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The Best Soda Makers According to Pros (and Sparkling Water Fans)

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Lisa Kaminski Updated: Aug. 15, 2022

--- Published by Taste of Home


Note:

We’re proud that the two soda makers below are both produced by us - Zhejiang Hongfeng Precision Co., Ltd

★ 2. Best Pro-Level Carbonator: Aarke Premium Carbonator

★ 3. Best Budget Soda Maker: Phillips Water GoZero

 

 

No doubt about it: Fizzy drinks are more popular than ever. Whether you like flavorful soda pop or a classic club soda with lime (and maybe a splash of vodka), fizz is in. And while you can pick up your favorite bubbly bev at the supermarket, it can be a whole lot more convenient and healthier to make your own at home with a countertop carbonator.

But there are so many options out there! So what’s the best soda maker for creating your own sparkling water? See what Taste of Home had to find out!

 

 

Trying 10 Different Soda Makers

There's only one way to find the best soda maker on the market: To try all the biggest names in the game! Peggy Woodward, senior food editor and sparkling water super-fan, took the lead on this test. With her guidance, their Test Kitchen put each at-home carbonator through its paces and made notes on the following:

· Carbonation: How well these machines work. Do they make perfectly fizzy drinks or do they fall flat? Can you customize the carbonation for extra bubbles?

· Extra features: Like any gadget, soda makers vary from simple to fancy. If any models have extra features, Taste of Home tested to make sure they’re worth the fuss.

· Size: Do not sacrifice too much counter space to the gadget that makes it. Make sure that the fizz is worth the footprint.

· Price: Make sure that budget and premium items perform well for their price point.

The Taste of Home team tried 10 models, and in the end, they were happy to pick five models to suit the needs of every sparkling water fanatic. Check out the best soda maker options—the ones they call Test Kitchen-Preferred.

1. Best Everyday Soda Maker: SodaStream One Touch

 

One of the many reasons our pros call this a favorite soda maker is the ability to customize the carbonation. On the top of the machine, you’ll see three buttons for different levels of fizz. Just fit the bottle in place and press. In seconds you’ll have a bottle of bubbly water that suits you. From there, you can add all the extras you want to make an Italian soda, wine spritzer or even an old-fashioned ice cream soda.

If getting the flavors right yourself isn’t quite for you (or you just want something flavorful and fizzy quick), SodaStream makes so many syrups and flavorings. This impressive product array, plus the ready availability of the brand's accessories, are more reasons this model is a winner.

Pros

· Customizable carbonation levels

· Accessories like additional bottles, flavorings and carbonation canisters are easy to find

Cons

· Requires electricity, so this machine needs to be placed near an outlet

Specs

· Capacity: 33 ounces

· Price: $130

 

2. Best Pro-Level Carbonator: Aarke Premium Carbonator


For a top-of-the-line look and experience, the Taste of Home Test Kitchen recommends the Aarke Premium Carbonator.

Unlike many other models, this Aarke carbonator is made of stainless steel (not plastic). It comes in eight different finishes, and Peggy has nothing but good things to say about the copper finish. “It resists fingerprints really well,” she explains. If it does get smudged, the folks at Aarke already included a microfiber cloth in the box.

When it comes to performance, this Aarke soda machine feels just as luxe as it looks. In the words of Peggy, “Wowza, this is fancy!” But don’t let the looks fool you: This machine is so simple to use. Screw the bottle into place and push the lever. That’s it! And if you want more bubbles, just push the lever again. The result is crisp, fizzy water perfect for your vodka soda.

The only drawback to this machine that the team could find was the price tag. If you enjoy fizzy beverages on the daily or love to show off your mixology skills, this machine will be well worth it to you. If you’re more of a casual bubbly imbiber, you may prefer one of the Test Kitchen’s other preferred models.

Pros

· Beautiful, sturdy construction

· Customizable carbonation levels

· Smudge-resistant finish

Cons

· Pricey

Specs

· Capacity: 33 ounces

· Price: $230

  

3. Best Budget Soda Maker: Phillips Water GoZero

 

You don’t need to spend a lot to get a great at-home soda machine. For the price of a few cases of LaCroix, you can get the Phillips Water GoZero (and never have to buy sparkling water again).

This compact carbonator takes up very little space on your countertop. Since it requires no electricity, it can be stashed and used just about anywhere. But this machine is so much more than a streamlined design.

The Phillips Water GoZero allows you to customize the carbonation level of your drinks. That means fizz fanatics can go over-the-top bubbly if they’d like! This is a major feature if you’re a sparkling water fan. It’s also a nice option if you plan on using this carbonator to make club soda for cocktails; you may want more bubbles to compensate for uncarbonated ingredients like juices and syrups.

Pros

· Affordable

· Small footprint

· Customizable carbonation levels

· Requires no electricity

Cons

· Fitting the CO2 cartridge inside the machine may take some practice

· Should only be used with water

Specs

· Capacity: 33 ounces

· Price: $70


4. Best Soda Maker for More Than Just Soda: Drinkmate Omni Fizz

 

If you check out the manuals for most at-home soda makers, they’ll encourage you to stick to water only. But with the Drinkmate Omni Fizz, you can carbonate any beverage you like.

For fans of bubbly beverages, this opens up a whole new world of possibilities! Carbonate water, yes, but also juice, sangria, cocktails—the possibilities are nearly limitless. Just slot the bottle of whatever beverage you like into place and fizz away. The manual includes suggested times for different liquids, but feel free to experiment!

Another benefit to the Drinkmate soda maker is that the bottle doesn’t need to be filled to a certain level to add carbonation. “This would be useful if you wanted to carbonate a small volume of something, like just one glass of wine or a single serving of soda,” says Peggy.

Pros

· Can carbonate any beverage

· Customizable carbonation levels

· Can carbonate any volume of beverage; other machines require the bottles to be filled to capacity

Cons

· Construction doesn’t feel as durable as other brands

· Bottles need to be hand washed and should be replaced more frequently

Specs

· Capacity: 29 ounces

· Price: $99


5. Best Old-Fashioned Soda Maker: iSi Classic Mesh Soda Siphon

 

Looking for a carbonator to add to your vintage-inspired cocktail setup? Add an iSi Classic Mesh Soda Siphon to the bar cart.

This compact soda siphon is exactly the sort of gadget your grandparents would have had to make Tom Collins after Tom Collins at their famous cocktails parties. That’s exactly why this carbonator is so beloved by our Test Kitchen; it’s perfectly retro, unfussy and super easy to use.

To make your club soda for your favorite cocktail (maybe a mojito?), just fill up the bottle and give it a few vigorous shakes. This will pressurize the canister and makes it ready to use. It creates seltzer that’s just bubbly enough for these mixed drinks.

Because this gadget is so simple, there is no room for customization. The canister makes a perfectly bubbly quart of soda but doesn’t allow for over-the-top fizz; you also can only carbonate water. For cocktail and occasional use, this is just fine, but it’s something to consider for serious bubbly fanatics.

Pros

· Super-fun retro style

· Space-saving footprint

· Easy to use and clean

Cons

· Cartridges only carbonate a quart of water; you’ll want backup cartridges on hand

· Cannot adjust the level of carbonation

Specs

· Capacity: 32 ounces

· Price: $68