4 best dry erase boards for any situation (& my tips)
Quite a bit of time has passed, yet I vividly remember my school days. The constant chatter, raging hormones and…that blackboard with dusty chalk clouds floating around.
I’ll tell you what: I didn’t like that board and all the dust, not at all. Who would?!
I’m so glad that nowadays we’re sticking to whiteboards. It’s a cleaner, easier to maintain and more stylish way to present any information.
Picking a supposedly best dry erase board isn’t complicated. Yet you have to know a) what do you need it for and b) where do you plan to use it.
If you want to feel more like a presentation king, definitely grab a frosted glass dry erase board. They are classy, have a smoother surface that’s easier to clean, and are less prone to ghosting.
On a budget and more about practicality? Viz-Pro’s melamine dry erase board is a good industry standard. It might look mundane, but it gets the job done well enough on a good price.
Alright, get any blackboard nightmares out of your head and let’s get to some whiteboard reviews. Following that I’ll give you my thoughts on things like dry erase board materials, cleaning and whatnot.
Note: For 2 of the whiteboards listed (#3 and #4), I’ve both consulted with friends who possessed one, and plugged into consumer board discussions. Rest assured the reviews are based on how real people used them.
Handpicked for you: 4 best dry erase boards
1. Best melamine dry erase board:
Melamine whiteboards are a standard for most classrooms or offices. Viz-Pro sticks to the usual melamine material, furnishing it with some slick aluminium frames. This ensures the board stays lightweight and quite presentable at the same time.
The best thing about this product is how smooth the material is actually. There are a lot of differences in melamine quality. Some of it is really awful and writing on it becomes a total pain eventually.
It’s all about the smoothness – as time passes, lower quality melamine boards lose their durability and how markers glide across. More and more ink stains pop up and make things dirtier than they should be.
You don’t want to have that when you’re presenting important things in front of your students or colleagues. Right?
There are 4 sizes you can get the Viz-Pro in: ranging from the smallest 24″ x 18″ to a rather huge 60″ x 36″. All of them can be used either vertically or horizontally as per your preferences.
Material quality put aside, I’d like to commend the brand on how easy they have made the installation here. The plastic corners have pre-drilled holes. Just insert the screws (included in the package) and you’re done.
You actually even have plastic covers for these screw for some bonus style points.
The biggest drawback here is that you’re not getting a magnetic dry erase board. Some people don’t care about that, but if you want increased convenience, this might be an issue for you.
2. Best glass dry erase board:
Audio-Visual Direct frosted glass
Melamine boards are practical and affordable, true that.
But glass dry erase boards bring omething better to the table.
They’ll make you feel as if you were holding a speech at a luxurious banquet. Prepare for the applause you deserve!
This specific model is glass whiteboard made proper. High quality tempered glass, around 1/8″ thick, semi-transparent for your convenience. A frosted beauty that’s durable and chic.
Again, quite a bit of sizes to pick from. For most situations outside a busy classroom, a 35 1/2″ x 47 1/4″ (the medium-sized one) will be more than enough.
Did I mention there’s no ghosting going on with glass surfaces? Prepare for even better presentations, with crystal clear visuals for more engaged audiences.
Another awesome thing with dry erase boards from glass is that you can customize them way more. Having a Chemistry class? Pop a template behind the board to make it more thematic. You can personalize it however you wish easily.
Alright, ready for the bad news?
No, it’s not only the slightly higher price. Glass boards can be a bit tricky to install compared to melamine ones. Luckily, this one makes the process simple.
Drill four 3/8″ holes into your wall. You’ll also need to insert some anchors, then screw the posts into the anchors. The plastic anchors come with the board, as well as a pretty neat marker tray made of aluminum.
Don’t forget to install the mounting brackets too for additional stability and safety! Once installed, it should stand off around 2″ from your wall.
Once again, this is, sadly, not a magnetic board. But come on, isn’t having a smooth, outstanding surface like tempered frosted glass enough for you? That’s the high roller of dry erase boards!
3. Best magnetic dry erase board:
Xboard aluminum framed whiteboard
Alright, you magnetic board fanatics: it’s your time to shine! Xboard’s product is extremely lightweight, even for that whiteboard style. It’s also very durable, which can be rare given the construction of a lot of these boards!
Let’s peek at the surface. As I already mentioned, you want it to be smooth – but with magnetic dry erase boards, you want them to actually keep the magnets on, right?
Mission accomplished: the magnetic board has an anti-scratch surface that allows for markers effortlessly gliding across it. In addition, it can double up as a kind of a magnetic bulletin board.
You can pin anything from cute magnets (mood = up!), to notes or important memos.
Of course, ‘to do’ notes won’t attach as well as a good quality magnet. But even weaker magnets will be pinned with good results due to the quality of the pull.
If you have a preferred orientation for your whiteboard, don’t fret. You can wall-mount this either vertically or horizontally with equal efficiency. Keep in mind that it’s not reversible, so you can use only one of its sides.
Actually that non-reversible thing is my biggest gripe about the board. Which is a small thing, if you think about it!
Another drawback is that this magnetic dry erase board comes only in two sizes: 36″ x 24″ or 48″ x 36″. Head over to other boards if these don’t fit your specific needs.
4. Best pick for a colorful mood:
Decomates’ colored whiteboard
Do you want something more cheerful? Are you concerned with environment-related affairs? As far as eco dry erase boards go, Decomates are the best you can get.
First of all, let’s set this right: this is a magnetic board. Sure, it’s not the strongest one, but any small magnet (with a sheet of paper attached to it), or smaller fridge magnets should be pretty much alright.
The best thing is how beautiful and eco-friendly this thing is. I’m partial to the smooth lavender color that makes any homeschooling session, for example, a joyful experience. The gorgeous wooden frames only accentuate that.
Customization is pretty great too – you can put it in either vertical or horizontal orientation, and you can use wet or dry erase markers. Some people report exceptional results when using the Crayola washable markers, but you’re free to make your own choice.
In the package, you’ll get:
4 small magnets (round)
A pocket with a suction for easy board attachment (6.25″ x 4.75″)
2 hanging hooks
The screws for mounting the dry erase board on the wall
The biggest problem here is that this is a fixed-size dry erase board. You can get it only in the 35″ x 23″ size, so you’re out of luck if you need something bigger (or smaller.)
What can you use a dry erase board for (and where)
You know what the best thing is?
The answer is: literally everything, and almost everywhere.
Sure, initially you’d find most whiteboards in the typical office environment, surrounded by terms such as “brainstorming”, “project planning” and similar corporate terms.
Dry erase boards now permeate various moments of our life. They’re in state schools, in private language schools, even parents homeschooling their children use whiteboards.
In fact, some people grab a dry erase board for their personal use too. Keep notes for all the tasks you want to do this week? Check. Motivate yourself with a short list of things you want to do as a New Year’s resolution? Check.
Me and Kate have even used smaller-sized magnetic boards for grocery lists on the refrigerator!
What’s the best material for dry erase boards:
glass vs melamine
That’s…a really tough question. To me, glass means creativity paired with upscale looks, a flight of inspiration and freedom.
Melamine relies on being practical. It’s the material you’ve seen everywhere – from dull stock photos to that darn meeting at your office that continued for a whole 3 hours.
I’m a huge fan of glass dry erase boards, in short. But they do have their drawbacks:
Way more expensive than other materials
Have to be careful not to break them
Can require a bit more effort to properly mount on the wall
Heavier and sometimes bulkier, depending on glass thickness
Keeping that in mind, they are way more durable and simply look better. If you have a home with a nice interior, a well-picked tempered glass board will be an amazing finishing touch.
The same applies for more upscale offices with a lot of presentations involving executives or people leading a more luxurious lifestyle.
Melamine whiteboards are lightweight and simple as a way to present information. At schools and regular offices, this is what you’d usually want to use.
If a lot of people use the board, someone’s bound to scratch it or possibly tilt it at one point. Especially given how energetic kids are, I’d say melamine would be a better option for classrooms or home schooling.
As far as cleaning and ink go, glass is the big winner. Most melamine boards need to be cleaned, with markers erased regularly – otherwise you’re asking for trouble. These are prone to staining (ghosting) and the quality of your presentation will suffer.
Most glass whiteboards don’t stain and withstand the passing of time like true kings. They’re a sound investment that will keep you company for years to come.
What size whiteboard should I get?
Well, are you a teacher? Do you want to present ideas to your team, and if yes, how many people are there? Or would you rather use it only for yourself?
Most dry erase boards come in a myriad of sizes: from smaller 24″ x 18″ boards for personal use to 60″ x 36″ behemoths.
I’d grab the latter for busy classrooms: you need visibility, so all of your pupils comprehend your lessons.
For your typical small office, a 36″ x 24″ board with dry erasing capabilities should be more than enough.
Always think of two things: the size of the room/your surroundings, and how many people would have to look at that board.
What’s the best way to clean a dry erase board?
Luckily for you: a lot of things!
I want to first note that glass surface whiteboards are easier to maintain. As I’ve mentioned before, they are smoother and age better, without getting tarnished by heavy use.
Well-polished tempered glass will be devoid of any imperfections that might absorb ink and make it a pain to erase it properly.
What people usually is to clean dry erase boards with is the famous Expo cleaner liquid.
. If you feel like giving a few alternatives a chance, try:
Toothpaste: cheap and easy to use, as well as completely non-toxic.
Vinegar: we’ve cleaned anything from fridges to laundry machines with white vinegar…What do you know – it works on whiteboards too!
Hand sanitizer: literally any of the better hand sanitizers will do a great job at cleaning your whiteboard in only a few minutes. Bonus points for the alcohol-based ones!
These should help you out and ensure you have a bright, gorgeous and presentable white board for your awesome presentations.
While we’re on the topic of more office-related themes, read up my take on correcting mistakes with the various white out tools! Some of them work not only on paper, but on whiteboards too.