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Journalist and editor Nina Zietman has been testing the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump to feed her daughter Zelah, aged 4 weeks. She lives in Cornwall and regularly writes product reviews for the Evening Standard.
What were your first impressions?
I love the aesthetically pleasing packaging of the Wren Hands-Free Double Pump; the forest green and peach colour scheme has the feel of a hipster coffee brand. Inside the box, there were a number of tiny parts, which initially felt a little overwhelming. However, once I’d read the instructions, I realised it was pretty straightforward to set up.
Was the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump easy to set up?
Yes. The instruction pamphlet isn’t a heavy tome written in 17 different languages. Instead, it’s thin and easy-to-read with clear guidance for setting up and dismantling the pump.
After cleaning and sterilising, I followed the step-by-step guide to click the individual parts together. It’s similar in design to the Medela Swing Pump, £249.99; you start by attaching a rubbery-soft diaphragm that hugs a connector unit. However, unlike the Medela, it comes with a valve (that looks like the mouthpiece of a whistle) which allows the milk to drip through into the BPA-free collection bottle.
Once these parts are connected, you push it into the egg-like motor unit, which powers the breast pump. When you hear a satisfying ‘click’, it’s time to screw in the milk bottles, ready to collect your precious supply. I like that it comes with lots of spare parts, ideal for sleep-deprived mothers who have a tendency to lose things, like myself.
How easy is the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump to use?
Once set up, the Wren felt quite instinctive to use. You just slot the pumps inside your nursing bra, pop your nipple inside the breast shield, and turn on.
The hands-free design means you can move freely while expressing. However, it’s worth noting that you can’t jiggle about too much, otherwise you run the risk of dislodging the pump and leaking. Pottering around the kitchen is fine. Bending over multiple times to pick up laundry or make the bed, not so much.
Once finished, you just turn the pump off and remove your breast, untwist the bottle and cap it off, ready for storing in the fridge or freezer.
I would recommend wearing your least favourite nursing bra while expressing, as I feel like over time, having the pumps in the cups could stretch the fabric out of shape.
How comfortable is the breast pump?
I’ve found the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump very comfortable. It comes with 4 different size breast shield adaptors – or flanges – ranging from 17mm to 25mm, so you can find a tailored fit for your nipple. The shields are soft and the whole device sits snugly in your nursing bra. Wren also provides extra nursing bra straps to extend the length of your bra, if needed.
When you switch the pump on, it automatically goes into stimulate mode, before switching to expressing after 2 minutes. There are 5 suction levels settings on both the stimulate and express modes, allowing you to tweak the suction intensity. I tended to go for setting two or three, so I could feel the tugging but it wasn’t too ferocious.
Wren also sells a lanolin nipple balm, the Go-To Balm, £14.99, which you can apply before pumping to create extra lubrication, reducing friction on your nipples. I found this effective at preventing any soreness.
How effectively does the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump express?
The more I’ve used the pump, the more effective I’ve found it. Naturally, being a double breast pump, you can express off both breasts at the same time. I found the first 10 minutes were a little slow for me, but then once my milk was in full flow I could easily express enough to fill a 150ml bottle. The only downside is that you can’t easily see how much you’ve expressed; you have to pause the pump, take it off and check the bottles, or look in a mirror to see if the milk is dripping through effectively.
How well do the different settings on the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump work?
As mentioned above, there are 5 suction levels settings on both the stimulate and express modes; other pumps only allow you to adjust the express mode. The wide range of levels allowed subtle changes to the suction levels, which I really appreciated. When my nipples were feeling a little sore, I could lower the intensity, but still express enough milk. I like that you can manually adjust each pump separately, rather than having one setting for both pumps, like the Medela Freestyle.
Does it have a control pad or a smartphone app?
No, it doesn’t.
How portable is it?
Portability is one of the key benefits of the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump. Yes, there are a few small parts, but most of them click into the connector unit, so really it’s 3 key parts that fit neatly inside the cotton carry bag provided. Overall, the double pump weighs just under 600g, which isn’t quite as light as the Elvie, but certainly still relatively compact and easy to transport. Wren also include a drawstring cotton bag which can fit in all the components, making it easy to keep things together when you travel.
How noisy is the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump?
I found the pump fairly quiet, just a low level pulsing sound. It didn’t disturb my sleeping baby and I could still watch Netflix while pumping!
Is it easy to charge the breast pump and how long does the battery last?
The pump motors are easy to charge using the 2 USB-C wires provided. The Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump doesn’t come pre-charged, so make sure you plug it in at least 2 hours before your first use. You’ll also need to source your own plugs as these aren’t provided.
Battery wise, it lasts for 2 hours. I use mine for about 30 minutes per session, so it does mean I need to charge it every few days. You can check if it’s charged by holding down the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons, but only when the pump motor is turned off and there’s no warning when it’s on low battery. You also can’t use the Wren breast pump while it’s charging.
How easy is the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump to clean?
I was surprised at how easy the Wren was to clean. Just unclip all of the plastic parts and dunk in warm soapy water. Alternatively, all of the pump parts (apart from the motor) are easily washed in the dishwasher. The bottles can collect a little residue inside after a dishwasher cycle, however Wren provides a handy little scrubbing brush that gets into those hard-to-reach corners. Then, all of the parts are ready for sterilising. So far, I haven’t noticed any clouding or staining after daily use.
How does it compare with other breast pumps you’ve used?
The Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump is similar in many ways to the Elvie. It mimics the diaphragm-based pumping system, plus the shape and bottles are very alike in appearance. However, a single Elvie pump costs £269, while the double Wren pumps are £179.99, so it’s better value for money.
What’s in the box?
- 2 x 25mm breast shields
- 2 x 21mm breast shield adaptor
- 2 x 17 mm breast shield adaptor
- 2 x connector units
- 4 x diaphragms
- 12 x seal rings
- 4 x valves
- 2 x pump motor
- 4 x 150ml BPA-free bottle
- 4 x bottle lids
- 2 x USB-C charging cables
- 2 x nursing bra adjusters
- 1 x cleaning brush
- 1 x cotton travel bag
What are the additional accessories that you can buy?
- Breast milk storage bags x 15, £5.99
- Nipple bubble with storage case and bag, £16.99
- Lactation massager, £34.99
- Go-To lanolin nipple balm, £14.99
- Choose Love baby grow, £18
- Reusable bamboo breast pads x 10, £15.99
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the breast pump?
It would have been good to know that you need to have 2 USB compatible plugs in advance to charge up the Wren hands-Free Double Breast Pump for the first time.
Who would the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump be most useful for?
Multi-tasking mothers who want a wireless breast pump for using on the go – without spending over £200.
Is the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump worth the money?
Definitely. The Wren is excellent value for money. It might not be as flashy as the Elvie (with its smartphone app and remote controls), but it expresses efficiently for a fraction of the price.
How does it compare to other hands-free breast pumps on the market?
|Product name||Double or single?||Wearable?||How much milk does it hold?||RRP (£)|
|Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump||Double||Yes||300ml (150ml per pump)||£179.99|
|Elvie Breast Pump||Single||Yes||150ml||£269|
|Lumina Breast Pump Pro Double||Double||Yes||300ml (150ml per pump)||£229.98|
|Fraupow Wearable Breast Pump||Single||Yes||180ml||£89.99|
Where can you buy the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump?
If you’re looking for a hands-free, double breast pump for under £200, then I would highly recommend the Wren Hands-Free Double Breast Pump. It allows great freedom of movement, meaning you can multitask at home or express out and about. Design wise, it also lives up to its fuss-free reputation, thanks to the wireless motors and easy-to-clean parts. Just be prepared there might be a bit of leakage if you jiggle around too much. Overall, a fantastic, more affordable hands-free, wearable double breast pump, which also looks great.
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|Model||Hands-free double breast pump|