For new and expecting mothers, choosing a breast pump is one of the most important decisions you will make. While the Spectra S1 and S2 look almost identical at first glance, they are actually quite different in appearance and features. This blog post is an unbiased comparison between these two popular pumps to help you decide which model is best for your needs.
Spectra were acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2017 so the S1 and S2 models were discontinued in favor of newer versions such as the “S3”. The information on this page only applies to the older models: Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2.
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Spectra S1 vs S2 Design & Cleaning Pros and Cons
The Spectra S1 and the S2 are both closed system electric pumps, which means they do not require you to clean any tubes or valves. This is a big advantage compared to other pumps on the market that have their own unique cleaning requirements. To sanitize either of these models all you need to do is unscrew the bottle, boil them in water for 5 minutes, run them through the dishwasher, or wipe them down with rubbing alcohol. When it comes time to assemble your breast pump back together there are fewer parts than most other brands which make it easy to put together without needing special tools.
The Spectra S1 has 2 suction settings (low and high) while the S2 has 3 settings. The low suction setting is a little weaker than other pumps on the market making it a good choice for women who have a low milk supply. It also comes with a nice tote bag that you can use for carrying your pump around, but there are no pockets so you will need to find another way to hold your cell phone or keys.
Although both models have similar bottle sizes (5 oz), they do not come with any bottles included by default which means you’ll need to purchase them separately if you want enough milk storage for going back to work or going out of town. If you’re pumping up to 8 times per day then having at least spare bottles would be a great idea.
Even though the Spectra S1 and S2 are made by the same company there are a few differences in how they’re designed that could change your opinion about one model over the other. For example, the suction settings on the S2 are harder to press than on the S1 (the release button is not as responsive) which can make it difficult when trying to transition between each level of suction. The backlight screen on the S1 is much brighter than on the S2 making it easier to read even in bright light conditions. It’s also worth noting that both models use rechargeable batteries (not included).
Spectra vs Medela: Bottle Compatibility
If you plan on purchasing your own bottles then you should know that the Spectra S1 and S2 are not compatible with any other brands. Some Medela pumps (including the popular Medela Freestyle) can use other bottles if you buy an adapter kit but this is not possible with the Spectra models because of how their breast shields are designed to attach to each bottle.
Spectra S1 vs S2 Customer Service & Warranty
Most people never need to contact customer support for any reason, but if there’s a problem with your pump then it may be necessary to get in touch with the company that made it. This is where things start looking better for Medela since they’re owned by Philips Avent which has its own team of dedicated care representatives. However, even though Spectra is owned by Johnson & Johnson they don’t offer phone support for their breast pumps and handle all customer requests on social media or via email.
When you purchase a new Spectra S1 or S2 pump you get 1 year of warranty coverage from the date of purchase. This is actually more generous than what Medela offers which is only 90 days. When I bought my Medela PISA (which has since been discontinued) it came with 6 months of warranty coverage so this is one area where Spectra beats them hands down.
Spectra S1 vs S2: Which Model Comes with Extras?
Both the Spectra S1 and S2 come with some accessories included right out of the box including a power adaptor, USB cable, travel bag, breast shields (24 mm), valves, membranes, bottles (4 oz), nipple pushers.
Even though both models have similar accessories included with the purchase it’s important to note that Medela also sells their own electric pumps separately which can be used with other brand-name flanges. For example, you could buy a Medela Symphony pump along with different flange sizes for maximum comfort if you wanted or needed an upgrade later on down the line.
Which is the Best Breast Pump?
Neither model of Spectra’s pumps can be used as a double breast pump (you’ll need to purchase an accessory kit), but they are both great choices for anyone looking for an affordable, closed system, single electric breast pump.
Spectra S1 vs S2: Final Thoughts Even though these models were released by different companies (Spectra belongs to Johnson & Johnson and Medela is owned by Philips Avent) they are very similar in terms of design and functionality. If you want more advanced features like custom memory settings or rechargeable batteries then you should definitely go with the newer Spectra S2 because it has everything that the Spectra S1 does plus all those extra perks.
And so, the decision comes down to which features are most important to you. If you’re on a budget then the S1 is probably a better choice since it’s much less expensive and performs almost as well (in terms of suction & cycling speed) as the S2. But if comfort and convenience are top priorities then I’d recommend going with the S2 because of its above-average user ratings and the fact that you can use other branded bottles with it.