Are irons losing steam? The Ideal Home team's take on the great ironing debate

To iron or not to iron, that is the question...

Steam iron on ironing board
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite once being considered an 'essential appliance', we're starting to find that even the best irons are losing their steam and almost becoming a thing of the past. As trends come and go we find ourselves in a world where looking smart isn't the norm, and more relaxed dress codes are the standard.

In fact, Lakeland's 2023 Trends Report reveals that 30 per cent of 18-34-year-olds don't even own an iron, and when asked why, 20 per cent claimed that it was because 'none of their clothes need ironing'. A further 20 per cent claimed that ironing clothes 'is not important to me' or they simply 'did not like it' (and fair enough, ironing can be a hefty task sometimes).

These findings, in particular, may shock past generations who put the iron on a pedestal as an absolute essential during wash day or on a Sunday reset. So, we asked the Ideal Home team to weigh in with their stance on whether to iron or not to iron – and here's what they said.

Steam iron on ironing board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are irons becoming a thing of the past? Our take on the debate

When the topic of ironing first hit the Ideal Home team's beloved Slack channel, it ruffled some feathers and got us thinking critically about our wardrobe practices.

Commenting on the use of irons, our Content Editor, Holly Cockburn says, 'I had this exact conversation with my friends last weekend! I'm the only one with an iron.' Chiming in, our Assistant Editor, Thea Babington-Stitt says, 'I have an iron... do I use it though? Emm....' Our News Writer, Sara Hesikova adds, 'I also own an iron but rarely ever use it, to be honest.'

Small utility room with beige cabinets and fitted washing machine

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

Even our Editor in Chief, Heather Young, agrees, 'I have one but I use it once in a blue moon. I'm a fan of the 'flap hard and hang' method when hanging up my wet laundry on my drying rack instead.' We imagine this method to be even more effective when paired with a heated clothes airer.

Thea agrees saying, 'Exactly! And if it's a wrinkled shirt I just whip out my clothes steamer.'

As for me (I suppose I'm the team's resident Gen Z-er, at this point) don't own an iron or an ironing board in my little London flat. Why? Well, to put it plainly, I simply don't have the space for it more than anything.

I'm already working with a small kitchen and small living room, and storage is a premium. Therefore, I'm prepared to skip out on crisp clothes if it saves me the trouble.

Iron and folded clothes on ironing board

(Image credit: Getty Images)

My parents, on the other hand, always iron and I find myself doing it when I'm at my family home. According to Lakeland's research, they found that 90 per cent of those aged over 45 own an iron and use it regularly, so that certainly checks out.

Well, if there's one thing for sure, at least I know where I can always locate an iron should I ever need one.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.