When it comes to selecting a breast pump, the Spectra vs Medela battle is one that you will often hear discussed among many moms. The Medela pump is the favorite of some moms, while the Spectra pump is the favorite of others. It all depends on what you are looking for regarding performance when it comes to breast pumps. Some women want a hospital-grade pump, while others prefer a simple, low-key breast pump.
This article will dive right into the differences between these two trusted brands to make an educated decision on which breast pump may be the better option for you. Be sure to think about the features that mean the most to you. Ask yourself if you are looking to save money, have customized options, frequently travel with your pump, need a quiet pump, and how often you will need to pump.
Medela breast pump
Medela breast pumps are some of the most trusted and loved breast pumps. With sixty years in business, they have gained the trust of many mothers. You can get a Medela pump in many different styles and versions to fit your needs, from a double electric breast pump to a portable breast pump.
Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow
The following are the favorite features of the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow. They are the points you will hear women argue in favor of when you ask them why they favor the Medela Pump in Style.
1. Pre-Programmed Suction Speed and Strength
This is an upgraded model from the older version of the Medela Pump in Style. This closed system pump has taken the guesswork out of the equation by having pre-programmed settings so that moms do not have to fiddle with buttons and experiment to find a suction speed that works for them.
2. Several Flange Sizes Available and Battery Pack
Also, a double breast pump comes with many different flange sizes, so you can get a comfortable fit. Breast milk can be pumped using this new Medela Pump in Style even when there is no outlet available because it comes with a separate battery pack that is very convenient for the mom on the go.
3. Convenient Cooler Bag and Carrier
Another perk of this Medela Pump in Style breast pump is that it comes with a trendy carrier bag and cooler bag that is stylish and small enough to take with you wherever you need to go.
4. Hospital Grade Pump
While the older version of Medela Pump in Style was a personal pump only, this upgraded version has upped its game. Now joining the ranks of hospital-grade breast pumps, this double pump machine will allow for better milk flow and be used in tandem with a pumping bra.
In many mama’s opinions, this electric breast pump is the best breast pump available in its price range. Pumping sessions are a breeze for many moms who need a quick and powerful suction for nighttime pumping that takes the guesswork out. The battery pack is another major perk, and the fact that your pump motor will not be compromised due to the closed system breast pump.
No product is perfect. There is little bad that can be said about the Medela Pump in Style breast pump. The following are the not-so-great features of this closed system breast pump.
If you are in a room sharing with your little one and hope to get in a pumping session to store breast milk while your infant is asleep, one of the first things you will notice when you turn it on is the Medela Pump in Style creates a loud sound.
2. Batteries Not Included
There are no batteries included with the battery pack. You will have to purchase those separately. You will also need to make sure that you use quality batteries for this Medela pump because the battery pack goes through battery power quickly during pumping sessions.
3. No Adjustable Suction speed
This closed system packs plenty of power, but you cannot set everything separately the way you can with other pumps. The Medela Pump in Style has only a few options for suction strength and speed, which can leave some moms feeling slighted. The pump comes with two settings: Letdown Mode (Massage Mode on a Spectra pump), which stimulates the breast and encourages milk supply, and Expression Mode, which increases the suction speed and strength to produce milk right away.
This Medela Pump in Style is a favorite of moms who are on the go, want to take the guesswork out, set the speeds and suction strength, and want options for flanges. The Medela Pump in Style is not convenient for moms who live in small quarters with their infants or want to be discreet when it comes to pumping sessions, as these breast pumps are quite loud.
Spectra breast pump
Although they have not been around as long, Spectra pumps entered the scene and changed how new moms were pumping. Quiet to the point of being nearly silent and incredibly powerful, these breast pumps have given Medela pumps some real competition. Also available in many versions and styles, they offer every sort of mom a great way to pump breast milk conveniently and easily.
Spectra S1 Plus (Hospital Strength)
Although a newer brand, Spectra pumps have already caught the attention of hospitals, parents, and insurance companies. The following are some of the reasons parents love the Spectra S1.
These are small units that are closed systems and easy to use. Easy to travel with and lightweight, parents love the simplicity of these breast pumps.
2. Rechargeable Battery
Unlike the Medela Pump in Style, which has a battery pack but no way to recharge it, the Spectra S1 is rechargeable. You do not have to worry about replacing eight batteries that die quickly. Just recharge that rechargeable battery and keep your milk supply up with constant pumping.
With an adjustable Massage Mode that stimulates the breasts to release or let down milk, milk production can quickly increase. Another suction setting, which you can program yourself, is the Expression Mode, which powerfully pumps the breasts.
The noise level of this pump makes it a great pump to use anywhere at all. Although it is hospital-grade and very powerful, it is so quiet that it is almost silent. This is perfect if you are trying to pump quietly at home or work. You will not wake your sleeping baby pumping in the same room.
5. Digital Display
The Spectra S1 has a digital display with a built-in night light so that it can be read no matter what setting you are in. It allows you to see how much time you have left in your pumping session, and it is very convenient, and a loved feature by many moms. The night light is bright enough to read the timer but not so bright that it is blinding.
6. Light Weight
This pump only weighs around four pounds, which is great for those pumping moms who are still recovering from labor and delivery and should not be hauling around heavy machines. You should not risk a low milk supply because a device is too heavy to transport.
This pump is great due to the night light, power, and quiet pumping session it can deliver. It is also rechargeable, so you do not have to worry about always having extra batteries with you when you are not near an outlet. Many insurance companies offer this pump, which is helpful to moms who need help purchasing a good pump.
While some people adore this closed system machine, a few minor setbacks may have some parents hesitating to choose this pump and reaching for the Medela Pump in Style instead.
1. Few Accessories
Aside from the cute pump bag with the Medela, the popular breast pumps also come with accessories such as extra bottles, assorted-sized flanges, breast shields, a cooler pack, and more. With the Spectra, you get very little in terms of accessories. You will have everything you need to start pumping, but you will also need to invest in an ice pack and a diaper bag or tote bag if you plan to travel. There are also very few extra pump parts included.
2. Not Travel Friendly
The Medela brand has the mom-on-the-go in mind when it markets its products. On the other hand, Spectra has devoted its time and attention to power and its ability to induce lactation quickly. It is just not a very portable option.
3. Short Pumping Tubes
You may be able to get more milk from this powerful pump, but unless you order replacement parts that include much longer pumping tubes, you may have to practice your contortionist skills to reach that goal. The tubes on this pump are incredibly short, which is the main gripe among moms who have chosen this pump. The good news is that if you purchase new tubes, you can use them on most other Spectra pumps.
The digital display, built-in night light, and silence of this pump make it one of the most popular pumps on the market, but there are definite setbacks. These include short tubes, less portability, fewer accessories, and a long initial charging time.
Spectra S2 vs Medela
As most companies learn what their consumers love and dislike about their products, they tend to work towards improving a product to take it to the next level. Spectra did just that with their Spectra S2. Wondering how it measures up to the Medela pump?
The winner here is the Medela pump. Incredibly portable with its bag, cooler compartment, and spots for spare parts, Medela takes the lead on this aspect. The Spectra S2 has to be plugged in at all times to work. However, both can be used with a car adapter. You will have to purchase a car adapter separately for either pump.
The Spectra wins this round. The Spectra S2 is an affordable and powerful breast pump that will not break the bank and is offered by most insurance companies.
3. Closed or Open System?
Neither of these pumps is an open system pump. This means that you can sell your pump when you are done with it, whether you have the Medela pump or the Spectra S2. You can also purchase either of these pumps used, as well.
Note: An open system is not meant, marketed, or manufactured to be shared. There are no backflow protectors that will guarantee that no milk gets into the machine’s housing, which can lead to mold and bacterial build-up and growth.
4. Noise Level
The Spectra is known for its quiet, nearly silent motor, while the Medela Pump in Style is quite loud, almost obnoxious.
This article only discussed a few of the various models made by the two most prominent and most trusted breast pump companies. Many other models made by each company claim to have improved or out-beat the previous ones they released on the market.
What matters is that you find what works for you. If you want power, accessories, and portability and do not mind a loud pump, the Medela pump may be perfect for your needs.
The Spectra may be the best option for you if you want a customizable pump with strength and cycle speed separately, a quiet way to produce more milk, and a built-in night light for its digital monitor.
Either way, both pumps can boost your milk volume. It is a matter of personal need and preference. Both companies offer hospital-grade models, and these two breast pumps are among the most popular on the market.
Some women even prefer to alternate and use two pumps. The Medela for when they are on the go, and the Spectra for when they are home. If your insurance covers one pump, perhaps you can purchase or rent the other brand to compare them yourself.