Breast Pump Buying Guide for Exclusive Pumping, Travel and Work

Best Breast Pumps Buying Guide 2022

Searching for the best breast pump for your breastfeeding needs can sometimes suck (pun intended). There are just so many options!

More and more breast pumps are popping up on the market daily as more women are choosing to give their babies breast milk exclusively and for longer than ever before!

Which is why investing in the right pump is an important purchase you want to get right.

Every breast pump serves a different, but necessary need and purpose depending on your breast pumping goals. This breast pump buying guide breaks down each scenario and gives the best option for each.

Quick Navigation:

Best Breast Pumps for Exclusive Pumping

Best Pumps for Pumping on the Go

Best Breast Pumps for Pumping at Work

Breast Pump Pros and Cons

Frequently Asked Breast Pumping Questions

This post may contain affiliate links, find the very long and boring disclosures here.

Do I Really Need A Breast Pump?

If you plan on breastfeeding at all, the answer is yes!

However, if you are pretty confident that you do not plan on pumping much or at all, at least keep a manual pump around like the Medela Harmony available at Amazon.

What about if I plan to exclusively nurse my baby?

The reason it is imperative to own at least one breast pump is because you never know for sure the path your breastfeeding journey will take.

You do not want to risk losing your breast milk supply or acquiring a serious infection incase nursing your baby does not pan out for whatever reason.

In fact, if breast pumping feels foreign to you and you aren’t even sure where or how you would begin your pumping routine, maybe an online pumping course would be a great place to start!

The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class by Milkology will help you gain the confidence you need to be good and ready for whatever challenges breast pumping throws your way.

You’ll also have the information you need to fix and master your milk supply!  

The best part about an online course like this, is that all the information you need is ONE easy to access place. After all, breast pumping does not come naturally nor does it have a manual (until now).

There is no greater gift you can give yourself and your baby than the assurance of always knowing how to provide your baby with breast milk no matter what happens!

Do I Need a Special Pump to Build a Freezer Stash?

Even if you plan to primarily nurse, working on building a freezer stash is a smart move. This can be as simple as collecting dripping breast milk from the other breast while you nurse.

You can easily do this with a silicone breast pump like the Haakaa.

This collected breast milk is peace of mind when you consider that you never know when you may need to be away from your baby unexpectedly or for a planned weekend getaway. This is especially true If you are returning back to work.

You may want a little extra help from a professional on how to best approach your back to work breastfeeding transition.

I recommend you employ the expertise of The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class by Milkology.

P.S. Snag this pumping at work course and save 15% with the code LOVE15! 

Can I Pump and Nurse at the Same Time?

Yes, you can!

I highly recommend doing this. Not only will it save you time, but you will more easily achieve multiple letdowns. 

This is also a great method for building up a freezer stash without even trying. You can easily collect the drippings from the other breast while baby is nursing.

A perfect pump to use while breastfeeding and pumping is the Haakaa silicone breast pump. Another fantastic option for this purpose is The Boobble Nursing Cup.

Pictured: Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

haakka silicone breast pump

Available at Amazon

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Best Breast Pump for Pumping on the Go

This section is for the mom asking, “breastfeeding sounds great, but I can’t be tied down all day nursing or pumping!”

This breast pump is for the mom who needs the freedom and functionality to still carry out her every day tasks while pumping. You need a pump that is compact, lightweight and still powerful enough to produce results.

BabyBuddha Best Portable Pump

The best breast pump for the on-the-go mom is the BabyBuddha (in my opinion).

Here’s where you can find an updated BabyBuddha pump review and buying guide with directions for use and care.

Pictured: BabyBuddha 

baby Buddha breast pump


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Pumping Tip with the Baby Buddha: Use Freemie Collection Cups inside of a sports bra for total discretion and uninhibited mobility.

Best Breast Pump for the Sensitive Mom

Pumping can be painful! So much so, that the pain and discomfort associated with pumping can derail your option to breastfeed all together.

If you find yourself to be a sensitive mama, I have found the best pump for you.

Bellababy Pump Best for Sensitive Moms

The Bellababy is a pain-free, hospital grade pump. This pump is small, powerful and made for comfort.

Pictured: Bellababy

bellababy best pain free pump

Available at Amazon

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Best Fitting Breast Pump

As you continue through your pumping journey, the breasts tend to change.

The size of breast shields that worked in the beginning, (when breasts are more engourged) don’t work say, 5 months in anymore, (when breast milk regulates).

Lansinoh Smart Pump Best for Fit

If you are concerned about finding a pump that has the adaptability to change with your breasts, then the Lansinoh Smart Pump may be the right fit for you.

Pictured: Lansinoh Smartpump

best breast pump for affordability

Available at Amazon

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Best Breast Pumps for Exclusively Pumping

Now, let’s take a deep and extensive look at the best breast pumps for exclusive pumping.

After all, your pump will pretty much become your new breast friend or your boss – depending on how you look at it!

Your breast pump is also on this journey with you and there is no doubt it will be working hard as well! Which is why the breast pump you use for exclusively pumping needs to be chosen wisely.

What to Look for in a Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping

The best pump for exclusive pumping will be one that is solidly made, gentle, efficient, quiet and comfortable.

In like manner, one breast pump may not be one size fits all when talking about pumping around the clock.

Take a look below to see how investing in a few different pumps for different scenarios may be necessary. As an exclusive pumper, be prepared to own not one, or two, but potentially several breast pumps as needed for different purposes.

Some of these scenarios include, pumping on the go or at work, manually pumping in a hurry, pumping at night and a trusty back-up pump.

Best Portable Breast Pumps for Exclusive Pumping

In my opinion, the pump you invest in for your portable and mobile pumping should be of highest priority.

After all, being tethered to a wall all day will quickly drive you crazy and potentially be a huge reason why you may fail to meet your exclusive pumping goals.

Having the option to pump in public, in your car or just freely around the house will help you maintain a life while still being an exclusive pumper.

Why You Need a Portable Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping:

  • It provides the ultimate hands-free pumping freedom while extracting the most milk possible.
  • You can double-pump hands-free anywhere and at anytime.
  • The right mobile pumping kit paired with an electric portable pump can be so discreet no one will know you are pumping!

pumping on the go and in public infographic

BabyBuddha Pump is Best for Exclusive Pumping Mobile Moms

The breast pump I recommend for mobile pumping while exclusively pumping is the BabyBuddha.

I love this pump for E.P. moms in general, but it is the best portable pump you can buy!

This pump was made for pumping on-the-go, it even comes with a ribbon to attach around your neck. It will quickly become your favorite exclusive pumping accessory!

To fully benefit from the freedom this breast pump offers, I want to recommend pairing it with a hands-free and concealable pumping kit.

Adding Freemie Collection Cups to complete this portable pumping kit will make it the ultimate mobile pumping experience. Not only will you be totally cordless, but this kit will make pumping completely discreet as well.

Pictured: BabyBuddha 

BabyBuddha best breast pump for pumping on the go


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Pumpables Genie Plus Portable for Sensitive Moms

In the interest of those who are more sensitive. The BabyBuddha may not be the best portable pump for your exclusive pumping needs.

The second best option is the  Pumpables Genie Plus because it is also compact and portable that would accommodate your mobile exclusive pumping needs. 

I myself have not used this particular breast pump, but I am a member of their closed Facebook group, which is very active with pumping mamas sharing tips and support with each other. 

If you do decide to purchase this breast pump, I can happily offer you this 10% off discount code.

The Genie Plus is well equipped with a store front of spare parts.

These include: universal breastshield sets, backflow protectors and any other parts you could ever need to keep your Genie up and running efficiently.

They also now have the amazing liquid inserts for your flanges that make pumping feel effortless!

Pictured: Pumpables Genie Plus Portable 

Pumpables Genie Plus Portable Breast Pump

10% off discount instantly applied!

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Best Manual Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping

A manual breast pump will also be a crucial addition to your exclusive pumping arsenal. Manual breast pumps are extremely versatile and efficient. They require no charge, are simple to assemble and can be taken anywhere.

Why You Need A Manual Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping: 

  • Freedom and the ultimate portability. Toss it into your breast pump bag or purse and not another thought is needed!
  • Gets out clogged milk ducts because you can angle it toward the clog and use the other hand to massage. When using a manual pump for clog removal, apply deep, slow and controlled squeezes of the handle to extract the blockage.
  • Becomes a great back-up pump to leave at work or in the car. They are inexpensive enough to have more than one.

Medela Harmony Best Manual Pump

The best manual breast pump for exclusively pumping is the Medela Harmony.

I love this manual breast pump because it feels comfortable to use and it’s easy to clean. The suction is great and this manual pump even has two vacuum control options.

Pictured: Medela Harmony 

Best manual breast pump for exclusive pumping

Available at Amazon

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Most Affordable Breast Pump for Exclusive Pumping

Have you applied yet with the link I provided to check and see if you qualify for a free breast pump and supplies through insurance?

If not, head there right now and apply, it only takes a minute and then come right back here – lots more you’ll want to read!

Now that have you applied with the link above, lets look at a more affordable breast pump option just incase you’re not covered for a free one.

I chose the Lansinoh Signature Pro as the best breast pump for affordability.

Best Main Breast Pumps for Exclusive Pumpers

You are now down to the last pump(s) you must invest in to maintain an exclusive pumping schedule.

I shouldn’t say must because I do know of EP mamas who don’t regularly (or at all) use their hospital grade double electric breast pump.

However, there are just too many reasons why it’s an exclusively pumping essential

First, these breast pumps are designed for heavy use and are very powerful. Their motors are strong and efficient, which make them great for prolonged pumping.

A good hospital grade breast pump should last you years if it’s well maintained. 

Let’s look at three hospital grade breast pumps I believe are the best for exclusive pumping. 

Spectra S1

The Spectra S1 is my number 1 pick for best breast pump for exclusive pumping and here’s why: 

  • The Spectra S1 is a single/double rechargeable hospital grade breast pump. The ability to take this pump off of the wall socket makes it extremely versatile. 
  • It’s gentle, but still strong and efficient. Moms who use this breast pump are always happy to announce how much it has saved their breast and nipple tissue. This characteristic makes it wonderful for EP mamas who are pumping numerous times per day.
  • It’s closed system means that no cleaning of the tubing needs to happen and breast milk will not encounter any bacteria between expressed milk and pump tubing.

Pictured: Spectra S1

Best breast pump for exclusive pumping at home

Available at Amazon

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P.S. I should also mention that the Spectra S2 is also a fantastic breast pump for exclusive pumping. It is however, not rechargeable like the S1, but it is pink and costs a little bit less as well!

See Also: How to Use Spectra Pump Settings with Cheat Sheets and Instructions


Introducing the SuperGenie by Pumpables, their first hospital grade breast pump. 

  • Equipped with bluetooth app control and USB-C charging capabilities, a night light and more features suitable for 2020.
  • The SuperGenie comes with the new liquid flexible shield flanges, which are designed to compress your nipple during pumping just like a baby suckles.
  • This hospital grade breast pump is the most compact one of it’s kind. Making it super easy for travel and light weight for mobility.

Pictured: Pumpables SuperGenie

Pumpables super genie breast pump hospital grade for exclusive pumping

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Medela Pisa

The Medela Pisa was my first breast pump and it served me well for half of my exclusive pumping career. I chose this pump as A favorite breast pump option for exclusively pumping and here’s why.

  • The Medela Pisa (pump in style advance) was made for heavy duty pumping. This company knows how to make breast pumps and it’s obvious. This pump is very easy to use, no user experience needed to operate.
  • The strongest pull and it gets the milk out FAST. However, beware if you’re a sensitive mama, this pump doesn’t not hold back! Start on a very low setting and work your way up.
  • Easy to find replacement parts on Amazon. 

Pictured: Medela Pisa 

Best breast pump for exclusive pumping at home

Available at Amazon

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Resources for Exclusive Pumpers

As far as examining the best breast pump for exclusive pumping, we are done, but I don’t want to send you off without offering you some extra resources that could be very helpful with your exclusive pumping journey. 

Such as, an online course or two created for new-to-pumping mamas. If you like to learn online and at your own pace, a course is a great place to begin learning more about pumping and breast milk.

These courses are full of must-know pumping techniques that can help you master your milk supply and your breastfeeding goals!

  • Pump it Up! is a quick introduction to breast pumping for moms who want to know the basics of pumping and how to manage their milk supply. 
  • The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class is your ultimate guide to exclusive pumping. Milkology once again, leads the way to teach moms how to become more confident in their abilities to provide breast milk for their babies. 
  • The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class was designed to ease the tough transition back to work for breastfeeding moms. This course focuses on how to prepare you for pumping at work and how to build a freezer stash for your little one when you’re not there.

P.S. If you choose to enroll in any of the courses above, I’d like to gift you a second pumping and milk course (on the same platform). Simply contact me after and I’ll have it arranged for you.

How to Get A Free Breast Pump Through Insurance 

You have all of my breast pump recommendations for exclusive pumping. Now, I just need to guide you toward getting your free breast pump from insurance! 

Click here to be taken to the right place, it takes two minutes or less to apply.

Once you apply with Aeroflow and are approved for a free hospital grade breast pump, there may be some options you have that weren’t mentioned in this article.

Another tip about your free breast pump with insurance, you may also be eligible for free pumping supplies as well! For instance, I was sent as many Kiinde Twist breast milk storage bags and extra pumping kit supplies for my Medela Pisa. 

how to get a free breast pump through insurance infographic

Best Pumps for Working Moms

If you are a career mom who will be pumping over half the day at work, choosing the best pump for this scenario is crucial.

BelleMa S5 for Working Moms

You want to look for a breast pump that is efficient, quiet and easily portable. The best breast pump for pumping at work is going to be the time saving BelleMa S5.

Pictured: BelleMaS5

Best breast pump for working moms the bellema s5

Available at Amazon

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 How to Prepare for Pumping at Work

If you’re not quite sure how to answer that question, then I have a valuable resource for you to consider investing in.

Milkology has a popular and affordable online course dedicated to preparing mothers for pumping at work, It’s called The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class.

This 90 minute video course is easily digestible for the visual learner. You can rest assured that The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class will help you transition your breastfeeding journey seamlessly and protect your milk supply during the change.

P.S. If you enroll in any course through one of my links, I will send you my pumping and milk supply course for free, here are the details.

The Best Breast Pumps Overall: Pros and Cons

So far we’ve reviewed which breast pumps were the best and who would benefit from each one and briefly why.

Now lets breakdown the comparisons even more thoroughly and check out the pros and cons of each one.

Symbols table for the best breast pumps comparison.

Spectra S1


  • Light weight and portable
  • Quiet
  • Pain-free and gentle
  • Double pumping and electric
  • Great for exclusively pumping
  • Night light feature
  • Closed System
  • Cordless and rechargeable


  • Slower speed 
  • It vibrates during usage
  • The tubes fall off easily

Best breast pump spectra s1 overall score 9/10.

Medela Pump In Style Advanced


  • Comes with a backpack or tote
  • No backflow protectors needed
  • Fast speed cycles for strong and quick pull
  • Easily find replacement parts
  • BPA free parts


  • Expensive
  • Loud
  • Cumbersome/bulky
  • Can be too intense and uncomfortable

graphic for best breast pump medela Pisa score 8/10.


Get a significant discount code for BabyBuddha.


  • Quiet
  • Compact, light and portable
  • Cordless and rechargeable
  • 18 hour batter
  • Strong and gentle pull
  • Transportable
  • Discreet
  • Double electric
  • Allows for freedom and mobility


  • Unusual cycle settings – may be hard to get used to
  • Harder to hack with other parts or systems

baby buddha score graphic for best breast pump



  • Inexpensive
  • Must have for nursing
  • Best pump for tossing in your bag
  • Gentle and pain-free


  • Doesn’t fully empty breasts
  • The measurements are off
  • Not suitable for exclusive pumping

graphic for best breast pump medela Pisa score 8/10.

BelleMa S5


  • Quiet
  • More compact and portable
  • Most resembles a nursing baby
  • Double electric
  • Easy to clean


  • Battery pack comes separately
  • Does not come with a carrier

a graphic of 7/10 best breast pumps

Medela Harmony 


  • Portable
  • Simple manual pump – easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Inexpensive


  • Hand starts to cramp during usage
  • Loses suction

graphic for best breast pump medela Pisa score 8/10.

Pumpables Genie Plus


  • Quiet
  • Rechargeable
  • Comes with 3 breastshield sizes
  • Pump settings memory function
  • Integrated backflow protector
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Unable to control cycle speed separately
  • Loses suction on low battery
  • Spare parts are hard to get

a graphic of 9/10 for best breast pumps

Medela Swing


  • Portable and lightweight
  • AC adapter or battery control  


  • Does not include batteries
  • Needs backflow protectors
  • Suction isn’t as strong 

a graphic of 7/10 best breast pumps



  • Closed system
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Pain free pumping
  • Quiet
  • LED display


  • Milk spills more easily
  • Loud
  • Not designed for larger busts

graphic for best breast pump medela Pisa score 8/10.

Lansinoh Signature Pro


  • Closed system
  • Gentle
  • Affordable


  • The suction may too weak for some moms
  • Loud

a graphic of 7/10 best breast pumps

Breast Pump Bags and Accessories

In addition to finding the best breast pump for you, there are also some breast pump bags and accessories worth mentioning.

Let’s start with how you should house your breast pump.

I recommend a travel friendly tote or backpack. In fact, some pumps even come with a bag, like the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. 

Companies like Sarah Wells are even starting to manufacture stylish breast pump bags for trendy working moms too.

Read: What to Pack in Your Breast Pump Bag for Work and Everyday

Extra Breast Pump Parts

Along with a bag of some kind, you should be sure to have a supply of extra pump parts readily available.

The best breast pump parts to keep spares of are as follows:

  • Valves and membranes
  • Hosing
  • Breastshields
  • Extra breast milk storage bags and bottles

If you’re new to breast pumping, these parts I just mentioned may sound like a foreign language to you.

No worries, mama!

Just take a  gander at these posts in particular to learn what you need to know about pumping supplies and equipment.

Frequently Asked Breast Pumping Questions

Briefly we’ll touch on some commonly asked questions you may want to know the answers to before you feel comfortable choosing your breast pump.

1. Will Some Insurances Cover A Breast Pump?

The answer is yes! You can apply for a free breast pump and even supplies through this link.

I was fortunate to have a choice of one hospital grade breast pump, supplies and breast milk storage system all shipped to me for free!

Hopefully you will also get approved for the same blessing!

2. How do I Clean My Breast Pump?

If you choose a pump with a closed system, that means no breast milk can reach any of the pump’s mechanical parts and cause bacterial growth.

However, your pump parts that do come in contact with breast milk need to be thoroughly sanitized after every use (source).

You can use hot soapy water to wash and rinse the parts and then per manufacturer’s guidelines, place on the top rack of your dishwasher. Or, you can purchase sanitizing pump part bags that go into the microwave.

Pro Pumping Tip: Instead of washing your pump parts after every pumping session, place them in an air tight resealable plastic bag (directly after use) and place it in the refrigerator until your next pumping session.

3. When Should You Start Pumping?

The answer to this question depends on a lot of factors. Typically, the lactation consultant who visits you after you give birth will tell you to wait at least 3 weeks to pick up the pump.

This is usually recommended so that your baby can regulate your milk supply through nursing.

However, more moms are choosing to forgo nursing all together and in that case, there is no reason why you cannot start pumping right away.

You can find much more information on this topic in this separate pumping and breastfeeding schedule post.

4. What Will Pumping do to My Breast Tissue?

The main reason you could encounter any kind of damage through pumping will come with improper flange sizing.

Incorrect flange size is almost always the cause of pain during pumping and tissue damage due to extra friction on more sensitive areas of the breasts.

To avoid this, make sure your flanges are not causing too much of your breast tissue to be pulled in. Also, your nipples should not be rubbing on the sides of the flange either.

Here is a visual chart to see how to find your correct flange size. 

Correct flange fit diagram for exclusive breast pumping

Quick Recap

You were introduced to ALOT of breast pump information today. For your convenience, you can find a helpful recap of the best breast pumps for each occasion and purpose below.

Breast Pump Buying Guide Summary

There you have it, an in depth and look at the best breast pumps for exclusive pumping and every different scenario a breastfeeding mom could ever find herself in.

This buying guide was an epic breast pumping manual, you may want to save it for later to refer back to. Don’t forget to take one quick minute and apply for your free breast pump here.

Read Next: Exclusive Pumping Schedule: From Birth and Beyond

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