A typical breast pump can range from $180 all the way to $600 and beyond. Some of us either have a poor selection of pumps provided by our insurance carriers (but I would still suggest to take advantage of the best option) or we simply don't want to spend a boat load of money out of pocket. Thats where this comparison will come in handy, I have polled 4 breast pumps at a price point of $60 and below. If we can find an effective breast pump for less than $60, granted it might not be the best, why shouldn't we have this information at our fingertips. Below I will share the community's results and then follow up with how I feel about each pump individually.
so lets get started!
I did not see these results coming. When I originally ordered all of these pumps I had polled the bemybreastfriend community to see which was YOUR favorite of the selection. I thought for sure my opinion would align with most of the results that came through in that 24 hour period. 🙈 I wouldn’t have guessed how wrong I would be.
Let’s first address your polled results.
In first place came the Bellababy, I’ve been hearing this brand name for years, oddly this is the first time I’ve used anything by Bellababy. The first Bellababy I ordered were the wearables, they came opened and used, I returned them and didn’t bother to reorder. This Bellababy, however, came sealed and ready to use. This Bellababy model retails for $59.99 and comes with your typical set of flanges ranging 21, 24 and 27mm.
In second place came the Phanpy, I thought this would also be a top contender based off the turnout in the polls. At $45.99 this price includes the small pump and a set of cups, I mean, if it works this is an excellent price point!
The final pump I ordered based off redundant requests was the Dorabella. I was warned this pump was, “kind of weird” but it was suggested so, how weird can it be. Willing to take a chance but after polling it in Instagram stories it didn’t seem very promising. The Dorabella came in at the lowest price point of $32.99
For an added bonus since this pump was the first I had ordered before committing to purchasing all the above pumps, I'm going to throw this pump as a contender. It's the NCVI Double Electric Pump retailing at $39.99. When I had first tried this pump I had expressed how pleasantly surprised I was. So naturally I polled the community after being informed the motor was not very good.
Now that you have an idea of what everyone else is thinking allow me to share my thoughts! If you've read any of my other reviews you've likely seen me say, I know how I feel about something when I reach over one product for another. This will be no different when ranking these inexpensive pumps. Remember I am still pumping to feed my baby, so milk removal is still top priority for me, regardless of testing product. With this said here we go, starting with #1 being my top choice to #4 being the pits.
Congratulations Phanpy, you're #1. Based on the above results you were probably expecting the Bellababy to come in hot for the first spot. I have to admit, I am a fan of this Phanpy pump. At $45.99, this pump has pretty adequate suction! I have been finding myself on level 7 out of 8. One thing this pump is capable of, which I think is pretty cool especially at this price point, you're able to go from synchronized to alternating suction. If you read my Zomee Z2 review you would have read thoughts on alternating suction pattern, I'm not the biggest fan. I will still admit I feel like I'm being milked like a cow but with this pump. However, I absolutely find the alternating pattern WAY more effective with the Phanpy than the synchronized suction. I can confidently say that I do not like the synced suction on the Phanpy. This pump has 4 modes and 2 suction patterns, not bad for a pump under $50. The only mode I can stand is the 4th option, the Frequency Conversion Mode. This mode suctions alternatively, then has two longer pulls to wrap up that sequence. The trick to this pump is having it set to alternating suction pulls otherwise it's proven itself to be useless for me and I do not respond. The one advantage this pump has over the Dorabela, which puts it in 1st place is the timer. This pump isnt the quietest I've ever used but its not that loud, I think in on par with most other breast pumps. Let's not forget that this pump can be purchased with either flanges or cups for an extra $3, which I can share are not half bad. I'd say as a whole this is a pretty solid option.
Second place goes to the Dorabela, this pump would have been my #1 but it doesn't have a timer and I feel a timer can quickly pop you ahead of your contenders. Similarly to the Phanpy this pump has 3 modes and has an alternating suction pattern. The Dorabela is far quieter than the Phanpy but doesn't have the option of synchronized suction. Interestingly, rather than plugging one of the ports you can tap the "single" button and now you have a single suction pump. I find this pump is a tad bit stronger than the Phanpy, I am not finding I need more than L3 on this little guy. At the rate I'm typing this I am beggining to wonder why this the Dorabela isn't my #1, oh yea the timer. I would say, these two pumps are really neck 'n neck. Again, I can only stand one of the three mode options- the Expression mode. Oddly, there is a mode called Shock Suction, I would compare it to the Frequency Conversion mode on the Phanpy except the Shock Suction mode makes me want to punch someone. The Dorabella Shock Suction has a faster alternating pattern unlike the slower alternating pattern of the Phanpy. I just play it safe in the Expression mode with the Dorabella, I do not need the added excitement of the Shock Suction 😆. At $32.99, I don't expect anyone losing any sleep or milk supply with this option, again another fair pump at a fair price.
Contrary of the above polled results, the Bellababy is my least favorite. If the NCVI didn't die on my after one use I would have made the NCVI #3 and Bellababy #4. The Bellababy suction strength and pattern for me just feels very bland. I cannot complete a session with this pump, when I turn it on I feel I am left waiting for the second half of the suction pattern. This pump is silly, the stronger you crank the suction the louder it gets. When using the alternating frequency mode going from lighter suctions to stronger, prepare yourself for the increase in volume. Similar to the Dorabella, there is no (-) or (+) buttons to control the suction strength, if you need to decrease strength you must cycle through all the levels to get back down. This can be a seen as a negative for both, if you have sensitive nipples this can really do a doozy on you. I can honestly say that I cannot for the life of me figure out why this pump has such positive reviews, I find it very basic and when compared to the above pumps the least effective. The Bellababy retails for $59.99.
Now the only reason why the NCVI is being mentioned is to steer you away from this purchase. I have to admit I liked this pump when I first fired it up; effective, strong and small. But the fun was over before it had a chance to start. I charged this pump, or so I thought, and boom wouldn't power on for a second session. I do believe you get what you pay for, that said I don't expect any of these pumps to out live more quality or expensive pumps BUT I do expect more than a one time use. At $39.99 I better be getting a few months of sessions out of this little guy, which I did not.