Ironing is one of those simple household tasks which can really take a toll on your muscles if your posture isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, sometimes there seems to be little choice; it has to be done and those crumpled work shirts won’t iron themselves.
If you find yourself standing at the ironing board for long periods of time on a regular basis, it’s easy to get a bad back from the repetitive motion. Luckily, there are things you can do to make it better. The simplest is to buy a chair designed for the purpose and,instead of standing, sit.
Ironing chairs are designed specifically to help make ironing easier by giving you a place to perch and taking some of the weight off your muscles. If you’ve never heard of them before it’s because they are not easy to find. But there are some out there; we’ll take a look at the best of them below.
Best Chair For Doing The Ironing
#1: Our Top Pick
The Leifheit Multi Seat has thirteen possible height settings, which range from 45-85cm (18-33”). This means that the chair is suitable for a variety of people; you simply adjust it until you get the best height to suit your build or to match the level of the surface you are working with. Changing the height of the seat easy, but it does take a few minutes each time as you have to unscrew the bar and move it manually up or down a notch.
The ironing chair isn’t designed for you to relax into; it is assumed that you will be sitting straight while working from it. However, there is a small back rest on top of the rear of the chair, which doubles up as a handle if you need to move it around.
- Good variety of height settings
- Light and manoeuvrable
- 5 year guarantee
- Quite fiddly to adjust
- Built to be ergonomic not comfy
#2: Ironing Aid Seat
This foldable ironing chair from Metaltex has a padded seat so you can sit comfortably in it while ironing, cooking or working. The simple metal stand has a white finish and
The height is adjustable from 58-64cm (23-25”), with four possible settings, so it can be adapted to suit a range of people.
The stool is lightweight and folds away neatly when not I use. The only slight criticism we might make is the lack of clear instructions in the packet. However, the chair is not difficult to use so this was not a real issue.
The simple build of the chair means that is gives you the freedom to get on with ironing and folding; there are no sides to interfere with your arm movements. It’s stable, practical and perfect for the purpose of taking the weight off your feet and back while you iron.
- Padded seat
- Choice of four heights
- Folds away
- Non-slip feety
- Higher price
- Adjustment can be difficult
#3: Adjustable Option
Our final choice is the Wenko Ironing Aid – it’s got four different adjustable positions and is designed to alleviate problems with you legs, back and spin.
The Wenko ironing chair in a simple white and black design. It has four legs which slightly curve outward to give you a solid base that won’t wobble when you sit on it.
The seat has four height settings; it can be adjusted between 55-64 cm (22-25”). A safety lock holds it in place once you have tweaked it to suit you. It has a padded seat and back rest so it quite comfortable to use. Removable covers can be taken off for easy cleaning.
This is a nice simple chair which feels solid and works well; it’s perfect for ironing but can also be used for cooking or other small jobs where standing is difficult. It could do with some back padding but aside from that it’s a great adjustable option.
- Four height settings
- Padded seat
- A little heavy
How To Stop Back Pain When Ironing: Top Tips
- Buy a chair. The simplest solution is to purchase one to the chairs listed above; they’ll make the job a lot easier.
- Raise the ironing board. Many people iron with the board too low and this can exacerbate back pain. If you have to bend over the board then it might be too low.
- Shift your weight. If you find yourself balancing all of your weight on one side then shift to the other foot from time to time. This will help you avoid bad habits.
- Correct your posture. Stand straight, with your weight balanced on both feet. Don’t slouch or slump over the ironing.
- Strengthen your core. Strong core muscles will help you hold a correct posture and relieve the strain on your back. Regular exercise can help (see the NHS link below for some tips).
- Take a break. When your muscles start to ache, take a short break move around a little.
- Get someone else to do it! If you really can’t face the next pile of ironing, tell your spouse it’s their turn. Alternatively, if you have the cash, you could pay for an ironing service and use your time for something else.
More Reading: External Resources
Back pain is a complex issue and can sometimes be displaced from problems elsewhere in the body. We are not qualified to give you advice on fixing this; if you think you have a back problem then you need to be checked out by a professional.
To help you figure out your next steps, here are some reputable sources of information about back pain. If you have concerns then check out the links below for help and advice.
The official NHS page for back pain is the best place to get started. It has a good overview of back pain, causes and symptoms, and what you should do next.
This article (also on the NHS website) covers five exercises to help with back pain. They are described in detail, with photographs to help you get them right.
Click here for a slideshow of exercises to try, and exercises to avoid, when you are suffering from back pain.
This article covers a range of advice and exercises to help with neck pain (often related to back pain). Please note: this article is available to subscribers only; you will need to sign up if you want to access it.