The pumping world is already hard and when you have to choose the right pump but you don’t have any experience, things can get hectic.
When it comes to Willow and Elvie, you might have heard great reviews about both options but so far the main thing you are probably in love with is the fact that both pumps are hands-free and that you can do whatever you want while pumping.
Sounds amazing, right?
The thing running through your mind, now, is which one to choose. Well, I’m here to give you all the answers you need and to help you pick between Elvie vs Willow.
This breast pump review will provide you with all the information you need to make the right choice. No problem, you’ll thank me later!
The best part about these pumps is that they can both be put into a nursing bra without much trouble. They’re also both wireless and compact, unlike traditional pumps that are bulky and stationary.
In addition, both of these pumps are also tubeless. In fact, all the parts of these breast pumps fit into just one piece.
The motor, the charging port, batteries, the control, the breast shield, and the milk container all fit together in one unit, which is kept on the hub.
The main difference in design between the Elvie vs Willow is in the actual pumps. While you can buy one Elvie breast pump at a time, the Willow only comes in a pair.
When it comes to Elvie, it’s important to mention that the design of the pump is universal. That means one pump fits both your right and left breast.
On the other hand, the Willow has different designs for the left and right breast.
Looking from one perspective, maybe it’s better to start with buying just one Elvie breast pump.
This way, you can see whether wireless pumps are even your thing and whether you can get used to using one.
However, most new moms end up buying the other part of the pair, as well. In that case, it’s much cheaper to buy both of them right away than one at a time.
If you check out Elvie’s or Willow’s official website or Amazon, you’ll see that the prices are pretty much the same.
The only difference is that you have the possibility of purchasing a single or a double pump set from Willow.
There are also other useful things for new moms offered on their site.
Of course, you can always find discounts here. They often have a sale on and this is what you should keep track of.
Just be aware that sometimes, these hands-free pumps can be hard to find, so don’t be surprised if you end up on the waiting list.
Also, check whether your insurance plan or HSA/FSA can offer at least a partial reimbursement for a wearable pump.
The best part is that you get a two-year warranty with either one of your purchases.
Each of the breast pumps comes with different size flanges. The Willow offers you the option of 21mm, 24mm, and 27mm.
Beware of the situation in which none of the sizes works out for you. Unfortunately, a problem with the size doesn’t allow you to return the product.
On the other hand, the breast shields for the Elvie pump come in two sizes – 24mm and 28mm. Even though 21mm is not offered right away, you have the option of buying this size separately.
The pump also comes with a guidebook on the sizes, which helps you choose the best fit for your breasts.
I assume that this is your least favorite part of breastfeeding but whether you like it or not, hands-free pumps have to be cleaned.
Therefore, I’m certain that the maintenance of the pumps will also play an important role in your decision about which pump to buy.
Well, at first glance the Willow pump appears to be easier to clean. After all, there are only three parts that need to be cleaned.
First, you clean the flange, then the tube and then you end your work with your reusable milk container.
You can wash each one of these pieces by hand or you can even put them in the dishwasher.
On the other hand, the Elvie has five parts that need to be washed or cleaned. Naturally, while reading this, you have the urge to run for your life.
Nevertheless, the good news is that the Elvie can be sterilized in a microwave or in the sterilizer you have at home.
Either way, please be careful and remember that every wireless pump has to be completely dry before using it once again.
In terms of performance, the Elvie vs Willow don’t have much to separate them.
The best things about them are actually their breast shields, which are completely transparent – and the fact that neither has tubes.
Thanks to this feature, you can align both of your nipples.
That’s how you avoid getting clogged nipple pores, since you are able to get the most breast milk from both of your nipples every time.
However, the Willow has the option of setting different automatic suction levels, which makes it even easier to set up.
These suction levels provide you with a more gentle but still very efficient suction.
The Willow is also stronger when it comes to suction since it gives you a bigger amount of breast milk in the same amount of time.
Milk Storage Bags
Another thing you’ll likely be interested in when it comes to these breast pumps is the milk storage bags. Well, this is where the Elvie vs Willow also differ.
We’ll start with the Willow. Here you can choose between pumping into the disposable bag or into a reusable container.
Both the container and the milk bag have a capacity of 4oz. The best part is that the milk can’t overflow as the pump is spill-proof.
In fact, whether you fill the container or the proprietary bag, your Willow pumps will stop pumping when it is full.
If you decide to choose this breast pump, it’s much more cost-efficient to use the reusable container than to keep on buying dozens of proprietary bags.
On the other hand, with the Elvie you won’t have to worry about this. They only offer you one option: pumping your milk into a reusable bottle and can hold 5oz of milk.
Since we live in a digital age, there is another advantage to using these wearable breast pumps.
You can download IOS and Android apps for both of them.
The Elvia and Willow apps help you keep track of the amount of milk you’ve pumped in real-time, the frequency you pump, your pumping history and other useful data.
There’s a bit of a learning curve, but nothing too drastic.
You chose wireless breast pumps so it is natural that you’re interested in how long you can expect them to work without charging.
They’re both rechargeable but there is a difference.
Well, the Willow’s battery can last for 4-6 cycles of suction, while the Elvie gives you 2-4 pumping sessions.
They both take approximately 2 hours to be 100% charged.
The Elvie’s charger is actually a micro USB. This can come in handy and you can charge it in most of your devices.
On the other hand, the Willow is compatible with a wall socket charger.
Even though it is sold in pairs, you only get one charger, which means you’re not able to charge both of your pumps at the same time.
Elvie vs Willow Pump – Pros And Cons
Elvie Wearable Breast Pump with App
The first advantage of an Elvie pump is that it really is silent, just the way they advertise it to be. You can use it while sitting next to someone and I promise you that they won’t hear a sound.
Another pro of this breast pump is its size. Despite its multiple parts, the Elvie breast pump is quite small so you’ll have no problem carrying it around or adjusting it underneath your clothes.
Here is the thing you probably won’t pay much attention to when you’re trying to choose between Elvie vs.Willow. However, later on, as you start using them, you’ll get a grasp of how important it is.
Since you have two breasts and consequently, need two pumps, the Elvie provides you with two chargers as well. This way, you can simultaneously charge both of your pumps, saving you a great deal of time.
Extra pump parts
How many times have you run out of time to clean all of the pieces of your pump right after a pumping session? Then, before you know it, the next cycle is up but you can’t pump the milk until you wash everything from the last time.
Well, you can say goodbye to this problem with the Elvie pump. They offer you extra parts for the pump, which come in handy in these situations or if you happen to break or lose a piece.
Easy to clean
Speaking of parts, the Elvie pump only has 5 of them: the spout, the valve, the seal, the breast shield, and the bottle. The reusable bottles are dishwasher-safe too, making the cleaning process even easier.
Let’s be honest here: for all breastfeeding mothers out there who use breast pumps, the design is one of the most important things. This is especially the case if you’re a working mom.
After all, you want your pump to be as inconspicuous as possible. You want to be able to wear your clothes regularly instead of everyone noticing that something is going on in your breast area.
Well, when it comes to this point, Elvie does the job perfectly. These breast pumps have a completely flat design which makes them unnoticeable.
The Elvie pump automatically detects when you experience letdown, swapping from stimulation to expression mode on the fly without you having to lift a finger. It also features a rechargeable battery that will last you hours without having to go back to the cord.
First-time moms are often dissuaded by the use of pumps due to the hassle of setting one up and the sheer bulk of some. Elvie doesn’t have that problem as it’s completely cordless. The only cords you’ll need are the 2 USB charging cables that come with the purchase that’ll only see use when you’re not using the pump itself.
Weaker levels of suction
The first and one of the biggest disadvantages of Elvie pumps is the lower strength of suction. Consequently, they’re slower at collecting milk.
You probably won’t mind this if you’re a stay-at-home mom. However, if you’re at work or just doing errands, you want to pump as much milk as possible in the shortest possible amount of time.
Also, this might not be the best choice if you’re struggling with a weaker milk supply, due to its gentle suction.
Another thing many users complain about is the app, which doesn’t measure the milk collection. Consequently, you have to check it all the time and manually insert the amount into the app every time.
Willow Wearable Breast Pump with App
On the other hand, the app is one of the biggest advantages of the Willow breast pump. Basically, their amazing app does most of the work for you.
All you have to do is put the pump on, sit comfortably and let it do its job. Plus, it doesn’t only tell you the amount of milk collected.
It also keeps a kind of a diary that contains all of your previous sessions, the frequency of your pumping, the amount of time you usually spend doing it, and the amount of milk you’ve collected in total.
Unlike the Elvie, the Willow wearable breast pump has a great performance level. It has a stronger suction strength, which means that it can provide you with a larger volume of milk, way faster.
Plus, it’s great for when you’re trying to increase your milk supply, due to its more aggressive suction.
With the Willow breast pump, you can choose your flange size upon purchase, making the pumping experience more comfortable.
Not as discreet
The truth is that the Willow is not as discreet and invisible as the Elvie. You probably won’t notice this if you have smaller boobs, though.
However, it’s different for women with bigger boobs. I’m not saying that it can be completely seen through your shirt but the Elvie’s flat design certainly does the better job here.
With its better and faster performance, it is natural that the Willow may feel a little uncomfortable. Due to its enormous suction strength, you may sometimes feel like it’s pinching you.
However, trust me when I tell you that it’s all worth it, especially when you see how much milk you get in such a short time.
As mentioned already, you only get one charger with this breast pump. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a great con, since it uses up your precious time and energy waiting for one pump to be fully charged before plugging in the other.
Difficult to clean
Finally, the Willow’s parts are somehow weirdly shaped. Consequently, they’re not so easily washed and cleaned, especially the flex tube, which can cause a problem.
After reading this breast pump review, you’re unlikely to make a mistake when choosing between either one of these breast pumps. But, in the case of Willow vs Elvie, I must admit that the Elvie is the best hands-free breast pump of the two.
Now that you’ve seen all of their characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages, the choice just depends on your preferences. I’m just here to share my opinion while stating the facts. Every mom has her preference.
Some might not go for either and opt for a different hands-free pump like the Freemie Liberty or hospital-grade pumps like the Spectra S1.
However, whatever you do, I’m begging you not to lose faith in yourself. I know that breast-pumping is anything but easy, but trust me: you can do it.
That’s exactly why I admire every fellow mom out there who doesn’t give up on providing her children with her liquid gold.
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