The Calypso Double Plus electric pump is one of a family of breast pumps from Swiss business Ardo, which was founded in 1985.
With the UK subsidiary Ardo Medical launching in 2008, the company is a relative newcomer on the block.
At £114.95, the Calypso Double Plus is half the price of competitor Medela Swing Maxi Double, which is £239.99, but claims to be ultra quiet and discreet. It also gives high priority to mums’ individual needs, with 64 combinations of speed and suction, and the pump comes complete with three different sizes of breast shells – plus there are further sizes available to buy separately.
What’s in the box?
- Calypso breast pump
- Mains adapter
- 2 x connectors
- 2 x tubes
- 2 x 150ml milk collection bottles
- 2 x bottle cap/cap liner
- Bottle holder
- Cleaning brush
- 2 x pumpset including valves
- 2 x 26mm breast shell
- 2 x 28mm breast shell
- 2 x 31mm breast shell
- 2 x Optiflow massage insert
What extra accessories can you buy?
- Bottle stand – £4.25
- Breast pads 30/60 pack – £4.95/£6.95
- Easy Freeze bags 20 pack – £7.95
- Easy Clean microwave bags 5 pack – £7.95
- Nipple shields – £6.95
- Gold Cream nipple cream 10ml/30ml – £3.95/£6.95
- Cool Bag – £6.50
- Cool Bag with 6 bottles and cooling elements – £14.95
- Breastfeeding bag – £21
- Glass bottle – £4.95
- 36mm breast shells – £5.95
How do you put the Calypso breast pump together?
Inexplicably, the main instruction booklet covering the breast pump unit is separate from a foldout pamphlet detailing in more depth how to use and clean the pumpset which attaches to the breast.
I have to admit, I found it really confusing trying to cross reference between the two instruction booklets.
The grid-layout pumpset manual was particularly complicated as it is printed in 14 different languages on a single page.
Luckily, the pumpset is actually very simple to put together, take apart and clean, and then it can be put back together after cleaning in a matter of seconds.
I really liked the fact it was so easy to assemble. The one downside was the connection between the rubber tubing and the pumpset as I felt it was very basic.
So how do you clean it?
Really easily – it comes with a tiny brush for getting into all the nooks and crannies, which I really liked, plus it comes apart very easily for steam sterilising.
The pump is sold on being quiet when expressing, but how quiet is it?
It’s quiet! The running joke among my other mum friends about the distinctive sound of pumping time could be a thing of the past as the Calypso is far quieter than my previous pump, the Medela Swing.
There is still a noise from the motor, but it’s a lot less intrusive – even my husband noticed the difference. It’s probably the quietness of the pump that’s seen it win a Mumsnet best buy and awards from Practical Parenting & Pregnancy and Bizzie Baby.
How much milk can you express with it?
Each of the bottles can hold a maximum of around 150ml (5 fl oz), which is the same as the bottles that come with the Medela Swing and more than the 120ml bottles with the Ameda Lactaline.
Obviously it depends how much milk you produce, but I did find that sometimes when pumping in the morning, the bottles weren’t large enough for me to empty all my milk in one go.
Unfortunately, Ardo doesn’t make larger bottles, unlike Medela which also sells 250ml collection bottles. To be honest, this is a small gripe though – as generally the bottles were large enough.
How long does it take to express milk for one feed?
It took me around 20 minutes in the morning to express enough milk for one feed, about what I would expect for me personally.
Having previously used a single electric pump, I was really pleased to be able to express my milk in less time, rather than having to pump each side in turn.
Does it have different expressing phases?
Yes, but with Ardo’s focus on personalised expressing, the phases are left up to you to work out.
With separate ‘vacuum’ and ‘cycle’ buttons, each of which can be adjusted to eight different levels, there is a wealth of options.
Basically, Ardo recommends mums use a higher level of cycle, with a lower vacuum to stimulate the milk production. Then once the milk starts flowing, you can adjust to a lower cycle with a higher vacuum. I found this a bit of a hassle to adjust when double pumping as I had to attempt to hold both bottles in one hand while I changed the settings. Instead, I used the pump at its max settings for both vacuum and cycle throughout expressing to avoid risking spilling the milk.
How comfortable is it to use?
Very! Although the Calypso Double Plus comes with soft Optiflow massage inserts for the breast shells, I didn’t need to use them as the plastic shells fit well on their own.
How does it compare to other breast pumps you’ve used?
My previous pump, the Medela Swing, was also electric and I found the amount of milk I could express was similar.
Because I express every day, this is the top priority for me. It isn’t such a winner in the style and portability stakes, but for the price, I don’t think that matters as much.
The fact it is noticeably quieter is a real bonus – and makes expressing a lot more pleasant.
How is it to travel with?
While not as large as a hospital-grade pump, the Calypso and all the kit certainly takes up a fair bit of space.
I would have liked the pump to include a light drawstring bag to transport everything together, as there are a lot of components.
Saying that, the fact it is so quiet to use compared to other pumps means that it’s not quite as embarrassing to express when you’re staying away from home.
What about the battery life?
I used regular batteries in the Calypso – it takes six AA batteries – and, while it is good to know it doesn’t always have to be plugged into the mains, I wasn’t as happy with its performance when battery-powered as the pump kept cutting out when I used it at the maximum settings.
Is it value for money?
Yes, it is. The Ardo Calypso Double Plus is only £10 more than its single counterpart, and considerably cheaper than the Medela Swing Maxi Double, which costs £239.99. It’s also a bit cheaper than the Ameda Lactaline Double (£129.99).
A great value double electric breast pump which is easy and quiet to use, simple to clean and has lots of options for personalisation.
With the ability to use it as a double or single pump, and bags of extras, this is a pump well worth buying.