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If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’re probably going to need a breast pump. But navigating the world of flanges, battery packs and suction levels can be confusing, frustrating and downright hilarious. (Hello, milking station!) That’s why we asked 28 real moms about their favorite pumps and how they used them. But before you buy one, make sure to check with your insurance provider since most plans cover the cost of a breast pump. And here’s another top tip: Ask a mom friend if she has a pump you can borrow—it’s actually totally fine to use someone else’s breast pump (with separate accessories) as long as it’s considered to be “hospital-grade” (i.e., can be used by multiple people thanks to additional hygienic precautions in the design). 

RELATED: 50 Frequently Asked Questions About Breastfeeding

 

Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump
Medela

Best Portable Breast Pump: Medela Pump In Style

Working moms love this device for its powerful double electric pump, accessibility (you can find spare parts and accessories in stores) and portable tote. The bag’s compartments hold all of the pump’s accessories, making it a great pack-up-and-go option, and it comes with a power cord and battery pack—a total life-saver for those times where there’s no outlet available (say, a five-hour plane ride). Here’s what one mom had to say: “I loved my pump—it was super portable and blended in like a regular bag so I could take it out for drinks or networking events and not feel weird. It was also super easy and intuitive to use. Mine has lasted me through two kids, breastfeeding each one for over a year.”

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Woman using Willow breast pump
Willow

Best Hands-Free Breast Pump: The Willow

While a hands-free pump will never be quite as powerful as an electric one, this buzzy number is winning moms over left and right thanks to its sleek design and extreme portability (one PureWow editor even did her makeup and changed a diaper while using it). The Willow is 100 percent cordless and bottle-less (the milk collection bags can be stored right in your freezer when you’re done), with none of the usual whirring sounds of other pumps. It can be a little finicky to figure out at first and is on the pricier side, but it gets rave reviews for convenience and technology (moms use an app to see how much milk they’re producing).

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RELATED: I Tested the Willow Breast Pump and Actually Did My Morning Makeup While Using It

Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump
Philips

Best Manual Pump: Philips Avent Manual Comfort Pump

When it comes to pumping on-the-go, this small and silent number is a firm favorite. With no power outlet or batteries, there are only five parts required. “This one’s great for travel since I can just pump straight into the bottle (the nipple is conveniently breast-shaped), which gives me more room in my carry-on,” one mom told us. Another great feature? It’s super easy to clean. Your hands may get tired after a while, but for infrequent or short-term use, it’s one of the most effective pumps on the market.

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Evenflo Deluxe Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump
Evenflo

Best Budget-Friendly Breast Pump: Evenflo Deluxe Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump

It may be the most no-frills pump of the bunch, but the Evenflo boasts an adjustable vacuum (that means a more comfortable fit for mom) and comes complete with an insulated cooler bag, ice packs, multiple flange sizes (because one size doesn’t fit all) and extra milk storage bottles. And it conveniently works with an AC adapter or six AA batteries. Bonus: Each pump comes with two 90-minute online breastfeeding classes. Prices start from $99. 

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Spectra 1 breast pump
Spectra

Best Battery-Operated Pump: Spectra 1

Never know if you're going to be near an outlet? With three hours of use per charge and strong suction, this is your guy. Powerful and comfortable might not always go hand-in-hand, but moms swear this portable pick (that's also electric) delivers on both. “I don’t know if this is actually true, but I always felt like I could get more milk out when using the Spectra,” one friend tells us. Another one raved about how noiseless it was and the pump’s light—extra helpful for those late nights. Moms also appreciate how customizable the pump is with separate modes for suction strength and speed. Don’t need a battery (because you are always pumping someplace near an outlet)? Save money (and weight) by choosing the Spectra S2, which is the same pump minus the battery.

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