Spectra S1 Plus Hospital Grade
Best for Occasional Use
Last Updated On April 9th, 2021
Top 10 Reviews
Best for Occasional Use
Towards the end of a woman’s pregnancy, one of the things she will most likely be thinking about is what type of breast pump to purchase. Her decision on the type and model she prefers is one in which her partner is unlikely to help. After all, there are few activities as personal as breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk that a partner has any say or can even relate – much less give any advice. The comfort, convenience, and privacy you need from your device are all very subjective. So ladies, the decision on what product is the best breast pump in the UK, and can help make feeding your baby easier, is totally up to you.
Finding one isn’t as simple as just asking your sister or buying other baby gear, since it’s such a personal matter. The bad news is that shopping will first require some thought and then some research on the alternatives. The good news is that we can walk you through the choices you’ll need to make. We will also give you a full list of breast pump reviews, to make the process of selecting the best product simple and rewarding.
Our luxury choice for the best electric breast pump in the UK is the S1 Plus by Spectra. We love its rechargeable battery, portability, and advanced settings.
The Spectra S1 is labelled “hospital grade” which is really a marketing term, but don’t let that put you off. This closed-system, double electric breast pump model is strong and effective, yet somewhat small and portable for its abilities. There are a stimulation mode and the ability to select your preferred speed. With 12 suction levels to choose from and a fast milk expression flow, the Spectra S1 Plus is a competitive model that will be appreciated by most mums.
You’ll also find a night light, timer, and auto-shutoff in this 2-in-1 double electric breast pump, as well as two sets of 28mm flanges. The included battery is rechargeable and runs for about three hours. It’s compatible with most wide-necked baby bottles and can be easily carried by the attached handle. So, if you’re looking for the best double breast pump that can be used by mothers who express more than once a day, this kit is an ideal solution.
It is worth noting, however, that the S1 Plus is not the quietest double electric breast pump available. Also, the 28mm flanges prove to be too large for some, requiring the purchase of a different size. And lastly, the higher suction levels may be painful, so start on a low level first.
Our top value choice for our best breast pumps list is brought to you by NatureBond. Their single manual pump is a great option for anyone looking for something easy to clean and portable.
The NatureBond breast pump features their patent-pending Scallop Hem top which helps prevent let down leakage and increases the airtight seal on the bottle. It has a silicone breast cup to enhance your comfort during milk expression. Many mums appreciate the easy-to-use design of a manual pump because it eliminates tricky settings, additional equipment, the need for power, and technology malfunctions. However, it does require some additional labour on your part.
Also, the NatureBond breast pump is also easy to clean, thanks to the lack of additional attachments and electronics. It is very compact, too, and can easily fit into a diaper bag or be carried alone with its convenient carrying strap. NatureBond has repeatedly been ranked as the #1 manual breast pump in the US, UK, and Canada. This product is likewise recommended by lactation nurses.
Even with the Scallop Hem top, we recommend being careful with your milk after expression as the collection bottle is a bit top-heavy and can easily be spilt. Also, as with other manual pumps, there are no settings on this single breast pump and it will produce a slower flow.
Our next contender in this rundown is the Medela Harmony. Medela is a well-known, reputable brand for breast pumps and this particular model is our top choice for occasional use.
When it comes to shopping for a breast pump, Medela needs no introduction. The Harmony is a long-time favourite of mums for its comfort and its incredibly small size that makes it a breeze to carry around inside a baby bag. There’s a pumping unit that attaches directly to milk storage bags or feeding bottles.
This manual type model delivers a surprisingly strong pumping power considering its size, as well as comfortable experience from the 24mm flanges. The Medela breast pump also features a two-phase pumping rhythm, making it a great choice for a mum looking to pump occasionally.
It’s worth noting though that this single type model is a pretty noisy unit compared to other pumps on the market. In addition, it’s an open system, so we wouldn’t recommend it for daily usage. But for occasional use, you can’t argue with the millions of women who’ve purchased this single electric breast pump over the years.
Next up, BellaBaby with what could be the best double electric breast pump for you. This hands-free pump is easy to use and gets the job done twice as fast with its dual pump design.
The BellaBaby breast pumps serve a 2-in-1 function that is great for anyone tight on time, such as a new mum. The two pumps easily connect to an LED touchscreen display that is ultra-compact and has a timer function. Hence, you can monitor your progress and prevent over-pumping which could lead to diminished milk supply. The display has a convenient USB charging port and an impressive battery capacity, considering its smaller size.
Also, the BellaBaby dual electric pumps function on a closed system to prevent bacteria growth. It has four modes and nine suction levels so you can express milk comfortably and efficiently. They also come with a 12-month warranty.
This dual pump only includes a 29mm flange and other sizes are not available through BellaBaby specifically although parts from other brands are often compatible. Just double check first. Also, the tubing on this system is a bit flimsier than other pumps. And, removing the valves for sterilisation may be tricky at first but becomes easier once you get used to the design.
The Nekan single electric breast pump is great for mums on the go as it is portable and rechargeable through its USB port. You can charge it from your car, laptop, or a wall socket with an adapter.
The Nekan breast pump features three modes: massage, suction, and bionic, also known as stimulation. Each mode on this pump features nine suction levels for customised use. Adjusting the settings is easy on the convenient LCD touchscreen. The screen is also lit up and can be read in a dark room to minimise confusion while pumping milk at night.
This breast pump has a closed system to prevent backflow and bacteria growth which could harm your baby. Each device is easy to clean and comes with an 18-month warranty.
Nekan electric pumps are simple to use, but they are not the quietest pumps around. Also, some mothers report having difficulty with the on/off button due to the automatic progression through the different modes. While it is rechargeable, we recommend keeping a charging cord handy because its small size makes the battery life shorter than you may expect.
If you are looking for a technologically advanced electric breast pump with accurate tracking and smart capabilities, the Elvie single electric breast pump could be just the device for you. It is the only breast pump in our list with an app for better monitoring, particularly for tracking pumping history.
The Elvie electric breast pump is hands-free and does not come with any external tubes or cords to hide or work around. Instead, these breast pumps can be worn underneath a regular nursing bra and are entirely self-contained. This makes them portable and extra discreet. It is also quiet so you can go into what they call “stealth mode” while pumping milk. Additionally, the Elvie Hands-free breast pump is rechargeable through its USB port and comes with a two-year warranty.
We also chose Elvie as one of our best breast pumps because we love its smart capabilities. It easily connects to an app that can track your milk expression while it is running. The app also records your pumping history to help you maintain your milk supply and monitor your results. What’s more, it allows you to change settings on the pump via remote control. The device has seven suction settings and an automatic switch from stimulation to expression mode. The package includes a medium and large size breast shield with another size available for purchase, and comes with two 150ml bottles included.
The Elvie electric pump has a specific and somewhat restrictive sterilisation process due to the fragility of some of the materials used. There are also reports of the breast shield warping over time, hence the need to take caution while cleaning with heat. Moreover, the Elvie is only a single type pump and it does not include a small size breast shield.
Our Editor’s top choice for the best electric breast pump is the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature set. We love this electric breast pump because it saves you time and eliminates the need to buy accessories separately. One easy purchase and you are ready to breastfeed when the baby comes.
The Closer to Nature by Tommee Tippee comes with everything you need to express milk, feed your baby, store your milk stock, and sterilise the equipment.
The electric breast pump is designed to imitate the baby’s suckling, thereby, making expressing easier. Additionally, the silicone cup offers optimum comfort.
With four adjustable suction phases, this device offers mothers comfort and control and, thanks to its clever design, delivers improved efficiency without any backflow. The entire kit contains one electric breast pump, a microwave steriliser-box for quick and easy sterilising, a milk storage pot, one 150ml bottle including a slow-flow teat and six silicone breast pads.
Be aware though that this is not a double pump. It also has a slower suction than some of the other top models, and it is not the quietest device on the market. Still, we think it makes a good choice for anyone looking for a one-stop purchase that also provides extra storage bottles.
A single pump model that’s super simple to use? That’s the extremely popular, closed-system Philips Avent Comfort Single manual pump. We know a lot of moms prefer to use this type, so this is one of our top picks for the best manual breast pump in the UK.
The Philips Avent Comfort Single manual breast pump has a small and lightweight base unit and is designed to let the milk flow directly from the breast to the baby bottle while you remain in a natural, comfortable position. There aren’t a lot of settings to worry about since it starts in stimulation mode, and then gives you the choice of three expression settings.
This single manual breast pump also comes with a wide nipple for natural latch on and a soft massage cushion for added comfort. Moreover, this is compatible with all Philips Avent Classic and Natural baby bottles and containers. Furthermore, this manual breast pump packs up and cleans easily, and isn’t too noisy. It’s definitely one of the best breast pumps around.
The Philips Avent is not as full-featured as electric pumps, it has minimal settings, and you can’t directly attach a storage container.
The Ameda Purely Yours is next up on our best breast milk pump list. This closed-system double pump isn’t quite as fast or comfortable as some expensive competitors, but it’s small, light, and performs well.
There’s no one-touch let down capability with the Purely Yours by Ameda. However, the dials for speed and suction settings let you adjust and customise for letdown and expression with a total of 32 combinations available. The Ameda Purely Yours single breast pump can run from a power adaptor, six AA batteries, or an optional car charger. It also comes with 25mm flanges, with seven other sizes available for purchase. Plus, it accommodates most Medela baby feeding bottles as well as Ameda ones.
Ameda also boasts hospital-grade quality for this device as it uses the same technology as the Ameda Elite, which is used in hospitals throughout the UK.
With this unit’s slightly-lower suction power, you may want to give yourself some extra time to use this product, as it’s not the most comfortable one you can find. But as far as value is concerned, it’s a good choice for once-a-day expressing.
Tommee Tippee makes our list of the best milk pumps again with their single-type model. This pump is compact and portable for easy use on the go.
This breast pump features a USB port for quick charging from a myriad of power sources. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 60 minutes at a time before needing to be plugged in. It offers five massage modes and nine different expression settings to help you produce and maintain an even milk flow.
Tommee Tippee breast shields are soft and comfortable for most women as they are constructed with a cushioned silicone cup. This pump is also designed to be quiet so you don’t disrupt your sleeping baby while pumping milk.
Be aware, the Tommee Tippee does not have smaller flange sizes available and may not be suitable for smaller sized nipples. It only comes with one baby bottle so you will want to consider additional storage options, like container bags. You may also purchase additional bottles from Tommee Tippee, as they are the most compatible.
You have reached the end of our manual and electric breast pump reviews. Now let’s explore the reasons mums use breast pumps and what features to look for. After all, breastfeeding is different for everyone and the details really do matter in order to get the right breast pump for your needs.
Breastfeeding provides many benefits to mothers and babies alike. In fact, the benefits associated with breastfeeding keep expanding the more we learn. And while it isn’t always the best option or is highly accessible to all mums, it is definitely worth considering.
While breastfeeding, the baby receives all of the antibodies mum has accumulated throughout her lifetime. Breastmilk effectively increases their immune system, making them less susceptible to disease and infection.
Babies who are breastfed have a decreased risk of developing allergies which can serve them throughout their entire lives. While breastfeeding doesn’t completely eliminate allergies, it has been known to help considerably.
Breastfeeding can kickstart and increase weight loss for new mothers. All mums gain weight during pregnancy to help nourish their baby but after delivery, most want to shed some of the additional weight.
Additionally, breastfeeding can facilitate an intimate bonding experience between mum and baby, with the regular skin to skin contact. The closeness and affection can make the baby feel protected while receiving nourishment.
Lastly, breastfeeding can be good for the mum because it is known to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
Once you’ve made the decision to breastfeed your baby, there are many reasons why you may need or want to express milk. You may be getting ready to return to a job, you may be dealing with engorgement issues that breast pads could not contain any longer and need relief, or your baby may not be able to latch properly.
Maybe you want to express to overcome problems with slow milk flow or it could be that you’d like to start weaning your toddler or baby from breastfeeding. Some mums simply want to have a stock of breast milk available in the house if they want to get out for a few hours and not have to worry about feeding their little ones. Some also believe that when dads are involved in feeding their baby with breastmilk, the bonding between father and child is enhanced. And, this contributes to the baby’s overall health.
The biggest decision any new breastfeeding woman faces when she decides to express her breastmilk is between a manual pump and an electric one. Each option has its benefits. But still, the best breast pump in the UK for any mother will entirely depend on her needs.
Manual breast pumps are more portable and often easier to figure out. You’ll notice that we didn’t say “easier to use,” because some women find the process tiring, slow, incomplete, and even distasteful. However, others find it to be much simpler and less forbidding than hassling with multiple cords, dials, and accessories. In other words, “easy” is in the mind of the user.
The other major advantage of this manual pump type is discretion. Most are small enough to fit into a backpack or baby changing bag and don’t make any telltale noise if you’re pumping in a restroom or at the office. There are also women who prefer manual breast pumps because it feels more natural to them, or because these are easier to clean.
The majority of mothers who opt for manual pumps are those who plan to express breast milk no more than once a day, or those who express milk occasionally or when they’re on a trip. It does take a bit of coordination to navigate it, at least until you get used to it since many manual pump models require you to use both hands to squeeze. It’s nothing to be afraid of, however, as most women get the hang of it quickly.
Electric breast pumps require no “heavy labour” as compared to manual pumps, and are unquestionably the faster option. Most are able to express from both breasts at the same time. Plus, the number of adjustments you can make allows you to customise the pumping for optimal production with the least discomfort. Of course, you can tell the “disadvantages” many women find with these just by looking at the “advantages” they credit to manual ones. Electric breast pumps are generally larger and less discreet, more of a hassle to operate and clean, and are often difficult to take on a trip or vacation.
If you ask advice from other breastfeeding moms with long milk expressing history, they will almost unanimously tell you that an electric pump is the best way to go. It’s because of speed and the adjustments that can be made to enhance nipple comfort. You can even strap some models around your waist so you can get other things done or hold your baby while you’re pumping.
The options available on electric breast pumps can be confusing, here are some of the most important to consider.
The dual-phase expression is also important in checking out breast pumps. This refers to the sucking motions made by a baby – slow and shallow for stimulation/let down and then long and deep for expression – that are mimicked by the pump. Other criteria to look for in manual and electric pumps are comfortable flanges, flexibility in the collection system, and quiet operation.
Single and double breast pumps – what does it mean? As you’ve probably guessed, this refers to whether you can express breast milk from one or two breasts at the same time.
Double pumps can be a huge time-saver, especially if you work during the day or have an issue with breast milk supply and stimulation. They can be configured so expressing milk can be done from both breasts simultaneously. Many mums prefer a double pump because it reduces the time spent expressing milk and provides a more even, symmetrical pump. A double pump can also provide relief faster if you have not expressed milk in a while and are experiencing any discomfort or pain.
Single pumps facilitate milk expression from one breast at a time. Some mums prefer a single pump because it is more discreet, doesn’t have as many moving parts, is easier to clean, and more compact for easy transport.
Keep in mind though, if the pump you are eyeing only comes as a single, you can always buy two and easily turn it into a double pump if necessary.
A mother who only occasionally needs to express milk isn’t going to need a hospital-grade double pump with power to spare, and a regular pumper won’t find a compact single manual breast pump worth their time or money.
We’ve tried to provide enough alternatives, though, so that our breast pump reviews include something for everyone and your milk expressing history. And the specifics we’ve detailed will let you narrow down the choices to make milk expression more of a tolerable experience than a tedious or painful chore. Follow the decision process we’ve outlined, and you’ll be ready to get into the pumping groove quickly and easily.
We emphasised at the start that choosing a breast pump is a very personal decision, so we’ve held back from christening any of these units as the best breast pump in the UK. However, before you make your final pick, let’s quickly review our Editor’s Choice – the Spectra S1 Plus. With its fully adjustable stimulation mode and varying cycle speeds, we believe this model will be suitable for most mothers.
Additionally, all accessories are BPA-free, and the set comes with an S1 Plus Pump motor, as well as two 28mm breast shields, two collection bottles and two backflow protectors. It also features an in-built rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 3 hours.
Is the Spectra S1 Plus the perfect breast pump kit for you? Let us know about your favourite option and how you were able to make the right decision for you.