Spectra S1 Vs S2 [Latest Comparison Review]


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

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Pumping for milk was one of my greatest challenges while I was taking care of my newborn baby 24/7. A veteran mom friend with 3 kids told me, she had to pump every 2-3 hours back then, so she can keep her milk supply up and I just couldn’t do it. Especially when my baby would always want to cling on to me, but I digress.

If you’re looking for premiere breast pump, the Spectra brand is pretty much one of the most recommended breast pumps out there in the market. And if you’re looking to decide between the Spectra S1 vs S1, then this article will help you finally choose between the two Spectra breast pumps.

FYI, Spectra S1 is also called Spectra S1 Plus.

Spectra S2 is the same as the Spectra S2 Plus.

I know, I also got a little bit confused because when I wrote this article, I was positive that there was no “plus” there. But apparently, they’re the same. Also S1 plus and S2 “plus” comes with 2 set of flanges – 24mm and 28mm (same as before, when they didn’t have the “plus” word). I got that straight from the horses’ mouth – their Facebook customer service.

I’ve done an extensive research on the differences, similarities and more of both the Spectra S1 vs S2. I’ve also done a review on the Spectra S1 vs Medela Freestyle right here, if you want to see how the Medela brand fares against the Spectra but I digress.

Spectra S1 vs S2: Feature Comparison Table

This is best viewed on a desktop. Check out the features of Spectra S1 vs S2 at a glance.

FeaturesSpectra S1 PlusSpectra S2 Plus
BatteryHas built-in rechargeable batteryHas to be plugged in to be used
PriceMore expensive than S2 Well priced
InsuranceUsually not fully covered by insuranceCovered by insurance
ColorBlue and whitePink and white
Weight3 pounds3 pounds
Closed System for Hygiene YesYes
BPA Free Parts for SafetyYesYes
Powerful Motor for SuctionYesYes
Universal VoltageInput 100V – 240AC, 50/60Hz, 600mAInput 100V – 240AC, 50/60Hz, 600mA
Super Quietquiet motor at 45DBquiet motor at 45DB
Adjustable Pumping Mode Massage and Expression modeMassage and Expression mode
Saved Personalized SettingsAvailableAvailable
Turns into Single and Double PumpYesYes
Comes with Complete AccessoriesYesYes
Can Use Other Brand’s AccessoriesYes – Medela and Avent storage bottlesYes – Medela and Avent storage bottles
Hospital Grade YesYes
Automatically Turns Off After 30 Mins of PumpingYesYes
Built-in LED Light For Night PumpingYesYes
Warranty2 Year Warranty on Pumps, 90 Days Warranty on Accessories2 Year Warranty on Pumps, 90 Days Warranty on Accessories
ComfortGentle and soft on chestGentle and soft on chest
Easy to CleanYesYes
Awesome Customer ServiceYesYes

Below is a more detailed information on the differences between the Spectra S1 plus vs S2 plus.

What’s The Difference Between Spectra S1 and S2?

Battery

The Spectra S1 breast pump 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 Spectra 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 its battery indicator displays 4 bars, that means you can use the Spectra S1 Plus for approximately 3 hours.

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 Spectra 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 Spectra S1 breast pump is also pricier than the Spectra S2 breast pump because of its built-in, rechargeable battery.

Insurance

The Spectra S1 has an upgrade charge, compared to Spectra S2 (S2 is fully covered by insurance). 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, some for only $65 while some only paid $40 from a local pharmacy store. There’s currently a less than $40 difference between the S1 and S2 in Amazon.

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.

Color

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

And that’s basically the main difference between Spectra S1 and S2.

Now lets check out the similar features between the Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2.

Similarities of Spectra S1 Plus vs S2 Plus

Closed System for Hygiene

Both the Spectra S1 and Spectra 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 the motor getting spoiled 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 at 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, ensuring no toxic ingredients in Spectra’s breast pumps.

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.

A lot of moms love the powerful suction of the Spectra motor, ensuring that they get more milk in just a few minutes of pumping.

Some moms though have complained that its suction power feels weak after several months of use. Others have also complained of its unreliable motor and the breast pump dying on them for only after a few months of use.

Universal Voltage

Both the Spectra breast pump S1 vs 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 doesn’t have that voltage.

Super Quiet

Both Spectra S2 plus vs S1 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 Plus vs 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.

Its 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 vs Spectra 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 the Spectra S2 Plus vs S1 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:

spectra s1 vs s2
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. It’s not perfect though and some still experienced a so-so or not so great customer service.

Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2: FAQ

What factors should you consider in choosing a breast pump?

A lot of factors can be considered but the most important ones are:

  • Price – within your budget, can be covered with insurance, 
  • Mobility – size, whether or not an electric outlet is required
  • Motor – strong yet gentle enough to get enough milk
  • Noise – might be uncomfortable to pump too loud in the office
  • Helpful features – timers, adjustable pumping mode, light, etc.

How long does it take to charge Spectra S1?

It takes four hours to charge the Spectra S1 fully.

Does insurance cover a Spectra breast pump?

Most insurance policies will cover the cost of a breast pump, especially the Spectra S2 Plus. The Spectra S1 will usually come with an upgrade fee. 

There are some variations in the coverage, however, so you will need to check with your carrier.

What is a hospital-grade pump?

It means multiple users can use it. It doesn’t mean that it’s safe and hygienic, it just means that it’s not just meant for a single user to use, it’s meant to be used by everyone. You can check out more info here.

Does the milk go through the tubing like on other pumps?

No, it does not. 

The S1 and S2 have a closed system which means that no milk flows through the tubes, which are very difficult to clean and sterilize. 

It also comes with a backflow protector that creates a barrier between the tubing and flanges.

Are the bottles supplied with the S1 And S2 BPA Free?

Yes, all Spectra baby storage containers that come in contact with breast milk are BPA-free. So for the spectra S1 vs S2, there is no real difference in the BPA rating.

Will the breast pump still work overseas or in another country?

The S1 and S2 pumps are 100-240v dual voltage and are internationally compatible. You will need the plug adapter for the country that you are traveling to.

Where can I buy Spectra pump parts and accessories?

Your usual popular online platforms have them, such as Amazon and Spectra’s very own website.

But they also sell it on Target, Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond.

How do you clean a Spectra breast pump?

Before using the Spectra S1 Plus or S2 Plus breast pump for the first time, disassemble and wash in warm, soapy water all parts that come into contact with the breast and breastmilk.

And then after every use, disassemble and wash all parts that come into contact with the breast and breastmilk (breast shield kit, valve head, membrane nipple, nipple cover, disk, and cap) in warm water with mild soap.

All parts in the pump kit are dishwasher safe. Just remember to place items on wash cycle on the top rack and air dry. Do not use heat dry.

Or you can also rinse them in clean water, air-dry and keep and cover them until next use.

Can you sterilize pump parts in a bottle sterilizer?

Spectra doesn’t recommend using a sterilizer, microwave, steam bag to clean the pump parts.

However, according to their website, microwave bags “can be used” if the proper amount of water is added and instructions on how to use the microwave bags are strictly followed.

The tubing doesn’t need to be sterilized, just keep it dry.

Is the Spectra S1 better than Spectra S2?

It depends on your priorities. They mostly work the same way, except that the Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery, which means you don’t need to charge it every time you use it, making it portable. 

With the Spectra S2, you need to always charge it when you use it.

The Spectra S2 though is cheaper.

Is the Spectra S1 worth the upgrade?

According to most moms, YES. 

Mainly because they don’t have to be tethered to a single place when they’re pumping. They can walk around, do chores around the house, and more with the Spectra S1, something that you can’t do with the Spectra S2.

Spectra Breast Pump S1 vs S2 : Pros and Cons

Here are the possible advantages and drawbacks of the popular Spectra brand.

Pros: Spectra S1 plus vs S2 Plus

  • Popular, highly recommended brand
  • Rechargeable battery for S1
  • Can connect Spectra S2 to a car charger, just use an adapter

Cons: Spectra S1 plus vs S2 Plus

  • Pricey breast pumps (even the S2)
  • Available flanges are fixed size, can’t ask for free replacement
  • Slightly bigger and heavier than other pumps in the market

Which is better – Spectra S1 or S2?

If you’d like to save more and you’re okay with pumping while being tethered to an electrical outlet the whole time, the Spectra S2 breast pump is a great choice.

But if you can splurge a little more, the Spectra S1 breast pump is way better, mainly because of its rechargeable battery feature.

Most moms have actually regretted not getting the Spectra S1 breast pump 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 Spectra S1 breast pump, 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