The 10 Best Dry Erase Boards
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in June of 2015. Despite the endless amount of technological gadgets available today, writing something down where everyone can see it is still a good way to communicate. These dry erase boards are no longer restricted to the standard whiteboards you remember from your school days, as they come in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs for use in all situations. Many are packaged with markers and erasers, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
May 13, 2021:
We found this list to be in pretty good shape, with most of our existing selections presenting no problems with availability and all of our existing selections still reviewing well. Believing that the last editor this page did a nice job of putting together a sensible mix of options – from rolling models like the Maxtek Mobile and Luxor Double-Sided, to permanently installed offerings like the Audio-Visual Direct – we didn’t feel the need to make many changes, but we did decide on removing the Cinch! Weekly for Fridge, which we thought resembled the Mommy Marvel Organizer a bit too closely.
From there, we actually ended up replacing the Mommy Marvel Organizer with the Mommy Marvel Set of 3, which combines our previous choice with an additional weekly planner and helpful grocery list board. We also replaced the Quartet Glass, which was getting tough to track down, with the J&J Worldwide Glass Blackboard — an alternate option with a comparable style that, admittedly, costs quite a bit more than our former choice, but is still priced well enough to appeal to many.
Our last new addition this time through was the Three by Three 14x14, which caught our eye with its stainless steel aesthetic. It’s a bit small for a lot of applications, but priced quite affordably, and we think that a lot of our users will like its look.
If nothing here is catching your eye, and you’re the sort of person who’s open to old-school alternatives, we also maintain a separate list for chalkboards.
January 21, 2020:
Because the U Brands Magnetic is known to warp, we have opted to remove it, along with the Flat Harmony Planner which has become tough to find. Those who need a planner/calendar choice might take a look at the Mommy Marvel Organizer or the Cinch! Weekly for Fridge, both of which have a magnetic backing that allows you to stick them to a compatible metal surface. As for choices with unmarked surfaces, we still think either the Audio-Visual Direct, a glass whiteboard, or the Lockways Silver are useful options. They're offered in several sizes, and the former even comes with a full-size template to make installation easy. If you're looking for something a little different, there's the black Quartet Glass, an eye-catching option — especially when paired with neon markers. Unfortunately, however, installing it can be something of a hassle, so if you're very impatient, you might expect to have someone else install it for you. Finally, we've opted to add two movable choices, the Luxor Double-Sided and the Maxtek Mobile. The Maxtek is the smaller, less expensive choice that should work well in a crowded classroom or office.
Clarus Float+Depth The Clarus Float+Depth is no boring one-size-fits-all model. This completely customizable selection is available in over 150 handsome colors that you can complement with a variety of frames, including stylish wood choices. Add personalized graphics to complete the professional look. clarus.com
Optima RitePlus Each OptiMA RitePlus is on the more expensive side, but that's because they are made from high-quality materials, from a satin anodized aluminum trim to a porcelain steel writing surface. The corners are mitered, giving them a premium look, and they resist ghosting well. mywhiteboards.com
Global Industrial Speciality Whiteboards For non-standard needs, the Global Industrial Speciality Whiteboards fit the bill. You'll find a wide range of pre-printed options to select from, including those designed for use in medical or musical settings. There are many sizes available, too. globalindustrial.com
Why To Use a Dry Erase Board (As Opposed To a Chalkboard)
With a chalkboard if you misplace an eraser, you're momentarily out of luck.
For decades, the majority of classrooms, locker rooms, lecture halls, and even sales floors always featured some form of chalkboard. And with good reason. Chalkboards were ideal for posting up-to-the-minute notes that anyone could see. This dynamic began to change, however, during the early 1990s. Dry erase boards emerged as a viable alternative for a number of reasons.
The major advantage to using a dry erase board in a classroom was that it reduced the level of dust, which made a significant difference for any students who suffered from asthma or other dust-related allergies. On top of which, studies showed that the use of bright markers on a white board caused words and images to stand out, creating a lasting visual in people's minds.
A lot of executives prefer dry erase boards to chalkboards because the use of markers eliminates any chance of getting a white film all over sportscoats, dresses, carpets, and floors. What's more, dry erase boards are smaller than the average chalkboard, which makes for easier cleaning, removal, and transport from one room to another.
Traveling salespeople and presenters prefer dry erase boards to chalkboards because dry erase boards don't require a Ziploc bag and a portfolio case for ensuring chalk and erasers don't get dust all over valuable materials, or the back seat of a car. With a chalkboard if you misplace an eraser, you're momentarily out of luck. With a dry erase board all you need is a handful of paper towels or a cloth.
What You Can Tell About a Dry Erase Board Based On Its Surface
Consumers who want a high-grade dry erase board will almost always opt for one with a porcelain or enamel-on-steel surface. These boards are durable. They won't nick or scratch, and a lot of them come with a lifetime guarantee. In addition, steel and porcelain boards won't leave any hint of residue or marks, and they're magnetic, which is advantageous for posting notes that you want everyone to see.
A lot of mid-quality dry erase boards are made of melamine or hard-coat resin laminate. Melamine boards aren't magnetic, and they have a tendency to stain if they aren't erased on a regular basis. More importantly, certain melamine and laminate boards are prone to abrasions, which have the same potential for tarnishing a smooth surface as tiny splinters do on a sanded piece of wood.
Tempered glass boards are smooth and effective, and they appear prestigious whenever positioned on a board room wall. The primary drawback to these boards is that they are relatively high-priced, and they usually need to be anchored, which will prohibit you from moving them around at all.
In the final analysis, choosing a dry erase board comes down to a matter of considering your needs. Melamine and laminate should do just fine for any break area or dormitory, whereas steel, porcelain, and tempered glass should be resigned to more exclusive areas, like, for example, an executive suite.
A Brief History Of The Dry Erase Board (By Way of Its Inventors)
A British photographer named Martin Heit invented the first "white erase board" during the late 1950s. For years, Heit had been using standard markers to make and erase notations on his film negatives. The convenience of this eventually led Heit to create an entire message board made of film laminate. Whenever Heit's board became full, he could erase it with a damp cloth.
Today, you can find dry erase boards in classrooms, corporate offices, warehouses, and college lecture halls around the globe.
A few years after this, an American steel executive named Albert Stallion noticed that enameled steel provided an ideal surface for writing and erasing notes with a magic marker. Eager to capitalize, Stallion quit his job at Alliance Steel and formed a new company, which he called Magiboards. Magiboards went into production during the early 1960s. The company's goal was to build an initial audience by targeting the education market.
Martin Heit had long since sold the rights to his white erase board at this point. Heit's board was being manufactured by a magic marker company, which also planned on targeting the education market. The problem both of these companies ran into was that their boards were entirely reliant on "wet" magic markers, which left the glossy surface of a board appearing sloppy and streaked. That issue wasn't resolved until the early 1970s, at which point the first "dry" magic markers were introduced.
Despite solving the problem, these newfangled "dry erase boards" remained slow to catch on. Things began to change, however, during the 1990s, as the U.S. Department of Education faced concerns over the effects of chalk dust on young students who suffered from asthma or other dust-related allergies. Consequently, the dry erase board became a popular alternative.
Today, you can find dry erase boards in classrooms, corporate offices, warehouses, and college lecture halls around the globe. Dri Mark - the company that British photographer Martin Heit sold his invention to - is currently headquartered in New York. Magiboards - the company that American inventor Albert Stallion originally founded - is headquartered in London.