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Best manual breast pump

Which manual breast pumps are best?

It’s easy to ask another parent for advice when you are wondering what breast pump to choose. The truth is some pumps won’t just be suitable if they are right for someone else. To make the best choice, you should always go for a breast pump that is comfortable and easy to use, like the Philip Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump.

What to know before you buy a manual breast pump

Closed system vs. open system

The key difference between the closed system pump and the open system is the barrier the closed one has. This barrier prevents milk or other fluids from getting into the pump. Instead, the milk travels through an utterly sanitary system, preventing contamination between the pump and the milk. On the other hand, the open system pump doesn’t include a barrier. If milk gets into the tubing, mold can grow, and if not cleaned, it could be harmful to the baby. Overall, the closed system pump lowers the risk of milk contamination compared to the open pump due to this barrier.

Pumping goals

If you intend to pump milk occasionally, such as once a day or less, a manual pump might be what you need. But if you plan to express several times a day, using a manual pump can be very stressful because of the time and effort involved. In this case, an electric pump will make the expression more efficient due to the strength of the suction and the speed of pumping. Another option is to have both the manual and electric pump since the manual pump can give you more control over the suction process by helping you empty your breast after using the electric pump.


If you have to pump very often, chances are you don’t want to be carrying around a bulky pump. Fortunately, there are breast pumps that are lightweight, especially manual pumps. However, these pumps may not give you what you want in terms of pumping efficiency, but you don’t have to fret. If you’re looking for portable pumps that can also allow you to express faster, there are lightweight electric pumps that will do the job. 

What to look for in a quality manual breast pump

Adjustable suction

Using a manual breast pump with an adjustable suction can determine the speed and strength of your suction when expressing. Interestingly, most parents think of higher suction strength with greater pumping efficiency, but this is not always the case. If the suction is set too high, it can squeeze the breast tissues and cut off milk flow from the ducts, which can also be very painful. When adjusting the suction of your pump, always choose a level that you find most comfortable regardless of the speed of the suction.


One label you should look out for when buying a manual breast pump is BPA-free, which means that the pump uses materials that ensure your milk remains natural and safe for your baby. The safety of your pump is also dependent on how well-maintained it is. You should avoid sharing or reusing pumps designed for a single user because even when you clean the pump thoroughly, parts of the device are difficult to sanitize completely. If you plan to share a pump, you can go for the multiple-user options, also known as hospital-grade pumps.

Ease of use

When it comes to how easy to use your breast pump should be, you should consider a couple of things. First, there are pumps made with shields to suit your breast size, while others may include different shield options to fit any size. Using a shield that is too small or too big can affect the pump’s functioning, delivering a frustrating experience. Another feature to look out for is the pump’s efficiency, especially if you want to maintain a steady milk supply while juggling other commitments. Overall, a breast pump that is easy to use should also be easy to clean and maintain and closed system pumps usually make the cleaning process easy. 

How much you can expect to spend on a manual breast pump

Generally, manual breast pumps are more affordable than electric pumps, and they usually cost anywhere from $13 to $50. 

Manual breast pump FAQ

Do I need a breast pump?

A. The goal of using a breast pump is to ensure your baby has a constant milk supply. If you are away from your baby consistently due to work, school or other commitments, you may have to rely on expressed breast milk from a pump. Furthermore, if you can’t nurse your child due to a medical condition, a breast pump helps express the milk your baby needs.

What is the best way to clean my breast pump?

A. Typically, you should clean your bread pump after each use by washing it in a clean bowl with soap and hot water. You should scrub the parts, then rinse them in water and allow them to air dry. The pump’s manual also includes specific instructions that you can follow to clean the device properly.

What’s the best manual breast pump to buy?

Top manual breast pump

Philip Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump

What you need to know: It is a compact, lightweight manual pump that you can use at home or take with you if you want to express on the go.

What you’ll love: It features a design that allows users to sit comfortably and express themselves in a relaxing position. The pump also includes a bottle with a breast-shaped nipple design and soft massage cushion, making the milk letdown process easy.

What you should consider: Some users complain about the size of the flanges, so you may need to get flanges that fit your breasts.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top manual breast pump for the money

Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

What you need to know: This manual breast pump is super easy to use thanks to its one-piece design.

What you’ll love: It comes with a versatile breast shield that fits breasts of all shapes and sizes. It is also comfortable to use because of its portability and lightweight design.

What you should consider: According to some parents, the measurement for ounces on the pump isn’t accurate.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump

What you need to know: It is a hands-free manual breast pump that uses natural suction pressure to express milk.

What you’ll love: It features a pump strap and silicone pump stopper that helps to prevent breast milk spillage. The sleek and soft design of the pump also enhances comfort when the pump is in use.

What you should consider: Some users complained that the suction isn’t as strong as it should be. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ayotola Ogunsipe writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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