Is the Elvie breast pump worth it? Yes. Here's why

Is the Elvie breast pump worth it? If you're a savvy shopper who likes a bargain then it's hard to believe something so expensive is going to be worth it.

An image of the Elvie breast pump
(Image credit: Elvie)

‘Is the Elvie breast pump worth it’ is a question you're likely to ask the internet before you pop one in your virtual shopping basket. The answer is yes.

If you're a savvy shopper who likes a bargain then it can be hard to believe that something so expensive - the single pump is £269 and the double is £499 - is going to be worth it.

But the Elvie breast pump is one of the best breast pumps we've seen - as we highlighted in our five-star Elvie breast pump review where we asked a breastfeeding mum to put it to the test with her baby. Other breast pumps are cheaper, of course. But we named the Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump the best premium breast pump you can buy based on feedback from our tester Lisa Murphy-O’Reilly, who is breastfeeding three-month-old Arlo. “It’s completely changed expressing for me," she told us. "Now I can actually go out for the evening with friends without carrying a big bulky pump along with me, and I won’t be stuck hiding in the toilet to express.”

Elvie breast pump beside a smartphone

Credit: Elvie
Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump – £499 | Elvie

Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump – £499 | Elvie

A total game-changer, this wearable breast pump takes the stress out of expressing breastmilk. It's quiet, efficient, and utterly discreet so you can pump wherever you like without putting your body on display or your life on hold.

What's so special about one of the most expensive breast pumps you can buy? The Elvie Electric Breast Pump is a wearable breast pump that fits discreetly inside a standard bra. This means breastfeeding mums can express at the office - or even on the bus - without anyone noticing. We know what you’re thinking:  Could you actually use it on the bus? We're not sure why you'd want to, honestly. But yes. It's really that portable and discreet.

Is the Elvie breast pump worth it? Yes, if you’re looking for a versatile breast pump that will allow you to express breastmilk quickly and easily whilst carrying on with your life. If you want the convenience and freedom of expressing without sitting hunched over a breast pump plugged into the wall or without having to find a quiet corner, it's worth buying. 

Here are five reasons why we think the Elvie breast pump is worth it.

Elvie Breast Pump: easy to clean and assemble

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Breast pumps are complicated AF to assemble. Even those that aren’t usually have lots of fiddly little pieces that you need to put together each time you use it. Cleaning and sterilising a breast pump can be a bit of a chore too, even if putting it together in the first place isn't.

Expressing can also be stressful. So it's worth paying extra for a breast pump that isn't a total hassle to clean and re-assemble. The Elvie breast pump takes literally seconds to assemble and there are just five parts to clean. This might not seem like a big deal. But mislaying a tiny plastic tube on your draining board or not being able to express because you can't remember how to put the pump back together is actually enough to reduce you to tears. In fact, our tester said the Elvie breast pump was much more straightforward to disassemble for cleaning than any other pump she has tried. 

It's so simple to use

It really is as simple as popping the Elvie breast pump in your bra and getting on with life while you're pumping. That said, there is a bit of a knack to using it, especially if you're used to a more traditional breast pump. For example, the seal needs to be completely flat against the shield for the pump to work. You also need to make sure you're using the right size shield, and all the parts need to be thoroughly dry before use. The suction can be a bit hit-and-miss at first but it's not magic; it's a device that you need to take time to get to grips with.

Does it leak? According to our tester, that depends on what type of bra you wear. And that’s to be expected with a wearable device - what you wear will affect how it performs. A saggy bra will do you no favours with this. (It’s a game-changer but it’s not gravity-defying!) But the good news is that you don’t need to fork out for a fancy pumping bra, which is necessary with some other brands of hands-free breast pump. All you need is a well-fitting bra that can hold the pump securely in place against your breast.

The app is genuinely useful

Is the Elvie breast pump worth it? Yes. Because you can connect the Elvie Electric Breast Pump to the Elvie Pump app, which you can download for free on a smartphone. (The pump also works without the app if tech isn't your cup of tea. But honestly, you'd be mad not to use the app. The clever tech is partly what you're paying extra for, after all.)

From monitoring your milk volume and tracking your pumping history to the ability to control the pump remotely, the Elvie app features incredibly useful functionality that other electric breast pumps just can't compete with. Our favourite techy feature? You can actually adjust the breast pump suction via your smartphone - without having to rummage around inside your bra! That's clever.

What's more, any issues you encounter are easy to sort. The Elvie app and website have great FAQ sections - and our testers report that the customer services team are very helpful.

It's good value for money

The Elvie breast pump is an expensive bit of baby gear. (The single electric breast pump is £269 and the double is £499.) But when it comes to value for money, it's a sound investment.

In the fashion world, there’s a saying for when you’re weighing up whether or not to splurge on a pricey pair of shoes or a designer coat: price per wear. Unlike very much from the fashion industry, this idea also applies to shopping for baby gear: think about price per use.

If a coat costs £270 and you’re likely to wear it for around 90 days of the year and wear it for three or four seasons, it’s better value for money than a much cheaper coat that you’ll wear less frequently and end up replacing sooner, for example. It sounds like clever marketing but it's common sense. Sometimes, the more expensive product is more expensive because it’s a better product. And that makes it better value for money than a cheaper alternative.

To put it another way. Say you spend twenty minutes cleaning, drying, and assembling a fiddly breast pump every time you use it. But only five minutes doing the same with the Elvie breast pump. The Elvie is worth it because the cheaper alternative - although it will cost you less money - will almost certainly end up costing you more time.

It's truly efficient

Our tester was able to express more milk with the Elvie Single Electric Breast Pump than with any other pump she has tried. There's no guarantee that will be true for everyone who uses it, of course. But it's enough to convince us, in theory, that the Elvie breast pump is well worth its price tag.

It's difficult to convey how challenging it can be to use a breast pump. Picture yourself tethered - by your boob - to the nearest plug socket. Trying not to stress about whether you’ll express enough milk to earn yourself an evening out with friends or - more likely - an early night to catch up on sleep while someone else feeds the baby. Imagine being aggressively squeezed by a hungry, clanking breast pump. Imagine feeling like a dairy cow at the very time when your body image may have taken a hit.

Then imagine doing away with all of that, and popping the Elvie breast pump in your bra while you make dinner or watch TV. Without needing subtitles because the pump isn't noisy. Imagine expressing peacefully while you read a magazine. (Or whatever it is mums do when they finally get five minutes to themselves - I wouldn't know because, alas, the Elvie wasn't around when I was feeding my babies.)

Some things to note about using the Elvie wearable breast pump: sit upright when you're pumping and don’t overdo the multitasking. You could probably get away with shovelling some pasta into a toddler’s mouth whilst using this wearable device without spilling a drop of your precious breastmilk. But it’s not the time to mop the kitchen floor. (In fact, it's a good excuse to let someone else do that.)

Elvie Breast Pump

Is the Elvie breast pump worth the money?

In conclusion, the Elvie breast pump is worth every precious penny it costs because it actually does what so many bits of baby gear promise to do - but fail to deliver on. It really does make life that little bit easier for mums. Our tester found she could express more milk in less time and carry on with other things while using the Elvie breast pump, which is why she gave it a five-star review and we rated it the best premium breast pump you can buy.

Here's how our tester put it. ‘I hated expressing before I got the Elvie breast pump. Using a traditional pump made me feel like a milk machine. I was already feeding my baby around the clock so the last thing I wanted was to be tethered to the sofa between feeds like a cow at a dairy farm. The Elvie, by contrast, made me feel like myself again. It makes expressing hassle-free.'

And you can't put a price on that.

Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.