Best electric breast pump 2022: Our favourite single, double and wearable electric breast pumps to buy


These top-rated electric pumps make it easy to express and support your baby’s feeding routine

Once your baby has arrived safely into the world, your everyday routine suddenly revolves around naps, nappy changes and feeding. It can be a really special yet overwhelming time, especially as you establish a routine and get to know your little one over those first few days and weeks.

When it comes to feeding, if you’re planning to breastfeed, an electric breast pump can help you express milk for your baby and take a well-earned rest when you need it. The most modern and innovative new electric devices also allow you to pump with discretion and ease – whether you’re at home or out and about – and some even connect to digital apps so you can keep an eye on how much you’ve pumped and when. In short, they help to make the process much easier and less stressful.

With so many models available, however, it’s important to do your research and invest in the right one for you and your baby. That way, you’ll get your feeding journey off to the best start possible.

Best electric breast pump: At a glance

  • Best for discretion and convenience: Elvie Pump | Buy now
  • Best-value wearable breast pump: Fraupow Wearable | Buy now
  • Best-value double electric pump: Lansinoh SmartPump 2.0 | Buy now
  • Best double pump for using on the go: Medela Swing Maxi (2021) | Buy now

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How to choose the best electric breast pump for you

Does breast pumping feel different to breastfeeding?

The sensation of a pump does feel a little different to a baby, but it shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort. Most electric pumps mimic a baby’s natural feeding rhythm, and you can adjust the speed and suction based on your personal preference. It may take a few minutes to establish a good flow so don’t feel frustrated if you only manage to express a small amount of milk initially.

How do I use an electric breast pump?

First things first: find a quiet spot where you’re unlikely to be undisturbed and get comfy. As with breastfeeding, you’ll want to feel relaxed and at ease. Place the cone-shaped shield over your breast so it completely covers the nipple and areola, ensuring the pump’s bottle or hub is secure. You then switch the pump on to expression mode, which will stimulate the breast’s let-down and start the milk flowing. Many of the latest electric models don’t have any dangling tubes and fit neatly and easily beneath clothes – so once you’ve got into a good rhythm, you should be able to get up and on with your day.

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What’s the difference between an open and closed-system pump?

Breast pump manufacturers often use the terms “open” and “closed” systems. But what does this actually mean? Put simply, it refers to whether or not the pump includes a barrier between the breast pump and expressed milk, which is usually found between the tubing and the motor, or between the breast shield connector and the tubing.

Closed-system pumps stop milk (or any other pollutants) leaking into the pump’s mechanism with a physical barrier, so can be cleaned effectively, while open-system pumps don’t, so there's the chance of contamination via bacteria or mould over time.

Manufacturers of open-system pumps suggest the risk of your milk becoming contaminated is small, but they should be avoided if you’re tempted to pick up a cheap secondhand model from eBay or similar, and you may want to be even more vigilant with sterilisation and cleaning. Some pump brands also refer to a closed system as “overflow protection” but they mean the same thing.

How do I store the milk?

Once your milk is safely stored away in bottles or bags, NHS guidelines suggest that you can keep it at room temperature for a maximum of six hours or store it in the back of the fridge (not the door) for up to eight days at 4°C or lower. If you’re not confident that your fridge is cold enough, you should use it within three days.

Frozen breast milk can last up to six months but needs to be defrosted properly – ideally, leave it in the fridge to defrost thoroughly or run it under warm water if you’re in a rush. It should never be defrosted in the microwave, shouldn’t be refrozen once thawed and must be used within 12 hours.

How do I clean my pump?

It’s recommended that you wash the suction cup and bottle between every use with soapy water and sterilise fully once a week. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s individual instructions, though, as some parts may need special care. You should also buy a bottle brush to help you clean in between all the little crevices of the shields and valves.

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The best electric breast pumps to buy in 2022

1. Elvie Pump: The best breast pump for discretion and convenience

Price: Single, £269 | Buy now from Boots; Double, £499 | Buy now from John Lewis

Considered the crème de la crème of electric pumps, Elvie’s Silent Wearable Breast Pump is popular for very good reason. While it can’t hold as much milk as some of the more traditional pumps, it can be a real godsend if you need to go back to work or get out and about quite quickly after having a baby.

Its compact closed-system design is free of dangling bottles and tubes and operates silently. This means you can pop it under your top or dress, and no one would ever know that you’re secretly pumping. The hub of the pump needs charging around once a day (or after two to three pumping sessions) and the Elvie app shows you how much battery you have left as you go.

We particularly like the alignment guides on the suction cup that help you find the right position on your breast, which can be tricky with using a wearable pump. It doesn’t come with any storage bags as you pump straight into the included bottles, which are fridge and freezer safe. The brand also released a double-pump version of the Elvie that can help shorten your pumping time and make expressing even more convenient.

Yes, it’s one of the most expensive models available, but for ease and convenience, you can’t get much better.

Key specs – Type: Single and double electric pump with USB, closed system; Weight: 225g

Buy now from Boots

2. Fraupow Wearable Breast Pump: The best-value wearable breast pump

Price: £80 | Buy now from Fraupow

If you’re looking for a discreet, wearable breast pump but don’t have a big budget, British breast pump brand Fraupow should be on your radar.

The simple, lightweight, battery-powered design is discreet and portable so you can get on with your daily chores and errands while expressing. It fits neatly inside your bra, allowing you to pump whenever you need to and comes ready assembled so you can get going straight away.

It has an anti-backflow and overflow protected system, a milk collecting cup with a 180ml capacity and an LED display that allows you to choose from nine intensity levels and two modes: suction and massage. Just set the timer for the amount of time you’d like to pump, and the automatic shut-off function will let you know when you’re done.

Quick to assemble and easy to clean, this looks to give some of the most premium electric breast pumps a run for their money. The only real downside is that it isn’t yet widely available, so you’ll have to purchase it directly from the company’s website.

Key specs – Type: Single electric pump with LED display and USB, anti-back flow and overflow protected system; Weight: 218g

Buy now from Fraupow

3. Medela Swing Maxi (2021): The best double pump for using on the go

Price: £249 | Buy now from Amazon

As one of the most popular breastfeeding brands, Medela’s Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump is a keenly anticipated addition to its range. This new version is an update on the Swing Maxi Flex, with a lighter, quieter and more discreet battery-powered design.

This reimagined version lasts for around six pumping sessions before you need to recharge the internal battery via the USB-C connection. It’s also considerably quieter than the Flex – it doesn’t exceed 45dB even on the highest setting – and operates with a closed system, which prevents your breast milk from entering the tubing while also optimising suction levels.

Comfort is a big plus point here too: the brand’s iconic oval-shaped PersonalFit Flex breast shields help you to find the most comfortable position while adapting to your own unique shape. The double pump design is also clinically proven to produce 18% more milk in a 15-minute pumping session than a single pump. What’s more, some studies assert that double pumping has a beneficial effect on the energy content of the expressed milk.

One of the downsides of the Swing Maxi is that it doesn’t come with a digital display (if you like to keep track of your feeding routine that way) so you’ll have to record those details yourself with this particular model. But if you’re okay with keeping things simple, you’re sure to like the four-button console, which is quick and easy to use.

Key specs – Type: Double electric pump with USB charge, closed system; Weight: 325g

4. Lansinoh SmartPump 2.0: The best-value double electric pump

Price: £207 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want to express a greater volume of milk, a double electric breast pump is the most efficient option. Lansinoh’s latest model, the Smartpump 2.0, is its quietest pump to date, yet offers hospital-strength suction for quick and efficient expressing. It also has a hygienic closed system that helps prevent milk backup in the tubing.

This pump is particularly good if you want to keep track of your pumping sessions, as its digital display connects to the Lansinoh Baby app via Bluetooth. This feature allows you to record the duration of each pumping session, helping you to compare daily averages and review your feeding routine over time.

As it runs so quietly, you can use it in bed at night without disturbing your baby or partner. Plus, it features a backlit LED display for easy reading and large buttons to help control the variable suction speed and pumping style. The kit comes with everything you need to get started, including comfort fit breast cushions, feeding bottles, bottle stands, one NaturalWave feeding bottle and teat and a breast milk cooler bag with ice pack.

Key specs – Type: Double electric pump with Bluetooth display, closed system; Weight: 2.02kg

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