: Adjustable settings | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Quick and efficient pumping

  • Trusted brand

  • Comfy for all boob sizes

  • Simple controls

What we don't like

  • Expensive

  • Needs a pumping bra to be hands free

What Mumsnet users say

"The Medela double flex is amazing, worth every penny. I would pump maybe 30-40ml altogether at most with a manual pump but I get about 100ml from each breast with the Medela in around 15 minutes." Tried and tested by Mumsnetter scott2609

"I used the Medela Swing when exclusively pumping for my daughter and it was brilliant." Recommended by Mumsnet user ZellyFitzgerald

Our verdict

The Medela Swing is the breast pump most often recommended by Mumsnetters, and that’s why we’ve named the Medela Swing Maxi Flex the best breast pump for 2023. Promising to help you express more milk in less time - 18% more milk to be precise, the Swing comes with Medela’s comfortable personalFit Flex breast shields which are designed to suit breasts of every size and shape. 

The pump's two-phase expression system mimics the rhythm of a suckling baby, making it really efficient. There are multiple suction settings, and the whole pump is intuitively designed to be operated with just 4 simple illuminated buttons.

Read next: The best nursing chairs to buy, as recommended by mums

2. Best budget breast pump: Bellababy MiniO Breast Pump

Price on writing: £44 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Single or double pump: Double | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Number of settings: Not stated | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Great price

  • Small size

  • Simple controls

What we don't like

  • Could be quieter

What Mumsnet users say

"I've found it to be pretty good. It's quick, easy to use and very effective. Plus good value. I know others who have spent £££ on pumps but this one does the job for me." Tried and tested by Mumsnetter DappledOliveGroves

"I have used the BellaBaby double pump for both my little ones and have been so impressed considering the price!" Recommended by Mumsnet user SpringSunshine09

Our verdict

If you’re looking for an electric breast pump that’ll do the job without spending over the odds, the Bellababy Mini O is a great option. At under £50, it’s one of the cheapest electric pumps out there and Mumsnetters say it’s a fab little machine.

Battery operated and rechargeable, it’s wire-free while in use and can be charged up via USB using a mains plug, power bank or even car cigarette lighter. With just one size flange, it won’t suit everybody, but if you have medium sized boobs and aren’t looking to pump every day, this is a neat, effective pump you’ll be glad to have as a backup.

Related: The best sterilisers for keeping bottles and pumps clean

3. Best electric breast pump: Elvie Pump

Price on writing: £243 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Single or double pump: Either | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Number of settings: 2 modes and 7 suction levels | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Completely hands-free with no cables

  • Quiet – the manufacturer says that it’s completely silent (it's not, but it isn't far off)

  • Can be controlled remotely using the Elvie app

What we don't like

  • The price!

  • You have to pump into the compatible Elvie bottle and then transfer the milk to another bottle to feed your baby.

What Mumsnet users say

"One of my best friends got an Elvie and it is bloody amazing. Ordered mine as soon as I saw how easy it was for her to use!" Loved by Mumsnet user bubblegumbottles

Our verdict

The Elvie really is one-of-a-kind and offers mums something they’re crying out for – a completely hands-free breast pump that's so discreet you can't even see it. It simply pops into your nursing bra and connects to a free app on your smartphone that allows you to monitor milk flow and track pumping history.

It's a closed system pump, which means it's closed off from the milk so is more hygienic. We like that the Elvie consists of just five parts so it's easy to clean and is rechargeable with no cables, so you’re completely unrestricted. It's pricey, but we think it's worth the investment when it comes to convenience and comfort.

Read our in-depth Elvie Breast Pump review

4. Best hands free breast pump: Fraupow Wearable Breast Pump

Price on writing: £90 | Buy now from Mamas & Papas

Key specs

Single or double pump: Single | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Number of settings: 20-300 mmHg | Closed system: No | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • 3 calls with a midwife included

  • Comes with lots of accessories

  • Compact

What we don't like

  • Single pump

What Mumsnet users say

"Reasonably quiet and allowed me to get on with working from home and breastfeeding my daughter for one year. Wonderful wee thing, best purchase ever." Tried and tested by Mumsnet user mercibucketedyeo

"I have been exclusively pumping with Fraupow. British brand and comes with midwife support." Recommended by Mumsnetter MumOfOne2307

Our verdict

With three 20-minute support calls from a midwife included with purchase, Fraupow really feels like a new breed of breast pump. Wearable, quiet and effective, the pump comes with plenty of different size and shape flanges, spare parts and bra extenders, making it super user-friendly. 

At under £100, it’s great value and comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters - even when compared with pricier wearables like the Elvie. With its anti-spill, anti-leak design and comfortable air pressure pulse technology, we think this is the best hands-free breast pump for busy mums.

Read next: The best baby monitors, according to Mumsnetters

5. Best manual breast pump: Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Price on writing: £23 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Single or double pump: Single | Power source: Manual | Number of settings: 1 | Closed system: No | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Effective pumping

  • Quiet

  • Great price

  • Simple to use and clean

What we don't like

  • Tiring to operate

What Mumsnet users say

"I actually found the manual Lansinoh pump really good. Obviously if you're going to be expressing a lot (e.g you are working and need to build up a supply) an electric one will save your hand. But I find the manual one gets more milk out quickly and it's SO much more discreet. My electric (tommee tippee) is so loud, I sound like a cow when it's used. Also so many tubes and pieces to put together compared to my manual Lansinoh. If you need to express on the go then get a manual." Recommended by Mumsnet user Sunnyshiny

Our verdict

If you’re not planning on regularly expressing milk, a manual pump is a cost-effective and useful thing to have up your sleeve for those times when a bottle of breast milk is needed. Mumsnetters love the Lansinoh manual pump for its simple, quiet operation and effective collection of milk. 

While electric and wearable pumps will often leave you hands-free, this manual is quick and discreet to use, with no need to worry about batteries, wires or WiFi. We don’t love that it comes with a one-size-fits-all flange - because one size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to breasts - but reviewers say you can contact the manufacturer for different sizes. A faff but worth it if you otherwise get along well with the pump. 

Related: Our round-up of the best manual breast pumps Mumsnetters swear by

6. Best double breast pump: Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breast Pump

Price on writing: £200 | Buy now from Boots

Key specs

Single or double pump: Double | Power source: Mains, battery and manual | Number of settings: 5 massages & 9 express settings | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Wire-free

  • Quiet

  • Different settings for each boob

  • Easy to set up and use

What we don't like

  • No carry case

  • Pricey

  • Best used with a pumping bra

What Mumsnet users say

"I would highly recommend this for others! It was absolutely superb... it is proving invaluable with my son's weaning as he has dairy intolerance. It's ensuring he can easily have milk with his breakfast and in his food. It's also helping me to have a little freedom for travelling around again." Recommended by Mumsnetter cannotmakemymindup

Our verdict

With specially designed “massaging petals” and flexible flanges the Made for Me breast pump from Tommee Tippee pulls out all the stops to make pumping a comfortable experience, while effectively stimulating your breasts for maximum milk production. 

Our testers found it surprisingly quick - with one Mumsnetter filling a bottle with breastmilk in just 15 minutes. They also loved the wireless charging and pumping - fewer cords to get tangled up means you’re able to move around more easily while expressing. For the best experience, Mumsnetters recommend wearing a pumping bra to make the Made for Me hands-free. 

Related: The best nipple creams Mumsnetters swear by

7. Best smart breast pump: Lola & Lykke Smart Electric Breast Pump

Price on writing: £116 | Buy now from Lola & Lykke

Key specs

Single or double pump: Single | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Number of settings: 9 suction levels | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Cordless

  • Quiet

  • Quick and effective

  • Pump directly into milk bags or bottles

What we don't like

  • Control panel can be glitchy

  • Reviewers say the Lola & Lykke bottle flows too quickly

What Mumsnet users say

"I am very impressed with the Lola and Lykke pump." Loved by Mumsnet user mishmased

"I really like my Lykke and Lola one. It's cordless, quiet and quick." Tried and tested by Mumsnetter florianfortescue

Our verdict

With its ability to pump into a bottle or milk bag, we were impressed with the versatility of the Lola & Lykke breast pump. Compact and quiet, Mumsnetters love that it’s cordless and reasonably priced, at under £150. 

Reviewers really rave about the comfort and effectiveness of the pump, but a handful say the design of the bottle that comes with the pump let it down, with a flow that was too fast for their baby. If you’re looking for a pump that’ll do the job in record time and let you transfer milk straight into the freezer, Lola & Lykke is a brilliant choice.

Related: The best sippy cups, tried and tested

8. Best portable breast pump: Elvie Stride

Price on writing: £299 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Single or double pump: Double (Single available for £167) | Power source: Rechargeable | Number of settings: 10 | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Hospital-grade strength

  • Wearable, worn in your bra

  • Can be controlled using the Elvie app

What we don't like

  • Not as discreet as it could be

  • May run out of charge half way through a pumping session if not fully charged

What Mumsnet users say

“As a mum who hasn’t always got on with breast pumps and needed more flexibility when expressing, I found the Elvie Stride to be comfortable, with an app that made it a breeze to use.” Recommended by Mumsnet reviewer Laura

Our verdict

For mums worried about expressing on the go or in public, the Elvie Stride is a great, efficient option that will provide the level of discretion they need. Our tester, Laura, hadn’t always got on with breast pumps and she found the Elvie Stride to be comfortable, with an app that makes it super simple to use.

The Elvie Stride doesn’t offer the cup capacity of other hospital-grade breast pumps, which is why it might be better suited to shorter pumping sessions, but with a price tag of almost £170, it’s not a pump you’d want to use sparingly either. As wearable breast pumps go, though, the Elvie Stride is a well-designed offering that’s sure to please many breastfeeding mums looking for flexibility.

Want to know more? Read our full Elvie Stride review


9. Best breast pump with natural suction: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

Price on writing: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Single or double pump: Single | Power source: N/A - manual | Number of settings: N/A | Closed system: No | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Really useful in the early days of breastfeeding when you don’t want to lose any milk

  • Very small and cord-free, so ideal when you’re on the go

What we don't like

  • Starts to hurt a little if you use it too much

  • Not a replacement for a breast pump

What Mumsnet users say

"I love the Haakaa so much I bought 3. Invaluable." Loved by Mumsnetter GromblesofGrimbledon

Our verdict

While the Haakaa isn’t technically a breast pump, it’s such a nifty breastfeeding accessory that it deserves a place on our top 10 list. The Haakaa doesn’t require any pumping. You simply stick it to your breast while your baby feeds from the other side.

Our Mumsnet users said it's great for collecting letdown milk that may otherwise have gone to waste. It's also a great option for fuss-free feeding on the go as there's no wires or accessories to faff about with, leaving your hands are free to deal with your baby.

Want to know more? Read our in-depth Haakaa review.


10. Best hospital-grade breast pump: Spectra S1

Spectra S1 breast pump

Price on writing: £160 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Single or double pump: Either | Power source: Mains or battery | Number of settings: 2 modes and 10 suction levels | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

What we like

  • Includes built-in rechargeable battery

  • Quiet

  • Built-in nightlight for expressing at any hour

What we don't like

  • Expensive

  • No other flange sizes

What Mumsnet users say

"I love my Spectra S1 - after issues with breastfeeding I now pump and top up with formula. You can adjust the cycle and vacuum rate to reduce discomfort and I found it far less painful than directly attempting (and failing) to feed! The only thing I find awkward is holding both pumps in place for a double session, so I’ve bought a pumping bra to attempt making it hands free." Tried and tested by Mumsnetter siddons1

"The Spectra pump, I had the S1 model which is the portable rechargeable battery one. I found the strength and output, and ability to increase supply, on the same level as the (very expensive) hospital grade Medela Symphony." Recommended by Mumsnet user lemonyfox

Our verdict

A hospital grade electric breast pump which is easy to use, the Spectra S1 is very efficient at expressing milk, with adjustable levels of suction and the option of a massage mode to help give you a more natural flow of milk. Despite its hefty price tag, Mumsnetters think it's worth the investment - especially if you're going to be using it frequently or exclusively expressing.

A lightweight and quiet pump, the S1 allows you to easily express at night when your baby is sleeping and it even has a handy nightlight so you're not left fumbling around in the dark. It's a double electric pump, but has a rechargeable battery which can last around three hours so you can easily keep expressing when you're away from home.

Related: The best cribs and bedside co-sleepers for keeping your baby close

How does a breast pump work?

  1. The flange, also known as the breast shield (the bit that’s attached to the funnel), goes over your nipple

  2. The pump uses suction to create a vacuum around the nipple

  3. The vacuum works like your baby sucking and then the milk flows down into the bottle

Manual pumps extract the milk with a lever you work yourself, while electric pumps create a rhythmic vacuum that does the work for you (hurrah!). Before use, make sure you read the instructions carefully.

Do breast pumps cause discomfort or pain?

Pumping shouldn't be uncomfortable, but you may experience some discomfort if the flange fit isn't quite right or if the suction strength is too high when using an electric pump.

Do I need a breast pump if I'm breastfeeding?

There are a number of reasons why you might decide to buy a pump. While every mum should feel happy and comfortable breastfeeding, there will be times when it won’t be possible or when you simply won’t want to. You might consider expressing milk if:

  • Your baby is premature or unwell and spends time in the NICU

  • You have a health condition, such as mastitis, which can make breastfeeding painful

  • Your baby struggles to latch in the early days of feeding and you’re worried about how much milk they are taking in

  • You return to work and want to continue breastfeeding

  • You want to up your milk supply – breast pumps may help to increase milk supply through stimulation of the breast. Double breast pumps, in particular, will also yield more milk

  • You want to share the feeding load

  • You're worried about supply – knowing you have breast milk stored in the freezer can relieve some of the pressure that comes with breastfeeding

What to think about when buying a breast pump

  • Where and how often you'll be pumping: If you plan to pump every day, double electric breast pumps are generally more efficient, durable and provide greater flexibility than manual breast pumps. Also think about your goals for pumping, for example whether you want to boost or maintain your milk supply, or pump at work.

  • Suction strength: Consider suction power (measured in mmHG) and the number of suction levels of your chosen breast pump. Electric breast pumps typically provide greater suction power (and therefore less pumping effort) than manual pumps.

  • Noise level: Do you need a breast pump that's quiet and more discreet, for example if you're pumping at work?

  • Portability: Think about your breast pump's size and weight, especially if you plan to travel often. Will you have access to a power outlet? If you plan to express on the go, a battery-powered breast pump will enable you to move around more freely.

  • How easy it is to clean: If you plan to use your breast pump everyday, closed system breast pumps are generally easier to clean than open system pumps. Also think about whether you'll be using a steriliser and dishwasher for cleaning. Are the breast pump parts dishwasher-safe?

  • Price: Assess your budget to find the right balance between cost and your pumping needs. Also consider warranty length, how easy it is to source replacement parts and whether the pump comes with added extras.

What’s the difference between an open and closed system?

All pumps will have some sort of tubing that connects the pump to its milk collection parts.

In a closed system pump, the milk can’t get into the tubing. This means that the pump is easier to keep clean, can be used for future children and can even be sold or passed on when you’re done with it.

Open system pumps allow the milk to enter the tubing. This means that they’ll need to be cleaned and dried carefully to ward off any mould or bacteria.

How to clean a breast pump

A breast pump must be cleaned and sterilised after every use, so you’ll want something that's quick and easy to clean and store, ideally with a minimal amount of parts.

A pump that can be popped into the dishwasher or steriliser can be a lifesaver. And with all the other equipment that seems to come with a baby, you need to make sure it’s easy to store away when you don’t need it.

How to store breast milk

Once you’ve expressed you’ll also need to know how to store your breast milk safely. It can be stored in:

  • A breast milk storage bag or a sterilised bottle or container

  • A fridge for up to five days at a temperature of 4°C or lower

  • A freezer for up to six months

  • The ice compartment of a fridge for two weeks

Always try to store your breast milk in small quantities and label it with the correct date.

breast pump and bottle

The different types of breast pumps – which breast pump is best?

There a several different types of pumps to suit different needs. Remember that not all breast pumps suit every women. If one isn’t working for you, do try another.

1. Manual breast pumps

Manual pumps are used when milk supply is established. To use a manual pump, you squeeze a lever or a bulb to create suction, but you will need to keep squeezing to find the correct rhythm.

Manuals tend to be smaller and less noisy (most of the time) than electric pumps so they can be easier to carry around and less irritating to listen to.

They also cost less than an electric pump, so if you aren’t expressing regularly or aren’t completely sure that you want to express, then it may be better to go for a manual option first.

Manual pumps are a good choice if you’re not planning to use a pump very often and want something lightweight, easy to use and easy to assemble.

2. Manual silicone pumps

Soft silicone pumps, like the Haakaas and the NatureBonds, are more of a breastfeeding accessory than a proper pump. Cheap, small and simple to use, they suction to your boob and collect milk automatically.

They are a good choice if you want to collect milk from one breast while breastfeeding from the other.

3. Electric breast pumps

An electric pump is designed for women who have an established milk supply. They come in single and double models and work by themselves, which can be a huge time-saver for mums who regularly express.

4. Battery-operated and rechargeable breast pumps

Not as powerful as electric pumps, but, like manual models, they are usually portable and lightweight. Battery-powered and rechargeable pumps can be very discreet and easy to use on the go, unfortunately most of them, like the Elvie, come with a hefty price tag.

5. Hospital-grade breast pumps

Hospital-grade devices are more powerful than standard electric pumps. They are typically double pumps and can be used to express milk from both breasts at the same time.

They’re closed system pumps which means they are safe to be used by multiple mums – often you can rent these through your local hospital.

Here's our video guide to some of Mumsnetters' top breast pumps.

What is the best breast pump to buy?

Thanks to its popularity with Mumsnetters, midwives and experts, we've named the Medela Swing Maxi Flex the best breast pump for 2023. It's comfortable, simple to use and promises to pump 18% more milk than other brands.

Read next: Best nipple shields for comfortable breastfeeding

How we tested

  • Approximately 18 hours researched

  • 18 models considered

  • 15 models tested

All of our breast pump recommendations, which include electric, manual, single, double and wearable pumps, have come from extensive parent- and expert-led research and our own in-depth product testing.

  • We consulted our large community of parents, which consists of no less than 7 million users, for their verdict on the best breast pumps for different lifestyles, budgets and needs. Only breast pumps with overwhelming positive reviews made our final round-up.

  • We consulted breastfeeding and lactation experts including Rachele Lowe, a breastfeeding counsellor from La Leche League, and Emma Pickett, chair of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and an International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners lactation consultant.

  • We partnered with parent tester, Sam, a mum to twins, to try 15 pumps out at home over a period of four months. She expressed at home, at work, in the car... almost anywhere that a mum might need to express.

  • Each breast pump was scored on the following areas: safety, sturdiness, ease of assembly, comfort, suction strength, day-to-day use, portability, discretion, noise level, cleaning and hygiene (our tester used a dishwasher and electric steriliser where appropriate), aesthetics, size, warranty, availability of spare parts and value for money.