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Spectra S1 breast pump review: 'The only reason I could continue breastfeeding.'

For longevity, reliability and hospital-grade performance, the Spectra S1 breast pump is rightly beloved by Mumsnetters. We spoke to mum-of-one Zanna, who used the Spectra for a period of six months, to see what she thought.

By Jenny Wonnacott | Last updated Feb 7, 2024

Price on writing: £160 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like
  • Hospital-grade pump

  • Can be used hands free with a pumping bra

  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 3 hours

  • Not too pricey for what you get

  • Quiet

What we don't like
  • Large

  • Not wearable unless you also purchase a pumping bra

  • Our tester said the only thing she found slightly tricky to set up were the valves

Key specs

Single or double pump: Double | Power source: Mains and battery | Number of settings: 5 speeds, 12 vacuum levels | Closed system: Yes | BPA-free: Yes

Our verdict

Some breast pumps are like workhorses: less streamlined than others, perhaps, but able to perform at the highest level, consistently, for days, weeks and years. It’s that sort of breast pump that becomes invaluable when expressing full-time – eight times a day, seven days a week – for a premature baby, or to keep your supply going when your baby struggles with her latch. This is where the Spectra S1 comes into its own.

Our parent-tester Zanna first tried a rented Spectra S1 breast pump when her daughter was a newborn after a tricky start to their breast feeding journey.

My daughter lost too much weight during the first few weeks so we had to triple-feed her. I honestly think that the Spectra S1 was the only reason I was able to continue breastfeeding. It's powerful, doesn't leak and is super-efficient.

-parent-tester Zanna

Read next: Discover the best wearable breast pumps and the top-ranking manual breast pumps according to Mumsnet

How big is the Spectra S1?

One of the only downsides of this impressive breast pump, especially when you compare it to some of the wearable pumps on the market, is its size. While the base unit measures a fairly substantial 20cm x 20cm x 17cm, the pump itself weighs less than a kilogram. 'I wouldn't take it on a plane or anything,' Zanna said. 'But I've taken it on a few staycation holidays. I also have a MomCozy M5 wearable pump and that one is a lot smaller and more portable.'

Related: Find the best baby bottles and the best changing bags in our essential guides

How easy is the Spectra S1 to set up and use?

'It's very easy to set up and use the Spectra S1. The only slightly tricky aspect of first setting up were the valve attachments, but once I got my head around them, it was a breeze.'

Read next: Find the best baby baths and the top-ranking sippy cups according to Mumsnetters.

What's the Spectra S1 like to use day-to-day?

'I used the Spectra breast pump daily for the first six months of feeding my daughter,' explains Zanna. 'It was brilliant. Unlike other pumps I've tried, it never leaked, fitted me well and when I used it with a pumping bra, I could do things like the washing up thanks to its portability.

'The Spectra slotted into my routine really well, when the baby went to sleep I'd pop it on, pump for 20 minutes and get about 120mls of milk, enough for a bottle-feed. I'd pump both sides at the same time and found it really powerful and efficient without being uncomfortable.'

Related: Find the best nipple cream and nappy rash cream to soothe and protect.

Not only was the Spectra S1 great when we had to triple-feed when my baby was a newborn, it was also a fantastic help when I had mastitis and when I had a blocked duct and my daughter was not so keen to feed.

Parent tester Zanna

Spectra S1 breast pump


Buy now from Amazon

Read next: The best changing mats, nappies and nappy bins to make the messiest job that little bit easier

The Spectra S1 vs Spectra S2: what are the differences?

While the Spectra S1 is slightly more expensive (£160 vs the S2's £126) and slightly heavier (1.5kg vs 1kg) than the Spectra S2, the main difference is that the S1 features a rechargeable battery, making it more portable that the S2 - a feature which parent-tester Zanna found particularly useful.

How easy is it to clean?

'Very easy - I'd hand wash it and then pop it in the steriliser when my daughter was under six months. Now she's older I just hand wash it. It's easy to take apart and put back together.'

I used a Spectra S1 double pump for both my children. I used a couple of different pumps prior to buying the Spectra. The Spectra got me the best yield out of them all, and it did it in half the time. Also make sure you are suing the right flange/funnel size. A correct fitting pump will give you better results.


Spectra S1 breast pump


Buy now from Amazon

Related: For more feeding essentials, we've ranked highchairs, nursing chairs and bottle warmers

Overall rating

We asked Zanna to rate the Spectra S1 out of five for the following:

Power: 5
Value for money: 5
Comfort: 4
Practicality: 4

'Like I said, this breast pump was a game changer for me, it made it so much easier to keep breast feeding my daughter and I honestly don't think I'd have been able to carry on doing so without it. It's worth every penny.'

About the author

Jenny Wonnacott is a Content Editor for Mumsnet, specialising in writing, editing and optimising pregnancy and baby care content. As a parent of three primary school-aged children, Jenny is passionate about making Mumsetters' lives easier through rigorous research of all items recommended in reviews, features buyers' guides.

She regularly reviews a wide range of parent-orientated products for Mumsnet, from popular board games to the best pregnancy pillows and top-rated breast pumps.

About Mumsnet reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – this includes recommendations from the Mumsnet Talk boards. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

All prices correct at time of publication