It doesn't matter if you're an exclusive pumper, if you're supplementing with formula, or if you pump so you can build up a breast milk stash, a lot of
pumping parents agree on one thing: Pumping without a hands-free bra can be a hassle. I never had any breast pump bras, and it's one of the products I really wish I had bought back when my baby was breastfed.
For me, trying to do anything while pumping was impossible, and even though I had
a double electric pump, I could only use one breast shield at a time. I'm not sure why I never picked one up, especially since I had several nursing bras, but heed my warning, pumping parents — you want a pumping bra.
“Breast pump bras are very useful for the breastfeeding or exclusively pumping moms,”
Susie Condict, RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Maven Clinic, tells Romper. “Having a hands-free bra allows the mother to keep the pump flanges in place while having freedom with her hands and effective breast support, which adds to the convenience of pumping.”
That freedom is genuinely worth it, especially as new parents have so many things to do in addition to nursing. “Moms’ arms and hands can get sore from having to hold [the pump] up and will even discourage them from pumping frequency,” says Condict. “The freedom of a pump bra allows mothers the ability to take care of their baby while pumping and provide more attention to their other children.”
What to consider before shopping for a pumping bra
Since there are so many breast pump bras out there on the market, it can be difficult to choose one that fits your lifestyle. Some are perfect for the office while others are better left at home. Some can pull double duty as a nursing and pumping bra, and some are to be used only while pumping and then stored in your bag for your next session.
“There are different styles to the pump bras to fit moms’ needs, as well as the consideration of owning two or three to have clean ones available at all times,” Condict says. “The recommendation is to try different styles and sizes at 36 weeks [pregnant]. It is important to choose a bra style that has the ability to adjust to breast changes. A nursing tank or gown with built-in bra are also great options to have for variety and comfort of the mother.”
Just note that sizing really matters with breast pump bras. If one is ill-fitting, it could actually pose some major problems, as Condict explains. “Safety issues with using a pump bra would be if it were too tight and constricting the breast,” she says. “This could lead to increased inflammation, clogged ducts, and potential risk for mastitis. Underwire is also not suggested for the same risk. The recommendation is to be sized.”
No matter what kind you need, these 15 breast pump bras have the reviews to back up their quality. Put your favorites on your wish list and marvel at how much you can get done while pumping, even if it's just having two hands free to eat a hot meal for the first time all week.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 A pumping bra for Medela-loving parents
If you have a Medela breast pump, try the Medela Easy Expression Hands-Free Bustier to make sure you're getting the best fit for your pump. It's an easy-to-wear bustier and can be worn over a nursing bra or camisole if you don't want to take it on and off all day. Even if you own a few different types of pumps, most other brands and designs will still be compatible.
“I have no idea why all breast pumps do not come with this hands free strap right out of the box! It is very handy to be able to read a book or do something other than hold the pump while pumping--even if it's just to relax.”
2 A pumping bra that’s classic and simple
If you want something simple, opt for Lupantte’s Adjustable Nursing Bra for Pumping. It's a great nursing, pumping, and maternity bra, but is also super comfortable, as it comes with removable breast pads to protect from milk leakage, along with adjustable shoulder straps. Its one-step nursing clip is easy to use for breastfeeding and protecting your privacy, and its cotton fabric works great for moisture absorption and heat resistance.
“You do NOT need to spend a fortune on nursing/pumping bras, especially when you can find one that does BOTH. Seriously I can't tell you how many bras I have, and this one is my favorite. I can go from nursing to pumping noooo problem at all, and it's so comfy, not to mention it's something I wear out into public regularly, which can't be said for most pumping style bras.”
3 A bra that bands together for pumping or nursing
Not many people want different bras for different occasions, so if you have a favorite nursing bra, turn it into the pumping bra of your dreams with the Momcozy Adjustable Breast-Pumps Holding and Nursing Bra. This bra can be used for breastfeeding, pumping, or both together. With a crisscross back and adjustable shoulder straps, it’s designed to hold bottles and keep them in place securely and comfortably. Plus, with over 45,000 reviews and a stellar rating, you know you can’t go wrong.
“I looooove this bra! I got one and came back to buy 2 more. I always leak so much milk from the breast that is not “in use”. I love how this bra lets me pump while breastfeeding, saving me so much time. I can pump and still have both hands free to cuddle with breastfeeding baby.”
4 A fuss-free adjustable pumping bra
If all of the zippers, closures, and snaps are turning you off of traditional hands-free pumping bras, you'll love the Rumina pumping bra. Not only can you wear it comfortably all day, but the bra doesn't have any bulky zippers or straps to undo just to free your breasts for pumping. The fabric is taut enough that when you aren't using it to pump, you can still be sure you aren't being exposed under your shirt. The sizes also range from extra small to extra large.
“For working moms who are successfully breastfeeding, this would be the best thing ever. There are lots of nursing bras out there, but getting something comfortable that is dual use - and for a reasonable price - is just great.”
5 A pumping bra that’s multifunctional and affordable
Another bra with positive reviews (over 4,000 and counting), the Pacasso hands-free breast pump bra is a multifunctional bra that you can wear daily, at home, at work, and even during exercise. It’s made of super soft and comfy cotton fabrics, so you can wear it all day — even in your sleep. Not to mention, the bra covers many sizes, ranging from 30AA to 46F.
“I'm SO glad I took a chance. This bra is great. The material is soft, and the velcro in the back makes it fully adjustable creating a wonderful custom fit. They even threw in some reusable breast pads, which always come in handy.”
6 A racerback pumping bra
Love your racerback bras? The Momcozy racerback pumping bra doubles as both a pumping and nursing bra, but is still the epitome of comfort. Featuring a comfortable racerback with no back closure and stylish bottom strap that fits flat against the body and stretches for comfort, it’s a great option for lower-impact activities such as yoga and hiking.
“This is hands down my favorite pumping bra. I was worried that the band might be too tight but it's absolutely perfect. The straps are plenty long so I can adjust them exactly how I need to make sure the band doesn't ride up in the back. It's even comfortable enough to sleep in, which says a lot because I have a hard time sleeping in clothes. The material is a nice, thick quality and it holds the flanges of my pump just tight enough to my breasts so that it maintains a good suction -- even if I have to get up and move around. I would buy this over and over.”
7 A v-cut pumping bra
This Momcozy hands-free bra features an updated design that is both flattering and invisible when you wear it with a low-cut top or dress, making it versatile for many occasions while you are in the nursing or pumping phase. With 93% cotton and 7% spandex, the fabric features excellent softness and elasticity — so much so that you could wear this breast pump bra all day in your daily life. On top of all that, it’s easy to wash and dry.
“The best pumping bra I have ever used and I used a few before buying this and I feel so satisfied with my purchase. I love the comfort, style, and the fact that it’s lightweight yet has really good support. I cannot believe it took me three months of suffering to as an EP’ing mama to find this brand.”
8 A bra that helps you feel pretty while pumping
PumpEase Hands Free Pumping Bra is not only extremely functional, but adorable, too. It comes in six different color options, including floral and polka dot patterns. Like a regular bra, you can adjust the size of this pumping bra to change with your body, and it features the familiar, simple hook and eye front closure design. It also supports two full eight-ounce milk bottles, but is still gentle enough to not constrict breast tissue or restrict milk flow.
“I own three different pump bras and this one is my favorite! Cute patterns aside, the hooks are actually easier to close than a zippered style (in my opinion) and there is no risk of wrecking your clothing by getting it snagged in a zipper or Velcro. I’ve owned my bra for 5 years and after pumping for two kids it’s still going strong!”
9 A pumping bra that does double duty
When you need both a nursing bra and a great hands-free pumping bra, try BRAVADO! DESIGNS Pumping Bra. Whether you're pumping at home or in the office, this bra is easy to use and can be worn all day long without pain or irritation. It can also be used to nurse your baby if you're not pumping that day, or need to do both — no need to switch bras!
“I pump at work where I wear business professional clothing. I’ve tried every bra and hands free straps out there and this one is by far the best.”
10 A pumping bra that’s sexy and supportive
You don’t have to sacrifice cute, lacy bras when it comes to nursing and pumping. This bra from MOMANDA is not only sexy and wearable with low-cut shirts and dresses on its own, but it also features an all-in-one design allowing for pumping and nursing at the same time. Wire-free and comfortable, it features a specially designed cup shape that provides breasts and bottles with enough support for all-day wear.
“I breastfeed but also pump so I have extra for when I need to be somewhere. I always hate having to switch bras to pump or hold the pumps. This one can do both!!! You kind of have to adjust the straps as well after pumping or breastfeeding but to me that isn't a big deal. Get this bra. It's so worth it. The only time I wouldn't want to wear it is if I was gonna be home and wanted to be extra comfy or if I was doing an intensive workout.”
11 A pumping bra that’s totally hands-free
With all of the great reviews, the Simple Wishes D- Lite Hands-Free Breastpump Bra seems to be a must-have for pumping parents. The bra can be adjusted with velcro in the back as needed and has a tight seal for your pump to fit in so you don't have to worry about anything falling off, especially if your shape changes a bit over time. It's also available in a variety of sizes, including plus.
“This bra is a a pumping MUST HAVE! Whether you are a first time mom or a mom expecting another baby, this bra is something you want to add to your shopping cart ASAP! I love this bra so much that I have 3 of them. It is both functional and comfortable which is a hard combination to find. The bra is wonderfully priced and holds up well with repeated daily use.”
12 A pumping bra with a fun polka dot pattern
Who doesn’t love a light blue polka dot pattern? This pumping bra is cute and whimsical, along with being functional and adaptable to your size. The Ameda PumpEase Hands-Free Pumping Bra has a three-position hook and eye closure, allowing you to adjust for changes in breast fullness. And the soft, stretchy fabric maintains its fit throughout the time you use it, even as your breasts change size. It can be worn over a nursing bra for maximum convenience, and it fits a full range of flange sizes. Plus, it fits cup sizes 32AA to 48H.
“It takes a few tries to get good at fastening all the hooks on the front, but honestly, Velcro probably wouldn't hold it shut around me anyway. The material is comfortable and the pump fits through the holes easily. This bra could probably be used for most breast pumps.”
13 A t-shirt bra style
If you’re looking for a hands-free pumping bra that looks like an everyday t-shirt bra, this bra from Simple Wishes is just for you. The bra combines the best features of your favorite maternity, nursing, and hands-free pumping bras with the optional comfort sling to make it a supportive design that can hold up to 16 ounces when double pumping. With wire-free padded cups and a soft seamless fabric, this is a great option for all-day wear to the office or just at home.
“Buy this!! These are great. I’ve tried so many. This is more “bra-like” with no underwire but it doesn’t make you look like you have a uniboob like some of the sports bra styles do. The common problem with more “bra-like” pumping bras is compression. Somehow they have managed to provide a little more support without compressing your boobs too much. Others I’ve gotten were too tight and affected my pumping output or were too painful.”
14 A triple threat pumping bra
If you're currently pregnant and just wanting to get a jump-start on your bra buying, put the Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands Free Pumping Bra on your list. It triples as a maternity bra, nursing bra, and hands-free pumping bra and is simple enough to wear whenever you want. The design eliminates the need for separate pumping bras or accessories — just unclip the top layer, insert your flanges, and enjoy being able to multitask while you pump. And it fits all standard pump flanges, including Medela, Evenflo, Spectra, Willow, and more.
“It is by far the most supportive non-wire nursing bra that I own, and I love the thickness of the bra (slightly thicker than other brands, which helps provide support for a large chest).”
15 A pumping bra that is sporty and functional
A hands-free bra without wires or seams, the Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands Free Pumping & Nursing Sports Bra is a great bra for those who want to be comfortable and use it for more than just a pumping session. This all-in-one bra combines the brand’s fan-favorite sports bra with an inner hands-free pumping bra layer so you can pump, nurse, or both in the same supportive bra. Designed with active pumping parents in mind, it’s great for lower-impact activities such as yoga and hiking, as it is made of breathable, moisture-wicking, and ultra-soft fabric.
“My favorite part of this bra has to be the 2 separate clips for pumping and breastfeeding. I am currently 8 months pregnant and this is so comfortable and supportive. This will be perfect for when I go back to work as I will be able to wear it throughout the day and have the pump bra portion for pump breaks and then the nursing bra portion when I get home with baby.”
You’ll be surprised a how much a simple addition like a breast pump bra can make things easier for you. Having your hands free will allow you the freedom to cook a meal, read a book, and generally take some much-needed time for yourself during the day.
Expert: Susie Condict , RN, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Maven Clinic
This article was originally published on
June 8, 2016