La Croix is all the rage these days. And,
it seems like new sparkling water brands are popping up every day to get a piece of this
growing market. If you like to sip on seltzer, you know how expensive it can be. Often times,
it’s more than the sugar-packed options out there. Fortunately, there are several excellent
soda makers on the market that can produce affordable carbonated beverages in a matter
of seconds. Before we get started on breaking down the
best soda makers, we’ve included links in the description to various pricing options
for all the products mentioned, so make sure you check those out.
Starting off with the best overall soda maker we have the Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation
Maker. The Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker distinguishes
itself from other soda makers on the market by “sparkling” just about every beverage in
your fridge: cocktails, flat beer, lemonade, coffee, and so on. However, iDrink, the Drinkmate’s
manufacturer, warns against using juices with pulp since it may clog the pressure release
valve. The process for carbonating your beverages
has a few more steps than other models, but you also get more control over the release
of the CO2. The Drinkmate doesn’t require any electricity or batteries to operate. The
device is compatible with 3 oz. and 14.5 oz./60L CO2 cartridges, and iDrink operates an eco-
and budget-friendly exchange program, where you can send in your empty cartridge to get
a full one at a reduced price. A whole host of expert sites recommend the
Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker. It is one of three soda makers The Wirecutter recommends.
The reviewers appreciate that this machine is able to carbonate liquids other than water.
They tested a “mocktail,” wine, and apple juice without any problems. However, they
note that compared to the SodaStream, the Drinkmate is harder to use having several
imprecise steps. Digital Trends suggests buying the Drinkmate
if you like adding carbonation to all of your beverages. The reviewer tried turning white
wine into a champagne-like alternative but came up short. However, they found it still
made low-grade wine more palatable. Wired, Apartment Therapy, Steamy Kitchen, and Soda
Maker Club all rated the Drinkmate highly. About 81% of the people who bought the Drinkmate
Beverage Carbonation Maker on Amazon left a positive review. The most helpful reviewer
purchased this unit because they were tired of spending exorbitant prices for sparkling
iced tea. The Drinkmate was able to take iced tea and turn it into a sparkling tea that
was virtually the same as the buyer’s favorite brand.
Next up with the best handheld soda maker we have the Innovee Soda Siphon Ultimate Soda
Maker. If you’ve watched old-timey slapstick comedy,
you are likely familiar with the soda siphon, or seltzer bottle. Though the design is similar,
today’s soda siphons, the Innovee Soda Siphon Ultimate Soda Maker included, are self-pressurized
using an 8-gram CO2 cartridge. You fill the carafe with up to four cups of
very cold water, put on the cap, insert the cartridge, and screw the charger holder in
place, which releases the gas. The water is carbonated within 10 to 15 minutes.
The Innovee Soda Siphon doesn’t come with CO2 canisters, but it does come with extra
O-rings and a black fork key for removing the inner tube of the siphon. Innovee Home
also offers a cocktail recipe e-book and a money-back guarantee.
Apartment Therapy recommends the Innovee Soda Siphon as a low-cost alternative. The reviewer
found that the carbonation process takes longer than other models and disliked that it requires
ice cold water. But, she appreciated the unit’s small size that allowed it to fit easily in
the refrigerator Approximately 73% of the buyers who reviewed
the Innovee Soda Siphon on Amazon gave it four or five stars.
Graham, the most helpful reviewer, appreciated that you don’t need to measure the water as
you fill the carafe, it’s sturdy, and it gets your water just as bubbly as the SodaStream.
However, he would have liked it if you could see how full the container is. Also, he grew
impatient waiting the 15 minutes for it to fully carbonate. This was a common complaint.
Others were impressed with how it works with a variety of different CO2 chargers.
Up next we have the best SodaStream soda maker, which goes to the SodaStream Fountain Jet
Soda Maker. In the world of soda makers, there is SodaStream,
and there’s the rest. The company was founded in 1903 in England when W & A Gilbey, Ltd.
patented an “apparatus for aerating liquids.” In the intervening years, the name has changed
and the main production facilities have moved to Israel. Today, the name SodaStream has
become synonymous with soda makers. The SodaStream Fountain Jet Soda Maker has
been on the market for more than 15 years and remains a favorite because of its intuitive
design. You just pop in the CO2 canister, then when you want carbonated water, just
press the button a few times until you hear a buzz. The starter kit comes with a 60L carbonator
and a reusable liter bottle. The Gadgeteer recommended the SodaStream Fountain
Jet as an affordable alternative to buying cans of pop. The reviewer noted that the soda-making
process couldn’t have been easier. She liked how closely the SodaStream Diet Cola flavoring
mimicked Diet Coke. However, she posted an update six years after her initial post to
say she stopped using the Jet because it took up too much counter space and didn’t like
the hassle of replacing CO2 cartridges. At one time, The Wirecutter recommended the
Fountain Jet but stopped short of endorsing it in its latest review because the water
wasn’t as fizzy as the testers would have liked. However, it did well in taste tests.
More than 600 people have left positive reviews of the SodaStream Fountain Jet Soda Maker
on Amazon. Doogie is the most helpful reviewer. He gives a rundown of why you should and should
not buy the Fountain Jet. He awards it five stars because it’s easy to set up, you can
control the carbonation, and he liked the flavors. However, he found it doesn’t save
as much money as he’d like. Another buyer noted that the device was so
easy to use that their five-year-old grandson was able to operate it.
Second from last we have the best high-end soda maker which goes to the KitchenAid Sparkling
Beverage Maker. The KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker is
brought to you by a partnership between SodaStream and KitchenAid. SodaStream makes the appliance,
which means it has the same mechanics as the company’s other models and is compatible with
its products, including more than 60 flavors. The main difference is that this model features
a die-cast metal housing that will match your other KitchenAid appliances.
The Sparkling Beverage Maker comes with a 1L reusable bottle, 60L CO2 tank, and a 1-year
hassle-free replacement warranty. There are also eight colors to match your kitchen’s
décor, including White, Contour Silver, Empire Red, and Onyx Black.
Groom+Style recommends the KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker because of its heavy-duty construction
and chic design. Apartment Therapy recommends this model to anyone interested in investing
in a kitchen product that will last long-term. Other sites that gave their endorsement are
CNET, Soda Maker Club, and The Gadgeteer. Around 66% of the Amazon buyers who reviewed
the KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker gave it five stars. One buyer found that with an
adapter, he could outfit the soda maker with a 20 oz. CO2 paintball tank and bring the
price down on making soda. Other buyers note that the machine isn’t entirely
made of metal: The internal mechanics and back housing are made of plastic. One reviewer
was disappointed because theirs started malfunctioning after a few days, and the return process was
incredibly trying. Now for our last pick which is for the best
user-friendly soda maker, it goes to the SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker.
The SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker is probably the most user-friendly option
on our list. You simply fill the supplied reusable bottle with cold water, lock it into
place, and depress the mechanism over the bottle until you reach your desired level
of fizziness. This unit comes with a mail-in rebate for
a 60L CO2 carbonator, the 1L reusable bottle, and a mini 9L CO2 carbonator. The 60L CO2
carbonators can be refilled at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and other stores for about $15, which
works out to about 25 cents of CO2 to carbonate a full 1L bottle of water.
The SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker is the top pick of Cook’s Illustrated and
The Wirecutter. Cook’s Illustrated recommends this model because of its sleek design and
ease of use. Testers were able to choose between gentle carbonation and intense bubbles by
applying light pressure. Chowhound also recommends this unit. The reviewer
noted that the SodaMix syrups were solid imitations of the real thing. He was a little bit perturbed
by the many additional costs associated with the soda maker, including the CO2, syrups,
and additional reusable bottles. One of the reasons why we don’t list the SodaStream
Source Sparkling Water Maker as our top pick is because of the lukewarm buyer reviews.
Out of 840 reviews on Amazon, this unit has an average rating of about 3.8 stars. Buyers
were impressed with how easy it is to use, its airtight seal, and the ability to control
the level of carbonation. The biggest complaints were from buyers who
received damaged soda makers. Though it comes with a two-year warranty, returning the soda
maker is difficult. So that sums up our top soda makers, we hope
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