The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020

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Background of manual, baby bottle with milk. Mothers breast milk is most healthy food for newborn baby.

Today, a best manual breast pump is a blessing to nursing moms. To keep things simple, there are only two options available to assist moms in their breastfeeding journey. Those two options are the electric and manual breast pump. Depending on your personal needs, either one can make breast pumping easier and more enjoyable. 

If you choose to go with a high tech breast pump, it doesn’t come without a cost. An electric breast pump requires the use of either an electrical outlet or batteries. If you are left without either one of these, you may need to consider using a manual breast pump instead. This option can beneficial as long as you are willing to put in the work manually.

Manual breast pumps are reliable, which is why some moms prefer to use them over an electric pump. Depending on your lifestyle making the right selection takes time. So, don’t rush. Every situation is unique. Since you will be getting very personal with your pump, it’s important to buy one you will enjoy using.

In order to achieve this, we need to take a closer look at quality, care and level of importance. Exploring different models, reading reviews and comparing prices will help you on your quest to selecting the right breast pump.

A breast pump isn’t necessarily for every nursing mom. But it may be a good idea to consider having one handy. New moms want to spend every moment with their baby, and some may have that luxury. Being around for every moment to feed your baby isn’t always possible. The day-to-day demands of life make breastfeeding very difficult for working mothers.

As a mother of two, I found it hard to keep up with feedings due to my busy schedule. The location of my office was not conducive to the amount of times my baby needed nourishment. Without a good breast pump, I had no choice but to start substituting formula for breastmilk. It wasn’t until I received my first manual breast pump my life changed for the better.  Luckily, I was then able to provide as much breastmilk as my baby needed.

If you are like me and plan on returning back to work, I highly encourage you to invest in a good breast pump. Even if you plan on taking some time for yourself, you will definitely be thankful for this little invention.

Should I Buy A Manual or Electric?

Before deciding on the right breast pump, you may want to consider price. Sometimes price is the deciding factor for moms when it comes to picking the right one. Keep in mind that electric pumps are priced much higher than manual pumps.

Even if you are investing in a breast pump or if your struggling to afford one, try to buy the best one you can. There are many affordable ones out there, but they may not fit your specific needs. Every situation is unique.  Thus, going the cheaper route can result in not enough suction to express the appropriate amount of breast milk. 

Here are few other things to consider when comparing the advantages and disadvantages of a manual breast pump and/or electric.

  • Trans-portability: Some electric pumps can be easily transported from office to work, depending on the size. Manual pumps tend to be much smaller than electric pumps and can be packedeasier. Plus, you will not have to worry about bringing batteries or finding an electrical outlet. You will still be able to express your milk if you have a manual pump.
  • Noise Level: Electric pumps can be noisy. Manual pumps are much quieter and more discrete. If you are not a fan of loud noises, then a manual pump may be a better choice.
  • Cleanliness: Electric pumps comes with a lot more parts than a manual pump.Thus, you will have to be diligent when it comes to properly cleaning your electric breast pump.Manual pumps are a lot easier to clean because they come with fewer parts.
  • Comfortability: Depending on how dedicated you are to pumping, some women prefer a manual pump because its more comfortable. You will be spending a good amount of time pumping so the level of comfort while doing it is extremely important to some. It’s easier to control the level of suction with a manual pump depending on what works for you.
  • Effectiveness: Manual breast pumps may not be as effective as electric pumps. They many not express as much milk as some moms would like or prefer. Because of this, some choose an electric pump rather than a manual one.

What Types Of Manual Pumps Are There?

To keep things simple, there are only two different types of manual pumps to choose from. Depending on your needs, and unlike the electric pump, manual pumps are easier to understand.

1. Levered Pumps

Levered pumps are designed to allow the mom to pump the handle manually. This creates a suction that expresses the milk out of the breast. Depending on the model, some have a two-way lever. One lever massages the breast and encourages letdown, and the other is used for milk flow.

2. Silicone Models

Silicone Models are also known as milk catchers. The reason behind this is because they are designed to catch any leaks while you breastfeed or pump. Milk is collected into the reservoir and creates a suction that pumps milk from the breast. There are many accessories you can purchase that will assist you while using this type of pump. A cap or stopper to seal of your milk is not only affordable but helps you preserve every last drop.

How Do I Choose The Right Manual Pump?

Every mom needs a best manual breast pump. Before buying a manual pump, I highly encourage you to think about how you will use it.  Look at your situation carefully and write down all the places you could potentially use your pump. Evaluating where your pumping sessions will take place is crucial when determining the appropriate type.

It’s also important for you to evaluate the shape, size and ergonomics of the pump. Design can play a vital role in how successful you will be at pumping. If you are planning on spending most of your time pumping at work, the noise level may be a factor.

Keep in mind that you may come across pumps that require two hands instead of one. Some will only require one. If you plan on breastfeeding your baby while pumping, then look for an easy to use one. A good pump will match the latch and suction power of your baby.  This will help you keep your milk ducts stimulated and producing as much milk as your baby needs.

Last but not least, keep your milk supply up as much as possible. This will require you to pump often throughout the day when you away from your baby. Empty your breasts fully. If you give up before you’ve emptied your breasts, you risk producing fewer ounces of milk each time you pump.

The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump of 2020

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump - The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020Best for Low Milk Supply

Are you struggling with producing a strong, consistent milk supply? We hate to be the one to tell you, but it sounds like your breast pump is just not that into you. You need a manual pump that is known for great suction.

The key is to suck every last drop of milk out of each breast. This is probably the only time being fully drained will result in better performance, but when you’re fully drained, it encourages your breasts to produce more the next time.

The Medela Harmony Breast Pump has a manual-controlled vacuum that allows you to adjust the level of extremity in suction, making it great for low-milk-supply mamas. Medela’s two-phase expression patented technology will enable you to quickly knock out your pump sesh while remaining comfortable and sore-free.

If you are a new mom, you’re probably thinking, “what the heck does two-phase expression technology mean?” We’re glad you asked. During the first phase, you prepare your breasts for a letdown by using the lever that is closest to the breast shield. However, once your milk begins to produce, you use the longer lever to pump the milk until your breast is emptied, which makes it a way quicker process.

The Medela Harmony includes the manual breast pump with a 24 mm breast shield, one 5-ounce bottle with a lid and stand, nipple with collar, a cap, and membranes.


  • Soundless while pumping
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to assemble
  • Lightweight and compact; good for travel.


  • Reviewers say the suction weakens after repeated use, (probably because it’s meant for occasional use).
  • Some users have reported the o-ring on the pump breaking easily.

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump - The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020Best Manual Pump for Working Moms

You’re already working hard on the job; you shouldn’t have to work even harder to pump! An electric breast pump is more suitable and efficient for a working environment, but there are plenty of manual pumps that can get the job done- our favorite being the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump.

The key to finding the best manual pump for work days is finding one that doesn’t take lots of your energy or lots of your time. Hello- Mama has to get back to work. The Lansinoh pump is designed with a dual-mode pumping technique, which promotes quickness, yet remains gentle. The dual-mode is a combination of two phases in motion: (1) stimulation, which is the letdown phase, moving to (2) expression, which is the flow of milk phase.

The last thing you need is a hand cramp in the middle of a pump sesh. This pump is designed with an ergonomic easy-express handle, so you’ll never have to worry about discomfort! The wide-neck bottle that is attached to the pump makes for a smooth transfer, and it’s perfect for storing away until your back home with your baby.

The Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump includes the dual pump with two flange sizes, (standard 25 mm and large 30.5 mm), a Lansinoh milk collection bottle, a NaturalWave nipple, a cap, and collar.


  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Ergonomic easy-express handle for constant comfort
  • Easy to clean; dishwasher-safe


  • Not the strongest suction, according to reviewers.
  • Only compatible with Lansinoh bottles.

Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump - The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020Best for Everyday Use

When mom is relaxed, everything flows better… and we mean that quite literally. We all have days when we’re sick and tired of manually pumping. Do you want to know what will make you even sicker? If you purchase a manual pump that isn’t sturdy enough to keep up with you. If you’re planning on using a manual pump for everyday use, it’s essential that you purchase a model that is designed durable and ready to rise to all the occasions.

The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump is clinically proven to provide comfort while still producing more milk. The pump is designed with a textured massage cushion that helps with letdown. If you’re going to be pumping from this every day, multiple times a day, you deserve it to yourself to make it the best, most comfortable experience that it can be. Luckily, the structure of this pump allows you to sit up straight during expression, rather than leaned over like most pumps.

The Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump includes the breast pump with handle, 25 mm massage cushion, 4 oz bottle with a newborn nipple, travel cover, sealing disc, and four breast pad sample packs (two daytime and two nighttime).


  • Gentle: Textured massage cushion design.
  • Comfortable: Allows you to sit naturally during expression.
  • Lightweight and compact. Easy for travel or on-the-go.
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher-safe


  • Tends to squeak during use.
  • Doesn’t fit all standard-sized bottles.

Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump - The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020Best for Passive Pumping

Moms, it’s all about making life more efficient, right? When you become a mom, multitasking hits an entirely new level. You probably have learned how to eat breakfast in the shower at this point. If this resonates with you, then you’re going to appreciate the opportunity to get a few “free” ounces of milk per day without much effort… Um, yes. Sign me up!

This magical technique is called passive pumping. Although this type of device-feeding is still known as “pumping,” that’s a dramatic way to explain it, because it’s way simpler than your standard pumping process. The passive breast pump clings onto one breast while you are actively breastfeeding by mouth on the other. This passive pumping allows you to take advantage of the flow you’re producing that usually would go untouched, and most likely will result in you feeling engorged.

The Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump is an award-winning “milk-catcher” with it’s simple, yet powerful suction capability. The iconic design couldn’t be more straightforward; a piece of 100-percent, food-grade silicone is used to suction your breasts manually. All you have to do is fold the flange back, place over your breast, and then release the flange back again to create a super strong hold.

This pump does work for some moms as their consistent pumping mechanism by squeezing and releasing, but others find it’s better as just the occasional relief or milk catcher.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight, soft and comfortable.
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher-safe.
  • Perfect for passive pumping or relief for engorged breast(s)


  • Not the best choice for active pumping.
  • Suction decreases after repeated use.
  • Reviewers argued the measurements are not always accurate.

NUK Expressive Manual Breast pump - The 5 Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020Best Manual Pump for Large Breasts

When you have larger breasts, it can be challenging to find a breast pump that will fit you comfortably. Does using your breast pump make you feel the same way as thinking about fitting into your wedding dress? Yeah, it’s best to keep that beauty on the rack. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of your breast size. Fortunately, there are some practical options out there for larger breasts.

The NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump is excellent for any breast size, and it just so happens to be less than $15. Moms can adjust both the speed and suction of this pump as they use it, and the milk pumps straight into any NUK bottle that’s attached.

We don’t know whether to thank or roll our eyes at NUK for creating a manual pump that allows moms to multitask. The design of the pump will enable you to express one-handed, so you can get back to cleaning or making lunch for the fam. Who needs a break, right? (*tears*)

The NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump includes the pump with a 5 oz container, silicone nipple, collar, cap, a seal disk, and an extra silicone valve.


  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to clean, dishwasher-safe
  • Weighs 5.5 ounces
  • Capable of expressing with one-hand


  • The ergonomic design does not fully take away discomfort or wrist-fatigue after pumping.
  • Makes a popping noise while pumping.
  • Must lean forward to promote expression.

Related Reading

How to Use A Manual Breast Pump?

Even if you are pumping for the very first time or a seasoned breast pumping mom, a manual pump is easy to use. The following are a few steps to help you get started:

1 Ensure your hands are thoroughly washed before you begin pumping. It’s easy to contaminate the milk storage bottles or any parts of your pump that come in contact with your breast.
2 You may have to purchase the correct size breast shield. Every mom is different. Once you have the correct size, the shield should be centered over your nipple. You will not achieve the right suction if it is ill placed.
3 Manually squeeze the lever on your pump. You may have to repeat this process several times before you start to see milk.
4 Spend at least 5 minutes on each breast. Concentrate on emptying each one and don’t favor one side over the other.

5 Once completed, store your milk in an appropriate container and place it in the fridge.Wash the pump and air dry the parts between each use.

Related Reading

How Do I Care For My Breast Pump?

Washing your breast pump thoroughly is very important.  Not only is it crucial for your health but for the health of your baby. Keeping your pump clean will eliminate the risk of bacteria build up. However, this can be difficult for some. 

Ensure you have adequate space to store your pump and milk. Don’t be afraid to store your pump kit with the milk in the refrigerator. When you are done with your pump for the day, take it home and wash it. This will save you a lot of time in the end.

No need to spend additional money on all those fancy cleaning devices or supplies. Good old soap and water will work just fine. You can also place your manual pump in the dishwasher on the sterilize cycle. Microwavable steam bags are a big help in sterilizing your pump as well.

When Should I Use A Manual Pump?

Do not feel rushed to start pumping right away. You and your new baby should work on establishing a breastfeeding routine.  This will help with building your milk supply.  Usually, the first four weeks is crucial in establishing a health bond between you and your baby. If you need to be apart from your baby, pumping can be really helpful.

If your baby is unable to breastfeed for any reason, then start pumping immediately. Maintaining your milk supply, even if your baby is not actively feeding is important. If you have an abundance of milk supply, the best manual pump will help you collect and store the excess. Every drop counts! This is great for moms who work and still want to offer breastmilk to their baby.

Will A Manual Pump Hurt?

A manual breast pump does not hurt. It will take some time getting use to. It should not cause pain. The sensation is different and may at times be a little uncomfortable. This will heavily depend on how engorged you are with milk. Believe it or not, pumping can be relaxing during certain times of the day.

When you start to feel pain, stop immediately. Try to reattach the breast shield by shifting it some. It may not be properly centered on your nipple. Needless to say, some women will experience some level of pain or discomfort when using a manual pump. Which is why it’s important to pick the best manual pump for you.

In The End

As you can see, the best manual breast pump offers new mothers very good options. It’s not only dependable but affordable too. If you are an occasional pumper or a frequent one, a manual pump may be a good choice for you. 

So looking for a best manual breast pump is very important. I’ve personally enjoyed my manual pump because its quiet and I am able to pump at work without anyone noticing.  So, if you are a working mom who pumps once or twice a day, consider purchasing a manual one.

Even though manual pumping may take some time getting used to, there is also a slight learning curve.  Don’t give up if you happen to get frustrated. It will feel a bit awkward at first but stay diligent. Once you get the hang of it, it’s smooth sailing from there. It’s very rewarding and motivating when you start to see the fruit of your labor. Every time you stick to it, the more milk you will extract during each breast pumping session. Good luck and happy feeding!

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