Spectra vs Medela

Spectra VS Medela – Who’s The BETTER Breast Pump?

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Written by Karissa Whitman

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

If you’re trying to determine which breast pump is the best option, the Spectra vs Medela, I’m going to walk you through some of the specs of both to help you find the right pump for you!

Based on my personal experiencing using BOTH the Spectra S1 Model and the Medela Pump In Style Advanced, I have to say the Spectra breast pump, is hands down my top pick.

It’s a well designed breast pump that so many moms rave about because it truly gets the job done.

I also have NEVER had any mechanical or issues with my pump requiring technical support in the 3 years I’ve owned it, so talk about major reliability!

Breast Pump Comparison – Spectra S2 Plus vs. Medela Pump in Style

The breast pump MOST similar to the Medela Pump In Style is the Spectra S2 Model.

However, they also carry a portable breast pump called the Spectra S1 (the same one I had and still use after 2 babies).

For this comparison review, we’ll be using BOTH the Spectra S1 & S2 models to see exactly how they match up against the Medela.

SpecsSpectra S1Spectra S2Medela Pump In Style Advanced
AMAZON Ratings
(as of Nov 10, 2020)
4.7 out of 5 stars
(3,141 reviews)
4.6 out of 5 stars
(3,173 reviews)
4.8 out of 5 stars
(28 reviews)
Pump StrengthMax Suction of
250mmHg (12 levels)
Max Suction of
250mmHg (12 levels)
Personal (max 240 mmHg)
Comes With– Spectra S1 Pump
– Two 24mm Flanges
– Two 28mm Flanges
– Two Spectra Tubing
– Two Spectra Duckbill Valves
– Two Spectra Backflow Protectors (w/silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each backflow protector)
– Two Wide Neck Storage Bottles (w/ nipple, cap, disc, and lid)
One Spectra 12-Volt AC Power Adapter
Same as the S1 Model (except the S2 Pump)– Pump In Style Breast Pump (w/ handle case)
– battery pack (8AA not included)
– Two 24 mm and 27 mm PersonalFit™ breast shields 
– Two breast shield connectors 
– Two Valves & Membranes 
– Two 5 oz breastmilk bottles with lids
– 1 Complete tubing 
– 1 power adaptor
Pump Controls2 Phase Pumping with expression and massage modes2 Phase Pumping with expression and massage modes2 Phase Expression Technology with one-touch let-down
Portability2.9 lbs (very easy to carry around)3.3 lbs. (still lightweight and easy to carry around, but need to add a battery pack)4.68 lbs. (comes with a battery pack to carry around for portability)
Noise LevelVery quiet – can pump in the same room as a sleeping babyVery quiet – can pump in the same room as a sleeping babyNot very discreet, noticeable sound
Special FeaturesIncluded night light for nighttime pumping, timerIncluded night light for nighttime pumping, timerBattery adapter, soft case for storage
Closed System or Open SystemClosed system with backflow protectionClosed system with backflow protectionOpen system
Warranty2 years on pump motor, 90 days on parts/accessories2 years on pump motor, 90 days on parts/accessories1 year on pump motor; 90 days on parts/accessories

Which breast pump is best for me?

The most important takeaway from this post I want you to walk away with, is that selecting the BEST pump for you may not be what all the articles you read tell you to buy.

There are a few things you should always ask and keep in mind for yourself when searching for the best breast pump and here’s what they are:

  • How often will you be using your pump?
  • Do you plan to pump on the go?
  • Do you plan to pump at work or in a public setting?
  • Do you prefer a smaller pump or does it not matter?

These questions are important to think about because, for example, if you’re pumping at work, you may want a pump that’s more quiet.

If you’re pumping on the go, you might want one that’s a little smaller and has a carrying case to store your pumped milk on the go.

All small little details to weigh in on your breast pump purchase.

Spectra S2 Features:

Let’s talk about some of the Spectra S2 features and why they matter.

  • Lightweight at only 3lbs with a built-in design carrying handle
  • 2 Phase Pumping — expression and massage modes
  • Built-in night light
  • Hygenic closed system pump
  • Provides hospital grade pumping at home
  • Single or double pumping capacity
  • Easy to read LCD screen that also tracks total pump life usage
  • Soft & quiet pushable buttons
  • Easy to change between expression & suction mode

This pump has a TON of features compared to many of it’s competitor brands.

The ONE thing that makes this model somewhat a pain, is that it must be plugged in at all times to use. One of the reasons it makes this pump remain a bit more affordable than others.

I have seen some moms get a battery pack and set it up that way, but it’s extra legwork you really shouldn’t have to do.

On the contrary, the S1 model (seen below) features a rechargeable portable battery, so if you’ll be on the go a lot, it may be the better option for you.

Spectra S1 Pump

Medela Pump In Style Features:

Now, let’s take a look at the Medela Pump In Style Advanced features and see how they match up:

  • Comes with a battery adapter & soft case for storage
  • 2 Phase Expression Technology with one-touch let-down
  • On the go/ease of portability design

As you can see, the overall features between these two pumps don’t really size up well.

Medela is a PHENOMENAL brand and leader in the breast pumping industry, there’s no doubt about that.

However, with the progression in this industry, it’s also not surprising that a company like Spectra was able to create a pump that more well rounded for moms.

The ONE thing about the Medela that I do love, is that it has a one-touch letdown button. Meaning any time you are trying to stimulate a letdown, you press the button and the machine does the work.

You don’t have to sit there and watch the clock toggling between two settings. As a new mom, I think this is one of the most convenient features to have on a pump!

medela pump in style advanced

Spectra vs Medela Recap

At the end of the day, you have to decide which breast pump will check off the most items from your MUST HAVE checklist.

For me, the Spectra did that and more!

Here’s why I absolutely love my Spectra pump:

  • It was very easy to use & understand how to set up.
  • It is a CLOSED pumping system, making it more hygienic than an open system.
  • Their customer service when I had pumping questions was phenomenal.
  • The pump was quieter than expected, making it perfect for me to pump late at night or early mornings without worry about waking up my baby.
  • This pump is STRONG, I had better luck drawing out my colostrum with my Spectra than I did with the actual hospital pump.
  • There are fewer parts to clean.
  • The carrying handle and night light are really convenient.
  • It’s easy to replace parts & maintenance when needed.

Now that you have a better breakdown of what each pump can offer and how it fits your needs, which do you think is BEST suited for you??

Other BREASTFEEDING Posts You’ll Love:

Specta vs Medela: Which is the BEST breast pump?

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