Spectra S1 vs. S2 – Which Breast Pump Is Better?

Deciding between Spectra S1 vs. S2 is an important decision, especially if you’re exclusively pumping or mixing breastfeeding and pumping. Choosing the best Spectra breast pump for your needs will make the pumping session easier and more convenient.

spectra s1 plus vs spectra s2 plus spectra s2 vs s1 comparison

Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are hospital-grade pumps. They are powerful, efficient and highly-adjustable – that’s why they are often chosen by moms who want to pump exclusively or have low milk supply. Spectra pumps are strong enough to improve milk supply and help to maintain it at good level.

At the same time, they are much more compact, lightweight and pocket-friendly than breast pumps used at hospitals.

What distinguishes Spectra pumps is the durability and long motor life. They are much better choice than renting a hospital pump, especially if you plan on frequent pumping and/or having more kids.

But which Spectra pump should you choose to make your pumping sessions more convenient and to maximize your pumping output? Let’s dive into detailed comparison: Spectra S1 vs. S2.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice. It contains affiliate links.

My Personal Choice
Spectra - S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support
Spectra - S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support
Best Features
❤️ Powerful just like hospital pumps, but lighter, more portable and quite
❤️ Thanks to built-in battery you can use it anywhere, without being "chained" to power socket
❤️ You can use it at home, at work, in your car or even on an airplane
❤️ Perfect for frequent pumping and EPing
❤️ More budget-friendly option
❤️ Powerful & highly-adjustable
❤️ Perfect for stay-at-home moms or moms who work from home
❤️ In most cases insurance covers the whole cost
✨ Recommended by 3900+ parents
✨ Recommended by 3400+ parents
My Personal Choice
Spectra - S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support
Best Features
❤️ Powerful just like hospital pumps, but lighter, more portable and quite
❤️ Thanks to built-in battery you can use it anywhere, without being "chained" to power socket
❤️ You can use it at home, at work, in your car or even on an airplane
❤️ Perfect for frequent pumping and EPing
✨ Recommended by 3900+ parents
Availability & Price
Spectra - S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support
Best Features
❤️ More budget-friendly option
❤️ Powerful & highly-adjustable
❤️ Perfect for stay-at-home moms or moms who work from home
❤️ In most cases insurance covers the whole cost
✨ Recommended by 3400+ parents
Availability & Price

Last update on 2024-06-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Spectra Breast Pump S1 vs. S2 – Comparison

Both Spectra 1 and Spectra 2 are hospital-grade breast pumps, and they share lots of features. But there are some differences between them which you should know about before buying one of them.

The key difference between Spectra S1 vs. S2 breast pump is that the former one has built-in battery which makes it more portable. You can use Spectra S1 Plus even when there’s no power outlet near you. Because of this feature, S1 Spectra pump is a bit more pricey.

There are also two other, minor differences: Spectra S2 pump is slightly smaller and comes in pink, in contrast to S1 pump which is blue.

Spectra S1 and S2 Breast Pumps – Similarities

Spectra S1 Plus and S2 Plus are hospital-strength pumps packed with tons of suction strength (270 mmHg). Each pump allows you to adjust the cycle speed and vacuum to your personal needs.

Both Spectra pumps come with a pair of 24mm and 28mm flanges. I’ve heard that for some moms these breast shields turned out to be too big and they had to purchase smaller ones. The good news is that Spectra offers 20mm and 32mm flanges, sold separately.

The flanges and bottle connectors are one piece and they screw onto Spectra wide-neck bottles that collect the milk.

Single & Double Pumping

With Spectra S1 and S2 you can pump both breasts simultaneously. Expressing milk from both breasts at the same time is really convenient and obviously much faster.

You can also drain just one breast and breastfeed your child on the other breast.

By the way, scientific studies show that double pump may allow mom to express almost 20% more milk than using single pump for alternate pumping. Furthermore, such milk has more fats, which means it has more calories and it’s more nutritious.

Closed System & Built-In Backflow Protector

What distinguishes Spectra S1 Plus and Spectra S2 Plus from many other electric breast pumps, it the closed system. The built-in backflow protector prevents the milk from backing up into the suction tubes.

This is very important function, because it prevents from contamination and ensures the pumping process is more hygienic – thus safer for the mom and for the child.

Thanks to backflow protection, the bacteria, viruses and mold are kept away from the pump parts.

Adjustability – Is Spectra S1 Or S2 More Powerful?

Spectra S2 is just as powerful as Spectra S1. Both have 2 pumping phases which are called Massage and Expression mode. The speed in Massage mode is is 70 cycles per minute. During this phase you cannot change the speed, but you can adjust the suction strength (from 1 to 5).

In the Expression phase the cycles are adjustable from 38 to 54 CPM, you can also change the vacuum strength from 1 to 12. At level 12 the suction strength in Spectra S1 Plus and Spectra S2 Plus is 270 mmHg, which is very close to hospital pumps.

What’s noteworthy, this electric breast pump does not switch from Massage phase to Expression phase automatically. When you detect milk let-down, you need to press the mode button once to initiate the Expression mode on your own.

With Spectra S1 Plus and S2 Plus you can control and adjust the Massage and Expression modes, as well as switch between these 2 phases mid-session.

To sum up, both Spectra pumps have 5 levels of suction in Massage mode, and 12 levels of suction strength (up to 270 mmHg) in the Expression mode. Speed is adjustable only in the Expression phase.

What’s noteworthy, when you’re using Spectra 1 on battery power and the battery life is low, vacuum may be slightly weaker, in comparison to Spectra 2.

Quiet & Long-Life Motor

I was so surprised how quiet Spectra breasts pumps are – at only 45 decibels. Hospital pumps are usually really noisy, but that’s not the case with Spectra. It has strong suction but it’s not loud at all.

Of course it’s not completely silent, but it will give you more discretion than other electric pumps.

The best thing about Spectra S1 and S2 is that these breast pumps have probably the longest expected life – 1500 motor hours.

This incredible result means that you’ll be able to use this breast pump with more than one child and that makes Spectra a fantastic investment.

Night Light

There’s a built-in night light in Spectra S1 Breast Pump, as well as Spectra S2 Breast Pump. This makes using the pump at night much easier and more convenient.

What Is The Difference Between Spectra 1 And Spectra 2?

As I mentioned earlier there are two key differences between S1 and S2 pumps: built-in battery and price. There are also two minor differences in size and color.

Let’s see how these functions impact the comfort of use.

Spectra 1 vs. 2 – Battery

This is the biggest difference between Spectra breast pumps. Spectra S1 has rechargeable battery, the Spectra S2 does not.

This feature makes the S1 model more convenient and portable. When it’s time for your pumping sessions, you don’t have to search for a power outlet.

You can use Spectra S1 while it’s charging (when it’s plugged in) or use it without the AC adapter, using only the battery power.

It takes about 2-3 hours to charge Spectra S1. Fully charged Spectra S1 battery will last you for 3 hours of pumping.

In contrast to S1 breast pump, Spectra S2 needs to be plugged into the electrical outlet. It works only with an AC adapter.

With rechargeable battery, Spectra S1 can be used for pumping on-the-go, when you’re at work, on a road trip, or even on an airplane.

All of this makes Spectra S1 a great choice for exclusively pumping mamas, women who are often on-the-go or mothers who have got back to work and still want to give breast milk to their baby.

One thing to keep in mind when deciding between Spectra S1 vs. Spectra S2: I’ve noticed a slight decrease in S1 suction when the battery is low. Except that, both breast pumps are equally strong and efficient in milk expression.

Spectra 1 vs. 2 – Size

Spectra S1 is slightly bigger than S2, but the difference is barely noticeable.

Spectra 1 vs. 2 – Color

There’s also a difference in color – it’s not a deal- breaker but something to keep in mind. Spectra S1 breast pump comes in blue, while S2 pump is available in pink.

Spectra 1 vs. 2 – Price

Because the Spectra S1 has rechargeable battery and can work without the AC adapter, it’s more expensive than Spectra S2 breast pump.

I think that the possibility to pump anywhere makes up for the price discrepancy. If you’re looking for a portable electric breast pump – Spectra S1 is definitely worth the extra money.

Which Is Better: Spectra S1 or S2? – Final Decision

These two breast pumps are almost the same, so how do you know which one will work better for you? If you’re hesitating between Spectra S1 vs. S2, just consider these things:

  • Will you be expressing milk only at home or also other places, including your work office, car, airplane etc.?
  • Do you want a breast pump that doesn’t require an AC adapter?
  • Do you mind being “chained” to a power outlet while pumping?
  • What is your budget – are you willing to pay a bit more for the portable pump and possibility to collect your breast milk anywhere?

If features like portability and rechargeable battery are important to you, then Spectra S1 Plus seems to be a better option. It can be used anywhere, even when there’s a power blackout or when you’re on a trip. You’ll be able to pump at home, at work, in a car, on an airplane or train.

If you need to stick to your budget, and don’t mind having to stick to the electrical outlet when pumping, then you’ll be fine with Spectra S2.


Why You Will Love Spectra S1

- It has built-in rechargeable battery which makes it portable

- It can be used even when there's no power outlet nearby

- It's more versatile - you can use Spectra S1 while it's charging

- You won't have to worry about power outages interrupting your pumping sessions

- It's a great choice for moms who want to extract their breast milk often or want to pump exclusively

- You can use it anywhere which makes it an amazing solution for moms who are often on-the-go or have got back to work

Why You Will Love Spectra S2

- It's a bit more affordable

- It's just as powerful as Spectra S1, just doesn't have built-in battery

- It's a good choice for moms who pump only at home or other places where they always have access to electrical outlets

- If you're stay-at-home mom or working from home it should be sufficient

Spectra Breast Pump S1 vs. S2 – FAQ & Pumping Tips

If you’re still hesitating between Spectra 1 vs. 2, learning more about these breast pumps may help you make the right decision.

What Is The Best Pumping Bra For Spectra?

Spectra S1 and S2 breast pumps have abnormal flanges – larger than in other electric breast pumps. Moreover, Spectra breast shield and bottle connector are one part, they are not detachable (like in e.g. Medela).

This unique design makes Spectra flanges too big to fit through the cup holes in many pumping bras.

You can still enjoy hands-free pumping with Spectra, you just need a good bra that has more supportive cups with larger holes.

The best Spectra pumping bra is this Kindred Bravely Sublime. It provides full coverage and good separation even for bustier mamas. Thanks to seamless design nothing digs in or rubs your skin. And it’s supportive enough to hold Spectra flanges and bottles with milk.

Check out my full ranking of the best pumping bras for Spectra S1 & S2. If you’re still hesitating whether it’s actually a necessity to get one, read my article about Spectra bras and whether they are a must-have.

Why Is The Spectra S1 More Expensive?

Rechargeable battery is what makes the Spectra S1 more expensive than S1 model. You can use this pump anywhere, without being chained to a power outlet.

Which Spectra Model Is The Best?

It will highly depend on your preferences and lifestyle to determine which Spectra breast pump is the best. Here are my tips for choosing the best Spectra model FOR YOU.

  • Spectra S1 Plus is the best choice if you want hospital-strength breast pump that is portable at the same time. It’s the best Spectra model for exclusively pumping moms who don’t want to spend a fortune on a breast pump. It’s also a great choice for moms who are back at work and want to continue on giving breast milk to their babies.
  • Spectra S2 Plus is best option for moms on smaller budget, who need double electric breast pump and don’t mind having to use AC adapter every time. This is a good solution for stay-at-home mamas.
  • Spectra S9 Plus is the best choice for moms who want to pump the milk only occasionally or need a small and portable breast pump for travel.
  • Spectra Synergy Gold is the most expensive model of all Spectra breast pumps. It has separate adjustments for each breast which makes it a fantastic choice for exclusively pumping moms – who have more flexible budget.

Is Spectra Better Than Medela?

Lots of moms consider Spectra to be better than popular Medela breast pumps. Both Spectra S1 and S2 are stronger than Medela Freestyle or Medela Pump In Style electric breast pump and offer better adjustments that may be helpful when you struggle with low milk supply.

This also means that it’s easier to find optimal settings for your preferences, your nipples sensitivity level and your supply.

I recommend you to read my in-depth comparison of these two popular brands and their famous pumps: Medela Freestyle vs. Spectra S1 – Comparison for more details.

When we compare Spectra with Medela Symphony, Spectra seems to be a better option because it is a fraction of Symphony cost, and it’s much more portable.

Is The Spectra S1 Hospital Grade?

Both Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are hospital grade breast pumps. This electric breast pump can be used to drain both breast at the same time, and it has high-quality, closed system for milk backflow protection. This way it prevents the contamination – it’s more hygienic for moms and babies.

This also means that it is safe to be used by multiple users. Spectra can initiate and support your milk supply – it’s also one of the best breast pumps for low milk supply.

It has long motor life and it’s durable enough for frequent or even exclusive pumping. At the same time, it’s very easy to use, pretty lightweight and portable.

By the way, according to the FDA there is no official term “hospital grade breast pump”. In most cases, breast pumps that claim to be hospital grade, are designed for multiple users thanks to enclosed system that prevents contamination.

When we compare Spectra with hospital breast pumps, it turns out to be just as (or even more!) efficient, strong and well-built.

Does Insurance Cover Spectra S1 And S2?

Insurance companies now MUST cover a breast pump for mothers, but the companies have various plans and some breast pumps are not covered or are covered only partially.

Thankfully, you can get Spectra S2 through your insurance.

On the other hand, in most cases the insurance covers Spectra S1 cost partially. This upgraded model has rechargeable battery that may not be covered by insurance and you may have to pay for it.

Make sure to contact your insurance company to learn more on how to obtain Spectra through insurance.

>> Spectra vs. Willow – Comparison

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for medical consultation or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts, and before you introduce tummy time. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. The article contains affiliate links – your support helps us run this blog!

Source of pictures:

Pictures of Spectra pumps belong to Spectra Baby USA brand. Source: https://www.spectrababyusa.com/

About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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