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Is a Soda Stream worth it for sparkling water?

We drink a lot of sparkling mineral water in our house (usually 8 litres a week) which costs us about £1.60. Aside from the cost it creates a lot of plastic waste – not only four large plastic bottles but also the plastic packaging surrounding the multi-pack we usually buy.

The cost plus the environmental impact made me question if investing in a Soda Stream to make carbonated water would be worth it.

Skip straight to the discount code!

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The maths

The cheapest Soda Stream on the UK market at present is the Spirit which comes with one cylinder of gas (which makes 60 litres of carbonated water) and a 1 litre drink bottle.

On Amazon this bundle usually costs north of £80 – which is a not inconsiderable initial outlay – though sales and discount can reduce that price.

Sale
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
4,559 Reviews
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
  • Turn tap water into something truly exciting: Make delicious sparkling water in a matter of seconds - simply with the touch of a button
  • Better for you, better for the planet: Keep hydrated and create healthy, delicious soft drinks, cocktails and more at home
  • Be the change: Reduce your plastic waste as our fizzy water maker could save you up to 1,282 single-use plastic bottles over 4 years
  • Versatile and convenient: Comes with a 1 litre reusable carbonating bottle included, which is BPA free
  • Stylish and space saving: The compact sparkling water maker is sleek, chic and cuts out the need to bulk buy carbonated water. Comes with a 2 year guarantee included

Check Soda Stream prices on Amazon

To refill a gas cylinder costs around £15 so – setting the cost of the machine aside for a moment – this works out at 25 pence per litre (£15 refill / 60 litres = £0.25 per litre).

Tesco own brand carbonated water is one of the cheapest on the market at £0.45 for 2 litres, so this works out at £0.23 pence per litre.

Therefore it is already cheaper than the Soda Stream version, even without taking the cost of the machine into the equation.

On cost alone the Soda Stream is not worth it. For us it would take the cost of our 8 litres of water up from £1.60 to £2 a week.

Add in the cheapest, most basic Sodastream Fizzi model and you’ve added another £60+ to the total.

However, environmentally by using a Soda Stream we would be saving a lot of plastic – in just one year we use around 208 large plastic bottles (4 bottles of 2l of water every week is 4 x 52 weeks). Ouch!

SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - White
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
Our Top Pick
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 L CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
sodastream water whirlpool Crystal (with 1 x CO2 cylinder 60L and 1 x 0,6L glass carafe), premium white, Plastic, White, EU 20
Sodastream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker with Gas Cylinder Megapack
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - White
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 L CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
sodastream water whirlpool Crystal (with 1 x CO2 cylinder 60L and 1 x 0,6L glass carafe), premium white, Plastic, White, EU 20
Sodastream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker with Gas Cylinder Megapack
£88.34
£85.66
£79.98
£129.28
£159.99
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - White
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - White
£88.34
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
SodaStream Spirit Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 Litre CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
£85.66
Our Top Pick
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 L CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
SodaStream Genesis Sparkling Water Maker Machine with 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottle for Carbonating and 60 L CO2 Gas Cylinder - Black
£79.98
sodastream water whirlpool Crystal (with 1 x CO2 cylinder 60L and 1 x 0,6L glass carafe), premium white, Plastic, White, EU 20
sodastream water whirlpool Crystal (with 1 x CO2 cylinder 60L and 1 x 0,6L glass carafe), premium white, Plastic, White, EU 20
£129.28
Sodastream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker with Gas Cylinder Megapack
Sodastream Crystal Sparkling Water Maker with Gas Cylinder Megapack
£159.99

Soda Stream discount code

If you want to shop direct from SodaStream themselves, we have an exclusive discount offer for you.

Follow this link to their website and by giving them your email address, they’ll ping you back with a 10% off coupon!

Get the Discount

Is buying a soda stream ethical?

This is a tough one. Like so many things it can depend on your viewpoint, your politics and where you place those things against your life, shopping and financial choices.

Is sodastream good for the environment?

There are lots of factors at play here so the correct answer is: “It depends.” If you currently drink nothing but collected rainwater, then no buying a SodaStream is not going to decrease your environmental impact.

Are you considering buying a SodaStream (or other fizzy drinks machine) to, like us, replace your environmentally questionable bottled plastic water? In which case, it may be better.

But even that can depend on what you’re currently drinking.

Many consumable food goods when they’re packaged and shipped are dehydrated – they literally have almost all the water removed, then it’s shipped and the water is put back in at the point of delivery.

This is to make it lighter, smaller and considerably cheaper to transport. Shipping 200 tonnes of apple juice is considerably more cost-effective when that 200 tonnes of apple juice can be re-hydrated to make 400 tonnes of apple juice at point of sale.

Obviously with water it’s much harder to do that. So if your bottled water is being transported, even from somewhere comparatively close like the Highlands of Scotland, then that’s adding a lot to the carbon footprint of that bottle of refreshment you have in your fridge.

Where does the CO2 in the refills come from?

According to grist.org the majority of CO2 in the canisters for these counter-top drinks makers, comes as a by-product of industry. Ammonia plants, fertilizer factories, even breweries – anywhere where there’s a fermentation process of sorts – has CO2 as a by-product of their processes.

They capture that CO2 and sell it to manufacturers to put into CO2 canisters, to make your beer or champagne fizzy or in canned soda etc.

In that sense the CO2 you’d be using in your drinks machine is ‘recycled’ or at least being reused.

Yes of course those gas canisters have to be shipped too – but with one canister making around 60 litres of fizzy liquid it’s much more cost effective (and therefore damaging to the environment) to ship one of those than 60 litres of anything.

Photo (by Axel Ahoi on Unsplash) of a cargo ship

SodaStream‘s thoughts on their environmental position versus bottled water is pretty clear.

Their Shame or Glory campaign, featuring Game of Thrones stars complete with a woman ringing a bell and chanting “Shame!” as she follows a man who just bought bottled water, put them (perhaps unsurprisingly) in some hot water with the bottled water industry:

Sodastream, israel and the BDS boycott

SodaStream were acquired by Pepsico in late 2018 for about US$3.2bn (that’s a lot of cans of Pepsi!).

Prior to that they were an Israeli owned company – and many of those owners are still involved with the company.

A key SodaStream factory was based in an illegal settlement in Israeli-occupied territory in Palestine.

They have since closed the West Bank factory in 2015. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement claimed this as a victory after encouraging a boycott of SodaStream based on (amongst other things) the West Bank factory.

Despite the factory closure, BDS are still encouraging the boycott, which you may want to factor into your purchasing decisions.

SodaStream Alternatives

There are alternatives to SodaSteam.

Brands like IBAMA, Aarke and Morphy Richards all make comparable products, which will do more or less the same job:

LEVIVO water carbonator set/carbonated water set incl. 2 carbonator bottles and CO2 cylinder, soda maker for carbonated tap water at the push of a button, carbonation level individually adjustable
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders One Size Brass
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders Silver
Morphy Richards Soda Sparkle Soda System 134502 Twin Starter Kit
LEVIVO water carbonator set/carbonated water set incl. 2 carbonator bottles and CO2 cylinder, soda maker for carbonated tap water at the push of a button, carbonation level individually adjustable
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders One Size Brass
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders Silver
Morphy Richards Soda Sparkle Soda System 134502 Twin Starter Kit
£63.23
Price not available
£110.44
£29.99
LEVIVO water carbonator set/carbonated water set incl. 2 carbonator bottles and CO2 cylinder, soda maker for carbonated tap water at the push of a button, carbonation level individually adjustable
LEVIVO water carbonator set/carbonated water set incl. 2 carbonator bottles and CO2 cylinder, soda maker for carbonated tap water at the push of a button, carbonation level individually adjustable
£63.23
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders One Size Brass
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders One Size Brass
Price not available
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders Silver
Aarke Carbonator II Water Carbonator, Stainless Steel Casing, Soda Water Carbonator, Including Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottle, Compatible with CO2 Sodastream Cylinders Silver
£110.44
Morphy Richards Soda Sparkle Soda System 134502 Twin Starter Kit
Morphy Richards Soda Sparkle Soda System 134502 Twin Starter Kit
£29.99

The issue you may come up against is the replacements and refills.

Some CO2 refill venues can be pretty picky about whose canisters they’ll accept. If you’re thinking about venturing off the well-trodden fizzy drink maker path – you may want to check-up on where you’ll get your refills from first.

Replacement bottles and spares

Another factor is the bottles.

Much as the harder plastic bottles (some models use glass bottles) are more hard wearing the will need replacing, eventually.

All the stresses and strains they’re put through, being packed with gas, decompressed, chilled, warmed up again, chilled again etc. puts strain on the plastic which will, over time, fatigue. So you’ll need replacement bottles.

Replacement SodaStream bottles are easy enough to come by:

SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power 2 x Refillable Bottles - Black
SodaStream Twin Pack 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - Grey
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 500 ml Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - White and Black
sodaStream 600 ml Resuable Glass Carafe for Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Only, Dishwasher Safe, 1 x Refillable Water Bottle
Sodastream 2 Classic Dishwasher Bottles 1 L Plastic Transparent
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power 2 x Refillable Bottles - Black
SodaStream Twin Pack 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - Grey
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 500 ml Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - White and Black
sodaStream 600 ml Resuable Glass Carafe for Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Only, Dishwasher Safe, 1 x Refillable Water Bottle
Sodastream 2 Classic Dishwasher Bottles 1 L Plastic Transparent
£7.99
£11.99
£10.99
£11.99
£14.49
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power 2 x Refillable Bottles - Black
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power 2 x Refillable Bottles - Black
£7.99
SodaStream Twin Pack 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - Grey
SodaStream Twin Pack 1 Litre Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - Grey
£11.99
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 500 ml Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - White and Black
SodaStream Twin Pack Fuse 500 ml Reusable BPA Free Water Bottles for Sparkling Water Maker, Compatible with Spirit, Spirit One Touch, Power, Genesis, Jet, Cool 2 x Refillable Bottles - White and Black
£10.99
sodaStream 600 ml Resuable Glass Carafe for Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Only, Dishwasher Safe, 1 x Refillable Water Bottle
sodaStream 600 ml Resuable Glass Carafe for Crystal Sparkling Water Maker Only, Dishwasher Safe, 1 x Refillable Water Bottle
£11.99
Sodastream 2 Classic Dishwasher Bottles 1 L Plastic Transparent
Sodastream 2 Classic Dishwasher Bottles 1 L Plastic Transparent
£14.49

If you stray off-stream, you can’t get SodaStream – obviously.

That said, many of the ‘seltzer makers’ will use the same CO2 canisters as each other – but again, worth checking on depending on the model you choose.

Conclusion

If your key aim is to reduce plastic then a Soda Stream would make sense but if you just want to save money then it does not work out cheaper than shop bought carbonated water.

Sadly for fizzy water fans like us probably the best solution to save cash and reduce plastic use is to stop drinking fizzy drinks altogether.


Last update on 2021-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

32 thoughts on “Is a Soda Stream worth it for sparkling water?”

  1. Because flavored soda requires the addition of SodaStream s Sodamix flavor syrup, you save far less per liter than you do with plain ol sparkling water, and therefore need to drink more before you recoup the cost of the machine.

    1. Hi Youji. Great point and thanks for your comment – the addition of the syrups/flavours does change the cost mix too – but then flavoured fizzy drinks are (usually) more expensive than sparkling water too, so the sums are broadly similar.

      1. Now that our overlords have dictated that we have to use artificial sweeteners in our fizzy drinks instead of real sugar, almost all the ones you can buy taste terrible and will wreck your health.

        If you make your own, you can create the healthiest version, which is to use glucose or dextrose as your sugar, eliminating both fructose and artificial sweeteners. Your childrens’ livers will thank you.

      2. Thanks Alex, it’s a good point. Having your own Soda Stream (or other brand!) does give you a lot more flexibility in terms of what you want to put in your drinks – and what you don’t!

  2. Also, I notice that many people aren’t including everything associated with getting the litres and litres (or cans) of soda water themselves into the overall cost of buying them. For me, it takes a lot of work and storage to buy and keep the bottles and cans around. I know it might not be much to some, but not having to do that is worth it for me. I can just get one when I want it instead of having to include that heavy weight purchase every time I go to the store.

    1. That’s a great point Joel, thanks for taking the time to add it.

      Carting all those heavy trays of cans from the supermarket to your car and then around the house to wherever you store them is an added burden (in lots of ways!) that having your own soda maker relieves. ?

      1. Hey Zoltan – thanks for stopping by.

        Right now we have a Soda Stream Spirit (the one picked out as “Our Top Pick” in the article above). We’ve had others in the past and tried lots of the others too. We genuinely try, wherever possible, to only recommend things we’ve tried ourselves.

  3. I was looking into this myself when I stumbled across the article, But I found slightly different prices that will almost break-even.

    Argos have the megapack on for £59.99 at the moment and The Range do a gas bottle exchange for £12.99 (If you are lucky enough to have one near you)

    So putting the initial outlay aside, that brings the cost to 22p a litre.

    In my eyes, that’s worth it.
    A 6-pack of 2L bottles is heavy and annoying to carry up the stairs, then having to store them and then filling up the recycling bin with crushed bottles. Plus, If I want to chill the water first, it’s much easier to fit a couple of 500ml bottles in my fridge than honking great 2 Litre bottles

    1. That’s a great shout Captain! We’ve found Argos seem to dip in and out of various models which can make them hard to keep track of.

      Finding a good refill/cannister exchange nearby is crucial too. We’re lucky enough to have a Lakeland nearby who do ours for around £12-15.

      Great points about the greater convenience of the smaller bottles too.

      Thanks for leaving such helpful ideas!

  4. Can you just add flavors to the bottle itself? Like fruit-juice concentrate or lemon juice instead of using the additional part?

    1. Hi Eva. Yes, in our experience you can use whatever you like to flavour the water. Usually it’s best to add this before you fizz the water but you can also just pour fizzy water into a glass with some of your favourite cordial for a fizzy orange drink etc.

      If you do add it before ‘fizzing’ remember to clean your machine a little more often so it doesn’t get clogged nor flavours accidentally mixed.

    1. We don’t have an Aarke ourselves Herbert – was there something specific you wanted to ask about them? Or an issue you’re having?

    2. Yes, got one a couple of months ago. Fantastic, I’ve had a number of different sodastreams throughout the years but the Aarke is just far superior on all levels. It maybe pricier than other makes but style and function are second to none. As a test I carbonated a bottle and left it over a week, it was still as fizzy as it was on the first day. Hope this helps.

  5. I refill my own sodastream cylinders with food grade CO2 using a donor cylinder which is filled with 6.4kg giving me 15 fills. Instead of £11.99 from Lakeland, it costs just £2.30 fill. There is an upfront cost to hire the donor cylinder, buy a connector valve, and the actual cost of the CO2, but have worked it out that i’ll be quids in after 11 months. If you can fill a friend’s cylinder too and they give you a few extra quid for your troubles, then they save and you do too! Just drink the straight fizzy water. Really do not like the mixes sodastream make.

    1. Hey Richard – can you post some links where you got the hardware from? Cylinder I assume from Gas UK or somewhere similar?

  6. We drink a lot of sparkling water in this house as well, probably about 12L a week. How does the taste of fizzy water from the soda stream compare with bottled? I’m guessing it will vary depending on your local tap water, but i would love to know if there is there a noticeable difference before forking out for a soda stream!

    1. Great question Lisa. We live in Cambridge, which is a notoriously hard water area (meaning more minerals and bits and pieces in the tap water). The tap water is perfectly drinkable so the sparkling water out of our SodaStream is too (especially after we pop the ‘fizzed’ bottles in the fridge!).

      We reckon if your tap water tastes OK to you then sparkling water from a SodaStream or similar will too. In our opinion gassing the water doesn’t affect the taste a great deal.

  7. HI
    Just came across this interesting article. Was thinking of joining the soda stream annual plan whereby I can get 12 cylinders per annum for £10 per cylinder. Delivered to my door free of charge, in three cartons of 4 cylinders each, empties dropped off by me at my local Coop store for collection. Looks good to me – or is there a catch that I am not thinking about?

  8. We upgraded from the Sodastream Spirit to Crystal for the glass bottles. However I am pretty sure that is actually a scam: the Crystal pressurizes the whole bottle compartment to get the fizz into the water, whereas all other models I know if simply pressurize the bottle inside – with less CO2. It seems to my Sodastream upgrade also included a hidden significant price increase per litre of fizzy water. Am I right? Any engineers on this site?
    Refilling CO2 bottles is easy if and when you follow the instructions – either with a larger bottle or with dry ice. But you do need to follow instructions or else it could be dangerous….

    1. Thanks for your comment and questions Jo. That’s interesting about the upgrade from Spirit to Crystal.

      We can see how the glass bottles are a bit if an upgrade but yes, if it gallops through the CO2 at a faster rate that’d be a problem.

  9. Hi, there,
    I’m investigating getting a drinks fizzer and looking at various brands, plastic vs glass bottles, etc. I’ve come across a brand called Bibo which is based in the UK (so I’d be keen to support them) but can’t find any reviews on its fizzy drinks machine
    anywhere. Have you heard of them, and are you aware of any reviews, good or bad?

    1. Hi Tracey. Great question!

      We’ve had half an eye on Bibo for the exact same reason. Personally we’ve not tried their product so can’t vouch for it good or bad. Until we can get our hands on one we’ll be sure to add them to this post if we think they’re worthy! Especially, as you say, supporting a UK-based business.

  10. Hi, after some debate I purchased a Sodastream Spirit Classic. It was faulty. It was incredibly difficult to get the bottle to latch into the machine. Even my husband struggled. We watched numerous YouTube videos showing demonstrators using 1 hand and no stress. After 2 weeks of hassle I phone SodaStream and they (Zak) sent out a replacement FOC . What a difference. It is so easy. So just to alert anyone that sometimes there is a problem with fixing bottle to machine.

    1. How frustrating! Great that you got it fixed and SodaStream responded so quickly. Thanks for sharing that Jan! Super helpful!

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