Spectra S9 vs Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump: Which is better?

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Spectra 9Plus Portable & Rechargeable Single or Double Electric Breast Pump

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This article is going to give you a thorough comparison of Spectra S9 Plus vs Medela Freestyle Flex, but if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, you can see our winner here:

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A breast pump can be an essential investment for a nursing mother. Although some mothers don’t need to use one, in most cases, you will appreciate having a breast pump by your side. In this breast pump review, I’ll compare the Spectra s9 vs Medela Freestyle Flex to help you decide which one is right for you.

Spectra S9 Plus

Spectra 9Plus Portable & Rechargeable Single or Double Electric Breast Pump

Medela Freestyle Flex

Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump, Closed System Quiet Handheld Portable Double Electric Breastpump, Mobile Connected Smart Pump with Touch Screen LED Display and USB Rechargeable Battery
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Buy on Amazon

Unfortunately, the Medela Freestyle has been discontinued, replaced by the Medela Freestyle Flex. This article compares the new Medela Freestyle Flex to Spectra S9 Plus.

Which is better, the Spectra S9 or Medela Freestyle Flex? Click here to see our recommendation on Amazon now.

What Is The Difference Between Spectra s9 vs Medela Freestyle Flex?

The main difference between Spectra 9 plus and Medela Freestyle Flex is that the Spectra 9 Plus is smaller. Another important difference is that the Spectra 9 Plus has an LCD display while the Medela Freestyle Flex has a backlit display. They both have a rechargeable Li-ion battery and the Medela Freestyle Flex original comes with a travel bag and cooler.

Spectra 9 Plus vs. Medela Freestyle Flex Comparison Table

Here are the specifications of each unit for you to compare.

ModelSpectra s9 PlusMedela Freestyle Flex
My Rating:9/108.5/10
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
StylePortable Electric Double PumpPortable Electric Double Pump
DisplayLCD ScreenTouch Screen LED
Strength300mmHg250mmHg
Hospital GradeNoNo
Closed SystemYesYes
Battery9-Volt AC Power Adapter. Rechargeable Li-ion BatteryRechargeable Lithion-Ion Battery with AC Adapter.
Battery Life3 hours2 hours
BagNoYes, with cooler.
Bottles2 Wide Neck Bottles Included4x 150ml Bottles Included
MaterialBPA Free PlasticBPA Free Plastic
Weight400g300g
Breast Shields2x 24mm Breast Shields Included2x 21mm
2x 24mm Breast Shields Included
Warranty2 Year Warranty on Pump, 90 Days on Accessories1 Year Limited Warranty on Motor, 90 Days on Other Parts

These 2 pumps are available for nursing mothers. In this section, we’ll analyze their features to help you pick the most suitable one. 

Medela Freestyle vs Spectra S9
Medela Freestyle vs Spectra S9

Spectra 9 Plus Review

Spectra offers several breast pump models to cater to the needs of nursing mothers. The Spectra s9 Plus is the latest addition to the line that contains other models, the S1 Plus, S2 Plus, S3 Pro and Synergy Gold.

The Spectra s9 Plus is one of the sleekest and most portable electric breast pumps on the market. Combining the sleek design with excellent performance, this electric pump will allow you to express milk on demand to keep your little one well-fed. It weighs just half a pound.

It features single or double pumping capability to guarantee maximum comfort. The LED screen shows information about the amount of pumped milk and the duration of pumping, and the buttons are easy to manipulate. 

When you buy this electric pump, you will also receive a bunch of useful accessories that you can use while breastfeeding your child. 

  • Two 24mm breast shields, other sizes are available for purchase. 
  • Two duckbill valves. 
  • A pair of tubings. 
  • A pair of slow-flow teats. 
  • Two backflow protectors. 
  • Two wide neck storage bottles. 
  • One Power Adapter. 

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews on Amazon <<

Features of the Spectra S9 Plus

Spectra 9 Plus uses Natural Nursing Technology, which mimics natural breastfeeding. It comes with several features, such as adjustable suction levels elimination of backflow, which provide a more natural feeling for the mother and a better feeding experience for the child. Here are some of its features. 

  • Can be used with the AC power cord or built-in 9v rechargeable battery: The excellent battery in this unit lasts for up to 3 hours and takes around 2 hours to fully recharge. Most pumping sessions are under 20 minutes, so you could expect this charge to last for a few days.
  • Works with single and double pumping: Thanks to the T connector tubing. Simply unplug the tubing you aren’t using and it becomes a single pump.
  • Provides 10 levels of suction: This gives mama the greatest range of comfort and mimics natural breastfeeding. The speed adjusts with the suction level.
  • Very lightweight at 0.5lbs: It’s one of the lightest breast pumps on the market.
  • Very Quiet: At just 50 decibels, this unit can be used comfortably day or night.
  • It’s very small: Measuring just  3 x 5 x 1.8 inches, meaning it fits neatly into a handbag or pocket for excellent portability.

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Pros

Investing in the Spectra 9 pump comes with several advantages. 

Compact and Portable

The Spectra S9 one of the lightest electric pumps on the market. It’s no bigger than a smartphone and can fit into any bag. Since it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, you can also use it without connecting it to a power source. This is a big plus for working mums and those who have to be separated from their baby.

Adjustable Suction Levels

Having 10 different suction levels allows you to use the Spectra 9 Plus at the power level that suits you. You can use a higher suction power and speed if that works for you, or choose the gentler suction level if your nipples and breasts are tender. Even at the highest setting, the Spectra 9 Plus is still gentle and comfortable. 

Massage Mode

The massage mode mimics the baby’s suction. The natural suckling of the baby stimulates the milk ducts and pushes them to produce more milk. The massage mode can be adjusted into 5 different levels. The Spectra 9 Plus also memorizes your latest settings, so you don’t have to readjust the pump with every use. 

Ultra-Quiet Operation

This electric pump operates at 45 decibels, which is very quiet. Whether you’re sleeping or your baby is sleeping next to you, you can still use the Spectra 9 Plus electric pump to express. The subtle operation sound guarantees the discreet expression of your breastmilk when you’re away from home. 

Backflow Protection

The pump comes with backflow protectors to keep the harmful bacteria at bay and guarantee that the milk will always be fresh and healthy, ready for the next feeding session. Thanks to the closed-system pumping, the motor itself won’t get in touch with the breast milk. This means the parts need less cleaning and will keep your pump working for longer.

Auto-Timer

Stats related to the expression of your breastmilk will be displayed on an easy to read LED screen. The Spectra 9 Plus also comes with an auto-timer feature that you can set before you start using it. This will give you total control over how long you will pump for.

You can also compare the amount of milk expressed every time by setting the timer. It automatically shuts off after 30 minutes. 

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Cons

yes, the Spectra S9 has a host of helpful features and amazing advantages, but it also comes with a few limitations that you need to be aware of. 

  • The speed can’t be adjusted independently from the suction level. This is not a problem for most mothers, as speed isn’t usually relevant to the amount of milk produced.
  • The motor isn’t designed to be used too frequently, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most moms.
  • It comes with one pair of breast shields. Spectra offers 4 sizes of breast shields, so if the 24mm isn’t a good fit for you, they will need to be ordered seperately.
  • The battery will only last for up to 2-3 hours. Although Spectra 9 Plus is suitable for working mothers, you will need to find a power source if you need to use it more often. 

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Medela Freestyle Flex Review

Medela currently offers 11 models of single and double electric pumps. The original Medela Freestyle has now been replaced by the Medela Freestyle Flex.

Although it can easily fit in the palm of your hands, this powerful yet gentle electric pump will help you express and collect healthy breast milk for your child whenever you need to. 

It combines flexibility with comfort to offer the most relaxing and satisfying experience to a busy mom. The Medela Freestyle Breast Pump features a rechargeable battery, and its compact size makes it extremely easy to carry around. However, this pump weighs 4.7 pounds because of the built-in battery. 

Thanks to the backlit digital display, you will be able to record all the data related to your current breast milk suction session. When you buy the Medela Freestyle, you will receive several cool accessories. 

  • 2 feeding bottles with lids. 
  • 2 pairs of breast shields and tubing. The shields measure 21 mm and 24 mm. 
  • A rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a power cord. 
  • Other accessories include a tote bag to carry the whole system and a cooler bag to keep milk fresh. 

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Features

The Medela Freestyle Flex is little more expensive than other electric pumps on the market. However, we love it because it features the 2-Phase Expression Technology, in addition to several amazing features:

  • MyMedela app: Downloadable MyMedela app to help you with using the pump.
  • Free Lactaction Consultant support: A free service that Medela provides to purchasers through the MyMedela app.
  • Easy interaction with the backlit display and one-touch button:
  • Built-in memory and timer for easy tracking: The MyMedela App also allows you to track your sessions over time.
  • Battery Life: The rechargeable Lithion-Ion battery lasts up to 2 hours.
  • Portable: The pump comes with a microfibre cooler carry bag for use while traveling and can be used to store milk.
  • Super pump setting: You can pump more milk quicker using Maximum Comfort Vacuum setting.

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews <<

Pros

Despite its higher price and (slightly) heavier weight, lots of nursing mothers swear by the Medela Freestyle Flex because it guarantees fast and safe breast milk expression on the go. It comes with lots of great advantages. 

Built-In Battery

You don’t have to worry about finding a power source to operate The Medela Freestyle Flex. The built-in battery is built to last up to 3 hours on a single charge. Unlike the Spectra 9 Plus, the Medela Freestyle Flex’s power adapter can be used with dual voltage, so it’s an excellent choice for traveling moms because you can use it in any country. 

Powerful Motor

The Medela Freestyle breast pump is designed for heavy-duty use. You can use it for double or single pumping, and the motor will not fail you. However, compared to the Spectra 9 Plus, this breast pump is a little bit noisier. 

Adjustable Suction

The Medela Freestyle offers 9 levels of suction. The levels are easy to control, thanks to the up and down buttons. When you first start using it, it will activate the letdown feature. This will allow for faster and lighter suction. After 2 minutes, the pump automatically switches to the expression mode, which is slower and more powerful.

Alternating between these 2 modes will stimulate the milk ducts as it mimics the natural suckling motion of the baby. You can switch faster to the expression mode using the button. The 2-Phase Expression Technology produces more milk in less time. 

Backlit Display

The backlit display features lots of cool information about your current breastfeeding session. You can see the speed and suction levels, time spent, letdown/expression indicator, battery life, and the power indicator if you use the adapter.

You can also save the latest settings by holding the memory button during the expression phase. This will allow you to use the pump according to the most convenient setting. 

Downloadable App

MyMedela app is a helpful tool for nursing moms because it offers information about how to use your electric pump, the best breast shield for you, and lots of useful instructions and tips that you will need while breastfeeding your child. 

>> Check here to read more reviews on Amazon <<

Cons

Despite all these cool advantages, the Medela Freestyle has a few disadvantages that you need to take into consideration.

  • The Medela Freestyle is a usually quite a bit more expensive than the S9
  • Like the Spectra 9 Plus, the speed and suction are controlled by a single button. 
  • The open-system pumping will keep the milk clean but requires more thorough cleaning than the closed-system. 

>> Click here to check the price and read more reviews <<

What are the differences Between Spectra S9 vs Medela Freestyle Flex?

A portable double electric breast pump like the Medela Freestyle Flex and the Spectra s9 can help you make your hectic, fast-paced life a little easier! It means you have the freedom to move unrestricted by breast pump wiring and tubes. You could catch up on the build-up of housework and laundry without feeling overwhelmed, or maybe just chill out and relax while you are pumping.

We will be looking at differences in these double electric breast pumps. As always, there will be differences in performance and practicality whenever there is a portable pump. So we will be comparing them on the basis of features like breast shields, portability, battery life, noise levels, and practicality.

Breast Shields

As a breast-pumping mom, it’s essential to make sure that you have the correct size shields to get the best milk expression with minimal wastage and discomfort.

If the shield size is too big, the suction will not be strong enough, and you could see your milk piling around the shield rather than going into the bottle. If it is too small, you could run the risk of damaging your nipples due to the power and suction of the pumps.

Medela Freestyle Flex uses flexible shields as a means of providing relaxed comfort around your breast and nipples. Whereas the Spectra s9 is a rigid shield that cups the breast and nipples. Nevertheless, it does the job well of expressing breast milk.

The fabulous thing about the Spectra S9 is that you can use other breast shields not made by the manufacturer.  Freemie cups are excellent for pumping milk as it sits inside your bra extracting milk rather than being strapped to bottles more conspicuously. 

Unfortunately, the Medela Freestyle Flex is not as adaptable and requires you to use only their accessories in connection with their pumps.

It’s a draw: Spectra S9 Plus is a great choice because it compatible with freemie cups, but the Medela Freestyle Flex comes with 2 different sized flanges.

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Portability

Wouldn’t it be great if you could carry your breast pump in your pocket or your handbag? Well, we got news for you. You totally can!

Weighing less than 1 lbs, both the Medela Freestyle Flex and the Spectra 9 plus can be kept in a pocket, enabling busy moms to get on with their day quickly. This couldn’t be more perfect as it’s one less thing to worry about packing when out and about in terms of how heavy it is and how much more it is going to weigh you down alongside everything else you have to lug around with you.

Winner: Medela Freestyle Flex is lighter at under 300g

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Battery Life

For a portable breast pump, battery life is everything. It’s one of the first things to consider when buying a portable breast pump. 

The Freestyle Flex breast pump holds its battery life for 2 hours. You can get at least eight sessions in this space of time if you are double pumping.

The Spectra has a built in rechargeable battery, with a battery life of 3 hours; it is enough to have any mom buzzing over how much milk she could produce on the go with this double express breast pumping machine at her own pace.

The beauty of both pumps is that they have rechargeable battery. So even if you run out of juice, grab your AC-adapter and pump away!

Winner: Spectra S9 Plus has a longer battery life at 3 hours compared to 2 hours

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Noise Level

What use is a portable pump if you still have to hide away because it is too noisy?

The Spectra 9 is relatively quiet as far as portable pumps go. Moms have claimed to have been double pumping without any problems at weddings, in glass door offices, and in places with general background noise for the pump to integrate with. 

Unfortunately, there have been reports of the Medela Freestyle Flex being too loud – not the one for your zoom meeting, we’re afraid!  Working moms may feel paranoid about using this breast pump in the office. It also vibrates, which adds to the noise and so renders it impractical for nighttime pumping. The Freestyle Flex is not as discreet as the Spectra pumps.

Winner: Spectra S9 Plus wins this round for being whisper quiet

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

Practicality

It’s great that we have two portable breast pumps that can be taken anywhere and used at any time.

But how practical is it? We will be looking at the small details that set them apart, such as their ability to switch modes and the use of apps.

Switch Modes

Unlike the Freestyle Flex, the Spectra s9 does not automatically switch to expression mode after being in letdown mode. If you are busy, you may forget you have been in massage mode the entire session.

However, this may not be a problem for you as many moms find that the expression mode is perfect for getting a large amount of milk.

It’s a tie: Medela automatically switches modes to suction, but this isn’t always a good thing!

>> Click here to read more reviews and check the latest price on Amazon <<

There’s An App for that

The Medela has an app that records your last pumped breast milk, the duration of pumping sessions, and which breast you used. 

It also records your baby’s sleep and feeding routine and has a supportive community of fellow moms and lactation consultants at your beck and call. This is brilliant for the mom that suffers from regular baby-brain. 

The Spectra S9, unfortunately, does not have an app.

Winner: Medela Freestyle Flex is definitely more connected and wins this round for having a bluetooth app

>> Click here to check the price on Amazon <<

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    Final Verdict

    Both pumps provide the versatility of being able to express on the go.

    The Medela Freestyle Flex has some great features with its flexible breast shields and app to record the baby’s feeding and which breast you had pumped last.

    The best breast pump for us is the Spectra s9 Plus.  It has a better battery life and is quieter.  It’s also adaptable with other non-branded products. When used with Freemie closed system cups, the s9 breast pump allows for versatility to be out and about using a relatively undetected pump.

    Overall Winner: Spectra S9 Plus. 

    >> Click here to see it on Amazon<<

    Related content:

    Why Should You Buy a Breast Pump?

    There are different types of breast pumps, but all of them aim to do essentially the same thing; express the milk from the breast. Although there are other ways that can help you remove milk from the breasts, a breast pump is the easiest and usually most efficient one. You might need to use a breast pump in several situations. 

    • If you have too much milk, your breasts can get engorged. The swelling is extremely painful, and when ignored, can lead to mastitis or abscesses.
    • If your baby is unable to latch on the nipple, the pump will help you provide them with the needed nutrition. The pump will help keep the milk flowing, even if you’re using the bottle for a supplementary meal until your baby is ready to take the milk directly out of the breast. 
    • If you have a low milk supply, using a breast pump will help stimulate milk production and let down.
    • When you’re separated from your child because you’re traveling or going to work. The pumped milk can be kept in the fridge until your baby is ready for feeding time. 
    • The pump will help with night feeds when the mother is taking a break. However, this shouldn’t be done all the time, as the mother needs to breastfeed her child at night, especially in the first few weeks. 

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