Medela Pump In Style: advanced review - the best breast pump for 2021
When I had my first baby, a breast pump was one of the first items on my list of “new-mom must-haves”, but I have to admit that I struggled to choose the most reliable model. So I spent some time researching and decided that the Medela in style advanced should be my pump as it is well-known for its excellent performance.
“Did I make the right choice?” you are probably asking. In this Medela pump in style advanced review, I will share with you an evaluation of its quality, what I like and do not like about this device.
Medela - one of the most-trusted breast pump brands
Founded in 1961, Medela has been one of the top manufacturers of breastfeeding products. Since its first days of establishment, it has invested in research and has a long-standing relationship with top-notch institutions, hospitals, and universities to foster its research collaboration.
You will also find out whether the Medela pump in style advanced starter set is reliable and durable. First, I will start with an overview before going into an in-depth review.
The company has more than 18 subsidiaries in Europe, North America, and Asia and distributes its products in more than 100 countries globally. Medela is committed to keep research and development as their main focus for years to come. Thanks to its innovation, Medela’s products are trusted by customers all over the world.
In 2020, it received a “Consumer’s Choice award for best breast pump of 2020”. This result was based on a survey of 18,000 North American users conducted by Brandspark. So if you chose to purchase a Medela pump like the In Style Advanced, you will pick one of this brand's best models on the market.
Medela is an award-winning brand for 2020 Via: Amazon
Let's see what is included in its package, its pros, and cons, before going deeper into other details.
2. Specifications, pros, and cons
- • Double pumping kit with PersonalFit breast shields.
- • One microfibre bag.
- • Four 5oz breast milk bottles and lids.
- • One cooler bag and ice pack.
- • One double pumping kit with 24mm breast shields.
- • One 9-Volt AC adapter.
- • One tote bag.
- • It comes with four simple buttons and ten pre-programmed settings.
- • Quickly express milk.
- • Cleaning is easy.
- • The vacuum knob has an adjustable speed.
- • Has a removable cooler bag and freezer pack.
- • Can be plugged in or run on AA batteries.
- • Features 2-phase expression technology with one-touch letdown button.
- • All plastic parts are BPA-free.
- • The pump’s motor is well-made.
- • Highly flexible, you can pump both breasts at the same time or just one breast.
- • The pump comes with many accessories: four bottles, one cooler bag, and ice packs.
- • Any bottle can be used.
- • Affordable professional-grade double electric pump.
- • It is expensive and heavier than many other models.
- • A bit noisy.
- • Moisture and condensation can be built up in the tubes quickly.
- • It does not have a light-up display.
Medela pump in style advanced review
The best breast pump is made from the most advanced technology to ensure it is easy to use, hygienic, efficient, and comfortable for moms when pumping.
The In Style Advanced Pump from Medela produces more milk in less time. I enjoyed using this pump for multiple reasons. So read on as to learn more about this award-winning pump.
Thanks to the innovative two-phase expression technology, the Medela pump in style starter kit allows moms to express more breast milk quicker. So efficiency is where it truly shines. Medela understands that before a baby nurses, they start to suck to let the milk production start before they begin to feed normally.
So Medela researchers and designers carefully observed this behavior and mimicked this mechanism to make an effective pump. This best-selling pump features a letdown button so moms can use it before they start to pump. In its first phase, the pump starts with a quick, gentle, and repetitive tug to better stimulate moms’ letdown reflex.
Once the breast alveoli is stimulated, the pump transitions to a slower but stronger expression phase in just one minute. This second phase is the key phase that produces the majority of your milk. Take a look at this clip for better demonstration: Click here
Medela has thoroughly tested this method in new clinical research and proved that it gets 18% more milk during each pumping session. This pump also gives you the option to shorten or prolong the stimulation phase as you wish - another added feature that I found helpful.
The Medela breast pump starter set is perfectly designed to take anywhere, whether it is work, at home, or even in the back of your vehicle. The pump fastens right into the inside of the tote bag with the Velcro strips, making it easy to carry. You only need to set your tote bag next to you, unzip the pump, hook the tubes to your breast, and you’re ready to go.
The Medela instyle advanced is portable Via: Amazon
This Medela pump’s run-on batteries feature also adds to its portability. It requires 8 AA batteries, which might sound like a lot, but operation will last for more than 6 hours. However, be aware that this time can vary depending on your settings and how long you pump for each session.
3. Ease of use and flexibility
I have come across comments saying that the Medela advanced breast pump is heavy. However, I found it relatively compact and easy to use, thanks to a simple and minimalistic design. It has two holes for the tubes, one hole for the charger, a letdown button, and a speed dial. Users only need to plug it in, adjust the settings and start the pumping process.
This Medela pump is also extremely flexible as you can plug it in or use the battery. It comes with two charging options, giving you the freedom to use the pump anywhere with ease.
Another feature that I appreciated is the fact that I could use any bottles. I did not have to buy any special brands because any narrow-necked bottles from local stores would fit. I intentionally chose BPA-free bottles, followed the right sanitary processes, and did not allow them to be heated.
The In Style Advanced pump from Medela has very smooth suction. Its features are easily accessed from the front: a single knob adjustable speed, a vacuum with one-touch letdown button, tube holes, and charger hole.
Control buttons are all located in front Via: Amazon
I’m a big fan of its new oval-shaped PersonalFit Flex bread shields. These 24 mm-sized shields naturally fit the breast's curves, making every pumping session feel comfortable for all moms. Besides, these inventive shields allow you to yield 11% more milk than other standard shields.
One important note for new moms is that you will need to get the correct size of shields to get the best milk flow and prevent nipple soreness. Since Medela is a well-known brand, it is easy and inexpensive to find alternative shields and other parts in many online and local stores.
I always lubricate the breast shields with olive oil before pumping to prevent excessive rubbing and improve the pumping sessions' smoothness. I was told that coconut oil works just as well as olive oil, so if you have used, or planned to use, these oils I would love to get your feedback in the comment section below.
5. Safety and hygiene
As a leading brand for breastfeeding products, safety is one of the most significant factors that Medela brings to the table with their design and production processes. They always make sure to provide us products that use only reliable materials.
The Medela pump’s safety and hygiene are incorporated into a simple and practical design. All components that come in contact with the breast milk are made from BPA-free, so it is safe for moms and babies. Switching to a glass bottle is also easy if you want to because all components are easily connected to a standard mouth bottle. As long as you choose a narrow-necked bottle, you can switch to the ones that best suit your family’s needs.
This Medela breast pump in style comes with an open pumping system, so all parts can be disassembled quickly so that you can wash them with soap and water after each use. If you are on the go, you can pop it in the microwave using the micro-steam bags. There are instructions for sterilization, making it easy to sterilize all parts with ease.
One of the biggest cons of this electronic pump is that condensation quickly builds up in the tube, meaning it can cause mould and other moisture problems later on. So while using this pump, I have learned a great tip that I would like to share with you: I let the pump run for five to eight minutes after each pumping session. This extra pumping time allows any condensation to clear out of the tubes, giving you clean and dry tubes after each pump, saving you the cost of tube replacement, which is quite expensive.
6. Price and Durability
This award-winning pump comes at $149 on Amazon. For some shoppers, this price might look expensive at first, but it is excellent value for money. The pump comes with a one-year limited warranty on the motor and 90-day on other parts.
As briefly mentioned above, this professional-grade double pump is designed for moms who pump several times a day. With a well-thought-out design, it safely protects moms, their liquid gold, and their baby, with premium and durable materials that are not easily cracked or broken. The pump is also discreet as it’s tucked away neatly and safely in the bag.
I only need to replace the membranes occasionally because they are made from soft plastic that can wear quickly. However, these parts are inexpensive and easy to purchase from Amazon.
7. Three microfiber bag styles to choose from
The Medela In Style Advanced offers three different bag styles. While other Medela double electric breast pump reviews do not include this section, I think this Medela 57081 review would be helpful if it includes a chart listing down what accessories each option includes.
Pump in style advanced with the Metro bag
Pump in style advanced with the On the Go tote bag
Pump in style advanced with the backpack
Battery pack and storage case
Bottles with lids
|4 (5oz each)||4 (5oz each)||4 (5oz each)|
|Bag style||Metro tote bag||On the go Tote bag||Backpack|
|A cooler with an ice pack||1||1||1|
|Personal fit connectors||2||2||2|
The Metro Bag style allows moms to remove the pump from the tote while the other two options’ pump motors are built into the bags. The first option also comes with a few more extra accessories like mesh bags to keep all the components and a nipple for the Medela bottle. So if you are willing to spend a bit more, the first option offers you better convenience.
For new parents, buying a breast pump can be a challenge as there are so many models to choose from, so I will list the criteria to consider in this buying guide.
1. The efficiency of the electric, battery, and manual pump
Electric pumps are made to pump several times a day because they are powerful, and some models allow double pumping, which means moms can halve the time when producing milk. Hands-free pumping bra is a new generation of pump that sets your hands free to do other tasks while pumping.
Battery-operated pumps are usually less expensive than electric pumps, but they are more portable and discreet. They are suitable for occasional pumping, allowing you to pump hands-free when you are at work. So if you are a working mom, electric and battery pumps are the most convenient options.
The Medela breast pump instyle is extremely flexible as it can be operated by both electricity and battery, making it a perfect choice to pump both at work and home.
Manual pumps are the most affordable among the three types of pumps. More importantly, these hand-operated pumps are quieter and more portable than the other two types. They also most closely mimic the feeling of babies’ sucking. Moms can also pump one breast while their babies nurse on the other.
2. Necessary accessories and features
- • Storage bags: Some pumps are designed to work with or without a storage bag, but I prefer those with storage bags because they are convenient and space-saving.
- • Bottles: since some babies have difficulty transitioning from breast to bottle and back, I would recommend moms choose those pumps that come with bottles and nipples designed for a smoother breastfeeding experience.
- • Suction and speed control: being able to adjust controls is of great importance, so it’s best to choose those models that allow users to find the best level for maximum milk expression.
- • BPA-free: since BPA (Bisphenol A) 's long-term effect is detrimental to a babies’ health, all parts of the pump should be BPA-free to ensure that your babies will consume only the safest milk.
- • Nipple size: using the correct size breast shields will stimulate the right area for efficient milk expression and comfort. Too large or too small shields can cause pain, product less milk and slow down the pumping process. Most pump manufacturers come up with standard-sized shields, but some do not, so I would recommend that buyers check if their preferred brands offer different sizes of breast shields.
The Medela breast pump instyle has a 4.7 stars rating on Amazon. Working moms love this pump for its efficiency and portability. Its soft shields also received good comments from most users. Many customers compare it to a hospital-grade pump because of its powerful suction.
If you search for a lightweight breast pump, the Spectra S9 is probably the best option to consider, and this Spectra S9 Plus Review will explain why this is so. The S9 weighs only 239 gram (around 0.5 pounds), making it a super light pump to use anywhere you go.
Spectra S9 plus Via: Amazon
The new Spectra breast pump was designed with users' convenience in mind, it comes with an AC power, but it can also run on batteries. Also, moms can easily switch the S9 between single and double pumping thanks to the T-connectors innovative design. You do not need to change the tube to switch but only need to unplug the unused tube.
Even though this pump is small, it comes with many useful features. In expression mode, it has a 5-level adjustable massage mode and ten adjustable suction levels. Its closed-system pump is another feature that makes it stand out from others on the market. Thanks to a pair of back-flow pump tubing, milk is prevented from going backward, so you do not have to worry about tubing condensation.
Multi-tasking moms would love the auto shut-off feature of this pump. If you forget to turn off the pump, it will turn off by itself after 30 minutes of use.
This Amazon’s Choice electric double breast pump is budget-friendly but offers users hospital strength suction. It also features eight easy to adjust suction levels, so you can have customizable pumping sessions. Each suction level includes three pumping styles: a slow, moderate and quick sucking pattern, giving moms the flexibility to choose the most suitable options that suit them best.
Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Via: Amazon
The Lansinoh Signature Pro Doublecomes with an electric LCD, making it easy to use and adjust suction levels. Also, its back-flow cap helps to prevent the milk from going back into the tubes. The pump also has fewer removable parts, meaning it is easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher as well.
Its ComfortFit 25-mm flange is comfortable to use, and if moms need to use larger sizes, Lansinoh offers a bigger sized shield of 30.5mm. Even though the airtight seal between the flange and moms’ breasts can occasionally cause leaks around the breast shields while pumping, there are only a few dribbles or drops, so it is not an issue.
The Medela breast pump instyle offers efficient pumping in a short period while all of its parts are BPA-free, giving moms peace of mind. I hope this Medela pump in style advanced review has provided you with ample information to make a well-informed purchase decision.
In case you're looking for other options, the Spectra S9 Plus is a lightweight pump, and the Lansinoh Signature Pro Doubleis an affordable option. Both of them were briefly reviewed in the Alternatives section above, so scroll up for more details.