What you need to know about manual breast pumps

When breastfeeding, you may decide to express milk, a manual breast pump may be the answer

Breastfeeding: Manual breast pumps

The lowdown on manual breast pumps

What to look for

Manual pumps do tend to be more reasonably-priced than electric, and are a good way to find out whether expressing is right for you, without investing in an expensive electric model.

Look for one that’s small, easy to store and compact enough to transport easily when you’re out and about.

A comfortable handle is a must, as you’ll be repeatedly using the same pumping motion during manual expression and your hand might get pretty sore otherwise.

You want the pump to be easy to clean too, so a model made up of as few parts as possible is ideal. Make sure all the pieces can fit in your steriliser, too.

Look for a padded cup, preferably made from silicone that feels comfortable against your breast.

Manual breast pump

Need to know

It’s worth noting that manual pumps can be quite tiring to use and it can take some time to pump the required amount of milk. They are best used for occasional use – if you think you’ll be pumping daily you might want to think about an electric model.

They can also be used to ease pressure, i.e. if your breasts get full. This can be very painful. Use the pump to express enough milk so you feel comfortable again.


  • Manual pumps are much cheaper than electric models. 
  • They are better for occasional use or to ease congestion. 
  • Look for a comfortable handle and a silicone cup

Latest products on the market:

Ardo Amaryll Start breast pump

Ardo Amaryll Start RRP £17.95

  • Lightweight and compact for total comfort and ease of use
  • The rotating handle means that it can be adjusted to the left or right depending on the breast
  • Comes readily assembled and BPA-free plastic milk collection bottles
  • A bottle stand is also included when you buy the pump

We love the budget price, ideal for mums giving expressing a trial or for occasional pumping.

Tommee Tippee manual pump

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Manual RRP £29.99

  • Comes in just three pieces, making it quick and easy to assemble
  • It has a soft flexible cup that gives a perfect fit, so that pumping is comfortable as possible
  • Massage ripples encourage fast and comfortable milk let down, helping you to express effectively
  • Comes with its own microwave box for easier sterilisation
We love that this manual breast pump is so quiet meaning you can express milk discreetly wherever you are.

Mam manual breast pump

MAM Manual Breast Pump RRP £38.00

  • Fully rotational funnel, alowing mum to change position
  • Innovative selector dial, allowing mum to control the suction strength
  • Once milk flow is established, handle can be help for 3-4 seconds while milk flows
  • Very easy and simple to assemble and clean
  • Discreet and quiet pumping
We love that these reasonably priced pots give you a convenient and well-priced place to store breast milk.

Phillips Avent Comfort manual breast pump

Phillips Avent Comfort RRP £46.00

  • The clever design means your milk flows directly into the bottle
  • The massage cushion has a new soft, velvety texture that gives a warm feel to the skin stimulating milk flow
  • It has a compact design which makes it easy to position, with no need to lean forward
  • Its ergonomically-shaped handle offers a comfortable hold and full control.
We love that you have the freedom to sit as comfortably as you like and still express successfully.

What you need to know about manual breast pumps