Steam Iron Review: Rowenta DW5080U1 vs Hamilton Beach (retractable cord)

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been big on ironing. If I get a new shirt that needs to be ironed before each use, I generally end up donating that shirt.
Until recently, I’ve been using a free hand-me-down that probably wasn’t very good to begin with. It took forever to get wrinkles out and the more stubborn wrinkles never fully disappeared. The final straw was when the little plastic piece that makes the water spray lightly onto clothes flew off. After that, water would basically fall out of the iron in big blobs. I put the plastic piece back a few times but it just kept flying out.
I was tempted to just throw my iron away and be done with ironing all together. But now that I do a lot of sewing, ironing has become a necessity. So, I didn’t want another one that would just break down after 1 year or one that was just as useless as my old one. In hindsight, I realize it might have been my incompetent iron that made it more of a chore than it needs to be
So, I decided to search on amazon to see what choices. I was shocked to see that irons can cost up to $200!  I quickly became overwhelmed which is why I wanted to share my findings. Hopefully, this will be useful for some of you!
There were so many different brands and different price points so I started with ratings. The two irons with the best ratings (that were under $100) were the Rowenta DW5080U1 ($83) and the Hamilton Beach with a retractable cord ($39). Both irons have 4.5 stars and both have similar complaints (the main one being leaks) so I decided to do a little more research to figure out if spending the extra $40 for the Rowena was really justified.
I have to admit that I really wanted the Rowenta. It’s German and just looks fancy..and I’m a bit of a brand-name snob. BUT was the Rowenta really $40 nicer?
I did my research using reviews and descriptions on amazon as well as each brand’s websites. I probably researched more intensley than I needed to (I now know the entire history of each brand lol but will spare you that useless info).
Here is the useful information I found:
Rowenta Features:
  • 1700 watts
  • Microsteam stainless-steel soleplate has 400 microholes for perfect steam distribution.
  • Highly polished soleplate surface for an excellent glide.
  • Auto-Steam feature continually adjusts steam output to the temperature of the soleplate
  • Sharp precision tip reaches difficult areas like collars, seams and around buttons
  • Ergonomic thermostat knob provides a precise reading of settings
  • Built-in Anti-Calc system removes impurities, ensuring long-lasting, clean steam.
  • Vertical steam is ideal for drapes and hanging garments.
  • Auto shutoff stops power after 8 minutes if left vertical, after 30 seconds if left horizontal or tipped over.
  • Self-cleaning system.
  • 10oz water tank
  • 5 heat settings: nylon, silk, wool, cotton, and linen.
 
Hamilton Beach Features:
 
  • 25% more continuous steam power than the leading competitor
  • 10 times more durable than traditional nonstick
  • Scratch-resistant durability
  • Superior glide performance
  • 10 year limited soleplate warranty
  • 3-way auto shutoff
  • vertical and adjustable steam
  • Self-cleaning
  • 1700 watts
  • 3 settings: cotton-linen, silk-wool, and synthetics
 
As you can see, both irons are comparable in their features, so, even though I wanted the Rowenta for it’s looks, I decided to go for the Hamilton Beach and test it out. After all, I could always return it if it didn’t measure up.
First, I tested the actual ironing ability. I have some aprons that I wasn’t able to get wrinkles out of with my old iron so I stated there. To my suprise (I don’t know why I expected it not to work), it got the wrinkles out quickly. My old iron would have taken a half hour and a lot of water to get those wrinkles out and this one only took 1 minute!
Next, I tested the vertical steam function. As you read above, both irons have 1700 watts but the Rowenta has more steam holes, so, I was interested to see how well the Hamilton did. Again, I was very impressed! I used a very wrinkled shirt. I assumed it wouldn’t get the wrinkles out completely, but it did smooth them out way more that I’d expected. There were still some wrinkles but the results far surpassed my expectations! I just pressed the steam button about 5 times and it looked so much better!
My conclusion: while I haven’t actually tried the Rowenta, the hamilton beach works really well and I honestly can’t imagine what the Rowenta could do to justify the extra $40. For that reason, I am sticking with the Hamilton Beach and confidently recommend it- especially if you’re on a budget.
That being said, based on the reviews, I would be comfortable recommending the Rowenta as well. If you don’t mind spending the extra $40, I don’t see a reason not to spring for the one that looks nicer.
So, I hope this was helpful. Please leave a comment and let me know which iron you think is best!

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