Whether you’re in camp “pop” or “soda,” sometimes bubbly drinks are just what hits the spot. While SodaStream is the biggest name in the at-home fizz market, there are plenty of other brands to choose from, and many of the best SodaStream alternatives offer features SodaStream doesn’t, like being able to carbonate just about
any drink (including juices, cocktails, and flat beer) or a gadget that doesn't require those large CO2 canisters. One even comes in gorgeous minimalist chrome so you can feel like you're sitting at a fancy café while at home. When you're shopping, think about which of these bonus features matter most to you:
While SodaStream only works with water (though you can add flavors later), many of Sodastream competitors on the market differentiate themselves by
working with any type of beverage, including juices and wine directly. And while most SodaStream alternatives use the same kind of CO2 canisters, you can also get a smaller soda siphon, which uses carbon chargers that are smaller, so create less waste.
Finally, you’ll want to think about your budget. Some carbonated drink makers are quite spendy, running upwards of $200 (though you get a lovely aesthetic in return). And beyond your initial investment, consider cost per liter.
Now that you have a better idea of what to keep in mind when purchasing a soda maker, keep scrolling for four
great soda makers. 1 The Overall Best: DrinkMate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker Pros: wallet-friendly, works with any beverage, fuss-free design Cons: can’t add fruit before carbonating
With an affordable price tag,
DrinkMate is a great alternative to the SodaStream because of one important feature: It can be used with any type of beverage, including juices, wine, and even flat beer. This easy-to-operate unit is compatible with most brands of CO2 cartridges in both 10- and 60-liter sizes. Plus, it comes with a so-called Fizz Infuser, a special cap that ensures your newly carbonated beverage doesn’t wind up sprayed on your ceiling.
This set comes with a bottle but requires you to
purchase your CO2 separately, but for a few dollars more, you can also order a DrinkMate set that comes with a 10-liter carbonator so you can get down to business right away. Choose from three colors: black, white, and red. Helpful review: “Very pleased! Have had it for most of this year. The carbonation of my watered-down fruit juices is delicious, and is "small bubble" carbonation compared to the large bubbles more typical of store-bought beverages. I love being able to carbonate anything!” 2 The Most Compact: iSi Classic MeshSodamaker Pros: vintage aesthetic, space-saving, works with any beverage Cons: can’t add fruit before carbonating, some reviewers surprised bottle is made of plastic
For a more compact solution, a soda siphon like this
one from iSi is a great option, and it has a classic cocktail aesthetic that’ll look great on any bar cart or kitchen counter. Made with stainless steel and shatter-resistant plastic with a 1-quart capacity, you can make plenty of seltzer in this soda maker, but it’s still small enough to fit on your refrigerator door. Simply attach a CO2 charger (not included, but this budget-friendly pack of 40 is popular with users) to the top of the siphon and you are good to go. Best yet, this design works to fizz up a variety of beverages besides water, like juice, wine, sodas, and cocktails. Helpful review: "Very classy looking and works incredibly well. The design and wide base makes this very sturdy. We filled it once with the cartridge and a week later, still had great, fizzy soda water. This is the second soda maker we have and are extremely impressed with the quality and style.” 3 An Option With 5 Preset Bubble Levels: Spärkel Beverage System Pros: 5 preset carbonation levels, can add fruit before carbonating Cons: powered by electricity (access to outlet required)
If you want customization options when it comes to just how bubbly your water is, the
Spärkel Beverage System is your best bet. This pick has five preset carbonation levels, the lowest of which is great when you just want a little zip, and the highest of which will add serious fizz to cocktails and wine spritzers. Powered by electricity, this unique pick doesn’t use CO2 chargers — instead you pour the contents of a carbonation packet directly into the vessel before hitting fizzing. The 24.5-ounce bottle is made from durable, dishwasher-safe Tritan, and you can even add fresh, cut fruit before carbonating your water — a unique feature no other option on this list can claim. Choose from eight colors like classic black or silver, or have a little fun with shades like metallic blue or pink. Helpful review: “The ease of using this product cannot be overstated. [...] I started first with just plain water to get the hang of it and test the various levels of carbonation (level 4 is my go to). Then added fruit, followed by mint leaves and even jalapeño (yum!). Works exactly as described! I can now stop buying cases of sparkling water and create my own variety at home.” 4 The Best Splurge: Aarke Carbonator III Premium Sparkling Water Maker Pros: upscale design, high-quality materials Cons: can only carbonate water, heftier price tag
The sleek and elegant design of the
Aarke sparkling water make r makes this guy look like a piece of artwork on your countertop. And there’s no doubt that the design factors into the hefty price tag. Coming in at just over $200, it's made of stainless steel and features a tall cylinder, a head attachment, and a removable drip tray. This carbonator is lever activated and works with CO2 canisters (the manufacturer recommends the SodaStream ones) which are not included in the set.
However, it’s important to point out that the Aarke carbonator only works with water, and the manufacturer recommends that any addition of flavors should be done in a separate carafe, not the Aarke carbonating bottle. But if you're looking for a sleek alternative to the SodaStream that looks right out of an upscale café, it's a great choice many customers have been thrilled with. Choose from six finishes, like stainless steel, matte black, and brass.
Helpful review: “I purchased a SodaStream carbonator and had it break twice within a year (about 10 refills a day as my whole household relies on it). Putting a hundred bucks more on the line I decided to buy an Aarke Carbonator III, and I was not let down. It is solid, doesn't wobble, doesn't leak, and Aarke's water bottle makes me sad I just purchased new SodaStream ones, they are on every level superior.” 5 Also Great: A Variety Pack Of Flavor Enhancers
With five flavors in a set and 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C per serving, these flavor enhancers are an excellent addition to your at-home soda maker. Unlike some other flavor enhancers,
Stur's liquid drink mix is made with real, all-natural fruit extracts and sweetened with stevia. Most importantly, customers love the way they taste. Helpful review: “We absolutely love these! We are a health conscious family, but sometimes water can be a little boring. These add great flavor, with ingredients that I recognize. Perfect! We have these on a monthly subscription. We love the summer flavors too. Coconut pineapple, peach, and grape açaí are my favorite. I like the summer flavors better, but they are all good.”