Return to: Choosing a Breast Pump

What to Look for in a Breast Pump

by Susie Hamilton
Breast Pumps Direct
Product Expert

When choosing a breast pump there are many features that should be considered. These features are centered on your needs, preferences and lifestyle. The largest determining factor when choosing a breast pump is how often you plan to express milk. Your intended use can range from occasional pumping for a night away from your baby to daily pumping when you return to work.

You will also have to take into consideration the cost of the pump. While manual pumps are the most affordable, mothers that will pump frequently generally require the efficiency that higher priced electric pumps provide. Clean up time can also be a major determining factor. While the parts of some pumps can easily be cleaned in the dishwasher, others may require hand washing. If you are limited on time, a pump that is quick and easy to clean up may be best for you. One of the top recommended for easy clean up is a breast pump with a closed pumping system which keeps expressed breastmilk closed off from the tubes and motor making the milk safer and makeing the pump much easier to clean..

Breast Pump Types


If you will only need to express milk occasionally then you may only need a manual pump; however, a handheld electric pump can offer the same convenience and portability of a manual pump while requiring less effort on your part during the pumping.

Mothers that return to work and will need to pump frequently for their infant’s daily feedings, and they will benefit most from a personal electric breast pump. If you choose to purchase an electric pump, you should find out how easy the pump is to assemble and disassemble after each use. It is also important to select a pump that has adjustable suction and speed. A pump that allows you to easily adjust these controls will allow you to pump more comfortably. 

If you are returning to work, consider the pumps:

  • Weight
  • Noise level
  • Power options
  • Double pumping option


Double pumping is great for working mothers and most consider it necessary since is such a time saver. Keep in mind that for most women the amount of milk expressed during each session is directly related to the quality of the pump.

Hospital grade electric pumps are needed for mothers that have multiple births or need to pump exclusively for a premature baby. Mothers that require a hospital grade pump generally rent the pump from the hospital and purchase their own accessory kit that consists of tubing, breast flanges, and collection bottles.

Once you have determined which type of breast pump you will need our Breast Pump Comparison Chart and Breast Pump Reviews can help you to decide which breast pump brand will suit your needs best.

Return to: Choosing a Breast Pump