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How to: measure your nipple, with loose change!

It's really important to measure your nipple for a good flange fit as the ones that come standard in the box aren't always the right size. Every body is different. You can use a nipple ruler to measure your nipple but what if you don't have that to hand? How can you make a decision on flange sizing without it? I've come up with a UK based solution, just using some loose change to help anyone who finds themselves without a ruler but needing to make a decision on flange sizing.

How to measure your nipple for a good flange fit

The standard advice is, if you're needing to measure your nipple, you can use a printable nipple ruler to get a good measurement. You can try a circular printable from Pumpables or a printable slider from Maymom. If printing's not your thing, you can consider what I use in a consult by ordering a plastic circular nipple ruler. I find this gives the most accurate measurement with greatest ease and comfort for myself and the client - you may find that too! Once you've got yourself a ruler, measure the diameter (the length from left to right) of the base of the nipple, pre-pumping. Then to find your flange size, add 2-3mm* onto the measurement you have.

*This number may be different for anyone with elastic nipples as the skin is stretchier you'll want to reduce the stretch by reducing the additional measurement to approx 1mm, however pumping is individual so please adjust according to comfort level, you always want to feel comfortable.

What if you don't have a ruler?

What happens if you don't have a printer or you don't wish to purchase a circular ruler? I've had many conversations with people where they either don't have access to a printer or they don't have the funds to buy a nipple ruler, and that's okay. I understand. It means we are going to have to get creative.

The Coin Trick

I said we are going to get creative so here's the alternative to rulers - coins!

Disclaimer, I'm not the first person to suggest using coins to get an estimate of nipple size for flanges however, resources I've come across in the past are in different currency which, I don't have access to! I am based in the South coast of the UK and I created Little Pumpling to support UK Exclusive Pumpers so I wanted to adapt a previously published tip, to cater for the UK pumping community! I've never seen anyone explain nipple measurement using UK currency before so I hope this helps someone!

What you'll need:

Every coin in UK currency from 1p - £2.

If you use every coin in UK Currency (1p - £2), you will have approximate measurements from 17mm - 28mm. Here is a break down of each coin and it's approx measurement in mm:

  • 1p = 20mm

  • 2p = 19mm

  • 5p = 18mm

  • 10p = 24mm

  • 20p = 21mm

  • 50p = 27mm

  • £1 = 23mm

  • £2 = 28mm

The pictures of the coins below are in size order so you can see the range of coins from smallest to biggest which can help to visualise which ones to use.

I aim for inclusivity with everything I write however, in this circumstance I'm restricted to the Bank of England so although we have not included all nipple sizes in this, at least it provides a range which will enable you to understand if you need flange sizes from 17mm upto 32mm and anything beyond this will need a little more attention. You can get in touch via email, if you'd like further support.

What you need to do:

  • Select the coin you think is your nipple size and place at the end of your nipple.

  • Look down and see if the coin is approximately the same size as the base of your nipple

Struggling to see? It might be easier to ask a partner for their opinion on this or to take a picture of the coin next to the nipple.

  • Find a coin to match your nipple measurement

  • Add 2-3mm to get your flange size!

Once you have a coin size that matches well to your nipple(s) size then you can use the pictures above to understand the measurement. Let's say that yours is 5p, which is approximately 18mm in diameter. This would indicate that your nipple is 18mm (pre-pumping), then for flange fit, you'll need to add 2-3mm on for the flange fit. Adding this little bit extra allows for a little swelling within the flange when the pump is on but not too much that it will cause damage.

Remember that this is a tip and not strict guidance. You can adjust the flange you select for your own comfort level. Always remember that pumping is individual and we are all different. You may find that what I have said above does not suit you, and that's okay if you find a solution that suits you. Share it if you like by commenting on a post on instagram!


This article is that of the opinion of the author. Consult your health visitor or GP if you want any medical advice. This article uses affiliate links and referral codes to help maintain the community it is building. The links do not add a cost to you but if you choose to purchase an item using them we may receive a small commission for the sale. It is a small thank you to the author for the time and dedication taken to provide you with information on Exclusive Pumping.

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