MAX SUCTION Comparison of 22 Breast Pumps
Have you ever wondered which breast pump has the MAX suction? With the help of a mechanical engineer, I created a Boobie Barometer to test 22 different breast pumps. (Please remember that MAX suction does not always mean the BEST suction. Watch this video here to learn more about that!)
This list will rank these pumps from the lowest suction to the MAX or biggest suction. This list also compares what the Boobie Barometer measured in suction (or mmHg which is the standard unit for measuring vacuum pressure) versus what each breast pump company claimed about the suction of their pumps. It didn’t always match up! (Keep in mind, though, that what the Boobie Barometer measured is my data and what the manufacturers measured may differ from mine because of their different methods of testing).
Here’s the video if you prefer to watch it! Or continue down below to see the full list
The Willow was really hard to test! This pump starts out in stimulation mode and the MAX suction the Boobie Barometer got in that mode was 103 mmHg. But, you can’t get into expression mode until you have put enough milk into the device and then the pump automatically switches for you. At that point, you have control over the suction level. You can move it up or down, whatever is comfortable for you.
Expression was the part that I needed to test, but I couldn’t get there because the Boobie Barometer doesn’t produce milk. I’m sure this pump is not on the bottom of the suction list, but with my limited testing, that is all I could do. The Boobie Barometer did get that 103 mmHG reading on the stimulation mode. The company claims that it will do 245 mmHG at its MAX suction. But we may never know…
#21: Ameda Mya
I debated on whether to put this on the list because I’m am not sure that this pump is working right. It is brand new and used once, but the MAX suction I was able to get on this was 143 mmHg. The company claims 280 mmHg. To me, that is just too big of a discrepancy. I think there is something wrong with this pump since I couldn’t turn it on with the battery. I will be e-mailing this company and I’ll post any updates that I get for you.
I got 153 mmHg as the MAX suction on this pump. The company claims 220 mmHg. This is personally not my favorite pump as moms often complain about it’s low suction, and that seemed to be consistent with the data that I found.
My test came in at 181 mmHg. The company claims 240 mmHg. That’s not too far off, but definitely less than what the company says it should be.
#18: Freemie Pumps
I tested both the Freemie Liberty and the Independence with the cups. This is important because you are going to see the Freemies again on the list when I test them using the flanges. I tried several different things with this test, old cups, new cups, boiling the brand new parts and then putting them back together, but I could not get a suction higher than 182 to 191 mmHg on these.
There is no up-to-date information from the company, but an old website claimed 280 mmHg. Maybe the suction would be different on a real breast, but I really tried several things and that is all I could get my device to read.
#17: Medela Pump in Style
A little disclaimer here, this is an older pump. I’ve probably had it for three years. I did replace all the flanges and pieces. It still works fine. I was able to get 226 mmHG suction on this. When my husband tried, he got 203 mmHg. The company claims 240 mmHg.
#16: MomCozy Hands Free
This pump is similar to other wearable pumps, but this one has the motor on top. My test came in at 204 mmHg. The company claims 300 mmHG on this little guy. I ran the test a couple of times, but to me, that sounds like a big discrepancy. This pump is just okay, in my opinion. It only has five levels for suction.
#15 Medela Swing
This pump is LOUD. (Watch a video on the quietest and loudest breast pumps here). The MAX suction I was able to reach was 215 mmHg. The company claims 295 mmHg. This is not my favorite pump in any area.
#14 MomCozy Portable
I got 225 mmHG for this pump. I could not find where the company claimed anything. That’s a decent amount of suction though!
This company does not label or name its pumps very well. It has an orange stripe all around the front of it. I was able to get 227 mmHg. The company does not claim anything.
#12 Medela Sonata
On this pump, I was able to get 229 mmHG MAX suction. The company claims 250 mmHG, so that is not that far off. I actually really like this pump. It’s one of my favorites from Medela.
This could have been tied with the Sonata. With this little pump, I was able to get 230 mmHg. The company claims 245 mmHG. That means it was even closer to what the company claimed it would do. This is also an awesome pump.
I’ve seen this pump covered a lot by insurance companies, so I know a lot of moms have this one. I was able to get 235 mmHG MAX suction on this. I could not find anywhere where the company claimed a MAX suction.
This is a good one! On my test, I got 240 mmHG for the MAX suction. The company only claims 220 mmHG, so I got higher than the company even claims! I thought that was really interesting. I did it more than once and got the same number multiple times. This little pump has some great suction. It’s a nice gentle suction, too.
I was able to get 260 mmHG on this pump. The company claims 300 mmHg. This pump has multiple modes. I checked many of the modes.
#7 Motif Luna
This is one of my most favorite pumps ever.* I got 271 mmHg MAX suction on this little pump. There was nothing official from Motif. I usually try to find the suction information in user manuals or directly from the company, but I couldn’t find anything.
*As of October 2022, the Luna Motif is NOT the same as it was in this review! An updated video with the details can be found here
When I tested this pump with the cups it had less suction and ranked #18. But when I tested it with a traditional flange, it came in at 273 mmHg. That is almost 100 more mmHg suction with a traditional flange instead of the cups! So it’s notable that the pump itself actually performed quite well but the cups didn’t perform as well.
#5 Spectra S9
This was a huge shock to me. This is not a pump that I usually recommend. I like this company a lot but haven’t loved this pump. My test got 281 mmHg. The company claims 300 mmHg. I might need to rethink this pump!
A lot of people like this pump! It is very inexpensive. It has four different modes so the MAX suction varied in the ranges of 283 mmHg to 291 mmHg. The interesting thing about this one is that the company claims a MAX suction of 360 mmHg. That is not even close to what I got! That is amazingly high and the highest by far of what any other company claims. I don’t know how they got that number. Don’t get me wrong, though, this pump does have some lots of suction!
This pump has two motors and the cool thing about it is that you can get the MAX suction levels on both sides! This pump measured 294 mmHg. The company claims 270 mmHg. So this was another pump that I was able to get a higher suction reading than the company claimed, and let me say it again, you can get that suction on both sides at that same time!! This is really unique.
#2 Baby Buddha
This is a tiny tiny little pump but if you have ever used it, you will know that the suction is no joke. It has some very interesting suction patterns. The suction levels were very high across the board, even on the lower settings. It has really high MAX suction level and high medium suction levels. It came in at 311 mmHg. The company claims 320 mmHG, right in the same ballpark. The Baby Buddha has high suction!
#1 Spectra 1
I was able to get 315 mmHG from this pump. On the Spectra US sales page, it claims 270 mmHG of MAX suction, but I got way higher than that! On the Australian Spectra user manual it claims 315 mmHg, which is pretty close to the number I got.
Overall, I’m confident in my Boobie Barometer and the numbers I measured! I’m not sure how these companies test their pumps so would I always trust their numbers? No. Especially if it’s something crazy, like 360 mmHg. But remember, MAX suction doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best fit for you! Make sure to check out more of my videos and blog posts where I review lots of different aspects of pumps!
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