Whether you love to press clothes or not, an ironing board makes the chore so much easier. Ironing directly onto a tabletop or counter is impractical and may cause damage to the surface. A well-made ironing board provides users with a cushioned, heat-proof surface and helps get the wrinkles out of clothes by allowing the steam and heat to pass through and escape to the other side.
The best ironing boards should be ergonomically designed, durable, and lightweight so they’re easy to pack up and store away. Read on for some of the essential features of some of the best ironing boards based on weight, height, iron-rest availability, and overall design of the board itself.
- BEST OVERALL: Brabantia Adjustable Steam Rest Ironing Board
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bartnelli Rorets Ironing Board
- UPGRADE PICK: Mabel Home Extra-Wide Ironing Pro Board
- BEST EXTRA-WIDE: Bartnelli Pro Luxury Ironing Board
- BEST BOARD ALTERNATIVE: Houseables Ironing Blanket
- BEST ADJUSTABLE: Minky Homecare Ergo Plus Ironing Board
- BEST WALL-MOUNTED: Hafele Wall-Mounted Ironing Board
Types of Ironing Boards
Although all ironing boards function similarly, there are different types of boards to consider. The space, frequency of ironing, and the types of items that are pressed the most determine the best style for the consumer’s needs. There are three types of ironing boards: freestanding models, compact table boards, and built-in ironing boards.
Freestanding or portable boards are the classic type of ironing boards. They are usually made of metal with a cushioned fabric top. This type of ironing board is designed to be both sturdy and lightweight. They will not collapse while ironing and are easy to move around.
Freestanding boards have an adjustable height mechanism. This allows ironers to adjust the height to suit their body size whether they are sitting or standing. Freestanding boards are available with accessories such as iron rests and clothing racks, but base models are usually less expensive. These boards are long and can be somewhat cumbersome to set up, but they do fold up flat, making them easier to carry and store.
Compact or tabletop ironing boards have short legs and are designed to sit on a table or counter. These ironing boards are popular for those who live in small homes or apartments because they are easy to carry around and set up in a confined space. They are also inexpensive.
The main disadvantage of compact boards is they are usually too small to allow ironers to place large garments or items properly on the board. Another option is an ironing blanket, which is a padded, heat-proof surface that users can fold and put away. Both compact boards and ironing blankets are perfect for crafting applications such as patchwork and sewing because they do not take up much space and they are extremely portable. Some compact boards feature collapsible legs, which is great for storage, while others have stationary legs, which will limit where users can stow the board.
Built-in or wall/door-mounted boards fold out from the wall or door. This type of ironing board is particularly convenient in smaller houses or apartments where space is limited, as they can be stored away flat against the wall or door. Wall-mounted ironing boards can also be installed in confined areas such as walk-in closets. The main advantage to a built-in board is that once installed, it takes only a few seconds to open it up or put it away. There’s no need to carry it around, set it up, or store it back away. It does limit where a user can iron, but if the owner always irons in the same place, that’s not an issue.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ironing Board
Just because all ironing boards function the same way doesn’t mean they are all cut from the same cloth. Ironing boards have a few distinguishing features that set them apart and can help users upgrade their laundry space. Deciding which features are most important will help shoppers pick the best ironing board for them. Here are some features to take into consideration when choosing an ironing board.
A standard ironing board surface is about 48 inches long by 14 inches wide. This size is good for most ironing jobs. Sometimes users need more area to iron large items such as sheets or curtains. For large jobs, ironers will need more surface area. Large-area boards can be up to 56 inches long by 19 inches wide. However, the more surface area there is, the tougher it is to store the ironing board in small homes or apartments. Wide ironing boards are favorite picks for quilters because the extra space allows them to iron quilts with ease.
Type of Cover
Ironing boards always come with a cover. The cover provides padding and a smooth surface for clothing, and it helps make ironing more efficient. Some covers even have a nonstick coating to help the iron glide over clothes effortlessly.
The cover also keeps bolts and screws on the board from poking through to the clothes. Some covers are thicker than others. If buyers are not happy with the cover the board came with, no worries; they can always purchase a cover separately. The thicker the cover, the more comfortable the ironing process is.
Ironing boards are generally lightweight for portability. If users need to move the ironing board around the home often, then they’ll want to ensure that the selected model allows them to do this with ease. Most ironing boards have metal frames, but there are some made of plastic.
Lightweight boards may have better portability, but they may also be less durable. Heavier boards are more stable but harder to move around. The ideal ironing board should be a reasonable weight to ensure sturdy construction but light enough for ironers to maneuver with ease.
The minimum and maximum working height of a board is an essential factor for many people, especially if they are taller or shorter than average. If the ironing board is too tall, it makes ironing difficult and impractical, and ironing boards set too low can cause back pain.
Most ironing boards offer a maximum height of 37 to 38 inches. This height range works for most people, but those who are exceptionally tall may want to consider a board that can adjust higher.
Iron Rest Zone
Ironing boards that have a customized area to rest a hot iron can maximize the work space on the board and help to avoid accidental burns. If a board doesn’t have such a rest, the user must stand the iron upright to avoid burning the surface of the board. Many modern ironing boards have an iron rest.
The iron rest zone gives users a place to store the iron safely when it’s hot so that it isn’t at risk of toppling over. Look for an iron rest that prevents a hot iron from tipping over while it sits in place.
With the exception of a built-in board, portability is one of the most important features of an ironing board. They are made to easily fold up, move from room to room, and pack away for storage. Tabletop models are made for portability, which is why they are so popular with apartment dwellers and college students. Pair this with a cordless iron for a flexible ironing setup that requires little space and won’t limit users to working near an outlet.
Freestanding models are designed for portability as well. They are easy to set up, collapse, and move. If users move a board a lot, they’ll want to make sure it’s made of lightweight metal or plastic and that it folds down with ease. Those who iron a lot will want to get a freestanding model for the surface area, but for those who iron only once in a while, a tabletop model should suffice.
Storage Options/ Dimensions
No matter the size or type of ironing board selected, shoppers will need to find a place to store it. Freestanding models are designed to collapse, with the legs of the board folding neatly inside the top. They usually collapse into a thin-enough profile to fit snugly behind a door or in a closet without taking up much space.
Tabletop boards have either collapsible legs or stationary legs. Collapsible legs will allow for easy, low-profile storage, similar to a freestanding model. Stationary legs do make it harder to stow away a tabletop board, but these are generally small enough to fit on an upper shelf in a closet or under a bed.
Built-in boards need a dedicated space along a wall or behind a door. Although they are designed to have a slim profile, they do protrude a few inches from the wall or door when mounted. However, these ironing boards do not take up floor space because they are mounted.
Our Top Picks
By taking the shopping considerations we’ve detailed into account, shoppers will be able to find the best ironing board with the right features for their needs. The following products are top picks for their overall portability, ease of use, surface area, and extra features.
The Brabantia ironing board is one of the top all-around picks because of its features and versatility. It’s slightly wider than average, giving ironers more surface area to tackle large clothing items and sheets. It also features an adjustable working height of 24 to 40 inches. This range is more than suitable for a variety of body heights.
The frame has legs made of steel tubing that is 35 millimeters in diameter, making it sturdy without sacrificing portability. It folds up with ease and locks into place with a child safety lock that ensures it will not fold down accidentally. This ironing board features a heat-resistant iron rest zone that’s perfect for safely parking both steamers and regular irons. In addition to having a fun modern print, the cover is 100 percent cotton and includes a cord binder and a stretch system that ensures the surface remains taut for an even smoother ironing experience.
For a basic board, the Brabantia is on the pricier side compared with others on this list, but the main selling point is its durability. This ironing board is a good investment that can last for years.
- Size: 58 inches long by 18 inches wide by 24 to 40 inches high
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Iron rest: Heat-resistant zone
- Large size fits most items
- Adjustable height
- Available in multiple colors and patterns
- Sturdy construction reduces wobbling
Get the Brabantia ironing board on Amazon.
This Bartnelli board gives users an ironing area of 43 inches long by 13 inches wide to accommodate small clothing items. It also features a collapsible steel frame with wide nonstick legs and protective feet. A four-layer foam, fabric, felt, and cotton platform allows clothes to drape smoothly and avoid sticking. The board has a convenient built-in hanging hook and a push-button collapsing design to take the work out of folding and unfolding.
Given its size and materials, this ironing board is lightweight at 7 pounds and is easy to store. It collapses neatly and features a handy locking lever that keeps the iron table folded when stored or transported.
- Size: 43 inches long by 13 inches wide by 35 inches high
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Iron rest: None
- Nonstick steel legs with protective feet
- 4-layer tabletop
- Hanging hook
- Push-button collapsible design
- Locking lever
Get the Bartnelli Rorets ironing board on Amazon.
If consumers are tired of spending their hard-earned money for a professional press at the cleaners, it’s time to upgrade their ironing boards. The Mable Home Pro Board will provide professional results without much effort. The board features unique patented retractable shoulder wings that help ironers press shirts with ease. It also has a heavily padded, 100 percent cotton cover designed to give users the smoothest ironing surface for tackling wrinkles. It even comes with an extra cover.
Ironers will have plenty of surface area with the Mabel ironing board. The board is a little over 18 inches wide—that’s 4 inches wider than the average ironing board. There’s also a heat-resistant outboard tray to hold an iron or steamer and a collapsible rack to hang freshly pressed clothes. The board features a sturdy powder-coated metal frame, which is good for durability but does make it heavier. It’s also more expensive compared with other ironing boards. However, if the owner does a lot of ironing or drops off shirts weekly for professional pressing, this board is worth the investment.
- Size: 58 inches long by 18 inches wide by 27.5 to 36 inches high
- Weight: 19.7 pounds
- Iron rest: Heat-resistant tray
- Safety lock prevents accidental collapse
- Retractable wings are great for ironing shirts
- Sturdy construction
- Smooth ironing surface
Get the Mabel Home ironing board on Amazon.
When standard ironing boards aren’t adequate for ironing sheets, curtains, or quilts, it’s time to go wide. The Bartnelli gives users 51 inches by 19 inches of ironing space to help accommodate larger items.
It also features an extra-thick 100 percent cotton cover and thick foam that will withstand the heat from the iron while allowing steam to pass through and evaporate. The board has an iron rest and rack to hang pressed clothing. It’s also built to last. The board has heavy-duty wide legs designed to help keep it in place without wobbling.
Given its size and materials, this ironing board is heavy and harder to store. However, it does collapse neatly and features a handy transport lock that keeps the iron table folded when stored or transported. The Bartnelli Pro Luxury ironing board is on the more expensive side, but the company offers a 3-year warranty. If users routinely iron large items and have space, they’ll want to consider this pro-level ironing board.
- Size: 51 inches long by 19 inches wide by 30 to 38 inches high
- Weight: 19 pounds
- Iron rest: Metal tray with wire support
- Very sturdy ironing board
- Extra padding for a smoother ironing surface
- Scorch-resistant cover
- Heavier than most models
Get the Bartnelli Pro ironing board on Amazon.
For occasional ironing or while traveling, an ironing blanket will transform any flat surface into an ironing board. The Houseables Ironing Blanket is specially designed to work on metal surfaces. It’s made from heat-resistant polyester/cotton fabric with a heavy-duty magnet in each corner that helps weigh the blanket down and securely hold it in place on metallic surfaces.
The ironing blanket is a clever alternative to traditional ironing boards. It’s perfect for travelers, RVers, or anyone who resides in a small living space that cannot accommodate a full-size ironing board. Its compact size will make ironing larger items difficult, but its versatility makes it a good choice to have as a backup to take on road trips or to use if ironers don’t feel like bringing out the full-size board.
- Size: 32.5 inches long by 18.25 inches wide
- Weight: 1.17 pounds
- Iron rest: None
- Lightweight and versatile
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Not ideal for regular ironing
- Quite small
Get the Houseables ironing blanket on Amazon.
The Minky Homecare ironing board is designed to make ironing enjoyable. Its shape allows users to stand in a comfortable position, and it features many levels of adjustments to find the right height for comfort.
The board’s cover features heat-reflective properties that speed up the ironing process. Underneath the cover is a mesh design that allows moisture to escape effectively, and it also gives you a faster finish. The board also includes an iron rest that is designed for use by left- or right-handed people.
The board’s attractive and ergonomic design makes it stand out from other ironing boards. The one downside is that there are no 90-degree corners to use on the board when ironing clothing, which may be a deal-breaker for ironing pros.
- Size: 48 inches long by 15 inches wide by 36.2 inches high
- Weight: 16.32 pounds
- Iron rest: Metal tray, with additional wire rack below for steamers
- Mesh cover helps speed up ironing
- Ergonomic design
- Additional rest for steam units
- No right angles to help with ironing
Get the Minky Homecare ironing board on Amazon.
If shoppers have a dedicated laundry space, they’ll want to consider installing a wall-mounted ironing board to help make the space more efficient. A wall-mount board is a full-size ironing board that is attached directly to a wall. It’s designed to fold up and pack away efficiently without taking up floor space.
The Hafele board doesn’t just fold down like an ordinary board; it can rotate 90 degrees right or left, depending on the user’s needs when ironing. It is slightly smaller than a standard ironing board, but it’s big enough to accommodate most ironing needs. The board needs to be mounted into wall studs to ensure stability. It’s also more expensive than a standard board. However, if shoppers are looking for a space saver, Hafele’s wall-mounted board is a good option.
- Size: 37.37 inches long by 11.88 inches wide
- Weight: 22.3 pounds
- Iron rest: None
- Sturdy once installed
- Folds into a small space
- Can swivel 180 degrees
- No iron rest
- Installation can be troublesome
- Not height adjustable
Get the Hafele ironing board on Amazon.
Most users will appreciate the versatility and reliability of the Brabantia ironing board, with its adjustable height; extra board space; and smooth, thick, and washable cover.
Shoppers looking for a good ironing board that’s more budget-friendly could take a look at the Bartnelli Rorets ironing board, a modest option that offers all the standard features at an affordable price point.
How We Chose the Best Ironing Boards
This list of recommendations showcases our top picks for the best ironing boards on the market. We made sure to do thorough research into the best brands and models to provide shoppers with as many options as possible. This list includes several full-size traditional ironing boards, either with added features such as specialized washable ironing board covers and additional steamer racks, to more budget-friendly no-frills options.
We also made sure to include oversize boards for users who iron frequently, as well as much smaller and compact models for occasional users with limited storage space. In terms of stability, we looked at construction materials and leg design to ensure that all of our top picks provide a wobble-free ironing experience.
Ironing boards will make it easier for you to iron your clothing. Here are some common questions and answers about the care and use of ironing boards.
Q. What size of ironing board is ideal?
The ironing board size you need depends on the amount of clothes you iron, the types and sizes of household items you iron, and your space. In general, freestanding boards are the most versatile in terms of surface area and portability.
Q. Is it worth getting a separate ironing board for sleeves?
A sleeve extension feature is great if you iron a lot of shirts with sleeves. Although it comes in handy to get wrinkles out of sleeves, that extra feature does make the ironing board harder to store.
Q. How should an owner clean the ironing board cover?
Users should wash an ironing board cover regularly to keep debris from transferring to clothing. Most covers are machine washable and safe for the dryer. Read the care instructions for a cover before washing.