Which is better, Medela Advanced Pump In Style or Spectra S1?

Now that Breastfeeding Support & Supplies carries both the Medela Advanced Pump in Style and the Spectra S1, customers want to know — which is the better breastpump? First of all, both the Medela Advanced Pump In Style and the Spectra S1 are excellent breastpumps. Most moms will be very happy with either of these pumps. Medela has been around for decades and has proven they make an excellent breastpump. For many years, this was the pump that moms who went back to work full-time were using. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz among moms with the Spectra. It’s fairly new and moms are excited to have another good option to choose from.

What is the difference between the two and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them?

medela logoMedela was founded in 1961 in Switzerland, so they’ve had many years to perfect their product. They also have excellent customer service. Medela understands the crisis that arises if a breastpump stops working. Mothers have shared over the years how well Medela has responded when they had a problem with their breastpump and have quickly received a new breastpump or motor in the mail. Medela breastpumps and replacement parts are also readily available in many stores. If you are traveling away from home and you lose or break a pump part, it can be easily replaced. Medela breastpumps have a one year warranty.

spectra logoSpectra was brought to the United States in 2001 after being discovered by a Registered Nurse and IBCLC. It has been available in Omaha for purchase in just recent years. Moms have found that the Spectra pump can sometimes be difficult to purchase due to being out of stock or on back order. Perhaps this will improve as the company gets more established. There are limited places that carry the Spectra breastpumps and even fewer options for buying replacement parts. It is still an unknown on how helpful customer service is going to be in helping moms with breastpumps that are not working or replacement parts that are needed. Spectra does have a two year warranty on their pumps.

Phase Technology

Both breastpumps have the two phase technology to mimic a baby’s sucking pattern but they each differ in how they work. The Medela pumps have the letdown phase for two minutes and then they automatically go into the second phase but this timing can be adjusted with the letdown button. The timing of the letdown phase on the Spectra pump is regulated by the mom. It can be in the initial phase for as long as she needs and when she goes to the second phase, she has a range of how fast she can have it cycle.


The Medela breastpumps need to be plugged in but they do have a battery adapter which takes eight AA batteries. A separate adapter can also be purchased to plug it in to your car lighter. The Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery built into the pump and it can also be plugged into an outlet. Since the battery is built into the pump, there is no way to replace it when it dies. The motor of the Advanced Pump In Style is built into the bag, so the entire bag needs to go where ever it is plugged in. They also have the versatility of two bag options of either the tote or backpack style. The motor on the Spectra is larger but it is separate from the bag.


As far as accessories, both breastpumps come with a cooler, ice pack and four bottles. The Spectra includes two wide based nipples. The Medela breastpump comes with the 24 mm breastshield, but there are four other size options available for purchase. The Spectra pump comes with both a 24 and 28 mm breastshield. Both pumps come with tubing, but the Spectra has a membrane barrier between the pump and mom so no moisture or milk can get into the tubing. Moisture and even breastmilk can get into the Medela tubing if it is accidentally dumped upside down. Moisture can easily be cleared from the tubing by letting it run a few minutes after mom is done pumping.


Both breastpumps have a button or dial to control the strength of suction. This helps moms always have it at a comfortable suction level. But, one of the nice extra features on the Spectra breastpump is that it has a light that can be handy for night time pumping.

Which one is better?

So when it comes to which breastpump is better, both the Medela and Spectra breastpumps have advantages and disadvantages. When a mom’s insurance qualifies her for one of these pumps, Breastfeeding Support & Supplies offers moms the storage bag, cooler and ice pack, as well as all the parts needed for pumping. Diane Erdmann RN IBCLC shows moms how to use their breastpump and answers questions. She explains the differences between the pumps and lets moms choose the one that better fits her needs.

Contact Diane today to find out if your insurance covers a breastpump or to get started on finding out which pump will be the better fit for you!

[wysija_form id=”1″]