Best Ironing Boards of 2018
A sturdy yet lightweight ironing board makes the task of ironing much more bearable. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best ironing board to fit your lifestyle.
Starched and Pressed: Your Guide to the Best Ironing Boards
Ironing might not be your favorite household task, but when wrinkles threaten your style, it's your iron to the rescue. And if you use an iron, you need an ironing board.
Forget about those heavy, rickety, bulky ironing boards from your grandma's day. Today, ironing boards are far easier to use and store, and there are plenty of different designs to choose from. In fact, all the options can be overwhelming. How do you choose the right ironing board for you?
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If you're ready to purchase an ironing board, scroll up for BestReviews' three favorites. All are sturdy, quality ironing boards that will serve you well. For what to look for in an ironing board before you buy, including tips and tricks for the crispest clothes, you've come to the right place.
The Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Ironing Boards
There are four basic types of ironing boards: portable, tabletop, over-the-door, and built-in.
Portable Ironing Boards
When you think of an ironing board, you likely picture a standard portable ironing board. These ironing boards have metal legs that scissor open and close, allowing the owner to easily store the board when not in use. Portable ironing boards can be set up anywhere when it's time to iron.
Portable ironing boards come in a range of sizes, but the standard size is 54 inches long and 14 inches wide. Larger portable ironing boards—the preferred choice for quilters, professional tailors and seamstresses, or anyone who enjoys sewing his or her own clothing—are usually around the same length but 18 inches wide.
A good portable ironing board is height-adjustable, with a typical height range between 28 and 36 inches. For the easiest ironing, you should be able to set your ironing board to the level of your hips.
- Pros: Portable ironing boards are easy to store, can be used wherever you want to iron, and offer a large enough surface to tackle most clothing, as well as curtains, unsewn fabric, and quilts.
- Cons: Because portable ironing boards are long, they can be difficult to move and set up if you have upper-body weakness. Portable ironing boards also take up more storage space than other types of ironing boards.
- Price: Most portable ironing boards are in the $20 to $30 range, although larger or high-end portable ironing boards can cost up to $100.
Tabletop Ironing Boards
Tabletop ironing boards sit on top of a table for use, rather than on a frame of their own. Some tabletop ironing boards have folding legs, which makes them easy to store, while others have rigid legs.
Tabletop ironing boards aren't as large as their full-size portable counterparts. Typically, tabletop ironing boards are around 30 inches long and 12 inches wide, although you can find slightly larger or smaller sizes.
Tabletop ironing boards do not have height-adjustable legs. Most tabletop ironing boards are around six inches tall, which can be quite a bit higher than hip-level when set atop a typical kitchen table.
- Pros: The small size of tabletop ironing boards means they require less storage room and are ideal for apartments. Tabletop ironing boards fit easily in a car's trunk for travel.
- Cons: The smaller surface size of tabletop ironing boards makes it tougher to iron large lengths of fabric. Tabletop ironing boards have no height adjustment.
- Price: Expect to pay between $15 and $25 for a tabletop ironing board.
Over-The-Door Ironing Boards
Over-the-door ironing boards are excellent for anyone who irons on a regular basis but doesn't have room for a portable ironing board. These ingenious ironing boards have hooks that slip over the top of a door. The ironing board folds down for use and then folds up flat against the door for storage.
You can find over-the-door ironing boards nearly as large as portable ironing boards or as small as tabletop ironing boards. Although they're handy, over-the-door ironing boards are usually not as sturdy as other ironing boards.
- Pros: Over-the-door ironing boards are great for anyone who doesn't want to store a full-size ironing board.
- Cons: Over-the-door ironing boards can be rickety, offer no height adjustment, and might make marks on the top or back of the door.
- Price: Generally, over-the-door ironing boards are in the $20 to $40 range.
Built-In Ironing Boards
Built-in ironing boards are ideal for a frequent ironer who has a sewing or laundry room. Built-in ironing boards can be installed inside a cabinet, drawer, or permanently mounted to the back of a door. You can find quite a few kits designed for the reasonably handy DIY-er, but some people may want a professional cabinetmaker to tackle a built-in ironing board's design and installation.
Built-in ironing boards fold down for use, like over-the-door ironing boards, but built-in ironing boards are generally much sturdier than over-the-door boards. A built-in ironing board can be full-size, but many are smaller.
- Pros: Built-in ironing boards tuck away when not in use without taking up closet or floor space.
- Cons: Built-in ironing boards are expensive, especially if you hire a professional to install the ironing board, and they are not height-adjustable.
- Price: If you are willing to handle the installation yourself, built-in ironing board kits retail from $150 to $300-plus. The more expensive built-in ironing boards generally include storage for your iron and other ironing necessities.
How to Find the Right Ironing Board for You
While an ironing board of any type is a straightforward product, there are a few features to consider when choosing one.
- Vent Holes: These small holes in the ironing board let steam from your iron escape.
- Iron Rest: A shelf or bracket where you can rest your hot iron saves space on your ironing board, and makes it more difficult to accidentally knock the iron over.
- Frame: Most portable ironing boards have lightweight metal frames. Look for a frame that is sturdy enough to not tip or rock while you work.
- Adjustable Height: While most portable ironing boards are height-adjustable, you'll want to look for an ironing board with a wide range of heights if you are especially tall or short.
- Sleeve Attachment: If you iron a lot of shirts, you'll appreciate a sleeve attachment, which pulls out to shape and support the sleeve while you iron.
- Hanging Rack: Some ironing boards include a rack to hang your freshly ironed garments.
What About the Ironing Board Cover?
An ironing board of any type should come with a cover. Ironing board covers are made of muslin, cotton, or a nonstick material such as Teflon that resists heat and scorching. Ironing board covers should be padded, which makes it easy to glide an iron over fabric. While most ironing board covers fit tightly over an ironing board with a drawstring, some have elastic and others have clips to hold them in place.
If you want a snazzier ironing board cover, you can find covers in many designs, including florals or geometric patterns.
Tips for Easy Ironing
- Start your ironing session with the garments that require the lowest heat setting on your iron, and work your way up to the sturdier items.
- A piece of aluminum foil underneath your ironing board cuts down on ironing time by reflecting heat, so wrinkles are smoothed away from both sides of the garment simultaneously.
- Iron hems, collars, and cuffs inside-out first, then flip them and give the outside a once-over. This prevents puckers.
- Don't move acrylics or other synthetic knits on the ironing board while they are damp. This causes stretching. Instead, press each section dry before adjusting the garment on the board.
- Don't circle your iron while you work as this can stretch the fabric. Instead, iron in straight, steady strokes, moving away from yourself.
- Keep your iron moving and don't press too hard. Otherwise, you might scorch the fabric.
- Hang up, fold, or put on freshly ironed clothing right away, or wrinkles will set back into the warm fabric.