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Breast pumps are something that parents will debate about for many decades to come. We all have our own opinions on what works best and what is a good fit. Even when technology finally advances breast milk expression into an even more convenient process where we barely notice the pumps, there will still be something to argue over.
That is why it can be so hard to not only find the right brand to trust but also the right machine. Ameda and Medela are both well-known brands with some interesting machines. Both brands have dual electric breast pumps features. But, there are conflicting opinions on their designs and effectiveness. So which should you go for in the battle of Ameda vs Medela breast pumps?
In this guide, I am going to run through the benefits and features of some of the top models from both brands. We will look at their performance and features to see which brand has the best ideas and which model is the better design.
Before that, let’s learn a little more about these brands and what to look for from the best breast pumps from both Ameda and Medela.
Who is Ameda?
Ameda has been on the market for more than 75 years, which helps explain its current status as a breast pump brand. They claim to have created the first Ameda pump that mimics the rhythm of babies sucking at the nipple. So, if you appreciate this sensation, you have Einar Egnell and Ameda to thank.
Why is Ameda so popular with parents?
The tagline for Ameda is “Trusted by hospitals. Loved by Moms.” This suggests a reputable brand with high-end equipment. It is important to note from the start that there are expensive models that are hospital
strength for those that can afford them and cheaper options that are for home use with less power behind them. A website is also a great place for parents to go for guidance and support because of the blog posts and further links. This includes links to customer support to help parents find the products they need but also links to healthcare advisors.
What can you expect from Ameda products?
There is more on offer from Ameda than just their pumps. The Ameda hygiene kit is a popular feature and something used well in the best models. They also sell a range of accessories and storage solutions, such as their milk bags, as well as spare parts for their various machine.
There is also a strong focus on healthcare in the extra products, such as nursing cream. With such a range of products, it is easy to see why loyal consumers would keep coming back to this brand.
Who is Medela?
Medela isn’t far behind Ameda in terms of longevity. They have worked for around 60 years to help mothers through the stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
They have a strong interest in research and have used their knowledge to make advancements in products and consumer care. They also work closely with and sponsor the annual International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium
Why is Medela so popular with parents?
The website is great for parents that want a more comprehensive resource for products and information. The homepage has some great examples of products that are new to the line, such as new pumps and creams, as well as blog posts. There are also regional variations to suit their consumer base across the world. They also have a strong social media presence, making them more accessible.
What can you expect from Medela products?
The breastfeeding site from Medela is full of links to products across the board. In addition to their breast pumps, there are other essential tools for feeding children, storing milk when expressing away from home, and caring for breasts between pumping sessions. There are also sections for maternity clothing and other baby care needs.
Is Ameda compatible with Medela?
There will be parents that end up with some leftover Medela bottles that want to switch to Ameda or vice versa. So, it helps if you can use your accessories from one brand with another. Luckily it seems that these companies don’t expect you to be 100% brand loyal across the board.
Some users put Ameda bottles on their Medela pump and don’t have any issues. This is great if you get to the end of this guide and decide you want to upgrade from an Amede system to a Medela one.
What should you look for in the best breast pumps from either brand?
Consider the following points when searching for any breast pump.
- The quality of the suction. Some pumps are stronger than others for a more efficient process. But, you may also find it better to have an adjustable suction to find the right comfort level. It also helps to get a 2- phase system with a closed design for a more hygienic and natural approach.
- The power supply. The best pumps are portable so you can use them away from home or at work. This means a good battery life from a rechargeable pack and a reliable AC unit when needed. Some models use AA batteries instead.
- The accessories with the pump. This can vary greatly depending on the package you get. Basic models may be the pump on their own. The next stage up may have some extra bottles and shields. As you work your way up the range, you can find a tote to carry the system around, coolers for added protection, and even bustiers for hands-free sessions.
- The design. A splash of color on a device isn’t a bad thing to make it less clinical. Also, A compact shape is great for added portability.
Which is the best breast pump from either Ameda or Medela
This idea of variation across a brand is why I have included a couple of different models from both of these top brands for your consideration. You will often find guides with two breast pumps machines going head to head, but I think it is important to look at some alternatives to find the best fit. Therefore, the comparison review below will look at the features, benefits, and disadvantages of the following products.
Before we get deeper into the comparisons and the table below, I want to point out that there are different versions of the Medela Pump in Style on the market, that are designed for single and double pumping, and you may see conflicting stats or comments online. Many parents will have used, or currently use, the older version. This is a lesser model with less strength and a lot of AA batteries in the pack to keep it going.
In 2021, the company revamped the design and the functionality with better performance and a new battery pack. Keep this in mind if you decide to go for the Pump In Style. Some retailers may still have old stock at a bargain price. It would be better to pay full price for 2021 for that improved experience.
|Ameda Purely Yours
|Ameda MYA Joy
|Medela Pump in Style
|Medela Freestyle Flex
|Pump in Style
Which is the best hospital-grade pump? Ameda or Medela?
There is a sense of relief when you see the term hospital grade with any device remotely medical or related to physical welfare. The term brings peace of mind that you should end up with something that is safe and effective.
This is something that you need to be careful with when comparing products. There is an assumption sometimes that any product with a good specification and endorsement from the medical community is hospital grade. This isn’t necessarily the case. The Medela models here are medical grade or hospital strength – depending on the terminology that companies want to use.
This means that you should get the suction but also the quality needed in the different parts. Parents that know they need a heavy-duty option should be OK here.
However, things are a little different with Ameda. The Ameda Purely Yours pump isn’t hospital-grade, which could mean a little less quality and power behind the suction. Some of the user reviews seem to back this up as there are mothers that found Medela products to be stronger and more reliable.
However, that doesn’t mean that this Purely Yours device won’t work better for some users, which is why I have gone into further detail about the features below. Also, there are alternative models, such as the Ameda MYA Joy that are classed as hospital strength. This shows the importance of shopping around and comparing models across a brand’s range.
The pumping action of Ameda vs Medela pumps.
Let’s start with the type of system that you get with these products. There are two main types. Most modern products are closed systems. This is the case for both of the Ameda products in this guide and the Medela Freestyle.
The more modern version of the Pump In Style is closed, but the previous model is not. That is why it is so important to go for the 2021 version. The open system isn’t as easy to keep clean and is, therefore, a hygiene risk compared to other products.
Can you alter the suction on Ameda or Medela pumps?
A benefit of choosing a Medela breast pump is that they tend to have a broad range of strength so you can choose the suction level that is right for you. The Pump in Style range is -20 to -270 mmHg and the Freestyle Flex is -45 to -245 mmHg.
While these ranges are pretty similar and should be more than enough to help parents out, the higher and lower extremes of the Pump in Style could make that a little more suitable for some users. The Ameda MYA Joy Double Electric Breast Pump has some nice features here too.
There is a HygieniKit Milk Collection System with 2-phase adjustable suction. This means 6 levels of stimulation and 12 levels of expression.
One of the biggest selling points of the Freestyle Flex is the use of hand-held control to manage the session. There is a small remote control that fits nicely in the hand and has buttons to adapt the suction.
There is also a pause button in case you need to stop for some reason, a timer, and a delay start for the timer for added convenience. A nice touch here is that the device has a lanyard loop to slip around the wrist for security. This means that you can get up, attend to another task, and still have the controls at hand.
Who has the better power supply? Medela or Ameda?
Another important consideration for a reliable system is the type of batteries in use. Both the Medela Pump in Style and the Ameda Purely Yours have an AC power adaptor feature that helps you to simply start pumping. Again, there is a big difference between a lot of modern and old-fashioned devices.
The best pumps will have a rechargeable battery pack, and ideally an additional AC pack to plug into the wall. This is the case for both of the modern Medela products and there are positive comments about the effectiveness and power of the machine.
However, the older version of the Pump In Style requires a staggering 8 AA batteries, which is quite expensive for a well-used machine. Unfortunately, the Ameda products aren’t much better, with the Purely Yours needing 6AA and the MYA Joy just 4.
Who offers more bottles? Ameda or Medela?
Both the Medela Freestyle and Pump In Style models come with 4 bottles. This should be more than enough for new mothers. Unfortunately, Ameda isn’t as generous. There are 2 bottles with the Purely Your machine and you need the Deluxe accessories version of the Mya Joy to get any bottles there.
Thankfully, in both cases, the bottles are strong and compatible with comfortable teets. Also, the plastic in these bottles is BPA- free across the board for added safety.
The additional accessories of Ameda vs Medela pumps.
One of the most interesting things about these products is the range of accessories that you get. This can vary depending on the bundle. But, each brand does increase the convenience a lot. Ameda does a little less but still has some quality items.
Many of these top products come with a tote, which tends to be spacious, secure, and easy to carry. There may also be a matching cooler to protect the milk when expressing away from home. A bonus here is that neither bag is obviously for nursing, so you can be discrete.
Over with Medela, you also get a nice cooler and ice pack with the Pump In Style machine. Again, it is effective and doesn’t make it obvious what’s inside. The Freestyle doesn’t have this cooler, but it does come with a nice tote and some alternative sizes of shields for added comfort.
Furthermore, some bundles have wearable items that could make a big difference. I want to take a moment to discuss that in more detail.
On the subject of accessories and features that could make life a little easier for mothers, I want to take a moment to mention the Medela Expression Bustier. This is a product that you can sometimes find as part of a wider package with Medela products. There is a version of the Medela Freestyle where this comes in the box.
But, you can also purchase it separately if you want to. There are pros and cons to this bustier. On the plus side, there is a nice stretchy material that adapts to the body and provides a secure fit around the breast. This comes from the 15% of spandex in with the nylon.
You can then place the shields through the nipple holes and essentially suspend the pumps for a hands-free experience. The negative side is that the larger sizes aren’t as large as expected and the holes are a bit small for some shields.
Other considerations with Medela and Ameda breast pumps
An additional benefit of the MYA Joy is that it is said to operate at less than 45 dB. This is great for parents that want to sit back and relax as best they can during this break in their schedule. Other products can be a bit mechanical and noisy, and some say that the Freestyle Flex is noisier than anticipated.
Meanwhile, the Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump has the advantage of nice yellow color. This is much brighter and friendly than a clinical white piece of kit. It also makes the product gender-neutral for parents that don’t want something pink or blue.
What about the warranty?
Finally, we need to consider the warranty, just in case you dislike a product or it develops a fault. Typically, Medela products have a warranty of 12 months for personal use items, with a 90-day warranty for the parts. You can return an item within this time if there is a defect.
However, there is a reference to an extended warranty which may be worthwhile asking the company about. There is a similar level of confusion with the Ameda products. The company says that there is a one-year warranty on personal breast pumps from the date of purchase.
But, there also seem to be models with a two-year warranty. Again, talk to the company to see what you need to do. You may also find you need to register your product with them first.
Which Medela breast pump is the best?
The pros and cons outlined below suggest that even with the improvements to the 2021 version of the Pump In Style, the Freestyle Flex is the better option.
The pros and cons of the Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump.
- The handheld control with the convenient settings and strap
- There is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery – which the other three don’t have
- A compact shape for portability
- Plenty of accessories and bottles in the box – including the bustier
- The nice gender-neutral color scheme for parents that don’t want a stereotypical look.
- The suction range isn’t quite as broad as that of the Medela Pump in Style
- Louder than some expected
The pros and cons of the Medela Pump In Style Breast Pump
- A strong range of suction options to suit different users
- Two-phase expression technology for a better experience
- The new version has a nice battery pack and wall adapter
- There is a more efficient motor in the 2021 version
- 4 bottles in the box for storing plenty of milk
- An open system that isn’t as hygienic or easy to cleanout
- The older model requires AA batteries, unlike the rechargeable Freestyle Flex
Which Ameda breast pump is best?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of both of these products. Personally, I believe that the MYA Joy is the best with these factors in consideration.
The pros and cons of the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump
- Fairly compact
- Comfortable shields for regular sessions
- Dual Hygiene kit
- Come with a cooler for preserving milk on the go
- Comes with a nice tote that is easy to carry around
- Needs a lot of batteries
- Not hospital grade
The pros and cons of the Ameda MYA Joy Breast Pump.
- This is a hospital-grade system – unlike the Purely Yours model
- There is a nice hygiene kit for added peace of mind
- There is variable suction for a customizable experience.
- Many versions come with a nice large tote for portability
- Quieter than some other products
- You only get a decent amount of bottles if you go for the deluxe version
- Requires 4 AA batteries
My recommendation for the best model is Ameda vs Medela breast pumps.
When determining the winner between the two brands, I have to go for Medela over Ameda. There are a few different reasons for this. Ameda products have their benefits and can be a user-friendly solution for the right person.
The models here do just enough for easy expression with a good setup and hygienic approach. They may also be a cheaper option depending on the source and any deals you might find. However, there are parents that say that they prefer using Medela products because of their strength and reliability.
There is also a really nice range of additional features available. You may be able to get these in a bundle or you will have to buy them separately. This can add to the cost, but it is worth it for the extra convenience and peace of mind provided.
As for choosing the best product, I would go for the Medela Freestyle Flex Breast Pump based on the pros and cons above. I know that some people will prefer the suction and design of the Pump In Style.
But, the use of a rechargeable battery does make a massive difference. No more searching for all those AA batteries. The design of the system – from the yellow design to the handheld remote – helps too. This also has the closed system lacking in the Pump In Style.
However, if you are adamant about getting an Ameda system instead, your best bet is probably to go for the deluxe version of the MYA Joy. This will mean a bigger short-term expense, but it is worth it for the additional feature that you get.
The large tote, high-quality hygiene kit, and additional bottles are great. The MYA Joy also has the advantages of the quiet operation, customizable settings, and hospital-grade components.
Final thoughts on choosing the best breast pump.
In this battle between Ameda vs Medela breast pumps, it does seem as though Medela is the better company to go for. They not only have some great products with lots of accessories, but they are working to improve their product line and make life easier for parents.
Furthermore, you get the peace of mind of a hospital-grade product. However, it is always important to carry out your own comparisons and see which brand is the best fit for you. Something about the Ameda line or the brand may draw you in a little more.
Take your time to look at not just the models but the different packages on offer. For example, you might find a good deal on a set with a cooler.
Finally, don’t get frustrated if you are struggling to find a good fit right now or hate the product you have. There is a better option out there and you will find a way to improve your experience. You can get to a point where pumping isn’t a chore.