Stiftung Warentest devoted itself to tap water in Germany last year – the result was rather mild. More precisely, the quality was described as “harmless to health”. But what is even more important: In the course of the test series, the consumer organization recommended that water from the tap would be better than from the bottle, since bottled mineral water should contain fewer minerals and, on top of that, is often contaminated with germs. So far so good. However, two thirds of the population in this country prefers to drink carbonated water to still water. So what’s the best way to satisfy your desire for a sparkling drink with tap water? The answer is simple: with a sparkling water maker. The device uses a gas cylinder to carbonate still water. The best-known, but also by far the most expensive model is the Sodastream. But there are also cheaper alternatives – three of which are presented below.

1. Soda Trend Style 

Here, too, the Stiftung Warentest has a finger in the pie: A total of seven different soda makers were examined, but only three models – including the Sodastream – were really convincing. However, first place was secured by a cheaper alternative, the price-performance winner: Soda Trend Style. According to the test result, the sparkling water maker delivers the most sparkling water, and it is also significantly cheaper than the top dog: for just under 70 euros you get a set consisting of the sparkling water system, a CO2 cylinder and a PET bottle (capacity approx. 850 ml). The application is very easy: With just one push of a button you can carbonate the tap water – you can decide for yourself how fizzy the drink should be.

2. My Sodapop

The Sodastream alternative MySodapop was also tested. According to Stiftung Warentest, the sparkling water system does not carbonate enough tap water, but it must be said at this point that how sparkling a drink should be is also a question of taste. Those who generally prefer to drink their water with little carbonic acid are certainly well served with My Sodapop. Especially if you are tired of lugging around crates and want to save money: In contrast to the Sodastream, this model currently costs just under 70 euros – including a PET bottle and a CO2 cylinder that can carbonate up to 60 liters of water.

3. Levivo Sparkling Water Maker

In third place comes the water bubbler from Levivo. Even if this Sodastream alternative does not match the other two models in terms of looks, the way it works is still the same: put in the bottle, press the button, enjoy the sparkling water. Available in black and white, a glass bottle and an aluminum CO2 cylinder for approx. 60 liters of water are included in the scope of delivery in addition to the soda maker. The set costs just under 90 euros and is therefore priced between the Soda Trend Style and MySodapop. The simple design fits in every kitchen and is therefore a good replacement for the top dog. The only downside are the bottles, which (like the price-performance winner) are made of PET and not glass.

Even if the Sodastream is significantly more expensive than the models mentioned, it is one of the best-selling soda systems. Even Stiftung Warentest found the classic to be good. However, with the proviso that the carbonic acid would “only” be enough for medium-strength water. But where does the hype about the model actually come from? On the one hand, there are of course the glass bottles, which are preferred by more and more water drinkers. Although there are now cheaper models like the MySodapop that do without plastic bottles. However, the design of Sodastream is untouchable to date – from the system itself to the glass bottles. In the end, the wallet alone decides which water bubbler it will be. For comparison: the set from Sodastream costs just under 115 euros and includes a bubbler system, two glass carafes of 600 milliliters each and a CO2 cylinder.

This video explains in detail what makes the Sodastream so special.

Before using it for the first time, you must put the glass or plastic bottle of your soda maker in the device provided. Then insert the CO2 cartridge into the appropriate container on the back of the Sodastream alternative and close it again. Now you can pump carbon dioxide into the bottle filled with tap water at the push of a button – the more often and longer the button is pressed or held, the more fizzy the water will be. So you can determine for yourself how much carbonic acid your tap water contains.

Regardless of whether you choose the original or a Sodastream alternative: the purchase always makes sense. One of the biggest benefits you get from a soda maker is the cost savings. For comparison: A liter of tap water in Germany costs around two cents on average. A liter of mineral water from the beverage market, on the other hand, costs between 19 and 50 cents on average. In addition, there is the annoying lugging of boxes, which becomes a real agony, especially in higher-storey apartments without a lift. It doesn’t matter whether you get water from glass or plastic bottles – both variants are difficult to carry. Last but not least, the environment also benefits when you choose a sparkling water maker as you produce less waste that needs to be disposed of or recycled.

Conclusion: If you choose a Sodastream alternative, it will have a positive impact on your bank balance, your health and our environment.

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