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Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce Review

A powerful steam iron equipped with out-of-this-world steam output, achieving high-end quality but for a top-tier price
Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce
Credit: Rowenta
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $140 List | $139.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Amazing steam output, precise soleplate nose, steam holes are evenly distributed and plentiful
Cons:  Very expensive, short cord, heavy
Manufacturer:   Rowenta
By Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas  ⋅  Sep 22, 2021
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

With its powerful ability to remove stubborn wrinkles from most fabrics and impressive steam output, the Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce lives up to its name. Cotton and linen are wrinkle-free within seconds, though silk and polyester require a little elbow grease and some additional steam. The more-than-sufficient amount of steam escapes through 400 steam holes on an ergonomically shaped soleplate whose nose is pointed for extreme agility. While the SteamForce may be a little expensive, it consistently gets the job done and, in our opinion, is worth every penny.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $140 List
$139.99 at Amazon
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$40 List$15.00 List
$14.99 at Amazon
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Pros Amazing 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 cordHigh heat, inexpensiveInexpensive, portable
Cons Very expensive, short cord, heavyMinimal steam output, lack of steam holes on soleplateFilling the water tank could be easierPoor steam output, not very maneuverable, generally cheap performanceLacking in power, underwhelming ironing performance
Bottom Line A 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 wrinklesLow price and a convenient retractable cord help to make up for mediocre steam outputA steam iron that is perfect for travel but is too weak for regular chores at home
Rating Categories Rowenta DW9280 Stea... Black+Decker D3030... CHI Steam Titanium Sunbeam Steam Master Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Ironing Performance (35%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Steam Output (25%)
9.0
5.0
8.0
5.0
2.0
Ease Of Use (25%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Heating (15%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Rowenta DW9280 Stea... Black+Decker D3030... CHI Steam Titanium Sunbeam Steam Master Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot
Wattage 1800W 1600W 1700W 1400W 800W
Weight 3.85 lbs 1.9 lbs 2.9 lbs 3 lbs 1.3 lbs
Cord Length 7' 8' 8' 8' 8'
Soleplate Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Titanium Infused Ceramic Stainless Steel Non-Stick
Steam Output 69 g/min 22 g/min 55 g/min 20 g/min 6 g/min
Temperature After 5 Minutes of Heating 304° F 337.6° F 304° F 359° F 332° F

Our Analysis and Test Results

This steam iron is a high-performing option across the board. The ironing performance and steam output are to die for, and ease of use and heating aren't too shabby either. Read on to learn why we love the Rowenta SteamForce.

Performance Comparison


The SteamForce may be pricey, but it sure is powerful.
The SteamForce may be pricey, but it sure is powerful.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ironing Performance


During our hands-on testing, we spent ample time ironing many different fabric styles on the various settings provided by each steam iron. The SteamForce blew us away with its ability to smooth out wrinkles and maneuver around obstacles regardless of the material we were working with.


We started with cotton and linen and found ourselves very pleased with the results. This iron glides easily, and neither material required additional steam to relieve the garment of deep-set wrinkles. It takes one to two passes to remove every crinkle, crumple, and crease, regardless of how deep they appear to be.

No wrinkles left un-smoothed on linen or cotton with the...
No wrinkles left un-smoothed on linen or cotton with the high-quality SteamForce.
Credit: Laura Casner

Silk and synthetic materials require a little more coaxing, although the SteamForce does a wonderful job when measured up next to its competitors. Silk requires multiple steam bursts but leaves no trace of moisture behind. We did experience a few stubborn deep-set wrinkles, but a couple of swipes do the trick for the most part. The synthetic or polyester setting is also very impressive. We found that many of the other irons in our test suite don't get hot enough to remove stubborn creases from materials like polyester and nylon. While these types of material require multiple steam bursts, the heat evaporates up additional moisture to ensure that no drops are left behind.

Not only did we test out each steam iron on different materials, but we did our fair share of detail work too. It was no surprise to us when the SteamForce crushed yet another test. The tapered nose and ergonomic soleplate are perfect for maneuvering around buttons, between pleats, and working with collars. The steam burst is plentiful and strong, and the water sprays out in a fine mist that adds moisture to the spot you're working on without completely soaking the garment.

The light mist helps to alleviate stubborn wrinkles
The light mist helps to alleviate stubborn wrinkles
Credit: Laura Casner

Steam Output


A steam iron is simply a dry iron that emits hot moisture to help reduce wrinkles effectively and efficiently. If you are in the market for a steam iron, you probably want to ensure that the model you are purchasing gives off a generous amount of steam.


During our testing, we measured the number of grams of steam released over one minute and considered how that stream was distributed.

The steam output is the SteamForce's claim to fame.
The steam output is the SteamForce's claim to fame.
Credit: Laura Casner

Calling this model the SteamForce was a risky move on Rowenta's part, but boy did they deliver. We have nothing negative to say regarding this metric. This model emits a whopping 69 grams of steam per minute, which is extremely impressive when stacked up against the competitors. Not only does this iron release an impressive amount of steam, but it does so in a perfectly consistent way across 400 strategically placed steam holes on the soleplate.

Just look at all those steam holes.
Just look at all those steam holes.
Credit: Laura Casner

Ease of Use


The SteamForce continued its reign with yet another high score earned in this metric. Here we paid special attention to the cord, general handling, and how easy each iron was to fill up with water.


The cord is really the only characteristic we can complain about with this iron. While there is a nice convex curve on the base of the iron under the soleplate to securely wrap the cord, the cord is a full foot shorter than most of the other options in our test suite. This may not seem like a big deal, but a seven-foot cord is rather short and can hinder the user's ability to iron larger items like bedsheets.

Here we are easily working around buttons with the sharp nose.
Here we are easily working around buttons with the sharp nose.
Credit: Laura Casner

The soleplate shape and feel of the handle are both great. The spray trigger makes the handle feel more secure and comfortable, while the narrow nose of the soleplate provides some serious precision for working around obstacles like buttons or collars.

Unfortunately the SteamForce's cord is only seven feet long and...
The tapered nose is perfect for precision work.

When it came to filling the tank, we were impressed with the large funneled hole that guides water nicely into the reservoir. Smaller holes are easy to spill, and steam irons that lack some sort of tapered funnel require precise aim to avoid spillage.

Filling this iron up with water is a breeze.
Filling this iron up with water is a breeze.
Credit: Laura Casner

Heating


While steam may be the key element for a steam iron, nothing would work correctly without the heat of the soleplate. In this metric, we paid attention to how quickly the soleplate heats up, whether or not that heat is distributed along the soleplate evenly, and whether or not the heat indicator light works as it should.


The SteamForce performs admirably here, but there is a little room for improvement. The temperature average of the soleplate was 304 degrees Fahrenheit after five minutes — decently impressive, but it's far from the hottest in our review. We also found that the soleplate had some variance in temperature across it. The top and middle all measured 315 degrees Fahrenheit, while the bottom read 55 degrees cooler at 260 degrees Fahrenheit. This is far from a deal-breaker, but it is worth noting.

The temperature indicator on the SteamForce is very informative. Not only does it light up when the iron is up to temp, but it has a different light for each setting. We love this feature.

The SteamForce gets plenty hot, but the soleplate varies in...
The SteamForce gets plenty hot, but the soleplate varies in temperature a bit more than we would prefer.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The SteamForce is not what we consider a budget-friendly model. In fact, it is one of the most expensive we tested. That said, we still consider this steam iron a great value. You are paying top dollar, but you are getting a well-designed and pleasant to use product.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a high-performing machine and don't mind paying top dollar, look no further than the Rowenta DW9280 SteamForce. From the impressive steam output to the tapered nose, this steam iron hits all the important elements. It works wonders on fancy garments and bedsheets alike, leaving almost no wrinkles behind.

Michelle Powell and Hayley Thomas