The 3 best soda makers

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Soda water (aka sparkling water or seltzer) is rapidly gaining popularity, thanks to trendy brands like LaCroix and Bubly. Drinking carbonated water has become such a lifestyle staple that it even warrants household soda maker machines, allowing users to make their own sparkling drinks on demand.

Sparking water tastes like a refreshingly delectable treat, but without added sweeteners. It’s also free of calories, sugar and fat. Those cutting down on classic soda, alcohol or other sugary drinks often turn to soda water to stay satisfied and on track. Some nutritionists say seltzer may even improve your overall health by supporting healthy bones and facilitating digestion.

If you consume a significant amount of soda water, replenishing your stock with cans or bottles can become expensive and wasteful. Instead, consider making your own soda water at home. We tested the top picks for soda makers to help you choose which one is right for you.

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Best Overall

SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Starter Kit

With a soda maker, carbonator and bottle, this model is the perfect starter kit for making your own sparkling water.

Why We Like It: In our testing, this soda maker produced reliable carbonation every time — if you drink sparkling water daily, this model is for you. You’ll find that it’s simple, portable and looks sleek and modern on your countertop.

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Plus, it comes with everything you need to get started making your own soda water at home — no hunting down random products here. You also don’t need batteries or electricity for this model to work. It’s very tall, so you’ll want to consider storing it in a tall cabinet or leaving it out on the counter.

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Best Value

SodaStream Jet Sparkling Water Starter Kit

Because it’s compatible with the 60L CO2 cylinder and the 130L CO2 cylinder, this soda maker is versatile and can make seltzer all day long.

Why We Like It: When we pulled this soda maker out of the box the first time, we were surprised at how light it felt. But it produced just the right amount of fizz, despite being more affordable than some other options. The SodaStream Jet is perfect for those who need a straightforward appliance for making tasty soda water.

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This model looks great on your countertop or can easily be stashed in a cabinet when not in use. Plus, it’s compatible with the 60L CO2 cylinder and the 130L CO2 cylinder, which gives you more options if you’re a bubbly water junkie.

Upgrade Pick

AARKE Carbonator II

The lightweight design and modern, stainless steel base for this soda maker means it actually looks good in your kitchen.

Why We Like It: Based on our testing, this top-of-the-line model is worth every extra penny — there were bubbles galore and the fizz produced by this soda maker was perfect. The stainless steel design is incredibly sleek and modern, so it actually looks great if you want to leave it sitting out in your kitchen — it also comes in gold, black and white, so you can choose the best color for your home decor.

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It’s incredibly lightweight and easy to use, so you can get started making refreshing bubbly water right away. Keep in mind that a gas cylinder is not included so you’ll have to buy that separately.

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Tips and Advice

  • These handy appliances use canisters of carbon dioxide to inject the gas into still water (and sometimes other drinks), creating delectable bubbles in your beverage. Machines use a button or pump to inject the gas into an attached bottle of still water. Most models also allow you to easily add a variety of flavors to kick your sparkling water up a notch.
  • Some soda water makers include a “starter kit” with a canister of carbon dioxide, as well as a bottle or two to place your soda water in. You’ll need to purchase new carbon dioxide canisters once you’re finished, which, depending on the frequency of use, can be within weeks, months or even years.
  • Replacement canisters can usually be purchased through the company of your soda water machine. For example, Sodastream offers a handy canister exchange program. Other companies don’t supply these items, and you will need to buy them elsewhere. Most household retailers carry carbon dioxide canisters.
  • Picky about how carbonated your drinks are? Sometimes, it’s too fizzy to feel refreshing. Other times, it’s not fizzy enough for your liking. Some soda water makers allow you to determine just how fizzy your water gets. Simply add more carbon dioxide to increase the amount of bubbles. Some machines may have carbon dioxide input buttons that are easier to control, so be sure to pay attention to that factor if you like to change up your soda’s consistency or have a strict low-fizz policy.
  • While they range in size, soda makers are typically manufactured to fit on your household countertop.
  • Soda making machines are relatively easy to clean and should be treated like any other kitchen appliance. Regularly clean soda water machines by spraying a cloth with water and gently wiping it down. If your model uses electricity, you may want to remove its batteries before cleaning. You’ll also want to avoid using too much water or harsh soap that could damage the equipment. Whether you are using designated sparkling water bottles or your own receptacle, it’s important to keep those clean between uses, too.
  • Many soda makers are compatible with SodaStream sparkling water flavorings. No matter your preferences, there’s a flavor for you. They even have flavor syrups that will transform your beverage into a fruity mocktail or mimic your favorite classic cola. On their own, flavorings typically cost less than $6 and will get you through 9 liters of sparkling beverages. Depending on how often you use it, that could easily last months.
  • Soda water makers have broad ranges of weights, typically between 3 and 20 pounds. If you plan to use your machine regularly and have ample countertop space, a bulkier machine may be for you.
  • A majority of soda making machines do not need batteries or electricity in order to function. They simply harness the pressure from releasing carbon dioxide to create fizzy beverages. That saves you valuable money on your electricity bill and you won’t need to purchase batteries to keep it running.
  • When you buy a soda maker, you’re also helping the environment. If you’re a regular consumer of soda water, you can ditch repeated purchases of aluminum cans and glass or plastic bottles that end up in the landfill or recycling bins. That waste adds up quickly and just because you can recycle an item doesn’t necessarily mean it’s beneficial for the environment. It still takes plenty of water and energy to run recycling plants. Plus, extracting the raw materials needed to create that can or bottle can be environmentally harmful. With a soda water maker, you will reduce personal waste dramatically.