So you decided to go with a Spectra for your breastfeeding/pumping journey – yay! But how do you decide between a Spectra S1 versus a Spectra S2? Keep on reading because this blog post will go through the similarities and differences between the Spectra S1 and the S2.
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How are the Spectra S1 and the Spectra S2 different?
The Spectra S1 and the Spectra S2 are actually more similar than they are different. Because of that, let’s go into the few (but major) differences first.
The most notable difference between the Spectra S1 and the S2 is the presence or absence of a rechargeable battery. This feature is only available with the Spectra S1. This means that the Spectra S1 is completely portable! Imagine not having to be tied down to an electrical outlet and you can pump freely in your car, your kitchen, at work – anywhere!
As a contrast, the Spectra S2 has to be plugged in with an AC adaptor, so it will not work unless plugged in.
How long does the Spectra S1 battery last?
According to Spectra Baby USA, a fully charged Spectra S1 will hold 3 hours of power.
That means, if you pump three 20-minutes sessions at work, a fully charged Spectra S1 will last you 3 whole work days before you have to charge again!
Because of the rechargeable battery feature, it is no surprise that the Spectra S1 costs more than the Spectra S2. At the time of this writing, the Spectra S1 costs $199.99 on Amazon while the Spectra S2 costs $159.
Of course, the actual out-of-pocket cost may depend on what your insurance covers. Some insurance companies completely cover the Spectra S1 and S2 while some completely cover the S2 and will have you pay the difference if you want to upgrade to the S1. Be sure to double check with your insurance company before deciding which pump to use.
The only other difference between the Spectra S1 and the S2 is the color. The Spectra S1 is a baby blue and the Spectra S2 is a baby pink. Both are beautiful colors and there is no need to stay color-exclusive to your baby’s gender!
How are the Spectra S1 and the Spectra S2 similar?
So now that we have the differences out of the way, let’s review how the Spectra S1 and S2 are similar.
Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Both the Spectra S1 and S2 are hospital-grade pumps. This means that you can expect powerful suction that you would get from a breast pump rented from the hospital – up to 270 mmHg! This means that you pump more efficiently and you will empty you more than a personal breast pump.
Since the Spectra S1 and S2 are hospital-grade, this means that they are closed-system pumps. As opposed to an open-system pump, a closed-system pump prevents milk from entering the actual pump with a physical barrier. A closed-system is the most hygienic type of pump as your breast milk is protected and there is no need to sterilize small pump parts or tubes.
A closed-system pump makes sense for a pump rented from the hospital since many people will be using it. But what does that mean for you? It means that your Spectra S1 or Spectra S2 will have excellent resale value! Once you’re done with that pump life, you’ll be able to pass it on to another mom and they will not have to worry about mixing old milk when they start pumping.
Single or Double Pumping
With either the Spectra S1 or Spectra S2, you have the option of single or double pumping.
- Single pumping – pump one breast at at time
- Double pumping – pump both breasts at the same time
If you’re wondering who would choose single pumping over double pumping, here are some instances where single pumping may be beneficial:
- Trying to get a slacker boob to catch up
- Pumping only affected breast with clogged duct
- Pumping one side while nursing on the other side
However, double pumping is the gold standard when it comes to #pumplife. Not only does double pumping save time, but it is more efficient at optimizing milk output, draining both breasts effectively. This also means that you can pump milk with a higher fat content!
The ability to have the option for single or double pumping with the Spectra S1 and the S2 is great for flexibility and is an advantage to these specific pumps.
Ability to Customize Settings
An advantage to the Spectra S1 and S2 is the ability to customize pump settings. Both pumps have the massage mode that mimics the natural suction of a baby, which stimulates a faster and natural let-down. Once you get a let-down, you can then adjust the suction level and speed of the expression mode based on your comfort and breast milk output.
During your pump session, you can switch back and forth from massage mode to expression mode to stimulate more let-downs and produce more natural flow of breast milk!
Another advantage that moms rave about with both the Spectra S1 and S2 is how quiet the pump actually is. Many moms have said that they can pump while next to or holding their sleeping baby!
Personally, I am able to pump while at work and there have been no complaints while on conference calls or talking with patients on the phone!
For some comparison, the Spectra S1/S2 pumps at a level of 45 decibels (the hush of a library) while the Medela Pump In Style is quite a bit louder at 58 decibels.
Having a quiet pump allows for discreet pumping – because who needs an announcement that pumping is in progress?!
Lightweight Breast Pump
Both the Spectra S1 and the S2 are lightweight pumps. I will say that the Spectra S1 is slightly heavier, but that’s because of the rechargeable battery. The Spectra S1 weighs 3 lbs while the Spectra S2 weighs 2.5 lbs.
The reason why I put the weight as a similarity (rather than a difference) is because 2.5-3 lbs is still considered lightweight. For contrast, a Medela Pump In Style weighs in at a whopping 6.8 lbs! Imagine trying to lug that pump around!
The Spectra S1 and S2 both have a cupholder feature on the actual pump itself. It’s the perfect size for the included breast milk storage bottles. Personally, I’ve never used them to store bottles (I find that bottles are knocked down too easily), but I do use it to store an extra hair tie, bobby pins, and chapstick!
While a built-in nightlight may seem like a silly feature to have, it can be a lifesaver during those middle of the night pump sessions! The nightlight comes in two brightness modes, so you can always use the perfect amount of light that you need.
Spectra S1 versus Spectra S2 Comparison
See how similar the Spectra S1 and S2 are? In fact, they are more the same than they are different! Here’s a table that highlights the similarities and differences between the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2.
How to choose between the Spectra S1 and Spectra S2
Given all of the similarities and differences between the Spectra S1 and S2, how do you decide which one is best for you? Here are some things to keep in mind when making your decision:
As mentioned above, some insurance companies may cover the entire cost of the Spectra S1 and the S2. Or they may cover the S2 and you will have to pay the difference to upgrade to S1. Or the insurance company may not cover either one. Double check with your insurance on the cost difference is between these two pumps. Then you can make a decision based on your budget.
When to choose the Spectra S1
Consider getting the Spectra S1 if you have to pump frequently without a reliable power source. For example, are you a frequent flyer and you have to always pump on the go? Do you have a long commute that makes pumping in the car very efficient? Or do you like the idea of moving freely while pumping? The Spectra S1 is for you!
When to choose the Spectra S2
Choose the Spectra S2 if you’re on a budget and you have access to a reliable consistent pumping source. At a lower price point, you’re getting the exact same quality breast pump as a Spectra S1 – all except a rechargeable battery.
How to Make the Spectra S2 Portable
Now after going through all of that, what if I told you that there is a way to make the Spectra S2 portable?! If we could do that, then the Spectra S2 is essentially the same pump as the S1! But how do we do that?
With an external battery pack! This will allow you to provide power to your pump without being tied down to a physical electrical outlet.
In order to to this, we have to verify the amount of voltage that your Spectra S2 requires. If you use too little voltage, the suction will not pump efficiently. On the other hand, if you use too much voltage, you can damage your pump. Spectra S2 uses 12v, so you will look for a battery pack that has 12v power.
Be mindful of the price of the battery pack. Compare the price of the Spectra S2 PLUS the battery pack to see if it makes more sense to just upgrade to the Spectra S1, which may end up cheaper.
There is also the option of getting a car charger, which will power your pump through your car’s lighter. This is cheaper than a battery pack, but you are limited to pumping your car. Still, it’s perfect for long commutes or that emergency situation when you have to pump on the go!
Choosing between the Spectra S1 and S2 will depend entirely what you are looking for and what works best for you! This blog post details their similarities and differences and will provide you enough information to make an educated decision! Which breast pump did you end up choosing and why? I would love to hear from you! 😍