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The Best Hands-Free Breast Pumps Comparison Guide (2022)


Using a hands-free breast pump is the new way to offer freedom and flexibility for new moms. The Willow and Elvie are both wireless, cordless, hands-free pumps, but at a price point of $400, they are somewhat out of reach for most mamas – and are they even worth the cost? There are some other less expensive options available – but do they stand the test of time? In this post, we’ll help you wade through all the information out there to discover the best portable breast pumps available!

best hands free breast pump

Wearable Breast Pump Comparison

Choosing the best breast pump can feel like a daunting task.

There are so many breast pumps out there and while many are similar- no two are alike – just like no two pumping moms are the same.

Right now hands-free breast pumps are becoming more and more popular. Moms are really pulled to the idea of having their hands available during a pumping session – along with the freedom of walking around and being able to get other tasks done.

For some, getting an electric pump that allows them to be free from cords and being tied to an electric outlet may prolong their breastfeeding relationship far longer than they would have been able to otherwise.

Chances are, you’ve heard of the Willow Wearable Breast Pump, as well as the Elvie. Both of these electric pumps are hands-free and really have paved the way for modern moms – proving that traditional electric breast pumps aren’t what many want or need. Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive and typically aren’t covered by insurance – $400 is a lot of money, especially after just having had a baby. There are also mixed reviews on how effective they are

However, these aren’t the only wearable pumps on the market.

Both the Elvie and Willow for the modern-day woman are wearable, cord-free, hands-free, and wireless. The Freemie Cups aren’t entirely cord-free, but they do allow for hands-free pumping with many different pumps.

Hands-Free Breast Pump Comparisons

Below we will compare some of the different features of different hands-free breast pumps that are on the market. The ones that will be included in this comparison are:

  • Willow 3.0: This is probably the “original” hands-free pump that came on the market. Still very popular and well-known.
  • Willow Go: This is a newer breast pump from Willow that is less expensive and sometimes covered by insurance.
  • The Elvie Breast Pump: Elvie is another one of the original hands-free pumps. This one is known for being pretty quiet.
  • Elvie Stride: Newer option from Elvie that is often covered by insurance; it is not totally cords-free.
  • BabyBuddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups: This is a “hacked” option. I really like this because of it’s versatility and the strength of the pump.
  • Freemie Liberty II: Freemie has been offering hands-free options for a long time. This is one of their flagship pumps.
  • MomCozy S12 Breast Pump: MomCozy is a hands-free solution that has made hands-free pumping more affordable and attainable for many mothers.
  • Imani i2 Breast Pump: This pump was developed by Legendairy Milk. It looks similar to the MomCozy, but it generally has better reviews.

There are more and more hands-free pumps coming to the market, but we have found these to be the most popular as of right now!

Here are two charts comparing all of these breast pumps in different categories:

hands-free pump comparison
hands free pump comparison

Our Top Picks

In this post, we’ll dive deep into the different pump options available and compare and contrast them. However, since I know most pregnant and new moms are short on time, here’s a brief synopsis of our top picks:

Overall Best Hands-Free Pump – BabyBuddha

Babybuddha breast pump

When it comes to the top choice, we wanted to pick a pump that wasn’t crazy expensive, was versatile, and has good reviews from mothers in the breastfeeding community.

It honestly was a no-brainer to choose The Baby Buddha Breast Pump with hands-free cups. The Baby Buddha isn’t inherently a hands-free pump, but you can “hack it” to work with Freemie Cups or the Legendairy Milk Cups, which is pretty amazing.

Here are a few reasons we love this option:

  • Can be used hands-free or as a traditional pump
  • Great for milk output
  • Affordable
  • Various settings
  • Very good reputation among moms

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Additional Resources:

Sound – Elvie

Some of these pumps can be rather loud. If you are home alone or just pumping in your car, it doesn’t really matter. But if you are someone who is pumping around other people, getting a pump that is a little less loud is probably going to be your best course of action.

For this, we use the Elvie. I have compared its sound to all the other pumps I have, and it is definitely the quietest. There is still hum to it, but it’s really quiet.

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Price – Imani i2

imani i2

There is such a huge variation when it comes to pump prices, and there are some less expensive options on the market.

When it comes to price, there are really two that fit into more of an affordable price range – the Mom Cozy and the Imani 2.

We chose the Imani 2 as the winner for this category, just because we have heard better reviews about it than the MomCozy

Most Versatile – BabyBuddha

babybuddha

We love the BabyBuddha because you can use it as a primary pump but also easily transform it into a wearable pump using the Freemie Cups.

Most of the time, we don’t recommend a hands-free pump as your only pump, but with the BabyBuddha, you can get the best of both worlds!

Most Discrete – Elvie

elvie

At the end of the day, all hands-free pumps look a bit bulky underneath your shirt. I do find that the Willow is bulkier than others. I feel like Elvie is the most discrete.

Best for Movement – Willow 3.0

willow 3.0

In my tests, the Willow is the best for moving around. I didn’t find that it lost suction, and since there are no extra tubes, that makes it even more convenient.

Best for Milk Production – BabyBuddha

The BabyBuddha breast pump is very effective when it comes to milk production. There is a drop in efficiency when combined with the Freemie cups, but it is still quite effective.

Best for being Totally Cord Free

If you want a hands-free pump that has NO cords or tubing, you will want the Willow, Willow Go, Elvie, Mom Cozy, or Imani i2.

PRICE AND DISCOUNTS

Willow 3.0

At this time the Willow Wearable Breast Pump Generation 3 will cost you around $499. They occasionally offer a promotion to make it less expensive. This is the cost found on their website and on Amazon. It is not typically available through insurance

Willow Go

The Willow Go is $329 for the full set. If you need a flange that doesn’t come with it (15, 17, 19, and 27) you will have to pay $19.99 for those.

Elvie

You can buy the Elvie on their website for $499 for a double or $279 for a single. For any Elvie product, you can save 10% through our referral link.

You can also purchase on Amazon for the same prices. I purchased mine at Target.

Elvie Stride

The Stride is $269 and the Stride Plus is $349.99. You can save 10% through our referral link.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

The Baby Buddha breast pump is listed at $249.99, but I’ve never seen it above $189.99. You can save 10% with the code TBM.

However, you will need to buy the closed-system Freemie cups, which cost $69.99 on their website, so the total investment would be $259.98.

You could also get the Legendairy Milk silicone collection cups, which are $59.99 for two.

You can read our full review of the Baby Buddha pump here – The Ultimate Baby Buddha Pump Review + Coupon Code

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

You can buy the single version of the S9 for $64.99 and the double set for $119.99. You can save 10% with the code thebfmama10.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

This breast pump is listed at $349, but it’s usually marked down to $149.99.

Imani i2 Breast Pump

If you get a single pump it is $74.99 and a double is $139.99.

CAPACITY

Willow 3.0

The Willow Gen 3 has a maximum capacity of four ounces per side, which is less than some of the other options. With that said, there are hacks for increasing that capacity slightly.

Many women will never pump more than four ounces in a pump session, however, if you are someone that frequently goes above that amount, the Willow 3.0 wouldn’t be the best option.

Willow Go

Unlike the Willow Gen 3, the Willow Go actually has a much higher capacity – you can choose between 5 and 7-ounce flanges, which is really fantastic.

Elvie

Each cup can hold about 5 ounces of breast milk.

Elvie Stride

The Elvie Stride holds up to 5 ounces per side.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Freemie Hands-Free Cups

The capacity of the Freemie Hands-Free cups are 5-7ounces, depending on which ones you get. If you choose to get the Legendairy Milk silicone collection cups, they hold 8 ounces.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

Each cup holds about six ounces.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

Each of the cups for the Freemie Library II hold up to 8 ounces of breast milk.

Imani i2 Breast Pump

Each cup will hold 7 ounces or 200 ml. This is definitely one of the large capacities available.

FLANGE SIZES

Willow 3.0

This pump comes with a 24mm flange. You can purchase other sizes, though, for $19.99. They offer 15mm, 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, and 27mm, which is really nice. In my experience, most people are on the smaller side, so I’m glad that they have flanges that actually fit these sizes, rather than forcing moms to find some off-brand solution.

Willow Go

The Willow Go comes with a 21 and 24mm flange, but you can purchase a 15, 17, 19, and 27mm, which makes it more versatile.

Elvie

The Elvie comes with both the 24 and 28 mm flanges. You can also buy a 21mm flange.

Elvie Stride

The Elvie Stride has three flange sizes available – 21, 24, and 27. This is kind of bummer since I know many need smaller sizes.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

The Freemie cups generally come with 25 and 28 mm flanges, though there are inserts for smaller sizes.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

The S12 comes with 24mm flanges, however, they have a 27mm flange you can buy, and inserts for 17, 19, and 21mm.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

The Liberty comes with 25mm and 28mm flanges. They offer inserts for 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25mm, which makes it very versatile.

Imani i2 Breast Pump

The Imani i2 comes with a 25mm flange. You can order a 17, 19, and 21mm insert and 32mm flange shield.

Expression Levels

Willow 3.0

The Willow 3.0 has both stimulation and expression mode, which have three settings for each for up to .5 ounces of breast milk. After that first .5 ounces, there are 7 levels of suction available in the expression mode.

Willow Go

The Willow Go has stimulation and expression modes, and between the two, they have 15 different levels you can work with.

Elvie

The Elvie has stimulation and expression modes with up to 12 intensity levels for you to experiment with.

Elvie Stride

The Elvie Stride has stimulation and expression modes, which each have 10 intensity levels.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

The BabyBuddha has both stimulation and expression mode. Stimulation mode has 5 different levels and expression mode has 9 different levels.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

The MomCozy S12 has 9 different levels for its expression mode.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

This pump has 10 different speed setting – if you go up to level 10, it switches to “Turbo” mode. This turns it to having an extended draw and release cycle. They’ve

Imani i2 Breast Pump

This pump has two modes – massage and expression – and each of these have five different levels.

WARRANTY

Willow 3.0

The Willow itself has a 12-month warranty. Most of the accessories have a 90-day warranty.

Willow Go

Similar to the Willow 3.0, the Willow Go has a 12-month warranty with 90-day warranties in place for most of the accessories.

Elvie

Elvie pumps have a 2-year warranty on the pump itself and a 90-day warranty on accessories and parts.

Elvie Stride

Elvie pumps have a 2-year warranty on the pump itself and a 90-day warranty on accessories and parts.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

The BabyBuddha breast pump comes with a two-year warranty or 600-700 hours of pumping, whatever comes first. This will cover the life of the pump, though I’m not sure if it covers accessories. The BabyBuddha is pretty popular for “hacking” with other pump parts – and this DOES void your warranty. So if you are using the hands-free cups, that may void that warranty.

The Freemie Collection cups have a warranty of 60 days.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

The MomCozy has a 7-day warranty, which is pretty short – especially compared to other breast pumps.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

The motor for the Freemie Liberty has a one-year warranty and the collection cups have a 60-day warranty.

Imani i2 Breast Pump

This pump has a one-year warranty on the pump itself and six month on the battery.

APP

Willow 3.0

One of the most popular features of the Willow 3.0 is that it’s a smart pump that connects with their super handy app. The app allows you to easily change settings, track how much breast milk you’ve pumped, and keep track of your pumping sessions. It also includes really helpful tips on how to pump more effectively.

Willow Go

The Willow Go is a smart pump that can connect with an app to track pump sessions and pump amounts.

Elvie

The Elvie is a smart pump that connects with the Elvie app to better manage your pumping experience.

Elvie Stride

The Elvie Stride does connect with the Elvie app to help track how much milk you’ve pumped, help you adjust settings, etc.

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

No app.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

No app.

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

No app.

Imani i2 Breast Pump

No app.

BIGGEST PROS

Willow 3.0

I think that there are a couple of things that stand out about the Willow:

  • It boasts of a truly leak-proof experience with 360-degree movement ability. This is essential for those who rely on this pump for a busy lifestyle or job.
  • I really like that it’s easy to clean. There are really just two parts you need to regularly clean.
  • I also really like that it has a wide variety of flange sizes. This isn’t super common with pumps!

Willow Go

Here are a few of the standout features of the Willow Go:

  • Less expensive than the Willow 3.0 – and it may be covered by insurance
  • Large capacity with the collection cups
  • Less bulky than some pumps
  • It has a lot of great reviews

Elvie

  • This is definitely the quietest hands-free pump that I have used
  • I found it to be pretty comfortable
  • You can buy one or two, depending on your budget

Elvie Stride

  • Often covered by insurance
  • You can save your default settings

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

  • Versatile – you can use it is a primary pump but also as a hands-free pump
  • Intuitive design
  • Very Quiet
  • Good customer service.

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

  • Very inexpensive
  • Good number of settings

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

  • Lots of options for flanges
  • Good warranty
  • Generally considered pretty powerful
  • Large storage capacity

Imani i2 Breast Pump

  • Large storage capacity
  • Inexpensive – it has a better reputation than the MomCozy pumps
  • Seems fairly intuitive
  • Generally the reviews are pretty good
  • A lot of people find the output to be really good

BIGGEST CONS

Willow 3.0

There are definitely some downsides though to the Willow 3.0:

  • It is not covered by insurance, and it’s very expensive
  • The bag capacity is lower than some pumps
  • It’s very loud and very bulky under your shirt. If you are looking for a discrete, hands-free pumping session – this isn’t going to do it for you!

Willow Go

  • At the end of the day, it’s still pretty expensive.
  • It is not spill-proof – so if you are moving around a lot, it may not be the best option for you.

Elvie

  • It’s expensive and isn’t covered by insurance
  • Limited flange sizes

Elvie Stride

  • Has tubes, so it’s not cord-free
  • Some of the reviews are kind of iffy on it
  • Limited flange sizes

Baby Buddha Breast Pump with Hands-Free Cups

  • If you “hack it” to work with hands-free cups, you void the warranty
  • Some find the suction to be a little too intense
  • Price adds up when you add on the silicone cups

MomCozy S12 Breast Pump

  • Reviews are pretty hit or miss – some love it, others hate it
  • I’ve heard questionable things about the quality and longevity
  • It’s pretty loud
  • I didn’t find the suction to be super powerful

Freemie Liberty II Deluxe Breast Pump

  • Even though it’s portable, it’s a little clunky

Imani i2 Breast Pump

  • Some of the reviews say the suction is too strong
  • It has a lot of pieces
  • Some reviewers says it spills pretty easily.

Why choose a hands-free breast pump?

There are many different types of breast pumps out there – if you are new to pumping, make sure you check out this post – Which Type of Breast Pump Should You Buy? – to learn more.

Hands-free, wireless breast pumps offer a lot of features that can make your life so much easier.

Because they are cord-free you simply place the pump inside your bra and you can continue to move around get things done as any busy mom would want to do.

Using a hands-free pump is discreet, convenient, and offers flexibility to your life. They are portable, small, and sleek looking making it easy for you to carry in a purse or diaper bag and store anywhere you choose to pump – in public places, in private, and everywhere in between.

THe moms that I see benefit the most from a hands-free breast pump are those who work in occupations where they aren’t able to sit down and take a break much and moms who have other kids that need their attention so they can’t just sit down and pump regularly.

Will My Insurance Cover a Hands-Free Pump?

This depends on the breast pump! Of the pumps that I’ve listed above, these pumps are sometimes covered by insurance:

  • BabyBuddha (not including the Freemie Cups)
  • Freemie Liberty
  • Willow Go
  • Elvie Stride

You can check your insurance coverage here.

How to choose which hands-free pump is right for you

We have done the research and read the reviews and compiled it all together in one place to help you decide which hands-free breast pump is right for you.

There are quite a few options out there nowadays with more being developed as we speak. There is an option for every price point, and we think we have a pretty good idea about which ones are the best.

We’ve compared pricing, features, pros, and cons, as well as their similarities and differences to guide you on the process of purchasing a breast pump.

You should ask yourself these questions as you go forward with purchasing a hands-free pump:

  • Do you need your insurance to cover the pump (many are not covered)
  • Do you want a double pump or a single pump?
  • Do you want it to be a closed system?
  • What is your price range?
  • Will you be using this as your primary pump or a supplementary pump?

We hope that this best has helped you to find the best hands-free breast pump for your situation. Be sure to let us know what your favorite one is!

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