Rowenta Xcel Steam DR8120 Review

rowenta steamer reviews

Rowenta are a leading brand in clothes steamers and now offer 5 different handheld steamers. Today I’d like to look at the Rowenta Xcel Steam DR8120, which is the latest handheld steamer from their range. In comparison to the other Rowenta handheld steamers, the DR8120 offers:

  • The highest wattage
  • The largest water tank
  • The fastest heat up time
  • The largest output of steam

Combine these features and this makes the best handheld steamer that Rowenta have offered to date. Let’s take a closer look:

Rowenta DR8120 Steamer

Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate with 2 Steam Options, 1600-Watts, White
2,827 Reviews
Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate with 2 Steam Options, 1600-Watts, White
  • FAST AND POWERFUL - 1600 Watts of power with 26 Grams/Min. of steam and ready to use in just 40 seconds. Steam your clothes in no time
  • KILL 99.9% OF BACTERIA W/O CHEMICALS - Steam is a safe way to kill 99.9% of bacteria, dust mites, and more! Clean and refresh your whole household including curtains and furniture
  • HEATED METAL FACEPLATE - Easily iron away any stubborn wrinkles with the heated metal faceplate

The Rowenta DR8120 handheld steamer is an impressive looking navy blue and silver unit. I really like the design with the large head and large base to even out weight distribution. The base gives you a larger flatter surface keep the steamer upright when you place it down on the bench or table.

If you have read any of my other garment steamer reviews, I generally recommend buying a clothes steamer that has at least 1500 watts of power. This is to maximise steam output and performance of the steamer.

The Rowenta Xcel Steam Plus has 1600 watts of power, and outputs steam at 26 grams per minute.

Stand By Mode

After 8 minutes without use, the Rowenta DR8120 steamer will go in to “standby mode”. This is handy if you’re driving to work and wondering if you’ve forgotten to switch off your clothing steamer!

You will know your Rowenta handheld steamer is in standby mode if the on/off button is flashing. If you would like to begin steaming again, press the on/off button again. The light should stop flashing and the steamer will be in power mode again.

If you want to switch off the Rowenta steamer, press and hold the power button for 3 seconds.

Included Accessories

rowenta hand steamer
Rowenta Steamer Accessories

There are 4 included accessories with the DR8120. They are:

  • Fabric brush – to open the fibers in the fabric for easier steaming.
  • Mesh Steam Cover – this diffuses the steam, protects your fabric from any impurities in the water (if using tap water) and may help to catch any drips from the steamer.
  • Crease Attachment – the crease attachment helps to pull fabric tight and make trouser creases or shirt sleeve creases.
  • Over the door hook – a fold out hook that fits over the top of your door to hang your coat hanger on.

I really like clothing steamers that come with accessories. The fabric brush has to be my absolute favorite tool. Take a look at this post to see how my dry clean only coat came up using a fabric brush.

The downside to multiple accessories that clip onto your handheld steamer is you need to let your steamer cool down before changing these. Rowenta recommend leaving your steamer for 1 hour before removing or changing accessories.

Cord Length

The power cord on the DR8120 is 3 metres long, which is around 9.5 feet. This is one of the reasons why this steamer made my list of best steamers for curtains.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to find an extension lead, or steam right near a powerpoint (dangerous) because the cord on your steamer isn’t long enough.

Water Capacity

The Rowenta Xcel steamer holds 6.4 ounces of water. This isn’t a huge amount, but any more than this and I think it would make the steamer too heavy in your hand. The steamer should run for around 10 minutes before needing refilling.

Be mindful that if you use the steamer on the highest steam setting it will use the water faster, meaning you will have to refill it more often.

Using Tap Water in Your Rowenta Steamer

I really only have one complaint; and it’s not about the DR8120 handheld steamer, it’s about Rowenta themselves. Rowenta advertise that you can use tap water in their steamers.

What Rowenta don’t tell you upfront, is that if you use tap water in your steamer you will need to regularly descale the steamer. Over time, limescale will build up from tap water and affect the output of steam, cause spitting of water from your steamer and will shorten the life of your machine.

I think this is really misleading. Please be mindful up front that if you choose to use tap water in your clothing steamer you will need to descale the steamer. How often you need to descale, will depend on how often you use the steamer, and how hard the water is in your area.

My firm recommendation is to always use distilled water in your steamer. If you cannot get distilled water, choose demineralized water instead.

Here is the official statement from Rowenta:

Your appliance has been designed to use tap water. If your water is very hard, mix 50% tap water and 50% bottled demineralised water. Never use water containing additives (starch, perfume, aromatic substances, softeners, etc.), or condensation water (for example water from tumble dryers, water from refrigerators, water from air conditioning units, rainwater). This water contains organic waste materials or minerals that concentrate under the effect of heat and cause spitting, brown colouring or premature ageing of your appliance

Rowenta User Manual

Rowenta DR8180 – The DR8120 Steamer + A Retractable Cord

Rowenta DR8180 Handheld Steamer with Retractable Cord, Blue
81 Reviews
Rowenta DR8180 Handheld Steamer with Retractable Cord, Blue
  • FAST AND POWERFUL: 1600 Watts of power with 26 Grams/Min. of steam and ready to use in 40 seconds. Steam your clothes in no time

One of the common misconceptions with handheld steamers is that they are cordless. Most photographs you see online have the power cords removed from the images.

I’d love a cordless handheld steamer, but sadly that doesn’t yet exist. I suppose this is because a battery pack of some sort would need to be attached to the steamer. This would increase the weight of the steamer and tire out your arm much faster.

Rowenta have instead come out with a new design of the DR8120 steamer – it has a larger bottom base and a retractable cord. With a different design comes a different product code – this one is now the DR8180.

I’ll keep this short – Rowenta steamer with the retractable cord is identical in every other way to the DR8120 steamer. The retractable cord is the only difference.

Rowenta DR8080 vs DR8120

rowenta dr8120 x cel review

The Rowenta DR8080 handheld steamer and the DR8120 steamer are two very similar looking steamers. Looking at the image above, you could be forgiven for thinking that they were the same steamer at first glance.

There is a slight design change in the ceramic coated sole plate, positioning of the colors and the steam button. There are the differences in the specifications:

Rowenta DR8080Rowenta DR8120
Wattage: 1500 wattsWattage: 1600 watts
Steam Output: 22 grams per/minSteam Output: 26 grams per/min
Heat Up Time: 45 secondsHeat Up Time: 40 seconds
Water Tank: 6 ouncesWater Tank: 6.4 ounces
Accessories: 3 includedAccessories: 4 included

The 1500 watts of the Rowenta DR8080 is still a powerful handheld steamer, when you compare it to other steamers on the market that are 1200 watts and less. But if you want the best Rowenta has to offer, the DR8120 with 1600 watts of power is it.

The 100 watts of difference between the two steamers has two main benefits:

  • A faster heat up time, as there is more power to heat up the steamer faster
  • A stronger steam output. The DR8080 outputs steam at 22 grams per minute. The DR8120 outputs steam at 26 grams per minute. Please note the steam outputs quoted are running the steamer the absolute maximum setting. Using this setting all the time will also run out your water quickly.

You get one extra accessory with the DR8120 handheld steamer, an over the door hook to hang your clothes on whilst steaming.

I was expecting to find that the DR8120 would be higher priced than the DR8080 steamer. As a newer model, more power and extra accessory, I thought this would come at a cost. Surprisingly, at the time of reviewing this article (March 2021) that wasn’t the case. The Rowenta DR8120 Xcel steamer was around $10 less expensive than the DR8080.

Prices are always subject to change and tomorrow this could be completely different, so I’ve included links to both steamers on Amazon below:

Rowenta DR8080 Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate 1500-Watts, Blue
739 Reviews
Rowenta DR8080 Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate 1500-Watts, Blue
  • 1500 Watts of powerful steam combined with a Extra large micro metal steam head with multiple holes for excellent steam distribution getting out the toughest of wrinkles.
  • Ready to steam in 45 sec
  • Flexible storage: Anywhere, Anytime thanks to its robust base and chair hanger.
Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate with 2 Steam Options, 1600-Watts, White
2,827 Reviews
Rowenta DR8120 X-Cel Powerful Handheld Garment and Fabric Steamer Stainless Steel Heated Soleplate with 2 Steam Options, 1600-Watts, White
  • FAST AND POWERFUL - 1600 Watts of power with 26 Grams/Min. of steam and ready to use in just 40 seconds. Steam your clothes in no time
  • KILL 99.9% OF BACTERIA W/O CHEMICALS - Steam is a safe way to kill 99.9% of bacteria, dust mites, and more! Clean and refresh your whole household including curtains and furniture
  • HEATED METAL FACEPLATE - Easily iron away any stubborn wrinkles with the heated metal faceplate

Is the Rowenta DR8120 a Good Buy?

Yes. I would happily purchase the Rowenta DR8120 Xcel Steamer. With two steam settings it is suitable for all fabrics. The steam output is good and the included accessories are a bonus. Rowenta is a trusted brand.

Priced at around $40, the DR8120 Xcel steamer is affordable for what you are getting. If you look after your steamer well, it should last you for years to come.

The only downside I see with all Rowenta steamers they are only covered by a 1 year warranty in the USA and Canada. If you are in the UK or Australia, Rowenta will cover your steamer for 2 years.

Rowenta are also very specific that “scaling” is not included in any warranty repairs, so if you choose to use tap water in your steamer, do so at your own risk.

What are your thoughts on the Rowenta handheld steamers? Please let me know in the comments below!

Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lauren

Passionate organizer, t-shirt folder and owner of a commercial garment steamer, home steamer and handheld steamer. I'll discuss all things steaming, so if you need help with buying or using a clothing steamer or home steamer, I'm here for you. Please join me on Facebook and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. Happy Steaming!

Recent Posts