Typically, expressing breast milk is much faster and efficient when using an electric breast pump over a manual one. But whether your baby is finding it hard to latch on, or you simply want to give your poor nipples a rest, electric breast pumps are a great way for your baby to benefit from all of the nutrients of their mother’s milk when bottle feeding is required.
While slightly noisier and bulkier than manual breast pumps, you can play around with the settings of electric breast pumps to express milk at a level most comfortable for your body. Most electric breast pumps, such as the Nuby Natural Touch Digital Breast Pump, offer several speed and suction settings so you can express your milk as comfortably as possible.
Mums who often have to leave their baby with a family member or a nanny may benefit from a double breast pump, which will allow you to fill bottles up much quicker than a single one. Although you’ll be encouraging both breasts to lactate equally, you’ll be able to fill enough bottles for your baby to feed on your breast milk throughout the day.
You can get hold of both mains and battery powered breast pumps, too. Smaller battery powered electric breast pumps are probably better for those who want to express milk on the go - our second pick, the Lansinoh 2 in 1 Electric Breast Pump, will do the trick nicely- while more powerful mains powered pumps are better for those who tend to breastfeed at home.
We’ve rounded up our top picks from retailers including Mothercare, Argos and John Lewis to provide you with a list of the best electric breast pumps on the market right now. When you browse our list, consider how many settings you would like your electric breast pump to have, and consider the price, too, because the best electric breast pumps don’t come cheap.
1. Nuby Natural Touch Digital Breast Pump
With both stimulation and expression functions, this is one of the best breast pumps for everyday use
Best for: Expressing every day | Number of pumps: 1 | Power: Mains | Settings: 5
If you’re planning on expressing your milk day and night, this techy digital breast pump will allow to you to manage the speed and suction settings so it’s comfortable enough to use regularly. Featuring a lit up digital interface, the pump is easy to use day and night, and Nuby promise quiet and discreet functionality so there’s less likelihood of disturbing your baby if they’re asleep in the same room. Having won the Made for Mums Gold Award 2017, it goes without saying that this product is fully deserving of our number one spot.
2. Lansinoh 2 in 1 Electric Breast Pump
An versatile battery powered breast pump for using at home and on the go
Best for: Portability | Number of pumps: 2 | Power: Mains or 6xAA batteries | Settings: 3
When you’re bottle feeding your baby breast milk everyday, a double breast pump is a far more efficient way of doing things. With the choice to use either 1 pump or 2, this breast pump will allow you to express as much or as little as you need. Whether you’re heading to the grandparent’s for the day or you’re sat watching daytime TV, with both mains and battery power options, this is breast pump is the ideal all-rounder. There’s 3 speed and suction settings and 3 pump positions, so you can find the most comfortable way to express milk.
3. Medela Swing
Simple to use and with 9 suction settings, this breast pump is a popular choice
Best for: Ease of use | Number of pumps: 1 | Power: Mains | Settings: 9
Featuring a simple connector with easy to use controls, this is the ideal breast pump for those looking for quick and easy expression. With 9 suction settings, you should be able to find the most comfortable programming for you, although there’s only 1 pump position, compared to 3 from our second pick. Mains powered, it’s a good one to use while you’re taking full advantage of nap time, and it’s easy to sterilise in the microwave, so getting ready for the next session shouldn’t be too much hassle.
4. Ardo Calypso Double Plus Breast Pump
Powerful yet quiet, this is a great buy for those looking to express their milk regularly
Best for: Quiet | Number of pumps: 2 | Power: Mains | Settings: 64 combinations
This Ardo Calypso breast pump has won the Mumsnet Best Award for 4 years on the trot, so we’re gonna say it’s worth a shot...even if the price will stretch your pockets. With 2 pumps and a combination of 64 settings to choose from, you can express milk quickly, efficiently and comfortably. As an NHS approved supplier, you can expect finesse when it comes to their products, with this breast pump promising 100% protection and contamination prevention. To top it off, it’s meant to be very quiet, expressing night and day shouldn’t cause too much interruption.
5. Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump
A breast pump from baby bottle experts, Tommee Tippee
Best for: Comfort | Number of pumps: 1 | Power: Mains and battery | Settings: 4
Featuring a gently massaging silicone head and 4 settings to switch up speed and suction power, this electric pump has been designed to mimic the natural motions of a suckling baby. While commending the gentleness, users have commented on its noisiness, so pumping while the TV is on or at night my be an issue. Having said that, the pump is part of an interchangeable system, including bottles, bottle warmer and sterilisers, so getting hold of everything you need to keep your efficiently baby fed should be fairly straight forward.
6. Lansinoh Single Electric Breast Pump
Like the sound of our other Lansinoh? This one is slightly friendlier on the pocket.
Best for: Mimicking natural feeding pattern | Number of pumps: 1 | Power: Battery 6x AA or mains | Settings: 6
If you like the sound of our Lansinoh offering but can’t quite justify the price-tag, this electric breast pump may be a reasonable compromise. Featuring just one pump instead of the two, it’s probably more suited to those who are looking to to mix up bottle with breast, and battery and mains operated you can use it while you’re sat down or on the go. With a ComfortFit breast cushion and 6 suction levels, expressing your milk should be a relatively comfortable process. Just bear in mind that this breast pump isn’t the quietest.
7. Philips Avent Comfort Single Electric Breast Pump
A cheerful electric breast pump for the budget conscious
Best for: Budget | Number of pumps: 1 | Power: Battery 6x AA or mains | Settings: 3
You don’t have to spend a fortune to invest in a decent breast pump, as this number from Philips Avent shows. While it doesn’t have quite so many speed and suction settings, and it doesn’t mimic the natural motions of breastfeeding as well as others, it’s cost-effective and it’s not particularly noisy, according to some users. Philips Avent say that they have reduced the number of parts, making it easier to take apart and clean and with both battery and mains power capabilities, you can use it at home or on the go.
If you are still weighing up the pro's and con's of breast milk vs formula, check out this guide to formula milk and what to look out for. If you decide formula is for you, our guide to the best baby formula milk will keep you on the right track.