Which SodaStream should you buy? An expert's guide to finding the perfect model

I've used SodaStreams for over five years and almost every day in the last year. These are the models you should consider

One of the SodaStreams on sale this Black Friday, the SodaStream Art on a countertop making sparkling water
(Image credit: SodaStream)

Even though SodaStreams have been around since 1903 they still get a big reaction. I first invested in one in 2018 and have used one nearly every day since then. 

In almost six years of soda-streaming, I've learned a lot. In fact, I've accidentally influenced all my family to buy their own models. 

But while I largely think SodaStreams are a good investment, there are plenty of places where you might slip up and end up wasting money, and I speak from experience. They can easily become just one more piece of appliance clutter if you don't drink a lot of soda, so think about your purchase very carefully.

All the models are relatively inexpensive,, but choosing the right one will make all the difference. I've tested their basic, mid-range, and premium model. Here's everything you need to know.

Is it worth buying a SodaStream?

There are lots of reasons why people buy SodaStreams: saving money, reducing their plastic consumption, or because they’re curious about sparkling their own drinks. I bought mine for all three reasons. I drink a lot of soda, but I also like that point where the drink is almost flat, but still has a little fizz. 

When I saw SodaStream discounts in my local store, I snapped one up, figuring that $70 isn’t the most expensive mistake to make. The worst that would happen could be that I wouldn’t use it and could sell it on. 

In fact, the opposite happened. I used it every day and took the portable bottle with me to work. My family started using it and ended up building what is now a home bar around it. We make sparkling water, ginger beers, and lemonades with the syrups that you can buy. From a personal point of view, this has achieved everything that I hoped it would. 

But it might not be right for you. If you drink soda every day, a SodaStream will help you cut costs and reduce your plastic waste. If you're not that bothered, it's not worth it. You'll use it a few times over the holidays and then forget you ever bought it. 

The basic model: Gaia

SodaStream Gaia on a countertop with a glass of sparkling water infused with cucumber

(Image credit: SodaStream)

The bottom line: This is a basic model. It's brilliant for beginners, if not a little fiddly,  and you'll need to almost double your money to get a notably better model.

The most simple SodaStream, the Gaia, is the first one I bought. If you're on the fence with fizz, it's the most appealing option, because it's only $70 and generally a good representation of all SodaStreams. You'll be able to use it easily and it won't take up much room.

Nearly six years after buying this, it's still working as if it's brand new. The plastic body, which felt a little cheap at first, hasn't scratched or worn, it only needs wiping down every so often to stop it from getting too grubby. 

The mechanisms are simple. It tilts, you screw the reusable bottle in, and then depress the button between three and five times to achieve the suitable amount of sparkles in your drink. The screwing and unscrewing is a bit of a pain and has baffled a lot of guests, but you quickly become accustomed to it. 

I have since donated my original Gaia to my parents, who love and use it regularly. The reason I don't have this anymore is because I began to feel that it was a little basic, boring, and cheap. The button and the machine is nice, but I saw some of SodaStream's other models and my eyes wandered. I regret not keeping this though, because, for the price difference, it's better than the Terra.

SodsStream Gaia | $69 at Walmart

SodsStream Gaia | $69 at Walmart
SodaStream no longer sell the Gaia, but it is available at stores such as Walmart and Best Buy. This is their simplest model. If you want a basic option, you can't go wrong with this.

The median model: Terra

SodaStream Terra

(Image credit: SodaStream)

The bottom line: The Terra is more expensive than the Gaia, but doesn't offer more than slight improvements. It's not worth considering unless you can get a good discount.

I use and love the Terra. It's a little taller and slimmer than the Gaia and also a little heavier. SodaStream introduced the QuickSnap Lock for this model, eliminating the annoying twist function, but that's all that's different.

I didn't like having the Gaia on display, even though it's sleek, it's still clutter. I feel the same about the Terra, so I tuck it into my cupboards after every use. I actually had to remove a shelf to fit this in, because it's so tall, but I would rather lose cupboard storage than clutter my countertops.

This doesn't use any more or less gas than the Gaia. In fact, I think they're identical. One tank is supposed to make 60L of water, so should last a couple of months. Mine lasts about four months even though I drink at least a liter per day. I've put this down to my sparkle levels – I prefer it flatter – but I still think they both last a reasonable amount of time.

But while I like it, all things considered, this is probably the worst SodaStream to buy. It's more expensive than the Gaia and even if it feels a little more premium, it's not worth wasting extra money on marginal differences.

SodaStream Terra | $69.99 at Walmart

SodaStream Terra | $69.99 at Walmart
At full price, I'd opt for the Gaia instead of the Terra, since they're both so similar. This is slightly more technical though.

The premium model: Art

SodaStream Art in red on a countertop

(Image credit: SodaStream)

The bottom line: Art isn't even the most premium SodaStream, but it's the best. I'd recommend it to those who are certain they'll use theirs every day.

I mentioned that all my family has bought a SodaStream and this is the one we all love. My brother, who doesn't shy away from luxury, dived straight into the deep end of SodaStreams and bought the Art. If you don't mind spending more money and know you'll use this every day, this is where I would recommend you spend.

The Art looks premium, it feels premium, it is premium. I wouldn't keep the other models on the countertop, but I could see this sneaking its way onto display. 

There's no fumbling to get this working, the lid snaps into position and then the machine is ready to go. It's the biggest of all the SodaStreams and is still manual, but the lever, rather than the flimsy button controls the fizzing. This is much more sensitive and feels much nicer to use.

If you want to, there's a more luxurious model, the E-Terra which electronically carbonates water. It's a similar size to the Art, except a little thinner. Whilst an automatic system sounds appealing, it's actually not that useful. The manual controls aren't laborious or complex, so opting for an automated model feels excessive. I think the Art is the peak before you get diminishing returns on price.

SodaStream Art | $89.99 at Walmart

SodaStream Art | $89.99 at Walmart
This is my favorite SodaStream. It's by far the most attractive. The retro lever looks and feels more premium than its standard button, making it easy to carbonate water exactly to your tastes.

SodaStream E-Terra | $99.99 at Walmart

SodaStream E-Terra | $99.99 at Walmart
You don't need a SodaStream that's fully automated, but this is discounted by so much that it actually makes financial sense to buy the better model. You'll have a more techy SodaStream and you'll have made a good saving too.

Comparison table

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 GaiaTerraArtE-Terra
ColorsBlackBlack, white, red, blueBlack, white, red, blueBlack, white
CarbonationManual (button)Manual (button)Manual (lever)Electric
Carbonation levelsUp to 5 different optionsUp to 5 different optionsUp to 5 different optionsAutomatic (3 options)
Dishwasher safe bottleYesYesYesYes
Capacity1 and 0.5 l bottles1 and 0.5 l bottles1 and 0.5 l bottles1 and 0.5 l bottles
Bottle inserstionTwist lockQuickSnapQuickSnapQuickSnap
Dimensions16.9 x 5.4 x 8.716.8 x 6.8 x 9.6 inches16.9 x 6.8 x 9.6 inches16.77 x 5 x 7.67 inches

Are there any alternatives to SodaStreams?

Sage InFizz on a grey countertop with various sparkling drinks around it

(Image credit: Sage)

Both Ninja and Breville make alternative models to SodaStreams. I prefer SodaStreams to the Ninja models since they've got more thoughtful design features. However, the Breville InFizz Fusion has caused a stir in the market.

You have to add syrups to your water after you've carbonated water in the SodaStream. The InFizz can carbonate wine and juice straight from the bottle. It's also crafted with stainless steel, so feels more durable. It's a great, more premium option. If you want to read my full Breville InFizz review, you can find it here.


Is it annoying to get the refills for SodaStreams?

It's really easy and most stores which sell the cylinders also recycle them for you, such as Walmart. I thought I would hate this part, but I really don't. It's surprisingly easy.

Can I use a SodaStream from anywhere?

The models that I have talked about are all cordless, so you can use them from any flat surface.

Are SodaStreams useful or just clutter?

If you don't drink much soda, they'll be pointless clutter. If you drink it every week, you'll find this really useful.

Final thoughts

SodaStream Art in black, white, blue, and red, lined up on a countertop

(Image credit: SodaStream)

I love my SodaStream, but you have to be careful which models you buy. I would either opt for the basic Gaia and suck up the fiddly controls or go for the Art, which is luxurious to use and more expensive. The Terra meets the two models in the middle and you don't gain much from it. Likewise, the E-Terra offers only excessive features. Whichever you choose, I hope it's everything you soda-dreamed of – mine certainly is.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.