Electric breast pumps are a great choice for moms who have to pump a lot. Even if you pump less frequently, a good electric breast pump makes the job go more smoothly and easily. There aren't a lot of single electric pumps on the market, simply because most women who use an electric pump opt for a double model to cut pumping time in half. The best use of a single electric pump is instead of a manual pump for relieving engorgement or filling the occasional bottle.
Most single electric pumps get lackluster reviews, but our Best Reviewed Medela Swing (*Est. $150) is the exception. It's compact and portable, and moms say it's easy to use and clean. It can be used with an electrical adapter or batteries, which makes it highly versatile. It features Medela's popular two-phase expression system that helps stimulate letdown and milk flow, and the suction level is adjustable.
Our Best Reviewed Medela Pump In Style Advanced (*Est. $335) is hands down one of the most popular double electric breast pumps available. Moms call it fast and easy to use, it operates on electric or battery power, and its two-phase expression system helps to establish or boost milk supply. It comes with a choice of three different bags -- On-the-Go Tote, Metro Bag or Backpack -- and the price varies depending on the choice of bag. Its pumping strength is adjustable, and it can be used as a single or double pump.
The similar Medela Freestyle (*Est. $320) adds a hands-free option, but reviewers say this feature is confusing and difficult to set up, and it leaks if they move around too much. Most prefer to use an optional hands-free bra or bustier that's compatible with most electric breast pumps. The Freestyle is highly portable at just 1 pound, and the battery pack can hold a three-hour charge. The pump features Medela's two-phase expression technology and also has a memory function that remembers suction preferences.
The main drawback to Medela breast pumps is the price, and their performance and convenience features reflect that. Most moms say they're glad they purchased a more expensive pump, but some simply can't justify the price tag. Many are thrilled to find lower-cost options that work just fine. These budget-friendly models are bare-bones options; carry cases and milk storage systems are available as optional accessories and add to the price.
The Ameda Purely Yours (*Est. $160) is a double electric breast pump that gets good reviews for its 32 suction and speed combinations. Owners say they get good volume in a reasonable time frame, and the pump is easy to use from assembly to attachment to cleaning. It gets some durability complaints, but customer service is reported to be responsive.
The Lansinoh Affinity Double Electric (*Est. $120) is a less expensive pump that has a letdown stimulation feature, but many users say it breaks after a fairly short period. It also has multiple suction and cycle settings, but isn't as highly rated for ease of cleaning. One drawback that moms who pump at work should consider: Even fans of the Affinity say it's very loud, almost to the point of waking family members and resounding through the office, even through closed doors.