Two of the biggest breast pump brands in the breastfeeding mom world – and you can’t decide which one to go with. Today we’re going to break down the differences between the Medela Pump in Style vs Spectra S2. There are a few versions of the Medela Pump in Style and today we are looking at the newest version, the Pump in Style with Max Flow.
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Choosing the better pump between the Spectra s2 and the Medela Pump In Style with Max Flow is tricky, because they are for different users.
After thoroughly reviewing both pumps, we think that the Spectra S2 is better for lots of reasons. Keep scrolling to read more find out why we think it’s a great pump.
We can see why this would take a long time to decide. There are hundreds upon hundreds of breast pump brands claiming to be the next best thing. Sometimes it just boils down to sticking with main brands you are comfortable with. Luckily, Spectra and Medela are two of the leading best pump brands in 2022.
This review will break down all the important features so you can decide which pump will be better for you.
We will be looking at the Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow to see what the hype really is and which one deserves to come home with you.
What Is The Difference Between Medela Pump in Style vs Spectra S2
The biggest difference between the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow and the Spectra S2 is that the Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow comes with a battery pack and an carry bag with cooler. The Spectra S2 has more adjustable expression and letdown settings, plus a night light and LCD display.
What the Medela Pump in Style and Spectra S2 Have in Common
Being double electric breast pump is the common feature with these breast pumps with a backflow protection system ensuring the breast milk does not reach anywhere but in the milk bottles being expressed.
Both Spectra and Medela allow you to purchase individual parts, such as tubing, flanges and valves.
Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow Comparison Chart
|Model||Spectra S2||Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow|
|Price||Check Price at Amazon||Check Price at Amazon|
|Style||Double electric breast pump||Portable Double electric breast pump|
|Hospital Grade||Yes||No – “Hospital Performance”|
|Battery||N/A||External Battery Pack|
|Battery Life||N/A||Up to 2 hours|
|Bag||No||Yes, with cooler.|
|Bottles||2 included||4 included|
|Material||BPA Free Plastic||BPA Free Plastic|
|Breast Shields||2x 24mm Breast Shields Included||4 x breast shields (2x 21 mm & 2x 24 mm)|
|Warranty||2 Year Warranty on Pump, 90 Days on Accessories||1 Year Warranty|
|Buy Now||Check Price at Amazon||Check Price at Amazon|
Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow: What are the differences?
At first glance it might seem that these two pumps have a lot in common. But we are going to look closely at each feature so that you can see which pump would be better for your lifestyle.
We are going to compare the Pump in Style vs Spectra S2 on the basis of portability, usability, battery life, noise levels, and practicality.
Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow includes 2 sizes of PersonalFit Flex breast shields with soft rim and oval shape for more comfort and better fit. These flanges are soft and comfortable, especially when pumping throughout the day.
However, the flanges are short, and visibility is limited due to the rim around the shield that cups your nipples, so you cant see if milk is coming out or you have placed it properly.
The Spectra S2 comes with one set of 2x 24mm flanges, so if these aren’t the right size for you, you will need to buy them in addition.
Winner: Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow comes with 2 sets of flanges, and they are super comfortable.
The Pump In Style comes with no display, making it hard to know the level and suction you are using. It can be a guessing game of pressing up and down to get the level that suits you and the suction that you need.
The Spectra S2 on the other hand has a digital display, and it can tell you what level and cycle you are on, keeping you up to date with how long you’ve been on the milk machine. It remembers your settings from the last setting used. The Spectra S2 also has a handy night light. It even counts the total hours that you have been using it, which is a very handy feature for when it’s time to sell your pump on the second hand market.
Winner: Spectra S2 with a backlit display and night light
The Medela Pump in Style with Max Flow has a battery pack which takes AA batteries. Any pump that doesn’t require you to be latched to a wall outlet is a bonus for us, and it’s small, weighs only 1.2lb, which makes it the more portable of these two pumps.
It also comes with an integrated bag. The bag is high quality, and doesn’t scream “there is a breast pump in here!”, which is nice for taking it to work.
Spectra S2 is not a very portable pump, as it has no battery option. However, without a built-in battery, you would need to be plugged into the wall outlet to pump. Of course, this drawback has been fixed in the Spectra S1, so there is still a great Spectra option.
Winner: Medela Freestyle Flex is lighter and has a battery pack, so it’s more portable than Spectra S2
The higher the suction, the more work the Medela has to do, and it starts to vibrate and make more noise – you couldn’t get away with using it and having a phone conversation. The pump is not as quiet as the Spectra S2 but definitely quieter than their sister pumps, such as the Pump in Style Advanced.
The Spectra S2 however, is one of the quietest hospital grade pumps around. It’s surprisingly quiet for it’s strength.
Winner: Spectra S2 is much quieter than the Medela Pump in Style
Medela Pump in Style features patented two-phase expression technology designed to mimic the suction and breathing of a newborn baby. However you aren’t able to adjust the speed independently from the suction, so as it speeds up it gets stronger.
The Spectra S2 on the other hand has a very popular and effective letdown feature, which mimics a baby suckling to stimular milk release. This letdown mode is super gentle and has it’s own speed and suction settings. It’s very natural and feels a lot like a baby’s initial sucking.
If you are able to express milk with this mode there is no need to go to the expression settings, but if you do, they are highly adjustable. The S2 allows you to adjust the vacuum strength seperately to the speed settings.
Winner: Spectra S2 is a more effective pump thanks to it’s greater adjustability
Straightaway we can tell you that the price of a Spectra s2 is significantly less than the Medela. The Medela Pump in Style has a higher price point than the Spectra S2, but it comes with a lot of accessories.
By the time you add the cost of the bag, cooler, ice pack and extra accessories, they come out fairly even.
It’s a draw: Although the base package of the Spectra S2 is cheaper, when you add the accessories they are both similarly priced.
What In The Package?
Medela Pump in style comes with the closed system motor, plus 2x21mm and 24mm breast shields, tubing, battery pack, breast shield connectors with membranes, cooler bag, and a dual voltage 110-240V power supply adaptor.
Spectra S2 pump comes with BPA-Free products that come into contact with breast milk. Spectra S2 includes a set of two flange sizes at 24 mm, tubing, 2 duckbill valves, 2 backflow protectors an AC power adapter.
The Pump in Style is much more portable with a battery pack, but the Spectra S2 is a much better pump when it comes to usability.
Pump In Style with Max Flow is perfect for moms who need to carry their pump regularly. It comes with a carry bag, and has options for extra portability when you can’t find a power socket.
But the Spectra S2 is a better overall pump. By purchasing a carry bag and additional accessories it is far superior to the Max Flow.
If you a looking for a breast pump that is fast yet quiet and is reasonably priced, then the Spectra s2 is the one for you. If portability is more important to you, but you like the features of the Spectra S2, check out it’s sister pump, Spectra S1, which has an inbuilt rechargeable battery.
Overall Winner: Spectra S2 Plus. Click here to see it on Amazon