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Whether you’re planning ahead for your back-to-work milk stash or already in the thick of pumping and thinking, “Who has time for this?!” juggling breastfeeding, pumping, and milk storage can be overwhelming.

We’re here to help with some of the best time-savers on the market: hands-free breast pumps.

If you choose to breastfeed or chestfeed, you’ll spend a LOT of time (as in, 6 to 8 hours per day during the first few months) nursing your baby. If you’re pumping to boost your milk supply, or build up a stash for time away from baby, you’ll spend even more time.

This can sound like a daunting task (and it is), but it’s one that’s rich in benefits for you and your baby! One way to get a little time back and still meet your lactation goals is by using a hands-free breast pump.

Traditional electric breast pumps must be plugged into the wall and held against the breast during your pumping session (which may take 10 to 30 minutes each). Hands-free breast pumps can give you the freedom to multitask and reclaim some time for yourself while pumping.

Sometimes the term “hands-free pump” can be misleading, as many manufacturers use the phrase to refer to pumps that are wireless, meaning they don’t have to be plugged in. A pump can be wireless, but not necessarily hands-free.

A true hands-free option should not need to be held against the breast, and may even be wearable under your clothing (which can come in really handy if you have to pump somewhere public, such as on a plane, in your office, or on a Zoom call). They are often more portable and quicker to set up than typical breast pumps.

Or, you can purchase a pumping bra (here’s one we highly recommend!) to convert any wireless pump (i.e., a pump that doesn’t need to be plugged in) into a hands-free pump, leaving you free to check email or eat a snack while you pump. Pumping bras work with non-wireless options, too, you’ll just have to stay put by an outlet.

  • Doubling up. If you’re pumping with much frequency, you’ll likely want a double breast pump. This allows you to pump both breasts at the same time, which will obviously speed up your pumping sessions. However, you can save quite a bit of money if you prefer a single breast pump.
  • Discretion. If you want to be able to use your pump more discreetly at work or in public settings, a quiet motor may be high on your priority list.
  • Suction settings. Additionally, plenty of suction power (which can be variable, particularly among battery-powered pumps) and adjustable settings will allow you to get good milk output and adjust the suction to your comfort level.
  • Ease of use. The whole point of hands-free pumping is to save time, so you want a pump that requires minimal setup.

We talked to real pumping parents, read reviews, and considered factors such as price, features, and availability to bring you our list of top hands-free breast pumps.

Everyone’s breastfeeding or chestfeeding needs are a little different, so we tried to find something for every lifestyle, budget, and preference. We hope this makes one decision in your life as a new parent a little easier!

Price guide

  • $ = under $100
  • $$ = $100–$250
  • $$$ = $250–$400
  • $$$$ = $400–$500

Best wireless hands-free pump

Elvie Pump

Price: $$$$

There are only a few truly hands-free, wearable, portable, wireless breast pumps on the market, and one is the Elvie Wearable Breast Pump.

Available in a single or double set, the Elvie is shaped like a large plastic bra cup, and fits right inside your regular nursing bra.

This pump is truly wireless — you just recharge it every few uses via a micro USB cord. That means you can literally walk around your house, sit at your desk, or run a Zoom meeting with these pumps working at the same time.

The collection cups hold 5 ounces each, and there are three sizes of suction cups available to fit most breasts. Flange inserts are also available to fit even more nipple sizes.

On the con side, some users noted that if you move around too much (or try to lie down for a nap) the Elvie will leak. The Elvie directions state clearly that the person using the pump should remain in upright positions while pumping to avoid leakage.

So, while no reviewers seemed to have had success lying down for a nap, several parents reported that wearing a tight shirt or bra keeps the pump in place well while doing household chores.

Others noted that the free app (which helps keep track of your pumping times and output) is not very accurate. Some people also felt the suction was not as strong as their traditional electric pumps, but this seems to vary based on how well the pump flange fits you.

Parents rave about Elvie’s customer service, saying that troubleshooting and getting replacement parts is a breeze. Based on user reviews, it also has a quiet motor — we watched YouTube videos of it in action and were impressed by the lack of noise. This can give you the most multitasking options possible while you pump.

Pros

  • This pump can be worn under clothing, and its containers hold up to 5 ounces each.
  • It’s one of the quieter options based on user reviews and videos.
  • The pump has app-based milk tracking.
  • It may be HSA and FSA eligible.
  • A number of reviewers say they felt less stressed and had more time after they started using the Elvie.

Cons

  • It’s prone to leaking if you move around a lot or bend over while wearing it.
  • The pump’s suction may not be as strong as traditional plug-powered options.
  • It’s pricier than many and not covered by all insurance plans and companies.

Most versatile hands-free pump

Freemie Liberty II Wearable Breast Pump System

Price: $$–$$$

We’ve ranked the Freemie Liberty II system as the most versatile hands-free pump system because the collection cups and tubes can be used with the Freemie battery-operated pump (no cords, but the pump is connected to the cups with tubes) or with your regular, insurance-covered breast pump (if you don’t mind being plugged into the wall or want stronger suction).

The Freemie Milk Collection Cups come with the Liberty Pump II, the company’s second-generation pump that’s been simplified for ease of use.

You can also purchase the cups separately if you just want to convert your existing pump to a hands-free option. Most parents love the discreet fit, large collection cup capacity, and ease of use of the Freemies.

It’s worth noting that not all pumps are compatible with the Freemie Cups, so be sure to check their list of compatible options to see if yours will work.

Pros

  • Freemie’s hands-free collection cups are easy to use and may be compatible with a pump you already have.
  • These cups work with the wireless Freemie pump.
  • The cups have a large milk capacity and are designed to be discreet.
  • The parts are easy to clean.

Cons

  • Freemie’s cups may not be compatible with all pumps — you’ll want to check if they’ll work with yours.
  • The cups may leak if you move too much or don’t have a good fit.
  • Though the cups are designed to be discreet, they may still be noticeable under clothing.

Most discreet hands-free pump

Willow Generation 3

Price: $$$$

A direct competitor of the Elvie Pump, the Willow Generation 3 is another completely wireless, completely hands-free pump. The large plastic cups fit into your nursing bra, and once latched, pump while you perform almost any other activity.

Favorite features include the app (which allows control of the pump and tracking of milk output), the mobile lifestyle it offers, and the comprehensive package of supplies that you get for the price.

The Willow gets better reviews for mobility (e.g., not leaking while you’re moving around), but is a bit louder than the Elvie. And, the Willow’s collection cups or bags also only hold 4 ounces, which might mean you need to switch them out part way through your pumping session.

Worth noting: Some users say that the suction is actually too strong and may be painful. And parents also reported frequent error messages from the pump saying it needed to be adjusted, which of course disrupts your pumping session.

Pros

  • Willow offers a completely wireless and hands-free system.
  • The company’s app provides controls for the pump as well as milk tracking.
  • The pump is more leakproof than some similar options.
  • It can be used with reusable milk containers or milk bags, which hold up to 4 ounces each.
  • The pump is HSA and FSA eligible.

Cons

  • The Willow’s motor is noisier than some hands-free pumps.
  • A smaller collection capacity might mean you have to switch cups or bags mid-session.
  • Suction may be uncomfortably strong for some.
  • Some users complained of numerous error messages.
  • This option is on the pricier side and not covered by all insurance companies or plans.

Best budget-friendly hands-free pump

Momcozy Double Wearable Breast Pump

Price: $$

This hands-free pump is the least expensive motorized option on our list for a double, cordless, wearable breast pump. It’s tiny and receives good reviews overall, as well as positive reviews for its portability and ease of use. Plus, its price is tough to beat for a full system.

While most users didn’t feel it was quiet enough to use comfortably in public, many said they love it for use around the house. Who would have thought you could wash dishes and pump liquid gold for your baby at the same time?

One downside that several people noted is that the flange is not adjustable for different nipple sizes, so some people may not get a good fit from this pump. Several reviews also reported leaking.

However, if it fits you, it’s a great budget-friendly option. There’s also a single pump version that may meet your needs for an even lower cost.

Pros

  • The Momcozy double is affordable compared with most hands-free double pumps.
  • The compact size makes this pump portable.
  • The pump is easy to use.
  • The pump is available in pink and gray, and can also be purchased individually (rather than in a pack of two).

Cons

  • The pump may be too loud to use comfortably in public.
  • It may not fit everyone equally well.
  • If you can’t get a good fit, the pump may leak.

Most comfortable hands-free pump

Medela Freestyle Flex

Price: $$$

The combination of Medela’s silicone-lined flanges and the Medela Hands-Free Pumping Bra (sold separately) makes this the most comfortable option for hands-free pumping, according to almost every parent we talked with.

Because the bra is bought separately, you can choose whether to stick with Medela or go with another brand, like Simple Wishes, which has a hands-free pumping bra that Amazon reviewers love.

The Medela Freestyle Flex has flanges and a bottle collection system that is similar to traditional pumps (versus the in-bra shape of the Elvie or Willow), so you can’t necessarily pump under your clothes. However, if comfort is a priority for you, this is a great choice.

The pumping bra is soft, comfy, and comes in several sizes. You fit the flanges through the bra, then simply click a button on the tiny, battery-operated pump (it almost looks like a small TV remote). The whole system easily fits in a purse or bag, and features simple USB charging. Medela replacement supplies are also very widely available and reasonably priced.

The main con for this pump is that the suction decreases dramatically as the battery wears down, so you’ll need to keep it fully charged to get the best milk output possible.

Pros

  • Medela has comfortable silicone-lined flanges and soft pumping bra.
  • Bottles, pump parts, and accessories are widely available.
  • The range of bra and flange sizes ensures a good fit.
  • The pump has convenient USB charging.
  • The system fits into a purse or bag.

Cons

  • The pump can’t be used discreetly under clothing.
  • The pump’s battery must stay well charged for optimum suction power.

Best manual wireless pump

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump

Price: $

While it’s definitely not hands-free, we figured this unique little pump is worth mentioning if you’re looking for a wireless option.

It’s a simple silicone suction cup — you literally squeeze it, attach it to your breast, and let go. Milk is extracted because of the continuous suction.

While it’s unlikely to collect enough milk to be your only pump, you can use it to catch milk from one breast that would otherwise be lost while you’re nursing on the other side.

It’s also great for relieving breast fullness between feedings or keeping in your bag in case you ever happen to be out without your baby or your electric pump.

It’s very inexpensive and easy to clean, but due to its shape, the Haakaa does tip over easily. It may be worth purchasing the separate storage lid.

Pros

  • The Haakaa pump is very affordable.
  • Storage and washing are easy since it’s just one, small piece.
  • It can help catch milk that would otherwise be lost to leakage as you nurse on one side.
  • Gentle, natural suction may be more comfortable than motor-powered pumps.

Cons

  • The container tips over easily, and lids must be purchased separately.
  • It’s likely not powerful enough to be the only method of pumping milk.

Best closed-system wearable pump

Momcozy All-in-one Wearable Breast Pump – M1

Price: $–$$

This nifty little gadget may look like a droid from “Star Wars” when in fact it’s a self-contained pump and milk collection system. It features a round design that’s meant to fit in your nursing bra (although some users said it’s a little bit bulky), with soft silicone flanges that come in two sizes.

A few simple buttons on top of the pump allow you to choose from three pumping modes and nine levels of suction, to get the most comfortable combination for you and your milk production.

The pump has a rechargeable battery with 90 to 150 minutes of battery life. It will automatically shut itself off after 20 minutes to conserve battery power — a feature that may get annoying if you typically need more than 20 minutes to pump but is easy to override.

All the pieces separate for cleaning, and the system is self-contained (meaning the milk and the mechanical parts of the pump aren’t in contact).

It may not be as simple to assemble as some other pumps on our list, but it is a great option for a portable, discreet device you can wear. In addition, the price for a single pump is less than $100, making it one of the most affordable options on our list.

Pros

  • The Momcozy All-in-one is a small, self-contained system that’s easy to clean.
  • The product has a pouring spout for easy transfer.
  • You can customize its suction power.
  • It’s affordable compared with other wearable, hands-free pumps.
  • The pump has a rechargeable battery with 90 to 150 minutes of battery life.

Cons

  • It may be a bit bulky under clothing.
  • Some users may find it difficult to assemble.
  • The pump’s battery life may deteriorate over time.
  • Those who want to double pump will need to buy a second pump separately.

Most compatible with an insurance-covered pump

Spectra Baby CaraCups Wearable Milk Collection

Price: $

Many breastfeeding parents are familiar with Spectra pumps. They’re well known, widely used, and insurance covers several of their pumps.

Spectra doesn’t make a wearable pump per se, but they offer CaraCups — wearable milk collection cups that many people report are more comfortable than traditional, hard-plastic flanges. Instead of using your flanges and collection bottles, just attach these soft cups to your pump tubing and place them in your nursing bra.

The cups, which come in a 24- or 28-millimeter size and hold approximately 5 to 6 ounces each, can be used with any Spectra breast pump. With a good fit, you should get adequate suction and good milk output.

Spectra offers several pumps that are battery-powered, so you can carry them around or use them more easily when traveling. If you settled on a Spectra pump, or already have one that was covered by your insurance plan, these milk collection cups could be a great way to make your pumping hands-free.

Pros

  • The cups are compatible with all Spectra pumps.
  • The cups are less expensive than buying a full wearable pump system.
  • These may be more comfortable than traditional flanges.
  • The cups will fit in a regular nursing bra.
  • Good customer service if you need replacement parts or support.

Cons

  • Without a good fit, the suction may not be very strong.
  • There’s some risk of spilling milk when transferring from the cups to your storage bags or bottles.

ProductPriceHighlights
Elvie Pump$$$$– quiet
– can be worn under clothing
– wireless
– may leak with movement or lying down
Freemie Liberty II System$$–$$$– hands-free collection cups
– can be used with your current pump or the wireless Freemie pump
Willow Generation 3$$$$– wireless
– wearable under clothing
– strong suction
– app-based controls
Momcozy Electric Double Wearable Pump$$– small and portable
– inexpensive
– comes with one flange size
Medela Freestyle Flex$$$– comfortable
– flexible sizing options
– widely available parts
– cannot be worn under clothing
Haakaa Pump$– inexpensive
– gentle suction
– manual (no mechanical parts)
– not enough suction to be only pump
Momcozy All-in-one$–$$– less expensive
– complete wearable pumping system
– self-contained pump with milk collection and motor
Spectra CaraCups$– milk collection cups that can be used with any Spectra pump
– reported to be comfortable
– can be used hands-free

Each person’s breastfeeding journey and goals are different, which is why it’s so helpful that there are a number of solid breast pump options to choose from.

If you are going to be exclusively pumping and need something that’s highly mobile, has maximum output, and is discreet (i.e., you need to be able to pump during a Zoom call), it may be worth splurging on the Elvie or the Willow wearable pumps.

If you pump occasionally and want to be able to hold your phone more easily when you do, a less expensive option may suffice.

If you work from home and are rarely on video calls, something more versatile and comfortable, like the Medela Freestyle Flex, could be a good fit for you.

If you already have a pump you’re happy with but want a hands-free option, an adapter, such as the Freemie cups or the Spectra CaraCups, may be a good solution.

Beyond pumping frequency, discreetness, and cost (insurance coverage, or lack thereof, can be a major factor), the main considerations when selecting your pump include:

  • Mobility. Do you need to be able to walk around while pumping? Will you be traveling or otherwise on the go?
  • Battery life. How often will you be able to recharge your pump? (Most of our options take about 2 hours to charge, and the battery lasts from 90 to 180 minutes depending on the pump and the suction level used.)
  • Clean-up. How easy is the pump to take apart and wash? Can milk be transferred to storage containers easily?
  • Size. Do you want the pump to truly fit under your clothes? Will you be carrying it around?
  • Noise. Do you need a super-quiet pump, or is it OK if it has a rhythmic motor noise?
  • Capacity. How much do you need each collection container to hold?

The pros of hands-free pumping are pretty obvious: Who couldn’t use extra time in their day?!

New parents are a busy crowd. Whether you’re exclusively pumping or you’re pumping to feed your baby when you go back to work, you’re already spending a lot of time feeding and caring for your little one (two words: diaper changes).

If you pump three times per day for 20 minutes each, a hands-free pump can give you back an hour each day to address other things (while you’re simultaneously accomplishing the amazing task of feeding your baby!).

Many customers who penned reviews for these products said the time freed up by using a hands-free pump made a huge difference in their stress levels and how long they could sustain breastfeeding.

The major con to a true hands-free pump is the cost. Insurance typically does not cover these pumps, so you’ll likely be paying out of pocket. (Since 2012, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, private insurance companies do fully cover certain breast pumps, but not all of them.)

You can usually use funds from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for a hands-free pump, but the pump itself may be fairly costly. Wearable, hands-free pumps are quite a bit more expensive than regular electric breast pumps.

Another con is that some parents find it much harder to get the proper latch with a hands-free pump (versus being able to manually adjust the feel and fit of the pump flanges). This may result in nipple discomfort, leaking of milk, or decreased pumping output.

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain when pumping, or are not getting the milk output you expect, it may be worth calling your lactation consultant, midwife, or OB-GYN for advice.

Also call a healthcare professional if you have any signs or symptoms of mastitis. It’s a breast infection that can make you feel very sick.

While it is expected to experience some engorgement and discomfort in the early days of breastfeeding or pumping, pumping should soon become fairly comfortable as your nipples adjust and your milk supply regulates.

If you are finding the process painful or uncomfortable, or have cracked or sore nipples, swollen or lumpy breasts, or your milk supply is unexpectedly changing, give your healthcare professional a call.

These issues may have a simple cause with a quick fix, like pump parts that aren’t fitted correctly or needing to increase your water intake. But whether it’s treating an infection or finding a new pump, it’s worth getting expert help when needed.

Are hands-free breast pumps worth it?

If you have a strong desire to breastfeed or chestfeed but your work schedule or parenting other children makes it difficult to take pumping breaks, a wearable option could be the solution.

Perhaps it’s the difference between being able to continue feeding your baby breastmilk or stopping, in which case it’s likely worth it.

How you plan to use the pump is also a factor. If you want to pump on occasion for, say, a night out, you may be better off sticking with an insurance-covered option rather than splurging on a wearable one.

It goes without saying that formula is quite expensive, too. The incremental cost of formula, as opposed to the one-time cost of a hands-free pump, could be a wash over the course of your baby’s first year or so of life.

Does insurance cover a hands-free breast pump?

No, insurance won’t cover a hands-free pump.

You could choose an insurance-covered pump and pair it with a system such as the Freemie cups, Spectra CaraCups, or Medela Freestyle Flex to adapt your pump to be hands-free.

Another option is to pay for the pump of your choice in full, then submit the receipt to your insurance company for partial reimbursement. You can also use HSA and FSA funds for almost any breast pump.

If you are unsure what your insurance company will help cover, we recommend giving them a call before you pay for a pump out of pocket or make a final decision.

Which wireless breast pump is best?

Honestly, it depends on your needs, and everyone is different. We went into detail on our top picks above so you can make an informed choice that will be the best fit for you.

It’s hard to pick a “best of the best,” but we think the Elvie pump is a great fit for many people. Its biggest downside is its high price. Other than that, this pump is hard to beat in terms of discreetness, wearability, portability, comfort, and ease of use.

Is the Elvie or Willow better?

This is another toughie. Both the Elvie and Willow pumps have massive followings, and for good reason.

These totally wireless wearable pumps have revolutionized the pumping game. They’ve enabled many parents to give their babies breast milk when they otherwise would have been unable to due to supply issues, work schedules, caring for other children, or simply the pressure of juggling everything.

If you have a large milk supply, the Elvie may be a better choice simply because it has a slightly greater collection capacity. It’s also easier to use, according to some parents, so it could be a smoother transition from your traditional pump.

If you want to be able to pump in your sleep (or doing just about anything) and don’t mind a little extra effort to get the hang of the system, the Willow pump may be an excellent choice for you — especially since the Elvie is not designed to be used while bending over or lying down.

You’re already a superhero for breastfeeding your baby — and pumping on top of that.

A hands-free breast pump may make your life a little easier, and help you focus on the things that are important to you — like your precious baby.