A simple and economical way to make sparkling water at home, the SodaStream Spirit also helps reduce plastic waste. It’s easy to use, highly efficient, and small and light enough to move around when not in use. Syrups add flexibility to the mix, and a pairing with Pepsi brings premium drinks to your home.
- Easy to use
- Cheaper than buying sparkling water
- Wide range of syrups
- The supplied bottle is not dishwasher safe
Sparkling drinksThis machine, like other SodaStream models, uses CO2 to carbonate the water, adding fizz. It’s cheaper per liter than buying water in supermarkets, plus it saves on the use of plastic.
CapacityThe supplied bottle is 1 liter in size, but you can only fill up to the 840ml line to allow enough space for charring.
nature friendlyYou reduce the use of plastic bottles and CO2 bottles are recyclable.
SodaStream is a company that managed to escape the 80s; moving from economical cola and soft drinks to machine manufacturing as an eco-friendly way to make premium sparkling water and beverages. Cheap and effective, SodaStream Spirit is an easy way to add sparkle, and there are even premium syrups to add flavor whenever you want.
If you drink sparkling water at home, this is the most efficient way to do so, plus you reduce the number of bottles you use.
Design and features
- 1 liter bottles don’t really take that capacity
- Cheap to run for sparkling water
- Syrups vary in cost and effectiveness
The SodaStream Spirit is the company’s entry-level machine, but don’t let that put you off, as the lower price makes it a more attractive option than its stablemates. It is available in seven different finishes, making it easy to find the one that appeals to you the most or matches your decor.
It looks good from a distance, although it does have a slightly plastic feel when you touch it. It doesn’t matter, because the parts seem sturdy enough and it’s what this machine produces that is important. It’s also quite small. Measuring 425 x 185 x 130mm, the Spirit is large but doesn’t take up much counter space.
Using the machine is easy. First, you need to install the Co2 cartridge, which screws into the back. Each bottle can produce up to 60 liters of sparkling water and is fully redeemable online and in select physical stores, such as Lakeland.
With an exchange you can get a replacement bottle for just £11.99, which equates to around 20 pence per liter of sparkling water. Since tap water costs less than 1p per litre, making sparkling water with the SodaStream Spirit is much cheaper than buying bottles from the supermarket.
Plus, with a SodaStream, you don’t need single-use bottles, because you get reusable ones. With the Spirit, you get a single bottle, which the company says is a 1 liter bottle. That’s technically true, as the bottle can hold 1 liter of liquid. However, to allow room for carbonation, the fill line on the bottle is at the 840ml mark.
It doesn’t particularly make a difference; after all, when the bottle is empty, just refill it and reuse it, but the terminology seems a bit misleading. Extra bottles normally cost £9.99, although you can often find them on sale. There are also smaller 0.5 liter bottles. Although the bottle supplied with the machine is not dishwasher safe, the replacement bottles are.
To carbonate water, you simply slide the bottle into positions and clip it, so it hangs from the machine.
There’s a button on top that you press and hold in two-second bursts to add more carbon dioxide: three is slightly fizzy, five bursts are more fizzy, and seven is super fizzy.
One of the things that made SodaStream so popular originally was the collection of syrups. As a kid in the 80s, I never thought they were as good as the ‘real thing’ (except cream soda), but times have changed. Although there is still the standard collection of syrups (sold as Classic), the range is larger and includes Diet Tonic Water. Additionally, there is a range of premium syrups including Pepsi, Pepsi Max, 7Up and 7Up Free.
Price varies depending on package size and brand. Taking 7Up Free, a single bottle costs 4.99 and is up to nine litres. This works out to 55.44 pence per liter for syrup, plus a further 20 pence per liter for sparkling water, for a grand total of 75.44 pence. Buy the syrup in a six pack, and the cost drops to around 66p per litre.
Classic syrups are a bit cheaper: with Diet Tonic, for example, the most expensive is around 64p per litre, which is similar to supermarket branded tonics, and cheaper than the big brands.
That’s not a bad price, but 7Up can often be had for even less, pre-bottled. The SodaStream Spirit isn’t always the best value option, though it’s fair to say you’ll reduce the amount of plastic you use by switching to syrups.
- Works with cold water
- Excellent results
- Syrups add variety
Although using the SodaStream is easy, it’s all about getting the right results. It should only be used with cold water, which can come from the tap or from a filter. If you have a faucet with a built-in filter, like the InSinkErator 4IN1, even better.
Some of the taste will depend on the quality of water you put in, but what I can say is that the SodaStream Spirit is capable of delivering fully sparkling water with everything from a mild fizz to a rage of bubbles.
It is worth following the instructions and adding carbon dioxide in bursts; pressing the button too long may cause water to come out the top, creating a spill that you will need to clean up.
With the seal on the bottle, the fizz keeps well for a few days too. Unless you have a fondness for a particular brand of naturally carbonated water, what you get from SodaStream is as good as any artificially carbonated water you can buy at the supermarket.
Syrups vary in quality and will depend on your tastes. I made 7Up Free and was impressed with the results: the end product tasted very similar to a store-bought filler.
I also made diet tonic. It’s also a pretty decent mixer. I tried it with a mix of gins, including flavored gins and standard London Drys, and it mixed well in all cases. The one thing you can’t get from a SodaStream is a premium flavored tonic blend.
Should I buy it?
If you regularly drink sparkling water, this machine will both save you money and reduce the amount of plastic waste.
If you rarely drink sparkling water or soft drinks, this machine will take a long time to pay for itself on your initial investment.
This makes the SodaStream Spirit think of as an eco-friendly way to make sparkling water. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also cheaper to make sparkling water this way, and the cost of the machine will pay for itself for regular sparkling water drinkers.
Syrups are an added bonus, as a way to add variety to what the machine can do. Good to see premium options in there too. While syrups are often not cheaper than buying pre-made fizzy drinks, they’re not far off and you reduce the amount of plastic you use.
How we test
We test every sparkling water maker we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to properly compare features. We will always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product.
Learn more about how we test in our ethics policy.
We carbonate flat water at different levels to see the range available.
We calculate the cost of sparkling water and other beverages to see how the cost compares to buying bottles at the supermarket.
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There is a CO2 cartridge on the back. Press the button on top to carbonate your water with carbon dioxide: the more you add, the fizzier it is.
No, it’s completely manual.
Make sure each squeeze is firm and lasts between one and two seconds; then give the bottle time to rest before repeating the action until you get the level of fizz you want.
Date of first exam
Sparkling water maker
60 liter CO2 canister, 1 liter bottle