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Article updated on February 21, 2024 at 6:35 AM PST

The 4 Best Soda Makers to Buy in 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Save money and make your own fizzy drinks with these excellent at-home carbonators.

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Written by 
David Watsky
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits.
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Our Picks

$100 at Amazon
SodaStream Terra in black
Best overall soda maker for most people
SodaStream Terra
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$150 at Ninja
Ninja Thirsti beverage system
Best for making more than just sparkling water
Ninja Thirsti drink system
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$199 at Amazon
aarke
Most stylish soda water maker
Aarke III Carbonator
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$200 at Amazon
sodastream aqua fizz model
Best soda water maker with glass carafes
SodaStream Aqua Fizz
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SodaStream Terra soda water maker with bottles and water glass
SodaStream

What's the best soda water maker?

Our bodies need a lot of water to stay healthy and hydrated, but sometimes plain water can feel a little boring. One great way to add a little pizzazz to your water is by picking up a soda machine. There are already countless options of sparkling water, bubbly water, soda water, seltzer (or whatever you want to call it) available but if you drink a lot, the habit can become pricey.

Seriously, these fizzy drinks are everywhere and are as popular as ever. But if you're looking to cut your monthly flavored sparkling water expense in half without giving up this addicting elixir, we suggest getting an at-home soda maker. You can create some delightful bubbly drinks on the cheap and keep your budget happy while doing so. After extensive testing (and one persistent case of hiccups), we've marked  SodaStream Terra as the best soda water maker for 2024. 

sodastream terra on kitchen counter

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

SodaStream

To find the best, I took a total of eight sparkling water makers to task, including three SodaStream models, Ninja's fancy new at-home Thirsti machine and Aarke's striking stainless-steel carbonator. 

Here are the four best soda water makers to buy in 2024.

$100 at Amazon

Best overall soda maker for most people

SodaStream Terra

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 is a tad flimsy. That said, the Terra has the lowest price of any model on this list. The basic package is $100 and includes a CO2 cartridge and plastic carafe. A beefed-up bundle features four plastic bottles (two small and two regular size), one CO2 cartridge and a bottle of lime concentrate to flavor your water for $160. Read my full review of the SodaStream Terra.

$150 at Ninja

Best for making more than just sparkling water

Ninja Thirsti drink system

If it's more than just sparkling water you covet, Ninja's souped-up Thirsti beverage system is the right pick. At its base price of $180, it's more expensive than a standard SodaStream, but that's because it does a whole lot more. And right now, it's on sale for $150.

The Thirsti is the only electronic drink maker on this list. It adds CO2 to your water with the best of them, but also has the option to impart flavors, caffeine, vitamins and other enhancements electronically in 6-,12-, 18- or 24-ounce servings. 

Choose from more than 20 water drops to plug into the front of the drink maker -- as many as two at a time -- and the Thirsti will spit out fruity beverages, lemonade and flavored sparkling water in about 3 seconds. The beverages are all zero-calorie and some are sweetened with sucralose. If you don't like the taste of that sugar substitute, you'll want to stick to the "Splash" pods, which contain only essence. 

The basic Thirsti package comes with the machine, a CO2 canister and eight water drops to add some panache to your hydration routine. Read our Ninja Thirsti review.

$199 at Amazon

Most stylish soda water maker

Aarke III Carbonator

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 it releases CO2 a bit less consistently than a SodaStream.

This is also the most expensive soda maker on our list at $200 and that price doesn't include a CO2 canister. The good news is you can use SodaStream and Soda Sensei canisters with the Aarke and take advantage of their robust canister exchange programs. Read my full review of the Aarke here.

$200 at Amazon

Best soda water maker with glass carafes

SodaStream Aqua Fizz

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 carafe that accompanies the $160 starter package is 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 test soda water makers

In testing to find the best soda water makers, 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 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 with a $200 tag, which keeps it from being the best model for most people.

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Other soda water makers I tried

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

SodaStream Fizzi One Touch: This is SodaStream's electronic sparkling water maker and lists for $130. It works 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 model looks nice, but it struggled a bit more than the SodaStream Terra to make consistently bubbly water.

Sparkel: This unique carbonation system uses powder packets instead of CO2 canisters to add fizz to water. It works well but the machine base is bulkier than most and isn't quite worth the $150 price.

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How much cheaper is it to make seltzer at home?

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. The more carbonated water you drink and the longer you use your SodaStream, the more you'll save versus paying for the canned stuff. 

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Are soda water makers better for the environment?

Definitely. 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. 

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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.