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 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 its 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 one that uses lightweight powders to carbonate which come in recyclable packaging.
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. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
The Overall Best: DrinkMate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker
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. 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. Helpful review: “I have been using it for a few weeks now without any issues. I am still using the original tank I purchased from Target and have been drinking plenty of carbonated water. I found myself NOT drinking as much diet coke, in fact, all I drink now at home is carbonated water [...] Overall, its an excellent item. I have carbonated Gatorade and red wine as well.”
The Best Compact: DrinkMate Spritzer Portable Sparkling Water and Soda Maker
Unlike its big brother, the
DrinkMate Spritzer is compact, so it's a great pick if you're short on counter space or want a portable option. In fact, the unit is small enough to fit in a drawer and can be packed to go on picnics and camping. In true DrinkMate style, this unit can also be used with beverages other than water.
This is equipped with a trigger instead of the usual button and works with most brands of 10- and 60-liter CO2 containers. The set comes with a bottle and two 10-liter cartridges, and users can choose between matte black, pewter, or royal red.
Helpful review: "I love this! It was so expensive buying the pre-made carbonated beverages. This is saving me lots of money, and it's probably healthier to boot! It works great and has given me no troubles despite heavy usage. The only complaint is the canisters go too fast, and I need refills all the time. That's not the machine’s fault though."
The Best Carbonator That Doesn’t Need CO2 Cylinders: Spärkel Beverage System
A lot of people find buying and exchanging CO2 cylinders a pain. If that sounds like you, the
Spärkel beverage system is probably your best bet. Unlike other carbonators, it uses a dual-packet system of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate to produce CO2 and carbonate any liquid including wine, juice, and cocktails. (And if you're wondering if you'll be ingesting citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, the answer is no. The powders are not mixed in with your drink. They are only used to produce the CO2, and that’s injected into your beverage.) At about $0.67 per packet that's large enough to carbonate a liter of water, it's a smidge more expensive than going with a 60-litter CO2 canister. However, the packaging is much more minimal and lightweight.
The Spärkel system lets users customize the level of carbonation (there are five levels) with the touch of a button. It is available in five colors, and each order comes with one reusable bottle and 10 carbonator packets.
Helpful review: “Thank goodness I bought this. I love sparkling water but hated the waste of cans whenever I bought it from the grocery store. I’m also VERY picky about the types of bubbles in my drink, and if they are too harsh I won’t buy it again. Sparkel allows you to pick the intensity of bubbles (I’m a 3), and you can infuse whatever you want in the water, very easy! I’m excited to try and make a mimosa with it this Thanksgiving.”
The Most Elegant Choice: Aarke Premium Sparkling Water Maker
The sleek and elegant design of the
Aarke sparkling water maker 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 a stainless steel, matte black, or black chrome finish.
Helpful review: “Extremely easy to use and fun to operate. I appreciated the different levels of carbonation you can create and overall how easy it was to figure out. [...] Looks great on my counter and excited to continue to use and find other drink combinations.”
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: “Love the flavor of this product! There are lots of choices, so everyone will be able to find one (or more) they like [...] In addition to the taste, healthy ingredients, and ease of use, I also like being able to control the intensity. I prefer just a hint of flavor, so I just put a few drops in each glass.”