How to measure your nipple - Brown and red circles on pink background

How (and why) to measure your nipple

Not sure which size flange or Milkdrop cushion is right for you? Measuring your nipple is the key to getting the right sized cushion and flange combination and make sure your next pump is as comfy as possible.

So first off, here's how to measure your nipple.  

  • measure your nipple not your areola
  • measure your nipple not your flange size
  • measure before you pump so that your nipple isn't already swollen
Once you have your nipple width, you can: 
  • choose your flange size (if you haven't got one already)
  • choose your Milkdrop cushion size to stretch over your flange 
Choosing your flange size
The cushions will fit on any flange size. Most pumps will come with a standard flange size of 24mm, but you can purchase other flange sizes or sizing inserts to bring the flange size down. 
  • If you don't have elastic nipples (you'd know this if your nipple tissue stretches right to the end of the pump), then you can use your cushion on the standard 24mm. You can also use it on any other flange sizes if you've already been fitted for those!
  • If you do have elastic nipples, you need you can use your cushion on the flange size that is closest to your nipple. This is to stop your nipple from swelling once it passes through the cushion. 
  • The best flange size for you is the one that is the comfiest and allows you to express the most milk. The best way to figure out your size is to test some different sizes in person. But if you aren't able to access flanges to try, then you can figure out a good place to start, by adding 1-3mm to your nipple measurement and choosing the next largest available flange size. So if you measure 14mm across, you could start with a breast pump flange anywhere between 15 and 17mm. Remember, this is just a start, you may need to change it up if it's uncomfortable or you're not able to get much milk. If you're after more detail, read this step-by-step guide on flange sizing! 

Choosing your cushion size

Once you have your flange, then you can stretch a Milkdrop cushion over top for extra comfort. Check the table below for your size (nipple width), and the flanges that it works best with: 
Nipple size  Milkdrop cushion size If nipple not elastic, use Milkdrop on flange size If nipple elastic, use Milkdrop on flange size
Up to 15mm XS any, up to 28mm Up to 19mm
15-20mm S any, up to 28mm 17-22mm
20-25mm M any, up to 28mm 22-27mm
25mm+** L 30mm+ 27mm+
*If you are measuring 25mm+, please contact us at so we can double-check your pump setup. 

Here are the steps again: 


Once you have your flange and cushion, check that your nipple fits into the hole and can move freely. Start with your pump suction low and increase slowly to the highest comfortable setting. If you have any pain or discomfort stop using the pump setup, and contact us. 

Ready for a more comfy pump? Get your Milkdrop cushions here.

Lactation Consultants - join our clinician program to try out a free sample.


Compatible Pumps 
    Back to blog