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The best soda makers carbonate water quickly, easily, and effectively.
One of our top picks, the SodaStream OneTouch, has been discontinued. We will be updating this review with new models within the next few months. Stay tuned!
What You Need To Know
The best soda makers carbonate water quickly, easily, and effectively. They sit stably on the counter, and their water bottles are convenient to drink from and store. We highly recommend four models, each of which is able to create lightly, moderately, and heavily carbonated water. Which one you choose will depend on your needs and preferences. The SodaStream Terra is our all-around top pick. A stylish metal model, the Aarke Carbonator III, was another top performer. If you prefer glass water bottles to plastic, we recommend the SodaStream Aqua Fizz.
What You Need to Know
To turn regular tap water into carbonated water at home, you need to add carbon dioxide (CO2). Some models (often called soda siphons) require tiny single-use CO2 cartridges. We’ve found this style of machine imprecise, and we think it’s a nuisance to buy, store, and dispose of all those tiny cartridges, so we didn’t include any in this review. We prefer machines that use tall, slim CO2 canisters that are big enough to carbonate dozens of bottles of water. Most soda makers—including all the models made by SodaStream, the biggest brand in home soda makers—use this style of CO2 canister. One machine in our lineup is different. It relies on small packets of powdered citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, which, when mixed with water, create CO2.
All the soda makers we tested come with reusable water bottles that are unique to that specific machine. Most of the bottles are plastic, but one comes with dishwasher-safe glass bottles. With every model, you fill its water bottle with cold water and attach it to the machine. Many of the machines we tested are manually operated (you repeatedly press a button or lever until you get the amount of carbonation you prefer), while a few are automatic (you choose from a selection of preprogrammed carbonation settings). The automatic machines are electric and must be plugged into an outlet for you to operate them.
What to Look For
- A Machine That Uses 60-Liter CO2 Canisters: We prefer models that use tall, slim CO2 canisters that contain enough gas to carbonate dozens of bottles of water. They’re generally marketed as 60-liter canisters because manufacturers estimate that each one can carbonate 60 liters of water—though that number depends on how bubbly you like your water.
- Sturdy Construction: With all the models, pressure builds up inside the water bottles as you add carbonation, so you want a machine that feels sturdy and secure. On one model, the bit of plastic that cradled the water bottle was thin and felt flimsy. It wiggled slightly when we attached or removed the water bottle and didn't feel secure.
- Conveniently Sized...
Everything We Tested
Reviews you can trust
Reviews you can trust
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.