Hi friends! Today, I wanted to share a review / comparison of two hands-free, wireless breast pump options, Willow and Elvie. I’ve used both brands during my breastfeeding/pumping journey so think I have a fairly unique perspective trying both! I used the Willow in 2018 when Lucy was a baby; at the time is was their only version but since they have a V2 and V3 now with even more features! I used the Elvie more recently in 2020 when Winnie was younger. Candidly, I never pumped all that regularly and HATED pumping. More than anything, I hated being stuck in a chair next to a wall charger with a bulky pump and a bunch of cords and bottles all over me.Both Willow and Elvie provide a fantastic alternative — being able to pump ON THE GO, hands-free, no wires or cords in your way. I shared all of this info on my Instagram a few months ago (see more here) but wanted to make sure I saved this info on my blog, too. Let me know if you have any questions!
WILLOW vs ELVIE
Both are wearable breast pumps that allow you to pump hands-free while on the go — no cords or wires. Both fit right within your bra so you can pump while you’re doing basically anything – nursing, playing with kids, cleaning, getting ready, on walk, etc.
Elvie comes with a washable, reusable bottle that connects to the breast pump.You can pour expressed milk from the Elvie bottle into a bag for freezing or straight into a bottle for your baby. The bottle is 5oz. The pump detects if the bottle is full and will pause. You can dump the milk from the Elvie bottle into a milk bag or regular bottle and then resume your pumping session or just stop then and there!
When I used Willow v1 they only had milk storage bags that you put inside the pump. I felt like this was more wasteful and could be a lot more expensive, as bags are approx 50 cents each and you have to use Willow-specific bags. Now it looks like the new Willow pump has the option to have a milk container instead you can buy separately if you don’t want to use/pay for Willow bags. The bags are 4oz. Once the bag is full, the pump will stop. You can’t reuse bags so say you only pump 2oz, the bag is sealed and then you don’t/can’t open until you’re ready to use the milk.
Elvie is “silent” while Willow is “quiet”. I can confirm that Elvie is definitely quieter than Willow. Willow isn’t LOUD but there is some noise when pumping. I did use Willow 2+ years ago (version 1) so the newer models could be different!
I personally felt like Willow had a stronger suction but once I got a smaller breast shield, the Elvie suction was much better for me. I felt like the Willow collected milk faster for me because of the suction. For some women, I’ve heard the suction on Willow was TOO strong even on lowest setting and hurt. Part of the suction will depend on having the correctly fitted breast shield. When I was using the wrong size shield, the suction on the Elvie was nonexistent.
Both pumps connect to an app on your phone via Bluetooth so you can control the pump and go from stimulation to expression mode. The Willow app shows you how much you’ve pumped (and was accurate in my experience) while the Elvie app doesn’t show the amount you’ve pumped. Both apps are user friendly and easy to download/connect to the pumps via Bluetooth.
WHAT THE PUMP COMES WITH
Elvie: comes with 24mm and 27mm Breast Shields that go inside the pump and attach to your breast to express milk. You can order the 21mm Flange separately, which is what I needed. Elvie comes with two chargers if you get the double pump, which is very nice if you’re pumping on both sides at same time. I did find that you need to recharge fairly frequently (maybe after 3-4 uses)
Willow: When you buy a Willow, you select your Flange (what attaches to breast) – 21mm, 24mm or 27mm. For both, it’s important to measure your nipple to get the right size Breast Shield/flange! Willow only comes with one charging cord.
Elvie has five parts to clean (dishwasher or by hand) after each use — valve, spout, bottle, seal, and breast shield.Willow has two parts to clean (dishwasher or by hand) – the flange and a tube that connects to the pump
Willow offers 1:1 coaching, Elvie via email primarily but I was able to get help via phone eventually.
Elvie is $499 for a double pump. One cool thing is you can order just one ($279) which is a great option for people like me who don’t pump as often or regularly.
Willow $499 + milk container is $50 and milk bags are $24/48 pack.
Both are FSA/HSA reimbursement eligible and accepted by some insurances.
Here’s me wearing the Willow pump! (2018)
Here’s me wearing the Elvie pump! (2020)