Medela Pump In Style Review


Pump In Style Advanced – On the Go Tote

Where to buy: Amazon

Pump In Style Options:

Pump In Style Advanced – The Metro Bag

Pump In Style Advanced – On the Go Tote

Pump In Style Advanced – Backpack

What you get:

All Pump in Style Advanced sets listed above come with the basics but some sets may vary (see below for more detailed list for each style option):

Includes: Tubing,  Battery pack & Storage Case, AC Adapter, 4 – Medela bottles (5 oz), Tote Bag, 2 – Breast Shields, 2 – Valves, 4 – Membranes, 2 – Personal Fit Connectors, 4 – Bottle Lids, and a Cooler with Ice Pack.

My Overall Rating: 9-out-of-10

What is the Big Deal With the Medela Pump In Style Advanced?

Doing a Medela Pump In Style review is a no-brainer. It is one of the most popular pumps on the market. So what is the big deal? Why do mothers opt for this pump over most others?

The answer? Performance.

The Medela pumps feature their two-phase expression technology. The idea is to mimic how your baby would nurse. It starts out in Simulation Phase which is a fast and light suction to get your milk flowing (just like a hungry baby does).medela-pump-in-style-review

Phase 2 is the Expression Phase. It is slower with deeper suction that mimics the deep swallow of your baby after your milk lets down. The two-phase technology allows mothers pump more milk in a shorter period of time. The reviews for this pump rave about how efficient it is and I have to agree with them. 

It also has the pump built into the tote bag so it makes the pump very portable and great for moms on the go.

The Pump In Style is best used for mothers who will be pumping daily. It can hold up to the grind, let me tell you! I used a Pump In Style Advanced for over a year daily with my first baby and the pump never faltered.

It stayed as efficient as the first day I got the pump. This is a great option for mothers who need to return to work!

Features of the Pump in Style Advanced

  • medela-pump-in-style-reviewDouble pumping kit with PersonalFit breast shields
  • Can be plugged in or run on AA batteries
  • 2-phase expression technology with one-touch let-down button
  • All parts that touch breastmilk are BPA-free
  • Comes with a removable cooler bag and freezer pack
  • Adjustable speed and vacuum knob
  • Includes Tote Bag
  • Includes breast shields, valves, membranes, and tubing

One nice thing about the Medela Pump in Style Advanced is that it comes with all the parts you need and then some. You get everything you need to start pumping – tubes, valves, membranes, and breast shields. 

But it also includes a cooler with ice pack. One thing I love about the cooler is that it fits inside the tote and the ice pack is contoured to fit 4 bottles in the cooler. It keeps the bottles upright and snug so there is no chance of them falling over and leaking. It is a really great accessory!

The Pump In Style is also known as a pump that is very easy to use. You don’t need to fumble with a ton of parts. You literally attach the tubing to the pump and turn it on. Other pumps come with 100 parts that take a diagram to know what goes where. The Pump in Style stands out in this area to me.

Here is a great video that walks you through the features of the Medela Pump In Style Advanced if you need a visual:

What Pump In Style Advanced Options are There?

The Pump In Style Advanced has a few option to choose from in regard to the tote bags and bundles. The Prices range based on that as well.

Here are the 3 main styles to choose from and what they include:

medela-pump-in-style-reviewPump In Style Advanced – The Metro Bag ($325)

Includes: Tubing, 2 Mesh Bags, Battery pack & Storage Case, AC Adapter, 1 – Medela Slow Flow Nipple, 4 – Medela bottles (5 oz), Metro Tote Bag, 2 – Breast Shields, 2 – Valves, 4 – Membranes, 2 – Personal Fit Connectors, 4 – Bottle Lids, and a Cooler with Ice Pack.

medela-pump-in-style-reviewPump In Style Advanced – On the Go Tote ($270)

Includes: Tubing,  Battery pack & Storage Case, AC Adapter, 4 – Medela bottles (5 oz), On the Go Tote Bag, 2 – Breast Shields, 2 – Valves, 4 – Membranes, 2 – Personal Fit Connectors, 4 – Bottle Lids, and a Cooler with Ice Pack.

medela-pump-in-style-reviewPump In Style Advanced – Backpack ($245)

Includes: Tubing,  Battery pack & Storage Case, AC Adapter, 4 – Medela bottles (5 oz), On the Go Tote Bag, 2 – Breast Shields, 2 – Valves, 4 – Membranes, 2 – Personal Fit Connectors, 4 – Bottle Lids, and a Cooler with Ice Pack.

A common question that comes up is what is the difference between the three besides the obvious (the tote bag)?

medela-pump-in-style-reviewThe main difference is that the Metro Bag style allows for you to remove the pump easily from the tote. The On the Go Tote and Backpack both have the pump motor built into it. It is possible to remove the motor with some effort but it is not recommended and you run the risk of damaging it. 

I prefer the Metro for a few reasons but the fact you can remove the motor is a huge plus for me. There are many, many pump bags on the market that double as a purse. The Metro is the only style you can opt to use a different pump bag if you wish. 

The other difference is that the Metro comes with a few extra accessories – a nipple for the Medela bottle, mesh bags to keep your parts in to name a few. It’s not much but there are some extras for the increased price.

What are Nursing Mothers Saying About the Pump In Style Advanced

The Pump In Style Advanced has a 4.4-star out of 5-star rating from reviewers. Impressive.

sarah wells-annie-breast-pump-bag

Pump Bag by Sarah Wells is compatible with Medela Pump in Style motor

Most complaints seemed focused on the design of the tote bags. I would have to agree that the Medela tote bags are nothing to write home about. The velcro on my Pump In Style On the Go Tote stopped working long ago… The Metro Bag seems to have difficulty staying closed based on what users are saying. 

I guess that is why I love the idea of the Metro so you can REMOVE it from the pump bag and put it into a new one. See, problem solved. 

But seriously, the quality of the bag is not something to focus on. The main use of the pump is to get as much milk as possible. Users seemed to agree that this pump worked great for them! 

Keep in mind not all moms have the same pumping journey. It is hard to tell why a mother can’t pump milk with one pump versus another. It could be the fit to her specific body, a sensitivity to the suction of certain pumps, or simply user error, among other reasons. 

So as always, here is the good, the bad and the ugly!






Pros and Cons of the Medela Pump In Style Advanced


Milk inside Medela tubing can happen with open system pumps


  • Pump is heavy at nearly 9-pounds
  • Open system pump which requires cleaning and replacement of tubing periodically
  • Tote Bags are not well made
  • Pump is on the louder side


  • Very efficient
  • Good for everyday use
  • 3 different styles to choose from
  • Good value for the price
  • Portable
  • Easy to use
  • Parts are inexpensive
  • Easy to clean

Bottom Line


Metro Bag – Medela Pump In Style

There is no way you can go wrong with this pump. It is very efficient and fast at pulling down the most milk per pumping session. If you plan to be away from your baby for any length of time, then that needs to be the number one feature you are looking for in a pump. 

The Pump In Style does not disappoint. 

Overall, it is comfortable to use and the fact you can control the suction and speed can help each mother find her own comfort level. To me, that is a major point since many mothers are sensitive to a pump that is too strong. 

I am disappointed that Medela has not put more effort into their tote bags. There is a lot to be desired in that area and I think they can do so much better. But not all mothers buy a pump for fashion and there are options out there for cute pump bags and the Metro style will allow you to easily transfer your Pump In Style motor right into.

==>Click Here to See My Favorite Pump Bag<==

In the end, I think the Pump In Style Advance is one of the best on the market today and you really can’t go wrong here!

Click here to read more about the Medela Pump In Style Advanced!

Choose From:


Metro Bag  –          Amazon


On the Go Tote –   Amazon


Backpack –              Amazon








Also See: 


Need parts for your Medela pump or accessories like bottles and freezer storage bags? Get them here!


Want a Nursing Cover that is stylish? Check out these Nursing Scarves!


Need bra pads, nursing cream or other items for sore nipples? Here you will find some of my favorites!






  1. Lindsay says:

    Hi Heather!

    I recently stumbled upon your website and am already so obsessed with reading your articles; I have been on your site all day. I am a first time Mom due in December and have spent countless hours reading reviews, watching videos and comparing the Medela PISA and the Spectra S2. My insurance offers both and I see there are pros and cons to each pump. I know Medela is #1 rated–but I see it has an “open” system. Everything I’m reading states that if you have an option to have a pump with a closed system, to take that route as it is more hygienic. I know that the S2 isn’t portable, which is somewhat of a con. I am planning on breastfeeding but know that I will have to pump when I return to work, so I honestly don’t know which pump will be better for me!! I am having such a hard time choosing. Every time I think I have finally made a decision, I read another review or find another site which sways me in the opposite direction. Which would you recommend and does it REALLY matter if the Medela is an open system? Thank you!!


    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Lindsay!
      I am so glad you are finding the site helpful! Huge congrats on your pregnancy!

      Reading reviews and deciding on a pump can be overwhelming, I know. The truth is that for every mom there is the “right pump” but not all moms like the same one. So you will find pros and cons for any pump.

      Deciding between the Medela PISA and the Spectra S2 is tough.

      To answer your question first about Medela being an open system: the short answer is that it is NOT a huge deal, no. The main concern about an open system is that milk residue can build up in the tubing and possibly the pump motor. Like anything, lack of proper maintenance will result in issues such as potential mold growth.

      So there is the extra step of ensuring your pump’s tubing is cared for correctly. You can do this by:
      1) Letting the pump run for a minute or two after you finish pumping and unhook everything (except the tubing) to “dry pump” the tubing to help dry any residue.
      2) Your pump’s tubing will need to be sanitized at least weekly (possibly more often if you pump a lot) by boiling it for 20 minutes. This may cause the tubing to become cloudy over time but that’s ok.
      3) Replace the tubing every so often. I replaced mine every 3-6 months depending on its condition.

      So with the Spectra S2, you will not need to touch the tubing at all since it has a build in barrier at the collection kit. But the PISA is very safe to use so don’t worry about that but you do need to care for the tubing properly.

      Now as far as which pump is best. The Spectra S2 is slightly stronger than the PISA in terms of pump strength. But as you pointed out, it is not portable. If that is a deal breaker, then the PISA is the way to go. There is an aftermarket solution to making the S2 portable but fair warning, it’s not that cheap but if you like the idea of the S2 and want a battery option, you can read this post here that explains what you need.

      Otherwise, they are both great pumps. I personally find the Spectra S2 to be more a comfortable pumping experience overall than compared to the PISA so if you are sensitive, the S2 might be the way to go. The PISA will likely come with more accessories depending on the package your insurance offers so that might be something else to ask them. You might save some money there if you don’t need to purchase a pump bag, etc.

      I hope I helped clear up some of the questions you had. It’s a tough choice but for me, it comes down to portability and comfort. So based on your situation, you should have a better idea of which is the pump for you! I hope this helps!

  2. Holly says:

    Hi, I can’t decide between the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Starter Set and the Ameda Finesse with Minnie Tote. I’ve read your reviews for each one and would love additional insight if you have any. Thanks so much!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Holly!

      I love both my Pump in Style (PISA) and Finesse. So here’s the thing, on paper, the Finesse and PISA are pretty similar and they have similar suction strength. I personally felt my PISA yielded me slightly more milk. I had a pretty great supply at the time so a 1/2 ounce here or there wasn’t anything big but if I had been struggling, that 1/2 ounce means everything.

      The Finesse is a lot more comfortable, in my opinion. It doesn’t tug at the breast like the PISA does. It is very gentle.

      They have so much in common – both run off batteries, portable, parts are easy to find, reliable company, etc but the two differences to me really are the milk yielded (PISA wins) and comfort (Finesse wins). So it might come down to personal preference. But both really are great pumps. If I was back working 5 days a week and having to pump a lot every day, I would probably go with the PISA. For me personally, it was the better pump at draining my breasts fast and the comfort thing never really bothered me (I think I have developed nipples of steal over the years).

      I hope that helps!

  3. Caitlyn says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am stuck between the Spectra S2 and the Medela Pump in style advance and was hoping you had some insight on which you would choose?


    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Caitlyn,
      Both those pumps are great pumps. Picking between them will really depend on what you want to use it for. If you need a more portable pump, the Pump in Style gives you the ability to use a battery pack. The Spectra S2 only works off a power cord. This article might help- I compare the Pump in Style to the Spectra S1. The S1 and S2 are the same pump other than the fact the S1 has the rechargeable battery. It might help you see the other differences between the Medela Pump in Style and Spectra pumps.

      If I had to choose, I would probably go with the Spectra if I didn’t need a portable pump. I like how comfortable they are to use despite being very powerful. I used the Medela Pump in Style, however, for over a year with my first baby. I pumped daily at work (no less than 5 times a day) and it was a great pump. Never lost suction, performed great every day, easy to use, etc. If you need a portable pump, then go with the Medela.

      So I don’t think you can go wrong here. It will really depend on what you need and what you will be using the pump for. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions about either pump and I will be happy to help. Good luck!

  4. Marly says:

    Hi Heather, if I understood correctly this pump is an open model, so a no-no buying an used one, right ?
    I don’t have a big budget and found a great deal on an used one, but later read about the health dangers of open breast pumps and I’m a bit scared. Thank you

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi, Marly.
      You are correct. The Medela Pump in Style is an open system pump and is not intended to be used by multiple users. The reason is that breastmilk can enter the pump itself and cause cross-contamination which is not sanitary. I would not advise buying an open system pump secondhand. Have you checked with your health insurance provider on the option for them to provide you a pump? I would start there. If you are on a really tight budget, a single pump might be worth looking at (like the Medela Swing). That way you still get the strength of an electric pump but at a cheaper price. I hope this helps!

  5. Riaz Shah says:

    Hey there Heather,
    Madela Pump looks really interesting, so glad you wrote a post about it. More and more of my friends are all getting babies (Made me think about my life for a second) and I’m thinking of getting a pump for them as a gift.

    I’m not really used to buying women stuff, would you think they find it offensive if I buy the breast pump from your point of view?

    Like maybe will there be any chance that the husband may be angry at me or something like that? Just curious. Great article by the way, do keep em coming!

    • Heather Grace says:

      I think it is very sweet of you to consider their feelings and no, I do not think they would be upset or offended. In fact, I would be quite happy if I had received a breast pump as a gift! I also it is a good idea to see what they registered for. Sometimes that is a great way to go about shower gifts since you know it is what they are asking for!

  6. CrewMonkey says:

    I absolutely love the page layout and theme, it definitely fits! You seriously have everything need to know and good to know about breast feeding. I did a lot of research in regards of breast feeding, I mean A LOT, and I still learned a few new things from your site so its evident that you really know what you are talking about.
    Where did you get all of your information from?
    Also, I love your blogs, superhero names for mommys is just absolutely adorable. Your site seems that it is going to do great if it already isn’t doing so! Keep up the awesome work

    • Heather Grace says:

      Thank you very much! I really appreciate you saying that. Aside from being a nursing mom for years to my boys, I love, love to read and study. It started while I was pregnant with my first that I took a huge interest in breastfeeding. There are many great sources of information out there for nursing mothers such as LLL and WHO but my goal with this site was to bring them all to one place!

  7. shawn says:

    I am very impressed with how thorough the discourse is on this site! I have a couple questions though:
    1) Is there a manual version. For mothers who may only be away from their babies occasionally, and their milk supply is well established.
    2) Can this model pump both breasts at the same time? This will be critical to very busy moms who don’t have a lot of time to pump.


    • Heather Grace says:

      Yes, there is a manual pump that Medela makes that is fantastic. It is called the Medela Harmony. I wrote about the Medela Harmony in the another review. You can read that review here. It is a great and affordable option for moms who don’t need to pump very often!

      And yes, the Pump in Style is a double electric breast pump meaning you can pump either one breast or two. If a mom needs to pump a lot then a double pump is the way to go!

  8. Kris M. says:

    Hi Heather,
    Thank you for this product review, it is very thorough. It’s nice to get both positives and negatives about products and not have to worry about somebody that’s trying to make a sale. The pump I used felt like it was tearing me apart as well and I wasn’t about to spend this much money before seeing what others thought about it first. It’s nice to be able to make an educated purchase instead of a hope and pray it was worth it one. Thank you for sharing your experience with this pump!

    • Heather Grace says:

      I completely agree with you about the positives of a product as well as the negatives! I try to give neutral reviews here and let moms choose what features matter most to them. Everyone is different and no breastfeeding journey is the same. What worked for me may not work for you so best to present all sides! I am glad you enjoyed the review and thank you for your comment!

  9. Carrie says:

    Hi Sweet Lady!!!

    I am so PROUD of you! I wish I’d a had a nice pump like that when I was having my babies! You are performing a very important service to mothers everywhere! Keep it up and I do wish you all the best in your endeavors.

    Carrie B.

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