Sodastream Seltzer Maker – 6 Month Review

In July, I wrote about the SodaStream seltzer maker and my first impressions on it. I liked it then, but many things we have tend to become ‘just another thing’ over time and you sort of feel cheated because it’s not what you thought it would be like. (Ladies, many of you might feel this way toward you husbands).

Anyway, snarky comments aside, I’ve owned the Sodastream soda maker for about 6 months now and it still delights me. It’s great to have soda when I want it. It’s great to be able to flavor it as needed. It’s great to take a bottle that has gone flat, top it off, give it some squirts of CO2 and have nice bubbly soda.

Both my daughters like it – my toddler will ask for soda and we give it to her plain – a great habit to get her into. My older daughter will make it herself as needed as well.

Reading the comments on my original post, the subject of the refills is a sensitive one. A lot of people seem to think that SodaStream is ‘sticking it to them’ by having proprietary threads so the compressed air containers can’t be filled locally, so a number of folks go out and buy an adapter that allows them to fill it locally. Read the comments on the previous post regarding this if you are interested.

My conclusion on all this: it’s not really a hassle to get a refill. You order online, throw in a soda flavor or two, and leave the empty on the porch. The refill might be expensive compared to getting it refilled at the local paintball place, yes – but it’s not all that expensive when compared to buying seltzer or soda. It ends up considerably less, actually, and you’re not lugging cases of soda and seltzer in the house – then lugging the empties out to the curb.

The kit to adapt the threads so you can fill the canisters is not cheap, either. So, for the present, I’ll support SodaStream and do it their way. And to me, that’s what it is – support. They have to eat, too – and it does me no good if they go belly up if their business model gets hacked because it was based on these refills.

As to the flavors, we like them – my daughter and I are particular to Pete’s Choice and we both have a fondness for the pecularly engaging  Orange. They are a bear to find locally, however. Kohls supposedly stocks a few, but I’ll be damned if I could find them with all the Xmas crap jammed into the store –  gots to make room for shower radios and salad shooters – two examples of items that no one buys for themselves and get trotted out for the holidays. Electric tie racks are another.

Digression aside, I have noticed that Sears supposedly stocks them now – I think my daughter and I will have to check that out today.

Mostly, I use 4C drink mix – I pour a small bit at the bottom of a glass and pour on the soda. I NEVER put drink mix in the bottles that come with the unit.

While this method sometimes creates varying results, I’m OK with it.

In short: I’m glad I got it, it gets used nearly every day, the kids like it, we buy way less soda and seltzer, and I would miss it if I didn’t have it.

And the Sodastream people didn’t bribe me to say this.

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14 thoughts on “Sodastream Seltzer Maker – 6 Month Review

  1. I’ve had mine just under a year now. I absolutely love it! And they didn’t pay me to say it either– I’m one of the cranks who refuses to pay the markup for the gas. If it takes you 7 weeks to go through a cylinder, sure, it doesn’t make sense to make that initial outlay. But if you go through ’em 7 times faster than that like we do in our household, it’s crazy not to.

    I support them just fine with my syrup purchases. They’re not going out of business anytime soon!

    • So you go through a cylinder a WEEK? If you have the large canister, that makes something like 144 liters. That’s like 20 liters a day. Me – I’m getting 2 months or so out of the large canisters in the summer, and it seems like about 3 months in the winter.

      At your usage level, I would probably invest in the refill adapter as well…but DAMN! – you guys must be thirsty!

  2. You can buy them at Sears, Williams Sonoma, Camping World & after this weekend, Hannaford if you’re in the New England area.

    • Hi Errign,

      Yeah – Sears is a great distributor – they’re everywhere. I just found the ones at my Sears only had the models that take the smaller cylinders. I prefer the larger canisters – less back-and-forth to refill them. But as Sly and the Family Stone said: different strokes for different folks. I do hope that Sears considers the bigger kits in the future.

      They do stock a limited selection of the mixes, but I’m not all that choosy and so far at both Kohls and Sears, we find some mixes we like – it doesn’t work out that bad.

      Regards,

      LCC

  3. I’ve had my soda stream for about 6 months now, and I’m like you, I still love it.
    I also agree that converting it to be able to do your own co2 refills just doesn’t seem worth it. I got quite a few comments on my blog about that as well.
    Regarding the syrups, I’m not a fan of theirs because they use artificial sweetener even in the non-diet ones. If you are interested in making your own, I have recipes I’ve created for both Ginger and Lime syrups on my blog, though they aren’t low carb. 😉

    • Hi Formerchef,

      I already came across your site and some of your recipes for syrups – the real ginger ale for example, looked cool. While the recipes aren’t low carb, that doesn’t stop us low carbers from using our artificial sweeteners when we try and concoct low carb versions, eh?

      Thanks for writing,

      LCC

    • Hey Formerchef! I will definitely be checking out your recipes. I’ve been excited about just conveniently making my own “seltzer” — our well water is wonderful tasting and I drink a lot of it.

      I had not even considered “flavoring”!

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. I just “discovered” Sodastream last night at a friend’s get-together — one of the other guests had brought a bottle of plain “seltzer”.

    Due to re-routing of gastro-intestinal tract a few years back I’m always battling dehydration and drink a lot of water as a result. Making my own 0 (zero!) calorie bubbly will be AWESOME!

    You were my first “hit” off Google this morning as I began to do my due diligence. Thank you for your review! Now, if I can just convince my wife there’s room in “her kitchen” for the appliance. :-0

  5. During a month long visit to Germany for Christmas 2009, we drank seltzer water everyday w/ea. meal. The Germans do not like to drink tap water & their seltzer water is unsweetened & unflavored. Due to severe GERD & 3 doses of Pronton Pump Inhibitors p/day, I found that drinking the seltzer water w/ea. meal & especially after a late night dinner (they eat late in Germany) the seltzer water actually gave me tremendous relief from stomach acids, etc. related to GERD. The Gastrologists doesn’t understand how/why the seltzer water helps my stomach so much, but said to continue to drink it as long as it did help. Now I’m looking into the purchase of a Seltzer Maker & hope I choose the right one. Buying seltzer water here in the GA area is way too expensive since I drink about a 1/2 gal. p/day.

  6. I have only had my SodaStream for 2 months, but absolutely still love it. I too was disappointed that the “regular” soda flavors contain Splenda (something I cannot have because it gives me migraines),but the family loves about 3-4 flavors. I am a fan of the My Water essence flavors, which give just a hint of flavor to your plain seltzer.

    I have yet to empty a canister but when I do here is my plan of action. I do not have reliable methods to return the canister by mail from my apartment, but a local store that sells the SS, Sur la Table, has informed me that I can do the canister exchange through them. So I give them the empty one and get a new one right then, and they take care of the return to SS. Just another idea in case it helps anyone.
    FYI – I was told at my Kohls that they only carry the SS and accessories in the spring/summer months.

    FormerChef THANK YOU so much for the reference to your syrups – I cannot wait to try them!

    • Hi Alyson,

      You’re lucky to have a store nearby where you can do a canister exchange. I’ve done the exchange 3 times and the process has went well, but it would be easier to just pop in a local store and do the exchange there.

      Regards,

      LCC

  7. Which models are you all using? They seem to have lots of choices. Are the main differences just aesthetic? Getting ready to do this – it makes SO much sense!

    • As I understand it, the cheapest one takes the 110L compressed gas cartridges. The rest in the line take the smaller 60L cartridge only. I only use the large cartridges – less back-and-forth for refills. The penguin model also has fancy-schmancy smaller-sized bottles as opposed to their polycarbonate liter bottles used for the rest of the models.

      It does appear they’ve rejiggered their starter kits and now only offer the 60L cartridge in them. Bummer. If you don’t drink too much soda, or have a store nearby that does exchanges on the 60, it might be OK, but if I were going to buy one now, I’d call or write them and see if I could still get a kit with the 110 – I think the 60 would be a hassle.

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