Flavored sparkling water sure is delicious, and it makes drinking water much easier. However, cans of sparkling water in the store are just so expensive, which is why you should invest in your very own soda maker.
A soda maker may not come to mind because you are just looking to make your own sparkling water. But soda makers are useful for much more than just making soda. In fact, they can be used to make an entire array of tasty and bubbly beverages.
If you are new to the soda maker world, you may not know just where to start or what you should make. Don’t worry, as we’ve got you covered. So read on to learn all about the best brands of soda makers as well as some tasty recipes you can use your soda maker to create.
What Does a Soda Maker Do?
Soda makers are sleek, low-profile countertop appliances that can be used too quickly and easily to add carbonation to the beverage of your choice.
Not only do they add fizziness, but they can be programmed to add the exact carbonation levels you would like–from adding light fizz to iced tea or to carbonate wine.
Soda makers can be used with just plain water, or they can also be used to add flavoring. With the right ingredients, you can even use a soda maker to make soda, as the name describes.
Soda makers work through either a siphon or other apparatus which is inserted into the beverage to add bubbles by injecting carbon dioxide from a Co2 cylinder into the liquid. The result is a tasty, sparkly beverage you won’t be able to resist drinking.
Advantages of a Soda Maker over Store-Bought Seltzer
If you are one of those people who has been buying store-bought seltzer for years, you may be wondering why you should switch to at-home soda making.
But there are several benefits to using a home soda maker, some of which you probably haven’t even thought of. As a result, we’ve made an entire list below for your reference.
- Save money
- No more lugging bottles home from the store
- More room in the fridge
- No more carrying bottles in from the porch
- No need to set aside space to store large bottles in the pantry/basement
- Less waste (better for the environment)
- You won’t run out of fizzy drinks at an inopportune time
- Customization (you can add just the right amount of carbonation)
Sounds pretty great right? After all, who doesn’t like to save money while also saving space and the environment?
The Best Soda Maker
Ready to start your fizzy beverage journey? It can be difficult to know where to start with so many soda makers to choose from.
Below is a list of the best soda makers on the market.
Best Overall Soda Maker: AWA Carbonator
There is no better way to start this list than with our top pick, which is the AWA Carbonator.
The AWA Carbonator can make fizzy water in just seconds while also taking up minimal counter space as it doesn’t need a pesky chord.
With custom carbonation levels, you can use the AWA Carbonator to add a few bubbles, or maybe a lot, depending on your preferences. With its mid-level price point, you get a balance of affordability and quality that isn’t available in other models.
The only downside to this soda maker is the fact that it is mostly designed to add bubbles to water, and not thicker beverages.
Although you can add fruit juice to your water with the AWA Carbonator, if you truly want to use soda makers for the purpose of making soda, you may want to look at another model.
- Sleek black and chrome design
- Chord free
- Control over carbonation levels
- Only water can be carbonated
Not interested in the AWA Carbonator? Let’s take a look at some other soda makers.
The Best Stainless Steel Soda Maker: Carbonator III
In a kitchen with all stainless steel appliances, the last thing you want is a soda maker that doesn’t match. That’s why you should consider the Carbonator III for all your carbonation needs.
The Carbonator III is made of all stainless steel construction and can be used to add flavor to water as well as make sodas using their soda syrups.
Every purchase of the Carbonator III includes a high-quality PET bottle to use with their soda machines. The only downside of this soda maker? The price is a bit high, and may not be affordable for all households, and the PET bottle is not dishwasher safe.
- Beautiful Stainless Steel Finish
- Can be used to make a range of carbonated beverages
- Includes high-quality PET plastic bottles
- Higher price point
- Bottles aren’t dishwasher safe
The Best Soda Maker for Flavor: SodaStream Aqua Fizz
Planning to add lots of different flavorings to your carbonated water? Then you need the SodaStream Aqua Fizz.
Designed for bubbly lovers, the SodaStream Aqua Fizz can be used with several different flavoring syrups from the SodaStream Fizzpod soda maker line. Purchase of this product includes one quality plastic bottle.
In a blind taste test, the taste testers at Consumer Reports chose the Soda Stream Fizzi as the most flavorful flavored sparkling water maker on the market.
The SodaStream line includes several different products, allowing users to complete soda maker versatility. As you can swap out the SodaStream bottles (plastic) for nice glass bottles.
The only downside is that this specific product is not compatible with the SodaStream glass carafes.
Additionally, these particular SodaStream machines are only for carbonating water and should not be used to make carbonated apple juice or with any other thick liquids. So those who want carbonated wine should look at other soda makers.
Overall, with a mid-range price, this is a soda maker that is worth the price.
- Lots of versatility with the number of upgrades available
- Lots of flavors to add to water
- Glass bottle option
- Dishwasher safe
- Not compatible with glass carafes
- Only carbonates water
The Best Soda Makers for Non-Water Beverages: iSi Stainless Steel Soda Siphon
The iSi Stainless Steel Soda Siphon is a unique device in which you can fill the stainless steel container with your beverage of choice, add a co2 cylinder, and press a button to carbonate it.
The iSi Soda Siphon is recommended for any DIY soda maker as well as for any professional bar which may need to carbonate a beverage at a moment’s notice.
Not only is this device approved for carbonated water, but it can be used with beer, wine, or any beverage you can think of.
The iSi Soda Siphon is also cheaper than most other soda makers, making it an easy bargain to add to your home. The downsides? Well, you’ll have to handwash it between each use and it is hard to control the carbonation levels with this device.
- Can carbonate water and other beverages
- No plastic bottles
- Not dishwasher safe
- Hard to control carbonation process
The Best Soda Maker with No CO2 Cylinder Required: Sparkle Beverage System
As easy as it is to carbonate water using a soda maker that requires CO2, if you use the device frequently, the costs of the CO2 can add up. So let us introduce you to the Sparkle Beverage System which is powered by electricity, not CO2, to make soda water.
The Sparkle can be used to add bubbles to almost any beverage–from water to tea, and even wine. You can additionally choose from 5 different levels of carbonation to make your beverage.
The Sparkle works by mixing baking soda with citric acid to produce carbon dioxide which is cycled through your beverage (don’t worry, the actual baking soda and citric acid are filtered out so the taste won’t be affected).
Whether you are getting a sparkling water maker because you love club soda, or because you’d like to make a fizzy ice tea, the Sparkle system can help you get there, with all of their products covered with a one year warranty to ensure the supply of sparkling water never ends.
The Sparkle is mid-range in its price, however, the carbonators needed to carbonate beverages do need to be replaced, so you will need to factor that into your cost.
- No Co2 cylinders needed
- 1-year product warranty
- Can be used for water, and other beverages
- Requires carbonators which could be pricey
The Best Soda Maker When on a Budget: Phillips Stainless Steel Soda Maker
While having a soda maker in your home is designed to save you money on sparkling water, it won’t help in the slightest if the product is expensive, or requires you to purchase carbonators for each fizzy drink.
Thus, those on a budget should try the Phillips Stainless Steel Soda Maker. The Phillips Stainless Steel Soda Maker has a sleep design that will fit in with all of your other appliances without having to pay a high price.
The design is completely cordless, meaning you can place this soda maker anywhere in your home and have soda water with the simple press of a button.
It additionally comes with a high-quality bottle that can be sealed to keep your beverage carbonated for longer than other soda makers.
The Phillips design allows you to choose the level of carbon dioxide put in your sparkling water. But be aware that it is best to start with water that has been chilled overnight if you want the water to hold carbonation for as long as possible.
It is only recommended to use this device with water.
- Excellent price point
- No chord
- Stainless Steel construction
- Only for use with water
- No glass bottle option
- Needs to be used with cold water
How to Use a Soda Maker
Maybe the only thing holding you back from purchasing a soda maker is the fact that you don’t know how to use one. Not to worry, it’s easy. So we’ve outlined the entire process for you below.
What You Need to Use a Soda Maker
- Co2 cylinder
- Included bottle (most soda makers only include one bottle, but you can typically purchase extras)
- Chilled water (or apple juice, or the beverage of your choice)
- Optional: Desired flavorings (fruit essence, a squeeze of lime, etc)
Step 1: Assemble the Soda Maker
Unscrew the cap of your co2 cylinder and attach it to your soda maker as outlined in the directions. After that, tighten the co2 cylinder so it is secure. However, you don’t want to force it too much.
Step 2: Fill Your Bottle
Fill the included bottle with just water, or any other beverage of your choice. You can use chilled water or room temperature water.
Step 3: Place on the Machine
Place the water bottle on the machine and lower the part of the soda maker with the siphon into the liquid. Most importantly, you should be able to feel the bottle lock into space.
Step 4: Carbonate
You are now ready to carbonate with just the press of a button. Typically, pressing and holding the button for 1-2 seconds will start the carbonation process and result in lightly carbonated water.
If you desire a heavier carbonation level, press the button longer, for up to 7 seconds. Just like that you now have a quick and easy way to make your own fizzy water right from your very own home.
10 Amazing Recipes to Make with Soda
1. Raspberry Italian Soda
An Italian soda is a mix between a sweet and a refreshing treat that can help you cool down on a hot summer’s day. The neat thing is that you can make an Italian soda in any flavor you wish.
Follow this recipe, just swap out the premade raspberry lime sparkling water with the one you make using your soda maker.
2. Mango Sangria
Sangrias are a fizzy beverage made by mixing club soda with wine and fruit juice. Now that you know how to make your own club soda, you likely won’t need to run to the store to make this delicious Mango Sangria.
You can even make a little extra and leave it in the fridge to sip on it all afternoon long.
3. Strawberry Rickey
On a diet? Grab this sweet, yet skinny Strawberry Rickey. It is made by combining Splenda, lemon juice, and strawberries with some fresh lemon sparkling water which you can make with your soda maker.
The best part is that this drink saves well, so pour the extra into glass bottles and leave them in the fridge for a later date.
4. Blackberry Mojito
Mojitos are an alcoholic beverage that originated in the Caribbean. Made by combining sparkling water with fresh mint, lime, and the fruit flavor of your choice, this recipe is a good place to start when you first get your sparkling water maker.
5. Whiskey Sour Punch
A whiskey sour is a cordial beverage typically enjoyed following a meal. But what about when you want to drink a whiskey sour in the summer?
Transform this fireside beverage into a punch using this recipe. Just switch out the 2 cups of club soda for sparkling water made by your soda maker and you are in business.
6. Key Lime Vodka Collins
For those who have never enjoyed a Vodka Collins, it is a simple beverage made by combining soda water with lime and vodka. With your soda maker, the beverage is even easier to make, as you can mix the entire thing in the provided bottle.
7. Rosemary Greyhound Cocktail
A greyhound is a vodka cocktail mixed with grapefruit juice. Although this may not sound exciting, it can be delicious, especially when you use grapefruit soda made with your soda maker.
Sweeten the deal, even more, when you add sugar and rosemary as outlined in this recipe.
8. Cherry Vodka Sour
Once you have a little more experience with your soda maker skills, grab this recipe from Lemons for Lulu and make a cherry vodka sour. The recipe calls for cherry 7-Up which can easily be made using a soda syrup in your sparkling water maker.
Then just add some sour mix, lime, raspberry liquor, and some vodka and you have yourself a cocktail.
9. Lemon Lime Virgin Margarita
While the adults are sitting around and sipping cocktails, it’s only fair you make one the kids can enjoy too. Try this Lemon Lime Virgin Margarita which is made with lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and sparkling water.
It’s easy to make and the kids will love it.
10. Strawberry Grapefruit Vodka Cocktail
Sometimes the best type of cocktail to make is one that is a simple mixing of your favorite flavors. If you love strawberry and grapefruit, then try this recipe by Lemons for Lulu which involves mixing grapefruit juice with strawberry syrup, vodka, and a bit of sparkling water.
Add fresh strawberries as a garnish and enjoy this cocktail over ice on a warm summer day.
Is it Worth it to Buy a Soda Maker?
For those who prefer seltzer over regular water, and drink it as often as they can, a soda maker is definitely worth it. Not only will you save money, but also trips to the store and the environment. You will need to ensure you always have Co2 cylinders on hand, however.
For those who are only occasional sparkling water drinkers, it may be more of a hassle to have the machine on hand than a benefit.
What is Carbonated Water?
Carbonated water is water that contains carbon dioxide, and this carbon dioxide has been added using pressure so it will remain in the water. Carbonated water can also be called sparkling water, seltzer water, or club soda.
Is Carbonated Water Good For You?
Carbonated water that is plain, with no sugar or additives, is just as healthy for you as drinking regular water. Be aware, however, that some people experience bloating or gas from drinking carbonated beverages.
How Long Does a Co2 Canister Last?
How long a Co2 canister will last depends on how frequently you use it. People who drink about one 8-ounce glass of fizzy water a day can expect their canister to last for 2-3 months.
If you drink sparkling water more often, say 8 ounces twice a day, it will only last for about a month.
Can You Recarbonate Flat Drinks with a Soda Maker?
You can recarbonate flat drinks with soda makers as long as you have enough of the flat drink to reach the fill like on the provided bottle. Do note, though, that you cannot recarbonate a drink you have already prepared that contains flavored syrup.
Soda Maker: Conclusion
Overall, there are so many ways to use a soda maker that there is no reason not to have one. Whether you drink sparkling water on the regular, or just want to make delicious fizzy cocktails for the summer, soda makers can help make your dreams come true.
So head online to pick out the best soda maker for your household and family. Then you can take the time to enjoy some of the delicious recipes included in this article. Before you know it, you and your family will be in love with your soda maker.