What’s The Difference Between Spectra S1 Vs S2? (Plus Similarities, Pros and Cons)


The differences between the Spectra S1 vs S2 are its battery, price, weight, and color. Read more to find out what you’re getting from a Spectra.

I only breastfed and pumped for only 2 months. I don’t know how other moms did it but I just didn’t have enough milk in me to give to my kid, no matter what food I took nor how much I pumped. It was heartbreaking to finally admit defeat and sell my breast pump but I do wonder, would it have made a difference if I used another brand, like the Spectra?

So for moms out there, I’ve done extensive research on the difference and the features of both the Spectra S1 vs S2 and I hope reading through this review would help you make a decision and not regret buying a subpar brand.

What’s The Difference Between Spectra S1 Vs S2?

The Spectra brand is pretty much one of the popular breast pumps out there in the market. You won’t regret buying one. But if you’re looking to decide between the Spectra S1 vs S1, here’s the lowdown on their differences.

Battery

The S1 has a built-in rechargeable battery, which means you can pump on the go. This is its best selling feature – the ability to pump anywhere and anytime.

This is so convenient especially if you’re on work trips and/ or you don’t want to look for electrical outlets and stay plugged on a wall.

A fully charge S1 holds 3 hours of power. So if you’re pumping for at least 15 minutes at a time, twice a day OR if you have 4x to 6x per day (but for only 5-15 mins at a time) the S1 can last you for at 3-5 days.

So if the power goes out, you don’t need to worry about pumping, as long as you’ve charged your S1. 

If you don’t like bending over all the time to plug-in your breast pump (especially if you have a C-section), then the Spectra S1 would be great for you.

The S1 takes approximately 4 hours to charge and it’s highly recommended to charge it fully to prolong its battery health.

The S2 on the other hand requires it to be plugged into a power outlet to be used. It doesn’t turn on when it’s not plugged, which is okay if you have a designated pumping station.

Not so much when you have to move around, do work, chores, etc.

However, some ingenious parents have turned the S2 into a portable breast pump by buying a carrying case and a battery pack. Some have also used velcro to attach the battery pack to the pump.

Price

The S1 is also pricier because of its built-in, rechargeable battery.

It also has an upgrade charge, compared to Spectra S2 which is fully covered by insurance. So you would need to research and ask around for the lowest fee that you can pay for it. The upgrade fee may vary from $45 to $95, depending on the vendor or distributor.

Some moms have shared that they got the surcharge fee for only $50 from insurancecoveredbreastpumps.com, some for $65 from a yummymummystore.com and some even only paid $40 from a local pharmacy store.

There’s currently a $40 difference though between the S1 and S2 in Amazon and some moms were fortunate enough to buy the S1 out of their pocket, submit the invoice from the supplier directly to their insurance and get the whole S1 completely covered.

Weight

The S1 is also a little bit heavier, weighing 3 pounds compared to S2’s 2.5 pounds. 

Color

The S1 comes in white and blue, while S2 is in white and pink.

And that’s basically the main differences between the Spectra S1 vs S2.

Below is the summary of Spectra S1 vs S2 differences:

FeaturesS1S2
BatteryHas built-in rechargeable batteryHas to be plugged in to be used
Price• More expensive than S2
• Usually not fully covered by insurance
(must ask around for a lower upgrade fee)
Covered by insurance
Weight3 pounds2.5 pounds
ColorBlue and whitePink and white

Similarities, Pros and Cons of Spectra S1 and S2

Now let’s take a look at their similar features, its benefits and for some, it’s cons, for breastfeeding moms.

Features 

  • Closed System for Hygiene

Both the S1 and S2 are closed system breast pumps.

That means there’s a barrier between the breast pump and your expressed milk, separating it for hygienic purposes. The barrier prevents air or bacteria to pass from your milk, into the tube and the motor.

So you don’t need to worry about molds forming in the tubes or your milk getting contaminated.

This is what makes Spectra a “hospital grade” quality breast pump – not only because of its strong motor but because multiple people can rent and use it (with their own accessory kit).

This also allows you to sell the Spectra with a really good value.

  • BPA Free Parts for Safety

Both the S1 and S2 storage containers and the accessories that come in contact with your breast milk are BPA/DEHP free.

  • Powerful Motor for Suction

Both the Spectra S1 and S2 ‘s motor have the same suction rate of 270mmHg, which gives you less time to pump, for more milk output per session.

Some moms though have complained that its suction power feels weak after several months of use.

  • Universal Voltage

Both the Spectra S1 and S2 have input: 100V-240V / 50-60Hz which means they can be used just about anywhere in the world.

You’ll need an adapter though if you’re traveling to a country that has voltage between 100V-240V / 50-60Hz.

  • Super Quiet

Both Spectra have a really quiet motor at 45DB. 

That means its noise level is between a hushed library setting and private conversation in a quiet suburb. Some moms describe it as more of a purring sound or the noise level is similar to a refrigerator.

That’s how quiet the Spectra is – it won’t wake up your baby when your pumping beside her/him and it’s discreet enough so you can pump behind closed doors and no one will know the difference.

Although some moms (and even dads) have complained about the noise, to the point that they can’t sleep when hearing it. 

  • Adjustable Pumping Mode

Both the Spectra S1 and S2 have the same pumping mode – massage and expression mode, giving you the ability to control the pump cycle.

The Massage mode is for mimicking or stimulating the letdown reflex, with the motor’s vacuum (suction) strength ranging from levels 1-5. 

The Expression mode can be used once the milk is flowing, with a vacuum strength level of 1-12. The expression mode has also 5 cycle speeds compared to the massage mode’s single cycle speed. 

This means with the expression mode, you can choose how fast or slow the pumping can be. You can adjust it to mimic your baby’s nursing patterns or how your body responds to the pumping.

spectra s1 vs s2
from the Spectra Baby USA website

Spectra breast pumps start at the expression mode but you can easily switch it to massage mode if your milk is not flowing.

You can switch back and forth between the two modes with no issues.

Unfortunately, for some users, especially for first-time moms, it’s adjustable settings can become an issue if you’ve tried different setting combos for a while and you still can’t find the one that’s suitable for your body.

It’s many pumping mode options can become a headache for someone looking to figure out how to best use it at the quickest time possible.

• Personalized Settings

Here’s a really nice feature – both the Spectra S1 and S2 will automatically save your pumping mode setting, so you don’t need to adjust it for your next session!

If you want a different setting, you can easily adjust it before you start pumping.

If you’re curious to know how many hours you’ve pumped, you can apparently also check that in both the Spectra S1 and S2 too!

  • Turns into Single and Double Pump

Both Spectra’s allow you the option to use it as a double or single pump, meaning, you can choose to pump both breasts or just one breast. You can easily adjust the setting for both.

  • Accessories

Both Spectra S1/S2 comes with a complete set of accessories, which includes: 

Two (2) 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
Two (2) 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
Two (2) Spectra Tubing
Two (2) Spectra Duckbill Valves
Two (2) Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
Two (2) Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and lid for each Bottle
One (1) Spectra 12-Volt AC Power Adapter. Includes detachable power cord prongs

You can get extra accessories on their website or at Target, Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon (iServe/Pattern ONLY).

Remember to replace certain accessories according to their advisory below:

from Spectra Baby USA website

Some people have shared that replacement parts are hard to find in physical stores, like the replacement tubing, so it’s better if you can order a few spare parts online.

If you have the extra budget, get also the bundle with the carrying case so it will be more convenient to lug it around.

It comes with the two-sized flanges, which can be an issue for some, as it might not be the right size for you. So if it doesn’t fit, you need to get another set of flanges which such a hassle, especially if you need to start pumping asap.

So it’s highly advisable to go to their flanges fitting guide to see which one fits you so you can already buy it with the whole Spectra set.

Other moms have recommended getting a Pumping Pals flanges instead.

Get also a hands-free pumping bra if you want to do clean the house, do other chores while pumping at the same time.

You can also use other brands that are compatible with the Spectra pump, such as the Medela and Avent storage bottles.

Another tip for some moms is to use the Maymom flange adapter, so you can use both Medela and Maymom spare parts.

  • Hospital Grade 

Both Spectra’s are considered hospital grade which basically just means that it’s the strongest pump you can buy (maximum suction strength of 270mmHg) and multiple people can use it, provided that they have their own accessory kit.

  • Automatically Turns Off

Both Spectra have an auto-shut off feature, which stops the motor after 30 minutes of pumping time.

  • Built-in LED Light For Night Pumping

Both have also LED built-in lights, with 2 available light modes, which is so convenient, especially when you’re pumping at night and you want to adjust the setting or check the timer in the dark, without waking up your kid.

Some moms have complained though that it’s light is too bright.

  • Warranty

Both has a 2 years warranty on pumps and 90 days warranty on accessories

  • Comfort

Many users mentioned that it’s so much gentler and softer than the other pumps they’ve used. They said they can still get the same output but pumping is so much more comfortable using the Spectra, compared to other brands.

  • Easy to Clean

Other moms have commented that the Spectra is so much easier to clean as compared to some brands like the Medela.

  • Awesome Customer Service

Moms are also raving about their quick and very responsive customer service. 

Feature Summary of Spectra S1 and S2
Closed System for Hygiene 
BPA Free Parts for Safety
Powerful Motor for Suction
Universal Voltage
Super Quiet
Adjustable Pumping Mode 
Saved Personalized Settings
Turns into Single and Double Pump
Comes with Complete Accessories
Can Use Other Brand’s Accessories
Hospital Grade 
Automatically Turns Off After 30 Mins of Pumping
Built-in LED Light For Night Pumping
2 Year Warranty on Pumps, 90 Days Warranty on Accessories
Comfortable and Gentle On Your Chest
Easy to Clean
Awesome Customer Service

Bottom Line: Should I get a Spectra S1 or S2?

It depends.

If you’re on a budget and you’re okay with being tethered to an electrical outlet while pumping the whole time, the S2 is a great choice.

But if you can afford it, just go for the Spectra S1.

Most moms have actually regretted not getting the S1 in the first place. Imagine not having to worry where to plug in when you need to pump, getting a few minutes to do some chores while pumping, etc – with an S1, you can do that and more.

Of course, you can turn the S2 into a portable breast pump with a few tools but if you can push it, just go for the S1. You won’t be disappointed.

spectra s1 vs s2


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