Medela is arguably the biggest name in the breast pump industry, and has produced a number of best selling pumps including the Freestyle and the Pump in Style. Choosing between the two can be difficult, so in this post we will be looking at the pros, cons, and differences with each machine. First, we’ll take a look at a side-by-side comparison of some of the features each pump brings to the table, then look at the pros and cons of both individually.
Side-by-Side Comparison Chart
|Medela Freestyle||Medela Pump In Style|
|Car Adapter||Not Included||Not Included|
|Pump Type||Double Electric||Double Electric|
|Display Type||LCD||No Display|
|Bag Type||Carry Bag||Specialized on-the-go Tote|
|Plastic Type||BPA Free||BPA Free|
The Medela Freestyle
The Freestyle is a double pump that comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery for pumping on the go. The components are lightweight, and the entire package is designed for mothers who need to fit pumping into their busy lifestyle. Please note that the pros and cons below are comparing the Freestyle directly with the Pump in Style, not other models.
- Suction at Low Battery
Pros & Cons Explained
The Freestyle is meant to be a pump that can be used by mothers “on the go” however, some users have describe the experience of trying to use it while moving around (with the pump clipped to their waistband) as more cumbersome than comfortable. Using it while sitting down is said to be more of an easy experience, but since the Freestyle is marketed as a pump to use on the go, it falls a little bit flat in this category.
Compared to the Pump in Style (approximately $187) , the Freestyle comes in at a higher price point at approximately $293 on Amazon (you can get another $50 off by getting approved for an Amazon Visa at the time of writing).
Portability and Weight
The Freestyle weighs less (5 lbs versus 7 lbs for the Pump in Style), but in terms of product size you will noticed the Freestyle is marked as larger. This is mainly due to the large tote that the Freestyle comes with though, not the actual pump size.
Suction and Efficiency
The biggest complaint with the Freestyle is that while the portable battery feature is convenient, it loses a great deal of suction when the battery is low. Many users have said that when the battery gets low enough, the Freestyle simply does not provide adequate suction and must be fully recharged before being able to be used again.
The Medela Pump in Style
The Pump in Style is a double pump that is designed for mothers who need to pump multiple times per day. It comes with (1) microfiber bag; (4) 5oz/150ml breast milk bottles & lids; (1) cooler bag and ice pack; (1) double pumping kit with 24mm breast shields; (1) 9-Volt AC adapter and (1) battery pack (requires 8 AA batteries that are not included).
Pros & Cons Explained
Comfort and Suction/Milk Output
Designed to be used multiple times per day, it should come as little surprise that the majority of users found this pump to be exceptionally comfortable. Some reported slight nipple soreness after multiple uses, but this is to be expected with frequent pumping. In terms of suction strength and milk extraction, the Pump in Style hands down outclasses the Freestyle. It does not suffer from the same low battery suction problems, and this alone puts it a step ahead in this category.
As mentioned above, the Pump in Style is cheaper than the Freestyle on Amazon by a fairly significant amount.
Portability, Weight, and Bag/Design
Portability is a little bit subjective for this pump, and this is due to its bag design. Unlike the Freestyle, the Pump in Style is built directly into the carry bag. Some mothers have found this incredibly convenient (simply pick up the bag and go), while others prefer to have the option to take the pump out of the bag and have the “less clunky” option that the Freestyle offers. Weight is also a bit of an issue, as the Pump in Style weighs slightly more than the Freestyle (especially when you add 8 AA batteries).
Ultimately, the decision of what pump to pick comes down to your personal preferences and needs. On the one hand, the Medela Pump in Style offers more suction and output at a cheaper price. On the other hand, the Medela Freestyle gives users a lightweight portable option for pumping on the go, at a slightly higher cost and notably less power.