Are you trying to decide between Spectra S1 vs Medela?
Then let us help you decide which is the best Spectra pump for you and your baby: Medela vs Spectra s1 plus!
If you are shopping around for a new breast pump, then you have probably come across the Spectra S1 and the Medela Freestyle.
Both of these pumps come from well-established and much-loved brands, so choosing between these two devices is not as straightforward as you might expect.
Your choice will probably boil down to which type of breast pump is more convenient and necessary for you: a large and efficient breast pump or a tiny and portable breast pump.
If you’re split between Spectra and Medela, rest assured that neither is a bad choice! However, before you make your purchase, there are a few points to consider – which will make your pumping experience a lot more enjoyable.
In this review, we will cover all of the essential features of both of these pumps, so you will know exactly what you are buying.
We have also included a pro and cons list for each, so you can see at a glance which pump is right for you.
And if you love this Spectra s1 vs Medela freestyle flex breast pump comparisons guide, make sure to check out our guides on best pumping bra for Spectra, Spectra S1 vs S2 vs S9, and Medela vs Spectra S2. Or even this Medela Pump In Style Vs Spectra S2 review.
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Spectra S1 vs Medela
Let’s dive in and take a look what is the difference between Spectra s1 vs Medela freestyle.
All About Spectra S1
The Spectra S1 pump is a closed-loop breast pump that comes equipped with everything you need to begin pumping immediately.
With your purchase, you get 2 bottles, lids, and tubing. You will also get two of each size flange.
This pump is pretty nice to operate and features straightforward controls. Its strength and speed can be adjusted effortlessly, and the large, clear digital display makes it straightforward to identify and pick your preferred settings.
Additionally, the clarity of the information provided on the display makes it straightforward to repeat the cycle and keep the same settings from the previous pumping session.
The Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery, which enables you to continue pumping even when you are not connected to an electrical outlet.
This is particularly advantageous if you have more youngsters to chase or want to pump while doing activities like cooking.
- Mimics the feel of natural breastfeeding – this pump simulates the feeling of you breastfeeding a baby, which helps in getting the milk out easily and effectively
- Single and double pump – you can use this device on one or two breasts at the same time
- Quiet – you won’t have to worry about disturbing your sleeping baby as you pump close by
- Night-light – this is a cool feature that not a lot of people pay attention to. This nightlight makes pumping at night much simpler, and can also be useful to turn on if you are doing nighttime feeds
- The cooler is not very durable – having a cooler on hand as you pump is vital in keeping your milk fresh. Unfortunately, the included cooler tends to snag or rip when caught on something, or just through daily use
Medela Freestyle Overview
In 2020, Medela introduced the Freestyle Flex, an enhanced version of the Freestyle breast pump.
This is a smaller, lighter, and quieter version that includes Bluetooth and monitoring software to help battle mom-brain.
You may charge the device using the USB charger included or by purchasing an AC converter.
The battery gives up to two hours of pumping time — although this time is significantly reduced when pumping two breasts simultaneously.
The Freestyle Flex is completely hands-free and may be used for single or double pumping.
However, the Medela Easy ExpressionTM Bustier must be purchased separately to allow for hands-free operation of the breast pump.
- Small – makes this perfect for on the go pumping
- Super lightweight – weighing just 9.5 ounces, this aids in making this pump very portable. It also means that the pump will not pull you down as you use it
- Connected app – the smartphone app, which connects to your phone using Bluetooth, is super useful. Among other things, it shows you how long you have been pumping and how much milk you have produced
- Short battery life – able to pump for just two hours on a single charge, it may be very inconvenient for you to keep charging these pumps. That is why this product is more suitable for someone who only has to pump now and then
- Suction and cycle are difficult to change – though you can change some of the settings on this pump when it first comes on it automatically picks a setting, which can feel a bit weird if you are not prepared
Medela vs Spectra s1
Now you’ve got a better understanding of these breast pumps individually, let’s compare some of the key product features.
The Spectra pump is rather large compared to other pumps out there.
It has an LCD display and seven settings for regulating suction and speed, switching between Expression and Massage modes, and a setting to dim the built-in small night light.
Medela Freestyle is around the size of a smartphone. In comparison to Spectra, Medela has a digital control panel (which lights in low light) that allows you to adjust the pumping strength and switch between pumping modes.
Speed, Strength, And Adjustability
To help with the letdown, Spectra and Medela pump express milk in a two-phase method that resembles a baby’s sucking behavior.
Each pump includes a letdown/massage mode that, when used in conjunction with the pump’s high suction, enhances milk flow. After detecting letdown, you can switch to expression mode, which runs at a slower tempo.
You may adjust the settings at any stage with both of these devices, though Spectra gives you far more options than the Medela pump.
Not only is it more efficient in sucking breastmilk, but it also allows for greater personalization.
This enables you to easily select a speed (5 levels) and suction strength (12 levels) that is both comfortable and gives an acceptable outcome.
Another noteworthy difference is that Spectra allows for separate adjustment of suction speed (cycles per minute) and suction strength from 38 to 54 CPM in expression mode.
On the other hand, the Medela Freestyle’s pace does not change independently of the strength; it moves in lockstep with it.
Additionally, Medela commences letdown mode immediately upon power-on, whereas Spectra begins in expression mode and requires a single button press to engage the massage (letdown) phase.
It’s worth noting that some moms remain in letdown mode, while others switch between the two. Everything is dependent on your degree of comfort and milk supply/flow.
Spectra has shown to be the best option for many women who have used both breast pumps – it is great for increasing breast milk production and is incredibly successful at establishing and maintaining a supply.
Not only is it more powerful and quicker in extracting breast milk, but it also offers additional customization choices for your comfort level and desired volume.
Medela pumps are far more versatile and portable than Spectra pumps. The Freestyle is relatively little, weighing about 0.6 pounds.
It is small enough to fit into a mom’s handbag or diaper bag. The compact and lightweight design of the Freestyle makes it a perfect travel breast pump.
Spectra S1 is not massive, yet it is still bigger than the Medela pump. It’s far larger than the Medela pump and will almost certainly take up all of your diaper bags.
Nonetheless, traveling with Spectra and utilizing it on the go are both possible. Due to the rechargeable adapter, you can even charge this device in your car and pump it on the go!
The Medela Freestyle features a flat control panel with adjustable pressure points. The adjustment points remain illuminated when the pump is on, and a lit-up number indicates the pumping level.
Additionally, the Medela Freestyle includes a battery level display and a timer with a countdown function. This gives you the ability to control the duration of your pumping session.
The display on the Spectra S1 gives you a lot of information. The suction level, battery level, letdown mode, and cycle speed are all displayed on this panel.
Due to the lack of illumination on the display, you may either leave it dark or use the built-in nightlight to illuminate it.
Though Spectra does not have a connect app for their pumps, Medela does. Medela Freestyle links to a phone app through Bluetooth.
It enables you to monitor your milk production volume, as well as the frequency and length of your pumping sessions.
Additionally, the app will warn you when the pump needs to be recharged, which is very handy.
The Medela Freestyle Flex’s maximum run time is two hours on a full charge, which may not be sufficient for a long day at work.
On the other hand, the Spectra S1 has three-hour battery life. This is still a pretty shot but at least it is an hour longer than Medela.
Keeping the battery life in mind is especially important if you pump at work but lack access to a charging station.
Which Pump Is Best: Spectra s1 or Medela
The Spectra S1 is the best choice out of the two here because it allows for independent control of the cycle rate and suction level.
This versatility makes it a pleasure to use and helps you to fine-tune your pumping routine as you and your baby’s demands change.
As well as this, the display and night light are also excellent features.
If you require complete mobility, the Medela Freestyle is significantly easier to use on the go. The only restriction is that you must first purchase their hands-free pumping bra.
While the Medela lacks the Spectra’s degree of control, it is still an excellent pump. It is without a doubt the finest solution if portability is your main issue.
Final Thoughts on Spectra s1 vs Medela Freestyle Flex
So, those are all the similarities and differences between the Medela Freestyle vs Spectra s1 – but which one is the better product?
Whilst both pumps are great choices, overall, we would choose the Spectra s1 for it’s independent control of the cycle rate and suction level and lower price.
We hope this guide on Spectra 1 vs Medela has helped you decide which pump will best suit your needs.
And if you’re looking for more great guides, make sure to check out these guides on Lansinoh Smartpump 2.0 vs Spectra S2, Spectra S1 vs S2, best mini fridge for breast milk, and best bottles for breastfed babies.