Spectra S1 Vs S2 Breast Pump Comparison & Review

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Spectra S1 vs S2: Which Is The Best Breast Pump For You?


Finding the right breast pump can be a difficult task for new mothers. These machines are essential tools when we need to express milk and keep up with our schedules. They need to be ready for an efficient service whenever we need them. The more comfortable and reliable the process the better. But, some machines are more hassle then they are worth and add undue stress to the pumping process.

The Spectra S1 and S2 Breast pumps both have a lot of happy customers and receive praise for their features and process. On first impressions, these machines look very similar. So, what is the difference between the two when we compare Spectra S1 Vs S2? Also, is one model obviously superior to the other?

The Spectra S1 Vs S2.


In this guide, I want to take a closer look at these two Spectra breast pumps. You have a choice here between two models that appear to be virtually identical on face value alone. There are lots of similarities but also some important differences. Understanding these variations should help you find the best pump for your needs.

I will start by looking at those important differences. This could give a much clearer idea of which is right for your lifestyle and pumping needs. From there, I will discuss some of the shared features and functions within these models. This will show that you can get the same level quality, whichever you choose, and give you a better idea of the capabilities of the machines.

FAQs and basic facts on these Spectra breast pumps.


Which is better? Spectra s1 or s2?

Neither model is better than the other. As I will show you in this guide, there are pros and cons to choosing either. The choice largely comes down to your needs and the battery of the S1.

Is spectra s2 hospital grade?

Yes. This at-home model does have a hospital-grade construction and operation to provide peace of mind and the best results.

Spectra S2 Breast Pump

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Is spectra s1 hospital grade?

Yes. Even though it is a portable version of the machine, you can expect the same quality and hospital grade features.

Spectra S1 Breast Pump

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Can I use spectra s1 while charging?

Yes. The battery-powered operation of the S1 is highly convenient and you can express milk while charging it back up. As you will see from the review below, this option can be very convenient.


What sets the Spectra S2 apart from the Spectra S1?

These models are actually pretty similar when it comes to their functions and design. As you will see below, you get a lot of the same features and benefits no matter which model you choose. However, there are three key differences to mention here: the color, the price, and the power supply.

The color isn’t that important because you aren’t choosing this for the way it looks out on display – although there is an interesting aesthetic feature I will discuss further below. Instead, you just need to be aware that the blue model is the portable S1 and the pink model is the at-home S2. When choosing between the two, it is your budget and your need for portability that will end up as the deciding factors here.

Let’s start with the biggest difference between these two models: the battery.

The S1 has a built-in battery that you can charge up and use while you are away from home. This is perfect for all mothers with busy and variable schedules. For example, if you are back at work and still need to express milk regularly, a portable machine will help. Battery-powered options are also helpful during blackouts. As long as you have it charged and ready, the pump can still let you express – even if you have to do so in the darkness in a storm.

I like that this model not only has a small, attractive shape with the built-in carry handle but that there is also reasonable battery life. This machine should run for around 3 hours on one full charge. This means that you should be able to use it with ease during your time at work or while visiting friends. Most seem to agree that the battery is reliable and they don’t have any issues with the machine cutting out.

Another factor that I like about this powerful battery is that there isn’t that typical loss of power when the battery is close to running out. Some pumps can lose suction or speed when the battery is nearly depleted but this one stays strong right to the end. This reliability is important here because every second counts. The more efficient the pumping process, the sooner you can finish and get back to your day.

Another helpful feature in this battery-powered option is the ability to run on mains power as needed. So, you can still plug this in if you are in desperate need to pump but the battery has run out.

A battery isn’t always the best feature.

A battery-powered Spectra breast pump clearly has its benefits because of the convenience and reliability offered However, there are three important considerations and compromises when turning to this sort of transportable Spectra pump. They are the higher price the slightly weaker strength and the heavier weight.

One thing to watch out for here is that the inclusion of a battery pack does increase the weight a little bit. We aren’t talking about a massive difference here. The at-home S2 model weighs 0.99kg and the portable S1 weighs 1.12kg. There are lighter options out there but it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable to carry around.

Then there is the vacuum strength. Both machines have strong motors. But, there is a strength of 320mmHg in the Spectra 2 and just 300mmHg in the S1. This isn’t a massive discrepancy but it does mean that the highest setting won’t be as powerful.

Finally, there is the cost. I’m not going to say that you are going to pay a specific amount more for this Spectra S1 because you might find some great deals. Also, prices may vary depending on the retailer. But, the battery does add to the price so this isn’t the best choice for those after a budget option.

Otherwise, the Spectra S1 and S2 are very similar.

If you decide that you would prefer to have this battery-powered option, you don’t have to worry about missing out on any other features because of this built-in feature. Similarly, you don’t have to feel that you are getting a lesser model with the S2 if you want to go for that cheaper version. The specifications and accessories included with both products are very similar. You should get the same benefits in the action of the pump, the quality of the machine, and other helpful aspects.

Let’s start with the construction of this pump and some of the important pieces of hardware. Most of these machines use a hospital-grade system with a high strength motor. You can use this as a single or double pump thanks to the additional attachments. In fact, there should be everything you need here for the best experience. There are the mains adaptor, the backflow filter, and two bottles. This seems to impress most parents, who have little trouble expressing with this system.

An additional benefit here with the construction of these Spectra breast pumps is the use of safer materials. The plastics are strong and easy to sterilize but also BPA free so there is no risk of dangerous chemicals leeching into the milk. On a related note, it pleased me to learn that this model was a closed pump system. This means that there are an even better safety rating and decreased risk of contamination.

The features and settings are variable and helpful.

Of course, this would be nothing without the functions and the software to create an effective and convenient pumping process. There are different modes available in this system to help you express your milk and get the best experience. This level of adjustment is great because it puts the control firmly in the hands of the mother, not the machine.

You can use a more gentle massage setting on days when your breasts are more tender. Or, you can adjust the speed for a more powerful and efficient process when you are short on time. The speed is variable between 38 and 54rpm.

It should be easy enough to set up these features and preferences with the buttons on the console. They are user-friendly with a clear LCD display showing you the status of the session. That display could be a little bigger, and some might prefer it to be backlit. However, this subtle approach means that the screen doesn’t interfere with the nightlight. Most users seem to be happy with the settings and set-up for an easy process.

There are also some nice details and extra benefits to these machines that I think are really helpful. First of all, I think that you cannot underrate a brand that understands the importance of the quiet operation. This shows a level of compassion to us women that goes a long way.

The sound of a breast pump is one that will stick with us for the rest of our lives. We become used to that mechanical rhythm. Annoyingly, it is also a sound that our relatives and co-workers might not forget. You can only be so discrete with these things when other people can hear them sucking and whirring. So, a quiet operation like this is ideal.

You can go into another room while at work or at a relative’s home, set up the portable S1, and not draw too much attention. Another nice touch is that you can use this machine as a night light in the nursery. Just plug it in near the crib and let it provide greater value for money as it creates that soft light – instead of just sitting there taking up space.

Spectra S1 Vs S2 drawbacks.

Are there any downsides to picking either of these Spectra medical-grade breast pumps?

As you can see, the benefits of turning to Spectra for your pumping needs are high – whether you opt for the portable Spectra S1 or the mains-powered Spectra S2. There is also the fact that both models tend to receive a lot of praise from parents because of their reliability and convenience. Still, there are always going to be mothers that find flaws or prefer the functions or designs of a competitor.

The first issue to be aware of here is that some mothers struggle to find the most comfortable settings or experiences with this product. Some attribute this to the design of the attachment. I know that the flanges aren’t ideal for all women and it would be nice if there were more options for a better fit. Companies need to realize that we all come in different shapes and sizes but all have that same need for a comfortable, secure pump attachment.

Another issue with the comfort provided is that some find the higher speed and suction settings to be too intense. That is why it is so helpful that these Spectra machines have that variable speed and adaptability so users can find what works for them. You might have to go through some trial and error here, but don’t give up too soon.

The other issue to watch out for here is the longevity of the product. There are mothers that found that the motor in this powerful hospital-grade machine didn’t last as long as hoped. In some cases, this means a noticeable drop in intensity and expression over time.

It can’t keep up at the same rate around 6-10 months in as it did at the start. Others simply turn it on after a few months and get no response. This isn’t a guarantee, but it is worth remembering.

Are both the S1 and S2 better choices than others in the Spectra range?

While there are some clear downsides here that you do need to keep in mind with these machines, they also have their benefits over other systems. For example, you might look at the Spectra Dew 350 model as an alternative because of its higher power. This is more strength in the vacuum suction, at 350 mmHg instead of the 320 mmHg of the Spectra 2.

It is also just as light and allows for dual expression. But, it doesn’t have the same variable speed as the S1 or S2. It is also mains only with no adjustable cycles and no nightlight. This lack of options could be a letdown.

Then there is the Spectra S9+, which is much smaller and lighter at just 0.3kg. This should be great for those on the go. However, there aren’t the same settings and you can’t use it as a nightlight. Therefore, even though there are longevity issues with the S1 and S2, I feel that they are still the better choices for new parents.

Spectra S1 Vs S2: which is the best Spectra breast pump for your needs?

The S1 is best recommended for those that are in need of something portable. While there are options out there that are smaller and easier to carry around, this Spectra system has that medical-grade system and variable settings. It is worth handling a little extra weight and paying a little more if you know that battery-powered options are the only way forward.

This Spectra S1 should be able to provide the right setting at a comfortable level, even if that means a little trial and error at first. The quiet operation also means that you can take this with you to work, on trips, or to friend’s houses and not advertise what you are doing too much.

The S2, on the other hand, is a great choice for those that don’t require that level of portability. If you have a strong pumping routine with a clear schedule of when to pump at home, the lack of a battery shouldn’t be a problem. All you need to do is plug this in at an outlet in the nursery, set up your desired cycle, and let it get to work.

It isn’t going to cut out through a loss of power – unless there is a blackout – so should be a reliable option. The added benefits of the higher rate of suction and medical-grade construction mean that you should be able to pump with peace of mind. The lower price doesn’t hurt either.

Choosing the best breast pump for your needs.

Neither the Spectra S1 nor the Spectra S2 is perfect. There is that risk of breakdowns after a while and it might take some time to get comfortable. However, these machines have a nice range of features and convenient considerations that I know will appeal to a lot of new mothers.

Check out the full specification for these models and compare them with competitors and other Spectra models. At the end of the day in this battle of Spectra S1 Vs S2 you need to be sure that the settings and features fit with your needs as a mother.

spectra s1 vs s2




This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.