If you love carbonated drinks, a soda maker is a necessity for your kitchen. Soda makers help you save money, being able to make your own sparkling water, seltzer and sodas in the comfort of your home. Using carbon dioxide cartridges, tablets, or pods, soda makers simply add carbon dioxide to still water. You can add flavored syrup to make soda.
When you are looking to purchase a soda maker, you need to consider a few things. You need to consider it’s size, how easy the device is to use and the power that the soda maker has. Some soda makers are electric, while others just use pressure from a carbon dioxide cartridge. Lastly, you have to consider the quality of the actual soda that the maker dispenses. If it can’t give you enough of the fizz that you want, you aren’t going to be happy.
Before we jump into our favorite soda makers, let’s look at how they work.
How Soda Makers Work
A soda maker is a pretty basic device. It adds carbon dioxide to water to create carbonated (sparkling) water. If you add syrups to the carbonated water, you have created a flavored soda drink.
All soda makers required flavored syrups if you want a flavored soda drink. You also are going to have to either purchase carbon dioxide cartridges, tablets or pods to inject the actual carbonation into the water, so those are two things to take into consideration when selecting what type of soda maker you want to purchase.
Depending on the type of soda machine you own, you’ll also need to purchase carbon dioxide cartridges, tablets, or pods to inject the carbonation into the water.
Adding Carbonation To Water
The most common scenario for carbonating water with a soda maker involves installing a carbon dioxide cartridge into the soda machine, screwing on the water bottle and pressing the button to start the carbonation process.
Depending on the soda maker’s size, the carbon dioxide cartridge that goes in it can make anywhere from a single quart to many gallons of sparkling water. It’s important to note that most soda makers only accept one size of carbon dioxide cartridge, so you definitely want to take that into account when reviewing different soda makers.
How Much Carbonation Goes In The Water?
The more carbon dioxide you use when making your sparkling water or soda, the more “bite” you’ll taste in your beverage. The best machines allow you to customize the amount of carbonation you want.
How Long Does It Take To Carbonate Water?
The amount of time it will take to carbonate your water depends on the machine itself. Some makers can do the job in as little as 30 seconds. Other makers may require a few minutes. A general rule of thumb is the less carbon dioxide you want, the shorter the time it will take to carbonate the water.
Our Favorite Soda Makers
If you are looking for an easy-to-use system made by the biggest name in the industry, the SodaStream Fountain Jet Soda Maker is the one you want.
The SodaStream Fountain Jet Soda Maker has been on the market for more than 15 years and remains a favorite because of its intuitive, easy to use design. You place the CO2 canister in the machine, then when you want carbonated water, just press the button a few times until you hear a buzz. The starter kit comes with a 60L carbonator and a reusable liter bottle.
Pros: Easy to use, carbonation control, many excellent flavors available
Cons: May have trouble reaching your desired fizziness
If you want a versatile soda beverage carbonation machine that can carbonate everything from water to juice to wine, the Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker is a great option. The flexibility of the Drinkmate makes it different than pretty much any other soda maker on the market. It will carbonate pretty much any beverage you have in your fridge.
The process for carbonating your beverages has a few more steps than other models, but you also get more control over the release of the CO2. The Drinkmate doesn’t require any electricity or batteries to operate. The device is compatible with 3 oz. and 14.5 oz. CO2 cartridges. You can send empty cartridges back to iDrink (the manufacturer) and get full ones sent back to you at a reduced price.
Pros: Can carbonate liquids other than water, two-year warranty, pressure control valve decreases the chance of messes
Cons: Requires several steps to operate
If you are looking for an affordable soda maker, the Nuvantee Soda Siphon is a great choice for on-demand sparkling water.
Much like the old-time seltzer bottles you would see in old comedy movies, the soda siphon works the same way. You fill the carafe with up to four cups of very cold water, put on the cap, insert the cartridge, and screw the charger holder in place, which releases the gas. The water is carbonated within 10 to 15 minutes.
Pros: Inexpensive, easily fits in the fridge, user-friendly
Cons: Slow, water must be ice cold