Which is the Better Breast Pump?

When it comes to the best breast pump brands out there, Spectra and Medela often stand out among the best. We decided to take a look at these two machines and break down and compare Spectra vs Medela.

The need for a breast pump in today’s world is pretty much a necessity for mothers. Whether to keep for future feedings or to express for work, there are so many reasons to use a breast pump.


Spectra vs Medela: How did we rate them?

Medela has focused on breastfeeding support for over 50 years. They offer a wide range of pumps and accessories to meet the needs of nursing mothers. This comparison focuses on the Pump In Style with Max Flow (not to be confused with the Pump in Style Advanced).

Spectra is a company founded by mothers and registered nurses who developed Natural Nursing Technology. Their award-winning pumps help mothers breastfeed. This comparison focuses on the Spectra S2 Plus.

The comparison of Pump In Style and Spectra S2 is based on the following categories to consider when considering a breast pump:

  • Strength
  • portability
  • noise
  • user friendliness
  • price

Spectra vs. Medela

Compare their strengths

When looking for the perfect pump, you will likely come across the term “hospital quality”. This generally refers to the performance of the pump. The more power the pump has, the faster it pumps until the chest is empty for that session. Too much force can be uncomfortable and not provide enough breast milk. Features like dials and buttons help the user choose the right amount of pressure that is comfortable. Fortunately, both the Pump in Style and the S2 have a drain mode to get your milk flowing.

Medela’s Pump In Style is a huge time saver as it is classified as “Hospital Quality”. The two-phase expression mode mimics sucking so it feels similar to your baby’s. It is designed to be used several times a day so that working mothers can use it as often as necessary during their work break and not be gone for long. In comparison, the Pump In Style has been clinically proven to increase milk volume by 11.8% compared to the Personal Fit model.

Spectra S2 from Spectra has strength where it is needed. The S2 measures a maximum pressure of 270 mmHg compared to the 235 mmHg of the Pump in Style. This pump has an adjustable suction power. Despite its power, it is still gentle enough to massage and stimulate the chest. It can pump enough day and night without sucking causing pain.

Winner in the strength category: Medela Pump In Style

When it comes to the strength of Spectra vs. Medela, Medela scores with “Hospital Grade” due to its handling in multiple daily applications. This also makes it a great option when you need to power the pump to increase the supply.

Which option is quieter?

When do you want to use a breast pump? The nursing room at work? At night while everyone is sleeping? The noise made by a breast pump can make the decision to buy one model over another. With greater engine power, greater noises can also occur.

Pump In Style is one of the louder pumps on the market. Hospital-grade pumps create more volume, and this one is no exception. This can disturb others around you, but it can signal to your coworkers that you are no longer using a break room that is designated as a lactation room.

S2 is impressively quiet. In the privacy of their home or work, others may not become so aware that it is being used. This quiet motor reports only 45 decibels, which corresponds to the noise level of a library.

Noise Category Winner: S2

When you don’t want the world to know you’re pumping, the S2’s quiet power wins.

Frozen breast milkFrozen breast milk storage bags

Spectra vs. Medela: Portability

Nothing is more portable than breastfeeding. Babies are fed on demand, so a mother needs to be ready anywhere, anytime. Breast pumps are also becoming increasingly portable. The pumps in the hospital are large and bulky, can roll around, but are not far from an electrical outlet. With today’s breast pumps, you can go anywhere your mother goes.

Pump In Style is easy to transport. The stylish bag is an all-in-one container for a pump, bottles and a cooler bag. The adapter cable and hoses can be taken out, but the pump can stay in and use without unpacking anything. The Pump in Style also has a rechargeable battery with 8 AA batteries for on the go without the need for an electrical outlet. The biggest downside is that the pump itself weighs around seven pounds, which can be heavy if mothers are also carrying a baby, diaper bag, purse, and other supplies for the day.

The Spectra pump also has a pouch to hold the pump and hose, but the cooler must be purchased separately and will not fit in. The same applies to other accessories for mothers on the go, such as a car adapter. The advantage is that at three pounds the weight of the pump is more than half the weight of the Pump In Style. While driving to and from work may be less convenient, it won’t be as stressful on a mother. If you’re looking for long battery life, the Spectra S1 is actually a better option than its successor.

Winner in the “Portability” category: Medela Pump in Style

The supplied accessories and the battery surpass the weight comparison.

Spectra vs Medela: Ease of Use

If it is not easy to use, a pump cannot be used effectively or at all. Busy mothers don’t have time to set everything up over a long period of time if the time isn’t available at all. Cleanliness and extra functions are things mothers pay attention to and talk about when recommending breast pumps.

The Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow is ideal as there are fewer parts to clean and assemble than some other pumps on the market. It’s even adaptable to other mainstream bottles so you can use more than just the set included in the kit. However, there is some concern about condensation forming in the hoses after some uses. It’s not that easy to clean, and it’s ideal to have the hoses replaced at an affordable price.

Rookie mom Gabriela says the 2-Phase Expression Technology makes the Medela Pump in Style with Maxflow so easy to use for her. It mimics your baby’s natural sucking rhythm, making you feel comfortable during each session. In addition, this new pump can be used with an included battery or with an electrical outlet.

S2 is a closed system pump. This will prevent milk from flowing back down the hose, which can lead to bacteria. Other great features include a night light for night owls and an auto timer to keep them on schedule. The flanges are connected to wide mouth bottles so that the types of bottles that can be used to hold breast milk can be restricted.

Ease of Use category winner: Tie

In this case the Spectra vs. Medela ends in a draw! Both pumps are easy to use. Bottle types versus backflow protection against bacteria are comparisons that everyone can decide for themselves.

price comparison

Breastfeeding is free, so buying a breast pump is an investment to support breastfeeding mothers. Sometimes insurance can help with the cost of a breast pump, while many buy them out of pocket. The value of the pump results from all of the above categories as well as the guarantee for the pump and parts.

Starting in August 2020, the Pump In Style will sell for $ 199.99. This includes everything in the stylish bag from the hose to the flanges to the battery (batteries not included). The Pump In Style has a one-year guarantee on the motor and a 90-day guarantee on the pump parts. While Medela offers breast pumps for rent, Pump In Style is not an option. Check it out here!

As of August 2020, the S2 will cost $ 159. This includes the pump and the necessary accessories. The bundle kit with cooler bag, ice packs, and other accessories costs $ 195. The S2 has a two-year guarantee on the pump and a 90-day guarantee on the accessories. Check it out here!

Which breast pump is better?

When you need a powerful breast pump for quick sessions that is easy to use and portable in style? Are you going to use it multiple times a day because you are not around your baby but want to feed them the best milk for them? The Medela Pump In Style may be the best choice for you.

Do you need a quiet breast pump at home to increase milk flow? Are you preparing for the evenings when you need to sleep all night? Do you plan to have your family close together so that both babies have a longer warranty? Then the Spectra S2 may be the best choice for you.

Hope this article will help you choose the right model for your mom. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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