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Medela breast pump vs. Spectra breast pump

Which is better, a Medela or Spectra breast pump?

Being a new mom going through the changes that the body makes to prepare for a little bundle of joy can be tough as it is, but when technology and an array of products to choose from are thrown into the mix, it can seem confusing. In order to make this process easier, we will be taking a look at the differences between the Medela and Spectra breast pumps.

Many consumers rave over both products, yet what differentiates the two most is that in many cases, the Spectra breast pump does not last as long as the Medela.

Medela breast pump

One of the most popular brands known for breast pumps, Medela produces a wide variety of types of breast pumps that specifically cater to different needs. Medela is generally considered “hospital-grade” and widely recommended by moms due to the quality, reliability, long-lasting power and suction of the systems.

In addition, the brand also offers an array of accessories and products that compliment the pump of your choice and make the breast-feeding and pumping experience more comfortable. These helpful products cover everything you need from the Easy Expression Bustier for convenience and hands-free pumping, Quick Clean Wipes for on-the-go use, to Sanitizer Spray for thorough sanitizing after cleaning.

Regarding prices, the Medela breast pump typically ranges from $150-$360 and are available at BuyBuyBaby and Amazon.

For more information, check out the breast pumps buying guide from BestReviews.

Medela pros

Medela breast pumps offer a one-year limited warranty, most are generally compact, and some models have the capability to connect with smartphones through an app to track and control expression settings. Certain models also have closed systems, so there is no chance of milk overflowing into the pump.

Medela cons 

Look for Medela pumps that specifically claim to be closed systems. Some of the older models are open systems, which means backflow can occasionally leak into the pump itself. Another downside is that Medela is often more expensive than other brands.

Best Medela breast pump 

The Medela Freestyle Flex is one of the most recommended Medela breast pumps and has almost a five-star rating on Amazon and BuyBuyBaby. The Freestyle Flex is more compact than other models, has a USB cable to allow the battery to charge at a computer or any other USB port, and also provides tracking and control through the mobile app.

Spectra breast pump

Spectra Baby USA has provided a “gentle suckling” form of pattern using Natural Nursing Technology in their breast pumps since 2011. Spectra is most known for producing simple, user-friendly and affordable breast pumps.

Many reviews are positive and moms generally love the lightweight, quiet and compact features of Spectra breast pumps. Spectra typically ranges from $159-$325 and are available at BuyBuyBaby and Amazon.

Spectra pros 

Many users love Spectra because their products are generally simple, easy and affordable. The recent models are quiet, come with a nightlight, feature backflow protectors, closed systems that guard from leaking into the pump itself, as well as a two-year manufacturer’s warranties. Spectra breast pumps are usually a great deal in regards to being a cost-efficient and low-maintenance piece of equipment, which helps the feeding and pumping process go a lot smoother.

Spectra cons 

Throughout many reviews, users claim that the pumps have stopped working after more than a few months, and on some occasions less than that. In some technological aspects and features, the Spectra breast pumps may not be as up-to-date as Medela. The quality is also not as high in terms of reliability, power, suction and capability. Additionally, reviewers have claimed that customer service was poor and or slow in shipping a new system for a replacement.

Best Spectra breast pump

Out of Spectra models, the bestseller and most highly recommended is the S1 Plus in White/Blue because of its rechargeable battery, which stands in contrast to the S2 in White/Pink, which must be plugged in for use.

Sold by BuyBuyBaby

Should you get the Medela breast pump or Spectra breast pump?

Although both products have their pros and cons, there is no right answer for everyone as a whole. Depending on how often and how long you plan to use it, as well as what your needs are, what is best suited for one person may be entirely different for you.

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to “continue breastfeeding while gradually introducing solid foods into the infant’s diet.” With this in mind, you may want to invest in a breast pump that will last a few years, especially if you plan on having more than one child.

For those looking for a quality product that’s known as a long-lasting system, Medela may be a better choice. This brand also might be a better fit if you want the flexibility to walk around your home and complete tasks while pumping. Even more importantly, if you are someone who loves syncing devices to your smartphone to track patterns, utilize unique features and also have the capability to conveniently control the pump, then the Medela (specifically the Freestyle Flex model) may be right for you.

If you plan on using a breast pump for only a few months and don’t mind carrying the device, Spectra may be right for you. This breast pump is a good choice for anyone who does not want to invest much money (depending on whether or not your insurance covers any costs for breast pumps) or time getting acquainted with learning how to use the device. Many users who are not as fond of Medela favor Spectra because they just want a basic breast pump to use for a short amount of time.


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Mary Hicks writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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