This was me and my life. It got so bad you could see the grooves from the ladder rungs on the bottom of my feet. Then I got smart and purchased and installed gutter guards for my house. I forgot about all the gutter cleaning, plugged and overflowing gutters, for good. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?
If you don’t like the scenario above, take a few minutes to look through this comparison table.
Best Gutter Guards (Updated July, 2023)
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Here, we’ve assembled a list of eight different products to help solve your gutter maintenance problems. To make it easy, we’ve noted the gutter types and sizes that can be serviced by these guards, the type of guard, and some of the better features of each one. They are all available through Amazon, and the last column is a link to the specific product on Amazon.com.
1. Raptor – Best Rated Gutter Guards
These might be the best gutter guards on the market. The stainless-steel material is rustproof, and the micro-mesh holes will block even the tiniest pine needles or debris from getting inside your gutters. It’s the number one selling easy on gutter guard on Amazon.
Three sizes are available to fit most standard gutter widths. The steel won’t rust or warp over time and comes with a 25-year warranty and US-based technical support. Installation hardware, including screws and a driver, are included.
These gutter guards have a high overall rating and are also highly rated for durability, instruction quality, and sturdiness. They do carry a bit of a premium price, but you get excellent durability, relatively straight-forward mounting, and above-average performance.
This is the best micro mesh gutter guard option, in both price and performance. When installed properly, it will not void any roof warranty you may have. Product warranty and customer support are solid. It’s easy to see why this is a “best rated” gutter guard.
2. Lock-In Gutter Guard – Best Gutter Covers
US-made with a ten-year warranty, these gutter guards have a wider mesh to contain even the heaviest rains, while at the same time keeping out all but the smallest debris. The installation is simple, and for the most part, requires no tools except for the occasional trimming.
The black color will blend in with most roofs and absorb heat to help melt snow and ice quicker. The powder-coated steel finish should last against the elements. Mounting is very simple; push the flat end under the last row of shingles, and clip the opposite, curved end to the front of the gutter.
No doubt, the best feature is the ease of installation, but these gutter guards are also well-rated for sturdiness and are a top ten seller at Amazon. The instruction quality is also highly rated.
If you would like a reasonably priced gutter guard that’s sturdy, yet exceptionally simple to install, this is one that should be on your list of potentials. It has well over a hundred customer reviews, and is a best-seller at Amazon, and matches good performance with a best in class mounting simplicity.
3. EZ-Gutter Guard – Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
These gutter guards are aluminum, so rust is not a worry. The relatively tight mesh will keep out most debris, although some smaller items, such as pine needles, may slip through. They install easily, and can also be easily removed if gutter maintenance is required.
Installation is simple, with no screws or clips required, as the gutter guards easily snap into place on the gutter itself. The aluminum holds tension well and will sustain during rough weather, but still remove easily for any maintenance. These are designed specifically for 5” K-style gutters, and will not work in other applications.
These gutter guards also carry a strong rating and are an Amazon top five selling gutter guard. They carry strong ratings for value, ease of setting up, and instruction quality. They are more durable than plastic materials and not susceptible to UV light deterioration.
While the manufacturer points out that some small debris may pass through the mesh, these gutter guards are superior in high rain environments and have a solid basis of customer reviews for performance and durability. All things added up point to these as the best gutter guard covers.
4. A-M – Best Gutter Screens
These screens drop into the gutters to perform invisibly. They have angled bends to keep leaves and other debris out while allowing a full flow of water to pass through. The mounting is a little involved, but not overly complex. Heavy-gauge aluminum will not rust or deteriorate and is covered by a lifetime warranty against these flaws.
Featuring tabs for interlocking without creating a seam, the .018 thick aluminum provides a strong surface that will not bend or distort. Special screws are required for setting up, but not included with the screen kit. Almost four hundred holes per foot will let anything but a hurricane downpour drain right through.
Customers that have purchased these screens just love them, giving an overall 4.7 rating, supported by 5.0 for durability and 4.8 for installation ease and sturdiness. Combine those reviews with mid-range pricing for a tough, high-performance gutter screening system.
The durability and design of these gutter screens combine to provide a durable, long-lasting product that should function as designed without any problems. Almost 250 customer reviews result in a highly rated product, which certainly warrants our designation as the best gutter screen.
5. FlexxPoint – Best Value Gutter Guards
This is a cover system for gutters and provides all the elements – durability and permanence, functionality, and good looks. Available in four colors to match almost any roof color, this guard system features a 30-year warranty.
Available in white, brown, black, and standard aluminum finish, this gutter system is invisible from the ground and, once installed, a permanent installation. It’s US-made from premium domestic aluminum and even comes with stainless steel screws, so the entire system will not rust.
These gutter guards are available in standard 5” residential size, but also available for 6” commercial gutters. Once installed, the system is permanent. The many vent holes allow easy water flow while catching leaves and other debris. Once dried, a light wind will remove all debris from the top of the system.
With competitive pricing, and very high overall customer ratings and high specific ratings for ease of setting up overall value, and longevity, it’s easy to see why this system takes away our “best value” prize.
6. Foam Gutter Protection – Best Leaf Guard Gutter System
Changing gears a little bit here, these gutter guards are made from foam, rather than steel or aluminum like the others reviewed here. The gutter guards are a triangular-shaped wedge that just pushes into your existing gutter. Water flows through the naturally absorbent foam, while leaves and other debris are contained on top of the foam where it can easily blow away in a light wind.
Setting up is very simple; easily push each segment into place in your gutters. Trimming is easy and can be done with a razor knife or any serrated blade. This model comes with enhanced UV protection to make the polyether foam last longer in direct sunlight. Other types offer enhanced moss blocking or improved fire resistance.
The ease of setting up is especially easy on this model, but the real winner here is the dense foam used for these gutter guards. This is the one system that will stop pine needles from getting into your gutters. Completely invisible from the ground, this system also comes with a five-year warranty package.
This foam gutter guard system will not give you a decades-long solution to gutter plugging, but it will last for several years, and it will definitely keep pine needles from massing together and plugging up gutters and downspouts. If you have pine trees on your property, this will be a fine system for you. Well rated, and highly effective against leaves and debris, it’s the best of the group for use against pine needles.
7. GutterBrush – Best Gutter Leaf Guard
Here we go with another change in direction with this system. The GutterBrush product looks like an elongated sea urchin, but it provides effective control against leaves getting into the gutter. With simple, drop-in mounting, the bristles on the leaf guard capture the leaves, while letting water flow simply through the brush into the gutters.
Setting up is very easy; simply push the gutter guard into your gutters. Various sizes are available to get a great fit for your gutters. No cutting is needed; just bend to fit. The brushes are made of UV-treated polypropylene, installed around a 12-gauge plated steel center core.
With hundreds of polypropylene bristles per foot, these gutter guards will stop leaves from getting in the gutter – period. They have a very high 4.9 rating for ease of mounting.
This gutter guards system is very good at catching leaves, so if you have a lot of trees near your house, it will stop the leaves from getting into the gutters. Releasing the leaves seems to be a potential problem, so consider that some level of cleaning may still be needed from year to year. Ease of setting up is also a major positive, so if you want something easy to drop in that will catch leaves, this system should work well for you.
8. Expand Aluminum Filter Strainer – Best Gutter Downspout Guards
This is an ancillary product and would be a good companion to the two gutter guard systems just reviewed in 3.6 and 3.7. The product is a filter that is pushed into the top of the downspout and provides extra protection against leaves and debris getting into the downspout and plugging it, causing an overflow of the gutters system.
This three-inch diameter filter strainer is made from heavy-duty, non-rusting aluminum. It installs without tools; simply push it into the downspouts of your gutters system. You can also install them at the end of the downspout to prevent small rodents, such as chipmunks or mice from nesting in the spout.
Low-cost and easy to install, this product would make a good addition to many of the gutters systems reviewed here. The extra level of protection for your downspouts may save you time and maintenance. They are well-rated, and a #2 seller in gutter guards.
We would recommend these for use, especially with open systems such as the last two reviewed here. Because of the low price and long lift, they could also be a good addition to other systems as the last filter aid. These would be especially helpful for systems that drain underground rather than above ground. This is a very good product to install in your downspouts, at either end.
Buyer’s Guide – What is the best gutter protection system?
In this section, we’ll provide you with a little more detailed information about some of the key specifications, features, and performance measures related to gutter guards. Whether you are wondering about how to stop leaves getting into gutters or how to choose the correct guards size, hopefully, this information will enable you to make a better buying decision depending on your personal needs and preferences.
Gutter covers vs. gutter screens: Covers and screens are the two major types of gutter guards available. Covers, as the name implies, fit over the top of your gutters. They may be visible after setting up so that aesthetics might be a concern. On the positive side, once installed, covers tend to be more permanent. It’s not unusual to see 20 – 30-year warranty on gutters cover systems. Gutter screens are typically made of wire mesh, plastics, or foam materials. They tend to be simpler in design, cheaper, and easy to install. Permanence may be an issue, as some may not be designed for exceptionally long life.
Typical sizes for residential gutters range from 3” to 5”. Commercial gutters may be as large as 6”. These measures are normally taken from the outer front edge to the back of the gutter. An example of typical gutter measures is below:
Matching your gutter guards to the type of gutter you have is critical to good performance. Below are examples of the three major types of gutter you will encounter. From left to right, they are k-style, half-round, and fascia mounted. Make sure that your gutter guards match not only the type of gutter but also the size.
In most cases, gutter guards will attach or be placed in the gutter itself, and will not impact existing roofing materials. Some styles do, however, need to slide under existing shingles or roofing material. This is not an inherent problem in itself, but we do recommend that you review your roof warranty to make sure it will not void coverage.
While some of the gutter guard systems reviewed here need no installation hardware, as they just drop into the gutters, or are held by tension, others require some type of fastener to hold them in place. If this is the case, we highly recommend that the fasteners be made from non-rusting materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. Self-starting screws are also recommended, so you can avoid drilling pilot holes. If the fastening screws rust out, at best, they will be difficult to remove; worst case, they will break off and affect the integrity of the system.
Gutter guard systems are designed to reduce gutters maintenance. However, they will rarely eliminate gutter maintenance. You may still have leaf accumulation causing blockages, ice and snow blocks, and plugging from items that have worked their way past the gutter guards. Keep this in mind as you select a system, because in some cases, you may need to “uninstall” covers and guards to perform this maintenance.
When purchasing your system, make sure that you compare run-length required for the perimeter of your home to the package sizing from the manufacturer, as this may have a significant impact on your overall costs. As an example, if you have a total run-length of 260’ of gutter guard needed, and the standard carton size is 50’ of run length, you will need to buy and pay for 40’ of material that you don’t really need. Some manufacturers will offer smaller packages to offset this issue.
Your home is most likely the largest single investment you will ever make, and protecting that investment should be a priority for every homeowner. In comparison to the cost of a home, gutters and a good gutter guard system make a good investment. While protecting your home and foundation from potential water damage, they are also a way to save your own time and effort or the cost of hiring someone to clean out the gutters periodically.
A good quality gutter guard system will keep out leaves, pine needles, animals, and other unwanted particles from your gutters and downspouts. It will lower your maintenance frequency and cost. While a gutter system does add costs, the overall value of these systems is quite high and makes an excellent payback to your investment.
We hope that this product review article has aided your understanding of the types of gutter guards available in the marketplace, and the key features and specifications of them to find the one that best fits your personal needs and circumstances.