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Best Soda Water Maker for 2022

Churn out bottles of cheap seltzer at home with one of these simple and cost-effective sparkling water makers.

Sparkling water, soda water, seltzer, club soda. Whatever you call it, one thing is certain: Carbonated water has never been more popular. The global soda water market size was an estimated $30 billion in 2020, and it's expected to grow by another 12% come 2028, according to Grand View Research. If you're seeking out the best soda water maker to cut your carbon footprint and your monthly seltzer spend, I've been pumpin' and sippin' to see which beverage carbonators will give you the most bubbly bang for your buck.

SodaStream is the most well-known brand within the category, but there are several other sparkling water makers to choose from. To find the best soda water maker for 2022, I hauled in a few popular models, including three of SodaStream's key offerings. While most are fairly simple machines that pump carbon dioxide into water, there are some distinctions between various models that might make one better for you than another.

sodastream terra on kitchen counter

While there are more elegant options, the $100 SodaStream Terra is probably the best soda water maker for most people. 

SodaStream

Despite its many competitors, SodaStream's $100 Terra is still the best overall soda water maker for most people. But there are others worthy of consideration including a sparkling beverage system that makes extremely precise and consistent bubbles without a CO2 canister. Another model I like, the fancied-up Aarke III Carbonator, is big on design but will cost you a pretty penny.

Here are the four best soda water makers in 2022.

SodaStream

The Terra is SodaStream's entry-level model, but it works well and lands at the top of our list as the best soda water maker for most people. The Terra made consistently fizzy water with simple manual pumps. It's very easy to operate and doesn't take up much space on the counter.

The Terra model has one recent improvement over SodaStream's previous models in that you can click the CO2 canister into the back rather than having to load it from the bottom. This saves a step each time you change the canister. Speaking of canisters, SodaStream has an easy exchange program where you can drop off empty cartridges in exchange for full ones at half price ($15).

If I had one complaint about this and some other SodaStreams, it's that the plastic build feels a little cheap and flimsy. That said, they always deliver on the most important task of carbonating water. The Terra clocks in at a reasonable price, too. The basic package can be had for $100 and includes a CO2 cartridge and one plastic carafe. A beefed-up bundle with four plastic bottles -- two large and two small -- and a bottle of lemon concentrate to flavor your bubbly water can be had for $130, or cheaper if you find it on sale.

Read my full review of the SodaStream Terra here.

Spärkel

Spärkel is a lesser-known sparkling water system that bypasses the CO2 canisters and uses granulated sodium bicarbonate and citric acid instead. The process of making a single bottle of soda water is slightly more involved and takes about three minutes, but this machine is also more precise than any other I've tried. 

Once you've filled the back reservoir with water and dropped the powders into the top slot, you clamp down on a full bottle of flat water and hit one of five buttons to determine the carbonation level. I found this pricier device worked well and delivered on the promised settings. (With manual carbonators like the Terra, it can be trickier to get exact levels of carbonation since the hand pumps don't always extract the same amount of gas from the canister.)

A few drawbacks are that the Spärkel is a bit bulkier than the SodaStream Terra or Aarke III. It also won't use a CO2 canister so you'll have to buy refills of the powders from Spärkel through its website, Amazon or another retailer. The powders do create a bit more plastic waste, but still significantly less than buying cans or bottles of seltzer regularly. 

The machine itself is $130 and includes enough powder to make 10 25-ounce bottles of seltzer. A 90-pack of carbonator packs costs $40 and will make about 67 liters of sparkling water. By comparison, SodaStream CO2 canisters can make up to 60 liters of sparkling water (varies depending on how much you pump into each bottle) but cost only $30, or $15 if you use the canister exchange program.

Aarke

If design and aesthetics are important to you, the Aarke is pretty clearly the best-looking soda water maker on the market. It's built from metal, while most others are constructed from cheaper plastics. It also has something of a vintage malt shop appeal, and it's slim, so you can slide it onto the counter without forfeiting much real estate. 

The Aarke III works well, although in my testing, it was a bit less consistent than the SodaStreams in releasing CO2. At times, I found I'd have to pump the lever a few more times to get the same level of carbonation as the time before. It's a minor annoyance, and if you're picky about your kitchen's look, it's probably one you can live with.

The elegant Aarke carbonator will set you back quite a few more coins than any of the others on this list. The machine alone costs around $230 and does not include a CO2 canister. The good news is you can use SodaStream and Soda Sensei canisters with the Aarke, and thus enjoy the benefits of the many sales locations and exchange program to get half-priced refills. 

Read my full review of the Aarke here.

SodaStream

If you're looking to transport yourself to an Italian piazza, a bottle of sparkling water poured from a shapely glass bottle could help. SodaStream's Aqua Fizz has all the functions of the other models but an elevated design. The two carafes that accompany the $160 starter package are glass, and the base that holds them while in use is metal. It's also quieter than other models since the bottles are encased completely while they're being pumped with gas. 

I don't like the look of this model quite as much as the Aarke, but it's a more affordable premium model and the glass carafes, although smaller than the plastic versions, are nice to set on the table for dinner parties.

How I tested soda water makers

In testing to find the best soda water makers for 2022, it mostly came down to general performance, ease of use and overall value. I made at least 10 full bottles of sparkling water using each, noting how proficiently and consistently a machine executed its most vital duty of imparting CO2 into water. I also carbonated other liquids including fruit juice and wine, but found that there was really no difference in performance based on the type of liquid being carbonated. If a machine carbonated water well, it did so across all liquids.

Some of the machines took more muscling and pumps of the lever to get CO2 emitted into the bottles. Of the manual machines, the SodaStream models were the most consistent. But with five unique settings, the Spärkel electric seltzer maker made the most precise soda water.

Aarke water carbonation machines

The stylish $230 Aarke III carbonator comes in five finishes and has a vintage malt shop look.

Aarke

I also took note of the sturdiness and build of each soda water maker. The Aarke III is by far the most stylish soda water maker and is built solidly out of stainless steel with five finishes to choose from. While aesthetics are nice, it's also by far the priciest model at $219, which keeps it from being the best model for most people.

Other soda water makers to consider

DrinkMate OmniFizz: This $120 sparkling water maker did a fine job carbonating water, wine and juice. I don't have much bad to say about the machine other than that the hinge at the top that connects the bottle connects to the machine seems like it could loosen or break over time.

SodaStream Fizzi One Touch: This is SodsStream's electronic sparkling water maker and retails for $130 or so. It also performed well and has three presets to get whatever level of carbonation you seek. This is another model I don't have any major issues with, but I just don't think it's worth the extra $30 over its manual counterpart, the Terra. 

Soda Sensei: This $100 model looks nice, but it struggled a bit more than the SodaStream Terra to make consistently bubbly water.

How much will a SodaStream soda water maker save you?

Let's use the rough estimate SodaStream gives of getting 60 liters out of each $15 cartridge if you use the exchange program. That breaks down to about 25 cents per liter. By comparison, the average cost for a 1-liter bottle of soda water is about 80 cents in a store. 

If you were to go through six cartridges over the course of a year ($90), plus the cost of the SodaStream Terra ($100) that would be $190 total and about 52 cents per liter and significant savings over store-bought seltzer. 

These calculations are based on drinking 360 liters per year which is about 33 ounces of soda water per day, or a little less than three cans. Of course, the more carbonated water you drink and the longer you use your SodaStream, the more you'll save versus paying for the canned stuff. 

Are SodaStreams and soda water makers better for the environment?

Yes. A soda water maker such as SodaStream or the Aarke Carbonator has almost no negative environmental impact. If used instead of store-bought seltzer, these machines will take hundreds of cans and plastic bottles out of the waste management and recycling system every year. Standard CO2 canisters are reusable, too, which is why SodaStream will sell you a refill for half price if you return the empty canister. 

Can you carbonate other beverages with a soda water maker?

Beyond making bubbly water, you can add fizz to just about any liquid with a soda water maker. Fruit juices, sparkling wine and beer that have gone flat are just a few popular beverages to consider other than water. But, heck, if you want fizzy milk, you can make that, too. 

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