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120V to 12V DC Transformer In 2021 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

Can’t find a decent 120V to 12V DC transformer? Then you’re in the right place. We know how crucial today’s portable electronics are.

Unfortunately, as much as you love them, they do not work if you don’t have the proper connections for them.

To avoid that problem, most people use 120V to 12V transformers.

There are plenty of affordable converters out there that could damage your electronics.

To help you choose one, we have gathered three efficient 120V to 12V transformers for this review.

We’ll explain why they’re the best in the market and why you should consider getting them. With that out the way, let’s dive right in.

What is a 120V to 12V Converter?

12V is the type of electricity that vehicles use. Its primary purpose is to deliver power to electronics through the car cigarette.

When the battery is fully charged, it will operate your 12-volt equipment, whether it be a car vacuum cleaner, a car refrigerator, or a monitor panel.

120V is the type of electricity most electronics use at home. Both kinds of electricity are essential for electronics.

However, you cannot plug 12-volt equipment into a 120-volt outlet. For them to work, you need to use a 120V to 12V converter.

The transformer will convert 120-volt electricity into 12 volts. Once you plug the unit into the power source, the 12-volt equipment will work just fine.

Benefits of Using a 120V to 12V Converter?

A transformer is something intended to help converter electricity.

But if you’re not sure whether it is worth getting one, here are a couple of reasons why you should get it:

Car Accessories

The 120VAC to 12VDC transformer is quite popular among drivers.

12-volt direct current is the type of electricity that you would often find in a vehicle, meaning that only 12 volts accessories can be used on those cars.

To get around that, drivers use transformers as converters to use their favorite car accessories at home.

When the power cord is plugged into the outlet, the transformer will convert the energy from 120V to 12V, making it possible to use car accessories at home.

This is a simple process and can be done by anybody.


Another attractive advantage is that these small devices are super durable.

Most transformers hold up pretty well to short circuits or any other non-desirable outcomes.

This is a great advantage as you can plug in your vacuum cleaner, and it won’t catch on fire as it is running.

Plug in 120v to 12v dc transformer

Transformers make it pretty easy to convert a car vacuum cleaner to home use.

They don’t require any electrical knowledge to use them. As long as you connect the power cord into the outlet, you should be good to go.

Moreover, most transformers are pretty easy to take from one place to another as they are relatively lightweight and small.

3 Best 120V to 12V Converters

Here, you’ll find all the information you need about the best converters.

We searched for all types of transformers.

But few were worth our time until we came across these three converters that achieved the results we wanted. That said, here they are:

01. Hotor Transformer 110-220V to 12V


Highlighted Features:

  • Voltage protection
  • Anti-overheat system
  • Copper core power cord

The best step down transformer 120V to 12V DC we’ve come across is the one from HOTOR.

It protects your electronics and is pretty easy to set up.

The transformer is equipped with a system that stops the unit from overloading the amperage ratings.

These devices are known for melting over time; hence this feature is a must for any converter.

Most cars don’t have built-in cigarette lighters anymore. But if you have one and car accessories, you’ll love this one.

It is designed to work with pretty much any car powered device.

For example, it works with car vacuums, touch screens, and air mattresses. You name it.

The target demographic for this product is drivers. But that does not mean it can only be used with car accessories.

For example, if you need to plug in a telescope at home, this transformer is a fantastic investment.

In other words, anything that you want to convert from 110-220V to 12V.

Furthermore, the power cord boats a stylish design. It looks pretty clean and does not look out of place.

Finally, they also made sure to add a copper core cable to prevent overheating issues overtime.

What We Liked

  • Compact design
  • Holds up pretty well to heat
  • Easy to set up
  • Does not get in the way

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not compatible with car refrigerators

02. AstroAI AC to DC Transformer 102-110V to 12V


Highlighted Features

  • Portable design
  • Prevents overcharging
  • Heat dissipation mechanism

If you’re looking for an affordable, easy to use, and efficient transformer, then you’ll love this model from AstroAI.

So far, we’ve been pretty happy with how efficient this little device can be.

Overcharging a battery can be a living nightmare for many people.

If you let your phone hit 100 percent, it’ll keep the electricity going on, which can damage the battery.

To prevent this, this model offers a system that protects your electronics against overcharging and short circuits.

Not only does it protect your electronics, but it also boasts a compact design that allows you to carry it around anywhere you want.

The power cord does not take up too much space and is easy to store.

Furthermore, consumers have reported how easy it is to use.

The design is pretty self-explanatory. Simply plugging it into the outlet is enough to get it to work.

It also offers a heat sink to reduce the temperature.

By doing this, the device won’t overheat, making it an excellent choice for those who want a durable and reliable transformer.

Overall, this is a fantastic converter. It is easy to use, does not damage your car accessories, and is pretty easy to carry around.

For such an affordable price, you really can’t go wrong with it.

What We Liked

  • Does not get hot
  • Wide compatibility
  • Durable design
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like

  • Moisture can damage it

03. Roypow 110-120V to 12V Transformer


Highlighted Features

  • Built-in cooling fan
  • Stable output
  • Short circuit protection

For a high-performance transformer, the converter from Roypow is an excellent addition to your day-to-day.

Some consumers have gone as far as to say this is the best transformer they’ve used for long.

It is designed to provide consistent performance.

Buyers love this model as it keeps their car accessories safe, making it an excellent investment for those who want their car accessories to work at home.

It also provides a wide range of electrical compatibility.

Most vehicle electronics work with this model. For example, you could plug in a mini-fridge, a vacuum cleaner, and a tire inflator.

The unit offers a built-in cooling fan, making it easier for the air to flow through the transformer.

As a result, the converter has an easier time dealing with high temperatures.

Buzzing transformers can be annoying. They are not dangerous. But they are not fun to be around.

However, this one barely makes any noise, if any. Buyers have expressed just how quiet it is when the fan is running.

Another feature worth pointing out is that you won’t blow the transformer even if you plug in anything higher than 120V.

This comes in handy if you ever forget about the maximum voltage the unit supports.

What We Liked

  • Prevents overheating
  • Prevents excessive current
  • Does not make any noticeable noise
  • Durable and compact design

What We Didn’t Like

  • The plug feels too loose

What to Consider When Buying a 120V to 12V Converter

Getting a 120V to 12V DC transformer is relatively easy.

However, there are a few factors that any possible buyer should be aware of. That said, here are some things you must consider:

Copper-Core Cable And Cooling Fan

Overheating can damage your electronics and cause a fire.

Explosions and injuries are common phenomenons among modern electronics.

Most of the time, damages caused by overheating cannot be fixed unless you replace some of the components.

Nonetheless, you should be aware of the temperature rise when wires are involved.

As such, make sure that the transformer you want has either a copper core cable or a cooling fan.

The former is known for being heat resistant, meaning it won’t catch on fire, and it’ll keep your electronics cool and safe.

Some units also offer a built-in cooling fan to prevent overheating, which is also a great way to avoid abnormally high temperatures.

Short Circuit Protection

Another feature you should keep in mind when getting a transformer is to protect the electronics against short circuits.

Short-circuit is created when the positive and negative wires of a battery come together.

If the circuit is completed before the load, the current has no way of flowing through the circuit.

All this tension causes the wires to heat up. As the wires heat up, they could burn out and cause a fire.

This is quite common and could’ve been preventing if the owner had a system against a short circuit.

As such, make sure your transformer has a mechanism against this large amount of energy.

Not taking this into account can lead to severe injuries, and your house could catch on fire.


As you have seen so far, some units come with a built-in cooling fan.

This prevents the transformer from overheating when plugging in your car accessories. However, some of these fans can make a lot of noise.

Some people might not notice the extra sound, but if you’re easily bothered by noise in your room, considering checking how noisy the unit is.

Consumers always point out how noisy a transformer is in the comment section on Amazon. So, this is pretty easy to find out.

Higher Voltage

Manufactures make it very clear just how much voltage their transformers can handle.

Unfortunately, some buyers might forget about the maximum voltage their transformers can operate, damaging their electronics and the unit.

To prevent that, make sure the unit has high-voltage protection.

As soon as the converter picks up on it, it’ll stop the power adapter.

After that, the unit will go back to normal. As silly as it might sound, you’d be surprised by how common it is.


Most transformer companies claim that most car powered accessories should work with their transformer.

However, you want to be careful here as not all of your accessories might work. This is a rookie mistake most people fall for.

For example, some models are not compatible with car refrigerators.

They usually make it very clear where their products fail to work correctly. So, watch out for that.

Power Cord Length

Always check the length of the power cord.

You don’t want to end up getting a 100-feet power cord. Instead, get one that is large enough for your electronics.

Compact Design

A compact transformer makes your life easier. They use very little space, and they’re generally easy to set up.

Furthermore, you can carry them around as they don’t feel as heavy.

And if you want a simple transformer that does not attract much attention, consider getting a small converter.


Using a 120V to 12V DC transformer is a great and affordable way to use car accessories at home.

Using one of these units does not require any technical knowledge.

Furthermore, the converters we chose are safe to use and work with several accessories you have in your car.

Overall, we’re pretty satisfied with the transformer we chose for this review.

They are certainly the best in the market, and they are not as expensive as some other options we came across while doing research.

Consider giving them a try. These models won’t disappoint you.

They get the job done and will protect your electronics.