Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel Handheld Garment Steamer Review

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This Rowenta X-Cel Steam review will reveal just how powerful this handheld garment and fabric steamer is. Let's see if it really promises to pack a heavyweight punch in its lightweight body.

Garment steamer aficionados will be familiar with Rowenta, and eager to see what this handy little brainchild of theirs (model DR8080) can do.

The slogan for this product is ‘the most powerful handheld steamer.’ Is it? Let’s find out.

Our Review

Rowenta is a well-known household name when it comes to garment care tools. They’ve produced several popular garment steamer models, and we are inclined to trust their products.

Rowenta is a German company, though this model is produced in China.

We’ve included some videos in this review where they talk about ‘Tefal’ – that’s the brand name in some other countries.

For those that are interested, here's the user manual guide!

Overall Design

The DR8080 X-Cel’s water tank holds just over 6 ounces of water (any more and it’d be too heavy to be ‘handheld’).

The detachable water container is only slightly transparent: just enough so that you can gauge the recommended water level line when filling it.

However, once the tank is back in the steamer, it’s hard to actually tell how much water the container has left before you run out.

This model has a lock function for you to shut off the trigger if necessary (and stop the flow of steam).

This can come in handy because the device is designed in such a way that your finger rests naturally on the trigger and you kind of need to apply pressure on it to grip it properly.

Functionality

It comes with a lint pad, fabric brush, and steam bonnet. These little bonuses are never deal-breakers or makers on their own, but they certainly give you more value for your purchase.

The power cord is 9.84 feet long, giving you plenty of room to maneuver.

Pros

  • The X-Cel advertises 1500 watts of power, which is impressive in a handheld. It actually delivers, and emits steam powerful and hot enough to loosen and knock most wrinkles out, usually in just a few passes. It’s genuinely close to what you’d get from a full-size product.
  • Fast heat up time—steam is ready in even less than the promised 45 seconds (we time it at around 30 seconds). The industry standard is around the 1-minute mark.
  • Easy to use: The directions are clear and provided in 3 languages.
  • Portable. It’s easy to pack and carry around. It weighs only around 3 pounds. Lighter than the best-in-class Sunbeam, though it’s still on the heavy side for a hand-held steamer.
  • You get 10 minutes of use before you have to refill the tank and start over with the heating up process. That’s better than most hand-held steamers, though a tad short of the Sunbeam and the Shark.
  • Because of the steam intensity and power this garment steamer can deliver, you actually can get more garments done in 10 minutes than is usual.

Cons

  • The DR8080 has a slight tendency to spit and spray hot water.
  • Not being able to immediately see how much is left in the reservoir.
  • Some might find it too heavy for extended use.

FAQs

Q: How do you fill a Rowenta hand steamer?

A: Follow the Rowenta hand steamer user manual, but here are the cliff notes: 

  1. Pour tap water in the water tank until it reaches the fill line.
  2. Turn on the steamer.
  3. Wait until the steam comes out fully (up to 2-2.5 minutes)
  4. You may now steam wrinkles and creases

Q: How do you clean a Rowenta Handheld Steamer?

A: To clean a Rowenta handheld steamer, follow these instructions

  1. Remove any water from the water tank
  2. Fill water tank with 50% distilled water & 50% white vinegar
  3. Turn on the steam and let it run until 50% of the solution is left

    NOTE: This is when  you want to observe how the steam is coming out of the steamer. If 100% of the holes are not unblocked, do this step again.

  4. Turn off and unplug to let it cool down - about 30 minutes - pour out the solution.
  5. Rinse with normal water
  6. Refill with distilled water only
  7. Turn on and steam out half the water. This will remove any residual vinegar.
  8. Dump the rest of the water out
  9. Let it cool down and dry before you pack it away

Q: What kind of water do you use in a Rowenta steamer?

A: Regular (free!) tap water all the way - no need to get fancy.

If your home's tap water is harder than "12 grains of hardness", then you can mix it with cheap bottled spring water or distilled water. A 50-50 ratio.

Final Verdict

The Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel garment steamer makes a handy travel companion—if you’re traveling for pleasure.

It works best on delicate clothing and thin casuals. Just allow a bit of time for any water spots to dry up in between steaming and wearing the garment.

It can be used on suits and heavier fabrics, though you won’t get razor-sharp creases.

It’s extremely handy and portable. It also heats up very fast.

Based on our rowenta x cel steam review, I would recommend this.

Personally I ended up buying a full-sized Rowenta but this was on my shortlist and if I traveled more it would have been one of my top choices. 

Last Updated on July 19, 2019

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Rowenta DR8080 X-Cel
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