Buying Guide: Best Carbonation Machines for Sparkling Water, Juice and Soda

If you love soda, sparkling water and juices and have always wanted to make bubbly drinks from your home, now is the best time to buy a soda maker. Soda makers, which are also known as carbonation machines, are more affordable than ever before.

See Our #1 Soda Maker Pick at Amazon

Read on to discover all the benefits of owning a soda maker and what to look for as you begin to shop. There are many options available out there. Like with any new appliance purchase, you will want to do your research to make sure you know exactly what you are getting and are completely satisfied with the soda maker you choose.

Our Carbonation Machine Ratings At-A-Glance

soda maker ratings chart

Editor Rated: Top 7 Best Soda Makers for the Money (2017 - 2018)

our rating is based on value and quality
MODELOUR RATING
Drinkmate Beverage Carbonator Maker with 3 oz Cylinder
Drinkmate Beverage Carbonator Maker with 3 oz Cylinder
(9.3 / 10)
SodaStream Genesis Home Sparkling Water Soda Maker
SodaStream Genesis Home Sparkling Water Soda Maker with 3oz CO2 Carbonator
(9.5 / 10)
SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit
SodaStream Source Sparkling Water Maker Starter Kit
(9 / 10)
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker
(9.1 / 10)
Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit
Sodastream Fountain Jet Soda Maker Starter Kit
(9.3 / 10)
KitchenAid KSS1121CU Sparkling Beverage Maker
KitchenAid KSS1121CU Sparkling Beverage Maker
(9 / 10)
SodaSparkle Home Soda Maker Kit Easy-to-Use Sparkling Carbonated Seltzer Beverage Maker
SodaSparkle Home Soda Maker Kit Easy-to-Use Sparkling Carbonated Seltzer Beverage Maker
(9.3 / 10)

Benefits of a Soda Maker

If you and your family consume a lot of soda and sparkling water, then a good carbonation machine may be a good decision for you. Unless you drink soda rarely or plan on buying expensive syrups, a soda maker has a high upfront cost, but will eventually pay for itself and begin to save you money. You can save even more by choosing less expensive syrups or making your own, which has the added benefit of allowing you more control over the flavor and ingredients.

Carbonation machines can save you time and energy. Just think, you will no longer have to fill up your shopping cart with cans and bottles, load them in your car, and then lug them into your house. You can save on valuable storage space and refrigerator space as well, as you will no longer have to store the cans and bottles in your house.

Soda makers are a good choice for the environment. As a soda maker allows you to reuse bottles, you will no longer be creating as much waste with all of those empty bottles and cans. Making your own soda is a great way to show companies that consumers are serious about their impact on the environment. If consumers take a stand, then companies will begin to change their production methods so that they are more environmentally friendly.

Features to Look For

Once you have made the decision to purchase a soda maker, it is important to consider all of the details and features so that you get a product with which you are satisfied. There are several different soda makers on the market, all with different features, so it is important to be informed before you buy.

Begin by thinking of how much soda you want to make and the types of soda you will make. Do you only want sparkling water or do you plan on adding in syrups? Some machines will even allow you to infuse your sparkling water with fruit, which can be a healthy choice for those who are looking for a beverage with less calories

You will first want to consider whether you want a soda siphon or a soda machine. A soda siphon is a small device that uses a CO2 cartridge. You put it on a bottle and it carbonates the water inside the bottle. These have many advantages: they are smaller, less expensive, and easier to store and transport. However, if you plan on drinking a lot of soda or want more control over the level of carbonation, a soda siphon is probably not the best choice. While the initial price is less expensive than a soda machine, if you plan to make a lot of soda, over time the cost of the cartridges can make these a more costly purchase than the soda machine. Thus, these are best if you only want to make soda occasionally.

A soda machine offers you a wider range of options and much more control over the soda making process. They are appliances that will take up more space and have a higher initial cost than soda siphons. They use a carbonator filled with CO2 to create carbonation in your water. A soda making machine is easier to use and more versatile than a siphon. Although their initial cost is higher, over time they wind up being less expensive.

Soda machines come at several different price points. You will want to consider how often you plan on using the soda maker and how much control you want to have over the process as you decide how much you are willing to spend. Higher costing models will offer more features and you must decide if you think these features are worth the extra expense.

If you have chosen to buy a soda machine, you will then have some other factors to consider. You will first want to decide which carbonation process you prefer. Soda makers use either CO2 canisters or a motor. CO2 is used in commercial-grade sodas and will offer a closer taste to that of your favorite sodas. There is a small safety risk associated with the CO2 canisters, but as long as you follow instructions properly, the risk is minimal.

Soda makers will come with either a reusable plastic or glass bottle to use in the machine. If you choose one with a plastic bottle, make sure that it is BPA-free to avoid any harmful chemicals as the plastic deteriorates over time. Most plastic bottles, even those that are BPA-free, come with a two-year lifespan. After this time, it is recommended to replace the plastic bottle. Older plastic bottles are less likely to hold carbonation and are more likely to contaminate the water with harmful chemicals. It is safest to replace these bottles every two years.

Glass bottles are a good option because they do not have a set lifespan and produce less waste for the environment. There is also no danger of contamination with harmful chemicals. Glass bottles are also more cost-effective as you do not have to replace them as long as they do not break.

Make sure to read the product description carefully so that you know exactly what you are getting in the package. Once you get your machine home, you will be ready to try it out and will want to make sure you have everything you need. Most machines come with a carafe and a canister of CO2. Be sure to make sure that the canister is a full-size canister; some products only include a sample canister. If that is the case, you may want to go ahead and buy at least one full-size canister. Also check to see if the product includes any sample syrups. If it does not, you will want to purchase some of those as well, unless you plan on making your own or only plan to use your machine to make sparkling water.

Other Considerations

Soda machines require you to refill the CO2 carbonator after every so many uses, usually after either 30 or 60 liters of soda water, depending on the canister. Most machines do not have an indicator to let you know that you are running low, so you usually won’t know that you are out of CO2 until the machine runs out. You may want to make sure to always have an extra canister on hand. You may also want to make sure there is CO2 retailer near your home, otherwise owning a soda maker may not be all that convenient. Most retailers will want you to bring in the empty canister to have it refilled.

Most soda makers are made to be used only with warm water. You make the soda and then either chill in the refrigerator or serve over ice. It is important not to use other liquids, such as juice, in the soda maker unless the instructions indicate that the soda maker is made for that use. Using liquids other than water could result in damage to your soda maker.

Hopefully you are now ready to begin your research into the available soda makers and have an idea of the features you want. With a little time and effort, you will have a soda maker with everything you want and will be on your way to enjoying soda you can make at home.

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