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5 Best Manual Breast Pumps of 2024

The best models to help you squeeze out every last drop of liquid gold.

Electric breast pumps make pumping a breeze — until you can’t find an outlet or run out of fresh batteries. That’s just one reason why we recommend a backup manual pump. Manual pumps also cost less and can be durable, as long as you choose a reliable product.

We’ve studied several trustworthy brands, considered customer reviews, and done the work of selecting the top five manual pumps on the market. You can rest assured that when you’re in a pickle, these five best manual breast pumps will have your back.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Medela Harmony
Best for Low Milk Supply
Medela Harmony
  • Doesn’t make any noise
  • Affordable
  • Easy to setup, no hassle
Product Image of the Lansinoh Manual
Best for Working Moms
Lansinoh Manual
  • Lightweight and compact
  • More affordable than other pumps
  • Comfortable to hold
Product Image of the Philips Avent
Best for Everyday Use
Philips Avent
  • Comfortable to use
  • Easy to pump
  • Expresses milk quickly
Product Image of the Haakaa Silicone
Best Milk Catcher
Haakaa Silicone
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and very easy to clean
  • Soft and comfortable
Product Image of the BumbleBee Manual
Best for Large Breasts
BumbleBee Manual
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean, less stress
  • Comfortable against breast

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, our thorough analysis and hands-on experience with various manual breast pumps allow us to provide you with a reliable assessment to help you make the best decision for your needs. We evaluate each product from a user’s perspective, using a set of criteria such as comfort, efficiency, ease of use, and portability. Our research and comparison of different pumps on the market equip us with the knowledge to identify key decision-making factors and rate each product accordingly. We also consider design choices and their effects on users, while sharing quantitative measurements of a product’s performance. Our findings and reviews are supported by first-hand evidence, ensuring that you can trust our recommendations as the best options for your breastfeeding journey.

The Best Manual Breast Pumps of 2024

Here are 5 great manual breast pumps currently on the market.

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Best Manual Breast Pump for Low Milk Supply

The Medela Harmony includes the breast pump, a 24 mm breast shield, one 5-ounce bottle with a lid and a stand, and all the breast pump parts you’ll need.

It uses 2-phase expression technology.

During the first phase, you prepare your breasts for letdown, by using the lever that is closest to the breast shield. But once your milk begins to come out of your breast, you use the longer lever to pump the milk until your breast is emptied.

Moms may like that although the suction is great with this pump, it feels more gentle than some other manual breast pumps. Although this pump does come with instructions, you might not need them because it’s pretty easy to figure out.


  • It doesn’t make any noise.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to put together and compact enough for a large purse.


  • The suction power seems to lessen after repeated use.
  • Some users have reported the o-ring on the pump breaking easily, which could mean you may end up needing a replacement piece.

Our Ratings

Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
4 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this manual breast pump has been a mix of positives and negatives. On one hand, it's an efficient, quiet, and portable alternative to electric pumps, allowing me to discreetly pump milk even on an airplane. However, it does have a strong suction that can cause discomfort and requires careful handling to avoid spills, as well as having several parts that need cleaning after each use.

Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump

Best Manual Breast Pump for Working Moms

This pump uses two different modes – a stimulation mode and an expression mode. It has breast shields that fit two sizes, both standard and large, which will help moms find the right suction and a fit that will work for them.

Its ergonomic design and the easy-express handle will stop your hand from getting pins-and-needles from all those repetitive movements. The pump can be used with Lansinoh’s Momma bottle and their milk storage bottles.

The wide-neck bottle attached to the pump makes it a cinch to transfer the contents into a breast milk storage bag.

Taking this bottle apart to clean it only takes a minute or two. After an easy cleaning process and after the pieces have airdried, putting the bottle back together again just takes a moment.


  • Lightweight and easy to travel with.
  • More affordable than other pumps.
  • Comfortable to hold.


  • The suction isn’t as great as some manual pumps.
  • Not compatible with some bottles.

Our Ratings

Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
3.5 / 5
4 / 5
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

Personal Perspective

I recently purchased this manual pump and found it to be an excellent alternative to my electric pump. The first thing I noticed is how easy it is to assemble and use, which saves me time, especially during those late-night pumping sessions. I also appreciate the compatibility with various flange sizes, including the 36mm flange, and the control it provides over the speed and suction. However, there are a few drawbacks, such as the white drip gasket not always staying in place, the need for more available flange sizes, and the squeaky noise it produces. Despite these minor issues, this manual pump has been efficient in draining my breast completely and even seems to help increase milk production.

Philips Avent Manual Comfort Breast Pump

Best Manual Breast Pump for Everyday Use

You should be able to use this pump without fear of killer hand cramps because of its unique design, which helps moms find a comfortable pumping position.

It has a textured massage cushion that is supposed to help with letdown to start a woman’s milk flow. The pump is lightweight, and its compact design makes it perfect for traveling. You can easily fit this unit into an oversized purse.

Finding a good position on your breast with this pump is an easy feat, and it’s also simple to continue to hold it in place while you pump.

Moms who have Philips Avent Natural and Classic bottles will be pleased to know they’re compatible with this breast pump. But moms who have standard size bottles may want to look at other breast pumps because this one only fits wider-mouthed bottles. The pump pieces are easy to clean, and they can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher.


  • Comfortable to use.
  • Easy to pump.
  • Expresses milk quickly.


  • It can be a little squeaky during use.
  • It doesn’t fit standard size baby bottles.

Our Ratings

Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
4 / 5
4.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with using multiple manual breast pumps has been quite eye-opening, especially as a parent of two kids and expecting a third. Among the Ameda, Medela, and Avent pumps, I found the Avent Manual Comfort Pump to be the most effective and comfortable. It allowed me to pump more milk in less time, which was a relief with my busy schedule. The "petal" cushioning on the Avent pump made it more comfortable than the other two pumps, and the pump itself was easy to clean and maintain. I also appreciated its portability, as it made traveling and pumping on-the-go much more manageable. While I still use my electric pump for more thorough sessions, the Avent Manual Comfort Pump is my go-to for quick and efficient milk expression.

Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump

Best Breastmilk Catcher

The Haakaa breast pump has a bit of a cult following and for a good reason. Its iconic design couldn’t be simpler, with a single piece of perfectly shaped silicone that you use to suction your breasts manually.

Fold the flange back, place it over your breast then release the flange back again to create a super stronghold. The Haakaa is best used as a milk catcher rather than relied on as a pump. Wear it while you breastfeed on one side, and it will take advantage of the letdown on the other, scoring you a few more ounces of milk without actively pumping it.

Some moms have been able to pump by squeezing and releasing. Others find it’s better as an occasional relief only and still use a stronger pump at other times.


  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight and very easy to clean.
  • Soft and comfortable against your breast.


  • This model is almost certainly not strong enough to actively pump much milk.
  • Might not suck as well after repeated use.
  • Some moms have complained that the measurements are not accurate.

Our Ratings

Ease of Use
4 / 5
2.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
5 / 5
Total Rating
4 / 5

First-Hand Impression

I recently tried this product as a breastfeeding mother and found it quite useful. While using it to catch letdown during feedings can be challenging due to my baby's tendency to kick it off, I have found it helpful in the shower. It helps me catch letdown and alleviate engorgement, and I can even use the collected milk to bathe my baby later on. This product is particularly beneficial for those with low milk production, as it can aid in increasing milk flow. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to positioning and suction, but once mastered, it effectively prevents wasted milk and supports maintaining my milk supply. Although it may not fully drain the breast like an electric pump, it is a valuable addition to my nursing routine and has made my breastfeeding journey less stressful.

BumbleBee Manual Breast Pump

Best Manual Pump for Large Breasts

This pump, made for occasional use, costs a lot less than many of its competitors. Moms can simply attach the pump and let it draw the milk through suction, and the milk pumps straight into a 90 mL capacity silicone holder.

BumbleBee manual pump allows moms to do all their pumping one-handed so they can accomplish other tasks at the same time. The pump only weighs 0.16 ounces, which feels like nothing in your purse. Plus there are very few parts to this pump, which makes it easy to assemble and clean, and it comes with a comfy silicone breast cushion.

It has an ergonomic spout that helps reduce the spills when transferring the collected liquid gold into the milk bags. Moms will find this pump works best when they lean slightly forward – that allows the milk to go into the bottle and not run out of the unit.


  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Soft and comfortable against your breast.


  • About 20 mL discrepancy of graduation noted in the cylindrical silicone.

Our Ratings

Ease of Use
4.5 / 5
3.5 / 5
4.5 / 5
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

User Experience

As a mother who's used this product for two years and through two babies, I've found it to be an incredibly useful addition to my breastfeeding routine. This device is simple to clean and excels at collecting leaked milk during letdown, allowing me to save up to 2 ounces without any effort. The added accessories, such as the stopper for on-the-go use and lid for fridge storage, make this product even more convenient. The strong suction ensures it stays in place, only coming off if my baby interferes, and it's easy to clean by simply placing it in the dishwasher.

Who Should Choose a Manual Pump?

There are many differences between manual and electric breast pumps. Moms who want to pump multiple times a day may want to consider electric breast pumps, but if you’re just looking to pump occasionally, like once a day or less, a manual pump is the way to go (1).

Advantages of Manual Pumps


Manual pumps are much more inexpensive than electric pumps. There’s no electrical component, which drives down the price. If you aren’t going to use your pump often, there’s no need to spend the extra money on buying an electric pump when a cheaper option is available. Motherhood is expensive enough!


Manual pumps can go anywhere you do. They’re easy to put in your purse or suitcase for last-minute travel or for pumping at work. It’s more difficult to take electric pumps with you on the road because they won’t work unless you have an outlet handy, or you carry enough batteries with you. Plus, electric pumps are heavier than manual ones.


Unlike electric pumps, manual pumps are quiet. Once in a while, you’ll hear a squeaking sound, but overall, it’s much easier on the ears than electric pumps. This is great if you have a sleeping infant nearby or you’ve had a long day at work and don’t want to deal with the noise.

Easy to Use

You don’t need a Ph.D. to figure out how to use a manual breast pump. Unlike electric pumps that can sometimes be intimidating, manual pumps are pretty straightforward. What you see is what you get.

Easy to Clean

There are fewer parts to worry about with a manual pump compared to an electric model. They’re easy to disassemble and once you have them clean, you simply let them air dry till the next time you need them.

More Comfortable

Some women, even those who pump a lot, prefer manual breast pumps because they feel they’re more comfortable. Unlike some electric models, you control the suction on a manual pump – you can pump slower or faster depending on what works best for you. Manual breast pumps are also not so impersonal; you feel more like a human being and less like a dairy cow!

Disadvantages of Manual Pumps

Not as Effective

Some moms find that manual pumps don’t do as good a job of getting all their milk out as electric ones.


If you’ve got a lot of milk to pump, you can start to feel like a manual laborer slaving over an old-fashioned water pump. You might feel like the workout if you’re already exhausted.

More Reluctant

Since you have to extract every pump of milk physically, you might find you take longer to get finished than if you had an electric pump.

Types of Manual Breast Pumps

Unlike their electric counterparts, manual pumps are pretty simple and intuitive to use. There are two basic types:

Levered Pumps

These consist of a nipple shield attached to a valve that opens into a bottle, making them look a little like air horns. This is a common design that allows moms to pump the lever and create suction against the breast to draw the milk out. Some models have levers that go two ways: a small pump is used in the beginning to massage and encourages letdown, a larger pump is used once milk flow begins.

Some models come with a cushioned part that goes between the cup and your breast, and some can be used with just one hand.

Silicone Models or “Milk Catchers”

These are also more passive milk catchers which consist of a single piece of shaped, food-grade silicone that fits around your nipple. There are two ways to use these: you could either fit the pump on one breast to catch any leaks while you breastfeed on the other, or you could manually squeeze the reservoir to create suction and pump milk.

You can usually purchase a cap or stopper to seal off your milk, which can amount to a few ounces even without any active pumping on your part.

How to Choose a Manual Breast Pump

Easy to Use

Most importantly, you should look for a manual pump that’s easy to use. Thankfully, most manual pumps are easy to figure out and easy to clean after use. If you prefer to do less work with a manual pump, we would recommend looking into a silicone pump since levered pumps can be more labor intensive.

Comfortable and Ergonomic

You’ll want to go for a design that’s comfortable and ergonomic. The shape of the pump can be crucial because you’re going to be holding it for what can feel like hours, pumping your milk sometimes quite vigorously. You don’t want to get cramping in your arm or hand from your breast pumping sessions.

Hands Needed for Pumping

Some manual pumps require you to use two hands, while others can be used with just one. This isn’t too much of an issue. Generally, in time, if you become adept at pumping, you’ll be able to pump one breast while your baby is feeding on the other.

Suction Strength

A good pump will match the firm latch of a feeding baby, so take note of how strong the suction is when considering different pumps. Stronger suction means faster pumping, which means saved time for you.

Although manual pumps do not have a specific suction rating, a strong point for some of them is that you can manually control the suction power.

How to Use a Manual Breast Pump

Using a manual pump is easy, even for those slightly squeamish moms who haven’t pumped milk before.

There are just a few steps to get started:

  1. Wash your hands to make sure you aren’t contaminating the storage bottle or any of the pump parts that will come in contact with your breast milk.
  2. Put the breast shield over your nipple. Your nipple should be centered and not touching the sides of the shield.
  3. Start pumping by squeezing the handle of your manual pump. You’ll need to do a few pumps before you see any milk coming out.
  4. When you are done pumping one breast for around 5 minutes, pump the other one. You don’t want your milk supply to dry up because you continuously favor one breast over the other.
  5. Once you’re done and have either fed your baby or stored the milk, wash the pump and let the pieces air dry until the next time you need them.

Manual Breast Pump FAQs

When Do I Use a Manual Breast Pump?

Women pump breast milk for many reasons. A manual breast pump might come in handy whenever your breasts feel uncomfortably full, or you need to express milk to store to give to your baby later. The benefit of a manual pump is that it’s portable and simple to use compared to an electric one.

If for whatever reason, you need to maintain milk supply even though your baby is not actively breastfeeding, or if you have an oversupply, a manual breast pump allows you to collect and store the excess. This is great for working moms or whenever you’ll be away from your baby but still want to offer them breast milk.

How Do I Clean a Manual Breast Pump?

Manual pumps need to be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Wash with ordinary dish soap or specially formulated bottle detergent, rinse well, then allow to air dry until you’re ready to use it again.

For those parts of the pump that touch milk, you could use a baby bottle sterilizer to deep clean once in a while, but this is not necessary.

Does a Manual Breast Pump Hurt?

It shouldn’t. When a breast pump (manual or electric) is used properly, it will not cause you any pain. If you’re new to pumping or breastfeeding in general, the sensation can be strange or a little uncomfortable at first. But once your body gets used to it, pumping milk can often be a quiet and relaxing part of your day!

If the pump hurts, stop and try to attach it again, making sure that your nipple is properly centered. Some women do nevertheless experience discomfort with some pumps and not others, but this usually comes down to personal preference.

Which is the Best Manual Breast Pump?

The Philips Avent Manual Breast Pump is one of the best-rated manual breast pumps that you can get. It’s got a unique design that helps the milk to flow directly into a bottle or storage container, making it easy to collect and store it.

The pump also has a soft massage cushion that mimics a baby’s natural sucking action so it’s far more comfortable than other models and way more effective for pumping.

Is a Manual Breast Pump Good for Low Milk Supply?

Manual breast pumps can be a great option for women dealing with low milk supply. They offer you far more control over the suction and speed of pumping, which can help stimulate better milk production.

Also, manual pumps are gentler on your breast tissue, which makes them less likely to cause pain or discomfort.

Can You Use a Manual Breast Pump Every Day?

Yes, manual breast pumps can be used every single day, but they’re way more time-consuming than the standard electric pumps.

A lot of women find manual pumps perfectly sufficient for the occasional pumping, and others might prefer to use them exclusively. It’s really a personal preference.

How Long Should I Manually Pump Each Breast?

The length of time you should manually pump per breast wholly depends on your milk supply and personal pumping goals. For the most part, it’s recommended you pump for about 15-20 minutes per breast, or until you find that the milk flow slows or stops.

Should I Keep Pumping If No Milk is Coming Out?

If you notice no milk is coming out while pumping, take a break and try again later. Continuing to pump without milk flowing can actually cause you some discomfort or even damage to your breast tissue.

It can also be helpful to try different pumping techniques, such as massaging the breast or changing the suction settings. Never force it.

The Bottom Line

Manual breast pumps are a great option for women who occasionally pump, especially for moms who only pump once a day at their workplace or while traveling.  Although manual pumping does require a bit of a learning curve, once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it becomes second nature.

So in the beginning, even if it feels a bit awkward, stick with it. You’ll catch on sooner than you think. While you may have a few good reasons to want to give up your pumping efforts, you have the best reason of all to keep trying – your baby.

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Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.