SodaStream: Because There’s No Power Quite Like the Power of Carbonating Your Own Water

The unbridled delight of cold sparkling water.
The unbridled delight of a refreshing glass of sparkling water.

Once I was visiting a kind-of newish friend, and she offered me home-made sparkling water (because she loves the earth). I was so excited because I had wondered how the at-home carbonators worked and figured this was my chance to try it before I buy it.

It was terrible. It was so flat it was like drinking a bottle of soda that had been open for a week. Sadly, I didn’t know this friend well enough to complain to her [ 🙂 ] so that day I didn’t get to learn that the amount of carbonation could be customized. For many years after that – two years – I just assumed I would never be able to experience the joys of at-home carbonation. #firstworldproblems

And then this is what happened. I was at a friend’s party, talking with another guest, and she started raving about her SodaStream – “so great!… we just love it… changed our lives…” Actually, I’m pretty sure she didn’t say that last thing, but she seemed excited enough about it that I decided to challenge her. “I don’t know… I’ve tried the sparkling water from those things, and it was too flat.” And that, my friends, is when I learned secret of customizable carbonation. Cue angel choir.

And I went out and bought one that weekend. Best decision ever. Because I’ve had mine for 5 years now, I have one of the original models – the SodaStream Genesis Home Soda Maker Starter Kit, Black and Silver. And — all joking aside — it has changed my life. At least when it comes to sparkling water. I love it! This is why:

  1. I never am without sparkling water now
  2. I don’t have to haul bottles of sparkling water home from the store and up my stairs to my apartment.
  3. I can make my water super sparkly, just like my personality (ha.ha.)
  4. I no longer hate the earth.

Number four is, of course, meant to be a joke, but, honestly, bottled water is really one of the dumbest and most environmentally-unfriendly things people can consume (and, yes, I do sometimes do it… sigh), so anything I can do to be less dumb and less environmentally-unfriendly seems like a good deal. Speaking of which, if you enjoy becoming depressed, here is a great lesson on the environmental, social and economic cost of drinking bottled water: The Story of Stuff Project’s “The Story of Bottled Water.”

So, if you like sparkling water, and you want to save money (and the earth!), I highly recommend the SodaStream.  There are a number of different models now. All of them come with warranties… some longer than others. Mine has a 10-year warranty, but others are shorter and a few of the fancier models have a lifetime warranty. Either way, if something goes wrong, you have options.

About the carbonator cylinder. When you buy a SodaStream, it comes with a carbonator tank (cylinder), which contains the CO2 that is injected into your water to make it sparkle. Here’s a picture of a standard size SodaStream 60-Liter Carbonator-Spare Cylinder.

This is the standard size SodaStream Carbonator Cyclinder - 60L
SodaStream Carbonator Cylinder

This is the size that fits into all SodaStream makers, but some models can also fit the 130-L cylinders.  I have noticed that most SodaStreams are now sold with an annoying “starter carbonator cylinder” which is basically trial-size. Probably the idea is to get you back into whatever store you bought it from, but you are definitely going to want to get the full-size (either 60L or, if your unit accepts it, the 130L) the day you buy your unit. Just buy it that same day. Trust me.

Now here is my first tip based on experience: #1: When your carbonator is empty, you can take it to Bed Bath and Beyond (and probably other retailers offer this same deal), and they will sell you a new one for half price as long as you are turning in the old one (recycling – SodaStream loves the earth!). At Bed Bath and Beyond, the trade-in price is $15, and if you have a $5 off coupon (i.e., if you receive U.S. Mail), it ends up being $10. Amazing!

Tip #2: Buy an extra/spare carbonating cylinder.  It took me about 3 years before I realized that this was a good investment; I am a super fast learner. But take it from me… there is nothing more depressing than going to carbonate your water and hearing the sad and pitiful fizz of a dying carbonator. Buy the spare now. Or as soon as you are sure that you are going to keep your SodaStream. You will thank me.

Tip #3: The SodaStream bottles that you MUST use to carbonate your water have an expiration date. I just learned this. It is actually printed right there on the bottle. The bottles may still work after the expiration date, but eventually, they will stop working. When this happens, you might think that the actual SodaStream is broken, but it very well could be that it is time to replace the bottles.

Tip #4: SodaStream has a really friendly and helpful customer service department in case you do end up needing help with your product: (800) 763-2258.

I love you, SodaStream - Let's get married.
I love you, SodaStream. Let’s get married.

So, now that you have all the info, what do you think? Will you get a SodaStream? Or do you already have one? And has it changed your life? 😉

About The Author

Anne Stericker

City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.


  1. Steve Heller | 27th Jan 16

    Are you familiar with Jonathan Gold? Food writer extraordinaire … I love reading anything he writes, even if it’s about a restaurant I haven’t a bit of interest in going to.

    So. Not particularly a fan of the bubbles (don’t hate ’em … but wasn’t even much good with soda as a kid!). But I have to admire your post here in all its completist technical and opinionated glory – and surely yet more evidence for the truth of your reason #3 😉

    • Anne Stericker | 4th Feb 16

      Haha! You are funny, Steve! This is why you are great at improv! Thanks for the feedback and the reminder about Jonathan Gold!

      • Anne Stericker | 13th Feb 16

        I’m gonna post the pic of Scarlett’s breakfast!

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