Some like their water fizzy. On a particularly hot day, nothing can be more refreshing than the crisp taste of carbonated water washing down your throat. Throw in some flavors and it’s a healthy alternative to sugary, soda drinks that have long been a cause of America’s obesity problem.
But sparkling water can be an expensive and wasteful habit. Not only do you spend more on bottled or canned soda water in grocery stores, but you’re also generating lots of single-use, disposable plastic bottles or cans that are bad for the climate.
That’s why a soda maker machine is a piece of essential kitchen equipment for anyone enamored with drinking carbonated water. By whatever name you call it – seltzer, sparkling, or soda water – getting a soda water machine is more cost-effective in the long run because not only will you be able to make soda water from tap water anytime, you’ll also be able to save off packaging and transportation costs.
Soda makers turn water into a carbonated drink by injecting carbon dioxide from a pressurized cartridge. Depending on the cartridge size, a machine can produce about a hundred liters of carbonated water before it needs to be replaced. These cartridges are often disposable, but some newer models now come with refillable cartridges.
Soda maker kits often include flavorings that can be added to infuse the water with fruity flavors. Some include pressure-resistant storage bottles which may come in plastic, glass, or metal.
The best ones, however, are not only eco-friendly but are also versatile. They can carbonate not only water but also juices or liquor which makes it ideal for making mixed drinks. Some will even offer varying levels of carbonation, from a light fizz to a really strong acidic kick. When picking one, always choose the best one for your particular need.
Here are my top 4 soda maker machines on Amazon.
Best Soda Maker Machines
- SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
- DrinkMate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker
- Aarke – Carbonator III Premium Carbonator/Sparkling & Seltzer Water Maker
- Twenty39 Qarbo – Sparkling Water Maker and Fruit Infuser
1. SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
This is a slim soda maker machine that makes carbonated water at a touch of a button. It comes equipped with SodaStream's snap-lock technology so that one can use it anywhere for quick carbonation. When used with a 60L CO2 cylinder, it can carbonate up to 60 liters of water.
Made out of high-quality plastic, this machine does not have a power switch. It needs to be plugged in. Only then can users select their desired setting from three levels of fizz, using a single touch button. Users found the process to be quick and that it produces consistent bubbles.
It comes with a 60L CO2 cylinder and a 1-liter BPA-free carbonating bottle. It’s compatible with SodaStream's carbonation bottles and flavors.
- Snap-lock feature
- Selectable levels of fizz
- Needs to be plugged in
- No low CO2 indicator
2. DrinkMate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker
This soda maker is an all-purpose machine that will carbonate any beverage. It’s equipped with a patented Fizz infuser that allows better control on the release of CO2. It releases pressure a tiny bit at a time so there’s no CO2 overflow which is a common occurrence in most soda machines.
This product will work with most brands of 14.5 oz (60L) CO2 carbonators. It’s easy to use, with a slim profile for a smaller footprint. It also doesn’t require electricity or a battery.
The kit includes a quick connect bottle that has a volume mark line and is BPA-free. Users liked this bottle because it locks into place conveniently. This comes with a 2-year warranty for consumer use and a 1-year warranty for commercial use.
- Can carbonate any beverage
- Works with all brands that use 6L CO2
- Handwash only
- Does not come with a CO2 cylinder
3. Aarke – Carbonator III Premium Carbonator/Sparkling & Seltzer Water Maker
The slimmest design on this list, the Aarke – Carbonator III is a premium constructed soda maker for making sparkling and seltzer water.
It’s equipped with a redesigned precision nozzle made from a single piece of stainless steel which produces a smooth and controlled spray beam. The PET bottle, meanwhile, has also been designed with a screw-in mechanism to make it more durable.
Reviewers liked this model because of the simple lever system that controls the carbonation level. The longer you pull the handle down, the higher the carbonation. Once you let it, it automatically releases any extra pressure inside the bottle.
This machine will work with a standard 60L 14.5 oz CO2 carbonator cartridge from popular retailers like SodaStream, Soda Sense, or Drinkmate. It includes a BPA-free PET water bottle which can be easily recycled at the end of its lifetime.
- Slim and sleek
- Does not come with a CO2 cartridge
- High end and expensive
4. Twenty39 Qarbo – Sparkling Water Maker and Fruit Infuser – Premium Carbonation Machine with Two 1L BPA Free Bottles (Metallic-Red)
This soda maker machine can infuse fresh fruit flavors into your drink while carbonating it. It does this through its Air Charge two-stage pressure release valve which allows you to infuse flavor directly into the beverage without any loss of fizz.
It’s made from high-quality plastic so it's lightweight and portable. It’s compatible with any standard 60L CO2 cartridge and the BPA-free bottles have convenient measurements to make it easy for you to mix your liquids.
This product comes with a 3-year warranty for registered customers.
- Easy to use
- Direct infusion
- Not dishwasher safe
Buyers Guide to Choosing A Soda Maker Machine
Size and Capacity
The larger its CO2 capacity, the bigger the machine is going to be so if you have some concerns about storage space, you might consider one that’s slimmed down and portable enough to store away in a drawer. Otherwise, you can get a countertop model that has a big CO2 tank so that you don’t have to replace it often.
Some soda makers can only be used for carbonating tap water. But some models can also carbonate other liquids, like wine and tea. These models are also useful for adding bubbles to drinks that have gone flat. So, pick the best one that will fit your needs.
CO2 cylinders are commonly used in soda makers for good reason: they’re more effective in injecting carbon dioxide into the water. Occasionally though, you might run into some models that use alternative carbonating methods like using sodium bicarbonate tablets or pods filled with carbonator beads. Reviewers recommend ignoring them. Not only are they wasteful, but the quality of the fizz is poor compared with CO2 cartridge cylinders.
Check out the model’s special features. Some have infusers that make flavoring soda water easier. Others come with specially designed valves that prevent CO2 overflow. The best feature to have is one that allows various settings for different fizz levels.
When it comes to bottles, most soda makers use PET plastic which does not contain BPA. If you’re not sure if the plastic bottle is made out of PET, look for a label that says BPA-free. There are some brands though that use glass bottles, although they will cost more.
Another useful feature to look for is whether the bottles can be cleaned using a dishwasher. Most PET bottles can only be hand washed. Some newer ones though can be machine cleaned.
Stand Alone Unit or Starter Kits
From a practical standpoint, it’s more cost-effective to get a soda maker starter kit because it includes everything you need to begin carbonating water. A typical kit includes a CO2 cylinder and additional bottles to store the carbonated liquid. The best ones include fruit drops to help flavor the water.
If you plan to get a stand-alone unit, pick one that works with a wide range of CO2 cylinders. This way you won’t have to rely on one brand’s cylinders and be hostage to its pricing.
Electric-powered soda makers are more convenient because the carbonation process is automatic and hands-free. But if you’re looking for a gadget that you can bring along during your camping trip or outdoor travel, a manual soda maker would be best for you. The downside to a manual though is that you’re stuck with a single setting for fizz level.
Pick one that comes with a warranty. A 1-year product warranty is standard for these types of products but some of the best ones come with longer time warranties. Do read the product reviews to check the reliability of these warranties. And don’t forget to read the fine print; some shady warranties will have you pay the shipping charges for replacing parts or the unit itself.