Sparkling water makers are not a relatively modern concept, much to some people's disbelief. In fact, carbonated drinks have been prevalent throughout history. It's what gives beer and champagne their bubbles!
Borg & Overström, designers and makers of world-class drinking water solutions, provide great insight into this. According to these experts, "Records show that the English scientist Christopher Merret created sparkling wine for the first time in 1662, by adding sugar and molasses during a second fermentation process."
Yes, it has come a long way since then. Around a decade or two ago, sparkling water makers in the home were dominated by one household name. None other than SodaStream. Although still very much the market leader, today you'll find many different brands and options to suit your fizzy water needs.
Some may argue that it hasn't come far enough. For instance, a consumer goods study in 2018 found that the average annual consumption of fizzy drinks in the UK is 211.5 litres per person. That's equivalent to over 370 pints in a year!
Related: Sodastream Spirit review
Are you looking to make the switch to a more sustainable, healthy drink option? All those pints can equal a lot of bottles, so pledge to save on all that plastic by getting your very own sparkling water maker at home.
Not only will this reduce your plastic consumption and save you a bit of cash, but it can also be a healthier option than store-bought fizzy drinks. Ready to make the change?
Are soda water makers really worth it?
When speaking to sparkling water experts at SodaStream, they said, "Whether you like your sparkling water lightly fizzed or as bubbly as possible, you can sparkle your water to the exact level you like with the push of a button, and add any flavours you like to make your perfect drink."
SodaStream goes on to add, "Do your part to look after the environment by making your own sparkling water at home, rather than buying ready made bottles. SodaStream cuts the need to buy single-use plastic bottles (particularly as they are in short supply right now), turning tap water into delicious sparkling water."
The benefits of sparkling water makers are endless; from sprucing up your kitchen interiors to doing your bit for the planet, there are lots of reasons why you should turn your tap water into a delicious drink.
But, before we start listing off tips on how to make the most of your soda stream machine, we've found the best sparkling water makers that can be delivered straight to your door.
The best sparkling water maker
1. SodaStream with Reusable Bottle
Best sparkling water maker overall
Reliable, easy to use and stylish are the best ways to describe this SodaStream. From delicious cocktails to classic favourites, add a bit of sparkle to your drink.
• Comes with a two-year guarantee included
• Size: 20 x 13 x 43cm
• Colour: Black
• Material: Plastic
• Weight: 2.82kg
• Gas: includes a 60 litre CO2 aluminium gas cylinder
Tried and tested review: "When it comes to following instructions, I find it difficult to follow illustrations, and often have to turn to someone for help. However, this wasn't the case with the SodaStream set-up as it was easy to follow, and in a few simple steps, I was able to get fizzy water from the machine.
It took me a few times to perfect the art of fizzing up the water. The first time I attempted to create sparkling water, I didn't push the bottle in far enough, so the water went everywhere, covering my kitchen. Then because I was worried about soaking the floor, I tried again but this time with less water. However, this didn't do anything to the liquid at all. After a few more accidents like filling the bottle to the top and spraying myself with water, I finally cracked it.
For the perfect taste, pop the bottle filled with tap water in the fridge half an hour use. Then when you're ready, put the bottle into the machine and make sure it's secure. Press the button for two seconds, five times, and you'll be left with a bubbly taste."
2. Drinkmate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker
Best sparkling water maker for design
Available in white, red or black you're going to love the Drinkmate as much as we do. Whether you're entertaining in the garden or fancy a glass of bubbly in the evening, this bit of kit is at your service.
• Included in the box: Drinkmate machine, 1 BPA-free 1l reusable carbonating bottle and Fizz Infuser
• Size: 20 x 13 x 41cm
• Colour: Black
• Material: Plastic
• Weight: 1.72kg
• Gas: CO2 cylinder (not included)
Tried and tested October 2020:"As I've been spending more time at home than usual, it's given me a chance to test out my cocktail making skills and the Drinkmate is the perfect assistant - whether it was a Fizzy Rascal or Mimosa, this was on hand to help. As well as whipping up fruity concoctions, it was easy to set up and effortless to use. The only thing I would say is that it didn't have enough fizz factor to drink it as plain sparkling water."
3. Levivo Water Carbonator Set Water aerator without CO2
Best sparkling water maker for size
Turn tap water into sparkling water at a touch of a button thanks to this starter set. This beverage maker contains an aerator and two PET bottles. Everything you need to make a refreshing, bubbly drink.
• Included in the box: aerator and 2 PET bottles
• Size: 44 x 15 x 29cm
• Colour: White
• Material: Bottles made of PET
• Weight: 2.14kg
• Gas: Not included
Review: "Brilliant. Simple to use and works perfectly with the SodaStream 60 litre gas canister, which has already delivered more than 60 litre, and hasn't run out yet. It's good value compared to its competition too. Hubby loves it and it's stopped him buying case upon case of sparkling bottled water and reduced our single-use plastic consumption."
4. Levivo Water Carbonator Set
Best sparkling water maker for results in seconds
Need for speed? In seconds, anyone can use this machine to give them a sparkling drink, and less than the cost of a supermarket alternative. Although this is great for families who are environmentally conscientious and always on the go, always make sure to supervise younger grandchildren using this machine.
• Included in the box: starter set, two bottles and CO2 cylinder
• Size: 43.89 x 32.74 x 20cm
• Colour: Black and silver
• Material: Bottles made of PET
• Weight: 2.56kg
• Gas: CO2 cylinder included
Review: "This carbonator works well, and has saved us money on bottles of fizzy mineral water as well as cutting down on plastic."
5. Mixology Collection Classic Soda Syphon
Best sparkling water maker for cocktails
Host date night at home and enjoy a Club Soda or two with the help from the Mixology Collection Classic Soda Syphon. Although it's pretty pricy, the one-litre syphon gives you carbonated water for mixing cocktails in your garden or living room. Requires standard-sized 8-gram carbon dioxide canisters, which is sold separately.
•Hand wash only
•Size: 36 x 13cm
•Colour: Black and silver
•Material: Steel and glass
•Gas: 8-gram carbon dioxide canisters sold separately
We love: the vintage feel design that will feel right at home on your drinks trolly or makeshift bar.
6. SodaStream Jet White Megapack Bundle
Best sparkling water maker for the price
Yes, so this is the second SodaStream to feature on this list, but this bundle is too good to miss off. For under £60, you'll be able to cherish 60 litres of fizzy water. This set includes a gas cylinder and four carbonating bottles with a three-litre capacity.
• Comes with manufacturer two-year guarantee
•Size: 43 x 20.8 x 29.6cm
•Material: Steel and glass
•Gas: one gas cylinder supplied
Review: "Really pleased with my be SodaStream Jet. Performs very well, it's easy to use and follow instructions for first use. Bottles provided are helpful. It is good to keep a bottle of cold water in the fridge, ready when you want to make a fizzy drink.
The SodaStream syrups are delicious. Tried cola, lemon and lime as well as tonic. They get the thumbs up from the whole family. Looking forward to carrying on using to minimise our use of plastics. Overall very happy and would recommend."
How to use a SodaStream
The manufacturer has created a step-by-step guide on how to use a fizzy water maker, it's basically a one-stop shop on how to make sparkling water.
If you're feeling uneasy about using the gas cylinders this video will put your mind at rest.
If you're using a different brand to create your fizzy drink, make sure to read the instructions on how to insert the gas cylinder. Any doubt, contact that manufacturer directly.
Is it cheaper to use a carbonated water machine?
This depends entirely on your consumption and the machine of your choice. A SodaStream gas cylinder refill will cost you around £20, and will give you 60L of sparkling water. So, that's £0.33 per litre.
A supermarket's own-brand fizzy water could cost you anywhere from £0.40 to £1, depending on where you shop. Let's go with ASDA's four-pack of 2L sparkling water, costing £1.03. This works out at £0.12 per litre, so it's cheaper to purchase from the supermarket - even without the cost of the machine itself.
However, (and this is a big however) the number of plastic bottles you would use and throw away over a year would be pretty astronomical, and if you're trying to reduce how much plastic you use, it's definitely the eco-friendly choice.
Plus, you'll no longer end up accidentally running out as it's always on tap. Additionally, you can get creative with your flavours and syrups and it puts you in control of how much sugar is in your drinks if you do like a sweet beverage.
How to recycle gas canisters from your fizzy water maker
If you're thinking about getting a sparkling water machine, knowing how to recycle your gas bottles is vital. That's because if they aren't disposed of properly, it can be dangerous.
Did you know that if you place your gas cylinder in the bin, it may explode when it's being crushed? Well, now that you do know, here are some of the best ways to dispose of gas canisters:
Most gas bottles can be recycled if taken to your local household waste centre. Here they'll be emptied and have their valve removed.
If you're buying your gas directly from SodaStream, you can return an empty cylinder within 12 months of your purchase, you’ll also get your £10 deposit back after receipt at their warehouse.
Is drinking too much sparkling water bad for your health?
If you're thinking about investing in a water carbonator, you may be wondering whether or not it's bad to drink too much sparkling water. It's certainly a question we've asked ourselves, too.
However, the NHS website lists advice on Water, drinks and your health. It states "Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth."
We also spoke to Dr Reena Wadia, Gum Specialist and Founder of RW Perio to find out more about the rumoured teeth issues that can come from drinking sparkling water.
"Lots of people are switching to sparkling water. Although sparkling water doesn't contain sugar, it is carbonated. It’s definitely much less erosive than other beverages. But, it can still cause some erosion of the teeth (especially if the water is cold). Watch out for flavoured or sweetened sparkling water – this is more damaging. Plain, still water is always the best choice."
Does sparkling water have the same benefits as water?
Now that you've fully committed to a soda maker, it's essential that you understand the benefits that you can have from enjoying a glass of bubbly. Here's why we think you should make the switch to a drink carbonator.
Studies have found that there's no evidence that carbon dioxide in drinks are bad for you. In theory, this should mean that drinking sparkling water has the same benefits as drinking water.
However, for many years rumours have circulated around drinking sparkling water to drink lose weight. Researchers at Birzeit University in Palestine found, "There seemed to be a clear distinction in this study between fizzy and non-fizzy drink consumption in terms of weight gain, appetite and ghrelin production.
"These findings were further supported by the study in healthy adult volunteers, which similarly showed that fizzy drinks increased ghrelin production.
"It had been thought that the sugar content in soft drinks causes obesity, but this doesn't account for the link between weight gain and diet drinks that don't contain sugar. The researchers suggest carbonation could be the common link between the two."
Tips on how to stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential to taking care of our bodies and building a strong immune system. Do you struggle to drink six to eight glasses of water a day? Dr Ellie Cannon shares her top tips for smart hydration.
Commenting on the importance of keeping hydrated, Dr Cannon says: "We all know we are supposed to drink lots of water to prevent dehydration throughout the day, but some of us are better than others! For those who find it a chore or feel plain water can be a bit boring, fizzing up your tap water using SodaStream’s sparkling water makers is a great way to make getting your fluid fix a bit more exciting.
"We lose a lot of water when we exercise, both from sweating and faster breathing, so it's easy to get dehydrated. This can make you more tired and more crampy. But don’t just drink when you are exercising. A good way to rehydrate is to drink plenty before you exercise, steadily in the few hours beforehand, as well as during exercise. This is especially key in warmer weather."
She goes on to add, "we are not all equal when it comes to drinking water; some will need more than others depending on their size, the weather and how active they are. It’s even different for men and women. Data from the European Food Safety Authority suggests 1.6 litres for women daily, but 2 litres for a man. So make sure you know your body and how much water you need. Tell tale signs that you haven’t had enough are dry mouth, lips and eyes, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, feeling tired and not going to the toilet frequently.
"Add a zingy lemony twist to your water to jazz up the taste and maximise the bountiful health benefits! Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C which is essential for the immune system, fights against coughs and colds, and helps to prevent disease."
Flavoured sparkling water recipes
Speaking of flavours and syrups, we've thought about some of our favourite flavour combinations, as well as some delicious syrups to try to inspire you.
Ginger, lime and mint
Apple, elderflower and mint
Turmeric and honey
Diet Tonic mix, available from Amazon
Orange and mango syrup, available from Amazon
Classic cream soda syrup, available from Amazon
We also really like this recipe for fizzy iced tea from BBC Good Food.
So there you have it. With so many options on offer, you can create flavoured sparkling water in your own home that are unique to you.