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Choosing to either breastfeed or formula feed if always up to you as the parent, but once you decide to go with breastfeeding, there are so many more components to it than you might think. Like choosing between the Spectra S1 vs Medela Freestyle.
Both breast pumps come from reputable brands that parents trust, but of course, there are some differences to really compare the two options.
Some moms find that they breastfeed enough to not need to pump right away, but being able to pump your breastmilk can be the difference between being engorged with milk and being able to store milk for your baby while giving yourself a break.
But while doing so, naturally you’ll want to be comfortable and also comfortable with the breast pump you choose and whether that’s the Medela Freestyle or the Spectra S1, you should be well-informed to as to make the most educated decision possible to and to make the money you spend on the system worth it in the end.
Some mothers breastfeed well beyond the one year mark and if that happens to be you, then finding the right breast pump is even more important, as you’ll likely be utilizing it for years to come. Hopefully, this comparison between the Spectra S1 and the Medela Freestyle will make that decision easier for you.
Bottom Line Up Front: To cut to the case here, I prefer the more affordable Spectra S1 available here. The fact that it’s “hospital grade” is also a reassuring factor in an otherwise even comparison.
- 1 At a Glance Comparison Medela Freestyle vs Spectra S1
- 2 Spectra S1 Breast Pump
- 3 Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions About the Spectra S1 and Medela Freestyle [FAQ]
- 5 The Verdict: Spectra S1 or Medela Freestyle?
At a Glance Comparison Medela Freestyle vs Spectra S1
For a quick look, here are the high level comps:
|Model||Spectra S1||Medela Freestyle|
|Pricing||See latest here||See latest here|
|Style||Double pump electric||Double pump electric|
|Bottles||Comes with 2||Comes with 4|
|Material||BPA Free Plastic||BPA Free Plastic|
|Weight||3.3 lbs||5.2 lbs|
|Car Adapter||Not Included||Not Included|
Spectra S1 Breast Pump
Made with a built-in battery, the Spectra S1 pump is designed to give you hospital strength power to be able to get out as much milk as you need to in one sitting. Plus, the attachments to use are closed off, meaning they keep a barrier between the milk and the actual pump, meaning a more sanitary process all around. And since every mom is different, there are different settings for you to find which suction setting makes you the most comfortable throughout the process each time.
At just four pounds, the Spectra S1 breast pump is relatively easy to carry around and even comes with two bottles and an ice pack to keep your stored milk at an appropriate temperature when you aren’t at home.
Spectra S1 Features
- There’s a focus on hygiene: With the backflow protection, there is an emphasis on keeping the breast milk safe from mold and bacteria while pumping.
- Cleaning is made easier: Since the backflow keeps the tubing dry, there’s no need to have to constantly clean them.
- It can be used comfortably day or night: The sound of the Spectra S1 when on, is very quiet, and there’s also a night light setting that keeps the light low if it needs to be used late at night in bed and you don’t want to wake your partner.
- You can take it almost anywhere: Since it’s lightweight and portable with an AC adapter, you don’t necessarily have to use it as an electric pump and can access the pumping capabilities virtually anywhere. On Amazon, the Spectra S1 is $174.
- Being able to clean the pump quickly is a big plus since most moms will want to be able to use it regularly but grow to hate the constant cleaning of the pump.
- It’s hospital grade, meaning it pumps the amount and speed that you might get used to in the hospital. When you go home, you won’t suddenly be met with something totally different than what you’d already gotten used to.
- Because of the pump’s ease of use and its ability to quickly fill bottles, it makes it easier for moms to be able to stock up on breastmilk and then relax for a little while before needing to pump all over again.
- It’s a quiet pump, but it does vibrate when in use. It might be distracting for some parents or even their babies, so it can definitely deter you from wanting to use it too late into the night in case you might wake your baby or partner.
- Since the lines of the Spectra S1 are relatively short, it makes moving around while pumping hard, limiting what you can do while pumping your breast milk.
- Although the suction cups come in three different sizes, there’s still the off-chance that it won’t fit properly or comfortably.
“I am a mom of six and this pump works fast and efficiently so I can get back to taking care of my little ones. I take it within the car and use it at night love love LOVE this pump. It’s an Absolute must.” – Nicolle on Amazon.
“I wanted to like this pump, but it didn’t hold a charge well and the cups just didn’t fit me.” – Ogee on Amazon.
“I love this breast pump. Works much better than my manual pump and was definitely worth the price to get the rechargeable one. I can walk around and move when I need to without being tethered to the wall. I charge for me lasts about two weeks. I also like the night light feature” Abe Rosenburg on Amazon
“This is amazing. It’s quiet, and it works so well. I can 2 ounces out of one side in less than 5 minutes. When I was at the hospital, they gave me , valves, , bottles, etc., and the fit perfectly onto the . I use the with the instead of the Spectra , and it works really well. I actually recommend ordering the accessories with the . The battery also lasts a long before needing to recharge. I charged the battery fully before giving birth to my baby. My baby is almost 3 weeks old, and the battery is still more than half charged. I haven’t had to recharge it yet.” GG, on Amazon
Medela Freestyle Breast Pump
Like the Spectra 1, the Medela Freestyle has the ability to rally personalize your pumping experience with different settings and controls. Medela is also a commonly trusted brand when it comes to breastfeeding in general, so some moms might immediately feel at ease choosing to go with a Medela breast pump when it all comes down to it. This particular electric pump also has a cooler set and portable bag to be able to take it with you wherever you go.
The suction cups also make the system hands-free so you don’t have to feel so tied down when you’re in the middle of a pumping session and in case you need to look after your baby close by. You can also feel comfortable pumping when using the Medela brand nursing bras, which snap down to make attaching your Medela pump relatively easy. You can purchase the pump on Amazon for $245.
Medela Freestyle Features
- It gives you control: Not only is there a built-in timer, but there’s also a memory that lets you know how much you pumped at any other given time.
- It’s truly portable: With the bag and cooler system, you’ll be good to go with the system no matter where you are.
- You can use it as much as you need to: The pump is designed to be used daily by moms who need to pump regularly as opposed to every once in awhile.
- The battery is made to travel: The rechargeable battery that comes with the Medela Freestyle is designed so that you can travel with it and recharge it as needed.
- There is a super pumping setting: With the Maximum Comfort Vacuum setting, you can pump more milk than usual in quicker time.
- The fast pumping option is perfect for moms while at work or who just need to quickly pump and have little time to wait (further read: when is the best time to pump)
- Since the pump itself isn’t too big, it truly is easy to bring with you in your purse or diaper bag without needing any extra bulky carrying case.
- It’s so easy to use that first-time mom might find it a lot more approachable than most others.
- Even though there are hands-free straps, when you engage those, it sometimes feels like the suction isn’t as strong.
- Putting the pump together with all of the different tubes, parts and pieces can be bothersome.
- Some breastfeeding moms with larger breasts may not find as much comfort with the Medela Freestyle breast pump as others.
“This product comes with it all! The bag is comfortable to carry, the pump itself is light enough to carry around the house, the contents are relevant and useful, and the cooler bag is an added bonus! The pump is easy to use and travels well! I would recommend this to anyone!” – Lindsey Peeler on Amazon.
“I don’t know if the product I received was defective or not but the suction was not strong at all as compared to my Spectra so it did not work for me. I wish it did because I was excited about how small the pump was and how I would be able to move around with it clipped on me.” – MommyLove2Shop on Amazon.
“I love this pump. I have the PISA, Freestyle, and the Lansinoh Smartpump. I don’t have an issue pumping with any of them and I get similar amounts from them. PISA: feels harsh and mechanical, if that makes sense. Very bulky with the bag and the battery pack is impractical for travel use. Freestyle: love it! Feels like a soft vibration and so portable. I keep all parts in a wet bag and I have pumped in all kinds of weird places with this: eg, county fair, bathroom of city hall, bathroom of restaurants, my car, every day in my car during commute, etc. It is not true that the membranes can’t have moisture in it. I rinse my pump parts after a session, throw the entire thing unassembled in a wet bag, and only wash them in the weekend. These things get soaked and they keep working. Just make sure the membranes are installed properly by lining up the tabs with the grooves. Lansinoh: it’s an inexpensive and awesome pump. I don’t like it as much because Freestyle is smaller, and for someone who pumps on the go a lot, that little bitoff extra portability is important” T.Chu on Amazon
Frequently Asked Questions About the Spectra S1 and Medela Freestyle [FAQ]
What bottles are compatible with Spectra S1?
The following bottles are compatible: Lifefactory (with Spectra adapter), Philips Avent bottles, Medela bottles (with Spectra adapter), Mam Baby bottles, Kiinde Feeding System (with Kiinde pouch adapter).
Is Spectra S1 Hospital Grade?
Yes, they are both technically rated for hospital use. You can read more about Hospital Grade breast pumps if you are interested in these options.
Can you use Medela valves on Spectra pumps?
Yes the flanges can be placed into the Spectra flanges to create different sizing options and comfort fits.
The Verdict: Spectra S1 or Medela Freestyle?
While both the Spectra S1 and the Medela Freestyle breast pumps are strong in their own ways, they both share the negative aspect of the chance that the suction cups may not fit as comfortably for every breastfeeding mom.
But the Spectra S1, with the noticeably cheaper price, and the hospital grade quality, are likely best as far as these two options go.
While it’s true that the Medela pump comes from a reputable brand that most parents already trust and is compatible with the Medela breastfeeding bras too, sheer convenience isn’t the only important factor here.
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The Spectra S1 breast pump is not only quiet for the most part, except for some vibrating, but it also fills bottles quickly. And when you’re a breastfeeding mom, being able to get the taste done quickly is so important.
Bottom Line: Overall, both options have their good aspects and certainly their more negative components, but between the two, you might find more success by trying the Spectra S1 breast pump first (since it’s the cheaper option).
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