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Updated: 16 Jun 2022

Best ironing boards: is a cheap one worth it or should you pay more?

We compared cheap ironing boards vs pricier ones from Minky, Dunelm and Brabantia to see if it's worth spending extra to get the best
Sam Morris
IRONING BOARD WITH SHELF

Ironing: not many of us enjoy it, but the best ironing board can be the difference between a quick task and a laborious chore.

We tested a sample of ironing boards in April 2022, investigating how easy they were to carry, set up to a comfortable height and how stable they were.

Our tests discovered that its generally worth paying more to get the best ironing board. Doing so gets you a more stable board and a sturdy surface to iron on. 

But you don't have to pay top dollar for a great ironing board. Read our reviews to find that best ironing board for your budget.

Prices and availability last checked 12 May 2022

The best ironing board

Only logged-in Which? members can view the ironing board test results below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the ironing boards we tested.

Join Which? to get instant access to our test scores and Editor's Choice recommendation for ironing boards.

Brabantia Ironing Board C (denim black cover)

Brabantia ironing board c with denim black cover

Cheapest price: £69.99 at Robert Dyas (with spring bubbles cover), also at Dunelm, Amazon, Brabantia

Size when folded (HxWxD): 159x48x9cm

Board size: 124x45cm

Number of height levels: 7, highest 98cm, lowest 75cm

Weight: 7.7kg

Different covers: Seven designs available

Brabantia is a really well-known ironing board brand but its ironing boards cost considerable more than retailers' own brands.

Our tests found out if the Brabantia ironing board C is really worth the extra money.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results

Brabantia Ironing Board D (titan oval cover)

Brabantia ironing board D with titan oval cover

Cheapest price: £84 at Dunelm (with titan oval cover),  also at Amazon, John Lewis, Brabantia 

Size when folded (HxWxD): 164x47x8cm

Board size: 135x45cm

Number of height levels: 25, highest 102cm, lowest 62cm

Weight: 7.3kg

Different covers: Five designs available

This large Brabantia ironing board stands out from the crowd visually - the grey patch at the end is a heat resistant zone you can place your iron on, replacing the traditional iron rest you on find the end of most ironing boards 

Our tests reveal if it's also stable and easy to use. 

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results

Dunelm Ironing Board (natural cover)

Dunelm ironing board with natural cover

Only available at Dunelm£35

Size when folded (HxWxD): 152x39x5cm

Board size: 120x38cm

Number of height levels: 7, highest 90cm, lowest 66.5cm

Weight: 4.5kg

Different covers: Two designs available

This Dunelm ironing board is one of the cheaper ones you can find. When we put it to the test we found mixed results.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock all our reviews.


Read our steam iron reviews to find the best for removing stubborn creases


John Lewis & Partners Classic Ironing Board

John Lewis and Partners Classic Ironing board

Only available at John Lewis£45

Size when folded (HxWxD): 159x40x7cm

Board size: 122x38cm

Number of height levels: 7, highest 90cm, lowest 67.5cm

Weight: 5.1kg

Different covers: One available

The John Lewis Classic ironing board is one of the more expensive own brand ironing boards on sale but is listed as a bestseller on the John Lewis website. 

Log in now or join Which? to find out how it compares to popular ironing board brands Brabantia and Minky, that you'll pay more for, or whether it's a cut-above the own-brand boards we tested.

Minky Ergo Ironing Board (blue cover)

Minky Ergo ironing board with prozone cover

Cheapest price: £50 at Amazon, Argos, Minky, also available at Dunelm, Robert Dyas

Size when folded (HxWxD): 159x45x7cm

Board size: 122x38cm

Number of height levels: infinite adjustment, highest 92cm, lowest 0cm

Weight: 5.4kg

Different covers: Two available

These extra features sound tempting, but didn't live up to expectations when we tested them. Log in now or join Which? to unlock what we found.

Wilko Small Ironing Board

Wilko small ironing board

Only available at Wilko: £15

Size when folded (HxWxD): 140x36x9cm

Board size: 110x32cm

Number of height levels: 4, highest 90cm, lowest 76cm

Weight: 4kg

Different covers: One available

This ironing board is smaller than the others we tested, and doesn't comes with any fancy bells or whistles.

But at about five times cheaper than the most expensive boards on test, this could be an absolute steal if it gets the job done. 

Is this what we found in our tests? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results

What size ironing board should I get?

If you only tend to press shirts, a small board will do the job. However, suits and dresses will need something a little larger.

The following are the standard ironing board sizes:

  • Size A: 110x30cm
  • Size B: 124x38cm
  • Size C: 124x45cm
  • Size D: 135x45cm
  • Size E: 135x49cm

But manufacturers don't always stick to these sizes. For example the Dunelm ironing board we tested is 120x38cm, which makes it a slightly shorter size B. Our testing taught us that if size matters to you, best to measure before you buy your ironing board.  

Our tests found larger and heavier ironing boards are more stable. However, a larger/heavier board was trickier to manoeuvre.

If you need to carry the ironing board from one room to another, or struggle with lifting heavier items, looking for a lighter board that still offers good level of stability may be better for you. 

We also found bigger ironing boards typically extend to a taller maximum height. If you are a tall person, a larger board is more likely to get to a height that's comfortable for you. 

Our tallest tester was 5ft 10in, and found ironing boards with a maximum height greater than 92cm were noticeably more comfortable to iron on. 

For more tips on how to make ironing easier, read: how to iron

Types of ironing boards and accessories

We've tested folding ironing boards, but there are other types of ironing board out there:
  • Tabletop ironing boards – designed to be placed on a table, a good choice if your storage space is limited, and you only iron the odd garment or two
  • Wall mounted or built-in ironing boards – usually installed within a drawer or wall cabinet, these can be a great space-saving option but are usually more expensive and you have the downside that they're fixed in one place.

While a basic board will serve most people, if you have big piles to regularly get through, some boards have extra accessories that may be of benefit to you:

  • Child locks – will stop your board collapsing unintentionally and keep it closed when you're moving it around
  • Flex guide – an attachment that is screwed or clipped to your ironing board to prevent the iron's cord from getting tangled or snagging
  • Sleeve attachment – a smaller board that can be used for sleeves, collars, pleats and other small, fiddly items
  • Storage rack – a board with an in-built shelf or storage unit to put finished clothes.
  • Hanger  – some boards come with a hanger to keep items crease-free once you've ironed them.
  • Heat reflecting covers – covers with metallic, reflective coating that claim to create a hotter surface and getting rid of creases more effectively

How we test ironing boards

composite image of Which? ironing board tests
Ironing boards being tested: topple stability test (left), scorch test (right)

We chose six ironing boards sold at popular retailers, ranging in price from cheap to expensive. We paid for all the ironing boards tested, so you can be sure we'll tell you the truth about what we found.

Ease of use

A good ironing board should be easy to carry short distances, set up and adjust to a comfortable height, and be stable while ironing on it. We recruited a a panel of five testers – ranging in height, gender and age – to assess each ironing board on these criteria.

We also asked them, ignoring price, if they would buy the ironing board themselves. If the answer was a yes, or a no, we let you know in our reviews.

Stability

As well as user panel assessment, we put each board (set to its maximum height) through three stability tests:

  • Topple test – using a rope,  pulley and force gauge, we tested how easy it was to tip the board over
  • Drag test – using a rope and force gauge, pulling from the base of the board, we assessed how easy it was to drag each ironing board across a smooth floor
  • Load test –placing a 10kg weight in the centre of the board, we measured how much the height of the board dropped

The more force needed to tip or drag – and less height a board dropped – the better its stability was rated.

Scorch test

While ironing boards have holders for your iron, you don't want your board's cover to be ruined if you accidentally place the iron on it while folding up your clothes.

We put our iron on its highest setting face down on each board's cover for 30 seconds. Those with a permanent mark afterwards were penalised.

Heat test

In theory, the hotter a board's cover gets, the easier it should be to get rid of creases.

We took repeated temperature readings of each board after ironing a shirt for 10 seconds and found no noticeable difference between any of the ironing boards, even those that claim to have special heat-reflective covers.

Even with the best ironing board, no one wants to spend hours battling with a useless iron. See our Best Steam Irons guide to avoid choosing a dud