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Hands-on Gear Review
Medela Pump In Style Advanced Review
Price: $300 List | $183.25 from Amazon - 39% Off
Pros: Good value, efficient, portable, easy to use, great accessories
Cons: condensation in tubing, loud
Bottom line: Great pump with the most accessories for the best price
The Medela pump in Style Advanced was chosen as our Best Value Award winner for so many reasons. To put it simply, it's just a great pump. It is efficient, producing a large volume of milk in a good amount of time. It is portable, with the pump built right into the tote bag, you can just pick it up and head to your next destination. To top it off, it comes with some great accessories all included at a very competitive price. While some pumps may be cheaper, they just don't come with the same quality pump or parts. We did find this pump to be a little noisy, as are most electric pumps, and for some, the tubing may need to be replaced on occasion, (see "hygiene" below). Still, this pump remained a strong leader among our testing line-up.
RELATED: Our complete review of breast pumps
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
Founded in 1961 in Zug, Switzerland by Olle Larsson, the Medela Company now sells a variety of pumps and accessories in over 90 countries world wide while remaining a family run business. Medela is one of the most popular pump brands available in the United States and have been selling pumps here for over 30 years now. They also developed the "Corporate Lactation Program" in which they aim to support women breastfeeding and pumping at work by educating the companies they work for. Their mission to support nursing mothers is another thing you can feel good about when purchasing one of their pumps. We really enjoyed this pump for a multitude of reasons. Read on to learn more about this Best Value Award winning pump!
Spectra S1 which received a 9/10 comparatively. The Pump In Style is designed with a "two-phase expression process" that is designed to mimic that of a baby nursing. This means the pump starts with a quick, gentle, repetitive tug which aims to stimulate your let down reflex (beginning of milk flow). Next the pump transitions to the full expression phase which is a slower, stronger and longer suction. This phase should produce the majority of your milk. The pump also gives you the option to either prolong or shorten the stimulation phase as you deem necessary for your most optimal milk production. We like that their two-phase expression process was also a feature in their manual pump we tested and loved, the Medela Harmony Manual.
This product received a 7/10 for comfort. It wasn't quite as comfortable as their Harmony Manual (a manual pump is naturally a little more comfortable) at a 10/10, or the Spectra S1 at a 9/10. Still, it received the third highest score, and really is a good pump for repetitive use. Our testers did notice some soreness around the nipple area with multiple uses, however this was very common across the board. The pump was still much more comfortable than many of the others we tested.
Ease of Use
AVENT Comfort Double Electric and the Spectra S1 in the electric pump category. The reason we scored this pump the highest for portability is because the pump is specifically designed to be easily brought and used anywhere, whether it be home, work or even in the back of your car. The nice thing about it is the pump which is actually built right into the tote. It's not removable which can be both a positive and negative in many ways, but as far as portability goes, it makes things much easier. All you have to do is set your tote bag next to you, unzip the pump compartment, hook up your tubing to your breast flanges and you are off and running. Another great aspect to portability with this pump is its ability to run on batteries. It takes 8 AA batteries, which we know is a lot, but it was one of the longest running pumps in our dry run at over 6 hours! This time can vary depending on the settings you use and how long you pump for during each session, which is different for everyone. The pump also comes with an AC adapter to use when a plug is available. Our testers also tried the backpack version and we do not recommend it as highly as there was much less room for anything other than the essentials.
This pump also scored fairly low on acoustics. In fact, it was our lowest scoring pump in this category. If you are looking for something quiet this is not the pump for you. Still, a lot of the pumps we tested were loud just based on their motor working hard to express milk, and, depending on how high a setting you put it on, it could get louder. One positive on the noise level is that if you pump at work, people can hear it, in which case they are less likely to walk in on your pumping session. This is a very popular pump in many work places and most people can recognize the sound. Our testers even had co-workers comment on how familiar with the sound they were, and that they waited to come through the break room until the pumping sound had stopped. However, if you are planning on being an exclusive pumper, this may not work for you in the middle of the night with your significant other and baby sleeping close by. It really depends on what your needs are. Many women choose to set their pump up in another location so it is always ready for them to pump at night, while other women choose to pump at their bedside.
This pump is meant for a frequent pumper. Either a mom who works or a mom who is unable to breastfeed and is exclusively pumping. It would also work for a mom who is trying to build up a big freezer supply in case their baby needs it later. If you are a stay at home mom, this pump will work, but some other electric pumps that can be freed from the bag may suit you better. If you are a mom who travels a lot or works out of the home, this pump is ideal and comes at a great value.
We believe this pump offers an excellent value. It may not be the "Cadillac" like the Spectra S1, but it comes in more than $100 cheaper, and still gets the job done in an efficient manner. We really appreciated its ease of use and portability, as well as all the great accessories included. We also like how easy it was to use with a pumping bra. We see why it's become one of the most popular pumps out there for all of these reasons, and we'd highly recommend it as a great value for any family.
Other Versions and Accessories
Medela makes a few other models, including the Medela Harmony Manual and the Medela Freestyle, both of which were included in our breast pump review.
Accessories include the Easy Expression Bustier, for hands free pumping, as well as a variety of replacement parts.
— Lindsay Smith and Curtis Smith
Most recent user review: March 2, 2014
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