Being a new mom can be overwhelming. To make things even more complicated, choosing a breast pump when there are so many options can add to the challenge. There are manual pumps, electric pumps, hospital-grade pumps, and more. How are you supposed to know which breast pump is the best for you? This guide will walk you through the different factors to consider when choosing a breast pump along with what breast pump brands are the most trustworthy and reliable when it comes to pumping.

Types of breast pumps

Life would be simple if there were just a couple different options for breast pumps on the market however, there are endless types of breast pumps that you can choose from as a new mom. Let’s walk through the different types of breast pumps:

Manual Breast Pump

Just as the name suggests, this type of breast pump is operated manually with a lever or a handle. These pumps are typically small in size and should be used for moms who need to pump only once a day or less. They are not as efficient or powerful as electric or battery-powered breast pumps but can still get the job done when needed. The best manual breast pumps will serve as a great back up for any time you may not be able to use your electric pump.

Electric Breast Pump

If you need to pump more frequently than just once a day, an electric-powered breast pump might be a good option. This type of pump is convenient for moms who are unable to nurse their baby on a regular basis and need to return to work full-time or other obligations. This pump will have a cord attached that plugs into an electrical outlet in order to operate. It delivers a higher-powered pumping process in comparison to a manual pump. It’s efficient and can get the job done quickly for moms who lead a busy life! Some electrical pumps offer battery-powered options as well. Finding the best electric breast pump doesn’t have to be a challenge, take a look at our comprehensive breast pump comparison guide.

Battery-Operated Breast Pump

Similar to electric breast pumps, a battery-operated breast pump serves as a convenient way to express milk whether you’re on the go or from the comfort of your own home. Unlike manual pumps, your arm won’t get tired from having to manually operate the pump and you do not have to be attached to an electrical outlet. So practically anywhere your baby is, you can be, too. Typically, this pump allows for different settings that can adjust suction levels and more.

Hospital Grade Breast Pump

Hospital-grade pumps are perfect for new moms who are struggling when it comes to breastfeeding. These electric powered pumps are incredibly powerful and can help a mom pump milk effectively and maintain her milk supply on a regular basis. Typically, these types of pumps cannot be bought and are rather rented out for a specified period of time.

Open System Breast Pump

Choosing an open system pump means that there is not a barrier between the pump and the milk collection kit. There is a small risk that comes along with this type of breast pump as your milk can be exposed to impure air particles causing contamination. Milk can also leak into your tubing making it difficult to effectively clean.

Closed System Breast Pump

A closed system breast pump is the exact opposite of an open system pump in which there is a barrier present between the pump and the milk collection kit. This makes for an easy pumping session that can capture your breast milk in a simple and sanitary way.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Breast Pump

Now that you understand the different types of breast pumps on the market, it’s important to take certain factors into consideration before choosing the best model for you and your baby. The following factors should be used when comparing different types of breast pumps to find the best fit:

How often will you be pumping?

The number of times you need to pump can greatly vary from mom to mom. On average, new moms will pump anywhere from 8-10 times within a 24-hour period. If you are pumping more frequently, it’s recommended to get an electric or battery-powered breast pump in order to be efficient. On the other hand, if you are able to nurse more frequently and only need to pump once or twice per day, a manual breast pump will more than likely be able to meet your needs.

What is the purpose of pumping?

As a mom, there can be different reasons behind why you’ve decided to pump. Manual pumps will be best if you are pumping due to wanting to relieve engorged breasts, you only need to pump once a day or if your milk supply is already well-established. For electric pumps, your purpose of pumping should be different. Use an electric pump if your purpose of pumping is because your milk supply is low, you want a quick pumping session, or you are unable to be with your baby at all times during the day.

Is it comfortable for mom?

Comfort is an important factor to consider when choosing a breast pump. In order to have a comfortable pumping session, it’s critical that you choose the best fit flanges for your breasts. If you don’t choose correctly fitting flanges, you can experience discomfort and pain. Be sure to check for a variety of flange sizes for the breast pump you choose in order to maximize your comfort.

Is it easy to use?

Caring for a newborn is enough work, so using a pump for milk shouldn’t be another difficult task for new moms. Consider factors such as portability, size, and noise level when choosing a breast pump. These factors combined can make a pump really easy or really hard to use depending on the circumstances.

Will it last a significant amount of time?

When choosing a new breast pump, you will want to consider the durability of the machine. If you will be using your pump frequently, you will want a pump that has a reliable motor and/or one that comes with a decent warranty in case something goes wrong.

What is the best breast pump brand?

There are many different breast pump brands to choose from once you decide on what factors are most important to you. We will review a couple of the most popular breast pump brands – Spectra and Medela. These descriptions should provide you with a better understanding of what each brand has to offer including which models are usually covered by most insurance plans.


Spectra continuously creates breast pumps that are among the industry’s top choices. With the quietest motor on the market and adjustable suction levels, it’s hard to pass up the insurance billable Spectra S2Plus. This model offers a closed tubing system and its fluttering suction motion is designed to mimic the way a baby suckles. This pump is equipped with everything a mom needs in order to pump effectively and comfortably.


Medela is a leader in the breast pump industry with many popular breast pump models. The most common model covered by insurance is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump. If you’re a mom that needs to be able to pump multiple times a day, this is the pump for you. It comes complete with breast shields, storage bottles, an AC adapter, and more. This Medela model is simply one of the best pumps covered by insurance today.

If you are having trouble deciding between these top breast pump brands, view our Breast Pump Comparison Chart. This can help you decide between which breast pump is best for you and whether you would prefer manual or electric.

If you have questions before purchasing a breast pump, how to get a free breast pump through insurance, or are interested in additional breastfeeding accessories, please contact our customer service team or visit your nearest CareLinc location.