In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

Spectra S2 Plus Review

Despite its need for an outlet, this pump impresses with its strong suction, comfort, intuitive interface, and relatively low noise level
gearlab tested logo
Spectra S2 Plus Review (While not a podium finisher, the S2 Plus is a decent option.)
While not a podium finisher, the S2 Plus is a decent option.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $172 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Spectra Baby USA
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Molly Bradac  ⋅  Nov 16, 2023
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Efficiency - 35% 6.8
  • Comfort - 25% 7.8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8.0
  • Portability - 15% 2.7
  • Hygiene - 10% 6.0

The Skinny

The Spectra S2 Plus is an electric breast pump that offers an impressive combination of efficiency and comfort. It shares many similarities with its sibling, except for a few details. You can customize suction levels and cycle speeds to tailor your pumping experience to your preferences. With a closed system design, it maintains hygiene. Unfortunately, it requires an outlet for operation, and it's large and bulky. But, we think this drawback can be easily overlooked considering the positives. It's a popular choice among breastfeeding mothers seeking comfort and an effective top-ranked breast pump.
REASONS TO BUY
Helpful features
Several setting options
Easy to use interface
Great efficiency
REASONS TO AVOID
Requires outlet
Bulky
Large size inhibits portability
Editor's Note: The breast pump review received an update on November 15, 2023, as a complete reset with all new testing of 10 new products with locating mothers.

Compare to Similar Products

 
spectra s2 plus
This Product
Spectra S2 Plus
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award  
Price $172 List
$123.85 at Amazon
$216 List
$217.57 at Amazon
$190 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$33 List
$20.81 at Amazon
$23 List
$11.65 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
65
79
72
67
51
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line While it lacks portability, this pump has standout features like suction, comfort, user-friendliness, and a low noise levelA superior breast pump that's high-quality, efficient, and easy to useDespite occasional reports of strong suction, this portable pump provides portability and efficient milk expressionOffering simplicity and convenience, this affordable and portable choice performs well in our testsA cost-effective option designed for passive letdown pumping to collect milk or provide relief from breast engorgement
Rating Categories Spectra S2 Plus Spectra S1 Plus Baby Buddha Lansinoh Manual Bre... Haakaa Gen 1
Efficiency (35%)
6.8
9.6
7.9
5.7
3.2
Comfort (25%)
7.8
7.8
6.9
5.9
2.4
Ease of Use (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.4
8.2
7.4
Portability (15%)
2.7
5.5
7.6
8.3
10.0
Hygiene (10%)
6.0
6.0
5.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Spectra S2 Plus Spectra S1 Plus Baby Buddha Lansinoh Manual Bre... Haakaa Gen 1
Measured Ounces per Minute 0.28 0.55 0.45 0.28 0.19
Measured Suction 270 mmHg 250 mmHg 290 mmHg 200 mmHg n/a
# of Suction Settings 12 12 14 2 1
Measured Weight of Pump with Two Bottles 2.9 Ibs 3.1Ibs 1.1 Ibs .2 Ibs (one bottle) 0.2 Ibs (one cup)
Available Flange Sizes from Manu 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 21mm, 24mm, 28mm, 32mm 21mm, 25mm, 30.5mm, 36 30mm
Open/Closed System Closed Closed Closed Closed Open
Capability Double Double Double Single Single
Power Source Plug-in Wall Adapter (must be plugged into wall outlet at all times) Rechargeable Battery Rechargeable Battery Manual Manual
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life n/a Up to 3 hours Up to 1 hour n/a n/a
App No No No No No
Night Light Feature? Yes Yes No No No
Measured Weight 2.7 Ibs 2.9 Ibs .8Ibs .3 Ibs .2 Ibs
Included Bottle Holder or Base? Yes - one built-in bottler holder Yes - one built-in bottler holder Yes - bottle base Yes - bottle base No - n/a
What's in the Box 2 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 Spectra Tubing
2 Spectra Duckbill Valves
2 Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
2 Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, cap, disc, and cover for each bottle
1 Spectra 12V AC Power Adapter/Charge
2 24mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 28mm Spectra Breast Flanges
2 Spectra Tubing
2 Spectra Duckbill Valves
2 Spectra Backflow Protectors. Includes silicone membrane, uppercase, and lowercase for each Backflow Protector
2 Spectra Wide Neck Storage Bottles. Includes nipple, disc, cap, and cover for each bottle
1 Spectra 12V AC Power Adapter/Charger
Baby Buddha Rechargeable Breast Pump Unit (Black)
2 24mm Flanges
2 Sets of Duckbill Valves
1 Pair of Silicone Diaphragms
2 Bottles
2 Bottle Bases
2 Bottle Storage Caps
2 Bottle Hygiene Covers
2 Pump Covers
3 detachable tubes & T-connector.
USB-C Charging Cable (charge to full in 4 hours)
Lanyard
Carrying Tote
2 ComfortFit® flanges (25mm & 30.5mm)
1 Lansinoh® breastmilk storage bottle (5oz)
1 Manual Pump Body, stem, handle, silicone diaphragm
1 White valve
1 Bottle stand
1 Bottle cap and bottle collar
1 NaturalWave® slow-flow nipple
1 Bottle storage lid
Cup

Our Analysis and Test Results

After debuting products in the UK and Australia, Spectra began selling its pumps in the US. This company is owned and managed by moms who also hold the Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Consultant title.

Performance Comparison


With some adjustments, we found the right angle for optimal suction with Spectra S2, but it wasn't as quick as some others.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Efficiency


While the Spectra S2 Plus shares many similarities with its Spectra sibling, it falls slightly short in efficiency. In our tests, it averaged a pumping rate of 0.28 oz of milk per minute, resulting in 5.50 oz during a 20-minute pumping session. In comparison, its sibling, the S1 Plus, achieved the same amount of milk in a shorter amount of time. The pressure gauge reading on the Spectra S2 Plus matched the manufacturer's claim of 270 mmHg. This alignment helps ensure users the pump's performance is consistent with the intended functionality.

The Spectra S2 Plus produced a maximum suction level of 270mmHg in our tests.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

While testing, we did notice some drawbacks. The tubing connection feels flimsy and finicky. While we didn't observe any air leaks or disruptions to the pumping process, the tubing's quality is something to note. Also, it took multiple adjustments to find the right angle for optimal suction. These drawbacks can hinder a pump session, potentially impacting efficiency and overall satisfaction.

The S2 Plus comes with two flange sizes; other sizes are available...
The S2 Plus comes with two flange sizes; other sizes are available on the manufacturer's website.
The S2 Plus pump is versatile and can pump single or double breasts...
The S2 Plus pump is versatile and can pump single or double breasts, depending on your needs.

Comfort


The Spectra S2 Plus has plastic flanges, which may not be the most comfortable, but it does come with two flange sizes: 24 mm and 28 mm. This allows you to choose the best fit for you. Unfortunately, the user manual does not mention anything about correct flange fitting, so you may need to ask a medical professional if you need assistance.

The pump offers the same modes and settings as the S1 Plus, providing multiple options for suction strength and cycle speed to help you find the most comfortable setting. The massage mode is locked at 70 CPM and has five different power levels. The expression mode has five different speed options and 12 different power levels.

spectra s2 plus - the s2 plus has some user-friendly features.
The S2 Plus has some user-friendly features.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Use


If you're new to breast pumps, assembling and understanding how to use this pump and its parts might take a little work. But the user manual is helpful, and once you figure out the buttons, it's smooth sailing.

Overall, this pump has some cool stuff to offer, such as a built-in bottle holder, night light, and carry handle, all practical features that may come in handy. Unfortunately, the display screen doesn't light up, so it's hard to see in the dark. But, the night light illuminates the buttons.

spectra s2 plus - we appreciate the night light feature on the s2 plus, but the...
We appreciate the night light feature on the S2 Plus, but the display screen doesn't have a backlight.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The S2 Plus remembers your settings automatically. But if you want different settings than the one you last used, you will have to adjust the pump before turning it off. It will also shut off after 30 minutes.

Adjusting the settings is easy, and you can select the power level you like without cycling every power level. Dealing with the valve blocker to switch the pump from single to double pumping is tricky. You will either need tweezers or something similar to help with placing or removing this part.

spectra s2 plus - the spectra s2 plus emits a gentle purring or humming sound with a...
The Spectra S2 Plus emits a gentle purring or humming sound with a click at the end of the suction motion. Overall, the noise level is relatively low.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Portability


The S2 Plus shares many similarities with its sibling, including size and shape. However, a significant distinction is that the S2 Plus doesn't feature a built-in rechargeable battery. This means the S2 Plus must always be plugged into an electrical outlet for operation, which greatly limits its portability. This feature makes it less suitable for on-the-go use, including those who don't enjoy being stuck in one place while pumping. But hands-free pumping is achievable with a nursing bra if that's something you would prefer.

spectra s2 plus - the s2 plus is heavier than most options in the lineup.
The S2 Plus is heavier than most options in the lineup.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Without a built-in rechargeable battery, the Spectra S2 Plus is a little lighter than its sibling, weighing 2.7 lbs. However, it still remains relatively heavy and bulky compared to other options in our review, suggesting it might be better suited as a stationary pump. In terms of noise level, it aligns closely with its sibling. At the highest suction level, we measure a sound level of 44 dB. The produces a low pitch sound, similar to a purring cat, with a subtle click at the end of the suction motion. While it's noticeable, we don't consider it disturbing.

spectra s2 plus - cleaning the spectra s2 plus isn't challenging. there are just lots...
Cleaning the Spectra S2 Plus isn't challenging. There are just lots of parts to manage, clean, and dry before assembly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Hygiene


Cleaning the S2 Plus is relatively simple, but it does require managing eight individual parts during the cleaning and assembly routine. During testing, a standard bottle brush was effective for this job. While some contenders have dishwasher-safe parts, the S2 Plus does not. This means you'll need to always plan on hand washing the parts, which can be inconvenient. Also, this pump features a closed system design, which means that there is a barrier between the breast milk and the pump's motor. We prefer this design over open systems as it helps maintain hygiene and prevents milk from flowing into the pump's tubing.

spectra s2 plus - the s2 plus has several parts, but assembly is easy.
The S2 Plus has several parts, but assembly is easy.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Should You Buy the Spectra S2 Plus?


The Spectra S2 Plus is a solid breast pump with a lot going for it, and it's significantly less in price than its sibling. While it's not a top performer for efficiency, it's certainly held its own in testing. If you have access to a wall outlet and don't need a battery component, this option might work for you. The S1 Plus might be our preferred choice over the S2 Plus, but if you're on a tight budget and the Spectra brand is your preference, the S2 Plus stands out as a commendable option with its balance of performance and affordability.

What Other Breast Pumps Should You Consider?


If you're willing to stretch your budget, we highly recommend the Spectra S1 Plus for its unbeatable performance. This impressive pump has a rechargeable battery, making it more portable, and it demonstrated impressive efficiency results in our tests, expressing milk quicker than most of the competition. If you want to save more money or want something more portable, consider the Baby Buddha. Compared to the competition, this is an excellent pump from our best breast pump review that ranks higher than most and offers a nice balance between portability, efficiency, and affordability.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Molly Bradac