Ironing Board Cover Guide

Ironing Board Cover Guide

Vanette Mendoza

Smoother Gliding | Faster Ironing 


You've got the iron, the ironing board, and now you need to find the best ironing board covers to offer protection. Perhaps you're replacing a damaged cover or aren't a fan of the one that came on your board. 

Whether you're ironing formal shirts, workout clothes or even table linens, everyone wants the most straightforward ironing process possible, which can be easier with a decent cover.

So whether this will be your first time buying an ironing board cover or you need to replace one that's past its best – check out our guide below before spending your hard-earned money on an inferior cover that will need replacing anyway. 


Do ironing boards need covers?

When you buy an ironing board, it will come with a cover, but the quality of the cover depends on what the manufacturer puts on it. A great ironing board cover can make your ironing experience better; using one can make ironing smoother and more efficient, allowing you to get more done in a shorter time.

Most people find that board covers are beneficial when tackling delicate fabrics like silk or lace, which might be too fragile to iron without a layer of protection between it and the board's surface


What type of cover should I get?

You want a cover that overs the most resistance against the steam the iron will produce.

There are two main types of fabric ironing board covers: Polycotton and 100% Cotton.

The difference is in the blend used in their construction – cotton covers are better at keeping heat under the cover, which gives you more control over your iron's temperature. This means it'll be easier to remove creases from multiple fabrics effectively, but they take longer to cool down after use.

If you're looking for maximum performance, then cotton is the best choice, especially if you do a lot of heat-sensitive fabrics like polyester garments or silk ties. If you need an easy option for ironing lightweight items, go with polycotton instead, which offers better value for money.



What fabrics are best for ironing boards?

This is down to personal preference; ideally, the most important thing you want from the material is to be heat resistant. This is why cotton works so well for ironing board covers, as it resists the heat and won't trap moisture from the iron. It also helps to keep what you're ironing in place, helping it not to slip and move around all over the place.

You can use some synthetic materials; however, most often than not, cotton is superior. Most board covers are cotton which works well for the majority of people. Suppose you notice that you are cycling through covers faster than you'd like. In that case, you could look at upgrading to a metalised or silicone coated board cover that has excellent durability and will last you longer but might be more expensive.


 Cotton Ironing Board Covers

Cotton makes a great everyday cover because it absorbs moisture well and is less likely to slip around on top of the fabric you're trying to decrease. However, it can be more challenging to clean if spots appear on the surface, leaving a noticeable mark.


Metalised Cotton Covers

Metalised cotton covers can benefit your ironing game as the material works by reflecting the heat into whatever you're ironing. This helps you get rid of creases faster and, most importantly, put the board away quicker, too, as it speeds up ironing time.


Silicone Coated Board Covers

Like cotton, Silicone is excellent at resisting heat, and they are also scorch and stain-resistant. The three are all excellent options, and it's a personal preference which you prefer.



What backing is used for ironing board covers?

The backing is the piece of fabric at the bottom of your ironing board cover. It should be made from thick, heat resistant material that's comfortable to use when ironing fabrics.

Most covers use a cotton sheet to protect your ironing board from damage caused by burn marks or water while also acting as a barrier between the cloth and the heated metal surface.

Other materials that can be used are felt and wool, but any material that is heat resistant and offers a smooth surface can be used.


Are ironing board covers universally sized?

No – different manufacturers and retailers will use slightly different sizes for their sizing, some of which could be slightly larger or smaller than you'd expect.

This can be problematic if you need an extra-large ironing board cover or one with an irregular shape. The best way to get an idea of what size you need is simply by measuring your existing cover! It's well worth double-checking the dimensions before ordering.


 How many different ways to attach an ironing board cover.

Drawstring – this type is found on most standard-sized covers and is an excellent choice for a snug fit.

Elastic – also commonly found on standard-sized covers, these are easy to attach and offer a snug fit.

Velcro – covers that use velcro tend to be made from microfiber as they grip well to smooth surfaces.

Gripper Strips – used for large-sized boards, these strips make it much easier to keep the cover in place without worrying about it slipping or coming loose during use.


Things to consider when choosing the right ironing board cover:

Using the correct ironing board cover can make ironing easier;

 Thickness. This depends on what type of fabric it needs to remove creases from. The thicker the cover, the more heat it absorbs and the better to remove wrinkles from thick materials or items with a high thread count, e.g. table linens.

 Fabric type. The type of fabric you will use can influence the quality of your ironing, and this is why cotton is the prefered fabric for ironing board covers as it's cost-effective and moisture resistant. Hence, it's great helping to get stubborn creases out.

Stitch quality. With ironing board covers, you get what you pay for, and the number of stitches used to hold the cover fabric is one of those factors that affect its overall price. More stitches per inch indicate higher quality and better value, which typically means it will last longer.


Colour options. There's a wide variety of colour options available. You can find a cover to match your living room, from bright colours to dazzling designs.

Does it fit my board correctly? This might seem obvious, but you need to measure the board before ordering.



How to choose the correct size:

1) The ironing board cover needs to be larger than your board to overlap onto both sides and provide even heat distribution. You risk burning your clothes on one side as the cover heats up faster there if it doesn't.

2) To prevent creases from forming as you iron, make sure that there's enough material at each end and around its seams to fold over the board edges.


If it's your first time buying an ironing board cover, here are some simple guidelines for determining what size you need:

*For standard home-sized full-sized boards (approximately 48 to 54 inches long), you shouldn't have too much trouble finding one.

*For household ironing boards that are bigger or smaller than the standard sizes, it might be challenging to find a suitable size.

Note: When measuring the length of your ironing board, always measure from the very top to the very bottom, then measure the width ways at the widest point of the board.


What size do I need?

How to measure your ironing board cover size

Just measure the surface of the ironing board in length and width ways.

  1. First, measure the length of your ironing board from tip to tail (just the board and not the iron rest).
  2. At the broadest point, measure the width of the board from side to side
  3. You don't need to factor in the board thickness or height of the padding



Sometimes you may struggle to find the exact size for your ironing board. If this is the case, always order one which is a little bigger than the board, as this extra material is more accessible to shape your board rather than having one that won't fully cover it.

If you've got a unique board, you may want to find the exact cover, or you could even try making a DIY cover that isn't too difficult to do. Technical features – covers made from 100% cotton offer better heat regulation and maybe more comfortable, but polycotton provides a good compromise between value for money and performance. Some models also have a layer of material on the underside which is especially useful for extra protection.

Fitting your ironing board cover

The most important thing is that the cover fits nicely on your board. If it's too small, it won't fit on, and there's no point using it – and if it's too large, then there's a risk of it slipping off during use, which can be dangerous, and you could have creases that make ironing harder if the cover isn't securely attached.


How wide does my ironing board cover need to be?

When measuring the width of your ironing board, always measure from the two widest points on the board. If there is not much difference between those two measurements, you should order whichever size has more material as this will ensure it covers the whole board!


How thick are ironing board covers?

Standard ranges go up to 1cm thickness, but there are also thicker 1.5cm and 2cm covers for tough jobs that need a little extra protection. However, the super-thick padded models use cotton/polyester fabric to provide better durability and cleanliness.

Thicker, padded covers are perfect for protecting more delicate clothing or tackling tough creases on thick fabrics, but you may find they're too bulky to use quickly if you're trying to smooth out lightweight clothing! Most standard ironing board covers have between 0.4mm and 0.8mm padding, which is excellent for smoothing out wrinkles in most fabrics without being too intrusive or cumbersome, so they work well for most jobs.


What about my old cover?

Most models fit all standard UK and European style boards up to 150 cm long with a maximum thickness of 1.5cm, so they're perfect for most household ironing boards.

If your old cover has a different size or shape, you'll need to measure it up and order the closest standard size.


Is it worth paying extra for organic materials?

Most ironing board covers are 100% cotton, which is excellent as it ensures softness and better heat regulation (the material will feel cooler and work more efficiently than something like polyester).

There are also padded models with a layer of fabric on the underside – this doesn't affect its performance but acts as an excellent protector against any damage to the surface beneath your board.



How do I care for my new cover?

Most covers can be washed regularly and tumble dried without any issues. You'll find it's enough to wash on a cold wash; however, it might need washing at a higher temperature if it's stained. Organic materials should be washed on a cold setting alone for the first few washes, and we recommend using a detergent or mild soap to clean your cover.


How to put on an ironing board cover?

Spread the cover over the ironing board, making sure that it's evenly spread out and hanging over the edges with a degree of consistency around the board. Using your hands, start fitting the cover around the board's edges.

The cover should then tighten around the board, giving a tight fit. Most boards have an additional drawstring to help tighten the cover to prevent any movement in the material. There should be two ends that you pull and then secure—other methods of tightening include using velcro or hooks.


How to tighten a loose ironing board cover?

If you need to tighten your ironing board cover, a few options are available. Velcro straps are great at securing a loose cover and provide excellent security. You can also find elastic straps that you can use too.


How often should I replace my cover?

This depends on how often you're ironing. If you're using your board two or three times a week, that's between 100 and 150 times a year, whereas once a week and that's the same amount in three years, which is probably around the cover's duration.

If you leave your iron on full heat upon the cover for extended periods, it'll need to be replaced faster. You should be able to notice when it's time for a change.