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As temperatures warm up and we spend more time outside in the sun, staying hydrated is more critical than ever.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drinking water “helps your body keep a normal temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and get rid of waste.” If you don’t get enough water and become dehydrated, you could experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. Given the importance of drinking water, it’s helpful to have as many ways as possible to make it tasty and fun!

Having a home soda water maker is an excellent way to turn regular, filtered water into a delicious, carbonated drink. Not only will you drink more water, but you may also find it easier to cut down on other carbonated drinks, like sodas, too! If you’ve ever considered investing in a soda water maker, or you’re intrigued and would like to learn more, we have everything you need to know before you make the purchase.

How It Works

At their most basic level, home soda water makers require three components: the machine, a canister of carbon dioxide (CO2), and a bottle for carbonating. The machine takes regular water (cold, filtered water gives the best results) and injects strong bursts of the CO2 to create carbonation; the injecting happens through either manual or electric power and can carbonate various amounts at one time. When you buy a soda water maker, you’ll need to plan for CO2 canister storage and disposal. You should add flavor to the water after the carbonation process, either using fresh ingredients or syrups.

The Benefits

Aside from making it more exciting to drink your daily glasses of water, a home soda water maker also has other benefits. If you would typically purchase sparkling water at the store, making your own at home can save you money over time and reduce your waste from store-bought materials. If you’re trying to switch your consumption to more organic and whole foods, making your own flavored water lets you control the ingredients without worrying about added sugars or dyes. Carbonated water is also a component of many cocktails and can add some fun fizz to juices and teas for kids.

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Important Features

All soda water makers provide the basics, but there’s a wide range of additional features or options.

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether you want a manual or electric machine. With manual versions, you push a button or pull a lever to force the CO2 into the water. Each time you press the button, more CO2 is injected, so getting the fizz level correct takes some trial and error. Electric versions supply just the right amount of CO2 for the volume of water and desired fizz level. Although manual versions might take more experimenting, they’re often smaller and more portable since you don’t have to be near an outlet, so consider where you’d like to use the machine as you make this decision.

The next important feature is the CO2 canister. Some machines only work with their proprietary canisters, while others can use a variety and allow you to purchase cheaper replacements. Canister size is also important—if you’re planning to use the machine frequently, larger canisters are more cost-effective.

Finally, the ability to directly carbonate liquids other than water is a feature that many models don’t have (doing so voids the warranty). If you’re planning to frequently use the machine to carbonate juices, teas, and cocktails, find a model that allows for this application.

The Best Brands

Many retailers now produce soda water machines, so you can find options at almost any store and price point. However, a few brands lead the way in terms of either quality, affordability, or available options.

Known for its high quality and versatile models, Soda Stream is a well-known brand that many consumers like. Various models are available, from manual to electric, and one version offers glass bottles for carbonation. They also have a CO2 canister trade-in discount.

Drinkmate’s home carbonation system is also popular since you can use any CO2 canisters and carbonate beverages other than water without voiding the warranty. Its slim design is versatile, and the manual operation means you can take it anywhere.

Drinkpod is a popular choice for a sleek look and the ability to carbonate a wide variety of beverages. It uses a two-step system to carbonate the liquid, and the base is slim and lightweight.   

Investing in a soda water maker can really make a difference in your home, so explore your options before your next fizzy water craving hits!