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Best Hands-Free Breast Pumps of 2021

Updated
Find out which hands-free breast pump is the best for you.

We know how it is to juggle parenting, breastfeeding, pumping, childcare, work, and everything else you have to do as a mom.

That’s why we’re excited about the new generation of wireless and hands-free breast pumps that allow us to do other things while pumping that liquid gold.

We’ve researched all the options to help you choose the best wearable breast pump for your needs. No more helplessly watching your toddler shave the dog because you can’t escape the plugged-in breast pump.

Our Top Picks

We love honesty! Mom Loves Best earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.
Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Elvie Double Electric Wearable Smart Breast Pump | Silent Hands-Free Portable...
Best Quiet
Elvie: Hands-Free Breast Pump
  • You can walk & be active
  • Quiet enough for public use
  • Includes breast shields in 2 sizes
Product Image of the Willow Pump Wearable Breast Pump | Quiet & Hands-Free, Portable, in-Bra Double...
Most Discreet
Willow: Hands-Free Breastpump
  • Provides big range of movement
  • Many discounts available
  • 1:1 experts & moms coaching included
Product Image of the Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump with Bonus 100 Breast Milk Storage Bags,...
Most Comfortable
Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump
  • Quiet enough for night use
  • You can walk while pumping
  • Can pump into medela bottles
Product Image of the Freemie Liberty Mobile Hands Free Breast Pump, Grey
Best Lightweight
Freemie: Hands-Free Breast Pump
  • Versatile collection cups
  • Collect up to 8 ozs in 1 container
  • Adjustable draw length
Product Image of the Momcozy Electric Wearable Breast Pump - Low Noise & Hands-Free Breast Pump with...
Best Budget
Momcozy: Single Hands-Free Breastpump
  • Stimulation & let-down modes
  • Low noise level
  • Simple push-button controls
Product Image of the Wearable Electric Breast Pump Hands-Free Breastpump Portable Breastfeeding...
Best Long-Lasting Battery
AutoTime: Multimode Breast Pump
  • More pumping time per charge
  • Budget-friendly for 1 unit
  • Two sizes of flanges included
Product Image of the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump Silicone Breast Pump Milk Saver Milk Pump with Suction...
Best Manual
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
  • 2nd breast let-down milk capture
  • Completely silent
  • No power source required

How to Choose the Best Hands-Free Breast Pumps

With a growing number of hands-free breast pumps on the market, how do you choose the best one for you? These are some of the factors we considered.

Suction

More isn’t intrinsically better when it comes to the number of suction settings. Instead, we consider how easy it is to find that sweet spot where the pump empties your breast efficiently while maintaining comfort.

Weight

A hands-free breast pump’s weight is mainly in the battery, although there is a little additional weight from the empty bag or container.

For in-bra pumps, we’ve listed the weight of a single, empty pump, so you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be carrying around in your boob holsters.

For other pumps, most of the weight is in the battery pack. In our listings, you can assume the milk collection components weigh roughly the same amount, and the listed weight is for the battery pack.

Noise

A discrete-looking breast pump isn’t much use if it sounds like a tractor. We consider how the pumps sound in a silent room and a room with average daily background noise such as talking or a TV playing.

None of them were silent, as some claim to be, but you can get away with using most of them without anyone asking what that weird sound is.

Ease of Use

When we look at the ease of use, we consider the act of pumping and how easy the unit is to take apart, clean, dry, reassemble, and charge with each use.

Budget

In addition to the pump’s cost, we also looked at how much accessories will cost for both initial and ongoing use. We considered such things as whether you’ll have to buy additional flanges to find the right fit or if they’re included with the initial purchase?

Battery Quality

When we look at battery quality, we check how long it takes to charge a battery, how many hours of pumping you get out of a single charge, and how many months or years of use you’ll get from it.


The Best Hands-Free Breast Pumps of 2021

Here are the seven best hands-free, wearable, or wireless breast pumps available today.

1. Elvie: Hands-Free Breast Pump

Best Quiet

The Elvie hands-free breast pump is a small, discreet unit that sits entirely inside your bra. The pump draws your milk directly into a container from which you decant it into a milk storage bag or bottle.

When using the Elvie, you begin with a stimulation mode, then move to expressing mode when it detects your let-down has kicked in. Then the pump draws milk until you turn it off or it recognizes that the collection bottle is nearly full. In that case, it switches off automatically.

There are five dishwasher-safe parts to clean, and the breakdown, wash, and reassembly process is quick and easy.

While the Elvie is small enough to fit inside your bra, how obvious it is will depend on what clothes you’re wearing and your general build. For example, some users with a smaller physique feel the Elvie makes them look overly busty.

The pump can be used with or without the free app, which tracks pumping sessions, milk volume, and allows you to turn the pump off without having to stick your hand down the front of your shirt.

Pros

  • You can walk around and be reasonably active while using the Elvie.
  • Not silent but quiet enough to use in public without anyone noticing.
  • Comes with two charging cables.
  • Includes breast shields in two sizes.

Cons

  • Steam sterilizers may warp nipple shields.
  • Shifting from an upright position may cause the sensors to kick in and turn the pump off.

Additional Specs

Weight 7.9 ounces each
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 3 x 30-minute sessions
Milk volume 5 ounces

2. Willow: Hands-Free Breastpump

Most Discreet

The Willow hands-free breast pump is a small, breast-shaped unit designed to be worn inside your bra. One of the most significant selling points is the claim that you can pump lying down, doing yoga, or doing other activities that may bend and twist your body.

While not entirely spill-proof, if you use Willow with the Willow milk collection bags, you can pump when almost horizontal, bending, or moving around fairly vigorously. However, this flexibility comes with a downside — cost.

Willow comes with reusable milk collection containers, but if you want to take advantage of the mobility factor, you have to buy the milk storage bags, which are more than four times the cost of standard bags and only hold a maximum of four ounces each.

The pump comes in a choice of three sizes, with a nipple measurement app to help you find the right size for you. However, if you mismeasure, you’ll have to buy additional flanges to achieve a suitable fit.

Pros

  • Provides an exceptional range of movement and freedom while pumping.
  • First responders, healthcare providers, teachers, and military discounts available.
  • 1:1 coaching from experts and other moms included with purchase.

Cons

  • Optional Willow milk storage bags are four times the cost of regular bags.
  • You only get one charging cable for two pumps.
  • Additional flanges cost extra.

Additional Specs

Weight 7 ounces
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 5 x 30-minute sessions
Milk volume 4 ounces

3. Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

Most Comfortable

The Freestyle Flex has a pump unit, or “brain,” which connects to the pumps on your breasts via tubing. Milk doesn’t enter the tubes; the tubing provides a vacuum seal, so there’s no need to worry about dismantling and cleaning fiddly little pipes.

The pump units sit against your breasts, pumping your milk into either the collection containers with the pump or directly into a bottle via an adaptor. As a whole, this piece of the Freestyle Flex looks and feels like a standard hand pump and bottle set-up.

The big contradiction with the Medela pump is that it’s wireless, so you’re not tethered to a chair by a power outlet, but you have to hold the pumps against your breasts. This limits what you can do while pumping.

The only way around this is to buy the Medela pumping bra, which will hold the pumps against your breast. But the pump is still bulky enough to prevent you from holding a squirming baby while in use.

Pros

  • The pump is quiet enough to use at night without disturbing anyone.
  • Allows you to walk about while pumping.
  • You can pump directly into standard Medela bottles.

Cons

  • Requires a special bra to be hands-free.
  • Cannot be worn under clothes.
  • Speed and suction levels cannot be set for each breast.

Additional Specs

Weight 10 ounces
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 4 x 30-minute sessions
Milk volume 5 ounces

4. Freemie: Hands-Free Breast Pump

Best Lightweight

The Freemie Liberty has a pumping unit that you can either wear on your belt, carry, or leave on a table. The pump connects to Freemie collection cups into which your milk is expressed. Once you’ve finished pumping, you pour your milk into a storage container or bag of your choice.

You can adjust both the suction level and the pump’s speed with over 100 possible setting combinations. Three pre-programmable buttons allow you to keep your favored settings, so you don’t have to find your sweet spot at every use.

There are multiple parts to clean, all of which are dishwasher safe or can be sterilized in boiling water. This was one of our major issues. You’ll need between 15–20 minutes to clean the system after use, which is a big chunk of time out of your day.

Because the collection cups and the pump unit are separate, your milk never enters the pump, so the pump itself doesn’t need cleaning.

The collection cups sit within your bra, so you can walk about and do other things while you pump. However, unless your clothing is exceptionally loose or you’re covered in multiple layers, the flat front of the cups can be easily seen.

Pros

  • Collection cups can be used with other pumps.
  • Collect up to 8 ounces in one container.
  • Adjustable draw length is excellent for emptying the breast.

Cons

  • Flat front of pump is obvious in all but the loosest clothing.
  • Stretchy bra is necessary to hold the cups against your breast.
  • Spillage occurs if wearer is too active.

Additional Specs

Weight 8 ounces
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 4 x 20-minute sessions
Milk volume 8 ounces

5. Momcozy: Single Hands-Free Breastpump

Best Budget

Like Elvie and Willow, the Momcozy hands-free breast pump is an all-in-one unit that sits directly on your breast, held in place by your bra. Unlike the others, Momcozy’s pump is a cup-shaped breast piece topped by a block-shaped pump unit.

Consequently, although you are not tethered to an electrical outlet, and you can comfortably move about, the pump can be clearly seen. So it is not the best option for anyone who wants their pumping sessions to be covert.

You also have to either wear a top with a low neck so the pump unit can sit outside your clothing or pump in a button-up shirt you can leave open for comfort.

The specifications for the Momcozy say the cups can hold up to 6 ounces. However, the same specs also say that 4 ounces is the “optimal” maximum. In reality, you can move around when pumping until you hit 4 ounces. After that, you need to sit still or the milk will spill.

The Momcozy pump is best for moms who will be pumping at home, in a private room, or for those who have the confidence to walk around while people stare or ask questions.

Pros

  • Stimulation and let-down modes mimic your baby’s natural feeding pattern.
  • Low noise level is covered by general daily background noise.
  • Simple push-button controls are not easily pushed by accident.

Cons

  • You have to buy one pump set for each breast.
  • The pump unit is highly visible.
  • Pumping more than four ounces causes milk to spill.

Additional Specs

Weight 1 pound
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 6 x 20 minutes
Milk volume 6 ounces

6. AutoTime: Multimode Breast Pump

Best Long-Lasting Battery

The AutoTime hands-free breast pump has nine massage modes and nine pumping modes designed to provide flexibility and comfort. A memory function is included, but it only saves the last settings used. You can’t keep your favorite setting, experiment, and then go back at the push of a button.

Available in two sizes (breast sizes, not container sizes) the AutoTime claims to be barely louder than a whisper. Our experience is that, although quiet, you can hear when it’s in use, and so too can anyone within earshot.

The pump unit is roughly half the size of a can of soda, so there’s no hiding that you’re using it. Even if you wear something loose or a large, flowy scarf, anyone around you will quite clearly see the pump.

Only suitable for use at home, the AutoTime is a useful pump for occasional use, but it’s not something you’d want to use every day.

Pros

  • Has more pumping time per full charge than most pumps.
  • Budget-friendly if you only purchase one unit.
  • Two sizes of flanges included with the pump.

Cons

  • Highly visible and uncomfortably bulky.
  • Five small pieces to assemble, clean, and sterilize each time.
  • Difficult to see inside the pump while using it.

Additional Specs

Weight 1.2 pounds
Battery charge time 2 hours
Battery life 6 x 30 minutes
Milk volume 6 ounces

7. Haakaa Manual Breast Pump

Best Manual

The Haakaa is unique in the hands-free breast pump market because it does not use any external power. Instead, you squeeze the air out of the flexible Haakaa, place it against your breast, and let go. The resulting vacuum draws the milk from your breast with steady suction.

For some users, the Haakaa can be attached to the breast and simply left alone. But the majority of users find it best to wear the pump with a specialized pumping bra. This pump isn’t something you can easily use while walking around in public.

There are no parts to assemble, clean, and sterilize, and the Haakaa can be sterilized in boiling water for two or three minutes. You can wash it by hand or in the dishwasher, and the large opening makes it easy to clean.

Because no power source is needed, you can use the Haakaa anywhere, and this is the only pump on the list that is entirely silent.

Pros

  • Can be used to capture let-down milk from one breast while you feed from the other.
  • The only completely silent hands-free breast pump.
  • No power source required.

Cons

  • Many users require a pumping bra.
  • Not suitable for exclusive pumpers.
  • Measurements on the Haakaa are inaccurate.

Additional Specs

Weight 8 ounces
Battery charge time n/a
Battery life n/a
Milk volume 5 ounces

Hands-Free Breast Pump Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight Battery charge time Battery life Milk volume
Elvie: Hands-Free Breast Pump Best Quiet 7.9 oz each 2 hrs 3 x 30-min sessions 5 oz
Willow: Hands-Free Breastpump Most Discreet 7 oz 2 hrs 5 x 30-min sessions 4 oz
Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump Most Comfortable 10 oz 2 hrs 4 x 30-min sessions 5 oz
Freemie: Hands-Free Breast Pump Best Lightweight 8 oz 2 hrs 4 x 20-min sessions 8 oz
Momcozy: Single Hands-Free Breastpump Best Budget 1 lbs 2 hrs 6 x 20-min sessions 6 oz
AutoTime: Multimode Breast Pump Best Long-Lasting Battery 1.2 lbs 2 hrs 6 x 30-min sessions 6 oz
Haakaa Manual Breast Pump Best Manual 8 oz n/a n/a 5 oz

Elvie vs. Willow vs. Freemie

The top three hands-free breast pumps are the Elvie, Willow, and Freemie pumps. Here are the pros and cons of each company’s top-of-the-line model.

1. The Elvie Pump

While the Elvie isn’t perfect, it’s our favorite of these three hands-free pumps.

Quiet and discreet, it is the best option for mobility, allowing you to wear it while pumping and running around after other kids or while at work in a more active occupation. If you try to pump while laying down, you may experience leakage.

We found the Elvie pump to be the best wearable pump for moms who are very active, for traveling, or for use anywhere you might be mixing with others but still wanting to pump discreetly.

Pros

  • Fits inside a standard bra.
  • No tubes to clean.
  • Comes in three sizes for a perfect fit.
  • Real-time volume monitoring via an app.
  • Available as a single or double option.
  • Double option comes with two charging cords.
  • Automatically detects let-down and switches modes.
  • Comes with two flange sizes in the box.
  • Parts can be sterilized in a microwave sterilizing bag.

Cons

  • Five parts to clean.
  • Cannot pump laying down.

2. Willow® Wearable Breast Pump — Generation 3

The Willow pump claims to be quiet and spillproof in any position. We found you cannot lay flat and pump unless you are using the Willow disposable bags.

While there are only two parts to clean, they are tricky, so it’s not necessarily a quick clean option. This can be a pain if you’re frequently pumping.

The Willow is best for pumping smaller amounts while you move about indoors. For moms who produce a lot and have a sudden, powerful let-down, it can be more hassle than it’s worth.

Pros

  • Fits inside a standard bra.
  • All in one, with no tubes to clean.
  • Only two parts to clean.
  • Comes in three sizes.
  • Seven suction levels.
  • Can pump into a container or directly into unique Willow milk storage bags.
  • Willow bags allow you to pump laying down or while bending.

Cons

  • The Willow milk storage bags are 3.5 times more expensive than standard milk storage bags.
  • Maximum of four ounces of milk collection per container.
  • Only has one size flange in the box.
  • Two pumps included but only one charger.

3. Freemie Liberty Wearable Breast Pump System

The bulkiest of the three, the Freemie Liberty has wearable cups that sit inside your bra. The pump itself is a separate unit you can wear on your belt or a sturdier waistband. However, we wouldn’t feel comfortable walking about wearing this pump because the cups are large and have an odd flat front.

Even in loose clothing, It’s conspicuous enough to be seen.

We found the Freemie is best for pumping while driving, sitting somewhere semi-private, or for use at home alone, as long as you’re not doing too much bending and twisting.

Pros

  • Collects up to 8 ounces in one cup.
  • Three pre-programmable buttons to save preferred settings.
  • Additional inserts provide nine sizes.

Cons

  • Requires more assembly and cleaning than others.
  • Larger and bulkier than the Willow and Elvie.
  • The flat front cups look odd, even with loose clothes.

Hands-Free Breast Pump FAQs

These are the answers to some of the most common questions we’re asked about wearable breast pumps.

What’s the Difference Between Wireless vs. Hands-Free Pumps?

A wireless pump does not require you to sit in one place with the pump plugged into the wall. However, some wireless pumps still require a mom to hold the pump against her breast, meaning it is not genuinely hands-free.

A hands-free pump will allow you to move around and use both hands while the pump does its job.

Does Insurance Cover Hands-Free Breast Pumps?

According to the Health and Human Services guidance, all insurance policies, except grandfathered policies, must provide breastfeeding equipment, support, and counseling for the duration of breastfeeding. This includes the cost of a breast pump (1).

However, the type of equipment you can have and when you can claim it depends on your policy’s specifics.

Are Medela Breast Pumps Hands-Free?

Some Medela breast pumps are wireless. However, each battery-operated pump needs to be held against the breast. To be genuinely hands-free, you will have to purchase a pumping bra.


The Best Hands-Free Breast Pump Is….

For occasional use, we’d happily use the Haakaa pump, especially since you can use it to catch let-down milk as well as to pump. However, it’s not an ideal option for exclusive pumping moms or those who have to pump at work.

For those moms, the best wearable breast pump is either the Elvie or the Medela Freestyle Flex. The Elvie is best for discrete wear so you can use it while at work, in the car, or even at the store. However, the Medela has the feel of something more substantial, so if you’re only pumping at home, this is the one to go for.

Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.