Select Page

We are mom-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission

Both the Elvie and the Willow breast pumps are incredible choices that are designed to change the suction experience of moms for the better. They are convenient and will not get in the way of your everyday jobs. Over the years, breast pumps have evolved as people and companies try to uplift women tech from the dark ages, and the Elvie and the Willow pumps are no exceptions. 

Elvie and Willow are wearable and wireless breast pumps that feature groundbreaking tech for improved functionality. What makes this breast pumps exceptional is that they are the only ones of their kind in the breast pumps market. How so you may ask? The Elvie and the Willow breast pumps use Smart Suction technology to collect milk and can be controlled manually or using native apps.

That sounds incredible, right? What I even love most about these two hands-free breast pumps is their convenience since the milk is pumped and collected using the shell inside the bra. But just like any other product in the market, the only problem is finding the most suitable for you.

About Elvie and Willow

Today, we shall review both the Elvie and Willow breast pumps, looking into their features, pros & cons, cleaning, comfort, cost, and pumping. By the end of this article, you shall know your most preferred breast pump between the two options. And since they are a great investment, we shall see if they are covered by insurance.

Elvie Pump Review

The Elvie breast pump is a hands-free small and lightweight pump that is worn inside a standard nursing bra that you can use anywhere, anytime on your terms. This completely wireless breast pump uses innovative tech that works in stealth mode by eliminating noise to allow for a peaceful moment. It comes with 5 parts that are easy to assemble and clean. The pump is so responsive that it changes from Stimulation to Expression mode automatically after sensing let-down and pauses when the bottle is full.

$279.00  in stock
3 new from $279.00
Free shipping
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of June 23, 2021 9:05 am

Even better, there is a free Elvie Pump app that helps you monitor milk volume in real-time, tracks each breast’s pumping record, and can be used to control the pump remotely. This HSA and FSA eligible pump is also an investment that is covered by insurance. Elvie, makers of Elvie Trainer and Elvie Pump, was founded in 2013 by Tania Boler.

Features:

  • An inclusive design without external tubes or cords
  • 7 intensity suction settings
  • 2-phase suction modes including Stimulation & Expression
  • Charges fully in 2 hours using micro-USB
  • Comes with 3 breast shield sizes (2 in the box)
  • Made using BPA-free dishwasher safe plastic
  • Reusable 150ml bottles
  • Smart app for tracking and remote control
  • Dimensions: 2.68 x 4.33 x 5.04 inches

Pros:

  • User-friendly & comfy
  • Portable & silent
  • Hands-free & good battery life
  • Each side can hold up to 5 ounces of milk
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • The app needs to upgraded periodically
  • Pump lights are too visible

Overall Review: I have been using a traditional pump that ties me to the wall for a long now. And while it does the job well, I’m happy not to have tubes connected to my chest. Assembling the pump was hassle-free and is very user-friendly. What I love most is the choice between manual and app operation of the pump as well as its portability. 

My main complaint, however, is that the bottle measurements are not accurate. It is not a serious issue as this is a common thing with many pumps out there and I’m happy because Elvie is better off than most pumps I’ve used before. I’m a proud mom and the Elvie Breast Pump has changed my pumping and breastfeeding experience.

Willow Pump Review

The Willow breast pump is yet another hands-free pump that you can wear in your average breastfeeding bra. As such you can have space to yourself and do all the tasks you want to do comfortably. It is equipped with leak-proof pumping tech so regardless of how much you move; it will suction the milk continuously. With this pump, you can collect the milk while on the go or pour it on eco-friendly reusable containers and repeat the suction process.

$499.99  in stock
2 new from $499.99
Free shipping
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of June 23, 2021 9:05 am

This HSA and FSA eligible breast pump comes with two parts that are BPA-free and are easy to assemble and clean even in your dishwasher. In addition, it uses Smart Suction tech that changes from Stimulation to Expression mode after detecting let-down and starts to collect milk. Even best, the Willow pump also has a native app that shows you real-time session volume, pumping history, and more. Willow, the company, is based in Sydney and was founded by Naomi Kelman in 2017.

Features:

  • 2 (24 mm & 27mm) breast shield sizes – one purchased separately
  • 7 intensity suction settings
  • 2-phase (Stimulation & Expression) suction modes 
  • Charges fully in 2 hours
  • Milk can be collected using bags or reusable containers
  • 1-year warranty
  • Manual or in-built app operation
  • Each side holds 4 oz. of milk
  • Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 9 inches

Pros:

  • The pump has no lights
  • You can choose between bags or reusable containers
  • It has a 360-degree milk collection tech
  • It has fewer parts & very quiet

Cons:

  • Box includes 1 charger
  • Containers collect less milk
  • Hard learning curve

Overall Review: What I loved most about the Willow breast pump is that I can use it anywhere and in any position and will still do the work. Due to the portability, my friend’s mom whose two kids spent a week-and-a-half in the NICU was able to feed her babies conveniently. I also love the choice between operating via an app or manually and the dual milk collection modes.

However, the downside of the Willow breast pump is the steep learning curve that almost drove me crazy. The parts were hard to clean and despite the hype, it is not user-friendly. I almost gave up was it not for the money I spent. Overall, it is a great choice but finishing needs an upgrade.

Elvie vs. Willow Cleaning

According to the FDA, all the breast pump parts that come into contact with your breast milk including bottles, shields, and valves should be cleaned after every use. The cleanliness of your breast pump is crucial to the health of your little one and yourself. Washing helps prevent the buildup of dry milk residue which can result in the growth of harmful bacteria.

There are different parts of the breast pump and each should be washed separately. And while some should be immersed in water, others like the hub that contains electronics should not.

The Elvie breast pump is not easy to clean. Its washable components in include the valve, spout, seal, bottle, and breast shield. You should rinse these parts in cold water (approx. 20° C or 68° F); wash in warm water (approx. 86° F or 20° C) using mild dishwashing soap. Wipe using a clean cloth then rinse with cold, clean water (approx. 20° C or 68° F) for 10 to 15 seconds. If you are cleaning the pump using the dishwasher, place the disintegrated parts on the top shelf. These parts should be sterilized once a day by boiling in water for 5 minutes. Elvie does not recommend sterilizing the washable components using the ultraviolet method. Always refer to the given instructions for both microwave and steam sterilization. Dry the components completely before storage.

The Willow breast pump is super-easy to clean. Disassemble milk container and rinse then soak in water for 5 minutes. Clean the flange in soapy water for approx. 60 seconds (at least) and use the small brush to clean the Spout. Wash the top opening and body of the Flextube using the large brush then the inside top opening and area (under the collar) as well as the curved tip at the bottom using the small brush. For the milk container, use the large brush for the outside and the small for the insert spout. Rinse for 20 seconds, re-rinse both containers in hot water (20 seconds). Air-dry and store.

Elvie vs. Willow Cost

Both the Elvie and the Willow breast pumps use cutting-edge tech and are exceptional, unlike the traditional breast pumps. As such, they are both expensive but a worthy investment if you can afford and need to improve milk suction.

The Elvie Breast Pump costs $499 for a double and $279 for a single, which is the price without insurance. This is very expensive especially compared to other pumps in the market but its groundbreaking tech makes it worth the money. But if you will be pumping for any regular amount of time, it is a worthy investment.

The Willow Breast Pump costs $499.99 and this does not include the reusable containers. Only the pump! You have to purchase the containers separately which means that you will spend $49.99. At this price, your bag includes 24 milk storage bags and if you need to keep using them, you will need more bags and 48 pieces will cost another $23.99. The more you pump and use, the higher the cost for purchasing extra bags.

Elvie vs. Willow Comfort

Both the Elvie and the Willow breast pumps are hands-free and feature a wearable design. Being wireless and rechargeable for one makes them comfortable as you do not have to be glued to a power source.

The Elvie breast pump is comfortable because it is shaped like your breast which makes it fit easily inside your bra. To ensure you do not need to upgrade the size, this pump comes with 4 bra extenders for extra comfort. The pump also includes no-spill tech which boosts your comfort knowing your tops will not be spotted with spills. This breast pump is also lightweight. On the downside, however, some tops might be difficult to button which can give them a shaggy appearance. In addition, the pump makes low noise that is not disturbing to the ears which improve coziness.

The Willow breast pump is snug too when it comes to suction and being wearable and hands-free makes it comfier. To make the pumping comfier with the Willow pump, just make sure that it is uniformly pressed against your breast and the 3rd Gen is better and more effective. In addition, it also has no-spill and 360-degree milk collection tech for extra comfort during use. These advantages outweigh the small noises it makes which might cause discomfort.

Elvie vs. Willow: Covered by Insurance?

The best thing with products that are covered by insurance is that you do not have to pay the entire amount during purchase. Well, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) initiated rules that make many insurance companies cover most of the pump models in the market today. This means that you can use your insurance benefits to cut the cost of an advanced breast pump. That being said, I’m sure you are asking whether the insurance works for either or both the Elvie and Willow pumps.

If you are in the US, your insurance plan partly covers the Elvie pump. The brand partners with Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers who work with several insurance providers to offer the pump through their plans. Use this link to visit their sites and see if you are eligible.

Although most insurance firms will cover some part of your Willow pump, their case is a bit different. The insurance covered differs by carrier so the best thing to do is contact your insurance company to know which pumps are eligible. If your Willow pump is marked under the Out-of-network benefit category, some plans may allow for and others might not.

Elvie vs. Willow Exclusive Pumping

Both the Elvie and the Willow pumps are wearable and the smart suction tech has been a game-changer for many moms and can be for you. This makes the pumping experience thrilling and easier with an option to use the manual method or the free phone app. They have 2 phases of pumping sensation which start with Stimulation then Expression when let-down is detected. Both pumps come with 7 different suction speeds that you can adjust based on your comfort level.

Here is a breakdown comparison table between Elvie and Willow:

Elvie Willow
DesignWearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
One pump for both breasts
Wearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
Pump designed for left & right breasts
FlangesTwo sets available (24mm & 28mm) while the 3rd is sold separatelyOne set available in 3 sizes (21mm, 24mm & 27mm)
ChargingUSB cordCharger
PerformanceUser-friendlyEasy to set upMore User-friendlyEasy to set up
Suction4.7/5Less pumping sessions before recharge4.8/5 (Gentle & speedier)Average pumping sessions before recharge
Cleaning5 parts to cleanA little difficult 3 parts to cleanEasy
Milk StorageMilk drops into the container directlyContainers or bags options
AppsIn-built app for easy monitoring – compatible with Android & iPhoneNative app for easy monitoring – works with OS Pie 9x & above and iOS 12.x & above
PriceExpensive at $499Costly at $499.99

Elvie vs. Willow vs. Freemie

Now that we have reviewed both Elvie and Willow, let us take a quick look at the Freemie breast pump so we can be able to compare them all together.

The Freemie Liberty wearable breast pump system is yet another hands-free, portable, versatile, and lightweight pump that uses revolutionary noise reduction tech. The pump comes packed with features such as a rechargeable battery-powered mobile electric breast pump, adjustable timer function (with automatic shutoff), more than 100 settings, hospital-grade suction, and hands-free standard Freemie cups. Like Elvie, you can charge your Freemie using a USB cord.

The standard Freemie cups collect up to 8 oz. of milk. The cups are available in 2 sizes (25mm & 28mm) to fit your specific size, and the flange can be customized to fit your needs by adding soft Freemie inserts (sizes range from 15mm to 26mm). If you are looking for a breast pump that will help you with your breast milk stash, the Freemie pump is a fantastic option. Founded in the US in 2013 by Stella Dao, Freemie pumps are also HSA & FSA eligible. Unlike Willow and Elvie, however, it has no app.

Below is a comparison between Elvie vs. Willow vs. Freemie:

Elvie WillowFreemie
DesignWearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
One pump for both breasts
Wearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
Pump designed for left & right breasts
Wearable & 2 parts separated with tube
Hexagonal pump with LCD screen with controls, rechargeable battery & motor
FlangesTwo sets available (24mm & 28mm) while the 3rd is sold separatelyOne set available in 3 sizes (21mm, 24mm & 27mm)
ChargingUSB cordChargerUSB cord
PerformanceUser-friendlyEasy to set upMore User-friendlyEasy to set upUser-friendlyA little daunting
Suction4.7/5Less pumping sessions before recharge4.8/5 (Gentle & speedier)Average pumping sessions before recharge4.7/5Many pumping sessions before recharge
Cleaning5 parts to cleanA little difficult 3 parts to cleanEasy5 easily washable components
Milk StorageMilk drops into the container directlyContainers or bags optionsBreast shield
AppsIn-built app for easy monitoring – compatible with Android & iPhoneNative app for easy monitoring – works with OS Pie 9x & above and iOS 12.x & aboveNo app yet
PriceExpensive at $499Costly at $499.99Cheaper at $189

Elvie vs. Willow vs. Spectra

Enough about Elvie and Willow, what do we know about Spectra?

The Spectra breast pumps are made with Natural Nursing Tech to provide fecund, comfy, and effective pumping sessions that you ought to have as a mom. Like most modern pumps in the market today, this breast pump features tech that allows for smooth suction of milk. You can use the adjustable suction levels with two phases, including Expression and Massage mode to set your most preferred setting. What I love most is the choice between single or double pumping as well as the BPA-free and DEHP-free materials for the optimal health of you and your baby.

Like Freemie, the Spectra breast pump is not tubeless but is wireless and lightweight for convenience and portability and comes with all the necessary accessories. This includes 1 breast pump, 1 12V AC power adapter, 1 removable power cord prong, 2 flanges (24mm & 28mm), 2 back-flow protector valves, 2 duckbill valves, 2 tubings, and 2 bottles. All accessories belong to the company. A US-based firm, Spectra Baby, makers of the Spectra breast pumps, was founded in 2011 by Heidi Humphries.

Below is a comparison table of Elvie vs. Willow vs. Spectra:

Elvie WillowSpectra 
DesignWearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
One pump for both breasts
Wearable, Wireless & Tubeless
Hub housing motor, breast shield/flange milk collection container, battery, charging port & controls
Pump designed for left & right breasts
Includes tubing with traditional design
Standalone pump unit with milk collection vacuum, & bottlePump motor with an LCD screen displaying controls
FlangesTwo sets available (24mm & 28mm) while the 3rd is sold separatelyOne set available in 3 sizes (21mm, 24mm & 27mm)Two flanges (24mm & 28mm) 
ChargingUSB cordChargerAC Adapter Charger 
PerformanceUser-friendlyEasy to set upMore User-friendlyEasy to set upUser-friendlyEasy to set up
Suction2-phase Stimulation & Expression4.7/5 rating on the suctionLess pumping sessions before recharge2-phase Stimulation & Expression 4.8/5 rating on the suctionAverage pumping sessions before recharge2-phase Expression & Massage4.5/5 rating on the suction5 pumping sessions on a full charge
Cleaning5 parts to cleanA little difficult 3 parts to cleanEasy3 easily washable components
Milk StorageMilk drops into the container directlyContainers or bags optionsDirectly to baby bottles (refrigerator-safe)
AppsIn-built app for easy monitoring – compatible with Android & iPhoneNative app for easy monitoring – works with OS Pie 9x & above and iOS 12.x & aboveNo app yet
PriceExpensive at $499Costly at $499.99Cheaper at $200 – $230

Which one is better?

The best answer to this question, in my opinion, is that you should pick the pump that suits your needs better. All these breast pumps have their pros and cons, one pump’s strong suit can be another’s weakness. As I said, it depends on your breastfeeding needs. If you are looking for a pump to increase milk supply, I would recommend Spectra. If you are working on a tight budget and need an affordable hands-free option, go for Freemie. But if you are looking for a wireless and convenient pump that is gentle during suction, Elvie or Willow is your pick.

Hopefully, this article came in handy. All the best!

5/5 (1 Review)
shares