Although the calendar said that summer officially came in late June, the unofficial beginning of the sweltering season is now, right after July Fourth.And that to me signals the time to take out the linens and cottons, the gorgeous lightweight summer clothing that, sadly, needs ironing.No way around it.BUT, there is a way to make it easy and professional:The Rowenta Company has been making irons for over 100 years and they know a thing or three about crafting a really good iron.The company's R & D is not sidetracked by manufacturing countless categories of other home appliances: Irons are their business, and in essence, their only business.(They do make floor care cleaners and vacs, but in truth, some of their floor-care cleaning products employ technology used in developing steam irons.) So, unlike other companies that produce irons and small appliances, like mixers, toasters, meat slicers, and so on, Rowenta subdivides its company's product divisions into categories of irons—professional irons/steamers, travel irons, and the like.
The well designed model DW-8080 (pictured here) is my new favorite.It is a powerful 1700-watt model, professional in all ways, and short of being attached to a continuous steam tank and more sophisticated machinery, it is as professional as you can get for a home model that does the job efficiently and easily.It has a stainless soleplate with a precision tip for advanced steam distribution, and the holes on the bottom assure the same.The burst of steam is long-lasting, and the spray nozzle really covers a lot of ground, so you can dampen a pesky linen shirt over half its front, with one big burst of steam. And I have noticed that I do not have to go over the same area again and again...it delivers perfect ironing with the first (and only) glide.
The iron is substantial, but not heavy-feeling in the hand, particularly because of the ergonomic handle and the smooth glide of the soleplate.It has a good-size water tank (over 12 ounces), with a closure that is secure.It heats up quickly and has an auto shut-off if it isn't moved in 8 minutes when in the vertical position, and after 30 seconds, if it is tipped over, an excellent safety feature. Additionally unlike most irons, it can be used in the vertical position as a steamer, a real plus. Lastly—another selling point—it is self-cleaning, with anti-drip and anti-calc systems, so it produces long-lasting, continuous clean steam.(It also comes with a 10 ounce water fill cup and has a one-year warranty.)The iron retails for approximately $125, although I've found it on the Internet for less; but regardless, it's worth it as the one (and last) iron you will buy!
About the Author: About the Author: Ruth J. Katz is a well-known shopping and service writer based in New York City. She has written about shopping for 25 years for New York magazine; covered the topic on-air at Fox-TV for several years as the Home Services expert; and had her own show on both the USA and Lifetime Cable networks. Katz wrote extensively for The New York Times as well, and contributed periodically to the New York Daily News. She is a passionate shopper, always looking for not merely a good buy, but the best buy, ferreting out a "steal" or discovering up-and-coming designers. She has written five books and is a former contributing editor to Hearst's Redbook, Classic Home, and Colonial Homes; she is currently a Contributing Editor of New York Home, Golf Connoisseur, The Modern Estate, and Promenade magazines. She is also the former Shopping Director for Davler Media's Manhattan Living.