Hands-free breast pumps can offer new moms amazing freedom! There are now a few wearable breast pumps on the market, and it’s hard to know which to choose – Elvie vs Willow vs Momcozy. Here is how the wireless pumps compare so that you can choose the best hands-free breast pump for you!
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What is a wireless pump?
Wireless pumps are breast pumps that you place into your nursing bra.
In fact, when you buy a double pump, you are actually buying TWO pumps, one for each breast. They aren’t connected at all and can work independently – you can pump on one side or both sides using these pumps.
There are some hands-free breast pumps that are not wireless, such as the Freemie Liberty (it fits in your bra but does have tubing and an external pump motor), but this article focuses on the best wireless breast pumps.
What are your options for a wearable breast pump?
The Willow Go is a great wearable pump in the mid-price range with a few fewer features.
Momcozy is a less expensive option that works well for many people, but has fewer features and little support.
Elvie vs Willow vs Momcozy – The differences
Below are the major differences between these pumps at a glance.
(On mobile, flip your phone to landscape to read the table clearly.)
|Willow 3.0||Willow Go||Elvie||Momcozy|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Storage Capacity||4 oz (with bags or container)||5 oz container (7 oz container available)||5 oz bottles||6 oz container|
|Apple Watch Integration||Yes||No||No||No|
|Support||Call or text||Call or text||Call or email|
|Warranty||One year||One year||Two years||7 days|
Here is a little more detail on these differences.
How do these options differ? What is the best wearable pump?
Here’s a little more information on the similarities and differences between these wireless pumps.
1. Spill-proof pumping
The Willow 3.0 allows for spill-proof pumping, meaning that you can bend over or even lie flat while wearing. This works when you pump into Willow’s bags, rather than the reusable container.
Willow 3.0 is the only pump that has this feature. The Willow Go, Momcozy, and Elvie all may leak if you bend over while using them.
The spill-proof feature can be very useful for obvious reasons. For example, many nurses and doctors in our Facebook group pump using the Willow 3.0 because they are able to bend over and care for patients while pumping.
If you’re exclusively pumping and decide to get a Willow 3.0, I would recommend buying the reusable milk container, rather than just using the bags, as the cost of the bags can add up. For example, if you pump 5 times a day, you’d need 10 bags per day, or about 300 per month. This quantity of breast milk bags will cost you over $100 every month.
2. Milk container capacity and overflow
One of the bigger differences in the wireless pumps is the receptacle that you pump into:
- With the Elvie pump, you pump into a reusable 5 oz bottle.
- When using the Willow Go, your milk flows into 5 oz containers at the front of the pump. You can buy 7 oz containers if necessary.
- The Willow 3.0 allows for two options – you can pump into either a reusable container or into one of their proprietary bags. Both the bags and the container hold 4 oz. The bags cannot be reused and allow for spill-proof pumping..
- With the Momcozy pump, the milk flows into a reusable collection cup that holds 6 oz.
If you pump more than the bag or bottle holds, the Elvie and Willow will automatically stop to allow you to change out the bag or bottle, so you don’t have to worry about overflowing. You can then switch it out and keep pumping.
The Willow Go and Momcozy breast pumps do not stop when full, so you may need to check your pump periodically to make sure it doesn’t overflow.
3. Apps and watch integration
The Elvie, Willow 3.0, and Willow Go have apps that are available for iOS and Android. You can download them from the app store and connect your pump.
The Willow Go app shows you the suction levels, the battery charge, and how long you’ve pumped. You can control the pump from the app.
The Elive and Willow 3.0 apps are more robust – you can see the amount of milk you’ve pumped, control suction levels, and track pumping output over time for each breast.
The Willow 3.0 also integrates with your Apple watch, allowing you to control the pump from your wrist.
The Momcozy does not have an app.
With wireless pumps, it’s likely that people you know may notice that you suddenly have a bigger chest. Depending on what you wear, though, it likely won’t be obvious to random people.
One mom in our Facebook group has a Willow, Elvie, and a Freemie, and took photos of herself without a pump and then with each of them. You can see how they compare below:
Here’s another comparison photo of me wearing the Willow pumps:
The Momcozy is a little more conspicuous because the motor and battery hub is on top of the collection cups outside the bra.
5. Breast shield sizes
It’s critical to make sure that you will fit one of the sizes for the pump that you choose. It may be difficult or impossible to return an opened pump, and pumping with the wrong size breast shield can damage your nipples.
Elvie offers the following flange sizes:
The 24mm and 28mm come with the pump; if they don’t fit and you need the smaller size, you can order the 21mm.
Willow 3.0 and Willow Go
Willow offers the following flange sizes for its pumps:
- 15mm, 17mm, and 19mm flange fit inserts
- 17mm, 19mm, and 21mm flange fit inserts
The 24 mm flange comes with the pump; the others are available separately from the website.
Elvie claims to be “silent,” while Willow states that it is “quiet.”
The Momcozy and the Willow Go are on the louder side.
All of these pumps take about two hours to fully charge and last for 1.5 to 2 hours of pumping.
One of the comments notes below that, with the Willow 3.0, you may want to buy an extra charger, since you have to charge two pumps, and only one is provided with the pump. (The other double pumps come with two chargers.)
8. Customer support
Elvie offers support via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Willow offers customers support via phone or text (1-888-WILLOW-3) during business hours.
Momcozy offers phone (1-855-322-1777) and email (email@example.com) support.
Elvie offers a two year warranty on the pump and 90 days on the pump parts.
Willow’s warranty (for both pumps) is one year from purchase, and they also cover the accessories for 90 days.
Momcozy’s warranty is 7 days.
One issue that a lot of people have is that buying a breast pump is a bit of a risk, as opened pumps may be difficult to return. However, retailers like Target or BuyBuyBaby may accept a return under certain circumstances, so you may want to check return policies before buying.
Can you use a wearable breast pump as your primary pump?
Some people notice that their output is lower with wearable pumps – so it depends on how you respond to it.
If you plan to use your pump often (if you are exclusively pumping or pumping at work), I would suggest also getting a traditional pump and using your wearable pump as a mobile pump. If you find your output is comparable, then you can use whichever pump you prefer.
On the other hand, if you are pumping less often, like for date nights or occasional separations, a wearable pump will probably be fine as a primary pump.
Is a wireless pump worth it?
There’s no right answer for this across the board – a lot depends on your budget, how often you’ll need to move around while pump, and how often you plan to pump.
If you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on pumping gear and will only be pumping at work in a lactation room with an outlet, I would say it’s probably not worth it.
However, if you are able to spend the money and will need to pump multiple times per day while up and about, then it definitely may be worth it.
Wireless breast pump prices and insurance coverage
The latest version of both the Elvie and the Willow 3.0 are similarly priced at around $500-$550 for two pumps. The Willow Go is around $330, and two Momcozy pumps are about $120. (Most people will want to double pump, and therefore will need one pump for each breast.)
If you have health insurance in the United States, you should be entitled to one breast pump, at no cost, per pregnancy.
However, exactly what type of pump that a policy covers can vary a lot. Some policies will cover the rental of a hospital-grade pump, others will cover a double electric pump, and some will just cover a manual pump.
Even if your policy doesn’t cover the wireless pump you want, that doesn’t meant that you necessarily would have to pay the full cost out of pocket if you decide to get one.
Here are some options that you can look into.
1. Upgrading your covered pump
You may be able to pay the difference in cost between what your covered pump costs and what the pump you want costs.
If you haven’t gotten your pump through insurance yet, fill the linked form and see if you can get one at a discount.
2. Out-of-network coverage
Getting your pump partially covered out-of-network by your insurance.
3. Health saving accounts
Breast pumps are medical devices and generally eligible for reimbursement.
4. Buy a single pump
If you want to try a wireless pump, but are worried about how you’ll respond to it and or that you might like a different one better, one option is to just buy one pump and see how you like it. You can always get the second pump later if you love it.
(Note: This isn’t an option with the Willow Go, they are only sold as a pair.)
So those are the differences between the Elvie, Willow 3.0, Willow Go, and Momcozy – which do you think is the best wearable breast pump currently on the market? Let us know what you think if you’ve tried one!