Spectra released their new premium Synergy Gold breast pump in mid-2021. It is a very impressive piece of hardware and can perform just about any function that a pumping mom could wish for.
However, the cost is much higher than the S1 and S2 models.
Considering that these alternatives were already industry leaders, this begs the question of whether the extra features and functionality is worth the extra money.
In this article, we will do a detailed comparison of these extra features so you have a thorough understanding of what you gain by spending the extra money on the SG model.
In This Post:
If you would prefer not to read the full comparison then the comments below and comparison table will tell you all you need to know for a quick decision.
Buy the SG – if you plan on pumping at home or always near an electrical outlet, and want the best pump that money can buy.
Buy the Spectra S1 – if you need to be able to pump anywhere, any time, and also want to save some money by getting a cheaper unit.
Spectra SG Vs S1 Performance Comparison
This section will detail the main differences between these two Spectra pumps and rate them on their comparable performance.
We have provided a winning pump for each category and will present a recommendation based on the highest score. However, not all of the criteria will matter to you.
To get the most personalized recommendation then just tick off the points that you care about and discard the rest.
Dual or Single Motor
The Spectra SG is the first pump to include two motors that enable you to apply different settings to each breast flange.
This can be a huge help for moms with an uneven breast milk supply. You can crank up the suction on the slacker breast and re-train your body to produce more and work towards balanced production.
With the S1 you just have the single motor and uniform settings on both breasts while double pumping.
Both Spectra pumps will cycle through multiple pumping modes to simulate the natural progression of a feeding session:
- Massage mode – to trigger your body’s let-down reflex.
- Expression mode – to simulate the sucking motion of your baby feeding.
The S1 has a single-speed while in massage mode. The SG has added four additional levels which give you additional control while your body lets down.
You also get more tiers of vacuum suction strength with the SG (although the S1 already provides adequate control):
- S1 – 12 levels
- SG – 15 levels
The S1 has been an industry leader for customizing your pumping session. The improvements that Spectra have made to their Synergy Gold model take this to a new level though.
The S1 will get you around three hours of battery life via the built-in rechargeable battery.
It can take up to four hours to fully charge but will provide a hospital-grade pumping experience while being fully mobile.
The SG has no battery and will require access to a power outlet at all times.
While the battery in the S1 makes it heavier compared to its twin model the S2, it is still much lighter than the SG. The extra pump motor makes the unit quite bulky compared to the S1:
- S1 – 2.4 lbs
- SG – 4.0 lbs
If you are a working mom and have to carry a breast pump to work then this extra weight could be a deal-breaker.
You might be thinking that 1.6lbs won’t make much of a difference. But add in all that pumped milk you are carrying home at the end of the day and it could become an unreasonable burden.
The design of the SG has the touch screen LCD display built into the face of the pump with large numbers that are easy to see.
At night time those numbers are what lights up, rather than the whole background so you can see the numbers in the foreground like the S1.
On pure size, the fact that the SG uses the whole face for the numbers and buttons just makes everything easy to see and very accessible.
The S1 has that small LCD screen that sinks into the face of the pump with buttons around it.
The Synergy Gold is a huge step up and is one of those improvements you never knew you needed until it was put in front of you, and it is hard to look at the S1 the same way again!
Adjustable Night Light
The inclusion of a nightlight is a nice convenience for those midnight pumping sessions.
Both of these Spectra pumps also allow you to adjust the brightness of the nightlight so that it is easier on the eye when surrounded by darkness.
This is another one of those small improvements where the SG goes that little bit further to add to your comfort levels:
- S1 – 2 levels
- SG – 3 levels
The S1 operates at 45db which translates to a gentle humming sound that shouldn’t disturb a sleeping baby.
The SG takes this one step further by introducing a mute mode that further takes the edge of that motor noise. This is especially clever considering there are two motors!
You will be paying an extra 50%-60% for the SG compared to the S1. This is a big price difference which is why we have been as detailed as possible with the feature comparison.
The performance of the S1 vs the relative cost makes it an outstanding value proposition depending on which performance areas you care most about.
The final difference is the color of the motor unit.
This is entirely subjective, but it is hard to say that the sleek gold lining of the SG pump isn’t a clear winner here!
- S1 – Blue
- SG – Gold
Common Features & Functionality
In this section, we will summarise the industry-leading features and functionality offered by both of these pumps.
Aside from the details already discussed, they are basically the same pump and will provide years of reliable use.
Closed system pumps are made with special backflow protection to prevent breast milk from entering the tubing and motor.
This hygienic barrier made from a silicone membrane prevents extra moisture from ending up where it’s not supposed to. This can damage the motor and lead to bacteria growth which may end up in your pumped milk.
A closed system is also easier to clean and a big time-saver for working moms who have to squeeze multiple pumping sessions into their day.
Both the S1 and SG pumps are designed as a closed system.
Double Electric Breast Pump
You have the option to double pump for the most efficient session or use it as a single pump if needed.
This comes in handy if you need to quickly express from one breast if feeding your baby directly has left you unbalanced.
Hospital Grade Pump
A hospital-grade breast pump is defined by the following parameters:
- Capable of initiating and supporting milk supply.
- Able to be used by multiple users safely and hygienically.
- Durable enough to be used by a mum expressing often (i.e. 8 x a day) and has a long motor life.
However, this is not something recognized by the FDA and are standards set directly by Spectra.
Both of these breast pumps are hospital grade and satisfy each of the three points above.
Natural Nursing Technology
This is the distinctive feature of all Spectra breast pumps which drives the speed and rhythm of your pumping session to mimic the suckle of a newborn and a natural breastfeeding pattern.
The objective is to provide an experience that feels natural for mom and also triggers the appropriate response from your body.
This will help you keep track of your sessions without needing to remember to set one or looking at the clock to track your time.
You also have the timer control when you are utilizing the memory settings as the pumps cycle through your custom session.
Both include this, it’s just easier to see on the SG with the larger illuminated numbers.
The same complete accessory kit is included with both pumps allowing you to start pumping immediately.
Here is a full list of inclusions for both packages:
- 2x 24mm Breast flanges
- 2x 28mm Breast Flanges
- 2x Spectra tubing
- 2x Duckbill valves
- 2x Backflow protectors
- 2x Wide Neck Bottles
- 1x Power cord and AC adapter
Note: You can also buy extra flanges, extra bottles, and other additional accessories from the Spectra store page. The flanges come in 20mm, 24mm, 28mm, and 32mm sizes. You just have to factor in the cost.
All Spectra parts are manufactured without the use of BPA chemicals.
This is commonly used to harden plastics and can be harmful to children. So best to keep away from anything that will be used to feed your baby!
Your Buying Decision
Why Choose the Spectra S1
This portable pump is great for working moms who are constantly on the move and have less predictability around where they will be for their next pumping session.
Or moms who like being outdoors and want the freedom of being able to pump at the local park or beach.
Until the SG came along the S1 offered top-of-the-range performance for an affordable price. While there is now a superior option it doesn’t diminish what the S1 can offer for a lower price.
So while the S1 is much cheaper and better for those on a tighter budget, it is still a high-performing breast pump with an industry track record that proves you will be well looked after.
Read the full S1 breast pump review here.
Why Choose the Spectra Synergy Gold
The SG offers the most up-to-date technology and a premium breast pumping experience with a price tag to match.
While the extra cost is substantial the extra suction level, and customized controls can save you time and make a big difference to your comfort levels.
It is most suitable for a mom who is exclusively pumping and needs a more powerful pump. While also being in predictable locations for your pumping sessions.
You always need to be near an electrical outlet but can handle occasional expression on the road with a manual pump. There are many moms who keep one of these handy at all times in their handbag!
It is also a big time-saver for moms with an uneven milk supply. The dual pumping cycle speed can even things out without extra pumping time.
The mute function offers an ultra-quiet pumping session that is great when you have a sleeping baby around.
Each Spectra pump offers a premium experience and the differences come down to small features that will suit moms with specific pumping challenges.
Most of these features are a nice to have, but not an essential part of your pumping journey. But if you can afford the SG it really is the breast pump with the most advanced technology that Spectra has to offer.
The dual motors of the SG are a game-changer and ensure more productive pumping sessions compared to the S1.
While the Synergy Gold is a clear winner on our performance comparison scoring, the Spectra S1 is still an amazing pump and comes out on top for value. The price is much less and the performance is not far away.
Both are a step above other Spectra breast pumps in quality and can easily become your new best friend as a new mom.