A high-quality iron makes ironing easier. But add a top-notch ironing board to the equation, and ironing becomes easier again. Therefore, you should think carefully when choosing an ironing board - make the right choice and you'll be rewarded with faster, smoother ironing and better results...and that has to be a good thing.
The pad underneath the ironing board cover is key to producing crease-free garments. The less padding there is to produce a desired cushioning effect, the less effective the iron is at removing creases; always look out for decent pad thickness when searching for an ironing board, as well as a pad that is durable enough to stay thick after years of use.
On top of that quality padding should be a cover of a similar high standard. The ideal cover won't stick to the garments when hot, and with this in mind, a teflon-coated cotton cover is widely regarded as having excellent non-stick qualities.
Surface area is a critical factor to consider when choosing an ironing board. The larger the ironing surface, particularly in terms of width, the easier and more efficient ironing becomes. You can iron more of the garment at one time, and you don't have to constantly pick up the garment and re-position it on the board. If space is limited, you can buy smaller ironing boards, including table-top varieties. They don't offer as much surface area, obviously, but you do enjoy added portability.
Flimsy ironing boards are not only a safety hazard, especially when little kids are around. They also make ironing a much more tedious process because you feel as if you can't press down on the iron as much as you would like, simply because you're worried the board will collapse under this pressure. The perfect balance is to find a board that is light and easy to move from place to place, but still strong enough to stay upright at all times. Modern materials that are lightweight but strong are now being used in the manufacture of many ironing boards, so it is not too difficult to reach this happy balance.
Vent holes in an ironing board allow steam to escape and evaporate, a very important part of the process. Look for these holes - or metal mesh - to allow this to happen.
Some extras offered on ironing boards are small but very useful. For example, a sleeve attachment is connected to the main ironing board and is used for ironing sleeves and smaller pieces. Some ironing boards feature a rack for hanging newly ironed clothes, and the most common "extra" on an ironing board is the iron rest - a metal holder where you keep the iron when it's not in use.