This is my honest review on the Spectra handsfree which I recently bought online. Could this be the best competitor among all due to its cheaper price compared to other brands like Freemie, Imani, Youcup, or Milk Planet Freedom? Let’s dive in!
What’s in the Box?
- One ( 1 ) breast pump wide neck base.
- One ( 1 ) user manual in Korean language.
- Two ( 2 ) anti-backflow.
- Two ( 2 ) anti-backflow cap.
- Two ( 2 ) silicone air hose or tubing.
- Two ( 2 ) silicone valve.
- Two ( 2 ) valve base.
- Two ( 2 ) Spectra handsfree cups.
- Two ( 2 ) Spectra handsfree funnel.
Cheapest Among All
Spectra handsfree is by far the cheapest among all 5 brands available in the market. It comes with 2 sets of handsfree cups and 28mm flanges. For those who prefer smaller flange, 25mm variant is available but sold separately.
Closed System with Anti-backflow
Similar to Freemie latest version, Spectra handsfree also has the closed system which prevents milk from entering your air hose or tubing 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 (attached to the tubing) as it can prevent the risk of sudden pump malfunction which commonly happens when the anti-backflow parts accidentally detached from the tubing.
Up to 500ml of Milk
Each 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 breast milk collection storage capacity, this is a great advantage for those with abundant milk output.
Easy to Assemble
There are only 5 steps assembly per cup. Just follow those easy steps from the user manual and you are ready to go!
BPA and DEHP Free Product
All parts are made of non-BPA and non-DEHP materials. BPA exposure to the fetus, infants, and children are commonly associated with possible health effect to their brain. Whereas, DEHP exposure is linked to increase risk of cancer and harmful to the male reproductive system.
Fit Both Cups in a Standard Size Cooler Bag
I pump 3 times a day with 2 pumping sessions done while driving to and back from work. Whereas, 1 session during my lunch break (around 15 minutes). Besides being totally handsfree, the ability to fit both cups together with my other breast milk storage bottles in a single compartment of my cooler bag is exactly why I got this Spectra handsfree.
Milk Output is Not Affected
After 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, it can efficiently empty your breast if you could figure out the correct cup positioning under your bra.
Convertible to Conventional Breast Pump
The Spectra handsfree comes with 1 unit of breast pump wide neck base. If you prefer to pump directly into the storage bottle, you can easily convert it using the provided wide neck base.
Only 2 Flange Size Variants
So far, only 25mm (sold separately) and 28mm (default) flange size variants are available. Since 21mm suits me the most, I have also bought the Spectra handsfree together with the Maymom 21mm size inserts (comes in pair).
The Maymon Flange Insert is also available in 17mm and 19mm sizes but it does not fit snugly and tends to fall off. Unfortunately, this can causes some of my milk to enter the gap between the insert and the flange.
Anyway, I have decided to try the 25mm flange size variant. To my surprise, it really suits me well despite being slightly bigger than my personal flange fit size. I’m pretty sure this could be as a result of the versatility of the cup’s positioning under my stretchable bra.
Challenging Milk Transfer Process
Pouring the milk from the cup to any breast milk storage bottle could be very challenging especially for a newbie like me. It took me awhile (almost a week) to finally master the art of milk pouring from the handsfree cup. Heads up, perhaps you might want to practice pouring plain water from the handsfree cup into a standard neck size bottle first.
No Milk Output Indicator
I wish there is a version with milk output capacity indicator. This feature will allow me to instantly measure the quantity of my milk before storing it into the storage bottle.
Silicone Tubing Tends to Get Dirty
During milk pouring, it gets in contact with the part which connects between the silicone tubing and the anti-backflow cap. For the next pumping session, a small amount of left-over or dried milk residual will somehow enter your silicone tubing which isn’t very hygienic. It is highly recommended to replace the silicone tubing every 3 months.
How to Maximize Milk Output?
Use a Snug Fit, Stretchable, and Seamless Bra
This will help you to find the most suitable cup positioning in order to ensure uniform suction during pumping. My favorite pumping bra is the Young Hearts Basic Padded Triangle Wireless Bra. It is totally wireless, stretches effortlessly, and secures both cups well during pumping session.
Ensure Nipples are in the Center Position of the Cup Flange
To empty your breast efficiently, make sure your nipples are in the correct position. You will instantly notice an uncomfortable sensation on your nipples area if the cups are not positioned correctly.
Don’t Lean Back or Bend Down Too Much
Even though this product can be used while multitasking, it is advisable not to lean back or bend down too much. This is to avoid losing the desired suction pressure needed to effectively pump your breast milk.
Spectra, Freemie, or Imani?
- Rank 1: Spectra.
- Rank 2: Imani.
- Rank 3: Freemie.
Price wise, Spectra hits the lowest price which starts at only 25 USD (at the time of writing). Imani is slightly more expensive by 13 USD, whereby Freemie which starts at 59 USD is the most expensive.
- Rank 1: Spectra.
- Rank 2: Imani.
- Rank 3: Freemie.
Spectra has the largest milk collection cup capacity up to 250ml per cup, 6.25% more than the Imani and Freemie.
- Rank 1: Spectra.
- Rank 2 (Tie): Imani and Freemie.
Both Imani and Freemie come pre-bundled with 2 flange size options (25mm and 28mm). Spectra on the other hand, comes with the default 28mm flange size only so the buyer have to buy an additional 25mm flange size separately.
Less Parts to Wash
- Rank 1 (Tie): Imani and Freemie.
- Rank 2: Spectra.
Both Imani and Freemie have 5 parts to wash per cup (1 part less than the Spectra).
All of them have closed system which prevents milk from flowing back to your silicone tubing or motor unit. They all have the internal anti-backflow parts within the milk collection cup.
Any major brands that are sharing similar silicone tubing connection as mentioned below are compatible.
- Spectra M1, Spectra S1, Spectra S2, Spectra S1 Plus, Spectra S2 Plus, and Spectra 9S and Spectra 9S Plus.
- Philips Avent.
- Real Bubee.
- Ameda Purely Yours, Finesse.
- Evenflo Deluxe Advanced.
Is it Worth Buying?
The answer is YES, of course! Considering its affordable price where you can buy it for half the price of other general brands on the market, this is the best option for those with average budget and who needs to move freely while pumping. Also, the convertible feature is an added bonus.
Where to Buy?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you would normally sanitize your hands every now and then but since it is handsfree, you do not have to worry about that anymore. It is still advisable to wash your hands before handling though, maybe just less frequently. If you spend most of the time on the road especially during heavy traffic, then this product is intended for you. It is also beneficial for those doing clerical work at home that requires you to do your job using both hands. I usually drive my car while pumping twice a day, 5 days a week, and it’s absolutely convenient. In fact, it’s very safe as long as you don’t keep gazing at your boobs while driving.