Best ironing boards 2021: Adjustable height and fold away mechanisms to iron holders Leave a comment

Wondering how to find the best ironing board? Start by taking a second to think about how much ironing you actually do. If you’re the chief steamer in a large household, aim for a bigger board with multiple settings and a generous ironing area.

When checking out the board’s specifications, also make sure you consider both the size of the ironing area and the entire board.

Ironing boards that fold away both easily and quickly will save you time and effort, while folding mechanisms that allow legs to be firmly locked into place will provide peace of mind, as well as extra stability.

A growing number of boards have self-adjusting mechanisms that allow for a limitless number of height positions, although if ease of use is a priority, a board that allows you to switch between different preset heights using a ratchet system may be preferable.

And don’t forget to consider materials either. A mesh metal ironing platform, rather than a solid one, will allow for better air circulation, while ironing board covers with foil linings will inject more heat back into garments, allowing you to remove creases in record time.

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So how did we put our boards to the test? To start with, we ironed. A lot. Everything from shirts and socks to sheets, trousers and tablecloths. We spent hours examining folding mechanisms, iron holders and board covers, and squeezing our boards into cupboards and crannies of all shapes and sizes.

While we might not want to clap eyes on an ironing board ever again, you can be rest assured we’ve truly put each and every one of these boards to the test.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Addis shirt master ironing board

We admit it: ironing shirts is not our strong point, and we’ve got limited motivation to work on this particular skill, which is why we loved Addis’s shirt master, a brilliant ironing board with four height positions that’s designed especially for shirts. Its rectangular shape allowed us to iron the entire length of the garment – from collar to tail – in one go, and the generous width and rounded corners meant less creases. There’s no separate stand for the iron, but the board’s generous length (144cm) means this is a feature you’re unlikely to miss. Stashing it away is easy, too – it’s got an incredibly smooth folding motion, and the locking mechanism is one of the sturdiest we’ve come across.

Brabantia sleeve board

We never really understood why anyone would need an ironing board designed solely for sleeves, until now. Sleeve ironing boards allow you to iron sleeves without leaving creases, thanks to their design – the supports are at one end only, allowing you to insert the board into the sleeve. This obviously requires decent structural support – which this one definitely has – in the form of a double set of legs and a sturdy base. We also loved its ultra-smooth mechanism – it takes just a second to pop it up – and the storage-friendly hanging loop.

Tower Housewares rose gold large mesh ironing board black

It was only a matter of time before the rose gold trend reached household accessories. Not that we’re complaining – this is one of the most stylish ironing boards we’ve seen. It also comes with an absolutely fantastic feature we’ve not come across before: two wheels on the rear legs, which mean the board can be simply folded and rolled away into the cupboard after use.

The lock that keeps this extra-long board in place is both reassuringly sturdy and easy to grip, and the thicker legs provide a superior sense of stability.

Leifheit air board express ironing board

This wide, long ironing board is designed with steam generators in mind – hence the supersized iron stand. Despite its size – and the presence of several brilliant extras including a cable holder – it’s incredibly light, and weighs just 5.2kg. A self-adjusting frame ensures maximum stability on uneven floors, and the combination of a heatproof plastic frame and a perforated cotton cover increases moisture absorption and reduces fabric dampness, no matter how steamy your ironing sessions get. Our favourite bit was the foldaway clothes rail – a brilliant alternative to hanging freshly-ironed clothes off the running machine/door handles/dog.

Minky aerial plus ironing board

This 167cm-long board is one of the sturdiest we’ve come across, thanks largely to the extra-chunky rubber protectors which cover the legs’ corners (these will also be a godsend for anyone keen to protect delicate flooring). We found it incredibly easy to alter – a fully-adjustable height mechanism, rather than a ratchet system with pre-set heights, means it can be set at any level up to 1m. We also loved the extra tapering at one end, which made it easy to iron smaller items and awkward corners of others, such as shirts. The cover has plenty of padding too, as well as a “scorch resistant” zone where we could park the iron while repositioning garments.

Beldray ironing board graphite grey print design

A brilliant ironing board with an equally brilliant price tag, Beldray’s stylish model has seven height options and an extra-wide ironing area. Our favourite bits include the silicone grips on the iron rest, which held our iron snugly and minimised the risk of accidental branding. We also loved the support provided by the thick cotton cover over the diamond-shaped mesh, as the ironing area felt rock solid with no flimsiness. It’s shorter overall length (although its 115cm ironing area is more than ample) makes it a brilliant option for smaller homes, with its lightweight design and slick folding mechanism.

Wilko tabletop ironing board

Short on space? Consider a tabletop ironing board, ideally this one from Wilko, which costs just £8. Although there aren’t anti-slip pads on the legs, the position of the two supports (when fully extended) ensures this one stays put, and the mesh platform allows air to circulate, which massively reduced the steaminess of our ironing session. A handy hook allows it to be hung up in the smallest of spaces, although we were happy to have this one on show thanks to the on-trend ceramic-inspired print across its cover.

Vileda total reflect ironing board

Supercharge your steam power with this fantastic ironing board from Vileda. The premise is simple: a foil layer beneath the cover reflects both heat and steam back into your garments, making it easy to remove creases. And it worked – we were able to remove some seriously stubborn ones in record time, powering through a stack of (very crumpled) sheets in a matter of minutes. It’s also one of the best ironing boards for households with kids, thanks to a so-called “kid safe” locking system that keeps the legs securely in place.

Dunelm laundry rules ironing board

Laundry doesn’t rule, to be clear, but the sheer monotony of this particular task means this brilliant, slogan-adorned ironing board is a great way to remind you of the basics, should your brain go on strike when confronted with an Eiffel Tower-sized pile. Dunelm’s board, which has a wipe-clean cotton cover, is compact and lightweight, and the non-slip feet are incredibly grippy. It’s not the longest ironing board on the market, but we loved the extra width – it’s still easy to stash away, but the generous working area allowed us to steam through our ironing pile in record time.

Beldray glisten foldable ironing board, rose gold

You’ll have a whopping eight different height options to choose from with this board, which also has a generously-sized rest to hold your iron and keep it snug and secure. The anti-slip caps on the forked legs offered brilliant grip and keep the board solidly in place, even when we were wrestling a particularly cumbersome king-sized fitted sheet. It goes without saying this is one of the most stylish ironing boards on the market, with it’s beautiful colour scheme even extending down to its rose gold legs.

The verdict: Ironing boards

For many, shirts are the trickiest garments to iron, but the Addis shirt master ironing board is brilliantly designed, with a shape that minimises the time required to iron not just shirts, but a wide range of clothing.

Second place goes to the slimline Brabantia sleeve ironing board – a household item we never knew we needed, but can no longer live without.

Finally, Tower Housewares’ rose gold ironing board is a true workhorse – an ultra-stable board with a generous ironing area and (our favourite bit) wheels that allow it to be simply rolled away into cupboards when you’re done.

For more fuss-free kit that makes housework a little easier, read our roundup of the 13 best cordless vacuum cleaners

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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