Here are five Water carbonators we expect to be popular in 20223.
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The Spruce Eats / Tamara Staples
You can drink carbonated water plain or add flavorings to it. It’s a healthier alternative to soda.
After extensive lab tests, our top pick for the best way to carbonize beverages at home is the Drinkmate Home Carbonization System. It’s compact, doesn’t need electricity or battery power, and can carbonize any liquid (not just plain old tap water). If you want something even greener, we recommend the Mysoda Wooden Sparkling Water Maker.
If you’re addicted to sodas or seltzer, buying a DIY carbonated beverage dispenser may be a smart move. Not only will it save you cash in the long term, but it gives you full control over the ingredients in your beverages. It also helps eliminate the need for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
Carbonated drinks are created by adding carbon dioxide gas to plain tap or bottled drinking waters. Some carbonated drink machines can even be used to inject fizz into other types of beverage including fresh juice and tea.
Our lab tester and at-home testers both gave these three soda makers high ratings for ease of use, carbonator function, and ease of cleaning. Here are their favorites.
SodaStream Fizzi One Touch at Amazon
iSi Soda Sip at Amazon
Best Overall Water Carbonator : Spärkel
- Carbonates any beverage beautifully
- Sleek design
- Carbonation cartridge compatible with any brand
- It doesn’t require any batteries or electrical power.
- If you’re not careful when taking off the cap, some of the liquid may leak
All three sites recommended the Drinkmate Home Carbonator system.
Of the 800+ reviews for this item, at least 85% gave it a rating of 4 or 5 out of 5.
One of the best things about this soda maker is that you can use it to carbonate any beverage. You can make fizzing orange juice in the morning and bubbly tea in the afternoon, or you could even get creative and make a fancy cocktail for happy hours. Most carbonators are built to only carbonate liquids, so if you’re planning on drinking your soda straight from the machine, you’ll probably want to stick with plain old tap. But if you’d rather drink something else, our lab tasters found that the carbonation was very good, and it stayed nice and frothy for an extended period of time.
With its compact size, this machine allows you to create up to six different drink recipes at once. It includes an easy-to-read display showing the current level of carbonation, and lets you adjust the amount of CO2 added to each recipe.
The Drinkmate can take standard 60-liter carbonated beverage containers from any brand. To keep costs down, the manufacturer offers a trade-in service where you’ll get discounts on new bottles if you return your empty ones.
Power Source: Manual | Bottle Material: BPA-free plastic4 | Bottle Capacity: 1 liter | Carbonator Included: NoDimensions: 5 x 8 x 16 inches
“A remarkable vending machine. It performs extremely well across all beverage categories and is particularly versatile.”
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Runner-Up, Best Overall: SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
- Easy to clean
- Very even carbonation
- Three carbonation levels
- Includes full-size CO2 cartridge
- Needs to be connected to an electrical outlet
- Large countertop footprint
It’s extremely simple to use; you can choose from three different degrees of carbonation and the device will automatically add just enough bubbles to your drink. Although its electric requirements are minimal, you will require access to an electrical socket to operate this beverage dispenser. A full CO2 cylinder comes included so you don’t require any additional supplies to get going.
We think our lab testers and at-home testers found the product both reliable and user-friendly. They liked that the machine is automated and very consistent compared to manual carbonators, and they thought the design was straightforward and sturdy.
Carbonating anything except plain old tap or bottled H2O will invalidate the manufacturer’s guarantee, but you can add flavoring drops or homemade flavored syrup after you’ve added carbonated bubbles. Our lab tasters tried it with wine and found that the carbonated bubbles really bring out the flavors of the wine. Do it at your own risk?
Power Source: Electric | Bottle Material: BPA-free plastic4 | Bottle Capacity: 1 liter and 0.5 liter | Carbonator Included: Yes Dimensions: 5.63 x 8.0 x 16.8 inches
“It was very bubbly, easy to drink, and refreshing. It brought out the flavors of the wine well: bright and light.”
Best Splurge: Aarke Carbonator III
Courtesy of Amazon
- Stylish design
- Minimal countertop footprint
- Many finish options
- Cordless design
- Tedious cartridge loading
- Only plastic bottles available
As mentioned in our full review, we think the new Aarke Carbonator III is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stylish, easy-to-use soda machine. We especially love the sleek black finish and the clean lines of the unit itself. The only downside to the Aarke Carbonator is that it doesn’t come with any extra parts, so you’ll need to supply your own bottles. But considering the price tag ($200 versus $300+ for comparable models), we think it’s worth the investment.
This soda making system includes one carbonating bottle and a sturdy stainless steel cap. It’s cordless, takes up less room than most models, and won’t require any additional parts. You’ll just need to buy a separate canning kit if you want to use it.
If you want an affordable yet stylish appliance that looks good in your kitchen, this one is a great choice.
Power Source: Manual | Bottle Material: BPA-free plastic4 | Bottle Capacity: 800 milliliters | Carbonator Included: No Dimensions: 6 x 10.2 x 16.3 inches
“It retains its foam for a long time. With a mixture of small and larger foams, it tastes slightly spiced. Everyone likes it.”
Best traditional siphon for soda: iSi Soda Sipper
- It takes time to assemble and use.
If you want to buy a drink dispenser that can be used at bars, a traditional siphon is your best bet. Siphons were originally designed to dispense drinks from a bartender’s tray, but they can now be found in homes and restaurants alike.
We tested our carbonating system at home and in our lab, and we were able to get good results without any hassle.
It has a 1-liter capacity, which means you can fill it up once and then reuse it for months. It also comes with a measuring cup and a pressure regulator that lets you adjust the gas pressure. You can charge it using small CO2 cartridges (which last for multiple charges), but you’ll have to buy them separately.
Power Source: Manual | Bottle Material: Stainless steel | Bottle Capacity: 1 quart | Carbonator Included: No Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 12.25 inches
“The drink tasted good. There were no harmful side effects.”
Best Design: My SODA WOODY SPARKLING WATER MA
- Made from sustainable materials
- It was easy to setup and use
- Consistently great carbonation performance
- Comes without CO2 cylinder
The lab tester liked this machine’s sleek look and its ability to be powered by hand pressure. However, he was disappointed that it didn’t come from a sustainable company, so we don’t recommend purchasing it because it has higher international postage costs than the other models.
We found this carbonater to be very easy to setup, operate, and clean, even if it isn’t dishwasher safe. It only carbonates liquid though, unlike the Drink Mate. Tasters liked the carbonation each and every times, and found it to consistently produce good results.
It doesn’t include a CO2 cylinder, so you need to buy one separately. However, it works with any standard cylinder brand. You can choose from various color options to match your kitchen.
Power Source: None | Bottle Material: Plastic | Bottle Capacity: 1 liter | Carbonator Included: No | Dimensions: 9.6 x 5.1 x 16.1 inches
“It was crisp, really drinkable, had small bubbles.’
We recommend the SodaStream Fizzit One Touch for its ability to automatically carbonate liquids at different levels of carbonation.
How We Tested
We tested eleven soda makers against each other in our lab by measuring how effectively they carbonated beverages such as apple juice, natural wines, and cocktails. For those that can carbonize other liquids besides just plain old tap H2O, we tested them on soda pop, beer, and alcohol. If a machine had multiples settings, we utilized every single one. If a machine had only one option, we made three separate batches to ensure accuracy. In addition, we shipped several soda makers to the home of our at-home tester so she could try them out for herself. We collected feedback about the devices’ usability, carbonation power, and cleanliness.
Other Options We Tested
- Twenty39 Qarbot – Sparkling Water Maker. We really liked the simplicity of the design and the fact that it was easy to assemble and operate. However, one lab taster found that the carbonation performance was poor, and another lab taster reported that the bottles were too tall for storing in the refrigerator.
- SodaStream Aqua Fizz: This soda maker is noisy and screechy, and we found that the bubbles were inconsistently produced, underwhelming, and short-lived. It was difficult to determine how much pressure to put on the lever to produce enough bubbles without making a mess. Additionally, the glass was bulky but sturdy.
- SodaStream: This machine makes its own carbonated drink using CO2 instead of relying on traditional methods like adding sugar to water. It’s an interesting concept but requires a lot of maintenance and has some drawbacks.
What to Look for in a Soda Maker
Most sodas are made by adding flavorings into pre-carbonated water. However, some sodas are made using a special type of machine called a CO2 tank which allows you to add flavors directly into the bottle before carbonating.
Any soda maker can be used to carbonated any liquid you want, whether it’s juice, teas, cocktail, or wine. They can even be used to add bubbles to flat beverages.
You might not need a smart kettle if you just want to boil some water for yourself or if you’re entertaining guests. However, if you enjoy trying out new recipes, then having a smart kettle could be worthwhile.
Soda machines typically use CO2 cylinders to create the fizz in their drinks.
If you’re planning to buy a 3D printer, be sure to check whether your particular printer has a built-in CO2 tank to start printing. Some don’t, so you might need to purchase one separately from another manufacturer.
You could buy a soda maker with CO2 tanks and extra sodas for a small price if you’re planning to carbonate lots of beverages or have a large family who likes fizzy drinks.
Soda makers usually come with either plastic or glass bottles. However, if you want to avoid using plastic, choose a model that has a glass bottle. Just keep in mind that most of these types of soda makers tend to be more expensive than their plastic counterparts.
Many manufacturers offer additional bottles, either plastic or clear, so you can be sure you always have a fresh one available.
Countertop units are typically designed to hold larger carbon dioxide tanks, so they’re less likely to require replacement than smaller models.
Electric and manual countertop soda machines are available. Manual models are more compact and can be taken anywhere without needing access to electricity.
These electric beer makers come in different styles with varying features and settings. Some allow you to choose between manual and automatic modes, while others offer variable fizz levels.
What time period does a CO2 cylinder typically last for?
The exact length of a cylinder’s lifespan varies depending on how often you use the cylinder.
Most of these soda machines use a 60-liter CO 2 tank, which has enough gas for 60 liters of soda. If you carbonated one liter of water per person every single morning, your tank would be empty after just two weeks.
How do you know if your cylinder has run out of fuel?
When you start noticing your gas sputtering or seeming weaker than normal, it means it’s time to change out your CO2 tank.
If the carbonator buttons on your soft drink dispenser don’t work, seem weaker, or make an unusual sound, it may be because the cylinder is empty.
Empty CO2 cylinders? Where did they come from?
You shouldn’t throw them out and they aren’t accepted by most residential recyling programs.
Many soda maker companies offer a return policy for their products. You can return them at any time if they don’t meet your needs. They may even provide shipping services so you don’t need to worry about mailing them back yourself.