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Motherhood , Product Reviews · February 21, 2023

11 Best Breast Pumps For Travel In 2023: [Reviews For Busy Moms]

Are you planning to go on a long trip? Perhaps you drive to work every day, and don’t have enough time to breastfeed your baby?

No worries, I was once in the same plight as you–until I found out the perfect breast pump I could use for travel.

Of course, there are tons of breast pumps for travel available in the market right now, choosing the best one could be daunting.

In this post, I will share with you the 11 best breast pump for travel in 2023. 

I’ll also answer some common questions about traveling with a breast pump.

Let’s get started.

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Table of Contents

Best Breast Pump For Travel: Our Top Picks (And Reviews)

Medela freestyle flex breast pump.

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If you have been searching for a breast pump for travel that would allow you to pump not just twice or thrice daily, but as many times as you want, then, Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump is exactly what you need. 

We chose this as our overall best breast pump for travel, due to its digital display and memory feature. With the memory feature, you don’t have to worry about positioning, and suction to get the efficiency in pumping, you can easily save the best pattern for future uses. While the digital display feature has a timer that makes breastfeeding at night cool with its backlight.

For moms whose baby dislikes hearing sounds, this electric breast pump freestyle is super quiet and enables you to pump even while the baby is on your lap. It also comes with a rechargeable battery that allows you to pump in case you are in a location where you don’t have access to light.

  • Highly portable and efficient
  • Options to use a single or double pump
  • Has rechargeable battery for pumping on the go
  • It is expensive than most breast pumps

Bellababy Double Electric Breastfeeding Pump

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Why should you choose Bellababy Double Electric Breastfeeding Pump ? Well, because it is pocket friendly and has quality battery life. Not only that, it is also safe and hygienic for your baby’s food because it is BPA and phthalate-free. Also, the low-level decibel is around 48dB, making it one of the lowest amongst other pumps.

Giving you more than you pay for getting the pump, it offers two extra storage containers where you can keep extra breastfeed milk for the baby. And just like the expensive Medela above, it also has different adjustable suction levels, such as four modes and nine levels for efficient milk production. Plus, these modes have the last memory highlight that picks from immediately when you pump.

Not only does this come with features that expensive breastfeeding pumps have, but it also comes with other perks like a touch panel for easy operation that you hardly find in other pumps. It is also wireless and has a long span battery that you can recharge in no time with USB—making it an ideal choice for moms on the go.

  • It is BPA phthalate-free
  • Has two sets of milk storage bags
  • Comes with a touch panel for easy use
  • Four modes and nine-level of operations
  • Some moms complained about strong suction against nipples.

Medela Pump in Style Advanced

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Functionality, Style, and advanced technology are the triune qualities that make Medela Pump in Style Advanced a force to reckon with. The pump comes with a 2-phase Expression technology designed to help moms optimize and efficiently get milk production in record time.

Not only is the breast pump an electric pump, but it can also be powered with a battery. This means that in the absence of electricity, you’ll still get to use it, anywhere anytime. The pump is a closed system pump, which prevents your milk from getting mixed with the tube. It is also a means to prevent contamination from the baby’s food. The pump has a touch letdown, an adjustable knob for speed.

If these features do not attract you, then it is essential to mention that it comes with lots of accessories like a cooler, two shields, two bottles, and a battery pack. While the extra bottle can be used to store extra milk when you are over-pumped, the backpack will come handy for keeping the other accessories safe and mobile. 

  • It has on the go tote feature
  • It can use battery power for operation.
  • Two phased advanced expression technology
  • Not your ideal quiet pump 
  • Single control for operation

YIHUNION Dual Use Portable Electric Breast Pump

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YIHUNION Dual Use Portable Electric Pump gives breastfeeding moms the support needed for suction, natural massaging, and milking. It’s made from silicone material, BPA free and satisfies food grade requirements which makes it safe and hygienic for your baby food.

Lactation is essential; hence the breast pump comes with up to eight different levels of suction for massaging mom’s breast. Each of the suction levels gives moms the natural messaging rhythm of a baby. It also has a mini breast pump bag that you can keep your baby’s item in.

Plus, it has a long-lasting inbuilt battery that, if charged once, could be used six times. This also means you get to use it whenever you are out of electricity. For your baby’s health and safety, this breast pump comes with a backflow protector that blocks milk from returning to the tube. This eliminates potential germs and keeps the milk fresh.

  • Fast USB charging port
  • It is detachable and easy to clean 
  • It has an LCD for information
  • 900 mAh in-built battery that is durable
  • It is small in size
  • After some months of use, some moms complained of container spin-off

Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump

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Philips and AVENT have collaborated to give moms and their babies the best of their essential product, which includes the Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump . With a single touch on the soft massaging cushion and pedal, the device gives moms the mimic of natural suckling.

For a breathtaking breast pumping experience, you can choose between the three expressions low, medium, and the higher suction level that come from the soft simulation. In case you are very pumped, you need not worry as the breast pump has two containers that can help moms store up to 4 ounces of milk for later use.

One of the most ideal breast pumps for traveling is this Philips AVENT Double electric breast pump. This is because it comes in a design that is easy to assemble and clean. Spillage is worrisome and can cause extra work for moms, but to avoid this, it has two flanges that fit almost any breast pump.

  • Compact in design and light
  • Easy to assemble and clean
  • Two flanges and two containers for mom’s use
  • It has Thinsulate that contain cold park and manual guide 
  • Not ideal if you want to use one suction

Spectra Baby USA – S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump

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Spectra Baby USA – S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump is a hospital-grade breast pump that has been putting smiles on mom’s face for breastfeeding. 

It has improved the closed system mechanism that is functional and also for preventing express milk from flowing back to the tube. The closed system ensures air doesn’t come between the pumped fluid. Mixing breast milk with air could cause bacteria and mold or tamper with the freshness of the milk; this improved system prevents such.

For traveling, the rechargeable battery is an excellent companion. With the adjustable feature, moms can choose the desire and comfortable speed they want, also add to that is the messaging options. Also attached to the device is a night light for night mode operation and a timer. If you want to pump the two breasts simultaneously, or just one, this breast pump is ideal both for single and double pumping. 

  • You can personalize the pump set.
  • It has two size options 24mm, and 28mm.
  • Can be used for both single and double pumping
  • It makes less noise compared to most hospital grade pumps.
  • Some users complained of durability and short life span

Lansinoh SmartPump Double Electric Breast Pump

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Lansinoh SmartPump Double Electric Breast Pump deserves a spot on our list of best breast pumps for travel because of its versatility, efficiency, and unique synchronization feature that you don’t get with most breast pumps. The smart breast pump can connect with the Lansinoh Baby application through Bluetooth. Through this connection, moms can monitor their pump, breastfeeding session, and also get help materials.

For breastfeeding moms’ utmost satisfaction, the pump has custom Expression, three different pump styles, and eight suction levels that give moms the similarity of having a suckling baby. The flanges of the pump come comfy and ultra-soft on mom’s breast, and there is no fear of breast diseases such as engorgement, mastitis, and duct.

With lots of highlights from the latest version, it includes accessories such as letdown breast milk collector. Plus, Nursing pad, seven ingredients of organic nipple cream. It also has Two five ounces storage containers, white valves, and AC power adapter.

It is also a closed system; hence it has a barrier between your baby’s milk and the tube. This helps in cleaning and drying the device easily.

  • It comes with 2-phase technology
  • The breast pump set is dish washable
  • It has two five ounces storage containers
  • It has some leakage issues according to some buyers
  • The pump suction malfunctions

IKARE Double Breast Pump Hospital Grade

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This is a hospital grade freestyle double breast pump with innovative-based design that gives moms more options that they can have in a breast pump. Moms can personalize their setting with the six suction and 20 levels of cycle for mom’s comfortability. IKARE Double Breast Pump Hospital Grade is not only powerful but also pocket friendly.

It is also a closed system pump, which means that the milk and breast pump motor won’t mix together. Hence, you can be sure that the breast milk is healthy. Another pointer is that the device pumps milk at breakneck speed; this comes handy especially when moms need to pump while the baby is taking a nap. For a more natural breastfeeding rhythm, you can choose from the three preset modes: Massage, Bionic and Deep express.

Like all IKARE products, this breast pump is also FDA approved, and has certified the RoHS requirement. Apart from using this pump anywhere, and everywhere you go, you can also use it at night, since it has an LCD and a memory function.

  • It is efficient and fast
  • Portable and mobile-friendly
  • It has a backlight touch panel 
  • Six suction level and 20 cycles for optimal pumping
  • Has a short lifespan

BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump

travel breast pump mom

For active pumping, you need an effective pumping device, and this is what BelleMa Effective Pro Double Electric Breast Pump is designed for. The silicone made device is to massage and help moms stimulate her breast milk, with its powerful suction.

Suckling and squeezing are natural ways of a baby’s breastfeeding. To give moms this feeling, the breast pump has 2-phase mode and nine adjustable suction which moms can switch between to get the desired pump setting. Moms can also personalize these settings. With its Independent Dual Control (IDU), moms now have the means to operate on both sides of the pump independently. 

More importantly, this IDU technology is time effective, as it saves mom more than half of the pumping time. It also has an LCD touch display, an inbuilt rechargeable battery, and a memory function setting that auto-resumes from the last settings. The pump comes with a bag that holds all your items in one place when traveling. 

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Comes with a bag to keep accessories
  • It has a quick assembly and user guide for the mom
  • It is FDA approved, so it is safe for your baby’s health
  • It develops issues after three to fourth months

Medela, Harmony Breast Pump, Manual Breast Pump

travel breast pump mom

The Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump comes in an ergonomic design, soft swivel handle, provides comfort, and enables moms to pump without burning out her muscles—designed to empty moms’ breasts in record time.

Unlike the electric pumps that come with different levels of adjustable suction, this manual pump comes with a controllable vacuum that is not only adjustable but also allows moms to pump breast milk at an optimal level with the efficient flow. Moms only need to switch to the long handle to reduce the flow when it gushes—it facilitates the means to which moms get full Expression.

It is designed with 2-phase expression technology, where the first phase serves as the simulation phase and the other phase which usually begins when there is a supply of milk. It comes with a breastfeed bottle with lids, a valve, and a membrane. The breastfeed pump is free from BPA, which is hazardous for your baby.

  • It has portable in design
  • 2-phase expression technology
  • Comes with bottle +lids, valve wand membrane 
  • Not your idea large volume milk pump
  • Weak suction level peculiar to all manual pumps

Evenflo Feeding Hospital Strength Deluxe Advanced Breast-Feeding Closed System

travel breast pump mom

One way to get the best pumping experience is by having total control of the pumping session so you can have an optimal expression; this is what Evenflo Feeding Hospital Strength Deluxe Advanced Breastfeeding Closed System gives to moms. 

It has a customized control system that comes with multiple combinations of speed and suction, making moms be in charge of pumping sessions to maximize expression.

It has a closed system design that works well against the backflow of milk pumped mixing.It also comes with three different sizes of flanges—this is to give the flexibility of accommodating other pumps; with it mom would not have to worry about flanges issues. 

It comes with an AC power adapter so moms can pump on the go, it also has batteries 6AA that can be used anywhere anytime. It features multiple bottles for pumped milk, storage bag, and even a replacement valve.

  • Comes with a lot of accessories
  • Has a storage bag and multiple bottles
  • Various sizes of flanges that fit almost all pumps
  • A bit bulky
  • The pump is a bit noisy.

Types of Breast Pumps

There are four types of breast pumps which are hospital-grade, manual, battery, and electric breast pumps.

Hospital Grade Breast Pump

Arguably, this is the best type of breastfeeding pump among the four categories of breast pumps. Aside from being the most recommended by lactation experts, they provide moms the strongest suction.

They produce sufficient milk for moms in record time than most pumps, and work effectively for double pumping simultaneously.

Hospital breast pumps are your ideal pump for moms of twins , and preemies. But since they are bulky, they aren’t fit for traveling. 

Electric Breast Pump

Electric breast pumps are usually compact in design, and they give power and speed but nothing in comparison to hospital-grade pumps.

They are renowned for their fast and effective pumping features, and they are moms’ best option for double pumping.

The downside of an electric pump is that it requires that you are stationary while pumping, because they come with a cord that restricts your movement. 

However, you have an exception and flexibility with Spectra S1 and Medela Freestyle, which are not only electric-powered but also battery powered.

Manual Breast Pump

If you desire the natural rhythm of a suckling baby, then manual breast pumps are the best. They are not only cheap; but also make less noise compared to other types of breast pumps. 

They are cheap, so you don’t need to break the bank to get it. Although they are portable; they require more time for pumping, since you have to do the pumping by hand.

Because they are usually small in size, they have fewer parts, and are easy to use and clean.

Battery Breast Pump

These breast pumps are your go-to pump on the go. They don’t require an electrical source. Once you have charged the breast pump, you can use it anywhere at any time.

It however consumes more time than other categories of pumps. With this pump, you have no options for double pumping. 

Battery breast pumps are more powerful, faster than manual breast pumps.

Editor’s note: Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Chairs For Breastfeeding

Flying With Your Breast Pump: Everything you need to know.

Unlike what you might have thought about–you don’t need to make a mountain out of a molehill should you plan to travel with your breast pump.

However, here are the few things to know before you fly with our breast pump:

Before Flying

First, you want to familiarise yourself with the TSA rules regarding traveling with your baby’s pump. Here is the detailed guide for traveling with children .

You might want to inform the airline you will be flying, that you are likely to breastfeed your baby while on the plane, and a breast pump may be needed.

This will alert them, and a provision might come in your favor.

At the Airport

The International Lactation Consultant Association , suggests that either in your traveling bag or even as a single unit item, your breast pump is not to be checked. However, you should present it to the security at the checkpoint to inspect it.

Note that you may be asked to open the bottle.

Breast milk is considered to be a medical item, and so you can fly with more than 4 ounces of it.

Also, your breast pump is best considered personal belongings, and so you can carry it with you inside the plane.

While on the Plane

Some moms would like to pump while on air, and hence it is advisable that your breast pump is with you and not packed with other luggage. 

Goes without saying that the altitude and change in air pressure may affect your cute angel, so you want to leverage on breastfeeding to minimize this effect.

Ensure to pack all the items you’ll be needing for the whole breastfeeding process— such as baby wrap where you can put your baby. 

Some essential items you might need are Nursing cover, power adapter, hand sanitizers, storage bank, etc.

While on the plane, you have two options to use your breast pump—either on your seat or using the toilet space.

Driving With Your Breast Pump: How to Do it Right

Using a breast pump while driving seems contradictory — perhaps you are even thinking how safe this is, perhaps, it is against the driving ethics. 

Yes, we are to concentrate  while driving, so how does one reconcile with using a breast pump while driving?

If it’s against the law where you stay, please don’t do it. But, there are some places where as long as the driving is not reckless, moms are allowed to drive and use a breast pump.

Here some safety precautions and measures to take while driving and using a breast pump:

Step 1  

Set up the breast pump properly before you start your journey. This includes fastening your seat belt before you start driving.

Step 2  

Use a hands-free bra. Hence you must ensure it fits well and you feel comfortable with it. Your safety first!

Empty your containers so you can store your breast milk and have full expression.

Step 4  

Connect the pump, attach the breast shields and containers ; you can then turn the pump, and zoom off.

Make sure you are well covered. This is why discreet breast pumps are necessary.

When you are done with pumping, you might want to pack somewhere to unplug or detach it.

Editor’s Note: Check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Nursing Pillows For Breastfeeding

Keeping Your Breast Pump Clean: Some Safety Precautions

The safety of your baby comes first. This is why you want to take note of these safety precautions while using the breast pump.

  • Ensure the milk collected is well covered after the pump, then placed in a safe place. In this case, refrigeration comes handy, as it helps preserve and keep it fresh.
  • After every pumping exercise, you want to clean the pump area, such as the pump panel, the dial, and the pump ends, with disinfectant wipes.
  • You should take all the parts of the pump apart for cleaning regularly
  • If you choose to clean by hand, place the parts of the pump in a basin, wash with soap and water, then allow it to dry for further use.
  • You may choose to wash and clean your pump with the dishwasher, but the best of them all is microwave disinfecting bags for travelers.

Do You Need a Breast Pump While Traveling?

No, you do not need a breast pump while traveling if you will not use one.

However, if you are a nursing mom, and will be staying away from your little angel, then having a breast pump will serve you well. Having a breast pump while away will allow you to pump some breast milk, preventing you from having breast engorgement, mastitis, and clogged.

Final Thoughts

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve reviewed the best breast pump for travel in 2023.

If you’re a nursing mom looking to buy a breast pump for breastfeeding, I believe the information shared in this post will help you choose the best one for yourself, especially when traveling. 

This is because we have taken our time to select the best breast pumps for travel out there, and also offer you useful insights on the exact things you must consider before choosing one.

I highly recommend that you go through the entire guide and digest it slowly, so you won’t find it hard choosing the best travel breast pump.

Also, we showed you those features that make each product distinct from the others.

Overall, our top pick is  Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump . And if you’re looking to buy a breast pump for travel today, we highly recommend that you go for it.

Is there anything you think I missed in this list, kindly share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Travel with your breast pump: Expressing on the go

Time to read: 5 min.

If you’re breastfeeding and have to travel without your baby, you’ll need to pump to keep up your supply. Here’s how to express on the move and transport your expressed milk safely

travel breast pump mom

Whether for business or pleasure, there may be times when you need to travel away from home as a breastfeeding mum. It might be a work trip, a wedding, or a night away with friends.

But being away from your baby doesn’t mean he has to stop having your breast milk. With the right information and equipment, you can express on the go to maintain your milk supply, store breast milk while travelling, and transport milk home for your baby.

Planning for travelling and pumping

If you’re travelling by rail or road, consider whether you can express on the move or need to plan stops. Train carriages often have electrical sockets but no private space, and roadway services may have a private room but not always sockets. Many electric breast pumps can also be battery-operated – just make sure you carry enough batteries! Some pumps have a built-in rechargeable battery, which makes them even easier to transport, as you can simply plug in to charge when required.

“I used to travel regularly for work, so I expressed milk in many different places,” says Karen, mum of one, Netherlands. “I always informed the organisation I was visiting in advance, telling them that I needed a few breaks per day, and a private place to sit. I had a good breast pump with a battery, so I could express anywhere.”

“When my girls were babies I worked largely from home but often had to travel by train to meetings several hours away,” remembers Hazel, mum of two, UK. “At home I used a Medela Swing Maxi double electric pump after breastfeeding, to build up a supply of expressed milk so my partner could do the feeds when I wasn’t there.”

Yolande, mum of three, Kenya, says: “I attended a three-day conference overseas, away from my breastfed nine-month-old. I confirmed with the hotel beforehand that I would have a fridge in my room and identified where in town I could get dry ice. I pumped throughout the conference, put each milk bag in a portable cooler, and transferred them to my hotel fridge each evening.”

Air travel with a breast pump

If you’re flying, contact your airline in advance to let them know you’ll be travelling with a breast pump and/or expressed milk and ask about any rules for carrying these in your cabin bag or checked luggage – the rules for frozen milk may be different to those for liquid.

Airline staff may also be able to advise you where you can express in the airport and on the plane.

“On the morning of my flight, I packed my milk bags into a cooler with dry ice,” says Yolande, mum of three, Kenya. “At the airport I showed the check-in agent the airline’s instructions on flying with frozen breast milk. The milk travelled from New Orleans to Nairobi, via Atlanta and Amsterdam, and by the time I got home almost 30 hours later, it was still perfectly frozen.”

Essentials for expressing on the go

Having the right kit is vital for successful pumping, particularly if you’re doing it for extended periods.

A double electric breast pump enables you to express simultaneously from both breasts, saving valuable time as well as yielding 18% more milk on average than pumping from each breast in turn. 1 Or you may prefer to use a single electric breast pump, a manual pump, or even express by hand.

You’ll also need to contain your milk – either in a plastic bottle or breast milk storage bag – and somewhere to keep it frozen or cold, such as a cooler bag . It’s also useful to pack a travel-sized hand sanitiser gel and a plug adaptor if travelling abroad.

“I expressed everywhere I went – in the car, on planes, in public toilets, you name it,” says Aisling, mum of one, Ireland. “I always had a stock of storage bags and an electric pump, a portable charging battery pack and a manual pump for emergencies.”

Pumping when you’re staying away from home

If you need to stay away from home, contact your accommodation in advance to book a room with a fridge or ice box, or ask to use the hotel fridge or freezer for storing milk. Pack plenty of breast milk freezer storage bags as well as a breast pump and cooler bag. Transport frozen milk home using ice packs, but if the milk thaws during the journey make sure you use it within 24 hours. Some mums even courier their milk home in dry ice, as discussed above.

Storing breast milk while travelling

Sometimes travelling mums express simply to relieve engorged breasts or keep up their milk supply. But if you want to save the milk for feeding to your baby, then you need to make sure it remains safe to drink. Store your milk in sanitised plastic bottles or breast milk storage bags and label it with the pumping date so you know how long it’s safe to use.

“While away, I used a Medela Harmony manual breast pump so I could express on the train, at the office, in restaurants, or wherever, without needing an electrical socket or batteries,” says Hazel, mum of two, UK. “Mostly I pumped just to maintain my supply and ease discomfort, but sometimes I would take a freezer pack and storage bags with me to bring the milk home.”

During the day, keep your milk in a fridge or freezer before transferring it to a cooler bag. If you’re using a shared fridge label your container clearly so no one puts your carefully collected milk in their coffee!

Transporting your breast milk

Take expressed milk home or to a childcare setting in bottles or bags, inside a cooler bag with a freezer pack. If your ice packs are defrosting then ask for a bag of crushed ice from a fast food outlet or cafe. Bear in mind that breast milk is safe at room temperature for up to four hours. In the fridge it can be kept for three days and in the freezer for up to six months. 2,3

“Work were very supportive and flexible with my need to express,” says Karen, mum of one, UK. “I travel a lot in my job, and wherever I was I would just ask to use a room and store milk in their fridge. I even did this at conferences and events. I only once left a bag of breast milk in a conference centre’s fridge!”

1 Prime DK et al. Simultaneous breast expression in breastfeeding women is more efficacious than sequential breast expression. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7(6):442-447.

2 Eglash A, Simon L. ABM Clinical Protocol #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Full-Term Infants, Revised 2017. Breastfeed Med 2017; 12(7):390–395.

3 Human Milk Banking Association of North America. 2011 Best practice for expressing, storing and handling human milk in hospitals, homes, and child care settings. Fort Worth: HMBANA; 2011.

Related Products

Harmony™ manual breast pump

Harmony™ is a single manual breast pump, perfect for mums who express occasionally and need a lightweight travel companion.

Breast milk storage bags

The convenient way to store, carry and warm expressed breast milk, Medela breast milk storage bags are easy to use and hygienic.

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The Medela Family app helps you to keep track of your baby’s needs from pregnancy to nursery.

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Pumping at work: Tips and mums’ advice

Diapers in Paradise

  • Breastfeeding , Products

Best Travel Breast Pumps for Moms on the Go (Plus All the Accessories You Need!)

  • May 2, 2022

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Breast pumps… definitely the best way to spend 20 minutes, amirite?

If you are a nursing mom getting ready to travel without your baby for the first time, you might be wondering just how you’re going to manage this whole pumping thing. Do you have the best breast pump for travel? Have you thought of all the accessories you’ll need?

Or maybe you’re pregnant and know that you will need to travel without the baby sometimes, and you want to make sure you prepare by buying the best travel breast pump.

Whatever your situation, I’ve gathered my favorite recommendations based on my personal experience and a whole lot of research! I hope you find information that is helpful, and of course let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

Best portable breast pump for travel

Let’s start with the big ticket item: which pump should you choose?

If you already have a pump that you’re happy with, I am a big believer in making it work with what you’ve got . But if you’re in the market, here are some great options to consider!

Willow Pump

travel breast pump mom

This pump is at the top of my list because I have a major crush on it. My pumping days are done now (though we still nurse), but the convenience of this pump almost makes me want to start pumping again on the regular. Almost.

What makes this one of the best breast pumps for travel? It’s super portable, doesn’t require you to carry around a giant bag and be stuck next to an outlet, and it’s quiet. With the Willow Pump , you can pump anywhere and anytime, so you don’t have to worry about stopping whatever you’re up to so that you can find a place to pump. It’s truly the future of pumping.

I love that you can pump directly into the storage bags, or into the reusable milk container if you’d rather transfer to a larger container to transport the milk home. It makes it so easy.

travel breast pump mom

I also love that there are only two parts to clean, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning and sanitizing (and not losing!) all the pump parts while you’re traveling. Huge win!

If I were in the market these days, this is hands-down (or up… or on your laptop… or holding your baby… the point is it’s hands-free!) the pump that I would buy. Especially if I were planning to do any travel while pumping.

Note that Willow has recently released the Willow Go , for $150 less. This version has more parts to clean/store, a less helpful app, and lack the 360 degree latch and leak-proof bags. However, the containers it does come with are larger, so this is actually a great option to consider and weigh the pros and cons for your situation.

traveling baby standing in front of impressive bell tower


HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A BABY: Everything You Need to Know

Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with Tote, Double

Back down to reality – not everyone wants to spend the kind of cash that the Willow costs on a breast pump. Maybe you don’t pump often – maybe only for baby-free travel! If you’re looking for something a little more reasonably-priced, but that will still do a great job, and you have the room in your suitcase , I recommend the Medela .

It seems like everyone has this pump. I have this pump. I’ve been very happy with this pump – it’s an absolute workhorse. I got spoiled my first few months by renting a hospital-grade breast pump, but it honestly wasn’t that much of a difference when I switched to the Medela. This is a good, all-around pump.

The reason that I recommend it for traveling moms (besides that it’s the pump that I’ve traveled with and that worked out just fine) is that it has smart accessories. The pump is built into a tote bag, so you don’t look like you’re carrying around a breast pump and you can store all the extra pieces in there so they don’t get lost. It has a portable battery pack in case you lose power, and this version even comes with the international AC adapter.

Tip: In the US, our outlets are 110-120V. Most countries around the world use 220-240V, which will fry your pump if you have a standard US AC adapter! Be sure to check your adapter before you go, and get a dual voltage adapter if needed. This is Medela’s adapter, but if you have a different pump, check your manufacturer.

I don’t love all the parts that you need to wash each time you pump, and I also don’t love the amount of suitcase space that is required to transport this thing. But it gets the job done as long as you can get back to the hotel to pump when you need to.

And 3+ years into my nursing journey, this pump has never let me down .

The main competitor for the Pump in Style is the Spectra , which lots of mamas absolutely love. I didn’t include it here because it’s less portable (you’ll need to buy a separate tote bag to keep all your supplies together), and there are lots of complaints about their customer service, which tends to turn me off a product.

That being said, it is a popular and well-loved pump. For more information, check out this comparison of the Spectra S1 vs S2 .

Medela Swing

Medela, Swing, Single Electric Breast Pump, Compact and Lightweight Motor,

If you like the Medela for the reliability of a well-known brand and the effectiveness of their two-phase expression technology, but don’t want to drag the tote bag along with you ( and you’d like to pay half the price ), consider the compact Medela Swing .

Unlike the Pump in Style, the Swing is super portable. It also has the option to run on AA batteries, so plan to bring those for just in case you can’t plug in.

This is a single pump, so you’ll be doubling the time that you spend attached to the outlet. The motor is compact and lightweight, which is great for transporting, but some moms complain that it is not as powerful as the Pump in Style. But if you don’t regularly pump and are buying one just for travels, this would be a great option.

The Elvie is a competitor to the Willow in the travel pumps category. It’s similar in a lot of ways, but more expensive and gets worse reviews. It has more parts to clean and some women complain about the suction being too weak.

However, the Elvie does have a few advantages that might make it worth checking into. For one, the Willow claims to be “quiet”, while the Elvie claims to be “silent”. From the reviews that I’ve read, if you want to actually have a conversation with someone without them knowing that you’re pumping, go for the Elvie.

If the cost of the Willow (or Elvie) is what’s holding you back, you can actually buy a single Elvie – the Willow only comes as a double. If you’re not planning to use this as your primary pump and want to save the money, this might be a great option. It’s hands-free anyway, so it’s not that terrible to double the time that you’re pumping.

Or maybe, like me, you only produce milk on one side. It’s rare, but I love that there’s an option for us!

Best manual breast pumps for travel

Whatever you do, do not forget to bring a manual pump !

You never know when you’re going to need a manual pump. Stranded on the plane for hours on the runway? Power outage at the hotel? On a tour bus for the day? Your pump decides that your big trip is just the right moment for the motor to die? There are tons of scenarios that might require a manual pump.

While I wouldn’t want to rely on a manual pump for an entire trip if I was exclusively pumping, I would absolutely bring one and keep it with me (along with a small cooler) throughout the trip. My experience with travel is that unexpected things happen , and I would like to be prepared in case I need to pump!

Of course, if you are traveling for, say, a work conference where you won’t be leaving the hotel and convention center, you might not need to take it with you everywhere you go. But I would still recommend you have it for a back up!

Cute baby in pink travel bag

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Medela Harmony

This trusty little pump has been all over the world with me. Long after I’ve stopped pumping at home, I still bring the Harmony on every trip with the baby (and will continue to as long as I breastfeed). You just never know when you’re going to unexpectedly need to pump while traveling, even when the baby is with you.

It’s not as efficient or powerful as an electric pump – not by a long shot. Sometimes I really struggle to let down with this pump.

But it gets the job done, travels fairly compactly, and is easy on the wallet . If I’m not expecting to use the pump at all, this is what I bring. When I traveled without the baby and brought the electric pump, this is what I brought as a backup and was happy I didn’t need.

haakaa Manual Breast Pump for Breastfeeding, Silicone, Clear 4oz/100ml

I’ve always loved the simplicity of the Haakaa . You just squeeze it and stick it on, and the physics of suction does the rest . I know tons of moms use this to “catch” any let-down on the side that baby is not nursing on, so that beautiful milk doesn’t go to waste (and the suction encourages a small let-down, so it builds supply as well).

While I love my Medela Harmony, I actually think the Haakaa might be the best manual breast pump for travel, because of its size.

It makes a great back-up pump. It’s tiny, easy to sanitize (just pop the whole thing in boiling water), and it doesn’t make any weird noises. It doesn’t have any bells or whistles, but I kind of love that.

Amazon has a couple different size options, from 3 – 5.4 oz, and some come with silicone caps which would be nice for transporting milk until you get back to the hotel, so be sure to look at all the options.

Tip: Breastmilk is not subject to the TSA 3.4oz liquids rule. You can bring breastmilk on board with you in any reasonable quantity , regardless of whether you are traveling with a baby or not. There’s no definition anywhere for what a reasonable quantity is, but I have yet to hear of anyone being refused. Breastmilk is considered a medically-necessary item by TSA. Just declare it and take it out as you go through security.

Your breastmilk will either be x-rayed, or they will swab the outside of the container to test for explosives. There is no evidence that x-rays are harmful to milk, but you can request that they not x-ray the milk. They may have you take out a tiny amount of milk to test. If they try to stick a test strip directly into your container of milk, stop them! That is against TSA protocol and compromises your milk.

How are you going to store and transport the milk?

That depends on how long you’re traveling, how much you will likely pump, and how you’re getting the milk home.

You ideally do not want to freeze your milk while you are traveling. If it defrosts on the journey, it cannot be re-frozen. It will need to be used right away or tossed.

That means that if you’re traveling for more than a week or so, you might want to consider shipping your milk home . Here is a company that specializes in shipping milk , but you can also overnight it through USPS. I have no experience with either of these options, but know moms who have done this without any trouble.

Get a room with a fridge.

The first time I traveled without my baby was for a 2-night getaway to Vegas. We called the hotel ahead of time to make sure that we got a room with a fridge, and I did the math and knew that I could fit everything I would pump into my 32 oz. Nalgene bottle.

Tip: Its fine to combine milk from different pumping sessions, but remember to never add warm milk into milk that is already cold. Let the new milk fully cool before combining.

So I kept it in the fridge, and brought a cooler-style lunch bag to get it home through the airport. We didn’t have a freezer in our room, so our ice pack was barely better than room temp. We combated this by filling the lunch bag with hotel ice before we left for the airport, and by the time we had to dump it at airport security, the ice pack was frozen and able to do its job. Perfect!

mother and baby ready to breastfeed while traveling

BREASTFEEDING WHILE TRAVELING: 12 Tips for Baby-Friendly Trips

THERMOS Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Beverage Bottle, 40 Ounce, Matte Steel

While I used a Nalgene and a cooler bag, a smarter option would be to use a Thermos . This bad boy holds 40oz and keeps cold liquids cold for 24 hours. If 40oz will get you through your trip, this is a perfect choice. You could even bring multiples if you like this option better than a cooler. Just make sure it will fit in your hotel fridge. If there’s a risk it won’t, consider still bringing a Thermos just for the flight, and smaller containers for the fridge.

I would recommend cooling your milk fully before putting it in the Thermos . Not only do you not want to add warm milk to previously cooled milk, but if the Thermos is closed inside the fridge, it will take longer for the milk to reach the temperature of the fridge, potentially keeping it warm for too long.

Freezer bags

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, 100 Count, 6 Ounce, Easy to

Another option is to use freezer bags, even if you’re not going to freeze your milk until you get home. Freezer bags are easy to store in a small hotel fridge, easy to pack into any shape of cooler, and then when you get home they transfer straight to the freezer.

Coleman Chiller Series Insulated Portable Soft Cooler Backpack, Leak-Proof 28

Unless you’re using the Thermos, you’re going to need a cooler. I prefer to use a soft-sided cooler, and there are gazillions of great options out there, ranging from 10 bucks to hundreds , like that lovely Yeti pictured above.

Breast milk will stay cold enough in a standard cooler with an ice pack for up to 24 hours. Double check the cooler that you’re considering buying, though – not all lunch box-style coolers are that well-insulated.

BLUE ELE BE01 Ice Pack for Lunch Box and Cooler,

Don’t forget the ice packs. TSA rules state that you cannot bring partially melted or “slushy” ice packs through security unless they are for medically necessary items, including breast milk . They will be subject to additional screening if they are slushy (likely the same explosives testing that your milk will get), but you don’t need to worry about them getting confiscated.

Other accessories for moms traveling with a breast pump

Now that you’ve got your travel breast pump and transport all sorted out, let’s talk accessories. I always prefer to pack light – even when traveling with my babies – but there are a few other things that would make pumping while traveling easier.

Breast pads

Whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, I’m betting the wet t-shirt contest look is probably not what you’re going for. Don’t forget your breast pads!

Quick clean breast pump wipes

Quick Clean Breast Pump and Accessory Wipes, 24 Count ;

Bring along a pack of these Medela wipes for hygienically wiping down pump parts and bottles in case you need to pump in less-than-sanitary conditions (ahem *airplane* ahem).

International power adapter

Power Plug Adapter (White) - 4 USB Ports Wall Charger

If you’re traveling outside of the US, you may need a power adapter. Many countries have different plug styles, and they will not be compatible with your pump. If you’re staying in a major hotel chain, they will likely have adapters available, but it doesn’t hurt to bring your own anyway.

Please note that this adapter does not convert the voltage, so you will still need a dual voltage AC adapter to avoid frying your pump ! (If you missed it, that was the info in the first gray tip box above.)

Alcohol test strips

If you’re safe to drive, you’re safe to breastfeed (or pump) . If I’m honest, I have never used these strips – any time I’ve doubted if I was safe to breastfeed, I just waited it out. Alcohol leaves breastmilk at the same rate it leaves your blood – so if you become okay to drive, you become okay to nurse.

I am a big proponent of never pumping and dumping unless absolutely necessary.

That being said, lots of people drink more than usual on vacation. Especially when they’re away from their baby and suddenly don’t have that responsibility. If you want the peace of mind, get the strips !

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, Safe for Baby and Mom, Breastfeeding

If you don’t normally exclusively pump, you probably don’t know exactly how the pump is going to treat you. EP’ing is a different beast from breastfeeding with occasional pumping. And if you’re bringing a new pump, you really don’t know how your nipples are going to feel.

This little 1.4oz tube will take up no space and is fine to go through TSA in your carry-on. You probably won’t need it, but if you do – it might not be that easy to find.

It seems like a whole lot to manage, but once you get the hang of things, traveling with a breast pump isn’t that bad. (I can’t make the same promise about the emotional challenges of traveling without your baby.) At least you can make sure you have the best travel pump for your situation. I wish you the best of luck as you look at all the options for portable breast pumps for traveling moms, and happy travels !

to pin for later:

Traveling while pumping is hard. Be prepared with the best breastpump for travel. Electric breastpumps, manual breastpumps, plus all the accessories you'll need to transport breastmilk when traveling. Tips and tricks for traveling while pumping! Includes Medela, Willow, Elvie, and more.

Originally published December 2019. Updated May 2022.

Dani Ward


woman who travels with baby and toddler on bench with international background

I’m Dani.

I want to help you prepare to have the best trip ever, because of – not in spite of – bringing the baby. read more


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13 thoughts on “best travel breast pumps for moms on the go (plus all the accessories you need)”.

I always wondered how to store your milk while traveling. I feel like that is the most challenging part! I have a friend who was pumping while we did a road trip and her machine was very loud and it seemed like such a pain. The Willow Pump sounds like it would be a serious upgrade to the one I saw her using.

Yes – storing your milk is such a big task to think about! And I feel for your friend – most pumps sound pretty obnoxious. That’s tough to do on a road trip!

I’m a big advocate for breastfeeding if mom and baby can manage. After all, figuring it out for the first time with twins means I *know* it’s way harder than it looks. The one lesson I learned the hard way was traveling on a business trip with my electric pump only to experience a power outage at the hotel. I never traveled without a hand pump again (and, of course, never needed it.) Based on these options, it’s good to see that technology has come a long way in the 10+ years since I last had a wee one to feed!

Ugghhh I feel for you! Not having the power for your pump when you need it would be so stressful. And of course, once you have the hand pump, you’re never going to need it! 😀

Many people make excuses when they have a child to avoid traveling, and one of those excuses is breastfeeding and navigating this task during a trip. So nice to see all this information on how to breastfeed while traveling! Anything can be done with the right tools, information, and motivation 🙂

There are sooo many reasons people could find to avoid traveling with kids – but if you truly love to travel, you will find a way! Happy to help people see that there is always a way!

While my breast feeding days are way behind me, I think this is a great go-to article for everything travelling Mums need to know for pumping on the go. The international power adapter would be a ‘Must Have’ I reckon. Thanks for putting in all of the research to help other Mums who probably have loads of questions on the topic.

I am now 26 years mother. Honestly, at the time, we did not take part of the things you envision. Which does not mean that you could not use them. I’m just amazed what changes in 25 years.

I can imagine I’ll say the same in another 25 years! 🙂

I remember the “pumping times”. I used Medela both manual and electric one. Having twins i had to pump a lot. Anyway, its over now but I would always recommend to every young mother to get good breast pump

Yes – I so agree! And I can only imagine what it’s like pumping for twins. So much work!

I loved this post as many of my friends who are newbie moms asks me about these kind of breast pumps. I have grown up children and when I was feeding, I was not having awareness for these pumps but they really look very convenient. I am sharing this post with my friends who would love so many varieties of breast pumps are existing.

Thank you, Yukti!

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Product Reviews

Pumping on the go: best travel breast pump in 2024.

travel breast pump mom

If you’re a mum who has committed to the breastfeeding journey and is faced with the need or desire to travel, I can definitely empathize with your reservations about the prospect of maintaining breastfeeding while on the go.

I can confidently say that having a reliable and discreet portable breast pump made all the difference for my babies and myself.

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There are several possible situations in which having a travel breast pump would be greatly beneficial:

  • You are travelling without your baby and want to maintain your milk supply
  • You and the baby are travelling, and you want to pump milk in advance for in-flight feedings
  • Due to your adjusted travelling schedule, you may need to pump while your baby is sleeping
  • It’s too difficult to nurse your baby due to location, social custom, or space constraints

While I’m sure we can both agree that pulling out your nursing cover and feeding your bub the way nature intended is preferable in all situations, it’s simply not possible 100% of the time. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best portable breast pumps for your individual needs.

This post is part of our tried and tested series of travel product reviews

Let’s take a look now at each in much more detail.

Features to look for in a portable breast pump

Before you choose a portable travel breast pump , it’s important to consider several factors. You want to make sure that the pump you choose is versatile enough to be used in most travel scenarios and of high quality to ensure it will last until you no longer need it.

Travel Breast Pumps – Power Source

When it comes to methods of expressing your breastmilk, you essentially have several options: manual, electric, and battery-powered pumps. There are possible benefits and drawbacks to each, and we’ll outline a few here.

Manual Breast Pumps

  • Don’t need to worry about the power source
  • Typically fewer parts to clean
  • Least expensive option
  • Best option for occasional expressing
  • Light and portable
  • Can be tiring to hands, as you need to continuously pump to maintain suction
  • More time-consuming than other options
  • Typically do not extract as much milk

Electric and Battery-Operated Breast Pumps

  • Most efficient option
  • Will extract the most milk
  • Available hands-free models
  • Best option for working mums
  • More expensive than manual options
  • Some can be noisy and distracting
  • Can be bulky and hard to pack
  • Extra expense of batteries
  • Might need a voltage converter

Travel Breast Pumps – Single vs. Double

If you decide to go with a portable electric breast pump , you have the option of purchasing a single pump or a double pump. Single electric pumps are less expensive and can allow you to multitask on one side and pump on the other, while double electric pumps allow you to efficiently pump both sides in half the time and move on to other things that need your attention. However, double electric breast pumps are more expensive.

In the United States, insurance companies must cover the cost of a breast pump. You would need to call your insurance company to find out if the coverage is for a manual or electric pump, but that is a call worth making.

Travel Breast Pumps – Discretion

I’ve travelled to places where openly nursing my bub was encouraged and accepted, and I have also lived in a country where it was expected that I nursed as discreetly as possible. You may naturally wish to choose a pump that’s as quiet as possible to avoid calling undue attention to yourself, and that’s understandable.

Manual pumps can be quieter than electric ones but a bit more awkward to operate. Most portable electric breast pump companies also focus on designing pumps that operate at a low volume so as not to call attention to working and travelling mothers. From a mother’s point of view, the most discreet breast pump is always greatly appreciated!

(And yes, I have found the hum of an airplane does drown out the sound of a pump if you don’t want to occupy a toilet cubical for 20 minutes!)

Travel Breast Pumps – Washing on the Go

Regardless of the length of your trip, you’ll probably need to wash and sanitize your portable breast pump at least once on your journey. Manual pumps have fewer parts and are easier to clean, but cleaning and sanitizing your travel electric pump isn’t impossible. If you choose to go with an electric pump, here are some of our suggestions:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask your flight attendant to wash or microwave your pump parts in a sanitizing bag for you – most of the time, they’ll be understanding and happy to help
  • Bring along a pack of sanitizing wipes in case of emergency cleaning
  • Pick up a travel-size bottle brush and cleaning kit to pack in your diaper bag . It’s a lifesaver!

Travel Breast Pumps – Available Sizes

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that just because women come in all beautiful shapes and sizes does not mean that all portable breast pumps accommodate those sizes.

Women with larger-than-normal nipple sizes tend to have a harder time finding pump flanges that fit them, and a further purchase is usually required because they’re not included. Finding the best portable pump for you is absolutely possible if you fall into this category, and I’ve tried to include several options.

  • If you are looking at feeding baby on the go, don’t forget to check out our buying guide for portable bottle warmers .
  • We have a great detailed guide on dealing with baby bottles on the go – from TSA Liquid rules to how to keep your bottles clean & sanitized away from home.
  • We also have a complete guide on HOW to pump on the go here.
  • For storing your breastmilk, we recommend investing in a good-quality insulated cooler bag

The Best Portable Breast Pumps of 2020

Spectra baby usa s1 plus electric breast pump – our top choice.

Spectra - S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support

Why We Love It : I really cannot say enough great things about the Spectra portable breast pump . It has a built-in, rechargeable battery and is powerful enough to use regularly, both travelling and at home or work. You don’t have to worry about bacteria and mould getting into the tubing because of the closed pump system, and mums can customize their individual settings.

The Spectra is also surprisingly quiet, allowing for discreet pumping on the go. I also love that larger flanges are available for purchase, making this a realistic option for every woman, regardless of breast size.

Cons : The Spectra pump has a higher price point than some of its competitors, and it can be a bulkier addition to an already heavy luggage load.

Unsure between the Spectra S1 or Spectra S2? See this detailed review.

Best Manual Breast Pump

Medela harmony manual breast pump.

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump with Flex Breast Shield and Extra Breast Milk Storage Bottles, Portable Single Hand Breastpump, 3 Pack of 5 Ounce Breastfeeding Bottles, Nipples, Lids, Collars, Caps

Why We Love It : The space-saving Medela manual pump has a lightweight and ergonomic design, making it a viable solution to occasional pumping while travelling. The researched two-phase expression technology makes it possible to get more milk in less pumping time.

Cons : As with any manual portable breast pump , your hand will get tired after a short amount of time, and it’s difficult to manually pump and complete any other tasks at the same time. I would definitely suggest it for a day trip, but not for longer, extended travel time.

Other Manual Pumps to Consider

  • Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump, Hand Pump for Breastfeeding

  • Haaka Silicone Manual Breastfeeding Pump

Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump Milk Pump 100% Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free

Best Single Electric Breast Pump

Philips avent single electric scf332/21 breast pump.

Philips Avent Breastfeeding Bundle with Single Electric Breast Pump + Breast Milk Storage Bags, 6 Ounce, 50 Pack + Disposable Breast Pads, 100 Pack

Why We Love It : One of the drawbacks of pumping can be hunching over uncomfortably in your seat, which is why the Philips Avent pump has a revolutionary no-lean-forward design. The quiet pump is lightweight, with fewer washable parts 3 expression settings.

Cons : This portable electric breast pump is only intended for use from 0-6 months, which means you’ll have to make an additional investment in another pump if you intend to breastfeed and travel after your baby reaches 6 months of age.

Best Double Electric Breast Pump

Medela pump in style double electric breast pump.

Medela Breast Pump | with MaxFlow | Electric and Closed System|Portable

Why We Love It : The Medela Pump in Style comes in at a lower price point than the brand’s other models, and we love its adaptability to many different situations. The durable backpack holds all of the pump’s components, including a battery pack, plug-in adapter, and cooler pack for expressed milk.

Cons : Although less expensive than other Medela models, this portable electric breast pump may be too expensive, even with insurance.

Other Double Electric Pumps to Consider

  • Lansinoh Smartpump2.0 Double Electric Breastpump

Lansinoh Smartpump2.0 Double Electric Breastpump for Breastfeeding Moms

Best Rechargeable/Battery-Operated Pump

Bella baby double electric breast pump.

Bellababy Double Electric Breast Feeding Pumps with 21mm,24mm,27mm Flanges,Touch Screen,Pain Free Strong Suction 4 Models 9 Levels Strength

Why We Love It : The Bella Baby pump is an affordable, effective option for most travelling mums. It has a built-in, USB-rechargeable battery, which can be charged in a variety of different ways while on the go. This portable breast pump boasts a low working sound and has 9 levels of suction, which is an impressive range of customization.

Cons : Given that this is a battery-operated pump, it will need to be charged regularly. This could be difficult on longer, overseas flights. Flanges also come in limited sizes, eliminating this as an option for women with larger breasts.

Other Battery-Operated Pumps to Consider :

  • NCVI Double Electric Breast Pump

NCVI Double Electric Breast Pump 8782, Portable Anti-Backflow, with 4 Size Flanges, 4 Modes & 9 Levels, LED Display, 10 Breastmilk Storage Bags, Ultra-Quiet and Pain Free Breast Pumps

  • Baby Buddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump

BabyBuddha Breast Pump - Portable & Compact with 15 Levels of Control - Battery Powered Electric & Hands Free - Quiet Single & Double Pump - Mobility While Comfortably Pumping - Universal Components

Best Hands-Free Breast Pump

Elvie wearable double breast pump with app.

Elvie Breast Pump - Double

Why We Love It : This stealthy, cord-free double breast pump fits inside the bra and can be worn discreetly while travelling. There are few washable parts, and the app monitors milk volume in real-time. The app also controls suction, and the Elvie automatically detects letdown and switches from Stimulation to Expression mode.

Cons : The Elvie comes with a hefty price tag, making it an unaffordable option for many. In addition, women with larger busts may not find a flange that fits. It would also be necessary to insert the Elvie into your bra before boarding a flight, and it would need to be recharged after two or three feedings. This can be quite a bit to remember while you’re trying not to lose your children in the airport terminal.

With all of the portable breast pumps available on the market right now, continuing to breastfeed your bub while travelling and working is a more realistic option now than ever before.

I am living, breathing proof that you can explore the world and maintain breastfeeding, and I’m here to make that dream a reality for you as well. I’m sure that with the many options we’ve provided for you, you’re sure to find the Best Portable Breast Pump to fit your unique needs.

More useful information about travelling with infants

We have a wide range of articles to help you get on the move, even after kids come along. You can start with our best baby travel advice , then move on to our toddler travel advice home page, or jump straight to:

  • The ultimate guide to your first flight with a baby
  • 10 baby travel essentials we never leave home without
  • Best portable baby baths – for washing on the go
  • Best portable baby monitors – ideal for when baby is sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings
  • Best infant travel bassinets – for sleeping on the go
  • The best compact travel strollers – so small they can even come with you on the airplane

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Traveling with breast milk: Here's what you need to know

If you're a breastfeeding mom and you're traveling, rest assured that there are ways to breastfeed, pump, and store breast milk safely on an airplane. 

Caroline Picard

What's the best way to keep breast milk fresh while traveling?

What are the tsa regulations for flying with breast milk, can you bring a breast pump on an airplane, tips for breastfeeding and pumping while flying, tips for breastfeeding and pumping at the airport, is shipping breast milk possible.

If you're a breastfeeding , pumping , or exclusively pumping mom, you may be wondering how this will all work when it's time to travel with or without your baby . The good news: Flying with breast milk is possible, and many pumping moms board airplanes with their breast pumps and coolers full of breast milk every day. Find out about pumping and breastfeeding on planes and in airports, TSA regulations for breast milk, and how to store milk at your destination or get it home safely.

When you're moving from place to place, the best way to store breast milk is in sealed containers kept in a small, insulated cooler bag with frozen ice packs.

Many moms like to use pre-sterilized, sealable bags that are specially designed for storing breast milk. You can also use hard plastic or glass containers – just make sure whatever you use is clean (wash with hot, soapy water, rinse well, and air dry) and tightly sealed.

You may want to put only a small amount of milk in each container – 2- to 4-ounce portions – so you'll have a single serving ready to feed your baby, if they're traveling with you. If you'll freeze your milk, leave about an inch of room at the top of each container to allow for expansion.

Your milk will stay fresh for 24 hours in a cooler with frozen ice packs. You can give it to your baby that day or the next, or take it to where you're staying and stick it in a fridge or freezer for longer storage. (If you'll be staying at a hotel when you're traveling, call ahead and ask for a mini-fridge in your room.)

If you won't use your milk right away, label your container with the date so you'll know its freshness. Breast milk stays fresh for four hours at room temperature, four days in the refrigerator, and 6 to 12 months frozen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

(Note that if your breast milk was frozen and thawed during travel, you need to use it within 24 hours – for safety's sake, you can't refreeze it at your destination.)

TSA regulations state that you can bring breast milk on an airplane in "reasonable quantities" above the 3.4-ounce rule that applies for other liquids and gels. This is true whether you're traveling with your baby or not. Let TSA officers know before you go through security that you're traveling with breast milk and ice packs.

That said, TSA officers may request you transfer a small sample of your breast milk for screening. Your breast milk will still be safe if it's X-rayed, but you're allowed to request that TSA officers don't open your milk; you may then need to undergo additional screening procedures.

Ice packs, freezer packs, and frozen gel packs are allowed through security, too – it doesn’t matter if they've started to melt a little. Note though, that a slushy ice pack may be subject to additional screening. Traveling with solid ice packs may save you some time.

With this in mind, it's a good idea to budget extra time for security screenings at the airport when traveling with breast milk.

Unfortunately, even though the TSA rules are clear and TSA officials receive ongoing training to assure that they're treating travelers carrying breast milk and formula fairly, many breastfeeding moms have still had uncomfortable and frustrating experiences with screening officials. A good rule to follow: Print the TSA regulations and keep a copy with you (or on your phone) when you're traveling, and if an agent gives you a hard time, ask to speak to their supervisor.

If you don't need to access the breast milk you're traveling with during your flight, you can always check your breast milk in a small insulated cooler with frozen ice packs. The storage compartments in planes stay quite cool, so your breast milk will be fine for the duration of a domestic flight.

Yes. Your breast pump is considered a personal item, and you can carry it on like a laptop or a purse on most airlines. While some airlines consider breast pumps a medical device and don't count it toward your carry-on total, others do. Call your airline ahead of time to confirm its policy.

Keep in mind that depending on the type of airplane you're flying in, if you need to pump during your flight and want to stay in your seat, you may not have easy access to a plug for an electric breast pump. In this case, having a battery-powered or manual breast pump is handy.

If you're flying with your baby and you need to breastfeed during a flight, go right ahead. There are no restrictions that prevent you from breastfeeding in your seat. You may prefer to drape a nursing cover or scarf over your chest for privacy, and if you'd like, you can be transparent and let your seatmates know from the start that you intend to breastfeed.

If a fellow passenger complains about your breastfeeding or feels uncomfortable, let a flight attendant know; they can help accommodate you or reseat the other passenger. Most flight attendants will take extra steps to make sure you're comfortable.

Consider booking a window seat, which will give you slightly more room and privacy if you're breastfeeding or pumping. Booking an additional airplane seat for your baby's car seat (instead of flying with a lap infant ) will also give you more room for feeding or changing your baby mid-flight . Another option is to breastfeed or pump in the airplane restrooms. This works for some moms who prefer additional privacy, but it's not a very comfortable option.

If you plan to pump or breastfeed in flight, keep in mind the best times to do so. If you're pumping, you may have to wait until after the captain has allowed the use of electronic devices after take-off. If you're breastfeeding and traveling with your baby in your lap, you may want to consider feeding them during takeoff or landing to help relieve pressure in your baby's ears.

Note: Studies have found that the tap water on some airplanes may contain coliform bacteria, so don't use it to clean your pumping equipment or bottles. You might want to request bottled water if you do need to clean your equipment while in flight.

Remember to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before pumping or handling your pumping equipment. (A small amount of hand sanitizer is safe to use on your baby's hands as well.) Get more tips for traveling with your baby or toddler .

Every state in the U.S. has a law in place that allows for women to breastfeed in any public or private location, and that includes airports.

Per the Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act, all hub airports must provide a private, non-bathroom lactation space in every terminal for moms to breastfeed or pump. In some airports, these are dedicated nursing lounges or family rooms, while others have special "nursing pods" throughout the airport.

If you're traveling internationally , you may want to do some research before you leave: Cultural attitudes toward breastfeeding vary by country and by culture. When you get to your destination, ask at an information desk for an appropriate place to pump or breastfeed. And don't forget to add an adapter (or extra batteries) for your electric breast pump to your packing list if you need it.

If you're traveling away from your baby for an extended period of time, you may want to consider shipping breast milk home to your baby or for storage in your home freezer. While it can be more difficult and expensive than carrying the milk home yourself, it's certainly possible.

The easiest option is to use a dedicated breast milk shipping company, like Milk Stork Opens a new window . (If you're traveling for work, some employers even provide this service as a covered perk.)

If you can freeze your breast milk, you can ship that frozen milk home in a cooler with ice packs using overnight shipping. The United States Postal Service can do this for you; private shipping companies like FedEx have cold-shipping package options that allow you to send breast milk home via overnight delivery. If the milk arrives frozen, it can go in the freezer for future use. If it thaws, however, the milk shouldn't be refrozen – it will have to be used within 24 hours.

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BabyCenter's Love It award winners for Best breast milk storage bags

Flying with a baby: 15 tips for an easier trip

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Where can I change my baby on a plane?

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies .

Transportation Security Administration. Undated. Traveling with Children. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Travel Recommendations for Nursing Families. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Breastfeeding. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

La Leche League. 2020. Traveling with Frozen Human Milk. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

National Library of Medicine. 2015. Bacteria that travel: The quality of aircraft water. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health . Opens a new window / [Accessed January 2024]

U.S. Congress. 2020. S.2638 - Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

National Conference of State Legislatures. 2021. Breastfeeding State Laws. Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

U.S. Breastfeeding Committee. Undated. Federal Legislation to Protect Breastfeeding Travelers. Opens a new window [Accessed May 2022]

National Conference of State Legislatures. Undated. Breastfeeding State Laws. Opens a new window [Accessed May 2022]

Amy Cassell

Where to go next

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Embracing the chaos of motherhood, without sacrificing your sanity.

Mom After Baby LOGO - postpartum and beyond

Motherhood just got easier , friends.

(traveling while exclusively pumping) Photo of woman manually breast pumping milk out next to an airplane window that's looking over bright teal/blue water

Traveling While Exclusively Pumping – 10 Tips for Mom

This post may contain affiliate links that I may receive a commission from if you click & buy. In addition, the information on this site is NOT intended to be medical advice. See my full policy for more information.

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Best portable breast pumps for traveling moms

Pumping breast milk isn’t the most ideal situation you’ve ever imagined yourself being in, but here you are. You’re a mom trying to keep up her milk supply, feed her baby breastmilk, and are also trying not to stress out while pumping on the go. Fortunately, I’m going to share the best tips to help any mom traveling while exclusively pumping so she can minimize the stress and stay on her pumping schedule.

10 Life-Saving Tips for Moms Traveling While Exclusively Pumping

Let’s face it, pumping while traveling or going on road trips can feel pretty overwhelming. You need to make sure you bring all the right gear and supplies. Finding a private place to pump might also be an issue. The stress is real.

So, instead of stressing out about your next trip, use the tips below to help make it as smooth as butter!

Be Aware of the Airport Rules When Traveling with Pumped Breast Milk

If you will be traveling by plane, it is a good idea to double-check TSA guidelines or talk to a TSA officer (Transportation Security Administration Officer) to familiarize yourself with the process of bringing breast milk onto an airplane.

According to the current US guidelines as of 10/2022 — “ Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) are considered medically necessary liquids. “

On your day of travel, inform the TSA agent that you’re traveling with breast milk and a breast pump. Take the milk out of your carry-on bags and have it ready to be screened. This is the best way to ensure the process goes fast and smoothly. Sometimes they may test the milk, but they don’t always do this.

Travel with a Portable Breast Pump (if you have one)

Traveling with a portable pump will make your life way easier, typically because more portable pumps are smaller, more compact, and overall quiet. A few of my favorite portable breast pumps include:

  • Spectra S9 Portable Breast Pump
  • Willow 3.0 Hands-Free Breast Pump
  • Bellababy Double Electric Breast Pumps ( budget-friendly favorite )
  • Elvie Stride Portable Breast Pump (ultra-quiet & discreet)

And if you’re wondering how in the world your pump will get power when you’re stuck on a long flight or driving out to a work trip..grab yourself a battery pack .

You’ll want to make sure whichever battery pack you choose is a compatible and reliable power source for your electric breast pump.

Bring a Cooler Bag or Travel Fridge to Store Your Pumped Milk

If you’re traveling with your breast milk by car, using a breast milk cooler with some frozen ice packs should suffice to keep your expressed milk cool enough during your travels.

Another awesome option for the car is to use a mini fridge like this one , that plugs in directly to your car to stay cool! Plus, it can hold other things too that a small cooler might not be able to.

If you’re traveling by plane, you can bring a breast milk cooler and then grab some ice from one of the airport coffee shops or food restaurants before boarding your plane to ensure the ice isn’t melted.

image shows close up photo of medela bottle with milk inside of a breast milk cooler bag and blue ice pack

This Medela pump uses patented two-phase expression technology that serves to produce more milk in less time than other pumps. Because of this, travel is a breeze. You don’t have to sit for a long time with this pump since it works so efficiently.

This pump is also battery operated, meaning you can take it and use it anywhere you go during your travels—even in the car. When you finally get settled in a place with a power source, you can recharge for your next day on the road.

The most unique thing about this Medela pump is that it comes built into a sleek and stylish backpack that conveniently holds everything you need. It comes with two bottles, a cooler and ice pack, two shields, and more. All of this fits in the backpack for easy packing and traveling.

  • Discrete traveling storage
  • Rechargeable battery operation
  • Two-phase expression technology for efficiency
  • Single knob adjustments for easy use
  • Stylish and convenient backpack storage
  • Double pump
  • Several accessories
  • Not as easy to clean
  • No dual controls

Traveling is all about packing the most while taking up the least amount of space. The Spectra 9 Plus Pump lets you do just that. This little pump is roughly the size of the average cell phone and weighs less than a pound, making it super convenient to pack for traveling.

travel breast pump mom

Like other pumps, you get what you need included in this package: two bottles, backflow protectors, valves, tubing, and flanges. While you’re using this pump, you can easily see your settings and options on the LCD screen. With features like advanced massage and expression, you can adjust your suction levels and control the timer and cycles.

Many moms love this pump because it’s so tiny and easy to use anywhere—especially in the car. Its rechargeable battery lasts about three hours, giving you plenty of time to pump before your next charge.

It also includes a power cord, so you don’t have to use up the battery while you’re in your hotel room or connected to a car adapter.

  • Extremely portable, lightweight, and small for travel
  • Easy to operate
  • Rechargeable battery power
  • Great for the car
  • Easy to read and view LCD screen
  • Powerful for its size
  • Fewer options than standard pumps
  • Single pump only
  • Best for travel, not everyday use

The IKare Electric Double Breast Pump is a hospital grade product, which tends to make nervous moms feel better. FDA approved and BPA free, this product is incredibly safe to use with high-quality materials.

travel breast pump mom

This pump uses piston-driven technology that works to separate the pumping unit from the milk flow, keeping everything clean and uncontaminated.

Highly customizable, the pump has five modes with nine suction levels each. All these options let moms choose what works best for them, rather than having to deal with a one size fits all situation. Not only can you pick your favorite setting, but the memory function will record and remember it for your next use.

This IKare product is so compact and lightweight that you’ll love traveling with it. It makes packing easy, and it has a rechargeable battery pack so you can use it anywhere—from in your car to pit stops along your travels. Additionally, it comes with a manual kit, so if you run out of charge you can still pump!

Finally, the pump uses noise-proof technology to significantly lessen the amount of noise your pump makes while you use it. You won’t disturb your traveling companions, especially when you have to pump in the hotel room in the middle of the night.

  • Closed system for easy cleaning and hygiene
  • Hospital grade material
  • Powerful suction with customizable settings
  • Memory feature
  • Efficient for more milk in less time
  • Rechargeable battery for anywhere use
  • Manual pump option included
  • Noise control technology
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Only include two bottles
  • Does not include a carrying bag
  • Additional accessories not yet available

If you’re into new technology, you should definitely try the Bellababy Double Electronic Breastfeeding Pump. Not only is it excellent for traveling, but it features high-tech qualities that make it all the rage.

travel breast pump mom

The Bellababy pump uses a high definition touch screen display to showcase and control timers, levels, and modes. There are several setting options to customize the pumping experience for every mom who uses it, ensuring efficiency and comfort for everyone.

With a large capacity battery, you can confidently take this pump on the road knowing you can use it anytime, anywhere. It also includes USB and adaptor power supply when you’re in one place as well as an emergency power bank for when you’re stuck without a power source.

The low noise feature is a must-have when traveling with others, as you know you’ll likely need to pump in the middle of the night. This feature is also great for use in nurseries around your sleeping baby.

The pump holds a petaling massage cushion that makes mom comfortable and supplies you with two bottles and several storage bags for your milk on the road.

  • Comfortable with many adjustable settings
  • Easy to use touch screen operation
  • Large capacity rechargeable battery
  • Includes emergency backup battery and power cables
  • Closed system for cleanliness
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Includes several storage bags
  • Only includes two bottles
  • Only comes with one size flange
  • No carrying bag

The On-The-Go Winner

I honestly had a hard time choosing my favorite options, since there are so many great choices. I narrowed it down to two: the Bellababy and the IKare. Both of these systems are great for travel because they include reliable, rechargeable batteries.

They’re also super lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack and take along wherever you have to go.

Although I was highly intrigued by the technology involved in the  Bellababy , the classic mom in me decided to go with the  IKare  system as my number one choice. 

The IKare has so many customizable options with five modes and nine levels for each mode. Any mom can find their perfect setting with this pump, and the memory capability will remember the setting for future pumping. 

Additionally, I love the fact that it is a hospital grade product. It’s very safe, FDA approved, and BPA free. When it comes to our babies, you can never be too safe.

The closed system keeps it clean, making maintenance easier on you. The rechargeable battery pack is the right choice for travel too, but the power cords make it easy to use when you’re in one place. With innovative noise reduction technology. I love this breast pump, and I think you will too.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Copyright text 2023 by Smart Parent Advice.

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The First Time Mamma

How to Pump While Traveling

Breastfeeding is a convenient method of feeding your baby. It doesn’t require any additional prep work like washing and sterilizing. But if you’re a first-time breastfeeding mom who has to travel often due to work-related stuff or other issues, then it can be a hassle for you. Travel regulations, milk storage, and packing all of your pump parts can become stressful and overwhelming for you. So, to help all you travel and pumping mamas out there, here’s how to pump while traveling tips you need to follow to make this experience a little less stressful and daunting.

Hey! By the way… any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon are affiliate links and I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks in advance – I really appreciate it! .

How to pump while traveling tips

1)    find the pump that works best for you.

As a traveling mom, you need to find your best ally i.e. a good quality breast pump. These are the options available for you to choose from.

  • Hospital-grade pumps: These are mainly seen in hospitals or employer-sponsored nursing rooms. Some hospitals may send you home with this in case of complications after delivery. They are sturdy but are very bulky and thus require a lot of space. So, these are the least travel friendly of the bunch.
  • Electric Breast Pump : Also known as a working breastfeeding mom’s best friend. Many of these come with plug-in options, but few have battery options or accessories like a car adapter for convenient use while traveling. If you can afford it, then buying a double electric breast pump will make your life as a pumping mother a lot easier.
  • Manual Pump : Having a manual pump in case of emergency can make your life easier. It’s super cheap and doesn’t require much space. Though it isn’t much effective in emptying the breast, but having a backup is very reassuring.

2)    Things to take with you

Many of the things you must pack for your pumping sessions will be quite the same, regardless of the pump you end up choosing. Here’s a list of things your pumping bag should have.

  • A breast pump
  • Pumping accessories like flanges, tubing, power cord, car adapter, etc.
  • Milk collections, bags, and bottles.
  • Batteries and extra batteries as a backup
  • Nursing cover
  • Sanitizing wipes for the pump
  • Hands-free pumping bra
  • A pen to note the date and time on which the milk was expressed.

3)    How to get your milk through security

In case you are traveling by air , it will get tricky. With all the restrictions on carry-on items and the limited amount of liquids allowed on the plane, you might be worried about what’s right and legal. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can take pumped milk with you through security even when your baby isn’t with you.

Also, it’s not subject to limitations that other liquids are subjected to. It is categorized into the medicine category so those rules don’t apply to it. During the security check at the airport, inform the security agent that you’re carrying breast milk with you. Remove it from the carry-on bag and place it in a separate bin from the rest of your items during the security check. No adverse effects of x-rays had been detected in expressed milk going through security, so you don’t have to worry about that.

4)    Pumping while in the plane or at the airport

Pumping on the road or in the air can be quite a hassle as you struggle with finding a proper place to pump discreetly without the feeling of being stared at. These days many airports have nursing rooms for mothers; complete with changing tables and plug outlets. In case your airport is small and doesn’t have any designated room for nursing, then you can try pumping in a restroom. If you’re concerned about germs getting on the pump, then use those breast pump sanitizing wipes and a hand sanitizer. In case you have to pump in the plane , then try to select a seat that will offer you some privacy while pumping, like the window seat. You can also slide those wearable cups under your nursing cover and shirt discreetly, without catching anyone’s eye.

5)    Keeping milk fresh

After you’ve expressed the milk, the next challenge is to not let it get spoiled. The shelf life of breast milk is relatively short, i.e. 4 days in a refrigerator. So, keeping it at cold temperatures to prevent it from getting spoiled is very important. You can keep your milk fresh by following these simple tips.

  • Use a cooler with ice packs: Milk will stay fresh in a cooler with ice packs for 24 hours as long as the internal temperature is maintained at 4 degrees Celsius. This is a good option in case you don’t have access to a fridge or are traveling by air.
  • Using the hotel’s fridge: Call your hotel ahead of time and ask them to lend you their fridge for some time so you can keep your breast milk in it to prevent it from getting spoiled (just write your name on the milk bags along with the date so it doesn’t get misplaced). Some hotel rooms also come with their little fridges, so call before booking the hotel to know if that option is available in your hotel.
  • Car coolers: If you’re traveling by car then you can easily plug in an electric cooler into your car’s outlet.

6)    Bringing milk home

If you want to ship your milk home or want a hassle-free trip without having to take those milk bags with you, then you can try shipping your milk through UPS or FedEx. Put the milk into a cooler with ice packs and ship it overnight to your home. Let your family know that you’ve shipped the milk and how should they go about freezing it.

So, there you have it, mommies – how to pump while traveling. It doesn’t matter which means you’re traveling. As long as you keep the right equipment with you and know the perfect strategy to get your precious liquid gold home safely, you’ll have a smooth and hassle-free journey without any stress of pumping and shipping your milk for your little one.

Learn how to pump like a pro and make lots of Milk.

About The Author

travel breast pump mom

Hephzy Asaolu

travel breast pump mom

Best Breast Pumps for Travel in 2024

women feeding baby pumped milk

Pumping from the comfort of your own home can be a lot of work, but try pumping on the go!

If you’re pumping while you travel, packing the right breast pump is essential.

Find out the best breast pumps for travel to make your life easier.

At a glance: Our top breast pump choices:

  • Best hospital grade breast pump for travel – Spectra Baby S1 .

Best premium hospital grade breast pump for travel – Medela Freestyle

Best manual breast pump for travel – philips avent manual comfort breast pump, the best breast pumps reviewed, best hospital grade breast pump for travel – spectra baby s1.

travel breast pump mom

If you need the power and efficiency of a hospital grade pump, but also want something portable and travel friendly, we recommend the Spectra Baby S1 .

This pump is nearly identical to the popular Spectra Baby S2 , but comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, making it ideal for pumping on the go.

Many moms have difficulty choosing between the S1 and S2, since both are super efficient and relatively quiet for an electric pump, and both allow you to adjust the settings to fit your preference and optimize milk flow.

The S1 gets the nod from us because it allows you to pump anytime, anywhere, since you don’t have to be near an outlet. The battery power option makes it so you can pump in the car, on a train or plane, or even on a camping trip.

There are a ton of adjustable settings on this pump. You can change the speed and suction power and there’s an optional massage feature, which speeds up the pumping process and makes it more comfortable. The pump also comes with a night light and a timer, which we love.

The S1 can also be used as a single or double pump, allowing you to choose whether you express from one breast at a time or both.

This video shows both the S1 and S2 in action.

One of our favorite things about hospital grade pumps is how hygenic they are.

The S1’s closed system makes it so you don’t have to clean the narrow tubing and prevents bacteria and mold from collecting and finding its way into your baby’s bottle. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to spend any more time cleaning your breast pump than you have to.

Especially while traveling.

What we like:

  • The rechargeable battery is an awesome feature, especially for traveling; when fully charged, you can get about 1 hour of use out of it before needing to recharge.
  • The S1 is super quiet compared to other hospital grade pumps (great for hotel rooms when your baby or others may be sleeping).
  • There is a bundle option which includes a carry tote, which is awesome for traveling!
  • It comes with two different size breast flanges (24mm and 28mm).

What we don’t like:

  • The bottles that come with the pump are not the highest-quality and have a tendency to tip over. Thankfully, the pump works well with other bottles, including Avent bottles.
  • While the S1 is more affordable than a lot of hospital grade pumps, it is still relatively expensive compared to most personal electric and manual pumps.

While no hospital grade pump is going to be as portable, lightweight, and quiet as a manual pump, the S1 is pretty travel friendly at only 3.3 pounds, and makes pumping while your away from home super quick and comfortable. If you know you’ll need to pump frequently on your trip, the S1 a great option.

It’s worth noting that some insurance companies will only cover the Spectra Baby S2 (and not the S1). For some moms (and especially traveling moms), this is a bummer, since the S2 doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery like the S1.

If you need to get the S2 for insurance reasons, but still want to be able to pump on the go, The Pumping Mommy recommends buying a Breastpump Power Bank Kit from Maymom. Note that the power bank cell is sold on its own, so you’ll need to buy the rechargeable batteries separately.

travel breast pump mom

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a hospital grade pump that is more portable and efficient than the Medela Freestyle .

Like the S1, the Freestyle comes with a rechargeable battery, which is a great feature if you’re hoping to pump on the plane or during car or train rides. It’s also extremely light and portable, and comes with a cute microfiber carry bag with enough space for all the extra parts and accessories.

There’s even an option to pump hands-free with the Easy Expression bustier, which is sold separately. This makes pumping on the go super easy, and leaves your hands free to pack or unpack your things, get ready for bed, or play with your little one while you express.

The hands-free option also a convenient feature for everyday pumping, allowing you to pump while you do the dishes or clean, make dinner, or while you’re at work.

  • The rechargeable battery makes pumping on the go much easier, and the battery lasts for about three hours before it needs to be recharged.
  • The pump has a digital display with a memory function, backlight (which is great for pumping at night), and a timer. The memory feature allows you to save your favorite pumping pattern, which means you don’t have to reset it each time you pump.
  • It comes with two sizes of breast flanges (24mm and 27mm), and you have the option to either single or double pump.
  • For an electric pump, the Freestyle is pretty quiet, which is a nice feature for pumping during plane, train, or car rides, or in your hotel room while your baby naps.
  • While the Freestyle’s digital display is nice, it may take a few goes to figure out. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
  • It’s definitely a little pricier than many of the other electric and hospital grade pumps out there.

Overall, the Medela Freestyle is a great pump for traveling, particularly with the hands-free Easy Expression bustier.

If you’ve decided to go the hospital grade route, and you don’t mind spending a little extra to get something portable and quiet, this is definitely our top pick.

travel breast pump mom

If you’re looking to travel as light as possible, but still want a great pump that is comfortable, easy to use, and gets the job done, the Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is a great option.

It’s compact, lightweight, and about as portable as you can get since it doesn’t require a power source. It also comes with a travel cover, which helps keep it clean when it’s in your diaper bag , purse, or luggage.

While it’s difficult for manual pumps to compete with electric ones when it comes to efficiency, the Avent Comfort does a good job at producing a decent amount of milk in a relatively short period of time, and you can use it anywhere!

The pump is designed so you can sit normally (instead of having to lean forward like you do with some manual pumps) and it has a gentle, textured massage cushion/flange that makes expressing more comfortable and helps stimulate milk flow.

You get one 4-ounce Avent Natural bottle and a sealing disc with your purchase. The pump is also compatible with other Avent products, like the Classic bottles and milk storage containers.

One of the best hings about this pump is how ergonomic the handle is and how easy the pumping process is on your hand. Some manual breast pumps make your hand hurt or cramp up, but the pump on the Avent Comfort is comfortable and easy to use.

  • The Avent Comfort is super quick and easy to clean. There’s no tubing and all the pieces are dishwasher safe.
  • It’s extremely compact, portable, and lightweight; super convenient for traveling!
  • It has awesome suction for a manual pump, and the ergonomic handle and massage cushion make it comfortable and easy to use.
  • There are a variety of add-ons and accessories you can buy (including different size breast flanges/comfort pads) and the pump is compatible with other Avent products.
  • The pump has a tendency to make a squeaking noise, which can be pretty annoying if your baby is sleeping or if you are trying to be discreet. However, if you disassemble the entire pump (including the handle and diaphragm) when you wash it, it stays quiet.
  • It definitely takes longer than an electric pump and doesn’t allow for double pumping. Although, this is true for just about any manual pump, and many moms find that the portability factor makes it totally worth it.

Overall, the Avent Comfort is a great manual breast pump for traveling and on-the-go use.

It’s comfortable and convenient, and allows you to express anytime, anywhere (even when you don’t have access to a power source).

We highly recommend it if you’re looking for a super compact, lightweight manual pump to take with you on your adventures.

Cheaper alternative manual breast pump – Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

travel breast pump mom

If you’re traveling and pumping on a budget, or if you don’t travel often and don’t want to spend a ton of money on a pump you might not use all that often, we recommend the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump .

The Medela Harmony has a lot in common with the Avent Comfort. Both are super small and lightweight, designed for single pumping, and require you to pump manually.

The fact that the Harmony doesn’t come with a power source, extra tubing, or lots of extra parts makes fitting it into your suitcase or carry on much easier than an electric or hospital grade pump. This also makes it quick and easy to clean.

This pump is great for pumping discreetly while flying or on a train or bus, since it’s super quiet and you don’t have to worry about the battery running out and needing to be recharged.

Although not as efficient or convenient as electric pumps, the Harmony gets the job done relatively quickly, and comes with a soft-touch swivel handle, which makes your hand less likely to cramp up.

  • This pump couldn’t be quieter. This is great for pumping at night, while your little one naps, or on a plane.
  • The Harmony works with the same bottles as Medela’s electric pumps, including the Freestyle, so if you have an electric Medela pump at home, you can use the same bottles interchangeably.
  • The fact that it’s so small and portable and doesn’t come with a ton of extra parts to worry about makes tossing the pump in your diaper bag, carry on, or purse really easy. Being able to carry it with you wherever you go also means that if you get stuck in traffic or have to wait at the airport or train station for a few hours, you can pump while you wait.
  • The small o-ring on the pump’s handle has a tendency to move around a bit, so you may have to check it a couple times during pumping sessions to make sure it’s still in place.
  • Unlike the Avent Comfort, the Harmony is not dishwasher safe, so it takes a little extra effort to clean.

If you’re looking for an affordable, simple-to-use, and super quiet manual pump to take with you while traveling, the Harmony is definitely worth considering.

It doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles you’ll find with some electric pumps,

You also don’t have the option of double pumping, but if your top priority is finding something quiet and convenient that you can easily throw in your carry on, and you don’t want to break the bank, this is a good option.

Types of breast pumps explained

There are 4 general types of breast pumps: hospital grade, electric, battery operated, and manual.

It’s worth noting that the first three types are not mutually-exclusive; most hospital grade pumps are electric, and many electric pumps come with a battery power option for when you don’t have an outlet handy.

Each type of pump has its advantages and disadvantages, and which one is right for you will depend on your unique circumstances as well as your specific travel plans.

Hospital grade

Hospital grade breast pumps (like the Spectra Baby S1 and the Medela Freestyle) are the strongest and most efficient type of pump you can get. Because of their powerful motors and suction strength, they are often recommended to mothers of twins or preemies and to moms who have problems breastfeeding or producing enough milk .

Unlike other types of breast pumps, hospital grade pumps can be used by multiple people (so long as each user has their own collection kit). This makes renting or borrowing a hospital grade pump an option for moms who only need to use one for a short amount of time.

Hospital grade pumps are almost always designed for double pumping (meaning you can express milk from both breasts at once). Not only does this save time, it also results in increased milk production . However, some hospital grade pumps are double/single, meaning you can choose if you want to express from one breast or both breasts at once.

The downside of hospital grade pumps–especially for traveling–is that they are bigger and bulkier than personal electric pumps and manual pumps. They also tend to be louder and less discreet than manual pumps.

While they are more difficult to pack and transport—and are more restrictive, since you either need an outlet or a charged battery—you can’t beat the efficiency and power of a hospital grade pump, and if you struggle with milk flow, this is likely your best option.

If you don’t need the added speed and power of a hospital grade pump, or if you’re looking for something a little more portable and/or affordable, a personal electric pump is your second most powerful option.

Electric pumps are popular among moms who are going back to work because they are quick and effective. Most personal electric pumps are designed for double pumping, but you can also get single electric pumps if you want something more compact and lightweight.

Electric pumps tend to be louder than their manual counterparts, and they require you to be stationary while you’re using them, since they need to be plugged in. However, some electric pumps (like the Spectra S1 and the Medela Freestyle ) come with a battery power option, which provides a bit more flexibility.

Battery operated

Battery operated pumps are generally cheaper, smaller, and more lightweight than electric pumps. They’re great for when you need to express on the go, as they don’t require an electrical outlet.

However, the pumping process takes a bit longer with battery operated pumps compared to electric, since they are less powerful and typically only allow you to express one breast at a time.

This is true for hospital grade and personal electric pumps with battery power options as well. When your pump is is not plugged in and is running on battery power, it takes longer to produce the same amount of milk.

That being said, battery operated pumps are still generally faster and more powerful than manual pumps, and they can be a good option if you’re looking for something more portable.

Manual breast pumps are the cheapest, quietest, and most portable type of pump you can get.

While they take more time and effort to use (since you are using your hand to express the milk instead of a motor), many moms find that they are ideal for traveling because they’re so compact, lightweight, and quiet.

If you’re looking for something that you can easily throw in your carry on, diaper bag, or even your purse, a manual pump is probably your best bet.

One disadvantage of manual pumps is that they typically require you to use both hands—one to express, and one to hold the bottle—although there are some manual pumps on the market, like the Avent Comfort , that can be used with only one hand.

Because they are smaller and typically have fewer parts, manual pumps are generally pretty quick and easy to clean, which is definitely a bonus when you’re traveling.

Do you need a breast pump while traveling?

Not everyone wants or needs to bring a breast pump when they’re away from home.

Every additional item in your luggage takes up space, and even a small manual pump is not worth bringing if you’re not going to use it.

However, depending on your travel plans, being able to express while your baby is sleeping or when they’re not with you, and being able to bottle feed them while you’re out and about and unable to breastfeed , can make feeding your little one while you’re away from home much easier.

Also, if you’re traveling without your baby, or if you plan to be away from them for several hours at a time, having a breast pump handy to relieve engorged breasts can be a lifesaver.

Even if you don’t usually use a breast pump or you have a particular type of pump that you like to use at home, it’s worth considering whether or not one would be useful to you while you’re on your trip and, if so, what type would be most convenient for travel.

Flying with your breast pump

Flying with a breast pump (and pumping on a plane) can be a bit stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before and aren’t familiar with air travel restrictions and regulations.

The International Lactation Consultant Association recommends against checking your breast pump in your suitcase or as a standalone item.

It’s not an item you want to be without if your luggage gets lost or damaged. Also, depending on the length of your flight and the type of pump you’re using, you may also want to express while you’re in the air, so it’s generally better to pack your pump as a carry on item.

Thankfully, most airlines will count your pump as a “medical device,” meaning it won’t count toward your carry on limit; however, coolers and milk storage containers/bags may. It’s important to check with your specific airline(s) to make sure you understand their policies and restrictions before you arrive at the airport.

Expressed milk is also considered a “medicine” for security purposes and is therefore not subject to the usual carry on liquid restrictions. That being said, it is still subject to screening and the rules are known to change, so always double check.

It’s a good idea to tell airport security that you are traveling with a breast pump and/or breast milk to limit confusion and make the security/screening process faster.

Breast pumps and expressed milk can both go through the x-ray machine without adverse effects , but if you prefer that your milk doesn’t, you can request an alternate screening method.

When it comes to pumping while you’re on the plane, you have two options: the

  • Use the plane restroom
  • Pump in your seat.

Both options are perfectly acceptable (lots of moms pump and breastfeed on planes) and it really comes down to personal preference.

Here is a list of items you may want to bring with you when traveling with a breast pump:

  • Breast pump (obviously)
  • Power convertor/adapter (if you’re traveling internationally)
  • Batteries and extra batteries
  • All relevant accessories (power cord, tubing, flanges, membranes, bottles, etc.)
  • Nursing cover
  • Milk storage bags and freezer packs (if you plan to bring milk home with you)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes

Driving with your breast pump

If you’re taking a road trip or renting a car when you get to your destination, you might want to consider pumping while you’re in the car.

Pumping while you drive (or as a passenger) can help you maximize your time and relieve engorged breasts on long car rides. This is especially helpful if your baby is able to nap in the car and you don’t want to wake them up to breastfeed.

Of course, it’s important to consider whether or not you can pump safely and legally while you drive. If you find the process distracting, or if it limits your range of motion , it’s better to wait for another time. If you’re someone who can simply turn on the pump while you’re wearing a hands-free bra or bustier and focus on driving, then it can be a really efficient and easy option.

It’s important to make sure you set the pump up properly before you start driving, and are able to completely ignore it while you’re on the road.

You’ll want to be sure to adjust any settings and make sure you’re comfortable before you start driving, and resist the urge to check the bottles or re-adjust your hands-free bra while on the road. Safety first!

If you feel comfortable pumping while you drive, it’s still important to make sure you check the local laws and statutes before you decide to pump on the road. If your trip involves driving through multiple countries, provinces, states, or districts, you’ll want to be sure to check the laws in each place you plan to drive through.

Although some electric pumps come with a rechargeable battery (like the Spectra S1 and the Medela Freestyle), if yours doesn’t have one, or if you plan to be on the road for several hours and need to pump more than once, you may need to buy a car adapter to make sure you have access to power while you pump and drive.

Keeping your breast pump clean

Cleaning your breast pump can be a hassle, especially when you’re away from home.

Depending on the pump, you may be able to wash some or all of the parts in the dishwasher.

Other pumps need to be cleaned in the sink using soap and water.

These cleaning methods work great if you have access to a kitchen, but many hotel rooms don’t have a sink, let alone a dishwasher.

An awesome solution is to use microwave disinfecting bags to clean your breast pump while traveling (or any time, for that matter). With these bags, all you need is access to a microwave, which many hotel rooms provide.

Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags

Check out this guide for more advice on surviving hotel rooms with a baby .

All you have to do is toss any used parts from your pump into one of these bags and pop them into the microwave for a few minutes. The process couldn’t be quicker and easier, and everything will be sterile and ready to go the next time you need to pump.

During the day, if you want to quickly clean your pump after using it, you can also use sanitizing wipes or spray to remove most of the bacteria and germs from your pump parts.

Just make sure you also give the pump a good, thorough cleaning in the dishwasher, sink, or microwave every once in a while!

The bottom line

Whether you decide to take a hospital grade, double electric pump like the Spectra Baby S1 , or stick with a simple and quiet manual pump like the Avent Comfort, we hope you found our product recommendations and tips and tricks for pumping while you travel helpful.

Pumping while traveling takes a little bit of planning ahead, and its important to make sure you have the right pump (and all the other supplies you need) to meet your individual preferences and your travel plans.

With the right gear, pumping while traveling doesn’t have to too much of a hassle.

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Pump on the Go: The Best Wearable Breast Pumps for Busy Moms

Sydney wingfield.

travel breast pump mom

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Featured product.

travel breast pump mom

Willow 3.0 Double Wearable Breast Pump

How to shop for a breast pump like a pro .

There are a few important things to consider when you’re picking out the right hands-free breast pump for you:

Ensuring that your pump fits properly, maintains a strong suction and extracts milk painlessly will make a world of a difference each time you pump. Many will come with flanges (aka shields) in different sizes — you’ll usually find that 24mm is standard. These will help you find the right one to fit your nipple. 

If you’re new to pumping, it’s smart to get at least two breast flange sizes if you’re uncertain which will fit best in advance. Flanges are measured in millimeters, so take the metric side of a ruler and measure the width across the base of your nipple (not counting the areola) to find your ideal size. 

Remember to round up a few millimeters since you don’t want any discomfort or rubbing. Some pumps such as the Willow come with a nipple sizing guide to make sure you’re using the right one. 


Aside from selecting a pump that makes multitasking more manageable, you’ll want to find one that expresses all of your milk in a quick, efficient manner. Opt for one with strong suction and a variety of settings to choose from so you can experiment to determine which is the most comfortable and effective. 

You should also look for a let-down mode, which is a lighter, quieter setting that helps get your milk ready to flow at the start of pumping — you will love this feature. 

If you’re looking for something that you can get away with wearing while running errands or school pick up, choose a quieter, smaller product. While some of the bulkier pumps can clearly be seen through your shirt, they’re still comfortable and convenient for wearing around the house. 

Ease of use

Take into account how easy it is to clean and assemble the pump before and after each use as well as how easily the milk pours into bottles for use or storage. You’ll want a pump that is user-friendly and doesn’t take too much of a learning curve to work accurately, especially if it comes with an app (a game changer). 

The best wearable breast pump 

A breast pump that you can wear around the house or on your morning drive to starbucks is so nice to have. It makes the entire process so much easier. Below, our wearable breast pump review.

Best wearable breast pump covered by insurance

travel breast pump mom

Aeroflow Breastpumps

Willow Go Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump

The Willow Go breast pump is hands-free, cord-free, and perfect for multi-tasking. It’s made with hospital-strength suction and while it’s small, it’s mighty! You can fit it comfortably in your bra so you can pump at any time. You can connect to the Willow Go app and track your sessions and even access tutorials. Cleaning up with this bad boy is a breeze because you can place it in the dishwasher. You can qualify through insurance to get this breast pump. 

Best manual wearable breast pump

travel breast pump mom

Elvie Curve - Manual Silicone Breast Pump

This wearable, silicone breast pump uses natural suction. It’s comfortable and hands-free, and perfect for expressing milk whenever your breasts feel full or when you let down while feeding you baby, or even pumping on your other breast. It’s truly such a handy pump to have on hand! You can travel with it to manage your milk supply, and even during your day-to-day life. Wear it inside your bra easily as it fits the curve of your breast and expresses milk with basically no effort — how great is that?? 

Best hospital-grade strength wearable breast pump

travel breast pump mom

Momcozy Hospital Grade Breast Pump VI

This hospital grade, hands-free breast pump makes pumping so efficient because it combines a small, hospital-grade motor up to -290mmHg and high frequency as well as micro-vibration technology.  While it sounds complex, it’s easy to use and helps you be more productive while pumping. Or, it’s nice to be hands free while you’re watching your favorite show during nap time. It features 3 modes and 9 levels, and allows you to personalize your experience according to your comfort and milk flow. Plus, its natural pumping rhythm mimics a baby’s suckling — how cool? 

Best for capacity

travel breast pump mom

Wearable Breast Pump

The Lansinoh Wearable Breast Pump is comfortable to wear, hands-free, and super easy to use. You can slip it into your bra for discreet and stress-free pumping. It has the best battery around, and lasts up to eight pumping sessions fully charged. It also holds 8 oz click-tight cups — more than other wearable pumps. This breast pump also has an easy pour spout to transfer milk with zero spills. 

Easiest to use

travel breast pump mom

Elvie Breast Pump - Single Wearable Breast Pump

You can pump anytime and anywhere with this small, light, and quiet breast pump. Pump at home, at work, or even in the car with ease. It makes pumping so easy and can fit inside your bra — plus there’s nothing to tie you down. It’s probably the most simple breast pump you can get your hands on. It has just 5 parts to clean (instead of a million) and takes a few seconds to put together. Oh, and you can connect to the free Elvie Pump app to monitor milk volume as you’re pumping. It will even track your pumping history for each breast and control the pump.

Best lightweight option

travel breast pump mom

MomMed Double Wearable Breast Pump

Lightweight and super easy to use, this double wearable breast pump imitates your baby’s sucking motion, and optimizes milk production in the most efficient and comfortable way. It comes with three modes and 12 levels. The three mode selections include: stimulation, expression, and auto mode. Did we mention it’s unbelievably lightweight?? It’s ergonomically designed and fits perfectly with the breast. It’ll become your best friend in no time. 

Best battery life

travel breast pump mom

Totmizby Wearable Breast Pump

If you’re eager to find a breast pump that doesn't die multiple times a week, you will absolutely love this wearable breast pump. It comes with 12 levels and three modes to choose from. The modes include: suction, massage, and stimulation. You’ll be able to choose the best mode for you, and switch up when needed. The pump also comes with a memory function and pause feature, making the entire process so much easier and more convenient. 

Best for portability

travel breast pump mom

Momcozy Breast Pump Hands Free M5

This hands free breast pump is lightweight, small, and easy to take with you anywhere. It is structured to provide zero pain and helps produce more milk. The pump also features a double sealed flange and ergonomic breast arc design. It’ll feel so comfortable while you’re pumping. Oh, not to mention it has a micro-vibration that helps promote milk comfort secretion while breastfeeding and it has three modes: stimulation, expression, and mixed as well as 9 levels. The best part? It comes with its own case so you can easily travel around with it. 

Best suction

travel breast pump mom

TSRETE Double Wearable Breast Pump

Not only is this breast pump an amazing price, it’s lightweight, can grip onto your nipple easily, and you can wear it while running errands, cleaning around the house, or in the car. It’s USB rechargeable, and a full charge can be used for up to 5 times, and hold 180ml. You’ll never want to travel without it. The pump has two modes and will imitate the baby’s sucking frequency, massage the breasts before pumping to help quick sucking, and is comfortable and pain free.

travel breast pump mom

When it comes to breast pumps, finding one that feeds all your needs is so important, and investing in one when you plan on expanding your family can be a pretty smart idea. This wearable breast pump can be worn while you’re working, picking up your kids from school, or even running around the house with your toddler. It gives you 360 degrees of mobility, has hospital-grade strength, and continuous latch. The pump can last up to 5 pumping sessions and is compatible with your apple watch and smartphone to pause, adjust, and track your breast pump. You can’t beat it!

Wearable Breast Pump FAQs

Do wearable breast pumps really work? 

Wearable breast pumps do work, although there are different types and styles. It’s also important to be sure any pump you choose fits your own individual body, because the right flange size will determine how well the suction can work. 

How much does a wearable breast pump cost? 

The cost of a hands-free pump varies broadly. You can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $500. 

Does insurance cover wearable breast pumps? 

Every insurance company is required to cover a breast pump for any new parent. However, the rules do vary by insurance company. Some insurance companies may only cover certain types of breast pumps, require a doctor’s prescription, or only cover part of the wearable pump. 

Check with your specific insurance company for coverage details. 

Do you have to wear a bra when using a wearable breast pump? 

Yes. These motorized cups are bulky and won’t stay on purely because of the suction. Invest in a quality nursing bra or a loose sports bra. 

Can a wearable breast pump replace a traditional pump? 

In short, no. Wearable breast pumps should not be a replacement for the good old-fashioned kind – especially in the beginning. 

There’s a timeline with milk supply calibration. In the first one to four weeks post-delivery, the lactating person’s body is trying to figure out how much milk is needed to meet baby’s nutritional needs. If you are relying on or utilizing a pump during this time of setting the foundation for production, you will want a machine that’s effective and easy-to-use. 

Is it safe to buy a used wearable breast pump? 

The FDA considers individual breast pumps to be medical devices that are only safe for one person to use. They also say there is no way to ensure that any breast pump designed for an individual user could ever be properly cleaned and sanitized to be safe as a used product.  

Can you return breast pumps? 

Unfortunately, you can’t. These items are regulated by the FDA and once they’re bought, they cannot be returned or resold. 

That’s it! As your baby grows, so does their feeding. Make sure you’re ready and fully informed for the next steps with our baby food comparison review and our must-have products for baby’s first solids. 

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11 Best Breast Pumps, According to Breastfeeding Moms

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Andrea Tran, R.N., I.B.C.L.C. Wendy Wright, I.B.C.L.C.

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Best Breast Pumps of 2024, According to Real Parents & a Baby Gear Expert

Electric breast pumps, manual breast pumps, hands-free pumps and more. overwhelmed we can help., by jen labracio | medically reviewed by lc de shay-evans.

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Breastfeeding provides a great source of nutrition for your little one and an opportunity to bond and connect with the newest member of your family. But there are certain circumstances—like if you’ll be away from your little one, need to go back to work and pump there , are looking to share feedings with your partner, you’re struggling with feeding or low breast milk supply or you’d simply prefer to pump —when a breast pump can be hugely helpful.

Choosing the best breast pump will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences, but there are a few brands and models that consistently rank high on the list for many breastfeeding parents. Here’s all the information you’ll need to select the best breast pump for you and the top choices according to Babylist users and experts—there’s one for every situation and every budget , too. Bonus: did you know you can get a free breast pump through insurance ?

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best Breast Pumps

  • Best Electric: Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump
  • Best Wearable: Elvie Breast Pump
  • Best More Affordable Wearable: Willow Go Wearable Hands-Free, Cord-Free Double Electric Breast Pump
  • Best Affordable Wearable: Momcozy Double S12 Pro Wearable Electric Breast Pump
  • Best Portable: Pumpables Genie Advanced Portable Breast Pump
  • Best Manual: Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump With Personalfit Flex
  • Easiest to Use: Haakaa Manual Pump
  • Best for Faster Pumping: Motif Medical Luna Double Electric Breast Pump with Battery
  • Best Lightweight: Baby Buddha Double Electric Breast Pump Kit
  • Best Affordable: Dr. Brown’s Customflow Double Electric Breast Pump
  • Best Hospital Grade: Medela Symphony Breast Pump
  • Best Collection Cups: Idaho Jones Pump-A-Collect Silicone Collection Cups

Best Breast Pumps at a Glance

In this article, how we chose the best breast pumps.

  • Our Top Picks

Types of Breast Pumps

  • Breast Pump Glossary
  • Closed vs. Open System Pumps

Do You Need a Breast Pump?

What to keep in mind when buying a breast pump, how to get a breast pump through insurance, frequently asked questions, babylist’s picks for the best breast pumps, best electric breast pump.

Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump - Blue, S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump - $216.00.

Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump - Blue, S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump

Did you know that insurance will cover all or most of your breast pump.

An image that links to Babylist Health with the call to action of order your free breast pump through insurance at Babylist Health

  • Rechargeable battery for wireless pumping
  • Adjustable suction with tons of settings

What Our Experts Say

Packed full of features and with countless positive user reviews, there’s a reason (a lot of them, actually) why the Spectra earns our top spot when it comes to the best electric breast pump. This hospital-strength pump delivers big power with way less bulk and noise. Digital controls let you adjust speed and suction to customize and maximize output, and the pump uses a closed system, which keeps milk completely separate from the pump pieces and ensures better hygiene and performance. There’s a rechargeable battery that lasts up to three hours, so you’re not always tethered to an outlet while pumping. Users also love the helpful extras like the timer and nightlight for late-night pumping sessions and that the pump remembers your exact settings from your last session and automatically reverts to those the next time you turn it on.

What’s Worth Considering

The Spectra S2 The main differences are price (it’s less expensive than the S1) and portability (it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so you’ll always need to be plugged in when pumping), but otherwise is pretty comparable.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I loved everything about this pump! As an exclusive pumper, this was a must. It’s lightweight and has a rechargeable battery, making it easy to move around or bring to work. I was even able to pump in the car on my commute home easily. The light built into the handle was perfect for pumping in the dark or low light settings while baby was being fed. Also easy to adjust settings.” -Kate

Additional Specs

Best Wearable Breast Pump

Elvie Breast Pump - Double - $549.99.

Elvie Breast Pump - Double

  • Hands-free pumping
  • Quiet and discrete
  • Pump into reusable containers

The original Elvie is the top choice among Babylist users for a hands-free, wearable breast pump . With zero cords or attachments, everything you need (even the motor) is right in the pump cups. The Elvie is extremely quiet, super discrete and easy to stash in your diaper bag or even a small purse or tote to take on the go. One thing worth noting is that unlike some wearable breast pumps, the Elvie uses reusable milk storage containers, not disposable bags, to collect your milk while you pump. Users also note the helpful guide lines located inside the breast shields to help you find the proper alignment for your nipples at each pumping session. (Alignment is important because it helps you achieve a good seal between your breasts and the shields, and a good seal equals good suction and a successful pumping session.) There’s also an app that tracks your pumping sessions, approximate milk quantity and time.

The Elvie is expensive, even if it’s covered under your insurance plan. Unlike the Willow, another popular wearable pump, you have to stay (mostly) upright while pumping, otherwise it will leak. There are a lot of parts to clean, including a few smaller ones. The bottles only hold up to five ounces of milk. And many pumping parents report that they don’t get the same output with a wearable pump as they do with a traditional one.

“The Elvie Pump is so convenient to use, working literally hands-free, which is invaluable when looking after a baby and any spare moment could be used for countless other tasks (I’m pumping with the Elvie as I type this!) Being able to control the pump and assess the volume of milk in the bottle via your phone is brilliant. I found the pumping levels comfortable and produced as much milk as with my previous electric pump. I would 100% recommend the Elvie Pump.” -Jo H.

Best More Affordable Wearable Breast Pump

Willow Willow Go Wearable Hands-Free, Cord-Free Electric Breast Pump - Double, 24mm - $349.99.

Willow Willow Go Wearable Hands-Free, Cord-Free Electric Breast Pump - Double, 24mm

  • More affordable than OG Willow and Elvie
  • Strong suction with 2 modes and 9 levels
  • Pump into reusable containers (5 oz or 7 oz)

If you’re looking for a more affordable wearable alternative, the Willow Go is a good choice. Like its more expensive counterpart, the Go fits right in your bra for hands-free pumping. There are two modes (stimulation and expression) and nine different suction settings, and you’ll get about five pumping sessions without having to recharge the batteries. Milk is collected in reusable storage containers so you won’t have to deal with buying disposable bags. The pump comes with five-ounce containers, but you can also purchase seven-ounce ones separately if you have a bigger supply. There’s also a compatible app that allows you to operate the pump and connect to experts.

You can’t be quite as mobile with the Go as you can be with the original Willow—you’ll need to stay (mostly) upright while pumping. Nipple alignment is a bit tricky. There are five parts to clean for each pump, which is time-consuming.

“After a lot of events that happened post-birth, I ended up needing to build back my milk supply. It was really hard taking care of a newborn while stuck to a wall, so I ordered these in attempts to allow myself to pump while caring for my daughter. It has tremendously helped me by allowing me the ability to pump while my hands are tied with her. Highly recommend if you’re on the go or need something just while busy with baby and can’t stay tied down to a plug.” -Bonnie

Best Affordable Wearable Breast Pump

Momcozy Double S12 Pro Wearable Electric Breast Pump - Grey, Double - $139.99.

Momcozy Double S12 Pro Wearable Electric Breast Pump - Grey, Double

  • Hands-free pumping at a fraction of the price
  • Double-seal flange design for snug fit
  • 5-6 pumping sessions on one charge

Love the idea of a wearable pump but not looking to spend a ton of money? Meet Momcozy’s S12, the affordable answer to hands-free pumping. With a small, individual motor on each side, the S12 offers a slightly different design than the Willow and the Elvie but provides the same ultra-convenient hands-free pumping experience. The clear cups, even with the motor attached, are lightweight and slip right into your bra for an easy and discrete pumping session. They feature a double-sealed flange for a snug fit, which is important for proper suction. There are three modes and nine suction levels and a run time of about one and a half hours. But the best part? The double set will cost you only a fraction of what you’d pay for other similar wearable pumps.

Like other wearable pumps, many pumping parents will notice a difference in output when using a hands-free pump versus a traditional pump—and the S12 is no different. There are a lot of parts to assemble/disassemble and clean. And the exterior motor means this wearable isn’t as light or discrete as some more expensive hands-free options.

“I wasn’t sure about wearable pumps and didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I’m so glad I gave the S12 a try. It’s SO easy to use and I love it for the times I can’t stop what I’m doing to sit down and pump. Big fan.” -Jen

Best Portable Breast Pump

Pumpables Genie Advanced Portable Breast Pump - $180.00.

Pumpables Genie Advanced Portable Breast Pump

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Gentle yet powerful suction

While many portable breast pumps aren’t a match for their much bigger, much heavier counterparts, that’s not the case with the Pumpables Genie Advanced. It’s small, powerful and portable—a perfect combination. With gentle yet extremely efficient suction, a rechargeable battery with about four hours of pumping time and a weight of just half a pound, it’s easy to see why the Genie Advanced is such a popular choice. Lots of pumpers use it as their primary pump and, like many portable options, it works with either traditional flanges and bottles or collection cups.

If you’re looking to pair your Genie Advanced with collection cups, try the brand’s Liquid Shield system. It’s a flange system with a special insert made from soft, liquid silicone that molds to breast tissue and mimics the way a baby sucks. Just keep in mind that you need to use the entire kit when pumping; you can’t use just the liquid insert with breast shields from a different brand.

Ready to Add a Pump to Your Registry?

With Babylist, you can add any item from any store onto ONE registry. Start your registry today and get a Hello Baby Box full of free (amazing!) goodies.

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Best Manual Breast Pump

Medela harmony manual breast pump with personalfit flex.

  • Compact and portable
  • Hand-powered and cord free
  • Great for quiet, discreet pumping

A great manual pump is your BFF if you’re an occasional pumper or if you’re on the go and need to express a few ounces quickly and without the hassle or bulk of a full size pump (think date night, a long car trip, etc.). Since it’s small, silent and doesn’t involve any cords, this pump makes discreet pumping really easy. Its angled design allows you to sit comfortably when you pump, ensuring milk flows naturally into the container. It even comes with a bottle stand to help prevent a spill of even a drop of that liquid gold.

Your hand will get tired, especially if you plan to manually pump more than once a day.

“It’s great to have on hand when you may need a pump but can’t bring your electric pump or if you don’t plan to pump. I would recommend getting the help of a friend who’s used one before or a lactation counselor but it’s relatively easy to use and is a life saver to have on hand when you need it!” -Hayley

Easiest to Use Breast Pump

Haakaa silicone breastfeeding manual breast pump.

  • Hands-free, one-piece pump
  • No separate parts to clean
  • Ultra affordable

Think a manual pump is a lot of work? Think again. The Haakaa, made from 100% food-grade silicone, is about as low-maintenance as it gets when it comes to pumping. It’s a one-piece pump that attaches to your breast and collects milk using its own suction—no hands (or power source) required. Lots of pumping parents will pop it on while their baby nurses on the other side to gain a few ounces for their freezer stash. Better yet, it’s under 15 bucks.

Although it can act as a collection device, don’t forget that the Haakaa is a pump. That means that if you’re struggling with oversupply and using the Haakaa at every breastfeeding or pumping session, you’re actually encouraging your body to make more milk.

Some parents also find that their baby is able to kick it off if they’re breastfeeding on one side and using the Haakaa on the other. If that’s the case for you, try Haakaa’s Ladybug Milk Collector instead.

“I hated my electric pump, but loved the Haakaa. My pumping needs weren’t high since I wasn’t going back to work right away, and I could get about 4 ounces a day out of this just by snapping it on the breast I wasn’t nursing on a couple times a day. Comfortable and took zero effort.” -Heron

Best Electric Breast Pump for Faster Pumping

Motif medical luna double electric breast pump with battery.

  • Powerful but quiet motor and slim design
  • Designed for pumping more milk in less time
  • Rechargeable battery

A relative newcomer in the world of pumping, Motif has quickly made a name for itself as the maker of one of the best electric breast pumps on the market. The brand’s double electric pump shares lots of similarities to the well-loved Spectra, but with a few key differences. The most important? The Luna was designed to produce more milk in less time. And who doesn’t appreciate that? (You can read the full study here .) Other things pumping parents rave about is the pump’s slim design, hospital-grade suction, the super quiet motor and the rechargeable battery life of over two hours. You’ll also find lots of settings in both massage and expression mode as well as a built-in nightlight and a backlit LCD screen.

If you’re stuck between the Spectra and the Luna, don’t stress; you truly can’t go wrong with either of these high quality breast pumps.

What’s Babylist Parents Say

“This pump has been awesome. I love the built in light, I love how easy it is to carry, and I’m a huge fan of the cycle and level options.” -Kayla

Best Lightweight Breast Pump

Babybuddha double electric breast pump kit.

  • Smaller than your smart phone
  • Portable and powerful
  • 14 different suction settings

If you’re pregnant or a new parent and you’ve spent even a little time on social media lately, you’ve probably heard the buzz around the Baby Buddha breast pump—and we think it lives up to the hype. Revered for it’s teeny, tiny size and super powerful suction, the Baby Buddha lands somewhere between a traditional closed system electric breast pump and a completely hands-free, portable option. It’s small enough to hold in one hand and light and compact enough to slip in your pocket or wear around your wrist or your neck while you pump. But its size in no way affects its power. This single or double pump has a stimulation mode with five levels and an expression mode with nine, so it’s easy to find a custom setting that works for you.

The rechargeable battery lets you pump without being tethered to the wall. And, while not condoned by the brand itself, there are tons of Baby Buddha hacks to help you figure out how to use your pump with other pump brands’ components.

Although advertised as quiet, we think the Baby Buddha is actually on the louder side as compared to other similar pumps. The suction is also pretty strong, which is perfect for some pumpers but not so great for others.

Best Affordable Breast Pump

Dr. brown's customflow double electric breast pump.

  • Soft silicone breast shields
  • Can pump directly into Dr. Brown’s bottles

The Dr. Brown’s Customflow is an impressive double electric pump priced at a fraction of the cost of many similar breast pumps. The pump features two modes (let-down and expression) with multiple settings in each mode so you can find the customization that works for you. (There’s also a memory setting that remembers your preferences so you don’t have to reset the pump each time.) The flanges are made from silicone, which some pumpers report to be more comfortable than hard plastic. And although you don’t have to use Dr. Brown’s bottles with this pump, you’ll save time if you do as you can pump directly into them.

Users complain that this pump is on the louder side and that cleaning all of the parts can be a pain. There’s also no handle, which makes carrying the pump around a little tougher.

Lansinoh’s Double Electric Breast Pump and the Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump are two other well-reviewed pumps that are worth a look if you’re in the market for a more affordable pump.

Best Hospital Grade Breast Pump

Medela symphony breastpump.

  • Hospital-grade strength
  • Proven to achieve faster milk ejection and flow
  • Good choice for exclusive pumpers

Don’t get sticker shock just yet—hospital grade pumps are almost always rented on a monthly basis through wherever you gave birth, so there’s no need to worry about forking over a ton of cash. If you’re an exclusive pumper or having trouble with supply, the Symphony may be the pump for you. It boasts a two-phase suction system that’s been proven to achieve faster letdown and faster milk flow. It’s efficient, easy to clean and even has a special system in place to prevent milk overflow.

This is a big, bulky pump, so you’re not going to want to tote it around unless absolutely necessary. Bottles aren’t included, but can be purchased separately with the Medela Symphony Double Pumping Kit.

“As an exclusive pumper, this hospital-grade pump was an absolute must-have. It was quick, efficient and powerful and helped me pump for my son for almost a year.” -Jen

Best Breast Pump Accessory

Idaho jones pump-a-collect silicone collection cups.

  • Transforms electric pump into a hands-free pump
  • More comfortable silicone
  • Inserts available for variety of nipple sizes

If you already have a breast pump but would love the convenience of a wearable pump, the Pump-A-Collect cups from Idaho Jones are an excellent choice. Compatible with most popular electric pumps, the tubing plubs right into your existing pump, giving you the convenience of a hands-free pumping option without the steep price tag of buying a new wearable pump. The flange is made from silicone for extra comfort, and you can buy extra inserts if you need to customize the size for smaller or larger nipples. (The cup set comes with 24mm flanges.) Each cup holds six ounces of breast milk.

Many pumpers say they need to pump a bit longer with collection cups than with traditional flanges in order to get the same amount of milk. There are also a lot of parts to clean.

If you’re not loving the Idaho Jones cups, check out these silicone collection cups by Legendairy Milk. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find the collection cups that work best for you.

About Babylist

Looking for the best items for your growing family? Add all your favorite baby products to ONE registry with Babylist.

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many breast pumps.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

There are five main categories of breast pumps:

  • Hospital-grade breast pumps: These heavy-duty pumps feature powerful motors and a greater amount of “sucks” per minute. They extract milk quickly and are generally fairly quiet, but they’re bulky and lack easy portability. Hospital-grade pumps are usually rented, as they are upwards of $1,000 to purchase.
  • Electric breast pumps: Efficient, portable and adjustable for both suction and speed. While all require electricity to function, some models feature rechargeable batteries, giving you the freedom to pump without being tethered to an outlet. Electric pumps also typically come with a carrying case and cooler for milk transport, making them a popular choice for working parents. Single electric breast pumps are available, but a double pump is the more popular—and more efficient—choice.
  • Wearable electric breast pumps (sometimes also called hands-free pumps): Gaining in popularity over the last few years, wearable breast pumps are just what they sound like—hands-free, completely portable breast pumps that you can wear right in your bra. Everything you need to pump—the motor and battery, the flanges, the bag or container that collects the milk—is built right into a wearable pump. Because of this, there are no exterior tubing, wires or collection bottles needed. Wearable pumps let you pump more discreetly than traditional breast pumps, and some even let you pump in different positions.
  • Portable breast pumps: Portable breast pumps are a cross between a traditional pump and a wearable pump. Portable pumps take the body of a traditional pump and shrink it down to a smaller, more compact size. Whereas a traditional pump may weigh around two or three pounds, many portables are weighed in ounces—anywhere from a few ounces to about 10-12 ounces for the larger portables. If you’re pumping with a portable, you’ll still need to run tubing from the pump to your flanges. To collect the pumped milk, you can use either standard breastmilk collection bottles or collection cups (a wearable milk collection insert) for extra portability.
  • Manual breast pumps: These breast pumps use the pressing motion of your own hand to create suction and pump your milk. Some are easy to operate with one hand, while others require two hands. Because they lack a motor, these pumps are quiet and small (about the size of a bottle), making them a good choice for travel or for occasional pumping.

Breast Pump Terms

Overwhelmed with breast pump terminology? Understanding these key terms will help you better research the best breast pump for you.

Closed system breast pump. A closed system pump means there is a barrier between the breast pump and its parts and your milk, preventing any leaks or overflow into the pump itself. This barrier also prevents moisture from building up in your pump’s tubing.

Open system breast pump. An open system breast pump does not have a barrier between the pump and your milk.

Flange. Also known as a breast shield, the flange is the part of the pump that goes around your nipple and cups your breast. Flanges come in varying sizes depending on the type and brand of breast pump you choose. Some models provide multiple sizes for you to try out, while others offer additional sizes for purchase. Most brands have specific flange sizing guides that show you how to measure and how to choose the correct size.

Valve. Sometimes called duck valves, these small, flexible parts stretch and release each time your breast pump suctions, helping to draw out milk. Valves should be replaced regularly to help keep your pump functioning properly. (Consult your pump manufacturer’s guidelines as to how often.)

Backflow protector. Backflow protectors serve as a barrier between a breast pump and your milk in a closed system breast pump, preventing milk from entering your pump’s motor or tubing. Like valves, certain parts of your backflow protector should be replaced regularly, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations and how often you pump.

Power source. All breast pumps require a power source. For electric, wearable and portable pumps, this is a motor. For manual pumps, the power source is a handle and your hand.

Breast milk bottles. Breast milk bottles are used to collect and store pumped breast milk. You can pump directly into these bottles and use the milk immediately or store it for later use.

Breast milk bags. Breast milk bags are another way to store pumped breast milk . Breast milk bags come in both disposable (plastic) options or reusable (silicone) materials and can store both fresh or frozen milk. Some breast pumps allow you to pump directly into breast milk bags to help minimize cleanup after every pumping session.

Closed System Versus Open System Breast Pumps

As noted above, there are two types of breast pumps: closed system pumps, where there’s a barrier between the pump and your milk, and open system pumps, where there is not. Most experts and lactation consultants recommend closed system pumps due to a smaller chance of contamination. They also note that you should never purchase or use an open system breast pump secondhand for sanitary reasons. If you do choose an open system pump, be sure to closely follow the manufacturer’s directions for sanitizing and cleaning your pump and all of its parts.

Since everyone’s situation is unique, you’ll need to think about your lifestyle, employment situation, feeding preferences and how long you plan on breastfeeding when making the decision on whether or not to purchase a pump. If you’re planning on working outside the home after baby is born and continuing to breastfeed, for example, then a good pump is a must-have. But if you expect to be with baby most of the time, it may not be quite as crucial.

We recommend getting a pump if:

  • You’re planning on being away from baby on a regular basis, such as for your job , or for an extended period of time, such as a trip .
  • You’re looking to maintain your milk supply, either because your baby can’t or won’t nurse or you’re dealing with an illness or a medication that isn’t safe for breastfeeding.
  • You’re dealing with low supply or engorgement.
  • You prefer feeding baby expressed milk.

Like most things when it comes to baby gear (and parenting, for that matter), there’s no one perfect pump for every parent. There are pros and cons to each, and which breast pump is best for you depends on when, where and how often you’ll be pumping.

Type of Pump

Manual, electric, portable, wearable… How do you know which type of pump is best? Before choosing, you’ll want to think through how often you plan to pump and what your pumping goals are. If you’re an exclusive pumper, pumping regularly (like at work or every night before bed) or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of a manual pump, then a traditional electric breast pump or a powerful portable pump are the best choices for you. These types of pumps are fast and efficient at removing breast milk and fully emptying your breast.

Pumping very infrequently? Going out for the night or need to pump on an airplane and don’t want to drag your electric breast pump along? Consider a wearable pump or even a manual.

Size and Portability

Hand in hand with the type of pump you choose comes size and portability. Think through things like where you’ll most often be pumping (at home versus on the go) and how often. Also consider if you want to be tethered to a power source at all times or if you prefer a pump with a rechargeable battery.

It’s tough to know the suction and vibration settings you’ll prefer (and the ones your body will respond to the best) prior to pumping, so look for a pump with a wide range of suction settings to give yourself the most options and set yourself up for success.

Ease of Use

Consider things like how easy it is to assemble and disassemble the pump, cleaning options, customer service (are replacement parts accessible and easy to order?) and general pump maintenance.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed in 2010, health insurers must cover the cost of a breast pump. The type of pump you qualify for will depend on your particular health insurance plan, as each plan has its own set of specific guidelines.

Reach out to your insurance provider well before your due date for plan-specific information about which pumps are covered and how to order one. You can also check Babylist Health , an easy and efficient way to cut through the red tape around ordering a pump. All you’ll need to do is input your state of residence and your insurance provider and Babylist Health will do the rest, including providing you a list of covered pumps (including upgrade options if you want to pay more), verifying your insurance coverage, requesting the prescription from your doctor and shipping the pump right to your door.

What is the best time to start pumping breast milk?

According to the La Leche League , you can begin pumping once breastfeeding is well established—usually around four weeks after baby is born. However, if your baby is in the NICU, is having trouble breastfeeding or you wish to pump exclusively, you don’t need to wait.

They recommend introducing a pumping session after one feeding each day when your breasts are still feeling full. (For lots of people, this is often the first morning feed.) Around this time, you can also start introducing your little one to a bottle .

How long you breastfeed and pump depends on your personal situation. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends trying to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and then continue nursing, while also feeding solids, through the rest of the first year. Ultimately, though, you need to do what’s best for you, your family and your childcare situation .

How do I know which breast pump will work for me?

Finding the right breast pump is part research and part a process of trial and error. It depends on various factors such as your individual needs, preferences and the specific features of the breast pump, as well as factors like whether you will be exclusively pumping or using it occasionally, suction strength and speed settings and the level of comfort it provides. Reading reviews, seeking recommendations from other parents and consulting with lactation consultants or healthcare professionals can also help in making an informed decision, but ultimately, it may require some experimentation to find the breast pump that suits your needs and helps you effectively express milk.

How often should I clean my breast pump?

You’ll need to clean your breast pump parts after each use. This ensures that the pump is hygienic and free from any bacteria or milk residue that could potentially contaminate your breast milk. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and sterilizing the specific model of breast pump you are using.

Will a breast pump change my breasts?

No, using a breast pump will not change the size or shape of your breasts. It does not have any long-term effects on the structure or appearance of the breasts. However, it is important to note that breastfeeding itself can cause temporary changes in the breasts, such as engorgement or changes in nipple size, but these changes are typically temporary and will return to their pre-pregnancy state once breastfeeding has ended.

Jen LaBracio

Senior gear editor.

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

travel breast pump mom

Motherhood Community

Breast Pump

A buyer’s guide for breastfeeding moms: what’s the best breast pump.

travel breast pump mom

Are you planning to breastfeed and pump your milk but unsure how you should choose a breast pump and which one is the best for you?

Which Breast Pump Brand Is The Best?

Medela and Spectra are among the most popular breast pump brands to choose from, but which of the two is better?

Is Spectra quieter than Medela? In general, Spectra may be quieter than Medela.

What are the other best breast pumps, and which one is the best for a low milk supply? What pump can best express milk in less time?

You’ll find answers to these breast pump questions , and more information if you’ll continue reading below.

Best All-Around Breast Pump

MC rated as “Best All-Around Breast Pump”

Key features.

Weight: 2.42 lbs

Pump Type: Single and double electric

Batteries: Yes, built-in; up to three hours

Portability Options: Yes; with batteries and a handle on top for easy carrying

Pump System: Closed

Grade: Hospital grade

Settings: 12 vacuum suction levels, with letdown and expression modes

Display: LCD with nightlight

Pump Strength: Up to 270 mmHg

Pump Controls: Buttons

Noise Level: Quiet

Warranty: Two years

Bottles and Accessories in Box:

  • Two 24mm Spectra breast flanges
  • Two 28mm Spectra breast flanges
  • Two Spectra tubing
  • Two Spectra duckbill valves
  • Two Spectra backflow protectors
  • Two Spectra wide neck storage bottles
  • One Spectra 12-Volt AC power adapter

Bag and Cooler: Sold separately

Pros & Cons

  • Strong but quiet motor
  • Long battery life (up to three hours)
  • Remembers your custom settings
  • Bulkier design than other portable breast pumps

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews

“ It is cute in its design. I’m not embarrassed by carrying it around. If you’re running late in the morning, it’s easy to go get your breakfast or do your make up or other things while pumping with the rechargeable battery . AND It is very quiet .” – Reviewer on Spectra Baby USA.

Negative Reviews

“ I’ve used this pump for ONE WEEK. The first couple of days were fine. After that, 5 minutes into pumping and the pump stops sucking. I have tried everything from replacing parts to expressing one boob at a time, but it simply stops working. Incredibly frustrating. I absolutely DO NOT recommend this pump. Use a Medela instead .” – Reviewer on Target.

Best Bag-Free Wearable Pump

MC rated as “Best Bag-Free Wearable Pump”

Weight: 0.5 lbs

Pump Type: Wearable, single or double electric

Batteries: Yes, with built-in batteries; Two-hour charging time via micro-USB

Portability Options: Yes; worn inside a standard nursing bra

Grade: Not hospital grade

Settings: Seven intensity levels; automatically switches from stimulation mode into expression mode

Display: No display, just buttons; but can be linked with a smart app on your phone

Pump Strength: Up to 220 mmHg

Bottles and Accessories in Box: Elvie Pump Single

  • One hub (pump with breast milk collection cup)
  • Two bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free)
  • One 24mm breast shield
  • One 28mm breast shield
  • Two storage lids
  • Two bra adjusters
  • One USB charging cable
  • Instructions for use

Bottles and Accessories in Box: Elvie Pump Double

  • Two hubs (two pumps with two breast milk collection cups)
  • Four bottles (5oz/150ml, BPA free)
  • Two 24mm breast shields
  • Two 28mm breast shields
  • Four valves
  • Four spouts
  • Four storage lids
  • Four bra adjusters
  • Two USB charging cables

Bag and Cooler: One carry bag for each hub

  • Hassle-free setup
  • Only has five parts to clean and assemble per hub
  • No cords and no wardrobe changes
  • It fits inside a standard nursing bra
  • Connects via Bluetooth to the free Elvie Pump app for monitoring milk volume
  • If you buy the Elvie Pump Single, you can only use it on one breast at a time.
  • You need to wait for 60 minutes before you can use the pump on the other breast.
  • You can opt to buy the Elvie Pump Double so you’ll have two hubs to use simultaneously, but that makes the pump more expensive.
  • You might need to stop mid-session to pour the cup’s contents into a milk bottle.
  • It can’t be used while charging because it automatically shuts off when plugged in.

“ I’m not tied to sitting in bed, it’s a lot more quieter than the other device, and it’s quicker. I barely notice that I’m wearing the device for 20 mins. Seriously love this pump! ” – Reviewer on Target.

“ This pump does not empty me even after hours of research and troubleshooting. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it considering I can use my Spectra and get multiple let downs and much more milk! ” – Reviewer on Target.

Best Custom Fit Breast Pump

MC rated as “Best Custom Fit Breast Pump”

  • Evenflo Deluxe Advanced

Weight: 5.44 lbs

Batteries: Yes, it uses AA batteries

Portability Options: Yes, it can be used with batteries and a car adapter

Settings: Independent speed and suction controls

Display: No display, but with LED lights to indicate levels

Pump Strength: 250 mmHg

Warranty: Three years

  • Four (5-oz) milk collection bottles
  • 30.5mm flange kits
  • 28.0mm soft flange inserts
  • 24.5mm soft flange inserts
  • Extra valves
  • Extra membranes
  • Balance and standard slow flow nipple
  • Four cap rings
  • Four sealing discs
  • Three ice packs

Bag and Cooler:

  • Universal shoulder bag
  • Insulated cooler bag
  • It has a three-year warranty (most breast pumps only have a one-year warranty).
  • It comes with more breast flanges (other breast pumps usually provide only two sets).
  • It’s a quiet pump designed by noise cancellation experts.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive.
  • With a pump strength of just up to 250 mmHg, it’s not as powerful as other hospital-grade pumps that usually go up to 270 mmHg.

“ Love love it. I really like this. Pump it’s gentle and very quiet. This is the first time out of my kids I will be using a pump. I give it a 5 star because I can’t find anything wrong with it yet. The bag it came with is nicely made, and I also like that it came with the ice packs and a small bag. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

“ I found that the suction wasn’t very good with this pump. I was barely getting anything to come out. I bought a different one, a Medela, that worked so much better. I would not recommend this pump .” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

Best Breast Pump For EBF (Exclusive Breastfeeding) Moms

Mc rated as “best breast pump for ebf moms”.

  • Ameda Purely Yours

Weight: 2.30 lbs

Batteries: Yes, needs six AA batteries (sold separately eight AA batteries and a charger)

Portability Options: Yes, it’s small, lightweight, and has batteries.

Settings: 32 different customizable options; no button for letdown or massage mode

Display: No display

Pump Strength: Up to 200 mmHg

Pump Controls: Dials

Noise Level: Noisy, constantly makes a beeping sound

Warranty: One year

  • Four (4oz) bottles
  • Dual HygieniKit milk collection system
  • Two 25.0 mm CustomFit flanges
  • Two 30.5 mm CustomFit breast flanges
  • Two 28.5 mm CustomFit breast reducing inserts
  • Two silicone valves
  • Milk storage guidelines card
  • Two sets of NoShow Premium disposable nursing pads
  • Two Store‘N Pour milk storage bags
  • One AC power adapter
  • Dottie Tote
  • Cool‘N Carry cooler tote bag with three ice packs
  • It’s a light pump (only 2.3 lbs) that can be used with batteries (six AAs).
  • It has a hygienic closed system and two built-in bottle holders.
  • It’s not a hospital-grade pump.
  • It can only go up to 200 mmHg.
  • The beeping sound can be annoying.
  • The tote that comes with the breast pump can’t fit all the items in the milk collection system.
  • The product (Lot 7E058 and Lot 7E308) was recalled in 2017 for incorrect (UK instead of US) AC power adapters. Ameda replaced the incorrect items with the US adapters. (1)

“ Ultimately, we saved $60 by choosing this over the Medela, and my wife said it works perfectly well. The bag that it came with isn’t quite as large as the one that comes with the Medela, but the last thing we need around the house is another tote bag or backpack. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ I do like the small size and portability of this model, but it’s not at all quiet. In fact, with every suction cycle, the pump makes an annoying ‘beep’ sound. After 20 minutes of 30-60 beeps per minute, either you stop hearing it, or you want to stop pumping. I normally cover the pump with a couch pillow, which helps, but still doesn’t stop the infernal beeping. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Best For Travel

MC rated as “Best Travel Breast Pump”

Medela pisa ( pump in style advanced ) breast pump with on-the-go tote.

Weight: 7.0 lbs

Batteries: Yes, needs eight AA batteries (sold separately 8AA batteries and a charger)

Portability Options: Yes, it has batteries and an on-the-go tote

Pump System: Open

Settings: 2-Phase Expression Technology with a one-touch letdown mode button

Display: No display, just dials

Pump Strength: Up to 250 mmHg

  • Four (5oz) bottles with lids
  • One battery pack (eight AA rechargeable batteries not included)
  • Two 24 mm PersonalFit breast shields
  • Two 27 mm PersonalFit breast shields
  • Two breast shield connectors
  • Two valves and membranes
  • One set of complete tubing
  • One AC power adaptor
  • One booklet of instructions for use
  • Tote bag, backpack, or Metro bag
  • Cooler bag with one ice pack
  • Heavy-duty hospital-grade pump that can be used as a single or double pump
  • It has a big tote bag that can fit the entire milk collection system and some extras.
  • It can be used with batteries.
  • It can only go up to 250 mmHg.
  • The open-system pump might be less hygienic.
  • It’s heavier than most pumps.
  • In 2010, the product was subjected to a recall (manufacture dates: February 10 to March 3, 2010) due to a compromised circuit board that can cause affected pumps to turn off on their own mid-pumping session. Some wouldn’t turn on while others make a clicking sound and lose suction while pumping. Medela replaced the faulty pumps. (2)

“ The pump in the bag is discreet and roomy; pockets help keep supplies organized. All I transport back and forth are the pump parts and the milk. The storage bag with an ice pack is handy, but sometimes I need to fit more than four bottles in that storage bag . Overall, the Medela Pump in Style in a Tote is affordable, compact, and compatible with my stay-at-home pump .” – Reviewer on Walmart.

“ The bag and such are nice, but the pump is absolute crap. I picked this one because the one I got from my insurance is losing power after seven months, and somehow, that one has more power than this scam box. I just want to pump without stressing out because of a machine. ” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Best For Working Moms

MC rated as “Breast Breast Pump for Working Moms”

  • Motif Duo Breast Pump

Weight: 0.6 lbs

Batteries: Yes, built-in batteries last up to 2.5 hours

Portability Options: Yes, it’s small and lightweight.

Settings: Ten expression modes and 10 massage settings, with memory

Display: LCD with backlight

  • One power adapter
  • Two 21mm breast shields
  • Two 27mm breast shields
  • Two 180 ml milk collection containers
  • Two bottle nipples
  • Two connectors and Diaphragms
  • Two tubings and tubing connector pairs
  • Multi-Pocket Maylilly
  • Motif backpack
  • It’s a portable breast pump that weighs just 0.6 lbs.
  • It’s small enough to fit most bags.
  • It’s a quiet, closed system.
  • It has an LCD display with a timer and backlight.
  • It’s not as powerful as other hospital-grade pumps.

“ 1st time mom and 1st time using a breast pump. I couldn’t produce milk yet. But as soon as I used the pump after the 2nd try, milk was coming out. The size is nice and easy to travel with. I love that it features a charger with it. The compact is outstanding overall. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

“ The size is fine. The bag is cute. However, you can only pump one breast at a time when both are hooked up, the intensity of the suction drastically goes down, and the tubes come disconnected very easily. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

What Brand Of Breast Pump Do Hospitals Use?

Mc rated as “best hospital grade breast pump”.

Medela Symphony

  • Purchase not covered by insurance, but this may be available as a rental unit

Weight: 7.05 lbs

Batteries: None

Portability Options: Not portable

Pump System: Closed system

Settings: 2-Phase Expression technology with letdown button

Display: None, only dials and buttons

Pump Controls: Dials and buttons

Noise Level: Quiet, designed for a hospital setting

Warranty: Three years, limited

  • One Symphony 2.0 Program Card
  • One container stand
  • One quick start card
  • One protector for card/cord
  • Instructions

Bag and Cooler: None

  • It’s a strong and quiet pump.
  • It’s among the few Medela breast pumps that have a hygienic closed system pump.
  • It’s designed for heavy-duty pumping by multiple users.
  • It’s FDA-approved for multiple users.
  • It’s the only Medela pump with a three-year warranty.
  • It’s expensive.
  • It’s not covered by insurance as a purchase.
  • You can also use this breast pump as a rental.
  • It’s a big, bulky pump.
  • It was subject to a recall (lot #67099S) in 2010 for compromised sterility due to possible pinholes in the rigid tray of the package. Medela replaced the compromised pumps. (3)

“ Hospital grade suction power is true to its word. I noticed a significant increase in breast milk output even on the first pump. As an exclusive pumper, this product was a life-changer and a must-have. Easy to use and clean. Definitely worth every penny .” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ I had rented one of these with kiddo #1, and it was a lifesaver. However, the one I ordered for kiddo #2 had almost no suction at first and made an annoying beeping sound every time it pulls and suctions. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Best Lightweight Pump

MC rated as “Best Lightweight Breast Pump”

Batteries: Yes, built-in; can last up to 1.5 hours

Portability Options: Yes, among the smallest and lightest breast pumps

Settings: Ten suction levels with letdown and expression modes

Display: LCD

Pump Strength: Up to 260 mmHg

Noise Level: Noisier than other Spectra pumps

  • One Spectra 9-Volt AC power adapter

Bag and Cooler: Sold separately: tote and cooler

  • It’s among the lightest portable breast pumps (0.5 lbs) currently available.
  • It’s small but still powerful (up to 260 mmHg).
  • You can adjust the suction level but not the suction speed.
  • It’s noisier than other Spectra pumps.

“ This is a great pump for travel and on the go! I was worried about the suction level but have been pleasantly surprised with the power of this tiny pump! ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ This pump was loud and sounded like it was on the struggle bus. The settings are not like the S2 in what they do or produce. The suction and settings immediately had me wanting to return it. We tried yesterday to do so and found out I can’t even exchange for the S1 and pay more. So now we are out 180$ and have a pump that does nothing for me. Really upset. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Best Manual Breast Pump

MC rated as “Best Manual Breast Pump”

Lansinoh manual breast pump.

Weight: 0.75 lbs

Pump Type: Manual, single

Portability Options: Portable

Settings: Two-mode pumping: Stimulation and Expression to promote letdown and pumping efficiency

Display: None

Pump Controls: Manual lever

  • One 25mm ComfortFit flange
  • One 30.5mm ComfortFit flange
  • It’s cheap.
  • It has fewer parts to clean.
  • It’s quiet.
  • It’s light and portable.
  • It’s a manual pump, so you’ll need to use your hands to express milk.
  • It can only be used on one breast at a time.

“ I used this on one side while having my Spectra on the other (using a breast pump bra to keep everything centered). I was able to pump comfortably for 10 minutes without any issues – no hand cramping at all – and when I checked at the end how much I pumped with the manual – I got 1 ounce more on the manual pump side than the Spectra side. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ This product sucked. I got it as a backup to my Medela hand pump. And the suctioning on it was awful. Usually, within a minute with the Medela, I get around an ounce or more, but with this product, I could barely get less than an ounce within three to five minutes. Worst purchase I’ve ever made. ” – Reviewer on Target.

Best Single Electric Pump

MC rated as “Best Single Electric Breast Pump”

  • Nuk Expressive

Weight: 1 lb

Pump Type: Single electric

Batteries: Yes, uses three AA batteries or one 1.5V battery

Portability Options: Yes, it’s light and uses batteries

Settings: Eight suction levels and four cycle modes

Pump Strength: Up to 240 mmHg

Noise Level: Noisy

  • One (5-oz) breast milk container
  • One silicone nipple size 1 (slow flow)
  • One seal disk for storage
  • One voltage adapter
  • One extra silicone valve
  • It’s small and portable.
  • It uses a hygienic closed system.
  • It uses batteries so you can bring it anywhere.
  • It has many suction levels and a letdown mode.
  • It’s just a single pump.
  • It’s a bit noisy.

“My milk is not in yet, but it still gets the pre-milk out very well. I get about an oz in 10 minutes or so. It has a strong suction to me .” – Reviewer on Walmart.

“ I tried the pump, and it has such low suction it took significantly longer than a hand pump to empty the breast. I ended up using my hand pump while in the park because this was so slow. The more you use it, the less suction it has. What a waste of money .” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Best Wearable (Hands-Free) Pump

Mc rated as “best wearable or hands-free pump”.

  • Willow Generation 3 Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump

Weight: 5.59 lbs

Pump Type: Single and double electric, wearable

Batteries: Yes, built-in and rechargeable last up to five sessions

Portability Options: Yes, the pumps have batteries and can fit inside your nursing bra

Grade: Comparable to hospital-grade

Settings: Seven suction levels (includes a sensitivity setting)

Display: None, but can connect to a smartphone app

Pump Strength: Up to 245 mmHg

Pump Controls: Buttons and through the app

  • Two Willow Pumps
  • Two (24mm or 27mm) flanges
  • Two Flex Tubes
  • Twenty four (4 oz.) spill-proof breast milk bags
  • Two cleaning brushes
  • Wearable breast pump
  • Connects via Bluetooth to the Generation 3 Willow app for monitoring the amount of pumped breast milk
  • Spill-proof cups that can be used in any position
  • It’s more expensive than most breast pumps.
  • The cup size might be too small for your pumping session, so you might need to stop mid-session to pour the milk out.

“ The Willow LITERALLY saved my breastfeeding journey, and I am forever grateful. It’s also the only pump I’ve tried that empties my breasts fully, and I’ve been able to increase my supply with this pump !” – Reviewer on the Willow Pumps website.

“ Unfortunately, this pump takes me more time to use, and my output is significantly less than with a traditional pump. Getting into “expression” mode can take me upwards of 5 minutes (and you can only put on one pump at a time), so sometimes it is a full 10 minutes before I’m even expressing. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

Most Affordable Electric Pump

MC rated as “Most Affordable Breast Pump”

  • BellaBaby Double Electric Breast Pump

Weight: 2.6 lbs

Batteries: Yes, it uses one lithium-ion battery with up to three hours of battery life.

Portability Options: Yes, it’s small and uses batteries.

Grade: Hospital

Settings: Four modes and nine levels of suction, including massage and letdown

Display: LED

Pump Strength: Up to 300 mmHg

Pump Controls: Digital buttons

  • Two milk collection bottles
  • Two pieces of milk storage bag adapters
  • Ten pieces of storage bags
  • Two flanges
  • Two massage pads
  • One set of tubings
  • It’s cheaper than most electric pumps but is lightweight and portable.
  • It’s compact and light.
  • The batteries last for up to three hours.
  • You can directly pump your breast milk into storage bags.
  • Some moms complain that the pump’s suction is too strong.
  • It can be noisy.

“ Amazing. My favorite pump of all time, and I’ve tried several. ” – Reviewer on Walmart.

“ The least suction power I’ve ever used in a breast pump. I’m very disappointed. I couldn’t even get more than a few drops out using the highest mode. Waste of money .” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Most Comfortable Pump

MC rated as “Most Comfortable Breast Pump”

travel breast pump mom

Weight: 2 lbs

Pump Type: Double electric

Batteries: No

Portability Options: It’s not portable

Settings: One stimulation mode and three expression settings

Display: None, just buttons

Pump Strength: Up to 128 mmHg

  • Two (4-oz) milk collection bottles
  • Two sealing disc for milk storage
  • Two extra soft newborn flow nipple
  • Two spare diaphragms
  • Two travel covers
  • Two breast pump bodies
  • Four breast pad sample packs (two day pads and two night pads)
  • Two 22mm standard size cushions

Bag and Cooler: Handy travel bag

  • Lightweight, portable pump
  • Flanges come with built-in massage cushions for comfortable breastfeeding sessions.
  • It’s noisy.
  • Milk collection bottles are small, so you might need to stop mid-session.

“ I like this pump overall. It’s easy to use, expresses milk efficiently, and is kinder on the breasts when compared to Ameda. ” – Reviewer on Phillips Avent’s website.

“ Poor ability to suction, have to hunch forward and hold them tightly in place making it difficult to change the settings because I can’t let go to do so. Leaks while pumping while pouring while feeding the baby. ” – Reviewer on Amazon

Quietest Breast Pump & Best Value For Your Money

MC rated as “Best Value for Your Money” and “Quietest Breast Pump”

travel breast pump mom

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Settings: 12 suction levels with a letdown mode and expression mode.

  • Strong but quiet pump.
  • The massage and expression modes can help you pump more milk volume.
  • Many pumping moms say this pump gave them the best pumping experience.
  • It’s among the most popular breast pumps in retail.
  • It’s also among the top choices as a free breast pump from insurance.
  • Readily available from most medical supply companies.
  • It doesn’t have batteries.

“ I was so close to switching over to formula because the pump I had before did nothing for me & I have to head back to work soon. I’m 2 1/2 months in now, and I don’t see our journey ending anytime soon solely because I’m able to provide her with breast milk now while I work full time. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

“ Poor suction. I ordered this pump over the Medela pump because it offered a closed system . I should have gone with the Medela pump instead. The suction isn’t very strong, and it only fits their bottles which can’t be sterilized. They will melt and deform. Go with Medela. ” – Reviewer on Aeroflow Breast Pumps.

Simplest Manual Pump

MC rated as “Simplest Manual Pump”

  • Haakaa Breast Pump

Weight: 0.24 lbs

Portability Options: Lightweight and portable

Pump System: Closed, direct

Settings: None

Pump Strength: Not rated

Pump Controls: None, just the suction pump

Noise Level: 100% silent

  • Pump with a built-in 4-oz milk collection container

Compatibility: Ladybug milk collector cup

  • One-piece pump with no separate parts to clean
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Silicone one-size-fits-all flange
  • It’s not as powerful as an electric pump.
  • It doesn’t promote faster milk flow.
  • No adjustable suction.
  • No extra flange sizes.

“ Over the first 24hrs of having this, I’ve pulled over 10oz of otherwise wasted milk! I can’t believe how well it works!” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ I thought this would work to use on one side while I fed the baby on the other. But it actually just made my nipples really sore, worse than if I just pumped with my electric pump. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Best Pump Accessories

MC rated as “Best Pump Accessories”

  • Freemie Next Generation Cups

Weight: 0.05 lbs

Pump Type: Single or double

Batteries: Not applicable

Portability Options: Light and portable

Grade: Not applicable

Settings: Not applicable

Display: Not applicable

Pump Strength: Not applicable

Pump Controls: Not applicable

Noise Level: Not applicable

Warranty: 60 days

  • Two 25mm breast flanges
  • Two 28mm breast flanges
  • Two cups parts
  • Two valve bases
  • Two barriers
  • Three duckbill valves
  • Three lengths of tubing
  • One tubing y-connector


  • Ameda Purely Yours, Ameda Finesse
  • ARDO Calypso
  • BellaBaby Duo Pocket, Bellababy Duo Rechargeable
  • Freemie Liberty and Independence
  • Lucina Melodi Prime
  • Motif Duo, Motif Luna
  • Philips Avent
  • Spectra M1, S1, S2, S1 Plus, S2 Plus, 9 Plus
  • It’s compatible with many breast pumps.
  • It’s a closed system.
  • It’s discreet.
  • It’s small.
  • You might need to remove cups to pour collected breast milk at mid-session.
  • It should be used in one position (upright), so the milk won’t spill.
  • You can’t use it while lying down or reclining.

“ The best pumping accessory yet!!! This is my second go at breastfeeding . Although this time was successful getting my LO to latch, I’m an FT working mom with a commute. Therefore I need to pump. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

“ My milk was low, my breast had sharp stabbing pains that would wake me in the night, and I had many blocked ducts. I’ve since stopped using them completely, and things are getting back on track. ” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Does Pumping Ruin Your Breasts?

A breast pump is designed to collect your breast milk without causing permanent damage to your nipples or breast. If you’re feeling pain, it may be a good idea to change the breast shield or flange size to something that fits you better.

How to Measure Breast Shield or Flange Size

Different brands might have different ways to determine the sizes for the breast shields or the flanges. But here’s the general rule:

Measure the width of your nipple’s base (in millimeters).

Then use this as a guide to find your size:

  • The base of nipple width is approximately 16mm to 18mm = 21mm breast shield
  • The base of nipple width is approximately 18mm to 21mm = 24mm breast shield
  • The base of nipple width is approximately 21mm to 25mm = 28mm breast shield

Note that your nipple size may change during your breastfeeding journey, so keep the other breast shields included in the breast pump box if you need them later.

How Do I Choose A Breast Pump?

Did you know that you may get a free breast pump via insurance?

Medical supply companies such as Aeroflow and Edgepark can help you get the pump you need. Depending on your policy, you might be eligible for a double electric breast pump.

If you want ‘upgraded’ pumps such as Elvie or Willow, you might need to pay the price difference from what your insurance will pay for.

Is Spectra Better Than Medela?

There are many types of breast pumps, even from the same brands.

For example, Medela sells the following: Medela Freestyle, Medela Pump in Style Advanced, Medela Pump in Style MaxFlow, Medela Symphony, Medela Harmony Manual, and Medela Freestyle Flex.

Meanwhile, Spectra sells the following: Spectra S1 Plus, Spectra S2 Plus, Spectra 9 Plus, Spectra S3 Pro, and Spectra Synergy Gold.

As you’ve read above, there are also other pumps from other brands.

You can ask a lactation consultant for recommendations or pick your own pump, considering these factors:

  • Noise or sound
  • Closed system vs. open system
  • Frequency of use
  • Lifestyle needs
  • Hands-free options or wearable breast pumps
  • Special features
  • Power source
  • Portability
  • Accessories
  • Ease of use
  • Product recalls

Summary & Recommendation

Breast pumps are created differently, with different specifications. So, one pump that works for other moms might not work for you or might not be enough to meet your needs.

It’s up to you to pick the breast pump that suits your needs, but here are our recommendations:

  • Spectra S1 Plus Electric Breast Pump

Best Breast Pump For EBF (Exclusive Breastfeeding ) Moms

  • Medela PISA (Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump) with On-the-Go Tote

Best Hospital Grade Pump

  • Medela Symphony Breast Pump
  • Spectra 9 Plus
  • Lansinoh Manual

Best Wearable ( Hands-Free ) Pump

  • Philips Avent Comfort
  • Spectra S2 Plus




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  • Deals and sales

Earth Day Is Coming. Here are 7 Deals on Refurbished Wirecutter Picks

A collage including a vacuum cleaner, a toaster oven and earbuds.

By Kaitlin Mahar

Kaitlin Mahar is a writer covering deals and sales. She strives to help readers make savvy purchases and steer them away from buyer’s remorse.

Want to shop more sustainably on an individual level? Curbing impulse buys and repairing items you already own are good steps. Buying certified refurbished kitchen gear , tech , and small appliances can help, too, plus save you cash.

“Manufacturing requires raw materials and uses energy and emits pollution. That’s why shopping pre-owned is usually better for the environment,” said sustainability editor Katie Okamoto.

“And buying a pre-owned device or appliance through a certified refurbished program makes so much sense, because you get the peace of mind that the machine has passed inspection for quality and safety and is often backed up by guarantees. You save money—often a lot of money—and you skip over that environmentally intensive manufacturing phase. It’s a win-win.”

Refurbishment programs vary, so always read the fine print to ensure an item is certified and backed by a warranty. But ahead of Earth Day April 22, we’ve saved you time: These deals on Wirecutter picks make the cut.

Here's the deal

Sonos era 300 multiroom wireless speaker (refurbished), anker soundcore sleep a10 sleep earbuds (refurbished), dyson supersonic hair dryer (refurbished), cuisinart chef’s convection toaster oven tob-260nfr (refurbished), kitchenaid artisan series 5-quart tilt-head stand mixer (refurbished), dyson v15 detect absolute cordless stick vacuum (refurbished), bissell crosswave pet pro mop-vacuum (refurbished).

travel breast pump mom

Sonos Era 300

Our multiroom wireless speaker pick for spatial audio.

Delivering spacious, room-filling sound, Sonos consistently provides the best experience of all the multiroom wireless speakers we’ve tested. It supports more music services—over 130, in fact—and is easier to set up and use than most other systems.

Buying Options

You save $90 (20%)

Other things to know: Audio purists may prefer Sonos’s more traditional speaker design. Still pretty pricey, even refurbished. Voice-control compatibility is limited. Comes with the same one-year manufacturer warranty as brand-new Sonos speakers. Limited color options available.

Read more: The Best Multiroom Wireless Speaker System

travel breast pump mom

Anker Soundcore Sleep A10

Our sleep headphones pick for blocking or masking sounds.

Choose between playing preloaded sounds or streaming audio from your phone with these sleep headphones, which block out or mask loud noises better than others we tested. They stay in place securely, but their smaller size may be uncomfortable for side sleepers with sensitive ears.

Use promo code SHOPGREEN

Other things to know: Certified refurbished and sold through Anker’s eBay storefront. Have a built-in alarm but we found the sound a little grating, and there’s no snooze button. Two-year Allstate warranty and 30-day returns. Use code SHOPGREEN to get the deal price.

Read more: The Best Sleep Headphones (But We Hoped for Better)

travel breast pump mom

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Our longtime upgrade hair dryer pick.

This hair dryer has consistently been our favorite to use since we first tested it in 2016, and it’s no surprise: The unique design makes for an extraordinarily pleasant experience, with no vibration whatsoever and simple-to-switch magnetic attachments that make styling a breeze.

Other things to know: Still pricey even when refurbished and on sale, and doesn’t make your hair look any different than cheaper options. Manufacturer-refurbished and sold through Dyson’s eBay storefront. Two-year warranty provided by Allstate. Use code SHOPGREEN .

Read more: The Best Hair Dryer

travel breast pump mom

Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven TOB-260N1

Our larger toaster oven pick.

Perfect for larger households with ample counter space, this very large toaster oven can evenly toast nine bread slices, bake a 13-inch pizza, and roast a whole chicken. It was also among the models to reach 350 °F the fastest during our preheating tests.

You save $105 (41%)

Other things to know: Also does a good job of air frying, though Cuisinart doesn’t advertise it as an air fryer. Certified refurbished model sold through Cuisinart’s eBay storefront. Two-year Allstate warranty.

Read more: The Best Toaster Oven

travel breast pump mom

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

The best stand mixer.

Quiet and uncomplicated, this is the absolute best stand mixer you can get for its performance, versatility, and price—which is why it’s been our pick since 2013. Featuring 10 speeds, this buy-it-for-life kitchen workhorse is clearly built to last and deftly mixes without straining.

Use promo code SAVETEN24 (limited colors)

Other things to know: Certified refurbished with one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Package comes with the 5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl, flat beater, dough hook, and six-wire whip. On sale in limited colors with code SAVETEN24 .

Read more: The Best Stand Mixer

travel breast pump mom

Dyson V15 Detect

A high-end dyson vacuum we like with more dustbin capacity.

With an auto mode that preserves battery life by adjusting suction levels and a useful LCD screen, our former upgrade pick is still pretty impressive—and it has a dustbin that’s double the size of our top pick.

You save $70 (14%)

Other things to know: Trigger-style power switch requires constant squeezing. Motor has more muscle than that of our top pick, but the resulting clean is about equal. Certified refurbished with two-year limited warranty provided by Allstate.

Read more: The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum

travel breast pump mom

Bissell CrossWave

The best mop-vacuum combo.

Spills, stains, and debris are no match for this speedy machine’s strong suction and all-in-one cleaning prowess. It’s more powerful when it comes to cleaning bare floors than the countless cordless options on the market and should be more durable.

You save $55 (31%)

Other things to know: Requires plugging into an outlet. You can control how much cleaning liquid is dispensed. Regular maintenance is essential. Manufacturer-refurbished with two-year warranty from Allstate.

Read more: The Best Mop-Vacuum Combo Is the Bissell CrossWave

Editor’s note: The photo at the top of this article may reflect previous deals that are no longer valid and have been removed. Check out our Deals page for more great discounts on Wirecutter’s expert-approved picks.

This article was edited by Janie Campbell and Nathan Burrow.

Meet your guide

travel breast pump mom

Kaitlin Mahar

Kaitlin Mahar is a staff writer for Wirecutter’s Deals team. Her byline has appeared in Delish, Esquire, and Town & Country. When she’s not hunting for deals and fiercely defending the Oxford comma, she’s a proud cat parent, an avid yogi, and a co-producer and co-host of the podcast Crime Culture . Please tell your pets and grandparents she says hi.


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