A manual breast pump can be a good tool for breastfeeding mothers. Even if you have an electric pump, or don’t plan on pumping at all, you may find yourself wanting a manual breast pump at some point. The best manual breast pump can help you relieve engorgement, express milk when you don’t have power, and even help with breastfeeding issues.
Our best manual breast pump review will go over why manual pumps are valuable, how to choose a manual pump, and of course, look at some of the top manual pumps on the market.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- Best for Letdown Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
- Best for Large Nipples NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump
- Best for Small Nipples NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump
- Best for Travel Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
- Best for Milk Collection Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
- Best Budget Option Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump
- Best Eco-Friendly Option Eco Inspired Manual Breast Pump
- Best Luxury Option Elvie Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump
- #1 Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
- #2 Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
- #3 Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
- #4 Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
- #5 Elvie Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump
- #6 NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump
- #7 Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump
- #8 Eco Inspired Manual Breast Pump
- #9 NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump
Why Handheld Pumps are Handy
A non-electric breast pump is often referred to as a manual pump. Manual pumps can be a useful thing for nursing mothers. They can help you relieve engorgement  by only expressing a small amount of milk. This can make it easier for your baby to latch and help lessen discomfort.
When deciding on manual or electric breast pumps, manual pumps are more affordable. They can also be used without electricity should you be traveling and away from an outlet or if the power goes out.
A hand breast pump can also be beneficial if you are suffering from mastitis or a clogged duct . It can be a gentler way for you to express milk as you control the suction strength and frequency.
There are two types of manual pumps. And, you don’t have to fear learning how to use a manual breast pump, as both kinds are very simple to operate.
Types of Manual Pumps
Levered, With a Handle.
The first type of manual pump is a levered hand pump with a handle. This is the most traditional kind and used to be the most common. Nearly all manual pumps are single, so you can only express one side at a time.
The levered pump includes the pumping mechanism, which is the handle and silicone suction valve, as well as a bottle, flange, and membrane. They work by the user compressing the handle, this creates the suction. You can go as fast as slow as you like as well as vary the suction strength.
Silicone Milk Collector
The second type is the silicone milk collector. This type has recently become more popular. Most silicone milk collectors are one solid piece. The flange is attached to the bottle. When you place the flange on your breast while compressing the bottle you create suction.
The bottle will then stay attached to your breast and maintain the gentle suction. When you achieve a letdown and milk released will flow into the bottle. Continuing to compress the bottle can make a suction rhythm much like a levered hand pump.
Either type of breastfeeding hand pump can come in handy in a variety of situations you may face as a nursing mother.
Nine Great Manual Breast Pumps For You
#1 Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump
Do you have trouble getting a letdown with a manual? Try the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. This Medela hand pump is a high-quality pump that can mimic an electric pump, allowing for better production. If you want to have a spare pump on hand this is the one!
The uniquely shaped handle lets you achieve a letdown with quick pumps. Then, switch to the long side of the handle for milk expression mode. The handle swivels so you can get in the comfiest position for pumping. The set includes two five-ounce bottles with lids, a valve, a bottle stand, and two membranes.
This is our recommended breast pump for an easy manual pumping session.
- Compatible with PersonalFit breast shields
- 2-Phase Expression Technology
- Includes bottle stand
- Ergonomic flange and swivel handle
- Lightweight and portable
- Multiple parts to clean
- Flanges wear out
#2 Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump
Are you a working mom? You may prefer the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump.
The Lansinoh manual breast pump is light, small in size, and quiet. You can easily take it to work or wherever you go and pump without an outlet.
The ergonomic handle doesn’t place your arm or wrist in an awkward position. It is very customizable with two flange sizes and two different pumping modes. The flexible silicone flange rim helps you get a secure but cozy fit, ensuring max suction and that no milk is lost.
You can either pump directly into the included bottle or a Lansinoh storage bag. The included bottle stand makes it simple to clean up and button up without worrying about the bottle of milk tipping over.
- Ergonomic handle reduces fatigue
- Includes bottle stand to minimize accidents
- Two modes of expression
- Comfort fit flanges with silicone ring
- Can pump into storage bag or bottle
- Prone to squeaking over time
- Multiple parts to clean
- TWO-PHASE PUMPING- Let-down and Expression phases to help with pumping efficiency and maximize milk expression
- COMFORTFIT FLANGES- 2 sizes included (25mm & 30.5mm) with flexible soft rims for ideal suction & fit
- ERGONOMIC HANDLE- Easy-express handle design to reduce hand fatigue while you pump
#3 Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
The Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is a silicone breast pump and is quite popular. It can be used to express milk or as a milk-catching container. It is made of a solid piece, so you don’t have to worry about putting it together or taking it apart.
Using it is very easy, you simply squeeze and attach it to the breast. Clean up is effortless as there are no separate pieces. It includes a cap so you can store milk within it and a suction cup base that reduces spills when not in use.
- No separate parts, one unit
- Easy cleaning by boiling for 2-3 minutes
- Made of food-grade silicone
- Includes cap
- Can be used hands-free
- Difficult to attach to engorged breasts
- Baby can kick off if you are simultaneously nursing
- The award-winning and best-selling Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump, recommended by nursing moms, magazines, celebrities, doulas and lactation consultants all over the world! Make sure you’re giving your child the best by purchasing the original Haakaa-brand Silicone Manual Breast Pump!
- The Haakaa Silicone Breastpump lets you express milk using the power of natural suction! Simply squeeze, attach to your breast and let it work its magic. Forget expensive electric breast pumps that are difficult to use and impossible to clean – the Haakaa Silicone Pump doesn’t require any cords or assembly, smooth inside and extremely easy to clean that by simply boiling in water for 2-3 minutes.
- Our Manual Breast Pump is lightweight, portable and the perfect tool for every baby bag. Use it on long distance trips or anywhere you would like to express silently, discreetly and quickly. While breastfeeding, attach it to the lateral breast to catch any letdown that would otherwise be lost in a disposable nursing pads. The Gen. 2 Haakaa Manual Breast Pump comes with a suction base that sticks to flat surfaces to prevent accidental spills.
#4 Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump
If you are looking for the best when it comes to travel breast pumps, consider the Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump. The Philips Avent manual breast pump is small but powerful. The hand lever puts you in full control of the suction strength and frequency.
The textured silicone flange is not only comfortable but also massages the breast, eliciting better milk flow. The ergonomic design lets you use it in nearly any position, even reclined. It is lightweight, making it effortless to travel with and to hold on to your breast and use.
- More comfortable pumping position due to unique design.
- Soft, textured massage cushion helps stimulate milk flow
- Compact, lightweight design of the pump body makes it easy to hold and position on your breast
#5 Elvie Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump
The Elvie Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump looks very similar to the electric wearable Elvie, but this one is manual. It is small and compact and very discreet, fitting easily inside your nursing bra or shirt.
All you need to do is compress the silicone pouch to create suction. It can catch whatever milk you leak or express and hold up to four ounces at a time. Its unique curved shape and soft silicone flange make it very comfortable. When you are done simply pop it in the dishwasher!
- Curved comfortable shape
- Can be worn and used hands-free
- Dishwasher safe
- Made of food-grade silicone
- Can hold up to four ounces
- Low suction compared to others
- HANDS FREE: Elvie Curve lets you gently express milk using natural suction when you let-down while you're feeding or pumping on your other breast, or whenever your breasts feel full.
- WEARABLE: Sitting discreetly inside your bra, Elvie Curve is wearable so your hands are kept free and you don’t have to worry about it being knocked off when your little one is feeding.
- COMFORTABLE: Elvie Curve fits the shape of your breast, simply press on the silcone pouch to increase suction to desired level. Easily decrease suction using the control valve on top.
#6 NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump
The NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump is great for breasts of all sizes. This silicone breast pump has a contoured flange that isn’t difficult to attach and quite comfortable once on.
With a simple compression of the bottle, you create suction, then attach the flange and the suction will remain constant. You can keep pressing the bottle rhythmically to express or just use it to collect milk. It includes a stopper, a cover lid, and a carry pouch. You have everything you need to express and store milk while on the go.
- Includes safety strap in case baby kicks it off
- Dual ring allows you to customize suction
- Stopper plus lid cap reduces spills
- BPA, PVC, Phthalate-free
- The circular flange fits most breast sizes
- Learning curve for use
- Doesn’t include a stand or suction cup bottom
- Essential for breastfeeding mums. Manual breast pump with a pump stopper, pump strap, lid & pouch.
- Free of BPA, phthalate, latex and lead. Food grade silicone. Works like a milk catcher & milk collector.
- Adjustable suction power for different occasions and needs, a unique NatureBond’s patented feature.
#7 Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump
If you are on the hunt for a cheap manual breast pump look no further than the Bumblebee Manual Breast Pump. This versatile handheld pump is ideal for engorgement, milk collection, or milk expression.
The silicone is very soft and the smooth flange shouldn’t cause any pinching or pain. You can wear it hands-free while you nurse on the other side and it will collect any milk that drips.
You can also gently compress the container to keep encouraging milk flow. As it is made of a single piece of silicone you won’t have to worry about keeping track of parts or cleaning multiple items.
- Can be used with a single hand or hands-free
- Includes lid and stopper to prevent leaks
- Comes with a carrying case that keeps it clean
- Safe for use with a milk warmer
- Constant suction may be irritating for some
- May lose suction over time
- BumbleBee Silicone Breast Pumps help to collect your breast milk and helpful for engorgement and pain nipple. Pumping with strong suction is the most special feature of BumbleBee breast pump. Coming with a lovely silicone stopper, BumbleBee pump protect every drop of your precious breast milk. Besides, BumbleBee products were deeply loved by lactation mothers in USA.
- BumbleBee breast milk pump is made by food grade silicone, which is totally touchable for babies. Silicone material feel soft and will never hurt mothers’ nipple and skin. It is quite friendly to sore and swollen breast during the lactation period.
- Silicone Breast Pump is more lightweight than some normal manual one with handles. This product contains an adorable green and heart shape stopper and an anti-dust cover. Buy one product and you can get more value to save your money.
#8 Eco Inspired Manual Breast Pump
The Eco Inspired Manual Breast Pump is a wonderful option for conscious mothers. It is made of food-grade silicone. It is BPA and phthalate-free and very safe for moms and babies.
The lid cover and carrying bag helps ensure that dust or germs won’t come into contact with your pump. It can be compressed and used as a traditional pump or worn as a milk collector. By squeezing on different places of the bottle you can tailor the suction strength.
It is hot and cold resistant so you can use it in a bottle warmer or store it in the fridge. This is a sensible choice for eco-friendly moms.
#9 NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump
Finally, we have the NUK Expressive Manual Breast Pump it has a slim profile that allows it to fit easily in any bag. You can take it with you and pump quietly on the go.
The ergonomic handle reduces hand fatigue and pain. The soft flange isn’t irritating and fits most breast sizes.
The flange silicone is textured as well which can help you achieve a letdown as it massages the breast. The durable container is suitable for fridge or freezer storage so you can pump directly into the container you plan to keep your milk in, keeping things hygienic.
- Textured silicone flange
- Durable bottle is freezer safe
- Polypropylene handle and housing are extremely durable
- Ergonomic handle
- Fewer parts to clean and store
- Not ideal for everyday use in place of an electric pump
- No stand or suction base
- Control the suction and speed you need with easy, one-handed pumping
- Ergonomic handle helps to minimize hand fatigue
- Skin-soft breast cushion for ultimate comfort
5 Best Manual Breast Pump To Get Today
How To Choose a Manual Breast Pump
Even though manual breast pumps are usually quite affordable, you still want to know how to choose the best hand pump for breastfeeding. Here are a few considerations that you may want to keep in mind when picking a suitable pump.
- Suction Strength. With most manual pumps, you control the suction strength with how hard you squeeze. However, different handheld pumps can have different suction levels based on their seal and pumping mechanism. Choosing a post with the most variable suction strength is often the most comfortable.
- Hands for Operation. Think about how user-friendly the pump is. How many hands do you need to operate it? If you have a lever hand pump you will need to squeeze the lever with one hand and hold the bottle and flange to your breast with the other hand. This isn’t great for multi-tasking mamas.
Silicone pumps usually attach to your breast and remain suctioned on. This can be great if you are nursing on one side and catching milk on the other.
- Pump Effectiveness. Make sure you are choosing a high-quality pump that will effectively remove milk. Manual pumps in general are less effective than automatic pumps so you want to make sure you are selecting the one that will best maintain your breastmilk supply.
- Comfort. You want your handheld breast pump to be comfortable to use. Look for one that fits your breast shape and body. Additionally, one that is ergonomic will keep your hand or arm from cramping while you are pumping and your back, neck, and shoulders from getting sore.
- Budget. Most handheld pumps are very affordable. Nevertheless, pick the one that suits your budget the best. This is especially true if you are only using it as a backup option.
Is manual breast pump painful?
A manual breast pump shouldn’t be painful. If it is, you are likely using it incorrectly for your body. Try adjusting the suction strength, flange fit, or speed.
Does a manual breast pump work better at removing milk?
For most moms, it does not. Many mothers have better milk removal with a double electric pump. Still, a manual pump can be an awesome backup option or milk catcher.
Can I use a manual breast pump everyday?
You can use a manual pump every day. Though if you are trying to build a milk stash or exclusively pumping it can be quite hard to maintain your supply this way.
How long does a manual breast pump take?
The time depends on your efficiency with the pump. You will need to adjust your speed, suction strength, and rhythm to achieve a letdown and then empty each breast.
How do you pump with a manual pump?
Each manual pump is different, so be sure to refer to your instructions. In general, you attach the pump and either pull the lever or compress the bottle (for a silicone pump) repeatedly to stimulate milk flow.
Making the Most of a Manual Pump
If you are considering a manual breast pump vs electric breast pump, a manual can be a great backup option. They can have many uses like milk collection or relieving engorgement. Some moms use them regularly.
If you are searching for the best breast pump for everyday use then our top pick is the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. It has two modes, mimicking an electric pump, and is easy to use. This pump is also lightweight and easy to carry with you so you will never be caught without a pump!
You can get one from Amazon or Walmart.
What’s your go-to manual breast pump? Or do you prefer the electric pump than manual ones? Share with us your thoughts in the comments!
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API