The end result may be the same (sparkling water or flavoured drinks), but the SodaStream Art delivers a refinement of a tried-and-tested design. Its side handle makes carbonating easier, while the Quick Connect Cylinder is easier to fit than the old screw-in design. A stylish finish and a great choice of flavoured add-ons mean there’s no compromise to being eco-friendly with this machine.
- Quick Connect makes it easier to fit cylinder
- Dishwasher-safe bottle
- Cheaper than bottled water
- Wide range of flavoured syrups
- A bit more expensive than the entry-level machines
- Sparkling drinksAs well as standard sparkling water, you can add from a huge range of flavoured syrups, including premium mixers from Pepsi and 7Up. For sparkling water, the SodaStream is better value than pre-bottled options, and cuts down on plastic use
- CapacityThe provided bottle is a 1-litre model, although for the purposes of carbonation, you can fill to only 840ml
- Eco-friendlyYou can cut back on the number of plastic bottles you use every year, and the CO2 canisters can be handed back for refilling
A refinement in design and use, the SodaStream Art is built to make it easier than ever to carbonate water (or make flavoured drinks). Its new Quick Connect Cylinder offers a big improvement over the previous design, while the dishwasher-safe bottle makes it easier to clean, too.
Design and Features
- New Quick Connect Cylinder
- Lever makes it easier to dispense CO2
- Dishwasher-safe bottle
The SodaStream Art is a far more impressive-looking bit of kit than the entry-level SodaStream Spirit. Decked out in black, with a pull handle on the side, the Art looks far more high-end. If you’re mostly going to leave the machine on display, then this is the better choice.
While the exterior may look different, it’s the inner workings that have seen the main changes with the introduction of the Quick Connect Cylinder. In previous models, the CO2 cylinder had to be screwed into place, which was a touch fiddly. With Quick Connect, you just pop in the cylinder, and then pull down the handle to lock it into place. It’s far easier to use.
This change in design means that the Art isn’t compatible with older-style cylinders; older machines won’t work with Quick Connect.
Fortunately, SodaStream hasn’t changed the pricing of the new cylinders: when you return an existing cylinder (there’s one in the box), you’ll receive your £10 deposit back, bringing the cost down to £12.99 each. Since each cylinder can deliver up to 60 litres of sparkling water, that’s around 22p per litre: cheaper than what you can buy it for in the supermarket and far better for the environment to boot.
Next, the Art has a handle to release carbon dioxide, rather than a push-button on top. It’s a far neater design that’s easier to use, particularly for kids. My kids struggled a little with the Spirit, trying to get enough pressure to push the button.
In the box, there’s a reusable 1-litre water bottle. However, it’s important to note that while the bottle can hold 1-litre of water, the fill line is actually 840ml to leave room for carbonation. This 840ml “limit” doesn’t make any different in practical terms: once the bottle’s empty, I just refill it.
For the first time, SodaStream is selling a machine with a dishwasher-safe bottle, which certainly makes cleaning up easier. Additional bottles are available in both 1-litre and smaller, “on the go” 500ml sizes.
All bottles simply slide up into the front of the machine. Just click them into place and push the bottle back so that it hangs in place. It’s quick and easy to do.
As with other SodaStream machines, the Art is compatible with the range of add-on flavours. These include SodaStream’s own (including cola, cream soda, and diet tonic water), as well as big-brand names such as Pepsi, Pepsi Max, 7Up and 7Up free. These add versatility, and can further cut down on plastic use.
The branded syrups are more costly at £4.99 a bottle, although you can often find discounts (I found some stores selling Pepsi Max for £3.99) and multi-packs for less. At the regular price, each bottle makes 9 litres of drink. Combined with the cost of carbonation, that’s around 77p per litre.
Pre-bottled drinks can often be found cheaper in supermarkets, but the SodaStream option has two advantages: the bottles of syrups are easier to store, and there’s far less plastic being wasted.
With this machine, SodaStream provides a stirrer, which you can use to mix cocktails with sparkling or flavoured waters. It’s a nice touch, but you can mix cocktail ingredients in any of the other SodaStream machines.
- Works with any cold water
- Fizzes brilliantly
- Syrups add variety
You can use standard tap water with the SodaStream Art. How the water tastes in your area will affect the final taste of the sparkling water, however. You may prefer to use filtered water: I used an InSinkErator 4 in 1 Touch Tap with a built-in water filter.
Next I moved on to the Art, adjusting the number of two-second bursts. I found three bursts is good for lightly sparkling water and diet tonic; five bursts or more for more energetic water and fizzy drinks, such as Pepsi Max.
With the bottle sealed, anything I made lasted a few days. There’s no real difference in longevity here compared to a supermarket-bought bottle of water that has been opened.
While sparkling water may be most people’s destination, I’m quite a fan of the syrups. Being able to make up some Pepsi Max or 7Up Free on-demand is a nice thing to do. For what it’s worth, I found the taste practically the same as buying pre-bottled drinks.
Should you buy it?
If you’re new to SodaStream and want an easy-to-use machine for sparkling water and flavoured drinks, this is a great choice.
If you have an existing machine, there isn’t much reason to upgrade. Those that don’t drink much sparkling water won’t find this a useful purchase, either.
If you already have a SodaStream that you’re happy with, then the Art doesn’t really do anything different: it still delivers the same range of sparkling water and flavoured options. If you’re going to replace an older machine or want to start from scratch, then the Art is a great choice: the dishwasher-safe bottle makes cleaning up easier; the handle makes carbonating simpler; and the Quick Connect Cylinder is much faster to fit.
How we test
We test every carbonated water maker we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
We carbonate still water to different levels to see the range available.
We calculate the cost of sparkling water and other drinks to see how the cost compares to buying bottles in the supermarket.
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No, you can use the newer Quick Connect Cylinders only.
No, it’s manually operated only.
Use the handle in two-second bursts. Let the water settle between bursts, and repeat as many times as required to get your desired level of fizz.