To start off, let’s talk about the biggest player in the field, SodaStream. This publicly traded company offers a wide variety of soda makers that accommodate all budgets from their basic model, the SodaStream Jet, to the expensive SodaStream penguin. SodaStream has a long history that involves being acquired by SodaClub. Nonetheless, through expansion and collaborations, it has become the biggest name in the soda maker industry. It prides itself on being environmentally friendly and a healthy option.
In total, it still sells 8 different models of soda makers. Their basic models (Jet, Genesis, Play) are very similar differing only in the types of carbonators (see below) they offer and the carbonation mechanism. The biggest variety is in their mid range models. Two of these are electric and use buttons to carbonate your drink (Revolution and Power). The Revolution even has a display that shows the level of carbonation. Also, there is the SodaStream Source that comes in three variants, original, metal and wood. The latter two are more expensive but look nicer. Finally there is the SodaStream Crystal, a new model that differentiates itself by the fact that it uses a glass carafe instead of the 1L BPA free bottles that their other models use. As for their high end model, the Penguin, it distinguishes itself through the fact that it also uses a glass carafe and that it is shaped like Penguin which is sure to be a topic of conversation. They only sell soda makers that are actual appliances and not siphons.
SodaStream has expanded all over the world and now has 65 000 locations in 45 countries either selling their products or accepting their carbonator exchanges. This global outreach allows them to promote their unique refill system and make sure that their users always have access to somewhere where they can fill their carbonators. This system that implicates the exchange of carbonators (metal cylinders filled with CO2) at various locations. Their widespread presence will mean that there is usually one such location near your home. To find out if this is the case, go to your country’s SodaStream website and click on find a retailer. Their carbonators come in 60L and 130L (that is the maximum volume of carbonated water you can make) variants and can be refilled at the cost of $14.99 and $29.99 respectively. Extra carbonators can also be purchased on the SodaStream website or they are also available on Amazon.
Their product lines also include a wide variety of flavor packs that are meant to be added to the sparkling water so as to create soda. These mixes can be seen here. They can produce up to 9 liters of soda each. The carbonating bottles that come with most models of soda makers cannot be put in the dishwasher (they are BPA-free though). These come in 500 ml and 1 liter variants.
For their soda makers, SodaStream offers warranties that extend from 1 year to 10 years, some of them being limited lifetime warranties.
Now that we’ve gotten the big guy out of the way, let’s talk about the smaller players in the field. While KitchenAid is a huge company that manufactures many home kitchen appliances such as microwaves, mixers, refrigerators and others, it hasn’t delved very deeply into the soda maker industry, releasing only one model, the KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker. This model uses the same carbonators as SodaStream as well as the same exchange system. Therefore, you still have access to the same extensive network of stores that accept these exchanges. On top of that, KitchenAid is known for providing quality products and a lot of their appliances are manufactured in the United States. This is no different for the Sparkling Beverage Maker that many people compliment for its quality. This is expected since it is a higher end model.
Cuisinart is another big name in kitchenware that makes many appliances. They pride themselves on innovation and they offer a wide variety of kitchen tools. Among those are two soda makers. One is an appliance that has gotten very mediocre reviews while the other is a handheld siphon with better reviews. They also have their own line of CO2 chargers, cylinders and flavors. Unfortunately, their soda makers only use their line of CO2 cartridges or cylinders which has led to them getting very negative reviews due to the cost of the cartridges and cylinders.
Bonne O is a new company that specializes in soda makers and desires to compete with SodaStream. Bonne O is a play on words in French that means “good water”. They have their own carbonators (50 cents each) which look like round tablets and these are made of food grade material. Bonne O ships them to your house which eliminates the need to go exchange your carbonator. They also have their own line of soda flavors. Another unique aspect of Bonne O is the fact that their soda maker both carbonate and infuse the water if, for example, you put fruit inside it.
Big Boss is a company that manufactures and sells kitchen appliances such as blenders, grills, fryers, etc. It is relatively small but still has an extensive array of products that all look modern. Among them is the Soda Boss, an inexpensive soda maker that uses CO2 cartridges. The Soda Boss was originally sold online in an infomercial but it now retails at different stores. The Soda Boss is Big Boss’ only foray into the realm of soda makers other than their soda mix flavors.