The very best wiper blade in one top test turns out to be a cheap, basic model: the Valeo 600. It's not fancy, but experts and owners say it's durable and does a great job.
Best in a leading test. The humble Valeo 600 outshines all other wiper blades in professional tests. When new, it does an outstanding job cleaning the windshield. It's still good after six months, too. The Valeo 600 is a traditional-style wiper, with a metal bracket and a rubber blade. It earns high ratings from owners at Amazon.com; most say it's silent and streak-free, although some do report streaks. Most users say it works great in the winter, too. However, TheSweethome.com points out that ice can build up in traditional bracket blades; indeed, a couple of owners say ice did clump up in their Valeo 600s and broke the mounting clips. However, others at Amazon.com report no problems.
Good for six months -- or more. Lab tests prove that the Valeo 600 lasts just as long as pricey wiper blades. Owners say this is definitely true: In fact, several Amazon.com customers say their Valeo 600s lasted more than a year before they started to streak. A special coating helps protects the Valeo 600 from UV and weather deterioration. Valeo wipers carry a six-month warranty (guaranteed to be free of defects and material and workmanship for six months from the date of installation). Experts say six months is really the maximum life span you can expect from wiper blades.
Best bang for your buck. For the best combination of stellar performance and value, look no further than the Valeo 600 wiper blade, experts and owners say. The even-cheaper Anco 31 (Est. $6) is a strong runner up in professional tests, but owners say the Anco wiper blade streaks and falls apart more readily than the Valeo. If you live in a snowy area and you've had trouble with traditional bracket-style blades clumping up with ice, consider a sleeker beam blade. The Bosch Icon (Est. $23) costs more than the Valeo 600 wiper blade, but some experts and owners swear by it -- especially in snowy conditions.
ConsumerReports.org tests 13 windshield wiper models by installing them on the vehicles of 185 staffers, then evaluating the wipers' performance when new and again after six months of wear. Valeo 600 blades are among those tested. Subscribers also post their own wiper blade reviews here.
Review: Wiper Blade Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, April 2013
Ed Grabianowski picks the best windshield wipers based on an older ConsumerReports.org test and interviews with other car experts. He recommends Valeo 600 wiper blades as a budget pick, but only for snow-free climates. He says traditional bracket blades like the Valeo can clump up in the snow.
Review: The Best Windshield Wipers for Your Car, Ed Grabianowski, Updated Feb. 24, 2014
Valeo 600 wipers earn a solid rating (4.1 out of 5 stars) with more than 600 owner reviews posted here. Most say they work great. Bad reviews usually have more to do with Amazon.com's faulty fit finder rather than the wipers themselves.
Review: Valeo 600-22 Series Wiper Blade, 22" (Pack of 1), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014