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What To Look For In An Ironing Board

Aug 17, 2007
Ironing is one of the many household functions that people usually find overwhelming. It is the task of removing wrinkles from clothes (such as shirts, pants or trousers, and skirts) with the use of a heated tool, called an "iron" (modern designs that are available nowadays, however, are no longer made of iron).

Another ironing tool that goes with the iron is the ironing board. This is where most ironing is done, and it is generally a portable, narrow-padded board with a heat resistant top and supports that can usually be folded up.

Ironing boards are just as important in ironing as the iron. A good ironing board can add to your convenience, making the seemingly difficult task of ironing a bearable one. It is therefore important that you choose an ironing board that would best suit your needs, and the following general guidelines will be able to help you by identifying the things that you should look for when choosing the ironing board to buy.

1. Size. If possible, choose the widest ironing board that you can find for a more effective ironing. A full-size ironing board is one that is at least 4 feet long and 12 to 18 inches wide.

2. Height. Most people prefer to do their ironing while standing up. Standing up for a long time, however, could result to back strain. To minimize this, it is recommended that the ironing board should at least rise to about your hip level.

3. Mobility. Another thing to consider when choosing an ironing board is the available space in your home.

In general, there are 2 types of ironing board - the built-in and the portable.

-Built-in ironing boards - as the name implies, these boards are 'built-in', usually into a drawer or a wall cabinet.

-Portable ironing boards - also called tabletop, these boards can be set up from one place to another, allowing you to do your ironing wherever you choose. They are also ideal for people who have limited spaces in their homes.

4. Weight. Choose an ironing board that is lightweight - one that not only sets up easily for use but also folds down for storage with ease. In addition, a lightweight board also enables you to transfer them from one place to another with less effort.

5. Sturdiness. While a good ironing board is that which is lightweight, it should also have a sturdy frame that is stable enough so that it will not collapse or tip over easily as you do your ironing. Choose the most stable ironing board, with sturdy legs and a solid base - this will prevent accidents that result from ironing (such as ironing boards that fall over onto small children).

6. Adjustability. We have given the recommended ironing board height for people who prefer to stand up while ironing. However, there are still others who prefer to do their ironing while sitting. Then there may also be the added 'problem' of the varying height of the people in your household who may also need to iron their clothes. The solution to this problem is to choose an ironing board that can be adjusted at a height that will be most comfortable to the person who will use it.

7. The board pad. A good ironing board pad is one that has vent 'holes' in the surface for the steam to penetrate and escape. These 'holes', however, can make an impression on the fabric of the clothes you are ironing, so it is equally important for your board to have enough padding.

Ironing boards may also come with a separate board cover that ranges from simple to the sophisticated. Modern designs feature ironing boards that are coated with non-stick or reflective surfaces ('non-stick' prevents clothes from sticking to the board; 'reflective' transfers the heat back into the clothes).

8. Other features. Aside from the 'basics', modern-day ironing boards are equipped with additional features that allows for a more effective and convenient ironing. Some of these features are as follows:

-'Sleeve' - attached to the ironing board; a small board (about 2 feet long and 6 to 8 inches wide) used for ironing sleeves and small articles of clothes.

-Iron rest - built-in at the wide end of the board that expands the usable area for ironing and prevents the iron from falling off the board.

-Rack - for hanging clothes.

-Pedal-operated vacuum - to pull air through the board.

Follow these guidelines, and you will surely be able to find the ironing board that is right for your needs.
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