The breast pumps were put through their paces in a variety of ways: our tester pumped at home, in the car (where possible) and in other locations, as well as at various times of day. The pumps were measured, carried from room to room, stored in handbags, car boots and under desks where appropriate. We investigated materials and hygienic design, and cycled through the different suction settings. We timed assembly and disassembly, and got an estimation of each pump’s noise level using a decibel reader.
Breastpumps include parts that wear out or go missing, so we made sure to wash and sterilise all the parts repeatedly, in dishwashers, microwaves and electric sterilisers. And we paid close attention to the customer service available – was it made obvious how to get in touch? What was the warranty like? Did the website include instruction manuals, videos and articles to offer advice? A great many did.
Finally, we assessed price and availability, and scored each pump to find out which was our best all-round performer, and which four deserved honourable mentions.
Our tester is a busy mum of three, who has been around the block with breastfeeding, formula feeding and every combination in between. Since expressing is such a subjective process, she tested each model thoroughly and then gathered as wide a consensus as possible from experts and, of course, the Mumsnet Talk boards.