Best breast pumps to buy for your baby: A roundup of the bestsellers

We've collated some of the best
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  • Buying a breast pump is much easier than you may think – and doesn’t have to be too costly, either.

    If you’re breastfeeding your baby, the right breast pump is indispensable. A breast pump, for the uninitiated, is a gadget you use to express or ‘pump’ your breastmilk, so that you (or a loved one or caregiver) can give it to your baby via a bottle. 

    Do I need a breast pump?

    A breast pump is indispensable if you’re breastfeeding but want to share the feeding responsibilities – lots of mums express some milk so they can leave their partner to take care of a feed while they grab an early night or meet up with a friend.

    You can store expressed breast milk in a sealed, sterilised container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for a maximum of six months. 

    Expressing breast milk also enables you to return to work without giving up breastfeeding, as your milk can be bottle-fed to your baby while you’re working.

    Expressing a little breast milk via a breast pump is also an effective way to relieve the soreness that breastfeeding can cause.

    As with any baby product on the market, there’s a lot to think about. So we’ve explained a little more on how to pick the right breast pump for your own individual needs. We’ve also rounded up some of the bestselling breast pumps on the market at the moment.

    What breast pump to buy: Manual or electric?

    There are lots of different models to choose from, but the first decision you need to make is whether to choose a manual or electric breast pump.

    A manual pump is a good option if you plan on expressing milk every now and then. It’s easy to use, lightweight and easy to transport. Some are small enough to be stored in your handbag or changing bag. Manual breast pumps are often cheaper than electric ones too – useful if you’re trying to save money.

    If you’re going to pump regularly, it’s worth buying an electric breast pump as these tend to be much faster and more efficient than manual breast pumps. 

    Some mums prefer to leave buying a breast pump until they’ve established breastfeeding, but our baby gear expert, Heidi Scrimgeour, recommends buying a breast pump before you actually need it. “It’s reassuring to know there’s a breast pump in the cupboard should you decide to use it at any point,” she says. “Shopping for a breast pump – or sending your partner out to get one – under pressure is best avoided. Best to have it and not need it – you can always return it to the shop unopened – than the other way round.”

    The best-selling breast pumps and where to buy them

    Here are some of the most popular breast pumps available in the UK at the moment, which are recommended by mums.

    Amazon’s bestselling electric breast pump: Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump

    tomee tipee electric pump

    Credit: Amazon

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Quiet
    • USB rechargeable
    • Massage and express settings 
    • Portable
    • Small and discreet

    Priced: £67.50

    This electric pump has been designed with quietness in mind. It’s powered by a USB rechargeable power unit so mums can power up without having to be plugged into a socket – giving them the freedom to express wherever and whenever they want. A full charge gives you 60 minutes on-the-go and the soft, cushioned silicone is designed to be comfortable on the breast.

    GoodtoKnow consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: Tommee Tippee is a well-known, trusted brand, whose feeding products are loved by mums and babies alike. We love the fact that you can use this pump without having to plug it into the mains. Finding time to express isn’t easy when you’re caring for a baby, and the freedom to do so without having to sit still is one place is fabulous!

    VIEW AT AMAZON

    Mamas & Papas best-selling double electric pump: Medela Freestyle Flex

    mamas and papas double breast pump

    Credit: Mamas & Papas

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Lightweight
    • USB rechargeable battery
    • Pairs with breastfeeding app for support
    • Fits in your hand
    • More milk in less time

    Priced: £349.99

    This double breast pump is designed to half the time spent expressing and collects 18% more milk, on average, compared to pumping from each breast in turn. So it’s a real time saver. The digital control allows you to start or pause pumping, switch expression mode, and adjust vacuum levels. What’s more, the rechargeable battery lasts up to eight double-pumping sessions from a full charge.

    GoodtoKnow consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: Medela is a breastfeeding and healthcare specialist whose products come highly recommended by mums. A double pump is a brilliant choice if you’re feeding twins or simply want to express the maximum amount of milk as quickly as possible. This is another pump that’s great for pumping on the move – it’s small and lightweight enough to pop in your change bag. It’s an excellent choice if you’re returning to work by don’t want to stop breastfeeding yet.

    VIEW AT MAMAS & PAPAS

    Mamas & Papas best-selling single electric pump: Elvie breast pump

    elvie breast pump

    Credit: Mamas & Papas

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Silent
    • Wearable
    • Connects to free app
    • Remote control
     

    • Hands-free
    • Discreet

    Priced: £249

    This silent, wearable breast pump can be connected to a free app. It’s been designed to be worn in a nursing bra so a mother can go about her day – simply turn it on and press ‘Play’ either on the pump or in the app to get things going. It even switches from ‘stimulation’ to ‘expression’ modes and stops pumping when the bottle is full.

    GoodtoKnow consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: We’re very big fans of this innovative breast pump because it takes all the stress and hassle out of expressing. You can literally pop it inside your bra and leave it get on with it! It’s discreet and effective. In a recent consumer test, one of our mums called it life-changing!

    VIEW AT MAMAS & PAPAS

    Where to buy one: Best manual breast pumps

    Amazon’s bestselling manual breast pump: Haakaa Silicon Breast Pump

    amazon manual breast pump

    Credit: Amazon

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Natural suction
    • Made from 100% food-grade silicone
    • Inexpensive
    • Easy to clean

    Priced: £12.99

    This breast pump lets you express milk using the power of natural suction – just squeeze, attach it to the breast and you’re ready to go. Its compact size also means it’s great for on-the-go – just pop it in a handbag or change bag. To clean, simply leave it in boiling water for two to three minutes, or pop it in the dishwasher.

    GoodtoKnow consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: This is an excellent choice if you don’t plan to express very often and just want an efficient, affordable manual pump. A real advantage is the fact that there are no fiddly parts to assemble for cleaning – just boil the kettle! This pump gets lots of glowing reviews from mums, as its low-maintenance and hands-free.

    VIEW AT AMAZON

    John Lewis best-selling breast pump: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

    Credit: Medela

    Key features Key reasons to buy
    • Simple to operate
    • Ergonomic handle
    • Highly affordable
    • Easy to clean and reassemble
    • Compact 

    Priced: £24.99

    The Medela Swing Electric breast pump has been designed to help mums produce more milk in less time by resembling a baby’s natural nursing rhythm for improved comfort and efficiency. The manual-controlled vacuum allows you to adjust the suction for the most optimal comfort.

    GoodtoKnow consumer editor Heidi Scrimgeour says: Another one from Medela, this manual pump is remarkably good value for money. It’s a great travel option because it’s small and compact. It’s also ideal if you’re put off by the thought of washing lots of fiddly breast pump parts – this is quick and easy to wash and reassemble.

    VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS

    How to buy a cheap breast pump

    We’re all about saving money here at GoodtoKnow – especially when it comes to expensive buys, so we’re sharing some of our top tips for buying a breast pump on the cheap.

    • Online vs in store: With most baby essentials, you’re best to go see them in store if you can but with a breast pump it doesn’t really matter – just as long as it works properly and is comfortable for you. Most stores will let you return your breast pump if you don’t end up using it so always keep the receipt so you can get money back if it’s unopened. Do your research too. Visit stores to see if they’re cheaper in store and then look online and opt for the cheaper.
    • Sales: If you’re lucky enough to be buying your baby essentials when there are sales on e.g. Black Friday, Boxing Day sales, January sales and end of season sales, you’re sure to grab yourself a bargain.
    • Vouchers and discount codes: It’s always worth having a Google to find out if there are any recent discount codes for the store you’re buying from – even if it’s free delivery, it’ll make a difference to your overall budget.

    Breast pump safety

    There are no rules and regulations about buying a breast pump. However, for hygiene reasons, it’s recommended that you buy a breast pump brand new instead of using a second hand one.

    Once you purchase your breast pump, you need to make sure you clean it regularly to make sure you and your baby are safe from unwanted bacteria or infection.

    Some mums find they’re successful with one type of pump and not with others – everyone is different. If you buy one and it doesn’t work for you, don’t assume you can’t express – it just might not be the right breast pump for you.