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Is a SodaStream worth it?

Thinking of investing in your own soda maker? We break down the pros and cons.

soda makers three models
Last updated: 17 July 2024


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Need to know

  • SodaStream is the best known brand of soda makers, but we also tested 12 models from brands including Aarke, Breville and Philips
  • It's mostly cheaper to make your own sparkling water with a soda maker than to buy bottled water
  • Convenience, health and the environment are other factors to consider

They're pretty popular nowadays, but are soda makers like the SodaStream just a fad, or a worthwhile investment?

We do the maths and weight up all the pros and cons to help you decide if buying one is the right choice for you. 

Pro: A soda maker could save you money

We did the maths and found that even if you use high levels of carbonation, a SodaStream or another brand of soda maker is usually cheaper than buying bottled sparkling water (especially if you have a penchant for the pricey imported stuff). 

Based on a cylinder refill price of $19, we calculated the price per litre of sparkling water made with maximum carbonation for each of the 12 models we tested. 

Our results showed the price per litre at this carbonation setting ranged from 38c per litre to 72c per litre, but it would be cheaper still if you used a lower carbonation setting. 

When you compare that to the price of the cheapest sparkling water you can buy in major Australian supermarkets, which is their own-label brand at around 96c per litre*, it looks pretty appealing.

*Price at time of writing.

This means if your household drinks roughly 2L of sparkling water per day, you could save anywhere from $175 to $420 per year with a soda maker versus buying own-label supermarket sparkling water. 

Your savings increase substantially if you use a lower carbonation setting or if you're switching from a more expensive branded sparkling water (which can cost $3 to $4 per litre or even more). 

You can also get more bubbles by using chilled water when carbonating, as opposed to water straight from the tap, although this does use more gas.

Pro: They're easy to use

Soda makers are essentially dispensers that include a carbon dioxide cylinder and one or two reusable water bottles. 

You fill the supplied bottle with water, insert into the machine, push a button, and compressed carbon dioxide from the cylinder is injected to create bubbly water.

Sounds very simple, and it is, but CHOICE test expert Adrian Lini says that some models are definitely easier to use than others.

"When you're considering how easy they are to use, one of the main things to look at is how you insert the reusable water bottle," says Adrian.

Some models require you to insert the bottle in the base or screw it in, which can be awkward

CHOICE tester Adrian Lini

"With some machines, you just pop it in the front, but others require you to insert it in the base or screw it in, which can be awkward and may be difficult for some."

Some models we tested also caused more spillage than others. 

In our soda maker reviews, we've given each model an ease of use score to help you decide which one is right for you. 

Pro: No more single-use plastic

Making your own sparkling water with a soda maker not only means you no longer have to carry heavy plastic bottles home from the supermarket (and find somewhere to store them), but it also eliminates single-use plastic from soda bottles.

Making your own sparkling water with a soda maker eliminates single-use plastic from soda bottles

On average, Australians use more than 140kg of plastic per person each year and only around 14% of that is recycled. 

And even if you do recycle your plastic bottles, there's still the carbon footprint associated with the manufacturing, transport, logistics and processing of the bottles to consider. 

Anything that stops more plastic being sent to landfill, where it can take thousands of years to break down, is a good thing. So as you sit back and enjoy your homemade bubbles, you can revel in the joy of cutting out all that waste, too.

homemade soda water in glass

A manual machine will put you in complete control of how much you carbonate; an automatic machine will give you preset options for convenience.

Pro: You can tailor the amount of 'sparkle' you want

Take note if you're specific about how much 'zhoosh' you like in your H20. 

When selecting a soda maker, you can choose between an automatic or manual machine – each giving you different ways to achieve varying levels of carbonation.

"An automatic machine gives you three settings to choose from that determine how much carbonation you're injecting into your water," Adrian says.

"If you'd rather be able to carbonate at different levels according to your preference, you should opt for a manual machine where you can hold the button down and release carbonation into the water for as little or as long as you like." 

Pro: It can help you drink more water

Are you getting enough water? 

The Australian recommended daily intake for fluids is 2L for women and about 2.6L for men. (The recommended amount may vary depending on factors such as your activity level or other health issues). 

If you don't like boring old tap water, a soda maker could be a great way to encourage you to drink more water and less of other beverages that are high in sugar such as juice or soft drink.

A soda maker could encourage you to drink more water and less of other beverages that are high in sugar

CHOICE appliance expert Chris Barnes says: "I generally much prefer sparkling water to still, so I've found that my manual SodaStream helps me drink more water each day. I usually have it plain, maybe with a squeeze of lemon, but a splash of good cordial goes well, too."

Another CHOICE staff member agrees: "We like to add a twist of lemon, lime or fresh orange to our carbonated water. It's been a great way for the family to drink more water and reduce sugar from other beverages like soft drinks." 

soda maker syrups

You can buy various brands of syrup to flavour your soda maker water, but drinking plain water is certainly the healthiest option.

Pro: There are soda makers for all budgets

When calculating the relative cost of buying bottled water versus making your own, you also need to take into account the purchase price of your soda maker and the lifetime of the appliance. 

The models we tested range from $49 for the MySoda Woody up to $499 for the Aarke Carbonator Pro. 

SodaStream is the best known soda maker brand and has various models available, ranging in price from $89 for the SodaStream Gaia to $119 for the SodaStream Terra and $160 for the SodaStream E-Terra.

CHOICE staff all say their soda makers have lasted much longer than the two-year warranty period

The soda makers we tested from SodaStream, Breville, MySoda, DrinkMate, Philips and Aarke come with a warranty of two years, while the Monten and Twenty39 soda makers have a one-year warranty.

However, the life of your machine will depend on various factors, such as how often you use it.

There are many SodaStream and soda maker fans in the CHOICE office, and all of them say their soda makers have lasted much longer than the two-year warranty period.

Pro: There's a style of soda maker to suit you

We tested a range of soda makers that are currently available in Australia from SodaStream, Philips, Breville, DrinkMate, Monten, MySoda, Twenty39 and Aarke.

CHOICE tester Adrian says the main differences between the performance of the models are:

  1. how easy they are to use 
  2. how easily you can tailor the level of carbonation to suit your preferences. 

Otherwise, your preference might come down to simply how the model looks, whether you can buy glass or other bottles, or how it carbonates. 

For example, the Aarke Carbonator Pro has a vintage-style metal lever you pull for carbonation (rather than pressing a button) which may appeal to you aesthetically. It has a hefty price tag though at $499. 

Whichever aspects are important to you, check our expert soda maker reviews before you buy to ensure you get the best value for money. 

Con: You need to remember to replace your gas cylinders

When your gas cylinder is empty, you need to swap the empty cylinder for a full one at participating retailers that include supermarkets, some petrol stations, Officeworks and homeware stores such as Target, Kmart and Big W. 

A new SodaStream cylinder will cost you around $36, but the price to swap an empty cylinder for a full one is around $19. 

The SodaStream cylinders are the most widely available and are compatible with most soda makers from competing brands.

How long each cylinder will last depends on how much carbonation you use

A few brands manufacture and sell their own gas cylinders, but they often use the same screw mounts as SodaStream.

How long each carbon dioxide cylinder will last depends on how much carbonation you use each time you press the button. If you're light on the bubbles, your cylinder will last longer. 

How much sparkling water will I get from one canister?

SodaStream says that each of their cylinders makes up to 60L of sparkling water, depending on the level of carbonation and how often you use the machine. 

So, if you're drinking approximately a litre of sparkling water a day, one cylinder could last you up to 8 to 9 weeks. 

But our tester Adrian found his canister lasted 3 to 5 weeks drinking one litre a day, which goes to show that the level of carbonation you're using makes a huge difference to how often you'll need to replace it.

(Adrian tested how many litres of carbonated water he could make from one cylinder using a high carbonation setting. The resulting yield from the 10 models tested ranged from 37 to 52.5 litres from one cylinder.) 

Con: You'll want extra bottles 'ready to go'

Many soda maker fans we spoke to advise having at least two bottles so you can keep them chilled in the fridge ready for carbonation. (Some experts say chilled water holds carbonation better, and SodaStream also advises using cold water.)

This means that if you only have one bottle of chilled water ready to go, once you've zhooshed and drunk that carbonated water, you have to refill and wait for that bottle to chill (unless of course you keep chilled water in the fridge in another type of bottle and transfer it to your soda maker bottle). 

Some experts say chilled water holds carbonation better, and SodaStream also advises using cold water

CHOICE staff member Rachel says: "There are no words for how much I love my SodaStream. We have four bottles and three cylinders. My local servo now swaps the cylinders which is more convenient for me than taking them to the supermarkets."

But even though cold water holds carbonation better, Rachel uses tap water.

"A big point of contention in my extended family is whether you zhoosh before you put in the fridge, or after – some put un-gassed bottles in the fridge and only gas them when they're ready to drink it. Ours are always bubbly and ready to go."

sodastream drinkmate breville infizz fusion soda makers

Some soda makers have similar footprints but look smaller on the bench due to their slimline design.

Con: It takes up bench space

Do you have space for yet another kitchen appliance? 

To ensure you get the most use out of it, your soda maker needs to be out on your bench where you can easily access it every day. And some models are larger than others.

"Soda makers are generally quite slim with a small footprint," says Adrian. 

"Both the Breville InFizz Fusion and the DrinkMate OmniFizz have slimline designs. Although they have a footprint that's a similar size to the SodaStream, the body of these units are thinner, so they look smaller on the bench. 

"The Aarke, Monten and Twenty39 models are slimline as well.

"Most soda makers have to be a similar size though to hold the bottle and the gas cylinder."

Con: Carbonation increases the acidity of water

Is it just as healthy to drink sparkling water as standard H20? 

In terms of hydration, experts say they're created equal, but sparkling water contains carbon dioxide which is more acidic, and acidic drinks can be corrosive to your teeth enamel. 

Sparkling water contains carbon dioxide which is more acidic thank plain water

While plain (or 'normal') water with no added flavour or bubbles is overall the best drink option for your body and your teeth, carbonated water is still a better option than fruit juice or other fizzy drinks that are sweetened. 

Just enjoy your sparkling water in moderation and, as an extra precaution if you're concerned, drink it alongside a meal – eating produces saliva that can help neutralise acids. Or drink it with a reusable straw to minimise contact with your teeth.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.