Spectra S1: The Pump That Saved My Sanity

I’ve never heard of the Spectra brand until an old high school friend mentioned it. The brand is popular in Asia and Australia, and recently expanded to the North American market with Spectra Baby USA.

I was renting the Medela Symphony pump for $75/month, when I looked into the Spectra pumps. I was content with renting a pump, but when I discovered the hospital-grade S1 pump priced reasonably ($319USD), it made more sense for me to buy. There are a few features that are better on the Medela Symphony, but overall, the Spectra S1 pros outweigh the cons, and I am so happy with my decision.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Comes with a rechargeable battery
  • Has a timer
  • Has a nightlight
  • Can adjust speed and vacuum strength separately

Cons:

  • Louder than the Symphony
  • Collection kit seems to be of lower quality and is clunkier than the Medela one (looks cheap and and doesn’t stand on its own well)
  • Flange valves are difficult to remove
  • Collection bottles are wide-neck (I have a lot of standard neck bottles) and nipples aren’t slow flow
  • Doesn’t automatically switch from Stimulation to Expression mode

So how has the S1 saved my sanity? Instead of spending almost 2 hours of my day “chained” to one spot, I’m able to carry the pump to walk around (with my makeshift hands-free pumping bra aka bandeau with cutouts) and do other things. Plus, the built-in timer means there’s no need to watch the clock anymore. And the best part…my output increased! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m less stressed or if this pump is actually more efficient; regardless, I no longer dread my pumping sessions.

Edit: After a few weeks, I modified my setup so I was able to use the Spectra pump with Medela parts. The Medela collection bottles were just better for me. To do this, I cut the end (part that connects to the pump) of the Medela tubes and attached that directly to the Spectra pump. Note: This does change the system from being a closed one to open (like Medela), since there won’t be a barrier between the milk collection kit and the pump, so you would need to make sure that no moisture gets into the tubing.

19 thoughts on “Spectra S1: The Pump That Saved My Sanity

  1. Thanks for posting this. I am interested in this machine but can’t find much information on it from Canadian sources. Just wondering if you paid any taxes or import fees since you ordered it from the States? Thanks!

    • Hi Suzanne. I paid $35US for shipping and handling. That must have included taxes and duty because I didn’t have to pay anything extra upon delivery.

  2. Hello,

    Did you order through email? I emailed them today as I was not able to add the S1 to my cart and the reply stated they just needed a paypal email and my shipping address.

    Also, the price quoted to me was $199 + $35 shipping. Does this sound correct to you?

    thank you in advance,
    trisha

  3. I’m considering getting this pump but am concerned about it being hands-free. One review said it couldn’t be used with a pumping bra but you mentioned that you were able to rig something up. Can you comment on this? Having used the pump, do you know why someone might say it couldn’t be used with a pumping bra? Thanks!

    • Hi Camille. Because the bra that I was using was a makeshift one, I was able to ensure the hole could stretch wide enough to fit the Spectra flange, but small enough to keep it in place. It was a bit cumbersome but it worked. I haven’t tried it with an actual manufactured pumping bra, but it could very well be too large to fit properly.

      However, I did switch to using the Medela parts on the Spectra (see edited post above) and bought myself a Pumpease Handsfree Pumping Support bra, which worked perfectly.

      Here’s a photo of how the flanges differ:

  4. Hi there, I am trying to purchase the s1 from their site but I too am not able to add it to cart. Can you please let me know how you did that? When I go to their products I see a photo of it (and other pumps) but there is no option to click on it or add it to the cart. What am I missing?
    Thanks!

    • I think their website changed since I purchased because I was able to add it to my cart. However, I reached out to their customer support recently and they are still selling them, but I think you just have to email them directly. Good luck!

  5. Hi Ladies, I hope this is ok…wanted to let you know that Luna Maternity is now carrying the Spectra Breast Pumps. We are based in Richmond Hill just north of Toronto and we ship the pumps throughout Canada with free expedited shipping. Hooray! Customers are loving the power, the comfort, the back-flow protection and, of course, the warranty!

    • Hi Natalie,
      I can see your article on the Luna Website, with a comment saying you’re happy to carry it in store now, but I can’t find it in any of the product categories in the online store. Can you please tell me if it’s still available?
      Thanks!
      Chelsea

      • I recently phoned Luna and they no longer carry the Spectra pump as it is currently going through Health Canada certification. Such a disappointment as I wanted to order this pump. Try phoning the store to confirm.

      • Can you use a 1/42&8#43; bias trim in either black or pink around the scallops to make them pop out more? It would be an extra step, but I think it might solve the problem.

  6. Hi there,

    I was looking to purchase the spectra S1 from states – it is so much cheaper buying it from them then in Canada…I was wondering how the warranty works. Do they still offer warranty on the pump even if it is shipped in Canada?

  7. Hi
    I want to order the breastpump Spectra S1 double breast. How much is it included shipping cost to Markham,ON? where is the store to pick up?
    Thanks
    Annie

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