Best Double Electric Breast Pump 2019
Ardo Calypso Double Plus review
Approved by the NHS, and used in maternity and neonatal units, milk banks and children’s centres, Ardo really is a brand you can trust. BPA-free bottles, a hygienic closed system and easy assembly make the Ardo Calypso Double Plus our top pick for a double electric breast pump.
Verdict in 10 seconds
- An efficient and sturdy pump that's simple to use
- Mechanism is really quiet despite being powerful – ideal for discreet pumping or night feeds
- More suitable for expressing at home, rather than at work or when out and about
Watch our one-minute video review
- A powerful, closed system breast pump
- Can be used as a single or a double pump
- Efficient for pumping with no waste
- Easy assembly
- Has clear, helpful instructions
- Can be tailored to suit your needs – variety of breast shields included
- WHO code-compliant and ethically-produced
- Hospital-grade breast pump – used widely in hospitals and milk banks
- Dishwasher-safe (consumable parts only, of course, not the electric hub)
- Limited movement once you’re pumping
- May take some fiddling to find the settings you’re comfortable with – breast pumps, however, must be adapted to suit individual milk supply
- Not visually appealing
- Potentially difficult to use in public and not the most portable
What are the key features?
- NHS-approved supplier
- Closed system – vacuum seal technology gives 100% protection and prevents
- Mains or battery-operated
- Individually adjustable settings for speed and suction
- Vacuum seal technology to prevent contamination
- Includes 26, 28 and 31 mm breast shell sizes
- Can be used with any standard neck bottle
What are the specs?
- BPA-free plastic
- Three breast shield sizes and a silicone comfort cushion included
- Additional sized breast shields (22 mm and 36 mm) are available to purchase separately online
- One year manufacturer’s warranty with an extended guarantee for up to 400 hours
- RRP: £144.95
- Resale value of between £30-£60 on average
- Extras you can buy: day and night breast pads (£6.95), breastfeeding bag (£21.95), nipple cream (£8.95), nipple shields (£9.95) and easy clean microwave bags (£9.95)
What's in the box?
- 1 breast pump electrical unit
- 2 pump sets (150 ml bottle with 26 mm breast shells)
- 2 lids with removable inserts
- 2 31 mm breast shells
- 2 28mm breast shells
- 2 Optiflow inserts (fits in 31 mm breast shell)
- 1 cleaning brush
- 1 double bottle holder
- 1 mains adapter
- 1 instruction manual
The bottles are not just for expression and storage – you can feed directly from them as well as there is a removable insert which fits a standard neck teat. It's worth noting, though, that teats aren't included with the Ardo as standard.
What are the benefits of a double electric breast pump?
Using a double breast pump means that you can potentially reduce the time you spend pumping by half. Double pumping increases milk supply too, which means that a double electric is a good option for mums with low milk production and for mums with premature babies or twins.
With double pumps there is no breast milk leakage as you’ll be collecting all of your milk through both breasts at any one time. With single pumping you may lose milk from the other breast. So if you want to make sure that you save every drop, then a double pump may be the best option for you.
How easy is the Ardo Calypso Double Plus to assemble?
For a first-timer, the unpacked Calypso might look confusing when you first open the box, but our tester found it incredibly easy to assemble, with clear, easy-to-follow instructions that even a very tired new mum could understand.
There are also instruction videos and guides on Ardo’s website if you get really stuck and you can ask for help via phone, chat window, or a Skype or FaceTime appointment.
Everything you need is supplied and, despite there being a few parts, it only takes about five minutes to set up, even when referring to the guide. You should wash and sterilise the bottles though before first use.
Everything included is necessary and useful and all the parts are quick and easy to replace, which is essential if you're continually expressing.
How does it look?
For a double pump, the Ardo Calypso is surprisingly lightweight and consists of a main hub that attaches to two shields to collect the milk in bottles.
The hub itself is fairly compact (portable enough, at least) and the whole design is actually very simple, albeit not the most visually appealing – it feels a little clinical, which could be off-putting to some.
How does it work and what's it like to use day-to-day?
The digital display is clear and you can adjust the settings for both speed and suction while you’re pumping – with 64 different combinations, you’re sure to find the right setting for you.
And while that might sound complicated, it’s actually really clear exactly what all those adjustments are for and how to get them to work in the best way. The transition from single to double pump and back again is also quickly done.
The Ardo is mains or battery-operated, so once you’re pumping you’re connected to the hub and will have limited movement.
Our tester, Sam, preferred to sit still while expressing to make sure she saved every drop of milk, so this wasn’t an issue for her, but it is something to consider depending on your lifestyle and where you plan to express.
Discretion and convenience
While pumping at work shouldn’t be an issue for mums, many women do want their pump to be discreet. Sam didn’t think she would be comfortable using the Ardo Calypso at work in double mode as she felt she would be too exposed. Using it as single electric pump could be a better option here.
Another issue was that, as there are a fair few parts, it could potentially be difficult to take the pump with you when travelling or when out and about – it is a little bulky and won't fit comfortably into a small handbag.
With that said, the pump is surprisingly quiet and one of the quietest we tested (a mean feat considering its powerful performance), which does make it useful for discreet pumping or night feeds.
How safe and stable is it?
Everything was hard-wearing and hard to break, and would definitely stand up to the rigours of everyday family life. The hub even survived being accidentally pulled from the plug socket on numerous occasions.
The least stable component, according to our tester, was the bottle holder, which she found had a tendency to fall over when the bottles were empty. The holder is, however, stable when the bottles are full.
The multiple parts can be bulky to store when not in use, but a bag would help to keep everything together – the Ardo unfortunately doesn't come with one though.
I couldn't have predicted how stressful and emotionally draining breastfeeding can be in the early days, and, while it was a bit of a surreal experience for a newbie, this breast pump has turned out to be a lifesaver.
How comfortable is it?
The Ardo isn’t heavy, but Sam did feel that it was quite awkward to hold both pumps simultaneously – she found double pumping tricky unless she had a bra on to hold them in place.
Despite this, she found the pump comfortable to use, but tended to only express for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
The breast shields supplied also offered comfort, even if you have larger breasts – there are three different breast shield sizes included, with other sizes available to buy online, so you can work out which is best for you. Too large could mean part of your nipple may be sucked into the flange as you're expressing and too small could make your nipples sore. Having a variety of sizes options help you to avoid both eventualities.
How easy is it to clean?
Even though there are a number of different parts to the Ardo Calypso Double Plus, our tester found it easy to clean and to reassemble.
The consumable parts can be cleaned in a steriliser, dishwasher or microwave. Sam typically favoured a cold water steriliser when it came to cleaning, but did report some fading and water markings over time.
There are videos on the Ardo website to show you exactly how to clean the pump if you need extra guidance.
What about value for money?
The Ardo Calypso may represent a significant price investment, but it’s easy to set up and to look after, it does its job really well and the manufacturer has a good reputation.
With this considered, we think that this breast pump offers great value for money.
If you’re looking for a reliable, low-maintenance breast pump to use at home, and you want to invest in a double electric breast pump, then we recommend the Ardo Calypso Double Plus.
Quiet, efficient and simple to use, this is a straightforward and reliable electric pump that’s easy to set up, maintain and use day-to-day.
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.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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