While this iron is expensive, some users say it's a real powerhouse for anyone who regularly tackles large loads of ironing. The Rowenta Steamium DW9080 has built-in steam injection technology that pushes 30 percent more steam deeply into fabrics, according to the manufacturer. It also has a 400-vent soleplate, an 11-ounce water tank, variable steam and temperature functions, vertical/horizontal steaming capabilities, burst-of-steam and spray mist buttons and self-cleaning features, as well as a three-way shutoff, digital display and pivoting 7-foot cord.
Online editors of Real Simple magazine choose the Rowenta Steamium as their Best All-Around iron, saying its even heat distribution (and 400 steam-hole soleplate) makes wrinkles disappear instantly. A reputable subscription-only consumer site also gives the Steamium scores of "excellent" for steam output, and "very good" for ease of use and its ability to handle a variety of different fabrics.
User reviews, however, are conflicting. While some owners say the Rowenta Steamium is worth the money, we found a lot of complaints -- namely about overall durability, leaks and drips. Some also gripe that it's too heavy and that the auto shutoff comes on too quickly. Complaints about leaks are nothing unusual when it comes to irons, but owners might be more displeased when it happens to their $140 iron as opposed to a $25 cheapie. We found more consistently good user ratings for the less expensive Black & Decker Digital Advantage D2030 (*Est. $50) .
In a separate review from its steam irons roundup, ConsumerReports.org rates the Rowenta Steamium. Editors test it for steaming rate and performance on a variety of fabrics, as well as safety and ease of use.
Review: Steam Iron Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Jan. 2010
2. Real Simple
The editors of online magazine Real Simple pick the Steamium as the best all-around iron, heaping praise on its powerful steam output thanks to the 400 vent holes in the stainless-steel soleplate. Unfortunately, this roundup is light on details; we're not told how many irons are tested, nor are the non-winning irons identified.
Review: The Best Irons, Editors of Real Simple, Not dated
Of the more than 90 user posts on Amazon, a number of them are genuinely enthusiastic about the Steamium and its powerful burst-of-steam function that permeates fabrics and makes wrinkles disappear instantly. Quite a few owners say it's the best iron on the market. However, many posters say their model leaks and is too heavy, and several say theirs has a faulty dial. Users also complain that their Steamiums simply didn't last; one says hers broke down after only 14 months.
Review: Rowenta DW9080 Steamium 1800-Watt Steam Iron with 400-Hole Platinum Soleplate, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Oct. 2011
Quite a few of the 160-plus posters on QVC say the Steamium is the best iron they've ever owned, and users say it cuts down on dry cleaning bills. One owner calls it the "Mercedes Benz" of irons and others say they'd never own anything but a Rowenta. However, a large number of dissenters say their models leak brown water, that the auto shutoff comes on too quickly while ironing, and that their models have faulty dials.
Review: Rowenta 1800 Watt Steamium Iron w/ Steam Force Technology, Contributors to QVC.com, As of Oct. 2011
The 15-odd posters on Macys.com are unanimous: They love their Steamium irons. They call it a "virtual steam engine" and "the Bentley of irons," and say the professional results thanks to the huge outpouring of steam make this expensive iron worth the investment.
Review: Rowenta DW9080 Iron, Steamium, Contributors to Macys.com, As of Oct. 2011