I’ve been sewing almost my entire life and I know that the best ironing board for quilting and sewing need to do three things…
It has to have a wide working surface to accommodate large pieces of fabric without having to continually move them around. This avoids ironing-in accidental folds and creases and also just losing general perspective of the item you’re working on.
It also needs a very stable frame to support the weight of both your equipment and the heavy fabrics. Working on a wobbly surface can be extremely frustrating and even cause serious accidents.
Thirdly, if you’re anything like me, the board also occasionally serves as an extra working surface while sewing, stitching or cutting fabrics. It’s still a table after all and takes up enough space… so it may as well serve a dual purpose.
I’ve curated a list of the very best boards that check all the boxes and more. (If you’re looking for an ironing board to suit more general ironing needs, check out our full range of best ironing boards instead.)
1. Reliable Pro Ironing Board for Quilting and Sewing
This Reliable board (320LB) takes first place in this review for obvious reasons; it’s the bee’s knees of quilting and sewing boards. The Reliable brand is a favorite among professional sewers and quilters. This 2-in-1 system is so versatile, offering you both a regular ironing surface and a square pressing table that can handle large gowns or quilts… and all that sewing and steaming equipment that comes with it.
The square attachment slips on over the pointed ironing table and has its own square-shaped board sleeve to cover the metal mesh base of the board. Using the square extension expands the length of the board from 47 x 19 inches to 55 x 19 inches (150 x 48 cm).
The mesh grid of the board is super helpful and necessary to allow steam to pass through the fabric, effectively removing wrinkles.
Because of the rigid double wishbone leg design, the surface is wobble-free, even if you have large steam ironing equipment on the board. Completed quilts or rolls of fabric can cause the average board to waver, but the Reliable is built to firmly handle your sewing needs.
The built-in steam iron rest is designed to hold your steam iron or even larger steaming machines and the plate has an ergonomically angled fitting that makes placing the iron down super easy.
The Reliable board looks beautiful. It’s not one of those boards that you want to hide away when you’re done using it, so it will happily find a permanent home in your sewing room. If you need to pack it away, it has a clever magnetic locking system ensuring it won’t pop open when it shouldn’t.
This board offers space, space, and more space. It’s a dream board for any serious sewer, quilting professional (or addict). It’s also the simplest solution to avoid having to put together your own DIY quilting ironing board.
- Ironing board surface size: 47 x 19 inches | 119 x 48 cm
- Extends to 55 inches | 150 cm
- Height : 30 – 38 inches | 76 – 98 cm
- Weight: 29 pounds | 13 kg
- 2 boards in one
- Breathable mesh grid ideal for steam ironing
- 10 year warranty on the metal frame
- 2 covers include (For ironing board shape and square attachment)
- Linen rack or catch tray below ironing board surface
- Iron Rest includes cord holder & hanging rail
- Pricey, but it’s the last board you’ll ever buy
2. Mabel Board with Shoulder Wings
Tailors, dressmakers, and seamstresses will enjoy the convenience of this board with its built-in shoulder wings. It is super helpful for pressing and shaping shoulder details on suits, shirts, and dresses. We love that the wings simply tuck away under the board when you don’t need them, and you’re still left with a sizable work surface.
This makes it perfect for a variety of sewing and quilting needs. The ironing rest is heat resistant and has both a hanging rack and a hook to keep your steam iron cord out of the way. Safety locks ensure the board is always secure whether open and closed. And… it has an accessory organizer where you keep a few basic sewing tools handy, perfect for keeping the board free of clutter.
- Ironing board surface size: 47 x 18 inches wide | 120 x 45 cm
- Height: 27.5 – 37 inches | 69 – 94 cm
- Weight: 19.7 pounds | 9 kg
- Retractable shoulder wing attachments
- Iron resting plate, cord holder & storage pouch
- Shoulder wings could be more solid
3. Bartnelli Professional Ironing Board
What makes the Bartnelli such a great board for sewing or quilting is its generous surface area. It measures 51 x 19 inches (130 x 48 cm) and has one of the most stable leg structures so it won’t shift or shake, even under the weight of a sizable sewing project or padded quilt.
Because it can be adjusted in height between 30 and 38 inches, you can position it at your hip level for optimum comfort.
It is quite a bit more affordable than the Reliable, so if budget is a factor, this is a good alternative to our winner. It is smaller than the Reliable but will stand up well even under the demands of bigger projects.
It has an attractive washable black and white patterned cover. It is made of 100% cotton, ideal for withstanding high steam iron temperatures.
It also has the same steam friendly metal grid layer (below the ironing board cover and padding), and a steam iron rest station that can handle professional-grade ironing systems and ironing stations. This including steam irons with large water capacities like the Rowenta Perfect Steam (DG8520) which has a 47 ounce water tank.
- Ironing board surface size: 51 x 19 inches | 130 x 48 cm
- Height : 30 – 38 inches | 75 – 98 cm
- Weight: 21.7 pounds | 10 kg
- Suitable to hold ironing stations and steaming equipment
- Extra thick board padding
- Safety transport locking system
- 3 year guarantee
- Well priced
- No linen rack
Quilters and Sewers Buyers Guide
What exactly should you be looking for an ironing board for quilting or sewing? Well, simply.. size and stability are the two key features, but here are all facts for you to consider.
The board should be at least 45 inches long and 18 inches wide. All the board in our review qualify… and then some.
The board should suit the projects you typically work with. A larger surface means less repositioning and with sewing and quilting, you want to avoid too much movement to ensure blocks and seams are not distorted.
For the same reason as above, when you are pressing newly sewn seams, movement from the board could warp the fabric that you have so carefully placed and repositioning can mean double the time and effort. The board must stay put! Regardless of whether or not you’re applying pressure, you shouldn’t have to wrestle your ironing board into submission.
The perfect height of the board is one where you don’t need to bend your back. Some say hip level, some say the level of your belly button and others say elbow height, in all cases, these measures to roughly the same spot.
Fortunately, an adjustable board height is standard on most modern boards so pick the elevation that works best for you.
The frame of the board should ideally be metal. The frame should be treated or coated to prevent rust. Working with steam, especially in industrial or commercial uses, the board will be exposed to high levels of moisture that could result in rust and the inevitable deterioration of the board.
Likewise, the padding of the board should be thick enough to avoid the mesh of the board creating ironing imprints on your fabric. A quality cotton cover will also avoid slippage and hold up against repeated exposure to a hot iron’s soleplate. And if you’re also looking for a quality steam iron for quilting or sewing, check out these impressive performers.
Safety locks ensure the board stays where you want it.
There’s not much to this other than your board should stay open when in use and closed when transported or being packed away. Especially when working with large items like wedding dresses and layered quilts, you don’t want a board buckling under the weight.
Customer Support & Warranty
Generally, the top brands back their quality products with quality service and support. The Reliable 300LB comes with a pretty unbeatable 10 year warranty on the board, so should it rust or age due to a fault by the manufacturer, they will repair or replace the ironing board.
Failing that, purchasing through Amazon buys you the option of returning the item within 30 days if it arrives damaged or does not live up to your expectations.
These boards are quality products designed for professional sewers, industrial or commercial use, and for avid quilters and sewing hobbyists. They support your sewing projects by ensuring your comfort and eliminating inconveniences that creep in with inferior board design and quality.
Outside of being an income source for many, one of the reasons quilting is such a popular pastime is that it is steeped in tradition. In years gone by, quilts were a symbol of family heritage, and today they still harness that feeling of homeliness.
A lot of time and love goes into these creations. The idea of loved ones warmly wrapped in a quilt made from the heart is a special gift indeed. We love that with the right equipment, you can continue to create and spread the joy they bring.
Next, visit our best sewing machine for quilting page.