How To Iron A Shirt Without An Ironing Board?

An ironing board is the most convenient way to iron clothes. You can set it up in any room and fold it away after use.

But you can still keep your shirts smooth and crisp even without an ironing board. All you need is a flat, sturdy and heat-resistant surface and you can turn it into a temporary ironing board.

Here are some ideas on how to iron a shirt without an ironing board.


ironing on table

You can turn your dining table or even coffee table into an ironing surface in a pinch.

All you need is a proper cover for it.

A thick woollen or cotton blanket will do. It will provide a flat and heat-resistant padding like the one on ironing board covers. It’ll also prevent moisture from reaching the table if you are using a steam iron.

If you don’t have a blanket, a thick towel will also do, though it may not provide as much heat and moisture protection as a blanket.

To complete the ironing cover, lay a cotton sheet on top of the blanket or towel. This will provide a smooth surface to iron your shirt.

The table you choose doesn’t have to be big. A small coffee table will also do. Just iron a small part of the shirt at a time.


If using a table is not an option, you can also use the floor. The downside of a floor is that it will be uncomfortable to use especially if you have back or joint problems.

To use the floor, set it up the same way as you would a table.  Place a thick blanket on the floor near an outlet and cover it with a cotton sheet.

If you have a rug, you can lay a towel on it instead of a blanket. But be careful not to place the hot iron on the carpet.

Kitchen Counter

A kitchen counter is flat, sturdy and heat resistant, so it’s perfect for ironing. And unlike the floor, it more comfortable to iron on.

This time, make sure the blanket does not hang over the counter since it’s likely to slip off. Instead, fold it to the width of the counter. Then fold up a sheet and lay it on top of the blanket.

If the counter is too high because of the folded blanket, use a towel instead.

Bed or Sofa

A bed or sofa is not so ideal since it’s not a solid surface like a table or kitchen counter. But it can still work if you lay a thick blanket on it and cover it with a sheet.

If you have a duvet, remove it. The puffy surface is not ideal for ironing. Strip the bed to the sheets or leave the mattress uncovered.

Unless you have a thick blanket to put on the mattress, do not use a steam iron or steamer when ironing on the mattress. If moisture gets into the mattress, it can lead to mould and bacteria.

If you are using a sofa, fold the blanket to the width of the sofa to keep it from slipping off.

Other Ideas

Basically, you can use any flat and sturdy surface near a power outlet.

If none of the above is an option, other ideas include a washer or dryer, a chair (difficult because of the smaller surface area but doable), a low dresser or even your bedside cabinet.

You can also make a DIY ironing board using a flat piece of wood. Just cover it with a thick heat-resistant fabric such as a blanket or terry cloth towel then lay a cotton fabric on top.

If you want a permanent ironing board, you can staple or nail the fabrics onto the piece of wood. If you don’t have a spare flat piece of wood lying around, many hardware stores sell plywood.

You can then lay your DIY ironing board on the floor or on a surface like a table.

If you feel like going all the way, you can give the board some legs to make a proper standalone ironing board.

Final Words

As you can see, there are quite a few options how to iron a shirt without an ironing board. If you have some other interesting alternatives, please leave a comment in the section below! 🙂