Breast Pump Comparison Guide, Which One is for You?

There are so many breast pumps out there on the market. Single or double. Manual or electric. When you are presented with multiple options with multiple reviews attached, how are you supposed to make the right decision?

We decided to take the guess work out for you and break it down. Which pump is the right pump for you? Every mum is different, and every baby is different. That means, your situation is different. Sit back, grab a coffee and have a luxurious read (or a read with a baby on your boob) all about the different Medela breast pumps we have only a click away.

Something you will be sure to notice as you get further into this information is that a lot of these pumps share traits and attributes. That’s because Medela realized and understood just what it was about all our previous pumps that mums loved, and made sure to incorporate those parts into this current range.

We really do love our mums here!

Freestyle Flex™ 2-Phase Double Electric Breast Pump

The Freestyle Flex is a compact, light and portable pump, which is super easy to carry and travel with.  With its built-in, rechargeable battery you can express anywhere with ease, no power point needed. And that right there is such a positive when it comes flexible feeding.

The Medela PersonalFit Flex™ Breast Shields are there for your comfort and increased milk flow 1. The fact it comes with 2 sizes is just so incredible, so many mums out there just aren’t aware that the shield size really does matter when it comes to pumping 2. To be given options from the get-go? How amazing! They’re comfortable, they’re light and they are a special oval shape that really fits the shape of your breast.

The Freestyle Flex also has a closed system, so the milk doesn’t trickle back into the tubing. Nothing worse than wasting that liquid gold after you have taken the time to pump.

What sets this pump apart from the others is that it connects FREE to our Medela Family App. All you need to do is download the app and register so you can keep track of your pumping progress, right there on your phone.

Freestyle Flex breast pump with cooler bag and accessories

An additional special feature to this pump is that it comes with a carry cooler bag for your expressed-on-the-go milk, as well as 4 bottles, 4 lids, 2 bottle stands, 1 power adapter with USB cable and a cooler element to keep your milk safe. A pump with accessories? Yes please!

One could say this is the cream of crop if you are looking for a pump with all the bells and whistles, that performs like it says it will.

The Swing Maxi (New) Double Electric Breast Pump

The Swing Maxi (New)  is the recipient of multiple awards, winning gold across the board from numerous presenters. Like the Freestyle Flex, you get a double pumping experience for up to 18% more milk in less time 1, and again the 2-Phase Expression™ Technology actually mimics your baby’s natural sucking rhythm  23

It also comes with 2 different sizes of PersonalFit Flex™ Breast Shields for increased comfort and 11% more milk 4. That is such a huge benefit if you are a pumping mum, and time never seems to be on your side.

It also shares the same feature of improved mobility as the Freestyle Flex, and with the built-in rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 6 pumping sessions off one full charge, so you can rest assured you are able to pump on the go.

Incredibly importantly, it is easy to use. With it’s 4 button intuitive interface and 9 pre-programmed settings, it is noticeably quieter compared to earlier models. PLUS, it has a faster charging capability with a USB type C port.

And not to forget, it’s easy to assemble and clean thanks to the few parts it is made up of. The Swing Maxi also has a closed system, so the milk doesn’t trickle back into the tubes.

The Swing Maxi is a fast favourite with all our Medela Mums.

The Solo™ Single Electric Breast Pump

Medela’s old Swing Flex has been reborn as the Solo™, and what a rebirth it is!

Another easy to use pump (sensing a theme here?) the 4 button intuitive interface and 9 pre-programmed settings make this a simple, versatile option as a breast pump. Also featuring a built in, re-chargeable battery that lasts up to 6 pumping sessions in one full charge, it is also noticeably quieter when you compare it to older models.

The 2-Phase™ Expression 12 technology really does mimic your baby’s natural sucking rhythm, and the Personal Fit Flex Breast Shield, as you already know, provides you increased comfort and 11.8% more milk 3.

It’s easy to clean and assemble thanks to its simplistic, minimal parts. And if you’re a pumping mum who pumps throughout the night, you will be so incredibly glad of this feature.

If you can master the angles, you can pump on one side while your baby feeds on the other. That is no easy feat so don’t stress if you don’t quite get it, but if you can, what a game changer! Two birds, one stone. Any time saved when you have a newborn is gold.

And don’t forget that ever-important closed system function!

Harmony Manual Breast Pump

Now, let’s take a minute here to talk about manual pumps. They get a bad wrap. Electric are know for being quicker, easier and more ‘advanced’ in their design. However, manual is where it all began (if we’re not including hand pumping). There really are so many features and benefits, not to mention the fact you don’t need to factor in charging times, and you can have full control over the speed of the suction. The Harmony Manual Breast Pump continues to sell incredibly well and is always up there in terms of award wins. It’s a perfect travel companion and incredibly lightweight, throw it in your nappy bag and head on out the door.

As you have likely noticed, all our pumps come with the PersonalFit Flex™ Breast Shields. The Harmony is no exception, so you can pump in a comfortable fashion.

Super importantly, the Harmony is easy to clean, and because it has no electric technology within it, it can be washed and sterilised without fear.

The Harmony is also very quiet and discreet, pump with it anywhere and everywhere because it really is so simple to use!

And that’s the base of our breast pump range.

Something you can also do is create customised pumps. For example, you can do to the Swing Flex or the Swing Maxi Flex. But the above are the real core of our range.

And to make this clear, what I am about to mention is not a pump. But our Silicone Breast Milk Collector is a breastfeeding mum’s bestie. It will catch the letdown on the side your baby is not feeding on, and then you are definitely not wasting any of that precious milk down the front of your top. With its double leak proof design, lanyard and suction base, it really does protect every precious drop!

And so those are our pumps. We hope this has highlighted just why a Medela Breast Pump is for you and which one will best suit you and your baby’s lifestyle. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to us via the links below and let’s chat!


Medela Australia 💛

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Freestyle Flex References

1   Prime DK, Ivarsson L, Haynes AG, Jäger L, Mitoulas LR, Sakalidis VS. Influence of a newly designed breast shield on the dynamics of milk removal: A randomised controlled trial [poster]. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Europe Conference, May 18-20 2018; Rotterdam, Netherlands.

2    Prime DK et al. Simultaneous breast expression in breastfeeding women is more efficacious than sequential breast expression. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Dec;7(6):442-447.

*Only use the power adapter and cable that come with the breast pump

Swing Maxi (New) References

1   Prime DK et al. Simultaneous breast expression in breastfeeding women is more efficacious than sequential breast expression. Breastfeed Med. 2012; 7(6):442-447

2   Kent JC et al. Response of breasts to different stimulation patters of an electric breast pump. J Hum Lact. 2003; 19(2): 179-186

3   Mitoulas L et al. Effect of vacuum profile on breast milk expression using an electric breast pump. J Hum Lact. 2002; 18(4):353-360

4   Sakalidis VS et all. Breast sheild design impacts milk removal dynamics during pumping. A randomised controlled non-inferiority trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020:doi: 10.1111/aogs.13897

Solo References

1   Kent JC et al. J Hum Lact. 2003; 19(2):179-186

2   Mitoulas L et al. J Hum Lact. 2002; 18(4):353-360

3   Sakalidis VS et al. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020:doi:10.1111/aogs.12897

4   Prime DK et al. Breastfeed Med. 2021; 7(6):442-447