The Sodastream has captured the imagination of many people with it’s revolutionary concept; you can make your own Soda! I was eager to test this concept out for myself, after seeing one of the infomercials on TV. I’d heard a number of good things about the system from other satisfied owners, so I was eager to get my hands on one.
In the follow Sodastream review, I will evaluate whether the Sodastream measures up to the hype. I will also look at the Pros and Cons, providing different perspectives. The goal is that this Sodastream review will help you make a more informed decision without any high presure sales tactics. I have highlighted a link below to the product page that I will be referencing during the review.
What the Manufacturer Says it Does
The manufacturer claims to provide a simplified carbonated beverage maker. In short, you can make soda easily in the comfort of your own home. Simple operation is at the center of the machine with easy enough steps that a child could do it.
A few of the selling points seem to be that it is easier than lugging around heavy cans or bottles from the supermarket and that it allows virtually unlimited customization. You can mix flavors and test out different carbonation levels. Similarly, you can experiment with over 60 different flavors.
An added benefit is that it is environmentally friendly. Fewer cans in the trash equals a lower carbon footprint. Another key feature is the ease of cleaning. Sodastream is designed for easy cleaning both by hand or in a dish washer.
Finally, Sodastream promises a significant cost savings, averaging only 25 cents per soda (includes carbonation and flavoring). Also, you can “pay as you drink” in effect which means that there is no need to store lots of soda cans and 2 liter bottles in your pantry or fridge.
Essentially, Sodastream is aimed at getting you to ditch the plastic bottles and metal cans in exchange for their machine.
What Comes in the Package
Here’s what you get in the initial package:
- SodaStream Jet Soda Maker
- One Carbonator (good for 60ml of soda making)
- One Plastic Bottle (BPA-free and with hermetically sealed caps)
- 6 free flavor samples (assorted)
What the Sodastream Actually Does
To be blunt, I was very pleased with my overall experience of Sodastream. Right from the start the process was easy. Using the machine was simple and intuitive. While I had to reference the directions occasionally, I could have figured it all out without the directions.
The different flavoring selections can actually be fun to shop and surprise the family with. For a comparable experience, think K-cups for the Keurig. Many mainstream brands like Ocean Spray, Country Time, and Crystal Light have their own flavor packages for you to try out. They also have comparable flavors to your mainstream favorites like Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Coke, etc… After testing them out they essentially tasted very similar, although not identical. People who have been drinking a particular brand for a while may notice the differences more.
The one knock I have on the Sodastream is that the carbon refills can get pricey. Depending on where you live, there may not be an retail refill location. Because the valves on teh C02 canisters are proprietary and unique, there isn’t always an easy answer to refilling them at places you would otherwise be able to. I’ve found that Williams Sonoma does do refills, but they are not particularly close to me. Otherwise, you will have to have Sodastream do the refills for you. This involves sending your canister back to Sodastream for $39 + $10 for shipping. Eventually I think this will change and you will see refill locations popping up, but for now it appears that they have a near monopoly.
Despite this “issue” I am still very happy with my Sodastream. The main difference from what the manufacturer states is that your cost per drink is probably more in the range of 40-50 cents, assuming you are sending the canisters back to Sodastream for refills.
Pros and Cons of Sodastream
|Fun for the whole family
|Requires some work to use and maintain
|Easy to use and clean
|Refilling carbon tanks is not always easy
|Does save some money in the long run
|More pricey upfront cost
Sodastream has a ton of hype surrounding it, so I was curious to see if there was any viable competition out there. I did stumble upon the DrinkMate and tested it out to see how it compared. It’s very similar to the Sodastream, although slightly more expensive than the base Sodastream Fountain Jet. The two things that make it stand out for me where 1) a smaller footprint (less counter space), and 2) you can literally carbonate anything. It’s create for re-carbonating beer or any other drink. You can check it out here.
Final Thoughts – Is the Sodastream Really Worth it?
If you’ve been on the fence about the Sodastream, it’s time to climb on board! I rarely say this about products, but this is one of those awesome innovations that you will come to love to need (much like the Keurig). It is well worth the money, despite the cons. Even if you are not saving as much per soda, it’s still a huge time saver.
I still use my Sodastream after two weeks on a weekly basis and my kids love it too. You can find the Sodastream for a great price at this listing (qualifies for Free Shipping).