A Spectra breast pump is high on the shopping list for many new moms. They are one of the most popular and trusted breast pump brands, and this leaves the final decision of which model to choose?
The S1 and S2 breast pumps are actually very similar. With performance and functions very closely aligned. But, the price points are quite different.
So what are you giving up to save some money?
In this article, we will compare all features and take an in-depth look at both pumps. This will help you determine which one is right for you and how much you want to spend.
In This Post:
Spectra S1 vs S2: Quick Comparison
If you don’t want to read our full Spectra S1 vs S2 comparison, the fast answer is to buy the S1 if you need a portable breast pump with a built-in battery, and buy the S2 if you want the cheaper model.
Why Choose A Spectra Breast Pump?
Spectra has some of the best double electric breast pumps on the market, mostly due to the fact that their products focus on Natural Nursing Technology for women.
These features help make breast pumping more comfortable and feel more natural.
No mother wants to feel like they are being milked by a machine. You are actually not as efficient if your breast pump doesn’t mimic the natural patterns of a nursing baby.
This is where Spectra excels.
With customizable settings, you can work through all the phases of breastfeeding, from suckling and pre-letdown all the way through post-letdown.
You also have full control over the speed and suction strength, so you can always find a setting that is most comfortable for you.
You can tell that a lot of thought went into the design of Spectra’s products. They build them to last, equipping them with a powerful motor that is quieter than most other breast pumps.
There is no denying that the S1 breast pump is Spectra’s most highly rated product. It is most praised for its efficiency and portability.
This hospital grade pump allows you to pump one or both breasts at the same time, increasing your efficiency per pumping session.
This can really be a lifesaver when you only have a short break at work to pump.
While the rechargeable battery does help with portability, the overall size of this pump can make transporting it a bit tricky.
You also have fully customizable settings on the pump motor, with 2 phase suction and 12 levels of adjustable suction strength. The pump also remembers your last settings so you don’t have to restart at your next pumping session.
The most unique feature of the S1 breast pump is its built-in rechargeable battery. This will give you about three hours of battery life while the device is away from a power outlet.
With your Spectra S1 breast pump, you get everything you need to start your pumping journey:
- Pump motor with built-in rechargeable battery
- A pair of breast flanges
- Duckbill valves
- Two bottles with nipples and sealing discs
- A pair of backflow protectors
- Two sets of tubing
- An AC power adapter
Additional parts are available for purchase, which will be a necessity over time. The duckbill valves have a tendency to wear out over time and not stay attached while pumping.
- Equipped with an inbuilt rechargeable battery
- Hospital grade double/single pump with quiet motor
- Customizable settings with 2 phase cycling and adjustable suction strength
- Closed system with Spectra backflow protector keeps motor and tubing clean and dry
- Includes a timer to track pumping duration
- Tubing and duckbill valves can stretch out and fall off while pumping
- Only comes with two flange sizes and are expensive to purchase separately
- Needs an adapter to pump into bottles other than Spectra brand
- More expensive than the S2
The Spectra S2 pump has all of the same features included with the S1 pump except for the rechargeable battery.
You still get the same suction level, and the ability to single or double pump
You also have all of the customizable settings that will help make your breast pumping session more comfortable and productive.
Just like with the S1, the S2 features a closed system with the Spectra backflow protector to keep the tubing and motor clean and dry.
No need to worry about moisture buildup and bacteria growth with this protective feature.
In addition to the pump itself, your purchase comes with everything you need to start pumping. All of the tubing and pump attachments, as well as two bottles to catch milk and feed your baby, are included in the box.
Depending on your breast size, you may need to look into the other breast flange sizes available from Spectra. The pump itself only comes with the standard size, which may not be right for you.
If you find that your pumping sessions are uncomfortable or just not as efficient as they should be, try changing flange sizes.
It may seem like this pump is just slightly subpar compared to the S1 because it does not have a rechargeable built in battery.
However, the price of the S2 is lower and is a small concession for those on a budget.
- Double/single pump with a quiet motor
- Includes a timer to track pumping duration
- Customizable settings with 2 phase cycling and adjustable suction strength
- All parts are BPA/DEHP free
- Spectra backflow protector keeps motor and tubing clean and dry
- Only pumps into Spectra bottles if you don’t have an adapter
- Duckbill valve has a tendency to fall off while pumping
- There is no option to use this pump with batteries
- Only comes with two flange sizes and are expensive to buy separately
Common Features & Performance
Both of these pumps share a lot of the same features. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
When it comes to breast pumps, there are two types of systems that are used: open and closed.
Choosing one over the over can make a very big difference when it comes to the cleanliness of your pump.
Closed systems are preferred. These pumps are made with special barriers and filters that prevent milk from entering the tubing and motor.
Extra moisture ending up where it’s not supposed to be may not only damage the motor, but it can also lead to bacteria growth which may end up in your pumped milk.
Having a breast pump with a closed system can keep your baby healthy and cut down on the hassle of cleaning those tiny and hard to reach places.
Both the Spectra S1 and S2 pumps are designed this way and is a big reason so many mothers and professionals recommend these breast pumps.
With so many modes available on both the Spectra S1 and S2 breast pumps, you have full control every stage of your pumping session.
There are 12 different levels of suction power with a maximum strength of 270mmHg.
Both Spectra pumps will also cycle through multiple pumping modes to simulate the natural progression of a feeding session:
- Massage mode – to trigger your body’s let down reflex.
- Expression mode – to simulate the sucking motion of your baby feeding.
When you establish a flow that works for you there are memory settings that will record the speed and power of the suction so you can just press a button and have the same experience time and time again.
This feature is a huge time saver!
Both the Spectra S1 and S2 have some nice built-in features that make your pumping session a little bit easier.
First, there is a built-in auto timer. This will help you keep track of your sessions without needing to remember to set one or looking at the clock to track your time.
Pumping at night is also easier with these pumps. The motor is one of the quietest on the market. No need to worry about waking your spouse or little one even when you are pumping right next to them.
The built-in night light will give you enough light without waking yourself or anyone else up by turning on the overhead light.
Some plastics should be avoided when it comes to food storage, especially when it comes to the breast milk you will be feeding your baby. Bottles made with BPA – a chemical used to harden plastics – may put your little one at risk for issues with their endocrine system.
However, more tests need to be done to determine how harmful BPA is for children.
Until then, it is just better to play it safe and avoid plastics that have BPA. Thankfully, all of the plastic parts included with both the Spectra S1 and S2 breast pumps – including the tubing, breast flanges, and capture bottles – are BPA free to keep your baby’s milk safe.
Difference Between Spectra S1 And S2
With all of the similarities between these two pumps, there is really only one feature per pump that distinguishes one from the other. For the S1, it’s the battery; for the S2, it’s the price.
Why Choose The S1?
The biggest difference between the Spectra S1 and S2 is the built-in battery. This is a game changer for the moms who need to pump on the go.
Not always needing access to electricity means that the S1 is more portable than the S2.
You just need to make sure the battery is charged before you leave the house and you can get roughly 3 hours of continuous pumping power before it needs to be charged again.
It does take about four hours to charge the battery of the
Why Choose The S2?
Without a rechargeable battery, some may ask why they should consider the Spectra S2 over the S1.
However, the lower price point for the Spectra S2 could make this one the better choice for the budget conscious shopper.
On a new pump, you will save about $50 with the S2. It may not seem like much at first, but considering how many diapers that money can buy your little one, it can really make a big difference.
Which is better – Spectra S1 or S2?
When choosing between the S1 and S2 model you need to weigh up the importance of portability and cost.
If you can afford it, and you need to pump in various locations then the S1 is the right breast pump for you.
However, if your budget is lower and you will be pumping mostly at home then the S2 model will do an excellent job. You can supplement your pumping with a cheap manual breast pump if the need arises.
Is the Spectra S1 and S2 Hospital Grade?
Yes, both the Spectra S1 and S2 are hospital grade as defined by the following parameters:
- Capable of initiating and supporting milk supply.
- Able to be used by multiple users safely and hygienically.
- Durable enough to be used by a mum expressing often (i.e. 8 x a day) and has a long motor life.
It should be noted that the FDA does not recognize the term hospital grade. These standards are directly from Spectra, and further highlights the importance of buying your breast pump from an established and reputable brand.
Are the Spectra S1 and S2 better than the Medela Range?
The Spectra and the Medela are both top of the range breast pumps, and whether one is better depends on your intended use.
A key point of difference is that the Medela Pump in Style comes with an included carry bag and cooler, which really pushes that portability angle… But it’s heavier!
You can check out a full comparison of the Medela Pump in Style vs Spectra S2 here.
Will my Insurance Cover a Spectra Breast Pump?
If you are buying your breast pump through your insurance company then make sure you check your level of coverage first, and if you are able to choose the model you want.
Some insurance companies may only allow you to purchase the cheaper S2 breast pump.
If you want the S1 and are not fully covered then you may have the option to pay the excess cost for the more expensive model.
Can I Buy Spare Pump Parts Separately?
Yes, you can buy spare parts for your spectra pumps in a complete pack of replacements (flange, backflow protector, duckbill valve, tube).
Just make sure you select the correct size relative to your nipple.
Or, you can buy each part individually:
- Backflow Protector
If you are looking to save money then there are other brands like Maymom who claim to be compatible with the Spectra S1 and s2.
We have not tested this out and would recommend you stick to genuine spectra breast flanges and parts for your device.
Spectra breast pumps are amongst the best available on the market, particularly the S1 and S2 models. Both pumps are quiet, efficient, and overall very comfortable through the use of massage and expression mode.
You can really tell they put a lot of thought into the design of these pumps, right down to the little features, like the built-in night light and timer with automatic shut-off.
You really can’t go wrong with either pump. Choosing one over the other is merely a decision of whether you need the built in battery or not, or if you need to the cheaper option of the S2.
I hope you have enjoyed our summary of the Spectra S1 vs s2. Which breast pump will you choose?
For More Breast Pump Related Content
If you are a working mom then you may need a good bag to go with your new Spectra breast pump. We have put together a complete guide on the best breast pump bags, which can be a godsend for working moms especially!
If you want to see how the Spectra breast pumps measure up against others on the market check out our full list of the best breast pumps for frequent pumpers.