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Best Wiper Blades

By: Amy Livingston on October 30, 2017

Editor's Note:
After finding the top performing, inexpensive and easy-to-change wiper blades highlighted in this report, we went out and put a set on our car. You should, too, as keeping your windshield clear plays a big part in keeping you safe this winter, and all year round.

Valeo 600 Wiper Blade Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Size range -- 11" and 13" to 28" Frame or frameless -- Frame Blade material – Synthetic rubber

Best cheap wiper blades

For drivers who rarely deal with snow and ice, Valeo 600 wiper blades offer quiet, streak-free performance at a reasonable price. These traditional windshield wipers have galvanized steel frames that resist rust and corrosion, and their rubber wiping edges are coated to protect them from sunlight, ozone, and fluids. Owners say they'll hold up for well for at least six months, and they come with a multitude of adapters to fit different car models.

Buy from
Bosch ICON Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Size range – 13", 56" to 24", 26", 28" Frame or frameless -- Frameless Blade material – ClearMax 365 synthetic rubber

Best winter wiper blades

Bosch ICON windshield wiper blades earn praise from both experts and owners for their robust performance in all types of weather conditions -- especially in ice and snow. Their beam construction keeps them from clogging and is aerodynamic to boot. Owners say these wiper blades will provide smooth, streak-free and quiet operation, so long as you have a proper fit. They're also easy to install on most cars, and they hold up well for six months to a year.

Buy for $19.68
PIAA Super Silicone Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Size range -- 12" to 22", 24", 26" Frame or frameless -- Frame Blade material – Silicone-infused rubber

Silicone wiper blades

Owners say that the silicone film left behind on a windshield by silicone-infused wiper blades like the PIAA Super Silicone really does help keep it flawlessly clear. This frame-style blade uses a bracket, so it's not a standout for winter driving, but reviewers say it does a great job of shedding water. These windshield wipers also shine on durability, and they're one of the very few wipers that come with any type of warranty.

Buy for $22.94

Types of Wiper Blades

Cheap Wiper Blades

These are traditional windshield wipers that have a rubber blade attached to an external framework. This classic-style wiper blade works well in the rain, but ice and snow can clog up the exposed skeleton in the winter, keeping the wipers from making good contact with the windshield. That can result in smearing, streaking, or in extreme cases, a complete freeze-up that leaves the wipers totally nonfunctional. This type of windshield wiper typically costs between $8 and $16 for a single blade.

Winter Wiper Blades

Beam-style wiper blades solve the snow-and-ice problem by ditching the external framework. Slim, spring steel is built into the wiper itself, giving a sleeker look and a lower profile. These windshield wipers cost more -- about $15 to $25 each. Many new cars come with beam blades as original equipment; you might need to replace these with beam blades when they wear out, as traditional wiper blades may not fit.

Don't ignore your wiper blades

If you notice streaks, squeaks or chatter when you use your windshield wipers, it's time to shop for replacement wiper blades. While auto experts recommend checking your wipers every few months and replacing them at least every six months, you don't need to spend a lot to get a quality set. In fact, reviews show that some of the best wiper blades are fairly inexpensive.

What type of windshield wipers to choose depends on your driving conditions and your budget. If you do a lot of winter driving, beam blades are likely to be your best choice – and it's worth springing for good ones. Testers at ConsumerReports.org say that the best beam blades perform as well or better than conventional blades, but cheaper beam blades can perform worse. The editors at Wirecutter.com note that beam blades really are superior for winter driving "because their sleek design doesn't give snow and ice anything to build up on."

Moreover, the manufacturers and other experts they consulted say that beam blades can offer better performance and durability compared to bracket blades. A traditional blade presses against the windshield at the contact points where the brackets attach, while a beam blade spreads the force out over the entire length of the blade. This allows it to wipe more evenly and also prevents wear at the contact points, extending the blade's lifespan. However, the editors also note that users who review windshield wipers don't report that beam blades are longer-lived.

Wiper blades made of silicone-infused rubber are another upgrade to the traditional windshield wiper. Manufacturers claim that the silicone blade coats the windshield with each wipe, causing water to bead up and slide off more easily. They also say these blades last twice as long as standard rubber ones due to their greater heat and ozone resistance. However, these benefits come with a high price tag: anywhere from $20 to $45 per blade.

A word on pricing

The prices quoted in this report are for a single 22-inch windshield wiper -- a medium size that fits many sports cars, sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks. To find wiper prices for your specific vehicle, you should check the actual lengths of both your wipers, since some vehicles use different wiper sizes for the driver and passenger sides.

Finding The Best Wiper Blades
Our Sources
"The Best Windshield Wipers for Your Car"
2. Amazon
"Wipers: Blades"
"Windshield Wiper Blades"

The best windshield wipers should clean flawlessly, work silently, and hold up well. To find wiper blades that will make your windshield sparkle, we examine expert feedback, including testing and general buying advice, from sites such as ConsumerReports.org and Wirecutter.com, as well as user reviews from Amazon.com, Walmart.com and various auto-parts sites. We name the best windshield wipers for every budget, from inexpensive rubber wipers to the premium brands.

However, our recommendations come with an important caveat: As the editors of Wirecutter.com note, "the best wiper blade is the one that fits your vehicle and performs well throughout its service life." That's because windshield shapes vary significantly, particularly among newer vehicles. This explains why almost all wipers – even well-reviewed ones – attract a significant number of negative user reviews. As the editors point out, "Even the best quality blade may perform poorly if it doesn't fit."

Cheap wiper blades get the job done

If you use your windshield wipers mostly in rain, rather than snow, traditional bracket blades — the kind with a rubber blade attached to an external frame — should serve you just as well as winter wiper blades, at less cost. The best-rated wiper blade we've found in this category is the Valeo 600 (Est. $10). In a long-term test of windshield wipers at Wirecutter.com, this wiper blade got high marks from most of the drivers who tried it, holding its own against both rain and snow. It was also the top scorer in a 2008 test of windshield wipers at ConsumerReports.org, though that test was done in a lab with simulated rain and didn't cover winter driving conditions. The Valeo 600 does well in user reviews, too, earning an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 from more than 1,000 owners at Amazon.com.

The design of the Valeo 600 is pretty basic. It has a traditional metal bracket made of corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, holding a synthetic-rubber blade with a natural-rubber wiping edge. A special coating protects the rubber from UV rays, dirt, ozone and fluids that can deteriorate windshield wipers. The wipers come with a pre-installed "universal adapter" for easy installation on a typical hook-shaped clip, as well as a set of adapters that Valeo claims will allow them to fit 98 percent of the vehicles on the road. However, we still saw some complaints from owners at Amazon.com who say that it was difficult to figure out how to get these wipers onto their cars' bracket arms. Some owners, particularly drivers of Honda Fits, say they weren't able to use the blades at all.

Despite these problems, most owners like the Valeo 600. Users generally say it keeps the windshield clear, is quiet, and has a reasonably long lifespan. You can certainly expect a solid six months out of these Valeo wiper blades, and several owners report that their Valeo 600 blades are still going strong after a year of use. The main problem owners report with these wiper blades is that they don't make contact with the full field of vision on their vehicles, hampering their visibility difficult in poor weather conditions. This just goes to show that when choosing windshield wipers, the most important factor is which one works best with your vehicle.

If the Valeo 600 doesn't work for your vehicle, another good choice is the Rain-X Weatherbeater (Est. $10). This wiper blade wasn't included in the long-term test at Wirecutter.com, but the editors of the site still recommend it based on its solid ratings from users at retail sites. The Rain-X Weatherbeater earns an overall rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 from more than 3,000 owners at Amazon.com – not as good as the Valeo 600, but still respectable. We also found more than 900 reviews for it at AdvanceAutoParts.com, with ratings of around 4.5 stars out of5.

Like the Valeo 600, these windshield wipers have a galvanized steel frame that resists corrosion and rust. However, the blade is made of all-natural squeegee rubber rather than a combination of natural and synthetic rubber. The manufacturer claims this helps them hold up against cracking and tearing caused by salt, fluids, and extreme heat and cold. Rain-X Weatherbeater windshield wipers come with a small j-hook adapter already attached, and they also contain a multi-adapter for different types of wiper blade arms, including side pin, large j-hook and bayonet wiper blade arms.

While a few owners say they have successfully used the Rain-X Weatherbeater wipers in wintry conditions, reviewers are more impressed with their performance in heavy rain. Most owners report that these windshield wipers fit their vehicles well, run quietly, and are easy to install. Reports of their durability are mixed; some users say these blades last longer than the expected 6-month lifetime, but there are also a few who say they literally fell to pieces within a few months. Also, the Rain-X Weatherbeater gets even more complaints than the Valeo 600 from owners who say these blades either didn't fit their wiper arms or didn't cover the windshield well on their specific vehicle.

Overall, both the Valeo 600 and the Rain-X Weatherbeater appear to be reasonable choices for drivers who don't do a lot of winter driving and want to save a few bucks on wiper blades. The Valeo gets our Best-Reviewed pick because its higher ratio of 5-star reviews to 1-star reviews suggest that it works well for more drivers. Nonetheless, it's worth digging deeper into the reviews to see which blade is likelier to work well for your specific vehicle before buying.

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Wiper Blades buying guide

What every best Wiper Blades has:

  • Outstanding performance when new.
  • Contact with your full field of view.
  • Good

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