Let's be honest. If you're looking for breast milk storage bags (which is the best way to store your breast milk), you're probably breastfeeding. If you're breastfeeding, you probably have a small(ish) baby. And if you have a small(ish) baby, you're tired. And busy. And tired.
The bottom line: You don't have all day to read pages upon pages about the intricacies of breast milk storage bags. You wanna get in and out. Am I right?
With that in mind, we've simplified the process by rounding up the top 7 breast milk storage bags for you and highlighting all of their features and their pros and cons so you can make a quick but informed decision, get on with your life, and go do something else that's important like... say... pumping breast milk!
We take an up-close look at the following brands:
- Dr. Brown
- Philips AVENT
Before we begin though, we want to tell it to you like it is. No beating around the bush. Maybe you should be sitting down for this.
Are you ready?
No breast milk storage bag is 100% leakproof. It's the sad truth. If you look at people's experiences with every single brand of bags, they have all seen leakage with every single one of them.
That being said, some bags are thicker than others, some are easier to pour from, some you can pump right into!
We're going to bring you up to speed on all of that, but please do keep in mind that if a company says their bags never ever leak, well, we'd take that with a grain of salt. And make a back-up plan (read on for ideas on how to do that).
Now, if you're on the fence about which brand to go with, we've spelled out the finer points below, which should help you pick one without taking all day. After all, you can't trust just anyone to hold your hard-pumped "liquid gold"...
Medela Pump & Save Breast Milk Bags
Medela is pretty much synonymous with awesomeness and all things breast milk-related. They're known for their fabulous breast pumps, but do their bags live up to their reputation? Read on.
These 5 oz. bags have the following redeeming qualities:
- They are sterile and BPA-free
- The oxygen barrier helps preserve the nutrients in your breastmilk
- They have a single Ziplock-like closure at the top
- They have a unique no-leak no-spill design
- One of the best features of these bags: you can pump directly into them. (Can I get a "woo hoo"?) And they're compatbile with just about every Medela breast pump out there.
- There's a convenient spot for writing directly on the bag
- These are on the small size, holding just 5 oz.
- They don't stand perfectly upright in the freezer
- They may be on the stiffer side and a bit more challenging to close
If you want to see exactly how they work, check out this short video from the peeps at Medela.
NUK Seal 'n Go Breast Milk Bags
These breast milk storage bags are another popular option.
These 6 oz. bags have a lot of the qualities you should look for when picking the bag that's right for you.
Here's a list of some of their best features:
- They are BPA-free and pre-sterlized
- They're made of durable plastic
- They're made in the USA
- The oxygen barrier ensures freshness
- These can be stored standing up or lying down
- The double zipper at the top ensures no leaks, while also preventing freezer burn
- Nice and easy transfers from bag to bottle thanks to the gravity-fed pour spout
- The plastic is thicker compared with other brands
- These bags don't have a tear-open feature (which may cause some bags to rip)
- It's damn near impossible to write on these with a regular ballpoint pen
- The bag doesn't make a sound when you close it (like other bags), so you can't be entirely sure it's sealed
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
These here bags are a top seller and a very popular option among nursing moms. You definitely should consider them and check out their features below.
- Are BPA-free and pre-sterilized
- Claim to be the strongest bags around
- Come in an easy-to-use dispenser
- Lay flat for storage, which frees up space in your freezer
- Have a pour spout, which makes it easy to get your precious milk into the bottle
- Have a double closure at the top
- The patented double zipper seal is totally hardcore, and you should feel confident about them probably not leaking
- They lay flat in the freezer very well, which allows the milk to freeze in a rectangle shape with similar thickness. This makes them easier to stack and thaw.
- Some people pump straight from their Medela breast pumps into these bags. It can be done!
- Some people say that these bags can leak during the thawing process
- The bags are on the thin side
- They're not the most economical option
For a look at how to use these bags, check out this video from Lansinoh.
Dr. Brown's Breastmilk Storage Bags
Dr. Brown's bags are another heavyweight in this segment. But who is this Dr. Brown anyway?
Dr. Brown is a highly trusted name in breastfeeding products, and these bags have the following features:
- A double zip seal to ensure no leaks or spills
- They stand upright, thanks to the gusseted bottom
- They can be stored in the fridge or the freezer
- BPA-free and pre-sterilized
- Made of thick, durable plastic
- There's a special area at the top for you to jot down the date and other relevant info
- The bag opening is large, which makes transferring milk from bag to bottle relatively risk-free
- They're sturdy
- People say the measurements on the bag are an accurate reflection of the amount of milk inside
- The bags have a slight plastic smell
- People have had problems with these bags leaking as they thaw
If you want to see the bags in action, check out this video from Dr. Browns. It's less than a minute.
HoneySuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags
HoneySuckle bags are another option for you breastfeeding moms. They may not be the most well-known brand, but they have a great product and a loyal following.
The main features of these bags are as follows:
- You can pump directly into them
- They have a double zipper at the top, and are "virtually leak-proof"
- They claim to be the strongest bags on the block, with reinforced sides and bottoms
- They can be stored upright (they are self-standing) or horizontally
- They hold up to 6 oz.
- Customer service is awesome
- These bags are environmentally-friendly
- They come in a convenient pouch which releases one bag at a time
- They have a large opening, which makes pouring milk easy (if you don't pump directly into them)
- Not all types of pens write on these bags; you need a Sharpie market
Evenflo Breast Milk Storage Bags
Another option we ladies have is Evenflo, an excellent company that has been around for 3 decades. To use their bags is to love them.
Additional things you should know about these baggies include:
- You can pump directly into the bags, for maximum convenience
- They have a double zipper at the top to prevent leaks
- They're extra strong, and made from a super durable military-grade material
- They're also environmentally friendly, and are made with 30% less material, which reduces waste
- Stand 'em up, or lay 'em down
- Made in the USA
- It's easy to pull one bag out of the box at a time
- They have slots for hanging (if your fridge allows for that kind of thing)
- It's easy to pour milk from the bag, thanks to the wide spout
- They are thinner, so they freeze faster
- Each bag has an inspirational message on it
- These bags are slightly more expensive
- They're thinner, so they're more prone to tearing
Check out this short video from Evenflo highlighting some of their bags' best qualities.
Philips AVENT Breast Milk Storage Bags
Philips Avent is a big name in baby products, so it stands to reason the company would have some kickass breast milk storage bags.
Here's the 411 on these bags:
- Pre-sterlized and BPA-free
- They have a tamper evident seal
- The secure double zipper does its best to prevent leaks
- These have a very wide spout, which makes it easy to pour milk into bottles
- Dual layer bags means they're strong
- These have an extra-large label for noting down important info
- They can be stored upright or flat
- These offer pretty good bang for your buck
- You can't pump directly into these bags
- The plastic is a bit stiff and it may be slightly uncomfortable to pour milk out
- They may be cumbersome to open
If you want to see how the bags stack up to each other in terms of their main characteristics, check out the table below and compare their specs.
25, 50, 100
50, 100, 150,
Yes! With a hack!
50, 100, 300
Dual track zipper
Tips and tricks for storing and thawing
It's important to be familiar with the do's and don'ts of breast milk storage: how long does it stay fresh, how long can it last in the fridge or freezer, and how to thaw it, among other topics. Check out the very helpful information here and here for the lowdown.
It's also important that you be careful with your frozen bags. Falling on the floor or even hitting each other ever so slightly could lead to tiny nicks and tears, which could in turn cause your milk to leak when defrosting.
With that in mind, you need to be very careful when storing the bags, and you might want to consider investing in a breast milk storage organizer to ensure that the bags don't bang up against one another. It may very well be the best breast milk storage system around.
When thawing your milk, you want to safeguard against any potential leaks. Many a mama has cried over spilt milk, and with good reason. Consider putting the storage bag inside a Ziplock bag and then letting it thaw, or placing it inside a bowl to catch any milk that might escape. Better safe than sorry.
Also keep in mind that milk will expand once frozen, so don't fill the bag up to the brim or you're asking for trouble.
The truth about finding the best milk storage bags
The honest truth is that, for the most part, the bags are very similar.
Sure, some have a double zipper, some seem thicker, and others feel more pliable. But the best way to find the bags that are best for you is to pick one brand, buy a small box, and try them out.
Don't go all-in with any one brand if you're a noob to the breastmilk storage game.
People complain about some aspect of all of the bags, and no brand has escaped the ire of an angry mom who has watched her hard-pumped milk slowly leak out of a bag. We'd like to give a shout out to Honeysuckle here, as they tell it like it is: "No storage bag is 100% leak-proof". It's the truth.
So what's a girl to do?
Buy a small box of one brand, and try them out. If they work, rock on with 'em! If not, move on to another!