If you are thinking about buying a hands-free pump, you may be wondering how to decide between the Willow vs. the Freemie pump.
Here are a few factors that may influence your decision on which pump to buy. You’ll want to consider:
- Are you comfortable using cords or tubes while pumping?
- Do you want to carry an extra piece of equipment while pumping?
- Do you need the pump to be completely leak-proof?
- How much are you willing to spend for convenience?
- Do you need your insurance plan to cover all or a portion of the cost of the pump?
After going through the pros and cons of the Willow and the Freemie pumps, below are my top 3 tips on how to choose between these two pumps.
Cords on the Freemie Pump vs. A Cordless Willow Pump
Both of these pumps offer the ability to be more portable than if you were pumping with a “standard” pump like the Spectra or Medela. However there are a few big differences when you compare these two pumps to each other.
One thing to think about is do you want the flexibility to be completely free of cords and tubing while you are pumping.
Drawbacks for the Freemie
With the Freemie pump, you will have cups that can fit into a bra. However, you will still have cords or tubes that connect from the cups to the motor of the pump.
When you start pumping with the Freemie, you’ll need to connect the tubes from the cups to the motor of the pump and hide them under your shirt.
So when you put the Freemie cups into your bra, you will still need to figure out a place to carry the motor of the pump. You can carry it on your hip or in a large pocket.
Pros for the Freemie
A big benefit of both the Freemie Liberty and the Freemie Independence have rechargeable batteries.
When you pump with either of these pumps you will not need to be connected to a power outlet on the wall while pumping.
Pros to the Willow
The Willow pump is more streamlined. The power or motor for the pump is attached to the cup, so you can be truly free of cords.
It also is rechargeable so you do not need to be connected to a power outlet while pumping.
The Willow will not require you to hold onto any other equipment, like how you’ll need to hold onto the pump motor with the Freemie pump.
Because the Willow doesn’t require cords or an extra piece of equipment, it is more convenient and discreet when you use it to pump.
Pumping Into Bags or Containers
When you are trying to decide between these two pumps, you will want to consider if you need to pump into breast milk storage bags.
The Willow offers the option to pump into either milk storage bags or into containers. This gives you more flexibility.
The milk storage bags are completely leak proof while pumping with them.
Once done pumping, you can just take the storage bags and put them in the refrigerator or freezer, which will save you time.
It is also great to have the option to pump into containers with the Willow.
This is because you only have to pay for the containers one time, as opposed to purchasing new bags each time you pump.
Freemie only offers the option to pump into containers. When you are done pumping, you’ll need to empty the containers into a bottle or a separate breast milk bag for storage.
Then, these containers will need to be washed in between each pumping session.
It can take more time out of your day to pump with the Freemies because you will need to wash the cups right after pumping.
Immediate washing is required so the cups have time to air dry before your next pumping session.
Price Comparison Between Willow and Freemie
Here are the retail prices of the Willow and Freemie pumps:
- The Freemie Liberty has a retail price of $360.
- The Freemie Independence retails for $320.
- The Willow has a retail price of $499. Be sure to check here for the most current promotions.
The pricing could change based on any promotions, so you may want to check these links below for the most up to date prices.
You can also check the current price of the Freemie cups here (on Amazon). These Freemie cups do not include the pump motor, so you would need to use them with a pump that you already have like a Spectra.
For more details on if the Willow pump is worth it, read about the pros and cons in this article.
Does Insurance Cover the Willow and Freemie Pumps?
Many insurance plans will cover both the Willow Pump and the Freemie Pump.
Depending on the insurance plan, a portion of the cost of the pump may be covered or the full amount of the pump may be covered.
If the price of each pump is not fully covered, then you can usually use your FSA or HSA (flexible spending account or high deductible savings account) to pay for the remaining balance on the pump.
Because the sales price of the Freemie starts off lower, generally it costs less when using your insurance plan than when purchasing the Willow.
However, there are a lot of benefits to the Willow that the Freemie doesn’t offer, and you may find the extra money is worth the convenience.
Another great way to save money if you are interested in a Willow pump is to click here to check out these current promotions. I found that sometimes the promotions may end up being a better deal than using the insurance benefit!
How To Choose Between the Willow Vs. Freemie
Here are my top 3 tips to choose if the Willow or the Freemie pump is right for you.
Tip #1: Do you want to move freely, like bending over or laying back while pumping?
The first thing you will need to consider is if you imagine that you need to move freely or if you will be mostly sitting or standing while pumping.
When you pump with the Freemie, you will need to keep your torso more upright to help avoid spilling milk from the cups. You can still squat down or walk around, but you won’t be able to move as freely when you pump using containers.
When you pump with the Willow and breast milk bags, they are totally leak proof. You can even lay back or do yoga while pumping with them.
If you are a nurse, or you are a mom running after other children, you may be more comfortable pumping with a Willow because it is leak proof.
If you have a desk job where you can sit upright while pumping, you will probably be happy using either the Willow or the Freemie to pump.
Tip #2: Are You Comfortable With Tubes and an Extra Piece of Equipment
The second tip is if you are comfortable with the extra pieces of equipment with the Freemie.
These items are fairly small and lightweight, but they do add extra bulk that you may want to hide while pumping.
If you prefer a more streamlined experience, the Willow is less bulky than the Freemie pump.
Tip #3: Are You Willing To Spend Extra Money For Convenience?
Personally, I decided that I was willing to spend more for the convenience of being completely hands-free.
I also loved the convenience of pumping straight into breast milk bags with the Willow. This is for a few reasons.
Pumping into bags was more sanitary because I did not need to worry about transferring milk from containers into bottles while I was at work.
Pumping into bags also meant that I did not spill milk when I was pressed for time after pumping at work.
I could just refrigerate the bags at work (or put them in my cooler) and then transfer the milk into bottles once I was home.
I even found that there were some great promotions running to help bring the cost of the Willow down.
If you think that you might be interested in pumping with the Willow, be sure to check here for the current promotions.
Willow and Freemie Pump Alternative
If you are looking for a hands free pump, but just cannot handle the expense of the Willow, one pump you should check out is this hands free pump by Momcozy.
It is a good option if you want a hands free pump and are willing to use a less discrete option to save some money.
More Pumping Tips
Be sure to save this to your Breastfeeding or Baby board on Pinterest so you can find it later!
For more pumping and breastfeeding tips, check out:
- My Top 5 Tips and Hacks For the Willow Pump
- How To Use Your HSA to Cover A Pump
- How To Prepare For Breastfeeding During Pregnancy