Best CO2, Portable and Home Use Soda Maker Reviews
Do you enjoy drinking soda? Of course you do! There’s nothing better than sitting back and taking a sip of a cold, fizzy drink, whether it’s on a sunny afternoon or with a good dinner on a cool night. But I’ll bet a bucket of bottle caps that you don’t like spending a ton of money on soda.
I sure didn’t, which is why I made the decision to buy my own home soda maker. Once I learned that you didn’t have to invest in a restaurant-style fountain to make soda at home, my mind was set. But it turns out that buying your own soda maker isn’t quite that easy. There are a lot of different models out there with different features, and I didn’t want to waste my money on the wrong choice.
So I learned everything that I could about home soda makers, and was amazed at what I found. It was a lot of work, and much harder than it should have been. That’s why I put together Soda Serve, so that all the information I found could be collected in one place for other people like me. Here, you can find my honest reviews of the best soda makers I found, as well as some other pages I think you’ll find helpful.
Best Starter Kit
Sodastream Fountain Jet
Since there are so many different types of soda makers out there, all with so many different components and accessories, there’s a lot to be said for getting everything you need in a single package. This model is also built to be easy to use right from the get-go, so you don’t have to spent all your time on a confusing and complicated setup.
Comes with One Carbonator
First of all, you get a complete carbonator CO2 canister with this kit, which is an amazing deal all on its own. There are some models out there than only sell the soda machine body, but don’t include the carbonator. Without the carbonator, you won’t be able to fizz up your water—and without fizzy water you won’t be able to make your soda! This carbonator allows you to make up to 60 liters of soda before you need to exchange it for a new one, which is actually quite a bit of soda. I’ve seen some models that only offer carbonators that can make 30 liters of soda or less, so you know that you’re getting a lot of beverages with this kit.
Reusable Plastic Bottle Included
The other great part of this kit is the reusable plastic bottle that it comes with. It’s made of BPA-free plastic, so you know it’s safe to use again and again. These bottles can fit up to 1 liter of soda, which is just about the perfect amount to make a single flavor for you to enjoy with a few friends without running out too quickly or ending up with a ton left over. But, if you do end up with some extra soda, you can simply use the screw on cap that comes with the bottle to close it up and store it in the refrigerator. The cap means that you won’t have to worry about the bottle losing its fizz right away, so you can enjoy the drink throughout the day.
Best Designer Soda Maker
KitchenAid KSS3121ER Sparkling Beverage Maker
When you want a soda maker that is both stylish and functional, this model from the masters at KitchenAid is definitely the one to pick. I was so impressed when I came across this model because of its built-in, signature KitchenAid style and because it comes in multiple colors. It also comes with its own bottle and CO2 tank, and is compatible with a wide range of SodaStream products, giving you even more usability.
Available in Multiple Colors
One of the things I really enjoy about KitchenAid products is that they always come in such an impressive array of colors. From a fun and funky bright orange to a timeless aquamarine, you can really find a model that matches your kitchen décor perfectly. That makes it such a huge win for anyone who loves to have a cohesive kitchen experience, like me. If the different colors aren’t quite your cup of tea, it’s also available in a classic white and silver that makes it appear sleek and sophisticated and perfect for any kind of kitchen style.
Includes Flavor Sample Pack
There are so many exciting soda and drink flavors out there, which can make choosing which ones to get a tough task – especially when you’re just starting out with a soda maker. That’s why I was very pleased to learn that this model includes a soda mix starter pack with three flavors. Leave it to the people at KitchenAid to make sure that every aspect is covered for complete enjoyment. You can try out one of these flavors by creating your bottle of soda water and adding the mix in after the carbonating. This way, you can start to get a feel for the flavors you like, and then you can order all the mixes you want.
Best Home or College Soda Maker
SodaStream Source Kit
Thankfully my oldest is still a few years away from heading off to college, but when she does, this is absolutely the type of soda maker I would get her. It’s small in size, so it would fit perfectly in a dorm room or in a kitchen that is tight on space. Since there’s no electricity required, it really helps amplify the savings on top of what you would otherwise be spending on buying soda.
No Electricity Required
Since this soda maker uses a CO2 container to carbonate the water, it doesn’t need any electricity or batteries. Plugging in a machine to chill the water or power the carbonation might take up a lot of electricity, which can be a major concern for a young adult looking to keep the bills low. No electricity also means that you can set it up pretty much anywhere without having to find an open outlet. The SodaStream would be a great fit for a college dorm, which would mean your student wouldn’t need to go out to buy any soda or need to stock up on cans for their room. It can also help keep them healthier, since there are a lot of natural drink mixes that are free of preservatives and sugars.
Carbonator Mail-In Rebate
Another great part about this model soda maker is that it comes with a mail-in rebate for your next carbonator canister. The package comes with a 4-ounce starter carbonator and a special rebate you can send in to get reimbursed for that first refill. In terms of picking up a new canister, SodaStream has thousands of participating partner locations where you can bring in the old one and pick up a new one. Since the full-sized canisters make up to 60 liters of carbonated beverages, you don’t have to worry about needing to pick up a new one too often. Some of those smaller size models might run out too quickly if you or your student enjoys drinking a lot of soda, so going with a bigger size is much more convenient and less expensive.
Flavorstation Home Beverage Maker
Enjoying your own freshly made soda beverages at home doesn’t have to be an expensive process. If you’re working within some budgetary constraints, I would definitely recommend this model because it delivers everything you need at a manageable price. It even comes with a 20-ounce CO2 canister, so you can start using it right away and don’t have to worry about picking up a separate carbonator after you get the body.
Push Button Operation
There’s a lot to be said about a home gadget that’s easy to use. The push button system on this model from Flavorstation shows that they feel the same way, since you can start the carbonation process by simply pressing down on the large operator button at the top of the machine. Once you screw the plastic bottle into the soda maker, you can press on the button to release as much or as little CO2 into the water as you like. This makes it very easy for you to customize the fizz level on your drinks, so you can keep it low key or super-sparkling, as you see fit. You also won’t have to worry about accidentally overdoing it, since the push button system is completely manual and not automatic.
I’ve read more than a few horror stories about cleanup with some of these soda makers, so I really liked that this model takes a few special measures to make cleanup easier. First of all, it uses a sports bottle design instead of the oversized bottles that come with some other models. By reducing the overall size of the bottle, you literally have less that you need to clean up. Also, since the bottles have a smaller volume than the others, you are less likely to have unwanted extras that can cause the inside of the bottle to become sticky from the flavor mixes. There’s also a slightly wider mouth on these bottles compared to other styles, so you could fit a scrubbing brush inside to really make sure it’s fully clean before you move on to your next use.
Best Glass Carafe Soda Maker
SodaStream Crystal Black/Silver
Having a glass carafe gives you a few distinct advantages over the other models that use a plastic bottle, mostly centered on the safety and the longevity of the machine. If you’re concerned with the environmental impact of traditional soda cans and bottles as well as some of other soda makers out there, this is definitely the model for you.
Safer Drinking from Glass
Even though most of the soda makers out there use BPA-free plastics in their bottles, which are incredibly safe for regular use, they do come with a recommended lifespan of around two to three years. After that time, the repeated use can cause the bottles to lose the strength in their seal or experience some amount of breakdown in the inside walls. The manufacturers actually recommend users purchase a new plastic bottle every few years for safety reasons. When you use a glass carafe, you don’t have any of those concerns. Glass doesn’t experience the same deterioration that plastic does, so you don’t have to worry about it ever contaminating your drinks or any expiration dates. Glass is also much better for the environment, from the creation process to the recycling should the carafe break.
Even though the key feature of this soda maker is its long-lasting glass carafe, it also comes with a very stylish and attractive design. This is great, because you really do always want your kitchen appliances to look modern and to match your home décor. Combining sturdy black plastics with quality stainless steel, you know that this SodaStream Crystal is going to last you a long time, and always look good throughout every use. Its unique design is also made to accommodate the glass carafe, so instead of screwing the bottle onto the top like with the plastic models, you place it into a chamber for carbonation. You can drink your sodas right out of the glass bottles, or pour them into a separate cup to enjoy. The carafes also have a stylish design, so you can appreciate the entire process from start to last sip.
Most Versatile Beverage Maker
DrinkMate Carbonated Soda Maker
Have you ever wanted to add a bit of fizz to your fruit juices, teas or other premade beverages? Most soda makers don’t allow you to do so because of the carbonation process, but this amazing device from Drinkmate is one of the only soda makers I’ve seen that lets you carbonate anything. It’s made to be incredibly versatile, and includes a two-stage release system to reduce messes.
Carbonate Almost Any Liquid
If you want to let your imagination run wild when it comes to making carbonated drinks, then this is most definitely the soda maker for you. It uses a special carbonation process that allows it to fizz up any beverage so long as there isn’t any pulp in it (like some kinds of orange juice). This means that you don’t have to make a bottle of soda water first and then add in your flavor mixes, which could become tricky when you’re trying to measure out the right amount of mix; not to mention expensive if you want to enjoy more than a single flavor. For example, you could pour in apple juice and create sparling apple cider, or some white wine to create your own champagne. You can even add some extra fizz to already flat drinks, which is pretty darn amazing when you think about the possibilities.
Smart Release System
As if the ability to carbonate any liquid wasn’t cool enough, the DrinkMate also has a special release system that reduces the chances of making a mess. With other models, the moment you start to remove the bottle the pressure will start to escape, which could cause the water to spill out or even hurt you in some situations. Here, you can remove the bottle from the body without causing the carbonation to release. It has a special flip-top release cap that allows you to slowly let the extra CO2 escape safely, so that you can unscrew the top without experiencing any messy spray. The bottle also comes with fill line markers to help you keep track of the amount of liquid you have, as well as a top cut-off marker so you don’t accidentally overfill the bottle or create too much fizz.
Best Portable Beverage Maker
SodaSparkle Easy-to-Use Sparkling Soda Maker Kit
One of my favorite parts about going on a picnic is enjoying a refreshing drink outdoors, but lugging around a cooler full of ice and soda cans can be a real pain. I was very surprised to learn that you can actually find portable soda makers like this, and that they are built for high usability. With this model, you could make your own soda literally anywhere you went.
No Clunky Carbonator
The biggest difference between this model and the other stationary soda makers is the way it handles carbonation. Traditional soda makers use a large carbonator that is made for multiple uses, and thus requires a larger body to withstand the pressure. Here, the canisters are small and made for a single use, so you can quickly and easily fizz up the reusable plastic bottle and start making your drinks. Once you insert the canister and lock it into place into the activator body, you attach that to the top of the bottle and it automatically fizzes up the water. Then, you can remove the activator and fill the bottle with your flavoring and enjoy your drink.
Compact and Lightweight
Since there’s no large carbonator, you don’t have to worry about carrying around a huge device when you want to enjoy soda on the go. Everything is centralized into the activator top, which is small enough to allow you to fit the entire device (with the bottle) into a backpack or tote bag. This also makes the product much lighter than other devices, since you don’t have a large body to sustain the large carbonator. When you’re all done with each single-use canister, you can pop it out and recycle it. This is great, because you not only don’t have to worry about troublesome cleanup but also you don’t have to feel guilty about making your drinks and causing more trash to build up.
Best Soda Siphon Soda Maker
iSi Soda Siphon
This is a real classic that has been in use for a long time to create soda water. When you want to take a different approach to making soda and carbonated drinks, or just want to enjoy a glass of bubbly water here and there, this is the best model to choose, in my opinion.
Easy to Use Design
The design here is all about making the device as easy to use as possible. You pour the water into the bottle, and then insert one of the CO2 canisters into the top nozzle and screw everything into place. After that, creating your own soda water is as simple as pressing down on the activator button. The canister carbonates the water as it pours out, unlike the other models that require you to carbonate a full bottle first and then fill it with your flavor mixes. This type of soda maker doesn’t require operating a large device or fiddling around with attaching and detaching special bottles. You also don’t have to worry about accidently overcarbonating the water, since it happens automatically when you pour and not during a separate carbonating phase.
Soda siphons like this also give you considerably more control over the entire soda making process. First of all, you can ensure that the water you use doesn’t have added salt, which is usually what happens when you buy soda water at the store. You can also control how much or how little soda water you create, since you don’t have to prepare a full bottle every time you want a drink. Having to make a full liter every time can be wasteful if you only want to enjoy a single glass, as storing a bottle is going to cause it to lose its fizz over time. You can also make multiple types of drinks more easily, as you don’t have to add the flavor mix into the entire bottle of soda water to create your beverage.
Keurig 119011 KOLD Drinkmaker
Keurig is known for making some amazing luxury kitchen products with very unique features, and this soda maker is no different. It uses the same pod technology that you can find in the Keurig coffee makers, so that you can make a single serving of your beverage with the push of a button.
No CO2 Required
Unlike most other types of soda makers, this model does not use any CO2 to carbonate the drinks. This means that you never have to worry about a canister running out in the middle of making a drink, or experience the hassle of having to head out to the store to pick up another bottle. All you need to do is fill the machine with water, until the marker on the front shows that it’s full, and then close the lid and plug it in to a nearby outlet. The Keurig KOLD can also chill the water internally, so you won’t have to hassle with carbonating warm water and then chilling the beverage in the fridge or using up tons of ice cubes to make the drink cold. The Keurig 119011 KOLD can hold up to 52 ounces of water at once, so you can make several drinks at a time before you need to refill and rechill.
Offers Actual Soda Brand Flavors
Since this soda maker uses the Keurig pod-style system for adding mixes, you can choose from a huge variety of flavors to create your drink. In addition to the standard catalog of drink flavors, you can also choose pods from your favorite brands like Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper, along with a huge inventory of craft sodas and iced teas. If you don’t want to deal with searching through the different flavor mixes in the hopes of finding a “generic” cola that matches your drink of choice, you will love the selection of name-brand sodas you can make here. Another benefit of the pod system is that you can make multiple types of drinks in a row without having to create a full bottle of each, so everyone can enjoy their own favorites with ease.
There certainly are a lot of amazing soda makers out there, aren’t there? I truly hope that you were able to find these soda maker reviews helpful, and that you maybe even discovered the perfect model for you.
If not, don’t worry. You can check out the other pages for some more tips and advice on how to navigate the tricky world of these amazing kitchen gadgets, including a complete buyer’s guide and some more detailed articles on different features and considerations.
Whatever type of soda maker you choose, I wish you the best of luck and hope you know I’ll be raising a glass of my own soda to you in celebration.