Pumping is hard work and having to operate or hold the pump in place is just plain tiring. Speaking from my own experience, it’s hard so I was very relieved to start using a hands free breast pump. I’ve written this practical guide to help you understand what’s out on the market and I’ve researched the six best models, describing what to look for, how they compare in use, along with plenty of practical information.
As you can probably guess from the description, hands free breast pumps allow a mom to express milk while doing other activities like reading, writing, or even taking a nap. They also allow for more efficient pumping, as you’re free to adjust the pump’s settings while pumping and they’re often more comfortable than regular pumps, as you can recline back in a chair or lay down while pumping.
As a side note, it’s well worth investing in a special hands free pumping bra which makes it easy to fit and keep the unit in place and in correct contact to maximise suction – all without you having to adjust or hold the pump in place.
Back to the main topic, and I’ve looked at some of the best types of hands free pumps on the market, their features, and the pros and cons of each. I’ve found that there are five main benefits of going hands-free or wearable with your pump:
- Increased Efficiency: With hands free breast pumps, you can express milk while doing other activities, increasing your efficiency and being more productive with your time.
- Comfort: Hands free pumps can be more comfortable than regular pumps; for a start you can sit, recline or lay down while pumping.
- Freedom: You can move around, carry out other jobs or have a phone call while pumping.
- Variety: There are many different types of hands free pumps on the market, from totally wearable to purely ands-free so you’ve a variety of options to choose from.
- Cost: Hands free pumps are often more affordable than other types, making them a great option.
Let’s get on to the main reviews and practical advice on how to choose the best hands free breast pump for your needs.
Our Picks for the Best Hands Free Breast Pump
1. Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump
The Medela pump is an electric hands-free game changer that will enable you to pump breast milk on the go, thanks to its all-in-one mobile and portable feature. This breast pump has patented 2-phase Expression technology that enables the production of large milk volume in short sessions.
This breast pump’s closed system is designed with Overflow protection making it reliable as it prevents the breast milk from entering the tube. It also has a multifunctional interface where you can monitor milk flow.
Medela breast pump has a rechargeable battery that lasts up to two hours, enabling expression even in remote areas. This hands-free pump has Bluetooth connectivity, enabling connection with the Medela Family app for convenient operation.
Cleaning this pump is easy, thanks to its dishwasher-safe parts that you can easily disassemble. Its replaceable parts, such as PersonalFit Flex membranes, are readily available, making them easy to maintain.
- Intuitive multifunctional interface
- Compact design
- Leakage-proof closed system
- PersonalFit Flex breast shields
- Tubing prone to the moisture trap
- Poor suction
2. Elvie Pump (Double) Smart Wearable Electric Breast Pump
Elvie pump tops this list owing to its remarkable features. This small, lightweight, quiet electric pump makes it ideal for pumping sessions anywhere and anytime. The pump is a slimline and wearable pumping bra, making it discreet and suitable for use in public.
It comes with a smart app that you can use to control the suction level from your smartphone. This feature also helps you to monitor milk volumes to adjust production during pumping sessions. Its ultra-smooth Piezo suction has a unique pumping pattern making it gentle on your breasts.
Elvie pump (double) smart wearable electric breast pump has an infrared sensor that automatically measures the amount of breast milk in the collection cups. The pump switches from stimulation to milk expression mode, making it entirely hands-free. This technology also senses letdown to start pumping and pause when it detects a full bottle.
This small pump is mama-friendly with an intuitive design that enables changing of the bottles in mid-sessions. You can personalize it and save your preferred settings for future use. Its rechargeable battery has long life giving you over two hours of pumping sessions after charging for two hours.
- Easy to use
- Fully automated
- Prone to leakage
- Unlinks from the phone when far
3. Willow Pump Wearable Cord-Free Double Electric Breast Pump
Willow pump is a hospital-grade wearable breast pump that is cordless, making them convenient to use on the go. This wearable breast pump has two modes that enable you to switch between simulation and expression, giving the feeling of a baby nursing.
The pump has a rechargeable battery allowing you to express milk anywhere for up to three pumping sessions. Flanges sizing options range from 15mm to 27mm, making it suitable for different breast sizes. You will also get the Willow inserts for different flange sizes, giving it a comfortable fit.
Measuring 5.3 x 3.15 x 4.7 inches, you can comfortably wear this hands-free pump in your nursing bra. This pump’s design is user-friendly, making it easy to set up. You connect it to a mobile app from where you can control suction levels and monitor milk volume.
The parts of the Willow pump are dishwasher-safe, making it easy to clean and maintain. In addition, it has silicone breast shields which are hypoallergenic and safe. This feature also makes the breast flanges comfortable.
- Dishwasher safe
- Eco-friendly reusable containers
- Long battery life
- Fits different breast sizes
- Low suction
4. Momcozy S12 Pro Wearable Breast Pump
Momcozy pump features in this list with its small size, which makes it ideal for discreet use. This comfortable hands-free pump has a new concept of the double-sealed flange that prevents milk leakage. Its soft silicone material gives a spa-level pumping experience.
Its light weight makes it a portable pump you can use while freely going about your business. This pump has upgraded stimulation, expression, and mixed mode for effortless pumping. It has nine suction levels making it flexible for different levels of experience.
Momcozy S12 Pro hands-free pump has a straightforward full-screen design that lets you keep track of battery level and pumping time. Additionally, it has an added one-click pause function that gives you complete control of the pumping rhythm. Its fast charging feature enables you to have 5-6 pumping sessions after charging for only 1.5 hours.
The pump’s parts are BPA-free and food-grade material making it safe for you and your baby. In addition, the parts are dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean it and maintain optimum hygiene.
- Sleek, smart display
- Safe material
- Nine pumping levels
- Fast charging
- Comfortable flange
- A bit painful to take off
5. Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Hands-Free Pump
This pump is compact, rechargeable, and has concealable Freemie Standard Collection Cups, making it ideal for a public pumping session. The Freemie Liberty II Deluxe pump has a sleep timer that lets you nap while collecting the liquid gold. In addition, it has sound reduction technology, making it quiet. And unlike traditional breast pumps, you can wear this sleek designed pump on your hip.
With 280mmHg suction, Freemie Liberty II Deluxe hands-free pump is powerful enough to express a large volume of breast milk. Its three memory buttons enable you to set and keep your favorite settings for comfortable future use.
This pump’s parts are made of high-quality and food-safe materials, making it suitable for you and your baby. Additionally, the parts are dishwasher-safe, making them easy to clean.
- Medical-grade parts
- Programmable sleep timer
- Three memory options
- Short battery life
6. BabyBuddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump
BabyBuddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump also offer convenience similar to the other breast pumps in this guide. Its compact and portable design enables you to use it as you tend to other aspects of your life. The BabyBuddha hands-free pump has a quiet mechanism for less disturbing operation (read our full guide on using the BabyBuddha pump).
This pump comes with a soft cushion that mimics a baby’s soft lips making it comfortable. Its anti-backward flow design prevents backward milk flow and eliminates the need to lean forward when expressing. This pump has simple controls that enable users of different experience levels to operate it.
The components of this wearable breast pump are universal, enabling you to use any flange and making it cost-effective. This pump comes with single and double modes allowing you to switch while pumping seamlessly.
Regarding hygiene, this pump has a closed system that prevents contamination. In addition, all its parts are made of BPA-free materials and are dishwasher-safe, making them safe for your baby and easy to clean.
- Anti-backflow design
- Simple to use
- Extra quiet
- 14 Comfort settings
- Intense pumping
- Painful massage setting
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wearable Breast
Here are the factors you should consider for the most suitable hands-free breast pump.
A good quality wireless breast pump is made of soft, food-safe materials such as plastic, silicone, and stainless steel, making it hospital-grade. The hospital-grade pump has flanges made of silicone, and the tubing is made of BPA-free plastic. And the pump motor is made of rustproof stainless steel.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
The pump should be easy to use, unlike traditional breast pumps. The parts should be easy to disassemble. In addition, the parts should be dishwasher-safe for easy maintenance.
Consider if the breast pump has multiple and adjustable suction levels, ranging from 220 to 350 mmHg. The various suction levels come in handy as it allows you to start with a lower suction level which is more comfortable. You can later increase the level as you get used to the wearable breast pump.
When choosing a wearable breast pump, ensure that it is compact enough to fit in your nursing bra. This feature will make the pump discreet and comfortable to use.
It’d be best to consider the noise level when choosing a wearable pump, with 50 to 60 decibels (dB) being the most suitable. For discreet pumping sessions, a good hands-free pump should be as quiet as possible.
You should consider and check the weight of the wireless pump when choosing. Choosing a portable breast pump made of lightweight materials would be best. This feature will allow you to put it in the pumping bra and express milk anywhere, even when busy running different errands.
The wireless breast pump should have a longer battery life to enable you to express milk for two to four hours continuously after charge. It’d be best if the pump had an inbuilt battery indicator to keep track of the battery level.
Lastly, consider the wearable pump’s price when selecting the most suitable one. The price shouldn’t be too high despite the feature of your ideal wireless pump. Comparing the features of different ones and their prices would be best.
1. How do you clean a hands-free breast pump?
To clean a wearable breast pump, you will disassemble it and put them in the dishwasher. It’d be best to put the small parts in a laundry bag or into the close-top basket to prevent them from ending up in the dishwasher filter. Hot water and a heated drying cycle are the most suitable for killing all germs.
2. Does insurance cover hands-free breast pumps?
It does, as per the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This act requires insurance plans to cover breastfeeding supplies and services. Therefore, you can use your insurance benefits to buy the best hand-free breast pumps. However, check your insurance plan’s details by reviewing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage.
3. Can wireless breast pumps affect milk supply?
Hands-free pumps can affect milk supply depending on how you use them. How much milk you produce is determined by demand. When you remove milk from your breast, your body produces more to replace it. Therefore, removing less during pumping sessions will reduce milk production. Note that too high a suction level can lead to breast tissue damage causing a decrease in supply.
4. How often should you use a hands-free breast pump?
It’d be best to pump milk every 2-3 hours during the day to mimic your baby’s natural breastfeeding schedule. If you are exclusively pumping, you should do it 8-10 times in 24 hours, including at night, to establish and maintain a consistent milk supply.
5. Can you simultaneously pump while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can. The process is called hands-free pumping and breastfeeding or dual pumping and breastfeeding. It requires a wearable breast pump and some practice to get used to it. This method is ideal if you are trying to increase your milk volume, have difficulty breastfeeding due to a medical condition, or are breastfeeding multiples.
6. What common challenges should you expect when using a wearable breast pump?
Difficulty achieving a good fit, leakage from the flanges, difficulty achieving letdowns, and discomfort are some challenges you may experience with these pumps. It’d be best to consult a healthcare provider or lactation consultant to determine if your wearable breast pump is safe for you and the baby.
Unlike traditional pumps, hands-free breast pumps are incredibly convenient as they let you express milk without holding the pump or all the associated collection system. You can get on with other jobs (or even take a quick nap) and normally comfortable, portable, and easy to use.