Best Medela Breast Pumps Reviewed in 2018

Liquid gold, mama milk whatever you call it breast milk is fantastic for babies. Medela is the premier brand in breastfeeding with over 50 years of experience. Their primary focus as a company is to make your breastfeeding experience successful for as long as you choose to breastfeed. The Medela brand is known for consistent quality and innovation. When you select a Medela breast pump you can be assured that you have a quality product that will not let you down; and a vast support network that can assist you if any issues arise during your breastfeeding journey. This list consists of the top ten Medela brand breast pumps. You are sure to find a breast pump to meet your needs on our list.

Medela manufactures a variety of breast pumps to meet the needs of every breastfeeding parent. The Medela name is synonymous with quality breastfeeding products. We have studied all of the types of breast pumps that Medela makes, and discovers the ten best breast pumps manufactured by Medela. Their breast pumps are high quality and scientifically proven to help parents pump more significant amounts of milk than breast pumps that do not have differing suction patterns. By choosing the Medela brand, you are choosing quality and comfort. Another bonus of a Medela breast pump is that you will be able to easily find replacement parts as needed for the life of your pump. Medela not only offers you fantastic and highly rated products, but they also have a vast support network in place to assist you with any breastfeeding issues that may arise.

Check out the breast pumps on our list to choose the right Medela breast pumps to fit your lifestyle and your pumping needs. Medela offers single pumps for moms who need something compact or pump infrequently. They also have daily use double pumps for working mothers or exclusive pumpers. Also, they also offer hospital grade pumps to assist with establishing or reestablishing a steady milk supply for new mothers or moms who have had issues keeping up their milk supply. You can also find small hand pumps manufactured by Medela that are great for discreet pumping anywhere. We do not doubt that you will find a breast pump to meet your individual needs on our list of the ten best Medela breast pumps.

1. Harmony 2-Phase Expression

Our number one spot is occupied by the Medela Harmony. The Harmony pump is handheld and easy to slip into your bag for a quick trip away from your baby. This pump comes with everything you need to get started using it today.
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Date night here you come! Need to take a quick flight to a business meeting? Bring a blanket along and discreetly pump right on the plane! Are you taking a long road trip and your baby is sleeping through regular feedings? You can now pump discreetly in the passenger seat of your car. This breast pump is perfect for the mom on the go.

Benefits
This super quiet hand-held pump is the pinnacle of discretion. The Harmony is super easy to assemble and can be stored fully assembled. It has fewer parts than a full-size electric pump, so it is much easier to clean. Medela has included all of the items you need to get started pumping right away. It comes equipped with necessary bottles and a bottle stand so you can start pumping as soon as you sterilize your new pump. This is a go anywhere kind of breast pump. This breast pump is also great to keep around the house for a stay at home exclusive breastfeeding mother. It can be used to relieve engorgement or help with removing clogged ducts.

What We Like About It
This little hand-held pump is for a mom on the move. It is easy to clean and takes up a small amount of space in your bag. Discreetly pumping almost anywhere is possible with this tiny breast pump.

Cost and Value
The cost versus value of this little dynamo is fantastic. It is at the lower end of our list price wise and this little pump will not disappoint! The ability to pump quietly and in a location without direct access to electricity make this pump well worth the price you will pay. Check with your medical insurance company and you may have little or no out of pocket cost when purchasing a breast pump.
Pros

Small size

Very quiet

Easy to transport

Easy to clean

Discreet

Ergonomic handle

Cons

You can only pump one side at a time

No motor

2. Pump-in-Style Advanced

The pump in style is perfect for a working mom, or any mom that needs to pump several times a day. It is a great choice for a mom that has to do exclusive pumping after your milk supply has been established.
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This double electric pump can be used anywhere, you do not have to have direct access to electricity. It will help relieve your engorged breasts so you can spend time away from your baby without discomfort. This pump comes with everything you need to pump all of the milk your little one will need.

Benefits
The two-phase expression mimics baby’s suckle to allow you to pump even more milk than a pump without this feature. This pump comes with a battery back-up pack so you can pump anywhere. You may choose a roomy backpack or tote to transport your pump and accessories in style. This pump comes with four bottles, a cooler, and an ice pack for easy breastmilk storage. The tote and backpack can be used after you are done pumping by just removing the pump insert. This is a great breast pump that will easily meet your basic pumping needs.

What We Like About It
This pump comes in a carrying case to hold all of the necessary accessories. It also has space for you to throw in a small make-up kit and your wallet if you want to nix your purse. When you purchase this product you will get everything you need to pump and store your precious milk.

Cost and Value
The cost of this breast pump falls into the middle range of our list. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. Check with your medical insurance company and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

You can pump from both sides at the same time

The carrying bag has space for all of your accessories

Includes a cooler and ice pack

Stylish carrying tote or backpack

Intended for daily use

Comes with a battery pack

Cons

Not as discreet as smaller pumps

3. Swing Single Electric

The Medela Swing breast pump takes the number 3 spot on our list. It is small and discreet like the Harmony, but it is electric so you can be hands-free while pumping.
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The Medela swing breast pump is a single electric pump, so it only pumps one breast at a time. The swing pump is fantastic for quick pump breaks at work. It is also great if you're trying to get rid of a plugged duct or want to pump on one side while you are nursing the baby on the other side.

Benefits
This breast pump is super compact and will fit right into your purse or a small tote bag. The Swing pump has 2-phase expression technology to mimic your baby’s suckling at the breast. It is super easy to clean because it has minimal parts. This breast pump is also very simple to put together, so you can make the most of your pump breaks at work or where ever you pump.

What We Like About It
The best thing about this breast pump is it has vacuum controls so that you are in charge of the suction every step of the way. This increases your comfort tenfold and allows you to get more milk. You can adjust the suction to be the most comfortable for you and you can readjust it during your pumping session as needed.

Cost and Value
This cost of this breast pump is lower than the majority of pumps on our list. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. You should take your tie to choose one that fits your specific breastfeeding needs. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Compact

Vacuum controls for comfort

Use with AC adapter or batteries

2-phase expression technology

Easy to clean and assemble

Cons

Pumps only one breast at a time

4. Symphony Preemie

The symphony preemie comes in at number four and our list. This pump is made for parents who have given birth to a premature baby or babies. These mothers will have to exclusively pump if they plan on breastfeeding their baby because often times you can not hold your baby for several days or weeks depending on how early they were born.
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Medela designed this breast pump for mothers who have not started milk production. The Symphony Preemie is scientifically proven to help initiate milk production.

Benefits
This pump is scientifically proven to help parents of premature babies pump 67% more milk. It has a unique suction pattern that helps to initiate milk flow in new mothers. This pump can also be used after the initiation of milk production for continued breast milk collection. This breast pump will help ease the worries of a family that is dealing with the scary realities of having a premature baby.

What We Like About It
They can be used in two modes either preemie mode or regular mode so that this pump will last through the duration of your breastfeeding journey.

Cost and Value
This is a high-end breast pump with a high-end price. But who could put a price on the health of your premature baby?
Pros

A pumping mode exclusively for mothers of premature babies

Can be used throughout your breastfeeding Journey

Easy to assemble

Easy to clean

Includes everything you need to get started pumping right away

Cons

Expensive

5. Sonata Smart

The Sonata Smart takes our number five spot. It is definitely a smart pump because it connects directly to the MyMedela app. It comes with everything that you need and a few spare parts.
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The pumping rhythms are flexible to meet your personal comfort level and milk production needs. The sound of this breast pump is discreetly quiet. It even has a convenient carry-all bag so you will not be fumbling around for the necessary parts as you head out for the day.

Benefits
This pump is Medela's newest and it comes with a multitude of benefits. The smart pump helps you keep track of the time you last pumped, the amount you pumped, and the battery life of your pump. Two clinically proven pumping rhythms are available for your increased comfort and production. The Medela company worked hard to keep mom’s comfort and milk production needs in mind when they created the Sonata Smart pump.

What We Like About It
This pump connects directly to the MyMedela app for convenient tracking of times you have pumped, the amount of milk you have pumped, and the battery life of your pump. You can even set it up to send notifications to your phone so that you are never missing a pumping session.

Cost and Value
This breast pump comes in at the middle point of our price range. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. You will not be disappointed with your purchase of a breast pump. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Touchscreen display

Hospital grade performance

Quiet

Connects to MyMedela App for easy tracking

Choose from multiple pumping rhythms

Cons

The battery only lasts for three to four pumping sessions

6. Freestyle

Number six on our list is the Medela Freestyle pump. This pump is a small and portable double pump that is great for a mom on the go. This pump is perfect if you need to pump a quick bottle for the baby before going out or while you are away.
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If you need to empty your breasts during a pumping session at work this is the pump for you. Medela created the Freestyle pump to be exactly that, freestyle, to meet the needs of busy moms. Choose to pump one breast or two, use it to relieve engorgement, or to pump multiple ounces for freezing and later use.

Benefits
The size of this pump is its greatest benefit. It is small enough to fit in any bag, and it comes with a convenient carrying tote that will hold your pump and all of the needed accessories. It comes equipped with a rechargeable battery, so you don't have to be tethered to the wall while pumping. The digital display and timer are easy to read and convenient if you have limited pumping time or want to know how many ounces you pump on average in fifteen or thirty minutes.

What We Like About It
One of the best things about this pump is the fact that it has a one-touch letdown button that mimics your baby’s suckling. This feature will help you to produce more milk at each pumping session.

Cost and Value
The price for this pump comes in at the higher mid-range of our list. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. This breast pump is great to have available for any family that is breastfeeding and bottle feeding breast milk. Check with your medical insurance, and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Digital display

Rechargeable battery

Double pumping

Two-phase expression of milk

One touch let-down button

Cons

Suction can sometimes be inconsistent

7. Symphony Hospital Grade

Coming in at number six is the Symphony Hospital Grade breast pump. The Symphony breast pump is created to be a multi-user pump for use in hospital nurseries. This means that the Symphony hospital-grade pump is perfect for small businesses or a lactation room in a larger office.
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This pump can be used by multiple women because it has internal membranes that keep the milk collection process completely separate from the pumping mechanism. This is great news for businesses because federal law states that any business with over 50 employees must have a lactation room available for their breastfeeding employees.

Benefits
This pump comes equipped with one touch let down so you can get a different pumping rhythm to assist with initial letdown. You can easily change the pumping pattern through out your pumping session for more milk production. This breast pump allows you to easily switch from single to double pumping by simply attaching or removing the second collection kit from your breast. The pump is incredibly easy to use and has single knob suction control. You can easily get started pumping your breast milk today!

What We Like About It
The best thing about this pump is that it is super portable because it has rechargeable batteries. Not only can multiple women use it but you do not need to have an electrical outlet available in your pump room, hooray!

Cost and Value
This item does fall at the higher range of price on our list. If you are looking for a fact that multiple women can use without contamination this is the pump for you; the value that you receive from this pump will far exceed the cost. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Multi-use, so multiple moms could share the same pump

One touch let-down button

Conveniently switch between single and double pumping

Quiet

Easy to clean

Cons

Expensive

8. Symphony PLUS

This pump is perfect for mothers who are unable to initiate breastfeeding right away. It comes equipped with multiple suctioning patterns to assist with initial milk production. It is a multi-user pump so you can hygienically share it with other women.
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This pump was created for use in hospitals and other spaces where a pump might need to be shared by multiple users. The Symphony Plus is specifically designed to initiate, build and maintain milk production. You can use it through all phases of breastfeeding and even share it with your sister or best friend if you have babies at the same time.

Benefits
This pump has two pumping programs available, the initial program and then maintain program. Each of these programs contains scientifically studied and clinically proven suctioning patterns that will help initiate a breastfeeding parent’s breast milk supply and maintain their breast milk supply throughout the breastfeeding journey.

What We Like About It
It is super simple to switch between double and single pumping by just removing the collection kit from your breast. This pump also has great resale value because it is a hospital grade breast pump and your milk does not touch any of the internal parts of the breast pump.

Cost and Value
This pump is at a top-tier price for top-tier convenience and milk production. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost
Pros

Multi-user pumping

Multiple suction patterns

Easy to clean

2-phase expression technology

Made with those who exclusively pump in mind

Cons

Expensive

9. Single Electric Mini

The Single Electric Mini rounds out our list and number nine. This is a Medela pump that is exclusively marketed to the British but it is still an amazingly convenient breast pump.
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It is battery operated and you can recharge it before traveling for an easy to use discreet breast pump. Yes, you do have to purchase a U.S. adapter plug but the convenience of this pump will far outweigh any inconvenience.

Benefits
This pump is perfect for a person who only needs to express milk occasionally. It is small and handheld, You only need a purse or small tote bag to carry this pump with you. It contains no extra tubing, the motor is directly connected to the collection kit.

What We Like About It
The Medela Single Electric Mini is a small compact hand-held pump that has a convenient battery-powered electric motor. You can easily pump a bottle a day using this pump. This is great for parents who work part-time or are trying to save a bit of milk to freeze for future times away from your baby.

Cost and Value
This past pump is towards the bottom of our list and price convenience of holding it in one hand and not having to pump by hand create massive value for this breast pump. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Compact

Portable

No tubes

Easy to clean

Discreet

Cons

Must purchase a US adapter plug

10. Little Hearts

The Little Hearts Pump is hand expression only. It is super small so it is very convenient to carry with you wherever you may need to pump.
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This little pump can go with you to your office cubicle, your car, or it can live on your bedside table.

Benefits
This compact breast pump features ergonomic pumping. The three levels of milk expression offer you maximum comfort. It will attach to any mainstream bottle type so you can pump straight into the bottle and not have to worry about moving milk into bags. This pump is great for relieving engorgement at home or while on the go.

What We Like About It
You use the palm of your hand to pump with this breast pump. This is the area of the hand with the most muscles, so you will be able to create better suction for optimal milk collection.

Cost and Value
This breast pump comes in at the low end of price ranges on our list. The compact convenience that offers makes it a great value. Breast pumps are an invaluable tool to have available during the time you are nursing your baby. Check with your medical insurance and you may have little to no out of pocket cost.
Pros

Adjustable suction

Compact size

Versatile

Ergonomic

Easy to clean

Cons

Can be difficult to learn to use properly

Conclusion

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your baby for six months to 1-year & beyond as long as it is comfortable for both mother and baby. A breast pump is an invaluable resource for a breastfeeding mom whether she is a work at home mom, stay at home mom, or a mom that works outside of the house. Breast pumps allow you to provide your baby with valuable breast milk when you are unable to be with them.

Breastfeeding is considered the gold standard in baby feeding. Medela breast pumps are the number one pediatrician recommended breast pump. The breast pumps on this list will offer you versatility, durability, and a proven track record of success. All of the necessary accessories come with each pump so you will be able to safely and cleanly pump milk for your baby.

When you purchase a breast pump from Medela, you are not only buying the parts necessary to extract your precious milk for your baby. Medela offers you information for purchasing a breast pump through our insurance company and has a support group specifically for breastfeeding families. You are also buying peace of mind from one of the world’s top companies whose primary focus is supporting breastfeeding families.

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Medela Breast Pumps

The top criteria for this list are that the machine is a Medela brand breast pump. When looking for a breast pump if you want to know that it is from a trusted company with an excellent service record. Medela is a highly awarded company that focuses on breastfeeding support. This is why we have chosen to evaluate the top 10 Medela Breast Pumps.

Easy to clean

A breast pump has to be cleaned after each use and sterilized frequently. Many parents will have to pump several times a day if they are not spending the day with her infant. This is why it is essential that breast pumps be easy to clean with parts that you can take apart easily so that they may be sterilized and put back together quickly for the next use.

Easy to use

We made sure to choose breast pumps that didn’t have complicated directions and provided the simple step by step instructions. It’s easy to put together and take apart.

Ease of finding replacement parts

Replacement parts for these breast pumps can be found through the Medela website, at big box stores, and through many online retailers.

Portability

Stay-at-home moms and working moms alike want to be able to move their breast pump around to where it is most convenient for them to pump. This is why portability was a factor in our criteria for breast pumps. You have to make sure that you can carry all of the parts necessary for each pumping session.  

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need a breast pump?

A: A breast pump is incredibly helpful to have when you are breastfeeding a baby because it allows you the freedom to pump a bottle of milk when you have to be away from your baby. Also if you are having issues with milk production, a breast pump can help ramp up your supply. If your baby is premature, then you will not be able to hold them skin-to-skin and breastfeed therefore you will have to pump breast milk if that is your choice and feeding method. Breast pumps are a part of any modern moms baby needs list.

Q: Should I choose a manual or an electric breast pump?

A: An electric breast pump can be incredibly convenient for moms because you do not have to exert energy to get milk out. Electric pumps are best for daily use pumpers or exclusive pumpers. A manual pump is a great thing to have on hand for a stay-at-home or work at home mom who may have to deal with infrequent engorgement issues or might want to pump a bottle when leaving the house for a girls night or a date night.

Q: What’s the best way to clean my breast pump?

A: Your breast pump needs to be cleaned after each use with warm soapy water or a Medela breast pump cleaning wipe.  If you use your pump daily, it should be sterilized at least once a day. If you are not using it daily, it should be cleaned before after each use. You may sterilize your breast pump in one of two ways. The first way you can disinfect your pump parts is to put the pieces in boiling water on the stove for 3 to 5 minutes. Then allow them to dry completely before storage. The second option is to purchase Madelia brand microwave sanitation bags that will enable you to stick the parts inside a unique container and sanitize in the microwave. As always, you still have to make sure they’re completely dry before storage.

Q: How often do I need to replace the small parts?

A: The breast shields, valves, membranes, and tubes that come with your pump should be replaced as needed. There is not a specific replacement schedule provided by Medela because each parent uses their breast pump differently. When these items begin to show wear and tear or you were losing suction with your breast pump they should be replaced.

Q: Can I pump directly into a breast milk storage bag with these pumps?

A: Many Medela pumps offer the option to pump directly into the Medela breastmilk storage bag. There are also several other breast milk storage bag solutions that have an adapter that you can connect to your Medela breast pump. Please check with the manufacturers of your breast milk bags and your breast pump directions to ensure that you can pump directly into a breast milk storage bag with your specific pump.

Q: How can I store my milk after I have pumped it?

A: Many of the breast pumps on our list come with a cooler bag and ice pack to hold the bottles that come with your breast pump for convenient storage. This cooler can be used even if you don’t have a refrigerator near. You can store individual bottles of milk in a fridge. You can also transfer your milk from a bottle into a breast milk storage bag that can then be kept in the freezer or refrigerator for later use.

Sources

  1. By Norma Ritter, IBCLC, RLC, How To Choose A Breast Pump, Web Article,
  2. American Centers for Disease Control, Proper Handling and Storage of Breastmilk, Web Article,
  3. Medela, Will My Insurance Cover my Breast Pump?, Web Form,
  4. Medela, 3 Things That Can Impact Breast Milk Taste & Smell, Web Article,
  5. Medela, How to Manage Pumping at Work Post-Maternity Leave, Web Article,