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Rowenta DW5080 Focus Review

A steam iron that offers user friendliness, precision, and a smooth glide for an overall pleasurable experience
Rowenta DW5080 Focus
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $120 List
Pros:  Great glide, decent steam output, precise for buttons and pleats
Cons:  Expensive, nylon setting is too low, inconsistent temperature
Manufacturer:   Rowenta
By Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas  ⋅  Sep 22, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Ironing Performance - 35% 8
  • Steam Output - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Heating - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Rowenta DW5080 Focus was able to impressively separate itself from a field of tightly packed 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 can easily be filled directly from the sink, and it's clear why the Focus scores highly in our review. This is the perfect model to get 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Rowenta DW5080 Focus
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $120 List$140 List
$156.94 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
$100 List
$111.02 at Amazon
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Pros Great glide, decent steam output, precise for buttons and pleatsAmazing steam output, precise soleplate nose, steam holes are evenly distributed and plentifulPowerful steam burst, pointed nose for precision, budget-friendlyEfficiently reduces wrinkles, misty water spray, 400+ steam holes, retractable cordInexpensive, portable
Cons Expensive, nylon setting is too low, inconsistent temperatureVery expensive, short cord, heavyMinimal steam output, lack of steam holes on soleplateFilling the water tank could be easierLacking in power, underwhelming ironing performance
Bottom Line A steam iron that offers user friendliness, precision, and a smooth glide for an overall pleasurable experienceA powerful steam iron equipped with out-of-this-world steam output, achieving high-end quality but for a top-tier priceA high-performing iron equipped with a powerful steam burst and the ability to tackle most fabrics and most wrinklesAn above-average steam iron with a conveniently retractable chord and an ergonomic soleplate that can tackle most wrinklesA steam iron that is perfect for travel but is too weak for regular chores at home
Rating Categories Rowenta DW5080 Focus Rowenta DW9280 Stea... Black+Decker D3030... CHI Steam Titanium Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Ironing Performance (35%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Steam Output (25%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
8.0
2.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
Heating (15%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
8.0
Specs Rowenta DW5080 Focus Rowenta DW9280 Stea... Black+Decker D3030... CHI Steam Titanium Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Wattage 1700W 1800W 1600W 1700W 800W
Weight 3.4 lbs 3.85 lbs 1.9 lbs 2.9 lbs 1.3 lbs
Cord Length 8' 7' 8' 8' 8'
Soleplate Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Titanium Infused Ceramic Non-Stick
Steam Output 43 g/min 69 g/min 22 g/min 55 g/min 6 g/min
Temperature After 5 Minutes of Heating 288° F 304° F 337.6° F 304° F 332° F

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.

Performance Comparison


A steam iron for the quilter, sewer, or anyone else who requires...
A steam iron for the quilter, sewer, or anyone else who requires precision.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ironing 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.

Regardless of the fabric, the Rowenta smooths out wrinkles with ease.
Regardless of the fabric, the Rowenta smooths out wrinkles with ease.
Credit: Laura Casner

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.

Certain fabrics require an extra spritz to tackle deep wrinkles.
Certain fabrics require an extra spritz to tackle deep wrinkles.
Credit: Laura Casner

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 for the user to confidently swipe the fabric without the worry of snags and the fine mist provides enough moisture without soaking the fabric on most settings.

We tested this model on a number of different fabrics from sturdy...
We tested this model on a number of different fabrics from sturdy cotton to delicate silk.
Credit: Laura Casner

Steam Output


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 Focus performed well in our steam output testing.
The Focus performed well in our steam output testing.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The soleplate also has more numerous and evenly distributed steam holes than any of the 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.

The Focus put out an impressive amount of steam.
The Focus put out an impressive amount of steam.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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 allows you to 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.

The Focus is super easy to fill.
The Focus is super easy to fill.
Credit: Laura Casner

What really 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 easily get into the nooks and crannies between buttons. Additionally, the design of the body and the soleplate protects your hand from excess steam when using the burst of steam function.

The pointed noise of the Focus makes for easy maneuvering.
The pointed noise of the Focus makes for easy maneuvering.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The controls on the Focus are also easy to use. A dial below the handle allows you to set the temperature based on what kind of fabric you're ironing. Another dial on the handle itself adjusts steam output. Two buttons easily pressed by the thumb control the burst of steam function and allow you to spray some mist in front of the iron. There is also a small self-clean button, but it feels like the powerful burst of steam function is more than enough to blast away any calcium deposits. The only weak point is the cord design. It is 8 feet long, which is plenty long enough 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.

The Focus' controls are intuitive.
The Focus' controls are intuitive.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Heating


Heating is the only metric where the Focus falls behind the top performers in our test suit. It certainly 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.

The Focus takes a little while to heat up and struggles to heat the...
The Focus takes a little while to heat up and struggles to heat the entire plate consistently.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The 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. However, this is a reasonably good price for a great iron if you iron a lot, sew, quilt, or do anything that might benefit from precision, smooth glide, and an aggressive soleplate shape.

A high end steam iron at a high end price.
A high end steam iron at a high end price.
Credit: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The Rowenta DW5080 Focus is a high-performing steam iron at a fitting price. If you only iron occasionally, you may find a better value in a more inexpensive model. However, if you iron frequently and your ironing jobs would be made easier with smoother glide, better steam output, and a well-designed soleplate, the Focus will provide a noticeable step up in performance.

Our testing involved a lot of ironing and many different kinds of...
Our testing involved a lot of ironing and many different kinds of fabrics.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas

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