Best ironing board 2019 – the top ironing boards for tackling the laundry pile

We've tested and rated the very best ironing boards out there

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 a super whizzy iron. However, if your ironing board isn’t good enough 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.

Related: Best steam irons – the top models to make ironing fast and easy

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 put together a buying guide to help you pick the perfect iron for you. but first we’ve rounded up the best ironing boards on the market in 2019.

How we test our best ironing boards

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Image credit: Beldray

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 2019?

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

Best-ironing-board-Vileda

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

Buy now: Vileda Total reflect ironing board, £64, Amazon 

2. Beldray Laurel Formidable ironing board – best ironing board for steam generator irons

Best-ironing-board-Beldray

First things first, this was the best board for holding a bulky steam generator. It’s not a problem if you have a standard steam iron, either, as it also accommodates those, too, making it a versatile choice. It had the largest ironing area of all the ones we tried, making quick work of our test duvet and shirts, too.

One of our favourite things, though, was that unlike other boards we tested it had two really handy racks attached, one a foldaway shirt hanger the other a folding rack below that meant we could iron away for hours without having to find somewhere to hang up shirts or place folded items.

While putting it up and down into one of its six heights is pretty easy, at 7k it is one of the heaviest boards we tested, so maybe not as practical as lighter models if you’re constantly putting it up and taking it down to store. That does mean, though that it felt one of the sturdiest boards we tested, with wide, rubber tipped legs to prevent slipping. It also has a 5-year guarantee.

Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Laurel Formidable ironing board, Teal, Beldray, £55, Amazon

3. Brabantia Orla Kiely Oval Stem ironing board – most stylish ironing board

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We think we’d probably be temped to keep this stylish board, up all the time if we had the space. Featuring a patterned cover from design icon Orla Kiely, it’s not super light but it was still easy to raise and lower. And we really liked the usual child safety lock and additional transport lock to make taking it from room to room safe.

It’s not the biggest ironing board we tested but also by no means the smallest, although a few extra cm on the width wouldn’t have gone amiss when we were ironing the duvet. It has seven ironing heights, so great for all members of the family and the extra-tight fitting cover is great to iron on as well as good to look at. While it is one of the most expensive boards we tested it’s smooth operation and sturdy design and solid construction and 10-year guarantee made it good buy nonetheless.

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Brabantia Orla Kiely Oval Stem ironing board, £87, Amazon.co.uk

4. Argos Extra Wide ironing board – best value ironing board

Best-ironing-board-Argos

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 rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Extra wide ironing board, £25, Argos

5. Addis Shirtmaster – best ironing board for ironing shirts

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Unlike some other boards, this one has blunt ends and no holder for an iron, meaning you need to either place your iron elsewhere or use part of the board itself to accommodate it.

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 a revelation, being able to press a single side of a shirt is, if not exactly a joy, then definitely less of a chore.

It also means it’s great for duvets and sheets but we were a little stumped at first when we went to our go-to position for ironing jeans as there was no way the tops would fit over the end of the board. In the end we laid the tops flat on the board and that seemed to work well enough. It has four ironing positions and a 10-year guarantee

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Addis Shirtmaster ironing board, £38.99, Amazon.co.uk

6. Lakeland Bright Blooms ironing board – best ironing board for cord control

Best-ironing-board-Lakeland

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

Buy now: Bright Blooms ironing board, £49.99, Lakeland

7. Vileda Carino table top board – best tabletop/small ironing board

Best-ironing-board-small-Vileda

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

Buy now: Vileda Carino Table Top board, £20, Amazon

How to buy the best ironing board for you

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Image credit: Tim Young

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?

Best ironing boards

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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