the Better Breast Pump?- Rookie Moms

When it comes to the all of the breast pump brands on the market, Spectra and Medela often stand out among the best. We decided to try out these two machines so we could break down and compare Spectra vs Medela for moms like you!

Having a breast pump is a necessity for many moms in today’s world. Whether it is storing for future feedings or pumping for work, there are so many reasons to have a breast pump.

Here’s What We Take into Consideration When Rating the Spectra vs Medela

In this article, we will be comparing the Medela Pump In Style vs Spectra S2. Our reviews will be based on the following categories which are important to consider when choosing a breast pump:

  • Strength
  • portability
  • Noise
  • Ease of Use
  • Price

The Breakdown: Spectra vs. Medela

Medela has been focusing on breastfeeding support for over 50 years. They offer a wide range of pumps and accessories to suit the needs of breastfeeding mothers. This comparison will focus on the Pump In Style with MaxFlow (not to be confused with the Pump in Style Advanced).

Spectra is a company established by moms and registered nurses who developed Natural Nursing Technology. Their award-winning pumps support the moms in their breastfeeding journey. This comparison will focus on the Spectra S2 Plus.

Let’s get into it!

spectra vs medela

Category Winners


When on the hunt for the perfect pump, you will probably see the term “hospital grade” thrown around a lot. This refers to the power of the pumno suction.

Features such as adjustment dials and buttons help the user decide the right amount of pressure that is comfortable for them. Thankfully, both the Pump in Style and the S2 have letdown modes to get your milk flowing.

Here’s what we think about both when it comes to strength:

  • Pump In Style by Medela is a great time saver as it is categorized as “hospital grade”. The two-phase expression mode process mimics suction so that it has a more natural feel similar to your baby. It is designed for multiple uses in the day, so moms who work can use it during their break at work as frequently as needed and not be away for a long time. Comparatively, the Pump In Style has been clinically proven to increase milk volume by 11.8% compared to the Personal Fit model.
  • Spectra S2 by Spectra also has strength where it is needed. The S2 measures a max pressure of 270 mmHg (vs. the 235 mmHg of the Pump in Style). This pump has adjustable suction. Despite its power, it still is gentle enough to massage the breast and stimulate it. Day or night, it can pump enough without causing pain from the suction.

Strength Category Winner: Medela Pump In Style

When it comes to Spectra vs Medela in strength, the Hospital-Grade strength of the Medela wins out. This breast pump is also a great option for mom’s looking to power pump to increase their milk supply.

Noise level

When do you plan to use a breast pump? The lactation room at work? At night while everyone is asleep? The noise that is generated from a breast pump can make or break a decision to purchase one model over another. With greater motor power can also come greater noise.

Here’s what we think about both when it comes to noise level:

  • The Medela Pump In Style is one of the noisiest pumps out there. Hospital-grade pumps tend to generate more volume, and this one is no exception. One perk; it will signal your co-worked to the fact that you’re pumping so that they will leave you alone!
  • The Spectra S2 is impressively quiet. Whether you are in the privacy of your home or your workplace, others will not be as aware that it is in use. This quiet motor only registers at 45 decibels, which is similar to the noise level of a library.

Noise Category Winner: Spectra S2

Unless you want the world to know that you are in the midst of a pumping session, the quiet strength of the S2 takes the win.


Frozen Breast Milk

Nothing is more portable than breastfeeding. Babies feed on demand, so a mom has to be ready anywhere, anytime. Breast pumps are also more and more portable. The pumps in the hospital are big and bulky, able to roll around but not far away from an outlet. Today’s breast pumps allow options to go wherever mom goes.

Here’s what we think about both when it comes to portability:

  • Tea Pump in Style is easily portable. The stylish bag is an all-in-one container to hold the pump, bottles, and a cooler bag. The adapter cord and tubes can come out, but the pump can stay in and be in use without unpacking every little thing. The Pump in Style also has a battery pack that goes 8 AA batteries for on-the-go without needing an outlet. The biggest downside is that the pump itself weighs around seven pounds, which can be heavy when moms are also carrying a baby, diaper bag, purse, and other supplies for the day.
  • The Spectra pump also has a tote to hold the pump and the tubing, but the cooler must be purchased separately and does not fit within it. The same is true for other accessories for moms on-the-go, like the car adapter. The advantage is that the weight of the pump is three pounds, less than half the weight of the Pump In Style. While it may be less convenient to take to and from work, it won’t weigh a mom down as much. If you are looking for long battery life from the Spectra S1 is actually a better option than it’s successor.

Portability Category Winner: Medela Pump In Style

The included accessories and battery pack outscore the weight comparison.

Ease of Use

If it is not easy to use, a pump may not be used effectively or even at all. Busy moms do not have time to set everything up for long periods of time when there is not a lot of time in the first place. Cleanliness and extra features are things that moms look at and speak of when they are recommending breast pumps.

Here’s what we think about both when it comes to portability:

  • The Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow is ideal because there are fewer parts to clean and assemble than some of the other pumps on the market. It is even adaptable to use with other mainstream bottles so that you can use more than just the set that comes with the kit. However, there are some concerns about condensation build up in the tubing after a few uses. It is not as easy to clean out and it is ideal to replace the tubing at an affordable cost.
  • The Spectra S2 is a closed system pump. This prevents milk from back flowing into the tubing that can lead to bacteria. Other great features are a night light for those who are nighttime pumpers and an auto-timer to keep them on schedule. The flanges connect with wide-mouth bottles, so that may limit the types of bottles that can be used to store breastmilk.

A word from our Rookie Mom Squad: Rookie Mom Gabriela says that The 2-Phase Expression Technology is what makes the Medela Pump in Style with MaxFlow so easy to use. It mimics your baby’s natural sucking rhythm which keeps you comfortable during each session. Plus, this new pump has the convenience of being used with a battery pack that is included with or without a power outlet.

Ease of Use Category Winner: Tie

In this case, the Spectra vs. Medela ends in a tie! Both pumps are easy to use. The types of bottles versus the backflow protection from bacteria are comparisons that the individual can decide for themselves.

Price Comparison

A breast pump can be a big investment for new parents, so finding a pump that fits their needs is important. The value of the pump comes from all of the categories mentioned above as well as the warranty for the pump and parts.

We do have so good news. You might be able to get your breast pump COMPLETELY COVERED by your insurance. Learn if you qualify for a Medela or Spectra breast pump here!

Here’s what we think about both when it comes to price:

  • The Pump In Style sells for $199.99. This includes everything in the stylish bag from the tubing and flanges to the battery pack (batteries not included). The Pump In Style has a one-year warranty for the motor and a 90-day warranty for the pump parts. While Medela does offer breast pumps to rent, the Pump In Style is not an option.
  • The Spectra S2 sells for $172. This includes the pump and the needed accessories. The bundle kit with cooler bag, ice packs, and other accessories cost $195. The S2 has a two-year warranty for the pump and a 90-day warranty on the accessories.

The Final Verdict: Which Breast Pump is Better?

If you need a strong 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 away from your baby at work? The Medela Pump In Style may be the best choice for you.

If you need a quiet breast pump for your home to increase milk flow? Are you stocking up for those evenings that you need a full night’s sleep? Are you planning your family close together so that a longer warranty will cover both babies? Then, the Spectra S2 may be the best choice for you.

I hope this article helps you choose the model that is right for you mama. If you have any questions feel free to leave one in the comments below.


Is Spectra better than Medela?

If you are looking for a light-weight, quiet pump then Spectra is better than Medela. However, Medela pumps do tend to have stronger hospital grade strength.

Is Spectra or Medela easier to clean?

The Spectra breast pump is easier to clean. The Spectra S2 is a closed system pump preventing milk from back flowing into the tubing that can lead to bacteria and making this a very hygienic pump.

Which breast pump is closest to hospital grade?

Any double electric pump is going to be fairly similar to a hospital grade pump. The Medela Pump in Style is one of my favorites.

Pin for later: Spectra vs Medela: Which is the Better Breast Pump?

spectra vs medela - pin picture

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