Single or Double Breast Pump? Find the Best Breast Pump for You

What's are the main differences between a single breast pump and a double breast pump? Here's what you should know, so you can make the best choice when it comes to the ideal breast pump for you.

medela solo single electric breast pump on shelf next to potted plants in vases

As you prepare for the exciting arrival of your little one, you may have already started shopping breast pumps to familiarize yourself with all the options, features, and types of pumps available. If you’re new to breastfeeding and breast pumps, you might even find it a little confusing with so many options from which to choose. For example, should you buy a single electric breast pump or a double electric breast pump? What’s the difference between an electric pump and a manual breast pump?

We’re here to help, mama! Here are a few important things to keep in mind while deciding which breast pump will work best for you, your lifestyle, and your unique situation:

Choosing the Best Breast Pump for You

The first thing to know is that a manual pump is less expensive than an electric pump. It’s also lightweight, portable, quiet, and can be used anywhere because it doesn’t require electricity. However, a manual pump is slower than an electric pump, can make it difficult to establish a regular pumping rhythm, and is not an ideal option if you’re pumping regularly. This is because a manual pump is hand-operated by you, instead of relying on a small motor to do all the work.

Electric breast pumps require less effort on your part, work quickly to express milk, and feature adjustable settings for the most efficient and comfortable pumping experience.

If you decide that an electric pump is best for you, you’ll next need to determine whether you prefer a single breast pump or a double pump.

What are the Benefits of a Single Electric Breast Pump?

The benefits of a single electric breast pump, like our Solo, are many and include:

  • The ability to nurse your baby on one side while pumping your other breast.
  • Less expensive product than a double electric breast pump.
  • Increased milk supply from one breast if it’s producing less milk than the other.
  • Enables you to have even more skin-to-skin snuggle time with your baby while you pump.
  • Can help you increase your milk supply for storage and freezing if you’re planning to return to work.

What are the Benefits of a Double Electric Breast Pump?

A double electric pump can be especially helpful if you’re a busy mom, a working parent, or if you’re a mom who needs to pump regularly. A double electric breast pump is also the ideal option if you plan to exclusively pump or if your little one has latching difficulties. Additionally, a double electric breast pump offers benefits like:

  • Great efficiency, especially if you have limited time to pump at work or between tasks.
  • Ability to pump hands-free when used with a well-fitted pumping bustier.
  • Saves you time by expressing milk from both breasts simultaneously.
  • Expresses 18% more milk on average when double pumping.

Helping You Choose a Breast Pump

Now that you know the benefits of both a single electric breast pump and a double electric breast pump, you can narrow down your options even further by asking yourself the following questions:

How Often Will You Pump?

If you plan to pump to build up your milk supply or wish to pump only occasionally when you’re away from your baby, then a single electric pump could work well for you. Conversely, if you plan to pump exclusively or have limited time to pump and want to ensure your pumping sessions are as efficient as possible, then a double electric pump may prove ideal.

Where Will You Be Pumping?

If you’ll be pumping mostly at home, either a single or a double electric pump will work for you. But if you’re going to be pumping at work or throughout days that are often busy and spent on the go, a double electric pump will probably work best.

How Much Time Will You Have to Pump?

If time isn’t a primary factor in your decision-making, then either a single and a double breast pump will work just fine. However, if you have limited time to pump because of work or other commitments, you may want to have a double electric pump on hand to get the most out of each session.

Whichever type of pump you choose, remember to be patient with yourself while allowing yourself time and grace to find the breastfeeding routine that works best for you. Medela is here to support you as you begin – and throughout – your unique breastfeeding journey.