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The best SodaStreams and water carbonators to buy in 2023

Add a little sparkle to your kitchen and say goodbye to single-use plastic by making fizzy water in your own home

Sparkling water is having a moment. Obviously, fizzy water is nothing new – it was bottled and sold in the UK as early as the 1600s – but its mainstream popularity began to surge from the 1970s onwards. Fast-forward to now, and more and more people are making sparkling water at home thanks to carbonator machines that inject carbon dioxide from a cartridge into still water.

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This popularity is partly due to our love of all things fizzy, but also due in no small part to increased environmental concerns, such as the drive to banish single-use plastic from our lives. But it’s also because we understand how important water is for every aspect of our health – and fizzy is always a little more exciting than still. And, naturally, we all like the idea of saving money on shop-bought sparkling water by making our own.

There are plenty of carbonators on the market, but only a few get our seal of approval. Read on, and we’ll explain what to look out for and recommend a selection of our very favourite models.

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How to choose the best carbonator for you

What does it look like?

While it’s never about style over substance, some things simply look better than others. The same is true of carbonators – some look like functional, plasticky kitchen appliances and others look like ornaments that actively add to the aesthetic of your kitchen.

Is it easy to use?

A carbonator should be really simple to use. The best carbonators will have three key steps: inserting the CO2 cartridge; filling the water bottle before attaching it to the carbonator; and lastly – the fun part – activating the CO2. None of these steps should be awkward or confusing.

How is it powered?

The CO2 cartridge provides all the power that’s required – there’s no need for electricity. All the models here are unpowered and completely cordless as a result.

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What’s the deal with the CO2 cartridge?

You’ll need to change the CO2 cartridge once it has run out. How often this is depends on how often you make fizzy water and how fizzy you make it every time. But a general rule of thumb is that each cartridge is rated to carbonate between 60 and 130 litres of water, or last for four to eight weeks of regular but not excessive use.

You can buy refills online, but it’s worth shopping around. There are a variety of different makes, but they all tend to be compatible with regular carbonators, such as those featured here.

Bear in mind that carbonators are shipped with a CO2 cartridge included. Unless, that is, you’re purchasing from overseas – there are pretty strict rules and regulations about how CO2 can travel.

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The best SodaStreams and water carbonators to buy in 2023

1. SodaStream Spirit: Best all-round water carbonator

Price: From £60 | Buy now from SodaStream

SodaStream is a household name – it was founded in 1908 (yes, really) but reached prominence in the 1980s when everyone got hooked on the idea of making their own flavoured fizzy drinks at home.

This most recent incarnation of the cult product is streamlined and exceptionally simple to use. For a start, you don’t need to screw the bottle into the machine, you simply need to give it a small push and lower the support cradle into place. The sound of the fizz is deeply satisfying, too. If you’ve got kids, watch them fight over who gets to push the button.

The finish is plasticky and as a result it appears less high spec and sleek than some of the others in this field; it looks practical rather than beautiful. But it’s hard working and durable, and its design is a proven success.

Key specs – Water bottles included: 1 (1 litre); Colours available: 6; Height: 42.9 cm; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from SodaStream

2. Aarke Carbonator 3: Best for chic design

Price: From £179 | Buy now from Aarke

This is the thoroughbred of carbonators. It’s beautifully designed; one of those appliances that looks so good with its matte black finish and polished stainless steel that it’s a pleasure to have it on your kitchen surface.

It comes with two bottles, which is great, as you can have one in the fridge and one on the go. The bottles are also sharply designed: the steel bottom and lid mean they’d look great on the table during a smart dinner party.

It’s really easy to use: the bottle screws in and a steel lever is pulled until a loud buzzing noise sounds. You can repeat the process for a more intense fizz, but once is quite sparkling enough for our tastes. Any spills are caught in the drip tray.

Key specs – Water bottles included: 2 (800ml); Colours available: 7; Dimension: 41.4cm; Warranty: Lifetime (with exceptions such as cosmetic damage)

Buy now from Aarke

3. Drinkmate Sparkling Water and Soda Maker: Best for versatile fizz

Price: £100 | Buy now from Drinkmate UK

This is the only carbonator that can add fizz to any drink – juices, iced teas, wine – you name it, this machine can make it can sparkle.

The design looks fantastic, with fresh, juicy colourways to choose from, but it’s also really cleverly designed. Instead of screwing the bottle in, the slide-in mechanism secures the bottle effortlessly; it feels really slick and clever.

The button on top of the machine activates the fizz with a simple touch – the longer you press, the fizzier your drink. What’s really good is that you know you’ve achieved maximum sparkle when you hear a hiss.

This is an ideal machine for experimental cocktail makers. If you like the idea of adding a little sparkle to almost anything, then the Drinkmate may just be your new best friend.

Key specs – Water bottles included: 1 (1 litre); Colours available: 4; Height: 43 cm; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from Drinkmate UK

4. MySoda Woody Sparkling Water Maker: Best eco-friendly choice

Price: £53 | Buy now from Finnish Design Shop

This is such a beautiful, minimalist object – its design has garnered several awards – anyone would be proud to have it in their kitchen.

Viewed from afar it looks like it’s made from heavy (not to mention beautifully bang on-trend) concrete, but it’s actually a light matte material derived from organic matter; raw materials left over from the forest industry.

It arrives with one bottle with a base and lid that perfectly match the device. The bottle easily screws into the device, but what’s so notable about the Woody is that, unlike other machines on the market, it doesn’t make a sound when the water is carbonating, which is great for people who like a quiet life or who have jumpy pets.

This is an easy-to-use, good-looking choice with eco credentials – what’s more, it’s the cheapest of our picks. A complete bargain, in fact.

Key specs – Water bottles included: 1 (1 litre); Colours available: 5; Height: 40.8 cm; Warranty: 2 years

Buy now from Finnish Design Shop

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