Types of Ironing Boards
Virtually every home in the developed world today has an ironing board. They are taken for granted as an essential piece of household equipment. But as little as 100 years ago, ironing boards were a novelty, which were only just starting to appear in the United States.
The purpose of an ironing board is to keep clothes flat while the wrinkles are being ironed out. They normally have a rounded point at one end, which makes it easier to iron shirt sleeves and trouser legs.
The ironing surface is normally a flat metal base, covered by a foam pad and often topped by a decorative cover made of heat-resistant fabric. The pad usually contains small vent holes, to allow the steam to penetrate clothes and then escape.
At one end of the board, there is normally a heatproof area where a hot iron can be rested. A well-designed iron-rest is large enough to hold the iron safely, without risk of it falling off.
Modern ironing boards also have extra features, to make ironing easier. These include ‘sleeves’, which are about 2 feet long and 6 to 8 inches wide, attached to the board, for ironing sleeves and small items of clothing.
Types of modern ironing board
There are three main types of ironing board – portable, table-top and wall-mounted.
Portable Ironing Boards
Portable ironing boards are still the most common in American homes. They can be moved to where ever in the house ironing is done, and have extendable legs that fold out for use, and fold away for storage.
Portable ironing boards are designed to be both sturdy enough so they will not collapse while ironing and also lightweight enough so they can be easily moved around. An advantage of portable ironing boards is the ability to adjust the height to suit the user. But a downside is that portable ironing boards can be cumbersome to carry and awkward to set up.
Table Top Ironing Boards
The second type of ironing board - the table-top board - has short legs and, as it name suggests, is designed to sit on a table top or counter. These ironing boards are popular with dorm students because they are easy to carry around and set up in a confined space. The disadvantage is they are usually too small to allow clothes to be placed properly on the board. This is a particular drawback when ironing sleeves or anything that needs to fit around the end of the ironing board.
Wall Mounted Ironing Boards
The third type of ironing board, which is becoming more popular, is one that folds out from the wall or from a closet. These wall-mounted ironing boards are particularly convenient in smaller houses or apartments, where space is limited, as they can be stored away virtually flat against the wall. Wall-mounted ironing boards can be installed in confined areas, even in walk-in closets.
Many people prefer wall-mounted ironing boards, even in larger houses, as they are so convenient. They are huge time-savers, taking only a few seconds to deploy and put away, avoiding the need to carry the board and unfold awkward collapsible legs. Wall-mounted ironing boards are strong and sturdy, and can be swiveled out at any angle into the most convenient position for ironing.