Manual Breast Pumps Vs. Electric Breast Pumps: Which One Is Better?

Which Breast Pump Should I Choose?

Storing some breast milk away for later can come in handy. This is especially true when you’re occasionally separated from the baby due to work or other responsibilities. Also, it can come in handy for those that suffer from breast engorgement, mastitis or sore and cracked nipples. In essence, stored breast milk can help provide a temporary relief for a much-needed respite.

You’re probably in the market for a breast pump. However, given the numerous types and styles that breast pumps come in these days, making a decision can prove difficult. Should you purchase the manual or the electric breast pump? Which one is more efficient and more suitable for your lifestyle?

The above questions are all viable and practical. However, please note that the type of pump that you chose to purchase will be determined by a number of factors. One of those factors being your lifestyle. Hence, let us first take a look at some factors that will dictate your purchase.

  • Portability: Most mothers often opt for portable breast pumps. This way, they can carry them to work, or even when on vacation. If you are mostly at home, then portability shouldn’t be an issue. Regardless, portability and usability are always a good option to consider.
  • Price: The price of the breast pump is a huge determinant when it comes to purchasing decisions. Some are more expensive than others. For instance, electric pumps are known to be more expensive than manual ones.
  • Lifestyle: If you have a busy lifestyle, then you want a pump that can get the work done quickly. Electric pumps are known to be very fast when it comes to pumping breast milk.

That said, let us take a look at each pump in more detail.

Manual Breast Pump

Manual breast pumps, as the name suggests, are operated manually by hand. In other words, such pumps are often operated by hand. It is important to note that this type is perfect for mothers that wish to use it on an occasional basis.

Let us take a look at a few of the pros and cons that come with using a manual pump. They include:


  • Affordable: According to, manual breast pumps are 30% cheaper than electric pumps. Hence, if you are opting for a cheaper one that you will only use occasionally, then the manual type is a great option.
  • Portable: Manual breast pumps are extremely lightweight and often come in a small size. Hence, they are not cumbersome when you carry them around. You can easily take the pump with you to work and use it without experiencing any problems.
  • Don’t Make Noise: Every mother’s wish is to maintain silence in the house so as not to wake the baby. A manual pump does not make any noise at all while in use. This way, you can enjoy some peace and quiet without worrying about the baby, and express some milk at the same time.
  • Easy To Use: Hand operated pumps are extremely easy to use. Normally, the mother is in full control of the pumping process and can do it at her own pace.
  • Easy To Clean and Maintain: Since manual breast pumps do not come in complicated parts, cleaning it is extremely easy. You can easily dismantle the pump to clean the hard to reach areas as well.


  • It Can Get Tiring: Since it’s a hand operated pump, you’ll be doing most of the work. Your hand is likely to get tired before you’ve managed to express enough milk for the baby.
  • Does Not Effectively Stimulate The Breast For Milk: The level of stimulation created by the suction cup of the pump is not as effective. Hence, mothers find it hard to completely drain their breasts of milk.
  • Decreases Milk Supply: Mothers tend to notice a decrease in milk supply and flow after a while of using a manual pump. This is because the suction cup of the pump does not provide enough breast stimulation as compared to when a baby is suckling.

Electric Breast Pump

As the name suggests, an electric pump completely relies on electricity to operate. It is most suitable for mothers with an active lifestyle and needs to use it on a daily basis.

Let us first start by looking at the pros that come with using an electric breast pump.


  • Saves on time: An electric relies on electricity instead of hand operation. Hence, they have the ability to express milk faster and in very little time. They operated at a much higher speed when it comes to milk suction.
  • Increases milk supply: Regardless of how fast it takes to express milk, electric pumps often manage to express a considerable amount of milk. Some even manage to drain a whole breast of milk, ensuring that you have enough for the baby.

Moreover,  research states that due to their high suction speed and power, they are able to stimulate the breast. This, in turn, can help increase milk flow and supply.


  • Heavy and less portable: Electric pumps, unfortunately; are not as portable as manual ones. Some of them are really cumbersome, making it hard to carry them anywhere.
  • Very noisy: These types are very noisy and can come off as annoying. Try finding a quiet place to avoid upsetting or waking the baby up while using it.
  • Expensive: Admittedly, most electric pumps can cost you an arm and a leg.
  • Complicated to use: Let’s face it, with the ever-increasing technological advancements and improvements, we desperately need those how-to manuals. Electric pumps can be quite difficult to figure out. However, once you’ve understood the basics, it should be easy to use.
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In conclusion, the type and style of breast pump that you choose to purchase entirely depend on its use. If you want one that you can use occasionally and is less noisy, then the manual one is perfect for you.

However, if you are a busy mother who’s trying to juggle her professional work and the baby, then the electric opt for the electric one. An electric manual saves on time and is great for expressing a sufficient amount of milk for the baby.



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