aarke vs sodastream: which soda maker is better

i guess i consider myself a sparkling water aficionado only because of the amount of sparkling water i consume on a daily basis– which is A LOT. i own almost 10 carbonators that i swap out when empty, and i use the machine a few times a day. i will drink flat water, but i really want a bubble if i can help it lol. we even have a name for it in our house because we refer to it so often! we call it SODEY.

anyway, i used a sodastream for many, manyyyy years and just last year decided to try aarke instead, based solely on the beautiful design of the aarke and having it out on my kitchen counter. i get asked sometimes about which one i prefer, so i thought a proper post was in order to really lay it all out for you if you’re trying to decide between the two machines!

now, some people use these machines to make flavored sparkling waters or even sodas, i don’t do that — i am a purist. not only do i love sparkling water, but i’m also incredibly picky about what types are good and what types aren’t.

we obviously may have different tastes, but for example i like topo chico most. i prefer perrier in a can to a bottle, but i like the bottles of pellegrino if i’m at a restaurant. (and when i order sparkling water in a restaurant i always ask for the cap, for some reason they almost never put it on and let it flatten out while you sit there!!) i like a big full bubble. and i like la croix the least! yuck!

important tips for the best sparkling water

good water quality

the quality and taste of your water plays a massive role in the taste of your carbonated water!
if you’re using regular tap water, it won’t taste good. i make all our sparkling water with our fridge filtered water. we also have a kitchen sink filter, but if i had neither of those i’d probably use a brita to make all my sodey with!

use cold water

the colder your water, the more carbonation that the water can hold.

i always fill the bottles with my cold fridge water, but then i also let them chill in my fridge for at least a few hours before carbonating. i find this always makes the biggest difference in terms of taste and quality!

i also never leave the bottles opened or out. i pour my glass and immediately put the bottle back into the fridge.

there’s something about room temp sodey that just grosses me out!

purchase a couple of spare bottles

since your sparkling water needs to be cold, i highly recommend keeping at least one spare bottle in the fridge so you’re able to fill one up and let it chill while you drink the other one. at one point i had four bottles of chilled water in the fridge haha – but i’ve downsized to two (not my choice)

keep your bottles clean

i used to take swigs out of my bottles but once i stopped doing that, the sparkling water tasted cleaner and fresher. plus you won’t have to wash them as often!


the pros

  • you’ll save tons of money on buying sparkling water
  • you’ll reduce your plastic waste
  • it can taste incredibly good!
  • you can choose the amount of fizz.
  • the machines are pretty durable in my experience
  • you can also typically exchange them for new models at big box stores if they stop working
  • very easy streamlined design so you can typically carbonate your water in just a few seconds

the cons

  • the machines are typically made with plastic and don’t look particularly stunning sitting out on your counter
  • the machines all have their own unique different noises, some are very loud!
  • while the machines are inexpensive, the co2 carbonators are where you spend a lot of money, i used to exchange them at bed bath and beyond and used coupons so it didn’t feel quite so painful, but now i do it at target and it’s a lot of money when you’re replacing a big number of tanks all at once (they do have mods you can buy but that’s not really my style)

sodastream mail-in exchange program prices – $16.99 per carbonator
(get 20% off with this link!)

aarke carbonator pro

the pros

  • gorgeous design! absolutely the fanciest looking soda maker there is, mine has a powder coated matte finish.
  • comes in a variety of beautiful colors to match your kitchen.
  • is compatible with (most) sodastream bottles* and carbonators so if you want to switch, you don’t need to invest in new equipment!
  • the lever mechanism adds to the charm of the design and feels easier to use than the push mechanism on most sodastream machines
  • but also, of course — you’ll save tons of money on buying sparkling water
  • you’ll reduce your plastic waste
  • it can taste incredibly good!

the cons

  • the mechanism for attaching the bottle is a screw in – this sounds tolerable, but after using sodastream for years, it’s actually pretty f**king annoying! you have the line the bottle up just so in order to get it on there straight before screwing the bottle up into the machine.
  • it leaks much more often than my sodastream ever did, it’s not every time but the water has sprayed out while carbonating quite often. i’m not sure if there’s something i need to replace, but usually i just go to screw in the carbonator which loosens sometimes
  • when the water leaks, it collects in the drip tray, which you don’t notice until it’s time to swap the carbonators and then you spill water everywhere
  • the machine is taller than any of my sodastreams, worth mentioning if you have limited height in your kitchen or pantry.
  • is a larger splurge than a sodastream machine and while they have their own mail-in exchange program for carbonators, they don’t charge less!

aarke mail-in exchange program prices – $21 per carbonator

*sodastream now has two types of carbonators since they got so many competitors, the standard blue label is the screw in type that’s compatible with my aarke, but now there’s a pink labeled carbonator called “quick connect” which is supposed to be easier to attach to your machine but i’m assuming it’s proprietary!

the verdict

basically it depends on what you want for your soda maker, if you’re into aesthetic and looking for a stylish machine that will look beautiful on your countertop, i vote aarke. if you are not more focused on just something functional and easy to use, i would go for the sodastream.

i wish i could say my aarke functioned as well as my sodastream because it’s so pretty, but between the screw in bottle you have to line up perfectly (which isn’t a huge deal if you’re not making it that often, but i probably make about 2 bottles a day and i definitely don’t find it to be as easy to line up), and the leaking water filling up in the drip tray often (maybe my machine needs to be repaired, but it’s so new that deducts points as well!), i think the large price tag should mean it functions super well too.


source bottles (twin pack)

these will work with either machine and they’re my favorite ones.


carbonator pro

if you want zero plastic, this pro version is made for a glass bottle!

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  1. Thank you for this post. How long do the CO2 cartridges last for you?

    1. Molly Madfis says:

      about a month exactly!