If you’re a big fan of sparkling water, seltzer, or soda, you’ve probably already heard of SodaStream. This magical machine allows you to experiment with a wide variety of syrups or your own homemade fruity concoctions to create refreshing bubbly drinks anytime you want them.
We know that a regular soda habit can get a rather expensive, especially if you usually stick to brand names, and it’s not always the best choice for your health. A SodaStream allows you to create your own fresh soda on demand, and there are tons of flavors to choose from without calories or sugar.
But is it actually worth spending your money on?
Before you make that decision, we’ll let you know a little more about the different SodaStream models, whether or not they’re cost-effective, and some of their pros and cons to hopefully make the process a little easier.
How Much Soda Do You Drink?
One of the first things you should figure out before you choose a SodaStream is how much soda or sparkling water you plan to drink. There will be ongoing costs associated with owning this product, mainly because you’ll need to purchase flavor syrups and CO2 cartridges.
There are a couple of different versions of the product available, and there’s a big jump between prices.
If you only drink it occasionally and just want a SodaStream because it seems like it would be fun to use, you should stick with one of the more basic models.
All of the SodaStream machines come with a 3-year warranty and free shipping, and none of the starter packs come with flavor syrup, so you’ll have to purchase those separately if you want them.
The Fizzi starter pack is the most inexpensive and basic option offered by SodaStream.
It comes with a compact, cordless sparkling water maker, a CO2 cylinder that carbonates up to 60 liters of water, and a 1-liter BPA-free plastic bottle with a lid to make your drinks in and take them with you on the go. This costs about $90.
There is an optional hydration pack that includes three 1-liter bottles and two 0.5-liter bottles, as well as bottle of lemon fruit drops to flavor your water. This option costs around $120.
This version of the SodaStream isn’t automated, so you’ll have to experiment to get your perfect level of carbonation.
The OneTouch starter pack comes with the same accessories as the Fizzi, but this machine is electric and allows you to choose from 3 different preset carbonation levels. It basically just takes the guesswork out of preparing your beverages and costs about $120.
The hydration pack costs $150 and includes the same accessories as the Fizzi.
This version is pretty good if you want consistently fizzy drinks quickly at the push of a button.
The Aqua Fizz is the most premium SodaStream version available, and it has a sleek, cordless design. You also won’t need to use any batteries.
The starter packs costs about $160, and it comes with a 620ml glass carafe rather than a 1-liter bottle. You’ll also get a CO2 cartridge good for up to 60 liters of water.
The hydration pack is the same as the other versions, except you get three 620ml glass carafes instead of the glass 1-liter bottles. This pack costs about $180.
If you choose the Aqua Fizz, you’re basically paying a premium for a better looking machine and a fancy (and smaller) glass carafe rather than a bottle. This version doesn’t come with presets to choose from like the OneTouch, either.
Accessories and Ongoing Costs
Depending on how much sparkling water you plan to make and whether or not you plan to use flavor syrups, you can expect some additional costs associated with ownership.
To get your drinks fizzy and bubbly, you’ll need CO2 cartridges. And there are a few ways to go about this.
One is to purchase new cylinders directly from SodaStream, and each one costs around $30 for a 60-liter supply.
Another thing you can do is get a refill through their gas exchange service. This is the more economical choice, since it only costs about $15 per cartridge.
Once you place the order for new cartridges, you will have to ship back your empty cartridges within 30 days of placing the exchange order using a prepaid shipping label supplied by SodaStream.
It is possible to modify the SodaStream to use cheaper CO2 cylinders, but you’ll have to purchase an adapter.
If you want flavored syrups, SodaStream offers everything from all your classic soda favorites to zero-calorie, sugar-free fruit drops, energy drinks, iced tea, and more.
The cheapest versions are about $5, and the amount of servings you get depends on the type you choose. You can also find variety packs at a somewhat discounted price, and these are great if you want to try out different flavors.
It’s important to note, though, that you’re not limited to those flavor options. If you want to try alternative syrups, this opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to finding more flavors and saving money.
If you prefer your sparkling water unflavored or you want to use fresh fruit or make syrups yourself, you won’t have to worry about the costs associated with needing to purchase the syrups on a regular basis.
In addition to flavor syrups and gas cartridges, you can also purchase accessories like different bottles, insulating sleeves, and extra caps through the SodaStream website.
Pros and Cons of Using a SodaStream
If you’re on the fence about buying a SodaStream, we’ve rounded up some pros and cons that might make the decision easier.
- Fun to use and lets you experiment with tons of different flavors
- Can help you cut back on sugar and calories
- Better for the environment than buying plastic water bottles or cans
- Drinks stay carbonated longer than pre-bottled or canned options
- Doesn’t really save you money unless you use it solely for unflavored carbonated water or use cheaper O2 tanks
- Takes up a decent good bit of space in the kitchen, especially with a modified setup
- Somewhat expensive startup cost
Is the SodaStream Worth It?
Well, now that we’ve gone into more detail about what the SodaStream offers, we can safely say that it’s definitely worth it if you really enjoy soda or sparkling water. It’s especially great if you enjoy doing experiments and trying out different flavor combinations or blending your own fruit purees, but if you’re a brand purist, you might not find an exact flavor match.
They’re incredibly easy to set up, use, and maintain. The only downsides are that the initial cost is somewhat high, and purchasing new cylinders from SodaStream is also expensive.
If you drink a lot of soda, you can expect to basically break even with the SodaStream. The total cost of making a liter of soda using the machine is about the same price as a generic liter of soda when calculating the costs for carbonation and flavoring.
If you don’t drink a lot of soda and just want to purchase a SodaStream to use occasionally, we’d recommend the Fizzi option, since the extra costs you’d pay for a more premium version aren’t really worth it for occasional users.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.