What Are The Best Windshield Wipers? – 2020 Reviews
It’s a warm, sunny day and you’re out for a nice, leisurely drive. That is until a gigantic storm cloud appears out of nowhere and starts pouring down on your car. You reach for windshield wiper lever, and your wipers make their way across your front window. The only problem is… they’re not clearing off any water. You need new windshield wipers, and you need them yesterday.
Fortunately, as long as you can make it home, you’ll be able to buy a new pair. But how do you find the right pair of windshield wipers for your car? By making use of this guide!
- Windshield Wipers Buyer’s Guide
- Types Of Wipers
- Wiper Materials
- Wiper Size
- The Price Tag
- Replacing Your Windshield Wipers
- Bosch Aerotwin Original Replacement Wiper Blade
- AERO Voyager 26″ + 19″ Premium Quality All-Season Beam Windshield Wiper Blades
- A1 Pacific All season Bracketless J-HOOK Windshield Wiper Blades
- Bosch ICON 26A Wiper Blade
- Michelin 8526 Stealth Ultra Windshield Wiper Blade
- Rain-X RX30218 Weatherbeater Wiper Blade
- TRICO Force 25-260 High Performance Beam Wiper Blade
- Bosch Clear Advantage 22CA Wiper Blade
- Panlelo 14″ Car Windshield Wiper Blades
- ANCO 31-Series 31-17 Wiper Blade
- Windshield Wipers FAQ
- How Often Should I Change My Windshield Wiper Blades?
- My Windshield Wipers Have Streaks. What Do I Do?
- Can I Just Buy The Refills?
- Can I Just Use Rain-X?
- Do I Need Different Wipers for Winter?
- How Can I Make My Wipers Last Longer?
- How Do I Maintain My Windshield Wipers?
- What Should You Consider When Choosing Windshield Wipers?
Windshield Wipers Buyer’s Guide
When you’re choosing wipers for your car, most places make it easy to select the size of the windshield wiper. However, there are a few different things you may want to consider when choosing the right wiper for you.
Types Of Wipers
Traditional wiper blades use a frame style that encases a rubber squeegee to clear away the rain efficiently. The squeegee protects your windshield and is usually an affordable (if less durable) choice for wipers with easy installation.
Hybrid blades are suitable for environments where you might get some snow and ice. They have an extra outer shell that helps prevent snow from gunking up your wipers. The outer shell also has a lower profile than traditional wipers.
A third, more expensive type is the beam style. These use an aerodynamic design with a single piece of silicon or rubber and typically last the longest of any of the wipers. However, you’re going to have to put up more of an investment, and they may struggle with dusty, muddy, or sandy environments.
Rubber is the most common material for wipers and often comes standard in cars. These stock wipers get a lousy reputation as stock parts, but in reality, rubber wipers do get the job done. They may not be the longest-lasting material, but the rubber does make a good squeegee option.
Another more expensive option is silicon. Silicon isn’t as easy to find as rubber, and it’s much harder to manufacture, hence the cost. Silicon does last longer than rubber, however, because it isn’t as sensitive to weather conditions and temperature changes. Most silicon options are intended for sports cars or off-road vehicles, but it is possible to find standard windshield pairs.
In between silicon and rubber is a third option. Coated rubber helps provide longevity for the wipers but cuts down on some of the cost of silicon. Some common materials are graphite or Teflon. They’re protective, cut down on drag, and help swipe water more efficiently. They last a bit longer while providing the same efficient performance.
Some wipers, such as Rain-X Latitude wipers, use coatings that claim to better squeegee water from your windshield. Some brands may also claim to help condition the windshield glass to move water better and prevent things like fog from decreasing visibility.
There’s not much evidence that these particular types of wipers do much better than other premium models of wipers. The best thing to do is go off your own experience with wipers. If you purchase these specialty wipers and notice a big difference on your windshield for six months or so, there’s no harm in continuing with that wiper.
The size question is easy. You’ll want to fit your wipers with the same size as the factory ones included with your car. Changing the scale can alter the performance and wiper range, putting you at risk. They must work together to ensure proper visibility.
Bigger wipers may seem like a good idea, but the mechanics of the wipers will change the way they operate with the wrong size. You’re much better off getting the recommended sizes so that you don’t improve their performance. Aside from finding out your windshield wiper size, there are very few other requirements for choosing a wiper.
Many cars have staggered wiper blades, but you should see that note when you go to look for them. Staggered blades ensure that the wipers work in tandem; changing the size of the wipers could affect their performance and leave bare spots on your windshield or cause the wiper arms to run into each other. If in doubt, get the advice of your mechanic or the experts at your local auto parts store.
The Price Tag
The price of the wipers don’t necessarily make a huge difference, but some of the cheapest wipers may not last as long as more expensive ones. The price doesn’t accurately correlate with long performance, but wipers like the beam blades do tend to last longer overall.
If you’re cleaning your wipers of gunk and you don’t live in that type of environment, it may not be too much of a big deal to go cheaper, and new blades will always be better than just sticking with older blades that don’t work well.
Replacing Your Windshield Wipers
Replacing your wipers is easy. It’s one of the few things you can do on your own, in fact. Here’s what you need to do.
- Once you’ve found your replacement blades, take them out of the wrapper and double-check that they’re the right length. Lay them out, so you know which wiper goes on the correct sides.
- Lift the wiper and turn it perpendicular to the arm. Look for a release tab, but not all will have this feature. Handle the wiper gently no matter what you’re doing to prevent accidental damage to your windshield.
- Push down on the tab and pull the wiper blade from the wiper arm. For those wipers without the release tab, simply pull down after turning it perpendicular towards the arm. Turn it back parallel and release it.
- Be careful now that your wiper is off. If you accidentally let go of the arm, it could snap back onto your windshield and cause a small crack upon the impact that you may have to fix later.
- Check the directions for your new windshield wipers to ensure that you don’t have to use adaptors to fit your particular car. If you do, make sure to follow the directions for the specific assembly that you have.
- Take the new windshield wiper and repeat those steps but in reverse order. Gently thread the wiper through the arm and pull up slightly to lock it into place.
- Repeat with your other windshield wiper using the same steps.
- Once you’ve got them fixed, add in washer fluid if you need it. Test your wipers with wiper fluid, so you know that they wipe clean and will work when you need them to.
Compare The Best Windshield Wipers on the Market in 2020
Bosch Aerotwin Original Replacement Wiper Blade
First up are the Bosch Aerotwin Wiper Blades. These are available for a middle of the road price, offering tons in the ways of construction quality and overall functionality.
They measure in at 24 inches and 19 inches, making them more appropriate for cars, trucks, and vans that are on the large size. To figure out whether they’re appropriate for your car, make sure to check your owner’s manual.
The frames on these wipers are made out of pure steel, giving them fantastic durability over time. With rubber attachments, they sit flush against the windshield, leaving no space for water to escape at any time.
Coming equipped with a pre-mount adapter, these wipers are exceedingly easy to install. Sporting tension-adjusting springs, they apply pressure at all times.
For this reason, you can expect a clearly wiped windshield each and every time they make a pass.
- Made out of tough and durable steel
- Rubber attachment stays flush to the windshield
- Internal spring applies pressure at all times
- Designed to reduce wind resistance
- Can be a little loud
AERO Voyager 26″ + 19″ Premium Quality All-Season Beam Windshield Wiper Blades
Another very reliable set of 26-inch and 19-inch windshield wipers is this set from AERO. Available for a mid-level price, they offer terrific construction quality and functionality overall.
They’re made out of a combination of materials, including plastic, steel, and rubber which are designed to thrive through years and years of use. With a slight curve, they are equipped to break through wind with little to no resistance.
They sport a rubber wiper component which glides easily across the windshield while also staying flush at all times. This ensure that they wipe up each and every bit of moisture on each pass.
Coming with a 6-month warranty, AERO gives you enough time to determine whether or not they’re going to be reliable enough for you.
Overall, this is a very solid pair of wipers. In fact, they’re in the argument for “best windshield wipers” on the market.
- Steel, plastic, and rubber construction is very durable
- Rubber wiper component stays flush at all times
- Extremely aerodynamic design
- Very easy to install
- Can be fairly noisey
A1 Pacific All season Bracketless J-HOOK Windshield Wiper Blades
Next up on our list is this set of wipers from A1 Pacific Inc. Coming with two 22-inch wipers, this set possess fantastic construction quality and top-notch functionality.
These wipers are made out of rubber-coated steel, making them resistant to both moisture and physical impact. They’re designed to last through years and years of use. The wiper components on these blades are made out of a synthetic rubber that does a terrific job of applying pressure to the windshield at all times.
They come equipped with J-hook adapters, allowing for absolutely seamless installation. In all, they will take around 2 minutes to install.
Once they’re installed, they’re extremely aerodynamic, possessing spoilers which reduce wind resistance.
Coming with a 1-year warranty, there’s no reason for you not to give them a try. Odds are, they will work out for you.
- Made out of rubber-coated steel, giving them excellent durability
- Available for a very reasonable price
- Stay flush against the windshield at all times
- Very easy to install
- Wiper components have some durability concerns
Bosch ICON 26A Wiper Blade
Another fine pair of windshield wipers is the Bosch ICON. These wipers come in a variety of different lengths, from 13 inches to 28 inches, and everything in between. This means that you should be able to easily find the right sized wipers for you.
These wipers are very easy to install. They make use of a small hook that latches onto your automobile with just a small manipulation of your fingers.
Designed with a slight curve, they stay flush to your windshield at all times, not allowing any moisture to escape as they pass. With a rubber wiper component, they glide smoothly at all times.
They’re made out of a combination of steel and plastic, giving them a lightweight, but durable construction quality. In addition, they’re about as aerodynamic as windshield wipers come.
The only legitimate negative with these wipers is that they are prone to making noise.
- Stay flush to windshield at all times
- Extremely aerodynamic design
- Available in literally all sizes
- Seamless installation
- Tend to make noise
Michelin 8526 Stealth Ultra Windshield Wiper Blade
A solid pair of budget windshield wipers is this pair from Michelin. These wipers are available in a number of different sizes, from 16 inches to 28 inches. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding the wipers for your car.
Sporting a slight curve, they’re designed to sit flush against your windshield at all times. To help them rotate across your window, they’re equipped with a suspension system.
They’re made out of a combination of plastic and metal, giving them a durable, yet lightweight construction that can last through years of use.
The wiper component on these blades is made out of a synthetic rubber that is specially designed to glide across windshields.
Altogether, this is a very solid set of windshield wipers for a very affordable price. If you’re looking for something reliable on a budget, these are a great option.
- Durable, yet lightweight construction
- Available in a number of different sizes
- Suspension system ensures that they sit flush
- Priced very affordably
- Not as functional as high-end models
Rain-X RX30218 Weatherbeater Wiper Blade
If you’re looking for a solid budget windshield wiper, you might very well be interested in this one from Rain-X. Coming in packs of just one wiper, it’s available in a bevy of sizes from 12 inches to 28 inches.
This wiper possesses a natural rubber wiper component which moves slickly across the surface of your windshield. All the while, it applies constant pressure, ensuring that each and every drop on your windshield is eradicated.
The frame on this wiper is made out of galvanized steel which is both durable and waterproof. Its only problem is that it’s a little heavy, and is prone taking on wind.
Altogether, this is a good, but not great windshield wiper. But for its price, you’re not going to find something too much better. It will work terrifically for you in a pinch.
- Made out of waterproof steel
- Natural rubber wiper stays flush at all times
- As affordable as they come
- Available in all different sizes
- A little more streaky than high-end wipers
TRICO Force 25-260 High Performance Beam Wiper Blade
This next wiper blade comes from TRICO, and offers fairly average overall functionality. Available in all sizes from 14 inches to 29 inches, you’re sure to find one for your car.
Made out of a combination of metal and plastic, these wipers are both lightweight and durable. This allows them to last over fairly long periods of time; typically a few years.
The wiper components on these wipers are made out of a tough rubber which sits flush against the windshield at all times. With a slight curve in the frame of the wiper, it moves across the window with very little disturbance.
While these are solid overall windshield wipers, they’re a little expensive. The truth of the matter is that you can find a wiper of similar quality for much less money.
- Made out of tough plastic and steel
- Rubber wiping component is fairly consistent
- Available in all different sizes
- A little expensive for their value
- Prone to making noise
Bosch Clear Advantage 22CA Wiper Blade
If you’re looking for a budget windshield wiper, you might consider this one from Bosch. Available for a mere pittance compared to others on the market, it’s not exceptional, but will get the job done.
This wiper is available in sizes from 13 inches to 28 inches, allowing it to be used on cars of all types. Making use of an easy-to-install pin adapter, it can be put on your vehicle with ease.
While it will apply decent pressure along your windshield, it typically fails to pick up all traces of water. In short, this wiper doesn’t do as good a job as high-end ones.
Again, these Bosch wipers aren’t the greatest wipers on the market, but for most purposes, they will suffice.
When used in combination with a high-quality car soap, they will keep your car clean and sparkling.
- Easy to install
- Available in sizes from 13 inches to 28 inches
- Very inexpensive
- Lacks high-end functionality
- Lacks high-end durability
Panlelo 14″ Car Windshield Wiper Blades
A very similar wiper to the Bosch reviewed above is this one from Panlelo. While it’s very affordable compared to other wipers, it pales in comparison when it comes to overall functionality.
This wiper is available in sizes from 14 inches to 26 inches, allowing it to fit on most car models. Coming as just one wiper, you’ll need to buy two separately in order to have them up and running sufficiently.
Like the Bosch wiper above, this wiper picks up most of the moisture it comes across, but will still leave trace amounts behind.
The point is that these are usable budget wipers and not much else. If you’re looking to save as much money as possible, this is as good an option as any.
- Available in sizes from 14 to 26 inches
- Very easy to install
- Doesn’t make much noise
- Will leave traces of moisture behind
- Lacks high-end durability
ANCO 31-Series 31-17 Wiper Blade
To finish off our list, we’ll review the ANCO 31-Series Wiper Blade. This wiper is one of the cheapest on the market, available for around half the price of the Panlelo reviewed above.
Of course, as you might expect with a cheap product, this windshield wiper doesn’t stand up favorably next to more expensive models. It serves its basic function well enough to get the job done, but will typically leave noticeable amounts of moisture behind.
This isn’t to say that it’s awful. You’ll still be able to well enough to drive; you just won’t receive the crystal clear view that you get with high-end wipers.
What we’re saying is that these are budget wipers and nothing more. If you’re on an extremely tight budget, they will do.
- As affordable as they come
- Available in sizes from 10 to 28 inches
- Easy to install
- Leave a decent amount of water behind
- Lack high-end durability
Windshield Wipers FAQ
Let’s take a look at a few common questions you may have about your windshield wiper blades, arms, maintenance, and replacement.
How Often Should I Change My Windshield Wiper Blades?
Six months is the general recommendation whether you’re using them heavily or not. Your windshield wipers must be in top shape whenever the rain hits, and that’s one way to continue to be on the safe side.
In between changes, you should check them regularly by picking the wiper up from the glass and gently running your hand along the rubber edge. Check to see if any part of the rubber blade has become cracked or rigid. That can cause dangerous streaking in the rain.
Always replace your windshield wipers as a pair. Even if one looks like it’s okay, there’s a good chance it won’t hold up much after the other begins to show wear and tear. Safety is a critical part of what’s happening.
My Windshield Wipers Have Streaks. What Do I Do?
You may not need to replace your windshield wipers just yet. You can gently wipe down their edges to free any grime or grease and help prevent streaking.
It may be a good idea to gently wipe grime from your wiper blades regularly to help dirt from damaging your windshield and keep them in good condition. You don’t want to get to a rainy day and have unexpected streaking in the works.
Can I Just Buy The Refills?
You do have the option of using easy installation refills that simply replace the rubber insert. However, this isn’t recommended because it isn’t just the rubber blade that ends up wearing out. The entire casing can weaken and cause issues. It’s best to replace the whole thing to ensure optimum performance.
Can I Just Use Rain-X?
Rain-X, especially Rain-X Latitude, is an excellent product and can undoubtedly help keep rain and moisture off your windshield, but you’ll always need the protection of a good set of wipers. It’s not enough to simply have a slick windshield.
Do I Need Different Wipers for Winter?
If you have mild winters, there’s no reason to change your wiper blades outside of standard replacement and care. However, if you live in an area that goes through harsh winters every year, you may want to consider changing blades with the seasons.
If you change every six months, you can time it to change out your blades as the weather conditions get warmer and colder. Snow and ice can cake on standard wipers and reduce their effectiveness. It’s not just while your car sits in your driveway, either. As you drive, heavy snow can build up as your wipers work and slowly change your visibility.
How Can I Make My Wipers Last Longer?
Aside from the recommendation to change your wipers every six months, there are a few things you can do to make wipers last during that time.
If your car stays outside and uncovered, one of the best things to do is use a car cover to keep dust and debris from building up on your windshield. This can also work for light snow, but be careful and read directions for covering your car in heavier snow. If you have a carport or a garage that’s used for storage, moving your vehicle inside during winter is a huge bonus.
Parking your car so that the sun doesn’t hit your wipers directly during the hottest part of the day can also work if you don’t have a car cover. Direct sun and debris can damage the rubber blade on cheaper wipers and prevent them from lasting their full life. Clean the wipers gently to keep them free of dirt and things like pollen, and you should get better performance from your wipers.
How Do I Maintain My Windshield Wipers?
Rear windshield wipers are very similar to standard wipers. The manufacturer will provide the required size of the rear wiper, and they come in several types – although the standard is a classic rubber.
They should be changed every six months as well, but you may be able to get away with a longer time frame because you just don’t use your rear wipers as much as your front wipers. Plus, visibility may not be as much of an issue if the wiper is located in the back.
Rear wipers also typically have the same types of attachments as the front windshield wipers. Take care when replacing the back wipers for the same reasons as well. If your bare windshield arm snaps back onto the glass, it can cause cracks or divots that must be addressed later.
What Should You Consider When Choosing Windshield Wipers?
While you may think of all windshield wipers as being exactly the same, the truth of the matter is that they’re all a little different.
There are a number of different factors which contribute to the overall quality of wipers. By taking these factors into consideration, you stand the best chance of finding the best pair for you.
These factors include length, construction, durability, and compatibility.
Window wipers are available in a variety of different lengths.
Most that you see will range between around 18 inches and 26 inches in length. Odds are, your particular car requires a specific length.
If you’re trying to figure out which size wipers your car necessitates, you might find this guide to be useful.
All windshield wipers are constructed in their very own way. The primary components of a pair of wipers are the wiper blades, the wiper arms, and the attachment link.
To work adequately, the blades need to be equipped with a flexible rubber which can remain flush to the windshield at all times.
For the most part, window wipers are made out of two different materials. These two materials are plastic and steel. In all cases, with no exception, steel windshield wipers are more durable. Not to mention, they typically do a better job of wiping windows.
Unless you’re buying on a budget, you should opt for steel wipers.
The last factor you need to consider when choosing windshield wipers are their overall compatibility.
Some wipers are only equipped to work with specific models of cars while others are equipped to work with just about anything.
Make sure that you’re buying a pair which play nice with your automobile.