Best soda maker on the market?

It's that christmas-shopping time of year, and I'm looking to get my parents a soda maker to complement their sparkling water obsession. Can anyone recommend one brand or style of product over the others? (ie the siphon style versus the Soda Stream bottle+carbonator, any other brands or styles, etc) I'd be interested in hearing the pros and cons of each (time delay? cost of CO2 cartridges?) as well as if there are different capabilities. Thanks!

  • Posted by: lazychef
  • November 25, 2012


slock November 26, 2012
I agree with the siphon because you aren't opening and closing a bottle so if you don't drink it all it won't go flat. Although if you drink the entire thing in a day or so it doesn't matter.

However, I have the isi siphon and it leaks A LOT each time I charge it. I haven't found others that have this problem though. I even fill it only 3/4 full (cold water). So if anyone has any tips for me I'd appreciate it!
bigpan November 26, 2012
I am assuming you mean soda water and not sugar drinks. If that is the case I've used Isi brand for years. Don't discard the fact old antique glass siphons still work excellent if you can find at an antique store. Isi cartridges will fit them too!
lazychef November 26, 2012
Thanks for the suggestions! I was thinking siphon because nobody needs an extra appliance taking up counter space, but maybe it makes more sense to do the sodastream with its multi-use cartridges.
Sam1148 November 26, 2012
When I purchased ours...I half way expected it would be a under counter dweller.
It's been sitting on the counter top in a tiny kitchen for 3 years now....and used a few times a week. We have the penguin style and store the glass bottled in the 'fridge. One charged up with soda...the other just chilling (cold water holds more CO2). They really have a tiny footprint for taking up counter space. Don't bother with flavor additions--they aren't that good IMHO.
Sam1148 November 25, 2012
Soda can adjust the amount of carbonation. As mentioned the 'penguin' is the better model as it uses glass bottles---the plastic ones need replacing after a couple of years. ( think there's another model that uses the glass ones now)
Bed Bath and Beyond will sell the charges...get another empty one so they have one filled at all times. Cheep with the 20 percent coupon they spam mail you. About 13 bucks with the exchange and coupon.
I don't know if they carry the penguin--but Williams Sonoma has those.
In the long run it's better than a siphon as those little cartridges are single use only.
The stream lasts us a couple of months using it everyday.

You can also mimic sparkling mineral water by adding a pinch of baking soda and a few grains of Epson salt to the water to give it a softer rounder taste.
Dalice November 25, 2012
The penguin! Definitely splurge a little on the penguin. Besides looking better on your kitchen counter, it's sturdy and pretty fool proof. I love the airtight bottles it comes with, perfect for carrying around.
FutureChef November 25, 2012
Soda stream might be optimal for a gift because it's more if a one button press, easy operation. Additionally, they have syrups you can even buy if they really don't like to cook at all but might want to experiment with their own sodas and various sparkling beverages.
If they are more adventurous culinary types however, I would go the isiWhip route with CO2 cartridges because it's much more versatile. You can carbonate sodas of course, but you can also even make bread really quickly by using the CO2 to leaven rather than yeast an then microwaving to cook. It's an Adria method. You can read specific instructions in the Voltaggio brothers' cookbook, VoltInk.
Amanda H. November 25, 2012
I have a Soda Stream. It's a very well thought-out and designed product, works well, and the cartridges aren't too expensive as long as you return your spent cartridges. That said, it has none of the charm or handsome design of some of the siphon style ones.
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