The 8 Best Soda Makers, Tested by Allrecipes
Soda makers have come a long way since their inception, when they were largely just available for commercial use. Now, not only can you make soda at home, but you no longer have to buy a clunky, countertop appliance to get those beautiful bubbles. Soda makers come in all shapes and sizes today, including hand-held options for on-the-go fizz.
Don't have any use for a soda maker? Hear me out — investing in a soda maker can save you a lot of money in the long run. That is, if you're someone who is constantly stocking up on expensive seltzers and sparkling waters.
Plus, soda makers make an excellent addition to any home bar. Create your own fizz for all your favorite liquid concoctions. All you need is a little H2O. Soda makers work by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into water, so you can DIY your own sparkling water at home.
With more than a few models on the market, finding the right soda maker requires some research. That's why we did it for you, whittling it down to the 8 best soda makers on the market, and putting them through a series of diligent tests. Backed by our testing, the Aarke Carbanator II is the clear winner. Keep reading for our thoughts on these top-rated soda makers. But first, learn everything you need to know about soda makers before purchasing one.
What to Consider When Buying a Soda Maker
Before you invest in a soda maker, ask yourself: How do you plan to use it? Most soda makers will simply carbonate water, requiring you to add any desired flavorings after. But some select models can carbonate any liquid, from iced tea to fruit juice to cocktails and more.
If your whole reason for purchasing a soda maker is so that you can turn wine into bubbly, be sure to make sure your machine is up to the task. But if you're simply looking to make carbonated water to add to other drinks or enjoy by itself, there are many basic models that are available at a much lower cost.
Countertop vs. Handheld
We all know kitchen-counter space is valuable real estate. While countertop soda makers aren't much larger than a single-serve coffee maker, they take up counter space nonetheless. If you don't have any space to spare, consider going for a handheld model.
Plus, handheld models can be taken on the go for picnics in the park or weekend getaways. We have several options to choose from in this review, from siphons to all-in-one soda-maker bottles.
Investing in a soda maker is not a one-time purchase — there's all that CO2 you have to keep repurchasing. Soda makers work by injecting CO2 into water or other liquids. This CO2 comes from replaceable tanks or cartridges that you'll need to purchase, either in a bundle with your soda maker or separately.
Some soda makers may be able to comply with a variety of different-sized CO2 tanks, while others will only work with a certain size. If you plan to make soda regularly, your best bet is going to be using a soda maker with a larger CO2 tank so you don't have to keep replacing it. But if you're purchasing a soda maker for occasional use, you can save money by purchasing small cartridges of CO2 instead of full-size tanks.
How We Tested Each Soda Maker
Rachel Johnson, our seasoned product tester, pulled together a list of the best soda makers on the market, including the classic SodaStream models, in addition to brands like Aarke, DrinkMate, and more. Rachel tested each soda maker by using it to carbonate water, before adding syrups (Strawberry Soda Syrup and Lime Honey Soda) to test how the fizz factor held up over time. As Rachel tested each model, she took careful note of each of the following factors:
- Overall Feel: Is the soda maker made to last?
- Efficiency: How quickly and easily does this machine make sparkling water?
- Customization: Can you control the level of carbonation?
- Cost: How expensive is it to keep up the CO2?
- Cleanup: Do the pieces come apart for easy cleaning? Are they dishwasher safe?
The testing is complete, and the results are in. Rachel narrowed it down to the top five soda makers out of those tested. Curious about what else we tested? You'll find Rachel's thoughts on the competition below too.
Best Soda Makers at a Glance:
- Best Overall Soda Maker: Aarke Carbanator II
- Best Value Soda Maker: SodaStream Fizzi Classic
- Most Versatile Soda Maker: Drinkworks Home Bar by Keurig: The Drinkmaker
- Best Fizz: DrinkMate instaFizz Stainless Steel Carbonation Bottle
- Best Hand-held Soda Maker: Nuvantee Soda Siphon
Best Soda Makers to Buy in 2022
Other Soda Makers We Tested:
FIZZPod Soda Maker
This model was just edged out by the competition. It has a simple design that results in refreshing sparkling water. Plus, this is one of very few models tested that can handle liquids other than water, such as alcohol, juice, and mixed syrups. However, cleanup will be necessary between those uses, and the long bottle length (that's not dishwasher safe) makes this part a little more difficult.
Buy it: $63; Amazon
SodaStream Aqua Fizz Premium
We've already established that SodaStream is a trusted name in at-home soda making, but their premium unit missed the mark for Rachel. Why? "This is virtually the exact same machine as the Fizzi, and appears to only be upcharged for purely cosmetic purposes," says Rachel.
While the stainless steel is more appealing, Rachel found this unit to be less intuitive and versatile than the classic model.
Buy it: $160; Amazon
Blue Flag Soda Plus
This budget-friendly option performed well in comparison to other single-use CO2 cartridge soda makers, but when it comes to the quality of the materials, you get what you pay for.
Rachel also ran into a bit of jam (and potential hazard) with this one during testing: "If the outer cap (which holds the CO2 cartridge) is accidentally affixed to the inner cap at an askew angle, it can become wedged and nearly impossible to unscrew or remove. This occurred during the testing process, and could not be salvaged," says Rachel.
Buy it: $26; Amazon
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