Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump In Style: Which Should You Choose?

You’ve done your research and you’ve finally narrowed down your breast pump search to two of the heavy-hitting models on the market – the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump In Style. You don’t mind paying a little extra for quality, but you can’t decide which pump will be best for you.

Our review, which pits the Spectra S2 vs Medela Pump In Style, will help you finally decide which one to order.


Side By Side Comparison

Spectra S2Medela PIS
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Our Rating4.74.4
Warranty2 Year1 Year
Weight3.3 Pounds7 Pounds
AC AdapterIncludedIncluded
BatteriesNo8AA (Not Included)
Car AdapterSold SeperatelySold Seperately
Pump TypeDouble ElectricDouble Electric
SystemClosed SystemOpen System
SettingsAdjustableDial
DisplayLCDNone
Bag OptionsNoOn-the-go Tote, Backback, Metro Bag™
Bottles2 Included4 Included
CoolerSold SeperatelyIncluded (Holds 4)
PlasticBPA FreeBPA Free
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Spectra S2 Features

  • Closed system that offers backflow protection.
  • Suction adjustable in both expression and letdown modes.
  • The pump has a timer and nightlight.
  • The breast pump motor only weighs four pounds.
  • An affordable option for a double electric breast pump.
  • Push buttons instead of dials.
  • Quiet pumping experience.

What Makes the Spectra S2 Better?

It's hygienic

Backflow protection from a closed system ensures that your breast milk won’t be contaminated by mold or bacteria. When milk flows back into the tubing like it can with some open systems, you have to clean the tubing or run the risk of contamination the next time you pump milk.

It’s quieter than the Pump In Style

This breast pump is super quiet, which moms who want a little peace and quiet, especially if pumping at work, will appreciate.

Highly customizable settings

Adjustable suction in both the expression and letdown modes allows you to find a comfortable setting that works for you. If there’s no pain when you breastfeed, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

It's much lighter than the Pump in Style

With its four-pound weight, the Spectra S2 breast pump motor won’t be too heavy to carry with you if you need to pump while you are at work, and it won’t feel like you’ve been lifting weights at the gym after you carry it from room to room in your house.

It's cheaper than the Pump in Style

Money is tight when you have a baby on the way. You need a crib, a changing table, sheets, blankets, bottles, clothes and diapers, just to name a few things. The fact the Spectra S2 is so affordable is a big plus for money-strapped moms.

It has buttons instead of dials

Some moms like buttons better than dials on their breast pumps because they like the one-touch feature.


Medela Pump In Style Features

  • Comes with a microfiber bag that holds the built-in pump.
  • Also includes a cooler bag with an ice pack that can contour bottles.
  • Has two-phase expression technology and a one-touch letdown button.
  • Comes with four bottles that can fit into the cooler.

What Does the Pump In Style Do Better?

It's easy to organize

The microfiber bag offers a good, tidy solution to making sure all the breast pump parts are kept together so you don’t find yourself missing a piece or two when you go to use it. Plus, even the pump fits inside the microfiber bag and is secured with a Velcro strap, which means it won’t slip and slide around.

You can pump on the go, without worrying about spoilled milk

The cooler bag gives moms who pump away from the house peace of mind that the breast milk they worked hard to express won’t go to waste. The bag can hold four bottles of breast milk and keep them cold until you can get home to put them in the refrigerator or freezer.

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It's time efficient

The two-phase expression technology, along with the one-touch letdown button, will help women pump more milk at a quicker rate if they use the Maximum Comfort Vacuum in the expression phase. The letdown setting lets their bodies know to release their breast milk.

New moms don’t have enough time as it is. They need a breast pump that will save them precious minutes per pumping session so they can get some extra work or snuggling time in.

It comes with a lot of nice-to-haves

Bottles can be pricey. Having four bottles included with this kit helps justify some of the money that you’ll spend on it.


Which Is Right For You?

Both these pumps offer top-notch quality, and will appeal to moms who are looking for breast pumps that have a great reputation for performance.

But in my experience, each of these pumps is best for the following situation:

  • Moms who plan to work after the birth of their baby should consider the Spectra S2 because it is a quieter pump. Women who pump at work will want to minimize the sounds of the pump for the sake of privacy.
  • Women who want to pump milk as quickly as possible so it doesn’t interfere as much with their day-to-day life, would be better off with the Pump In Style.
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10 Reader Comments

  1. Susan

    I’m just wondering if you have any advice on which breast pump is best. I will be going back to work, and I’m doing rotations. So, I don’t have the option of staying home at this time. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thank you

    • Jenny Silverstone

      Hi Susan,

      I do not have personal experience with the Spectra S2. But I used the Medela Pump In Style with all of my children and loved it. Do any other mama’s have experience with both? I’d love to hear some personal stories.

  2. Katie

    I have used both the Medela and the Spectra. I liked the Medela more, only because it was easier to use. There were only two dials on the Medela, and it emptied out faster. I loved the idea of the Spectra, but the Medela won out for me. Good luck!

    • Jenny Silverstone

      Thanks for sharing your experience! I liked how fast the Medela emptied out as well. It made pumping so much more bearable when I went back to work after having my oldest.

  3. Tina

    Hi,

    I used the PISA with my first child and the S2 with my second and now my current 3rd. I much prefer the S2 over the PISA. I find it to be faster and better at emptying. That is what I liked the most. A few other things you may like (didn’t really matter to me) is that the S2 is quieter and is lightweight. The light feature is also nice. The S2 is a closed system which is awesome and the safest choice. The review states that the PISA is a closed system, but mine was not. The one I have is from 5 years ago, so maybe they have finally made the switch to a closed system.

    The PISA is slow, or just not as fast as the S2, in my opinion. It is sort of loud, but again that is something I care about. The fact that it can be used with batteries is great. Also, most bottles fit the pump whereas with the S2 only their bottles and Avent fit (could be some others but I had some free Avents and they fit). There are many hacks to fitting other bottles with the S2 but I just use their bottles and pour them into my Dr. Browns (I’m already washing a ton of stuff anyway so a few more pieces is not a deal breaker for me).

    Both are great pumps but I definitely choose the S2. Plus it is well less than half the cost of the PISA. I actually purchased the Medela with my first because I knew nothing about the Spectra (never even heard of it), but my insurance covered both my Spectras. They both still work… I keep one at work and use the other at home. The PISA was an option under my insurance plan but I was in pursuit of the BEST and I feel it is the Spectra. Both brands are also quite durable. I breastfeed for 2 years (nursing and pumping the first year only) and both brands are still working.

    • Team Mom Loves Best

      Thank you so much, Tina, for sharing your thoughts in detail. We truly appreciate your comment. We double checked your information about the Medela pump and you’re right! It’s an open system. We’ve made corrections accordingly. We definitely appreciate both pumps for their individual strengths and durability and hope to guide moms in choosing what’s right for them! Thanks again for this great comparison between both brands!

  4. Jean

    Great overview! I do think every woman is different but would like to point out that I think most women find the Spectras to be more efficient. This is the first review I’ve ever read saying Medela is quicker. I am sure it’s true for some, but the vast majority in my online and real life bf groups prefer Spectra bc it’s easier and faster. Just my two cents.

    • Team Mom Loves Best

      Hi Jean! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We agree with you that it’s different for everyone 🙂

  5. I agree that the spectra is more efficient. I used the Medela with my first. It is a louder machine and would sometimes be uncomfortable to pump with it when I needed to increase suction.

    My cousin gave me the spectra for my second child and I love it!!! What a game changer! It is quiet and allows me to adjust suction and cycles to fit my needs to efficiently pump. The Medela, in my opinion, was harder to make these adjustments.

    I am so happy with the Spectra that I am going to purchase the S9 plus for when I go back to work.

    I have also found that the Avent bottles fit on the Spectra as mentioned by Tina but I also purchased the adapter so that I can use my Medela bottles as well.

    I hope that this helps!

    • Team Mom Loves Best

      Thanks, A! This is an incredibly helpful comment for the mamas in the comments section. Thanks for sharing your experience. Are you looking forward to getting back to work, or will you miss your little one a lot? (We’re guessing a little bit of both? :)) All the best!

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