Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1: Head To Head Comparison [2021]

In this comparison review of Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1 and S2, you will learn the difference between these pumps. At the end of the article, I will share my personal experience and why do I recommend one more than the other?

You’ll also learn more about their features, portability, customer reviews, and general pricing to find out which is more suitable for you.

Breast pumps are mechanical devices that nursing moms can use to extract milk from their breast and store it in storage containers for later use.

However, when it comes to choosing a quality pump, you can spend hours looking at different products and still not sure which one to pick?

This review will help you which one best suits you and which one you should buy?

Medela Sonata is an all-time favorite and one of the most comfortable pumps that can be easily personalized according to your needs. In comparison, the Spectra is also one of the bestselling pumps with a lot of positive features.

Medela Sonata is a powerful and hospital strength pump that naturally adjusts for a more consistent pumping experience. While the Spectra S1 also has technology that allows comfortable suction levels that mimic the natural breastfeeding experience.

If you want to read our full comparison review of the market’s best wearable breast pumps like  Willow Vs Elvie Vs Freemie← click here to get all the details about these pumps and the differences among these brands.

And If you are looking for the best breast pump for larger breasts,←Click here to get all the essential information about the three best pumps for larger breasts.

Let’s come to the main topic.

Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1

Spectra S1

Medela Sonata

61ilqx3UOfL. SL1500 1
71ziR5HLNVL. SL1500 1

Weight: 3.3 pounds

Weight: 8.1 pounds

System: Closed

System: Closed

Battery Life: 3 1/2- to 4 full pumping sessions 

Battery Life: 1.5 hours/charge

Customer Reviews

Total ratings 3853 (at the time of writing this article)

Customer Reviews

Total ratings 557 (at the time of writing this article)

Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1—Price

The first thing is the price, and if you look at the cost of the Spectra S1, it costs about $200 on Amazon, whereas the Medela Sonata is typically priced between 230-250 dollars depending on where you shop. Medela is expensive than the Spectra S1 for the same features.

Also, the Spectra S1 and S2 are widely available on most insurance plans, so if your insurance plan does offer breast pump coverage, you could also get it for free. Insurance companies do not yet cover the Medela Sonata.

Both of these mainstream breast pumps have their pros and cons, but if we had to pick a winner between the two – we’d side with Spectra S1 because it is cheaper and offers more value for money.


Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1—Functionality and Ease Of Use

I think that the Spectra S1 wins because Spectra is just a tiny bit while the Sonata is bulkier than the S1.

The Sonata features soft and bright controls for pumping in the night, plus a timer and buttons to change the strength of the vacuum and the pumping rhythms.

The Sonata also features Natural Nursing Technology. There are two modes and multiple settings that use a massage mode to induce let down followed by an expression mode to collect milk.

They both have learning curves, and both of these pumps seem easy to use, but I think the Spectra is a little bit easier to use.


Portability—Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1

As far as these two pumps’ portability, they both are portable and ideal for working and traveling moms. But Elvie and Willow can be fit inside the nursing bra and are more portable than the conventional single and double electric breast pumps.

Medela and Spectra S1 have a rechargeable battery, but the Medela has 1.5 hours of battery life and weighs less than 2.5 lbs with a built-in handle that makes it easy to transport. The Spectra S1 also included 1 Lithium-ion battery.

The Medela Sonata is smaller than the spectra but is heavier; they are both bulky pumps, but I think the Medela is good because it has a rechargeable battery inside, and it can also be used with just a regular wall adapter, that is probably part of why it’s so heavy.

For the portability, we’d have to say Medela Sonata is the winner but the best option is Elvie—if you want a discreet, portable, and wearable pump. 


Accessibility to replacement of spare parts:

The Spectra S1 comes with a 12 volt AC power adapter, two Spectra wide neck bottles, one detachable power cord prong, two Spectra backflow protectors, two Spectra tubing, two Spectra duckbill valve, and four flanges (2-24mm & 2-28mm).

The Sonata also comes with a rechargeable battery, tubing, carry bag, two sets of breast shields (21 & 24 mm), 4 – 5 oz bottles with lids, breastmilk cooler, connector set with caps/valves/membranes, contoured ice pack, two bottle stands, and power adapter.

Sonata replacement parts aren’t stored, they’re available online and are pretty easy to come across. We have to give this one to Sonata because its parts are readily available. 


System—Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1

They are both closed system pumps. They both use two-phase expression technology— that mimics the baby’s natural sucking pattern where it sucks fast at first to stimulate milk.

They both offer the two-phase expression, but In my opinion, the Sonata has a two-minute timer, whereas the spectra have a simple button, and you have to click that button to change it out. They both have cycle rates that will effectively draw milk.

The Medela is an intelligent pump that means it will sync via Bluetooth to your phone with their Medela app so you can keep track of pump sessions.

The spectra do have a nightlight and it’s located right underneath the handlebar. If you are looking for a discreet and quiet pump, then Sonata is somehow better than the Spectra. 

They both are closed system means—You don’t need to clean the narrow tubing because the close pumping system keeps tubing dry by preventing airflow and protecting milk and baby from bacteria, mold, and viruses.

So the Sonata seems like a clear answer to us.


Battery & Motor Life—Spectra S1 Vs Medela Sonata

I think that they’re both great, and they tie in this category.

The Medela Sonata comes with a rechargeable battery, and the battery life per single charge is around 1.5 hours. The weight of the battery is 2.5 lbs with a built-in handle that makes it easy to transport.

The S1 also has a rechargeable battery that’s why you can pump anywhere and any time of the day. You will not need to plug in the charger. This pump’s battery life is also the same as the Medela, but many customers think the Spectra has a more lasting battery.

The Spectra S1, S2 has a motor life of 1500 hours the Medela Sonata has a lifespan of only three 15 minute sessions a day for a year.

They both are great pumps, but the Spectra is more durable and has more motor and battery life than the Medela sonata. Spectra seems a clear winner to us.


Customer reviews:

As far as word of mouth goes, the Spectra wins this because this pump has outstanding reviews on Google, they had a 4.8 out of 5-star rating while the Sonata had a 3.1 star out of 5 stars on Google, and there are not enough people who have tried it.

If you look at the reviews on Amazon, they both have fantastic customer feedback, but the Spectra S1 has more total reviews, and the product has got 4.7/5 stars when the total reviews were more than 3800.

If you look at the Medela Sonata reviews on Amazon, you will see positive customer feedback, but the total reviews on this product are not like Spectra S1. (total reviews on Sonata at the time of writing this review are around 500).

So the customer feedback on both of these products is great, but the Spectra S1 is the winner in this category.


Bottom Line—Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1

In a simple answer, we would have to say Spectra is the better breast pump, BUT that does not mean it is the best breast pump on the market.

There are plenty of best pumps out there for a similar price which delivers far more than both Spectra and Medela Sonata.

If you do your research and check some more pumps out there and analyze the features— you’ll see that you can do far better than Medela Sonata Vs Spectra S1.

Our #1 recommendation is the Elvie wearable pump—which is a hands-free, wearable, discreet, and powerful breast pump on the market. You can read our full and honest Elvie breast pump Review.

But if you had to choose between these two: it has to be SPECTRA all the way.

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