SodaStream almost created this category of making soda at home with some other soda makers actually using this manufacturer’s accessories because of how they’ve gotten it so right. There are several different varieties of the SodaStream maker, with this one being a starter kit. It comes with everything you need, including a bottle and a CO2 cartridge, to make sparkling water as soon as you take it out of the package.
Screw in the carbonator bottle of CO2, fill a bottle with water and screw it on the front, and push the button on the top and infuse the water with CO2. Believe it or not, that's all there is to it. There are over 60 different SodaStream flavors to choose from with all being free of high-fructose corn syrup. The carbonator bottles and soda bottles needed for use with this appliance are readily available at many department stores. The SodaStream Genesis also comes covered with a 10 year warranty.
If you want a deluxe soda maker (and price is no object) the KitchenAid KSS1121CU Sparkling Beverage Maker stands alone. The appliances design allows you to monitor how much carbonation you are infusing via a pressure gauge, giving you a precise measurement so you'll always have the right amount of carbonation in every bottle. The large handle makes it easy to control the CO2 infusing process, and the metal housing is solid and sturdy, unlike more commonly found plastic-housing types.
Although the unit is made by KitchenAid, it makes use of SodaStream accessories, like theCO2 carbonator and the SodaStream flavors. The KitchenAid KSS1121CU Sparkling Beverage Maker offer deluxe construction and design, but it will cost about three times more than our top pick. Even with the premium price, you'll still only get a one year warranty.
If you’re into home brewing, or just need versatility for carbonating any beverage, consider the CarbaCap Carbonation System. This unique carbonation system needs to be supplied with a CO2 tank that’s connected to a pressure valve, which can be found at virtually any home brewing supply store or on-line. Bulk CO2 is inexpensive compared to the packaged cans that come with other soda makers, and this little cap will screw on to virtually any 1 liter, 2 liter or any bottle with those standardized threads.
Add any flavoring you like (from packaged soft drink mixes or even real fruit juice) screw on the cap and carbonate until your desired pressure/carbonation is reached. You can carbonate virtually anything, including commercially made soda that has gone flat. This is the simplest and easiest pick listed here, provided you supply the bulk CO2 bottle and the valve to regulate the pressure. But for a versatility in carbonation that is unmatched, the CarbaCap Carbonation System rocks, and it comes covered by a lifetime guarantee.
For single serving carbonated beverages, the SodaPlus SP76327 Soda Carbonating Starter Kit is easy and effective to use. You’ll need to use only the proprietary bottles made for this unit, which is why the SodaPlus is considered a single serving. Pour a liquid into the bottle, add the flavor of your choice, from soft drinks to flat soda, and attach an 8 gram CO2 cartridge to the top. Shake the bottle and the CO2 will infuse the liquid. One cartridge is good per serving but you can use two cartridges for extra fizz. This appliance will carbonate virtually any liquid you pour into the bottle, from wine to cider, flat soda or any flavor packet you choose to add. The 1.2 liter bottle can be resealed and placed in the fridge to be consumed later.
This is the classic sparkling water dispenser that can be used to make virtually any liquid bubbly and effervescent drink. For home bars or if you just want a cold glass of soda, Sparkle Soda Siphon is a good option. The Sparkle Soda Siphon uses 8g CO2 cartridges that are readily available on-line or in many department stores. You fill the one liter container with water, attach the CO2 cartridge, and shake it like a polaroid. Remove the cartridge, place the container into the fridge for a couple of hours, and you'll have carbonated water at the touch of a button.
You can add your favorite soft drink mix into a cup and fill it with carbonated water right from the siphon. This is a great idea for single servings, or making drinks on your home bar. The classic, easy to use design makes the Sparkle Soda Siphon a favorite among bartenders, but it’s just as good for making bubbly drinks out of any drink mix that you have.