Not All Whiteboards are Created Equally!

Learn about the alternatives.

If you’re shopping for a dry-wipe board, you’re initially going to have to decide which surface will be best for you. 

If you’re wondering what the differences are then you’re not alone, so are a lot of people. It can be puzzling to understand why products look the same but are so different and why some boards are so much more expensive than others.

This article will take a look at the differences between the various options so that when you need to choose one, you’ll pick the surface style that is best for both your needs and your budget.


Most inexpensive whiteboards have a melamine surface. Melamine is essentially a clear plastic surface on which you write. One of the benefits of plastic is that it’s inexpensive. It’s good for occasional use so if you need a whiteboard that’s only going to be used only once in a while like in a meeting room, the staffroom, a library or church hall or you’re on a tight budget, then a melamine board is a great choice.

The boards are also double-sided. One side is plain however the reverse has a faint 20mm grid printed onto it which makes writing in a straight line or drawing graphs much easier. The grid is subtle and not distracting to the audience.

However, these products need to be cleaned very regularly for best performance or they will become stained and ghosted. They also scratch more easily and do not accept magnets. Plus, if you use a permanent marker, your board could be permanently stained, so be sure to only use dry-erase markers if you select a plastic surface.


This board has a coated steel writing surface and it accepts magnets so can increase the scope of your presentations.

Its finish is superior to a melamine finish in terms of durability and ease of cleaning.

Magnetic Vitreous Enamel Steel (VES)

All the benefits of a magnetic board but with an ultra-tough writing surface which is resistant to staining and ghosting. If you want a board for the long haul, a board that will be used every day then this is the board for you.

If you take care of it, it will still look new even when you’ve been using it for years. We guarantee the surface on this type of board for 25 years. It might be more expensive than the other two options but in the long run the most cost-effective solution for heavy duty use such as in classrooms.

The best advice we could offer is to buy the most durable, high-quality board you can afford. That way you won’t need to replace it as quickly, if at all and in the end this will save you money.

You can browse our full selection of whiteboards here, but if you have any further questions in relation to selecting the right surface for the purpose you require, then please do not hesitate to contact us.