A few years ago, no one was asking about the best home soda maker; they just didn’t have that many choices. But, you might be surprised to learn that when SodaStream—the alpha of home soda-making—made its 2009 global debut, it wasn’t actually a debut. It was a relaunch for a now 117-year-old company. SodaStream had been largely inactive for decades, but at certain points in the ’70s and ’80s you could have purchased the groovy, tangerine ancestor of today’s modern machine.

But now, the year is 2020, and SodaStream is no longer the only name in the game. In our mission to find the best soda maker on the market, I tested 7 machines from 4 different companies to see if any rivals exceeded the standards SodaStream had set. Read below for the winners. For more about how soda and seltzer makers work, and our testing criteria, scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Best Soda Maker Overall: The Drinkmate Spritzer

The Spritzer was easy to use and produced sharp and zingy sparkling water in a matter of seconds. But what stood out most is the increased control it offers its user as well as the greater range in utility.

First of all, the Spritzer, which is a portable seltzer gun of sorts, is built a little differently than other soda makers. The infuser has slow and fast pressure release tabs, not unlike the one on an InstantPot, making it easy to avoid any messes from an over-carbonated beverage. The Spritzer is also unique in that its activating mechanism is a trigger rather than a button, which allowed for greater control in the carbonation process. Despite these extra parts, the machine was still very easy to use.

Drinkmate is the only brand of soda makers that officially offers the ability to carbonate more than just water. Try doing so with a SodaStream and you could void your warranty, and possibly end up damaging the machine. I tested Drinkmate’s all-beverages-welcome policy using white wine and a batched Boulevardier recipe and was pleased by the results. In fact, the Spritzer carbonated the wine so well that it deceived one of my colleagues into thinking they were drinking a glass of Crémant.

The Spritzer is also hand-held, small, and thus more portable than other stand-up models. You could easily slip it into a backpack, which opens up a world of opportunities for on-the-go soda making. Think of the barbecues, the weekend Airbnb getaways, your friend’s underwhelming dinner party—all fortified by the wonders of carbonation! And before you say, “But what if I want my soda maker to sit on the counter sometimes?” Let me tell you, Drinkmate sells an adaptor that converts the Spritzer to an upright countertop model. It also is worth mentioning that the Spritzer can be used with both miniature and full-sized gas canisters and bottles. It is truly the most versatile option I tested.

While the Spritzer did not produce the absolute strongest fizz of our blind tasting, it lost only by a small margin, and still made very nice bubbles. Almost all of these machines are able to carbonate water to a pleasing degree, so choosing the winner came down to other factors. In this case, the portability, the carbonating possibilities beyond water, and the thoughtful design made it my favorite of the bunch.

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