The best manual breast pump – comparison and purchase guide

Although this is a guide on breast pumps, if I’m honest, my first experience with manual breast pumps was not very good: no matter how hard I tried and hurt me, there was no way to express milk and I ended up with my broken hand. give to the damn lever.

I thought that the breast pump was not done for me, but after informing me a little and asking the pediatrician and several mothers I realized that I simply had not chosen the right model.

Now I am delighted with the new breast pump that I have, which is luxury and has taken me from more than one and two troubles 😊

This guide will help you with the process of choosing the breast pump, to avoid that you throw the money with a useless junk or you get frustrated thinking that you are the only one that can not use one. You will also find recommendations and characteristics of manual extractors best valued by pediatricians and mothers (with options for all budgets). Hope this can help you!


All the models that you will find in this table are free of BPA (Bisphenol-A).

Note: if you see it on mobile, move the table with your finger to see all the columns

This practical questionnaire will recommend your ideal manual breast pump according to your needs and budget. It will take less than 30 seconds to answer!


Let’s start with the essential: is the manual breast pump the best option for you? In general, it is the ideal option if you are going to make occasional milk extractions:

  • If you’re going to miss a few hours from home from time to time
  • To finish empty your breasts when your little one has bitten
  • You need to decongest your breasts or if you have engorgement
  • You’ll be a few days without being able to breastfeed (for a trip, for example)
  • You have to take medication a few days but you do not want to reduce the amount of milk
  • You want to learn how to use a breast pump (the manuals are somewhat simpler) before you start using an electric one every day

Think that the main difference between a manual and an electric extractor is who will perform the extraction work: yourself or the engine of the device. Therefore, if you are going to use it frequently (every day), it would be more appropriate for you to choose an electric pump that will be faster and more comfortable.

If you still have doubts, you can take a look at this guide that I have written about electric pumps. It has been my next field of research now that I am about to return to work and I need a device that will help me every day.

From my point of view, the main advantages of a manual extractor are:

They tend to be quite compact and silent, so they will be ideal if you want to do extractions outside the home without adding a huge bulk to your bag or being the center of attention. You can even use it while you’re in the car, as long as you do not drive 😉

In addition, they are easier to assemble and clean (they have fewer parts than electric pumps), saving you some time, which is appreciated when the hours of the day seem to disappear without knowing very well how does it sound?

Without forgetting something very important: the price! You can find some simple but decent model from $15-20. However, from my own experience, I recommend that you do not skimp on price. Better spend a little more on a good breast pump, save $20 and have a junk pot at home.

Finally, these breast pumps allow you to have total control over the extraction since you yourself will be the one that will adapt at all times the speed, intensity, and pauses in the suction.


  • Easy to use, assemble and clean (few pieces)
  • More economical, silent and discreet than an electric one
  • Small and light
  • You can do the extraction at your own pace


  • It can be somewhat tired
  • Lower extraction speed
  • Not recommended for frequent use


When choosing your extractor, the most important points you should consider are:

  1. Comfort and cup adjustment: breast pumps that have several cup sizes have the advantage that you will have Plan B if the one that comes by default does not fit your breasts (or one of them). Think that using a funnel of the wrong size can cause discomfort and unnecessarily lengthen each extraction. In addition, if the cup is soft, rounded and with anatomical adaptation your extractions will be more pleasant and comfortable.
  2. Say no to calluses – ergonomic lever: make sure the crank is comfortable to hold and operate because you will have to repeat the same movement many times and a good lever will make you less tired.
  3. Less is more – simple design: it is important that it is easy to assemble, disassemble, clean and sterilize. Think you are going many times! So, the fewer pieces you have, the less work you will have. For me, an extra point is that, in addition, the pieces can be washed in the dishwasher.
  4. How would your baby do it? – extraction technology: breast pumps such as the Medela Harmony, thanks to its adjustable lever, have perfected the extraction process by dividing it into 2 phases, as your baby would do: a first of rapid suction to stimulate the descent of the milk and a second of slower suction so that the milk flows optimally.
  5. BPA? No, thank you – manufacturing material: it is essential that the parts that will be in contact with your milk are free of BPA (Bisphenol-A) and other materials that can be toxic for your child. If you want to know more about this material, click here.
  6. A little extra help – accessories: my breast pump came with a base to hold it, which has saved my life (and that of the sofa) in more than one occasion I had to stop halfway through the extraction, preventing it from falling. bottle and spilled the milk. The bags are also useful to transport them, as well as to come with an extra container to store the milk.
  7. Spare parts: if any component is damaged, you will greatly appreciate it is easy to replace (I tell you from experience!). The big brands like Medela and Philips have the advantage that they are sold everywhere, so it is very easy to get all kinds of spare parts.
  8. Better to save on cookies – quality: do not skimp on the breast pump. It is a device that will be of great help, as long as it works well (when it does not work, I assure you it is frustrating). A low-quality breast pump can become a useless mess. If you are going to use them so little that you think it is not worth investing for a good model, before I advise you to rent it, do not buy a bad one.


Next, I leave you a list of the most supported manual breast pumps, both by pediatricians and by the experience of many mothers satisfied with the results obtained.

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