Top 5 Breast Pumps for Working Moms – 2018 edition

Find out how convenient pumping breastmilk can be for your daily life, and which breast pumps are your best helpers.

Apart from work days, having bottles ready to go is especially great for outings, days with dad and other situations that will certainly spring up. Being prepared for any and all events is no easy task, and having breast milk stand-by has definitely been a life-saver for us. That is why it is important to find a reliable breast pump.

So do you go for the best all-round breast pump, the best budget pump or maybe the most popular pump? If you have no idea what you need, check our complete buying guide at the end of this article. If you do, here are your top candidates:

Best Breast Pump for Working Moms 2017

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On-The-Go- Tote or Backpack

Pump in Style advanced - maximum freedom and comfort for the breastfeeding working mom

Perfect for moms on-the-go

The Medela Pump is the ultimate pump to buy as a working mom. This pump is the most versatile option on the market and comes with either a tote bag that resembles a regular diaper bag. Or you can choose a sleeker backpack to hold your new pump. This pump cuts your session times down with two phase pumping, its powerful vacuum, and consistent rhythm.

If you want the full freedom, ease and comfort of a breastpump you can use over and over again, anywhere for a longer period, you should choose for this top quality pump.

>> See all information and parent reviews on the Pump in Style here

Best Breast Pump for Work - Reviews 2017

Top Breast PumpsKey FeaturesOur RatingPrice Parent Feedback
Medela Pump in Style Advanced Frequent pumping, portable, durable, electric, double, 2-phase expression method, stylish bag options, battery pack, cooler bag, BPA-free4.7/5HighExcellent
Spectra Baby USA S2 Double/Singleunique massaging/suckling action, very quiet, closed system, hospital strength pumps, night light and timer4.5/5HighExcellent
Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump2-phase expression technology, manual, lightweight, easy to clean, small4.3/5LowVery Good
Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast PumpManual pump, Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free, Single breast, soft and comfortable, easy to clean, no assembly necessary4.2/5LowVery Good
Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Brafully adjustable, works with all brands, machine washable, hands-free pumping4.2/5LowExcellent

 Best All-Round: Medela Pump in Style Advanced 

One of the best electric breast pumps you can use anywhere

Portable, durable and comfortable

This is the all in one package that includes a built-in cooler for cold storage to hold your milk till you can get to a refrigerator or freezer. It also comes with five different breast shields for different sizes. The bag isn’t too heavy for daily carrying, and the let-down button is a fantastic feature with this device. Not to mention the fact that this particular pump is quieter and is very reliable with no reported issues or malfunctions.

There are a few downsides to this pump. For starters, the pump is secure in the bag. Being secure in the bag may not sound like a bad thing, except when it comes to cleaning, it can pose a few problems and can be frustrating when removing all the parts. The bag also needs to be close to you while you are pumping due to the fact that everything is attached via the tubes. The tubing for this pump can get some milk in them and can be a bit annoying to clean.

Over all, this is a great pump which is a steal considering all that is included. You get the pump, shields (remember there are 5), ice packs for the cooler and everything else you need to get you started right away.


  • Cold storage
  • Five breast shields for different sizes
  • Suitable for long use
  • Easiest to use pump
  • Portable
  • Produces a lot of milk in a short time


  • Less comfortable than manual pump
  • Have to hold the bag quite close when pumping

The S2 has a strong motor to help express as fast as you feel comfortable going. This is the ideal choice for many working moms due to the easy access of buttons to control both the speed and the vacuum strength. Once the pump is turned on, it will work in simulation mode that helps to trigger the let-down reflex and initiate expression. Then, with another push of a button, you can switch to expression mode.

The pumps strength is important to maintaining the supply of milk. If you are a frequent pumper, your routine need not only satisfy the demands of your little one but ensure the future production of your milk at a proper level. Too much production of milk causes your breasts to become tender and too full that can lead to a painful pumping experience next time around. If you aren’t doing it enough or can't produce enough milk for your little, you will need to pump more often to help your body become accustomed to producing more. The S2 pump with its maximum vacuum of 320 mmHg and super easy adjustable settings mimics your baby’s actions and stimulates your body to continue producing milk.


  • This machine is lightweight (3.3 pounds)
  • Super quiet allowing for optimal privacy
  • Is considered a "Hospital Grade" Pump for a much lower price.
  • It has an exceptionally strong motor


  • A bag is not included with this product.
  • The bottles that come with this pump could be of better quality.

>> See all information on the Spectra Baby S2 Double/Single Pump here

 Most Popular: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Medela breastpump is your best option if you prefer manual breast pumps

The Medela Manual Pump is a true favorite of moms everywhere

This is still the nr. 1 favorite for many moms, and rightly so. Though we hold the Medela Pump in Style as the most effective option for working mothers, there are a lot of reasons they prefer this manual pump. Medela has been producing these pumps for many years, and have fine-tuned the manual pumping mechanism for perfect control. It is light-weight, small and very comfortable. It can used on one breast at a time, and empties the breast efficiently because of its two-phase system.


  • Great value for a great price
  • Quiet
  • Very easy to use & manage to your sensitivity level


  • Not suitable for frequent use
  • Single breast only
expressing milk manually goes very natural with the Hakaa pump

Soft and comfortable - Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free

When you prefer a pump that has a more natural feel, the Hakaa is perfect. There is no need to attach wires, you can start pumping right away. It is very easy to control the suction rate, so you can experience optimal comfort. This manual pump closely mimics your baby’s sucking, and is made of eco-friendly, food-grade silicone, BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free materials. You can even use it on the opposite side when you’re nursing your baby, so you build up a stock right away.


  • Feels very soft, comfortable and natural
  • Lightweight, travel-friendly
  • No assembly necessary
  • Very affordable price


  • Depending on your flow, can take a long time
  • One breast at a time

>> See all information on the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump here

Must-Have Accessory: Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breast Pump Bra

Get back to work without worries about your breastfeeding

Well-designed pumping bra by Simple Wishes

So we cheated a little, because this is not a complete breast pump. It is a pumping bra you can combine with almost all breast pumps. But we had to include it, because this in combination with a pump offers you maximum practicality.

This is the life-hack for complete worry-free breast milk collection and working.

It gives new meaning to hands-free. The Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra is a bustier style bra that can hold the flanges securely so you can be free to do as you please. The Simple Wishes Bra consists of 83% cotton and 17% spandex, so it allows the bustier to be adjustable and comfortable not to mention soft and smooth, and the bra is machine washable. Simple Wishes comes in two sizes that will accommodate most women. With its four way layering system, everything is snug and maintains a tight seal.

The Simple Wishes Hand-Free Bra shouldn’t not be confused with the “all-in-one-bra” as it is only used when pumping. Whereas the “all-in-one-bra” is a bra that can be worn for proper support and keep the girls up and in their respectable place.

The Simple Wishes has a zipper in the front and can be worn over your nursing bra to hold the flanges in place. When you are done, simply unzip and take it off. Down side is the fact you have to find a restroom or private room to remove your shirt to put the Simple Wishes Hands Free Bra on. Although, a big plus is the fact that you will only need to buy one since it adjusts to your body changes. The front zipper panel allows you to manipulate the placement of the breast shields, and the back panel allows you to adjust the overall size.


  • Fabric is soft and durable
  • Supports completely full bottles of milk
  • Straps for additional support
  • Allows you to wear any bra you want


  • You need a discrete place to put the bra on

where to buy breast pumps?

Which breast pumps are good?

Buying a Breast Pump - A Guide

Breasting feeding is a natural way to feed your child, and it helps you to bond with your little one in a way you will never be able to express with words. And while working and being a new mom sometimes can clash, there is no reason not to give your baby the best that they deserve. While this is just the top five models on the market that we recommend, your style and comfort should be what comes first.

In addition to reliability, there are other aspects you need to think about when buying a pump, for example:

  • Is your breast pump one that is comfortable?
  • Does it pump breast milk efficiently?
  • Is the pump easy to handle?
  • Can you tote it around on day trips or to the office?
  • How easy is it to clean?
  • And most importantly, is it a pump you can afford?

Which Breast Pump Is Best for Me?

While there are several pumps that are available on the market today and range from a couple of hundred to well over a thousand dollars, it 's hard to know which one will be best suited for your needs.

Pumps come in an array of styles from Single or Double pumps, Electric or Manual to Battery operated. A busy on the go mom is going to need a pump that is of high quality and double sided to make the process faster. She will also need one that she can bring with her that is convenient like a battery operated pump.

What Are Hospital Grade Pumps​?

There are of course the “Hospital Grade” pumps that are available for rent instead of purchasing the breast pump. But the sad truth is that a “hospital grade” pump is actually a pump that has been used by several other moms over several years who have rented the model from the hospital and returned it when they were done. Hence the “rental” although the real hospital – grade double-sided electric pumps are well over $1000 to purchase outright.

Some may think it is worth it, but remember diapers can add up too, and you won’t need the pump for the child’s lifetime, so it just isn’t worth the cost buying the actually “hospital grade” pump. Plus, the money you are forking over to rent the device is taking money away from other items like diapers and wipes that run out faster than you can sneeze.

Automatic vs. Manual What is the Difference?

While the choice is purely a personal one, there are a few things you should consider before purchasing your pump.

For the automatic pumps that mimic the sucking pattern of the baby and that offer shorter pumping times, there is the possibility of losing power due to battery levels depleting. It is really frustrating going through and getting everything set up to pump, only to discover the battery is dead. It has happened before, and will happen again. But getting a battery operated pump is ideal for moms on the go. The convenience sometimes outweighs the cons of using batteries instead of an electrical cord.

The size of these pumps is another factor to consider when buying an electric pump. A rule of thumb is the bigger the motor, the louder it will be. So if you want to be private, a manual pump may be your best bet. But you should also take into account the pricing for the different models.

If you are working in tight quarters, an automatic pump can be a bit noisy drawing attention to what you are doing. For a manual pump, there is no noise to worry about when you are using it. You set the speed by your own hand movements, and the device is way more portable than the electric. The pumping times while using the manual pump will be longer, and you won’t be able to work on other tasks while using the manual pump as your hands will be busy mimicking your baby’s sucking pattern.

Portability and Storage

If you prefer the manual pump, you can rest at ease knowing it is the most portable of all pumps on the market. These pumps usually come with a portable bottle and breast shield along with a small pump handle. All items fit nice and snug in a medium purse or diaper bag for easy convenience.

Automatic pumps though are much larger and require a bigger bag to accommodate breast shields, batteries, pump system, chargers, vacuum tubes and everything else that goes along with the pump. No matter what device you pick, you need to remember that you will need a place to store your breast milk. The average temperature for your milk should be around 59 degrees F. This means you will need to lug around a cooler that has a frozen ice pack. Please note that breast milk should only be stored for 24 hours in a cooler. After that allotted time, it should be moved to the refrigerator or freezer. Many manufacturers of automated pumps have taken this into account to provide everything for the new mother in a single bag to maximize convenience.


It is hard to gauge what would be comfortable to you, may not be so for the next person. It is important to pick the right sized breast shield. The shield is for your comfort, so proper placement is critical. The shield should not rub the sides as you are pumping. Your nipple should be in the center to allow for optimized movement of the nipple while the milk is being pumped out. Your breast should move rhythmically with the pumping and feel comfortable.

If there are problems, it could be your breast shield is too small and will result in a poor let-down. It is important that you time your shifts of expression phases to adjust for your body’s natural let-down pattern. Most pumps will begin in a “stimulation” phase and after 2 minutes automatically switch to the expression phase. This may seem optimal for some women, but you may find you need more or less time in either stage so plan and adjust according to your needs and comfort level.

Lastly, you will need to adjust the vacuum speed and strength during your sessions. Again, it all depends on your comfort level the rule should be to increase the vacuum and speed until you feel slight discomfort and the adjust the pump from that point.

Cleaning/ Maintenance

No matter what pump you decided on, electric or manual there are a lot of parts that need to be cleaned. The machine needs to be completely sanitized every day despite the different parts of the machine. A typical breast pump requires warm soapy water for the smaller parts like the tubing and the larger parts like the shield and connectors to be placed in the dishwasher. If you happen to use the dishwasher for any of the parts, it is important to take them out to air dry as the parts may get warped in the drying cycle of the dishwasher.

Some pumps on the market are all-in-one models that have everything attached to the motor and they need special care when cleaning. A good idea is to buy extra bottle scrubbers with the pokey brush on one end to get into the crevasses of the tubes you use for the pump.

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