An ironing board is an ironing board is an ironing board, right? Nope. There are differences in design, weight, ease-of-use, sizes, types and other features you may not have considered. I bought a bunch of ironing boards and put them to the test and was able to declare my favorite.
Some homes have an ironing board that comes out of the wall or was left behind by the previous occupant. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to figure out which board is best for the types of garments and linens that you iron the most. Length and other attributes are also important to consider depending on the size of your home, where you plan to get the ironing done, and the features that make the most sense for your household’s needs.
The best news is that all of the ironing boards we tested don’t require any assembly, they’re fairly plug and play once you get them out of the box. (The Xabitat board is an exception as the extra accessories included require assembly, but the board itself does not.)
All three of them are also already covered and lined with heat-safe fabric unlike yesteryear’s ironing boards, but it’s still a good idea to get an ironing board cover to extend your board’s life. We recommend the Ritz Fitted Standard Ironing Board Cover as it fits most ironing boards, and slips and buckles on easily with a designated iron rest. In the event of any accidents caused by leaving the iron on for too long, you’ll have an extra layer of protection.
Related: My favorite clothes iron
Onto the boards:
For testing, I ordered up a variety of different ironing boards and put them to the test. Below I set out each board followed by my verdict as to my favorite. Please keep in mind that I did not buy or test every ironing board available. I chose a few with various features and issued a verdict based on a fairly small sample size.
1. Ironmatic Space Saver Ironing Board
The Ironmatik Space Saver touts itself as well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin (if you’re a TV Tropes fan). This ironing board has a full length of 62″ when completely folded out with the actual board being 35″. The board is very lightweight and foldable, with a plastic hook bolted to one of the legs so you can hang it up on the wall.
While very light and a bit smaller than standard ironing boards, weighing about 12 pounds, it’s meant to be ideal for light-duty ironing in small dwellings. However, if you lack closet space to use as depicted in the product listing, as was the case for the product tester, you might need to get a wall-mounted hook that would support its weight and shape. The space-saving aspect works well if you have closet space, less so if you can’t fit it in there.
The best feature about the Ironmatik board is the silicone resting pad where you can place the hot iron to cool, and it also has a strap that keeps the iron in place (demonstrated with the coincidentally color-coordinated Shark Steam). This is ideal if you’re nervous about potentially burning yourself in a small space, as well as if you have children or pets that could knock into the board. The height also adjusts from 24”-34.5” so you can sit while ironing.
Which brings us to the worst feature: that iron resting pad is a necessity because it’s incredibly wobbly. We’re unsure if we received a particularly wobbly model despite checking the feet numerous times to make sure they were fully bolted on, but no matter what height the board was set at, it wobbled like a barstool with a short third leg after a few pints when applying moderate pressure.
With a price point of $87, you may find it worth it if you need that safety feature because of children or balance issues and you have the closet space to make the Ironmatik live up to its name.
Buy this board here.
2. Brabantia Size D Titan Ironing Board
Brabantia is like the Cadillac of ironing boards and what many people say is the closest you can get to a professional dry cleaner station in your home. This board isn’t kidding when it says it’s a “Size D Extra Large”: it’s an extremely wide board at 53″x 18″ with an adjustable height ranging from 24-40″. The “Titan Oval” region is designated for ironing clothes while the end of the board has a heat-resistant fabric region for the iron to rest.
Its large size and non-slip feet make it an extremely stable board to work with. However, while the 100% cotton cover with foam underneath carries a 10-year guarantee, you could have difficulty finding an extra ironing board cover that fits it. The fabric is also not suitable for steam generators, just conventional irons.
The biggest drawback to the Brabantia ironing board is that, as its titan size would indicate, it is extremely heavy. If you’re on the small side, you can risk physical injury stowing and unstowing this ironing board. Due to the design not allowing for easy folding or wall mounting, it’s also not very practical for small spaces like apartments.
While this ironing board does not require assembly, setup is not as straightforward as most other ironing boards due to the child and transport locks. Even though this feature is intended for user safety, it makes folding it out and closing it back up feel like trying to stop an overflowing bathroom with a box of Kleenex. The bulk and weight of all that metal can also compound this so if you’re like the reviewer and on the small side, you can lower your risk for injury by having someone help you set it up.
The board comes with an instruction manual detailing how to activate and deactivate the child locks and adjust for height so sitting users can use it. But at first glance, the back of this ironing board looks like the map to some obscure biological weapons research facility.
With a going rate of $93, this board could be worth it if you have very large garments and linens that need to be pressed or you just like having a big area to work with. The quality is also worth it if you have a large enough home with a designated laundry area where you don’t need to constantly fold up the board and take it out again.
Buy this ironing board here.
3. Xabitat Complete Ironing Board
Xabitat is clearly glomming onto that Millennial and Zoomer customer base who get accused of killing everything from fabric softener to chain restaurants by making a chore like ironing look fun and like an ~*experience*~ so the under-40 set will buy it and not take ironing boards to the blacksite where they mercilessly slaughtered diamond rings and golf courses. A MYSTERY COUPON? You don’t say! Not even Hideo Kojima could write an adventure game as suspenseful as this!
With that said, Xabitat is also doing so in a smarter way given that they market their products to users in smaller spaces, and this ironing board is no exception. At just 13 pounds and 47” x 15”, the board is extremely light and easy to carry. It folds and unfolds with just a click of a lever, and it locks and unlocks for safety quite easily.
The Xabitat Complete ironing board has a load capacity of 60 pounds and incredibly stable non-slip feet. It also came with the following accessories to get more use out of the board: an elastic strip for harnessing garments, hardware to mount the ironing board on the wall for storage, and a wire harness with no clear use. Except for the mounting hardware (which to be clear, does not turn this ironing board into the type that comes out of the wall– it’s only for storage), most of these accessories aren’t really necessary to get fantastic utility out of this ironing board.
The best feature is the wire rack that sits underneath the board so it can hold clothes, no more random piles of clothes that need ironing! There is also an open metal area that functions as an iron rest and area to hang your clothes after you’re done pressing them. However, while well-intentioned, this feature fell flat because we tried this with a standard long-sleeve blouse on a hanger at the maximum height and it dragged on the floor. The skirt hovered about three inches off the ground.
A major drawback is that height only goes from 30-36” which makes it hard for wheelchair users and people who’d like to sit while ironing. If you don’t have an iron cover to go over it as well, the open metal area for the iron to rest is an injury risk for children and the adult who puts it away without realizing the metal is still hot.
With a going rate of $70, the Xabitat Complete doesn’t need the allure of Michael Jackson references and mystery coupons to prove it can get the job done well with great bang for your buck.
VERDICT: My Favorite Ironing Board
Xabitat Complete is the best ironing board out of the three due to its stability, features, and versatility regardless of your home size and ironing needs. The shelf alone makes it worth it.
Related: Small ironing boards | Ironing board alternatives
Rachel Presser is a crazy toad lady from the Bronx who was exiled to New Jersey, spending a significant chunk of her youth where all the hideous 1970s couch covers and avocado shag carpeting went to die. Upon escaping the sea of brown and founding Sonic Toad Media, she decided to devote her time to writing from the fantastically-preserved Googie artifacts in LA and former speakeasies in Chicago, to forging new game worlds in the tea lounges of Taipei and Tokyo. She can be found at game jams, hardcore shows, vaporwave dance parties, and petting amphibians on a sensible corner loveseat.