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If you're a pumping mom (or are pregnant and planning on pumping), you've probably heard of Elvie and Willow. As two of the most popular hands-free pumps on the market, both promise to make on-the-go pumping a breeze. They even have a similar look and feel.

But their high-tech features come at a cost, and both are significantly more expensive than other pumps. Elvie pumps range from $270 to $549, and Willow pumps from $329 to $500. (For comparison, most of the picks on our best breast pumps list are under $200, including hospital-strength options.)

Still, the ability to use these products without being plugged into a wall is a huge draw for many moms, and this flexibility can make the higher price point worth it for some. But it does mean that you'll likely want to carefully weigh the different features before you purchase.

I've been able to test both of these pumps while nursing my two sons. Though both Elvie and Willow are excellent options and comparable in many ways, there are some notable differences. Read on for more about each of these wearable smart pumps, plus pros and cons to consider as you shop.

Elvie Pump

  • Price: $549 ($300 for a single)
  • Where to buy it: AmazonBuy Buy BabyTargetWalmart
  • Size: 0.46 pounds each, 2.56 x 3 inches
  • Parts to clean: 5 per pump
  • Battery life: Around 2.5 hours
  • Volume: Holds 5 ounces/150 milliliters per pump
  • Warranty: 2 years

elvie pump

How it works

Though the brand has recently expanded its product line with the Elvie Stride (a wearable pump with tubes that connect to a device you can clip onto the top of your pants), Elvie Pump is their original double-electric breast pump. It's charged using a micro-USB, meaning there are no external cords or tubes. Milk collects in a cleverly designed 5-ounce "bottle" that sits under the pump.

When you finish a pumping session, you unclip the bottle from the pump, remove the spout and valve and pour milk into a separate container (or simply twist on the storage cap and place it in the fridge).


  • Design. Elvie boasts a slim, curved design that fits nicely inside a bra. Although not fully invisible, it's relatively discreet.
  • The app. Elvie's app is excellent. It syncs to the pump so you can watch how much you've expressed in each bottle in real time, and also tracks long-term production. This is especially helpful if you're exclusively pumping and closely monitoring your supply.
  • It's gloriously quiet. The motor is soft enough to use while on Zoom calls.
  • Easy setup. The breast shield and sea foam-hued pump seal click satisfyingly into the back of the pump, and milk collects in a small bottle that sits underneath the motor.
  • The bottle doubles as storage. This might be my favorite feature, and it's especially useful if you're pumping at work. The bottle is fridge- and freezer-safe, so you don't need to transfer your milk to another container, cutting down on the number of parts you need to wash after each use. 
  • Size. Elvie is a little smaller and lighter than the Willow Go.
  • Longer warranty. Elvie offers a two-year warranty (Willow's is one year). 


  • Price. Again, Elvie is one of the priciest pumps on the market, though you can sometimes find it on sale.
  • Small parts are good and bad. Its sleek size is an asset, for sure, but that does mean it has smaller parts. While cleaning them is certainly not difficult, some are fiddly and have surprisingly sharp edges. They're also a little easier to lose track of.
  • Bottles are smaller, too. Another possible downside to Elvie's sleek size? Smaller pump bottles, which max out at 5 ounces. (Willow offers the option to upgrade to a 7-ounce container). If you have oversupply or tend to occasionally produce more milk (first thing in the morning, perhaps), you do need to be mindful to turn off the pump before it overflows.
  • Efficiency. Elvie does the job, but even on its highest setting, it's not nearly as efficient or powerful as a hospital-grade pump, so in my experience, pump sessions take a little longer.

Willow Go

  • Price: $330
  • Where to buy it: AmazonBuy Buy BabyTargetAeroflow Breastpumps
  • Size: 0.84 pounds each, 5.3 x 4.7 inches
  • Parts to clean: 5
  • Battery life: Lasts for three sessions with a full charge
  • Volume: Holds 5 ounces/150 milliliters per pump, but option to upgrade to a 7-ounce container
  • Warranty: 1 year

willow pump

How it works

Willow offers two hands-free, wireless pumps: the Willow 3.0 and the recently released Willow Go, the latter of which I tested for this review.

Other than price (Willow Go is $170 cheaper than the 3.0), the biggest difference between the original Willow and the Go is how milk is collected: in the 3.0, it drips into an attached storage bag or container, but the Go collects in a built-in container in the front of the pump motor (in this way, it functions more like Elvie Pump).

Like the Elvie Pump, Willow Go is dome-shaped and very sleek, with no cords or tubes. It also promises hospital-strength suction. After you finish a pumping session, you tip the pump over to pour milk out from the top.


  • It's easy to clean. Anyone who pumps knows that cleaning all of those parts is half the battle. Both Elvie and Willow are relatively easy to clean, with the same total number of parts, but Willow parts are a little larger and, therefore, easier to keep track of and sanitize. (The 3.0 model has even fewer parts to clean, since you pump directly into a storage bag or separate container.)
  • It's a little less expensive. While certainly not cheap (and the 3.0 is closer in price to the Elvie Pump), Willow Go is one of the more affordable wearable smart pumps on the market. 
  • Suction is a little stronger than comparable models. On its highest settings, Willow Go's suction felt slightly more powerful than Elvie Pump's, though still not as strong as my regular hospital-grade pump. 
  • Up to 14 ounces of milk storage. If you're an overproducer, Willow Go is your best bet. The brand offers the option to upgrade to a 7-ounce container on each breast, which means you're less likely to experience overflow and leaks.


  • Bigger size. The difference isn't huge, but Willow Go is slightly larger and heavier than Elvie Pump.
  • Trickier setup. I'm embarassed by how long it took me to figure out how to reassemble the Willow Go — it's not rocket science, but definitely felt a little less intuitive than Elvie. You quickly get the hang of it after a few sessions, however.
  • Shorter warranty. Willow offers a one-year warranty (Elvie's is two years).

Bottom line

For a lot of moms debating whether or not to splurge on an Elvie or Willow pump, a big selling point is the ability to wear these products in your bra and pump while going about your life. I'm pretty sure I even saw an ad for one of these pumps where the model wore it inside her sports bra while holding a perfect yoga pose.

But I'm going to be honest: While the Elvie and Willow are far more discreet than standard breast pumps, they're not invisible. While you could wear these while you're out and about, it would be pretty obvious that there's a pump under your shirt with either choice.

I should also share that I've tested both of these products and pumped for a combined 17 months so far with two children, and while I occasionally wear them to lightly multitask, I have never pumped while doing yoga, making dinner or chasing my toddler. At home, even if I'm rushing around and doing a million other things, I'll usually walk over to the designated corner of my apartment where my Spectra S2 is perpetually plugged in and pump there. Sadly, no wearable pump that I've tested has been able to match its efficiency.

That's not to say that Elvie or Willow aren't worth the investment, though. If you often pump on the go, especially if you pump exclusively, a hands-free pump can make it significantly easier to do so throughout the day. Unlike my Spectra S2, for example, Elvie and Willow can be worn while commuting and are super portable, making them better for pumping at work (I often took my Elvie with me to the office).

They're also ideal for travel (Willow Go came in handy for a recent rare night away from my kids) and any other occasion when you'll be out of the house for a large chunk of time (out to dinner or at a wedding, for example).

Clearly, both pumps offer pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on what features are most important to you, from size to price. If I had to choose one, though, I'd opt for the Willow Go. The price point is substantially lower and, for me, the suction was better. What's more, the ability to upgrade the bottle size to prevent any leaks if you have oversupply was super helpful. That said, the caveats are notable; its bigger size and pour-over design (rather than being able to store milk directly in the bottle like you can with Elvie) may be deterrents for some moms.

In short, these wearable breast pumps may not match a hospital-grade pump's suction power or strength, but both the Elvie and Willow do deliver on their promises for flexibility. As any pumping mom knows, being constantly "on the clock" (two hours until the next pumping session...) and tethered to an electrical outlet is physically and mentally exhausting. Being able to easily pack a breast pump in your purse, slip it in your bra while you're out and about, and (somewhat) discreetly express your milk is a freeing feeling.

See more: Willow Go ($330 at Amazon), Elvie Pump ($549 at Amazon)