THE best Soda Streams can give you fizzy water at the push of a button, and they are having a major moment right now.
Not only are Soda Streams and water carbonators great for giving you fantastic cocktails and pub-worthy alcohol-free fizzy drinks, they're also the sustainable choice for anyone looking to reduce waste.
Soda Stream is a go-to for its value-for-money Spirit machine: it looks smart, makes tasty sparkling water and includes a CO2 cylinder and bottle – all for under £100. The more expensive Crystal is another favourite for those looking to ditch plastic completely – it uses a glass bottle.
While the Soda Stream brand is synonymous with the original delicious sparkling water machine, which could help you save 1300 bottles and cans a year, it's no longer the only name in the game for anyone looking for homemade fizzy drinks or sparkling water.
Swedish brand Aarke is behind a range of stunning stainless steel soda maker machines, which make a statement in the kitchen in a selection of metal and chrome finishes and give you sparkling water at the push of a lever.
You'll also find portable soda syphon machines, which allow you to expertly make cocktails with minimal effort.
In addition to reducing waste, if you're a bottled water or soda fiend, a Soda Stream machine can help you save money in the long run. That's why we've found the best water carbonators, or Soda Streams, around.
1. We tested: Soda Stream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker
- (AD) Soda Stream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker, £89.77 from Amazon – buy here
For tasty sparkling water and an easy-to-use machine that looks good on display – and doesn't cost a fortune – our vote goes to the classic Soda Stream Spirit.
Just snap the bottle into the locking mechanism (you'll get a 1-litre bottle with your purchase), and press down for sparkling water (three pumps gives you light carbonation; five is more intense).
This set also includes a 60l CO2 cylinder, and you can easily make a range of non-alcoholic sodas and alcoholic recipes, from cooling sparkling lemonades to bellinis, in minutes.
When we first tried this out, we pressed the button down for two seconds twice upon first use, but that wasn't enough for properly fizzy water, so we pushed the button down about six times which managed to give us a refreshing level of bubbles.
Compared to your average carbonator, the Soda Stream Spirit Machine is really quiet and you can't even hear the CO2 being released when you detach your bottle from the machine.
Our favourite part of testing out Soda Stream was definitely the delicious syrups and flavourings that the brand offer online – lemonade and lime genuinely tasted like a lemonade and lime you'd get at the pub.
Read our review of the Soda Stream here.
2. We tested: Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator
- (AD) Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, £98.30 from Amazon – buy here
Swedish brand Aarke produces a water carbonator in a stainless steel enclosure – and it comes in an array of metallic and chrome finishes for a striking impact in any kitchen.
As one of the more expensive carbonators around, we decided to try it out to see if it's worth forking out a little more for.
From the smart, ribboned packaging which read "Welcome to your sparkling new lifestyle" to the stainless steel appearance, we were already obsessed when the Aarke Carbonator arrived before we'd even started carbonating.
It comes with a matching sleek bottle, but unfortunately as it doesn't come with CO2 cylinders you have to make sure you order one to come with it – we didn't and had to wait another few days to actually use it.
Once the CO2 cylinder arrived – its compatible with most 60mm cylinders from well-known brands – we followed the instructions in the User Guide to get going.
Our favourite feature of Aarke's carbonator was definitely the posh lever that allows you to control the pressure of the CO2 for a super smooth experience, and there's no splashes when you remove it.
Sparkling water tasted great, as did Aarke's sugar-free essence drops of Elderflower and Lime, Wild Strawberry and Citrus which you add after carbonating, but they're not very sweet, for those of you who like sugary drinks.
In general, this one's definitely for those of you who waste a lot of plastic buying sparkling water as it's much more sustainable, plus it looks amazing in your kitchen as a flashy tool to treat yourself, and your guests.
Read our review of the Aarke here.
3. We tested: DrinkMate
- (AD) Drinkmate Sparkling Beverage Maker with 1L Bottle and CO2 Cylinder, £99.98 from Amazon – buy here
For less than £100, Drinkmate's carbonator comes with a CO2 cylinder so you don't have to worry about buying one, although most canisters available are compatible with the design.
But that's not the best bit. Drinkmate prides itself on being able to add fizz to any drink you want, whether that's orange squash, wine or cider. Literally anything you can get your hands on that doesn't have pulp.
We took it for a test run to see if it lived up to its solid reputation: firstly, it was really simple to put together with straightforward instructions, which was a relief as we hadn't used a carbonator before.
After filling it with water to the max line, pressing the magic carbonator button and tasting our fizzy creation, we immediately went into mad scientist-mode and grabbed as many drinks as possible to try out.
White wine tasted great, so did smooth orange juice (pulp can cause damage) and we loved transforming our rosé into pink fizz.
The reason you can try anything is because there's an amazing valve that lets you release the bubbles slowly to ensure you don't create an explosion. Whenever the foam starts to rise, you close it, then repeat until all the CO2 has been released and your beverage is ready.
In terms of the actual design, we weren't blown away by the appearance as it is quite basic, but as it's lightweight and portable, it would make a great camping companion.
Read our review of the Drinkmate here.
4. Best Soda Stream with glass carafe: Soda Stream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker
- (AD) Soda Stream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker, £129.99 from Amazon – buy here
The Soda Stream Crystal is a stylish design that lifts up, secures the carafe in place and gives you lovely sparkling water at the press of a button in seconds.
Instead of a plastic design, it includes a stylish glass 600ml water bottle, as well as a 60l CO2 cylinder.
Fans love the taste – drinking out of glass is nicer than plastic – as well as their reduction in plastic use since purchasing it.
'Excellent. We were buying sparkling bottled water every week for at about £7 per week, so this product does actually pay for itself! Easy to use and great all round', writes one.
5. Best soda syphon: Wade Logan Desiree Deco Mesh Soda Syphon
- Wade Logan Desiree Deco Mesh Soda Syphon, £76.06 from Wayfair – buy here
A gorgeous addition to any kitchen or wet bar, this glass soda syphon with stainless mesh outer layer is a design piece that will also facilitate brilliant cocktails and drinks.
Fans love the 'stylish yet modern' design and the fact it's 'easy to use'.
Note: the M/C02 Soda Syphon Co2 cartridges are sold separately, but are widely available.
6. Best value Soda Stream: Levivo water carbonator set
- (AD) Levivo water carbonator set, £65 from Amazon – buy here
For a simple, stylish and budget-friendly water carbonator, try German brand Levivo.
This set includes 2 bottles and a CO2 refill, and works with a bayonet which helps to release the bottle (thanks to added pressure, it releases with the push of a button and a simple twist).
Customers like the taste of the water, stylish design and how easy it is to use.
7. Best looking Soda Stream: Aarke Carbonator 3 Gold – AAC3-Gold
- Aarke Carbonator 3 Gold – AAC3-Gold, £218.99 from Lakeland – buy here
An upgrade from the Aarke Carbonator II, the Aarke Carbonator 3 is for our flashy friends who love a bit of gold in the kitchen.
As the third generation design, it's supposedly even more efficient than those before it as the brand's added a rotation damper to the control level which gives you an even more controlled release of pressure in the bottle. In other words, there's less of that weird deflating sound.
We loved the second gen design, so we're pretty sure we'd love this one too.
What is SodaStream?
Where to buy Soda Stream flavours
You can head to the official Soda Stream site to purchase some tasty flavours to add to your fizzy drink, post-carbonation – even if you have an Aarke or Drinkmate carbonator, the syrups simply just work when added to fizzy water.
There are also tons of flavours all over Amazon, Ocado and in Lakeland too.
- Soda Stream Classics Lemon and Lime Drink Mix, £9.99 – buy here
- Soda Stream Classics Cola Syrup, £12.00 (for pack of four) – buy here
- Soda Stream Zeros Sugar Free Orange and Mango Drink mix, £14.02 – buy here
What is Soda Stream gas?
Soda Stream's gas cylinders, which are made of brass and aluminium, contain Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 75% of which is water. Due to the fact that liquid CO2 cannot exist at normal atmospheric pressure, it has to be stored in the canister at high pressure.
Soda Stream claims that it has made more than 70 million of these canisters since it introduced the aluminium version to the market two decades ago, and that not a single one of them has ever failed.
Are Soda Streams bad for the environment?
It depends how you look at it. 60 litres of carbonated water — the amount that a single CO2 canister produces — made with a Soda Stream is far better for the environment than the same amount bought from the supermarket in plastic bottles or cans. However, the environmental costs of the production and travel of CO2 canisters, while not eye-widening, mean that water made using a Soda Stream is worse for the environment than tap water.
Where to exchange Soda Stream gas bottles
When you order a gas cylinder from Soda Stream's website, you pay £22.99. £10 of this is a refundable deposit, which you will receive if you send your empty canisters back to Soda Stream using the packaging and label sent with the order. You can send them from any Collect+ store, and you will receive the £10 refund within 10 days of the empty canister's arrival at the Soda Stream warehouse.
How long does Soda Stream gas last?
Every water carbonator needs a gas cylinder, which lasts you through 60 litres of beverages.
So, if you drink like a fish and can't get enough of fizzy drinks, then it'll probably last you for around two months. However, if you only dig it out on special occasions, then of course, it'll last a lot longer.
We've designed Sun Selects to help you to find the best products that won't break the bank.
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