Manual breast pumps are a good choice for moms who need to pump occasionally to relieve engorgement, who work part time or only need to be away from baby for a short time. They're also great if you're on a budget, since electric pumps can be expensive to buy, sometimes even to rent. Here's a look at some of the quality manual breast pumps available today.
The Avent Isis is my favorite choice of manual pump. The suction level and silicone insert are comfortable and it only takes one hand to operate. The Isis is also inexpensive and is compatible with the entire line of Avent bottles and tops. Occasionally, I had problems achieving let-down, but luckily it's smooth and easy to operate so my hand didn't get tired when I had to pump a little longer before the reflex kicked in.
The Harmony pump is comparable to the Avent Isis, with a soft insert that is very comfortable and with its one-handed use design. It also has multiple modes that imitate the way your baby nurses, which is helpful in stimulating the let-down reflex. It also has fewer parts than other pumps, which really helps if you need to clean the pump more than just occasionally. If you're using a traditional bottle system as opposed to the Avent system, this is the pump for you.
This pump makes the list mainly because of its size. It is so compact, you can fit it in your purse, a desk drawer, the glove compartment or just about anywhere you might want. It has a one-hand use design like some other pumps, but it uses a slightly different grip that might make it a little less comfortable to operate for some moms.
If you have feedback about a pump on this list or if there's a manual pump you love that isn't on this list, drop me a line and let me know.