5 Best Wearable Breast Pumps: A Pediatrician’s Review

Wearable breast pumps are an essential nursing equipment for mothers as they are easier to use and are also quieter that their traditional counterparts. Before buying a breast pump, you know that Affordable Care Act makes it compulsory for insurance providers to cover a breast pump for you, but often wearables pumps are rarely offered. 

 Best Wearable Breast Pumps: A Pediatrician's Review

This guide from the USDA explains how a mother can get a discount on a breast pump.  

According to an opinion piece published by Abby Boelter LPN, IBCLC on Centracare, wearable breast pumps are becoming increasingly popular among new mothers. Abby Boelter is a lactation consultant and shares that the freedom of walking and doing other things while pumping is why wearable Breast Pumps are so popular.

I also recommend you to go through the various breastfeeding benefits and covergae by insurance companies under ACA such as coverage of breast pumps, breastfeeding support, counseling 

In their article “Breast Pumps: How to Choose the Right One” Tallahassee Memorial healthcare share some simple steps to mothers for finding a perfect wearable breast pump. From insurance discounts to features, weight and size, and pricing, Tallahassee Memorial healthcare suggests simple 9 steps for mothers who are looking for a perfect hands-free breast pump.  

Also, consulting with a lactation specialist can help new mothers choose the best breast pump for their needs. Hospital-grade wearable breast pumps are also available for mothers who need to pump frequently or have difficulty with milk production.

A study published on NCBI “Which Breast Pump for Which Mother: An Evidenced-Based Approach to Individualizing Breast Pump Technology” concluded that the mothers who used hospital grade breast pump within an hour of after giving birth produced greater cumulative milk output than the mothers who used the pump after one hour post-birth window. 

I’ve read through the different peer-reviewed guidelines about the stored breast milk collected using a wearable pump. I want mothers to refer to CDC guidelines “How to Keep Your Breast Pump Clean”, where they recommend mothers to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and check if the kit they’re using for storage is not moldy. Also, clean pump dials, power switch and countertop with disinfectant wipes.

I also recommend mothers to read healthychildren.org recommendations and guide to learn “How to Sterilize and Warm Baby Bottles Safely.” Washing glass bottles in a heated water dishwasher with a hot drying cycle will kill most germs. Also, make sure that the water added to the milk formula and the glass bottle are free from any germs. You can also use the combination of soap and hot water and rinse thoroughly to kill germs.

A survey published on NIH “Women’s views about a free breast pump service”, found that 75% of working mothers said that a hands-free breast pump would make it easier to pump at work. Follow the below table to know about the survey results

Survey Completion666 women
Survey DatesPilot: August–September 2015 Main: January–July 2016
Age DistributionOver 31 years: 70%
Education Level DistributionStill in full-time education at age 19: 78%
Geographic Distribution (Region)Scotland: 50%
Number of ChildrenOne child: 50%
Breastfeeding ExperienceNever breastfed: 4
Breast Milk Expression and Pump UseExpressed breast milk and used a breast pump: >97%
Participant ResponseAgreement to Free PumpAgreement to Free Hire
Sample Size408309
Opinion on Free Pump ServiceAgreed: 61.3%
Opinion on Free Hire ServiceAgreed: 85.1%

As a specialist pediatrician and neonatologist with over a decade of experience, I’ve guided numerous parents through the challenging yet rewarding journey of breastfeeding, which can be difficult and strenuous at times for new mothers and two time mothers. 

From managing newborn feeding problems to overseeing developmental disorders, my mission has always been to ensure the best for every child. One tool I’ve found that can significantly aid this journey is the wearable breast pump. This innovative device, which is often battery-powered, fits seamlessly into a nursing bra, facilitating an efficient and convenient pumping session. 

After testing and recommending these devices, including the highly acclaimed Willow 3.0, I’ve seen firsthand how they can revolutionize breastfeeding for busy parents. The freedom and flexibility these pumps offer compared to standard pumps is truly a game-changer. But with so many options on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.

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That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 5 best wearable breast pumps to help you make an informed decision. Let’s take a look at the top 5 wearable breast pumps that I, along with Gurmeet Kaur, Parenting Editor at Parental Daily, recommend.

Breast PumpMilk CapacityFlange SizesFeaturesPricingInsurance Discount
Elvie PumpUp to 5 oz21mm, 24mm, 28mmWearable, Hands-Free, Customizable$540Check availability
Willow GoUp to 4 oz24mm, 27mm, 30mmCordless, Spill-Proof, App-Controlled$329Check availability
Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast PumpUp to 5 oz21mm, 24mm, 28mmHospital-Grade, Silent, Adjustable$269Check availability
Elvie Curve4 oz/120 ml 21mm, 24mm, 28mmCompact, Manual, Gentle Expression$49Check availability
Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast PumpUp to 5 oz21mm, 24mm, 27mm, 30mmHands-Free, Rechargeable Battery$349Check availability

1. Best Wearable Breast Pump for Modern Moms

My Pick
Mother holding a Elvie Breast Pump filled with breast milk at home

Elvie Pump

Top Choice in Wearable Breast Pump Technology. “Seamless comfort, empowering every breastfeeding moment.”

  • Discreet Wearable Design
  • Customizable Expression Modes
  • Hands-Free Convenience
  • Smartphone App Integration

Price at the time of Publishing – $540


The Elvie Pump is a wearable breast pump that fits seamlessly into your nursing bra, allowing for hands-free pumping. This unique feature leaves you free to go about your day without interruption.

The pump is battery powered, making it a portable pump that you can carry anywhere.

The Elvie Pump offers different flange sizes to ensure comfort and effectiveness during each pumping session. It’s also worth noting that this pump is quieter than standard pumps, reducing the chance of disturbing your baby. 

2. Best Wearable Breast Pump for On-the-Go

My Pick
Willow go breast pump box and one pump on the room table

Willow Go

“Unleash convenience, redefine your breastfeeding journey with Willow Go.”

  • Cordless and Tube-Free Design
  • Spill-Proof and Portable
  • Adjustable Suction Levels
  • App-Controlled Settings

Price at the time of Publishing – $329

The Willow Go is another wearable pump that comes highly recommended by lactation consultants. It is a hands free pump that collects milk in an on-the-go bag, making it easy to store the collected milk.

The Willow Go is also known for its learning curve, which might take some time to get used to, but once mastered, it provides an efficient and comfortable pumping experience. Like the Elvie, it has various flange sizes. The Willow 3.0 is its newest model, and I have praised it for its efficiency and ease of use. 

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3. Best Wearable Breast Pump with Hospital-Grade Strength

My Pick
All accessories of Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast Pump 

Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast Pump 

Hospital-Grade Power in a Wearable Breast Pump.

  • Hospital-Grade Strength Expression
  • Silent and Wearable Design
  • Double Pumping Efficiency
  • Adjustable Suction and Cycles

Price at the time of Publishing – $269

If you’re looking for a pump with hospital-grade strength, the Elvie Stride Double Electric Breast Pump is an excellent choice. It mimics the natural breastfeeding rhythm, which encourages milk production and provides a more comfortable pumping experience.

This pump also fits seamlessly into your nursing bra, giving you the freedom to continue your daily tasks. It is battery-powered and portable, making it easy to use anywhere. 

4. Best for Manual Control

My Pick
Mother holding a filled elvie curve breast pump filled with breast milk in the kitchen

Elvie Curve

“Efficiency meets elegance in the simplicity of Elvie Curve.”

  • Compact and Manual Design
  • Ergonomic Comfort
  • Gentle and Efficient Expression
  • Discreet and Portable

Price at the time of Publishing – $49

The Elvie Curve is the only manual pump on my list that uses natural suction to help you express milk hands-free. This pump is handy for times when you need to relieve engorgement or are away from your electric pump.

It is discreet, fits seamlessly into your nursing bra, and is a great option for those who prefer manual pumps over traditional pumps. 

5. Best Wearable Breast Pump for Unmatched Mobility

My Pick
Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump

Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump 

“Liberating mothers: Freestyle empowers hands-free expression, anytime, anywhere.”

  • Hands-Free Double Pumping
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Adjustable Vacuum Levels
  • LCD Display and Timer

Price at the time of Publishing – $349

I really like the design of the Medela Freestyle. It is a double electric breast pump that offers the convenience of hands-free pumping.

This pump is known for its high efficiency and is often recommended by lactation consultants due to its sleek design and efficiency.

It comes with various flange sizes, making it comfortable for any user. Another reason to recommend Medela Freestyle to mothers is that insurance also covers the Medela Freestyle, which will save you some bucks – making it a practical choice for many families. 

Why Choose a Wearable Breast Pump? 

Wearable breast pumps are a breakthrough in lactation technology and are convenient for busy mothers who sometimes are too tired after house chores. These breast pumps are portable, hands-free, and designed to mimic a child’s natural feeding pattern. 

This can lead to more productive pumping sessions, as the device extracts milk efficiently and comfortably. Unlike traditional pumps, wearable ones are hands-free, allowing you to multitask while pumping. 

They’re especially useful for working mothers or those with a busy schedule. Plus, insurance covers many of these breast pumps (Thanks to Affordable Care Act), making them a cost-effective choice.

Other benefits include: 

  • Flexibility: Without cords or dangling bottles, wearable pumps offer the freedom to move around during pumping sessions.
  • Discreetness: Wearable pumps fit under your clothing, allowing you to pump discreetly, whether at home or out in public.
  • Efficiency: Many wearable pumps are double electric breast pumps, ensuring efficient extraction of breast milk.

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What are the battery life and power requirements of the wearable breast pumps?

As a Pediatrician and neonatologist with more than a decade of experience, I have had ample opportunity to assess and recommend various types of breast pumps to new mothers.

In this context, the battery life and power requirements of wearable breast pumps are crucial factors to consider. The choices available on the market vary significantly, and the right choice often depends on the specific needs and lifestyles of the mother. 

Standard Pumps and Power Needs 

Standard pumps, which are often traditional pumps, usually require a power outlet to operate. This may limit the mother’s mobility during a pumping session. However, numerous modern versions of these pumps now come with a battery-powered option, making them a more portable pump choice. 

Battery Life and Wearable Breast Pumps 

When it comes to wearable breast pumps, most are battery powered, offering both convenience and portability. A prime example of this is the Willow 3.0, one of the best double electric breast pumps on the market.

This hands free breast pump fits seamlessly into a nursing bra, allowing mothers to pump without interrupting their daily activities. The battery life of such pumps typically lasts for several pumping sessions, making them an excellent choice for mothers on the go. 

Mothers need to Invest in a Hospital-Grade Pump 

An option worth considering is the hospital-grade pump. These pumps are often covered by insurance and are known for their exceptional performance and durability. However, they are also the most expensive option and may not be necessary for all mothers. 

You should Consider Flange Sizes and Learning Curve 

While considering a pump, it is also important to take into account the flange sizes available and the learning curve associated with each pump. A lactation consultant can be an invaluable resource in helping make the right selection. 

In conclusion, the power requirements and battery life of a pump can greatly influence a mother’s pumping experience, from the comfort and convenience to the efficiency of each pumping session. So, choose wisely!

What are the differences between hospital-grade pumps and standard pumps?

A key differentiation in the world of breast pumps is between hospital-grade pumps and standard pumps. As a specialist pediatrician and neonatologist, my experience has shown me that understanding these differences can greatly aid in making the right decision for your lactation needs. 

Hospital-Grade Pumps 

Hospital-grade pumps are heavy-duty, battery powered devices designed for frequent and prolonged use. These are typically used in hospitals and lactation consultant offices due to their high performance and durability. They often provide a more powerful suction, which can be particularly beneficial for mothers struggling with milk supply. However, one thing to note is these pumps can be quite bulky and are not as portable as standard pumps. 

Standard Pumps 

On the other hand, standard pumps are typically smaller, more portable and designed for personal use. They can be either manual or electric, with electric models often being wearable and hands free. Many modern standard pumps, such as the Willow 3.0, are wearable breast pumps that fit seamlessly into your nursing bra, enabling you to carry on with your day during a pumping session. These pumps come in various flange sizes to ensure a good fit for comfortable pumping. 

Standard pumps may not be as powerful as hospital-grade pumps, but they suffices for most mothers. They also tend to have a shorter learning curve compared to hospital-grade pumps, making them a popular choice among new mothers. 

How do these pumps compare to traditional pumps?

Both hospital-grade and standard pumps have their advantages over traditional pumps. Hospital-grade pumps are powerful and reliable, making them ideal for mothers who need to pump frequently or have trouble with milk supply. Standard pumps are portable, convenient, and user-friendly, making them suitable for mothers who need to pump on the go or at work. 

The introduction of wearable pumps has revolutionized the pumping experience. They offer a hands-free pumping session unlike traditional pumps. The collected milk is stored in bags that fit seamlessly into the pump, eliminating the need for transferring milk and reducing the risk of spillage. 

Double electric breast pumps, such as the Willow 3.0, offer the convenience of pumping both breasts simultaneously, saving time and ensuring a consistent milk supply. Whether you opt for a hospital-grade pump, a standard pump, or a wearable pump like Willow 3.0, the choice depends largely on your personal needs and lifestyle.

Are hands-free breast pumps easy to use, and what is the learning curve?

The use of hands-free breast pumps is a game-changer for many lactating mothers. This technology allows mothers to multitask and take care of other responsibilities without disrupting their pumping session. With the right product, the transition from traditional pumps can be a smooth one. However, it’s important to note that every product has its own learning curve. 

From my experience, most hands-free pumps fit seamlessly under your nursing bra, making them easy to set up. But like any new device, there is a bit of a learning curve. It may take a few tries to get comfortable with the pump, but once you do, you’ll find it to be a convenient addition to your routine. 

Take the Willow 3.0, for example. It’s one of the best double electric breast pumps on the market. This wearable pump is battery powered, portable, and allows for a hands-free pumping experience. The Willow 3.0 also comes in different flange sizes to ensure a comfortable and secure fit for all mothers. 

It’s worth noting that while some mothers find these pumps easy to use straight out of the box, others may need a few tries to get the hang of it. If you’re having trouble, don’t worry. Most companies have lactation consultants available to assist you. Their expertise can make the learning curve less steep. 

What about the quality of the collected milk? 

With hands-free pumps, the quality of the collected milk is comparable to what you’d get from hospital grade, standard pumps. The design ensures that the milk is collected cleanly and hygienically, reducing the risk of contamination. And with the Willow 3.0, the collected milk can be stored in the same container used for pumping, reducing the need for transfer and further minimizing the risk of spillage or contamination. 

Are these pumps covered by insurance? 

Insurance coverage for breast pumps can vary depending on your provider and plan. It’s best to check with your insurance company to see what types of pumps are covered. Many hands-free pumps, including the Willow 3.0, are covered by insurance. However, you will need to confirm this with your insurance provider. 

Ultimately, hands-free pumps offer convenience and portability, allowing mothers to go about their daily routines uninterrupted. And while there is a bit of a learning curve, the benefits of these pumps make them worth considering.