Efficient and comfortable. Easy to assemble and extremely quiet. Offers 2-phase pumping with adjustable speed and suction settings. Closed-system design prevents condensation build-up. Covered under one of the longest warranties in the industry at 2 years. Rechargeable battery included in S1 model.
Lids on the collection bottles don’t always create a proper seal, causing bottles to leak when tipped over. Does not come with a carrying bag. Accessories and replacement parts aren’t available in most retail stores (but can be bought online and in specialty stores).
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Spectra S series is one of the best pumps available, performing at the top of the market across a wide range of features, such as comfort, efficiency, sound, hygiene, and reliability. The issue with the pump’s leaky collection bottles are a minor nuisance relative to the overall value of the pump. The S2 model is an excellent option if you don’t require a built-in battery. However, if you prefer the flexibility of pumping without having to plug into an outlet, the S1 upgrade will be your best choice.
Performance - 4.5/5
The S series maintains a good balance of comfort and speed. The pump features 2-phase pumping to mimic a baby’s natural nursing behavior. The first phase (letdown phase) stimulates milk letdown through a rapid and gentle suction. The second phase (expression phase) produces a strong and slow suction to maintain milk flow. Spectra offers 5 different strength settings in the letdown phase and more options (12 levels for strength and 6 for speed) in the expression phase. Moving from one phase to the other is done with the click of a button.
Spectra’s maximum suction strength is below average compared to other pumps we’ve tested. However, most moms find it to be strong enough to perform efficiently and don’t have any issues maintaining a steady milk flow. The Spectra automatically defaults to your most recent selections, which makes it easy to replicate the settings that work best for you.
Portability - 4.5/5
The Spectra weighs 2 pounds and has an attractive bubble-like design with an easy-to-carry handle. The Spectra S1 features a built-in rechargeable battery, offering the convenience of pumping without being plugged into an outlet. The battery can last up to 4 hours on a single charge, making it a more efficient cordless option than pumps that use external batteries which need to be replaced frequently.
Features and Accessories - 4.5/5
The Spectra has an easy-to-read digital display and an automatic timer to keep track of your pumping sessions. It also has a 30 minute auto-shut off feature and for late night pumping, it has a built-in nightlight with two brightness levels. The pump comes with two different sets of flanges, or breast shields. One is a standard size 24mm set, and the other is a larger, 28mm-sized set. The included breast shields will fit most moms, but Spectra also sells a larger, 32mm set that can be purchased separately if needed.
Breast shield size is determined by mom’s nipple size and most moms only discover which size is best for them once they’ve started pumping. Compared with other pumps on the market, the Spectra is easy to assemble, with most of its pieces fitting firmly and securely together. One downside of the pump, however, is its collection bottles. The lids don’t always create a proper seal, which can cause leakage if the bottles tip over, and the numbering on the sides of the bottles tend to rub off easily. The pump is also only compatible with Spectra-brand or other wide-mouth bottles.
The Spectra doesn’t come with a custom carrying bag that many other breast pumps include. Replacement parts and extra accessories also aren’t readily available in retail stores and will likely need to be purchased online.
Spectra is covered under an impressive 2 year warranty, which is a full year longer than the industry-standard 1-year warranty. All accessories are covered under an industry-standard 90-day warranty.
Acoustics - 4.5/5
The Spectra is one of the quietest pumps we’ve tested. It makes a humming sound that is much milder than the loud sucking sound made by some other models. Click the link to listen to the pump on its mid-level settings in both the letdown phase and expression phase.
What it sounds like
Noise level: Very Quiet