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Elvie 'OG' Pump Review

The Elvie pump was the very first wearable pump I tried. I was originally going to go with Willow 3.0 but got cold feet after hearing about the learning curve and returned it (I later purchased the Willow 3.0 anyways). I bought the Elvie pump a month before my due date and allowed myself some time to "learn it."

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What Our Mamas Think About the Elvie Pump

Overall Group Rating: ★★★★☆

  • Discrete fit; sound level and design
  • Less learning curve over other wearable pumps
  • Gentler suction

  • have to reassemble often
  • not enough suction level options
  • Expensive parts
  • Warps in heat sterilization
  • Not great for elastic nipples

The Elvie Pump "Learning Curve"

If i'm being honest, I didn't have much of a learning curve with Elvie. But the Elvie learning curve also came down to finding the right bra-- and support. Unlike my Willow 3.0 pump, with Elvie I responded best to a loose bra fit. I used the bra extenders included with the pump or loosened the straps on my KB Sublime bra.

Things to Consider about the Elvie Pump

I have a natural bias towards Elvie because it was my "pop-in-and-go" wearable pump, I rarely had to troubleshoot it! But that doesn't mean that everyone will have that same experience. The most common concerns about the Elvie are:The nipples cover the suction holes and the pump loses suction
The pumps leak if you bend over too far or with a fast let down
Not great for women with elastic nipples or fast let downs

So how do you address these two issues? Squat, don't bend! Being properly sized with inserts/cushions can help with holding the tissue back and not block the suction holes. If you have a fast let down, lower the suction power during let down.
Sizing and Insert Recommendations

Sizing is always important, but especially with wearable pumps and remember, the best size flange is one that's comfortable while pumping and empties you well. If you need help sizing for your Elvie OG flanges, book here.

Elvie flange sizing: 0-2mm bigger than pre-pump nipple size

Remember when I mentioned that the Elvie suctions holes can get blocked when the nipple is pulled? Well the placement of those holes makes it a little hard to choose inserts, because most of the require cutting. The new Pumping Pretty inserts were designed with a notch cut out to clear the Elvie suction hole.

* The Maymom and Fitmie inserts must be cut to fit
**the Lozaeve inserts run big but don't have to be cut

You can also use LacTeck flanges in the 28mm Elvie shield to create a longer flange tunnel. The LacTeck flanges do have to be cut to clear the suction hole.
Do I recommend the Elvie Pump?

Absolutely! The Elvie was my trusty wearable pump; little learning curve and gentle on the nipples. But if you have elastic nipples or really need something leak-proof, consider the Willow 3.0.

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Willow 3.0 Pump Review

The Willow 3.0 was my third wearable pump. Pumping got increasingly harder for me because my daughter was walking, climbing, and nearly running by the time that she was nine months old. I purchased the Willow to take advantage of their leak-proof bags and not worry about the common leaking complaints of the Elvie pump.

What Our Mamas Think About the Willow 3.0

Overall Group Rating: ★★★☆☆

  • Great battery life
  • I love the app integration/interface
  • Bags are great for on the go
  • Convenient
  • Comfortable (with correct fit)
  • Flip to finish takes practice
  • Reusable containers leak
  • Doesn’t get as much output as my non wearable
  • Bags are sold out a lot
  • Error codes get annoying
  • The Willow 3.0 "Learning Curve"
Overall, my experience with the Willow 3.0, wasn't as smooth as my experience with the Elvie pump. I joined a Willow support fb group for tips, but still found myself troubleshooting beyond the tips I received. I was determined to "learn" this pump -- moms rave about it! And it's the only pump on the market that's truly leak-proof.

The biggest issues I faced were not being able to get out of stimulation mode, and getting "bag full" errors because my bags always filled up with air. I tried all the tips and tricks provided -- nothing seems to help with those issues. Ultimately, it came down to finding the right bra. About a month in to my "Willow learning curve" I decided to pop my Willow hubs into my KB Ultra Comfort Sports bra and y'all it worked!!! To make sure that it wasn't another "honey moon" phase I tried them again (and again!), and they kept giving me consistent output. Finding the right bra was the missing link.

Things to Consider about the Willow 3.0

Like any other wearable pump, the Willow 3.0 comes with its quirks. It's important to buy with realistic expectations. The pumps are heavier and have a larger profile than my other wearable pumps
If you want softer flanges you can hack the 27mm flanges it with LacTeck flanges
You need the right bra for these pumps! The only bra that worked for me was the KB sports bra, but KB Sublime bra is highly rated for the Willow 3.0 because of it's quality and supportive material.
Sizing and Insert Recommendations

Sizing is always important, but especially with wearable pumps and remember, the best size flange is one that's comfortable while pumping and empties you well. If you need help sizing for your Willow 3.0 flanges, book here.

Willow flange sizing: 0-1mm bigger than pre-pump nipple size (exact sizing)

Remember: because of the unique suction of the Willow, sizing up is not advised unless there are no available options in your size. If that's the case, buy the next available size.

The unique suction of the Willow (never releases the nipple) limits the type of inserts you should use. It is recommended to use inserts that have long flange tunnels.Willow 3.0 requires precise flange sizing
Short style inserts are not recommended to avoid mushrooming (ouch!)

Do I Recommend the Willow 3.0?

Yes, and here's why. Willow 3.0 is the only wearable pump that is truly leak-proof and offers a bag collection option. If you work in a field where you're worried about contamination, if you're in a phase where you have to be mobile while pumping, the bags will offer you piece of mind. There are some moms that can pump laying down, I wasn't so lucky but that's another huge selling feature.

If the learning curve scares you, check out the Elvie pump.

Elvie vs Willow vs Stride vs Go

A Technical Review of the Top 4 Wearable Pumps

When deciding on the best wearable pump, cost alone is not the best indicator. You don't realize how different the Elvie OG, Willow 3.0, Elvie Stride, and Willow Go are until you compare them. And unless you're planning on purchasing them all, a technical comparison (like the one below) -- along with reviews from our group -- can help you decide.

Pumps >>
Elvie OG
Willow 3.0
Elvie Stride
Willow Go
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Insurance Coverage?May be eligibleMay be eligibleMay be eligibleMay be eligible
Warranty2 year warranty on hubs (from purcchase date), 90 day warranty on all other components12 month warranty from purchase date, 90 day warranty for parts.2 year warranty on hubs (from purcchase date), 90 day warranty on all other components12 month warranty from purchase date, 90 day warranty for parts.
Operating Life500 Hours273 Hours500 Hours12 months
Pump Weight225g / 7.9oz355g / 11.81ozunavailable385g / 13.58oz
Pump Dimensions5” x 4.3” x 2.7”5.5” x 3.35” x 4.4”unavailable, small pump clips to the belt3.15" x 4.72" x 5.31"
Battery Life~2.5 Hours~3 Hours~3 Hours45 min (~3, 15 min pump sessions)
App enabled?YesYesYesYes
Leak-proofNoYes, with bagsNoNo
Suction Strength40mmHg -
60mmHg -
35mmHg - 300mmHg75mmHg - 280mmHg
Modes/ Suction Levels
5 levels in stimulation mode, 9 levels in expression mode
Stimulation and Expression10 levels in stimulation and expression mode
6 levels in stimulation mode, 9 levels in expression mode
Output Capacity5oz each hub4oz each hub5oz each cup5oz each cup
Flange Size Options24mm and 28mm included (21mm optional)Select one: 21mm, 24mm or 27mm (other sizes available)24 mm included (21 mm or 28 mm can be purchased)21mm + 24mm included (other sizes available)
Accessories NeededUSB Converter,
21mm Shield,
Inserts (if needed)
Container, Extra
Charger, Disposable Bags, Inserts (if needed)
The Stride Plus brings a Carry Bag, Wet Bag, Cool Bag, Ice pack, Neck Strap, (2) Breast Shields (21 mm), and (2) Spare valves7oz cups available, inserts in other sizes available