Why I Finally Jumped on the SodaStream Trend

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I love drinking bubbles. Any bubbles: seltzer water, club soda, champagne. I just love the feeling of fizz and that crisp, Pop Rocks-tingling carbonation on my tongue. But I go through a lot of canned seltzer water and lately I've been questioning my carbon footprint with this habit. So, I finally tried a SodaStream. And, it really does live up to the hype and I can't believe I ever got by without this appliance.

There are three different machines in the SodaStream family: the Fizzi Classic for $80, the One Touch Electric for $135, and the Aqua Fizz Premium for $160.

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Fizzi Classic

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The entry-level SodaStream Fizzi Classic can make nearly 16 gallons of sparkling water on just one carbonation tank. That's the equivalent to about 170 12-ounce bottles of sparkling water! $80 for a small countertop appliance isn't cheap, but you'll save so much money (and plastic) in the long run. Plus, exchanging SodaStream carbonating cylinders is super easy. You just order a new tank online for $14.99 and it comes with a mailing slip so you can mail-in your empty tank. No wasted materials. And that $15 goes a long way. One carbonating cylinder lasts me months.

To buy: SodaStream Fizzi Classic, $80; amazon.com

One Touch Electric

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I recently upgraded to the One Touch Electric for $135 to customize my bubbles. Yes, that's right. This baby comes with multiple settings so I can control how bubbly my bubbles are. And, of course, I crank it up to the highest setting. On a scale from one to Grandpa Joe drinking "Fizzy Lifting Drink" in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, I'm dangerously close to that fan. But for those who want just a subtle hint of carbonation, there's a setting for that, too. The only drawback to the One Touch Electric vs. the Fizzi Classic is that it requires a bulky cord. The Fizzi Classic is cordless and much more compact. But I wouldn't trade my custom bubble power for anything.

To buy: SodaStream One Touch Electric, $130; amazon.com

Aqua Fizz Premium

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The high-end Aqua Fizz Premium goes back to a cordless design, but loses the extra buttons that One Touch Electric has to offer. In my opinion, you're paying the extra $25 for a dishwasher-safe glass water carafe, not the advanced machine performance.

To buy: SodaStream Aqua Fizz Premium, $160; crateandbarrel.com

Even if you're not a diehard seltzer drinker, the SodaStream is still a handy appliance to have—particularly if you love to entertain. What I didn't realize is how much I could use the SodaStream for other drinks, too, from at-home cocktails to homemade soda. You can buy SodaStream soda mix-ins ($27, amazon.com), but I've really enjoyed making simple syrups and creating my own sodas, from sparkling lavender lemonade to at-home Shirley Temples.

The SodaStream has quickly become my favorite kitchen appliance. Like a towel warmer or a crushed ice maker, it's one of those fringe appliances that's easy to talk yourself out of buying. But, once you look at the numbers, there's no denying the savings on your wallet and the planet.

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