Steam generators work differently than standard irons. These two-piece units have a separate base housing the water tank, which connects to the iron with a hose. This allows for much longer steaming due to their larger water reservoirs. On the downside, steam generators are bulky and expensive; the cheapest models cost $150.
The Rowenta Pro Iron Steam Station scores highly in one comparison review for its excellent steam rate, ease of use and effectiveness. User feedback is more contradictory. While many owners say the Steam Station is a big improvement over a standard iron, others complain of leaks. And even those who like the steam generator wish it had a see-through water tank or some kind of water-level indicator to let them know how much steam time is left. Furthermore, you have to wait until the tank runs completely dry before refilling it -- which can be a pain if you're in the middle of an ironing project.
In addition to testing at ConsumerReports.org, we found about 200 user reviews for the Rowenta Pro Iron Steam Station at Amazon.com, plus a smattering of additional coverage on the Macy's website.
ConsumerReports.org includes the Rowenta Steam Station in its overview of 42 steam irons. Testers evaluate steam rate and performance on a variety of fabrics, and appraise safety features offered by each model.
Review: Steam Iron Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Jan. 2010
While a number of posters say their models leak, on the whole, Amazon users are relatively enthusiastic about the Rowenta Steam Station; most of the nearly 200 owner reviews say it makes wrinkles disappear instantly. Users praise the steam generator's huge water tank and tremendous steam output, although a few say their units leak and that the water tank needs a level indicator.
Review: Rowenta DG5030 1750 Watt Pro Iron Steam Station with Stainless Steel Soleplate, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Oct. 2011
Of the roughly 30 reviews posted on Macys.com, most are very pleased with the Rowenta Steam Station. One owner, who used it to iron heavy clothing and drapes in a hunting lodge, says it made the job almost enjoyable. However, a few posters complain of leaks due to a faulty steam knob.
Review: Rowenta Pressure Iron and Steamer, DG5030, Contributors to Macys.com, As of Oct. 2011