CO2 versus Electric Soda Makers – How to Choose?


When you look at the different types of soda makers out there, you’re going to come across a few different methods for turning flat water into a delightful bubbly beverage. The two most common methods involve either a CO2 canister or an electric carbonation process. If you’re trying to choose between these two methods, or are just completely lost amidst the soda maker seas, then this guide has you covered.

CO2 Canister: The Pros

There are a lot of benefits when it comes to CO2 canisters, including the fact that they don’t require any electricity to run. This means that you can use them pretty much anywhere, from your backyard to a college dorm room. They are usually less expensive than other models, mostly because the makers are less technically complex. The carbonation process involves injecting CO2 gas into water, just like in commercial sodas, so you aren’t exposing yourself to any harmful or mysterious chemicals here.

CO2 Canister: The Cons

Since you’re using an actual canister of gas, this means it is eventually going to run out and you will need to purchase a replacement. Though some retailers operate an exchange program to give you a discount for bringing in your old canister, there are many restrictions that can apply and the program may not be available in all areas. Also, removing and installing the canister can be tricky, and even dangerous if not handled properly. Purchasing new canisters can become costly, and could leave you in the lurch if you run out unexpectedly, since most makers don’t have a fill meter.

Electric Carbonation: The Pros

Since electric soda makers don’t use CO2, you never have to worry about replacing any canisters. Some models can also chill the water prior to making the soda, which means that you don’t have to chill it yourself after you make it. It’s possible to find single-serve electric soda makers that make one glass of soda at a time, so there’s less waste and no storage hassle compared to most CO2 models that require you to make up to a liter of soda at a time. You can also sometimes find more flavors for electric models, depending on the brand.

Electric Carbonation: The Cons

As you might already know, requiring electricity carries some negatives as well. First all, since you have to plug it in to use, you can’t take it with you, such as on a picnic. Electric soda makers can also have smaller capacities even if they’re not single-serve models, so you have to wait longer to make drinks for multiple people. If your model chills the water first, you’re going to have to wait for this to finish as well before you can make your soda. Depending on the style of the soda maker, it may also require special accessories for adding flavor, such as special packets or cartridges that go into the machine instead of simply adding the flavor into the water yourself, so this can increase the price over time.

Picking a Winner

If you’re looking to keep costs low or want a simple yet versatile soda maker, then a CO2 canister model is probably going to the best choice for you. There are more options on the market, which means lower prices and more styles to choose from. On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending a little bit more for a hassle-free soda maker that doesn’t require buying and installing any canisters, then you might be more suited to an electric model.