We surveyed 35 mommies, who used Pumpables Super Genie and Spectra S1/S1+, and interviewed 6 lactation breastfeeding experts. Here are our main findings:
- The top few considerations when purchasing a breast pump are suction strength, portability, size and weight, customisability, and battery life
- Mommies preferred Pumpables Super Genie’s:
- Portability: Its sleeker design makes it easier to keep in bags
- Customisability: 256 configurations in the expression mode
- Mommies preferred Spectra’s:
- Reputation: Spectra was a commonly used brand by most mommies
- Battery life: seems to be better than Pumpables’ SG
- Ease of getting spare parts
After a series of interviews, surveys and personally testing them out, we concluded that Pumpables Super Genie and Spectra S1/S1+ are very similar in terms of weight, battery life and charging time.
Pumpables Super Genie is more suitable for adventurous mommies looking for:
- Sleeker hospital grade breast pump
- Unique flange sizes
- Soft silicone inserts to protect sore nipples
- Technology with app aimed at making pumping simpler
Spectra S1/S1+ is more suitable for mommies looking for:
- A well-known brand with good reliability
- A pump that can be passed down for “generations”
What Research Did We Do?
For this review, we surveyed 35 mommies, and spoke to Allison Banfield, the founder of Proud Happy Mama – an incredible support network for new moms, and long-time parents to connect and empower each other.
We also interviewed 6 lactation experts:
- Chrisie Rosenthal, IBCLC from The Lactation Network
- Beth Ann Martin, Trained Birth Doula and Certified Postpartum Doula & Lactation Education Counselor from LaVie Mom
- Maria Regan, Certified Nurse and Lactation Expert from Amy Baby Review
- Krystyn Parks, Pediatric Dietitian and IBCLC from Feeding Made Easy
- Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC
- Janai Marie Meyer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, IBCLC, Licensed Dietitian, Birth Doula and Certified Childbirth Educator
Apart from that, we checked in on friends and acquaintances, who shared their pumping stories with me.
2-Years Personal Breastfeeding Experience
I’m a parent of one breastfed baby. I used Pumpables Super Genie to help increase my milk supply. Today, I am proud to say that I am still breastfeeding my 23-month-old daughter.
Just like milk bottles, you have to try the breast pumps before you know it. I bought and tried 5 breast pumps in total – Baby Express BE MINE, Baby Express BE FREE, Real Bubee, Spectra S1+, and finally Pumpables Super Genie.
6 months into breastfeeding, a painful feverish engorgement experience triggered my Pumpables Super Genie purchase. My breast masseur recommended Spectra to me but I wanted to find more alternatives before deciding. Then, I recalled reading a mom-fluencer talking about the Pumpables Liquid Shield Kit. She talked about how it was so comfortable for her sore nipples. Before I knew it, I decided to purchase Pumpables Super Genie and I never looked back.
While waiting for my Pumpables SG to be delivered (it was really fast by the way!), I borrowed a Spectra S1+ to try and it was amazing. It could clear my boobs and I was praying so hard that the Pumpables could work as well!
With the Pumpables SG, I managed to express 30ml more milk each time I pumped. For a low-supply mom like myself, that increase was so crucial. Through this review, I hope you get the information you need to make a more informed purchase decision.
Lactation Experts’ Breastfeeding Advice
Here is some of the advice from International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs), and other lactation experts.
Take a prenatal breastfeeding class, followed by a prenatal consultation with a local IBCLC. You’ll learn the basics of breastfeeding, what to expect in the first few weeks, how to navigate common breastfeeding issues, and the truth behind common breastfeeding myths.Chrisie Rosenthal, IBCLC from The Lactation Network
Babies feed around the clock so setting yourself up with that expectation will make life much easier.Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC
What to Look Out For When Buying a Breast Pump?
Some of the top considerations for a good breast pump were suction strength, portability, customisability, and size and weight.
Description of a Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
In the clinical setting, IBCLCs refer to hospital-grade breast pumps as multi-user breast pumps. These hospital grade breast pumps are used for families who have a medical need for a more powerful pump.
What do Pumpables Offer?
Pumpables is a remote team of working moms, with a workspace in Singapore. They believe that expressing breastmilk needs to become easier – more convenient, more comfortable and more accessible.
They sell 2 different breast pumps – Pumpables Super Genie, and Pumpables Genie Advanced.
Pumpables Super Genie is a hospital-grade breast pump, which can be connected to an app, running programs on your pump with just one touch. Pumpables Genie Advanced is their portable option, weighing only 250g. Their prices differ greatly and it boils down to your needs.
In this article, we are comparing between the 2 hospital-grade breast pumps – Pumpables Super Genie vs Spectra S1/S1+. Unfortunately, we won’t be comparing the 2 Pumpables Breast Pumps but let us know if you’d like to find out more!
What is Good?
Pumpables App with Preset Programming
The Pumpables app with preset programming was a defining and unique characteristic of Pumpables. Using bluetooth connection, you can access pump programs from others, edit it and save it as your own.
“This function was especially useful for me when I had to pump in the middle of the night. With the push of the P1 (program 1) button on the breast pump, the 30-min pump session would run automatically. As I alternate between the letdown and expression mode every 10 mins, it was really helpful to have it programmed. Then, I need not fiddle with the cycle and vacuum button several times in 30 minutes.” – Owner of Pumpables Super Genie
Pumpables “Fitting Room”
IBCLC Janai Marie Meyer mentioned that 75% of mommies have the wrong flange size at some point in their breastfeeding journey. With the Pumpables “Fitting Room”, one can use their Pumpables Nipple Ruler to measure, before sending it to the “Fitting Room” to get fitted. Professionals at the backend would recommend which flange size you should be purchasing.
That leads on to the next feature – the Liquid Shield Kit.
Liquid Shield Kit
Unlike Spectra that comes with a default 28mm flanges, you can choose which flange size you’d like for your liquid shield kit. The liquid insert is made of soft liquid silicone and works differently from a traditional flange. It moulds to the breast tissue and mimics the way your baby’s palate compresses the nipple when he/she is breastfeeding.
By using their liquid insert, it also means you have an additional item to wash on top of the plastic flange. The valve is also very delicate – mine tore after 3 weeks of heavy usage. Replacing the valve meant replacing the whole liquid insert, which is costly in the long run. Hence, mommies who experienced the same issue turned to purchasing 3rd party accessories, such as Maymom’s flanges to pair with the Pumpables SG.
Compatible Tubings for Other Accessories
8 mommies also paired Pumpables SG with other accessories such as Spectra flanges, Maymom Flanges, Imani cups etc.
On top of that, I was also using Hegen’s bottles so I paired it with Hegen’s wide-neck adapter, and bottles!
Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
Needless to say, Pumpables SG is a hospital-grade breast pump meant for heavy usage. For someone exclusively pumping in the first year of my daughter’s life, I was pumping 270 times a month! I could purchase any high-quality double electric breast pump but I feel more comfortable purchasing a hospital grade breast pump.
A mommy also mentioned how she handed down the breast pump to her sis-in-law after 2 years of using it and it was still functioning well.
“She did mention that the battery life isn’t as great anymore. In the past, one full charge could last me about 3 – 4 pump sessions. Now, she has to recharge after every 2 pump sessions. I would think that is pretty reasonable, given the fact that I literally abused it for 1.5 – 2 years.”– User of a Pumpables Super Genie
Comparison Tables for Pumpables SG & Spectra S1/S1+
We will be comparing Spectra S1/S1+ with Pumpables SG because in terms of specifications, nothing has changed between the S1 and S1+. From Spectra’s official site, the most obvious difference is in the nozzle/suction holes. Also, the old version S1 is heavier, weighing about 1.6kg.
31 out of 35 mommies we surveyed used Spectra S1/S1+. They loved it for its fast and efficient drainage, compatible tubings that allowed them to be used with maymom flanges and its battery life.
Here are some of the reasons why mommies, who heard of Pumpables Super Genie, still chose Spectra:
- One of the most recommended in the market
- Mommy friends reviewed on its suction and effective clearing of milk
- As many people are using it, it’s easy to ask around for help
- Ease of getting spare parts, and easy to sell it away as it is highly reputable
- Much more reviews than Pumpables (here is where we hope to step in!)
The following chart compares the price and specifications of both the breast pumps.
Price and Specifications
5 vacuum levels
16 vacuum level (15 – 330mmHG)
• Bottle stands
5 vacuum levels
12 vacuum levels
• 28mm Breast Shields
• Backflow Protectors
After comparing them in detail, you realised how similar they are! Their main similarities and differences are consolidated below.
Similarities and Differences
So, What Won Me Over?
After analysing the similarities and differences, here are the reasons why I chose Pumpables SG eventually.
Pumpables App with Preset Programming
That was the deal breaker for me. Being able to sync a pump session to a button made pumping life so much easier for me. I could concentrate on massaging my breasts while pumping and not be bothered by the other cycle/vacuum buttons anymore. Not forgetting that I could focus on my Netflix shows while pumping too, haha!
Insane Configurations (Highly Customisable Cycles and Vacuum Strength)
If you look closely at the comparison table, Pumpables SG has 256 configurations for the expression mode, unlike Spectra’s 60 configurations. Mommies mentioned that the 16 cycle speeds, and 16 vacuum levels meant that every increase in level made minimal changes. They could find the perfect speed or suction strength that could better suit their needs.
However, that could also backfire. Mommies have also mentioned that because there are so many possible configurations, it was really hard for them to find good settings that would suit them. Now this sounds like what motherhood is like right? All about trial and error!
Unique Liquid Shield Kit and Sizes
As Spectra comes with the default 28mm flange, it is usually too big for most mommies and as a result, they have to purchase new flanges or flange inserts to suit their nipple size. With Pumpables, you can choose the exact flange size that suits you.
Sleeker Design = More Portable
As I was exclusively pumping most of the time in the first year of motherhood, I was lugging my breast pump everywhere I went. Hence, I preferred the sleeker design of the Pumpables SG, which appears more like a thick and heavy book, and not a bowling ball (some of our mommies call them that, haha!).
Thoughts on Hospital-Grade Breast Pumps
This article talks about the two main hospital-grade breast pumps in the market and compares their specifications. Every mom reacts differently to different breast pumps. I can rave over the Pumpables Super Genie, but it can also not work for you. That’s the truth of almost every motherly product because that’s simply how we work – we are all unique!
Together with 35 mommies and 6 lactation experts, I hope you get a better idea of which hospital-grade breast pump could better suit your needs.
Motherhood isn’t easy, and having to read a thousand and one websites to find the details you need is not what we want. We hope this comprehensive review has been really useful for you in making your breast pump purchase decision. You can do this!
To end off this post, I would like to give thanks to the sweetest mummies, who completed the survey amidst their busy schedules to make this review possible:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is it a good time to buy a breast pump?
Most lactation experts recommend buying a breast pump in your third trimester, around 37 weeks. This is so you have the time to familiarise yourself with it and use it. In the US, it is common to order your breast pump through your insurance. Hence, some IBCLCs also recommend purchasing it whenever your insurance company allows for that.
2. When is a good time to measure your flange size and buy the flanges?
Lactation Education Counselor Beth Ann Martin, from LavieMom, recommends waiting until after you deliver and breastfeeding is well established. The breast tissue will continue to change, and after feedings/pump sessions, there can be edema. It is best to meet with a qualified lactation consultant for the correct flange sizing. If you are pumping in the hospital, they can (and should) do this for you!
Pediatric Dietitian and IBCLC Krystyn Parks, from Feeding Made Easy, mentioned that it is more common for people to use the wrong size than the right size. Many parents need a smaller flange size than the one that comes with the pump.
Thus, IBCLC, Janai Marie Meyer, recommends waiting at least 2 weeks postpartum if you’d need to purchase additional flanges.
Disclaimer: Nuevamae is not sponsored by any of the mentioned brands or platforms. This article expresses our honest opinion based on our experience and research. Read more about our mission. This article includes affiliate links so we may earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase via the link.