Medela Harmony Review

(From $28.00 Best)

For a cheap manual breast pump, the Medela Harmony is pretty mighty -- some users prefer it to their double electric breast pumps. This model is small, portable, and efficient. Breast shields of different sizes can be purchased separately and the pump can be upgraded to an electric version with a conversion kit.

For a single, manual breast pump users at Target.com sure love the Medela Harmony saying it is capable of producing the same if not more milk than a powered breast pump. A user at Amazon agrees saying she was able to pump much more milk with this pump than a competitor and she also noted how comfortable it is. Meanwhile, at Associated Content a Medela Harmony reviewer points out that the pump was so comfortable she wasn't even sure it was working at first.

The Medela Harmony is a single manual breast pump that comes with one size breast shield, however additional sizes can be purchased if needed. Since it is manual, the speed and suction are set by the user and there is no power source needed. The pump comes with two, five ounce bottles, a bottle stand, two solid lids and a travel cap. Additionally, this low cost breast pump can be turned into an electric pump with a Symphony or Lactina conversion kit.

We love that this pump can be converted to a powered pump if needed. We also like that users love this manual pump which is rare for a budget manual breast pump. Comfort and the ability to express a lot of milk are highlights for users. Overall we think if you're going for a manual cheap breast pump, this is the one to try.

Ameda Purely Yours Review

(From $158.00 Best)

Users are thrilled with the comfort of the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, which partly reflects its adjustable speed and suction. This cheap double powered breast pump is easy to clean, features 32 different combinations of speed and suction settings, and helps produce milk at a level near to what you get with a hospital-grade breast pump. It comes with a car adapter, power cord, and battery pack; different size breast shields can be bought separately.

As far as ease of use, milk expression, comfort and price Ameda Purely Yours takes the cake in cheap breast pumps that are powered. Users at Amazon say it produces as much milk as hospital grade pumps and that the adjustable speed and suction settings are the best for optimal comfort. Users at BabyEarth.com rave in Ameda Purely Yours reviews, saying it's easy to use, easy to clean, comfortable and efficient.

The Ameda Purely Yours is the basic pump, for more money you can purchase the Ameda Purely Yours Ultra version which comes with all the bells and whistles like a carrying bag, a cooler, bottles, nipples, milk storage containers, additional breast shields and more. However, this version is the same exact pump for much cheaper and only comes with the Dual HygieniKit Milk Collection System. As a powered double breast pump, it comes with one breast shield although six other sizes can be purchased. It has 32 speed and suction options available that can be adjusted by the user and it runs on electric, battery or a car adapter.

We love that this budget breast pump has 32 speed and suction settings available, and the fact that it comes with three power source options. Users absolutely love this pump comparing it to hospital grade pumps and saying it's comfortable and expresses a lot of milk. Overall, this cheap breast pump is a must have for the price.

Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion Review

(From $30.00 Good)

Excelling in comfort, milk letdown, and fast milk expression, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion is a hit with most users. This is a single manual breast pump and about as basic as you can get: the user controls the speed and there are no extra accessories. Instead of breast shields, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion uses a soft breast cup that conforms to any breast size and moves with the breast as the baby nurses.

It's all about comfort with the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion. The Fashionable Housewife says on her blog, The Fashionable Housewife that this cheap breast pump is soft and doesn't pinch, while a user at BreastPumps.com agrees saying it's a totally comfortable pumping experience with no tugging or pulling. Amazon users also say the pump is efficient and gets a lot of milk in a short amount of time in Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion reviews.

As a single manual breast pump, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion uses a soft breast cup that conforms to different breast sizes rather than using a breast shield. Speed and suction are manually set by the user and there is no power source as this is a manual breast pump. Additionally, this is the cheapest breast pump on our list, and is very, very basic. In fact it doesn't come with any extras.

We like that this budget breast pump uses a slightly different technology in the form of breast cups rather than breast shields. This allows for a truly one size fits all experience since the cup shapes itself to the users breast. Users also really like the breast cup commenting often on how comfortable this low cost breast pump truly is. We would recommend trying out this manual breast pump if money is really tight.

Where to buy

BookDepository.com
$29.15
Christianbook.com
$59.99
BookDepository.com
$12.19
Shopping.com

Medela Swing Review

(From $110.00 Good)

Milk production with this single powered breast pumpimpresses users, no doubt due to the stimulation phase and expression mode that mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm. Users also say the breast shield is soft and comfortable and the parts are easy to disassemble and clean. The Medela Swing comes with a power cord, battery pack, carrying bag, and shoulder strap; different size breast shields are also available.

Users at Target.com really like the Medela Swing breast pump with one user saying it doesn't cause any breast tenderness or pain and it allows her to produce a lot of milk. At the Living in Sweet Dreams blog the Medela Swing reviewer says she loves this pump because it's easy to use, easy to clean and allows her to completely empty her breast in about 15 minutes.

As a single, powered breast pump, the Medela Swing comes with one size breast shield, but other sizes can be purchased if needed. It has a two phase expression technology which includes stimulation of 120 CPM speed and 50 to 140 mm Hg suction, and an expression mode of 45 to 72 CPM for speed and 50 to 250 mm Hg for suction. This is said to mimic a baby's natural nursing rhythm. It is powered by electricity or battery and comes with two, five ounce bottles with lids, travel caps, a carry bag, a bottle stand, a wide base slow flow nipple and a neck/shoulder strap.

We like that this inexpensive breast pump comes with so many extras and that it has the two phase expression technology. Reviewers also really like this pump saying it is comfortable, produces plenty of milk and is easy to clean. The bottom line is this cheap breast pump is a good option to try.

Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single Review

(From $37.00 Think Twice)

Getting poor reviews all around, users at Amazon report that the Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single breaks after only a few days, loses suction easily, and is slow and loud.

Getting poor Evenflo Comfort Select reviews all around, users at Amazon report that the Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single breaks after only a few days, loses suction easily, and is slow and loud. Similar problems are reported by users at Target.com where users say the pump loses suction, doesn't allow them to express any milk and sometimes leaks milk all over.

As a single, powered breast pump, there isn't a lot of information available about the Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single. While it must come with a breast shield of some sort, the manufacturer doesn't say and it doesn't say if there are other sizes available. When it comes to pump cycle, users can choose between minimum and maximum suction while speed isn't mentioned only to say it is improved in this model. The low cost breast pump runs on electric or battery and comes with a four ounce bottle, nipple, cap, seal disc, four disposable nursing pads and a carrying case.

We don't like that there is limited information available about this cheap breast pump from the manufacturer. Even more worrisome is the fact that for pump cycle, the only description is improved pump cycle. This leads us to believe that previous models also had problems. Finally, user reviews are horrible for this inexpensive breast pump with reports that the pump breaks and loses suction after a short period of time. The bottom line - save your money and try a different budget breast pump.

Where to buy

Shopping.com

Buying Guide

As a new mother, or even a second- or third-time mother, breastfeeding demands and enables a special relationship with your newborn. Nothing quite aids this connection as much as a cheap breast pump, particularly if you don't expect to be with your baby 24/7. Good manual breast pumps can be had for about $30 and good cheap electric breast pumps cost less than $160; high-end breast pumps, by contrast, go for $400 and counting. Paying upscale prices gets you a model that's faster, more efficient, and easier to use, but legions of women who choose cheap breast pumps report they manage just fine and their babies thrive just as well.

Cheap Breast Pumps Buying Guide

There are two types of breast pumps, manual and powered, and the latter is almost always more expensive. There are also two pumping styles -- single (one breast at a time) and double (both breasts simultaneously) -- but double is an option only with a powered breast pump. According to , the time it takes to empty both breasts with hospital grade breast pumps that will set you back at least $1,000 is about half what it takes when using a non-hospital grade pump. These super high-end pumps also come closest to mimicking a baby's real sucking, which may enable the mother to produce more milk.

But if a hospital-grade breast pump doesn't fit your budget, not to worry. There are good cheap powered and manual breast pumps for personal use on the market, and choosing one that suits your nursing needs shouldn't be difficult. Cheap powered breast pumps are relatively small, portable, adjustable, comfortable, and efficient -- they don't, however, help a mother produce more milk. Pumps of this type run on batteries or must be plugged in, and double powered breast pumps are pricier than single powered breast pumps. If electric pumping isn't your style, you can opt for a low-cost self-operated breast pump that's always single and obviously requires more effort than the powered models.

According to experts at Breast Pump Comparisons, the three main brands are Medela, Phillips AVENT, and Ameda. Take the time to do your homework before you buy because many vendors do not allow returns. Factors to consider when choosing a cheap breast pump include the power source, the style, the breast shield, the pump cycle, and accessories. The breast shield is important because this is the part that goes over your nipple, so fit is critical; choose a breast pump that offers shields of different sizes or shields that can be adjusted. The pump cycle describes how the pump works, and a cycle is defined by the number of sucks completed each minute and by the suction level. Power source indicates how the breast pump is operated -- some come with battery packs, others need an electric outlet, others can be used either way, and some, of course, draw on mother power. Extras include items like bottles, lids, carrying bags, nursing pads, and ice packs.

Of the low-cost breast pumps we researched, our favorites are the Medela Harmony (starting at $28), a single manual breast pump that's efficient and mother-friendly, and the Ameda Purely Yours (starting at $158), a double powered breast pump that features adjustable cycles and suction. Following close behind are the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion (starting at $30), a single manual breast pump with an unusual breast cup design that enhances comfort, and the Medela Swing (starting at $110), a single powered pump that imitates a baby's nursing rhythm. One cheap breast pump we aren't crazy about is the single powered Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single (starting at $50) due to performance issues and sparse product information.

Note that breast pumps are considered medical devices and are regulated by the .

Features Comparison Buying Guide continues below table

(from $28)
Type Single manual
Breast Shields Comes with one, different sizes available
Pump Cycle N/A
Power Source N/A
ExtrasExtras Can upgrade to electric, two 5-oz bottles, bottle stand, two lids, travel cap
(from $158)
Type Double powered
Breast Shields Comes with one, different sizes available
Pump Cycle 32 cycle and suction combinations
Power Source Electric, battery or car adapter
ExtrasExtras Dual HygieniKit Milk Collection System
(from $110)
Type Single powered
Breast Shields Comes with one, different sizes available
Pump Cycle Two-phase expression
Power Source Electric or battery
ExtrasExtras Two 5-oz bottles w/ lids and travel caps, carry bag, bottle stand, slow- flow nipple, neck/shoulder strap
(from $30)
Type Single manual
Breast Shields Soft breast cup conforms to any size breast
Pump Cycle N/A
Power Source N/A
ExtrasExtras One bottle, cap, stand

Electric Breast Pumps, Manual Breast Pumps

Manual Breast Pumps and Powered Breast Pumps.

Breast pumps are separated into two categories by the : manual and powered (or "electric"). There are also two pumping styles, single and double.

Manual breast pumps are the cheapest type of breast pump and are always single pumps, which means a nursing woman pumps from one breast at a time by squeezing or pressing a handle that creates a sucking motion and empties the breast of milk. Some manual pumps are designed to be used one-handed, but many others require two hands. Manual breast pumps like the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion (starting at $30) and Medela Harmony (starting at $28) are small, portable, and quiet. On the downside, it takes a relatively long while to empty the breast (sometimes not even completely) and a mom's hands can grow tired from the pumping motion.

Powered breast pumps are either single or double and require minimal effort by the nursing mom because the machine's motor controls the sucking motion. Single powered pumps like the Medela Swing (starting at $110) cost less but only work on one breast at a time; double powered breast pumps, like the Ameda Purely Yours (starting at $158), work double duty but generally cost more. Cheap electric breast pumps are also portable but are bigger and heavier than manual breast pumps; they're louder, as well, regardless whether the motor is powered by a battery or current from an electric outlet. The advantage of electric breast pumps is their speed, especially if you're using a double powered pump. The FDA also notes that many models let a mother adjust the suction and cycle to more closely reproduce the natural nursing pattern of her baby. Although this feature is less common among cheap electric breast pumps, it's a big selling point for the Ameda Purely Yours.

Breast Pumps Breast Shield.

Breast pumps always come with a breast shield, but with most lower-priced models, it's one size fits all. Experts at say this may work for some women but those with larger breasts and nipples may experience discomfort and produce less milk. The best insurance is to buy a breast pump that comes with breast shields of different sizes or offers the option of purchasing different sizes separately. Most low-cost breast pumps only come with one breast shield, so extras must be purchased from the manufacturer or vendor; note that most breast pumps only work with the shields made for that brand.

Among the best cheap breast pumps on our list, both the manual Medela Harmony and powered Medela Swing include one breast shield, with additional sizes sold separately. The double powered Ameda Purely Yours comes with one-size breast shield but the pricier Ameda Purely Yours Ultra (starting at $279) features three different sized breast shields (if these don't fit, there are six other sizes you can buy separately). The First Years: Double miPump (starting at $64), another inexpensive double powered breast pump, comes with a flexible-fit breast shield that's supposed to be softer and more yielding, so there's no need to buy different size shields. The Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion does away with a breast shield altogether and instead uses a soft breast cup that conforms to any breast size and moves with the breast during expression for better comfort. We didn't find any information about breast shields sizes in the Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single (starting at $50), although it comes with four disposable nursing pads.

Breast Pump Speed

Breast Pumps Pump Cycle.

A nursing baby typically sucks 45 to 55 times a minute, so the closer a breast pump gets to that rate, the better. Breast pump speed is described in breast pump packaging as cycles per minute, or CPM, and is only relevant for powered breast bumps. Breast Pump Comparisons cautions against buying a cheap breast pump with cycle speeds lower than 25 per minute.

Suction draws milk out of the breast, and in powered breast pumps suction is related to cycle speed. Experts at Breast Pump Comparisons say the suction should fall between 0 mm Hg and 250 mm Hg, while anything over 250 mm Hg can be painful and could cause breast trauma. Some powered breast pumps come with adjustable speeds and suctions, which is ideal because the nursing mom can actually set the pump to work at a speed that almost replicates that of her baby. But again, as with breast shields, adjustability is limited in the budget end of the breast pump market.

Among the cheap breast pumps we researched, the cycle and suction technology varies. The Ameda Purely Yours is one of the few adjustable models and features 32 cycle and suction combinations. The Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump Uno (starting at $99) is another; this cheap electric breast pump is not only completely adjustable, but it boasts a unique electronic memory that learns and remembers your preferred combination of breast pump speed and suction. The Medela Swing offers a two-phase expression technology that mirrors a baby's natural nursing rhythm and includes a stimulation period with cycle speed of 120 CPM and suction of 50-140 mm Hg, and an expression mode with cycle speed of 45-72 CPM and suction of 50-250 mm Hg. The single powered Evenflo Comfort Select Performance has suction settings between unspecified levels of "min" and "max" and provides suction troubleshooting information in the product description.

Manual breast pumps, like the Medela Harmony and Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion, don't have set cycle speeds or suction action. Nursing mothers determine the speed and suction through their own pumping efforts. Milk expression with manual breast pumps tends to be a slower process and involve less suction, which is a key reason why user reviewers often give these cheap breast pumps lower ratings than the powered models.

Breast Pumps Power Source.

How a breast pump gets its power is another factor to consider. The cheapest breast pumps are manual, meaning you, the nursing mom, do all the work. Alternatively, cheap powered breast pumps draw their juice from a battery or an electric outlet. If you know you'll be in situations where you'll need to pump and electricity is not available, you'd be better off with a battery-operated or manual breast pump.

Some low-cost breast pumps, like the Ameda Purely Yours, feature power versatility. This model runs on electricity or battery and comes with a car adapter for added convenience. The Medela Swing, Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single, and The First Years: Double miPump draw on battery or electricity, while the Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump Uno can be used manually, with electricity or batteries. The Medela Harmony is hand-powered but can be upgraded to run on electricity with the purchase of a Symphony or Lactina conversion kit (available from their site), and the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion is just that -- simply manual.

Breast Pumps Extras.

Some breast pumps come with a variety of frills, such as milk coolers, travel cases, and hands-free kits. While extras are certainly convenient, they can lead to higher prices. For the cheapest deals, choose a breast pump without all the accessories; for example, the Ameda Purely Yours is sold just as a breast pump, or for lots more money you can buy the Ultra version with a carrying bag, cooler, bottles, nipples, milk storage containers, additional breast shields, and more. Nonetheless, we found some low-cost breast pumps that feature a few extras. The cheap breast pumps on our list come with at least one collection bottle and lid. The Medela Swing and Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single even come with carrying totes, while The First Years: Double miPump features a carrying bag, cooler, and ice packs.

Breast Pump Reviews

Breast pumping is a very personal thing for most women, so breast pump reviews are extremely subjective. Also remember that preferences for manual or powered, double or single, reflect the interdependent needs of mother and child. A working mother may decide a double electric breast pump is the best option while a stay-at-home mom may have enough spare moments for a slower single manual breast pump. Even so, we found that reviews for powered breast pumps are far more favorable than for manual models, largely due to ease of use and efficiency. In fact, very few manual breast pumps garner good reviews at all, although we found a couple that do. The performance features getting the biggest play in breast pump reviews include comfort and ease of milk production and clean up.

Breast Pump Comfort.

A woman's breasts can get very sore and irritated during breast feeding, and no one wants a breast pump that contributes to the pain. Based on the breast pump reviews we read, women expect breast pumps to be somewhat uncomfortable but not painful, which can happen when a pump suctions too hard or pulls excessively. Our picks for best and good manual breast pump find favor with nursing mothers despite the negative rap about hand-pump models in general. A user review posted on Associated Content says the manual Medela Harmony is so comfortable that you may be fooled into thinking there's no pumping going on. Comfort is the major compliment handed out to the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion, a model The Fashionable Housewife blog says creates an entirely different and much preferred sensation than many other breast pumps; in particular, the breast cup is very soft and there's no pinching.

Several powered breast pumps we researched also earn high praise in reviews. On Amazon, nursing mothers rave about the Ameda Purely Yours, saying the adjustable suction and speed are key to making this pump extremely comfortable. The Medela Swing likewise finds enthusiastic fans among those posting breast pump reviews on Amazon, where users write that it's efficient, easy to use, and comfortable; one describes the breast shield as soft, and the suction and speed just right. Another cheap breast pump that earns decent ratings is the Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump Uno; user reviews on Babies R Us like its comfort and user-friendliness, although some report it's a bit loud.

Breast Pump Cleaning.

A breast pump must be easy to clean to reduce the risk of bacteria lurking in the pump parts and getting transferred into milk that's stored for a future meal. Users posting breast pump reviews on Epinions consider the Medela Harmony a cinch to clean because it disassembles quickly and comes with helpful instructions. Reviewers at both Amazon and Buzzillions report the parts of the Ameda Purely Yours require just a soak in hot soapy water and a review on says the three parts of the Medela Swing clean up with no fuss.

On the other hand, the Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion comes in for some mild criticism on the cleaning front. A few breast pump reviews on BreastPumps.com and Amazon gripe about difficulties disassembling and re-assembling for cleaning, although most also point out that if you follow the very clear instructions, you'll quickly figure it out.

Breast Pump Milk Production.

Because breast pumps are used when nursing moms are separated from their babies and for certain medical reasons, being able to produce the most amount of milk in the most efficient way possible is a must. According to breast pump reviews posted on the Target site, the manual Medela Harmony produces copious amounts of milk and many users say they prefer it over their electric breast pumps. The Ameda Purely Yours far outranks its competitors, assert breast pumps reviews on Buzzillions, and helps produce plenty of milk; one mother contends it's comparable to using a hospital grade breast pump and several others report it completely emptied their breasts quickly and effectively.

We found similar comments in breast pump reviews on Walmart about The First Years: Double miPump, although some say the suction gives out a little fast. The Medela Swing also efficiently drains breasts of milk, say reviewers at Target, and does so in a very short time for a single powered breast pump. The Simplisse Manual Breastfeeding Companion earns accolades on Babies R Us for milk production, and some say the total volume exceeds what they produce with other models.

By contrast, milk production seems to be a problem with the Evenflo Comfort Select Performance Single. Breast pump reviews on Amazon and Target question whether the pump actually works. Users assert the pump is prone to breaking, the suction wears out after very few uses, and little milk is produced; some mothers even report their milk supply dwindled while using this pump.

Additional Products We Considered

The First Years: Double miPump Review

(From $83.00 )

Users at Walmart have plenty of good things to say in The First Years: Double miPump reviews, reporting that it is easy to use and clean, and is able to express plenty of milk. In fact one user says she would have given it a ten star review if possible. Target.com reviewers also say good things about this cheap breast pump reporting that it is smaller and easier to transport than other breast pumps, it expresses lots of milk, is comfortable and easy to use.

As a double electric breast pump, users can actually use The First Years: Double miPump as a single or double breast pump. Unlike other breast pumps, it comes with a flex fit breast shield that is softer and more yielding than other breast shields making it comfortable for women of all sizes and eliminating the need to buy a different size breast shield. The budget breast pump has a quick cycle time and eight adjustable suction levels. It runs on electric or battery and comes with a lot including a carry tote, two, five ounce bottles, an adapter so milk can be pumped into a bottle, a cooler bag, and two ice packs.

We like everything that this low cost breast pump comes with and users seem to really find this pump comfortable and easy to use. Overall, we think this is a good breast pump to try for the price.

Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump Uno Review

(From $99.00 )

Amazon users that are fans of the Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump are really huge fans calling it the best pump ever and saying they absolutely love it. They report that the pump is comfortable, produces a lot of milk in little time and is extremely easy to clean. BabiesRUs.com Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump reviewers agree saying that this pump is easy on the breasts and easy to use, while Target.com users agree that the pump allows for fast expression without any pain.

As a single, electric breast pump, the Philips AVENT Electric Breast Pump has a different twist on breast shields. It has a breast shield that only comes in one size, but has five gentle massagers on it to help stimulate milk let down and for optimal comfort no matter breast size. This pump is the only one we found in the Cheapism niche that in addition to completely adjustable speed and suction settings, it has an electronic memory which learns and remembers the users pump cycle. The low cost breast pump runs on electric or battery and comes with one, four ounce bottle, one nipple and one cap.

We like that this pump learns and remembers each users preferred pump cycle. We also like that users for the most part love the comfort and ease of use for this low cost breast pump. Overall, we think this cheap breast pump is a good option to try.