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Manual breast pumps are a low-tech but effective way to pump breast milk for your baby. There's no need for a plug or batteries, since they're entirely hand-operated. To find the top five manual breast pumps recommended by moms, we analyzed threads in the our site Community. We also asked our site editors about the new and cool products that they think deserve wider recognition. Here are the our site Love It winners for the best manual breast pumps.
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Manual breast pump basics
What you need to know
A breast pump can be an essential tool for keeping breastfeeding going smoothly. It's a must-have if you want to continue nursing but can't be there physically for all your baby's feedings. A pump will let you hand over some feedings to your partner or another caregiver so you can rest. It can also help you get relief from engorgement and other issues that can make breastfeeding painful.
Breast pumps can be separated into two main categories: manual and electric. Unlike their electric counterparts, manual pumps are lighter (most weigh less than 2 pounds), quieter, and far less expensive. Some mothers say they better mimic a baby's suckling and feel more natural than electric pumps.
The downside to manual pumps? They have no motor, so you're doing all the work. That often means squeezing a handle or lever, which can get tiring on your hands. Manual pumps typically empty just one breast at a time and may require both hands to operate. Some moms aren't able to completely empty their breasts with a manual pump. This can affect your milk supply over time, so if you're going to be pumping more than once a day, an electric pump may be a better option.
However, manual pumps can be a great solution for occasional pumping, travel, or backup. Some pumps have solved the tired-hands problem with ergonomic, one-handed pumping. And innovative silicone "pumps" use natural suction to draw your milk out – just fasten one on and you can express milk hands-free. Silicone pumps can collect milk letdown from one breast while you nurse with the other, saving precious breast milk that would normally be lost to a nursing pad. As any breastfeeding mom will tell you, you'll want to collect every drop of that liquid gold!
The following manual breast pumps are the five most recommended by our site moms and two chosen by our site editors. All are good choices in terms of features and ease of use – and they're the our site Love It winners for the best 2020 manual breast pumps.
The best manual breast pumps
Parents' Picks - recommended by parents
|Manual breast pump||our site rating|
|Haakaa Manual Breast Pump|
|Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump|
|Medela Harmony Breast Pump|
|Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump|
|Evenflo Manual Breast Pump|
Editors' Choice - chosen by our site Editors
|Manual breast pump||our site Rating|
|Dr. Brown's Silicone Breast Pump||Highly recommended|
|Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump||Recommended|
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
Our site Parents' Pick
The Haakaa is a favorite among moms and lactation consultants alike because it's easy and effective. It uses simple suction to express milk, so you don't need to pump it – just attach it to your breast, squeeze once or twice, and milk starts dribbling out. While breastfeeding on one side, many moms like to attach the Haakaa to their other breast to catch milk letdown that would otherwise go to waste. The Haakaa is made of a food-grade silicone that's safe for moms and babies. Since it's just one piece, it's a snap to clean: Just put the Haakaa in boiling water for two to three minutes. Moms also swear by the Haakaa to clear clogged ducts: Fill the bottom with warm water (not too much, so you're still able to attach it) and a tablespoon of Epsom salt. Attach the Haakaa to the affected breast and the combination of warm water, Epsom salt, and suction can clear the clog.
The Haakaa has an open top, so you can't use it to transport your milk unless you buy an upgraded model that includes a lid or stopper. Otherwise, you'll have to transfer your milk to a separate storage container.
"I love my Haakaa pump. I use it while nursing or immediately after, and it pretty much does everything itself just with the suction, though sometimes I have to manually pump it to get it going. It's super easy, and I love how little there is to wash."
"I got one for my second baby and it was a game-changer! I produced a lot of milk, so while my son was nursing on one side, I would suction the other side. The letdown would give me a few ounces, then I would nurse him on that side after. No engorgement, no waste, and no pain! Anyone I know who's pregnant and planning to breastfeed gets one as a gift from me."
"I love mine! It's definitely a must. We took some trips with my son last year that cut into his feeding time, but we didn't want to stop just before getting there. I'd attach the Haakaa in the car and get 5 ounces in 10 minutes."
"I love my Haakaa pump. I exclusively pump, and for the past three days I haven't had to use my electric pump at all because my Haakaa is catching so much."
"The Haakaa is magical. I have about 20 ounces just from today. I can quietly and discreetly pump at work with it."
- Made of food-grade silicone, BPA-free
- Flange designed to fit all breast shapes and sizes
- Works for both pumping and collecting milk letdown
- Cleans in boiling water in two to three minutes
- Small, portable, and travel-friendly
Available at Amazon starting at $12.94
Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
Our site Parents' Pick
Manual pumping shouldn't be painful. This pump from Lansinoh has a smart, ergonomic handle that will help keep your hand from cramping up. It's compatible with Lansinoh's milk storage bags and bottles, and includes two different sizes of flanges (the part that goes over your breast) to ensure a comfortable fit for anyone. The kit comes with a bottle and nipple, too.
You can only pump one breast at a time, so it takes longer to empty both breasts. This pump is better for occasional use or travel.
"The Lansinoh pump works very well. I use it if my baby sleeps through a night feeding and I feel engorged, since it's much quieter than an electric pump and I don't have to wake everyone up."
"I used it on one side while having my electric pump on the other, and I was able to pump comfortably for 10 minutes without any issues or hand cramping at all. When I checked how much I pumped with the manual I saw that I got 1 ounce more than I did on the side with the electric pump. This little manual pump has helped increase my milk supply, and I recommend it!"
"The Lansinoh manual pump is my favorite – it's comfortable and I get the most milk from it. It's perfect for travel, or if my baby only nurses on one side I can pump on the other."
- Dual-mode pumping
- Includes two flange sizes (standard 25 mm and large 30.5 mm)
- Ergonomic, easy-express handle reduces hand fatigue
- BPA- and BPS-free
Available at Amazon starting at $22.27
Medela Harmony Breast Pump
Our site Parents' Pick
The Medela Harmony lets you control the suction to the level that works best for you. It also has two-phase expression technology, which mimics how your breasts release milk when you're nursing your baby: You use one part of the handle in "stimulation phase" to get your milk flowing – then you switch to the longer side of the handle, which creates a slower "expression phase" cycle to express the majority of your milk. Conveniently, you can pump directly into Medela bottles, and two breast milk bottles with lids are included.
Some moms say this pump loses suction over time and becomes unusable. Also, it only comes with one breast shield, and if you need a different size you'll need to buy it separately.
"I really like the Medela Harmony. I use it as my first choice if I have to pump, rather than hooking up the electric one. The handle is easy on my hand, and I can pump quickly with one hand while focusing on something else. It's easy to clean, too."
"I have two of these, and while traveling I double pump with a pumping bra. This is great at airports without nursing stations or other venues where outlets aren't available. The Harmony works better than my electric pump."
"I feel like I get more milk, and faster than I'm used to, with the electric pump. Plus, it's more comfortable and doesn't make annoying noises."
"My favorite part about this manual pump is my ability to control the flow. After letdown, I pump very slowly and just let it flow!"
- Two-phase expression technology
- 24 mm breast shield (flange) included, other sizes sold separately
- Includes two 5-ounce Medela bottles with lids
Available at Amazon starting at $28.44
Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
Our site Parents' Pick
Simple and comfortable, the Philips Avent manual breast pump doesn't have a bunch of parts and is easy to use and to clean. The flange features a soft "massage cushion" to make pumping more comfortable. And there's no need to lean forward in an uncomfortable position to capture all your milk; the pump works just as well when you're sitting up straight./p>
The flange comes in one size (25 mm), but you can buy a smaller size separately if you need it.
"I bought this to use in the car when I don't have enough time to set up my electric pump before leaving the house. It works really well, is easy to use, takes up minimal space in the car, and gets the job done. I don't use it every day, but it was a lifesaver to keep in the car. I would definitely buy it again and highly recommend it."
"This pump was great for the first four months when feedings were unpredictable. I took this everywhere, and it put me at ease knowing that if my baby slept through a feed, or only fed on one side, I had this pump to get me through."
"This pump is so easy to use and great for on the go. I just throw it in the diaper bag. Also, it's super comfortable on the breast."
"In less than 10 minutes I'm able to pump a 4-ounce bottle so my husband can feed and bond with our baby. Cleanup afterward is quick and easy. I'm extremely happy with this purchase."
- Includes Philips Avent Natural bottle and nipple
- Massage cushion feels warm on skin, which can help stimulate milk flow
Available at Amazon starting at $25.93
Evenflo Manual Breast Pump
Our site Parents' Pick
The Evenflo manual breast pump is lightweight and portable. It includes a standard-size flange (28.5 mm), plus a soft silicone insert to make it smaller if needed. It's BPA-free and comes with a 5-ounce bottle.
This pump is made of eight separate parts that need to be washed and reassembled after each use. Also, the standard-size flange can be made smaller but not bigger.
"I no longer use an electric pump. I find manual pumping to be faster, and as a working mom I need all the time I can get. This is the best pump I've had."
"This is a great manual pump. It was worth every penny and more. It's very easy to use. I recommend this to any mom as an alternate for when you can't use your electric pump. It is also much quicker to use this in the car or while traveling."
- BPA-free silicone
- Includes standard-size flange and silicone adapter for smaller sizes
- Includes 5-ounce bottle
Available at Amazon starting at $22.39
Dr. Brown's Silicone Breast Pump
Our site Editors' Pick
Like the Haakaa, this beauty from Dr. Brown's isn't a traditional breast pump. You suction it onto one breast (for instance, while you're nursing on the other side) and it draws milk out without you having to do much of anything. It's one piece, BPA-free, and made of soft silicone. Plus, it comes with a Dr. Brown's baby bottle, storage cap, and travel bag. To clean, just throw it in the dishwasher (top rack only).
Transfer milk as soon as you've finished using this pump, because once it's full it can easily tip over.
"This is essentially an all-in-one manual pump set. You can pump or collect letdown and immediately transfer it into an anti-colic baby bottle and begin feeding!"
- 100 percent silicone, BPA-free
- Includes Dr. Brown's Options+ bottle and storage cap
- Hands-free pumping or collection
- Drawstring travel bag
Available at Amazon starting at $14.99
Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump
Our site Editors' Pick
Like the Haakaa and Dr. Brown's silicone pumps, the equally inexpensive Bumblebee uses natural suction to collect breast milk. The set comes with a stopper, lid, and travel bag.
Unlike the others, this pump can only collect 3.5 ounces of milk. So if you're used to pumping more, or collecting more from letdown, you'll need to have a separate storage bottle handy to accommodate your supply.
"The Bumblebee is a great value and it works well with almost every breast size. The stopper and lid make for easy travel, and it's dishwasher safe. Plus, it's made of food-grade silicone and is BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free."
- 100 percent food-grade silicone
- Dishwasher, microwave, boiling water, and sterilizer safe
- Includes stopper, lid, and travel bag
- Unique angle accommodates various breast sizes
Available at Amazon starting at $12.99