Choosing the Best Hand Breast Pump

When you’re about to have a baby, you are likely exploring the world of breast pumps Manual or electric? How much am I willing to spend? What will my insurance cover? These are all important questions that you’re going to want to think about when you’re trying to find the best pump that is out there. We are going to have two different “best of” guides here on our website – this one is going to focus on the best hand breast pumps that we found on the market, and the other article is going to explore electric pumps. Why don’t we take a look at the various hand pumps that we found and learn why these are the best of the best.

Top Rated Products

  • Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
  • NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump
  • Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump
  • Evenflo Manual Breast Pump

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump from Medela

As with almost any pump list that you find, Medela is at the top, leading the pack when it comes to quality and use. Out of all of the hours of research that we did, we found that we (and a number of other people) are absolutely in love with the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. Let’s take a closer look so you can learn more about why we love this pump.

Product features and description

  • BPA free.
  • Easy to hold handle with soft grip makes it enjoyable to use.
  • If you require a breastshield, it can be easily combined with any of Medela brand shields.
  • Like the other Medela pumps out there, the Harmony uses Expression technology, which is 2 Phases that allows you to get more milk out without as much effort.
  • Meant to be used in conjunction with electric pumps for those times that you don’t have the electric pump on hand. Supplements Medela electric breast pumps incredibly well.
  • One of the most lightweight models of manual breast pumps out there, so you can use it in a discreet manner.

Usability

The Medela Harmony was made to be used discreetly. Between the fact that it’s so small and lightweight and can be used in pretty much any context, you know that you can just use it in the car, bathroom, or office without a lot of hassle. Perfect for those moms who are on the go a lot and just need to have something on hand so that they can pump whenever they want or need to do so.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • One of the best things about the Medela Harmony is that it is incredibly fast to use, so you don’t have to sit there all day to try and pump your breast milk. Put on the shield, start pumping, and then go about the rest of your day.
  • Discreetness is something that a lot of people desire about breast pumps, and manual pumps like the Medela Harmony make that easier than ever. No one will even notice that you’re pumping anything if they aren’t right next to you!
  • The system is incredibly easy for you to put together, so you don’t have to take a lot of time to be able to start pumping.

Cons:

  • If you are using it on a regular basis and you are running it hard, you may start to see leaking. Even though we didn’t see this, we didn’t use it constantly, so keep an eye on it.
  • Carpal tunnel is a common issue for new moms, so manual pumping can get difficult at times. Even though the Harmony makes it comfortable, it still can be painful.
  • Your little breast shields and other parts of the Harmony are not meant to be thrown in the dishwasher, so you may have a hard time cleaning all of it.

Runners Up

Now, of course, we mentioned a number of different manual pumps up top, so we wanted to make sure that we talked about the runners up as well. Some of them have traits that make them a little different than the Harmony, and if they have what you’re looking for, any of them could be a great alternative to the Harmony as well. Let’s take a look at the three runners up.

Evenflo Manual Breast Pump

Evenflo Manual Breast Pump (Discontinued by Manufacturer) from Evenflo

Product features and description

  • Made from BPA free imported silicone for the best comfort.
  • Ready to be thrown in the diaper bag or your purse so you can go; incredibly small.
  • MemoryFlex technology goes right onto the nipple the next time you use it so you don’t have to fight with it.
  • 5 ounce bottle included.
  • Easy to assemble and clean.

Usability

One issue that a lot of moms talk about when they talk about the Harmony is that it can be kind of difficult to take apart and clean because of all of the parts. The Evenflo Manual Breast Pump, however, is a lot easier to take apart and clean. Even though there are still only a couple of dishwasher safe parts, you are able to go through and clean it. So, if you’re a mom that is on the go and wants to be able to clean the pump as quickly as you can so you can keep going, the Evenflo Manual Breast Pump may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • The design is absolutely amazing and easy to use. Because of the MemoryFlex, it immediately molds to your nipple and makes it so that you can take care of everything that you need in a short amount of time.
  • Incredibly simple to use. Manual pumps usually aren’t hard to use, but the Evenflo only needs a couple of small adjustments and you’re ready to start pumping.
  • As mentioned above, the Evenflo is incredibly easy to take apart and clean, and a lot of moms love it for that.

Cons:

  • The condensation or milk gets stuck in the pump area sometimes, and if that happens, the pressure makes it more difficult for you to pump the breast as easily.
  • Keep an eye on the o-ring – some have a faulty one and it makes it so that you cannot use the pump at all.
  • Not the most comfortable of the manual pumps here. It’s still alright, but it doesn’t have the soft grips that some of the other models that we discuss have.

NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump

NUK Expressive Manual Breastpump from NUK

Product features and description

  • Uses a system that allows you to control the speed and the suction of the pumping.
  • Handle is made for hand problems and is incredibly easy to hold.
  • Breast cushion included is soft.
  • Lightweight (5 and a half ounces in weight)

Usability

As we mentioned in our review of the Harmony, one of the biggest problems that people encounter when they use manual pumps is that they can’t pump well because of carpal tunnel or other pregnancy related wrist issues. That being said, the NUK Expressive is actually incredibly easy to hold and pump. It’s very comfortable. So, if you’re a mom that is fighting off carpal tunnel and/or other hand and wrist problems, you want to make sure to try out the Expressive and see how much of a difference it can make for your hands.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • For a manual pump, the suction is actually incredibly strong and makes it so that you can get as much milk as possible. Some people even say it’s as good as the electric pumps out there.
  • Even manual pumps can be a little loud, but the Expressive is not loud at all, so you don’t have to worry about waking anyone up when you are pumping at 2 o’clock in the morning.
  • Everything is incredibly tight and secure, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart as you pump.

Cons:

  • It’s not really made for people who have smaller nipples (B or smaller). The suction cup is quite large, and so you may not be able to get the right amount of suction to pump.
  • Many people say that it’s harder to clean, probably on the same level as the Harmony like we discussed above. This is due to it being hard to take apart.
  • It’s lightweight, but a little larger in size than the other pumps that we have on this list.

Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump

Philips AVENT BPA Free Manual Breast Pump (Discontinued by Manufacturer) from Philips AVENT

Product features and description

  • Made in the USA from BPA-Free Silicone.
  • The design was made so that your nipple and breast can be comfortable.
  • 5 petal massage cushion included (patented by Philips) so help encourage milk production. Gentle to use.
  • Milk storage system is unique, but incredibly easy and allows you to store milk in no time.

Usability

If you’re looking for something that has been made in the USA and that is made from some of the best parts on the market, then the Philips Avent BPA Free Manual Breast Pump may be just the thing that you’re looking for. It’s easy to throw in a bag and take on any trip that you may be going on, so now you don’t have to carry around that pesky electric pump when you’re going on a trail hike or trying to get through a girl’s weekend with some of your best friends. Make your memories and pump at the same time with the Avent.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Out of all of the different pumps that we tried out, this hand pump had the most suction. Some even argue that it’s more powerful than some of the electric pumps that are out there. The massage system really helps to increase your milk flow.
  • The pump is incredibly lightweight and portable, as we mentioned above. Some moms even talk about carrying it in a larger purse so that they can make sure that they are able to take it wherever they may be going on a regular basis.
  • It’s not difficult to use the Avent at all; because it’s so easy to use, you can put it on, pump, and be done in next to no time, no hassle, no fuss.

Cons:

  • Some people say that there are parts on the Avent that squeak on a regular basis, and it can get a little annoying. This can be solved by using a little bit of lubricant (like petroleum jelly) in the spots that are making the noises and you’ll be ready to take care of things.
  • It can get noisy other than the squeak; it has a lot of airy noises, so you’ll hear the bit of “whoosh” that comes out of it. Still quieter than the electric pumps, however, so good to use when everyone else in the house is sleeping.
  • There are a lot of parts to this, so even though it seems easy to use, it’s not the easiest to assemble and disassemble. Some people claim that they only rinsed it out instead of trying to take it apart and clean it all of the time.

Wrapping it Up

A manual pump is a great addition to your arsenal and can end up saving you a lot of time and space when it comes to pumping while you’re out and about. Moms are busy, so a manual pump is a good investment to at least consider when you’re about to have a baby. So, now that we’ve taken a look at all of the different hand pumps that we recommend, it’s time for you to go out and pick which one is going to be best for your needs. Check them all out for yourself and you will feel confident with whatever your choice is. No matter what, you’ll be happy with any of the manual pump choices that we have listed above.

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