Spectra Baby USA S1 Hospital Grade Breast Pump – Review of Why you Should Consider this Pump!

I LOVE the Spectra S1 Breast Pump. 

When I was looking for my first breast pump while pregnant with my first baby, hospital grade breast pumps were crazy expensive. spectra-baby-usa-s1-breast-pumpWe are talking upwards of $900+.

Renting them wasn’t much better as that added up fast each month!

But the rumor on the street was that hospital grade breast pumps were far superior then personal pumps. That is for a few reasons:

  1. They are closed system pumps and can be used by more than one person.
  2. They are bigger and have different suction settings than “over the counter” pumps.
  3. They are much stronger and better for early use to establish milk supply.

The Spectra Baby USA S1 claims to be a “hospital grade” strength pump and this could be a marketing technique for them as the term “hospital grade” is not recognized by the FDA.

Hospital grade is typically used to signify that it allows more than one user and being they are more expensive and better pumps, the pump is more powerful.

So does the Spectra live up to the term “Hospital Grade?”

It appears so.

This pump is highly rated and in some cases even had a better rating than other hospital grade pumps out there that are significantly more expensive.

That brings me to the Spectra Baby S1’s most impressive feature – Its price.

It is hundreds, if not nearly a one thousand dollars less than typical hospital grade pumps.

If you are struggling with a low supply, have multiples, a preemie, or are away from your baby often, this is a fantastic hospital grade pump at an amazingly low price!

(Related: Click here to see the Best Pump Bag for the Spectra Pumps!)

Some Key Features

The Spectra Baby S1 has a long list of features but here are some of the highlights:

  1. Hospital grade
  2. Has a built-in rechargeable battery and AC adapter.
  3. Powerful pump performance with a maximum suction strength of 280mmHg (+/- 15) per Spectra Offical Site.
  4. It is a closed system pump.
  5. Can be used as a single or double pump.
  6. Digital controls that allow you to set the speed and rhythm that is most effective for your body.
  7. Digital controls also allow you to save your favorite settings and set a program.
  8. The suction is adjustable whether in let-down or expression mode.
  9. Super quiet
  10. Very light – weighs as much as 4 apples!
  11. 2 level built-in light
  12. BPA Free parts

What you get in the box with the upgraded bundle:

Hospital Grade Pump

4-6oz Large Neck Bottles (no nipples)


2-Medium Flanges



Bottle Tote and Carry Tote

AC Wall Adapter.

For you visual learners, watch the below video for a great look at all the features of the Spectra Baby S1:

How the Spectra Baby S1 Stacks Up

The Spectra Baby S1 is often referred to as the “Cadillac” of breast pumps.

The fact that it is so affordable and is a hospital grade pump really is enough but there are many more features that set it apart from its competition.

One of those features is the two settings it offers – Massage and Expression Modes.

(Related: Read the difference between the Spectra S1 and S2)

spectra-baby-s1-breast-pumpThe pump will start in Massage mode, a short, shallow mode designed to stimulate your body’s letdown reflex which mimics how a baby sucks at the breast when it first starts nursing.

It will then switch to expression mode, a deeper, slower pattern of suction which mimics how your baby nurses after your milk has let down.

The great thing is that you can switch back and forth between the two which is helpful for women who find it hard to get a letdown when pumping.

There are other pumps on the market of course that offer this feature and do it well (the Medela Freestyle is one) but what I really like about the Spectra is the combination of the two settings, the digital screen, and quiet, quiet pump motor.

All these things together make it right up there in my top favorite pumps!

==>Click here to read what other moms think of the Spectra Baby S1<==

Cons of the Spectra Baby S1

  • Wide-neck bottles are needed (though an adapter can be purchased separately)
  • One size flange
  • Users complained of limited instruction on cycle use for beginners

Pros of the Spectra Baby S1

  • Price, Price, Price!
  • Hospital Grade
  • Powerful pump motor but very comfortable
  • Quiet and lightweight
  • Closed system pumps
  • BPA Free
  • Company offers great customer service


The Spectra Baby S1 is a fantastic pump.

Any moms who are struggling with supply issues, this is a must-have.

This pump is strong enough to keep your supply where it needs to be but gentle enough that you won’t feel discomfort while pumping.

Keeping the pump clean is as easy as cleaning the flanges as this is a closed system pump.

Even though it is a wide-neck bottle collection kit, there are many neck bottles out there (Avent and Dr. Brown’s are my favorites) or you can purchase the adapter to pump into standard sized bottles so that is a plus. So it really hasn’t been an issue for me.

I have also used the Kiinde Twist system with the S1 and LOVE it!

I highly recommend this pump! It is by far one of the best on the market.

Click here to read more about the Spectra Baby S1 Breast Pump!


Spectra Baby S1 Hospital Grade Breast Pump- Amazon






Needs Accessories for your Spectra S1? Visit our Spectra Pump Parts Page:


Click Here!







Also See –

sarah wells-annie-breast-pump-bag

Read: Need a Pump Bag? Check Out Why This Sarah Wells Bag is the Best!


Read: Need Bottles and Accessories? Check Out the Avent Brand Page!


Read: Go Hands-Free! Check Out My Favorite Pumping Bras Here!


  1. Arthi says:

    Hi.. i currently have established good milk supply for my 3 month old. I am using Cimilre F1 breast pump however I still have blocked milk ducts even after pumping every 3 to 4 hours. Only frequent nursing by my baby can temporarily eliminate the pain however I need to go back to work n rely on breast pump at least 12 hours a day. Please suggest a breast pump that is gentle on the nipples but has strong suction power. Many thanks!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Arthi! So a few thoughts on you not being able to pump adequately with the Cimilre- Have you checked that you are using the correct flange size? Using the wrong size can cause the breast to not empty.
      Do you notice any difference when pumping with the pump plugged into a power source vs pumping using the battery? Some small portable pumps can have an issue with suction strength when running off its battery (I have not personally tested the Cimilre so I can’t say this is an issue with this pump or not).
      Have you tried visiting a Lactation Consultant to have them check your pump, the fit, and observe to see if they can give a reason?

      All that aside, if it is truly the pump, then you might just need a stronger, more efficient pump. I would say your best bet is the Spectra S1 if you need strength and comfort. I have found this pump has the best balance when it comes to those two categories. It’s not crazy expensive either! I hope this helps!

  2. jschicanha says:

    This is the best article on breast pumps. i like this Spectra S1 because it is said to be hospital grade and they are good. If the mother used it at early stage, can it help establish a better milk supply? I like this breast pump as the technology give us the best and make it less work for the mom. Would you say this is a good gift for a mom (for my sister)?


    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Jose, early on (in the first few weeks) the best thing a mom can do to establish a good milk supply is nurse, nurse, nurse! I honestly wouldn’t even bring the pump out until the baby is several weeks old and only if it is necessary (like mom is returning to work or needs to be away from baby). You don’t want to cause an oversupply of milk early on as it can be painful to correct.

      So I encourage all nursing moms to start their breastfeeding journey with nursing on demand as much as their newborn likes, then when it’s time, pull the pump out to establish a freezer stash of milk. Of course there are moms who need to exclusively pump or need to use the pump for a low supply and those situation would warrant using the pump earlier.

      As for being a good gift, the answer is YES! I would have loved to receive a Spectra S1 as a gift. I am sure your sister will be thrilled to receive such a high quality pump. Great gift choice! Thank you for stopping by and congratulations to your sister!

        • Heather Grace says:

          Yes, of course. When you are talking about a healthy, full-term baby and healthy mommy, then the best advice for establishing a healthy milk supply early on, is to nurse on demand as often as baby wants. I hope to have an informative post out soon about establishing a supply when you have a preemie or newborn in the hospital. It is a great topic of discussion and one I know many moms are unfortunately living. Thank you for bringing up a great point and for your comment!

  3. Shannon says:

    Hello! I am having trouble with my pump. A little back story… I have a 2 year old and an (almost) 4 month old. My 2 year old and I had a great nursing relationships. She was a great nurser and I was sad when she weaned herself at 13 months. On the other hand, my 4 month old is not as good at nursing. She will only nurse sometimes for 3-5 minutes, pull of and on the entire time, and sometime refuse the breast altogether. I loved my avent double electric pump from my first daughter, but it died (a couple of times and they had to send me new ones). I also have a Hygea Enjoye cordless. I just can’t get the hang of it. I need to pump when she refuses to nurse so I don’t lose my supply. But everytime I pump, it hurts (everything fits correctly – has been verified by 2 lactation consultants), most of the time doesn’t empty my breasts, and I get clogged ducts. I was thinking of switching to the Spectra S1, but dont know if it would even help my problem. Thanks you for the help!

    • Shannon says:

      I meant to put that I loved my avent because it was so comfortable. I never had any issues with the soft flanges, I did very well with them.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Shannon,
      I am sorry to hear you are struggling. Having a baby that does not nurse soundly can be frustrating and overwhelming. There is a growth spurt at 4 months so it is not uncommon. I want to recommend you read this fantastic article about why babies fuss when breastfeeding – you can read it here. I think you might find that helpful in resolving the nursing issue.

      As for the pump being uncomfortable. Honestly, it sounds like the flanges do not fit properly. I know you said the fit had been confirmed by a few LCs so perhaps that brand is not a good fit for you (some just don’t feel right on certain individuals). The Spectra S1 is, in my opinion, the most comfortable pump on the market when you couple it with the pump strength. It is hospital grade, so you should have no issues with expressing the milk. That should eliminate the clogged ducts issue. I do think you will have good success with the Spectra. It is a superior pump to the Avent and Hygeia so if you liked the Avent, I think you will love the Spectra.

      Spectra also makes cushioned inserts for the flanges if you feel you need more comfort. You can see those here. They are heavenly! Overall, Spectra S1 is one of the best pumps on the market so I don’t think you need to be concerned about your results with it. It’s a powerful pump. Well worth the money.

      I hope I gave you enough information but I am always here so feel free to ask any more questions you may have!

      Take care and let me know how everything turns out for you!

      • Shannon says:

        Thank you so much for all your suggestions! I have ordered the spectra s1 and it should be here Monday! I looked at the link on babies who fuss at the breast, but she has symptoms of a few things. She has a doctors appt next week, so hopefully that will produce more answers!

        Have you tried the limerick pj’s comfort/ bliss? It’s an interesting concept if it works. My insurance only covers $130 of a pump, so that one is out of my price range. But I can’t wait to try the spectra s1 🙂

        • Heather Grace says:

          I have no personally tried the Limerick PJ pumps but they are on my list to review. Moms seem to love them. The compression technology does seem interesting and apparently it works just fine. I would think having the pump compress rather than pull would be a lot more comfortable. The Comfort model is their hospital grade and the Bliss is their basic. They are not easy to find, though, unless buying direct. But yes, $300 for a basic set up to $725 for the works is not pocket change. Personally, I think the Spectra pumps might out-perform or be neck and neck the Limerick. Just my opinion. Plus the S1 is hospital grade and is $400 less than the PJ’s Comfort… Big difference!

          I think you made a great choice in the S1! I hope you get some answers on what is going on with your baby!

          • Shannon says:

            Hello! I’m just returning to tell you how much I love the Spectra s1!! I am so glad I found your review and ended up purchasing the S1. I am not a daily pumper, just every so often, but a month ago I had to have my gallbladder removed. I was away from my daughter for a total of 12hours and I pumped at least every day leading up, then every 3 hours the day of my surgery. It made the pumping process so easy. I love that I don’t have to time how long I’m pumping as it keeps the time for you. I also love how comfortable it is. I did buy the soft silicone flange inserts, but ended up not using them as it was plenty comfy without them. My breasts are sufficiently “drained” in under 10 mins. Thank you for your suggestions and help, I really appreciate it!

          • Heather Grace says:

            Hi, Shannon! I am so glad you came back to give me an update on your experience! I have to agree with you on the S1 being super comfortable even without the inserts. The inserts are a nice add but not necessary unless you are super sensitive. I am so excited that the S1 has worked so well for you. It is hands down one of my favorite pumps and I hope more moms take the plunge and give it a try. Amazing pump! And for that price, how can you not try it? haha Thank you for checking back in and I hope to see you around the blog more often! Take care!

  4. Ashley says:

    Thank you for this great information. When I was breastfeeding I had the hardest time finding a good pump for when I returned to work. Everything that I found was unnatural feeling and consequently diminished my supply a little more and more each day. I wasn’t able to breastfeed for as long as I wanted to with either of my girls because my supply would run out and I wasn’t able to pick it back up. The pump makes all the difference. I will be recommending this one to my mom friends who are going through the same issues. Thanks again!

    • Heather Grace says:

      The Spectra S1 is a fantastic pump for working moms. The power of this pump (being hospital grade) really makes a difference in your milk output. Any mom who comes to me and says she is struggling with milk output, my first question is always “which pump do you have?” So, so important to have a quality pump that is made for the frequency that you use it!

  5. Tempest says:

    This was an insanely clean-cut and amazing review. I myself do not need to worry about a breast pump, but I will certainly be recommending this to some of my friends and family members. The price seems to be actually really good. Also, you sounded like you knew exactly what you were talking about and covered nearly everything you could need to know about such a product. Thank you.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Thank you very much! I agree that the price is very good for such a good quality pump! I hope the reviews I write on this site help moms make an informed decision!

  6. Jessica says:

    Hi Heather,
    This really does sound like the top of the line of breast pumps. I especially liked it how the 2 features that help women relax and then mimics the baby so that expressing the milk sounds like it would be far more easier than any other pumps. This seems to be a big issue, especially with new moms who are not use to what it is like to breast feed. Perhaps this should be something that they use first before they even start breast feeding just so they get the feel of what it will be like. I don’t any other pump could ever come close to mimicking the real life feel of breast feeding the way it sounds like this one does. This should be an investment for every new mom.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Yes, the 2 phases for expression really do make a big difference in the amount of milk a mother can pump. Mimicking a baby is the best way to produce milk! This is a great pump that in my mind stands right there with some of my other favorite pumps (medela Freestyle and Pump in Style). A good breast pump is a must for all moms!

  7. Anne Irahc says:

    Hi! Awesome review on the Spectra S1, very thorough, informative and personal. If I didn’t already have one, I would buy one! Lol. And I agree with all your points, it is a great pump! Haven’t tried others like the popular Medela, but I am pretty happy with what I got! If you are done pumping, have you tried to “pass it on”? Since it is a closed system, it is possible for it to be “passed on”, whether sold, lent out, or given out…. Have you tried any of the above? If so, do you find that people are willing to use it? I know it is common to rent pumps, but from hospitals and such where people trust the organization. But from a personal keep, do you think they would be willing to buy it? Just wondering in case I choose to sell mine…

    • Heather Grace says:

      There are many, many people who do sell their pumps used on sites like Craig’s list. Open or closed. I highly advise against this. Even though the pump is a closed system pump, the manufacturer still specifies them as single user products. With a closed system pump though technically you could sell it second hand and the new user just buy all the attachements new. Hospitals use pumps that are specified by the manufacturer for multiple users (even if they just went and got permission directly on the same pump you use at home). But yes, many women are not educated on how unsanitary it is to share breast pumps so they do sell quite well second hand.

  8. Derek Marshall says:

    Hi Heather,

    awesome highly informative site, I trust you are an expert in this area, and I do apologise if this is a little off topic in relation to this post but I do have to ask you a question?

    What is the optimum time period for breast feeding? by that I mean when should a mother stop giving the natural milk?

    I have read a variety of answers, including up to 5 years old! (obviously via a pump!). We’re shooting at 2 years old, with possibility of night time or kindergatren bottled breast milk.

    Information from another quality site gave us that idea. I am just not that into powdered milk (technically it’s not milk hence the name baby formula, besides, I have never seen milk come out of an animal in powdered form)

    Your input appreciated.

    • Heather Grace says:

      The WHO (World Health Organization) AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) both breastfeeding is best until 2 years old. I know some mothers who nursed past two. In some countries around the world, the average weaning age is well over 3. The amazing thing about breast milk that you can’t get from a powder is that it adapts toy our baby and what their nutritional needs are at any specific age. It literally grows with them. If your child can be nursed until two, then you are doing great! I do know some moms who chose to give breastmilk in a cup after the age of 3. Breast milk is extremely healthy!

  9. John says:

    Lol! I don´t know how I ended up on this site 🙂 But I guess we learn something new everyday, right? 🙂 I have actually always woundered what breast pumps are really used for? Are they used to get milk out of a breast that has problem getting it out by itself? In that case how can that be? Is it normal? Thank you! /John

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi John! Yes, we do learn something new everyday! I can imagine you have not been exposed to many breast pumps but stick around and you will be an expert =-) Women who breastfeed can use pumps for a variety of reasons. The most common is because they go back to work or will be away from their baby for extended periods of time and need to express milk to feed to their baby in a bottle. Other reason may include a baby isnt able to breastfeed due to a medical condition or being premature. The mother may have a low milk supply, etc. So breast pumps are used quite commonly by mothers!

  10. Christine says:

    My friend is nursing at the moment and she is about to go back to work and has been searching for a good breast pump so she can express milk for when she is away. You have given a great review of the Spectra Baby S1 so I am going to recommend this product to her and send her the link to your post so she can read the review for herself.


    • Heather Grace says:

      Great! I hope your friend finds it helpful. It really is a great pump espcially for working moms. The powerful motor will definately help her keep and maintain a great supply after she goes back to work.

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