12 Best Nipple Shields in 2017

Babies who have problems latching onto the breast can benefit greatly from a nipple shield. Whether you have a preemie or a baby who is too weak to latch, this little silicone device is a temporary solution to help baby receive enough of your milk.

You should not trust your baby to just any old brand, however, which is why we will be highlighting the best nipple shields here for you in our guide.

Find out more about what you should be looking for when selecting a nipple shield and then join us as we review the top five products on the market today.

Top 12 Nipple Shields Comparison Table

DesignNameQuantitySizes AvailableRating (1-5)
  1. Medela Contact Nipple Shield 1 16mm
20mm
24mm
 4.3
  2. purifyou Premium Nipple Shield 3 20mm 4.3
  3. Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shields 2 24mm 4.2
  4. Medline Contact Nipple Shield 1 24mm 4.2
  5. Momma Bear Nipple Shields 3 24mm 4.2
6. NUK Barely There Nipple Shield with Case 1 24mm 3.7
7. LOVE MY® Nipple Shield 2 20mm 3.7
8. Philips AVENT BPA Free Nipple Protector 2 15mm
21mm
 3.7
  9. Ameda Nipple Shield 1 24mm 3.5
  10. Fairy Baby 4 Pack Breast Feeding Nipple Shield Silicone 4 Small 3.5
  11. Mamivac Imported Cherry Shaped Nipple 2 Small
Large
 3.3
  12. LSD Silicone Contact Nipple Shield Standard 2 20mm 3.0

Q. Why Use a Nipple Shield?

Some of you may be wondering what these little devices are all about, which is why we wanted to answer this question.

No two women are alike, and neither are their breasts. Some babies have problems latching onto the nipple, and in this case, moms find that a shield helps them successfully suckle from the breast rather than having to pump and then bottle feed.

Women use nipple shields for:

  • Sore, sensitive nipples.
  • Premature babies who have trouble latching.
  • Weak or ill babies who lack the strength to latch.

While they can be of great help to both mom and baby, you should never depend on them regularly.

Your risk for mastitis and plugged ducts increases with prolonged use and if some babies get too comfortable using it, you may have difficulties weaning them when you’re ready for them to latch onto your real nipple.

Q. What Is the Difference Between a Regular Nipple Shield and a Contact Nipple Shield?

Regular nipple shields are full discs while others have a little section missing. The latter are called contact nipple shields.

This is Medela’s Contact Nipple Shield.

While they don’t stay in place as well as regular shields, they do allow your baby to make contact with your actual skin, which can help you greatly when it comes time to wean them from the shield.

Q. How Do I Clean the Nipple Shield?

Each product will come with specific cleaning instructions, but seeing that they are all made of silicone, all shields are safe to boil in water.

You won’t need to do this after every single feeding, however. If you use with hot, soapy water and then rinse thoroughly with hot water, you will only need to sterilize the shield once a day to help kill bacteria.

Tips to Ensure You Choose the Right Nipple Shield

Understanding the difference between a regular and contact nipple shield is just the first step. Here are a few other tips to help ensure that you choose the right one.

  • Silicone Is the Standard – Many parents are worried about using a product that isn’t safe for their baby, which is why you see so much talk about BPA-free plastics.

Nipple shields themselves are always made of 100% silicone, but manufacturers who want to ensure their customers that the product is 100% safe for baby let them know that it is both BPA-free and BPS-free. The chemical used to replace BPA in many products is BPS, which is said to be just as harmful.

  • Does it come with a case? – A case is handy, but if it is plastic, you should check to see if it is BPA-free/BPS-free, as well. Otherwise, your shield will end up coming in contact with those substances.

Not all products come with a case, and if yours doesn’t, you should plan on buying one separately.

Understanding Sizing

One of the things we noticed when searching for nipple shields was that manufacturers seem to have a different idea of what “standard” is.

Some say 24mm is standard while others say 20mm is standard.

We learned quickly to ignore that term and just look for the sizing measurement directly.

Medela – the brand that makes the best nipple shield on the market – recommends finding the correct shield size based on the diameter of your nipple.

Use a measuring tape with metric units on it to help you measure accurately.

Nipple DiameterRecommended Shield Size
 17mm 21mm
 20mm 24mm
 23mm 27mm
 26mm 30mm
 32mm 36mm

It isn’t very common to find nipple shields larger than 24mm, and you won’t find any on this list, so if you’re in need of a specialty size, you might need to search elsewhere.

If your nipples are relatively small, you can find shields that come in sizes smaller than 17mm, such as the Medela Contact Nipple Shield or the Philips AVENT Nipple Protector.

Top 5 Best Nipple Shield Reviews

Here we will discuss some of the top nipple shields that moms like have proven to be successful with moms and babies.

We suggest getting two different styles so you can try them and compare to see what you and your baby prefer.

Remember that the success also depends on the preference of your baby since some can find the nipple shape uncomfortable in the mouth. It is all about trial and error with this type of product!

1. Medela Contact Nipple Shield

Medela is the top pick of many nursing moms, and we agree that it is the best nipple shield currently available.

We recommend this as a starting point for those of you who have never tried a nipple shield before. As a contact nipple shield, it doesn’t always stay on very well, but if it does and your baby has no problems latching onto it, then you’ll have found your match! The fact that they come in different sizes makes it a little easier for moms to find the right one.

All of their shields are BPA-free, but since they don’t come with a case, you’ll have to purchase one separately. We tried the Modern Momma case since it was BPA-free and liked it.

As we mentioned earlier, not everyone does well with a contact nipple shield like this one, so if you try it and it doesn’t work out, purifyou is the next best product.

We’ll be looking at it next.

2. purifyou Premium Nipple Shields

Purifyou’s shield is more rectangular than most of the other models and also comes in a 3-pack.

We like that this product is BPA-free, BPS-free, latex-free, and phthalate-free, but it doesn’t come with a case. They do provide you with a cotton drawstring bag; however, that is just a part of the packaging and not for regular storage.

The shape seems to be a bit more helpful than the contact nipple shields since they stay in place better than the Medela shields, but they only come in the 20mm size, and that won’t work for everyone.

If you don’t end up liking these shields, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is something that you won’t find from Medela.

3. Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shields

Suggestion number three is to try the Lansinoh contact nipple shields. The cutout, as you can see, is rather different from the Medela shield since it is straight and the latter was curved.

We like that you get two shields and a case for just a bit more than the Medela. The silicone is also BPA-free and BPS-free, which is always a relief for moms who are worried about putting the materials in contact with their baby!

If you have wider nipples, these might work better for you since they are larger than the previous two products, but if you have narrower nipples, they might be too big.

4. Medela Contact Nipple Shield

Medela also makes a regular round shield if you didn’t like the contact shield.

They use the same BPA-free silicone, and many moms find that this one stays attached better than the contact version simply because more product is touching more of your skin.

Since it is quite thin, you probably won’t feel much relief from nursing-associated pain, but it is easy to attach.

If your baby is having latching problems, but you aren’t suffering too much from nipple pain, give this a try! It might just do the trick.

5. Momma Bear Essentials Nipple Shields

We recommend the Momma Bear shields to moms who have already tried other brands and didn’t like the results.

They’re great for latching difficulties that babies experience, and they can help you with any nipple soreness that might make nursing uncomfortable. They also provide you with size shields, three cases, and a handy baby toothbrush to use once the teeth come in.

As contact nipple shields, they have a cutout like the Lansinoh product that is flat. The rest of the shield is wide and adheres to a wider surface area of the skin than the rectangular purifyou shields do.

Overall, they seem to work well for most moms and babies. They’re BPA-free, latex-free and BPS-free, and they provide you with more accessories than the other brands do.

Final Thoughts About Nipple Shields

It’s hard to determine which is the right shield when you can’t try all of them in one sitting.

Be sure that you speak with a lactation specialist to help you choose the right one based on your baby’s needs and be patient with yourself and your baby.

The products we tried are some of the top choices that thousands of moms just like you have had success with, so compare them based on size, material, thickness and shape as you search for the right one.

When used properly, they can help turn a frustrating feeding experience into a joyful one as your baby learns to nurse directly from the breast.