If you want to get your other half involved in feeding or are heading back to work and want your little one to still experience the benefits of breast milk, you need a breast pump in your life - specifically, one of the best double breast pumps.
Are double breast pumps worth it?
Whether you need a double or single breast pump depends on your needs. However, if you're going to express lots of milk frequently, we think a double breast pump is completely worth it.
Both breasts are expressed at the same time using a double pump, so you'll be able to get more milk at a time compared to using a single pump for the same amount of time.
How do I know which double breast pump to choose?
As all mums are different, the wants and needs of a breast pump are bound to vary too. Here are some of the things we think you should consider when it comes to choosing the right double breast pump for you.
Are you planning on expressing milk when you're out of the house? You'll need to think about the size and weight of your chosen breast pump. Is it small enough to fit into a bag and light enough to carry around?
Your breast pump needs to fit into your routine, so think about how practical it is. Electric breast pumps need to be plugged into the mains to be used, you'll need to sit near a socket while pumping. Others are wireless, so you can fit in expressing milk while going about your everyday routine.
Comfort is always key so look for a breast pump that has soft breast shields. It's also a bonus if your chosen pump has different-sized breast shields so you can ensure the best fit for your breasts.
Having adjustable expressing and suction levels will also help with your overall comfort while pumping.
Loudness is also a factor you might want to consider. If you're planning on keeping your pumping confined to your little one's nursery, you'll want to ensure the sound of expressing won't wake your baby while they're sleeping. A quiet breast pump will also be more discreet, so something to think about if you need to pump in public places, such as your office - if you're heading back to work.
To help you with your choice, we've rounded up the best double breast pumps to help make expressing that little bit easier.
Elvie Wearable Double Breast Pump
Best double breast pump
The Elvie double breast pump offers complete discretion. It's silent and completely wearable, so you can carry on with all the jobs that busy mum life brings while pumping away. One of the best features of this pump is its smart technology. You connect to an app on your phone to see milk volume and to change pumping and suction modes. It's also got an insights feature for analysis of how much you've pumped over time - how cool is that?
Milk capacity: 150ml each
Phone app to track and control your pumping
Includes breast shields in two sizes for the best fit
Pros: Lightweight and discreet
Cons: More expensive than other double breast pumps
Review: "I hate to admit it, but this has been worth every penny!!!! It does exactly what it says it will. A Primark girl at heart, I originally bought a cheaper version. And it worked okay for a couple of months, but it would leak easily and the battery went downhill quickly. I bought this in sheer desperation as my milk supply can be all over the place and I really wanted to get time to pump hands-free, and it just works! It is neat. It is actually quiet. Not silent, but I doubt anyone would hear it unless you were in a library and talking to someone two foot away from you. The way the bottle inserts to collect milk means it doesn't leak (you will get a couple of drops when you take it off) unlike the cheap version that leaked about 2ozs down me! Easy to clean, easy to charge. Granted I feel like Pammy when I have them both in, and no you can't go for a jog in them, but you can potter around the house and run (upright) errands in them. It's great overnight to feed off one side and pump the other and my little one is oblivious to it. So yes I'm sorry to say it isn't cheap, but it is exactly what you were looking for!!"
Lansinoh 2-in-1 Double Electric Breast Pump
Best for efficiency
With its dual-pump functionality, you can mirror your baby's feed using the Lansinoh 2-in-1 Double Electric Breast Pump. It can be used as a double or single pump, either plugged into mains electricity or you can pop in six AA batteries for on-the-go pumping. The LCD display is also easy to read, even in low light conditions, so it's ideal for pumping during the night.
Milk capacity: 160ml each
Three pumping styles
Eight two-phase suction levels
Comes with two pairs of breast cushion sets
Pros: Large LCD display is easy to read
Cons: Some reviews have stated it is quite noisy
Review: "As a mum of 6, I have pretty much tried & tested every baby product on the market. This breast pump is, in my opinion, a must have piece of equipment for any mum Going down the breastfeeding/expressing route. It’s is, by far, superior to any other breastpump (& I have used many!). The design is comfortable & leak-free. The ability to replicate the different stages of sucking makes for better milk production. And it is relatively quiet & easy to clean. I’m using it to build up a supply of breast milk for when we are ready to move on & let my husband take over a feed or two. Also, I suffer with engorgement & have had mastitis & this has been an amazing help."
Tommee Tippee Made for Me Double Electric Breast Pump
Best slimline double breast pump
Designed for busy mums, this double pump allows mums to express naturally and quickly wherever and whenever they choose. You'll also be comfortable throughout as the cups are made from soft and cushioned silicone so they'll feel gentle on your breasts and you can choose the massage and expressing settings to suit you too. Plus, with just the push of a button, you can choose whether you use the pump as a double or single.
Milk capacity: 150ml each
Five massage settings
Nine expressing settings
Offers 90 minutes of cord-free pump time on a full charge
Pros: Can be used as a double and single pump
Cons: Some customers expected the battery life to be better
Review: "The main winning points of this breast pump is the fact that it is super portable and lightweight as well as how comfortable and easy to use it is. It has a huge range of different expression settings to make the process as seamless and simple as possible. It is also a fairly quiet device which is great. The let-down, on the other side, is the battery life. It does need charging often which kind of makes it less portable but then, it is very easy to charge up (which can be done via USB). A power bank to go alongside it wouldn’t be a bad investment if you think you will be using this away from home often. If you’re at home, the battery life won’t be an issue as you’re probably only a few steps away from a mains socket."
Medela Swing Maxi Double Electric Breast Pump
Best double breast pump for comfort
If you're wanting a more natural-feeling pumping experience, Medela's two-phase expression technology mimics the baby's instinctive rhythms which will make expressing more comfortable. Speaking of comfort: the breast shields are soft, smooth and flexible, with a rim that can be rotated 360 degrees so its position can be adapted to suit your breast shape.
Milk capacity: 150ml each
Nine two-phase pumping modes
Six pumping sessions on a full charge
Built-in rechargeable battery
Includes two sets of breast shields
Pros: Breast shields can be rotated 360 degrees so you can adapt position to your breast shape
Cons: There's no digital display so you can't easily track how long you've been pumping
Review: "Genuinely the best breast pump I’ve tried. The cup fits really nicely and having the two sizes to choose from is great. I found if I was really enforced it was handy to have the bigger cup. The stimulation phase is great, it’s very gentle and eases you into the whole thing well. It’s really handy that the stimulation phase will end after a minute so if you get distracted or busy there is no need to worry. The pumping strength through the 9 modes is quite varied from really gentle to quite strong, I imagine there is a good level for anyone. The pump itself is a good size so it’s easy to hold. It is a little heavier than you’d imagine but very robust. The buttons are big and it’s extremely simple to use. I generally got 4-5 pumping sessions from each charge which felt like a lot. The battery indicator is accurate too so you know when you need to charge it after a session. One of my favourite things is how simple the pump heads are, it’s two pieces and the flow through area is really wide so is extremely easy to clean and sterilise. The bottles are nice and I’ve found that nuk teats fit them so I don’t always have to pour the milk into a different bottle. In summary it’s a really great pump. I know it isn’t cheap but I really recommend it if you are going to be expressing often."
Momcozy Wearable Double Breast Pump
Great for hands-free pumping
Hands-free pumping is made easy with the Momcozy Wearable Double Breast Pump. The lightweight and wireless design allows you to move around while you're pumping so you can tick some jobs off your never-ending to-do list. You can also easily pop them in your bag if you need to express away from home.
Milk capacity: 180ml
Two pumping modes
Five levels of intensity
80 minutes/three-six uses per full charge
Pros: Sound is less than 55dB when in use
Cons: Some reviews have stated this pump may not be ideal for larger breasts
Review: "I bought this product due to having difficulties with my little one latching on. It’s been an absolute godsend and the only reason I’ve kept breastfeeding!! It’s really easy to use and great for on the go and being able to do other things / hold the baby whilst pumping. Suction is great, I almost fill the cup every time and it’s so easy to clear & sterilise! 100% worth the money."
MAM 2 in 1 Double Breast Pump
Best for adjusting to your indivdual needs
Offering the practicality of an electric breast pump and the flexibility and discretion of a manual pump, the MAM double breast pump gives you the option of having different expression settings for each breast. This alternate pumping cycle can help to stimulate your milk if you're worried about your flow. It also has a timer that counts the minutes of your pump cycle, which is super helpful for keeping track.
Milk capacity: 150ml each
Three expressing settings
Nine suction strengths
Three hours battery life
Pros: Can be switched to a manual pump if required
Cons: Has a "one size fits all" funnel and breast shields
Review: "I absolutely loved this kit as it has so many different options to cover all basis!!! I had a few issues with feeding at the beginning and the double pump helped with my supply massively. I also loved how not only was there the electric pump, you have the option of manual too (again a great option for me as due to low supply on one size I was advised to pump in the bath/ shower) so meant that I had the option to do this. Not only do you get the pumps, but you also get 2 bottles and containers. I love Mam bottles/teats and have found that the acceptance is good for combi feeding. The containers I not only used to store my breast milk, but also to keep formula when out and about.
Really impressed overall, and although it comes with a hefty price tag, would be money well spent for exclusive and combi feeders alike!"
Nuby Double Digital Electric Breast Pump
Recommended double breast pump
Ensuring mums are comfortable while expressing is the top priority for the Nuby double breast pump. It encourages milk let-down and mimics baby feeding actions by drawing from the breast, instead of squeezing the nipple so you can sit back and relax while pumping. Not only that, the breast shields are really soft and the pump is super quiet too.
Milk capacity: 180ml each
Nine expression modes
Nine stimulation modes
Three hour battery life
Pros: Can be mains or battery operated for flexibility
Cons: Some reviews have mentioned that the bottles unscrew very easily
Review: "I’ve used this Nuby pump since my son was a week old and I don’t know what I would have done without it! He had tongue tie so he couldn’t latch onto me so being able to express and still feed him my milk felt great.
It gets all my milk pumped out within 30/45 mins and sometimes I can get two bottles worth! (Around 260ml). The only thing I would say about this product is on more than one occasion the bottles have unscrewed and I’ve been left with a whole bottle of milk on the floor which is so frustrating. Overall I’d really recommend the pump, just make sure you keep tightening the bottles during expressing!"
Philips Avent Ultra Electric Double Breast Pump
Recommended double breast pump
There's no need to lean forward to ensure all your milk ends up in the bottle when using the Philips Avent double breast pump. You can simply just sit there as the soft massage cushion gently stimulates your flow. The pump is quiet and easy to set up, and you can use the three expression settings to personalise the rate you express milk to suit you.
Milk capacity: 115ml each
Three expression settings
One stimulation mode
Includes two natural bottles with breast-shaped teats
Comes with a case to keep all the bits organised
Pros: You don't need to lean forward while expressing
Cons: Doesn't have as much milk capacity compared to other double breast pumps
Review: "This double electric breast pump arrives in a box and inside a well-designed carrying bag. Each element of the pump has a nice storage area in the bag meaning you can pack everything away neatly and always know everything is together which is a great plus from other pumps I have used previously. Our previous pumps have not had a carry case like this meaning elements can easily go missing if you are not careful. It also means that you can take the pump with you anywhere in a neat and discreet fashion which is a big bonus. The pump itself is easy to attach and use and it is also nice a quiet compared to others I have used. The suction cups are comfortable and do not cause me any discomfort at all. We have found that the pump does manage to get a good amount of milk from breasts and the bottles are easy to use to store expressed milk. Our little one also seems to accept the bottles easily which is a great bonus as he can sometimes be funny about the nipples on bottles leading to lots of crying and a highly stressful feed for all involved. Electric breast pumps are generally on the pricey side so if you are looking to invest in one then you will be looking to make a substantial investment from the start. At just over £200 this is not overly expensive compared to others on the market but it certainly is one of the better ones we have tried out."
Do you get more milk if you double pump?
Medela conducted some research with a group of mums where they assessed a group of mums during a double pumping session and then again during a session where they pumped each breast in turn. They found that double pumping did yield, on average, 18 per cent more milk. The double stimulation was more efficient at getting the milk-releasing hormone oxytocin flowing, so the mums had an additional let-down.
As the double pumping resulted in an extra let-down and more milk, breasts were drained more completely. A breast that is well drained tells your system to produce more milk. If milk is left behind after ineffective pumping, your body will think more isn't needed.
Why is double pumping more effective?
Using a double breast pump is more time effective. As you're expressing from both breasts at the same time, you're essentially cutting your pumping time by half.
If you're juggling working full-time with breastfeeding your baby, have twins or have a premature baby, a double breast pump will be invaluable. You'll pump more than one feed at once, so you can build up a stock of breast milk.
Double pumping also empties both of your breasts at the same time, signalling to your body to make more milk. By pumping more regularly, you should see an increase in your supply too.