Understanding SodaStream Models: A Comparison Guide

SodaStream Models ultimate guideSodaStream is a soda machine juggernaut that provides sparkling water lovers with more options than ever to customize their favorite beverages or always have a new bubbly drink in their fridge. One of the best things about SodaStream’s catalog is just how many options there are for any soda fanatic.

There are five main SodaStream models to choose from, and each does a phenomenal job of providing carbonated water whenever you like.

But it can be tricky to know which soda maker to choose, especially if you haven’t used a sparkling water maker before. In this guide, we’ll go over what distinguishes these soda maker models from one another and let you know which folks they’re meant to be used by.

That way, you can accurately match up your needs with the soda maker that’ll work best for you.

Let’s get started!

How All SodaStream Machines Work

Before we get into the specifics for any of the soda maker machines below, let’s go over how each model can provide you with tasty carbonated water whenever you like.

SodaStream soda makers work by infusing carbon dioxide gas into cold water via a nozzle. The carbon dioxide gas used for each soda maker can only be provided via a pre-sized CO2 gas bottle.

SodaStream sells bottles that are perfectly sized for all of its soda maker models, regardless of which exact model you own. This makes SodaStream one of the best resources for finding replacement gas canisters when you run dry.

You can find third-party CO2 canister providers, although there’s no guarantee that those gas cylinders will work with your soda maker. Additionally, SodaStream offers a way to save money on refilling costs by offering discounted prices if you ship in your old CO2 canisters to have them refilled.

fizzi one-touch soda makerEach full CO2 cylinder can provide you with 60 L of carbonated water. Since most SodaStream bottles come in 1 L sizes, this is effectively 60 drinks per cylinder. Most soda makers will eventually simply stop functioning as soon as the CO2 cylinder is depleted.

You insert the CO2 cylinder in the back of whatever soda maker you own, usually twisting it until a seal is formed between the canister and the soda maker. Once this seal is secure, you can move on to the water.

SodaStream machines have fixed nozzles at the front of each model that are specifically designed to only accept bottles sized like SodaStream ones. It’s definitely possible to find occasional soda or beverage bottles that are not made from SodaStream that may fit these nozzles, but they are few and far between.

SodaStream has this limitation because you’re only supposed to use pure water without anything else mixed into it when you add the CO2 gas. This is because CO2 gas has a higher mixing limit with plain water than with beverages with other components. In other words, the soda maker can force more CO2 gas into a pure bottle of water than it can with other beverages.

This is partially due to the saturation limit of water as a liquid, and partly due to temperature. SodaStream also recommends that you only provide cold water for carbonation instead of room temperature or warm water. Cold, pure water is the ideal conduit to receive carbonation since it has a high saturation limit and CO2 gas doesn’t escape very easily.

While it’s possible to use other liquids, like juice, with a SodaStream machine, the results are often explosive and can result in a sticky mess that you then have to clean up. It’s almost always a better idea to carbonate cold water and add flavoring afterward.

After placing the water bottle into its designated nozzle, most soda makers require you to just press a button and the machine does the rest. Some machines have preset timers to allow for perfect carbonation each time while others allow for more customization, requiring you to hold the button down until you are satisfied. You can then remove the water bottle.

If you want to add syrup or any other homemade ingredients to your carbonated water, you can then do so. This basic process is what every soda maker model follows regardless of its advancements or other settings.

SodaStream Fizzi – The Beginner

The Fizzi is the most basic and affordable soda maker offered by SodaStream. It’s a great starting product and is an especially good choice for occasional carbonated water drinkers or for those just getting into this as a hobby or habit.

Its affordability is a big plus; you can get a basic starter pack with everything you need, including a three-year warranty and a 1 L water bottle, for less than any other soda maker pick. It’s the most cost-effective choice to start drinking your own custom sodas as soon as you can for as little money as possible.

sodastream fizzi model in blueYou can also spend a little extra and get a special “Hydration Pack,” which includes everything that the starter pack has plus 2 extra 1 L water bottles and 2 0.5 L bottles. This also comes with lemon fruit drops to make your own citrus-flavored soda once the kit arrives. All in all, this is a great choice for those with a family or if you’ll be sharing the machine between multiple people.

As a machine, the Fizzi is a pretty simple example for a soda maker. It only accepts 1 L size bottles due to its pre-sized docking station, which is perfectly sized for proprietary bottles sold by SodaStream. Once you insert the bottle and the gas canister, all you need to do is press the single button at the top of the machine and the carbonating process will begin.

The Fizzi’s button is activated by pressure and stops carbonating if you release your finger. This allows you to customize the level of carbonation in each beverage to your personal liking. SodaStream also includes a small beginner guide to provide some example times for different levels of carbonation.

However, most people won’t carbonate beverages for longer than 7-12 seconds at most, with 10 seconds being the average level of carbonation for most 1 L bottles of water.

This basic soda maker doesn’t require electricity to operate, so it’s easy to use anywhere in your home. It also comes in either black or white colors so you can match it with your decor or kitchen aesthetic without too much trouble. Furthermore, it comes in a pretty small size, just a little taller than the 1 L bottles of water that it infuses the carbonation.

All in all, the SodaStream Fizzi is an easy to use soda maker and a perfect starting point if you’ve never made your own custom sodas before. Even after gaining some experience, you’ll probably want to keep it around thanks to its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t need a power outlet to provide you with soda.

SodaStream One Touch – Electrifying

The SodaStream One Touch is an upgrade from the basic Fizzi model, and its beginner pack is only slightly more expensive than the cheapest variant of the latter. This starter kit comes with the machine, a 1 L bottle of water and matching carbonating cylinder, free shipping, and a three-year warranty.

sodastream one touch electric model

You can also upgrade to a “Hydration Pack”, as with the Fizzi, which includes extra bottles perfectly sized to fit in the machine and some lemon fruit drops. Furthermore, you can try out this soda maker with a 30-day risk-free trial, which can potentially offer great value for money.

So what makes the One Touch different from the Fizzi? Both inserting the carbonating cylinder and the water bottle require that you follow the exact same procedure as with the Fizzi, and this machine also only takes 1 L-sized bottles. The major difference comes at the top of the machine itself.

The One Touch requires electricity to operate because it boasts three buttons, each preset for different levels of carbonation. The first setting infuses only a mild amount of carbonation into the attached bottle water, firing for less than 10 seconds.

This is a perfect choice for soda lovers that enjoy a lighter tingle with each sip of their beverage or who might get an upset stomach if they drink soda with too much carbonation.

The second setting is the median 10-second burst that most people will stick with on average. It delivers a carbonated beverage virtually identical to the one produced by the Fizzi or other soda makers.

The third and final button delivers a higher level of carbonation by firing for about 15 seconds before ceasing. This makes your carbonated drink extremely bubbly and fizzy, and it’s perfect for soda lovers that appreciate a sharper tang on their tongue with each sip.

Basically, the One Touch offers greater preset levels of soda customization for a slightly higher asking price. Of course, you’ll have to decide if the lack of customization between those levels is worth it to you.

You can also purchase it in black or white colors and it looks almost identical to the Fizzi; the only major difference is the power cord that runs out the back. You’ll need to find an appropriate spot near a power outlet to use this machine consistently.

This being said, the power draw from this machine is very light. You could easily still take this soda maker camping and run it with a portable generator or an RV’s battery without issue. It’s not likely to short out your outlets or cause your kitchen any problems.

The only downside is the relative thinness of the power cable. It’s very easy to accidentally bend or cut, so take care when using it in a crowded kitchen.

SodaStream Aqua Fizz – The Custom Soda Maker

The SodaStream Aqua Fizz combines the custom button-pushing carbonating style of the basic Fizzi with a little more elegance and class to make it fit in with more style-conscious kitchens or decors. You’ll notice right away that it comes with a different design, even though it takes up about the same amount of space as the previous two soda makers.

aqua fizz sodastream model pack

The Aqua Fizz works first by lifting the top half of the carbonating access port up and away from the receiver, which looks like a silver cup. This receiver is pre-sized to only accept 620 mL glass carafes, one of which you get with the basic Starter Pack for this model. The glass carafes don’t hold as much carbonated water as the 1 L plastic bottles, but they have an advantage in that they are dishwasher safe.

The glass carafes also look a lot classier than regular plastic bottles. They’re more durable and easier to clean, and arguably promote better-tasting carbonated water as a whole.

To use this machine, you insert the glass carafe into the receiver cup once it has water inside, then lower the top half of the Aqua Fizz carbonator apparatus over the bottle. A small carbonating tube will dip into the water and the bottle will disappear from view as a seal is formed.

It looks quite futuristic and cool to see in person.

Next, you carbonate your water using the same method as you would with the Fizzi. Simply press the single large button at the top for as long as you like, and you’ll carbonate your beverage to your liking.

Since these carafes don’t hold as much water, it’s recommended that you only hold the button down for seven or eight seconds instead of the regular 10. Still, the hold-to-carbonate design means you can easily customize your carbonation level.

You can purchase the Aqua Fizz in a starter kit, which comes with a single glass carafe, a three-year warranty, and everything else you need to begin making custom sodas immediately. Or you can purchase a “Hydration Pack,” like with the other soda makers. This includes three of the glass containers, plus lemon fruit drops.

All in all, the Aqua Fizz is a more stylish and aesthetically pleasing version of the basic soda maker model that SodaStream has perfected. It’s better if you don’t need to drink a whole liter of soda each time you make a custom beverage or if you prefer the look and taste of drinks from a glass carafe rather than a plastic bottle.

SodaStream Jet – More Bubbles, More Fun

The SodaStream Jet is another upgrade to the basic Fizzi model. It comes with a single kit option that includes the machine, a 1 L bottle for sparkling water, and a carbonating cylinder. This model is easy to use since you can simply insert your water bottle into the nozzle and twist it to lock it into place. This model doesn’t use electricity or batteries, just like the Fizzi.

sodastream jet model in whiteIt also uses a single button at the top that releases carbonation according to how long you hold it down. So what’s the major difference between these two soda maker models?

For starters, there are some differences in terms of appearance. The Jet comes in a distinctive black and silver color that’s a little more stylish than the rather plain black or white offered by the Fizzi. In addition, the bottle is slightly elevated when inserted into the nozzle. A carbonating rod goes deeper into the water than with the Fizzy, potentially improving its carbonating capabilities.

But the real difference between both machines is and how much CO2 gas they can use. The Fizzi is limited to using 60 L carbonating cylinders. But the Jet is compatible with both 60 L and 130 L CO2 cylinders: the latter of the two offers more than double the number of carbonated beverages before you need to refill your cylinder.

This makes the Jet a great option if you need a soda maker for a large family that drinks lots of carbonated beverages each week.

Having a larger carbonating cylinder around allows you to go longer between sending in your empty cylinder to get a refill.

Plus, the Jet comes with an automatic mail-in rebate for your first carbonating cylinder with the purchase. It’s a soda maker designed for frequent carbonated beverage drinkers who love to make their own custom sodas.

However, this kit doesn’t come with bottles since SodaStream is slowly phasing this model out of production. You’ll need to pick up bottle and syrup separately, possible adding to the overall asking price in the end.

SodaStream Source – LED-Illuminated

The SodaStream Source is the final offered soda maker model currently available. It has an elegant aesthetic with an extremely easy to use push-in snap-lock system that makes it a breeze to insert your next water bottle when it’s ready for carbonation. Simply push the bottle up into the receiving nozzle and you’ll hear it snap into place.

sodastream source model in black editionThis soda maker model doesn’t take up too much room on the kitchen counter and doesn’t require electricity or batteries to function. It can take the regular 60 L carbonating cylinder and a 1 L bottle of water. It also uses the signature push-to-carbonate button at the top of the machine that we have come to expect from most SodaStream models.

So what’s the difference? Directly above the slot where your water bottle will go is a series of three water droplet icons. These icons indicate the current level of carbonation you are infusing into your water bottle based on your pressure and the time you’ve held the button down. These LED lights run on small unreplaceable batteries that will last for years to come without any maintenance on your part.

The LED lights are helpful because it can be difficult to tell how much carbonation you confused into your water bottle with the other models that use the same button system. Say that you forgot how long you held the button down; now you have to sip the water bottle yourself to determine how bubbly it is before you can continue or cease carbonation.

The LED lights take the guesswork out of the equation. They’ll light up sequentially as you move from stage to stage, going from a low level of carbonation (one water droplet) to a high level of carbonation (five water droplets).

This is a simple and intuitive way to let you measure how much carbonating you’re doing and help you stop when you’ve reached your personal favorite custom carbonation level.

Other than that, the machine is standard in all other aspects. It comes in both black and white colors, as well, so you can match it with most kitchen aesthetics with ease.

Like with the Jet, the Source doesn’t come with bottles or syrup with its purchase. Be sure to pick up a few if you decide to go with this model instead of the others.

What’s the Difference Between SodaStream Bottles?

SodaStream offers several varieties of water bottles, all of which are sized for either most of their soda maker models or for the Aqua Fizz, specifically. The major difference between these two water bottle types is their material.

sodastream bottle versionsAs previously mentioned, the Aqua Fizz only accepts glass carafe water bottles that hold 620 mL of fluid. These glass carafes are dishwasher safe, making them much easier to clean than their plastic counterparts. There are a few different varieties of the basic glass carafe, changing its color or aesthetic, and they are purchasable from the main SodaStream website.

The other water bottle variety is plastic, and it comes in two sizes: 1 L or 0.5 L. The plastic bottles are not dishwasher safe as the plastic material might warp when subjected to the high heat and turbulence of a typical commercial dishwasher.

You’ll have to wash these by hand, using regular soap and water.

However, these bottles can be used by more soda maker models than the carafes, which only fit with the Aqua Fizz.

The plastic bottles come in much more variety in terms of color or design, as well. Several plastic bottles come with decorative designs or slightly different aesthetics; as an example, you can get a few plastic bottles with stainless steel bottoms and caps, which both look sleek and are more hygienic than plastic bottoms and caps.  Check out my post here on what bottles are interchangeable across the models.

How Do Flavors Work?

SodaStream machines work best when you carbonate regular water that hasn’t yet mixed with flavorings or other additives. It’s easier to carbonate the water efficiently this way.

sodastream syrup bottles
Image Courtesy of Neil Graver @ Flickr

When you’re finished carbonating your water, you can add pieces of fruit to infuse some light flavor or mix the carbonated water with a small but concentrated amount of another beverage.

Most people use the proprietary SodaStream flavored syrups to create their custom carbonated beverages. These syrups are concentrated formulas that provide common or relatively unique flavorings for your carbonated water bottles.

The syrups are pretty thick when you pour them out, so it’s only necessary to add a few drops of the syrup for a full bottle of carbonated water.

Of course, the beauty of the syrups is that you can add however much or little you desire. Like with the carbonating buttons, SodaStream’s real magic comes from the ability to customize your carbonated drink exactly the way you like it. It’s far superior to having to drink soda pre-made by others, which may be more or less carbonated or sweetened than you prefer.

  I’ve done a rundown of the top 35 SodaStream flavors here – worth a read. 

Models Comparison Conclusion

Overall, all of the SodaStream machines have value and are a great pick for somebody. Most people will probably want to stick to the basics; in this case, the Fizzi is a great choice due to its affordability and ease-of-use. But the One Touch and Aqua Fizz are also extremely popular, the latter for those who enjoy carbonated water more as a treat or luxury than an everyday beverage.

 Which soda maker model is right for you?  That’s up to you to decide.

Whatever you choose, we hope this guide has been helpful and thanks for reading!

Chris Watson

I'm the owner and blogger here at SodaPopCraft.Com. I'm a soft drinks enthusiast amd I'm bringing you all I know and research from the world of Soda Pop & Kombucha soft drinks. I hope it inspires you to make your own healthier fizzy drinks at home.Read more About Me here

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