Soda maker purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • What You Need to Know
  • The most important facts in a nutshell
  • With a water bubbler, you can easily make refreshing sparkling water at home, eliminating the hassle of lugging boxes around.
  • Especially for multi-family households that drink a lot of water, the purchase is worthwhile. In most cases, the purchase costs pay for themselves within a year.
  • High-quality water sprinklers are convincing with their user-friendly operation, so that you can easily put bottles in and take them out.
  • The more regular and thorough the care of the water sprinkler, the longer it will last.

Water bubbler as an alternative to mineral water bottles

Not beer or coffee, but water is the undisputed favourite drink of Germans. According to surveys, mineral water is the number one drink for around 86 percent of the population. This is reflected in the annual per capita consumption: according to statistics from the portal Statista, the average German consumed 141.7 litres of mineral water in 2019. Almost two thirds of all passionate water drinkers prefer to enjoy the drink carbonated. Nevertheless, few Germans enjoy transporting the heavyweight water bottles with sparkling water from the supermarket to their homes.

In this respect, a water bubbler provides a reliable remedy. This is an efficient household appliance that enriches ordinary tap water with carbon dioxide (CO2) at the touch of a button. In this way, normal tap water can be transformed into refreshing sparkling water in a matter of seconds. Even outside supermarket opening hours, you can get fresh water at any time – and protect the environment at the same time.

What are the advantages of a water bubbler?

With a water bubbler, you are not only doing something good for the environment by using fewer disposable plastic bottles, but also for your wallet. You have full control over your drinking water costs at all times. After just one year, you will usually have recouped the costs associated with the investment for a drinking water sprinkler. Even in single households with somewhat lower mineral water consumption, the purchase of such a device usually pays for itself in the second year at the latest. In addition, a water bubbler requires less space than one or even several water jugs. Moreover, you no longer have to carry the latter from the supermarket to your home, which saves walking and is easy on the back. The bubbling process itself takes less than a minute and requires only a few hand movements.

What’s more, you benefit from high-quality drinking water: since the carbonated sparkling water comes directly from the tap, you can assume that the quality of the water is harmless to your health, because tap water is subject to strict quality controls. Unlike mineral water available in supermarkets, the proportion of vital minerals in tap water is higher. The market research institute GfK also found that people who use a drinking water bubbler tend to consume more liquid than consumers who buy “ready-made” mineral water.

Another advantage results from the fact that you can enrich the refreshing drink prepared with the drinking water bubbler with concentrates and syrups as you wish. Whether classic variants such as apple or exotic flavours such as cola, energy and ginger ale: try out without hesitation which syrups you add to the sparkling water individually.

Sparkling water is poured into glass

Those who prefer their mineral water with a lot of carbonation, however, will not get their money’s worth with most water sparklers. Compared to industrially produced “classic” water, the carbonic acid content of self-sparkling water is usually lower, as a built-in pressure relief valve kicks in at a certain point.

Pro Points

  • Time-saving
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cheaper in the long term
  • Easy on the back
  • Water can be adapted to individual preferences


  • Lower carbonic acid content than with “Classic” water
  • Follow-up costs due to CO2 cylinder

How do water bubblers work?

Water bubblers often work without electricity. On the top or front of the body is the bubble button, which has to be pressed to make water bubble up. The back of the body is usually removable. Behind it is the CO2 cylinder from which the gas for the bubbles comes. The gas comes out of the so-called bubbler nozzle, which points into the bottle. Users place the latter in the bottle holder, which can usually be tilted forwards for this purpose. A special docking mechanism – a classic thread or a bayonet lock – ensures that the bottle locks into the holder in a pressure-proof and stable manner. Now the unit can be closed. By pressing the bubble button once or several times, gas shoots out of the nozzle into the bottle. There it attaches itself to the existing water molecules, creating the bubbling carbonic acid. As soon as a hissing sound is heard, the converted sparkling water can be removed together with the bottle.

soda maker assembly
Classic water sparklers are all similar in design and consist of five basic components.

Regular cylinder replacement

You need to replace the CO2 cylinder regularly with a new one. Depending on the number of people living in the household and their water consumption, you should order full cylinders approximately every two to four weeks. Many supermarkets, drugstores, DIY stores, discounters and some pharmacies will exchange empty cylinders for full ones. The cost of such a new cylinder is between four and ten euros.

What to look for when buying a water sprinkler

Ideally, a drinking water bubbler is easy to use and enriches the available water with carbon dioxide in seconds. To find the ideal household appliance for you, there are a lot of other purchase criteria to consider. Whether you live in a single- or multi-person household contributes to how much importance you attach to aspects such as the material, the filling capacity, dishwasher resistance and stability, as well as the appearance and design.

Types of water bubbler: classic, electric or piped

There are different types of water sprinklers:

  • Classic water bubblers
  • Electric water sprinklers
  • Piped water sprinklers

Classic water sprinklers work at the touch of a button and are widely used in private households. They are compact and flexible to set up. To make the water bubble, you have to press a button several times until the desired CO2 content is reached or the pressure relief valve is activated. You get more luxury with an electric water bubbler. It looks similar to the classic version, but has a power connection and doses the CO2 automatically. This variant is considerably more expensive than classic devices and quite rare. An example model is the SodaStream Power. It is about five times as expensive as a low-priced classic water sprinkler. Buyers must decide for themselves whether the little extra luxury is worth the money.

For professional use, for example in the catering trade or in office buildings, piped devices are worthwhile. They are an integral part of the furnishings, as they are inconspicuously integrated into the respective kitchen unit. Instead of a tap, these variants are equipped with a soda tap, a cooling and bubble unit and a filtration unit.

Material: plastic or glass bottles

The material of a water bubbler and its CO2 cylinder determine how stable the appliance is. In addition, you can get bottles to go with the household appliance. These are either made of plastic or glass.

Ideally, look for materials that are free of harmful BPA (bisphenol A). You can’t go wrong with a glass container in this respect, especially as the material is very easy to clean and heat-resistant. The disadvantage of a glass bottle is its smaller capacity: Glass carafes usually hold a maximum of 0.6 litres of liquid. All in all, people who mainly drink water at home and attach importance to taste- and odour-neutral end products benefit particularly from glass bottles.

plastic and glass bottle

Plastic bottles are suitable for anyone looking for a robust bottle with a large capacity. Plastic bottles, which can hold up to one litre, usually weigh less than comparable glass containers and are therefore also suitable for children. Nevertheless, PET bottles are less heat-resistant, which is why they should not be cleaned in the dishwasher. The manufacturer SodaStream has both models with plastic bottles and those with glass variants in its range: the somewhat cheaper SodaStream Easy with large PET bottles and the SodaStream Crystal with smaller glass bottles.

Screw cap or snap cap: Which is easier to handle?

An important criterion that makes handling easier or more difficult is the closure shape of the bottle holder. It determines whether you can place the bottle in the body of the device with one hand or whether you need both hands. In principle, practical snap caps are easier to use, as the bottle automatically “clicks” into place and is closed in a pressure-proof manner. You have a little more trouble with a screw cap with a classic thread, which requires twisting on. Alternatively, some water bubblers are equipped with a so-called bayonet cap. The bottles are hooked into these with a plug-and-screw movement. Children, the elderly and physically handicapped in particular may have problems operating the screw cap without difficulty. They should therefore use a snap-on cap and a wide body if possible.

Filling volume of the bottles: Plastic bottles with a larger filling volume

The filling volume determines how much water you can carry in the bottle. There is no clear right or wrong in this category, only personal preference. If you are on the move a lot and therefore need a larger amount of water throughout the day, you can use a plastic bottle. Their capacity of between 0.7 and 1.0 litre makes it possible to transport home-made sparkling water in larger quantities.

In many cases, glass bottles are not only heavier, they also have a limited filling volume. Some bottles have a maximum capacity of 0.6 litres, making them less suitable for taking out of the house. Of course, you can still opt for this variant, for example on the occasion of a short appointment.

different bottle sizes
Can all water bubbler bottles be cleaned in the dishwasher?

Many accessories of the water bubbler are dishwasher safe. Glass carafes, for example, can withstand high temperatures, so you can clean them in the dishwasher without any problems. The case is different for heat-sensitive PET bottles: they should never be exposed to temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.

Stability of the appliance

One aspect that should not be neglected before buying a water bubbler is the way it is made. Only sturdy appliances can withstand everyday wear and tear and guarantee consistent quality for many years. Most water sprinklers are equipped with a sturdy plastic housing and a removable back panel. However, conventional plastic housings prove to be less robust than stainless steel in everyday use. If you want an all-round stable, resistant housing that is not affected by vibrations, you should prefer a housing made of stainless steel. It is also important that the bottles can be inserted into the bubbler in a stable and pressure-proof manner.

Which water bubbler designs suit children and families?

Water bubblers differ significantly in terms of their design. While other purchase criteria are quite objective, the decision for or against a design variant is related to individual taste. While brightly coloured models are particularly popular with families with children, water spinners in neutral shades can be easily integrated into any kitchen. Unusual designs in bright colours can even encourage children who are lazy about drinking to drink water.

Operation: dosing CO2

Water bubblers work with the help of CO2 cylinders, which provide the gas supply. These cartridges, which weigh between 200 and 430 grams, are often included in the scope of delivery. If you need a second cylinder, you usually have to buy it in addition to the unit. The following applies here: A second cylinder is useful as soon as the filling quantity is approaching its end and there are no more supplies available. An important purchase criterion in connection with the cylinder, which is estimated to produce up to 60 litres of sparkling water, is the dosage of CO2. To enrich the water with carbon dioxide, you have the choice between manual and fully automatic dosing.

Some brand-name units come with a dosing lever with an exact display of the carbon dioxide content. This practical, analogue function allows consumers to individually set the desired fizz strength for each operation. Dosing is more convenient in the case of appliance types with fully automatic CO2 dosing. The electric SodaStream Power, for example, allows you to add carbon dioxide at different intensity levels to the tap water you fill it with at the touch of a button. If you prefer to add carbon dioxide to water individually, we recommend using models that allow manual dosing. Remember to press the button a little more carefully so that the drink does not contain more carbon dioxide than intended.

Scope of delivery and sets

Many water sprinklers come with various accessories. Such a set can include different types of syrup as well as special cleaning agents and brushes. In addition to a CO2 cartridge, most models come with a glass or plastic filling bottle and a lid.

Another useful accessory is a drip holder in a matching colour, which is a stylish addition to water bubblers with glass bottles in particular. Rinsed bottles can be placed on the drip holder, where they can be left to air dry.

various water flats

Handy bottle brushes make it easier to clean the containers afterwards. With them, you can effortlessly remove stains from the surface by light scrubbing. Since the brushes fit easily through narrow lids, they are versatile not only for glass bottles but also for other household items.

Tips for the care of water bubblers

The durability of your water sprinkler depends to a large extent on the care it receives. If you want to keep the appliance in good working order for many years, you should take care to use it gently. It is crucial that you operate the bubble button carefully to avoid any signs of wear and tear. If the bubbler makes a muffled sound, it is likely that the pressure is too high. In this case, you should not press the button again for the time being.

Cleaning bottles and bubblers

Of course, proper care also contributes to a long shelf life. To ensure a hygienically perfect condition at all times, it is essential to at least wipe the inside and outside of the bottles used after each use. The easiest way to do this is to clean the body with hot water using a cleaning brush. The appliance itself should also be thoroughly wiped with a damp cloth at least once a week.

Descaling the water bubbler

If the containers are not dishwasher-safe, you should decalcify them with special cleaning tablets or commercially available citric acid. Fill the bottle with the cleaning agent and warm tap water. Then place it in the bottle holder, press the bubble button and leave the detergent to work for about 15 minutes. Then empty the container before cleaning it thoroughly with a commercially available bottle brush.

Remember that not all materials are heat-resistant. PET bottles, for example, should not be exposed to temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. So be careful not to put plastic bottles in the dishwasher or clean them with hot water. Instead, use only lukewarm water and a little washing-up liquid to prevent damage to the delicate material.

Other helpful hints

In addition to proper care, the following tips can help make the operation and use of a water sprinkler more enjoyable:

Use cold water
cold water

The colder sparkling water is, the more sparkling its taste. Another positive effect results from the fact that you need less carbon dioxide for the desired refreshment. Colder water can also be useful from a health point of view, as it naturally contains fewer bacteria and germs. It is therefore best to put the sparkling water in the fridge to prevent harmful microorganisms from multiplying in the water in the first place.

Misuse the water bubbler
water and syrup

You can use the appliance to prepare other delicious drinks in addition to the “elixir of life”. These include, first and foremost, sparkling soft drinks and spritzers that can be enriched with sparkling water. A number of big names in the field of water sparklers, such as TRi TOP or SodaStream, offer an extensive range of syrup additives and concentrates. With the help of these, you can make healthy organic lemonade, refreshing cola or invigorating ginger ale at home, for example.

Know the right time to add the syrup

Always add the syrup and other additives after the fizzing process. When fizzing itself, there should only be pure water in the bottle. This applies to all water bubblers, apart from a few exceptional cases. Otherwise, the drink will foam so much during the bubbling process that it will overflow. In addition, there is a risk that the sugary liquid will clog the bubbler and require extensive cleaning.

Observe shelf life
durability of the bottle

The accessories of the water bubbler in particular only last for a limited period of time. After three to four years at the latest, you should replace the bubbler bottles with new ones. PET bottles last a maximum of five years before you should replace them with new bottles for the sake of hygiene. The water itself is safe to drink for about 24 hours after the bubbling process.