10 Gutter Guards, Reviewed. What’s The Best Gutter Guard System for You and Your Home?
We all know the dangers of clogged gutters, but what could happen if we choose the wrong gutter guard? Water sheeting off the roof, ice dams, and flooding are some extreme examples of problems you could face if you don’t buy the right gutter guard. But how do you know what is the best gutter guard system for your home?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Whether you have old-fashioned half-round gutters or more modern K-style gutters, we’ve found gutter guards for every situation.
Our top pick uses an award-winning and patented technology to block the tiniest debris – yes, even pollen! And the best part? You don’t have to climb to the roof and fuss around with the installation because they’ll do it for you.
No More Clogged Gutters: 10 Gutter Guard Reviews
Mesh gutter guards? Micro-mesh gutter guards or foam guards? It’s frustrating and confusing, but don’t worry. We completely understand what you’re going through.
To point you in the right direction, we’ve curated the top gutters guards based on price, longevity, and ease of installation.
But first, let’s make one thing clear. Even when you have the best gutter guards for your house, you’ll still need to clear accumulated debris for the water to flow. It’s just a matter of finding the type of gutter guard that offers the longest protection to minimize cleaning.
What is the best gutter guard? LeafFilter easily snags the top spot of the best gutter guards on the market.
Out of the best gutter guards on our list, LeafFilter offers the most comprehensive gutter protection that you could ever imagine, and it will last for seasons thanks to its sealed uPVC construction. Plus, instead of relying on one barrier, their patented, award-winning system uses three.
Its first layer of defense is its micro-mesh or fine mesh screen. Each hole is only about 270 microns, leaving no room for the small debris like grits, pine needles, and even pollen to clog the drain pipe.
The Leaffitter is perfect for keeping out pine needles and small leaves. It will even filter out pollen!
You don’t even have to lift a single finger or pick up a gutter cleaner after heavy rain. Why? There’s a built-in angled pitch to shed those filtered and collected debris – talk about convenience!
LeafFilter also uses internal hidden hangers, so you’ll never worry about gusting winds ripping your gutter guards like paper.
If those out-of-this-world gutter protection hasn’t convinced you enough to get an estimate, it has a lifetime warranty. Plus, check out the overwhelmingly positive 50,000+ reviews on Trustpilot.
The downside? You won’t be able to purchase it from your local home improvement stores nor install them on your own. If you want to get these mesh guards, you’ll have to contact LeafFilter.
For quality gutter protection that you can install yourself, our runner-up A-M Gutter Guard is a wonderful option. It may not have the fancy uPVC frame enclosure of LeafFilter, but its screen design is reliable enough to prevent debris and leaves from clogging your gutter.
Plus, these heavy-duty aluminum gutter guards work with any type of gutter you have. It’s also easy to install!
Simply set the panels in place and screw them down. If there are corners, use a pair of metal snips to cut a 45-degree angle. Easy peasy.
Once you finish installing the panels, you can put the ladder away in storage. You won’t need it to clean out your gutters anymore. Leaves will collect on top and then blow away. No-fuss, no muss.
Are you looking for the most affordable gutter guard? Our budget gutter guard pick, the Thermwell Frost King VX620 Gutter Guard, is right up in your alley.
Although it doesn’t offer ground-breaking gutter protection like our top choice, this plastic type of gutter guard provides a decent job minimizing debris build-up in your gutter.
The keyword here is “minimize.” It can block large leaves but is somewhat unreliable for pine needles and tiny twigs and stems. This gutter guard is not for you if you prefer to reduce gutter cleaning.
But, for a price of a cup of coffee per pack, this budget gutter guard is the most sensible and affordable option for most homeowners.
Installation-wise, it’s just a matter of cutting the desired length and snapping it into the gutter. A word of caution, though. Since this gutter guard is made from plastic, you may struggle for the first few tries.
Want to keep your gutter clean and collect rainwater for your garden? Well, here’s a dual-purpose gutter guard to make your life easier – the EasyOn Gutter Guard.
This stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guard will filter all the debris out of your water, allowing you to collect your rainwater. It is the only gutter guard on our list that is UL Certified for rainwater harvesting.
If you are considering rainwater harvesting, check out this video
With EasyOn Gutter Guard, you get cleaner rainwater and no more cleaning out gutters – it doesn’t get much better than that.
When you climb up your ladder to install the Raptor Gutter Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard, it will be your last time. Raptor gutter guard uses a stainless micro-mesh to keep the leaves out and the water flowing through your gutters like it’s supposed to.
Installation is easy for the experienced DIYer, and they include the screws and tools you need to work with your cordless drill. However, you might want to have some extra screws on hand just in case. And you can install it with any style 5-inch gutter, whether it is K-type or fascia style.
Instead of letting all the raging water hit your gutter, FlexxPoint Gutter Cover System slows down the flow, minimizing gutter damage and the dreaded water overflow. And, of course, this dam-like configuration still allows water to pass through even when leaves and debris are on top.
The aluminum screen elevates the leaves, allowing the water to pass underneath them into your gutters.
Then, the leaves dry and blow away without you needing to climb onto the roof and remove them. Now you don’t need to worry about damage from overfull gutters. If you are concerned about your curb appeal, the FlexxPoint Gutter Cover System comes in four different colors to match your home’s exterior.
This gutter leaf guard system sits flush on top of the cover while keeping your gutter clean, of course. No, really, though, nothing passes through this aluminum screen. Leaves, pine needles, and other debris collect on top, and the rain washes right through.
The big complaint people seem to have is that it often doesn’t come with enough screws to complete the installation. So you might want to buy extra fasteners before you climb up on your ladder.
There’s no need to be a DIY master to install this gutter guard. It comes in 4 feet lengths, but you can easily cut it with a bread knife if you need to. Then, slide the foam wedge in your gutters.
People complain that over time the foam gutter guard becomes clogged, and the water doesn’t pass through. So while this is an inexpensive solution, it is also a short-term solution to your gutter problems. Plus, it will only fit into 5-inch K-style gutters.
The Amerimax Home Products Lock-In Gutter Guard is an excellent choice if you have metal K-style gutters. This gutter system easily snaps in place on 4, 5, or 6-inch gutters. Just slide the screen under the first row of roof shingles and snap it in place on the front of your gutter. No tools are necessary!
Superior Gutter Guards Gutter Cover has a stainless steel mesh with an embossed pattern. The embossing isn’t for design (it’s invisible from below), though. It makes the gutter guard more reliable.
How does an embossed pattern help a gutter guard, you ask? Good question.
The pattern elevates the leaves and debris, creating a channel for the water to pass below. It also helps the waste on top of the guard dry more quickly, letting the leaves blow away on the next gusty day.
Gutter Guard Buying Guide
Whether you are shopping for the best reel lawn mower or the best wood stove, it’s always best to make an informed buying decision. When you buy a gutter guard, the last thing you want is for the water to just flood off your gutters and into your house’s foundation, basement, or anywhere for that matter.
Don’t go buying a gutter guard without knowing if it will fit your home’s gutters. There are two gutter styles – k-style and half-round. What are the differences?
If your home was built in the US in the last 50 years, you probably have K-style gutters. These gutters kind of look like a K when viewed from the side. But more importantly, for your curb appeal, they look like crown molding when seen from the front.
K-style gutters screw directly onto the fascia board, making them easy to install. On the other hand, half-round gutters are a more traditional style of gutter.
Like the K-style, their name tells you a lot about what they look like (1)
“They look like a half-circular pipe, with an opening at the top.”
Unlike K-style gutters, half-round gutters are mounted with brackets. The brackets make installation more complicated and more costly.
Types Of Gutter Guards
Screen, foam, mesh, and brush are common types of gutter guards.
Screen gutter guards, either metal or plastic, lay on top of the gutter. It consists of several holes to let the water flow and block leaves. Some debris, particularly smaller ones, can still reach the gutter.
For foam gutter guards like the GutterStuff Guard K Style Foam Gutter does a better job at blocking smaller particles. However, once filled with dirt, it will not allow the water to pass through, causing unwanted clogging.
On the other hand, a brush gutter guard relies on its compact and fine bristles to block debris. Just like foam gutter guards, once the bristles trapped too much junk, it will clog and cause overflowing.
Mesh gutter guards block both large and small debris. Our top choice, the LeafFilter Gutter Guard, utilizes an ultra-fine mesh screen that can even filter out pollen.
You will also find some reverse curve gutter guards or surface tension gutter guards. Instead of a screen or a mesh, reverse curve gutter guards have a smooth and curved or rounded top cover that allows the water to slide down into the gutter while the debris slides off.
Since the gutters are covered, this type of gutter guard also doubles as a gutter splash guard.
When investing in home improvements, it is always good to investigate what kind of warranty it comes with (2).
“Manufacturers’ warranties are also standard for products used in home improvements, and are the assurance from manufacturers that their products will work as intended under the circumstances prescribed for use.”
You can also use the manufacturer’s warranty to gauge the durability of a product. For example, LeafTek has a 35-year warranty thanks to its aluminum construction. Our budget choice, the Thermwell Frost King Gutter Guard, only provides a one-year warranty because of its all-plastic material.
When shopping around for the best gutter guards, it is wise to look at the materials used because it will determine the longevity or lifespan of the system.
For instance, aluminum screen guards are naturally rust-resistant and great for all weather conditions (3). A more durable alternative is stainless steel, but you’ll have to pay a premium.
Plastic or vinyl is more common with budget-friendly gutter guards. They are lightweight and easy to install, but their durability isn’t as reliable as metal gutter guard systems. They are prone to warping, especially when exposed to direct sunlight (4).
Some plastic gutter guards, like our top pick, the LeafFilter Gutter Guard, use more rigid uPVC materials to prevent damages, regardless of season or weather.
Your DIY skills may influence which installation method works best for you. But none of these require that you be a DIY master. Some of the best gutter guards are easy to install, even for an apprentice DIYer.
Screw-in installations are standard with metal screen gutter guards like stainless steel micro-mesh gutter guards. You need a cordless drill and screws to attach the panels into the gutter. If you’re uncomfortable with using power tools, a snap-in gutter guard system is for you – it’s easy to install as it sounds.
You simply lift the roof shingles and slide the guard underneath the edge. Then snap it in place inside your gutter. You may need to use some wire snips to cut panels to size, but you don’t have to pick up a drill here.
In-gutter is the simplest and the fastest gutter guard installation. You simply slide in the gutter guard into your rain gutters, and you’re finished.
Yes, gutter guards really work. However, you must take into consideration what kind of gutter guard will be best for your environment. You want to consider the size of the debris falling into your gutters and your gutter style to make sure you chose a gutter guard that will work for you.
The average cost of gutter guards ranges between $1.50-$10 per square foot. Many factors affect the pricing of gutter guards. Professionally installed gutter guards like Valor gutter guards will cost more than DIY options. Materials will also affect the cost of your gutter guards.
No, you should not remove gutter guards in winter. The best gutter guards are designed to withstand snow and ice. If there’s too much accumulation on the gutter guards, you can just rake the ice off. Plus, once the sun hits the snow, it will just melt and drain through the gutter.
- Your Complete Guide to Half Round Gutters. Retrieved from: https://www.hatchyourhome.com/your-complete-guide-to-half-round-gutters/
- Home Improvement Contracts, Guarantees and Warranties. Retrieved from: https://www.moneypit.com/home-improvement-contracts-guarantees-and-warranties/
- Aluminum vs Steel: Comparing the Two ‘Kings’ of Metal. Retrieved from: https://monroeengineering.com/blog/aluminum-vs-steel-comparing-the-two-kings-of-metal/
- What does UV radiation actually do to degrade plastics. Retrieved from: https://www.usplastic.com/knowledgebase/article.aspx?contentkey=858
Rachael and her husband arrived on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua in 2011. There they founded El Jardin de la Vida, a tropical micro food forest, focusing on Sustainable Living Education. She teaches others to build with natural materials, live off-grid, and appreciate slow food.