Comparisons

Spectra S1 vs. Spectra S2: The Full Electric Breast Pump Comparison

When comparing two products from the same brand, it can be difficult, especially when those products resemble each other as much as the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2Electric Breast Pumps do.

On the outside, they appear to be almost the same product, but when you look a little closer, you can see a few small differences that together, might make choosing between them a little easier.

The important things to look at when choosing an electric breast pump period are things like the battery life, suction levels, and the comfort of using it.

If you must have a breast pump that’s a double rather than a single, that’s plenty important too. When it comes to the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 pumps, they can both be used as either double or single pumps, and they have similarly easy to use controls.

And, as to be expected, they are similar enough in price that using cost as the deciding factor may not be the best idea.

Because Spectra is such a trusted brand when it comes to breast pumps, both of these particular pumps are excellent choices for any mother-to-be or a new mom looking for the right pump.

They both make it easier to pump breast milk for your baby without any of the stress that comes with difficult to understand machines. But at the end of the day, they are each their pump with the good and bad qualities you can’t ignore, and there has to be the best choice between them.

Spectra S1 Electric Breast Pump

The Spectra S1 Electric Breast Pump technically came before the S2, but that doesn’t mean it’s an out of date model.

In fact, many parents still wear by the ease of use and comfort that the S1 provides.

It weighs just three pounds and has a built-in rechargeable battery as well as a little carrying handle. This means that you can even walk around your house or get up and stretch while pumping without worrying about a plug pulling out from a socket in the wall.

The pump comes with two different sizes of breast flanges, two wide neck bottles for pumping into, locking rings and caps, valves, back flow protectors, tubing, and a power cord and adapter in case you choose to get the power that way.

But going back a bit, the back flow protector is essential in any good breast pump to help prevent a build-up of breast milk that’s hard to clean out of tubing and can grow mold over time.

The small area on the top with controls is easy to read and understand and even has a nightlight you can turn on to control it in the dark, which is especially useful for late night pumping.

Features

  • Battery Life: The rechargeable battery typically lasts about three hours total, which will give you a couple of solid pumping sessions before you need to charge it again.
  • Accessories: It comes with a power AC adapter, breast flanges in two sizes, two bottles for your dispensed milk, tubing, valves, and back flow protectors.
  • Suction Levels: You can set the pump to remember your preferred pumping speeds and strength, but there are 12 different levels of suction.
  • Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in store at Buy Buy Baby.

Pros

  • The rechargeable battery makes pumping on the go and away from home so much easier.
  • It’s also very quiet compared to some other breast pumps, which makinpumping in public, at work, or near a sleeping baby a lot easier and discreet.
  • There are two lighting levels for the built-in nightlight.
  • It can also memorize and go back to your most used settings each time, so you won’t have to put in your preferences each pump session if you don’t want to.

Cons

  • It is a bit more expensive than the Spectra S2 and overall, may seem a little pricey for some parents.
  • The initial charge when you first purchase the pump can take a long time and potentially last longer than overnight to get that first full charge.
  • Buying spare parts for the S1 can add up and get a little expensive.

Reviews

“Wow. Just wow. Why did I not hear of this pump sooner? Comfortable, portable, lightweight, oh- and more than double the milk!! Seriously, it is almost a crime that the insurance companies just give out inferior pumps when this is available. I was concerned when returning to work with my second baby that I would not be able to produce enough milk… Now, those worries are gone.”  – Candice Hansen on Amazon.

“Had a chance to loan the S2 from my midwife and was sold. I bought the S1 after returning the loaned pump and have no regrets. Decided on S1 as it has a rechargeable battery, so while it’s a bit more expensive upfront, it was totally worth it. I didn’t have to worry which room at work I was going to use each day to pump as I didn’t need to be near an outlet. While I didn’t try using it in my car, I knew it was an option in a pinch.” – A. Mueller on Amazon.

“Never thought I’d leave my Medelas behind, but I’ve been converted. The price is excellent, and the ability of this pump is out of this world! I’m an exclusive pumper and have been for the last 7 months. I spend about 4 hours a day when all is said and done hooked up to this guy, and it’s not painful! Not only that but the spectra does a better job at fully emptying the breast as well. I wish I had started out with the spectra instead of the Medela Freestyle.” – Matthew Parkhill on Amazon.

Spectra S2 Electric Breast Pump

Just because the Spectra S2 Electric Breast Pump came after the S1, it doesn’t make it any less important or well loved by moms everywhere.

In fact, it weighs just two and a half pounds, so less than the S1, and comes with a multi-volt power adapter so that you can use it in any country, which makes it great for traveling. It’s also incredibly quiet and operates at just 45 decibels, which is equivalent to the sound (or lack thereof) of a library.

So you can easily pump in a library or at work or even right next to your sleeping partner in bed without the worry of disturbing anyone. Like the S1, it has a nightlight to see the display in the dark in the middle of the night and it also an auto timer to turn off automatically after 30 minutes of use. Since it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, this isn’t to preserve any battery life, but instead meant to make pumping easier on you.

It does come with a back flow protector, but the tubes are also designed with a closed pumping system. This keeps the tubing dry during and after pumping to help prevent mold or bacteria build-up and to also prevent such things from getting into the pumped milk in the bottles provided.

Features

  • Battery Life: Since the S2 comes with a power cord and AC adapter, it does not have a built-in battery or the capacity for adding disposable batteries of your own.
  • Accessories: The pump comes with two wide neck bottles, flanges, tubing, backflow protectors, and power cord.
  • Suction Levels: There are 12 different suction levels to choose from each session, but you can also set the pump to remember your preferred speeds.
  • Where To Buy: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon or in-store at Buy Buy Baby.

Pros

  • It’s less expensive than the Spectra S1, which could be the primary deciding factor for some families.
  • The closed pumping system helps keep your baby’s pumped milk as fresh and bacteria-free as possible.
  • It also weighs less than the Spectra S1, so taking it out of your home or traveling with it can be a bit easier.
  • There’s also a car adapter that can be used to pump in your car if you need to.

Cons

  • Without a rechargeable battery or a way to insert batteries, the S2 must be plugged in while in use.
  • After several months of use, the suction power may start to feel as though it’s becoming weak.
  • In fact, when using the pump as a dual pump, which it’s designed for, the suction doesn’t feel as strong on both breasts.

Reviews

Spectra S2 Electric Breast Pump

“I’m loving this pump. For the past 10 months, I’ve been using the Medela PISA and have always been able to produce enough. It’s loud and uncomfortable. On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to try out the spectra. Amazing. It’s so quiet. It’s so different. The pump feel is more of a quivering suck and more closely mimics the suck of my baby. In fact, I now get a second let down two out of three pumping sessions per day which means a lot more milk.” – Jessica Stevens on Amazon.

“So I’ve been using a Medela pump since coming home from the hospital. I heard from a friend about this pump, and she was right! This pump is quiet. So much more so than the Medela. This pump doesn’t pump, it suckles. I get a letdown almost immediately and get milk steadily for about ten minutes. I get more milk in a shorter amount of time. This pump is gentle. It doesn’t quite feel like a baby, however, it is so much more comfortable than the Medela.” – Jennifer Flaherty on Amazon.

“Was very nervous about buying a pump because I didn’t know which one would be the best. After looking around for a while, I decided on this one, and I was not disappointed. This pump is incredibly comfortable, and I got much more milk from this pump then my Medela hand pump. It is very easy on the nipples whereas the hand pump was fairly aggressive. I do appreciate the fluttering that the pump creates, it is a very natural feeling as I both pump and breastfeed. The Spectra S2 is fairly quiet and does not disturb my baby which I greatly appreciate.” – Sarah Brewer on Amazon.

The Verdict

Obviously the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are nearly identical and plenty difficult to tell apart.

But when it really comes down to it, the Spectra S1 Electric Breast Pump is the stronger option here. Really, it’s mainly because it has a rechargeable battery, which the Spectra S2 sadly does not offer users. For the S2, you have to use the AC adapter.

Other than that, they are virtually the same product and offer the same ease of use and convenience with the double pumping possibility. Their costs are each close enough to the other that cost isn’t a huge issue here and they’re both reliable hospital-grade electric breast pumps. You just can’t ignore the convenience of the Spectra S1 having a rechargeable battery. That in itself is a nearly priceless feature.

Final Thoughts

If the whole battery thing isn’t a big issue for you and you don’t mind relying on an AC adapter for each pump, then it probably won’t matter to you which Spectra you purchase. But there’s something so convenient and reliable about a pump with a built-in rechargeable battery that just makes you feel at ease using it each time.

Yes, you have to be sure to keep it charged enough before you leave home for the day, but you won’t have to contend with any additional cords or plugs while you’re pumping. On the flip side, having an AC adapter means never having to worry about charging anything, but given a choice between the two, the Spectra S1 is just a step above the S2.

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