Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Willow vs. Elvie: Portable Breast Pump Review


There are two big players out there in the 100% wireless, hands free breast pump world:



And guess what?!?  Yours truly has both of them.  And even though I did a post prior with my review of the Willow, I figured I owed you one comparing and contrasting both of these portable pumps and which one edges out being my favorite.

I want to first mention that this post is 100% my own opinions and is not endorsed nor sponsored by either of these two brands.  Just Alex here giving her own little insights.

Okay!  So let's get down to it and review these guys!

I first want to mention that both of these pumps are 100% what they are suppose to be: a portable, wireless, easy-to-use breast pump.  I have had wonderful luck with them both being the perfect pump for on the go pumping (mostly to/from photoshoots or during a birth I'm snapping or making dinner -- or basically anytime I need to pump and can't be sitting down on my couch!).  They are very similar in many regards, but there are some significant differences that are worth noting too.


Elvie
SizeTiny and lightweight
Milk CollectionReusable pump containers (comes with 2 sets)
Capacity5oz max on each side
PowerMicro USB charging cables (comes with 2); can do about 4 pump sessions before recharge
ControlsCan control suction intensity on pump or app for both stimulation & expression
Parts6 parts - pump + flange, flange membrane, collection container, cap, membrane
AppEasy to use app, logs your sessions, collection amount, etc...
PortabilityExtremely portable - tiny, compact, fits in my bag no problem
OutputQuick output -- pump less time with the Elvie and get out more milk.
Price$499
Willow
SizeBigger and heavier than the Elvie (but still small)
Milk CollectionMilk bags (sold separately) or reusable collection containers (sold separately)
Capacity4oz max on each side
PowerSpecial Willow charging cable (comes with 1); can do about 4 pump sessions before recharge
ControlsCan control suction intensity on pump or app for expression only
Parts4 parts - pump + flange, pump tube, milk bag
AppEasy to use app, logs your sessions, collection amount, etc...
PortabilityExtremely portable - tiny, compact, fits in my bag no problem
OutputSlower output -- pump longer to get milk out.
Price$499 + $25 milk bag replacements and/or $50 reusable containers

That was a fun little comparison chart, huh?!

When it comes down to it, the Elvie wins out for best portable pump in my opinion...and wins for a few BIG reasons...


First off, REUSABLE CONTAINERS.  The Willow I have only allows pumping into the milk bags...which get pricey.  The newer version of the Willow allows for pumping into reusable containers BUT those are sold separately.  The Elvie comes with them to begin with.

Secondly, and this is huge for me, FIVE OUNCE COLLECTION CONTAINERS.  I am an overproducer and typically can pump out 4+ ounces on each side.  With the Willow, the pump would automatically turn off when it sensed you were near 4oz and prompt you to change the bag.  The Elvie holds more milk on each side and was a huge factor why I purchased it instead of the newer version of the Willow.

Lastly, the Elvie came with all of the parts I needed.  I feel like with the Willow I was constantly shelling out more money on bags, extra flanges (one of mine did crack and I had to replace it), another charging cable since it only came with one, etc... and with the Elvie all of that came with it, so the $500 I shelled out for it was it.  There were no other hidden costs.

However, even though the Elvie gets my vote, I cannot speak for either of these pumps enough for the freedom and portability they offer on the go nursing/pumping moms.  I wore my Elvie to pump while picking Patrick up from a birthday party last weekend and no one knew I was doing that!  I pumped sitting at our team's table during a trivia night...and again, no one knew!  These portable pumps truly are a Godsend for an on the go mama and either one you'll be happy with.

But, for Alex here, the Elvie wins out with my favorite portable pump.  Heck, it just played a huge part in me reaching 20,000 ounces donated!

I'm sure these won't be the only portable pumps on the market for long...but for now, and since I have both and have used them A LOT, I figured I owed you a fun little review :) 
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