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Philips is a household name in the home electronics field, producing everything from irons to electric toothbrushes, and that pedigree is evident in the sleek design and smooth running of this electric single breast pump.
The Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump has several features that set it apart from other models in this competitive market. The silicone shield promises a more comfortable expressing experience and is designed so that you can pump sitting upright rather than having to lean forwards slightly.
It sits towards the upper end in terms of price, costing more than the Tommee Tippee Made For Me Single Electric Breast Pump (approx £135) and the Medela Swing Flex Electric Pump (approx £140), but still well below the high-end, wearable Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump (approx £269).
Natasha tested the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump in order to gain more flexibility when feeding her baby at home.
What were your first impressions of the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
My first impressions of the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump were positive. The pump comes partly assembled in the box, which helped provide a good understanding of how to reassemble it after taking it apart to clean (which you have to do before the first use).
The design of the breast pump is sleek and modern, living up to my expectations for this calibre of product.
How easy was the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump to assemble?
Initially, I did find this breast pump quite tricky to assemble as there are more components than I am used to, however, the illustrated instructions were relatively clear.
The first time I used the Avent Electric breast pump, I attached the tubing in the wrong place (the illustration could have been clearer and I didn’t notice this in my newborn haze). I quickly realised my mistake when I attempted to use the pump and found the suction wasn’t working.
The assembly process became much easier after the first attempt and there were no more issues in subsequent sessions.
Is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump easy to use?
I found the Avent breast pump pretty easy to use once assembled. There are 2 different modes, an initial one for stimulating let-down and a second one for expressing milk.
In stimulation mode, the pump automatically switches to expression mode after 90 seconds if you don’t switch it over manually. It is recommended that you should make the switch when you see drops of milk being expressed.
There are different power levels within each mode, which can be adjusted to suit your milk flow. All the levels are easy to see on the main motor unit, which is simple to use with only a few buttons.
How comfortable is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump whilst in use?
Compared to a hard plastic flange that’s a feature of other pumps, the silicone cushion insert in the Philips Avent Electric Pump was quite comfortable.
The sensation of a snugger fit did take a bit of getting used to, but it worked well. The shield is one-size-fits-all, as the flexible nature of the silicone fits around the breast in the correct position. Philips claim that the Avent’s adaptive silicone shield comfortably fits 99.98% of breast and nipple shapes.
Some reviewers at Boots.com were concerned before purchase that the one size fits all wouldn’t be suitable, however after using, found that the shield worked well. This was confirmed by mum Amy, who tested the pump for the MFM Awards 2021, and was really impressed. She found the Avent offered the most comfortable shields she’d come across, whilst fellow parent tester Rayna described it as having a “perfect-fit breast shield”.
How effective is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump at expressing?
I found that the Avent breast pump expressed effectively and as quickly as I expected it to based on previous pumping experiences, resulting in the expected volume of milk.
As is often the case. depending on the timing of use (for instance if I pumped too soon after a feed) a good volume wasn’t always guaranteed, but with enough practice, I learned the times when pumping is likely to be most productive for me.
I felt the different settings on this breast pump gave a good range of stimulation and expression levels to experiment with and I was able to reach one I was comfortable with in each session.
How many different settings are there on the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
There are 2 main settings: stimulation (with 8 power levels), and then expression (with 16 power levels). You use them in that order, moving on to the expression mode when your milk begins to flow, or wait until the pump automatically switches after 90 seconds of stimulation.
Each level creates a different pumping rhythm and I found it best to move up slowly as required. It isn’t necessary to reach the top level if you find this uncomfortable, although you may want to for a more productive pumping session.
The benefit of having this many levels is that I could experiment with what works best for my own individual milk flow, and found each session could sometimes be different than the last. The Philips Avent does remember your last used expression setting however, which can be helpful.
What smart features does the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump offer?
There is no smartphone connection function with the Philips Avent Electric breast pump, but it does have a button control pad and LED display in a minimalist design that is easy to use. The display switches between the time spent pumping and the level at which you are pumping, which is not as confusing as it might sound.
I found the LED display highlighting the time spent pumping to be an especially useful feature, as in a sleepless fog it can be hard to keep track of timings for every pumping session.
What are your favourite features of the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
The main selling features of the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump are the silicone shield, which I did find comfortable after a short period of initial adjustment.
I also loved the fact I was able to pump while sitting upright, however, I hadn’t found that I needed to lean forward with the Medela Swing Pump either, so didn’t find a noticeable difference in this. If you are currently using a model that requires you to lean forwards then it’s definitely worth considering the Philips Avent.
How portable is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
I only used the breast pump at home, but if you did need to express at work or out and about, then this pump is easy to transport. It’s compact (measuring 10.4 x 25.7 x 16.6cm) and light (weighing 67g) and comes with a protective disc to place on the funnel to keep it clean prior to use.
It does not come with a carry case which is unfortunate, as presumably this would be a relatively cheap addition to a product with this price point.
Is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump noisy?
Philips claim that the Avent breast pump has a quiet motor and I personally found the volume to be acceptable. This view was shared by reviewers on Amazon, where most of the 4-star reviews agreed that this breast pump was quiet and discreet.
You could conceivably use this breast pump behind a closed workplace door or beside a deeply sleeping baby without causing a noticeable disturbance.
Is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump battery or mains powered?
Both. This breast pump comes with a rechargeable battery, which is handy if you’d rather not be restricted to the length of the charging cable, or prefer to move around whilst in use.
Using the batteries, I found the charge to last up to 3 full sessions.
How easy is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump to clean?
Before use, the parts that will be coming into contact with breast milk need to cleaned, so you need to disassemble it for washing. I washed the breast pump on the top rack of my dishwasher which is one of the recommended options, but you can also sterilise in boiling water after washing by hand. I also tested some of the smaller parts in the cutlery basket on the bottom rack and they came out fine.
Compared with the Medela Swing pump, which I have used previously, there are noticeably more parts to keep track of and reassemble with the Philips Avent.
I counted 10 different parts that need to be washed on the Avent, which means a large number of small components to keep track of in the dishwasher. To prevent them being knocked around during the wash cycle I popped the smaller parts into a mesh laundry bag to keep them together. To date, the various parts of the breast pump have not become stained or cloudy from repeated cleaning.
How does the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump compare with other breast pumps you’ve used?
I have previously used the Medela Swing breast pump, which as mentioned, comes with fewer parts for assembly and cleaning.
The Medela also included 3 additional accessories: a travel pouch (not a dealbreaker), plastic pouches that enable you to sterilise the pump in the microwave and most importantly milk storage pouches that attach to the pump so that you can express directly into them before storing.
With the Avent you express straight into the supplied bottle, but if you then want to freeze the milk, you’d need to transfer to a different container. This could be fiddly and risk spilling the milk you’ve laboured to produce so as such, storage pouches would have been a welcome addition.
How does the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump compare with similar breast pumps?
|Product name||RRP||Weight||Size||Breast shield||Power source||Expression modes|
|Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump||£180||0.67kg||10.4 x 25.7 x 16.6cm||Silicone Cushion - One size fits all||Rechargeable battery or mains||2 modes (8 stimulation and 16 expression levels)|
|Medela Swing Flex Electric Breast Pump||£140||0.4kg||12.5 x 19 x 25.5 cm||PersonalFit Flex Breast Shield (S, M) included||Battery or Mains operated||2 modes (12 levels)|
|Tommee Tippee Made For Me Single Electric Breast Pump||£135||0.48kg||9.2 x 21 x 18.5 cm||MassageTec Silicone cup||USB rechargeable||2 modes (5 stimulation and 9 expression levels)|
|Elvie Electric Breast Pump||£269||0.23kg||12.8 x 11 x 6.8cm||Comfortable breast shield (24mm and 28mm) included||USB rechargeable||2 modes (14 levels)|
What’s in the box?
- Breast pump
- Motor including rechargeable battery
- Charging cable
- Bottle (125ml capacity) for expressing into and storing milk
- Feeding teat and sealing cap for use with bottle
- Pair of breast pads
What are the additional accessories that you can buy for the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
- Breast milk storage cups – The included Avent bottle only has a capacity of 125ml, so if you are building up a freezer supply for going back to work or so that a partner or childcare provider can feed your baby expressed milk, then you will need storage cups or another suitable container for storage.
The pump is compatible with all Philips Avent bottles and storage cups except the Philips Avent Glass Bottle. This is something to note if you had planned to use glass bottles as a more eco-friendly option, but once you’ve expressed into the included plastic bottle then you can of course decant into a glass one for storage and feeding.
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
That you will need more milk storage options, as it would have been good to be prepared by purchasing these ahead of beginning to express.
Is the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump good value for money?
This is a well-designed pump and it does its job well. I didn’t notice a significant difference between this and the Medela Swing in terms of comfort or performance, so if you are only going to be pumping occasionally and are on a budget, there isn’t much difference between them.
If you’ll be pumping regularly and would welcome the extra features such as the in-built timer and memory function, then the Philips Avent is a good buy.
Where can I buy the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump?
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|Model||Electric Breast Pump|
|Compatible bottles||All Philips Avent bottles except the Philips Avent Glass Bottle|
|Power supply||Usb rechargeable power pack|
|Component parts (excluding bottle)||6 – 7|