Willow vs. Elvie: Which is the best hands-free breast pump?

After years of minimum primary enhancements to breast pumps, now we have come to reside in an age of relative abundance. There are actually two breast pumps which are large leaps ahead for breastfeeding or chestfeeding oldsters: the and the . 

Each the and are self-contained breast pumps which are held in position with a complete protection nursing bra. They run on rechargeable batteries – the Willow makes use of an A/V charger and the Elvie makes use of USB cables. Now we have reviewed them each extensive, however right here we are placing them head-to-head. 

The Elvie is available to buy both as a unmarried pump or a collection of 2, whilst the Willow is handiest to be had as a collection of 2. Since we predict maximum customers will go for the double pump, that is what we’re going to be evaluating on this submit. 

What is within the field? 

The Elvie double pump comes with: 

  • Two hubs (the motors) 

  • four Five-ounce bottles 

  • 2 24mm breast shields

  • 2 28mm breast shields

  • four valves

  • four spouts

  • four seals

  • four garage lids

  • four bra adjusters

  • 2 USB charging cables

  • 2 raise luggage

The Willow double pump comes with: 

That is the primary level of differentiation between the Willow and Elvie. The Elvie ships with sufficient equipment to pump two times with no need to scrub anything else rather than the breast shields. This got here in to hand for me after I had to pump within the automobile whilst touring; I may just simply stash the grimy portions in a bag to scrub at my vacation spot. 

In case you are pumping on all sides, you’ll be able to want to wash the Willow’s portions earlier than the usage of it once more, and it will possibly malfunction with out common cleansing.

What are the variations between the Willow and the Elvie breast pump? 

The principle variations are: 

  • Price

  • How a lot milk each and every can hang

  • How lively you’ll be whilst you pump

  • How tough they’re to make use of

  • The way you retailer the milk

Price

Let’s get started with cash. The Elvie’s double pump prices $499 however comes with extra portions total. The Willow additionally prices $499 and springs with 24 of the corporate’s proprietary luggage. Reusable milk boxes can also be bought one by one for $50, and a bundle of luggage is $23.99 for 48. 

In case you are pumping with the Elvie, or the Willow’s reusable milk container, you’ll retailer breast milk in freezer luggage, which can be to be had at maximum shops from manufacturers like Lansinoh or Medela. In case you are the usage of the proprietary Willow garage luggage, you’ll purchase them at once from the corporate for $23.99 for a bundle of 48.

Job ranges

This kind of pump permits for larger mobility than same old breast pumps that want to be plugged right into a wall and feature lengthy tubes connecting the flanges to the motor. They are additionally extra discreet to make use of. Each the Elvie and Willow are single-user pumps and can’t be shared. Every is eligible to be bought with cash from a well being financial savings account (HSA) or a versatile spending account (FSA). Partial insurance policy is also to be had in case you touch your insurer.

The Willow turns out to have the transparent edge when it comes to what actions you’ll do whilst pumping, due to the one-way valve within the bag. Dressed in a cosy bra helps to keep the Willow safe sufficient to do yoga or different moderate-intensity actions, even the place the pump turns into inverted or when the consumer is mendacity down. That is an engineering success by itself. 

Dressed in the Elvie did not really feel just about safe sufficient to check out workout or important transferring round whilst pumping. I did not need to possibility disrupting the seal and having to begin over.

Milk quantity 

The Elvie can maintain a better quantity of milk produced in a consultation – Five oz in comparison to four oz for the Willow. The Willow shuts off routinely when it senses that it is complete. It is a wanted characteristic since you’ll’t see how a lot milk is within the bag while you are pumping. On the other hand, it’s additionally conceivable for the pump to close off upfront if the sensor is mistaken. 

By contrast, the Elvie’s milk bottle is beneath the motor and visual from the out of doors, regardless that your bra can be overlaying it whilst you pump. 

Pointers and tips 

The Elvie comes with two sizes of flanges within the field. The Willow is sized, so you want to measure your breast earlier than acquire and make a selection the choice that are supposed to are compatible. When you measure mistaken, you’ll be able to want to order a brand new section. 

Opting for between the Willow and the Elvie will almost definitely come right down to which options topic extra to you, regardless that understanding that prematurely is also tough for any individual making an attempt to pump or breastfeed for the primary time. The Willow can also be difficult to place in combination for the primary time, and it has a Turn to End maneuver that strikes all of the milk into the bag on the finish of a consultation. Our reviewer discovered this took somewhat of follow, and he or she unintentionally dumped milk far and wide her counter the primary time she did it. 

Here is what an afternoon with the breast pumps gave the look of…

With any pumping consultation, you’ll be able to pump breast milk into both a bottle or a bag, relying for your pump, after which both give it for your child straight away or retailer it for later use. If the infant is ingesting all of the pumped milk inside a 24-hour length, then maintaining the milk in bottles within the refrigerator it will likely be the perfect selection. Many mothers pump a stash of milk previous to returning to paintings and freeze it. In the ones instances, the infant would possibly drink milk that is been defrosted and the newly-pumped milk can be frozen till it is used. 

This difference issues as it impacts what sort of milk garage it’s possible you’ll desire. 

The Willow can pump breast milk at once into its proprietary bag, which is freezer-safe. Due to a one-way valve, you can also’t spill it at this degree. Sadly, Willow’s luggage are dearer than same old breast milk luggage you’ll purchase from a grocery retailer or pharmacy. And if you are the usage of the breast milk with out freezing it, you’ll use a disposable bag each time. 

The Willow does have an choice to shop for a reusable plastic milk container that attaches to the pump. You’ll pump into the reusable milk container after which pour the milk into any bag you need earlier than you freeze it. On the other hand, one set of reusable boxes prices $50, and you’ll’t pump with out them. You can want to wash them and retailer the milk in a 2nd container to stay pumping. 

If a normal day within the place of work (post-pandemic, listen me out) will require 2-Three pumping classes, you’ll be able to want to carry some other container with you to retailer the milk, or sell off it into garage luggage. 

By contrast, the Elvie comes with 4 bottles, which matches farther than you assume. The overall Five-ounce capability used to be sufficient to carry a complete pumping consultation’s value of breast milk. So a 3 consultation day would possibly seem like this: 

  • Consultation 1: Pump with bottles 1 and a couple of, then mix all of it into bottle 1 and wash bottle 2. 

  • Consultation 2: Pump with bottles Three and four, then mix all of it into bottle Three and wash bottle four. 

  • Consultation Three: Pump with bottles 2 and four, then mix it into bottle 2. 

So on the finish of the day you’ll have 3 bottles of milk and yet one more to scrub. However, you should use bottles 1 and a couple of for Consultation 1, then mix it right into a freezer bag and wash the bottles. For consultation 2, you’ll repeat the method with bottles Three and four, after which use the now-dry bottles 1 and a couple of once more for the ultimate consultation of the day. 

The additional bottles that include the Elvie create extra flexibility when it comes to milk garage choices, and I did not need to do as a lot cleansing in an instant. Each the Elvie and Willow paintings very best when all of the portions are dry, so the additional drying time afforded through the second one set of portions used to be useful. 

If the consumer is not storing the milk, however simply pumping to feed their child in a while later on, then the bag inventions of the Willow do not repay, making the Elvie more straightforward to take care of. 

– Katherine J. Igoe contributed reporting

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