Spectra S1 Vs Medela Symphony: Which Is The Better Pump?

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What is the Difference between Medela Symphony and Spectra S1?

The main difference between Spectra S1 vs Medela Symphony is that the Medela Symphony is a hospital-grade pump designed for multiple users in the hospital setting. Spectra S1 is hospital grade but is designed for personal use.

If you have just had a baby and have decided to give the little human your milk, the chances are you will be going through your health insurance for a pump. 

Many moms choose to rent a hospital-grade pump under their health insurance. The problem is that new moms may have been selecting the wrong breast pump and being stuck with it for the next few months as part of the health insurance rental scheme.

There are many reasons why you might choose to pump exclusively. Perhaps you have had an early arrival of a premature baby or a c-section. A double electric pump will help increase your milk supply so you can give your baby the best start in life. Spectra and Medela are now the top brands in the breast pumping world.

We will be comparing the Medela Symphony and the Spectra S1 to see which features are worth buying. There are some striking differences but also a lot of similarities that between these two breast pumps. 

We will be looking at the main features that moms look for when buying or renting a pump: price, accessories, power, and battery life.

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02/18/2024 03:06 am GMT

Medela Symphony vs Spectra S1 Comparison Table

ModelSpectra S1Medela Symphony
My Rating:9.5/108.5/10
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
StylePortable Double electric breast pumpMulti User Double electric breast pump
Vacuum Strength0-270 mmHg50-250 mmHg
Hospital GradeYesYes
Closed SystemYesYes
BatteryRechargeable Li-ion batteryRechargeable
Battery LifeUp to 3 hours60 minutes
Bottles2 includedno
MaterialBPA Free PlasticBPA Free Plastic
Breast Shields2x 24mm Breast Shields Includedno
Warranty2 Year Warranty on Pump, 90 Days on Accessories1 Year Warranty
Buy NowCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon


As a new parent, you might have already spent a small fortune making space for your tiny human – setting up a nursery and buying a travel system and clothing. 

The Medela Symphony can be eyewatering price for the pump alone. The accessories you need to buy are exclusive only to the Symphony, and are an additional cost.

Ironically some of the best pumps on the market are personal pumps and cost a fraction of a hospital-grade pump. The Spectra s1 breast pump is a fraction of the price of the Medela Symphony, and comes with everything you need to start pumping immediately.

Winner: Spectra S1 is significantly cheaper but has most of the performance of the Symphony 

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Although the Spectra s1 is cheaper than its rival, sadly, it’s the extra pieces of the s1 breast pump kit that lets the brand down. The bottles feel cheap and don’t sit straight. It is also difficult to clean the flanges as they come in one piece. Accessories are also tricky to find and are not always readily available in stores.

The Medela, already expensive as it is, does not always cover the accessories in the health insurance. 

Frustratingly the accessories with the pump Medela are sold separately, making this pump one of the most expensive out there when it has all the trimmings.

Winner: Spectra S1 comes with everything you need for a home user

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There is nothing worse than having an expensive pump with weak power and suction. Already slaves to the milk machine, a weak breast pump would have you tearing your hair out.

The Spectra s1 pump has strong suction at 270 mmHg and a soft touch button with a massage and expression mode. This is on the high end as the range of power is between 250 mmHg and 300 mmHg.

Despite its intense powerhouse look, the Medela Symphony, on the other hand, goes up to a maximum of 250 mmHg despite being hospital-grade. 

Winner: Spectra S1 has higher suction, but Medela Symphony has a more heavy duty motor designed for multiple users

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When you are a busy pumping mom who is always out and about – the first thing you would think about is if you have enough charge to pump some bottles on the go?

The S1 on a full charge gives you 3 hours of battery life before you have to plug in the ac adapter, making this pump portable and rechargeable.

Medela Symphony Breast Pump Hospital Grade Single or Double Electric Pumping Efficient and Comfortable

HOSPITAL GRADE: Helps initiate and maintain milk supply with Medela’s patented, research-based 2-Phase Expression Technology, designed to closely mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythms and proven to express 18% more breast milk when double pumping

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02/18/2024 03:23 am GMT

The Symphony has a rechargeable battery which gives up to 60 minutes of pumping time.

Winner: Medela Symphony’s battery lasts just 60 minutes, while Spectra S1 lasts for up to 3 hours of pumping!

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Noise Level

You might feel like you have to do a ‘mission impossible’ task where you have to find a place to hide and pump because your pump might be noisy. You no longer have to worry!

Breast-pumping moms swoon over Spectra’s muted ability to pump silently, and some even go as far as to claim that they can answer a phone call at work while pumping into their bottles.

The Medela Symphony, on the other hand, isn’t that quiet. If you have ever walked down a maternity ward visiting a new mom, you would probably be able to hear a ‘symphony’ of hospital-grade pumps working away by the time you find the new mom you are visiting.

Winner: Spectra S1 is quieter – around 45db.

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    Final Verdict

    It is difficult to say which of these electric pumps is better when they are both so good!

    The Medela Symphony is a multi-user pump designed to be used in hospitals. This is the pump that is carried around the ward from room to room, so that different mums can pump. It can be used over and over again without failing.

    Spectra S1 is a rechargeable hospital grade portable breast pump, but it’s more suited to home use. That’s not to say that it can’t be used in a hospital setting, but Spectra created a multi-user pump for hospitals, which is their Spectra S3 breast pump.

    Despite being a personal pump, the Spectra s1 is actually more powerful than the Medela Symphony. It is significantly more affordable, and is entirely portable with 3 hours of battery life and a charger. Even if you were to purchase the accessories for the pump, it would still come in significantly less than the Medela. This is why the Spectra S1 is our pick for the better breast pump for a breastfeeding or pumping mom.

    >> Click here to see it on Amazon

    The Medela is still worth having if you can get it through your health insurance. However, you would still have to pay for the accessories for it to be comparable to the Spectra S1.


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