Now you may think an ironing board is an ironing board, but when you’re trying to iron a duvet cover on a thin, rickety board that only reaches as high as your knees, you’ll find some really are better than others. They may not be bristling with features, but getting the basics just right can make the world of difference when making a tiresome task that much easier.

When buying an ironing board there are various things to consider, including what you are going to be using it for and how often. If it’s just for once in a while when you have to scrub up for a formal event, something that folds away is probably best, on the other hand, if it’s going to be used everyday it may be worth investing something which may be more expensive, but will save you time in the long run. If you iron bedsheets and other large items a big surface area will be a huge bonus, while you will also need to consider the type of iron you will be using – a large steam generator iron will need a big rest to hold up the base of the iron while you use it.

See also: The best steam irons for sale

Brabantia Ironing Board with Steam Iron Rest – Best for solidly built brand name board

Brabantia ironing boardLike all products from Brabantia, there’s really no top limit to what you can spend. They’ve got ironing boards that cost more than £100 that collect water to prevent them turning mouldy in the long run. While that does sound like a big benefit, the vast majority of us would baulk at the idea of spending that much on an ironing board.

Instead we’ve picked this model, it still has all the build quality and size of Brabantia’s top boards, but without the huge price tag accompanying it. It’s sturdily built and easily folds up, with a handy clip to stop it folding out again during storage. It has 4 height settings from 77-96cm so it is flexible enough to be comfortable to use for most people and also non-slip feet so you can use it on hard floors without sliding or scratching the surface.

The generous ironing surface is 124x38cm giving you lots to work with and, as a standard size of a recognised brand, it will be easy to buy a perfectly fitting replacement down the line.

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Minky Pro Iron Station Ironing Board – Best for steam generator irons

Minky Ironing Board ProThis ironing board from Minky includes some extra features for ironing pros. As well as a shelf for the clothes you’ve ironed, there’s also a fold out rail for clothes hangers and easy storage of ironed shirts.

Measuring 122x43cm, it has a wide ironing area for helping with large jobs and an extra large iron rest that will fit not only most steam irons but also large steam generator models. The steam mesh surface is designed to allow the steam to work through the board without it saturating the fabric and causing problems further down the line like mould.

Unlike some ironing boards you’re not restricted to specific height levels and can use the iron at any height from completely collapsed to 94cm high. This makes it really easy to pick a comfortable height to use, but it still folds away flat like a regular iron.

It feels very stable, helped by its looped legs, but it’s not so heavy at 8kg that you can’t carry it around the house.

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Minky Hot Spot Pro Ironing Board – Best for flexibility

Minky Hot Spot Ironing BoardThis second model from Minky doesn’t have the after ironing storage that the first does, but instead it offers a lot more flexibility for where you leave your iron. Included with this board is a movable silicone hot spot for resting your iron without fear of it burning a hole in your board.

Unlike a conventional iron rest you can move it on the board to wherever suits you, especially helpful if you are forced to iron in a tight or awkward space. While this is a good feature and will be useful for some, it’s worth bearing in mind that as it sits on the board itself it does reduce your active ironing space. Saying that, measuring 122x38cm it is a decent sized board so adding the silicone rest doesn’t make it small by any means.

It also includes Minky’s Prozone heat reflective cover, designed to increase the heat directed at your clothes and speed up ironing. In practice it’s hard to notice any considerable difference in performance between that and a regular cover so I wouldn’t say it’s a reason to buy the board by itself, but it does feel well made and combined with the hot pink silicone iron rest certainly gives the board a striking edge.

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ADDIS Really Wide Board Irons Design – Best for wide jobs

Addis Really Wide Ironing BoardLooking for a really wide ironing board? Well this model from Addis has been given an appropriate name. Measuring 48cm wide (as well as 135cm long) it gives a very large surface area to use, ideal for bigger tasks such as bed sheets.

It’s reasonably well built, although we did feel there was a bit of give in the middle of the board when a lot of pressure was exerted on it. While this didn’t harm our results in the end, it’s not ideal, but a tricky thing to avoid once a board gets to this kind of width.

It comes with a choice of 10 height settings and has a heat resistant section for resting your iron on.

While we didn’t see any short term problems, some reviews online have suggested there may be some build quality issues so it may be something to be aware of.

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AllRight Adjustable Ironing Board – Best basic budget ironing board

Allright ironing boardIf none of the fancy features of the other ironing boards on our list appeal to you and you just want a good basic ironing board, this is the one for you. It’s not perfect, if you’re tall you’ll want a different model as it only extends to 80cm high, but it is a good no-nonsense board for quick everyday tasks.

It has 10 different height settings from between 50 and 80cm and it is easy to fold up flat. The four legs have non-slip caps to hold it in place in use, although you will have to be careful to ensure you have it placed on a totally flat surface or it can feel a bit rickety.

It’s a very light board that works well for storage or lugging it around the house, but it doesn’t do much to keep it steady in use. It has a reasonably sized iron rest which will be enough for most irons, but it won’t be big enough for larger steam generator irons.

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Need an iron for your new board? Check our guide to the best steam irons.