An Iron Matters!

Maybe secretly, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I’m a collector of irons.  Maybe it has nothing to do with what works and what doesn’t work . . maybe I just want to buy every iron I see.  You think?  This post shows the irons I had in January.  One of those has been thrown away; one was returned to the store. The little antique is just for show.  The Black & Decker goes upstairs for ironing clothes.  The Panasonic cordless isn’t shown in the picture, and I’m sure there are other irons hiding throughout this house.

Mom has a Rowenta and she loves it.  I love it!  I had one Rowenta that I loved and maybe 3 that I didn’t like at all!  On the various quilting groups in which I participate, the Rowenta iron subject comes up from time to time.  It seems most either love their Rowenta or detest it and swear they’ll never buy another.

When it comes to an iron, I want them to be a “10” or I’m not happy with it.  I expect three things:  a good, hot iron; lots of steam; and no leaking.  My first T-Fal was a 10.  The one I currently have . . maybe a “7”.  It doesn’t leak and that’s a good thing these days.  On good days, it gets very hot and steams a lot.  On bad days . . don’t ask me why it has bad days . . it hardly gets hot at all.  The same things are always on . . a couple of lights, the sewing machine and the iron.  Why it gets hotter on some days is a mystery to me.

After using mom’s iron and then trying to find one just like hers and failing at the mall, I happened upon the irons at Target.  I wasn’t even looking for an iron (I was looking for a mini food chopper).  This came home with me.


I seemed to remember from the online discussions that some Rowentas are made in China and some are made in Germany.  The consensus was that the ones made in Germany seem to work better.  The first iron I looked at in Target was made in China.  This one . .


I’m so ready to use it and see if I like it.  But yet . . I’m apprehensive . . I don’t want to be disappointed.  I truly want an iron that I love!  Please let it be this one!sig


  1. 1


    I still have the cheap iron I got when I went to college. I’ve set a weight-loss goal, and my reward is supposed to be a new iron! Apparently, it’s not as much of a motivation as I’d hoped… Anyway – I think my ironing board and/or cover also need to be upgraded – I often can feel the ridges of the metal framework as I’m ironing. Any suggestions on where I can pick up a higher quality setup? Thanks!

    • 1.1

      Carol says

      I saw some nice ironing boards in Target. But, I bought a Rowenta IB6100 ironing board from Amazon because it’s wider and longer than a conventional one. It cost $72 (s&h & tax extra) but I love it. Its a little heavy and awkward to put away but it’s a BMW compared to the old cheap ironing board I was struggling with.

  2. 2

    LadyBaltimore says

    I agree with your three requirements for an iron but mostly I just want an iron that doesn’t leak. I’ve been through three expensive Rowentas and now have a cheapy Sunbeam. That dadburned iron just started leaking too. I hate ironing when I have to have a washcloth wrapped around the handle.
    Will be looking forward to see whether this Rowenta is the iron of your dreams. If so, I’ll be next in line.
    Happy Thanksgiving, Judy, to you and yours.

  3. 3


    Judy—I am one of the unlucky ones—I have had 3 Rowenta irons (my husband bought my first) and EVERY one was a big disappointment. They leaked badly. I even have the little travel iron that I bought specifically to take to classes and oops, it leaks as well. I wrote them to complain and got poor customer service—essentially, “oh well”. At any rate, I still use the little travel one, just don’t put water in it and the others have been thrown out—the second one also overheated badly. And by the way, I didn’t drop the irons or do anything other than what they were designed to do—iron. I must say however, I didn’t look to see where they came from, so they might have been from China. It would seem to me however, that no matter where they are assembled, the company should expect and assure the same quality. Just my thoughts!

    Have a great day! Hugs!

    • 3.1


      My iron finally croaked a few weeks ago, so I’ve been using my Rowenta Travel iron and I too have had leaking, but I thought I had over filled it. Maybe it’s not me.

  4. 5


    Judy — let us know how the iron works out for you. I threw mine out for real a few weeks ago and I’m using my travel iron in the meantime. Not pretty when I have to actually iron clothes (I try not to do that often though).

  5. 6


    I need a new iron, so I’m excited to see if you like this new iron. I have an old on that drips rust spots if I fill it with water, and this is the 3rd iron in the last year. They were all old, but now they’re decrepit!

  6. 7

    peggy says

    Maybe a year ago, you mentioned how much, at that time, you were loving your T-Fal Ultraglide. I was in the market for a new iron because my ridiculously expensive Rowenta was leaking all over my ironing board. So far, so good. I love that iron. One of the things concerning me in the owner’s manual was the part about needing to clean a small valve in the steam system. At that time you mentioned that a few years out of a $30 (I paid $40) was still a good investment. So far the steam is still outstanding, and I’ve never cleaned that valve.

  7. 8

    Denise says

    Judy – the box looks like the same Rowenta I have but I can’t be sure. Is it one that you just give a little shake to get it to reheat after auto shutoff has engaged? If it is the same – I love mine. my pet peeve with irons is those dang auto shutoffs. If I’m sewing all day I don’t want to have to wait on the iron. But my Rowenta reheats super fast with just a little shake of the iron. It can also steam like the dickens!

    • 8.1

      Toni says

      I’ve had bad luck with the irons that just need a little shake. The cat knocked the iron over, it turned on and nearly caused a fire before I saw the problem. Be very careful. Needless to say, I got rid of that iron.

  8. 9


    I have a Rowenta and discovered that if I fill the water tank, it leaks all over the place. If I fill it half-way, it doesn’t. So, I am still using it. But, most of the time, I just use a spritz bottle that I add just a little bit of liquid starch to the water.

    But, I’ll have to look for the German made one next time.

    • 9.1


      I’m anxious to see how you like it. When I go stateside in February, I’m going to look for a new iron and I wondered about the Rowentas. They are a bit on the expensive side here in Canada.

  9. 10

    Ardelia says

    I have a Rowenta and it hasn’t given me problems. I just went to look at the box and it was made in China. I have had it for about 6 months.

  10. 11


    I too need a new iron. I have a very old Hamilton Beach upstairs in my sewing room that I love. But I need a new iron downstairs in my longarm room. I had a Black and Decker there for about 3 years that I loved… but it finally started to leak. So far, I have bought 3 others to replace that one and returned them all within a week- all were terrible! I have not ventured into the Rowenta brand as I am ‘frugal’ and just don’t want to spend the money unless I am sure it is a superior product. And I am not convinced about Rowenta due to the feedback I keep reading about them. So I am curious about this new iron too Judy!

  11. 12


    I have a Rowenta and I found that I have to have the iron turned on for a bit and hot BEFORE turning on the steam. Since I discovered this trick I no longer have a problem with leaking. The trick is to turn off the steam before turning the iron off. 🙂 Hope this helps with some of the other irons that are leaking.

  12. 13

    Sandy says

    I have the Professional Rowenta iron I bought from QVC maybe 10 years ago and paid nearly $100.00 for it. Wow, I thought that was really expensive! (Still do, lol)

    Mine was manufactured in Germany and I have never had a leaking problem. It said to use tap water and not use distilled water. Since we have hard water I have always used regular bottled drinking water. No problems.

    Hope you love yours as much as I do mine. I feel my Rowenta is the Cadillac of irons.

  13. 14

    Deb says

    I have had Rowentas, Black and Deckers, Sharps, and a few misc. and I go through irons like candy. I stopped buying anything more then $40 ones. Usually $20 B&D. Mine has to have auto shut off, or I for sure would leave it on for days. another requirement is a steel sole plate. My favorites are the old GE travel irons, I have about 4, but all of my bottles broke (old plastic) and THEY leak, but they get SERIOUSLY hot, and I can just use a water bottle. I have yet to find the “perfect” iron, and for me that would be anything that lasts more then 6 months!

  14. 15


    Roger asked if we could throw our old water spitting iron away and if “we” could use my Rowenta, and I told him of course BUT not to use tap water….. only distilled water…… I caught him on Sunday putting our nasty well faucet water in it. He was banned, but came home later with a full gallon if distilled water so he can have nice ironed clothes again.

  15. 16

    Margo says

    Having bought over twenty irons over twenty two years of marriage – my husband is a perfectionist machinest ironess (are those words :0) – he does know his irons as we have bought them all, most brands and all price ranges!

    His favorite to date is the Rowenta Advancer ($150 ish) and his family agrees. With all of the irons we have bought, no matter the brand, all of them have leaked water eventually; even the Rowenta Advancer, but there isn’t a more affordable iron with equal the steam power available.

    There are seven of us who iron clothes each day, and ALL of us are “steamers of perfection” and the Rowenta Advancer is our iron choice of the day.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for your stash busting inspirations!

  16. 17

    Lori says

    I’ve had a professional Rowenta for about 20 years and Love it! Mine also said use only tap water, NOT distilled water. I thought that was crazy, tap water has all kinds of calcium and stuff that can build up, distilled water has none of that. So I have always used distilled water. I always wait for my iron to heat up before using it and then there is no water leaking.

  17. 18

    Terry says

    I took a class with Harriet Hargrave and had a Velocity Iron. It has a pump inside that makes its own steam. It didn’t leak and I loved using it. They run about $100-$200 depending on the model you choose. I haven’t bought one yet. I’m saving up but you can google them to see if it is the one for you. Terry

  18. 19


    A Rowenta book said that full strength distilled water is not good for their irons and suggests a 50/50 blend of water from your tap..and distilled water…,

  19. 20

    Evelyn says

    I just got a new iron – not sure what happened to the last one, but it wasn’t here when I got here – and I can’t sew without an iron, now can I? 15 Euros – it gets good and hot AND it doesn’t automatically shut-off. Pure sewing bliss, I tell you! Plus – it has a 2 year warranty. I taped the receipt to the box and put the box down in storage – so if it does die, I know where all the paperwork is. Cheers! Evelyn

  20. 21


    Wow! Who knew that irons would cause so many comments. You can tell we are quilters by our irons. When I was looking for a new iron I looked at the wattage. I think that the higher the wattage the hotter the iron. And my Rowenta Focus sure does get hot but has leaked if I over fill it. Actually it’s my second Rowenta, the first one, The Professional, had a electrical problem with the cord and while it was being repaired under warranty I bought a second one. This one was sent back to the factory to be examined because it would shut off in the middle of ironing. I tried explaining it to the tech but obviously he was a man and didn’t ever iron anything for long periods of time like yards of fabric. They said there was nothing wrong with it and sent it back to me. And I still use it today. But I still love Rowneta irons and would like to try out the steam generator one but it looks like it takes up a lot of room. And both irons were made in Germany.

  21. 22

    Penny says

    I’ve had two Rowentas from QVC. Neither one got hot enough, the clothes still looked unironed. They also would spit white stuff and water on the clothes. I started finding that the inexpensive hotel irons worked much better, so now I iron after I arrive in a hotel. I recently was given my mother’s Rowenta and noticed that it is made in Mexico. It is not a top of the line model and it works much better than the other two I’ve owned. Go figure.

  22. 23


    I’ve loved my Rowentas. I had one several years ago that was great, but it got dropped a few too many times and started to malfunction. I’ve had a Rowenta Professional that my sisters bought me for my 50th birthday (five years ago). It is GREAT. Gets nice and hot, lots of steam, and no leakage. When all these Rowenta discussions come up, I have asked several times if folks use the “clean” feature on their irons. No one ever answers me. I make it a habit to try and clean the iron around the first of the month. I just fill it most of the way with water, let it get very hot, and then flush it out over the sink. I think this may have a lot to do with the fact that my Rowentas don’t leak. I actually clean the things! I just got another Rowenta from QVC that has a retractable cord. I plan to take it to retreats and such, even though it’s full size. I just love that the cord sucks back up into the iron body — no dangles!

  23. 24

    Kathy C. says

    I had an iron from my grandmother’s house that I estimate had to be at least 15 or 20 years old. I loved it! It weighed a ton, but never dripped or spit and it got HOT! The poor thing finally bit the dust 2 yrs ago when the dog knocked over my ironing board. (iron was not hot and no one got injured. well, except the iron…) I bought a cheap purple one at Wally-world. It lasted approximately 2 months and I threw it out.

    I broke down about shelled out 100+ bucks for an Oliso iron at my LQS. LOVE it and would recommend it to anyone. It has legs that pop out from the bottom when you let go of the handle so that you never set it on its “tail.” It’s much more stable that way and less likely to get knocked off the board. It does have an automatic shut off, which can be a nuisance, but it heats up pretty quickly when you touch the handle again.