Medela Sonata vs Spectra S1 vs S2 – Which pump to get?

Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1 Vs S2

When it comes to choosing breast pumps, you can spend countless hours looking at products and still come out empty. I mean, how do you know for sure which one to pick? Before you give up, this Medela Sonata vs Spectra S1 vs S2 review outlines each option’s top-rated features, helping you choose the ideal product much faster.

My fianceé is a pharmacist and has come across quite a few pumps. She gave her input to this article both as a pharmacist and as a mom who pumped with Medela pumps.

My Top Picks

What breast pumps are and why you should buy them

Breastfeeding parents need all the help they can get to supply their babies with enough milk. That’s the case whether you’re a stay-at-home dad or mom or a working one. For parents who work away from their children, they need to leave some milk in storage. That’s where breast pumps come in handy. They help boost a mother’s supply, if necessary. Apart from that, pumping helps ensure there’s a ready supply even when you’re away from your baby.

Main features – similarities and differences

Type of breast pump

You first need to figure out whether you would like a mechanical pump like the three models in this review, or a manual breast pump, such as the products in my Haakaa vs Bumblebee vs Naturebond review.

A mechanical one could be one that’s battery operated or that needs to get plugged into a power outlet. These come with added features to make the pumping more flexible, such as hands-free pumping. With a manual option, you rely on your effort to pump the milk. For these, you will need to be seated and well, just pump using your muscles. And would you prefer to pump one breast at a time or both?

The Spectra S1  pump was made for mothers who prefer to pump one breast at a time, but it came with a connector for those who preferred to pump both. This line was discontinued, and replaced with the S1 Plus which has two nozzles instead of using a T-connector to pump both breasts at a go. Therefore we’ll be discussing the latest model, S1 Plus in this post.


Your budget, or lack of one, will help guide you towards a suitable breast pump. Some options are cheap, and some are expensive. Look at the features as well before selecting a model based solely on its price. Some affordable options have features not included in more expensive pumps.

For instance, both the Spectra S2 Plus and the Spectra S1 Plus are cheaper and come with a nightlight. On the other hand, a more costly option, the Medela Sonata, has a backlit screen that doesn’t display well in low light conditions. Although the Spectra S2 was an affordable and excellent option for mothers, it was discontinued like its counterpart Spectra S1. In this article, we discuss Spectra S2 Plus.


Depending on how busy you are, you may need a portable breast pump. That would mean that the pump would need to have battery packs or rechargeable batteries. With such, you can easily use it wherever you are without carrying the adapter with you as well. Both the Spectra S1 Plus and Medela Sonata have rechargeable batteries.

Ease of use

Not all breast pumps are easy to use. Some take time to assemble due to having many parts, such as all three options in this review. However, once you know what goes where, you can relax as all these options come with guidelines on how to operate them. That makes it easy for you to get started on your milk pumping.


Having a breast pump with accessories that are easy to clean means your child’s milk is always safe to drink. That’s because you won’t have any bacteria build up in hard-to-clean spaces. All three of these options are easy to clean and sterilize. Just take apart the pieces and wash them up after each use.


With breast pumps, some parents like options they can carry around with them. That way, even if you need to pump while handling something such as clearing the table, you can. For such parents, a lightweight option like the Medela Sonata would work best. It only weighs 2.2 pounds. The Spectra S2 Plus and Spectra S1 Plus are also good options, weighing 2.5 pounds and 3 pounds, respectively.


The sound made as you pump can be irritating or noisy, especially if there are other people in the room. Sometimes, you may even need to pump while your baby sleeps. In case having silent milk pumping sessions is vital to you, then any of these three options will work well. They come with almost quiet motors, making it possible to pump anytime the need arises.

Added features

Getting things like a bag for the pump, extra accessories such as several bottles, multiple settings to suit you, among other things, make a breast pump more appealing. Looking out for such means, you don’t spend extra to get these essentials.

Which one to choose?

As with all purchases, having a list of what you need from your breast pump will make things easier. You’ll be able to find suitable choices much faster. Using factors such as the price and features you need are useful items to start your selection.

If higher price points aren’t an issue, I would recommend you try out the Medela Sonata. My fianceé is a pharmacist and has come across quite a few pumps. From the many brands she has interacted with, and they are many, believe me, she prefers products by Medela especially their Symphony options. So far, we’ve even used Medela Symphony, which was an excellent purchase.

Most Portable – Spectra S1 Plus

Spectra - S1 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support

Product information

  • Dimensions: 7.5×7.5×7 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Rechargeable battery: Included

Why you should consider it

If you need a breast pump you can move around with, pick the Spectra S1 Plus. It’s lightweight and comes with a rechargeable battery. That means if you’re not close to a power outlet, you can still operate it if it’s charged. Charging it the first time will take about eight hours. However, if you need to, you can even use it while it’s plugged. From that point, fully charging it will only take 4 hours. That will then last you up to three hours of use. So depending on how many times you pump in a day, the battery could even last you a few days. Based on your preference, you can choose whether to pump milk into one or two bottles simultaneously. The Spectra S1 Plus comes with two sets of Spectra Tubing to enable dual pumping. You’ll also get a pair of duckbill valves, backflow protectors, 24mm and 28mm breast flanges, wide neck storage bottles, and a power adapter.


  • Comes with rechargeable batteries
  • It’s a closed system
  • Cleaning is easy
    Has up to 12 vacuum suction levels
  • You can plug it in for use
  • Comes with a night light
  • It’s portable
  • Has adjustable settings
  • Displays settings on an LCD panel
  • Has a timer
  • Has an Ultra-quiet motor
  • Automatically shuts off after 30 minutes of pumping


  • It comes with two individual tubes rather than a single Y tube for double pumping
View on Amazon

Best Budget – Spectra S2 Plus

Spectra - S2 Plus Electric Breast Milk Pump for Baby Feeding - Convenient Breast Feeding Support

Product information

  • Dimensions: 7.5×7.5×7 inches
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Rechargeable battery: Not included

Why you should consider it

Mothers can use the Spectra S2 Plus from the moment their babies are born. To use this pump, plug it into a wall outlet. You don’t need batteries, which would drain rather fast. It has an LCD screen for you to view and change the various settings. One of the unique options with this version is the Massage function. When you choose it, the pump mimics a baby’s suckling motion. That helps to enhance milk production. In case you need to pump at night, no need to turn on the room’s lights. The Spectra S2 has a handy night light to help you use it in low light conditions. And we haven’t even described its motor. It makes the pump so silent that you can operate it in the same room as your sleeping baby. With this option, you have backflow protection. That helps prevent the milk from flowing into the narrow tubing. It also means that the pumped milk stays in the bottle and can’t get contaminated from flowing into other pump parts.


  • It’s lightweight
  • Has a Massage mode
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a night light
  • Has different suction levels
  • Supports single or double pumping
  • The closed system makes cleaning it easy
  • All parts coming into contact with the milk are BPA free


  • You need to purchase a separate battery pack to make it portable
View on Amazon

Best Overall – Medela Sonata

Medela Sonata Smart Breast Pump, Hospital Performance Double Electric Breastpump, Rechargeable, Flex Breast Shields, Touch Screen Display, Connects to Medela Family App, 101037319

Product information

  • Dimensions: 16.375×9.125×10.43
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Rechargeable battery: Included

Why you should buy it

The first thing that stands out about the Medela Sonata is its size. It’s a compact design that weighs only 2.2 pounds. It comes with a rechargeable battery, making it portable enough for use from wherever you are. A unique feature of this option is its connectivity to the MyMedela app. It connects to the breast pump, enabling you to keep track of various data. That includes your baby’s feedings, diaper changes, sleep, and more. You can choose whether to single or double pump.

Your purchase comes with all the necessary accessories for this. It even comes with a breast pump bag, and two bottle stands. The pump operates in a closed system for faster clean-up between sessions. You can sterilize the kit by placing the parts in boiling water.


  • Offers quiet milk pumping sessions
  • It’s compatible with the MyMedela app
  • PersonalFit Flex breast shields can work with other Medela pumps
  • Has alerts and alarms to help troubleshoot
  • Offers one hour of battery power for pumping
  • Produces a low-pitched sound
  • Has settings for different pumping rhythms
  • It has a timer display


  • It has a higher price point than other breast pumps
View on Amazon


Having a breast pump allows a mother to have their baby fed breast milk even in her absence. The reason is you can store the pumped milk for later use, such as in a mini-fridge for breast milk with and without a freezer.

After your baby is born, the first few weeks are times when you create the supply capacity to support your young one. Breast pumps can help stimulate milk production in new mothers. Therefore, whether you need more milk, or you need to leave your child with a caregiver, you can still guarantee they’re getting nourished.

Ready to go for a Medela Sonata pump which is my top choice?

Or would you prefer a more portable, wearable breast pump such as one in my Willow vs Elvie vs Freemie review? Or considering an Avent instead of a Medela or a Spectra versus Elvie pump? Or how about the Willow portable pump instead of the Spectra?

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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