I’m often asked the question, “Do you need a special steam generator ironing board?”. Although the answer is no, you don’t strictly need one, you might find one beneficial and here are the reasons why:
Advantages of a steam generator ironing board
The main advantage of an ironing board for steam generator irons is that they’re able to cope with the high amount of steam that these ironing systems produce. As you can imagine, one of those made of chipboard won’t work, because the steam will be absorbed by the board and the board will be ruined quite quickly.
Steam generator ironing boards have vents and/or are made of strong and durable mesh. This allows the steam to escape through the ironing board, preventing clothes from becoming overly damp and, of course, ensuring you don’t ruin your ironing board.
Some boards which are designed especially for use with a steam generator iron are also fitted with drip trays. These are usually attached to the underneath of the ironing board. The water is collected and can then be poured away. This type of steam generator ironing board can be a good choice if you do a lot of ironing during each session, as it will prevent a build-up of moisture on the surface and will stop any drips on the floor.
Another advantage of specialist ironing boards for steam generator irons is that they usually have a larger surface area. Not only does this make ironing easier, but it also gives you the option of putting your ironing system on top of the board, if you prefer.
This type of ironing board is usually stronger than regular ones, so it can support the extra weight of the steam-generating ironing unit. They tend to be strong and sturdy, with a solid platform on the end where the machine can sit. Often, the platforms on regular ironing boards are rather flimsy and may not be strong enough to support the weight of the base unit.
Reasons why you might not need a steam generator ironing board
Steam generator irons have long enough flexed so they can usually sit on the floor, without taking up space on the top of your existing ironing board. This means you don’t have to worry about the size and strength of your existing board and can simply carry on using it (so long as it has the right ventilation to allow the steam to evaporate)
However, you might not want to leave the base unit on the floor if you have young children or toddlers, as the pipe which carries the steam from the base unit to the handheld iron can get warm. And, although the tubing is insulated and safe, you might want to keep it out of reach of youngsters.
Ironing boards which are designed for use with steam generator irons are usually more expensive than regular ones. Therefore, if cost is a consideration, you might want to continue using your existing one.
Of course, the decision to upgrade to a steam generator ironing board is a personal one but, as you can see, there are points for and against buying one.