Here is my honest review on Spectra Handsfree, which I recently bought online. Due to its cheaper price compared to other brands like Freemie, Imani, Youcup, and Milk Planet Freedom, could this be the best competitor among all?
- What’s in the box?
- Features of Spectra Handsfree
- Demerit points
- Spectra vs Freemie New Version vs Imani
- Does this product worth buying?
- Where to buy the Spectra Handsfree?
- Tips to maximize milk output using Spectra Handsfree
- Final Thoughts
What’s in the box?
- A – Silicone air hose/ tubings (2 units)
- B – Valve base (2 units)
- C – Anti backflow cap (2 units)
- D – Silicone valve (2 units)
- E – Anti backflow (2 units)
- F – Spectra handsfree cup (2 units)
- G – Spectra handsfree funnel (2 units)
- H – Breast pump wide-neck base (1 unit)
- Spectra Handsfree User Manual (Korean)
Do not worry about the non-English user manual as it has illustrations that are very easy to follow. Another tip is to use the Microsoft Translator app in order to understand well about the content. You can download it to your smartphone from the links below.
Features of Spectra Handsfree
- Cheapest among all: Spectra handsfree is by far the cheapest among all five brands available in the market. It comes in 2 sets of a handsfree cup with 28mm flange size. For user that prefers smaller flange size, 25mm variant is also sold separately.
- Closed system with anti backflow: Similar to Freemie newest version, Spectra handsfree cup also has the closed system, which prevent milk from entering your air hose/tubings while pumping.
- Internal Anti backflow system: The anti-backflow parts are placed inside the handsfree collection cup. This feature is better than the external anti-backflow system (anti-backflow attached to tubings), as it would prevent the risk of sudden pump malfunction, which commonly happens when the anti-backflow parts accidentally detached from the tubings.
- Can hold up to 250ml (8.5oz) of milk per cup: Each spectra handsfree cup can hold up to 250ml of milk which could hold a total of 500ml from both cups. Superior to conventional breast pump in terms of breastmilk collection storage capacity, this is a great advantage to those with abundant milk output.
- Very easy to assemble: Hassle free 5 steps assembly per cup. Just follow assembly steps illustrated on the user’s manual, then you are ready to go. Furthermore, both the Spectra Handsfree cup comes in preassembled condition, which could give you the rough idea on how to assemble it on your own. If you are still not sure, you could always watch step by step instructions available on youtube.
- BPA and DEHP free product: All parts are made of non-BPA and non-DEHP material. BPA exposure to the fetus, infants and children are commonly associated with possible health effect on their brain, whereas DEHP exposure is linked to increased risk of cancer and harmful to the male reproductive system.
- Both cups can fit inside standard size cooler bag: I pump 3 times a day with 2 pumping sessions done while driving to or back from work, whereas 1 session is during lunch break. Besides being totally handsfree, the ability to fit both cups together with my other breastmilk storage bottles in only 1 compartment of my cooler bag is my top reason for getting Spectra Handsfree cups.
- Milk output is not affected: After using the Spectra Handsfree cup for almost a month, I can conclude that the performance is as good as the usual conventional breast pump. The funnel surface feels very smooth, and most importantly the suction is comparable to my conventional breast pump. Yes, this handsfree cup can efficiently empty your breast if you could figure out the correct cup positioning under your bra. The image below is taken during lunchtime pumping session with approximately 7 oz in total from both cups. I would say I got averagely the same amount of expressed milk when pump using the conventional breast pump.
- Convertible to conventional breast pump: The Spectra Handsfree pump comes with 1 unit of breast pump wide neck base. If you prefer using pumping directly to the storage bottle, you can easily convert it using the provided wide neck base.
- Only 2 size variants: So far, only two sizes 25mm(sold separately) and 28mm(default) flange size variants available. Since 21mm suits me the most, I have also bought the Spectra Handsfree together with the Maymom 21mm size Inserts(comes in a pair). The Maymom flange insert is also available in 17mm and 19mm. However, the Maymom insert does not fit snugly and tends to fall off. This, unfortunately, causes some of my milk to enter the gap between the insert and the flange. Eventually, I have decided to try the 25mm flange size variant. To my surprise, the 25mm size really suits me well despite slightly bigger than my personal flange fit size. I am pretty sure this could be as a result of the versatility of the cup’s positioning under my stretchable bra.
- Challenging milk transfer from the cup: Pouring the milk from the cup to any breast milk storage bottle could be very challenging especially to a newbie like me. Believe me, it took me a week to finally master the art of milk pouring from the handsfree cup. Perhaps you might need to practise pouring plain water from the handsfree cup into a standard neck size bottle first!
- No measuring mark to indicate milk output capacity: I wish there would be an upgraded version with milk output capacity indication. This feature allows the user to instantly know how much milk they are pumping before storing it to other storage bottle or breastmilk storage bag.
- Silicone tubing that connects to the anti-backflow cap tends to get dirty: During milk pouring, the milk may get in contact with the part which connects between silicone tubing and the anti-backflow cap. So, during the next pumping session, a small amount of dried milk residual will somehow enter your silicone tubing. For hygiene purpose, it is advisable to replace the silicone tubing every 3 months.
Spectra vs Freemie New Version vs Imani
Rank 1# Spectra
Rank 3# Freemie (New Closed System)
Pricewise, Spectra hits the lowest price which starts at only 25 USD. Imani is slightly more expensive by 13 USD, whereas Freemie Cup which starts at 59 USD is the most expensive.
Rank 1# Spectra
Rank 2# Imani, Freemie (New Closed System)
Spectra has the biggest milk collection cup capacity which up to 8.5oz per cup, 6.25% bigger than the Imani and Freemie new closed system.
Rank 1# Imani, Freemie New Closed System
Rank 2# Spectra
Both Imani and Freemie New Closed System come prebundled with 2 flange size options: 25mm and 28mm. Spectra on the other hand, only comes with default 28mm flange size. Buyer need to buy 25mm flange size separately.
Rank 1# Imani, Freemie New Closed System
Rank 2# Spectra
Both Imani and Freemie New Closed System have 5 parts to wash per cup, 1 part lesser than the Spectra.
- All of them have a closed system, which prevent milk to flow back to your silicone tubing or motor unit.
- All of them have the anti-backflow parts within the milk collection cup.
All three of the brands are compatible with:
- Spectra M1, S1, S2, S1 Plus, S2 Plus, 9 Plus, 9s
- Philips Avent
- Real Bubee
- Ameda Purely Yours, Finesse
- Evenflo Deluxe Advanced
- Any major brands that have similar silicone tubing connection as mentioned above.
Does this product worth buying?
The answer is YES. Considering its affordable price where you can buy 2 boxes of Spectra Handsfree for the price of 1 box of another general brand in the market, this is the best option for those who really need to move freely while pumping occasionally. The convertible feature is also an added bonus!
Where to buy the Spectra Handsfree?
Since this product is made in Korea, you can directly buy it on Qoo10 asia online store which provides cheapest worldwide shipping. You can pick either 25 or 28mm depending on your preference if you buy from Qoo10. I will put the link below.
Buy Spectra Handsfree (Option 25mm or 28mm)
*Above is an example of international shipping fee (Qprime or EMS) to US.
*Price inclusive of shipping to US starts from 29.37 USD and shipped worldwide.
It is also available on Shopee Malaysia store. Links are as below. Note that Shopee only ships within Malaysia, therefore if you live in other country, you may opt to buy on Qoo10 asia which provides worldwide shipping! Hurry up because currently it is under BIG Sale!!
Buy Maymom Flange Insert (17, 19, 21mm)
*Price starts from 7.9 USD and shipped worldwide.
Buy Spare Parts (Valve/Diaphragm) For Spectra Handsfree
*Price starts from 10 USD and shipped worldwide.
Buy Spectra 9s/9Plus+ Breast Pump
*Price starts from 79 USD and shipped worldwide.
For local Malaysian buyer, you can buy directly on Shopee MY which provides the cheapest price+ Express Delivery within Malaysia.
Buy Spectra S1+/S2+ Breast Pump
*Price starts from 116 USD and shipped worldwide.
Tips to maximize milk output using Spectra Handsfree
- Use a snug fit, stretchable and seamless bra: This helps you to find the most suitable cup positioning in order to ensure uniform suction during pumping. My top favourite pumping bra is Basic Triangle Bra by Young Hearts. It is totally wire-free, stretches effortlessly and secures both cups well during pumping.
- Ensure nipples are in the center position of the cup flange: To empty your breast efficiently, try to place your handsfree cup as illustrated in the manual below. You will instantly notice the uncomfortable sensation at your nipples area if the cups are not positioned correctly.
- Do not lean back or bend down too much while pumping: Even though this product can be used while multitasking, it is advisable not to lean back or bend down extremely as illustrated on the image below. The reason why is to avoid losing the desired suction pressure needed to effectively remove your breast milk.
If you spend most of the time on the road especially during a drive to work or back home, then this product is intended for you. I have tried driving with the Spectra Handsfree pump twice a day, 5 days a week and it’s absolutely convenient and safe as long as you don’t gaze on your boobs while driving!
Update (November 26th, 2019): I just wrote another reviews on Korean-brand, Imani Handsfree Cup and China-brand, Cmbear Double Electric Breast Pump and thought you might be interested to know more about these products too.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.