Medela vs. Spectra

If you ask any mom forum or online chat what the best double electric pump is, chances are you will be bombarded with other moms praising the Medela Pump in Style or the Spectra S1/S2. I was lucky enough to purchase both the Medela and the Spectra S2 for my pumping needs. On maternity leave, I didn’t really have a preference – they both have pros and cons. However, after months of using them, I have definitely developed a preference.

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  • Auto switches from letdown to regular mode after 2 minutes
  • Better customer service
  • Battery pack
  • Works with narrow neck bottles (like Dr. Browns)


  • No light
  • Louder than expected
  • Only one dial for suction & speed



  • Can control suction & speed separately
  • Has 3 light settings (Dim, bright, and off)
  • Quiet – Sounds more like a vibrating sound vs a squeaky wheel


  • No battery pack
  • Uses wide neck bottles
  • Harder to modify for freemie cups
  • Have to push the letdown button at beginning go go into letdown mode and again after 2 minutes to get out of it

My experience so far:

I bought the Freemie cups so I can pump at my cubical at work. I work with 8 other men and cleared it with them before hand and everyone said it was fine. At 6x per day and 15-20 minutes per pump, that’s 2 hours extra a day I would spend away from my baby to get my hours in at work if I had to pump in the car or bathroom.

I decided on bringing the spectra because it is quieter. The loudness of the Medela would probably start to get annoying if I had to listen to it all day. I packed it in a lunch box and zipped it up with the backflow preventer inside, only leaving the tubes and cord out to suppress as much sound as possible. Not one of my coworkers could hear the pump AT All, I can hardly hear it and that’s only when I’m trying to listen for it. I pump in the car on the way to work and 5 other times throughout the day to make enough milk for daycare. I thought I was going to have to take the medela because it has a battery pack but I just bought a converter for the cigarette lighter and it works great with my car. Overall, I have had a really good experience with my spectra pump at work!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I have really enjoyed both pumps. If I had to choose one over the other I would probably select the Spectra S2 again. Between the more natural feel of the suction, the silent pump sounds, and the light options, it really has worked out better for my needs.

Get the Freemie Cups through amazon here:

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Choosing a Breast Pump Medela vs Spectra