With so many car parts and accessories that one has to think about, it is only natural that we sometimes overlook our windshield wipers. However, they are an essential item that is closely connected to safety. Poor wipers affect visibility, especially in inclement weather. Trust us you don’t want to wait until you are caught in a dangerous storm to realize your windshield wipers need to be replaced.
That’s why we have created this buying guide that will help you find the best windshield wipers out there. The best part is that you won’t even have to go to an auto parts store to buy them. Still, there are too many products available online, and most of them are of poor quality. For this reason, we have prepared top reviews of windshield wipers that we believe are reliable and effective.
After you read them carefully, make sure you check out all the useful tips and info we have also gathered for you!
Our Reviews of Windshield Wipers
1. Bosch ICON 26A Wiper Blade
These Bosch windshield wipers are designed without hinges or brackets. They offer improved design and performance. This was something our team personally enjoyed. These hingeless wipers do not utilize a metal frame. The flexible plastic will not limit the movement of the wiper like a hinge would. Thus, your wipers will be able to cover more ground.
The thing that we like most about this product is the ICON beam blade that is in no way affected by snow and ice built-up. More uniform pressure is distributed along the entire length of the blade, and that results in the ultimate all-season performance of the windshield wipers. This product also features an exclusive dual rubber lining that can resist heat and ozone deterioration.
When we talk about installation, we encountered a few challenges, but this is only normal since the design of these wipers is so sophisticated. On the other hand, what are a few extra minutes spent on installation, when you get a patented beam design with a shielded connector that will optimize your visibility even under extreme weather conditions?!
- Integrated wind spoiler design
- Exclusive tension spring arcing technology
- Optimized visibility
- ICON beam blade
- A bit hard to install
- Do not have hinges on either side (could be an advantage as well)
2. Rain-X RX30222 Weatherbeater Wiper Blade
Rain-X is a brand that many people love, and the Rain-X RX30222 Weatherbeater is just another proof why they have a reason to do so. This high-quality traditional blade may be conventional, but it still not only meets but also exceeds all original equipment standards for durability, quality, and construction.
We loved how easy it was to install the unit due to the pre-installed small J-hook adapter. Even though some of the connectors are made out of plastic, and we all know that plastic cracks quickly in cold weather, these windshield wipers are super durable. The plastic is sturdy, and the galvanized steel frame prevents corrosion and rust. The natural rubber squeegee also ensures that there is no cracking and spitting caused by the weather.
We did not like that fact that these come in a pack of one. Still, we can live with that keeping the price in mind. This product will not only provide smooth, clean, and streak-free wipe but will also make your wallet ‘happy’.
- Smooth, clean, streak-free wipe
- Galvanized steel frame
- Easy Installation
- Conventional blade
- Some of the connectors are made out of plastic
- Comes in a pack of one
3. TRICO 14-B Rear Integral Wiper Blade
With the TRICO Exact Fit 14-B Rear Integral Wiper Blade, you don’t have to worry about your visibility when driving in extreme conditions. The materials of this product are not of the highest quality, but it will get the job done. While the metal frame will hold its ground, you may notice that the rubber lining wears off relatively quickly.
This unit is advertised as an ‘exact fit’, yet not every vehicle is compatible with it so be careful. You may spend some time trying to get it to fit the wiper arm, but once you’re done, you will be pleased with the result. The functionality of the wiper blade should be unquestioned. The rubber will thoroughly get rid of any water or dirt in its way.
Another essential upside of the product is the fact that you get 180° Visibility. This is an important feature, as in today’s aggressive driving environment, excellent rear windshield visibility is vital. We also liked the fact that no additional adapters are required.
- Provides great visibility
- Easy installation (most of the times)
- Made out of high-strength materials
- Not that long-lasting
- Not really an ‘exact fit’
4. Michelin 8522 Stealth Ultra
The moment the name MICHELIN is pronounced, we already know it is going to be a good product. The Michelin 8522 Stealth Ultra is no exception. We were delighted with the results this windshield wiper gave us although there are a couple of things that might need some extra attention.
This product has a stealth ultra-hybrid design. This means that it combines the anti-blow buildup features of a beam blade with the windshield-hugging features of a conventional blade. That’s also the reason why you get a superior streak along with noise-free wiping in all weather conditions. Yet, we noticed that when the temperatures get cold, the blade could quickly freeze and not perform that well.
The smart-flex frame design that the product has, adapts to the curve of your windshield and provides superior contact. The installation of the product is also not that hard, even though the instructions given on the package aren’t very clear and detailed. Since we mentioned packages, we also need to highlight that the product comes in a pack of one.
- Stealth ultra-hybrid design
- Smart-flex frame design
- Durable – tested to perform over 500,000 cycles.
- Pack of one
- Badly written instructions
- Not suitable for freezing weather
5. OEM QUALITY AERO All-Season Windshield Wiper Blades
These windshield wipers have a well-made design and are also very durable. There were two things, however, that our team believes can be better. The first one is the rubber. Yes, it is a specially blended one, that delivers smooth, clean, and chatter-free wipe. Still, after a few months, it may start to show some signs of wear. We also aren’t impressed by the plastic end caps that come off easily.
Now that we are done with the negative features let’s focus a bit on all the positive thing the OEM windshield wipers can offer. The aerodynamic design of these units is good as it reduces noise, drag, and wind lift. These windshield wipers are suitable for pretty much all weather conditions and their bracketless design can also prevent snow and ice buildup.
The installation of the unit is also easy due to the flexible spine design that provides superior windshield contact and fits the windshield better.
- Flexible spine design
- Bracketless design
- Aerodynamic design that reduces wind lift, noise, and drag
- Easy installation
- The plastic end caps come off and break easily
- The blade rubber is not that sturdy
6. METO T6 Windshield Wiper
These windshield wipers do not only look exceptionally good, but they are also very useful. They feature an aerodynamic patent design that will reduce drag and keep wiping stable. The secure memory steel sheet this unit has sticks closely to the windshield, without leaving any gaps. The one thing we do not like about the design is the adapters that are made of cheap plastic.
On the other hand, the METO T6 coats a water repellent film while wiping the glass and that way rainwater and snow are no problem at all. We also liked the material that the rubber strip is made of. It also has a silicone component to it. The rubber is corrosion-resistant and wear-resistant, so you can be sure that these wipers will perform well for a more extended period.
The high-performance silicone rubber strip is also the reason why these units perform so quietly. We encountered, though, some difficulties with the installation since it is hard to figure out which adapters are the right ones.
- Strong memory steel sheet
- Aerodynamic design
- Sturdy rubber strip
- The adapters are made out of cheap plastic
- The installation is a hassle
Finding The Right Size of Windshield Wipers
It is easy to get confused when selecting windshield wipers. There 2 main types (about which we will talk about later) of blades – beam and silicone. Before you get to pick one or the other, you ought to know the size and the mechanism of your windshield wipers. Here’s what you can do to find out more about your wipers.
Read your car manual
Consult with the manual of your car. All the numbers and sizes will be written there. Most manuals have a little chart describing the range in size and length of the wipers. Refer to it for detailed info.
Measure your current windshield wipers
Just go to your car and measure the windshield wipers that you currently have. If you are unhappy with their coverage or length, see if you have more room to buy some larger ones.
Read some info Online
A guide such as ours will greatly help you when trying to find everything you need for your car. Read our CarOutfitter articles that we have prepared and get acquainted with all the essential accessories that you might need. This, of course, includes windshield wipers and the process of selecting the most suitable ones.
Call the dealership
Alternatively, you can call the local car dealership from where you have bought your vehicle. They typically have a parts store and should be able to give you information regarding the brand of your wipers.
Comparison of Windshield Wiper Blades’ Features
Here, we will outline the 4 most common types of blades that you will encounter:
- Conventional rubber blades
- Silicone blades
- Beam blades
- Winter blades
1. Conventional Blades
Get the conventional rubber blades in case you’re looking for something cheaper. As the name suggest, these units are made out of rubber in a combination with a metal frame. Being a budget-option, these blades are the most popular ones out there. If you are satisfied with the results they yield, then no need to switch to more advanced products.
2. Silicone Blades
Paying for silicone wiper blades will bring you the coveted sturdiness. These are the most expensive “brother” of the basic rubber wiper blades. Water will be wiped away more efficiently with each movement rather than the rubber wipers. Silicone blades may end up costing you about two times more than the simplest rubber blades but they should also last a lot longer.
Some additional things to consider:
- Many silicone wipers come with a warranty. You don’t see that often with wiper blades in general.
- Silicone blades will not make much noise when operating.
3. Beam Blades
Choose beam blades to get rid of any sort of build-up. Beam blades are composed of rubber and spring steel. They also do not have an external frame. That allows them work evenly across the windshield. These units can also get quite expensive but the effectiveness is impressive. Beam blades are also the perfect solution for curved windshields thanks to their shape
4. Winter Blades
These are the rough riders of windshield wiper blades. Winter Blades will survive freezing temperatures and will last longer in such conditions. They will not stick to the window and will not crack. You have to be ready to pay good money for such a high quality product.
How to Change Your Windshield Wipers?
In several months’ time you will likely need to replace your wipers. The good news is that you do not need to run to a mechanic to change your wiper blades.
Changing Wiper Blades
Most wipers are constructed with three essential components. First, the metal or plastic blade attached to the lower arm. Then, we have the lower arm that starts from the upper part of the hood (or the lower part of the windshield). Finally, the rubber wiper that actually cleans the windshield. Changing the the wipers most commonly refers to really only substituting the rubber parts with brand new ones. The body of the wiper remains the same. So here’s how you find the appropriate rubber blades:
- Check the size and buy replacements of your blades. In order to do so, just whip out your measuring tape and see how long the current blades that you have are. Then go online and look for products with those same sizes.
- You shouldn’t be surprised that the right and the left blade have a different size from one another. It is usual for one of them (the one in front of the passenger side) to be a couple of inches shorter.
Installation of Wiper Blades
- Lift the metal arm and point it in another direction from the window. The wiper has to remain like that on its own. You still need to watch it because the arm has a spring in it. The unit might kick back and damage your windshield. It will be handy if you have a windshield repair kit stored somewhere just for that.
- Detach the current blade. Inspect the body of the wiper carefully and see where the little plastic stopper is. It has to be right at the juncture between the metal part and the rubber blade. This stopper needs to be pressed so that you can remove the blade from the arm.
- Embed the replacement wiper in place. Glide it through the exact same part of the arm from where you took out the previous wiper. Snap the little hooks or the stopper in place. Now you can rest the unit back onto the windshield.
- Do the same on the other side with the other wiper.
How Often to Replace Windshield Wipers
There’s no timetable on how and when to replace your wipers. Just make sure you inspect them regularly for cracks and gaps. If the integrity of the rubber blade is damaged, then it is not going to be as effective anymore. This is a sure sign you need to change your wipers.
Another sign that you need new blades is the presence of streaks during rain showers. In case the wipers cannot handle the water on the windshield and some residue is left behind, then it is time to look for replacements.
There is one more instance in which you want to replace your wipers and that’s if they freeze deeply. Generally, frozen blades aren’t such a problem but sometimes the rubber may just get damaged beyond recovery and you simply ought to throw the blade away.
Types of Windshield Wipers and their Movements
Vehicle owners need to carefully check their windscreen wipers for any tears and holes in the rubber because this can cause the vehicle to fail the annual safety tests. How to properly maintain your windshield wipers in good working condition is a question whose answer will ensure safety on the roads during tricky weather conditions.
Different types of make and models of vehicles have different windscreen wiper configurations. In other words, there are several modes they can operate. Have a look at the points below to and see the variety of ways in which windscreen wipers move.
- Pivot/radial – left-hand drive
The blade for this windscreen wiper is attached to a single arm which is fixed to the motor. It moves in parallel motion and is most commonly found on left-hand drive cars.
- Pivot/radial – right-hand drive
This is the mirror opposite of the first windscreen wiper and is mainly found on right-hand drive cars.
- Sequential sweep
The mechanism behind this type of front window wiper is way more unusual than other designs since the wipers move in opposite directions at the same time. It allows the blades to cover as much of the windscreen as possible, minimizing the risk of a sizeable unwiped corner on the front passenger side of the windshield.
- Single blade arm
These are typically used on rear windshields. Single windscreen wipers glide back and forth with a center pivot to ensure as much coverage as possible.
Using cantilevers, this type of windshield wiper is connected to a single arm which extends upwards. The blade still covers a 180-degree angle, but the arm also extends upwards. This creates an ‘M’-shaped wiping pattern. Instead of using two wipers, the single blade allows for broader coverage, moving any excess stripes away from the center of the windshield and out of the driver’s line of vision.
- Pantograph system
Such wipers are put on commercial vehicles with big windshields. Pantograph systems have two arms for each wiper blade. One arm is attached to a motor while the other is on a pivot, which is supported by a vertical bar. This mechanism is the reason why the blade can cover more of the windscreen with each gliding motion that it makes. It has to be noted that when stationary, the wipers stay positioned in the middle of the windshield, which may cause the driver’s line of vision to become partially obstructed.
- Dual windscreen wiper arms for split windscreens – pivoted at the top of the windshield
Automobiles featuring split windshields, such as US military wheeled vehicles, jeeps and utility vehicles, use dual-wiper arms. These work on a pivot from the top of the car rather than the conventional way. The focus here is on the bottom of screen as the wipers are most effective in that area.
- Dual windscreen wiper arms for two windscreens – pivoted at the bottom of the windshield
Usually found on older models of cars with two front windscreens. The iconic Volkswagen ‘split screen’ camper van comes to mind. However, in place of operating on a pivot from the highest point of the vehicle like previous product, these wipers work conventionally. This allows for better coverage towards the top of the windscreen.
Weather vs. Windshield wipers
Conventional or typical blades stand higher off the windshield. This is why dirt, debris, and snow may pile up between the wiper and the windshield. Such units are also susceptible to being lifted by strong winds. Because of the price, though, about 30% of the new vehicles still come with such blades.
If you go with beam blades, you will get some smoothness. They possess a lower profile and have no exposed frame. This makes them less likely to congest snow. Also, their aerodynamic is increased. Beam blades are arched, which allows them to have a better traction with the front windows of newer-model trucks. These blades can still freeze, though. So it might be a good idea to learn how to de-ice your windshield even if you go for beam blades.
You can also choose to get heated blades. They are a neat perk and will help you melt some snow and ice from your windshield as you go. However, installing them can be tricky as each wiper is wired to your dashboard through under the hood. Additionally, the price of these wipers is above average.
FAQ about Windshield Wipers:
Q: How long do windshield wipers last?
A: Wiper blades should be replaced every six months or as soon as your visibility is somewhat obscured
Q: Why should I lift my windshield wipers during the winter season?
A: As you apply force to unstick the wipers from the frozen windshield, you run the risk of either damaging the body of the unit or the motor of the wiper.
Q: Why do windshield wipers wear out?
A: Wipers get worn out not only by extensive use but also by improper maintenance. Another factor is the sudden and rapid change in weather conditions. Quick transitions from hot to cold are never good for the blades.
Don’t forget to check out our roundup of the high-quality all-terrain tire reviews.
This is where it is time to put a conclusion of our buying guide to finding the best windshield wipers. These units are an essential part of your car that can literally save your life in extreme situations. That’s why having the right windshield wipers is more than necessary.
If you still have not decided on a product, make sure you have read all of our reviews of windshield wipers thoroughly. Also, don’t forget to share our article with others as well. If there is anything, you think we have missed in our guide, or you just want to tell us something, feel free to leave us a comment or send us an email.
If you find this buying guide useful, we are positive that you will like our other pieces as well, so don’t lose any more time and go check them out. Thanks for reading, and as always- stay put!