In December 2013, Spectra Baby USA released the first version of the Spectra S1 breast pump, one of the first, truly reliable rechargeable breast pumps. No other popular brand had released a rechargeable battery breast pump and this is one of the biggest differences among S1, S2, 9Plus, and Medela.

In this article, we explore the key differences between the S1 and S2 brands of Spectra electric breast pumps. Both S1 and S2 and double pumps, meaning that they can pump both breasts at the same time. Another significant similarity is that both S1 and S2 have a massage mode to help with initiating expression and an expression mode to maintain pumping once the breasts are letting milk.

In our 2021 list of electric breast pumps, both Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 made it to the list. In this article, we answer the question of which of the two breast pumps is better and we analyze finer details to answer this question.

Spectra Baby USA, the company behind the Spectra brands of breast pumps was founded by Heidi Humphries.

Spectra Baby USA: The Company

Spectra Baby USA has released several lines of baby products in addition to breast pumps. The Spectra company was founded in 2012 and is based in Davie, Florida with less than 50 employees some of whom are licensed by the International Board of Lactation Consultants. Spectra brand is known for leading natural nursing care technologies.

Spectra S1 (link to Amazon)

On October 16th 2019, Spectra S1 is the 3rd best-selling breast pump on Amazon and over 1450 parents have rated it 4.4/5. On the other hand, Spectra S2 is the 35th best-selling electric breast pump on Amazon and over 2,000 parents have rated it 4.3/5 (as of October 16th 2019).

Spectra S2 (link to Amazon)

On a physical level, Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 look the same. They both have the bottle holder at the back, same buttons, same plug-ins, same handles, and some lights.

Market reception of Spectra S1 and S2

Spectra brands of breast pumps received a great reception in the market, at least in the US. Between December 15, 2019, and Jan 15 2020, Spectra S1 shipped 1778 units on Amazon making it the third-best electric breast pump after Bellababy and Lansinoh electric breast pumps.

The snapshot below shows the sales of Spectra S1 between Dec 15th 2019 and Jan 15, 2020.

The chart below shows Spectra S1 ships an average of over 70 units per day.

Spectra S2 shipped 1,324 units between Dec 15th, 2019 to Jan 15th, 2020 as shown in the snapshot below. Essentially, Spectra ships more units of Spectra S1 than Spectra S2.

The chart below shows the sales trends of Spectra S2 over the last 30 days.

Similarities: Spectra S1 and Spectra S2

  • They both have an auto-timer
  • They are both lightweight and portable: under 4 lbs
  • Both have a backlight that allows you to see the settings in the dark
  • Their sanctions have adjustable controls
  • Tracker to see the number of hours you’ve pumped
  • 2-year warranty
  • Single or Double Pump capability
  • Massage level of 1 to 15
  • 5 cycle levels 38, 42, 46, 50, and 54.
  • Flange size of 20, 24, 28 and 32
  • They both have a closed system unlike Medala that has an open system
  • The vacuum levels of both S1 and S2 Plus are similar, 0 to 300 mmHg
  • They come with black or gold tote bag (carry-on bags).

Differences between Spectra S1 and S2

I really like the S1 and personally, recommend the S1 brand as the rechargeable battery power source makes it easy to use it when traveling. Other than S1 having a rechargeable battery, S1 is also different from S2 as it is blue and S2 is blue.

Other than Spectra S1 has a rechargeable battery that Spectra S2 does not have, the other major difference is the cost of the S1 and S2. Spectra S1 cost more than Spectra S2, mostly because of the extra rechargeable battery.

The table below has a more exhaustive comparison on Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2.

Spectra S1Spectra S2
It has a rechargeable battery that lasts for 3 hours and can also be powered by 12 Volt AC Power AdapterIt does not have a rechargeable battery as it is powered by 12 Volt AC Power Adapter
Bigger than S2 and weighs 3lbs (1.1kg), 0.5 higher than S2 because it has an inbuilt batteryS2 is smaller than S1 and weighs 2.5lbs (900 grams)
Rating on Amazon on 16/10/2019: 4.4/5 by over 1,450 parents Rating on Amazon on 16/10/2019: 4.3/5 by over 2000 parents
Released to the market in December 2013 Released to the market in 2015
Blue in colorPink in color
Ideal if you’ll be pumping in one location Ideal if you’ll be pumping in several locations for working mums or when traveling.
Slightly more expensive as it costs about $199 but you can check its prices today hereSlightly cheaper as it cost $160 but you can check its prices today here

Below is a comparison from Spectra’s website. It compares Spectra S1 vs S2 vs 9Plus

Spectra S1 vs S2Plus Vs 9Plus

Video Comparison of Spectra S1 Vs S2

Pros of Spectra Brands

  • Comfort
  • Low noise
  • Customer service is great
  • BPA free parts
  • Hospital-grade suction strength
  • Can be used as a single or double pumps

Cons of Spectra Brands

  • Both Spectra brands come with flanges but most available units may not be the right size for you. Some new moms have to go through several units of the Spectra units before finding the right flanges for them.
  • S2 does not have a rechargeable battery
  • Both flange options may seem rough
  • While there is backflow protection, some moisture leaks
  • When the double pump is used, the suction strength goes down.

You can read the manual of Spectra S2 here.

Spectra Vs Medela 

Closed systemclosed system
Has carry bagNo carry bag
S1 has battery and S2 uses ACUses AC power, the battery is an add-on
Has nightlightNo nightlight
0 to 300mmHg vacuum level235 to 275mmHG vacuum level
Check S1 price and S2 PriceCheck Price

How to use Spectra S1

What is included when I purchase Spectra S1 or S2?

Below is included in the packaging:
Two (2) 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges.
Two (2) 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges.
Two (2) Spectra Tubing.
Two (2) Spectra Duckbill Valves.
Two (2) Spectra Backflow Protectors.  Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector.
Two (2) Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and lid for each Bottle.
One (1) Spectra 12-Volt AC Power Adapter. Includes detachable power cord prongs.

How long does it take to charge Spectra S1?

It takes 4 hours for Spectra S1 to fully charge

Does insurance cover a Spectra breast pump?

As of Jan 2020, most insurance agencies in the US cover electric breast pumps but there are variations in coverage. You should contact your insurance agent to learn whether your insurer covers it.

Are the Spectra S1 and S2 hospital-grade pumps?

Yes. Spectra S1 and Spectra S2 are hospital-grade pumps.


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