The Rowenta Silence Steam is a steam generator iron that claims to be quieter than most. It irons well, with a long-lasting steam shot. And it looks good, with a modern black and blue design.
On paper the Rowenta is too expensive. But in practice, shop around and you can find it heavily discounted – by up to 40% at the time of writing.
The Rowenta looks good, with a contemporary design in black and blue that would fit well in a modern home. It packs away neatly, with the hose clipping to the side and a hole that's big enough to stow away the power cord.
A simple clip at the tip of the iron lets you hold it in place for safety, and so you can carry the whole steam generator safely using the iron handle.
It has a 1.5-litre water tank that can be filled from a jug or popped out, so you can take it to the tap to fill it.
The Silence Steam's selling point is that it's quieter than rival steam generators – 15dB quieter than most, according to Rowenta.
On the side is a calc collector for easy cleaning – when the indicator tells you to, simply unscrew this (while the steam generator is cold) to remove limescale deposits, then rinse out the boiler.
It also has an eco mode, for effective ironing without using too much energy. And a steam boost for when you want maximum performance.
At first we thought the Rowenta's water tank wasn't removable as it's tricky to pull out. But it is – you can choose whether to take the tank to the tap to fill it or pull down its well-designed flap to fill it from a jug.
We filled it and found that the iron came up to temperature in exactly 2 minutes.
It seemed to deliver only a modest amount of steam, but it did the job perfectly well, pressing a range of fabrics quickly and effectively. Squeeze the finger trigger for steam. Or press the thumb button for an effective and long-lasting steam shot.
Steam controls are slightly confusing as the steam generator base is home to a knob that sets the steam level and also a boost button. With these, plus the trigger and the steam shot, you have four different controls to consider.
Set the steam knob on the base to the midway point for "eco" mode. This is powerful enough for most ironing jobs, with the steam shot handy for stubborn creases.
The design is ergonomic. It sits well on its heel if you want to park it for a moment as you adjust your garment without putting it back onto the steam generator base. But the iron doesn't seem to have an automatic shut-off: it won't turn off if you leave it on by mistake for a while.
The one thing that wasn't clear on test was whether the Rowenta lives up to its name. We did listen but it wasn't noticeably quieter than the other steam generators we've tested. 15 decibels should make quite a bit of difference, and it might well be measurably quieter in an R&D lab, but in the home it doesn't make much difference.
Maybe, but only if it's heavily discounted. It's a good product but overpriced for the level of steam and features that it delivers. But it can be picked up online for significantly less, so it's worth considering if it's a bargain.
Otherwise consider the Bosch Ultimate Steam Generator, the best performing steam generator we've tested to date, or the Polti Vaporella Forever 670 Eco or Tefal Effectis GV6760 if you're on a budget.
This pricey steam generator performs fairly well but is only worth buying if you get a good deal.