Do you need to transport your breast milk to and from work, or on a trip? Here are 7 of the best breast milk coolers, so you can find the best one for you!
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What is a breast milk cooler and when would you use one?
Breast milk coolers come in really handy when you have milk that you’d like to store for a while, but don’t have access to a fridge.
I used mine when commuting home from work, when carrying extra breast milk for my baby on a plane, and when I needed to bring milk with me on an outing.
Breast milk can be kept in a cooler with an ice pack safely for about 24 hours.
What types of breast milk coolers are there?
Breast milk coolers are insulated and can hold varying amounts of milk, depending on how big they are.
The biggest difference tends to be in whether the cooling mechanism is built into the cooler, or separate.
Most breast milk coolers come with a separate ice pack. To use it, you stick the ice pack in the freezer until it’s frozen solid, and then put it in the middle of the cooler. The ice pack then keeps the bottles around it cold.
With a built-in breast milk cooler, you freeze the entire container and just add the bottles; there is no separate ice pack to manage. This can make things a little easier; but the downside can be that then the entire cooler can be cold to the touch.
7 Best breast milk coolers
Here are the top breast milk coolers that you’ll want to consider.
✅ Best option for larger bottles
✅ One accessory that can manage pumping, cooling, and feeding all in one
Medela Breastmilk Cooler
✅ Contoured ice pack keeps bottles cold
PackIT Freezeable Cooler
✅ The cooler itself freezes and serves as the ice pack - no separate item to manage
Sarah Wells Cold Gold
✅ Durable and high quality
✅ Small, compact, and discreet for transporting a few bags of breast milk
Momojing Breast Milk Cooler
✅ Has a buckle top that you can attach to a stroller
✅ Large storage capacity
1. Idaho Jones
If you need a more versatile cooler, the Idaho Jones Lysia is a great option! It can fit bigger bottles like 8oz Dr. Brown’s. Use the code EPUMP10 for 10% off.
- Best option for larger bottles
- Good for traveling when you want to bring a lot of breast milk; you can fit as much as 60 oz if you fill 6 8oz bottles to the top
- Has pockets to keep breast milk bottles upright
- Comes with two ice packs
- On the large side for daily use and bringing back and forth to work
Here are some stories showing this cooler in action:
2. Ceres Chill
The Ceres Chill is a very different kind of breast milk cooler! It’s a combination cooler, container to that you can pump into, and baby bottle.
You can pump directly into it (either single pumping or double pumping), feed your baby a bottle from it, and safely store your milk for up to 20 hours. The main container holds 12 oz.
- Allows you to have just one accessory for cooling, pumping and feeding rather than multiple things to manage.
- Uses ice for cooling, which is easy to refill on the go and when traveling.
- It takes a little time to get familiar with how all of the parts work together (but it’s very well-designed, and each piece has multiple functions – more info here).
If you’d like to check out the Ceres Chill, it’s available on amazon or you can get it directly from them for 15% off with the code PUMPING15.
3. Medela Breastmilk Cooler
The Medela breast milk cooler is a great basic breast milk cooler that’s perfect for bringing milk home from work. It is insulated, holds four 5oz bottles, and comes with an ice pack.
- Does everything you need it to
- Has a slot for a business card or picture of your baby that you can slide in to differentiate it from any other people that have the same cooler
- The contoured ice pack does a good job of keeping bottles cold
- It’s not very pretty – it’s a basic and functional design
- Doesn’t hold bottles larger than 5oz
4. PackIT Freezeable Breast Milk/Formula Bottle Cooler
This PackIT breast milk cooler doesn’t have a separate ice pack – the bag itself is the ice pack. To use it, you flatten the cooler and put it in the freezer for 12 hours.
It fits 4-6 small breast milk bottles, depending on how wide they are.
- No separate ice pack to keep track of and freeze (which can be easier with TSA)
- Fits about 10-15 frozen breast milk bags that were frozen flat (depending on how much milk is in them)
- Very cute pattern
- Because the entire bag is frozen, the outside of the bag can be cold to the touch.
5. Sarah Wells Cold Gold
The Sarah Wells Cold Gold is a larger breast milk cooler that is super cute.
- Durable and high quality
- Comes with an ice pack
- Comes in quite a few great patterns
- This bag is pretty big and might be too big for some breast pump bags (obviously, though, it also fits a lot of breast milk)
- At a higher price point than some of the other options
6. FlexiFreeze Pocketbook
The FlexiFreeze Pocketbook is a different kind of breast milk cooler – it’s ideal for transporting a few bags of breast milk. It can be a good solution for carrying breast milk home from work without having to haul a big bag or cooler.
- Small and compact for when you only need to transport a few bags of milk.
- No extra ice pack needed – you just freeze the entire cooler.
- You can only transport a few bags at a time; most bottles won’t fit.
- Some bags may be too wide for the pocketbook – the manufacturer recommends using Lansinoh bags.
7. Momojing Breast Milk Cooler
The Momojing Breast Milk Cooler is a larger capacity cooler and good for travel.
- Large storage capacity and can be used as a lunchbox when you’re done breastfeeding
- Has a buckle on top that you can use to attach the cooler to a stroller
- It’s very functional but not the most attractive bag
What should you look for in a breast milk cooler?
Here’s what to think about when you’re deciding which breast milk cooler to get.
It’s the appropriate size for the space you have/how many bottles you need to transport. If you need to transport a lot of milk (say, on work trips), a larger breast milk cooler like the Idaho Jones or the Sarah Wells might be a good option.
If you are using it to go back and forth from work and you plan to carry the milk in bottles, the Medela cooler might be your best bet.
If you plan to carry just breast milk bags home from work, the FlexiFreeze Pocketbook might be a good choice.
2. Cooling mechanism
The cooler has the cooling mechanism you prefer (built in to the cooler or a separate ice pack).
If your freezer can be crowded, one with an ice pack might be better. If you would rather not have an extra piece to manage, a freezable cooler can work well.
Your bag might get banged around a lot in transit for the next year, so you want one that is sturdy and well constructed.
4. A way to label your cooler
If there are other breastfeeding parents at your office, make sure there is a way to label your cooler so it doesn’t get confused with anyone else’s.
At my office, we had three moms with Medela coolers and ended up putting pictures of our babies in the front flaps, like this:
Hopefully this helps you figure out the best breast milk cooler for you! Let us know if the comments if we missed any of your favorites!