Best Manual Breast Pump 2018

Philips Avent review

After extensive testing and gathering of anecdotal evidence, the Philips Avent Manual has beaten off the competition to be named Mumsnet’s Best Manual Breast Pump 2018.

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There are plenty of reasons why you might prefer a manual pump to an electric: they’re useful for pumping in a confined space or without a power source; they’re much cheaper and less bulky (good for occasional expressers); and some women find their bodies respond better to manual expression.

What you’re likely to want from a manual pump is portability and durability, and the Avent definitely delivers. Notable for its workmanlike simplicity, it’s seriously robust and stands at a diminutive 17cm when assembled. The BPA-free plastic of the bottle and funnel is solid, and the rubber valve (usually the first piece to wear out) is chunkier and much more hardwearing than others on the market. The pump also comes with a travel cover, to keep the breast cushion hygienic when thrown in a bag or the boot of a car.

It’s an intuitive assembly, with only six parts to put together, and can be done on the fly even without the instructions (not a bad thing, considering they’re brief and text-only).

The bottle markings are clear, and the funnel has been engineered so that you can sit back while pumping (though our tester still found herself hunching forward out of habit). The silicone breast cushion is soft and pleasingly tactile, making a good seal. Crucially, the Avent Natural is one of the only manual pumps available that has the option to purchase a larger-sized breast cushion if required. The customer service team is available through a variety of channels signposted on the website, and responds quickly.

I have an electric pump which I've yet to take out of the box because this one is just so easy to use. It's great for chucking in the changing bag and having on the go, and it's SO much quieter than using an electric one.

The downside is obvious from the first time in action: the pump handle is fairly loud, emitting a plasticky click-clack that may prove an obtrusive soundtrack to your TV programme or conference call. Still, whether you’re looking for a small, hard-wearing travel pump, or a pump that prioritises comfort and efficiency for occasional expressing, the Philips Avent is the one to go for.

The Specs

Type: closed system
BPA-free materials
Included: breast pump, sealing disc, newborn teat and breast pads
Warranty: two years
RRP: £40

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  • Mumsnet's Best Manual Breast Pump 2018

How we test

After lots of research, we handpicked and tested 15 of the most popular breast pumps on the market, as rated on Mumsnet and beyond. Find out how we tested them.

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