SodaStream vs LaCroix – Which Sparkling Water is the Best?

SodaStream vs. LaCroix - best saprkling water

Lots of folks enjoy sparkling water, but many enthusiasts spend lots of money on pre-canned LaCroix. This sparkling water brand is generally healthy and lacks a lot of the negatives associated with sodas or flavored fizzy drinks. But SodaStream can let you make your own custom sodas and sparkling waters and doesn’t have as much of an environmental impact.

So, SodaStream vs. LaCroix: which sparkling water is the best?

It depends on your exact needs and how often you drink sparkling water. In the long run, SodaStream is far more affordable for custom soda and sparkling water drinkers who can’t go a day without their favorite drink. The price per ounce of SodaStream sparkling water in either plain or flavored varieties is far cheaper than the price per ounce offered by LaCroix.

But LaCroix offers you sparkling water in a canned that is ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’s the superior choice if you only drink sparkling water occasionally or if you don’t have it every day. You can pick up a pack of LaCroix take it with you, while your SodaStream will usually remain home since it isn’t designed for travel. You can also find ready to drink LaCroix at supermarkets and transit stations across the country.

Quick Answer:

For those that want to get straight to the point;  My Recommendation is to go with SodaStream. 

It’s much more diverse as far as flavouring combos and IMO better for the planet (single use bottles for the win!)

my sodastream recommendations

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LaCroix still has its place and my favourite ( before i switched to Sodastream) was the lime flavoured versions

lacroix sparkling lime water

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But read on below to find out why i believe SodaStream is the best sparkling water choice

Both sparkling water providers offer lots of variety in their flavors, as well.  SodaStream has a slight edge here because they have a higher number of unique flavors and several diet options.   But LaCroix does offer several recipes for combining their sparkling waters with existing beverages or juices to help diversify their offerings.

In the end, both SodaStream and LaCroix have their place.

How Each Provides Sparkling Water

First off, the delivery system between SodaStream and LaCroix sparkling waters couldn’t be more different. SodaStream provides you with freshly carbonated sparkling beverages through the use of a soda maker machine. The soda maker uses a carbonating cylinder with pressurized CO2 and injects that gas into a waiting bottle of water.

  SodaStream can only be used with the proprietary water bottles that come with the purchase of the machine .

These bottles are specifically designed to fit into the front of each machine, and they also have pre-marked fill lines to prevent soda from overflowing during the carbonation process. SodaStream’s carbonating cylinders typically provide enough CO2 to last for about 60 L of sparkling beverages.

You can combine flavored syrups, also provided by SodaStream, into your new sparkling water to create custom sodas. You can also mix juice concentrates and other ingredients with your fresh sparkling water once it’s already been carbonated.

Or you can simply enjoy regular carbonated water without anything in it if you prefer your hydration to have a little fizz.

LaCroix doesn’t allow you to make your custom sodas but is instead a sparkling water brand. You can pick out the flavors of LaCroix from their website or other authorized retailers. Each drink comes in a can and is ready to sip right out of the box. Therefore, LaCroix sparkling waters are easier to acquire quickly, but SodaStream gives you the tools to make your own without having to leave your own home.

Both SodaStream and LaCroix differ in their flavors and ingredients, as well. All of LaCroix’s carbonated waters or sparkling beverages are free from regular sugar, sodium, artificial ingredients, and calories. This makes LaCroix sparkling waters an excellent choice for those trying to watch their weight or stick with a diet. But you can still enjoy tasty sparkling beverages.

SodaStream’s flavors are extremely varied but many of them do use real sugar or other artificial ingredients.   The exact ingredient formula for any given SodaStream flavored syrup can vary drastically.  

Each syrup is highly concentrated, and you only need to add a few drops of any syrup to a 1 L bottle of water to create your own custom soda.

It’s easier to make an unhealthy sparkling water beverage with SodaStream compared to LaCroix. You’ll be able to drink more LaCroix sodas without gaining weight or suffering other negative health consequences.

You still shouldn’t guzzle too much sparkling water in general, but this is an important point for those who prefer sparkling water to any other beverage.

There’s a big difference if you consider the differences between both companies. With LaCroix, all of their sodas are pre-flavored, and you don’t have any control over how they taste. But with SodaStream, you can customize just how flavored any given sparkling beverage ends up. This can be advantageous if you like just a hint of a flavor or fruit in your sparkling water.

You can also combine flavors using your SodaStream syrups and soda maker. With LaCroix, you would have to purchase multiple cans of soda and mix them together, opening them both in the process. Most LaCroix sparkling waters come in packs of six or more. It’s not possible to buy a single can of LaCroix unless you go to a retailer with a refrigerator with separate cans already displayed.

Convenience

There’s something to be said for the convenience of either sparkling water company. LaCroix has a few benefits for sparkling water aficionados on the go. It’s a lot easier to simply stop by a supermarket or another retailer that has LaCroix sparkling waters and pick up a pack on the way home than it is to prepare your soda machine and make sure you have everything needed to create your custom soda.

You can also purchase lots of your favorite LaCroix flavors ahead of time. You can easily purchase huge packages of LaCroix sparkling waters and store them in your garage or pantry for future drinking. Each time you want the taste of your preferred sparkling beverage, all you have to do is reach for a can and pop the seal.

On the other hand, SodaStream can also be convenient if you’ve run out of prepackaged sparkling water. So long as you have some pressurized CO2 left in your current carbonating cylinder, you can make yourself sparkling water whenever the mood strikes you.   SodaStream soda makers don’t rely on electricity to function.   All you need is tap water and a little CO2.

SodaStream also strives to make its supply requirements as easy to fulfill as possible. For instance, carbonating cylinders can be turned in at participating retailers so you can refill old cylinders. You can also purchase new cylinders at a reduced price you turn your old cylinders in. You can even do this from a distance, and SodaStream will pay for the shipping of both the old and new cylinders to and from your home.

It’s very convenient to be able to make your sparkling water from home without having to step out of the door.

In fact, SodaStream has another advantage here. You can’t order LaCroix sparkling waters straight from their website. You have to get it from a third-party retailer or a physical store. They do offer a handy store locator on their site, however. So, you can find out who sells LaCroix near your location rather than having to call around.

You can purchase lots of SodaStream syrups from their website in bulk. These do have expiration dates, but they’re pretty generous. LaCroix sparkling waters also have expiration dates.   In this regard, both sparkling water providers are about equal.  

Overall, LaCroix sparkling waters are more convenient if you need something on the go or if you only have a single flavor you like to stock up on. SodaStream can also be incredibly convenient since you don’t even need to leave your house to get supplies for its operation. If you’re ever out of soda, no worries; simply make some more with the press of a button.

Environmental Impact

There’s no denying that SodaStream is a lot better for the environment in the long run than LaCroix. While the soda maker and its supplies do have an environmental impact, these pale in comparison to the number of aluminum cans that LaCroix enthusiasts will go through each week.

Think about the math.   A single carbonating cylinder from SodaStream will provide you enough CO2 gas for 60 beverages, provided you fill the standard 1 L water bottle each time.   Meanwhile, LaCroix cans come in a standard size of about 12 fluid ounces. It would take almost 3 of these cans to reach the same amount of sparkling water as you can get from a normal SodaStream carbonating session.

It’s easy to imagine how the huge number of aluminum cans can pile up over time. While aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials, even those who are dutiful about recycling their cans will have more of an environmental impact than those who use their own filtered water and pressurized CO2 to make sparkling water.

Since SodaStream machines don’t need electricity to operate, you don’t even draw on your local power grid to make your own sparkling water. Pressurizing CO2 and delivering it to your home or providing it to a retailer doesn’t have nearly as much environmental impact as making a new aluminum can. This is doubly true if you use the cylinder-return system provided by SodaStream.

Flavor Variety

Let’s examine the flavor choices you have from either company.

  LaCroix has a grand total of 25 distinct flavors.   These are all distinguishable from one another, although some are more similar than others. In addition, LaCroix provides recipes for combining their sparkling water beverages with juices or other drinks to create new, tasty experiences.

These are great for trying something new if you’ve already sampled all the other flavors that LaCroix has to offer.

Meanwhile, SodaStream has a huge variety of flavored syrups to choose from on their website. Some of these come in and out of stock depending on ingredient availability. But overall, you can choose between 52 distinct flavored syrups, all of which you can mix and match as you desire. SodaStream also offers several variety packs, allowing you to pick collections of flavored syrups that go together, or which share a uniting theme.

Overall, both sparkling water providers give you lots of choices,   but SodaStream clearly has more options.   You must also take into account that you can control the intensity of your flavored water with SodaStream’s syrups.

They recommend that you add a few concentrated droplets to every beverage, but you can easily add only one or two if you would just like a hint of flavoring in your sparkling water.

Cost

Finally, it’s important to compare the direct costs of both sparkling water providers to see which is more economical both in the short term and long-term.

To get started with a standard SodaStream, you’ll have to pay around $89.99 for the basic machine, a single 60 leader carbonating cylinder and a 1 L proprietary water bottle. Compared to picking up a pack of LaCroix, this is a lot more expensive.   You can usually get an eight pack of LaCroix for as little as $5.00 depending on the retailer or the state in which you shop.  

The exact price of LaCroix can vary from place to place, but there’s no doubt that it’s a lot cheaper at the beginning.

To continue using your SodaStream, you’ll need to pay some ongoing costs to refill your CO2 cylinders and purchase new flavors if you want to sip something more interesting than plain sparkling water.   New carbonating cylinders cost on average $30  if you pick up fresh ones from the website, but you can lower this to $14.99 if you use the exchange program we talked about earlier.

Meanwhile, flavored syrup prices can also vary from place to place but are usually around $5.99 for a single bottle. Each bottle provides enough flavored syrup for about 36 beverages of 8 ounces each. This is a little less than the typical LaCroix serving of about 12 ounces. Still, it’s not too expensive once you drink more soda.

Brand Average Initial Cost Typical Ongoing Costs Total
SodaStream $89.99 + $5.99 $14.99 or $30 $110.97 or $125.98
LaCroix $4.99 N/A $.99

To truly compare both SodaStream and LaCroix’s prices, we need to get the price per ounce of flavored sparkling water down to a single number. If each LaCroix can has 12 ounces and you get eight of those for five dollars, each ounce of sparkling water costs about $.19. That’s pretty cheap!

Meanwhile, to start making flavored sparkling water with a SodaStream, you’ll need both the basic machine, which comes with a carbonating cylinder and water bottle, plus a bottle of flavored syrup. This adds up to about $95.99. The flavored syrup lasts for about 288 ounces of sparkling water. Dividing the startup cost by 288 ounces gives us a total cost per ounce of $.33. It’s significantly more expensive at first.

Brand Ounces Provided Initially Average Cost Per Ounce
SodaStream 96 $.19
LaCroix 288 $.33
  But is this the whole story?  

As you’ll see, SodaStream becomes more economical the longer you take advantage of the soda maker. While LaCroix prices remain relatively consistent at about five dollars for eight cans of 12 ounces each, SodaStream becomes cheaper as time goes one.

Let’s examine how much each sparkling water method costs over time.

  Each flavored syrup bottle will last for 9 L of beverages.   Carbonating cylinders from SodaStream will last for 60 L (or 2029 ounces) of beverages, so you’ll need to purchase about 6 ½ flavored syrup bottles for a whole tank of CO2 gas. This adds approx $29.95 to your total SodaStream costs if you want flavored sparkling water for the entire quantity of your CO2 gas for a new total of $121.94.

This brings the cost per ounce of flavored sparkling water from a SodaStream to just six cents! As you can see, if you purchase enough flavored syrup to use with your entire carbonating cylinder’s worth of gas, you’ll pay less in the long run for fresh sparkling water than if you purchased the same amount of soda from LaCroix.

For 2029 ounces of LaCroix sparkling water, you’d pay approx $385.51. This price discrepancy will only continue to grow, as you’ll just need to purchase new flavored syrup and occasionally $14.99 for a new carbonating cylinder.

  The price of another pack of LaCroix will remain about the same.  
Brand Initial Cost Continuing Costs Total Ounces Overall Cost Per Ounce Over Time
SodaStream $89.99 $121.94 2029 $.06
LaCroix $5.99 $5.99 per 8-pack 2029 $.19

In the end, LaCroix is a better choice if you only occasionally drink sparkling water. It’s a great choice for providing sparkling water for a party or an event. But if you are a sparkling water enthusiast and like to make your own sodas or fizzy beverages, SodaStream is far more cost-effective in the long run.

  All of this math doesn’t even take into account the fact that plain sparkling water from SodaStream is by far the cheaper option.  

All you need to pay for plain fizzy water is the original startup cost of $89.99. This gives you 60 L of sparkling water for about four cents per ounce.

 It’s extremely affordable and you only need to occasionally pay another $14.99 for a new carbonating cylinder.  
Brand Average Initial Cost Average Cost Per Ounce
SodaStream $89.99 $.04
LaCroix $4.99 $.19

I hope you’ve found this SodaStream vs LaCroix report helpful and it has informed your decision making.   Happy soda making OR slurping!

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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