5 Best Manual Breast Pumps
Published: November 13, 2017
Breastfeeding is challenging in itself – late nights, sore nipples, and leak spots on your shirts. Finding the best manual breast pumps shouldn’t be. Even if you’re going to electrical pump route, trust that there will be times you need one, even if you are a stay-at-home mom. Many new moms assume that automatic pumps are better than manual pumps, but that is not necessarily the case for some moms. A manual pump is much more convenient and easier to use than an automatic pump that comes with a long user manual and multiple parts and accessories that are hard not to lose.
Why Buy a Manual Pump?
A manual pump is simple and easy to use. There aren’t any complicated instructions or tubes and pieces and parts to keep track of, not to mention figuring out how to use them. As a mom, you have enough to keep track of already, and you don’t need the added stress of keeping your breast pump accessories nearby so you’re not searching for them when you need to pump. Manual pumps have just a few pieces that are easy to store right along with the pump.
An electric or automatic pump sounds like it would be much easier to use than a manual pump, but the truth is, it’s not. By the time you attach the wires and find all the accessories you need, you’d be halfway done pumping if you used a manual option. Some moms use both types of pumps, but if the power goes out or you don’t have a lot of room in your luggage, a manual pump is a necessity.
About Manual Breast Pumps
Manual breast pumps are small, lightweight, and convenient to travel with. This type of breast pump is also significantly lower in cost compared to an electric pump. With a manual pump, you have complete control of the suction strength and the speed of the pump. Some moms get both an electric and a manual pump, because each has its own benefits. If price is an issue, you can get by with just a manual breast pump. Perhaps you can start off with a manual pump and see how that works- it’s much less expensive than buying an electric pump and never using it.
5 Best Manual Breast Pumps
There are quite a few different versions of manual breast pumps, so it’s good to do a little research to find the best pump for you. If you buy a manual pump and don’t like it, you won’t be wasting hundreds of dollars as you would with an electric pump. I’ve found the top-rated manual breast pumps that have a high customer-satisfaction rating and are recommended by moms who have actually used them.
NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump
The NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump is the top-rated manual breast pump based on customer reviews. This is an air-tight, vacuum sealed breast pump that is a great value for the price, which is less than $15. This manual breast pump collects breast milk by using a natural suction cup pressure, so there is no leaking or loss of milk, which can be extremely frustrating to a tired new mother.
The suction cup of the NatureBond Silicone Manual Breast Pump is soft and comfortable, and it is made with high-quality silicone that is BPA free and FDA-approved. This pump is lightweight, durable, portable and easy to use. It does have a hands-free option that allows you to catch milk leaking out of the other breast (known as the breastmilk saver). It will hold up to 4 ounces or 100 mLs of milk at a time. The pump comes as a complete set, with a dust cover lid and a carrying pouch. It will easily fit into a diaper bag or large purse, so it’s convenient to take it with you everywhere you go.
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
The Medela Harmony is actually the manual breast pump I used while I was in the hospital after my C-section, and I give it two thumbs up. I often preferred it to my Medela Freestyle double electric pump because I often didn’t feel like dealing with finding the space and getting into position with the electric. My hospital room was small and crowded, and I liked the quick and easy way I could pull this out and get in a pumping session. I like it for another reason too: Thanks to the Harmony, I was able to maintain my milk supply during the four additional days I was hospitalized (and separated from my newborn) because of pre-eclampsia complications. It brought me great comfort being able to pump away with this little device when I felt so helpless otherwise!
The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump has two expression settings and is conveniently designed and portable. This manual breast pump is easy to use, and it comes with a breast shield, a BPA-free bottle with lid and stand and several additional lids and storage containers, so you don’t have to worry if you lose one. It also has a unique, ergonomically-correct swivel handle, which makes pumping in any position a little more comfortable and convenient. It is compatible with a variety of breast shields, and it can also be used with a Medela electric pump. Many moms like this pump because of the handle and the discreteness of this pump (it’s super quiet).
Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump
The Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump is made with 100% food-grade silicone that is free of BPA’s and other toxins. It doesn’t have any small parts to keep track of, and it is convenient and easy to use. This pump uses suction to dispel the milk, and it can be sterilized with steam or boiling water, but it is also dishwasher safe, so you never have to worry about keeping it clean and sterile to protect your baby.
The Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump is discrete and compact, so it is easy to tote along with you wherever you travel to, and it does all the work for you. Simply attach it to your breast, and the pump does the rest. You can apply suction by squeezing the pump, but it is not necessary. A lot of moms who have used this pump like this option, because they can sit back and relax, or they can do some pumping if they are in a hurry.
Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is compatible with other Philips Avent feeding products, bottles and breast milk storage containers. It has a unique shape which was designed to allow for a more comfortable position when pumping. This manual pump has a soft, textured massage cushion that helps stimulate milk flow, which is really nice. It is compact and lightweight, so it’s easy to pump without having to switch hands or adjust positions, and it is also BPA-free as well.
The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is dishwasher-safe, or it can be sterilized in a steam sterilizer or in boiling water. Although this is a great pump, it isn’t quite as quiet as some of the other pumps on the top of the list, and some moms report a soft squeaking noise when using this pump. This could be due to improper positioning or suctioning, but is a factor to consider when deciding on a manual breast pump.
Silicone Hands Free Manual Breast Pump
The Silicone Hands Free Manual Breast Pump is a new product that is receiving rave reviews online, so I had to include it in this list. The product descriptions are difficult to translate, but the reviews are clear – this is a great manual breast pump. The suction cup has a unique design and it is guaranteed to keep its shape and maintain its structure. This manual pump does require continuous pumping to activate the suction to dispel the milk.
The Silicone Hands Free Manual Breast Pump allows for a comfortable expressing position, and is lightweight and portable. It comes with a soft, warm massage cushion to help with stimulation, and it is compatible with most other standard storage containers and some bottles. As with many of the other pumps on this list, it is made of 100% food-grade silicone and is BPA-free. Most of the customer reviews like how easy it is to assemble, and their hands don’t tire because the pump is low-force and doesn’t require a lot of pressure.
I think any mom will be happy with just about any manual breast pump on this list, but you should also consider how you will be using your manual pump before you make a purchase. If you plan on using a manual pump most of the time, then you may want to consider one that allows hands-free operation and uses low-force to activate the suction. You don’t want to have achy, sore hands when you go to pick up your baby.
The other great thing about every pump on this list? They all cost less than $15. You really can’t beat that price, and if you find a manual pump you love, I recommended purchasing at least 2 of them, so you always have a backup. If you buy one, use it, and don’t like it, you’re not out that much money, and you can still keep it for emergencies. You can’t do that with a $300 electric pump, which is why many moms stick with the manual pumps.
All the manual pumps on this list are eco-friendly, BPA- and toxin-free, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals, but you should sterilize any pump before and in-between uses. Although the Silicone Hands Free Pump is a new product, the others on the list are from reputable companies who have a proven record of safety and reliability, so you really can’t go wrong by choosing any manual pump on this list.
Breastfeeding sure isn’t easy, but with the right pump it can be a little less of a drag. While your at it, make sure you’re stocking on other breastfeeding necessities like a baby scale and bottle warmer!
Categorised in: Baby Gear Reviews