Apparently, ironing is the nation’s least favourite household chore. Surprising, we know! So, in order to make it as painless as possible you need the best ironing board. If yours isn’t good enough, no matter how whizzy your iron, you could still end up with a pile of poorly pressed pieces that have taken you an age to complete! Not an ideal way to spend an evening, we think you’ll agree.
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Choosing an ironing board isn’t as simple as you think. They come in a large range of sizes, shapes and height ranges. Below, we’ve rounded up the best ironing boards on the market in 2020.
How we test our best ironing boards
To test the boards, our guinea pigs Ysanne and husband Paul (one a touch over six foot and an enthusiastic ironer, the other 5’5” and very much less so) ironed a variety of items on each board. These included a duvet, a formal shirt, t-shirts and jeans. We tested how easy it was to put up and take down the board for each session and how easy – and also safe – it was to store away once we’d finished.
What is the best ironing board to buy in 2020?
At the end of the testing period, we declared the Vileda Total Reflect as the best ironing board overall. Our best value ironing board was the extra-wide ironing board, £25, Argos. Read on to discover our full reviews.
Best ironing boards
1. Vileda Total Reflect ironing board
Best ironing board overall
This iron is one of the sturdiest we tested, featuring extra-wide feet, a very solid pull-motion lock and unlock system which ensures the board doesn’t collapse if knocked over. The multiple height positions ensure it’s comfortable to use however tall or short you might be, too.
The ironing surface itself plenty big enough to cope with sheets and duvets, and the iron support is shaped to accommodate both a steam iron and steam generator. The underside of the cotton cover has a metalized foil layer that reflects steam and heat back into the clothes making it more efficient when steam ironing practically everything particularly linen to denim clothes. This really did seem to make a difference, ensuring smooth sheets in double fast time, with other items such as cotton t-shirts sometimes only needing a quick press on one side rather than both to remove light creases.
It also has a safety locking system that prevents the board from collapsing if accidentally knocked over. It is the tallest of the models we tested when folded though so you’ll need a little more space to store it than most.
Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
2. Brabantia Ironing Board C
Best large-surface ironing board
We know that there’s much more to an ironing board than its cover but we also realize that often people buy them because of the way they look as much as how big – or not – they are. There’s something about the denim cover on this board that makes us feel a little more stylish when were ironing.
If you’re looking for a compact, easy to store board, then this one probably won’t be for you as its sturdy construction XL size – 124 x 45cm – and solid steam generator holder means it’ll take up a fair bit of space whether up, or folded down. It has 7 height adjustments from 75 to 98cm, great for even the loftiest of ironers and our testers felt it was one of the most stable and sturdy boards they tried.
There’s plenty of surface to take on sheets, duvets and flowing dresses, meaning ironing big items is much quicker and easier than on a small board. If denim isn’t for you, then this board, which is new to the Brabantia offering, is available in 7 other colours/patterns.
Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
3. Beldray LA024435HOM ironing board
Best ironing board for ironing marathons
This is a great board if you like to save up all your ironing to do in one huge session in front of the TV or listening to a podcast as you won’t keep having to move away to place ironed clothes in a pile elsewhere. It not only has a clothes rack underneath for you to store folded clothes whist ironing it also features an extendable shirt hanger which prevents them from creasing after pressing.
We were worried this might overbalance the board if we hung too many shirts on it but it easily coped with the weight of 5 (which was as many as our tester could bear to do in one go).
At 126x45cm, it’s a good size so is equally effective getting the creases out of t-shirts as it large duvets and sheets. It has a steam generator holder, too, which feels very sturdy, even when the tank is full. It has variable safety lock held heights and sat at good positions for both our tall and smaller testers.
The cover didn’t feel as plush as some and we wish the lable wasn’t attached with sticky tape on as it left marks at first but this didn’t actually adversely affect the ironing. The cover can be removed for cleaning at 30˚ if necessary although for light staining wiping with a cloth should suffice.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
4. Argos Extra Wide ironing board
Best value ironing board
This ironing board was one of the widest we tested which helped to make quick work of duvets and shirts. The sturdy iron holder was big enough to accommodate a steam generator base, too, which was a great addition given its price. Next to that is a rail for hanging shirts on once they’d been pressed, which is a nice touch.
The cover is tight-fitting and thicker than some and features an attractive grey geometric pattern. It’s also washable too, which is a bonus.
While it only had four height positions, they had been well calculated and they worked well for both our testers. It’s pretty light for it’s size, which made putting it up and taking it down a breeze, the rubber-tipped feet prevent it from slipping, plus it has a great 10-year guarantee making it a really great value board for the price.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
View now: Extra wide ironing board, £25, Argos
5. Minky Ergo
Best ergonomic ironing board
The space-age looking black and silver Prozone heat reflective cover on this board allows for effective steam penetration while helping to reflect back heat from the iron for more effective crease removal. One of our testers particularly liked this benefit as it meant they only had to iron one side of a t-shirt for it to be ‘presentable’!
We also really liked the positionable flex guide that you can pop where it’s right for you – whether you’re left- or right-handed – to prevent the cord tangling or dragging across clothes as they are ironed. The ergonomic slanted iron rest creates an angled position for the iron to sit, making picking it up, running over clothes and then putting back down just a little easier and more comfortable.
If you have a steam generator it’s fine too, as the open construction of the rest is still stable enough to support a heavy generator. There’s also a 5 year guarantee.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
View now: Minky Ergo ironing board, £39.99, Amazon
6. Addis Cirrus
Best lightweight ironing board
This aluminium board features an ultra lightweight frame – the makers claim it’s 30% lighter than most boards of a comparable size – so a good choice for those who have to move their board in and out of a cupboard to use rather than leaving it up. Despite being very light and easy to manoeuvre, it’s surprisingly sturdy. There are 7 height positions from 70cm up to 95cm so it worked well for both our short and tall testers. At its lowest it’s perfect for ironing sitting down, great for those who have reduce mobility.
It’s a pretty good size although we were concerned that as there was no iron or steam generator holder at the end, the board would prove too short to iron some things like trousers or bedding properly. However, the 123 x 43cm ironing surface was plenty big enough to hold our steam generator at one end with enough room to iron everything comfortably and efficiently. The 100% cotton cover sits above two layers, one of foam and the other of felt, providing a smooth, cushioned ironing surface.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
View now: Addis Cirrus ironing board, £50, Argos
7. Addis Shirtmaster
Best ironing board for pressing shirts
Unlike most ironing boards, this specialist offering from Addis has two blunt ends. There’s no separate holder for an iron or steam generator, meaning you’ll have to it either next to the iron or on the board itself.
However, for those who iron lots of work shirts this is a small quibble as this board does exactly what it says – masters shirts, letting you iron the whole side of a shirt in one go. While this might not sound like much of a revelation in ironing, being able to press a single side of a shirt makes it, if not exactly a joy, then definitely less of a chore.
It also means it’s great for duvets and sheets. When ironing jeans, but we were a little stumped at first as our go-to position for ironing jeans just wasn’t workable as there was no way the tops would fit over the snub nose of the board. To remedy that, we just laid the tops flat on the board and that seemed to work well enough. It has four ironing positions, so good for all heights and a 10-year guarantee.
Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars
8. Lakeland Bright Blooms ironing board
Best ironing board for cord control
The multiple step-free height sliding adjustor on this board means you can select almost any ironing position you desire, including sitting down in front of the TV if that’s how you roll! If you ever get annoyed by the iron cord getting jammed between the iron holder and the board itself then this one might be for you as it features a pull-up cord holder that prevents that from happening.
However, if you have a steam generator, be aware, the cord on the one we used was far too bulky to fit into this attachment so was wasted when we ironed with it. It is incredibly sturdy, although a little heavy and has thick steel legs with non-slip feet and the usual safety lock to ensure it doesn’t open when being moved.
It has a decent, well-fitting cotton ironing surface that features a jolly floral design.
Ideal Home rating: 3.5 out of 5
9. Vileda Carino table top
Best tabletop ironing board
While it’s the smallest of the boards we tested – with a surface area of just 38 x100cm – it is the lightest and the most easy to store – it has a hangar so can sit in your wardrobe with your clothes if needs be.
Great for ironing smaller items of clothing and perfect if you’re short on both space and time, you can simply fold down the mini legs and pop it onto a work surface or table and start pressing.
The cover is nicely padded and although we wouldn’t recommend it for larger families with heaps of ironing or if you’re wedded to ironing your duvets, it’s perfectly acceptable for t-shirts and jeans. Make sure you pick a surface to sit it on that’s the right height, though, or you could end up with back strain if you’re ironing for a while.
Ideal Home rating: 3.5 out of 5
How to buy the best ironing board for you
Key features to look for
Firstly, make sure the board is a metal mesh construction below the cover, as this allows steam to pass through and evaporate.
If you’re a dedicated ironer of everything, including large items such as duvets and sheets, then pick a board with as big an ironing area as you can. Most will supply those details if you’re buying online, and you can see for yourself if you’re buying in store. The largest board we tested had a pressing surface of 45 x 146cm, the smallest, 38 x100cm.
A board with a larger number of height adjustments will ensure that the tallest and smallest members of the household will be able to iron without it resulting in an aching back. Most boards have at least three with some having up multiple small increments. Just remember, if you’re going to store your board away in a cupboard, check the folded height of the board as well as the surface area as it will always be bigger and you might find you’ve bought a board that’s too tall for your storage space.
Your choice of board will also depend on what kind of iron you are using. Most boards happily accommodate steam irons these days but not all of them will hold larger steam generators, which can be annoying if you then have to place them on an alternative surface or actually on the board, using up precious pressing space.
Some boards also include a flex holder to avoid the cord getting caught between the iron holder and the board as you iron, although these only really work with thinner steam iron cords as opposed to thicker steam generator ones. If you like to iron in bulk, then it’s worth considering a model that features a hanging rack to store shirts on, or a folding racks below to place them before putting everything away.
How do I choose an ironing board cover?
A tight-fitting cover should have good padding and also be scorch-resistant, too. Look for reflective surfaces, which help to reflect heat from the ironing back into the clothes helping you to get the job quickly.
Some even feature a cover with silicon coating to make them stain resistant, while those with a non-stick surface will help to prevent clothes from clinging to the board.
Be sure to take care of your iron: How to clean an iron with salt, toothpaste, paracetamol and more – plus other iron-cleaning tips
How much should I spend on an ironing board?
Prices range from a very reasonable £10 for a simple model to an astounding £250 for a professional-style steam iron and board combo. However, if you’re after multiple height options and a big enough ironing surface to iron items such as sheets or duvets then spending upwards of £30 will get you something to suit.
The size you buy will depend on how much space you have. In smaller homes, where space is a premium, you might want to invest in a smaller, or even table-top board, while if you have plenty of space – or even a dedicated laundry room where you can leave your iron up – you can go for something with more surface area.
Is my ironing board safe?
There’s a huge safety aspect when you’re dealing with something that holds a hot iron. If a board tips over or collapses while ironing at best it might damage a carpet and at worse burn you or someone else. Boards need to be tough and sturdy and have rubber or plastic-tipped legs to ensure there’s no slipping, particularly when you’re ironing items that require more pressure such as jeans.
The best boards also feature safety catches to stop them collapsing while ironing or opening accidentally when stored. If you’re regularly putting the iron up and taking it down to tidy away, then look out for how heavy they are, too as the bulkier and weightier the board is, the harder it might be to manoeuvre.
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