You know it’s important to drink a lot of water every day to stay healthy, but the fact is, you find water boring. So much so, that a whole day can go by without you drinking more than a glass or two. That’s where a soda maker comes in. Using one of these handy machines can transform plain water into a delicious, cool and refreshing drink that’s a pleasure to consume all day long.
There’s more to using a soda maker than making bubbly water, although that in itself is a reason to get one. These machines are a great way to save money – you no longer have to purchase carbonated water from the store – plus they are good for the environment. Instead of buying bottled water, many makers have reusable containers, so there is less going to landfill.
There are a variety of soda makers out there and while most work in the same way, there are some differences.
We feature four soda makers you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that suits you best.
Top Pick Best Basic: Nuvantee Soda Siphon
Your doctor has said you drink too much sugary soda and you need to cut it out of your diet and replace it with water. While this may be easy for some people, that’s not the case for you. You simply crave the bubbly goodness of soda. But you know that for your own health, you have to make a change, so you are now considering a soda maker to make the switch from sugary drinks to bubbly soda water.
We suggest this basic carbonator as a great way to infuse plain water with enough bubbles to get a good fizz going so that drinking water becomes a pleasure and not a chore. This soda siphon is made from aluminum and features a sleek, attractive design that will make an attractive addition to your kitchen or bar, without taking up much space.
Features include a durable pressure regulator and a lid with safe, secure threading for no drips. It’s also versatile as you can use either a CO2 or NO2 charger. Using cold water from your tap or bottled water, fill the siphon with 3 ½ to 4 cups of very cold water, screw on the cap, insert the CO2 charger, then screw the charger holder to release the gas and voila, you’ve got sparkling water. Add a slice of orange, lemon or lime, and you’ve lifted it to a new level of healthy enjoyment.
- Hand-held, doesn’t take up much space
- Comes with two charger holders and extra O-rings
- Easy to clean, dishwasher safe
- Chargers not included
- Aluminum container makes it difficult to see how full it is
- Takes some time for the water to fully carbonate
- Can’t control level of bubbles
Top Pick Best Portable: EEX Portable Soda Maker Kit
Sparkling soda water is your new obsession and you want to drink it all day, including when you are out and about running errands, picking up your kids from school, and during and after a workout. Wouldn’t it be great if you could create your own soda water wherever you go? Well, now you can with this portable soda maker kit.
Carbonate anything that suits your fancy – water, fruit drinks, tea, herbs, wine, spirits and more. Simply add the mini canister to the siphon, some water, squeeze the handle and in 20 seconds, you’ve transformed ordinary water into great-tasting soda and sparkling water.
So convenient, this soda maker is completely portable with a lightweight sleek design and a twist-lock technology that doesn’t require electricity or batteries. So, you can keep it in your bag and take it with you to a barbecue, camping, the club, a picnic or anywhere you want to make fresh sparkling water or drinks. Comes with a reusable bottle and 10 mini-bottles to make soda, with each mini-bottle generating exactly the right amount of CO2 to carbonate a one-liter bottle.
- Versatile can carbonate more than water
- No need to return CO2 tanks
- Produces only one liter at a time
- Cannot select level of fizz
Top Pick Best Set: SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker Bundle
You want to get your whole family on the sparkling water bandwagon and that means finding an easy-to-use soda maker that can sit on your kitchen counter ready to use anytime anyone wants a quick, refreshing glass of cold soda water.
We recommend this slim design from SodaStream that won’t take up much space on the counter, but will attract a lot of attention with its easy-to-use system of producing soda water with a few pumps of a button. This convenient maker set comes with two cylinders that carbonate up to 60 liters of water, three, slim one-liter reusable carbonating bottles and two 40 ml zero-calorie fruit drops to add a hint of zingy flavor to your beverage. With its large capacity, you can make up to 60 bottles of sparkling water before replacing the cylinder.
So easy to use: remove the back panel and insert the CO2 cylinder. Replace the back panel, fill the reusable carbonating bottle with water to the line and insert into the machine. Firmly press on the button for one or two seconds to fizz. The puffing noise means it’s working. Once you’re done, you can add a few drops of flavored liquid to taste, gently mix and you have a delicious, bubbly drink.
- BPA-free carbonating bottle
- Includes two, 60 liter CO2 cylinders, three one-liter carbonating bottles and fruit drop flavors
- Operates without electricity
- Cannot select level of fizz
- Not dishwasher safe
Top Pick Best Versatile: Spärkel Beverage System
You find the idea of a soda maker appealing – after all, you already buy a lot of carbonated water and would like to save some money by making it at home. Nonetheless, you don’t want the bother of replacing a CO2 cylinder or wondering how much is left before you run out.
That’s where this soda maker comes in – it uses a system that doesn’t require a CO2 cylinder. Plus, you get to choose what to put into it as it will carbonate almost anything you fancy, from water and tea to herbs and wine.
With a slim design that won’t take up much space on your kitchen counter, this soda maker includes a reusable bottle and 10 carbonators. Each carbonator generates exactly the right of CO2 to carbonate one full 750 ml Spärkel bottle. And the best part? You can decide on the amount of bubbles you want with just a push of the button. There are five bubble levels to suit every taste.
- Does not use CO2 cylinders
- Slim design
- You can control the bubbles with five levels of bubbles
- Small capacity
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a soda maker so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
Before choosing a soda maker, consider what you would like to use it for. Many of them are designed for only carbonating water or adding flavor after, but there are other models that can be used to carbonate any liquid you like, from fruit juices, tea and herbs to cocktails and wine. If you only want a soda maker that carbonates water, then look for a model that only offers that option. Otherwise, shop around until you find one that is more versatile.
Size of CO2 tanks
If you’re using your soda maker to carbonate water for your whole family, then the size of the cylinder is important. Soda makers can use small (usually 8-gram) CO2 cartridges, medium-sized three-ounce tanks, or small cylinders (14 ½ ounces, usually described as 60 liters) of CO2 to carbonate the liquid. While there are some soda makers that are restricted to one size, others are more flexible and can accommodate multiple-sized cylinders. If you plan to make soda regularly, a larger tank is likely a better bet but if you’re on your own, you won’t need something big.
Size of the soda maker
Many soda makers are designed to sit on your kitchen counter and come in a variety of sizes. Some are comprised of just the seltzer bottle, with a simple hand mechanism and no cylinder. Then there are models that are the size of small coffee makers or are tall and slim. There are also portable soda makers that allow you to make carbonated water on the go. Countertop units are usually able to accommodate larger CO tanks — so you won’t need to replace them as often — while portable models are usually for individual use and are great for bringing with you on a picnic, backyard barbecue or party.
The fizz factor
One of the factors to help you choose a soda maker is the amount of bubbles, or fizz it produces, and how long it takes to get those bubbles going. If you’re fussy about how much fizz is in your water, then you’ll want a soda maker that lets you choose the level of bubbles that go into your bottle. These machines may cost more than those that don’t offer the option. If you just want carbonated water regardless of the bubbles, then it’s less of an issue.
How long it takes
This one is very individual and totally depends upon your level of patience. Typically, a hand-held soda maker takes longer to carbonate the water, so if you don’t mind waiting up to 10 minutes, then it’s not a problem. Generally speaking, a countertop model will carbonate water in less than 20 seconds, mostly because these models have more power. Finally, if you want soda water available quickly and easily for every member of your family whenever they want, a countertop model with a large cylinder will quickly make enough soda water for everyone to enjoy.
It’s never a good idea to spend more than you can afford. When it comes to soda makers, they are available in a wide range of prices, but there are other things to consider that will affect your wallet. CO2 is a consumable, which means it will empty and you will have to replace it. How often depends on how much you use your soda maker. Hand-held makers may cost less than countertop models, but they make smaller quantities and therefore use more CO2 cartridges. Before choosing a hand-held model, check the price of the cartridges and how easy it is to get new ones. Although countertop models have large cylinders, they, too, must be replaced, so consider this cost as well.
Ease of use and maintenance
Soda makers pretty much work the same way, but some are easier to use than others. Read through a number of different models to see how to use them and decide which one would work well for you and for every member of your family. Some models are hand-held, some work by putting pressure on a pump, while others work with batteries or electricity. An electric soda maker generally has more power and will carbonate the water quickly with the push of a button. When it comes to cleaning your soda maker, some are easier to clean than others. For convenience, you may want to choose one that is safe in the dishwasher.