The 9 Best Breast Milk Storage Bags to Preserve Your Liquid Gold
If you’re a pumping mom, there’s a good chance you’ve cried over spilt milk. Pumping is hard work, so seeing even a drop of your liquid gold go to waste can be pretty devastating—especially when you throw those big new-mom hormones into the mix. To prevent spills (whether of milk or tears), it’s essential to store pumped breast milk correctly. That’s where breast milk bags come in, and just like with most baby products, there’s an abundance of options to choose from. To save you the trial, error and potential breakdowns, we’ve rounded up the best breast milk storage bags out there.
According to the CDC, freshly expressed breast milk can only be kept on the counter for four hours. If it’s going to be kept any longer, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator (for up to four days) or the freezer (for up to 12 months, although six months is best). In terms of cost and space, breast milk storage bags are the most efficient way to store your stash of breast milk. Made of sturdy, food-grade, BPA-free plastic, breast milk bags are specifically designed to keep your milk safe, organized and sanitary, no matter where it’s kept. The best breast milk storage bags will also prevent leaks or bursts, lay flat for storage, stand on their own for pours and provide ample space for measurements and labeling.
Tempted to use plastic baggies or disposable bottle liners instead? Don’t. Not only does the CDC advise against it, but neither are designed to hold breast milk—meaning the chances of spills, leaks or contamination are high.
Whether you’re a new mom navigating the daunting world of breastfeeding for the first time, or a veteran who has the basics of pumping and storage down (but still haven’t found a bag you love, even after a few babies), you’re never wrong to feel overwhelmed. But before you end up poring over thousands of online reviews—and trying out more bags than you can count on two hands—in your quest to find the best breast milk storage bags, we’ve put these tips together to help narrow and fine-tune your search. We also gleaned some valuable insights from Larissa O’Loughlin, a certified lactation consultant, registered nurse, parent educator and founder of The Mama Coach. In her professional experience, she’s come in contact with every kind of breast milk storage bag, so she knows what’s important to keep in mind when you’re shopping:
- Durability. Pumping breast milk can be a chore (one moms are happy to do for their babies, of course, but a chore nonetheless), so when you’ve done the work, the last thing you need is for the bag that’s holding your precious liquid gold to break or tear—whether you’re just filling it up or have had it in the freezer for a while. You’ll want to look for bags using food-grade, BPA-free materials with extra qualifiers for durability: thick, double-layer plastic or silicone, double-zipper seals/closures to keep air out, reinforced seams to prevent rips and even exterior trim to provide greater cushioning in case the bag drops.
- Accurate milk-measuring marks. Nearly all breast milk storage bags come with some measurement markings to quantify how much milk you’ve produced. Regrettably, most of the markers are inaccurate, notes O’Loughlin. “Most bags come with volume markings on the side, but these are inaccurate compared to measuring it in a bottle.” If you want the most to-the-ounce gauge (whether you’re closely tracking what baby consumes at each feeding or monitoring your own output), “always double-check the amount in a bottle first before transferring it to a bag.” You can do this by cross-referencing with a bottle or even weighing your milk on a digital kitchen scale (making sure to account for the weight of the bottle too).
- Leak-proof and spill-proof design features. Breast milk storage bags are unique in that they’re pre-sterilized and ready for use as soon as they’re taken out of the box. Often they have a safety seal that needs to be removed before they can be filled (to prevent bacteria and contamination). But once the seals are broken and they’re full of milk, you’ll need a leak-proof design to ensure everything stays put—double-zippered locks are the gold standard, but screw thread caps are effectively leak-proof as well. When you’re pouring cold or recently thawed milk from the breast milk storage bag into your baby’s bottle, things can get messy and sticky quickly if the milk starts splattering or dribbling out uncontrollably. You’ll want a bag that sports a spout to streamline the process.
- Storability. Okay, so it’s leak- or spill-proof, but does it stand up in the fridge or stack well in the freezer? It might not be something you think about right away, but once you’re starting to stock up, being able to arrange your breast milk storage bags in a convenient, space-saving way is everything. If you’ll just be saving your milk for a day or two, a bag with a wide base that can stand up in the refrigerator is pretty handy. If you’re pumping regularly and building up a stash, then you’ll want bags that will lay flat and can stack.
Of course, reasonable pricing and availability (bags you can find both online and in stores) matter too, particularly if you’re an exclusive pumper who goes through bags at lightning speed. You might also consider sustainable breast milk storage bags, if single-use plastic bags just aren’t your thing.
Got the guidelines down? Now it’s time to browse our picks for the best breast milk storage bags on the market.
Between pumping, storing, labeling, cleaning, thawing and feeding, pumping breast milk is a time suck (pun intended)—but Kiinde Twist Pouches make the entire process as efficient as possible. The pouches, which are available in six-ounce and eight-ounce sizes, attach directly to nearly every major brand of pump via an adaptor, eliminating the need to decant into a bottle first (and clean a bunch of pump parts). When it’s time to feed baby, the milk can be served directly from the pouch, thanks to corresponding nipple and bottle attachments. But beyond the innovative time-saving features, Kiinde pouches are also extremely high-performing: They rarely leak, thanks to the twist-top closure, are easy to label and compact to store. A breast milk bag that saves mamas from wasting time and breast milk? Now that’s the holy grail.
Size: Available in 6 oz. and 8 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 20, 40, 80 and 160
- Twist top is great for reducing likelihood of leaks
- Pouches are BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free
- Pouch and cap are recyclable
- Cap makes stacking frozen bags more of a challenge
- Measurements are pretty off, many parents say
- Larger bulk packs may not be immediately available
In a perfect world, breast milk bags would never leak and none of the precious liquid would ever go to waste—but thanks to design flaws, user errors and accidents, leaks and spills can unfortunately happen. Your best option for avoiding them as much as possible? NUK Seal N’ Go breast milk bags. Featuring a double-zipper lock, reinforced seams and a thick plastic that won’t accidentally get torn by rogue items in your freezer, NUK bags claim to be 100 percent leak-proof, and more than 2,000 parent reviews agree (O’Loughlin said NUK is also one of the brands she loves recommending to her clients). If the promise of no leaks isn’t enough to sell you on these bags, here are two more popular benefits: The durable, waterproof plastic also allows them to be thawed simply by running them under warm water (with no fear of diluting the important nutrients in the milk inside) and an oxygen barrier keeps the milk fresh, even after being stored in the freezer.
Size: Available in 6 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 25, 50, 100 and 200
- Round bottom prevents leaks from the corners of the bag
- No-mess pour spout curbs spills during transfer
- Stacks well in the freezer
- Bags can be flimsy when pouring milk into them
- Measurements aren’t accurate
Think emptying a bag of breast milk into a bottle is easy-peasy? Think again—especially when you’re running on little sleep. Ameda’s milk storage bags aim to make the transfer from bag to bottle as seamless and spill-proof as possible, thanks to a tear-and-pour spout that keeps even the shakiest of hands from spilling. The bag also conveniently stands in the refrigerator and lays flat when frozen, so you can say goodbye to leaky bags and hello to optimal storage.
Size: Available in 5 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 40
- Resealable zip-seal bags
- Only available in pack of 40
- Adaptors not included when purchased through Walmart
In terms of parent popularity, there’s one breast milk bag that reigns supreme (with nearly 75,000 5-star ratings on Amazon—no big deal!). Lansinoh bags have an easy-to-close double seal, lay flat for easy storage and have a handy curved spout design that makes pouring—without spilling—a breeze, even in the wee hours of the morning. They’ve been engineered to allow moms to pump directly into the bags with a Lansinoh pump, but we’re even more impressed that they’re sold as a bundle with two Lansinoh pump-into-bag adapters that are compatible with most major pump brands. From Ameda and Medela to Evenflo and Spectra pump systems, whatever you’re using can flow effortlessly into these much-loved milk sleeves—and that’s a feature few other bag brands can boast. Just remember to buy the pack with the adapters first, and then you can purchase the Lansinoh breast milk bags solo from here on out.
Size: Available in 4 oz. and 6 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 25, 50, 75, 100 and 200
- Features reinforced double-sealed side seams and a double zipper for the ultimate protection
- Four-ounce bags available for those “small” freezing portions
- Measurements are not accurate
In the last few years, more eco-friendly options have popped up on the breastfeeding market—and we’re here for it, especially because they match sustainability with chicness! O’Loughlin likes them for “parents who prefer to reduce their use of single-use plastics” or those who pump only occasionally, because the “cost of these bags can add up quickly.” The Momcozy silicone breast milk storage bags are one of our absolute favorites since they feature strong seals, are easy to pour from bag to bottle and are leak-resistant, thanks to the tight knob cap. When you’ve come to the end of your breastfeeding and pumping journey or have gotten into the solid food era of baby’s first year, these reusable breast milk storage bags can easily store rice, cereal and blended fruit and veggie purees—not to mention, you can also give them a second life as regular storage bags, ice packs or hand warmers. How’s that for versatility?
Size: Available in 8.5 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 1, 2 or 5
- Food-grade and BPA-free silicone
- Stylish colors
- Easy to clean and sterilize
- Not clear whether the attachable craft paper record cards (to include the date and how much was pumped) are included
- Pricey option
Whether you have a Medela breast pump or not, you’ve probably seen this name come up in your searches for breast pump-related items; the brand certainly has clout in the breastfeeding/pumping game. These classic breast milk storage bags are loved for their durable material, double-zipper seals, self-standing bottoms for easy fills and compact, lay-flat design, making them a great option for breast milk freezer bags too. But another one of O’Loughlin’s favorite features is the large white space at the top for easy labeling—a little thing that matters a whole lot, if you ask us.
Size: Available in 6 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 25, 50 or 100
- Lays flat for space-saving storage and allows for quick thawing of frozen milk
- Comes with a bonus resealable transport pouch to keep unused bags all together
- Stiffer plastic construction can prove tough to get air out and seal
- Measurements aren’t accurate
- Not as leak-proof as others on our list
Moms who decide to exclusively pump can fly through storage bags at a rapid pace, so finding the most cost-effective option is pretty critical. Even for parents who don’t fall into that category, a wallet-friendly yet still-functional breast milk bag is definitely appealing. Enter Target’s exclusive up & up brand breast milk storage bags, some of the most affordable on the market. Thick plastic, a double-zipper lock and a nearly three-inch write-in tab ensure that the lower cost doesn’t translate to lower quality. When O’Loughlin was pumping herself, she actually liked these more than Lansinoh bags, telling us that the up & up brand storage bags stepped up when her Lansinoh bags were “difficult to label or split after freezing.” And at less than a quarter per bag, they’re a total steal!
Size:Available in 6 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 50 or 100
- Stand-up design is great for fridge holds and counter pouring
- Can be used to directly pump into for added convenience
- Double-walled plastic material is very durable
- Measurement markers aren’t totally reliable
- No pour spout
One of the benefits of bottle feeding is knowing exactly how much breast milk baby is getting, but that’s a challenge if the storage bag provides an inaccurate picture of how much liquid is inside (a more common issue than you may think). Dr. Brown’s breast milk storage bags may not come with many frills, but they do take the guesswork out of pumping with their easy-to-read and accurate measurement marks. If accuracy isn’t a major concern, parents also rave about the extra-thick plastic material these bags are made of, which is great for keeping however much milk you have stored inside safe.
Size: Available in 6 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 50 or 100
- Design features exterior trim that cushions the bag if it’s dropped
- Wide availability online and in stores
- Affordable option
- Small labeling tab makes it hard to include much info
- No pour spout, and some parents say it leaks
One of the roomier storage bags for breast milk on our list, the Motif Medical is perfect for those who pump often or have older babies who might be logging larger feeds. The eight-ounce bag features a seal with a double zipper lock to prevent leaks, as well as an easy-pour spout for a no-mess experience. Like other breast milk storage bags on this list, they lay flat in the freezer and stand upright in the refrigerator for optimal storage. Complete with a sleek design, what’s not to love?
Size: Available in 8 oz. bags | Quantity: Packs of 40
- Stands for refrigerator storage and lays flat when frozen
- Only available in pack of 40
- Adapters are available to pump directly into bag, but they won’t fit all pumps
While DIY storage solutions like plastic baggies aren’t advised, O’Loughlin shared some very valuable advice about one alternative option: milk storage trays, which allow you to freeze small servings of breast milk. “One of my favorite products is the SouperCubes MyMilk tray–the frozen milk easily pops out and you can drop it directly into any bottle!” she says. “This is also a great option to have on hand in case baby is still hungry after they finish a bottle. You can then ‘top off’ with one of the single-ounce portions of breastmilk from a tray.”
Size: 16.5 oz. cubes | Quantity: Two trays
- Provides a sustainable alternative to silicone bags
- Lid latches in place to keep contents fresh
- Only effective for very small portions
To help streamline your shopping and highlight the best breast milk storage bags for moms on every kind of breastfeeding and pumping path, we considered a list of criteria when sourcing products, including convenient features, ease of use, quality and durability and value. We referenced breast milk saving and storing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and compared notes with a certified lactation consultant for more anecdotal advice and recommendations that she offers her own postpartum clients. We also read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products work for families, and used our editorial team’s own experiences with breast milk storage and preservation options to lend a more personal touch to the product curation.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
About the Expert:
Larissa O’Loughlin, IBCLC, is a board-certified lactation consultant, registered nurse and parent educator. She provides growing families with evidence-informed support that is always judgment-free. On Instagram, Larissa shares educational and relatable parenthood content about infant feeding, sleep and safety.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.