The 10 Best Soda Makers for Homemade Bubbles

Seattle-WAUSA-March-4-2020-Red-Sodastream-on-Countertop-with-Kitchen-Scene-in-Background

In 2018, American consumers burned through 800 million gallons of soda water, but making soda at home is becoming more and more popular, and with good reason.

Many commercial sodas are stuffed with calories, as well as an excess of refined sugars.

Quite aside from the health angle, stocking up on store-bought soda soon gets expensive, especially if your kids can’t get enough of the stuff. Buying can after can is also not the greatest move environmentally, but there’s some good news…

By exploring the best soda makers, you can put an end to all this, while at the same time widening your options when it comes to making soda. With one small countertop appliance, you can make plain or flavored fizzy water using either tap water or filtered water. Throw in a splash of juice or some commercial flavorings, and you’re away at a fraction of the cost.

If you’ve never used a soda maker before, though, we understand you might need some help comparing the best models in this vertical. To help you with that, a brief soda maker buying guide before we push on with our reviews of the top 10 models.

  • Size: You’ll need to think first about the size of the soda maker. Most of the options we review today are pretty slimline, lightweight, and easy to fit on the kitchen counter. We break down the size and weight of each in the features tab of each product, allowing you to easily compare them at a glance. Most of the bottles bundled have a 1-liter capacity, although you can find smaller bottles if you don’t feel you’ll get through a liter of fizzy water each day.
  • Power source: Not all soda makers require a power source at all. Several of the models on our shortlist are equipped with manual levers to control the level of carbonation, meaning no electricity or batteries are needed
  • Carbonation settings: Some soda makers let you choose from several levels of carbonation. Others deliver your fizzy water one way only
  • Overall versatility: Some soda makers allow you to make nothing but fizzy water, adding flavorings once it’s carbonated. With others, imagination is your only limitation, and you can whip up just about any cold carbonated beverage available
  • Speed of operation: If you’re looking for ease of use combined with speed of operation, you should roll with an electric countertop model. Manual soda makers will take longer to deliver fizzy drinks
  • Availability of CO2 cylinders: Check for compatibility and ensure you can source a steady and affordable supply of the consumable cylinders you’ll need for carbonating drinks

OK, if you keep these pointers in mind, you should find it easy to navigate our collection of the best soda makers out there.

Dive in!

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I. The 10 Best Soda Makers

1. Our #1 Pick: SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker

SodaStream-Fizzi-One-Touch-Sparkling-Water-Maker-Bundle

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 12.65 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 10.83 x 17.32 inches

Our overall favorite in today’s showcase of the best soda makers comes from industry legend SodaStream. Founded over 100 years ago and acquired by PepsiCo for $3.2 billion in 2018, the brand goes from strength to strength and remains the most powerful company in this market segment.

The Fizzi One Touch is a lightweight plastic countertop unit. In this iteration, you also get a couple of CO2 cylinders, each capable of carbonating about 60 liters of water.

Choice of colors is limited to black or white, as with many kitchen appliances.

You’ll be free to use any flavors from the sprawling SodaStream line. You have over 100 options at your fingertips, so there’s no excuse for anyone in the family to feel left out.

Compatibility also extends to all the brand’s BPA-free carbonation bottles, but this model is not compatible with glass carafes.

The bottles snap neatly into place for quick and easy carbonation, perfect if you’re surrounded by complaining kids.

As well as the soda maker and the pair of cylinders, you also get a trio of carbonating bottles as well as a couple of zero-calorie fruit drops. Considering the comprehensive package on offer, you might be surprised at the keen price point.

Most user reviews of this class-leading soda maker are pretty positive. The few isolated complaints we encountered mention reasonably flimsy build quality, so handle your SodaStream with care.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Pair of CO2 cylinders included
  • Use any SodaStream flavors
  • Carbonate 60 liters of water per cylinder
  • Feels reasonably flimsy

2. aarke Carbonator III Soda Maker

Aarke-Carbonator-III-Premium-Carbonator

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 3.09 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10.24 x 5.91 x 16.14 inches

aarke don’t make cheap soda makers, but the company has a track history of producing some innovative appliances continually being upgraded.

The Carbonator III, as the name makes clear, is the third iteration of this enduring classic. The stainless steel build immediately sets this model apart from a sea of plastic opposition.

Available in 6 commanding colorways, this soda maker will make a conversation piece on the kitchen counter, but how about the drinks it makes?

Well, you’re in luck there, and it’s certainly not a case of form over function. Using this soda maker couldn’t be simpler. Top up the bottle provided right up to the fill line. Screw the bottle into the machine, pull down on the lever to carbonate your water, and enjoy. As long as you don’t add any flavor to the water while it’s in the aarke bottle, you’re in safe hands.

You will need to make provision for some CO2 cylinders as none are included with purchase.

While this certainly isn’t the cheapest soda maker out there, you get great overall value here considering the performance, build quality, and aesthetics, as well as the fact you are buying into a brand you can trust.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Uprated and re-engineered model
  • Makes a striking visual statement
  • Super-simple to use
  • No CO2 cylinders included

3. SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker

sodastream-Fizzi-One-Touch-Sparkling-Water-Maker

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 7.49 pounds
  • Dimensions: 6 x 10.83 x 17.32 inches

Next in line is another entry from the SodaStream stable, so what do you get with this iteration of the Fizzi One Touch?

This is the black version, finished in plastic that’s free of all toxins and contaminants. You also get a BPA-free plastic bottle thrown in so you can near-instantly carbonate water.

While this is not the most robust soda maker, in return you benefit from a lightweight countertop form factor and a pocket-friendly price point.

This is a corded electric soda maker like most of the best models in this vertical. The cord is lengthy enough to give you a bit of leeway when it comes to placement.

In terms of flavors, choose from the 100+ SodaStream offerings, giving you something for everyone in the family.

Using this soda maker couldn’t be easier. Also, you get to choose between 3 different levels of carbonation to suit all tastes.

This version of the classic bestseller included a single plastic bottle and a single CO2 cylinder, so you have everything you need to get going right out the box – just don’t forget the flavors!

Although a few disgruntled users complain about the overall cost of making soda water this way, the vast bulk of user testimony for this flagship SodaStream model is positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • BPA-free plastic bottle
  • Single CO2 cylinder
  • Compatible with all branded flavors
  • Works out reasonably expensive

4. DrinkMate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker

DrinkMate-Sparkling-Water-and-Soda-Maker

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 4.54 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 16 inches

For anyone shopping for cheap soda makers that won’t let you down, DrinkMate is a company well worth popping on your shortlist. How does this simple but effective soda maker stand and fall, then?

Off the bat, you need to make sure you have some CO2 cylinders lined up, as you won’t get any included here aside from a tiny test cylinder so you check the appliance is working.

Having said that, you can easily purchase and exchange these cylinders online. You can use DrinkMate’s proprietary cylinders, or those from just about any other brand, meaning you can shop around for price, ideal if you’re looking to run your soda maker on a tight budget.

Whether you want to make soda for the kids, cocktails and mocktails for the adults, or even to recarbonate flat drinks, you can do all that and more with the DrinkMate.

The carbonation time on this appliance is from 10 to 30 seconds, meaning there’s no tedious waiting around.

Available in a handful of colorful finishes, this fun and lightweight soda maker makes a great addition to any kitchen counter, so why not give it a try?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Couldn’t be easier to use
  • Carbonates water quickly
  • Great value for money
  • CO2 cylinders not included

5. aarke Carbonator II Sparkling Water Maker

AARKE-CARBONATOR-II

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 3.08 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 16 inches

As we reach the midway point in our search for the best soda maker, we have another offering from the aarke line.

The Carbonator II is the new and improved version of the brand’s flagship soda maker with fans the world over.

This version of an iconic machine comes in a choice of 4 colors, all finished in hardwearing and rugged stainless steel. This soda maker would work extremely well in a modernist or utilitarian kitchen. Beyond that, though, the lean and clean lines would set off most kitchen counters.

Lightweight, slender, and taking up very little countertop space, this model is a neat choice for small kitchens and for anyone living in an apartment.

The main upgrades and improvements took place under the hood here, with the internals boosted along with overall performance, and the chassis of the unit looking much the same as ever.

Although most users sing the praises of this soda maker, we found some complaints about the machine not making the water fizzy enough. This is pretty subjective, but if you’re expecting a bubble overload, you might want to reassess your expectations.

Even though this soda maker is one of the more expensive options up for grabs, there is no CO2 cartridge included, so you’ll need to pick on of these up if you want to start carbonating drinks right out the box.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Uprated internal components
  • Slimline and compact form
  • PET plastic free of toxins
  • Doesn’t get water very fizzy

6. Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig

Drinkworks-Home-Bar-by-Keurig

Features

  • Material: Plastic and stainless steel
  • Weight: 27.9 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.3 x 17.7 x 14.9 inches

Keurig is a brand most famous the world over for their deep bench of single-serve coffee makers. They bring all this expertise to bear on this home bar, Drinkworks.

For anyone who only wants the occasional glass of soda water, this is likely not the best choice for you. Think of this more like an all-in-one cocktail maker than a SodaStream, so for anyone who likes the idea of that, read on.

Just like their pod-based coffee machines, this unit also runs on proprietary pods. These pods contain all the ingredients you need – alcohol included – to make a huge array of cocktails the easy way.

The onboard carbonation system runs on standard CO2 cartridges, and you’ll need to invest in some of these once the pair you get thrown in are consumed.

You also get some drink coasters included along with a pack of cleaning tablets and a water filter.

So, this all-in-one home bar allows you to make great soda water at home, but it also gives you much more flexibility than the opposition. If you have the room to accommodate this soda maker and you don’t mind digging a little deeper for the privilege, you won’t be disappointed.

While we found very few complaints about the soda maker itself, we can’t say the same for the brand’s customer service.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Complete drinks system
  • Push-button operation
  • Replaceable CO2 cartridges
  • Customer service issues reported

7. SodaStream Aqua Fizz Sparkling Water Machine

SodaStream-Aqua-Fizz-Sparkling-Water-Machine

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 11.38 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 8 inches

With yet another entry from the inimitable SodaStream, you can now clearly see the dominance in this market segment of a brand with over a century of experience.

The Aqua Fizz is a sleek and elegant soda maker that fits neatly on the kitchen counter without eating up too much space.

This kit comes with a glass carafe and a CO2 canister included. This model runs on the standard 60L canisters you can easily purchase online or in stores.

Using the soda maker couldn’t be easier, with a user-friendly manual pump allowing even the kids to make soda without straining themselves.

As with all the best soda makers, you’ll have freshly carbonated water in seconds, meaning you always have a supply on hand, and you can liven it up with your favorite additives and flavorings once it’s in the glass carafe or your glass.

Most user reviews of this soda maker are pretty positive, but we did find some blowback from consumers about the crispness of the water. Overall, you’re getting one of the best soda makers out there, and it’s not too expensive either.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Impeccable brand image
  • Instant push-button ease
  • Carbonates in glass carafe
  • Doesn’t taste crisp enough

8. SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker

SodaStream-Fizzi-Sparkling-Water-Maker

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 6.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8.05 x 8.05 x 18 inches

As we push to the end of our soda maker reviews, we have another fine example from the SodaStream stable. If this soda maker reminds you of your childhood, why not recreate those days with your family by picking up the budget-friendly Fizzi.

Firstly, choose from a few bright colors to inject some personality to your kitchen counter.

The Fizzi is the entry-level machine in this line of soda makers, so what do you get for your money?

Well, you need to deal with a manual pump action here, where on the One Touch you benefit from seamless push-button carbonation. This is not a huge sacrifice, though, and you certainly won’t need to put in too much physical effort to get great soda water.

None of the components are dishwasher-friendly, so be prepared to do a little hand washing to keep this system at its best.

This iteration is compatible with the classic and slim 0.5 liter and 1 liter bottles from this brand.

This is not an electric model, and you get no choice in the level of fizz either. In many ways, though, this soda maker gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. All that counts is whether that fits with your needs. If not, we have plenty of other options above and below for you today.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Several striking colorways
  • Energy-efficient way to make fizzy drinks
  • Ideal with all SodaStream flavors
  • Some build quality issues reported

9. Spärkel Beverage System

Spärkel-Beverage-System

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 9.97 pounds
  • Dimensions: 10 x 5.65 x 15 inches

Just before we round out today, we have time for a couple more soda makers, including this model from Spärkel.

Marketed as “a new way to carbonate drinks”, you don’t need to concern yourself with any third-party CO2 canisters here. How does this machine work, then?

The machine allows you to infuse the taste of real ingredients into your water along with making it fizz, and you won’t need CO2 tanks. Plug in this beverage system and let the electricity do the hard work.

Choose from 5 different levels of carbonation, from mild fizz through to serious bubble overload, perfect for any cocktails or denser juices.

While you might first wonder how this machine carbonates water without CO2, it doesn’t! The rather misleading language of the product listing disguises the fact you will be using CO2, it simply comes in pre-packaged and proprietary carbonators. You will be locked into using these carbonators, and using any other variety will invalidate your warranty, so don’t risk it. If you dislike being locked into one ecosystem, this is not the soda maker for you.

For anyone looking to make a wide range of carbonated drinks infused with natural flavors, the Spärkel is well worth a place on your shortlist.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • No CO2 tanks required
  • Carbonate wide range of beverages
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Questionable lifespan

10. DrinkMate Sparkling Water Maker

DrinkMate-Sparkling-Water-and-Soda-Maker

Features

  • Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.87 x 5.12 x 16.14 inches

Now, last but not least in today’s collection of the best soda makers out there comes from DrinkMate, the second entry from this budget brand delivering top-notch appliances at keen prices.

For anyone living in an apartment, or for anyone with space constraints in the kitchen, this slender and compact soda maker allows you to enjoy your favorite beverages without eating up too much room.

The plastic soda maker is available in a choice of 4 colorways, including this understated matte black version.

The manufacturer claims this is the only soda maker capable of carbonating any drink in your refrigerator, so if you like the thought of widening your options and experimenting with a range of fizzy drinks, you’re in luck here.

Easy to use and easy to clean, you won’t need any electric and you won’t need any batteries either.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Carbonate any drink with ease
  • BPA-free bottle bundled
  • Compatible with most CO2 carbonators
  • Bottle is not dishwasher-safe

II. FAQs

1) What are the main benefits of a soda maker?

Perhaps the key selling point of investing in a soda maker is the convenience of being able to carbonate water on demand. Never again will you be caught out with no soda water. You can also, of course, make many drinks beyond simple soda water with one of these machines by simply adding some of your favorite flavoring. If you buy lots of canned or bottled soda, you can save money by making your own at home – more on that below. Running costs are limited to the replaceable and inexpensive CO2 cartridges these things use for carbonation. The reusable nature of the canisters means that soda makers give you an eco-friendly way of enjoying soda. As an added kicker, you can more accurately control the amount of sugar and additives you and your kids consume when carbonating your drinks at home and forgoing store-bought alternatives.

2) Is it worth getting a soda maker?

If you are thinking about comparing homemade soda water to commercially available bottled soda water, you’ll find they come in at roughly the same cost. Sometimes, you might even find you spend slightly more making your own. Other variables like whether or not you use any flavoring, and how many cartridges you burn through will impact running costs. Just like with most buying decisions in the kitchen, only you can decide whether or not you feel you would get value for money from one of these things.

3) Can kids drink sparkling water?

Absolutely! In fact, some studies indicate that kids who drink carbonated water stay hydrated for longer than those who don’t drink fizzy water. The only real drawback occurs if sparkling water completely replaces other healthy drinks like natural fruit juices and milk. Balance is key. Another potential issue is that carbonation can trigger bloating. This makes movement uncomfortable and induced a feeling of sluggishness. Educate your kids on the importance of staying properly hydrated throughout the day, but also show them how to drink the right mixture of liquids so they get all the nutrients their growing bodies need.

4) Can drinking carbonated water damage your kidneys?

The purpose of carbonating water is to make it more appetizing to drink. If you attempt to encourage your child to drink only flat water, it’s highly unlikely this will stick, and they could end up feeling dehydrated. With the carbonation process along with the added sweetness, making drinks in a soda maker can also help you to feel fuller for longer. Some research suggests that if you drink carbonated water and then exercise, you may not feel the need to rehydrate after your workout. Failing to do this, though, will place undue burden on your kidneys. They will be forced to keep on flushing toxins from your body, but they won’t be getting the hydration they need to streamline this process. There is also some research linking carbonated drinks with lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes, as well as kidney-related problems. In most cases, it is cola that’s to blame, but carbonated water making use of artificial sweeteners is also not the most healthful option. As with all health issues, you should do your due diligence and see how you feel about the ingredients you’re putting into your body. And like with most things in life, moderation is key.


III. Conclusion

For anyone who arrived here today at Madiba unsure if it makes sense to make soda at home, you should now be able to decide if it would fit your needs.

We reviewed a wide cross-section of soda makers so there should be something for everyone today.

Before heading off, we would suggest you bookmark our blog. We are continuing to expand our full-service restaurant here at Madiba, so make sure you pop back soon. We bring you fresh new content daily.

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