The Rowenta DW5080 Focus was able to separate itself from an impressive field of competitors with its superior glide and excellent steam output. The heavy steam output quickly eradicates extreme wrinkles, regardless of the garment. Combine that with a nice interface and a water tank that you can easily fill directly from the sink, and it's clear why the Focus scores highly in our review. This is the perfect model to buy if your quilting and sewing projects require flawlessly smooth fabric and precision ironing or if perfectly pressed clothing gives you the confidence to rock your next conference room presentation.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Rowenta DW5080 Focus on April 21, 2022, with an unbiased assessment of value and direct comparisons to other products that may better suit your needs or budget.
Rowenta DW5080 Focus Review
Pros: Great glide, decent steam output, precise for buttons and pleats
Cons: Expensive, nylon setting is too low, inconsistent temperature
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Focus performed admirably across most of our metrics. While it requires that you pay top dollar, it returns the favor with a stellar performance.
The Focus performs very well in this metric. We tested it on various fabrics, from cotton to silk, and were impressed with its ability to adapt appropriately to each one. When steaming cotton and linen, it performs perfectly with no need for additional steam. The silk setting works excellently with the addition of one blast of steam, smoothing out deeply set wrinkles in seconds.
The tapered nose is great for getting into nooks and crannies like pleats, collars, and around buttons, making the Focus an excellent option for steaming clothing. The only setting that the Focus underperforms in is nylon. Because nylon is essentially plastic, it is important not to get it too hot, which is why this setting temperature is low. Unfortunately, it is simply too low on the Focus. We had to use a big blast of steam to get deep-set wrinkles out, and because of the cooler temperature, a lot of water was left behind on the fabric.
The Focus sets itself apart from the lower-performing models in this metric with a silky smooth glide and a fine mist spray. The smooth glide allows the user to swipe the fabric without the worry of snags and the fine mist provides enough moisture without soaking the fabric on most settings.
Steam output was the most differentiating test we conducted. The results vary greatly from iron to iron. The Focus generated an impressive 43 grams per minute of steam in our test, which is on the higher end of the average.
The soleplate also has more numerous and evenly distributed steam holes than any other models we tested, meaning that steam is better used and dispersed. This amount of steam makes the Focus feel very efficient in pressing garments and lends plenty of power for quickly dealing with stubborn wrinkles. Speaking of power, the Focus' burst of steam button packs such a punch that you can feel the iron trying to lift off the board.
Ease of Use
During our ease of use testing, we paid special attention to cord design, handling, and filling. Overall, the Focus performs very well in this metric and is one of the lighter models we tested, weighing in at just 3.4 pounds. The handle is well designed with a nice ergonomic shape that doesn't tire out your hand. The opening for the water tank has a curved slot that acts as a funnel, reducing splashback while filling the water tank. It also lets you tilt the iron when you're filling it, making it easy to fill it directly from a sink faucet, even if you have a very shallow sink. A yellow light on the side of the iron lights up to indicate when it has reached your desired temperature and when you can start ironing.
What sets this model apart is its soleplate design. The wide base makes quick work of larger items, and the aggressively shaped nose allows you to get into the nooks and crannies between buttons easily. Additionally, the design of the body and the soleplate protects your hand from excess steam when using the burst of steam function.
The controls on the Focus are easy to use. A dial below the handle allows you to set the temperature based on what kind of fabric you're ironing. A dial below the handle adjusts steam output. Two buttons easily pressed by the thumb control the burst of steam function and mister. There is a small self-clean button, but it feels like the powerful burst of steam function is more than enough to blast away calcium deposits.
The only weak point is the cord design. It is 8 feet long, which is plenty long for most situations and pretty standard; however, a little extra length would be nice. While the rigid tail on the cord keeps it out of the way when ironing, it also makes it hard to wrap the cable up for storage. That said, this is a relatively minor issue, and we feel confident in saying that if you get this iron, you're going to enjoy the user experience it offers.
Heating is the only metric where the Focus falls behind the top performers in our test suit. It isn't the quickest model for heating up, but we wouldn't consider it slow either. After roughly five minutes, the Focus reached an average of just below 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is on the lower end of what most of the models in our test suite achieved. There were also some inconsistencies in temperature across the plate. The difference ranged from 260 degrees to 340 degrees Fahrenheit, which is another reason why the Focus lost some points in this metric.
Should You Buy the Rowenta Focus DW5080?
The Rowenta DW5080 Focus is a high-performing steam iron at an appropriately high price point. If you only iron occasionally, you may find a better value in a more inexpensive model. However, if you iron frequently and smoother glide, better steam output, and a well-designed soleplate would make your ironing jobs easier, the Focus will provide a noticeable step up in performance.
What Other Steam Irons Should You Consider?
The Rowenta Focus is an expensive steam iron — in fact, it is one of the more expensive in our test suite and may be a bit steep for the casual user. If you're in the market for a high-end steam iron, it is worth spending a touch more to upgrade to the award-winning Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce. But if these Rowenta models seem exorbitant, the Black+Decker D3030 Allure offers near top-notch performance for nearly half the price.
— Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas
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