Best manual breast pumps – review for new moms!

If you’re a new mom (or mom to be!) who wants to breastfeed, you’re going to want a manual pump to make life easier.

You will NEED a manual pump to get relief from engorgement – maybe just because your milk is coming in, or because baby starts sleeping through, or baby hasn’t taken to latching all that well.

Or maybe you just want to be able to pump for the occasional bottle feed and you don’t feel the need for a full on electric breast pump.

Either way, you NEED something to take the pressure off and using your hands only gets you so far… trust me, I know.

For that, you need a manual breast pump. Luckily, there are several stellar models available in 2020 including one you should definitely have (no matter what other breast pump you decide to buy).

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Our top picks for the best five manual breast pumps for 2020:

Medela Harmony Breast Pumpbest for low milk supply

Haakaa best for passive pumping

Avent Manual Comfort

Lansinoh Manual Pump

Nuk Expressive


1. Medela Harmony Breast Pump

The Medela breast pump is a good option for moms with low milk supply. If you are struggling with consistent milk supply, look no further, the Medela breast pump is the best option. If you have no struggles with your milk supply, you might prefer a different pump.

Since the Medela breast pump has a vacuum that can be controlled manually by the user, a nursing mom can manage to adjust the suction levels to their preference. As a result, it can help moms with a low milk supply find the perfect suction level that helps remove the most milk. The pump is also very comfortable to use and from one of the most respected breast pump brands.


• Inexpensive.
• Soundless while pumping.
• Lightweight, thus convenient when traveling.
• Easy to assemble.


• The suction weakens after prolonged use.
• The o-ring on the pump can break easily.

2. Haakaa

The Haakaa is a brilliant and essential piece of new mom kit – if you’re breastfeeding at all, ever, you need a Haakaa. Boom.

Made of flexible silicone, this breast pump is a passive pump, more of a milk catcher really that catches your letdown. However, it also uses suction to draw a lot more milk out than your standard milk catchers.

You can catch literally ounces of extra liquid gold for zero effort and get a start on a freezer stash if you’re planning on building one. We also have some nifty Haakaa hacks up our sleeves that make this pump absolutely essential for dealing with engorgement, and clogged ducts.


• It is soft, lightweight, and comfortable.
• It is very affordable.
• Suitable for passive pumping.
• Easy to clean.


• Not suitable for active pumping, however, you can passively collect milk which can build up into an impressive freezer stash.

3. Avent Manual Comfort

Comfort – it’s in the name and that’s what it’s all about for this breast pump! The Avent Manual Comfort includes a textured massage cushion to ensure a nursing mom gets maximum comfort as you use the pump. .


• It is gentle since it has a textured massage cushion design.
• Easy to clean.
• Compact and lightweight.
• Comfortable and allows you to sit naturally while pumping.


• Usually squeaks as it is being used.
• Does not fit all the standard-sized bottles.

4. Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

As you look for a breast pump, you want to make sure you get one that will not take a lot of time and energy. The Lansinoh pump has a dual-mode pumping technique that means you can pump at high speed while also remaining gentle and painless. The dual-mode comprises of two phases of motion, including stimulation and expression.


• Affordable.
• Lightweight.
• The ergonomic handle ensures there is constant comfort.
• Easy to clean.


• It does not have the strongest suction levels, according to the users.

5. NUK Expressive

The NUK expressive manual breast pump is great for women with large breasts though it can be used by any woman regardless of their breast size. This pump is affordable, and you can adjust the suction and speed of the pump. The milk goes straight into the NUK bottle (no transferring required.)

The NUK pump is effective because you can multitask while pumping. The pump is designed such that you can use it with one hand. You can then use the other hand to catch up on the latest news, scroll Instagram or even learn how to start a blog!

The pump has a 5 oz container, a cap, collar, silicone nipple, an extra silicone valve, and a seal disk.


• Easy to clean.
• Highly affordable.
• Lightweight.
• Capable of being used with one hand.


• The pump is noisy.
• It is not as comfortable.
• you might need to lean forward to help the pumping process.

Why You Need a Manual Breast Pump

Manual breast pumps are not an essential item for every baby mom. However, a nursing mom may consider getting one since they do tend to come in handy.

From the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, a manual pump can help stimulate your milk supply and to collect milk for your baby. You can collect quite a bit of milk with a manual pump, however, if you want to exclusively pump you’ll need a double electric pump for speed and ease of use.

Once your milk comes in, you can use a silicone breast pump like the Haakaa to catch your letdown. (It’s super helpful during the engorgement phase.) You can also use a Haakaa to start a freezer stash or to collect milk for a bottle for a night out.

The Different Types of Manual Breast Pumps

There are two types of manual breast pumps:

1) Levered Pumps

Levered pumps are designed such that they allow the nursing mom to push the handle manually. There will be some suction in the process, and the milk is produced from the breast. There are different models, and some even have two-way levers. The pumps with one lever usually massage the breast and encourage letdown. The other lever usually ensures there is milk flow.

2) Silicone Models

Silicone pumps are basically milk catchers. They catch your letdown from the opposite side while you’re breastfeeding. The milk will be collected into the reservoir. The silicone model normally creates some suction that helps to pump the milk from the breasts.

Benefits of Using a Manual Breast Pump

The main benefits of using a manual breast pump are:

Portable – manual breast pumps are small and easy to bring along with you in your hand bag. It’s also much easier to whip out and use at a moment’s notice than an electric pump!
Noise Level – most manual pumps are quite discreet and quiet.
Comfort and control – some women say their manual breast pump is comfortable and preferable since it is easy to control the level of suction.

How to Choose A Good Breast Pump

Every mom needs an excellent manual breast pump. How do you choose the right one for you?

First, think about your situation.

How do you plan to use the pump?

Will it be for occasional use?

A backup for an electric pump?

You may also want to think about the size, shape, noise level and comfort of the pump.

FAQ – Your Questions, Answered

Will a manual pump hurt?

No. A manual breast pump is designed to be gentle and pain-free.

Are manual breast pumps any good?

Manual breast pumps are quite effective at removing milk. Though they are not quite as efficient as a baby or an electric pump.

Can you use the breast pump daily?

Yes. You can use the manual breast pump daily, there is no restriction on how frequently you use your pump.

Do you get more milk with a manual pump?

The amount of milk you get depends on various factors such as your diet and your supply.

How do I care for my breast pump?

Follow the cleaning advice given by the pump manufacturer. Usually, pump parts that come into contact with your breast or breast milk require sterilisation. You may want to invest in some microwave sterilising bags to help. Take care to read the manual carefully as there may be parts of your pump that should not be sterilised and could be damaged if cleaned incorrectly.

When should I use a manual breast pump?

You can use a manual breast pump any time:

  • use a Haakaa while you’re feeding your baby on one side (to catch the letdown on the other side)
  • use a manual pump to relieve engorgement in the early days of breastfeeding
  • when you need to pump a little extra milk for time away from your baby
  • after feeding baby so you can promote your milk supply.

How do you use a manual pump?

Your breast pump will come with instructions to guide you, however, most are fairly simple!

For most pumps, you’ll need to place the flange over the breast and operate the pump mechanism.

For the Haakaa, you need to achieve a suction lock onto your breast with your nipple centred inside the neck. To get the best suction, you should fold the flange (mouth) back and squeeze the base. Centre the nipple in the neck opening and press into the breast as you release the base and flip the flange forward to cover the breast. You should have a good suction lock.

It is recommended that nursing moms should stimulate the breasts for 15 minutes. They should then switch the breasts after every five minutes.


If you’re looking for the best manual breast pump for your needs, these are the top 5! No matter which pump you settle on, you should definitely grab a Haakaa as well as it will help you build up a freezer stash with no extra effort!