Is SodaStream Cost Effective? We Did the Math for You
Americans love their soda; there’s nothing quite like a cold can of Coke on a hot day to give you a boost. But it’s no secret that soda isn’t exactly healthy—and, on top of that, a soda habit can be expensive!
Statistics show that the average American consumed 38.87 gallons of carbonated soda in 2018 (the last year for which statistics are available). That’s the average. Take into consideration those who don’t drink soda at all, and you have a much greater average consumption for those who do.
We are talking big numbers here, in both consumption and cost.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a 12-ounce can of store-bought soda or sparkling water is around 56 cents. There are more than 10 12-ounce cans of soda in a gallon, and with an average annual consumption of 38.87 gallons, the average soda consumer consumes around 390 12-ounce cans in a year. At 56 cents per can, that’s $218.40. Per person. In a four-person household, that’s $873.60 annually.
So now you know why some people shell out $100 for the basic model SodaStream device, plus the $30 for the CO2 gas cylinder and the $15 for each SodaStream cylinder exchange. All in an attempt to spend less on soda.
The question is whether those people are actually saving money that way. The following provides the answer as to whether SodaStream is worth the investment.
The Cost of SodaStream
The 60L SodaStream gas canister makes 15 gallons of carbonated water on average, depending on how carbonated you want your beverage to be. That’s 160 12-ounce sodas, which would cost you $89.60 on the open market. Spending the $100 initially on the SodaStream device, which comes with a full CO2 canister and the necessary carbonating bottle, doesn’t mean you’ve saved money.
But, with each replacement gas canister ($30 each at Target unless you turn in your empty, which halves the cost to $15), you are still getting the $80 worth of soda for much less money. Amortizing the initial cost of the soda maker over time, you quickly end up spending less on soda than you would if you bought soda cans at the store.
There are other cost considerations. Some SodaStream models carbonate water automatically, reducing the work involved in carbonating the water (pushing a carbonation nozzle button a number of times depending on how much carbonation you want your drink to have). These models are more expensive, but the convenience may be worth it.
You are also paying for the water that is going to be carbonated. You can use tap water or filtered water as you wish. You can use bottled water, which is an additional expense.
The soda goes into a plastic bottle provided in the initial SodaStream packaging, but you may want to use glass bottles instead. If several members of the family are using the device, you will need to invest in multiple glass or plastic bottles.
If you are flavoring your carbonated beverage, there is a cost for the syrup used to do so. A 440ML container of Pepsi flavoring costs $6.99 at Target, and it provides approximately 304 ounces of soda flavoring, which translates to 25 drinks. You’ll need to add that to your calculations to determine SodaStream is cost-effective for you.
Is SodaStream Worth It?
In general, yes. It’s cheaper to make your own carbonated beverages at home than it is to buy them in a store, although how much cheaper depends on how much bubbly water you drink, and how much fizz you want in your carbonated beverage. Overall, this is one of those shopping moments when the more you spend, the more you save.
Ways to Save Even More Money on Soda
The prices mentioned in the section above are the suggested retail prices. You can save money on nearly every detail of creating fizzy water at home beyond what is mentioned here.
There are other soda makers similar to SodaStream that may be purchased at cheaper prices, such as the following:
- Philips Sparkling Water Maker: $79.99 on Amazon
- iSi Classic Sodamaker: $79.95 on Amazon
- OTE Portable Sparkling Water Maker: $59.99 on Amazon
The cost of the CO2 cylinders depends on where you buy them, although this is one item that is not necessarily cheaper through Amazon. Shop around for the best prices.
Shop the Store Brand
Most grocery chains offer store brands for carbonated beverages (the Albertson’s chain is Signature Select). A 12-pack of lime-flavored sparkling water costs $4.69 at Albertson’s stores, which works out to be 39 cents per can.
Overall, using a device like SodaStream can save you money on sparkling water if you drink enough. If you can make your SodaStream last several years, you’ll only pay for the CO2 canisters (plus flavor syrups if you want them), which reduces your costs.
The other benefit of switching to SodaStream is that you’re producing less waste, making it a sustainable choice. By exchanging your CO2 canisters, you are not putting anything in your trash that ends up in a landfill. You are reducing your carbon footprint by using this environmentally friendly alternative.
However, you may face opposition in the household because homemade soda does not taste like store-bought soda. This battle is fought endlessly when it comes to store brand snacks and cereals versus name brand items. Prepare for a personal preference backlash within the household.
The only other consideration is the space a SodaStream device takes up on your kitchen counter. If you have the patience to take your SodaStream out of a cabinet when using it and put it back when done, this is not a concern.
Pros and Cons of a SodaStream
- SodaStream allows you to cut back on sugar. You can buy sugar-free syrups to add to sparkling water to make it taste like cola, ginger ale or Dr. Pepper.
- SodaStream produces less waste than purchasing cans of sparkling water or soda.
- You know exactly what you’re drinking when you make your own sparkling water.
- SodaStream is cheaper overall than purchasing cans of sparkling water from name brands like LaCroix. is cheaper overall than purchasing cans of sparkling water from brands like LaCroix and bubly.
- The gadget takes up counter space, which can be hard to swallow if you’re already starting with a small kitchen and minimal counter space.
- You have to plan ahead to refill your canister, or you may end up without sparkling water for a few days.
- Like any kitchen gadget, SodaStream can break down or develop mold if not cleaned regularly.
- The bubbles from SodaStream water may not last as long as commercial sparkling water, especially if you don’t drink it right away.
Making the Choice: Is SodaStream Worth it for You?
There are three main factors involved in determining whether SodaStream devices are a good fit for you:
The more you drink carbonated beverages, the more likely a SodaStream is a viable option from a cost perspective.
With a SodaStream, you’ll have to keep a supply of CO2 cylinders and syrups at home. There is a mechanical aspect to replacing the CO2 cylinders, so it helps if you are handy. Some people may think it is simply more convenient to grab a can from the fridge and pop it open.
Counter or Cabinet Space
How many devices do you currently have on your kitchen counter? Do you have room for a SodaStream? Do you have cabinet space for it if you don’t want to have it out all the time?
The final decision comes down to how important bubbly beverages are in your home.
Ohio-based contributor Catherine Hiles writes about finance, cars, pet ownership and parenting for The Penny Hoarder. Freelancer Kent McDill contributed to this report.