On this page, we compare a lot of SodaStream models. Those models include Fountain Jet, Splash, Play, Source, Crystal, Fizzi, Power, and Genesis. None of the units we came across are bad, per se. Rrather they have a unique feature or set of features, price or even availability that could make one more attractive to you than another.
There are a lot of different sparkling water makers out there, so you are probably here because you want a SodaStream soda maker. But, that doesn’t make your job any easier. There are a lot of SodaStream models out there to choose from. But, don’t worry, we will help you narrow down your decision by giving you all the information and resources that you need to make a choice.
More Information about SodaStream Carbonated Water Makers…
Why Choose a SodaStream?
If you are looking at this page and wondering why one might be interested in this product, then continue reading. You might find that you want one of these machines. Most people that choose a SodaStream are soda lovers. Beverages like lemonade and juice are nice but then there’s something about the effervescence in soda pop. A sparkling water maker and more specifically a SodaStream allows you to enjoy the bubbly, fizzing effects of soda/pop but without the high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame and excess calories.
You also don’t have to worry about hauling a bunch of bottles around with you. This is very attractive to folks who live in places like Manhattan or on the 15th floor of an apartment high-rise building. Some people like the SodaStream because it saves on space. Instead of keeping twelve 2-liter bottles of soda in the cabinet, you just keep your co2 canister in the machine or easily store the small canisters in your cabinet. The bottles of flavor are really small and easily stored.
Some people, for cultural reasons, drink seltzer water very regularly.
Others like that they are able to control their level of carbonation.
According to SodaStream, their flavors are also better for you because they are naturally flavored. You can also add carbonated water to other drinks such as fruit juices and even cocktail beverages. Now, you could purchase carbonated or sparkling water from your local grocery store. But, some customers love these machines because they are convenient and they are also better for the environment. Lots of customers even find that they save money when switching to a sparkling water maker.
How SodaStream Machines Work?
These machines are very easy to operate and although they all work in the same basic way, there are some small differences (which are explained in more detail on the comparison charts and individual reviews). Some people are surprised to learn that, with the exception of the “Power” and “Revolution” units, you don’t need any batteries to operate SodaStream machines.
Operation is very simple, you just fill your bottle with water (to the marked fill line), then connect the bottle to the Soda machine and fill. Once you finish carbonating your water you can then choose to add a flavor. Some people use the carbonated water for mixed alcoholic beverages, lemonade, etc. You can fill a 1-liter bottle in just 30 seconds or less.
You will need to use the bottles that accompany the machine or a compatible bottle. These bottles range in size and not all models are compatible to all bottle sizes and types. For sanitation reasons, it is important that you carbonate water only.
How long will carbonated water stay carbonated?
Based on customer responses, it seems as though a 1-liter bottle of carbonated water will remain carbonated for about 2 to 3 days. To maximize this length of time, it is best that you tighten the cap very tightly.
For all SodaStream models there are 60 flavors available. These flavors are free of high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame. Many people like these flavors, especially flavors like green apple cucumber and apple blossom. Other flavors like “cranberry raspberry” and “pink grapefruit” aren’t the most popular. SodaStream isn’t your only option for flavors. You can also use other water enhancement flavors from brands like Mio or H2Wow. Even Dasani makes water enhancers.
There is no limit to the type or kind of water enhancer or flavor syrup that you can use because you are simply carbonating water. You don’t add any flavor until after you carbonate the water.
How many liters can you really make per CO2 canister?
The canisters will give you an estimate of how many liters of carbonated water you can make. However, after doing more research we found that some customers had different experiences. Some have stated that they end up filling far fewer bottles than the packaging indicated.
Admittedly, these customers like to add a lot of carbonation to their water. Ultimately, these estimates made by the company are arbitrary. It all boils down to how much carbonation you put into each bottle. I would think that a safe estimate would be between 70 to 80% of what SodaStream states (based on customer reports I came across).
Where to buy refills…
I would buy refill cartridges from wherever they were being offered at the cheapest price. There is no reason to pay more for one than need be. In fact, your best bet would probably be to return the used canisters to Bed Bath and Beyond (you may even be able to use that ubiquitous 20% off coupon), Target, Staples, Wal-Mart or another retailer with a co2 exchange policy. I’ve read that when you opt to use the exchange policy you will you will get the refill at a discounted rate.
About the Bottles: Bottle Compatibility, Capacity, and Expiration
You must use SodaStream bottles with your SodaStream sparkling water maker. The bottles are made out of a hard plastic unlike the very pliable plastic soda bottles. Not all bottles will work with all SodaStream machines. There are several different types of bottles: ½ liter, 1-liter, 1-liter glass carafe, and PEN plastic dishwasher safe bottles.
All SodaStream bottles have the “stay-fizzi” hermetic (airtight) cap which is claimed to keep the fizz longer than store bought soda. These bottles are available in a number of colors including a stainless steel version. From what I’ve seen, you can save some money by purchasing a two pack. Eventually, you will need to replace these bottles again as they have an expiration date. The expiration date should be around two-years from the time you purchase it. So you will still realize the savings even though you need to replace the bottles. The exception is the glass carafe bottle but it is only compatible with “Crystal” and “Penguin” soda makers.
Another great thing about the SodaStream is that users are participating in a “green”, better for the environment, activity. According to SodaStream, its users save about 550 bottles per year.
Tips to get the most out of your SodaStream investment…
- Carbonate cold water as cold water holds carbonation better than room temp or warm water
- Only fill to the indicated fill line
- Only carbonate water. Beverages like juice, kool-aid and the like may make a sticky mess. Add flavor after you carbonate the water.
- Do not use a tool to connect the bottles or co2 canisters to the machine
- SodaStream “hacks” – modifying your SodaStream so that it can connect to a larger 3rd party CO2 source – may void your warranty.
Summary and Recommendation
There is a lot of information on this page about SodaStream sparkling water makers. In the end it mostly boils down to personal choice. I think that most shoppers want a convenient, good quality machine that won’t break the bank. If that is you, I recommend that you go with the SodaStream Source. It kind of hits that Goldilocks zone, not too expensive, has convenient features like snap in bottle and you don’t have to hold down a button to carbonate.
If you don’t need the extras that the Source offers then I think the Fountain Jet is a pretty good choice as well.
And if you want to add a little more sauce go with the Power which is automatic.