There are now two versions of Medela’s popular Pump in Style pump. Here are the differences between the Medela Pump in Style Advanced vs Max Flow, and some thoughts on which one you should get!
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What is the Medela Pump in Style Advanced?
The Pump in Style Advanced has been one of Medela’s best selling, most popular pumps for years.
It’s a double electric breast pump (which means that you can pump both breasts at once, and the pump motor does the work of pulling the milk out).
The pros of the Pump in Style are that it’s a powerful pump that is also affordable (and often fully covered by insurance).
The main downside is that it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so you need to be near an outlet to use it (or purchase an external battery pack). It also doesn’t have a timer or as much flexibility with the settings as other pumps.
What is the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow?
The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow is the upgraded version of the original Pump in Style Advanced.
The Max Flow version is also double electric, powerful, and affordable. Like the Advanced, it is missing a few bells and whistles that some other breast pumps have.
Pump in Style Advanced vs Max Flow
The major differences between the old and new Pump in Style pumps are size, pump parts, and the tubing.
The Max Flow Pump in Style (on the left) is smaller, lighter, and more portable than the older version (on the right).
2. Pump Part Design
The pump parts that come with the Max Flow are much better than the old Pump in Style parts. There are only two pieces to wash, and no annoying hard-to-reach spots that are impossible to clean.
The Pump in Style Advanced also uses a valve that often gets stuck onto the connector and can be very difficult to remove.
3. Closed System vs Open System
The Max Flow pump is a closed system pump, which means that there is a barrier blocking milk from getting into the tubing (and potentially the motor).
The original Pump in Style Advanced is an open system pump, which means milk occasionally gets into the tubing, which then needs to be washed.
The Max Flow Tubing design is much better than the old Pump in Style design. It attaches more securely to the pump and only has to be connected to the pump in one place, not in two.
5. Breast Shields
The breast shields that come with the Max Flow are Medela’s PersonalFit Flex breast shields – they have a silicone rim instead of a hard plastic one, which many people find more comfortable.
So which Pump in Style should you get?
Bottom line: I would get the Max Flow. It’s made some significant improvements on the original Pump in Style Advanced.
Additionally, Medela focuses more on the new version of the Pump in Style, I would expect it to be harder to get replacement parts for the Advanced.
Here’s a story showing how it’s put together and works:
What if you already have an Advanced? Should you get a Max Flow?
If you have a new Pump in Style Advanced and it’s working well for you, there’s no need to get the new version – the original is a good pump!
However, if you have an Advanced from one of your older children, it makes sense to get the new version now (especially if you are able to get it free through insurance – fill out a form here to see if you qualify). This way, you should be able to get replacement breast pump parts easily and your pump will be covered by a warranty.
The bottles from the original Pump in Style Advanced are compatible with the Max Flow (though the tubing and pump parts are not).
Do you have a Max Flow pump already? Here’s more information on how to use it – tell us your thoughts on the Pump in Style Advanced vs Max Flow in the comments!