Elvie vs Willow – Best Hands Free Breast Pumps Review
As breastfeeding or exclusively pumping mom, you need a breast pump that will make the pumping process easier and help you meet your baby’s feeding needs. If you are looking for a breast pump like this, you probably have heard of Elvie and Willow Pumps.
The Elvie and Willow are hands-free, portable, wireless, double electric breast pumps. They both have similar features, and it can be pretty challenging to know which of these breast pumps will suit your needs and that of your little one.
After going through various reviews, conducting extensive research on both pumps, and speaking with Moms who use these breast pumps, we came up with this article – Elvie vs Willow.
We will be exploring the features, pros, and cons of both breast pumps while stating which one is better for you and why it is the best option.
Elvie Vs Willow at a Glance
21mm, 24mm, and 28mm
21mm, 24mm, and 27mm
5oz (150 ml) bottles
4oz (120 ml) bags or reusable bag
Pump parts to clean
Two parts (3 if you use the bag)
Available for Android and iOS Phones
Available for Android and iOS Phones
It takes around 2 hours to charge; lasts for pumping of 2.5 hours
It takes approximately 2 hours to charge; lasts for about five pumping sessions
Support through text or call during business hours
Two years on breast pump; 90 days on pump parts
One year from the breast pump purchase date; 90 days on the pump part
The Elvie Breast Pump
The Elvie breast pump is a hands-free, completely wireless breast pump that allows moms to multitask while pumping. This pump is rechargeable, battery-powered, portable, easy-to-use and operate.
Many moms we spoke to mentioned how the Elvie Breast pump has made life easier and more convenient for them. One of the moms we talked to commented that it has helped her to work while she pumped.
Another thing you will love about this pump is that some insurance companies like FSA and HSA may cover your expense.
With the Elvie breast pump, you can pump breast milk hands-free, completely wirelessly, and at any time.
Full-time or exclusively pumping moms can enjoy a new level of freedom.
Key Features of Elvie Breast Pump
Elvie’s wearable breast pump has some unique features that I enjoyed when I got it to express milk for my baby girl.
They are compact and lightweight, and you can wear Elvie inside a typical nursing bra. These features make it hands-free, as you won’t be tied or slowed down.
The Revolutionary technology of Elvie eliminates noise. Therefore, it allows you to pump peacefully at any time of the day.
From assemblage to care maintenance, using Elvie is simple. The Elvie features only five parts to clean and takes seconds to assemble. You don’t need any cords or stress.
Elvie has smart features that allow you to connect to its free Pump app. You can use this app to track milk volume in real-time, monitor each breast’s pumping history, and control the breast pump remotely.
Note that Elvie’s wearable breast pump works with or without its app.
How you can make use of these smart features includes:
- Play or Pause the breast pump(s) from your phone.
- Change the mode and intensity.
- View your real-time milk volume
- Monitor pumping history for each breast
- Set timer for pumping
Elvie operates on a 2-phase mode. It automatically switches from stimulation into expression mode when it detects let-down. And then, it will pause when the bottle is full.
6. Variable suction
Elvie’s wearable breast pump mimics how a baby sucks in breast milk. It features seven intensity settings.
7. Reusable bottles
The wearable breast pumps come with four durable 5oz/150ml bottles where you can keep and store the breast milk for later use.
Unlike some manual or electrical breast pumps, you don’t need any wire, plug-in outlet, or light to pump breast milk. You only have to charge the pump for 2 hours using a micro-USB.
The Elvie breast pump comes with 24mm and 28mm flanges and three breast shield sizes. But if they are too large for you, you can buy the smaller (21mm) separately.
10. Safe Plastic
The plastics of the Elvie are BPA-free and dishwasher safe- which is safe for you and your baby’s health.
What we like about the Elvie breast pump
- The pump is portable and has a good fit.
- It can be connected to a free app for additional features.
- Silent Pumping
- Wireless, Cordless, and Tubeless Pump.
- Each pump holds 5 ounces of milk
- The wireless pump sound is silent
- This pump has reusable containers; no bags
- Its app keeps track of pump sessions
- It includes two different breast shield sizes
- You can pump it into different containers before washing
- It features seven suction settings
- Hand and dishwasher safe
- Allows you to multitask
What we don’t like about the Elvie breast pump
- You will clean more parts
- The battery only lasts 2.5 hours
- It has tiny light, making the pump less discreet.
Types of Elvie Breast Pump
Elvie Wearable Breast Pump has three kinds of wearable pumps known as
- Double Electric Wearable Smart Breast Pump
- Curve Manual Wearable Breast Pump
- Catch Secure Milk Collection Cups
How the Elvie Breast Pump Work
Willow Wearable Breast Pump
The Willow Wearable Breast Pump has a compact, in-bra design that eliminates cords, tubes, or dangling bottles so you can pump whenever and wherever you want.
With seven suction levels, this hands-free breast pump fits comfortably in your bra.
It is comparable to traditional hospital grade and double electric pumps and includes a comfortable setting for comfort.
Willow breast pumps offer leak-proof pumping with continuous suction technology, allowing for 360 degrees of freedom while breastfeeding.
Additionally, you can pump and pour whenever you like and keep milk safe with self-seal, spill-proof hygienic storage bags. If you choose, you can use eco-friendly reusable containers separately.
It is easily assembled, cleanable, and dishwasher-friendly as you will only clean two parts.
Moreover, when you let down, Smart Suction changes from stimulating to expressing, adjusting based on your preferences to get more milk.
Willow App users can receive personalized tips and onboarding videos and see real-time session volumes. The Willow wearable Breast Pump comes in a bundle that includes flanges. This bundle comes with the Willow double breast pumps and 4 Flanges (21mm and 24mm).
With these sizes included in this bundle, you can determine which size you need throughout your breastfeeding experience.
To ensure optimum suction, the flanges are clear to improve the visibility of the nipples. They can also be aligned easily to ensure simple placement and fast assembly.
Although these are reusable, you should change them every three months. You may not experience any loud sucking sounds with the flanges.
With seven levels of suction, this hands-free pump fits comfortably in your bra.
It is comparable to traditional hospital grade and double electric pumps and includes a comfortable setting for comfort.
Key Features of Willow
1. Pump Anywhere, in Any Position
The Willow Wearable Breast pump has a quiet, compact, in-bra design with no cords, tubes, or dangling bottles so that you can pump wherever, whenever.
Everything works inside the pump and your bra, with no external tubes, cords, or dangling bottles to hold you back.
Willow give the flexibility to move in any direction and achieve 360 degrees of freedom using its patented, continuous suction technology and an all-in-one disposable milk collection and storage bag.
3. Designed for Comfort Hassle-Free
This hands-free breast pump that fits your bra offers seven suction levels comparable to most standard double electric and hospital grade pumps and a sensitivity setting for comfort.
4. Pump & Store or Pump & Pour
Willow provide you with the opportunity and flexibility to pump while attending to other things.
Your pumped breast milk is safe with spill-proof, self-sealing, and hygienic storage bags or pumps.
You can store the milk in these bags, eco-friendly reusable containers, or pour it into a sterilized baby bottle for immediate use.
5. Only two parts to clean
It is easy to assemble and clean, having only a few dishwasher-safe parts.
6. Pump Smart
Willow smart pump allows you to track milk volume, view history, and receive personalized tips with its app.
The breast pump’s smart suction technology automatically converts from Stimulation to Expression mode.
Also, the breast pump adjusts based on your unique suction preferences to help you get more milk.
Using an A/V charger, the Willow pump’s rechargeable battery can last up to 5 pumping sessions which gets you through the day.
Other features include
- Milk storage containers and BPA free.
- Reusable Containers and Spill-Proof Milk Bags
- Quiet pump sound
What we like about the willow pumps
- Allow you to multitask while pumping
- The pump has a quiet sound
- It uses its app to monitor pumping sessions
- The pump has a sensor to detect and turn off the pump when it is full
- Easy storage: milk bag allows you quickly freeze up breast milk
- Leak-proof bags
- Easy to clean and dishwasher
- No lights on the pump
What we don’t like about willow
- It is expensive and may not have an insurance cover
- Milk collection bags may be too small
- Requires you to wash immediately after use (Not traveler-friendly)
How Willow Pump Work
Elvie Vs Willow Pump (Similarities)
Elvie vs Willow pumps share some similarities, which we will be exploring in this section:
Both Elvie and Willow are hands-free. You do not have to hold the breast pump while pumping. They are designed so that they don’t need any assistance from the mother but do all the work for her.
These pumps are wireless, cordless, and tubeless. It does not have any external cords or tubes.
3. Rechargeable and Battery-Powered
Elvie and Willow can both be recharged because they use batteries. They practically use different types of batteries, but both their batteries are rechargeable.
Both pumps can be controlled via a free app; it can also monitor the volume of milk for both of them using a free app.
Elvie Vs Willow Pump (Differences)
Willow pumps are more expensive than their Elvie counterpart when looking at them from different aspects. Willow double pumps go for $489.99 to $499.99, while Elvie double pumps cost between $474.99 and $499.00.
Winner: While their prices may seem close, in all aspects, Willow seems more expensive because it comes with fewer reusable milk bags attached to the pump. Since you need to replace these reusable bags before or after three months, you must purchase them from the pharmacy or grocery store.
But, they are more expensive than regular breast milk bags. Whether or not you freeze breast milk, you must purchase a disposable bag every time. In contrast, Elvie includes four bottles, and you won’t need disposable bags to transfer your milk.
Furthermore, you can store your breast milk with Elvie bottles or transfer it into a feeding bottle. This option creates more flexibility regarding milk storage and saves costs in the long run.
2. Flange Size
You need to know your flange size before ordering to get the one that is right for you. To gain an accurate reading of your Willow size, you must first measure your nipple size. According to Willow, the size measurements are:
Getting the correct flange size is vital because it impacts how well the pump functions, so be precise. Unlike the Willow, Elvie breast pumps does not require you to order your breast pump by flange size. Elvie provides the following flange sizes:
Elvie breast pump comes with the 24mm and 28mm flanges, but you can buy the smaller (21mm) separately if they are too large for you.
Winner: Elvie wins in this session because it does not require you to order your breast pump by flange size
3. Milk Volume
The Elvie can process more milk per session – 5 ounces instead of 4 ounces for the Willow. So, when the Willow senses it is full, it automatically shuts off. This feature is essential because you cannot see how much milk is in the bag while you pump.
However, a faulty sensor can lead to a premature shut-off of the pump. In contrast, Elvie’s milk bottle is below the motor and visible from the outside, although your bra will cover it while you pump.
Winner: Elvie wins in this category because it can hold more milk.
Elvie is quieter than the Willow, and 96 percent of women agree it’s noiseless. Therefore, it won’t be easy for anyone else or you to hear it while the pumps are inside your bra. Although Elvie is inaudible in an everyday environment, you will hear a bit of “whirr” noise. However, this breast pump is not an enormous distraction.
Winner: Elvie Breast Pump
5. Battery Use
Willow and Elvie use rechargeable batteries. While Elvie uses USB cables, the Willow pump runs on an A/V charger. Furthermore, Elvie takes around 2 hours to charge and lasts for pumping of 2.5 hours.
On the other hand, the Willow wearable breast pump takes approximately 2 hours to charge and lasts for five pumping sessions. You might need to get an additional charger for your Willow, as you will have to charge two pumps. Unlike Elvie, Willow only provides one charger in its box.
Winner: A tie. While the Willow lasts for a longer time, it comes with just one USB charger.
6. Customer Support
The two pumps have customer support that communicates with their customers, especially in case of an issue with their product. While Elvie only provides email support (email@example.com), Willow offers customer support through text; they also accept calls during business hours (1-888-WILLOW-3).
Winner: Willow wins in this category because it has easy access to customer support.
Elvie comes out on top regarding suction, but Willow is the best for usability with its multiple automatic phases. Willow comes out on top in terms of usability, thanks to its multiple automatic phases. The Willow also offers more gentle suction, making it suitable for more moms while remaining very efficient in expressing milk.
Winner: Willow, because of its gentle suction and multiple automatic phases.
According to the manufacturer’s care guide, you can clean its washable components in two different ways after using an Elvie.
- The first method is to rinse the components in cold water, which is about 20°C / 68°F.
- Then, wash in warm water about 30°C / 86°F with mild dishwashing soap, after which you will wipe them with a clean cloth. Rinse again using cold, clear water at about 20°C/ 68°F for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Another way to maintain Elvie after each use is to place the pump’s washable parts on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
- Furthermore, once every day, sterilize washable components. You can also do this in two different ways.
- You can boil water for 5 minutes, place the Elvie parts in the microwave, steam, or sterilize cold water.
- But I don’t advise you to leave the parts in the microwave or steam for more than 5 minutes so that their high temperature won’t warp the plastic parts.
- Lastly, before you assemble the pump parts, ensure to dry completely.
As for the Willow pump, after use:
- Ensure to rinse immediately to prevent breast milk residue build-up. You will have to separate the Flange from the pump and the Flextube.
- Next, soak these parts in warm soapy water for a minimum of five minutes. Then wash and brush thoroughly with the follow-come cleaning for a minimum of 60 seconds.
- After washing, rinse the Flange and Flextube for 20 seconds or more. And finally, air-dry on a drying rack or a clean paper towel.
- Finally, store the dry parts in a clean, cool place and avoid touching the inner portions.
Winner: The Willow pump is easier to clean as it has fewer parts to maintain than Elvie, which has more cleanable parts.
9. Product Size
In terms of size, the Willow is larger than the Elvie. The willow weighs about 1.5 times as much as the Elvie, making it bulkier.
Elvie comes with a two-year warranty and 90 days on the pump parts. Similarly, the Willow pump has a one-year warranty, starting from the breast pump purchase date, and 90 days on pump parts.
Winner: The Elvie wins with a more extended warranty period.
Will Insurance Cover Both Elvie and Willow Pump?
For Willow pumps, this will be different on a case-by-case basis.
Once you have bought your pump, you should check your health plan to see what kind of reimbursement you may be eligible for. This will vary among insurance companies.
On the other hand, insurance coverage for Elvie will also differ according to your insurance. Still, your insurance plan may partially cover Elvie.
Looking for insurance that covers Elvie? Elvie partners with DME (durable medical equipment) suppliers who work with various insurance companies.
Furthermore, you can contact your insurance provider directly–as they will have information specific to you.
What is a Hands-free Breast Pump?
A hands-free breast pump is a wireless, cordless breast pump that collects milk from your breasts while giving you the freedom to multitask. Upon collection, you can feed your baby immediately or store the milk in containers and bags for later use.
If you need to express breast milk steadily, a pump may be more convenient and easier to use than the hand expression technique.
Why would you need a breast pump?
The following are a few reasons, among others, why you would need a breast pump instead of expressing breast milk by hand.
- If your infant is a preemie or in the hospital, he cannot breastfeed.
- It’s back to school or work for you.
- You want to increase your milk supply.
- Sometimes you need to relieve the pressure on your engorged stomach.
- You need to wean your baby temporarily.
- Regardless of the reason, most lactating mothers find it helpful to have a pump nearby.
How do Hands-free Breast Pumps work?
The hands-free pump deposits breast milk directly into containers or storage bags. You can use containers as bottles or pour them into bottles. As well as storing it in the fridge/freezer, milk storage bags can also be poured into a bottle. Here is a helpful guide for you:
- Be sure that you have the right size for the breast shield.
- Before you begin pumping, ensure your nipples are positioned centrally within each breast shield tunnel.
- Adjust or loosen the pumping bra if necessary to ensure milk flow is not restricted. Make sure both breast shields are securely in place without being too tight.
- As a general rule, pump at your maximum comfort vacuum level, the highest vacuum you can tolerate comfortably, as this will cause more milk to be released in less time. (To determine your maximum comfort vacuum level, gradually increase the vacuum until you feel slightly uncomfortable, it shouldn’t be painful. Then turn it down a notch.
- Pressing too hard on a breast shield can compress your milk ducts and restrict milk flow, so you should avoid this.
- Rub or massage your breasts sometimes during pumping to help the milk flow freely from all your ducts.
- Make sure your breasts are soft after pumping to verify complete drainage.
Your nipples may appear larger, longer, or redder instantly after pumping; your breasts should feel comfortable and have no pressure marks or sore spots. Any effects on the skin may signify your pumping bra is too tight or that you leaned or pressed too hard against the breast shield. You should see a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist if the soreness persists.
Is the Willow or Elvie Pump Worth it?
The willow and Elvie breast pumps are worth the investment. They are excellent in their functions and features, and you can never go wrong with both brands, although you may have your preference.
So if you are purchasing one of these wearable pumps for the first time, you should go over the similarities, differences, features, pros, and cons written in this article and choose based on what is essential to your right now.
Since all moms are different, we advise that you go for what works best for your lifestyle.
Elvie Vs Willow FAQs
Is Willow or Elvie better?
From our analysis, the Elvie is a better breast pump. However, there are some features that the Willow has that the Elvie does not have like it allows you to pump while laying down and automatically shuts off when it senses that it is complete. If these features are a priority, you should select Willow.
Which one is stronger – Elvie or Willow?
Elvie can produce 5 ounces of milk in a session instead of Willow’s 4 ounces, but Willow shuts off automatically once complete. It is necessary to have this feature since you don’t always know if you have enough milk in your bag when you are pumping.
Is Willow or Elvie more comfortable?
They are both comfortable to use.
Is the Willow or Elvie easier to use?
The Willow has fewer parts, making it easier to assemble; however, the accessories that the Elvie comes with make it to have extra features.
Can I return the Elvie or the Willow if I don’t like them?
No, you can not return it.