Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump In Style

Reviewed by Nicole Lee, MPH, RN, CEN, TCRN, CLCWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Mostly, there is no need for a breast pump while breastfeeding. There are certain times, however, when one does become necessary. One of the most common times is when mom and baby are apart for certain periods during the day.

Here, we compare two top breast pump models to help you decide what’s best.

Side by side comparison

Spectra S2 Medela Pump In Style Advanced
PriceCheck priceCheck price
Warranty2 year 1 year
Weight3.3 lbs. 7 lbs.
BatteriesNo 8AA (not included)
AC AdaptorYes Yes
Pump StyleDouble electric Double Electric
SystemClosed Open
SettingsAdjustable Dial
DisplayLCD No
PlasticBPA free BPA free
Travel ReadyNo Yes (On-the-go Tote)
CoolerNo Yes

What is the Spectra S2?

The Spectra S2 (check price on Amazonis a hospital-grade breast pump created by Spectra Baby USA, a company owned and run by registered nurses and Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

This model has a single and double pump with a closed system that creates a barrier between the pump and the milk.

This prevents airflow between milk and tubing to ensure the breast milk won’t be contaminated by bacteria and viruses during the pumping process.

The unit has customizable settings which enable mom to set it precisely to her body’s personal response and flow.

It has adjustable suction and 2-phase cycling in both expression and let-down modes.

All parts that come in contact with mothers’ milk are BPA/DEHP-free. The system includes everything necessary for mom to safely and easily begin breast pumping.

It also includes a timer and nightlight for extra convenience.

What is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced (P.I.S.)?

The Medela Pump (check price on Amazon) is a double electric breast pump that received recognition as the #1 physician-recommended breast pump product in the USA. It’s designed for moms who pump several times a day on a daily basis.

It was created to resemble a nursing baby for a comfortable feel and optimal flow. It’s designed with 2-Phase Expression technology for efficient milk flow in less time.

The customizable settings allow mom to choose the speed and vacuum that works best with her body for a comfortable and efficient pumping experience.

The unit comes with an on-the-go tote for portable convenience. It includes a battery pack for discreet pumping whenever needed.

It also comes equipped with a built-in cooler bag and ice pack that can hold up to four bottles; ideal for keeping breast milk safely cooled.

Related: Ameda Purely Yours vs Medela Pump In Style (2021 Guide)

Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump In Style Advanced

Both breast pumping systems are electric double pumping units and are made with BPA-free plastic. The Spectra has a closed system for added safety from harmful bacteria, while the Medela pump is an open system.

The Spectra S2 has adjustable settings with an LCD display. The Medela pump has dial settings and comes with a tote that’s equipped with a battery pack and cooler, making it ideal for traveling.

Spectra S2: A Quick Overview

The Spectra S2 (check price on Amazon) is an ideal unit for moms, due to its lightweight build and affordable price. Its closed system provides backflow protection against harmful bacteria and mold.

It has a quiet pump, with a built-in timer and nightlight; great for night time use. It has an LCD screen and push buttons for easy use. The system has adjustable suction for both expression and letdown modes.

What we love
  • Closed system
  • Timer with nightlight
  • LCD screen
  • Quiet pump
Watch for
  • Not battery operated
  • Not travel-friendly

Key features

  • Closed system: The Spectra S2 is a closed system which protects against backflow, reassuring moms that their infant won’t be exposed to harmful bacteria or germs while feeding.
  • Quiet pump: With its quiet pump, moms can feel more comfortable using this unit while in the presence of others. It’s also ideal to use during night-time hours as it won’t disturb others.
  • Customizable settings: The settings on this unit allow for suction adjustments in both expression and letdown modes, making it a more comfortable experience for mums.
  • Check parent reviews on Amazon

Read our full review: Spectra S2 Breast Pump Review 2021 (Almost Great!)

What makes the Spectra S2 better than the Medela P.I.S.?

The Spectra S2 is an ideal breast pumping unit with a closed system.

Knowing that her baby won’t be inadvertently exposed to harmful germs, bacteria, mold, and viruses will give mom less to worry about.

Its lightweight size and customizable settings are also a definite plus with this unit.

Anything that makes life easier during the early months of parenthood is a huge benefit!

Medela Pump In Style Advanced: A Quick Overview

The Medela Pump In Style Advanced (check price on Amazon)  is a breast pumping unit that makes life a lot easier. It has an on-the-go travel tote and cooler that can hold up to 4 bottles, making it easier for mom to travel with or take to work.

It’s a double-pumping electric unit that can also operate from a battery pack. It has a 2-Phase Expression with a one-touch, let-down button.

What we love
  • Fast pumping for moms on the go
  • Includes on-the-go tote with cooler
  • Can be battery operated
Watch for
  • Open system
  • Heavy weight

Key features

  • 2-phase expression with one-touch letdown: Through the use of the Maximum Comfort Vacuum in the expression phase, mom can pump more milk at a faster rate. Busy moms will appreciate cutting down on the time usually needed for this process.
  • On-the-go tote: The unit comes with a microfiber bag that easily contains all the equipment needed for travel. It also has a cooler that can fit an ice pack plus four additional bottles.
  • Check parent reviews on Amazon

Read our full review: Medela Pump In Style Advanced review

What makes the Medela P.I.S. better than the Spectra S2?

These days, many moms decide to go back to work shortly after their baby is born, either out of necessity or by personal choice.

For whatever reason, those same moms want to continue providing their babies with the nourishment they’ve been receiving since birth.

The Medela Pump In Style Advanced unit is an ideal choice for moms on the go with its convenient travel tote, battery pack, cooler, and quick pumping ability.

Expert Note:

If you live in the USA, your medical insurance is required to cover the cost of a breast pump with each pregnancy!

There will usually be limited options that will vary depending on your insurance provider, so you may still decide to purchase a specific one on your own. Make sure to check though, in case the one you’re eyeing is an option!

Related: How to Reheat Breast Milk Safely

Which is right for you?

On one hand, the Medela Pump comes with a convenient on-the-go tote and cooler, making it an excellent choice for travel or taking to work.

On the other hand, Spectra’s closed system prevents harmful bacteria from getting into breast milk. Being able to travel easily with a pumping system is ideal and makes life a lot easier.

That said, speaking as a mom, I’d feel better knowing that my little one is safely getting the nourishment she needs without worrying if she’s ingesting some unfriendly bacteria on the side.

With this in mind, we rate the Spectra S2 (check price on Amazon) slightly higher than the Medela Pump In Style Advanced.

Reviewed by Nicole Lee, MPH, RN, CEN, TCRN, CLCWritten by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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picture of spectra and medela PIS breast pumps side by side