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I compared this and the Rowenta DR5015 Ultra Steambrush side by side...
on May 7, 2011
My father bought the Rowenta locally and I tried it out. I'd been wanting an easy-to-use steamer so I checked Amazon. The Jiffy has gotten excellent reviews whereas the Rowenta has gotten ok reviews (most negatives are about durability.) I ordered the Jiffy and borrowed my Dad's so I could compare them.
First let me say that I want a quick and easy steamer mostly to get wrinkles out of Tshirts, shorts, jeans,button-downs etc that I didn't take out of the dryer quick enough. I usually will not be steaming full suits,etc.
The Rowenta is incredibly quick to heat up and start steaming. It literally takes about 30 seconds.
The Jiffy takes about 3 minutes. That's still fast but if you're in a really big rush...
When the Rowenta is heated up it basically just sits idle. I don't think it's losing any water while idle because there's no steam coming out. When the Jiffy is heated up the water is literally boiling inside. You can see and hear it boiling. It constantly releases steam. The bad part about this is if you need to pause for a bit (answer phone, do something else...) then the water continues to get used up. In my case it was pumping out hot steam heating up the bathroom and fogging up the mirror. This brings me to one of the bigger complaints about the Rowenta-the water capacity. The Rowenta definitely holds less water than the Jiffy but I found the Rowenta to be more real-world convenient. 1) because it only releases steam only when you need it (you push the button) and 2) because the Rowenta heats up so fast the capacity isn't much of an issue.
Also, the Jiffy gets hot on the exterior-real hot. So it's not that easy to refill quickly because you have to be careful not to burn yourself. After you're finished using the Jiffy it's too hot to put away. You have to leave it and let it cool down. When you're steaming with the Jiffy it's also easy to burn your fingers with the steam. If you don't keep it perfectly upright it leaks easily and the drops really burn you. If you get yourself with the steam you say, "OW!". If you get yourself with the drops you say, "OW S%&*!!, son of a...!!"
The Rowenta doesn't get very hot on the exterior. If you steam your fingers it doesn't really hurt. I also made a dumb mistake when first trying the Rowenta. I left it plugged in lying on top of some clothing for a couple hours. Of course I don't recommend this but nonetheless it wasn't that hot and the clothes it was lying on were in no apparent danger of burning. I believe you're supposed to try and keep them both upright while steaming but sometimes you want to turn it to reach a spot. I don't recall the Rowenta leaking when I did that. If it did, it wasn't hot enough for me to remember.
I'm sure many people consider the hotter steam of the Jiffy to be a plus over Rowenta but I didn't find this to be the case. Yes the Jiffy is hotter but it just 'boils' steam out of the openings. The Rowenta is less hot but it 'blasts' the steam out when you push the button. The blasting effect seemed to almost, but not entirely, make up for the difference in heat. Also, the extra heat of the Jiffy made the clothing soggy so if you touched a part that you'd already steamed it would create new wrinkles. Touching the parts that you already steamed with the Rowenta didn't really seem to create new wrinkles. I used both steamers on the same 3 pieces of clothing for about the same amount of time. I used the Rowenta on one side and the Jiffy on the other. I didn't tell my wife which was which and asked her which looked better. They were all basically too close to compare.
I have a toddler so there was definitely a safety issue for me. If she were to pull the cord and pull the Jiffy down on herself while on( or even 5-10 mins after you've unplugged it)she could be seriously injured and scarred. If she were to pull the Rowenta down it probably wouldn't be a big issue.
So I ordered a Rowenta for myself and am sending the Jiffy back. I'm not saying the Jiffy is a bad piece of equipment, it just isn't quick and easy like the Rowenta. I feel as if I needed something that performs like the Jiffy I'd rather just get an upright steamer.
In summary, the Rowenta is safer, quicker, and easier-- for my purposes anyway. It's also cheaper. Only time will tell about the durability.
I just wanted to update you guys since it's been awhile.
My experience has been about the same as above. This steamer is awesome for T-shirts, cargo shorts, regular shorts, button down dress shirts, polo shirts,etc. It works on jeans but is not as efficient and when you have heavy creases in a pair of jeans it can take a refill for two.
I have not had any trouble with my steamer. I don't use it all the time but quite a bit. Sometimes I won't use it for 3 weeks and sometimes I use it 10 times in a week. I actually bought a second one for a vacation home and I haven't had trouble with that one either. I've only used that second one about 10 times total though.
I think technique is key with this one. My wife had poor results until I showed her how I use it. Just make sure you pull the clothing item and angle the steamer correctly up against the clothing and let the steam blast THROUGH the item. Letting it blast through is the trick. As we've discussed a lot, there is a difference in heat with the different steamers. I think the heat with this one hits the sweet spot for the items I listed whereas something like the Jiffy is too hot for the same items. The rowenta won't work as well if you're only blasting the steam *at it instead of through it.
For the items I listed I would buy this again for sure. I already have. For heavier items, pressed dress clothes,etc. I would probably go with something heavier like the Jiffy.