I never thought in a million years that I would be so excited about a breast pump until I found the Elvie Pump. It makes me look forward to the daunting task us moms typically find annoying! Before purchasing the Elvie, I used the Spectra S1 and the Freemie Liberty, but I wanted something even more portable and hands-free for the office and traveling—enter the Elvie Pump. Check out my non sponsored review below. I wanted to share because it can be such a challenge to find a good breast pump solution.
What is it?
The Elvie is a silent, wearable breast pump that recently launched in the US.
The company is a startup, focused on smart technology for women, based out of London. They first launched the pump in the UK back in October and finally released it to US moms in early February.
Let me tell you, getting your hands on this pump is a bit more difficult than it should be because they keep selling out so quickly! I recommend signing up for email notifications on their site to get an announcement for the next launch date, as the first three launches sold out within minutes.
The pump is available in two options, a double for $499 and a single for $279. Since there weren’t too many non-sponsored reviews on the market before I purchased mine, I was hesitant to spend $499 on the double version, so I opted for the single. I figured if the pump sucks I’m not losing as much, but if it rocks my socks, I can get another single for $279 to make it a double. Needless to say, I have already purchased an additional single!
What is included?*
The Elvie packaging is beautiful and Apple-like. I felt like I was opening up a new iPhone. In the single box, I received one hub, two bottles (5 oz/150 ml), two breast shields (24mm & 28mm), two of each valves, spouts, seals, storage lids and bra adjusters and a USB charging cable and case.
*If you order the double version, you get double of everything.
How does it work?
Once you assemble the pump, align your nipple using the lines on the clear shield and turn it on! I found it easy to align and assemble right away. I had some difficulty with aligning with my Freemie, but Elvie makes it effortless.
You can control the pump directly on the hub, or download the Elvie app for digital controls. The pump automatically launches in stimulation mode until it senses milk in the bottle; it then switches to expression mode. You don’t have to do anything after putting the pump on; however, you can change the suction if needed. I leave it as is (on medium) as I prefer a softer suction.
In regards to the suction, this pump feels like a baby! The vacuum is gentle and soft and by far my favorite compared to the other pumps I use.
I typically have to pump 2-3 times a day when I’m at the office, so I was hoping that this pump lived up to its claim to be silent. So far so good! The Elvie pump is much more silent than my S1 and even more silent than my already quiet Freemie Liberty. I was able to pump at my desk while on the phone without anyone hearing a thing, or even realizing what I was doing. Once I added my 2nd single, I noticed that the new pump made a creaking sound. I received out to Elvie support and they sent me a new shield (overnight shipping) right away to fix the issue.
Battery life is decent for a hands-free pump. On a fully charged cycle, I can get about six 10-15 minute- pumping sessions. The device can then be charged via the provided USB cable. I usually plug it into my laptop while I work. Elvie says it takes about 2 hours to charge the device fully, but I’m probably fully charged at 3 hours. One thing I have noticed that is rather annoying is that the device loses battery life when I’m not using it. The other day I charged both pumps to 100% at 8 a.m. I didn’t pump until about 20 hours later and one was down to 84% and the other was down to 88% (both were powered off).
Output Comparision for Elvie vs. Spectra S1 vs. Freemie Liberty
I’m a bit of an over-supplier, but I feel like the Elvie Pump is very comparable, if not better than my Spectra S1. I typically pump anywhere from 6-10 oz in 10-15 minutes (on average) on my Spectra S1 and about 6-10 oz in 20 minutes on my Freemie Liberty. My Elvie performs in line to the Spectra S1, I’m typically averaging 6-10 oz total in 10-15 minutes, depending on the time of the day.
The biggest concern I had before purchasing this pump, was that it wasn’t powerful enough, or that I wouldn’t get much milk out of it. While the suction is a bit lower than my Freemie Liberty, the Elvie works better for me. I think everyone is different, but again I produce better at a lower suction. A higher vacuum tends to hurt. I usually pump on a vacuum of 3-4 on my S1 (never exceeding a 6), and a vacuum of 4-5 on my Liberty (never exceeding a 6). Again, I don’t change the suction on the Elvie, I just let the device control it for me, and it has been working perfectly.
Is it comfortable?
With this being hands-free I was a little worried that the pump may be uncomfortable, or even heavy (I’ve heard that Willow, the competitor pump is ), but the Elvie is not. It is very comfortable and NOT heavy at all. Even when I’ve pumped 5 oz of milk, it doesn’t weigh me down. I’m able to wash dishes, brush my teeth and clean the house with this on. I try not to fully bend over, especially when the bottles are getting full.
I’ve also been able to comfortably fit the Elvie in my nursing bras (I love these), and I’m a largely breasted gal. Wearing a T-shirt, you can notice the device, but with a sweater, it is hard to tell. I would say it is still pretty inconspicuous and by far the most discreet pump I’ve used.
I’ve read that several people have had issues with leaking, but I haven’t really experienced that. The only leaking I’ve had is when I pull my nipple out of the shield, a little milk comes out, but honestly, this happens with my Spectra as well.
Is it hard to clean?
The Elvie has five washable parts, which is comparable to my Freemie Liberty, while the Spectra S1 has three. The Elvie parts are smaller than the Freemie, so it isn’t a hassle for me to wash a few extra parts. I find that my Freemie Liberty is a little bit more time consuming to clean.
A downside I’ve noticed to the pump so far is the app. While you can use the device without the app, a huge selling point of a wearable tech pump is the app. I want to be able to track my milk on the app since you can’t tell how much you are expressing while wearing it. I’ve found that the app’s milk tracking is off quite a bit. I’m hoping they can fix this down the road.
Also, it’s hard to understand what suction the Elvie is on. The device has seven levels that can be controlled on the hub or app; however, neither option clearly displays what actual speed you are on. The graphic on the app is annoying to read as it only shows a line with small or large hills. I would hope with a future app update this is changed to a numerical scale.
It would also be great to have a self-timer where the device shuts down or alerts your phone of a completed session. Right now, if you set the app timer and leave the app, the timer never alerts you and you are just pumping away.
A nice feature of the app is that you can track your pumping history; however, the way this is laid out in the app is too visually irritating. The history is saved into multiple bubbles on the screen. I would prefer they just listed a line item of pumping amounts and times, no need to make this fancy.
I was initially looking into purchasing the Willow before I had ever heard of the Elvie and I’m glad I didn’t! While I’ve never personally used the Willow, I’ve heard that the pump is heavy and can hurt because of the suction patterns. I was turned off by the fact that I had to use special Willow bags with the pump. A couple of cons on the bags for me:
-The capacity of each bag is only 4 oz
-The bags are costly (.50 cents a piece)
-You can only purchase the bags online through the Willow site
With the amount of pumping I do (which is not a lot since I’m mainly nursing), it would be a minimum of $30 a week on bags! The Elvie does not require bags, as you pump directly into the bottle each time, which is much more cost effective!
Would I recommend this?
YES!! I’m super impressed! The Elvie does a great job emptying me and is easy to throw in my purse and walk out the door to pump on the go. Cleaning the device is simple, and you get two sets of most parts anyway. If you are looking into the Elvie pump, I would highly recommend it! I’ve been able to pump right at my desk, and I’ve also taken the pump on vacation with me.
While I am super happy with the Elvie, the device isn’t perfect; however, customer service has been amazing! I’ve run into a few small problems with the parts. As I mentioned above, I had a replacement shield sent because of creaking, but I’ve also had customer service replace my valves twice. I recently noticed the release button is getting stuck on one of the pumps, so I may have to reach out to customer service again.
As an early adapter, there are always going to be a few kinks you have to deal with, so it hasn’t bothered me much, especially since the company has been super willing and quick to fix issues.
Overall, the pump is worth it. It’s convenient to travel with; pumping is a breeze and I’m able to multitask, so it is saving me a ton of time! Thanks Elvie!
You can purchase the Elvie Pump directly on their site when they aren’t sold out!
You can also purchase through a few other retailers. I recommend Oxygen Boutique in the UK (they currently have stock). This is where I purchased my second single. I ordered it Thursday morning and got it to the states by Monday morning! With the promo code HAPPY10 it came out cheaper than the Elvie site.
BuyBuyBaby also recently started carrying the double pump, but you are not able to use coupons on it.
Let me know if you are using the Elvie and your thoughts below!
As always, let me know if you have any questions!