Breast pumps are a fantastic invention – but a hands free breast pump? It might just be the greatest thing since sliced bread!
Breast pumping can quickly become a tedious task since many pumps require you to stay seated in one place while the pump works its magic. Hands free breast pumps, however, allow you to keep going about your day, whether you’re at home or work!
But even in the world of hands free breast pumping, there are considerable differences between brands.
For example, some high-tech pumps are completely wireless and allow you to pump discreetly anytime, any place.
Other hands free pumps do include some tubing, so they are not as discreet, but they still give you room to move around and use your hands during the pumping session.
In addition, hands free models fall within the price range of most hospital-grade pumps such as Spectra and Medela, or Spectra S1 and Spectra S2, meaning that they are not as budget-friendly as manual pumps.
To help you make a decision to choose the right so you can start pumping, I’ve ranked the top hands free breast pumps available now, ranging from popular models such as the Freemie, to fancy new hands free models like the Elvie pump – each has something special to offer but only you will know which one will work best!
1. BabyBuddha Portable and Compact Breast Pump
If you have always dreamed of a hands free breast pump the size of a smartphone, BabyBuddha has what you’re looking for! Sure, it’s not completely wireless, but it’s a game-changer in terms of weight and portability.
To make it really hands free, you will need to get a hands free breast pump bra that has an opening in the front to hold the pump parts in place while you’re walking around.
The package also includes a lanyard to allow the pump to hang from your neck as you go about your day!
When it comes to the noise level, I love that it’s actually pretty quiet and you won’t disturb your little one or anyone else at home while you’re pumping.
You can even take part in a virtual work meeting while pumping!
The battery life is great, too, as you get an hour and a half of pumping time on a full battery.
What’s more, it’s a closed-system pump, so it’s much more hygienic than open-system ones.
All in all, this is a fantastic pump to invest in. I guarantee that you won’t need to supplement your pumping with a hospital-grade pump!
- Very comfortable and gentle
- Good battery life
- Great suction
- Comes with only one flange size
2. Elvie Pump Double Silent Wearable Breast Pump with App
The latest arrival to the world of breast pumps is this completely hands free breast pump that will not only allow you to go on with your day as usual, without having to spend hours on a daily basis pumping by a power outlet, but can be worn underneath clothing for very discreet pumping.
This wireless breast pump is also very quiet, making it ideal for the workplace and allows double pumping.
It was also designed to make it simple for you to clean and put together. In fact, all of the parts that need to be washed can be put in the dishwasher – no handwashing needed!
One of the coolest things about the Elvie pump though is not just the hands-free pumping, but the app as well!
Once you download it to your phone, you can use it to check your milk volume and see how much milk you’ve pumped in the past to compare.
But even if you aren’t a fan of apps, you can still use the Elvie without it.
I also like that you don’t need to purchase any additional milk bags or extra pump parts, especially since the pump is far from being budget-friendly!
Unfortunately, some moms have found that this pump just doesn’t produce the same results as some of the more traditional models, meaning that it pumps less milk and can have a negative impact on the overall milk supply.
Still, there are many working moms, especially those who are on the go and travel a lot, who have found this pump to be a lifesaver in certain situations when they just wouldn’t be able to pump with a model such as Medela, for example.
For this reason, I recommend giving this hands free pump a try, particularly if you’re feeling sick and tired of all the tubes and wires!
- Great portability
- Rechargeable battery and good battery life
- Eligible for FSA or HSA reimbursement
- Suction needs improvement
- The app has issues with bugs
- Might not be as comfortable for women with a larger breast size
3. Willow Wearable Double Electric Breast Pump with App
The Willow pump is another hands free pump that’s similar to the Elvie – and it also includes an app that you can install on your smartphone and enjoy all sorts of cool features.
Apart from allowing you to keep track of your milk volume, it will also send you useful tips!
During pumping, most moms are used to sitting down in one place and aren’t able to do much else but wait.
The Willow pump, on the other hand, allows you much more mobility.
Whether you’re sitting down or bending over, the milk will stay inside the pump and won’t spill all over your nursing bra!
Because of its particular design, this pump requires its own milk storage bags, so you won’t be able to use bags by other brands.
Still, you can purchase these separately or you can even buy reusable containers if you’d like to avoid single-use plastic bags.
Of course, not all is sunshine and daisies with this wearable pump – some moms find the suction gets uncomfortable and that the device takes some time to get used to.
In addition, this is one of the most expensive pumps on my list, so it’s definitely not going to be the right choice for many mamas who have to be mindful of their budget.
- Spill-proof and allows you to move around
- Requires specific milk storage bags or reusable container
- Higher suction levels are uncomfortable
- The app has issues with bugs
Freemie Closed System Breast Milk Collection Cups
The Freemie cups are technically not a hands free breast pump – they are simply a pair of cups that you attach to your pump, which you then place underneath your bra and let it do its thing!
Now, it’s important for you to know that these breast milk collection cups are not compatible with every single pump on the market, so make sure that the pump you have at home can work with these cups.
Even though the Freemie cups do give you more freedom and comfort while pumping, you should still remain in an upright (or at least a semi-upright) position so that any milk doesn’t spill out and goes to waste!
While the cups are not as obvious to spot as the pumping accessories of other models, they are not invisible, so keep this in mind if you would like to hit the town with a pair inside your nursing bra.
For a simple pair of cups, though, they do come at a high price point.
But if having enough privacy to pump at work is sometimes a challenge for you, then these cups are really worth it!
- Fit comfortably inside a nursing or pumping bra
- Allow you to pump anywhere
- Not compatible with every electric pump
- Bending will cause leaks
- Suction needs improvement
The main differences between hands free and wireless breast pumps
Considering that gadgets such as earphones and phone chargers have long gone wire-free, it was about time that pump manufacturers found an alternative for all the wires and tubes that can get oh so annoying.
Unfortunately, wireless pumps still leave something to be desired as some moms have discovered they have weak suction and take a bit of time getting used to.
While some of us don’t mind a bit of a learning curve with pumping gear, I totally understand the frustration that comes with paying hundreds of dollars for a pump that you need to learn how to use!
On the other hand, regular hands free pumps like the BabyBuddha above are quite similar to the hospital-grade ones, only they allow you to move around so you don’t have to sit tied to a power outlet!
They usually perform as expected and are easy to use right off the bat, too. Sadly, their good performance is followed by tubes and wires.
But while the wireless pumps fit right inside your nursing bra and many moms have worn them even in social settings, this is much harder to do with a hands free breast pump unless you’re in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your loved ones.
In addition, wireless pumps also include smartphone apps that allow you to track your milk volume and remotely control the pump.
Although apps always carry a risk of being buggy and not properly syncing with the sensors inside the pumps, it’s still a cool feature to have and I’m sure that their performance will only get better in the future!
Another difference is in the freedom of movement they offer – a wireless pump, for example, tends to do well when mom is lying down or bending over.
At the same time, they might not be a good fit for moms with larger breasts. A regular hands free pump, though, works just fine for moms of all shapes and sizes!
Finally, I should mention the price points, too.
While most hands-free pumps can be considered pricey, wireless pumps are straight-up expensive, so they’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
To sum up
As you can see, being a pumping mom is not easy – starting from trying to decide which pump is the best for you when there are so many models available.
From manual pumps to wireless and hospital-grade pumps, it’s getting really hard to keep count!
When it comes to hands free breast pumps, they allow you the kind of freedom you wouldn’t have with a pump that needs to be plugged into a wall, but at the same time, they do struggle sometimes with efficient milk collection and take a bit of time to get used to.
Depending on your lifestyle, you might find a wireless pump more convenient than a hands free one that comes with tubing, so give yourself some time to think about what you are looking for in a perfect pump and I know you will make the right choice!
If you want to make sure you’re pumping enough breast milk for your little one when you’re on the move, you’re going to need a breast pump bag. Check out our guide for Best Breast Pump Bag: The Best Guide For Choosing Your Perfect Fit.
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