Are you the kind of person who will alway choose a carbonated beverage over a still drink, hands down, any time? Well, we can totally understand that, since carbonated beverages are so delicious and fun, but buying and consuming pop or soda can get expensive and unhealthy if you let it become a prominent habit. We’ve been trying to break out of the routine of buying pre-made soda lately but we also see the value in treating yourself, so we’ve decided to invest in a home soda maker.
You’d be surprised at how many different high quality makes and models there are when it comes to soda makers. Various brands have had different ideas for what’s effective and efficient when it comes to adding carbonation and air bubbles to your drinks at home, which means there are plenty of options to choose from. We’ve been gathering the links to some of the very best soda makers we could find, comparing and contrasting their features in hopes of making the choice a little easier for everyone.
What is a soda maker?
A soda maker is a small countertop machine that lets you turn regular water into a carbonated beverage right there at home. Many people enjoy the carbonated water as is, drinking it right after the machine is finished pumping because they just like the carbonated texture. Some people, however, purchase flavoured syrups (somewhat like grenadine) to add to their carbonated water after in order to make all different kinds of custom tasting homemade sodas. Some soda makers can handle carbonating other liquids as well, like juice, but most are intended for use with water only.
How does a soda maker work?
Soda makers carbonate water (and other liquids) by adding carbon dioxide to it from a pressurized cylinder. This gives the drink a fizzy effect, much like that of the canned pops and sodas you’ve had in restaurants or purchased in stores. Most machines feature a number of refillable bottles that screw into place airtight so the carbon dioxide can be injected without escaping. When one pressurized cylinder is emptied, brands usually sell refills or replacements for their specific model of soda maker.
Just in case you feel like you could use a little bit more guidance when it comes to making the final decision on your own soda maker, here’s a pros and cons style outline of the best ones we came across in our search.
Are you the kind of person who likes your pop really fizzy but your sparkling water a little more lightly carbonated? Well, that’s actually just the kind of thing this machine from SodaStream can help you achieve. This machine comes with an easily replaceable pressurized CO2 canister, a BPA free 1L carbonating bottle, and a space efficient electric streaming stand. The stand is super easy to work, featuring only three buttons on the top. Each of these buttons gives you a different level of carbonation.
It’s worth noting that this appliance is very lightweight. While this is often a benefit when it comes to freestanding home appliances, the power that the carbonating action in this model puts out actually makes it a small drawback. Previous buyers found the machine so light that it might vibrate or drift across the counter on the highest setting, so they had to hold it in place during use.View price on Amazon
- Space efficient
- Refillable canisters
- Easy to clean, decently sized carbonating bottle
- Three simple to navigate carbonation settings
- Very light machine weight can cause vibrating and drifting on highest setting
This premium quality stainless steel carbonator from AARKE is for people who plan to use their soda maker a lot, and therefore need it to be hardy and easy to clean, but who still appreciate it sleek, stylish look. This kit is minimalist and straight forward, including only its carbonator (which is made of both the stand and the pressurized element) and a non-toxic bottle made from PET plastic, with a stainless steel base and lid. The model is so simple to use that it only requires the push of a single button.
Keep in mind that, besides being on the more expensive end of the spectrum thanks to its very durable materials, this model does not come with a pressurized CO2 cartridge included. The cartridges it requires are commonly used and therefore easily acquired and replaced, but it does need to be purchased separately initially.View price on Amazon
- Durable materiality
- Easy to clean
- Very simple one-button system
- Sleek appearance
- Higher price point
- Initial CO2 cartridge sold separately
Are you feeling rather intent on purchasing some kind of carbonator for your home but you’re just not sure that you have the spare counter space for an entire additional appliance, even if they run small? Then you’ll get along much better with this handheld soda stream from iSi North America. This unique model works like a pitcher that you fill with water, which then filters through the carbonator at the top as you pour. The fizz is always extremely fresh, since the water passes through the pressurized cartridge with each pour.
Although most previous buyers have been extremely happy with the actual model itself, some have reported issues with the manual. Unclear and convoluted instructions make figuring out the handheld carbonator a little bit confusing at the outset. These buyers found that they needed to try it out a few times and do a lot of learning on the fly before they got the hang of it and really understood what the instructions were saying.View price on Amazon
- Durable and easy to clean materiality
- Consistently fresh carbonation
- Works best with tap water (doesn’t need separately purchased distilled water)
- Light, handheld design is easy to lift and use anywhere
- Confusing manual with unclear instructions can make first few uses a big learning curve
Have you actually been scrolling through our list wondering whether there might be a model that will work better on other kinds of drinks besides just water? Then this machine from DrinkMate is absolutely the one for you. This carbonator is intended for use on almost any standard liquid, including water, juice, iced tea, energy drinks, cocktails, and even coffee or tea. This machine is powered entirely by the pressurized CO2 canister and is extremely easy to clean.
It’s worth nothing that, even though most models don’t have it, some machines in this design were shipped out with a small hardware defect that removes the resistance in the carbonating button. This takes away the button’s ability to press against the canister in order to release the CO2, preventing it from carbonating.View price on Amazon
- Easy to clean
- Carbonates any standard liquid, increasing your fizzy drink range and possibilities
- Doesn’t require any kind of battery power or electricity, and therefore can be used anywhere
- Comes with a CO2 canister and custom non-toxic carbonating bottle
- Potential for button pressure defect, which will prevent CO2 release in some affected models
Are you still thinking about the idea of a handheld or portable soda maker and how convenient that would be, but you find the previous design a little bulky for your liking? Then check out this alternative from HXZB. This soda maker features a diverse and useful water BPA bottle and lid, with the carbonation happening when the lid is replaced with a screw-on top piece containing the pressurized CO2 canister. The piece is made specifically for carbonating on-the-go, letting you sparkle your water at the office or the gym. It even comes with 20 custom CO2 cartridges, which are easy and affordable to replace and refill.
This system is only suitable for use with cold and cool drinks. It can be used on any kind of average liquid and therefore any beverage, but the bottle will warp and the carbonator mechanisms will be negatively affected if you try to use it with hot drinks like coffee or tea.View price on Amazon
- Small and portable for carbonation anywhere, any time
- Comes with 20 CO2 cartridges
- Non-toxic bottle is sizeable and easy to clean
- Can be used with any kid of regular beverage besides just water
- Can only be used with cold an cool drinks; hot beverages like coffee and tea will warp the bottle and carbonator
Are you still in the market for a portable, handheld carbonator design but you’d prefer it to be so convenient that you don’t even have to swap the lid out for a separate piece? Well, believe it or not, that’s precisely what Glossrise has to offer you. The bottle is of a standard size, has a sleek shapes, and comes in three colours. It’s made from durable, easy to clean, food grade steel and plastic and is long lasting. The miniature carbonating mechanism sits in the lids and uses an especially efficient release system called a “needle piercing design” that wastes less CO2 during carbonation. The lid also features a pop-up opening so you can drink easily.
Although no previous customers have reported any notable issues with this product, we’d suggest keeping two things in mind. Firstly, the bottle does not come with any CO2 cartridges; these must be purchased separately. Secondly, the system cannot be used with warm or hot liquids, as these will warp and shrink the bottle, ruining the air tight seal needed for good carbonation.View price on Amazon
- Extremely portable, easily handheld, and very light to carry
- Efficient CO2 release system makes cartridges last longer and carbonation stick around longer too
- Bottle lid carbonates and allows you to drink right from there, directly and immediately, without swapping pieces
- Bottle is not sold with CO2 cartridges; these must be purchased separately
- Bottle and carbonator cannot be used with warm or hot liquids, or the mechanisms will warp, shrink, and stop working
Why purchase a soda maker?
There are all kinds of reasons to purchase a soda maker! People enjoy using soda makers because:
- Carbonating your own water is fun
- Mixing your own custom tasting sodas from different flavoured syrups can be a delicious treat
- You might save money in the end if you stop purchasing soda from the store
- The sodas you make at home are usually healthier than mass produced pops
- Soda makers can help you cut down on your regular pop consumption, helping you lose weight or consume less sugar