Best Breast Pump 2018

Ardo Calypso Double Plus Review

We wanted reassurance, reliability and individual customisation in our Best Breast Pump, and the Ardo Calypso Double Plus passes with flying colours

Exclusive Mumsnet offer: £10 off the Calypso Double Plus Electric Breastpump. Use code MUMSNET10 at the checkout.

The Calypso’s credentials are impeccable. Used widely in hospitals and milk banks, it’s WHO-code compliant and ethically produced. The BPA-free plastic parts are dishwasher safe and can be sterilised using an electric, microwave or cold-water steriliser. Most importantly, the Calypso is a closed-system pump: the milk cannot enter the mechanism, so the pump will always be safe and hygienic (and can be sold on once you’re finished with it, if you like).

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For a first-timer, an unpacked Calypso might seem a bewildering jumble of breast shields, tubing and buttons, but don’t worry: all the options mean you can tailor the pump to your exact specifications, making for a comfortable and efficient experience. The transition from single to double pump and back again is quickly done, and the smart, wipe-clean electric unit can run on batteries or from the mains. There are three sizes of breast shield included, as well as a silicone comfort cushion, and the vacuum (suction strength) and cycle (frequency of suction) can be set exactly how you want them.

It may be obvious, at this point, that the Calypso is not a press-a-button-and-go pump. Expect a fair amount of fiddling before you find the settings that suit you perfectly. In anticipation, Ardo goes well out of its way to provide help at every stage. The step-by-step instructions include colour photographs, and are particularly clear and friendly. The website is packed with easily accessible guides and instruction videos, and the visitor is urged to ask for help via phone, chat window, or Skype or FaceTime appointment. Pumps purchased from the website are sent via free next-day delivery, and the customer service for replacement parts is universally recommended online, including on Mumsnet forums. Ardo also offers an option to rent a pump so you can try before you buy. It feels rather like you’ve bought a cheerleading team with your name on it as part of the package.

I couldn't have predicted how stressful and emotionally draining breastfeeding can be in the early days, and whilst it was a bit of a surreal experience for a newbie, this breast pump has turned out to be a life saver. It was great in getting those crucial extra floz of milk for the top up feeds.

Day to day, the Calypso is an efficient and low-maintenance piece of kit. While the small, plain bottles aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing – there’s a distinct air of hospital equipment about them – they are sturdy and stand up well to frequent washing. The five parts (fewer than any other pump we tested) take less than a minute to assemble. The digital display is clear and the mechanism is whisper-quiet, which is astonishing, given its powerful performance, and makes it ideal for discreet pumping or night feeds.

There are some disadvantages: the electrical unit is portable enough but not the most compact on the market, and the bottles are intended for expression and storage, not feeding (so no teats included). At £139.99, the Calypso also represents a significant price investment – though it’s worth noting that it’s only £40 more expensive than the cheapest electric pump, and many times more effective. In the no-guarantees world of expressing, we reckon the Calypso’s as close to a sure bet as you can get – and during a vulnerable, emotionally complex time, that could be worth its weight in gold.

Exclusive Mumsnet offer: £10 off the CalypsoDouble Plus Electric Breastpump. Use code MUMSNET10 at the checkout.

The Specs

Type: closed system
BPA-free materials
Included: electric unit, two breast pumps, three sizes of breast shield, two silicone cushions, double bottle stand, cleaning brush
Warranty: one year, or guaranteed for 400 hours’ use
RRP: £139.99

Awards

  • Mumsnet Best Breast Pump 2018

How we test

After lots of research, we handpicked 15 of the most popular breast pumps on the market, collating the models most frequently searched for and most highly rated, both on Mumsnet and across the internet. From Tommee Tippee to Haberman we looked at ...

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Mumsnet Talk

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Breast pumps

Buyer's Guide

For some babies breast feeding exclusively is possible, but whether this is the case or not, it's likely a breastpump will be useful at some point. Whether you're looking for manual or electric, mains or batteries, the option to alter milk-flow, or particularly soft silicone cushions, we've put together all the tips and tricks we think you need to know.

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