Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump in Style: Comparison and Review

At a Glance

Breast pumps are important for moms who are on the go, as well as those who cannot directly breastfeed their babies yet due to lack of age and reflexes. A mother’s breast milk will always be the best thing to give for their babies up to 2 years of age and is the easiest to digest for them. Therefore, many moms are making an effort to using a breast pump.

The Showdown: Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump in Style

Finding the best breast pump can be tricky if you don’t know what specific features to look for in them. However, we can help you decide with that, as in this review, we compare two great breast pumps as contenders: the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump in Style. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each.

Type of Breast Pump

Both the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump in Style are double electric breast pumps, which means that they come with the standard equipment needed, such as pairs of bottles, breast shields, bottle nipples, bottle caps, valves, and tubes. However, there’s a clear difference with the Spectra S2, as it has backflow valve due to its different technology from the Medela Pump in Style.

Round Winner: both

Technology Used

The Spectra S2 uses a closed system for its technology using a backflow filter. This means that the tubing stays clean and dry when you are expressing milk, which can be helpful to keep the milk source away from contaminants that might get into your baby. However, because of the backflow filter, you still need to clean the filter from time to time, but most people find this a minor con, anyway.

On the other hand, the Medela Pump in Style uses a simple tubing system like traditional breast pumps. The milk directly goes into your tubing so it can be a little tedious to clean as compared to the backflow filter of the Spectra S2.

Round winner: Spectra S2

Spectra Baby USA - S2 Plus Premier Electric Breast Pump


Product Design

The Spectra S2 is a standalone unit that you can use on its own with the attachments included. It has a stylish design with a light pink color, with buttons that are pretty clear to see. It also has a handle on the top so it’s very easy to carry around from one place to another – much like those gym weights. You also have the option to purchase the bundle, which comes with a tote bag for travel purposes.

On the other hand, the Medela Pump in Style has been attached to a tote bag using Velcro, but you can still detach it if you want to be able to use it on its own. For its design, this one might be more useful for outdoor pumping due to the lower profile design of the pump itself. The bag is also quite spacious – even with the pump on the inside.

Round winner: both

Intended Usage

The Spectra S2 is probably the best to be used at home due to a slightly larger design than the Medela pump. It may have a handle, but the design could be a bit bulky to take with you elsewhere other than at home, so it is more intended for breastfeeding moms who simply pump at home.

On the other hand, the Medela Pump in Style has a design that is ideal for women who are on the go. This means that if your job involves going outside often, such as office work, traveling and maybe even taping if you’re an actress, this pump is quite discreet and efficient when it comes down to space and style.

Round winner: Medela Pump in Style

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump

Safety for your Baby

Both the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump in Style are BPA-free, which means that all parts of each system that get in contact with breast milk are free from BPA or bisphenol A, which is known to have bad effects not just for babies, but for humans in general. However, its more drastic effects are seen on babies in terms of behavioral problems.

Round winner: both

Ease of cleaning and maintenance

The Spectra S2 is probably much easier to clean because of its backflow design that eliminates milk from getting into the tubing. Cleaning the tubing is probably the worst enemy of any breastfeeding mom who still uses a system that depends on the tubing to deliver milk. The S2 has a unique design in which you just need to clean the filter, which is an easier job, as compared to cleaning the tubing.

On the other hand, the Medela Pump in Style has a traditional tubing system, making it inefficient in terms of cleaning and maintenance. While there are fewer parts on the unit, it can still be a bit bothersome to clean because of the fact that it is not a closed system at all.

Round winner: Spectra S2 

How to Use Your Spectra S2 Breast Pump

Noise levels

Both the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump in Style have low noise levels, which is helpful and important for getting your baby to rest thoroughly throughout the night (or day). The noise is akin to a cat purring so it’s not really something that can potentially disturb anyone, especially your child. For that, both of these units are great pumps that do their job without the annoying noise.

Round winner: both 

Levels of Comfort

Many people who previously purchased the Medela Pump in Style generally agree that when they moved from the Spectra S2 is the clear winner when it comes down to the levels of comfort.

There is generally less pain felt by these people when they tried the S2 instead of the Medela. That is very important for breastfeeding moms because there’s nothing worse than being in pain – breastfeeding and/or pumping breast milk is supposed to be an enjoyable activity as a mother, not something that will induce fear in their minds.

Round winner: Spectra S2

Length of pumping sessions

In addition to less pain, the same people who previously purchased the Medela Pump in Style generally agree that when they moved from the Spectra S2 allows them to finish more quickly as compared to their previous product when it comes down to the length of pumping sessions.

Simply put, this means that it easily empties a mom’s supply of breast milk in less time – which is crucial for doing other things as a mom. Most mothers who use a pump are working moms, making time a very important aspect of their lives. This is why they need something that will get the job done in less time without compromising anybody’s safety and comfort.

Round winner: Spectra S2

Compatibility with other accessories

The Spectra S2 is universal in terms of compatibility with other accessories. In fact, it can be even compatible with any Medela pump accessories, including baby bottles. This can save you a lot of money in the long run if you have previously owned a Medela pump, as you can just reuse some of its accessories if ever you need to replace some parts on your S2.

While not that much in terms of compatibility, the Medela Pump in Style can also still adapt to different baby bottles, although it has not been clearly reported yet by many reviewers if Medela will accept other pump accessories from different manufacturers. However, most baby bottles will most likely be alright with it.

Round winner: Spectra S2

Wrapping it Up

As you can clearly see in the comparisons, our clear winner is the Spectra S2 because of the up-to-date technology that makes it easy to clean, good levels of comfort and the fact that it lets you finish your pumping session more quickly adds to its plus points. It is also widely compatible with various accessories so it’s a good upgrade if you have previously owned a Medela pump of any kind.

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