Want to raise your productivity? Then look to your wall – more specifically, your dry erase board. As a home office designer, I can’t recommend one enough. It works like a blank canvas, unleashing my creativity. I capture and formulate big ideas easily like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. (And yes, the ideas are just as brilliant.)
The clean design also complements most workspaces, including minimalist office designs like mine. It even doubles as an accent wall. I can display items magnetically and removing them instantly to jot down ideas during a group Zoom call.
A dry erase board is a valuable addition to any home office setup. You won’t need it all the time, but you’ll be glad you have it when you do. Still, there are many types of dry erase boards out there, including new, creative options. How do you choose the best one?
Here is a breakdown of each type offered today and what it can do for you. I also include handy tips for keeping your board and erasers clean! When you are ready to buy, head to my article on the best whiteboard options offered today.
Please note that some designs may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate, I may receive a commission for recommendations or purchases made through links on my website without any extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer.
What is a Dry Erase Board?
A dry erase board, also called a whiteboard, is a smooth, writable surface where you can jot down information using dry-erase markers. The whiteboard surface wipes away cleanly with an eraser or cloth. It is a quick and easy solution to capture and organize ideas.
The designs range in size from small whiteboards to entire walls. Whatever size or type of setup you need, one is likely available.
(LINK: Show sizes. Here is the large, but I need the small. https://www.magnatag.com/whitewall-steel-whiteboard-walls?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiA1MCrBhAoEiwAC2d64du1Mj-e6WkCw_QaafADHHy874iSRSZ74-OulBNZ0wdfWgiAp9Bz-hoCC4kQAvD_BwE
What is the Difference Between a Dry Erase Board and a Whiteboard?
They are identical, and both terms are used to describe them online. The only difference is the words.
Types of Dry Erase Boards
Though most dry-erase boards serve the same function, they come in different styles and sizes. Each type also has unique benefits. Let’s take a look.
1. Standard Whiteboards
Design: Standard whiteboards have laminated surfaces over a rigid backing made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or other materials. They are what we commonly incision a whiteboard to me: clean, white, and lightweight.
Benefits: These whiteboards are cost-effective solutions and widely available, making it easy to find one that fits your size and budget needs.
2. Magnetic Whiteboards
Design: Magnetic whiteboards have a steel or magnetic receptive backing beneath the writing surface, allowing magnets to adhere to the board.
Benefits: If you want to get the most functionality from your dry erase board, go magnetic. You can attach a magnetic pen and eraser to it and include shelving and buttons to hold go-to tools, notes, charts, and documents. It’s like having a message board and brainstorming hub rolled into one.
3. Glass Whiteboards
Design: Glass dry-erase boards are tempered glass. They are exceptionally durable, resistant stains and ghosting, and come in a broad range of colors.
Benefits: If you are wondering which is the best surface material for a whiteboard, glass is the clear choice. The smooth, easy-to-clean surface never ghosts or stains. The superior durability ensures a long lifespan, making them a practical choice. They also offer modern beauty and sophistication. These boards aren’t just functional; they’re a work of art.
You can let its beauty shine or choose models with painted backs to blend with your decor and create more contrast while writing. You can even paint the back yourself. All benefits combined make glass the best dry erase board.
Some models are even magnetic and come with magnetic accessories. That said, you may experience weakness from with traditional magnets due to the thick glass surface.
4. Porcelain Whiteboards
Design: Porcelain whiteboards are porcelain enamel fused onto a steel surface. This combination results in a highly durable board.
Benefits: Porcelain boards are exceptionally sturdy and withstand heavy use without scratching or denting. They also resist stains and ghosting, making them perfect for high-traffic areas, classrooms, and busy offices.
5. Melamine Whiteboards
Design: Melamine whiteboards feature a melamine-coated surface over a particleboard or MDF backing.
Benefits: Melamine board is budget-friendly and lightweight, making it cost-effective for home offices, classrooms, or light-use environments. While not as durable as porcelain or glass, it is still functional and easy to install.
6. Painted Steel Whiteboards
Design: Painted steel dry erase boards have a steel surface with a protective painted coating.
Benefits: A painted steel board design balances durability and functionality. It can handle frequent use and resist staining and ghosting. Painted steel whiteboards are suitable for offices, schools, and other settings where longevity is crucial.
7. Easel Whiteboards
Design: Easel whiteboards are portable and often include adjustable height settings. The legs flip out for sturdy usage or fold together for compact storage.
Benefits: These boards are perfect for presentations, workshops, and training sessions in any room. They can be set up quickly and adjusted to a comfortable height for speakers. Easel whiteboards are a great compact solution for on-the-go communication.
8. Mobile Whiteboards
Design: Mobile whiteboards are often double-sided and equipped with wheels or casters for easy mobility.
Benefits: These boards can be easily moved around a room or office. They are ideal for dynamic environments where collaboration and presentations are essential. The two sides also allow you to flip the script (literally.)
9. Interactive Whiteboards (Smart boards)
Design: Interactive whiteboards, also called smart boards or smart white boards, feature touchscreen technology. They connect to a computer or other digital devices. They can be quite large or as small as a tablet.
Benefits: They transform presentations, lectures, and meetings into interactive experiences. Users can draw, write, and interact directly on the board’s surface and viewers can read it clearly on their screens. They facilitate engagement and dynamic content sharing. These traits make them ideal for educational and business settings.
(LINK: Clip of Google smartboard).
10. Dry Erase Wall Paint
Design: Dry erase wall paint is a coating that transforms walls into erasable surfaces.
Benefits: It provides a vast writing area, turning entire walls or sections into interactive spaces for brainstorming, planning, and collaboration. Dry erase wall paint offers creativity without boundaries and is perfect for collaborative work environments.
11. Peel-and-Stick Whiteboard Sheets
Design: Peel-and-stick whiteboard sheets are adhesive-backed and can be applied to various surfaces.
Benefits: They offer flexibility in turning any flat surface into a whiteboard, from walls and doors to desks and cabinets. They are removable and leave no residue, making them suitable for temporary or changing needs.
12. Desk Whiteboards
Design: These handy little tools sit directly on your desk and double as an impromptu notepad. You can choose a model that stands upright like a picture frame or select newer models that lay flatter just above your keyboard.
Benefits: You can record immediate thoughts without standing up from your desk! The designs have a minimal look in your workspace and on the desk itself. Since they are small, they work as a cost-effective whiteboard solution.
13. Whiteboard Planners and Calendars
Design: These whiteboards come pre-printed with calendars, grids, or planning templates.
Benefits: They assist with time management, organization, and scheduling tasks. They help individuals and teams stay on track, manage deadlines, and plan effectively.
14. Music Staff Whiteboards
Design: Music staff whiteboards feature printed music staff lines.
Benefits: These boards are designed for musicians, composers, and music teachers. They provide a handy platform for notating musical compositions, lessons, and ideas. They are an excellent tool for music-related tasks.
15. Custom Printed Whiteboards
Design: Custom-printed whiteboards have designs printed directly onto the surface, offering tailored solutions for specific needs.
Benefits: These boards provide the freedom of customization and the ability to select pre-printed designs that show your personality. Whether you are tracking projects, scheduling, or branding, custom printed boards offer functionality and a personalized touch.
16. Room Divider Whiteboards
Design: These whiteboards come in an accordian style you can fold out at various angles or lay out flat to create a clean wall.
Benefits: These boards offer added privacy when working in a room with dual functions, such as a living room. When the day is over, simply fold it away. Some models feature wheels for easier placement.
Why Dry Erase Boards?
To recap, what makes dry erase boards so effective?
They Unleash Your Creativity: Whether you’re an artist, a planner, or a brainstormer, dry erase boards are your creative playground. Write, draw, and erase to your heart’s content.
They Boost Your Productivity: Work out your complex ideas or use it to stay organized, meet deadlines, and tackle your to-do list with ease. Dry erase boards are highly-effective productivity tools.
Collaboration is Made Easy: Dry erase boards foster idea sharing in team meetings, classrooms, or brainstorming sessions. It is the perfect idea catcher for groups of any size.
They are Eco-Friendly: Say goodbye to paper waste. Dry erase boards are eco-friendly, allowing you to reduce your environmental footprint.
You Can Choose Different Designs: Many boards come in custom designs and traits like magnetic surfaces and interactive capabilities. Choose the style that works best for you.
How to Clean Dry Erase Board
When you leave your writing on the board for a prolonged period of time, you may find removing it challenging with a standard whiteboard eraser. The longer the ink remains, the harder it is to remove. Also, the longer you use your dry eraser, the less effective it becomes. I recommend:
You may find that was the issue all along. As an alternate solution, you can use a wet paper towel. If the ink remains, a blend of vinegar and water works great. Ammonia also works well with specific types of ink.
If you use a permanent marker by mistake, don’t replace the whiteboard! There are three ways to remove the ink:
1. Draw directly on top of the writing with a dry erase marker, wait a few seconds, and wipe it away. The permanent ink will come off along with the dry ink.
2. Use rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or nail polish remover on the spots where the ink resides and rub it away. Note: do not do this on painted whiteboard designs.
3. Use a standard eraser, such as an artist’s eraser (white if possible).
How to Clean a Dry Eraser
You may find that the eraser is less effective over time. It can be cleaned by soaking it in a bowl of hot water and dish soap for 20 minutes and then rinsing it in clean water. You can also rub the surface with toothpaste and rinse the eraser in water.
What is the Best Material for a Whiteboard?
The clear winner is glass. It has an ultra-flat surface that never ghosts or stains and is ideal for heavy use. For a second place, choose a porcelain whiteboard.
Each whiteboard type caters to specific requirements in various settings. Choosing the right one depends on many factors, such as your intended use, space constraints, mobility needs, and the level of interactivity or customization required. Whether you use one to foster creativity, improve organization, or enhance collaboration, a dry erase board is an ideal blank canvas for thinking.