SodaStream only makes soda maker machines so if you’re looking for a very close substitute to their products, here are three that are still available on the market. If you’re seeking to completely avoid SodaStream as a brand, since some of these soda makers still use SodaStream’s refill system, you can opt for these DIY refill methods. In fact, by buying a SodaMod tank or a CO2 tank and attaching them through an adapter, you bypass the need to buy a SodaStream carbonator and use their refill system.
Aarke Carbonator II
The machine’s sleek, elegant design and ease of use make the Aarke Carbonator II one of the highest rated on the market although having been first introduced in 2018.
It stands 16 inches tall, has a footprint of a mere six inches and weigh little more than six pounds. The entire device is constructed of sturdy stainless steel in your choice of a black matte, brass or chrome finish. The overall design consists of the tall cylinder and top attachment head. The bottom features a grated, removable drip tray. The basic but elegant appearance of the Aarke Carbonator II is quite stunning.
Each carbonator comes with one 14.5 ounce PET plastic bottle. The Aarke website offers additional bottles if desired. The bottles are also stylish in design, as they have stainless steel chrome screw caps and chrome finish around the bottom region. The bottles feature expiration dates and must be replaced as recommended. The PET carafes must only be hand washed. The company does not make or advise using glass bottles for safety reasons. The kit also comes with a spare gasket if needed. However, the 60-liter gas cylinder is sold separately. Aarke does not offer the cylinders. But, they explain that versions made by any other company are compatible with the Aarke.
The device does not require batteries or electricity, which makes it easy to take and use anywhere. Start by inserting the gas cylinder into the bottom of the Carbonator II. Make sure cylinder is firmly attached and screwed in place. Use a bottle filled with chilled water to the fill line. Insert the carbonation nozzle into the bottle and firmly screw the top onto the machine. Pull down the lever to activate the carbonation process. If desiring more bubbles, pull the lever all the way down and only halfway back up. Keep pushing the level down until satisfied with the amount of carbonation produced. Slowly raise the lever and unscrew the bottle. Add your favorite flavorings if desired.
The Aarke Carbonator II represents the second generation of the sparkling water maker. The Aarke is easier to operate compared to many competitive models. The simplistic but unique style of the soda maker is designed to be both durable and visually appealing.
Bonne O Sparkling Beverage Maker
If you want a soda maker completely not affiliated with SodaStream, Bonne O has got you covered. It’s a new product that offers carbonation as well as the ability to infuse your drinks with unique flavors, a feature that no SodaStream machine has. On top of that, it’s truly independent from SodaStream seeing that it has its own refill system. Instead of using carbonation cylinders that you need to refill periodically, it has carbonator tablets that are good for 1 use and can carbonate the entirety of the 750 ml bottle. In terms of price, it’s middle of the pack (more expensive than soda siphons but there are more expensive soda making machines). The refills are quite expensive at $0.9/L when the carbonators are bought in bulk. Also, take note of the fact that the Bonne O needs to be plugged in to work so make sure you’ve got an extra outlet for it. See Full Review
The DrinkMate, made by iSoda, is an affordable and effective alternative to SodaStream machines. Users love it as it gives them the freedom to not just carbonate water, but also other beverages (some common usages included sparkling tea, sparkling wine and sparkling fruit juices). The DrinkMate also gives more control over the carbonation process through the detachable fizz infuser. Once again however, the DrinkMate uses SodaStream’s refill system but has its own BPA free bottles. Overall, the DrinkMate is a great substitute since its inexpensive, easy to use and more versatile than SodaStream machines as it can carbonate anything. See Full Review
KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker
While this high quality soda maker is manufactured by KitchenAid, it is still reliant on SodaStream’s refill system so if you’re aiming to avoid SodaStream completely, I’d suggest looking for other soda makers. If you just didn’t like the SodaStream machines and you can afford it, the KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage maker is a great alternative to SodaStream machines. It’s by far the most solid of all soda makers with its metal construction and it’s definitely going to last you a long time. Also, its highly practical to use with the snap-lock mechanism (makes attaching the bottle to the soda maker easier) and a carbonation lever while coming with a handy CO2 meter that allows you to see how carbonated the drink is. See Full Review
On the other, hand if you don’t mind switching to a smaller apparatus, soda siphons are a great alternative to SodaStream machines. Consisting of bottles to whom small devices are attached, they are also able to carbonate water. Even though they take slightly longer to operate, they are still easy to use, make delicious sparkling water, take up less space and cost less. On top of that, none of them use the SodaStream refill system and instead use CO2 cartridges, allowing you to bypass SodaStream completely. On top of that, these soda makers are able to carbonate any beverage, not just water.
The SodaPlus Soda siphon is a durable stainless steel soda siphon that can use generic CO2 cartridges and that can be put in the dishwasher: three great characteristics for a soda siphon as it means it’ll last longer, cost less to refill and is easy to wash. In fact, generic CO2 cartridges can be bought in bulk on Amazon for roughly for roughly half the price of specific brand name cartridges. The SodaPlus is bigger than most soda siphons at 1.2L and it takes a while for it to carbonate the water.
SodaSparkle is another brand that makes soda siphons that can be used as alternatives to SodaStream machines. They’re slightly different than most soda machines as the head that attaches to the top of the SodaSparkle bottle acts kind of like a mini soda maker machine, allowing for fast and easy carbonation of the water. When buying the starter kit, you get the 1L bottle as well as 5 of their CO2 soda chargers. Unfortunately, the SodaSparkle has to use these cartridges that cost that are more expensive than generic cartridges on Amazon. Nonetheless, the SodaSparkle is well enjoyed by its users that commend it for working well and quickly. See Full Review
iSi Soda Siphon
Finally, there’s the iSi Soda Siphon, another metal soda siphon that comes in either stainless steel (0.75L) or brushed aluminum (1L). It can use generic 8g CO2 cartridges, meaning that once again you can save more money, and comes with a 2 year warranty. Unfortunately, like the SodaPlus, it takes more time for it to carbonate water and a few users reported issues with it being leaky. The majority of them however really enjoyed the iSi Soda Siphon and found that it worked very well.
Alternatives to SodaStream flavor mixes
All these suggestions are great if you just want sparkling water but what if you want some more flavor that’s not provided by SodaStream flavor mixes. Luckily, there are also plenty of alternatives to SodaStream flavor mixes. For example, if you’re using one of these soda makers that can carbonate anything, go ahead and put a flavored beverage (wine, fruit juice, lemonade) and carbonate it! Or, if you have the Bonne O, you can infuse the water with natural fruit flavors through its unique feature. Finally, there are also healthy, low calorie flavor packs such as Crystal Light, Mio that can be added or high quality italian syrups such as Torani if you want to make truly delicious drinks. For more suggestions, take a look at this article on alternatives to SodaStream flavor mixes.