Comparison Review: Ameda Finesse vs. Spectra S2, Which One is Better?
Breastfeeding moms like you can benefit from having a breast pump at home, whether you’re an EBF mom (exclusive breastfeeding mom) or an exclusive pumper (you prefer giving breast milk in a bottle to your little one).
Having a pump at home helps establish your milk supply, helps you deal with engorgement, and lets you stash some milk for your baby if you plan on being out of the house for a few hours.
Let’s review these two popular breast pumps to compare their pros and cons to help you decide which pump fits your needs and budget.
But here are their main differences:
- Ameda Finesse is lightweight (1.1 lbs) and has batteries as an alternative power source so that you can carry it around.
- Spectra S2 is slightly heavier (2.0 lbs) and has more customization options, but it can only be used when plugged in.
- Both the Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 are currently priced at $159.
Pump Type: Single or Double Breast Pump
- The Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 can be used both as a single and double electric breast pump.
- Make sure to use the silicone cap to cover the hole (where the tubing connects to the pump) for single pumping.
- You’ll need to remove the silicone cap and plug in both tubes for double pumping.
- The Ameda Finesse only weighs 1.1 lbs.
- The Spectra S2 weighs slightly heavier at 2.0 lbs.
- The Ameda Finesse is a portable breast pump. It can be used both while plugged in or with batteries (six AA batteries), sold separately (around $7 to $10 for a pack of six). The pump itself doesn’t have a rechargeable battery pack.
- The Spectra S2 has to be plugged in using the AC adapter to work.
Note: The Spectra S1 has the same features and capabilities as the Spectra S2 but has batteries that make it portable.
Type of System: Closed or Open
- Both the Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 are hygienic breast pumps that use the closed system to ensure that your breast milk won’t go to the tubing and pump. This keeps the milk free from viruses and bacteria that might be in the tubes.
- The Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 are both hospital-grade pumps. They’re both designed for heavy-duty personal use.
- The Ameda Finesse has separate dials for adjustable suction and speed levels, with 32 fully customizable options for multiphase pumping.
- The Spectra S2 has three fully customizable settings: mode (massage or expression mode), cycle speed, and suction strength (12 levels).
- The Ameda Finesse doesn’t have a display, just two dials for the settings.
- The Spectra S2 comes with an LCD display and a nightlight.
- Ameda Finesse has a less powerful hospital-grade motor that pumps up to 250 mmHg.
- The Spectra S2 comes with a hospital-grade motor that can pump up to 270 mmHg.
- With the Ameda Finesse, you need to constantly change the dials if you need to switch between the speed and vacuum settings.
- The Spectra S2 remembers your favorite settings, so you just have to plug it in and pump right away.
- Because of its small size, the lightweight and portable Ameda Finesse can be easily stored in a bag for you to bring anywhere you go.
- The Spectra S2 needs to be plugged in. This restricts its use to places with electrical outlets.
- If you’re using the Ameda Finesse with batteries, it can become a hands-free pump. You can use this with a pumping bra or opt for Freemie cups (closed collection system shaped like cups).
- Freemie cups and pumping bras are also compatible with the Spectra S2, but it’s more challenging to use this pump with a hands-free option because it needs to be plugged in.
- Both the Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 are quiet pumps attested in breast pump reviews by satisfied moms.
- But the Ameda Finesse may be louder than the Spectra S2.
- Both the Ameda Finesse and the Spectra S2 come with a 2-year warranty on the pump motor.
Breast Shield & Flange Sizes
- The Ameda Finesse comes with two sets of breast shields with different sizes: two 25mm and two 30.5mm CustomFit™ flanges.
- The Spectra S2 also comes with two sets of breast shields, with sizes smaller than the Ameda flanges: two 24mm and two 28mm Spectra breast flanges.
Bottles and Accessories Included in the Box
The Ameda Finesse comes with
- Six milk collection bottles
- Store N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags
- NoShow Premium Disposable Nursing Pads (to prevent leakage)
- HygieniKit® Milk Collection System
- Two 25mm CustomFit™ flanges
- Two 30.5mm CustomFit™ flanges
- Two extra valves
- Instructions for use
- AC power adapter
The Spectra S2 comes with
- Two wide neck storage bottles
- Two 24mm Spectra breast flanges/shields
- Two 28mm Spectra breast flanges/shields
- Two Spectra backflow protectors
- Two Spectra duckbill valves
- Two Spectra tubing
- One 12-Volt AC power adapter
Both breast pumps have bottles and accessories free from BPA/DEHP/Latex [bisphenol-A and bis(2-Ethylhexyl)phthalate] that are usually used in making plastic containers.
These toxic chemicals are linked to obesity, reproductive disease, and sperm mutations among other potential side effects. (1)
- The Ameda pump comes with a cooler bag with three ice packs and a small card with milk storage guidelines to help you remember how long you can store your breast milk. This cooler bag can fit six milk collection bottles and the ice packs.
- The Spectra S2 Plus doesn’t come with a cooler bag, but you can get a cooler with an ice pack separately ($29.99). You can also buy the S2 Premier Bundle ($195) that comes with a tote, a cooler, an ice pack, and two extra bottles.
- The Ameda Finesse comes with a Dottie tote bag that makes it easy to carry this portable breast pump around. It can fit the pump, cooler, ice packs, and milk collection kit.
- The Spectra S2 doesn’t come with a tote. But you can purchase a tote separately ($39.99) or buy the S2 Premier Bundle ($195).
Ease of Use
- The Ameda Finesse comes with an assembled dual kit that’s ready to use from the box. It’s easy to set up and use.
- The Spectra S2 is also easy to use. You can use antibacterial wipes to clean the outer shell, but make sure to sterilize the plastic parts with boiling water before initial use.
- The Ameda Finesse uses Natural Rhythmic Waveform and ComfortFlow technology.
- The Spectra S2 uses Natural Nursing Technology.
- Both are designed to promote lactation by mimicking a baby’s sucking on your breast.
Other Special Features
- The Spectra S2 has an autotimer.
- Though it doesn’t have batteries for portability, the Spectra S2 comes with a multi-volt power adapter that lets you use it even if you travel to other countries.
Availability Through Insurance
- You can get the Ameda Finesse for free with your plan but check with your insurance company if this is covered.
- The Spectra S2 is a popular pump that you can get through insurance, depending on your coverage. It’s readily available on Edgepark and Aeroflow.
Pros & Cons
Ameda Finesse: Pros
- It’s light (1.1 lbs).
- It can be used with batteries (six AA batteries).
Ameda Finesse: Cons
- It doesn’t have a display.
- It’s noisier.
Spectra S2: Pros
- It offers more customization options.
- It has a night light.
- It has an LCD display.
- It remembers your favorite settings.
- It’s quiet.
Spectra S2: Cons
- It’s bulkier and heavier (2.0 lbs)
- It needs to be plugged in.
What Customers Say: Ameda Finesse
“I love this pump! I have the Ameda hospital grade pump and needed a more portable pump for travel and work. In a side-by-side comparison, I was able to pump just as much as the hospital-grade pump and serve my traveling needs! I even returned the hospital-grade pump after using this. So happy this company was able to find a travel-size version of the hospital grade pump.” – Reviewer on Amazon
“I see a lot of people giving this pump bad reviews, but I really like mine. The problem a lot of people seem to be having is no suction, and that’s what happens if you don’t put the silicone cups in. It has to have all the pieces on it to work. I thought mine was messed up, too, until I read the instructions and realized I left something off. The really great thing about this pump is that the hoses are nowhere near the milk. You don’t have to worry about moldy tubes, which is a problem with a lot of other pumps.” – Reviewer on Walmart
“I love this pump! It’s small enough to fit into my work bag and cute enough that I can leave it on my desk. I do love that there are dials so I can control the speed and suction on-demand. Some days my breasts can handle more suction than others. I don’t feel “Deflated” after each pumping session, and overall, I get a lot more milk and multiple let-downs, so I’m building up my freezer supply! I love how easy it is to clean, and I’ve never had an issue with mold in the tubing, which was an issue with my old pump. It came with additional sizes, so I was able to find my best first, and the sticker on the pump to get-started was super helpful, too.” – Reviewer on Amazon
“I got mine through insurance… I absolutely hate it! The suction sucks, which makes pumping longer. I have both settings on max, and it still doesn’t put out much milk. Luckily I have another breast pump which works twice as fast!” – Reviewer on Walmart
“Pretty awful compared to the other pumps I’ve used (Lansinoh double electric and Medela pump in style). The top speed is not nearly fast enough to stimulate a let-down, and the suction does not fully empty the breasts. The attachment to pump directly into bags is flimsy and difficult to use one-handed without a dedicated pumping bra.” – Reviewer on Amazon
“Worst pump ever! Don’t waste your money like we did. The suction power is the worst. 20 mins of pumping produces a few drops of milk. We used the pump exactly how you’re supposed to. It’s just a poorly designed pump with hardly any suction power. They don’t even state the suction strength anywhere in the specs/manual because Ameda knows how weak it is.” Reviewer on Walmart
What Customers Say: Spectra S2
“Everything you need to use as a double pump is included (two tubes, two backflow valves, two breast shields, two valves, two bottles, and two caps for the bottles – I think nipples for the bottles, too, but I’ve never used those). I love this pump – I had a Medela pump for my first kiddo, and this one has been working much better for me.” – Reviewer on Amazon
“Very happy with the pump, it works very well, it’s quite silent, the night light is very useful, and it’s very light because there is no battery inside. I bought this model because I needed to travel with it and didn’t want the airport to complain about battery stuff. But I think in the future I might buy the rechargeable battery model so that I do not need to be near a plug when pumping all the time.” – Reviewer on Amazon
“Definitely prefer this over my Medela Pump In Style. The suction IMO is better. I get at least an extra ounce from this pump. The only complaint I have is that the tubing could be longer. I love that it is a closed system, very quiet and light. I absolutely love that I can pump right into the Lansinoh bags without an adaptor. Having a timer on it is helpful as well.” – Reviewer on Target
“I purchased this electric breast pump, and it doesn’t work. I plugged in and pressed the power button, but it didn’t work!” – Reviewer on Target
“I went with this brand cause it had good reviews and it was new. My mistake! The only features I like about this are the light and the timer. It’s too big, not compact to take to work and home again. The “extraction” is not strong enough, it takes too long, and I feel like it was a waste of money. Good thing insurance paid for it. I would stick with a brand I trust. In fact, I went back to my Medela.” – Reviewer on Target
“Pump stopped pumping from one side. No good. Only been using it for a week now.” – Reviewer on Walmart
Things to Consider in Buying Breast Pump
- Frequency of use
- Comfortable breast pump
- Ease of use
- Strength and durability
Breast Pump Through Insurance
If you’re a mom in the US, you can get a breast pump for free, but you have to check the coverage offered by your insurance company. Some companies only pay for manual breast pumps or rental electric breast pumps.
Although the Ameda Finesse has the same price as the Spectra S2, it isn’t currently offered on Aeroflow and Edgepark (though both carry the Ameda Mya).
But you can still qualify for this breast pump with other medical supplies companies.
Check with your insurance company if they cover Ameda Finesse before placing your order. Some insurance companies might consider this as an upgrade because of the option for batteries.
FAQs About Breast Pumping
When should I express my milk?
Lactation consultants recommend pumping in the morning when your prolactin levels are at the highest.
How should I store breast milk?
It’s important to store breast milk in a sterile bottle or milk container. Your baby can drink your freshly expressed or pumped milk for up to four hours if stored at room temperature.
You can store freshly pumped breast milk in the refrigerator or freezer: (2)
- Refrigerator (40°F): up to four days
- Freezer (0°F): best up to six months, but you can still use this up to 12 months
How can I increase my milk supply?
If you’re a new mom, you can try establishing your milk supply with direct breastfeeding. But a breast pump can also help you increase your milk supply.
It might take some weeks for you to get used to pumping but be patient and don’t give up.
You can try massaging your breasts to stimulate a let-down or choose a pump with this kind of option to help increase your milk supply.
How long should I pump?
The average pumping session is for around 10 to 15 minutes. But the pumping experience isn’t the same for all moms. If you’re only pumping a small amount of milk, try to relax and try again after 20 minutes.
How should I clean the breast pump?
Never wet or submerge the pump in water. You can use antibacterial wipes on the pump surface. The pump parts in contact with your breast milk need to be cleaned and sterilized in boiling water for three to five minutes between pumping sessions.
Make sure to dry these pump parts completely before reassembling the breast pump.
Note that Spectra prohibits you from cleaning the tubing with each use because the wet tubes can attract bacteria and molds.
What’s a flange?
The flange or breast shield is the silicone or plastic part that goes over your breast. When using the breast pump, the nipples are sucked into the flange to express your milk. That’s why it’s important to ensure that the flange is the right size for your breast.
Should I buy a manual or electric pump?
A manual breast pump is fine for moms who only need to pump occasionally.
The Lansinoh Manual ($25) is rated as among the best manual breast pumps because it’s easy to use, and there are only a few parts to clean. You can also get as high as 250 mmHg of suction power with this manual pump.
Electric pumps are handy if you have to pump several times a day or need to bring one while you’re away from your babies. These pumps let you express more milk for a shorter period than manual breast pumps.
You can make a breast pump comparison to help you choose the best one for your needs.
Should I get a portable breast pump?
Portable breast pumps such as the Ameda Finesse or the Medela Freestyle allow you to pump hands-free or take the pump everywhere you go.
That comes in handy if you often pump while you’re out of the house or need to pump hands-free while you’re busy doing work and chores.
What are good milk storage bags?
Many breast pump brands also sell extra milk storage bags so you can pack your milk in the cooler or store it in the freezer for future use.
Spectra Baby USA sells a Simple Store kit (6.8 oz) with milk collection bags (10 pcs) and a bottle connector at $24.99. You can get extra milk collection bags for $15.99 (30 pcs).
Ameda Finesse comes with Store N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags, but you can also get extra bags (5 oz) at $15.99 (20 pcs) with two milk bag adapters.
Ameda Finesse vs. Medela Pump in Style
- The Ameda Finesse costs $159.
- Medela Pump in Style MaxFlow costs $249.99, while the upgraded Medela Pump in Style Advanced costs $299.99 to $359.99.
- The Medela Pump In Style has a rechargeable battery pack (eight AA batteries) and could last longer.
- The Medela Pump In Style is smaller but heavier (7 lbs).
- The Ameda Finesse can be used with batteries (six AA batteries) but doesn’t come with a battery pack. So, you have to bring extra batteries if you’re using this as a portable breast pump.
- The Medela Pump In Style has a two-phase expression that lets you automatically switch to the let-down phase by pushing a button. It’s a convenient button, especially for moms who are pumping for the first time and might not be sure how to get more breast milk output.
- There’s no let-down button for the Ameda Finesse. You’ll have to manually reduce the speed and increase the suction level to promote the let-down phase.
Open vs. Closed System
- The Medela Pump In Style uses an open system (milk goes to the tubings).
- Ameda Finesse uses a closed system (backflow protectors physically prevent your breast milk from entering the tubes).
- The Medela Pump in Style has a 1-year warranty on the pump.
- The Ameda Finesse has a 2-year warranty on the pump.
How to Recycle Your Used Breast Pump
Unlike Medela and Hygeia, both Ameda and Spectra don’t have dedicated recycling programs.
But Spectra recommends that you take the used pump to an appliance or PC recycling center. This could also work for Ameda.
Summary & Recommendation
The Ameda Finesse and Spectra S2 have a lot of similarities. They’re even sold at the same price and are available through insurance.
- Choose the Ameda Finesse if you need a portable pump that’s lighter (1.1 lbs) and comes with more accessories (tote, cooler, extra bottles, milk bags, and nursing pads).
- Choose the Spectra S2 if you want a quieter pump with more customization options and if you don’t mind a fully plug-in breast pump model.