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Elvie vs. Willow: Real Parents Weigh in

Having trouble choosing between two of the top wearable pumps on the market? This side-by-side comparison might make things easier.
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Published February 27, 2024
elvie breast pump vs willow breast pump
Image: Mannibell G., Mallory P. | The Bump
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In a nutshell:
The Elvie Pump and Willow Go both provide effective suction at a level not always seen in wearable pumps. While the Elvie comes at a smaller size and offers the user an easier setup, that convenience comes at a notably higher price tag and with a slightly lower maximum suction.

Need to pump breast milk for baby, but finding it hard to take time out of your day to find a place to sit down and plug in? A wearable breast pump could be the answer you’re looking for. Designed to be portable, quiet and efficient—and most importantly, to sit in your bra and operate without being held—a wearable electric breast pump can make life much easier for moms on the go. And if you’ve started researching the field, you’ve probably come across two of the big names in the field: the Elvie Pump and the Willow Go.

The Bump recruited two nursing moms to help us out hammer out the pros and cons of each product—one to test the Elvie Pump and one to try out the Willow Go. Keep reading to see how these pumps stand up against each other.

Elvie vs. Willow Comparison Chart

The ElvieThe Willow
Overall Best
Elvie Pump
Go Wearable Breast Pump
Price$$$$$
Dimensions4.3" (L) x 2.7" (W) x 5" (H) 4.7” (L) x 3.2” (W) x 5.3” (H)
Weight8 oz.13.5 oz.
Number of parts66
Maximum pressure220 mmHG280 mmHG
Capacity5 oz.5 oz.
Carrying case included?
Buy NowRead Full ReviewBuy NowRead Full Review

How We Tested the Elvie and Willow Pumps

When you’re trying to decide between two popular options, how do you know which is right for you? To get the real low-down on these two pumps:

  • We enlisted the help of two nursing moms, each with a baby 3 months old or younger, to try one of these pumps in their home. These independent product testers carefully evaluated the pumps and rated them based on ease of use, effectiveness, comfort, noise level, style and design, quality and value for money.
  • We surveyed over 300 new and expectant parents in The Bump community and asked about the breast pumps they used in their own parenting journeys.
  • We read user reviews and researched what was being said about these pumps in our forums to better understand how these breast pumps have worked for a variety of new moms.

Editorial integrity is at the heart of everything we publish. Read about how The Bump develops and reviews all articles, including product reviews.

Ease of Use and Effectiveness

Pumping isn’t always easy; ask any nursing mother and she can probably tell you a story about how she learned the ropes and eventually got the hang of it (or didn’t). Relaxing so your milk can let down and start flowing is one thing, assembling the pump and getting it attached to you so it can collect your breast milk is another.

Our tester Mallory P. found the Willow a bit challenging to set up, and this was a sentiment we saw reflected in our survey as well. “It took me quite a few tries to get the pump to actually suck,” Mallory said. “The motor would turn on but it wouldn’t suction, so I had to take it all apart and put it back together multiple times to try and get it to work." Once she got the Willow going, however, she was happy with how well it worked, saying it exceeded her expectations. “I was very surprised to find I produced the same volume as with my wall pump.”

Mannibell M., who tested out the Elvie, had less trouble. “It’s easy to assemble and clean up, since there aren’t that many parts to it," she said. She was pleased with the Elvie’s effectiveness, as well. “This is the first wearable breast pump that actually works for me!” she raved. “It has great suction, so it collects a lot in a shorter amount of time.” In our research, effective production was a common theme among moms for both pumps, but in terms of sheer power, the Willow Go edges out the Elvie, with a maximum suction of 280 mmHG compared to the Elvie’s 220.

Smart Features

Both the Willow and the Elvie connect to apps that provide step-by-step guidance and expert tips on using the pumps. You can keep track of how long you’ve pumped and how much milk you’ve produced, adjust the suction level so it’s comfortable for you and control your pumping sessions remotely. How-to videos and articles are a tap away if you have questions or run into any issues while pumping.

“Even though it gives a bit of a hard time when trying to connect to your phone, it is very easy to use,” Mannibell said of the Elvie app. “[It] tells you every step of the way how to measure and use the pump, which is great. You can work it from your phone. That way you have a record of how much you’re pumping, so you’re keeping track of everything.”

Comfort and Style

When it came to comfort and style, both our reviewers had only good things to report. “When using [the Elvie] I don’t feel like I have anything on, which is great,” said Mannibell, who called it “very comfortable.” She said it was easy to put on with her pumping bra and discreet to use. “What I love the most is that they are seamless, so you can pump and nobody would notice.”

Mallory found the Willow Go quite comfortable, as well. “You can adjust the speed and mode to comfort, and it fit very comfortably inside my bra as I wore it around while I was at work.” As far as looks, though you might not think of a breast pump as eye-catching, Mallory begs to differ. “For a breast pump, this one is as stylish as you can get," she said. "The smooth sleekness of the pump is beautiful.”

Size and Portability

If you’re looking for the smallest and most lightweight hands-free pumping system out there, the Elvie beats out the Willow—though not by much. At 13.5 oz., the Willow clocks in a little heavier than the 8-oz. Elvie, and is a little under half an inch larger on each side. But bigger isn’t always a downside—if you produce lots of milk and are concerned about capacity, the Willow might be a better bet. While both pumps come with containers that collect 5 ounces each, you can purchase 7-ounce containers for the Willow, and get more out of a single session.

Despite the larger size, Mallory found the Willow “very easy to carry around. [It] was so convenient and easy to use on the go,” she said. As a pediatric nurse, Mallory’s job keeps her busy, but she told us she was able to comfortably use the Willow Go while at work.

Final Verdict

Although our product testers had different experiences with the pumps they tried, both highly recommend them. Mannibell calls the Elvie the “best pump out there” and says it has "the best suction when it comes to wearing a pump-on-the-go,” while Mallory tells us, “This pump gives the freedom to keep working and make sure you’re getting your pump sessions in.” If you’re looking for effective suction at a portable, work-friendly size, neither pump will steer you wrong.

While the Elvie is undeniably more expensive, both our product tester and our community spoke to a difficult setup on the Willow Go. If you’re willing to pay more for a smoother learning curve, the Elvie offers a simple user experience with pumping comparable to non-wearable models. But if you’re willing to put in the work for a cheaper option that gets the job with a little more power, the Willow Go might be the right choice for you.

The Elvie

What We Love
  • Quiet
  • Easy to operate
  • Very effective
Things To Consider
  • Our tester and our community said the battery ran out quickly

The Elvie is a wireless, wearable, portable electric breast pump that offers busy moms the option to pump on the go. Small, lightweight and quiet, this Best of The Bump-winning choice is designed to fit comfortably into most bras, making your life as a nursing mom easier and more convenient. You can express milk at a maximum of 220 mmHG of suction, adjustable across four modes and seven intensity settings. And if you’re looking for discreet pumping, the Elvie is the only breast pump certified by Quiet Mark for low noise levels.

Dimensions: 4.3" (L) x 2.7" (W) x 5" (H) | Weight: 8 oz. | Number of parts: 6

Our community says:

“It is a very quiet pump, easy to operate, and very effective. But you have to consistently charge the pump/battery runs out fairly quickly.” – Laura, mom of one

Buy Now

The Willow

What We Love
  • Hospital-grade suction
  • Easy to use
  • Great customer support
Things To Consider
  • Takes some practice to get going

The Willow provides hospital-grade suction—up to 280 mmHG per side—in a wearable, wireless package that lets you pump breast milk anywhere you go. At work or at home, in the car or wherever life takes you, this electric breast pump fits neatly in your bra and promises to help you collect milk for baby comfortably and discreetly, across fifteen levels of customizable suction.

Dimensions: 4.7” (L) x 3.2” (W) x 5.3” (H) | Weight: 13.5 oz. | Number of parts: 6

Our community says:

“Really effective and easy to use. Great customer support. Although it can take a bit to get set up to pump.” – Annemarie, mom of one

Buy Now

About the writer: A former commerce editor for Woman’s World and First for Women, Elizabeth Nelson has tested, reviewed and written about products ranging from e-bikes and adjustable beds to swimsuits and skincare products. Although her two daughters are now in college, she still remembers how proud she was the first time she managed to pump a whole bottle’s worth of breastmilk to stash in the freezer.

Sources

The Bump May 2023 Survey. Editors conducted a survey of 300 new parents from among The Bump community, and asked whether they used a breast pump and what type they used.

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