Spectra S9 vs S2: A Super Detailed Comparison Review


The Spectra S9 vs S2 has 9 differences and 12 similarities. Read more below to find out which is the better breast pump.

I hope you’ll love the products we recommend! Just a quick note: if you click on a product link below and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

I wished I had used a Spectra breast pump. It’s such a popular brand but my veteran mom friend swore by the Medela. I was a new mom then, navigating the overwhelming 4th-trimester phase so I just listened to my friend’s recommendation and got myself a Medela. Which is a great brand by the way but I’m just thinking if Spectra could have made a bigger difference in the way I pumped before.

I digress.

If you’re looking to see and compare the features of the Spectra S9 vs S2, then this article is for you. I’ve done extensive research on the differences, similarities, and more of both the Spectra S2 vs S9 breast pumps. I hope this would be useful in helping you finally choose between the two Spectra breast pumps. 

FYI, S9 is also named S9 Plus and S2 is the same as the S2 Plus. I have yet to see an article on why they’ve added the “plus” there as it still has the same features.

Just to share, you can read my review of the S2 vs S1 breast pump here or see a comparison review of the Medela Freestyle vs Spectra S1 breast pump here.

Let’s start with a feature overview of the Spectra S2 vs Spectra S9 breast pump.

In a hurry? We recommend the Spectra S2 Plus breast pump. Keep scrolling below to find out why.

Spectra S9 vs S2: Feature Comparison Table

This is best viewed on a desktop. Here’s a quick comparison guide on the features of the Spectra S2 vs S9.

FeaturesSpectra S9 PlusSpectra S2 Plus
BatteryBuilt-in rechargeable batteryNo rechargeable battery
PriceMore expensive than S2Expensive
InsuranceNot clear if fully coveredCan be fully covered
MotorLess powerful than S2Powerful
Saved settingsNot availableAvailable
Hospital gradeNoYes
NightlightNot availableAvailable
Weight1/2 lbs3 lbs
DesignPortable, sleek and lightweightBigger and heavier than S9
Closed systemYesYes
BPA Free PartsYesYes
Universal Voltage100V-240V / 50-60Hz100V-240V / 50-60Hz
Adjustable Pumping Mode AvailableAvailable
Turns into Single and Double PumpYesYes
QuietYesYes
AutoTurn Off AvailableAvailable
Accessories Comes with own complete accessoriesComes with own complete accessories
ComfortableYesYes
Easy to Clean YesYes
Warranty2 years warranty on motor and 90-day warranty on accessories (must come with motor as a a complete set)2 years warranty on motor and 90-day warranty on accessories (must come with motor as a a complete set)
Customer Service Mixed reviewQuick and responsive

Below is more detailed info on the differences between the Spectra S9 vs S2

Difference Between Spectra S2 and S9

Let’s dive in a little deeper about the difference between Spectra Spectra S9 vs S2.

Battery

The Spectra S9 Plus has a built-in rechargeable battery that allows you to pump anywhere, anytime. 

I find the charging time confusing though for the Spectra S9. It says on their website that it needs to be fully charged for 4 hours but its instruction manual says 3 hours. Worry not, I’ve asked their customer service team and I hope to get an answer on this shortly.

Anyway, its battery life allows you to pump for a maximum of 2.5 hours. You can pump while the S9 Plus is charging. 

You can also easily plug this in your car charger, without needing to buy an adapter.

The S2 doesn’t need any batteries. However, you need to always plug it in when you use it. It doesn’t turn on when it’s not plugged so you need to set up a designated pumping station for convenience sake.

Some parents though gave this tip of buying a carrying case and battery pack for the S2. Then attaching the latter to the Spectra S2 Plus, making it into a portable breast pump! 

If there’s a will, there’s a way folks!

You can also charge this in your car but you need to buy a 12Volt car adapter.

Price

The Spectra S9 Plus is more expensive than the Spectra S2 Plus. Probably because of its built-in, rechargeable battery.

Which can be worth it, just because you won’t be stuck on a wall or in your car to pump. You can just pump on the go, anywhere and anytime with the Spectra S9!

Insurance

Most insurance companies can cover both Spectra brands but some will only fully cover the Spectra S2

Some won’t even give a clear answer as to what is covered unless you have physically ordered the breast pumps (annoying). So call your insurance agent to double confirm.

Motor

The Spectra S9’s motor has a less powerful suction rate at 260 mmHg, compared to the Spectra S2’s 270mmHg.

Also, Spectra S9 Plus vacuum suction can only be adjusted up to L10 while Spectra S2 Plus‘ vacuum suction goes up to L12.

There are mixed suction reviews for the Spectra S2, with some moms saying it has great suction power and they can empty out in about 4 minutes with 4oz on each side.

Others complained that the S2 has very poor suction, saying that they can’t get enough milk even at the highest suction level. 

The Spectra S9 Plus, on the other hand, has an overall poor suction review by a lot of very frustrated moms. Some said they can’t empty out their milk nor can they get a decent amount from this pump.

While some moms love the Spectra S9’s suction, saying that it’s powerful and good enough for them.

Saved Settings

You can easily personalize the pumping mode settings in both the Spectra S9 vs S2 but here’s the thing – you can’t save the setting in the Spectra S9.

It resets every time you turn it off which means you have to remember which level you used for the massage and express mode.

This can be annoying, especially if you’re a new mother taking care of a super clingy newborn baby, you’re in a sleep-deprived state, your husband doesn’t help with the chores, etc.

Better remember to write down your mode settings with the S9 and stick it on the pump, especially if you know you have a bad memory. Everything can get kinda hazy with a newborn baby.

The Spectra S2 on the other hand automatically saves your settings so you don’t need to adjust them for your next pumping session! Which can save you more time.

Hospital Grade

The Spectra S9 is NOT a hospital-grade breast pump. It has a less powerful motor compared to the S2 and even S1. And it’s only for personal use which means, you can’t share and resell this.

The Spectra S2 on the other hand, is considered a hospital-grade pump with its powerful motor. Also because multiple persons can use it, provided they have their accessories.

Nightlight 

The Spectra S9 breast pump doesn’t have its night light but it does have a backlight display.

While the Spectra S2 has a LED built-in nightlight, with 2 lighting levels.

A nightlight is convenient when you’re pumping in the dark and you want to check on your baby, see if they a poonami and you need to change their diaper or such.

Weight

The Spectra S9 Plus is way smaller, lighter, sleeker, and portable, weighing only at .5 lbs, compared to the Spectra S2’s 3 lbs.

Moms have shared how convenient and lightweight their Spectra S9 is for business trips or vacations. They can pump on the way to work and they don’t need to carry a big-ass breast pump bag every day.

Design

As you can see, the Spectra S9 Plus has a sleeker, slender, more modern look, compared to the Spectra S2 Plus signature white and pink look.

Similarities of Spectra S2 vs S9 Plus

Now let’s take a more detailed look at the similar features of the Spectra S9 vs S2

Closed System 

All Spectra brands, including the Spectra S9 and S2, are closed system breast pumps. Its backflow protector parts ensure that.

A closed system means, there’s no way for the milk to go up the tube and into the motor, which can cause molds in the tubes or your milk getting contaminated.

BPA Free Parts for Safety

All Spectra parts – storage containers and parts that come in contact with your breast milk – are BPA-free and phthalate-free.

This means they don’t have any harmful ingredients in their materials that could be toxic and can induce negative health effects.

Universal Voltage

Both the Spectra S2 vs S9 Plus have input: 100V-240V / 50-60Hz which means they can be used anywhere, even in another country!

Just remember to get an adapter if you’re traveling to a country that has a voltage between 100V-240V / 50-60Hz.

Adjustable Pumping Mode 

Both the Spectra S2 pump and Spectra S9 breast pump have the same pumping mode – massage and expression mode but with slight differences.

The Massage mode mimics that of a suckling baby that stimulates a letdown. The Expression mode is used after the letdown.

Both the Spectra S9 and S2 pump’s Massage mode can be adjusted from level 1 to 5.

However, for the Expression mode, the Spectra S2 pump is adjustable from L1 to L12, while the Spectra S9 is only adjustable until L10.

The Spectra S2 Plus’ Expression mode has also a 5 cycle speed and its Massage mode has a single cycle speed.

The Spectra S9 Plus doesn’t have any suction speed control.

You can easily switch between the Massage and Expression mode with both the Spectra S9 Plus and Spectra S2 Plus.

Some users find the adjustable settings quite useful as they can personalize them according to their preference. 

But other users, especially first-time moms, find it a bit overwhelming. This is understandable as it can take some time to figure out which setting would give you the most milk.

Turns into Single and Double Pump

You can use both the Spectra S2 and S9 as a double or single pump, which means you can pump on both breasts or just one.

Settings can also be easily adjusted for both the double and single pumping modes.

Quiet

Both Spectra S9 and S2 have relatively quiet motors but some moms mentioned that it was a little too loud for them, especially the Spectra S9.

Some compared the noise of the Spectra S2 Plus to a loud purring cat. Which is relatively quiet. Others said that the Spectra S9 Plus was a little loud for their taste.

AutoTurn Off 

Both the Spectra S2 vs Spectra S9 pump turns off automatically after 30 minutes of pumping.

Accessories 

Both the Spectra S2 vs S9 come with their own complete set of accessories. 

The Spectra S9 Plus breast pump includes:

  • (1) 9 volt AC power adapter
  • (1) detachable power cord prongs 
  • (2) Spectra bottles
  • (2) Spectra backflow protector
  • (2) Spectra duckbill valve
  • (2) Spectra tubing
  • (2) Spectra flange 24mm

While the Spectra S2 Plus breast pump includes:

  • (1) 12 volt AC power adapter
  • (1) detachable power cord prongs
  • (2) Spectra bottles
  • (2) Spectra backflow protector
  • (2) Spectra duckbill valve
  • (2) Spectra tubing
  • (2) Spectra flange 24mm
  • (2) Spectra flange 28mm

I find it odd that the S9 didn’t bother to include another different-sized flange, like the S2 but okay Spectra, whatever.

Take note of when to replace certain accessories below:

Spectra s9 vs s2 accessories

Take note as well of Spectra’s flanges fitting guide here, so you can buy it with the breast pump set.

Some moms mentioned that the Pumping Pals flanges work better with the Spectra S2 pump. 

They also shared that they were able to use their Medela connector, bottles, and flanges with the both the Spectra S2 and S9 breast pumps.

One shared that she used Medela parts plus the Maymom flange adapters with the Spectra S9 pump, along with the Dairy Fairy hands-free pumping bra.

Some also shared that the Avent bottles also work with both the Spectra S2 and S9 breast pumps.

Remember to also buy a carrying case for either breast pump, preferably one with an insulated cooler to keep the ice packs and bottles.

One mom suggested getting this cooler for the Spectra S2, as it has two compartments. You can use one for the breast pump and the other for the ice pack and milk bottles.

Another tip from some parents was to buy a few parts online, such as a replacement tubing, as such parts are hard to find, especially in physical stores.

Comfortable

Many moms love how comfortable and gentle the Spectra breast pumps are, more so the S2 breast pump over the Spectra S9, compared to other brands like Medela.

Easy to Clean 

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

Although, one mom complained that the Spectra S9’s flange piece does not come apart easily, making it difficult to clean thoroughly.

Warranty 

Both have a 2 years warranty on the motor and a 90-day warranty for the accessories (must come with the breast pump, not as a separate purchase).

But make sure to buy it from their Amazon third party seller iServe OR straight from their website, so they can honor the warranty.

Warranty on all of Spectra products is only within the United States

Customer Service 

Most customers are pleased with the quickness and responsiveness of Spectra’s customer service team.

Some had a different experience though, sharing that it was so hard to get through someone to get back to them. Or the Spectra team was so rude when it comes to explaining the warranty and such.

Pros and Cons of the Spectra 9 vs Spectra S2

Here’s a general overview of the advantages and drawbacks of both the Spectra S2 vs S9 breast pumps.

Spectra S9 Plus Pros

  • Rechargeable battery
  • Portable and lightweight

Spectra S9 Plus Cons

  • Less powerful motor than S2 Plus
  • More expensive than S2 Plus

Spectra S2 Plus Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Cheaper than S9 Plus

Spectra S2 Plus Cons

  • Heavier and less portable
  • Must be plugged in at all times when in use

So Which One Should You Get – Spectra S9 vs S2?

If you want a substitute, more portable breast pump for traveling or when going to work, the Spectra S9 would suit you more.

Otherwise, just go for the Spectra S2

Sure it’s heavier but it does have a powerful motor, more so than the Spectra S9.

Sure with the S2, you’ll be tethered to a wall the entire time but some parents found a way around it, by using a battery pack and attaching it to the motor, making it a portable pump!