Electric Breast Pump vs. Manual Breast Pump: Which is Right for You?

Breastfeeding is a journey that is unique to each mom. And while a breast pump can help moms breastfeed more flexibly, it can be hard to know which breast pump is right for you! With countless brands and models, a first-time breastfeeding mama may not know where to start when choosing her breast pump. Pumps for Mom is here to help! The best place to start when considering a breast pump is to decide if a manual or electric breast pump best meets your needs. Read below to find out which breast pump is right for you!

Differences between an electric breast pump vs. a manual breast pump

The most notable differences between an electric and manual breast pump are pretty easy to see! An electric breast pump, understandably, uses an electric-powered motor to express breast milk automatically. On the other hand, a manual breast pump does not use a motor or electricity to express breast milk. Instead, moms use a hand-held pump that relies on suction to express breast milk. Additionally, electric breast pumps often come with tubing and flanges that make it possible for moms to pump from both breasts simultaneously, while a manual pump can only be used on one breast at a time. With these different features, certain breast pumps may be better suited to different moms’ lifestyles.

Who should use an electric breast pump?

Over time, electric breast pumps have become increasingly popular due to their ability to help moms pump quickly and comfortably. Therefore, electric breast pumps are usually best suited for moms who are breastfeeding exclusively or need to express a significant amount of breast milk each day. With innovations in silent motors and even wearable pumps, electric breast pumps may be an ideal solution for breastfeeding moms that are ready to return to work. There are countless electric breast pumps designed to meet the diverse needs of moms, with features like optional battery power, compact and lightweight motors, and smart tools like Bluetooth compatibility. 

Who should use a manual breast pump?

Electric breast pumps may be efficient, but they may not be best for every mom! As stated in the name, electric breast pumps are dependent on a steady supply of electricity to keep the motor running. While some electric breast pumps do come with rechargeable battery power, their ability to work at their best is dependent on having a power outlet nearby. Manual breast pumps allow moms to express breast milk wherever they are without needing to be plugged in or charged. Additionally, moms who only need to pump occasionally can get the best bang for their buck with a manual breast pump, which may be more affordable than an electric breast pump if moms cannot get their breast pump through insurance

The most important factor in finding the right breast pump for you is learning what you need as a breastfeeding mom. If you are going to be exclusively pumping and want to maximize your flexibility through your breastfeeding journey, you may want to explore electric breast pumps. If you are rarely going to be away from your baby and will only need to pump occasionally, a manual breast pump may be best for you! The key is to listen to your instincts and prioritize your needs. 


The Pumps for Mom team is proud to work with moms to find the best breast pump for them. With our wide range of breast pumps through insurance and our team of maternity product specialists, we have experience helping moms find the breast pump that best meets their needs. Explore our available products and qualify for your breast pump through insurance today!