What We Like
Sleek and sturdy design
Excellent steam output
Stainless steel soleplate glides smoothly across fabric
Helpful self-clean function
What We Don't Like
Higher price than most comparable models
Heavy and bulky
German brand Rowenta has made a name for itself in the world of home technology, producing irons, vacuums, hair dryers, and more since its launch in 1909. One of the company’s latest iron innovations is the Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron. Since its turn-of-the-century beginnings, the company has evolved to focus on implementing cutting-edge technology and design, and it shows in the slick look and digital display of the DW9280. Are the extra perks that come along with the professional-level steam iron worth the price tag, though? We challenged this iron with our most wrinkle-ridden items to see how it performed in pressing and steaming, and whether the bells and whistles were worth making noise over.
Performance: Powerful and effective
With 1,800 watts of power, this Rowenta iron pushes a substantial amount of steam with just a light squeeze of the pump. The soleplate is dotted with 400 holes, which allows for even steam distribution and superior output. We like that the iron also offers a vertical steam setting to easily tackle wrinkle removal on hanging garments. This iron has a maximum steam output of 210 grams/minute, which we found to be substantially more than many close competitors and better suited to releasing stubborn wrinkles from heavy fabrics.
The DW9280 is also equipped with a "smart steam" motion sensor that cuts the output of steam when the iron stops moving. While this is a nice bonus for conserving water and electricity (and is consistently in line with Rowenta’s commitment to sustainability), we didn't notice the effects enough to readily appreciate the feature.
Design: Impressive in looks and weight
The clean and polished appearance of the blue iron is definitely aesthetically pleasing, but the bulk and weight may not be a plus for everyone. This iron weighs 3.85 pounds. By comparison, some irons weigh as little as 1.5 pounds. The product’s heaviness can be a pro for those who like to press their fabric throughout the ironing process, but could be a burden to anyone seeking a more lightweight, ergonomic design. The iron’s precision tip did make it easier to work wrinkles out of hard-to-reach and stubborn areas like seams, pleats, collars, and between buttons. But again, users primarily seeking a basic iron for everyday use may not be swayed by the perk given the attached price tag.
The digital display of this iron sounds like a more useful feature than it actually is. An LED pad illuminates when the iron reaches the appropriate level of heat needed to iron fabrics such as linen, cotton, or silk. But to adjust the iron’s settings, we still had to turn a traditional knob—making the digital display feature seem a little redundant. That said, if you’re worried about scorching your favorite silk skirt or want an easy way to know when the iron is ready to tackle tough linen wrinkles, then this could serve a useful purpose for you.
To adjust the iron’s settings, we still had to turn a traditional knob—making the digital display feature seem a little redundant.
Helpful Features: Safe and self-cleaning
The Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron makes safety a priority with the inclusion of a three-way auto shut-off system. The iron turns off after eight minutes if left vertically, and after 30 seconds if left horizontally or if it’s tipped over.
We also found the self-cleaning system to be another bonus, given the product’s ability to function with any type of tap water. A touch of a button allows the self-clean system to flush out loose mineral deposits that can inhibit performance, and the integrated anti-calcium system is designed to extend the life of the iron.
Price: Out of reasonable range for most
For customers used to spending $20 to $30 on a standard steam iron, the DW9280’s nearly sky-high price tag will certainly raise eyebrows. While the product isn’t Rowenta’s most expensive model, it’s definitely in a class of elite irons with price tags to match.
Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron vs. Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron
For about half the price, the Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron provides many of the same helpful features as the pricier DW9280 model. The less expensive Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron still features a stainless steel soleplate with 400 holes and the appealing three-way automatic shut-off system, but skips the digital display pad and sticks with just the familiar thermostat knob. It also only has a max steam output of 150 grams/minute, compared to the DW9280’s 201 grams/minute. Both products, however, are on the heavier side—and the lower-cost 1700-watt machine actually weighs a bit more at 3.95 pounds.
This iron has a maximum steam output of 210 grams/minute, which we found to be substantially more than many close competitors.
If you don’t mind the extra weight and can live without the digital display, then the Rowenta 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron is a better buy. But if you’re a gadget guru, you might like the high-tech look and operation of the DW9280 and splurge for its features and improved steam output.
Buy it if you love bonus features.
While the Rowenta DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron has all the qualities a frequent user could want, the majority of its features are likely unnecessary and overcomplicate the ironing process for casual consumers. The heavy weight may be burdensome to some and an asset to others, but overall, the eye-catching design and professional extras are likely not worth the investment for most.
- Product Name DW9280 Digital Display Steam Iron
- Product Brand Rowenta
- Price $139.99
- Weight 3.85 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.4 x 4.9 x 6 in.
- Color Blue
- Model Number DW9280
- Power 1800 W
- Water Tank Capacity 10.8 oz.
- Auto-Off Yes
- Warranty 1 year