Spectra offers two fantastic breast pumps – the S1 and the S2. What are the differences, and which one is right for you? Here are the features of each pump, and what you need to know to choose between the two Spectra breast pumps.
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What factors should you consider in choosing a breast pump?
Buying a breast pump – especially if you are planning on exclusively pumping – is a huge commitment, and kind of nerve-wracking. You’re going to be spending two hours a day hooked up to your pump, but often you have to buy it without trying it out or seeing it in person.
When I got my last pump through insurance, I spent two hours staring at the website trying to figure out which one I should get.
The best way to determine to which pump you want is to think about what features are most important to you. Examples might be:
- Mobility (whether or not an electric outlet is required; how big/small is the pump)
- Usability (does it have features like timers, app integration, backlights)
- Noise level
- Maintenance (is it easy to get replacement parts; what is the warranty coverage)
Let’s talk about the different features that the S1 and S2 have.
Spectra S1 vs S2 comparison
Below is a quick comparison between the two pumps at a glance.
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
|Built-in Battery||Yes (lasts for 3 hours of pumping)||No|
|Cycle Speed Control||Yes||Yes|
|Single/Double Pumping||Both single and double||Both single and double|
|Weight||3 lbs||3 lbs|
|Warranty||Two years from date of purchase (90 days on pump parts)||Two years from date of purchase (90 days on pump parts)|
How are the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 models similar?
The S1 and S2 Spectra models are double electric breast pumps. (A “double” pump means that you can pump both breasts at the same time when using it. If you’d like to pump on just one side, it’s possible to set it up to do that, too.)
The following features are included with both models:
- Two modes, including “massage mode” to help with the letdown reflex, and an “expression mode” for once your milk has let down.
- A timer (which I have always found really useful for knowing when I should stop pumping).
- A backlight, so you can see the settings and the timer in the dark and don’t necessarily need to turn on the lights when pumping in the middle of the night.
- Adjustable suction and cycle control. (More on Spectra settings here.)
- The ability to check and see how many hours you’ve pumped
- A two year warranty from date of purchase.
How are the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 models different?
There are two differences – rechargeable battery and size.
- The S1 has a rechargeable battery; the S2 does not.
- The S2 is slightly smaller than the S1.
What are the pros to getting a Spectra Breast Pump?
Most Spectra users are really happy with their pump. Below is an unscientific poll I did on Instagram:
(You can see this same poll for other breast pump brands here, and Spectra users were by far the happiest.)
Many Spectra users have said that what they liked most about their pump was that it was much gentler than other pumps they’d used.
Pumping should never hurt no matter what pump you use, but some pumps can be pretty strong even at the lower levels of suction. That generally is not a problem with Spectra pumps.
The timer, backlight, and ability to adjust cycle speed are features than not all breast pumps have and can come in handy.
Also, no pump is completely silent, but it’s quieter than some other options.
3. Customer Service
Spectra customer service has a reputation for being very responsive and helpful.
They also have the longest warranty protection that I know of for a breast pump. (Most brands offer a year or less.)
Are there any cons to Spectra Breast Pumps?
Here are a few disadvantages.
These two pumps are a little bigger and less portable than some of the other pumps on the market. However, those smaller pumps (like the Freestyle Flex or the Willow) are often much more expensive.
However, Idaho Jones does make a pump belt that you can use to “wear” your Spectra and be more mobile. (It’s basically a fanny pack that’s designed to hold your pump.) You can check it out here and use the code EPUMP10 for 10% off!
2. No app integration
Many newer breast pump models use bluetooth to integrate with an app on your phone, which will track your pumping sessions. In my experience, this is nice to have but not essential.
How do the Spectra pumps compare to Medela pumps?
When you’re comparing Spectra and Medela pumps, you want to compare the same “level” of pump for it to be a fair comparision.
Both Medela and Spectra offer a basic pump – it’s effective, does everything you need, and is often fully covered by insurance – but it may not have all the extra features of other pumps.
Medela’s basic pump in the Pump in Style with Max Flow, while Spectra’s is the S2. Both are good pumps, but neither has a rechargeable battery.
Here is a detailed comparison of the pros and cons of the Pump in Style and the Spectra S2.
The next level up for Medela is either the Freestyle Flex or the Swing Maxi, while for Spectra, it’s the S1. All of these have a battery, but the Flex and Swing Maxi are smaller and more portable.
You can see all the pumps that both Medela and Spectra offer here.
Breast Pump Bags
What if you already have a Medela pump?
If you already have a Medela Pump in Style (or a different pump that uses the same pump parts), it is possible to use Medela pump parts with a Spectra.
With the new Medela (closed-system) parts, you can just cut off the end of the tubing, cover one of the Spectra ports, and attach the tubing to the Spectra like I did below:
This can be useful if you have a Medela and want to continue to use your old pump parts versus buying all new sets, or if you prefer Medela pump parts. (Some people prefer pump parts with a separate flange and connector – it can make using a hands-free pumping bra easier, for example.)
More on how to use Medela pump parts with a Spectra here.
So what’s the bottom line? Should I get a Spectra S1 or S2?
Having a rechargeable battery makes life so much easier – especially if you’re exclusively pumping or will need to move around when you pump. Therefore, I’d highly recommend choosing the S1 if your budget allows.
If your insurance only covers an S2, check and see if they offer the option to upgrade. Some insurance companies offer basic pumps free through insurance, as well as the ability to pay the price difference between the basic pump and an upgraded pump.
This process might sound complicated but it isn’t – you can fill out a short form here, and then a breast pump specialist will walk you through your options.
If you’ve used any of the Spectra pumps, please feel free to chime in with your experience in the comments!
- Spectra Baby Australia. “Check the Total Hours on your S1 or S2.” https://spectra-baby.com.au/buying-second-hand-breast-pump/