Spectra S2 Breast Pump Reviews

 

review-of-spectra-s2

As a pumping mom, something that is always on our minds is if we are producing enough to keep up with our baby. Low milk supply is every breastfeeding mom’s worst nightmare and having a quality, strong pump is a must to ensure a healthy supply while away from your baby.

Most moms have heard of the term Hospital Grade but few know what that truly means. To put it simply, it means you have a really strong pump. (Click here to read about the term Hospital Grade and why it is important.)

But finding a quality hospital grade pump at a good price is hard to come by. Some are hundreds and hundreds of dollars (even thousands). Not affordable by any means…

So what is a Pumping Mommy to do?

Ladies, I give you the Spectra S2.

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Spectra S2

The Spectra S2 Features

If you are not familiar with Spectra breast pumps then you may not know how new these pumps are to the US market. They have only been available to the US since 2013. This makes Spectra the new kid on the block but already it is establishing itself among the best breast pumps on the market.spectra-s2-breast-pump-reviews

Spectra S2 breast pump reviews rave about the performance and power of this pump. It is a hospital grade pump and boasts an incredible maximum suction strength of 300mmHg (+/- 15) per Spectra’s Official Site. Yet despite its power, it is said to be incredibly gentle. There are silicon cushion inserts for the breast shields that offer moms maximum comfort while they pump.

The Spectra S2 is also a closed system pump meaning there is a barrier between the pump tubing and the milk collection kit. This makes cleaning much easier!

Another feature I love about the Spectra S2 is the night light. This comes in very handy for late night pump sessions. There is even a timer that will automatically shut the pump off after a certain period of time (just in case you doze off).

spectra-s2-breast-pump-reviewsKey Features:

  1. Hospital grade
  2. Powerful pump performance with a maximum suction strength of 300mmHg.
  3. It is a closed system pump.
  4. Can be used as a single or double pump.
  5. Digital controls that allow you to set the speed and rhythm that is most effective for your body.
  6. Digital controls also allow you to save your favorite settings and set a program.
  7. The suction is adjustable whether in letdown or expression mode.
  8. Super quiet
  9. Very light – weighs as much as 4 apples!
  10. 2 level built-in light
  11. BPA Free parts

(Related: See what Pump Bag is best for your Spectra Pump!)

The Spectra S1 Vs the Spectra S2

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Spectra S1

One common question that is asked of the Spectra S2 is what is the difference of the S2 versus its sister the S1?

There is not much of a difference. They are the exact same pump with one key difference – the S1 has a built-in rechargeable battery making it more portable. The S2 only has the power option of using the AC-Adapter.

You can read my complete review of the Spectra S1 here.

Personally, I like having the option of it being more portable. In cases where you have no access to a plug or you loose power, the rechargeable battery would be very handy. There is a price difference though between the two and some moms feel the rechargeable battery is not worth the extra cost.

As a working mom, a rechargeable battery was well worth it to me! I had to pump in strange places at times and would not have been able to if my pump was not portable!

Deciding where you will be using your pump and how often will come into play when deciding between the S1 and the S2. You really can’t go wrong with either!

(Related: The Difference Between the Spectra S1 and S2)

How the Spectra S2 Stacks Up

The Spectra Baby S1 and S2 are 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.

The 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 a super quiet pump motor. All these things together make it right up there in my top favorite pumps!

(Related: Medela vs Spectra- Which is Better?)

spectra-s2-breast-pump-reviewsCons of the Spectra Baby S2

  • No power option other than the AC-Adapter
  • 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 S2

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

Bottomline

The Spectra Baby S2 is a fantastic pump just like it is. 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.

I was disappointed that the milk collection kit is made for wide neck bottles. But there are many great wide 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.

I also think the S2 is limited on portability which is why I give it a 9.5 out of 10 but for the price, it is the best (and most affordable) pump on the market today.

I highly recommend the Spectra S2!

Click here to read more about the Spectra S2. Amazon currently has it for an extremely low price! You can’t find a better deal on a pump!

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Need Pump Parts for your Spectra Pumps? Visit our Spectra Pump Parts Page, here!

spectra-breast-pump-parts

Click Here for Spectra Pump Parts!

 


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21 comments

  1. Leslie says:

    So is the only difference between the Spectra S1 & the S2 the portability? Is the S1 still a hospital grade pump?

    • Heather Grace says:

      Yes, both the S1 and S2 are hospital grade. They are essentially the exact same pump. The S1 just comes with the rechargeable battery so the price points are different for that reason alone. Both very affordable, great pumps.

  2. Miriam says:

    We just got a Spectra S2 and pretty much set it all up except we cannot get the power plug adapter put together! It looks like the plug piece should just snap on to the bigger piece but we just cannot get it to go on. Does anyone have suggestions about this? Thanks!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Miriam,
      From what I remember, it took a little force to snap it together. Per the Spectra site: “Spectra S2- Start by taking the prong portion adapter and snapping into the power cord until you hear a loud snap. Attach the power cord into the pump by pressing firmly until you hear a click. Plug the pump into a working outlet and press the on button.”

      If you are continuing to have issues with getting the pump to work, it may be a one-off issue. I would contact Spectra customer service directly for help. You can find their info here (this is for the US). I am sorry I can’t be more help but Spectra has amazing customer service and they will take care of you!

      • Miriam says:

        Thanks for the reply. We saw that note on the website too but it seems like the prongs just don’t line up with the holes… we will have to try customer service again tomorrow.

        • Heather Grace says:

          Hmmmm, yes, definitely call because that does not sound right. Perhaps it is defective. I did not have an issue setting mine up to that extent. It took some force but not enough that I thought it wouldn’t fit at any point. I’m so sorry you are having issues! Keep us posted with what customer service says. Perhaps it will help other readers if they find themselves in that position.

          • Miriam says:

            Update: I just called Spectra customer service and I’m guessing this is not the first time they’ve heard this problem because she immediately sent me an email form to get the part replaced. Meanwhile she said any 12V plug should work so we’re going to look around the house and see if we have anything that we can use temporarily. Thanks, Heather, for replying to my post so promptly!

          • Heather Grace says:

            That is interesting. I have not heard of anyone having this problem. Thank you very much for updating us! And good to know about the 12V plug. I would imagine this hasn’t been the best experience for you but I am glad they were able to help you and get a new part sent your way!

  3. Frankie C says:

    I got the s2 through my insurance and also received a Medella pump as a gift. When I started using the s2 it caused my areola to swell and be to painful to nurse. I also never found a setting that worked as well as the medulla for me. I travel for work and was excited to have two pumps so as not to have pack a pump with me every week but I just can’t use the spectra pump.

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Frankie,
      That definitely does not sound normal. Pumping should not be painful. It may be that the breast shield/flange is too small which would result in nipple pain. A lactation consultant might be worth a visit to get you properly fitted. I found the Spectra pumps to actually be much gentler and have moms with sensitive nipples find the same. I think you might need a larger breast shield. I hope you are able to work it out! Let us know if a larger breast shield worked!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi, Rebecca! Congratulations on your new baby! There are several ways you can approach freezing after pumping. In all cases, you will want to cool the milk first in the fridge before transferring to the freezer (or if you pump at work, cooling it in a cooler with an ice pack is sufficient). You can pump into the collection bottles and transfer that milk to a freezer bag right away or cool first in the collection bottles and transfer the milk before putting it in the freezer.

      Spectra does make Freezer Bags. You can find them on our Spectra Parts Page under Additional Accessories.

      If you pump a lot and want to build a freezer stash, a good solution is a pump, feed, freeze system like the Kiinde Twist System (you can read about that here). This will allow you to pump directly into the bag and you can freeze and feed from the same bag (the Kiinde Twist has an adapter for the Spectra pumps and you can use any nipple or the Kiinde Twist one). It is a huge timesaver and will save you on having to wash bottles. I also found the Kiinde Twist bags not that much more costly than regular Medela Freezer bags.

      If you need some tips on how to build a freezer stash, you can read that article here.

      I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to drop them here!
      Best wishes on your breastfeeding and pumping journey!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Oh, and one more tip, you can buy freezer organizer shelves to store the breast milk freezer bags. While they aren’t expensive, I found the best way to store the freezer bags in the freezer is to stack them in an empty soda can box. It stacks them perfectly and you can add the newest milk to the back of the box so you are always grabbing the oldest bag first. The Kiinde Twist system does come with an organizer but I still prefer to use the soda can box in the freezer. Saves space.

  4. Susie says:

    In your Spectra 9 review you mentioned that the S2 has a battery pack that you can purchase separately. Where can you purchase the battery pack? I can’t seem to find it online. Thank you!

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hi Suzie,
      There are two solutions for making the S2 portable: 1) using a car lighter adapter and 2) using Breast Pump Power Bank Kit. They are both made by third party Maymom which is a trusted source of breast pump parts (in fact I’ve seen Spectra refer customers to Maymom on their site before). I have links to both those products on my Spectra Pump Parts Page: Click here. Scroll down to the section called “Additional Accessories and Useful Stuff.” You will see both the car adapter and the power bank kit there.

      I will add that these solutions will only work on the newer models produced after Feb 2015. So if you have an older pump, there is not a battery solution. Please let me know if I can help any further!

      And thank you for mentioning the Spectra 9 review. I have been searching for some time for a new battery solution for the S2 since they have been out of stock for a while and just recently came across both the ones I mentioned that are in stock. I will update the S9 review with those links. Thank you!

  5. Kelly says:

    I’ve received the Medela starter accessory kit for my baby shower and wanted to know if the S2 can be used with any of these. I feel like all I see are Medela accessories everywhere, but having trouble finding information for the Spectra (which is the pump I want to get since I can get it at no cost from my insurance)

    • Heather Grace says:

      Yes, you can use the Medela accessories with the Spectra S2. You need an adapter though that connects to the backflow protector in order to use the Medela flanges. Maymom makes one- you can find it here. Hope that helps!

  6. CQ says:

    Wonderful website with some great info! How would you compare the ardo calypso to the spectra 2? I’m trying to decide between the two for when I got back to work. Is the calypso that much quieter than the spectra? Is the spectra that much more efficient than the calypso? Or are the two fairly comparable in that regard and you really just need to decide between the accessories, letdown mode and battery feature?

    • Heather Grace says:

      Hello, you are choosing between two great pumps. Both pumps have some great features specifically around the ability to control the pumping cycle (suction strength and speed/letdown). The Calypso is, in my opinion, quieter than the Spectra S2. The Spectra is still a quiet pump in it’s own right but the Calypso does steal the show here. Depending on where you will be pumping, you probably won’t find the Spectra S2 to be noisy at all, however.

      The Spectra S2 is considered hospital grade. It has a max suction strength of 350mmhg. The Calypso has a maximum of 250mmhg. So you will find the Spectra to be much stronger. Strength isn’t always everything as many moms will do fine with non-hospital grade pumps but the Spectra is incredibly efficient and quick to empty your breast. If you have any concerns about milk supply, the Spectra is a great option.

      The Calypso does take batteries so you can pump without a power source. The Spectra S2 does not (The Spectra S1 has the built-in battery if you love the Spectra pump and want it to be portable). Both pumps have parts that you will have some trouble finding in stores and will likely need to purchase replacement parts online. That isn’t a huge deal breaker as you can buy them on sites like Amazon which most of us frequent anyway these days.

      Overall, they are both good pumps. I think the Spectra S2 has the advantage in strength and price. The Calypso is quieter and will give you a portable option with the battery pack. I hope this helps! Let me know if I can help in any other way! Thank you for stopping by.

  7. Bimmerguy says:

    This is a really valuable resource for new mothers and soon to be mothers. My wife recently had a baby and this page has proved to be a great guide for us! She absolutely loves your site!

    Thank you so very much for all of the awesome information and keep up the great work! You rock!!

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