Being a new mom means having a lot on your plate. So, anything that can make it easier is always welcomed. When it comes to breastfeeding, that little something comes in the form of a wearable breast pump.
Typically when you use a breast pump you need to find a place to sit down and set up shop.
This means finding an electrical outlet to plug the pump in, a comfortable place to sit, and setting up the tubes, cups, and bottles or whatever you choose to collect your milk in.
We all know this is a process, one that is well worth the benefits. But, who wouldn’t want to streamline it so you can do other things while still expressing your milk?
This is why wireless, wearable breast pumps were invented. They allow moms to wear the pumps and express their milk while they’re doing just about anything.
If you’ve been doing your research you’ve probably discovered that there are two major players on the market. The Willow Wearable Breast Pump and the Elive Wearable Breast Pump.
Both get the job done, but which one does it better? We’re going to take a closer look to help you decide which one is right for you.
|Elvie Double Electric Wearable Smart Breast Pump - Silent Hands-Free Portable Breast Pump That Can Be Worn in-Bra with App 2-Modes & Variable Suction
|Willow Wearable Breast Pump | Quiet & Hands-Free, Portable, in-Bra Double Electric Breast Pump with App | The Only Pump That Lets You Pump in Any Position (27mm)
In this article
Elvie vs. Willow: How Do They Work?
Both pumps work on the same idea of being able to wear them inside your bra and having them be hands-free and cord-free. There are no tubes or dangling bottles. This is the main draw.
Whichever pump you choose, you need to make sure they are fully charged since they are cordless. Both pumps also come with a corresponding app that allows you to track everything from how long you pumped to how much milk you pumped.
But, each one has some differences that can sway you in either direction. This is where the competition gets tough. Let’s break down each pump to see which one comes out on top.
The Willow Wearable Breast Pump is a game-changer for women who want the freedom to move around while they express their milk. The Willow allows them to do this, even lay down while pumping, which is a major plus.
The set comes includes:
Before you order, you need to determine your flange size so that you get the one that fits you best. You need to measure your nipple size and then compare it to the Willow size to get an accurate reading. Willow lists the sizes as follows:
Nipple Size Willow Size
You want to make sure you get the right flange size because this will affect how well your pump works, so you want to be accurate.
Once you get your pump charged and working, simply put the cups inside your bra to get started. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 5 pumping sessions.
You’ll want to download the Willow app that can keep track of the length of the pumping session as well as how much milk your body is producing.
It will also tell you how strong the suction was for each session. There are seven levels of suction which is more than the traditional pumps offer.
Milk is pumped into spill-proof storage bags that are located inside the pump. Each bag holds up to four ounces of milk. The pump can maintain suctioning while you go about your business.
There is also the option to buy reusable breast milk containers that are compatible with the Willow pump. Unlike the bags, these can be washed and reused.
Once you’re done, you can pour the bag into a bottle or put the bag directly in the fridge or freezer for storage. The pump only has two parts to clean and they are dishwasher safe to make it easier.
While there are many bonuses, there are things you want to consider. One of the first things your probably notice about the pump is that it isn’t cheap.
You certainly pay for the convenience of having a wireless pump. Insurance typically doesn’t cover the cost, but you can find out if yours might.
Also, each bag or container only holds four ounces of milk. This is not sufficient for moms who have a larger output. Some moms also comment that the pumps are not as discreet as they would like.
So, that’s something to consider as well. Women who have used this pump have commented that it can be difficult to make sure that your nipples line up with the pump. You may have to do some adjusting to make sure that it fits correctly.
- Gives you the freedom to multitask while pumping
- Pump is quiet
- App makes it easy to keep track of pumping sessions
- Storage is easy by just putting the milk directly from the pump into the fridge or freezer
- Leak-proof bags
- Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
- No lights on the pump
- Expensive and may not be covered by insurance
- Can be a bit uncomfortable
- Collection bags may be too small
The Elvie pump lets you pump anytime, anywhere, just like the Willow. It’s also lightweight and discreet. Simply put the cups into your bra and you’re ready to go. When you buy the Elvie pump, the set includes:
- 2 hubs
- 4 bottles (5oz/150ml)
- 2 breast shields (24mm)
- 2 breast shields (28mm)
- 4 valves
- 4 spouts
- 4 seals
- 4 storage lids
- 4 bra adjusters
- 2 USB Charging Cables
- 2 carry bags
Unlike the Willow, you don’t have to order your pump by flange size. The set comes with two sets of breast shields. If you need a 21 mm size, you can purchase that one separately.
Also, with the Elvie, each pump can hold 5 ounces of milk each. The extra two ounces can be a game-changer for some moms. When you pump your milk, there are no bags.
The Elvie system has reusable containers. This can cut down on cost since you don’t have to keep replacing the bags.
You can download an app that works with the pump to give you information about each pumping session. From the amount of milk expressed to the suction and time of each session, you can keep track of everything.
Choose from seven different suction levels so you can find the one that suits you best.
One feature that many women like is that the pump auto-detects when the milk container is full and shuts off automatically. Be sure to charge your pump well before you use it.
The pump can fully charge in 2 hours and can last about 2.5 hours depending on the intensity you set it on.
Some users have commented that the charge doesn’t hold as well as the Willow, so keep that in mind if you plan on being away all day without access to a charging area.
When it comes to cleaning, there are 5 parts to clean. The plastic parts are dishwasher safe, but if you choose to wash by hand, it’s going to take you a little longer compared to the Willow.
If you’re comparing prices, you’ll find that the Willow and Elvie are virtually the same. So, the cost is really not a factor when deciding which one to buy.
But, both wearable breast pumps do cost more than a traditional pump and likely won’t be covered by insurance.
- Each pump holds 5 oz. of milk
- Discreet and silent
- Reusable containers, no bags
- Keep track of sessions with the app
- 7 suction settings
- 2 different breast shield sizes included
- More parts of clean
- Charge only lasts 2.5 hours
- Pump has small light which may make it less discreet
And the Winner Is…
In the Elvie vs. Willow battle, the Elvie comes out on top. One of the clear reasons is that the Elvie allows you to pump more milk. When you’re breastfeeding and pumping, every drop counts, so two additional ounces during each session is a big deal.
Also, with the Elvie, you don’t have to measure your nipple size before you order to determine the size of the flange. The Elvie automatically comes with two different-sized breast shields. If you need a different one, you can order it then.
Although Willow has the option of using reusable containers, if you choose to use the bags, you’re constantly spending money. With the Elvie, you can only use reusable containers so there is automatic cost-savings.
Another bonus with the Elvie is that it will detect when the containers are full. This takes the guesswork out of knowing and allows you to go about your business without worrying.
In the end, if you decide to make the investment it is a personal choice when it comes to Elvie vs. Willow. While the Elvie does have a few drawbacks, if you’re looking for a few extra features for your money, the Elvie is the winner.