Sparkel vs Sodastream: which to choose?

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Erin Lawrence

how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is best

Maybe you’ve been hearing about the new Sparkel machine that doesn’t use CO canisters to make carbonated water. If you’re trying to decide between getting a Sodastream and a Sparkel, here’s the key differences you need to know about.

Sparkel or Sodastream? Which one is best?

SodaStream vs. Sparkel: Carbonation

Sparkel has a unique carbonation process. You add the two-part sachet to the machine, and close the lid. There’s a water tank in the back that will mix with the sachets when you’re ready.

how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is bestThe sachets are made up of citric acid and sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Sparkel says this combination mixes with the water and generates CO2 gas naturally when mixed with water.  None of the carbonator ends up in your beverage – only the CO2 it creates. The carbonator powder dissolves and is left in a seperate tank located behind the bottle.

With Sodastream, you do need to buy CO tanks, and while you can set up online ordering, you most often need to go to a store to exchange them.

When it comes to how much carbonation you want, most Sodastreams give you three levels, Sparkel has five.

SodaStream vs. Sparkel: environment

So which is more environmentally friendly; Sodastream or Sparkel? That’s hard to say. Sodastream uses carbon dioxide tanks, but you do get credit for recycling them, though yes, you do usually have to drive to a store to do it. Sparkel’s packs of carbonator do leave you with small plastic garbage—too small for most civic recycling programs to use, but you could make your own carbonator. Sparkel also uses electricity where some Sodastreams do not.

Which one is better for the planet? That’s hard to measure.

How to decide between Sodastream or Sparkel?

how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is bestSodaStream vs. Sparkel: Types of liquid

Sparkel allows you to add flavourings and herbs to your water before it’s carbonated. You can do that with Sparkel because the carbonator nozzle never touches the beverage so there’s no danger of contaminating it  or getting it dirty.

I feel like adding flavours like herbs and fruit beforehand allows for the flavours to be better infused and they end up tasting stronger right out of the gate, instead of needing to wait. Sparkel has all kinds of ideas on its website, but I liked making cucumber mint water and adding a few blueberries for colour and subtle flavour.

The fact you can also carbonate other things means this isn’t just a sparkling water or seltzer machine, it’s a drink station. I tried carbonating red wine, and cold brew tea. You can also carbonate juices. So Sparkel is really versatile.

SodaStream has been selling flavour  syrups for years. I’ve never liked SodaStream’s liquid soda flavourings by comparison, I found them to be loaded with chemicals and artificial tastes, so I’ve always just added my own flavours afterwards.

SodaStream vs. Sparkel: Taste of water

how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is best, water tasteHow does Sparkel water taste? And is  there a taste difference between water carbonated with carbon dioxide gas from tanks and water carbonated with sachets of citric acid and baking soda? Well, yes.

It’s kind of hard to put a finger on because of course water is tasteless, but the Sparkel water tastes different than the Sodastream water. Less canned if that makes sense. It tastes softer. Now don’t get me wrong, both taste fine and if I served them to you blind you wouldn’t notice which was which, but there does seem to me to be a subtle and not unpleasant difference.

SodaStream vs. Sparkel: Power

Sparkel needs electricity to work, so you’ll have to find a plug. You can get SodaStream machines that don’t need power.

how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is bestSodaStream vs. Sparkel: carbonation time

SodaStream carbonates in about 15-20 seconds or so—pretty much instantly. With Sparkel you do need to wait. It takes a full three minutes to fully carbonate the beverage.

SodaStream vs. Sparkel: DIY

With Sparkel, it is possible to easily make your own carbonator powder with citric acid and baking soda. You can check out my how to video on YouTube, below. That means it can be cheaper and you’ll create less waste with Sparkel. DIY pressurized CO tanks… ummm, no thanks.


how to make sparkel, sachets, carbonator, carbon dioxide, powder, drink, water, bubbly sodastream, sparkel or sodastream, which is bestSodaStream vs. Sparkel: Price

Sparkel costs about $99CAD while Sodastreams start at about $120; my Sodastream Source was $149.

90 Packs of Sparkel Carbonators cost about $59.99. That translates to about 65 cents per use.

A 60 liter CO2 cartridge can be had for about $35 and you get a credit for bringing the old tank back. SodaStream tanks are supposed to carbonate about 60 bottles so that works out to about 60 cents per use.

But if you want to make your own carbonator powder by getting citric acid and baking soda in bulk, you can, and the cost per use plummets.

Those are they key differentiators between Sparkel and Sodastream.

*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog.

2 Comments

  1. Mike on December 11, 2023 at 7:05 am

    I have both systems. At first the Sparkel product tasted ok. After a few months I notice that the Sparkel produces a strongly acidic tasting water and I now find that I prefer the sodastream water.
    FWIW
    Mike

    • Erin L on December 12, 2023 at 2:54 pm

      Great feedback Mike. Thanks for sharing it here.

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