Stressed-out Brits are turning to ironing as a way to escape the pressures of their lives. Rather than seeing it as a chore, they find the repetitive back and forth action of smoothing out the creases soothing. And the bonus is that, unlike yoga or meditation, at the end of it they're chilled out, and have newly pressed clothing and the satisfaction of a job completed.
Hilton Garden Inn is so keen to help people relax in this way, they have launched
a free Ironing Club for guests (though members of the public can also take part).
The idea is it'll let them decompress while getting the suitcase wrinkles out of their clothes.
Hilton discovered this love of ironing when they questioned people about what simple pleasures they enjoyed, and found this domestic task was near the top. In fact, a surprising 72 per cent of Brits claimed ironing was their greatest simple pleasure, because of its strangely therapeutic qualities.
Almost half (44 per cent) said they enjoyed the satisfying smoothing of creases, while 43 per cent of busy Brits said it was because it gave them permission to stand still for a while, coupled with the repetitive motion of the iron.
Meanwhile, 40 per cent cited the soothing sound of the steam, not unlike the hiss of water hitting hot coals in a sauna, as being what really did it for them.
More than a third of the people polled (37 per cent) spent up to two hours a week ironing, with 70 per cent wishing they could spend more time at it to maximise the benefits.
Inspired by these findings, Hilton Garden Inn has launched its free Ironing Club for guests at Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport as a pilot ahead of a wider UK rollout.
The sessions are led by relaxation expert Emma Wells, who demonstrates some ironing moves that have been trialled among staff to assess their effectiveness. These include breathing in time with the iron, gliding it in slow motion, inhaling the smell of fresh laundry and ironing in sync, to smooth out particularly deep creases.
Guests are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing – even pyjamas – as they iron to relaxing music.
Tal Shefer, brand head at Hilton Garden Inn, EMEA, says, ‘ We know that today’s modern travellers are looking for unique ways to unwind. Our research reveals that ironing is one of the nation’s top simple pleasures, alongside enjoying freshly-brewed coffee and a lie-in.’
Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow’s Ironing Club is free and open to the public. For further information, email HGI@redlionpr.com (opens in new tab).
Top five surprising simple pleasures
- Ironing (72 per cent)
- Folding towels (56 per cent)
- Pairing socks (48 per cent)
- Packing/unpacking clothes (43 per cent)
- Tidying (33 per cent)