Medela cups vs Elvie Cup Comparison

Medela cups vs Elvie Cup Comparison

Medela vs Elive Cup Review

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This was a request by the bemybreastfriend community and I’ll say, I’m so glad it was mentioned because these are two great cup options but also very different. Let’s dive into the comparison and which I prefer, given the option of a fair purchase.

 

Strictly speaking cups, not pumps. If you’re interested in my thoughts you can read the Elvie Stride review HERE and the Medela Freesytle Flex review HERE. I can save you some energy and break the news right here- neither the Stride nor the Flex cut it for me. Super disappointed in the Stride and find the Flex ineffective. Both Elvie and Medela paired decent collection cups with mediocure breast pumps, both are super disappointing purchases. Thankfully we can all be grateful for pumping hacks! Both the Medela and Elvie Stride cups are easily hacked with other closed system pump options! I’ll share more on this shortly!

 

First things first, both of these cups have one thing in common that typically doesn’t get me too excited, plastic flanges. Generally speaking I am a silicone gal through and through. Oddly, I found plenty of success with both of these cup options when paired with a more effective pump option. Or maybe it was also a classic case of beggars can be choosers; cups preformed well enough, they fit in my bra nicely and just maybe I was willing to overlook the fact they aren't silicone? I guess we will never actually know but the fact remains, both are solid options.

 

Let’s chat design, everyone is always interested in the most flattering design, naturally.. no pun intended.

 

The Elvie cup design is 9/10, the only reason why I’m giving it a 9 and not a 10/10 is due to those damn tubes. I wish they could have been more creative where to allow the tubing to lay. You’ve got this pretty slim design, fits great into a bra and then this weird snakey figure slithering up or down your breast depending on where you pump is located on your body. It’s not the end of the world but it may have been able to be designed a slightly better. The one detail these cups have a major advantage over, well almost every cup, the silicone plug. When the cup is sitting right side up in your bra, a top down view, you will notice a pin hole just north of the silicone plug that allows you to easily pour your cup. This pin hole is the ultimate design because between these two holes, you’ve got a leak proof cup. Allowing the cup to have an independent vent, opposed to all other designs that share the vent and the pour spout, this cup really has no chance of leaking out of the top. If there’s anything I love about this design, that I think everyone should adopt, it’s the combo of the isolated pour and venting system. Winner winner chicken dinner.

 

Now don’t get too excited over these cups because I have bad news too. You cannot buy these cups outright. If you wanted to piece them together replacement part by replacement part, you’re looking at a ridiculous amount of money.. for cups. But hey that’s Elvie. Believe me, if they separated the Elvie Stride breast pump from these cups, the cups would sell like hot cakes and the pump would collect dust in the corner. However.. if you already have this setup, I can only assume, you’re not too satisfied with your pump- not to worrry, there’s a hack for you! It’s too easy, pull the tubing out of the hockey puck disk and insert your desired tubing to the closed system pump you prefer to use. Watch my hack HERE!

 

To wrap up the Elvie cups, they are plastic, they have a shallow depth that hold 5 ounces. They have a pretty good contour to the flange design, which I have found sit real comfortably on my breasts allowing milk to move freely. Even with the cups having a nice slim look, the flange slope is still significant to take in the breast, opposed to the Freemie Slim cups which sit on the breasts like pancakes- neglecting any contour for the breast to freely move. These cups are a top choice for me when chatting mobile cups but obviously the lack of accessibility is the main problem. Give the people what they want, Elvie offer these cups at a fair price, ditch that awful cheap-o breast pump and cut your loses. You’ve got a good design with these cups, don’t let them go to waste.

 

Ahhh now for the Medela cups, let’s play. When I first received the Flex with these cups I quickly feel in love with these plastic options. As you’ve figured out, the pump didn’t do it for me but these cups, woah. I hacked them with my Pumpables Genie Advanced and they quickly became my go to. I traveled with this set to San Diego, pumped on the plane, expo and airport. They’re fabulous, innovative design that makes pouring a piece of cake and only 3 pieces. Yea, three pieces, two sides of the cups and a backflow protector/duckbill combination piece. I loved the slope of the flange, fit my breast like a glove and didn’t add a terrible amount of boob to my boobs.

 

As I shared in my Flex review there was one flaw to these cups and that was its inability to keep up with a fast and heavy let-down. My first let down came on strong and I always knew when it was over because I heard a sloshing in the flange tunnel. Basically my nipple plunging the milk filled tunnel while little at a time make it past the duckbill flap. This was annoying, no doubt about it, but it didn’t backfill into my bra. That said, I think it could have been worse if the milk had no where to go but the little duckbills flap eventually caught up with the volume and I was back to normal soon after.

 

The set I reviewed didn’t have a seal, it was slightly a different design and didn’t have that tail piece connector that you now see with a recent Medela cup purchase. I had reviewed these cups before they went for individual sale, once they launched these cups for sale alone they had made a few changes, announced to the public. I haven’t used the new design but I have heard that they are more prone to leaking now and if this is the case for you to contact them because I believe they’re familiar with their new flaw and will correct the mistake. Keep in mind, this never happened with the OG set, don’t fix it if it’s not broken Medela.

 

If you’re looking to hack these cups with any other closed system pump, medela tried to make it not so convenient but don’t worry, we have a hack for that too.

 

As I shared in the beginning of this comparison, fortunately you're able to hack either of these cups with any closed system pump. I prefered my Pumpables Genie Advanced (BREASTFRIEND for 10% off), I felt this pump was a great pair for either of these cups. You can hack any closed system pump, 99.9% of pumps on the market are closed system pumps now.. really 100% but I dont want to forget about those who may still be using the OG Medela Pump in Style Advanced. As long as your pump requires a backflow protector, then you can be confident you're rocking a closed system pump. The Medela PISA is an open system pump, once and open system pump, always an open system pump; no adding backflow protectors to this pump. That said, if you've wondered if you can hack your favorite pump with these cups, the answer is yes.. thank god because the pumps they come with are the pits. 

Let’s wrap this up. This is a toss up, truly. If I could buy the Elvie cups solo I would push those because they’re a bit more flattering in the bra and leak proof at the pour. But since that not a possibility I don’t think I have a choice but to call Medela as the winner.. believe me when I say this pains me. Between their sneaky sales motive and shitty pumps I hate that I’m a fan of these cups. It is what it is. As I’ve said, I’m not going to pretend to dislike a product simply because I dislike the company, they stink but these cups aren’t a bad pick. Boo-who.

 

In search of the best pumping bra to pair with any mobile set up? Check out the Amelia by Davin & Adley! use code BREASTFRIENDS10 at checkout for $$ off (affil)

 Amelia in Sunflower

Looking for allll the pump hacks? Check out THIS BLOG!

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2 comments

Thank you so much for this comparison! I have the newer Medela cups and I really like them, but didnt have the originals to compare to so who knows. My only gripe is replacing the backflow protector/duckbill valve piece. $20?? Plus $10 shipping makes it a $30 replacement and as an EPer that gets expensive. I was able to find a set of spare parts from nenesupply on Amazon. Its a good affordable option but definitely isn’t as effective as the original part AND it’s 2 separate pieces so extra washing. Boo.

Norah C

Is is not that hard to buy the Elvie Stride cups by buying the pieces separately. Genuine Lactation has a guide video on the you tube called “buying Elvie stride cups without the pump”. It’s google-able. Personally the Stride has been a good partner to me over the last month. I knew prior to purchase I responded best to gentle suction (never pumped above a level 3 on the Spectra S2 or Unimom Opera), needed something quiet and with a discreet profile for working in court, and didn’t want to break the bank or face the learning curve associated with wearables and a little tubing wasn’t going to kil me.

Laura Curtis

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