image of the spectra s2 breast pump - not rechargeable

Spectra S1 vs S2 Breast Pump Comparison & Review

by Megan Schipsi |

Ah, pumping. One of the least glamorous and rarely discussed sides of being a new mom. If you are a mom who is planning to breastfeed, chances are you will want to have a breast pump on hand. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home, work from home, or working mom, a pump is a great tool to have!

There are so many brands and options to consider, but I wanted to explain the features of the two very popular Spectra breast pumps, the S1 and the S2. Overall, the one you decide to go with will depend on what your needs are, so read on to learn more about each pump.

This comparison review should help you figure out which is best for you.

Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2
 

SPECTRA S1Image of the Spectra Baby USA - S1 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump - Rechargeable Battery

View on Amazon

 

SPECTRA S2

 

Image of the Spectra Baby USA - S2 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump

View on Amazon

Battery: RechargeableBattery: None
System: Closed System: Closed
Color: Blue
Color: Pink
Price: MorePrice: Less

 


See our 141 Reasons to Breastfeed and the 19 Challenges to Breastfeeding if you are still deciding which feeding method to use.


Spectra S1 and Spectra S2- Similarities

Here’s a little secret about these wildly popular Spectra pumps… they are nearly identical. You will find only two differences between the S1 and S2: price and battery. The S1 will cost you more than the S2, because it comes with a rechargeable battery. That’s it though, that battery and the price are the only differences! Let’s look at some of the features that both pumps have.

Closed system

Both the S1 and S2 are closed system breast pumps. That means that milk doesn’t actually get into the pump itself. This helps keep the pump (and all that fresh milk!) free from mold and bacteria. There is basically no way for your milk to get contaminated when using a closed system.

Also, this allows the Spectra pumps to have a good resale value. Many people will buy a used closed pump system, while it isn’t advisable to buy a used open pump system. Since the Spectra is known to be long lasting and powerful, you might be able to sell it once your own personal pumping journey ends.

Hospital Grade

It is well known that the pumps that hospitals use work about 10 times better than the average breast pump you can buy for yourself. What makes these Spectra pumps stand out is that they both are hospital grade. While this is an unregulated term, and anyone can use it to describe their pump, it generally means that the pump is the strongest you can buy, and it can be used by multiple people (as long as everyone has their own accessory kit). Short of renting a pump from your hospital, the Spectra is about the best you can get.

Personalized Settings

The ability to personalize your own pumping settings will save you a lot of time in the long run. Both the S1 and S2 have this feature. You can set both the speed and the power to meet the needs of your body. The easy to use buttons make adjusting these settings super simple, so when your milk supply changes, you can easily fix the settings.

There are 12 different levels of suction, so there is bound to be one that works for you. This pump also has different modes for the stage of your pumping session that you are in. Pre-letdown, let-down, massage… all easy to change to!

Image of the Spectra Baby USA - S2 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump - With Black Tote and Pink Cooler

Powerful Motor

Breast pumps are sometimes looked down upon since they can’t get as much milk from the breast as a baby could. However, the Spectra S1 and S2 both have the same powerful motor which can go up to a 250mmHg suction rate. That means less time spent pumping, and more milk output per session. I was one of those women who did not enjoy pumping, so anything to make it go faster would be a win in my book.

Quiet

If you are pumping during nap time, or want to be discreet at work, the quietness of this pump will be very helpful. Both the S1 and S2 are pretty quiet, as far as pumps go. You should be able to pump with the door closed and no one will know the difference. This is wonderful for working moms who want privacy. No one else needs to know what you are doing behind closed doors. If you are pumping at home, there is zero chance that this pump will wake your baby, as it is almost silent even when in the strongest mode.

BPA Free

To me, it’s pretty important that any plastic I buy is BPA free. I know that there are so many health issues when it comes to plastics, so knowing that Spectra goes the extra mile to make sure that your milk stays as plastic free as possible is a nice feature. All of the pieces that touch the milk are free of BPA.

Accessories

Both pumps come with the same accessories, including bottles, valves, and two sizes of flanges. You can easily buy extra bottles and parts online if you need more for your milk. Also, pump parts from several other brands are compatible with this pump.

Image of the Spectra Baby USA - S2 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump - With Black Tote and Pink Cooler

Single and Double

The Spectra S1 and S2 can each be used as a double or single pump. If you only pump one breast at a time, you can easily configure the pump to do just that. If you prefer to pump on both sides at once, this pump has got you covered. No need to switch back and forth like a typical single side pump. Being able to double pump will save you time at work or home.

Women Owned Company

This could be an important fact for some! Spectra is owned and operated by women who are doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, and, most importantly, moms. Knowing that a woman helped to design and market this pump makes me feel better about buying it, since I know women will understand more about the needs of a pumping mom.

Spectra S1 vs S2 – What’s The Difference?

Let’s get down to the other differences between the pumps. While there are few, they are significant. The big difference between the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 breast pumps is that the the S1 has a rechargeable battery. This makes it a little more portable than the S2.

The leading alternative also has a rechargeable battery.

Let’s break down those differences a little further…

The Spectra S1 has a feature that the S2 lacks. It comes with a rechargeable battery. This means that you can pump anywhere. At a playdate in the park? Yes! At a baseball game? Of course! On an airplane? Sure, why not! Just charge up the battery and you are good to go. If you are a pumping, working mom, this feature might be worth the extra cost. Sometimes work spaces don’t have a dedicated pumping area, and you may need to get creative. If you travel a lot, this might be a good choice as well. You can easily pump anywhere, no electricity needed.

The other major difference is price. Since the S1 does have that extra battery power, it will cost more. The S2 is more expensive than it’s counterpart. So if price is your biggest concern, and you don’t need the portability, definitely go for the Spectra S2.

Oh, and just so you know, the Spectra S1 is white and blue, while the S2 is white and pink. Not a big difference, but I wanted to let you know! You can only buy them in one color.

Spectra S1 and S2 Possible Drawbacks

Cost

I find that both the S1 and S2 are a great value for the cost. However, it still may be out of your range. If you are on a super tight budget and still need a pump, some basic hand pumps can be found for less than the cost of a couple cups of coffee. So while I don’t think the Spectra pumps are expensive for what they offer, the cost can be prohibitive for some.

Flanges

Both pumps come with two sets of flanges. But, as we all know, breasts come in many different shapes and sizes. These flanges that are provided might not be the right size for your body. If that is the case, you have to go to the trouble of ordering more, which is annoying for a new mom who just needs to start pumping ASAP!

Image of the Spectra Baby USA - S2 Hospital Grade Double/Single Electric Breast Pump - With Black Tote and Pink Cooler

Spectra S1 and S2 Features

Both the S1 and S2 feature:

  • Lightweight portability (under 4 lbs)
  • Closed system
  • Speed adjustment
  • A/C power
  • LED digital display
  • Auto shut off
  • Night light

Read our full review of the Spectra S2 Breast Pump to get a detailed breakdown of all it’s features.

Bottom Line: Do You Buy the Spectra S1 or S2?

Here is the bottom line… only you will know if the S1 or S2 is better for your needs. If you know you will only be pumping in one place, like your home, or your office that has a dedicated outlet, than the S2 should fit your needs and save you some money. However, if you need to pump on the go, or you aren’t sure exactly where you will be pumping most of the time, then the S1 is likely a better choice. You will pay more for the convenience of being able to pump literally anywhere, but the cost will be worth it when you realize you have to pump somewhere without easy access to electricity!

Overall, the Spectra S1 vs S2 breast pump comparison just boils down to how portable you need your pump to be. Either breast pump is an excellent choice for any mom who wants to pump regularly.

Want more ideas? Check out our Best Breast Pump article!

Megan Schipsi
Megan is a parent, teacher, and writer from Phoenix, Arizona. When she isn't blogging, Megan can be found hiking the deserts with her child and two old chihuahuas, teaching at a co-op preschool, or working on her master's degree online.

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