Selecting the right breast pump is an important decision that can significantly impact the breastfeeding journey of new mothers. However, given the variety of options available on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose one that suits your individual needs and preferences best.
To help you navigate this critical decision, we’ve put together a comprehensive, detailed comparison of two of the most popular portable breast pump models available in Australia: the Spectra Dual Compact and the Medela Freestyle Flex.
We aim to assist you in understanding the similarities and differences between these two products, along with general considerations to keep in mind when choosing a breast pump.
Spectra Dual Compact vs Medela Freestyle Flex: Key Similarities
Both the Spectra Dual Compact and the Medela Freestyle Flex are high-quality breast pumps with many similarities that make them popular choices among new mothers.
Here are some of the key features they share:
Designed for Personal Use
Both these models are designed for personal use, providing the convenience of expressing milk in the comfort of your home or while on the go.
On the downside, these pumps lack some of the features found in hospital-grade breast pumps. A hospital-grade pump is typically more powerful than personal-use pumps, providing strong suction and efficient pumping that can help establish, maintain, and increase milk supply.
Lightweight and Portable
Portability is a crucial factor for active, modern mothers. Both these pumps excel in this aspect, with the Spectra weighing in at 0.67 kg and the Medela being even lighter at 0.3 kg.
Both pumps come equipped with an inbuilt rechargeable battery, offering the flexibility to pump even when you’re away from a power source.
Double Motor System and Closed System Design
Both the Spectra Dual Compact and the Medela Freestyle Flex feature a double motor system, allowing simultaneous pumping from both breasts. This feature can be a huge time-saver for busy moms.
Also, both pumps have a hygienic closed system design, ensuring that the expressed milk stays clean and safe for your baby.
Editor’s note: The Spectra Dual Compact comes with a size 24mm breast shield only. We recommend you order replacement shields in your correct size when you purchase your pump.
Spectra Dual Compact vs Medela Freestyle Flex: Key Differences
While both pumps share several similarities, there are notable differences that could affect your choice depending on your individual needs and preferences.
At the time of writing, there is a noticeable difference in the price of the two pumps.
The Spectra Dual Compact is priced at AUD 299.00, making it a more affordable option compared to the Medela Freestyle Flex, which comes in at AUD 549.00.
The vacuum strength and cycle speed can influence the efficiency and comfort of milk expression. The Spectra Dual Compact offers a vacuum strength of up to 270 mmHg per side.
In contrast, the Medela Freestyle Flex provides a vacuum strength ranging from 45 to 270 mmHg.
The cycle speed for the Spectra ranges from 26-100 RPM, while the Medela offers a cycle speed of 45 – 111 CPM.
The cycle speed of a breast pump, typically measured in revolutions or cycles per minute (RPM or CPM), reflects how many times the pump simulates the “suck-release” action in a minute. This is an important factor as it directly influences the pump’s effectiveness and how comfortable it feels for the user.
The Spectra Dual Compact’s cycle speed range of 26-100 RPM and Medela Freestyle Flex’s range of 45-111 CPM means both pumps offer the ability to mimic the natural rhythm of a baby’s suckling, which varies between quick and slower sucks.
Having a wider range of cycle speeds allows the mother to customize her pumping experience, making it more comfortable and potentially more effective.
A slower cycle speed might be more comfortable for some mothers, while others may prefer a faster speed to express milk quickly.
Adjustable Programs and Additional Features
The Spectra Dual Compact has adjustable programs, allowing you to tailor the suction and speed to your comfort level.
This feature is missing on the Medela Freestyle Flex. However, the Medela pump comes with added perks like a USB port, carry bag, cooler bag, app sync, and four bottles.
On the other hand, the Spectra focuses on functionality, featuring double motors, independent settings, and a compact, portable design.
RELATED: Medela Swing Maxi vs Freestyle Flex
What to Consider When Choosing a Breast Pump
Choosing a breast pump isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. What works best for one mother may not be the ideal choice for another. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a breast pump:
Your Individual Needs
First and foremost, consider your personal circumstances and needs. If you’re planning to return to work, travel frequently, or prefer flexibility, a portable, electric pump like the Spectra Dual Compact or Medela Freestyle Flex may be your best bet.
On the other hand, if budget is a concern, the Spectra Dual Compact is more affordable while still offering an impressive range of features.
Comfort and Efficiency
The vacuum strength and cycle speed can impact the pump’s efficiency and your overall comfort. You might prefer a pump with adjustable settings like the Spectra Dual Compact, allowing you to customize the process to your liking.
Features like an inbuilt night light, timer, or an LCD display can enhance your pumping experience. If these added features are important to you, look at what each model offers and see which one aligns with your preferences.
Certification and Warranty
Always check for a pump’s certification and warranty. Both the Spectra Dual Compact and Medela Freestyle Flex come with a 2-year warranty, providing peace of mind for your purchase.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Hygiene is paramount when it comes to feeding your baby. Ensure the pump you choose is easy to clean and maintain. Both Spectra Dual Compact and Medela Freestyle Flex have a closed system design, which is hygienic and easy to clean.
In conclusion, the choice between the Spectra Dual Compact and the Medela Freestyle Flex will depend on your personal preferences, needs, and budget. It’s worth taking the time to thoroughly research, consider the above factors, and perhaps consult with a lactation consultant or healthcare provider before making your decision.