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Aarke vs SodaStream (2022): Comparing Soda Maker Machines

Founded in 2013, Aarke is relatively new in the fizzy water business. That’s compared to SodaStream that’s been around for decades—since 1903, to be exact. But regardless of which brand you get your soda maker from, you’ll get what you’re after: a nice carbonated drink that can be concocted any time of the day in the convenience of your home. However, that’s not to say there aren’t any differences between the two.

Going by its price, the Aarke Carbonator 3 is targeted at the higher end of the market, and it’s the only option the company offers, unless you count the previous iterations it has already replaced (i.e., Carbonator 1 and Carbonator 2). Meanwhile, SodaStream has various models that cater to a wider audience. For instance, there’s the SodaStream Terra for the budget-oriented, and the popular SodaStream One Touch that strikes the perfect balance between cost, performance and features. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Aarke vs SodaStream Comparison Chart

ModelAarke Carbonator 3SodaStream One Touch
 Aarke vs SodaStreamAarke vs SodaStream
PriceCheck Price at Aarke.comCheck Price at SodaStream.com
ControlsLeverButtons, presets for three carbonation levels
Requires ElectricityNoYes
Bottle MaterialBPA-free PETBPA-free plastic
Bottle ConnectionScrews inSnaps in place
CO2 Gas Cylinder IncludedNoYes
ColorsSteel, Matte Black, White, Black Chrome, Copper, GoldBlack, White

Models and Pricing

SodaStream provides more options to choose from than Aarke, accommodating users of different budgets and needs.

Aarke vs SodaStream Models and Pricing
Here are the SodaStream Terra (left), Aqua Fizz (middle) and ART (right).

As noted, Aarke only has the Carbonator 3, and it has a higher price tag than any SodaStream counterpart. Out of the box, it includes a BPA-free PET bottle, as well as a stainless steel drip tray. And despite the cost, it doesn’t come with a CO2 gas cylinder, which isn’t easy to come by in the US (more on that in a bit). For the record, it’s cordless and doesn’t require electricity to operate.

On the other hand, SodaStream’s selection includes the Terra, One Touch, ART, Aqua Fizz and Jet. All of them share similarities across the board with only a few differences here and there. 

For starters, only the ART uses a lever, and only the One Touch uses electricity. Every one of them is compatible with a 0.5- or 1-liter reusable BPA-free plastic bottle and a snap lock connection, except for the Aqua Fizz that uses a 0.8-liter glass carafe and an easy insert connection. SodaStream also throws in a free CO2 cylinder with every purchase, but take note that the Jet, One Touch and Aqua Fizz use a screw-in system, while the Terra and ART use Quick Connect.

The Aqua Fizz is the most expensive model in the range, mostly owing to its glass components. On the other end of the price spectrum is the Jet, the company’s classic machine. The rest are somewhere in the middle, with the One Touch standing out because of its carbonation level presets and the Terra because of its straightforward performance.

Click here for our SodaStream review.

Carbonation and Ease of Use

The Aarke Carbonator 3 and the SodaStream One Touch are the easiest to use.

Aarke vs SodaStream Carbonation and Ease of Use
A closer look at the lever on the Aarke Carbonator 3 (left) and the buttons on the SodaStream One Touch (right).

To make a fizzy drink with the Aarke Carbonator 3, all you have to do is pull down its lever. Of course, that’s after setting everything up, from inserting its CO2 gas cylinder through its base and screwing in its bottle. The carbonation level depends on how much you pull down on said lever, and after releasing it, any extra pressure is released from the bottle.

As mentioned earlier, SodaStream also has a machine that uses a lever, which is the ART. Needless to say, how it’s used is the same, but it has to be pulled down and released multiple times (at least three times for a standard fizz). The more you do this, the more carbonated it’ll get. It’s the same with the other SodaStream sparkling water makers, but the difference is the others are pressed down or use a button. That said, the One Touch is an outlier here in that you can choose one of three carbonation levels and let it do its thing at a touch of a button, hence its name.

When it comes to carbonation quality, the Carbonator 3 makes a pretty strong and fine fizz. It’s a similar drinking experience you’d get from a S.Pellegrino or Perrier. Typically, SodaStream machines make a mix of small and big bubbles that’s reminiscent of champagne. But one advantage Aarke has is its carbonation lasts overnight and a bit longer than SodaStream’s. It goes without saying that you should use cold water since it can hold CO2 better and only add flavoring after carbonating.

Speaking of, SodaStream carries a ton of flavor syrups and concentrates, and its CO2 cylinders are readily available in the United States. Aarke also has a variety of flavorings and its own CO2 cylinders, but they’re mostly available in Europe. However, the Carbonator 3 is compatible with standard 60-liter cylinders, including those from SodaStream (save for those that use the Quick Connect system).

Design and Build

While this is subjective, the Aarke Carbonator 3 has a better and more premium design than SodaStream machines.

Aarke vs SodaStream Design and Build
Here’s the Aarke Carbonator 3 (in photo) in Copper, Gold and Black Chrome.

At first glance, it’s fairly obvious that the Aarke Carbonator 3 screams premium. It features a metallic or matte finish and boasts a stainless steel build. On top of that, it’s sleek and slim, all in all giving it a sophisticated and elegant appearance that blends well with modern kitchen designs. It’s available in a multitude of colors and finishes too, including Steel, Matte Black, White, Black Chrome, Copper and Gold.

SodaStream soda makers are usually a mix of plastic and metal, but it’s mostly made of the former, which helps keep their cost down. That doesn’t mean they’re of lower quality, though. After all, they’re durable to the touch and don’t feel cheap at all.

Now most of SodaStream’s models are available only in White or Black. Exceptions in this case are the Terra that comes in Black, White, Red and Misty Blue and the ART that comes in Black, White, Mandarin Red and Misty Blue.

Verdict

Aarke may be more premium and straightforward to use, but SodaStream is hard to beat in variety, affordability and accessibility.

To sum things up, the Aarke Carbonator 3 is arguably better looking, thanks to its stainless steel casing and wide range of finishes and colors. It’s also easier to use since it only needs its lever to be pulled down once. In contrast, SodaStream offers more options, all of which are more affordable. Additionally, it has plenty of flavorings to choose from, not to mention that they’re more accessible in the United States. The same goes for its CO2 gas cylinders too.

At any rate, it’s hard to go wrong with either brand, but if we had to choose, we’d go with the SodaStream One Touch. Even though it needs to be plugged in, it makes the whole process easier with its presets for three levels of carbonation, and it doesn’t break the bank either.

FAQs

📌 Do SodaStream CO2 gas cylinders work with Aarke?

Yes, standard SodaStream CO2 gas cylinders can be used with the Aarke Carbonator 3, but those that use Quick Connect aren’t compatible.

📌 Does Aarke have its own CO2 gas cylinders and flavorings?

Yes, Aarke makes CO2 gas cylinders and a variety of flavor syrups, but at the time of writing, they’re not readily available in the United States.

📌 Does Aarke use electricity?

No, the Aarke Carbonator 3 is cordless and doesn’t require electricity.

📌 Do SodaStream bottles work with Aarke?

Yes, SodaStream bottles can fit in the Aarke Carbonator 3.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.