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Spectra vs Medela

Spectra Vs Medela: Which Breast Pump Brand Is the Best?

So what’s the difference between Spectra vs Medela breast pumps? The truth is, these pumps are more similar than different.

Both are good brands of electric breast pumps with decent customer service. There are, however, certain differences you need to be aware of when comparing Spectra vs Medela. I’ll get into the details of these differences below.

Here, I will take a deep dive into both brands, weigh out the pros and cons, and ultimately find out which breast pump brand is the best.

So, in this article, I’m comparing the Spectra S2 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex electric breast pumps as they are both the newest models of their brands.

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump

Spectra S2 is a powerful hospital-grade electric breast pump. The breast pump features technology that enables comfortable suction levels, mimicking the natural breastfeeding experience as closely as possible.

This pump features an in-built rechargeable battery, which makes charging a breeze.

In addition, many mothers and lactation experts rave about its ease of use, closed-system operation, cleaning, and safety. You can even customize how you pump to your setting, establish and save your pumping session.

Also, some of the items you will find in your box include a pump, wide neck bottle, backflow protector, a 12 volt AC power adapter, two different flange sizes (24mm & 28mm), tubing, among others.

 

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump
9.2/10Our Score

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Model number: Spectra S2Plus
  • Batteries: ‎Lithium Metal batteries required
  • Weight recommendation: 5 Pounds
  • Material Type: BPA/DEHP free
  • Batteries required: ‎No
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Portability: No
  • Product Weight: 3.3 pounds

 

Key Features of Spectra Breast Pump

Natural Nursing Technology

As closely as possible, the Spectra S2 electric breast pump mimics the natural breastfeeding experience with its comfortable suction levels.

Single or Double Pumping

Spectra gives you the choice of buying either a single or a double electric pump. Most mothers that can afford the dual pump option would prefer it to the single one to obtain the best results.

Adjustable Suction Levels

An advantage of the Spectra S2 Plus breast over some similar brands, including Medela, is its ability to allow you to adjust the breast pump settings. So you can use the adjustable suction levels to fit your preference.

Massage Mode

Moms often refer to this mode as the bacon button. It works like natural breastfeeding to stimulate and slowing pump breast milk. It is after this mode that you can move to expression mode.

BPA/DEHP Free

You can be confident that breast milk from your baby will be free of BPA/DEHP when you use the Spectra pump parts.

Easy to Clean Parts

The Spectra parts are great! I love that it does not have too many pieces to clean, unlike Medela. Also, the suction is both powerful and easy to handle, and they all have universal fittings. Therefore, I could easily swap them out if needed.

Carrier Handle

I also love that the Spectra breast pump has a carrying handle, making it easier to move around from one spot of your house to another.

But, they are not portable enough to carry along on the go.

Quiet Monitor

Compared to other electric breast pumps, this model does not make distracting or disturbing noise. It is quiet but not silent, though.

At least, its sound is not loud enough to cause sleepless nights for your baby and you at night.

Nightlight

The Spectra S2 features a built-in nightlight. You can turn the night light on to use it at night when you need to pump.

 

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump
9.2/10Our Score

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Model number: Spectra S2Plus
  • Batteries: ‎Lithium Metal batteries required
  • Weight recommendation: 5 Pounds
  • Material Type: BPA/DEHP free
  • Batteries required: ‎No
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Portability: No
  • Product Weight: 3.3 pounds

 

How to Use the Spectra S2 Breast Pump?

For moms, the Spectra pump comes with many settings for easy and comfortable pumping.

When pumping at night, turn on the handy night light located on the panel right beside the vacuum level control.

You can adjust the pump’s night light brightness by pressing the button repeatedly.

Letdown Mode

When Spectra pumps are turned on, let-down mode is not automatically initiated.

So, here’s how it works! Once you turn on the pump, press its three wavy-lined button located at the center of the pump to activate let-down mode.

Begin with level 1 suction and slowly increase. Then stop when you start to get uncomfortable with the suction level.

Expression Mode

Once your breast milk starts flowing, switch to expression mode by pressing the pump’s center button again.

The expression mode helps extract breast milk from your breasts using a slower, longer speed and suction.

If you want to adjust the cycle speed, press the +/- button until you find a speed that works for you.

Adjust Vacuum Strength

After that, set the vacuum strength to the desired level between 1 and 12. For some moms, level 5 is their starting point, and they gradually increase it, stopping when it no longer feels comfortable.

Contrary to popular belief, the fastest and strongest settings might not necessarily produce the most milk. In fact, they can actually cause nipple soreness.

You should find a setting that matches your baby’s pattern of nursing and is comfortable for you.

Press the power button after you finish pumping to turn off the pump, then store your milk. In addition, remember to clean the pump parts after each pump session.

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Pump Pros and Cons

Pros

  • This pump performs quietly and discreetly
  • Night light option for nighttime pumping
  • The adjustability of speed and suction for the most efficient expression
  • 2 phase cycling in let-down and expression modes.
  • Better suction for a gentle pulling
  • Two sizes of flanges for added comfort
  • Digital display tells time pumping, speed and suction settings and features a night light.
  • Several pumping sessions on one charge
  • Ease of cleaning with “closed” system design
  • Lightweight
  • Cost may be covered by insurance

Cons

  • You cannot use this pump with batteries, so it needs to be plugged in.
  • It only comes in pink, which isn’t a favourite for some moms.
  • You will require wide-neck bottles, but you can purchase an adapter separately.

Where to Buy Spectra Breast Pump?

You can get Spectra breast pumps in stores that sell breast pumps at your location. Online stores like Amazon, Ubuy, Babies R Us, among others, sell different models of the Spectra breast pumps. Check with the stores at your location to find one that sells this pump.

 

Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump
9.2/10Our Score

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Model number: Spectra S2Plus
  • Batteries: ‎Lithium Metal batteries required
  • Weight recommendation: 5 Pounds
  • Material Type: BPA/DEHP free
  • Batteries required: ‎No
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Portability: No
  • Product Weight: 3.3 pounds

 

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

The New Medela Freestyle Flex is an upgrade of its “Freestyle” model in terms of Bluetooth connectivity to the app, built-in battery, quieter noise, pause function, etc.

This breast pump caters to the multitasking needs of our modern millennial mom in mind. A freestyle Flex might be a good fit for you if you value technology and crave convenience while managing work, mom life, and thriving social life.

Thanks to its light, compact size and rechargeable battery, you can express wherever you like, without sacrificing pumping performance.

In addition, it comes with a closed-system design, offering overflow protection which prevents your breast milk from entering the tubing.

 

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 13.43 x 7.05 x 9.45 inches
  • Model Number: 101037980
  • Size: 17 Piece Set
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery
  • Batteries Required: ‎Yes
  • Product Weight: ‎5.09 pounds

 

Key Features of Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

Medela Freestyle Flex breast pump has several features that stand it out from other similar pumps. They include the following:

Closed-System

Its Closed system design comes with an Overflow Protection at the kit, which prevents your breast milk from entering the motor or tubing.

Built-in Rechargeable Battery

Unlike the Freestyle original, Medela Flex comes with an in-built rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This battery can last up to 2 hours of pumping, provided that you fully charge it. Therefore, you can take your breast pump anywhere and pump on the go.

Double Electric Breast Pump

While Spectra S2 plus usually comes with a single pump, Medela Freestyle Flex features a double electric breast pump. This provides a 2-Phase Expression Technology and so produces more milk within a shorter time. Moms who have other things they need to attend to will appreciate this feature.

Portable and Lightweight

Unlike Spectra S2, the Medela breast pump is portable, easy to grip, and weighs less than 1 pound.

The Freestyle Flex model comes with a modern design, a simple digital display and backlighting.

Nursing mothers appreciate that it fits right in the palm of their hand, baby bag, pocket or purse.

Smart App

This pump model connects to the free Medela Family app through Bluetooth connectivity. You will have to download the Medela app, register and start tracking pumping progress.

USB Cord

Medela Flex also features a USB port and charging cable, which can quickly help charge your pump, irrespective of where you are.

Multifunctional Interface

This feature is simple and easy to understand. It shows a count-up timer, pump setting, battery charge indicator, delay start and pause function. The breast pump is more of a touchpad device, features fewer buttons.

Lanyard Loops

Interestingly, this electric breast pump comes with detachable lanyard loops which you can tie around your wrist to secure your breast pump on the go.

Easy to Clean Parts

Although the Medela Freestyle Flex has many pump parts, they are easy to wash, clean and maintain.

 

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 13.43 x 7.05 x 9.45 inches
  • Model Number: 101037980
  • Size: 17 Piece Set
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery
  • Batteries Required: ‎Yes
  • Product Weight: ‎5.09 pounds

 

How to Use the Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump

You do not have to swim across the Atlantic ocean to figure out how to use the Medela Flex pump because it is simple.

So let’s get right into it!

Power the Pump

Firstly, after assembling the breast pumps, power the device. Charge for two hours before your first use.

Once complete, you can begin pumping right away. If you are on the go, use the follow-come cable and the USB port.

Connect to the Medela App

Next, download the MyMedela App on your smartphone, then follow the steps in the app to register.

Enable Bluetooth connectivity on your phone. Press and hold the device’s on/off button for about two seconds to switch the breast pump to standby mode. This will connect your phone to the breast pump.

While in the app, you can log pumping sessions, view progress, track milk expression, etc.

Prepare for Pumping

Firstly, ensure you have the right size breast shield. Then wash hands and pump parts.

Next, assemble the breast pump set parts. If you are double pumping, connect tubing to both pump sets.

But if you are single pumping, insert the unused short tubing into the tubing holder. Afterwards, relax and get ready to pump.

Begin Pumping

Turn on your breast pump with the on/off button. The stimulation phase will begin to stimulate milk flow.

Once the milk starts flowing, press the Let-down button to switch to expression mode.

Next, adjust the suction level to your comfort level. You can also press start/pause to either pause or stop pumping breast milk.

As soon as you finish, switch off the breast pump. Ensure to wash your breast pump parts after each pumping session.

Medela Breast Pump Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The Freestyle Flex model is small, portable, and lightweight.
  • It has a built-in rechargeable battery to enable you to pump on the go.
  • It features a closed system pump that prevents breast milk from entering the motor or tubing.
  • The presence of a backlight, making pumping at night easier.
  • The Flex connects to the Medela app, allowing you to track your pump sessions automatically.
  • Medela freestyle flex has a timer that monitors pumping time.
  • Easy to clean pump parts
  • The pump isn’t silent, but it’s quieter.
  • The charge can last for 2 hours or more.

Cons

  • Compared to other portable pumps, this one is more expensive
  • Unlike Spectra S1/S2, the Medela Freestyle Flex only allows you to adjust vacuum strength. You cannot change the cycle speed.
  • Many parts to wash
  • You are likely not to find pump replacement parts in stores in an emergency since Flex parts are unique. Fewer people use the pump now, so its components are less likely to be stocked.

Where to Buy Medela Breast Pump?

You can buy Medela breast pumps from about 17 countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, among others.

See a list of countries and regions where you can purchase your Medela breast pump.

Alternatively, you can get them from the Medela storeAmazon, and some other eCommerce stores.

 

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 13.43 x 7.05 x 9.45 inches
  • Model Number: 101037980
  • Size: 17 Piece Set
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery
  • Batteries Required: ‎Yes
  • Product Weight: ‎5.09 pounds

Spectra vs Medela Breast Pump Comparison

Like I stated in the introductory part of this review, I’ll be comparing the Spectra S2 vs Medela Freestyle Flex electric breast pumps. It should help you spot their unique points and ultimately determine which breast pump is the best.

Below, I differentiated both electric breast pumps based on the following criteria:

  • Spectra S2 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex: What is in the box?
  • Spectra vs Medela Pricing
  • Breast Pump Weight and Size
  • Spectra vs Medela Battery Use
  • Spectra S2 vs Medela Freestyle Flex Innovation
  • Maintenance
  • Spectra vs Medela Insurance
  • Warranty
  • Customer Service

Spectra S2 vs Medela Freestyle Flex: What is in the box?

Spectra S2 Plus Breast Pump: What is in the Box?

Whether you buy the single or double pumps, here are the items that come with the pack.

  • One Spectra S2 electric breast pump
  • Two Spectra bottles,
  • Two Spectra backflow protector
  • Single detachable power cord prongs
  • Two Spectra duckbill valve
  • Two Spectra tubing
  • One 12 volt AC power adapter
  • Two Spectra flanges 24mm
  • Two Spectra flanges 28mm

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump: What is in the Box?

  • One Freestyle Flex double electric breast pump with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
  • Two Medela PersonalFit Flex breast shield sizes 21 mm
  • Two Medela PersonalFit Flex breast shield sizes 24 mm
  • One tubing
  • Two Medela PersonalFit Flex connector sets
  • Two bottle stands
  • One cooler with a cooling element
  • Four 5 oz/150 ml breast milk bottles and lids
  • One power adaptor with USB charging cable
  • One carry bag

Medela Freestyle Flex clearly has more items in its box than Spectra S2.

The more bottles contained in the Freestyle Flex can help you pump more and have enough milk to feed your baby on the go.

So, as far as this section for Spectra vs Medela is concerned, the Freestyle Flex wins it hands down.

However, considering the cleaning aspect, you may want to go for Spectra S2 since it has fewer pump parts to clean. Fortunately, they are both easy to clean.

Spectra vs Medela Pricing

Spectra S2 is way cheaper than Medela as it costs $159.00. Medela Freestyle Flex, on the other hand, is sold for about $499.99. I guess Medela is pricier because of its added items and more improved features.

Breast Pump Weight and Size

Between Spectra vs Medela, the Medela Freestyle Flex breast pump weighs more.

Spectra S2 plus has a dimension of 7.9 x 7.9 x 6.7 inches and a 3.3-pound weight.

On the other hand, Medela has a 13.43 x 7.05 x 9.45 inches dimension and weighs 5.09 pounds.

While you can call this Spectra pump lightweight, Medela is portable and easy to move around within and outside your house.

Spectra S2 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex Innovation

Medela breast pumps seem to have gone ahead in innovation than Spectra products. From its battery use, easy functionality to its portability.

Spectra has innovative functions such as natural nursing technology that imitates that of real-life breastfeeding, quiet noise, ease functions, and carrying handle.

But I don’t like that I’ll have to use the spectra pump while it’s plugged into an electrical outlet. Stay-at-home moms may not find this challenging as opposed to working mothers.

So, if you are always on the road or away from home, Medela Freestyle Flex is more appropriate for your lifestyle.

What I love most about Medela is its smart function. You can track your pump sessions and milk flow via their family app. You only need to connect the app with your pump through Bluetooth.

Again, Medela Freestyle Flex has lesser buttons than Spectra S2 Plus. Most operations of this Medela pump are through its touchpad upgrade, giving room for a smooth run.

Furthermore, when it comes to LCD and buttons, Spectra S2 Plus looks simpler than Medela.

Maintenance

The care and maintenance of both brands are similar, as they are both easy to clean.

Since both companies did not state whether their pump parts are dishwasher-friendly on their websites/product descriptions, I cannot guarantee that fact.

So if washing dishes seem like a big deal, you may want to opt for Spectra S2 Plus. However, the Willow wearable breast pump, irrespective of its price, has fewer parts than Spectra.

Spectra vs Medela Insurance

Thankfully, both brands have insurance coverage, so you have to check with your insurance company to understand their policies concerning your chosen breast pump.

But Spectra S2 Plus is affordable enough to purchase without the help of an insurance company.

Spectra S2 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex Warranty

Spectra breast pumps come with a two-year warranty, while Medela has a one-year warranty on its breast pumps, except the manual pumps. But this works if the issue you experience is a manufacturing or logistics error.

Both Spectra and Medela give a 90-day warranty on the replacement of breast pump parts and accessories if you buy from their companies, an authorized dealer or via your insurance.

You have to report your concerns to their customer support team.

Customer Service

You can reach Medela through their toll-free at 1-800-435-8316 or customercare@medela.

As for Spectra electric breast pumps, you can specifically reach their customer care on issues concerning warranty through warranty@spectrababyusa.com, or phone: 1-855-405-0993 ext. 1 or fax: (954) 337-3215.

On their websites, it is easier to get access to the customer support lines or details in that of Spectra than Medela.

Spectra vs Medela Final Verdict

Spectra is popularly known for its quality breast pump products, adjustability, hospital-grade and suction strength, etc. Medela is also a strong breast pump brand and has been competing with more prominent brands like Willow and Elvie for many years.

However, I am narrowing down my verdict based on Spectra S2 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex electric breast pumps.

Therefore, I’ll recommend this Medela pump over the Spectra S2 breast pump, based on efficiency, portability, battery, on-the-go function, and digital tracking (through Bluetooth and Medela app).

Notwithstanding, Spectra S2 Plus is a powerful product whose suction mimics natural breastfeeding and is sold at an affordable price. It also gets the job done.

Moreover, I feel that Medela is overly pricy. And if I’m to consider the price, I’d instead opt for Elvie or Willow wearable electric pumps as they are within the same price range. If you enjoy Medela on the go, you’ll need to buy their hands-free pumping bra.

But for the sake of this review, Medela Freestyle Flex is the best!

Spectra vs Medela Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What brand of breast pump is best?

Spectra vs Medela offers you a more personal experience that is closer to natural breastfeeding. Spectra and Medela are two of my favourites for breast pumps, just as Elvie and Willow.

Choosing the best will depend on your lifestyle and needs. I also advise that you consult a lactation specialist to help narrow your needs and pick a suitable brand.

Can Spectra pump into Medela bottles?

Yes. Spectra pumps will fit Medela bottles with the right adapter. This is because the Spectra flanges are suitable for wide-mouth bottles, while Medela bottles have a narrow mouth. With this adapter, you can directly use your Medela or Dr. Brown bottles to pump with Spectra flanges.

Can you pump into bags with Spectra?

Yes, you can pump directly into storage bags. It will even help you to eliminate the stress of bottle-washing.

This milk storage bag package comes with an adapter that allows you to pump directly into the bag. But storage bags from Lansinoh fit right onto Spectra’s flanges. So, no need for an adapter! By utilizing this storage bag trick, you can transport milk effortlessly between the office and home. You will need an adapter to pump into the bags if you have a Medela, Evenflo, or Ameda pump, except for Lansinoh and Spectra.

We have more breast pump reviews and resources to expand your research

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