Our Top Pick for 2018: KitchenAid KSS3121ER Sparkling Beverage Maker
Read our full review.
Having a soda maker is a cool way to create a carbonated beverage at home. You can use a mix to create a soda that already exists or simply add carbonation to your apple or grape juice to create a fizzy experience. If you like infused water, it is quick and easy to add fruit to your water and then add a bit of carbonation to create a unique drink of your own. Since soda makers are not a popular appliance in all homes, it may be an appliance that you do not know much about. We have taken the time to develop a list of features that you may wish to have in a soda maker as well as a few examples for you to consider.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker, Black and Silver||396 Reviews||from $139.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker with 3 oz Test Cylinder, Matte Black||229 Reviews||$98.35||Buy on Amazon|
|SodaPlus SP76327 Soda Carbonating Starter Kit||91 Reviews||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
#1. KitchenAid KSS3121ER Sparkling Beverage Maker
Our first pick when it comes to soda makers is created by one of the leading brands in kitchen appliances seen today. They have been creating quality kitchen appliances since they created their first mixer in 1919, and almost 100 years later their durability is still proven to last. This KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage maker is one such appliance that you can be sure lives up to the high standards set forth almost a century ago.
This device is styled with a 1950s feel, which is much different than many of the models available today. It starts with the die cast metal body that is the main frame and the backbone of the unit. The front is available is eight different color options that are designed to match your décor and give some personality to your kitchen, but you can still see the metal frame at the heart of the soda maker. It can be purchased in colors such as onyx black, contour silver, white, cobalt blue, and empire red, but if you desire a little color in your life, then you can also choose from tangerine, aqua sky, and green apple.
Since the unit is designed from die cast metal, you can expect it to be a durable appliance that will last you for years. The unit itself is a compact appliance that is designed to perfectly fit on any counter space, so it has dimensions that are 11 inches long, eight inches wide, and about 18 inches tall. In addition, this soda maker only weights 17 pounds, so it is an appliance that can easily be taken with you when you travel for a business trip that requires you to stay at a hotel for a few days.
The front of the unit sports a gauge where you can determine the exact amount of CO2 that you want in your drink, and if it is not at your preferred level, then simply use the carbon dioxide lever to adjust it. This level is designed to be comfortable and easy to use, so it is fitted with a soft grip handle. The CO2 canister is designed to slip into the back of the unit where it will be out of sight.
This soda mixer accommodates one liter bottles as well as a carbon dioxide tank that is as large as 60 liters. Since this unit is compatible with SodaStream products, you will have access to over 60 different flavor options, and three are included in the packaging for you to try. A three ounce CO2 bottle and a one liter BPA-free bottle are also included for your convenience. This KitchenAid sparkling beverage maker also includes a one year warranty from the manufacturer.
Insofar as reviews, 87 percent of all of the testimonials that have been posted on Amazon have received a positive four or five star rating. Here is an example of one such review: “Got for my husband for Christmas because he loves the S. Pellegrino water. Now not only does HE love this thing, but so do I, and most of our visitors. Makes water so much more special and enjoyable! Yes, it’s expensive, but it really is amazing quality, very sturdy, and cool-looking on your countertop.”
#2. SodaStream Genesis Home Soda Maker
Our silver pick comes from SodaStream, the originator of the home carbonation appliance. They have been creating durable and innovative soda technology for decades, and the SodaStream Genesis is a great example of the quality that you can expect from them. This unit is slightly smaller than our gold pick, so it is sure to fit under any cabinet, with dimensions of 9.2 inches in length, 5.3 inches in width, and 16.4 inches in height. In addition, it is also about ten pounds lighter than our first pick, weighing in at seven pounds, which makes this even easier to take with you on your travels. In fact, this unit is the perfect size to take camping, as you will hardly notice the extra weight.
The Genesis is designed to add a sleek look to your kitchen countertop, so it is available in two earth tone color combinations, which are black and silver or green and grey. The unit has a metal body that is designed to be durable and last you and your family for years. The body of the machine is designed to hide the carbon dioxide bottle in the center of it, which means that it will not be seen by your guests. There is a button on the top of the device that is used to add the CO2 to your drink, which makes it easy to select the amount of CO2 that you want your drink to have. This whole process of carbonating your beverage can be completed in less than 30 seconds. The best part is that this soda maker does not use electricity, so it reduces your carbon footprint by decreasing your use of plastic bottles and electricity.
When you purchase this soda maker, you will receive a one liter BPA-free reusable bottle to use in the machine. You will also receive a four ounce CO2 canister to get you started, which can be exchanged for a full sized bottle, as long as you have your mail-in rebate. A sample pack of flavors is included for you to try, but you will be able to select from over 60 flavor varieties when you need additional flavors. You will also receive a limited lifetime warranty to back the quality of this appliance.
When it comes to reviews, there are 240 on Amazon that are available to read, and 75 percent of them have been rated with four or five stars. Here is one such five star testimonial: “It takes only seconds to carbonate a bottle of water and it is so refreshing. I sometimes add fresh lemon or lime or even grated ginger, but most of the time I just drink the carbonated water plain. I have not bought any cans or bottles of any soft drinks for two years now. I’m so glad to know that I am doing my part to reduce my use of plastic (I also don’t buy bottled water – we have a water filter at home and I bring my own water to work).”
#3. DrinkMate Carbonated Soda Maker
Our bronze pick is the DrinkMate soda maker, which is a compact device that is designed to be the perfect size for a smaller kitchen or counter space. It features a vertical design that is about five inches long, 11 inches wide, and 17 inches high. It is also the lightest unit on our list, weighing in at just over four pounds, so it is easy to move the appliance any time you need. With such a small footprint, it will be easy to find a home for it in any kitchen. The unit is also aesthetically pleasing. It is designed as a solid color, black, white, or red, that will go with most other kitchen appliances.
This is one of the only soda makers that encourages you to carbonate any beverage that you have in your refrigerator. This includes anything from juices and teas to more adult beverages like wine and cocktails. In fact, if your soda or beer has lost its carbonation, then you can use this device to replenish it and revitalize your beverage. This small appliance uses the carbon dioxide cartridges from SodaStream. One cartridge can carbonate ten to 15 liters, and the beverage will stay carbonated for up to four days.
This unit has a detachable fizz infuser that works great as well as two separate release buttons that allow you to have control over the amount of CO2 that is released into the beverage. In addition, there are no batteries or electricity required to run the device, the soda maker is designed to manually inject CO2 into your drink. This unit comes with a three ounce carbon dioxide cylinder and a one liter BPA-free bottle that you can reuse. Using the same soda bottle is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
When it comes to reviews, there are only 14 on Amazon at the time of this writing, but none of them are negative; in fact, 93 percent of them were given a five star rating. That means that 13 out of the 14 total reviews were given amazing reviews. Here is one such testimonial that shares this users experience using this DrinkMate soda maker: “I had some day old Mountain Dew that sat on the countertop and when it was refreshed with this product, it was bubblier than it came from Pepsi. The ability to add ingredients before the carbonation stage makes this excel compared to Sodastream. The dual stage release really does eliminate foam/head and makes it fun to use. You see a simple grapefruit cocktail on a lot of videos but I made margaritas, blended (not on the rocks), and then added carbonation; they were a hit! No way to do that with a Sodastream.”
#4. SodaPlus Soda Carbonating Starter Kit
Making your own carbonated beverages at home is a great way to reduce your soda intake. You can carbonate almost any beverage, and if you are really feeling bubbly, you can make yourself some sparkling wine. Most of these units cost a little bit of money to purchase, but in the long run you will save money when you compare the cost to buying two liters of soda on a daily basis. If you need a budget friendly option to get started, the SodaPlus starter kit is the perfect solution for you.
The unit is just a simple canister that looks like a heavy duty water bottle. It is only 6.5 inches long, four inches wide, and 13 inches high; in addition, it only weighs about three pounds. This compact, lightweight design means that you can carry this bottle in your backpack without even noticing that it is there. In fact, it is even light enough to carry in your hand while you are hiking through the woods.
To add a bit of carbonation to your beverage, simply press the button that is located on the top to release some CO2 into the canister. Once you add enough into the bottle, then you need to shake the container to infuse the bubbles into the liquid. The canister is made from a durable stainless steel material that will last for years, even with daily use and abuse. There is a pressure release button that should be pressed before opening the drink once the carbonation process has completed. This will help prevent the beverage from spraying as it is opened.
The SodaPlus starter kit utilizes CO2 chargers that are eight grams in size. When you purchase this unit, you will receive ten chargers to get you started, but you will obviously need to purchase more as needed. It also comes with an extra storage cap that allows you to lay the canister on its side while in the refrigerator, which means that you don’t have to worry about spills if the canister does not remain right side up inside of your backpack as well. The canister is a 1.2 liter container, so if you want to make enough sparkling wine for your friends, you have the ability to do so.
When it comes to reviews, 79 percent of the 82 reviews posted on Amazon were given a positive rating of at least a four o five star quality. Many of the consumers love how portable this soda maker is and how convenient it is to use on the go. Here is an example of one five star testimonial: “I’m so glad I bought this instead of the Soda Stream. This takes up no counter space, uses any chargers, is stainless steel instead of plastic, will do juices, wine, recharge sodas, etc., instead of only carbonating water to add to flavors afterwards… in every way this is a superior product. My first try worked perfectly, carbonating some pomegranate lime juice from Trader Joes into a great fizzy sweet/sour soda! I LOVE how cold the stainless steel gets in the fridge – the drinks are icy and delicious!”
Soda Maker or Soda Siphon
If you have never owned a soda maker before, you may not know the difference between a soda maker and a soda siphon. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to you to decide which you prefer. Here is a breakdown of each:
• Soda Maker – These are actual kitchen appliances that make soda for you to drink. A carbonator filled with carbon dioxide adds fizz to a beverage. The machines typically cost a bit more that a soda siphon, but the price per liter is amazingly low. This option is the one you will most likely see in most homes that have a soda maker.
• Soda Siphon – Siphons are small devices that attach to a bottle to add carbonation to the beverage inside. The units cost less than a soda maker, but the price per litter will be more. This is a great option for someone who occasionally drinks sparkling water, rather than someone who only drinks carbonated beverages.
With any soda maker that you purchase, you will need to refill the carbon dioxide that creates the bubbles. There are a few ways that this task can be accomplished, but the simplest way is to own a soda maker that utilizes SodaStream’s refill system. The exchange program is simple to use for anyone with a SodaStream soda maker or a KitchenAid sparkling beverage maker. Some soda makers use CO2 cartridges instead. If you purchase these cartridges in bulk, they can be purchased for less than 30 cents a liter. There is also a new method of adding carbonation to your beverages that utilizes carbonator tablets from Bonne O. These tablets can cost up to 50 cents each, but they leave no waste, which will decrease your carbon footprint.
Durability and Construction
Soda makers can be constructed from stainless steel, aluminum, wood, or plastic, so you will be able to find a durable option that matches your kitchen décor perfectly. Decide whether you want a sleek looking jet black model that is made from stainless steel that will last for years, or you prefer a wooden variation that will look better with your cabinets. Aluminum options are less expensive, but they may not last as long as more durable constructions.
Typically, there are two ways that a soda bottle can connect to the appliance. One attachment simply allows you to twist the bottle onto the mechanism, which is effective, but it is a less efficient method to use. That being said, the twist on method is also the more common method of securing the bottle. The other option is a snap on method. It is simple to use, as all you do is put the bottle in place and snap the locking mechanism on. If you tend to consume a lot of soda in a week, then you may want the snap on mechanism for simplicity.
Ability to Control Carbonation Levels
Some machines allow you to choose the amount of fizz that you put in your beverage. This is not required for some, but if you like lightly carbonated fruit water or a slight fizz to your grape juice; you may want to have this type of control over the amount of carbonation that you allow into your drink. Some machines even have an LED indicator to let you know the carbonation level of your drink.
Price and Warranty
Soda makers can range in price from $50 to around$250, so make sure that you consider your budget before deciding on a soda maker to purchase. In addition, remember that stainless steel options, which tend to be more durable, also tend to cost a bit more than aluminum models. If you want a durable appliance that will last you for years, you may want to consider all models in your budget before ruling any one soda maker out. Also, make sure that any soda maker that you purchase comes with a warranty from the manufacturer to back the quality of the product.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Buying carbonated beverages is a thing of the past. No more wasting money on bottle deposits or damaging the environment from using so many plastic bottles. Take a look at our top picks and decide if any of these soda makers fit your needs. If they don’t, then it’s time to refocus on our pre-purchase considerations to help you find a soda maker that can infuse your drink and add a fizzy smile to your face. Carbonated beverages are not the best drink for your health, but at least if you make them yourself, you can add nutrients from fruit and keep the additives in your beverages to a minimum.