Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump: A Practical Choice for Modern Moms

Medela Manual Breast Pump: Best for Working Moms

Sep 26, 2023

Even if you decide to only breastfeed, it is always convenient to have a breast pump on hand for different circumstances. Let's say you are travelling and you’re away from your baby, or for some reason you are struggling with feeding, a breast pump will save your day, because it will allow you to extract milk and bottle feed it to your infant. After testing many great breast pump products on the market, we have concluded that the Medela manual breast pump review is our top choice.

The article will include the best features, and pros and cons of Medela Harmony breast pumps. But first, let us introduce you to different types of breast pumps, explaining why you do need one, and which pump will suit you most.

Why do you need a Breast Pump?

When you're considering buying a breast pump, you will need to think about different lifestyle habits, feeding preferences and employment situations.


Easy to assemble
For traveling
Easy to clean
Easy to use

For example, if you are expected to work away from home and are not with your baby most of the time, then a pump is a must-have item in your home. However, if you are staying home with your little one, it may not be as essential.

In our comprehensive Medela Harmony manual breast pump reviews below, we will go over why every mom should buy a Medela Harmony pump.

We highly recommend you get a breast pump if:

  • You are away from your baby for an extended periods (like work or going on a trip).
  • You're looking to maintain your milk supply.
  • You're taking medication that isn't safe for breastfeeding.
  • You're struggling with feeding or dealing with low supply.
  • You prefer feeding your baby expressed milk.

➜ RELATED: Medela Symphony: An Efficient and Comfortable Choice?

Types of breast pumps

According to our breast pump reviews, there are four common types of breast pumps:

  • Hospital-grade breast pumps: If you want more powerful motors and a higher number of suctions per minute, then these hospital-grade breast pumps will do the job well. However, even though they extract milk quickly, they are often too bulky and lack portability. These hospital-grade breast pumps are also expensive and usually rented.
  • Electric breast pumps: There are double electric breast pumps that are more popular as they can pump both breasts at once. The single-electric breast pumps cost a little less, but you can only pump one breast at once. Both options are efficient, portable and you can adjust the suction and speed level.
  • Battery-operated breast pumps: Some electric breast pumps come with rechargeable batteries, so you won't have to plug into an outlet while pumping. However, they can be slower and tend to run through batteries pretty quickly.
  • Manual breast pumps: With these types you have to use your hand to create suction and pump your milk. These manual breast pumps are lightweight, portable and affordable. Medela Harmony is one of the best manual breast pumps on the market for several years.

Closed-system pump or open-system pump?

Once you know the different types of pumps, it is necessary to understand the differences between a closed-system pump and an open-system pump:

  • Closed-system pump or hospital-grade breast pump: a closed-system pump stops the milk from getting into the machine by employing a barrier. Because the small tubes and inner pieces of the pump are difficult to sterilize, this barrier ensures a  hygienic pumping experience. The closed-system pump (also called overflow protection) also tends to be more expensive than open-system pumps.
  • Open-system pump: The open-system pumps don't include a barrier between the milk and the pump mechanism, so milk flows through tubes and other small pieces into the bottle.

   ➜ RELATED: Medela Pump In Style: Advanced Review - The Best Breast Pump

What to consider before buying a breast pump

As you are looking to buy, you will want to find breast pumps that suit your specific situations and needs. According to our best breast pump reviews, here are some factors to consider before shopping for a breast pump:

  • Weight: It is vital to go for a lightweight and portable model if you travel a lot for work or other purposes.
  • Sound: If you plan to pump around other people or during your baby's naps, you would want a quiet one.
  • Hands-free: These wearable pumps will let you pump under your shirt completely hands-free.
  • Cost: Depending on your budget and how long you are planning to breastfeed, you might want to consider the cost of different pumps.

Essential components of a breast pump

  • A breast shield (a flange): Breast shields are the pieces that cup your breast. They come in all shapes and sizes. A few brands will offer additional measures, and some models even let you try out their various sizes.
  • A milk collection bottle or bag
  • A power source: either a manual handle like the Harmony breast pumps or a motor for electric pumps

Now that you understand different types of breast pumps, let's take a closer look at our detailed Medela Harmony breast pump review.


Founded in 1961, Medela has been producing quality breast pumps for over 50 years. Harmony remains one of Medela's bestselling models with its compact, lightweight and sleek design.


  • Extremely easy to use
  • Easy to assemble and simple to use
  • Wonderful size for travelling
  • Easy to clean
  • Quiet for night pumping and discreet pumping
  • Ergonomic design for comfortable pumping experience
  • Good value for money


  • It does not include an insulated bag

Features & Attributes


This pump helps you to easily establish the most comfortable speed and suction level for your needs. Harmony offers a more relaxing pumping experience with no harsh, sharp tugging feeling like the other manual choices we've tried.

The two-phase expression allows you to choose when to begin the more extended suction. It also has a supportive and soft flange that hugs the breast, which is better than the harder plastic style on other pumps.

Medela Harmony breast pump features a two-phase expression system for efficient breast pumping.

Medela Harmony breast pump features a two-phase expression system for efficient breast pumping Via: Amazon

This product is best for moms who occasionally need to pump milk while on the move or have a break from their electric pumps. All our moms who tested the Medela Harmony manual breast pump review stated that they love the product's comfort and didn’t experience any difficulty finding a comfortable pumping position.

   ➜ RELATED: How to Use a Breast Pump: 5 Basic Questions You Should Ask Yourself


The Medela Harmony manual pump is lightweight and compact, and super portable: it is small enough to be held discreetly in a big purse or tote bag. The pump neck is on the thumb base, so you don't have to grip it when pumping, making it easier to keep for more extended periods. When you are away from home, it is an excellent choice for pumping.

Medela Harmony's manual pump is compact and lightweight for travel occasions

Medela Harmony's manual pump is compact and lightweight for travel occasions Via: Amazon


The Harmony breast pump kit features a friendly and accessible design, so you can use it right after unboxing. Just remember to give it a thorough boil when using it for the first time to ensure everything has been sterilized. 

The pump comprises eight separate pieces: manual pump, breastshield, 2 milk containing bottles; 2 lids; 2 membranes, a travel cap, and a bottle stand. When it comes to the assembly of the pump, our users were happy with the simple and straightforward Medela breast pump instructions. Some said it only took them 5 minutes to read everything and assemble the pump on their first try.

Medela breast pump instructions include simple and easy tasks for assembling

Medela breast pump instructions include simple and easy tasks for assembling Via: Amazon

Design & Portability

Thanks to its compact size and near-silent operation, this pump fits in a carry-on or personal bag and is super discreet. The design is simple, without any plugs or battery packs. The pump neck stays on the thumb base, so you don't have to grip it when pumping, making it easier to hold for extended periods.

Users can easily separate the milk-containing bottle from the pump without spilling any breast milk. The Medela Harmony comes with two collection bottles to make storage and feeding easier. The bottle is also compatible with other Medela's electric pump options, so you can easily switch between using a manual or an electric pump.


The Medela manual breast pump review shows that it is best for moms who need a high-performing portable manual pump. Harmony features two-phase expression technology that mimics the stimulation and expression phases of breastfeeding.

Harmony's two-phase expression stimulates let down (when milk starts to flow) to create a faster suction motion. After that, it will switch to the longer lever to make a slower, longer sucking cycle.

This manual pump offers impressive effectiveness, with 2 ounces every 9 minutes on average. The Harmony pump works quickly and efficiently on each breast without causing too much fatigue from the manual operation.

   ➜ RELATED: Spectra S9 Plus: One of the Best Portable Options Around

Noise level

This pump makes no noise at all. While most manual pumps are silent, this one's lever seems to provide an even quieter pump. The lever has a soft cover that produces no clicking sound like other manual pumps.

Easy to Clean

The Medela Harmony parts are sink washable and dishwasher safe. For other models, please carefully read the washing guidelines for a safe pumping experience. The Harmony is super easy to rinse and sterilize because most parts are reachable.

Please take extra care when cleaning because the Harmony’s membrane is relatively thin and fragile. However, even if you accidentally break or lose the membrane, the Harmony pump provides two extra pieces.

Alternative choices

#1- Spectra S1 Breast Pump Review

Spectra S1 Breast Pump Review with hospital performance and adjustable suction

Spectra S1 Breast Pump Review with hospital performance and adjustable suction Via: Amazon

If you're a working mom and you'd like to purchase an electric breast pump to use alongside your Medela Harmony, we strongly recommended reading the Spectra S1 Breast Pump. It includes hospital performance with adjustable suction and rechargeable batteries.

The Spectra S1 can cost a little more than your typical breast pump, but you will be investing in a machine that lasts. S1 is very comfortable, practical and whisper-quiet with a sleek design – everything you ever need for pumping.

#2- Willow Generation 3 Wearable Breast Pump Review

Willow Gen 3 breast pump allows hands-free operations and comes with an app

Willow Gen 3 breast pump allows hands-free operations and comes with an app Via: Amazon

If you require a hands-free breast milk pumping machine, choose the Willow Generation 3 Wearable Breast Pump. There are no cables and no attachments – the entire electric pump is inside the pump cups. You won't have to worry about the assembly process because you don't have to assemble it. Plus, the Willow Gen 3 App offers real-time data to help you track your pumping history.

The Willow Gen 3 includes a built-in motor, flange, long-lasting rechargeable battery, funnel and milk bag. You can pump and keep your milk in the same containers without spilling any breast milk.

The great thing about it is that you can pump in any position with this hands-free operation: you are free to get your house chores done or spend time with your kids while the machine does its job. However, this wearable pump does not come cheap, and you would have to pay more for extra parts.

#3- Haakaa Manual Breast Pump Review

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is best for a budget manual breast pump

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump is best for a budget manual breast pump Via: Amazon

We would highly recommend the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump if you want something that is extremely affordable and low-maintenance. They are handy, lightweight and easy-to-clean since they have no separate small parts.

If you are a mom who occasionally needs to use a breast pump, this is the one for you. They are 100% food-grade silicone and cost less than any electric pump out there.


If you love reading our Medela Harmony reviews, please share this review with your friends and learn more. Enjoy your shopping day!

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You’ve decided to go for breastfeeding since you had your baby, so the next important step is to find and buy the best breast pump that meets your needs and wants.Now is the time for doing research, which proves not to be a piece of cake at all! Among many types of breast pumps appearing on the market nowadays, the task of narrowing down the winner has become more challenging than ever.